Video: Russian-backed Ukrainian govt using snipers to kill unarmed protesters

In a series of new videos coming out of Ukraine, there’s compelling evidence that the Russian-back government is using snipers to kill unarmed protesters.

You look at these images, and it’s difficult to imagine that this is a country ready to begin joining the EU.

Having said that, it’s the Ukrainian government that decided to use force, after conspiring with Russian president Putin at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, so this reflects more on them than the Ukrainian people.

Government sniper


Alleged video of protesters being shot by snipers


The Ukrainian interior ministry is tweeting that its soldiers have the right to use violence:


Some (read: Politico) are annoyed that America has taken a sudden interest in the violence in Ukraine.  They’re calling it “clickbait,” meaning sites like Buzzfeed and HuffPo (and us) are simply posting things that we know readers will click on, such as horrific videos and photos.

A few responses:

1. Duh.

Perhaps Politico’s business model is to post stories that readers DON’T want to read, but the rest of us, fighting to survive, don’t have that luxury.

2. Why is it a bad thing if, by whatever means necessary, online media is finding a way to get Americans engaged on a horrific story they’d otherwise ignore?

I’m having a difficult time finding the flaw in our strategy.  Not to go all free-market, but I don’t really care why Buzzfeed, HuffPo, or AMERICAblog posts the stories it does.  So long as we’re educating our readers, and making a difference on issues that matter, who cares if we’re doing it to make money (which is the usual end-goal of trying to get clicks)?  Those of us without a billionaire benefactor have no choice but to do this job for money, or we can’t do it at all. And if the end result is the American people paying attention to an important story they’d otherwise ignore, then I’ll sleep fine at night.

First, some video reportedly showing unarmed protesters being shot by snipers:

Next, video of government snipers:

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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153 Responses to “Video: Russian-backed Ukrainian govt using snipers to kill unarmed protesters”

  1. mick says:

    you have no proof …you must be American.

  2. Badgerite says:

    So has yours.
    You define misinformation.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    More misinformation.

    “Amid Deficit Fears, Obama Freezes Pay”

    Obama proposed the CPI cuts and he’ll revisit it asap. Reid and Pelosi favor austerity. “In a statement that is shocking many pundits, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)warned the country, “It is clear we must enter an era of austerity; to reduce the deficit through shared sacrifice.”

    Obama favors a meaningless minimum wage $10.10.

    Greens are left centrists, not leftists. Why do you continue to mention them as if they were a political force. Like all reformists, their day has come and gone.

  4. Badgerite says:

    Wow. Mass demonstrations. Who knows who is demonstrating in a “mass demonstration”. There has been a lot of unrest over austerity. Like unrest in the Ukraine, many forces come out to participate. But austerity is still Europe’s course. Of the western leaders you mention, Obama is the one who has not followed a government policy of austerity.
    That would be what the GOP wanted. Obama, instead followed the advise of people like Paul Krugman who advised a program of governmental spending to offset the constriction of the private economy. Krugman thought the stimulus program did not go far enough. But that was his criticism. Not that Obama had chosen a wrongheaded ‘right wing’ course.
    There is no Green Party to speak of in America. It’s big success was Ralph Nader garnering about 2% of the vote in the presidential election of 2000.
    And we all know how that turned out.

  5. Badgerite says:

    I would submit that foolish tax cuts that were instituted by the Bush administration and continue in place due to the GOP control of the House have a lot more to do with our current economic choices than the budget of the DOD. That budget has been a constant. The ridiculous tax cuts while spending like a drunkard that went on during the Bush administration and the Wall Street melt down would probably have more to do with the fact that we don’t get “ice cream” than the DOD budget.
    ( My ‘ilk’ on this would include Paul Krugman.)
    Though North Korea is not part of the “Asian Pivot” debate you want to have, it is non the less a real thing. Yes, it is a freakish little nation. But it is a freakish little nation that has nuclear weaponry and is trying to develop intercontinental ballistic missile capability. They can already do serious damage (devastation, really) to Japan and South Korea and frequently threaten to do so. To try to pretend otherwise is ridiculous.
    And countries like Japan, who once had a substantial military and naval capability, have relied on the US for half a century to provide a kind of umbrella against threats in the region. If the US should fail to do so, how long do you think it would be before countries in the region quit focusing on business and started focusing on military armament?
    Speaking of things that go boom.

  6. Yana Huntley says:

    Apparently the sniper that was shooting protesters after the military was already being called off was actually a military member from the Russian government and covered his badge with a Ukrainian symbol. So Yanukovych refused interference from other countries but gladly took on military members from Russia to help his own purposes…

    Also, Russia has cut off all media surrounding what was happening in Kiev. People are completely unaware of what has and is happening

  7. Ford Prefect says:

    Ilk is fine with me, but it doesn’t sound as polite.

    You have a tendency to put false dichotomies in place of a thoughtful statement. NK doesn’t enter into the pivot at all–they are a relatively tiny, freakish nation everyone loves to point at but don’t want a war with because of Seoul’s 18 million people that stand to get slaughtered. It’s all about militarily challenging China in the South China Sea and the Pacific. Mostly it makes a massive naval buildup, which is what it’s really about. They want one or two more $24 Billion carriers, for starters.

    So the real choice has nothing to do with NK and everything to do with, “Are we going to continue bankrupting the US so these folks can have their absurdly expensive toys that make the world go BOOM?” Because in the end, DOD’s budget is dependent on a steady flow of conflict around the world. Without it, they might have to take some cuts.

    Lastly, our defense budget is already $600 Billion and set to go much higher. China’s? About $80 Billion on average, though they did just buy one of Russia’s crappy carriers and are building some subs. This is all just bullshit to keep the money flowing away from things we need to things we don’t, because corruption.

    Why not propose the statement, “If I have to choose between ice cream and global nuclear war, I’ll take a trip to Jamaica instead.”

  8. Bill_Perdue says:

    You failed to address the question I asked.

  9. Bill_Perdue says:

    Your capacity to absorb misinformation is stunning. The left in Europe is growing and unifying. In

    In Greece, Spain, Egypt, Portugal, Turkey and elsewhere they organized mass demonstrations against the austerity programs imposed by German banks, the IMF and governments controlled by the US and NATO.

    In most places, including the US, the greens are a left centrist party. ?In a few places they’re moving left. Where they remain static and centrist, they’re being systematically defeated by the left. In Germany the far left unity party, Die Linke, defeated the Greens and are the third largest party in the Bundestag.

    I won’t support Putin or Obama because both are right wing regimes, as is that of Merkel. It’s for the same reason that I won’t support Democrats or Republicans. Both are bankrupt and utterly corrupted by their lap dog obedience to the rich. We differ on that as well.

  10. Badgerite says:

    Douglas MacArthur and his staff literally wrote the Japanese Constitution.
    Where do you think the recognition of women’s rights in their constitution came from? So, yeah, the US did a hell of a lot.

    Saddam put Saddam in office via a bloody coup. The US had nothing to do with him rising to power. The US built ties with him when he was there primarily after the Iranian Revolution and in response to that. Washington viewed Saddam ( a Sunni) as a counter balance to Iranian Shiite power in the region. I’m not well versed on how exactly the Iran/Iraq war started but the US threw its weight and weaponry behind Saddam because he was fighting an Islamic fundamentalist and revolutionary Iran.
    I didn’t say we ‘went after’ Saddam because of the Kurds. But the Kurds certainly benefited from the US going after him as he was going after them with an eye toward annihilation. When he went after the Gulf Oil States, that was a bridge too far for Bush the Elder and the rest is history. Enter Junior. Saddam would target certain groups he could not control for annihilation. The Kurds ( who had sided with Iran) were one. The Shiite Marsh Arabs were another.

    But as I said, the most recent is not necessarily the most analogous to what is happening in the Ukraine. For that, the best example would be the former Yugoslavia. ( Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo Serbia.) It was not that long ago. The 1990’s. Clinton era. The country split apart and fell into a bloody war along ethnic and religious fault lines. Russia has strong religious, cultural and ethnic ties with the Serbians. The term “Ethnic Cleansing” ring a bell. That was its origin in popular vernacular. It was simply genocide. The Russians objected to European and particularly American involvement. The US government negotiating with Milosevic brought about the Dayton Accords which served as a starting point for the end of the conflict. Then Kosovo happened.
    Again, the west intervened, this time militarily through the use of NATO troops. Russia objected. The genocide stopped. Milosevic was thrown out of office in favor of those who wanted to partner with the EU. The transition has not been completely smooth, but it has occurred and there is no warfare there now.
    The Ukraine is more like that than like Iraq. About the only thing those ‘interventions’ have in common is that the United States was involved in both.

  11. Badgerite says:

    You literally take NO sides in this except that of a non existent faction that has not real support. “Workers party” sounds a lot like the Green Party.
    I don’t think it exists even in Germany anymore let alone elsewhere.

  12. Badgerite says:

    He’s been a pro Russian alarmist for 20 years. Russia can’t really afford a Cold War. They didn’t win the last one and they were much more powerful and credible then. And China will not follow suit. They are off and running into the future and have no intention of going backward.
    In the Ukraine, they have been trying the Putin method of governance in the for at least the last decade. Opposition leaders can end up dead or imprisoned on ‘tax’ charges. It hasn’t really worked out well there.
    As events have shown, opposition to that form of governance is alive and well. And the Russians are backing, literally, the same guy they backed a decade ago.

    Yes, I do. No one is talking about invading Russia ( see Hitler or WWI) .
    What is being talked about is the self determination of a people. The right to choose through elections that are not rigged. Where opponents are not killed, or imprisoned. Putin is trying to rebuild the Soviet Union, instead of building up a new Russia. I don’t see how that can work. Even for Russia.

  13. Badgerite says:

    LOL. Everybody uses “The”:. Not everybody uses the term ‘fellow traveler’. That is somewhat akin to ‘ilk’. Asian Pivot. I don’t think it is ‘bad’. There are other countries in Asia besides China. And many of them are supportive because they don’t necessarily want to be completely under the thumb of China. And what do you think of China’s support for North Korea? It is the only thing keeping that regime standing.
    Given a choice between and Asian Pivot and a North Korea, I’ll take the Asian Pivot, which is mostly a diplomatic campaign.for markets and alliances.

  14. Badgerite says:

    I don’t think it is misguided to try to prevent the violence that has occurred from descending into a civil war. Especially when there are fascist and neo Nazi elements rattling around in the conflict. A violent setting tends to help extremists of all stripes.

  15. Ford Prefect says:

    You’re right. Both sides are RW authoritarian.

  16. Anonymous says:

    So true, that is the state of Dems today. Maybe I’m just nostalgic with a foggy memory to think it was ever different. The 2-party system is the “lesser of 2 evils” system.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Let’s call them what they are…Christian fascists. Christians continue to oppress people and there is no end in sight. They didn’t even learn from the Holocaust.

  18. Heard that says:

    They were russian snipers in Kiev. RUSSIAN SNIPERS! There is radio evidence of communiction between them reorded….

  19. Bill_Perdue says:

    Wherever theres the stench of fascism you’ll find anti-Semitism. Azman knows what’s who these putschists are, ever if some americans don’t.

  20. Bill_Perdue says:

    Boths sides are right wing, they just answer to different masters – NATO, Merkel and Obama on the predatory right and Putin, who’s running for Tsar of all the Russias,

  21. FLL says:

    Yanukovych and his party, Party of Regions is out. Yulia Tymoshenko’s ally is now acting prime minister, and their party is All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland.” Some preliminary background for Party of Regions is here:
    Some preliminary background for Yulia Tymoshenko and her allegedly illegal imprisonment is here:
    Some preliminary background for the All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland” party (Batkivshchyna) is here:
    A few cursory observations. Party of Regions is represents the interests of ethnic Russians, but also the interests of oligarchs, as evidenced by their policy of “Implementation through: gradual reduction of corporate income tax (16% before 2014)” and conservative social policy, as evidenced by their policy of “Strong family – basis of healthy society” (wink, nudge). These quotes are from the Wikipedia article above.
    Batkivshchyna, Tymoshenko’s opposition party, states that “high concentration of land in one hand” will not be allowed and “wants to improve human rights in Ukraine.” These quotes are from the other Wikipedia article above. Let’s have a little compare and contrast tomorrow. Won’t that be fun?

  22. Ford Prefect says:

    And right on cue, our pals the ultras are already threatening Ukrainian Jewry:

    Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, called on Kiev’s Jews to leave the city and even the country if possible, fearing that the city’s Jews will be victimized in the chaos, Israeli daily Maariv reported Friday.

    “I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too,” Rabbi Azman told Maariv. “I don’t want to tempt fate,” he added, “but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions.”

    With friends like these…

  23. Ford Prefect says:

    First round goes the right-wing opposition. But now they have to form a working coalition and make sure the military and intelligence services (both integrated with Russia’s) stay on the sidelines. They also have to deal with the internal power struggles that will come from the Nazis and other fascist groups. I would bet there will be more violence from the ultras. There’s no telling what the Russians will do, but I doubt they’ll accept a US client state on their doorstep.

    And that ends this episode of “Both sides are wrong and both sides murder.” Tune in next week, when we update the body counts and skullduggery once more.

  24. Silver_Witch says:

    Will do just as you suggest Anonymous

  25. Bill_Perdue says:

    It looks like the putsch by the right, supported by Obama and Merkel, is going to be successful. “From this mornings NY TImes: “An opposition unit took control of the presidential palace outside Kiev on Saturday, as leaders in Parliament said Ukraine’s president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, had fled the capital a day after a deal was reached aimed at ending the country’s spiral of violence.Members of an opposition group from Lviv called the 31st Hundred — carrying clubs and some of them wearing masks — were in control of the entryways to the palace Saturday morning. And Vitali Klitschko, one of three opposition leaders who signed the deal to end the violence, said that Mr. Yanukovych had “left the capital” but his whereabouts were unknown, with members of the opposition speculating that he had gone to Kharkiv, in the northeast part of Ukraine.”

  26. Bill_Perdue says:


    The question of peace vs a renewed cold war, which is what Obama and Merkel want, is just one of the real questions.

    From the point of view of internationalist workers and leftists the central question remains the task of building a workers party to oppose the attacks on the Ukraine by Putin and predatory Western banks like the Deutsche Bundesbank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and HSBC and the rancid crew of political prostitutes, from Obama to Merkel, who manage their expansion at the expense of working people everywhere.

    The only real solution for the Ukraine will come from the Ukrainian left.

  27. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrat politicians are all defined by their party, not their rebranding efforts.

    They are, without exception,

    a party of predatory war mongers (and some are war criminals);

    a party opposed to the Bill of Rights (NDAA, FISA, Paytriot Act, the racist, extrajudicial murders of American citizens);

    a party committed to denying working people health care, free education all the way and interest free home and auto loans;

    a party committed to austerity, busting unions and pauperizing workers;

    and a party committed to ensuring the rule of the rich.

    They are Republicans. Even Obama admits it. “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.” Obama, in an interview with Noticias Univision 23. ABC News, 12 15 2012

  28. ralph braseth says:

    Oops, sorry about that, I think this should work

  29. ralph braseth says:

    Hundreds protest Ukrainian Government from Chicago.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I agree, the conflict was ripe long before the US got involved. Just because they’re capitalizing on Ukraine doesn’t mean they started the whole thing. There’s a deeper issue.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Politicians are like vultures…they only have money at heart. The only sane thing to do is ask people directly. And the media won’t report on that.
    I was in Egypt a couple years before the “revolution.” A lot of people were willing to give me a piece of their mind about the president there.
    These “articles” with a few tiny captions and mostly pictures, usually showing rowdy protesters, aren’t good. People cannot deduce anything from them. The state of journalism today, especially foreign journalism. Try other countries’ media.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Corruption is responsible for most countries with growth problems, including Greece, African countries etc. American politicians certainly aren’t going to help by throwing money at corrupt leaders. Maybe that’s why people think the US doesn’t “help” when they make these misguided efforts. A bit like feeding a stray cat.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Sh*t is hitting the fan there, even moreso since my last post. The gears cannot be stopped after the government resorted to snipers. I’m not saying I agree or disagree, I just know it will escalate. I’m honestly a bit glad this happened during the Olympics. They used the media presence to show people what’s going to continue happening for a while. I really don’t think bloodshed can be avoided. Big changes are coming, inevitably. My only wish is that the casualties are as minimal as possible. Hopefully there is some diplomacy and mercy to come. Shooting unarmed medics? Not a sign of diplomacy, not yet.

  34. Anonymous says:

    You can’t trust a Democrat to be the Democrat you want them to be.

  35. Anonymous says:

    It’s incredibly draining to look at what the rural Russians are posting on these videos…probably what they said in Amarillo or other small towns in the 50s. Their living conditions are so behind, it’s hard to even believe the lawlessness and poverty. Teachers and politicians actively give kids the wrong idea, they beat women and children, the orphans live like caged animals. It’s all so sad. There’s a wealth/education divide of Moscow vs. rural cities in Russia, and the posh Moscovites are out of touch. There are no leftist politicians unlike here, the majority in villages will believe their crap educations and vote accordingly. It’s all a mess.

    The best solution I see is getting Russians with power and influence to expose the gov’t and change things. The villagers/lower education bracket are hopeless.

  36. Ford Prefect says:

    “Fellow traveler” is a relatively harmless term. “Of like minds” will also suffice. McCarthy also used the word “The,” for what it’s worth.

    Do read up on the Asian Pivot. I’m sure you’ll think it’s OK, but maybe not. No prob in any case. We now have two fronts in our new cold war. The world will be much worse off for it, but it was never a matter of “doing good” anyway. It’s just geo-politics.

    We will continue to close schools, firehouses and all other social services, so we can keep this military spend-a-thon alive. Perhaps that’s what dog intended.

  37. Ford Prefect says:

    Isn’t that the real question here?


  38. Bill_Perdue says:

    All that means is that you’ve disagreed with him for 20 years.

    Do you disagree that a US.NATO/EU takeover of the Ukraine would pose a real threat to peace?

  39. Olterigo says:

    And you’re just confusing anything I say. The point about Christians was that all of them call themselves Christians and call other people, who also call themselves Christians, heretics. (Though not always in those terms.)

    As for Hitler, yes, he was a racist, but prohibiting investment income from land, nationalization of private industries, and profit-sharing are hardly considered right-wing ideas. So, yes, on a number of issues the NSDAP platform was leftist.


    Русские никогда не любили украинцев, их пренебрежительно называют хохлами. Вы себе не можете представить сколько злости и ненависти сейчас пишут русские в Facebook. Я шокирована! Украинская биатлонистка, победившая на Олимпиаде сегодня сказала, что её оскорбляли на всём маршруте гоночной трассы и это орали русские!

  41. Silver_Witch says:

    Not interest in America being isolationist. I point to Iraq (and Afghanistan) because they are the most recent intercessions we have made. You do know we put Saddam in office yes? And that we supported him yes? And that we only went after him, not because of the Kurds, but because he pissed Little G off, when Big G failed.

    No sure we did much to “nation build” Japan, but hey if the USA gets credit for that – swell.

  42. Ford Prefect says:

    How do you conclude I’m absolving anyone of anything? If anything, I’m casting blame all over the place. No one outside Russia made Russia corrupt. But the fact also remains that the US supports said corruption at home and abroad. What I’m saying is the US has no problem with corruption per se.

    As for moderates, who are these people? The ultras have names, but the “moderates” don’t, which causes me to doubt there are any such factions in a position to determine the outcome of much of anything. McCain and Murphy met with the ultras, not “moderates,” and Nuland doesn’t respect moderates like Klitschko. She doesn’t really say who she wants in power. Now since the opposition parties don’t count as “moderate,” who does exactly?

    The US currently states that Al Qaeda linked jihadis in Syria are “moderates” in an effort to ramp up a big war there, so we should probably strive for more accuracy when bandying that word around. The civil strife started in large part due to the ultras lack of comity with opposition parties that aren’t extreme enough for their tastes. Moderates, by definition, don’t do extreme violence and yet it’s the ones doing the violence that are getting all the attention from the WH. Instead of recognizing these groups for what they are, they label them “moderates” and “peaceful protestors” when that’s obviously a bald-faced lie.

    So your logical fallacies aside, our disagreement IS in fact about the kind of might-makes-right reasoning you engage in. If you’re going to take an opportunistic, amoral position, don’t use phony moralisms to support your point. Supporting Svoboda et al is not a moral position and it certainly isn’t an act of moderation. Just stick with might-makes-right and you’re good to go!

  43. FLL says:

    Disqus did what?! I can longer see that consistent little “1” downvote, which has always followed my comments like a faithful little puppy dog. As explained in their new policies, Disqus only uses the downvotes for determining “Sort by Best.” But I had grown so accustomed to that ever-present “1” little downvote. And now it’s hidden forever. It must be hiding in the employee’s lunch room at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas… well, somewhere in Las Vegas anyway.

  44. Badgerite says:

    People who want America to become isolationist always point to Iraq as if what has and is happening there has nothing at all to do with the region or the culture and religion of the region. But some parts of Iraq are doing alright. One of those is the Kurdish part which would have been all but obliterated by Saddam. Likewise the Marsh Arabs and the marshes they lived in as well as well as the migratory birds that used those marshes.
    Those that aren’t doing alright have pursued a policy of discrimination along the religious fault lines in the region. They, in short, went against American advise and threw in with Iran.
    Some of America’s nation building successes. Let’s see. Japan comes to mind. South Korea. And when you look at North Korea, South Korea has to come off as looking pretty good no matter what its troubles.
    Or perhaps we should look at Eastern Europe ( a more apropos comparison than Iraq certainly) as former satellite states of the Soviet Union vs those countries now as part of NATO and the European Union, if they can get in. The old Yugoslavia comes to mind. The place nearly tore itself apart because old ethnic animosities and suspicions had been frozen in time by the former Soviet overlords. They seem to be doing fine now without having to kill each other. The Soviet influence has diminished and the European influence has increased. And it seems to me that the societies as a whole are doing a lot better
    That was a Clinton intervention though. And maybe who heads that government has a little something to do with how well they policies they pursue actually work out in the long run.

  45. Silver_Witch says:

    Just as a matter of course, so far the USA approach does not fair too well. There are not very many (and I am being kind here) democracies that we have helped to create that have faired very well. In fact, several of the countries in which we have stuck our big fat noses into and “manipulated” have turned out later to be really really bad (ohhhhh like hmmmmm Iraq..yeah that’s the one).

    You see sometimes these things are best fought out by the people who are invested in what the end result will be. In American – we would certainly not want anyone coming over and butting their nose into our business – and helping us figure out if the Tea Party or Christian Wackos should be in place.

    And as you so said so well – this is not happening in a vacuum. Let the people determine their future and who they want as a leader, or what form of government will work best for them – this time perhaps without manipulation, eh?

  46. Badgerite says:

    Well, FDR tried to make nice with ‘Uncle Joe’ and it didn’t work either.
    It does take two to tango. And if Putin is taking Russia backward, then the US and its allies need to be prepared to counter that tendency. I guess I would fall into the ‘Neo-Liberal fellow traveler’ category. ( aren’t those term Joe McCarthy used to use – ‘fellow traveler’) But I have no idea what the Asian Pivot is, though I can guess.

  47. Badgerite says:

    The crux of our disagreement! I beg to differ.
    The video you posted of the Lady from State, she specifically stated that her aim was to bring the moderates from the groups protesting into the government in a power sharing arrangement. And this would do what to the Neo Nazi thugs? It would ISOLATE them and shut them out of governance. Address the concerns of the moderates, then the fascists and neo Nazis got nothin’. They have no cause that people, or certainly, Europe or the west, will rally to.
    Our difference of opinion is that you think because the moderates cannot keep the neo Nazis and fascists away from violent confrontations ( and who could, since it is what they live for) that the moderates have no legitimate grievance. I think they do. And those grievances should and can be addressed. To keep negotiations from happening with the more moderate elements only puts everyone in the same boat with the elements that seek violence. And Putin would be happy to go along with that since it is his preferred method of dealing with dissent anyway. (See Grozny)

    As for your assessment of Russia, they do not HAVE to be perennially stuck in anything. Putin is actively taking them backwards. Foreign investment will flee. Oil will run out or be replaced by newer forms of energy.
    Their future is somewhat at stake here as well. If there is no resistance to Russia going backward, it will go backward.
    As for the rest of it ( like Stephen Cohen) I just love how you absolve the powers that be in Russia from any responsibility for the corruption in Russia. Like it was all the fault of US advisers and Russia itself had no choice in the matter. I think they did have a choice in the matter. And they have chosen to do things the same way as they have done for centuries. People who protest are killed or imprisoned.
    This is the wrong way for Russia to gain allies. It is the wrong way for Russia to go. And I don’t believe it will work. In the long run.

  48. Ford Prefect says:

    I have to agree, your point about their “electoral system” is perfectly valid. It’s even somewhat worse than ours is, in terms of its shamification.

    But it takes two to dance and any Cold War will be the result of US policy as much as Russian and Chinese policy. The Neo-Cons and their Neo-Liberal fellow travelers want it. NatSec wonks and other policy folks in and out of government have been discussing it for some time now. It’s a thing in US policy terms. What do you think the Asian Pivot is?

  49. Badgerite says:

    I’m all for “massive manipulation” if it results in a more democratic government than what one sees developing in Russia currently.
    This revolt was home grown. You can see by the weapons that the protesters are using. Molotov cocktails, street barricades, ‘shields’.
    Jesus. This is not high tech. Vladimir Putin has been ‘manipulating’ Russia’s development for quite a long time. Getting laws passed that literally stifle local control of any kind and lately stifle free speech.
    If I were looking at that as a distinct possibility in my own life, I would sidle towards the west myself.
    And frankly, people here are acting as if this all occurred in a vacuum. As if there is no back story to this. There is, in the Ukraine.
    In the 2004 election, Viktor Yushchenko was the opposition candidate running against Yanukovych. He was very popular and charismatic. And he had an American wife. His poisoning during the campaign was laid squarely at the feet of guess who? Russia. And who was running Russia at that time? Vladimir Putin. The subsequent election, where Yanukovych won was invalidated by the Ukrainian Supreme Court due to electoral fraud. Thus the Orange Revolution. I don’t think the US can beat that in terms of manipulation. Russia, (Putin) has been messing around in the Ukraine for a long time. Trying to maintain Russian control there.
    So, bringing in the United Nations, if you want elections that are free and fair and representative, does not seem to me like a particularly bad manipulation.

  50. Ford Prefect says:

    My point is it’s none of our business and we have no place backing thugs like Neo-Nazis and Svoboda. It’s the height of hypocrisy (on several levels) for any American to whinge about “authoritarian governance” while supporting such people. It makes us look like monsters and “our” people are doing this in our name and we pay the taxes that are funding these groups from abroad.

    Obviously, you have no moral or other qualms about backing such people. I do. That is the crux of our disagreement and nothing else.

    As for Russia, when have they ever had non-authoritarian governance? Never. Or at least we’d have to go somewhere well prior to the Czars to find one. Maybe for a few weeks after the taking of the Winter Palace, but that was chaos in any case. They’re not sliding backwards. They’re perennially stuck in it. Remember how happy the US was when they adopted Neo-Liberal policies run by authoritarian crooks they approved of? Remember how Clinton praised their economic reforms? The ones that plunged millions into desperate poverty so a few could become oligarchs? Clinton admired their corruption. Even Bush liked Putin and Obama doesn’t seem to have a problem with him either. And Putin admires Obama for the things he can get away with. They’re all a bit too chummy to start talking like we’re somehow enemies, don’t you think? And what was Obama’s response to all the Russian gay-bashing? No talk of boycotts, as that would piss off his corporate donors. Nope. Just some pithy PR maneuvers. After all, why would he object in a real sense, when he’s engaged in mass deportations of migrants, or crowing about his ability to blow up wedding parties with impunity? Who has done more to criminalize dissent and journalism in the US than Barack Obama? Who provided key support for a coup in Honduras? Who has regime change as the Venezuelan policy?

    Two peas in a pod, those two. So all this whinging about THEIR authoritarianism rings hollow and mindlessly expedient–just like most of the Cold War was.

  51. Badgerite says:

    Very good post. Commend you for it.

  52. Badgerite says:

    Well, there were.
    In case you missed it in that you tube tape you linked to, what the lady was discussing is how to bring the moderates in the protests into the government. Not how to bring the Nazis in. She is looking to marginalize the more the violent radical contingent. And you know how you do that. You get meetings going and get negotiations with the more moderate elements going and you stop the government from shooting people in the streets. Violence merely plays into the hands of the violent.
    Does it not? So pillorying someone for seeking to set up meetings, to get negotiations going, to bring moderate opposition elements into the government does not seem right or fair or honest. Far from it.
    And her actions will probably save lives and prevent a severe shift rightward.

  53. Badgerite says:

    If there is a cold war revived, it will be because Putin needs it to consolidate power and reinvent his own deeply lamented loss of the former Soviet empire. The worst day of his life, as he describes it. He himself says that its collapse was the “catastrophe of the century”.
    Do you really think that anything the US is going to do is going to prevent him from trying to reinvent the Soviet empire, given that that is his assessment of its demise? That it is all about the actions of the US and Europe. I think those former satellite states (Poland, Hungary, Germany, etc) were wise to try to get into NATO. They have known the Soviet empire up close and personal. And they believed they would need protection in the future from a resurgent one. And I think Russia’s current rumblings proves them right.
    By the way, remember the election in the Ukraine in 2004. Preceding the Orange Revolution. The Russians are credited with poisoning the opposition candidate. They almost killed him, but they didn’t. He was running against guess who? Yanukovych. Small world. And the 2004 election of Yanukovych was thrown out by the Ukrainian Supreme Court as ELECTORAL FRAUD.
    This, of course, would be why you would want the United Nations involved in any negotiations for elections in this instance. Would it not?

  54. Badgerite says:

    I didn’t hear her ‘admit’ to anything of the kind on this tape. And I have seen pictures posted to friends from the opposition on the square and what they are fighting with is homemade shit. Molotov cocktails. Shields. Barricades. Some guns but nothing spectacular. This is a home grown revolt against being drawn into the orbit of a resurgent and authoritarian Russia. This is where Vladimir Putin is taking Russia, regardless of what the US does or does not do. To help whoever escape from that fate, to me is a good thing. Or at least help to broker a deal that will give the people living there some chance in the future.
    The Washington Post is reporting that Ukrainian athletes are leaving Sochi in protest.

  55. Silver_Witch says:

    That is exactly what I got out of the conversation as well – massive manipulation.

  56. Badgerite says:

    That is the policy of the Ukrainian demonstrators and protesters as well.
    What’s your point. They are going to have an arrangement whereby new elections are held and until then a power sharing agreement with the opposition. And that is bad because why?
    They aren’t supplying arms to these people. I have seen what they are using in pictures the protesters have sent out. Molotov cocktails and such. It is all homegrown.
    The US is brokering deals. There is support for the opposition for the same reason that there IS opposition. Disgust with the backward slide of Russia into authoritarian governance.

  57. Badgerite says:

    You didn’t “piss me off”. I watched the video and there is so much more going on than “Fuck the EU”. This is someone who is trying to set up a meeting between Yanukovych and the opposition. Trying to get this to negotiations vs street actions. And the conversation is about who should be included in those talks to represent the opposition. Who to invite as representative of the opposition. And the pictures of the Ukrainian athlete, who has served as a spokesman at times, seen with prominent Americans such as Gov. AHNold ( the Schwartzenager) and others probably was deemed as not a good idea. They seemed to be looking for people who could represent the moderates in the opposition but who was not seen as too closely allied with the West ( certainly not a bad idea in my opinion given some of the elements rattling around in the conflict). And they are looking to bring the United Nations (2 names are mentioned, the current Secretary General of the UN and one of his representatives) into the negotiations as opposed to making it about the West and the EU. This seems to me also a good idea and one that would be more in line with allowing the Russians to have a more independent actor in the mix.
    She used ‘bad language’. Other than that. The language was employed to the end of stating her opinion that the EU should not be involved in these negotiations. And given that that might be a non starter right off where Putin and the Russians are concerned, that seems about right.

  58. Ford Prefect says:

    Nuland has already admitted the US policy in Ukraine is regime change.

  59. Ford Prefect says:

    Victoria Nuland and others have already admitted to the money. What does a nascent “army” do with money given to them, especially when they’ve already promised civil war?

  60. Ford Prefect says:

    Such one-dimensional thinking. Why didn’t I think of that?

    No one else is involved in this entire mess. It’s all one crass guy in Moscow that’s responsible for all of this! Why, he even supports the Nazis on the other side as well and paid John McCain and Chris Murphy to come over and heap praise on them in public!

    Touché. That wraps it all into one nice little package. No one else is even involved!

  61. Silver_Witch says:

    Sorry I pissed you off…just voicing my opinion the way you are voicing yours. I guess it was the “Fuck the EU” that made me think perhaps the conversation was not very positive. We, the common person, are not really privy to the facts now are we…so thanks for sharing.

  62. Ford Prefect says:


  63. Badgerite says:

    Listening to this crap, I think I think better of her than I would otherwise think.

  64. Badgerite says:

    You are kidding. They are ‘plotting’ meetings with Yanukovych ( the current President of the Ukraine) and leaders of the opposition. The conversation is about who to include in those meetings and why. Who in the opposition and who in terms of other International actors. The lady seems to prefer bringing in the United Nations as opposed to purely European or NATO actors. This is bad because why?

  65. 4th Turning says:

    For those who may not be tuned to the BBC, etc. yet.

    My friends in Kiev and White Church appear to be okay. I sincerely hope those of you with
    family and friends over there are also receiving positive reassurances…

  66. Badgerite says:

    “Supporting” does not necessarily translate into guns and ammo. Moral support is just saying we support them. I’ll take John McCain’s actions of ‘support’ as better than watching US government officials clinking glasses with Chinese officials no more than a month after those Chinese officials had ordered their troops to mow down demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

  67. Badgerite says:

    Because that would be stupid to want. I don’t think you can blame the US for the direction that Putin is taking. I think you have to blame Putin.

  68. Badgerite says:

    There were quite a log of slaveholders in the American Revolution. Should we have stuck with the King?

  69. Badgerite says:

    Here’s what I KNOW about Morsi. Everything that is advocated in this blog and in the comments section as good, would be bad and immoral to him. And even criminal.
    I also know that the Muslim Brotherhood broke every promise of tolerance that they made to get into power (and, of course, they would since their organization is based on the idea that there is only one religious belief that is acceptable and that the government should be used to enforce that belief) and every promise they made to look to a better economic future for the Egyptian people.

  70. Badgerite says:

    Pretty much.

  71. Badgerite says:

    No. But you clearly are. I don’t recall any government snipers involved in those disputes. Or any deaths.

  72. Badgerite says:

    Can you say ‘electoral fraud’ and attempted assassinations. 2004!
    They don’t trust him. I wouldn’t either.

  73. Badgerite says:

    What’s more, the decision of those countries to join NATO on the theory that they might have to deal with a resurgent Russia that might want its control of those countries back seems well founded, given what has gone on in Georgia and the Ukraine. And given some of the sentiments Putin is credited with having, such as his statements referring to the collapse of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”, one has to question who it is that is trying to reconstruct the geopolitical structure of the Cold War. He is taking his country into the past, not the future.

  74. Badgerite says:

    He has been pushing this bull for a long time. It does go back to the Clinton era, where he thought the US was responsible for the economic mess in Russia rather than the corruption in Russia. What else is new?

  75. Badgerite says:

    Oh please. Can you say Viktor Yushchenko? This struggle in the Ukraine has been going on for quite a long time. Just not so overtly violently. And Russia has been in it up to its eyeballs.
    In the lead up to the election of 2004 they are credited with poisoning the opposition candidate to Yanukovych, Viktor Yushchenko. The election result, where Yanukovych won, was invalidated due to electoral fraud by the Ukrainian Supreme Court. Yushchenko, who had an American wife, survived, and won the revote. This is a struggle that has been going on even in Russia itself as to what kind of society will succeed the Soviet Union in Russia and in its former satellites.

  76. Badgerite says:

    Stephen Cohen has been pushing the same line of bull for 20 years. His statements now are all but identical to statements he made when Clinton was in the WH and the issue was restructuring of the Russian economy. We have mutual interests with Russia. And in the long run, they have interests in common with Europe and the US. Putin is trying to take them in the other direction. Nothing will be gained for them or for us by letting that happen.

  77. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s also on AlterNet and it’s a very good interview.

  78. Bill_Perdue says:

    She already is very much like Tony Blair and his role was worse than Thatchers. Like Obama, he was a much better liar than his Tory opponents.

  79. Bill_Perdue says:

    From an interview with Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University interview by Obama liberal Amy Goodman.

    “Where do you want me to begin? I mean, we are watching history being made, but history of the worst kind. …Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country, contrary to what the American media, which speaks about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically, economically, it’s two countries. One half wants to stay close to Russia; the other wants to go West. We now have reliable reports that the anti-government forces in the streets—and there are some very nasty people among them—are seizing weapons in western Ukrainian military bases. So we have clearly the possibility of a civil war.

    And the longer-term outcome may be—and I want to emphasize this, because nobody in the United States seems to want to pay attention to it—the outcome may be the construction, the emergence of a new Cold War divide between West and East, not this time, as it was for our generation, in faraway Berlin, but right on the borders of Russia, right through the heart of Slavic civilization. And if that happens, if that’s the new Cold War divide, it’s permanent instability and permanent potential for real war for decades to come. That’s what’s at stake. (my emphasis)

    This analysis backs up the excellent comments made by Ford Perfect earlier in this thread and emphasizes the extreme danger posed by the attempts by the EU and the Warmonger in Chief in the WH.

    Here’s another excellent piece that points out the real aims of the far right ‘protesters’.

  80. Bill_Perdue says:

    Thanks pappy,

  81. Bill_Perdue says:

    You think Hitler was a leftist. You’re still confused about the differences between the right and the left. Pity.

    And now you’re confusing christer cults with the Nazis. They supported the Nazis because of their fear of socialism and it’s attendant militant atheism. They both had long records of murdering Jews, gays and others.

  82. Anonymous says:

    I commend their sacrifices, but it’s the majority’s minds you have to change…and they have become stone-hearted. It dissuades me. There are scant few heroes and an apathetic population.
    I really do hope it works out though, at the very least it will cause media attention (I hope) causing people with influence to get involved.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Kind of takes away from the fact that 50 people died in one day in a single area.

  84. pappyvet says:

    Great comments Bill.

  85. vonlmo says:

    Stuff like this goes on daily in the US. Armed police are shooting & tazering to death unarmed civilians. Where is the US media on that story?

  86. GarySFBCN says:

    Answer: Russia, the Soviet Union and Putin. I love Russia and Ukraine, but Russia is ruled by thugs.

  87. Olterigo says:

    Because he feels these are parts of Russia, to which Russia has a legitimate claim (independent of what the people there think). And that’s Prof Cohen in a nutshell.

  88. FLL says:

    As I was having a discussion with Max_1 below, then listening to the video interview of Prof. Steven Cohen that he linked to (which I link to below), I was reminded of a very well known fact of the modern world. With the possible exception of Belarus, there is an intense fear and loathing of Russia throughout the populations of Eastern Europe. I put the question to you: whose fault is that? Prof. Cohen never addresses that question, but he needs to.

  89. FLL says:

    Another quote from Cohen in which he complains of the West oppressing Russia somehow: “Began with the expansion of NATO in the 1990s under Clinton. Bush then further expanded NATO all the way to Russia’s borders.” This makes it sound like Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Baltic countries had not choice in the matter. I think there’s a general consensus that the populations of those former Soviet-bloc countries very much wanted to join NATO, probably in fear of Russia’s horrible 20th-century track record.

  90. Max_1 says:

    Ask Cohen…

  91. FLL says:

    One thing that I will disagree with is that Cohen seems to think that it was an injustice for Russia to lose control of Georgia and Ukraine. I don’t. Why is that an injustice if the Georgian and Ukrainian people didn’t want to be part of a new Russian empire?

  92. Max_1 says:

    Would you suggest Obama order a withdraw of National Guardsmen?

    Salient question, IMO. NO?

  93. FLL says:

    I’m on the Clinton “march toward post-Soviet Russia” right now. I’m listening to the end.

  94. Max_1 says:

    Did you stop there?

  95. FLL says:

    I started listening to Prof. Steven Cohen’s interview. At the 5:07 mark, he says, “Look at it through Moscow’s eyes.” I need a great deal more convincing on a wide variety of issues before I look at the conflict in Ukraine “through Moscow’s eyes.” I think that the opposition, both in the Ukrainian parliament and in society, saw Yanukovych on a fast track to join the customs union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and they started to protest in November to stop it from happening. If they waited until 2015, it might very well be a reality. I think the protest has broad support in the Ukrainian population, which makes it very difficult to overcome, even if you wanted to… and I’m not sure what good reason there would be for wanting to.

  96. Max_1 says:

    I linked to Prof. Steven Cohen’s interview today on DemocracyNow above…
    … I suggest listening/viewing.

  97. Max_1 says:

    They have elections coming up next year…
    … Why not choose a Democratic Process?

  98. Max_1 says:

    Are you calling Occupy Wall Street NYC cowards for not fighting back with guns and Molotovs?

  99. 4th Turning says:

    I think I get that it’s all a big rotten game of chess. What I don’t understand is the glaring omission
    of religion in any of these comments… The western half of Ukraine is identified as Catholic and
    obviously aligned with Poland and Rome. The eastern, Russian Orthodox and welded to Moscow.
    Going back to 2012, (before my time here) I suspect no one on this blog bothered to try to fathom
    the significance of Pussy Riot “blaspheming” the sanctuary of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior?
    (There is actual b&w footage of Stalin blowing it to smithereens in 1931.) Putin is indeed reprising
    the role of czar in his support of the church.
    “The two supreme political powers in
    Russia, the monarchy and the Church, were inextricably linked. The Church played a
    very important role in how the country was run, and at the same time, events decreed by
    royal proclamations and government edicts were understood by the people to be primarily
    of a religious character. Throughout Russian history, from the time of the forced adoption
    of Christianity, religion had permeated society.” (U of T curriculum guide for grades 6-10)
    Enter Pat Buchanan…

    Political ideologues may be willing to slaughter their thousands. But religious fanatics down through
    history have done in their millions. Blissful smiles on their lips even as their own ticket gets punched.

  100. Max_1 says:

    A New Cold War? Ukraine Violence Escalates, Leaked Tape Suggests U.S. Was Plotting Coup

  101. FLL says:

    Yanukovych’s decision to order a bloody, but unsuccessful, takeover of the main square by police forces precipitated the current, and it was a deadly miscalculation. What made Yanukovych confident enough to try it? As the Daily Beast article points out, Yanukovych was relying, at least in part, on the services of Russia’s special forces. Not very auspicious, is it? But what do you think about Yanukovych’s move? His move was the first move, after all.

  102. Max_1 says:

    See me above…
    … Lots of grey in your black & white world, there.

  103. Max_1 says:

    Watching these and other RAW videos of the street view…
    … It impresses me that this is what the Visigoths vs. Romans might have looked like.

  104. FLL says:

    There is plenty of coverage from the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the Guardian and other sources for anyone who is at all curious. However, take a look at this excerpt from today’s article at the Daily Beast (link here):

    Perhaps the most salient development today was the report that Russia’s spetsnaz (special forces) have been deployed by Putin to help put down what was once a peaceful protest movement, but now is seen as a mayhem of Molotov cocktails and riots. According to Tyzhden, a Ukrainian weekly, one such officer was “captured” by protestors and displayed before the Euromaidan masses today, his martial insignia of a double-headed eagle, proof to many, if proof were needed, of where he came from and who’s actually running the show in Kiev.

    One of the officers captured by protestors and displayed before the crowds before they were later freed… was wearing… the double-headed eagle of Russia’s special forces. Putin’s bloody fingerprints all over everything. Is anyone surprised?

  105. Max_1 says:

    Protesters with guns…

  106. Olterigo says:

    I hear the same thing from Christians (whatever their views): “Oh, no, these folks are not Christians, because they believe it’s ok to kill gay people” or the exact opposite: “Oh, no, these folks are not Christians, because they believe gay people deserve to live.”

    If you’re talking of their nationalism, yes, they were right. But in terms of the socialist policies for their own Volk, I can’t really call it right: abolition of rents, abolition of “usury,” confiscation of war profits, nationalization of the above, “division of profits of all heavy industries” (to me that sounds like profit-sharing), prevention of all speculation in land. Something tells me a lot of people on the left would sign up for these points.

  107. quax says:


  108. Bill_Perdue says:

    Are you still confused about the differences between left and right? I’m trying to understand.

  109. Bill_Perdue says:

    They’re fighting for the Deutsche Bundesbank. That’s not change, just substituting one set of rapacious rulers for another.

  110. quax says:

    “Are these countries really able to change?”

    Tell that to the protesters who put their lives on the line for freedom. They obviously believe that change is possible.

  111. quax says:

    It’s important to remember that the side shooting with live ammo is the one that does not want to belong to the EU whereas the protesters fight and die for EU association.

  112. Bill_Perdue says:

    I agree with much of what you say. In in the short term the question will be decided in the streets in clashes between pro and anti-government forces. One side or the other will win and begin to pick up the pieds. The government is cracking down hard and we’ll just have to see how that works out.

    The long term solution remains tied to the task of building a leftist and nationalist party. Without it the Ukraine will continue to suffer.

  113. Bill_Perdue says:

    I hope you understand that the Nazis were not leftists. They were rightists and fascists. Understanding that is critical. I hope you understand that.

    Mexican, Venezuelan and Bolivian socialists are simultaneously leftists and anti-American nationalists. So are Cuban fidelistas. Egyptian socialists are anti-American nationalists and anti-zionists out of solidarity with Palestine.

    I hope that helps you to understand the world we live in.

  114. Anonymous says:

    If you have no good reasons, you can’t state them.