Nuclear War and Clashing Ukraine Narratives

Exclusive: America and Russia have two nearly opposite narratives on Ukraine, which is more an indictment of the U.S. news media which feigns objectivity but disseminates what amounts to propaganda. These divergent narratives are driving the world toward a possible nuclear crisis, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The U.S. government and mainstream media are swaggering toward a possible nuclear confrontation with Russia over Ukraine without any of the seriousness that has informed this sort of decision-making throughout the nuclear age. Instead, Official Washington seems possessed by a self-righteous goofiness that could be the prelude to the end of life on this planet.

Nearly across the U.S. political spectrum, there is a pugnacious “group think” which has transformed what should have been a manageable political dispute in Ukraine into some morality play where U.S. politicians and pundits blather on about how the nearly year-old coup regime in Kiev “shares our values” and how America must be prepared to defend this regime militarily.

Janika Merilo, an Estonian brought into the Ukrainian government to oversee foreign investments. (From her Facebook page via Zero Hedge)

Jaanika Merilo, an Estonian brought into the Ukrainian government to oversee foreign investments. (A photo released on the Internet by Merilo via DanceswithBears)

Though I’m told that President Barack Obama personally recognizes how foolhardy this attitude is, he has made no significant move to head off the craziness and, indeed, has tolerated provocative actions by his underlings, such as neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s scheming with coup plotters to overthrow Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February.

Obama also has withheld from the American people intelligence information that undercuts some of the more extreme claims that his administration has made. For instance, I’m told that he has detailed intelligence reporting on both the mysterious sniper attack that preceded the putsch nearly a year ago and the shoot-down of the Malaysia Airlines Flights 17 that deepened the crisis last summer. But he won’t release the findings.

More broadly over the last year, Obama’s behavior ranging from his initial neglect of the Ukraine issue, as Nuland’s coup plotting unfolded, to his own participation in the tough talk, such as boasting during his State of the Union address that he had helped put the Russian economy “in tatters” ranks as one of the most irresponsible performances by a U.S. president.

Given the potential stakes of nuclear war, none of the post-World War II presidents behaved as recklessly as Obama has, which now includes allowing his administration officials to talk loosely about sending military support to an unstable regime in Kiev that includes neo-Nazis who have undertaken death-squad operations against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove, who is commander of NATO, declared last November that regarding supplying military support for the Kiev government “nothing at this time is off the table.” Breedlove is now pushing actively to send lethal U.S. military equipment to fend off an offensive by ethnic Russian rebels in the east.

I’m told that the Russians fear that U.S. officials are contemplating placing Cruise missiles in Ukraine or otherwise introducing advanced weaponry that Moscow regards as a direct threat to its national security. Whether or not the Russians are being alarmist, these fears are affecting their own decision-making.

None of the nuclear-age presidents not Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush would have engaged in such provocative actions on Russia’s borders, though some surely behaved aggressively in overthrowing governments and starting wars farther away.

Even Ronald Reagan, an aggressive Cold Warrior, kept his challenges to the Soviet Union in areas that were far less sensitive to its national security than Ukraine. He may have supported the slaughter of leftists in Central America and Africa or armed Islamic fundamentalists fighting a Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan, but he recognized the insanity of a military showdown with Moscow in Eastern Europe.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, U.S. presidents became more assertive, pushing NATO into the former Warsaw Pact nations and, under President Clinton, bombing a Russian ally in Serbia, but that came at a time when Russia was essentially flat on its back geopolitically.

Perhaps the triumphalism of that period is still alive especially among neocons who reject President Vladimir Putin’s reassertion of Russia’s national pride. These Washington hardliners still feel that they can treat Moscow with disdain, ignoring the fact that Russia maintains a formidable nuclear arsenal and is not willing to return to the supine position of the 1990s.

In 2008, President George W. Bush arguably one of the most reckless presidents of the era backed away from a confrontation with Russia when Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, a neocon favorite, drew the Russians into a border conflict over South Ossetia. Despite some war talk from the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain, President Bush showed relative restraint.

Imbalanced Narrative

But Obama has failed to rein in his administration’s war hawks and has done nothing to correct the biased narrative that his State Department has fed to the equally irresponsible mainstream U.S. news media. Since the Ukraine crisis began in fall of 2013, the New York Times and other major U.S. news outlets have provided only one side of the story, openly supporting the interests of the pro-European western Ukrainians over the ethnic Russian eastern Ukrainians.

The bias is so strong that the mainstream media has largely ignored the remarkable story of the Kiev regime willfully dispatching Nazi storm troopers to kill ethnic Russians in the east, something that hasn’t happened in Europe since World War II.

For Western news organizations that are quick to note the slightest uptick in neo-Nazism in Europe, there has been a willful blindness to Kiev’s premeditated use of what amount to Nazi death squads undertaking house-to-house killings in eastern Ukraine. [See’s “Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine.”]

The Russian government has repeatedly protested these death-squad operations and other crimes committed by the Kiev regime, but the U.S. mainstream media is so in the tank for the western Ukrainians that it has suppressed this aspect of the crisis, typically burying references to the neo-Nazi militias at the end of stories or dismissing these accounts as “Russian propaganda.”

With this ugly reality hidden from the U.S. public, Obama’s State Department has been able to present a white-hat-vs.-black-hat narrative to the crisis. So, while Russians saw a constitutionally elected government on their border overthrown by a U.S.-backed coup last February and then human rights atrocities inflicted on ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine the American people heard only about wonderful pro-American “reformers” in Kiev and the evil pro-Russian “minions” trying to destroy “democracy” at Putin’s bidding.

This distorted American narrative has represented one of the most unprofessional and dangerous performances in the history of modern U.S. journalism, rivaling the false conventional wisdom about Iraq’s WMD except in this case the media propaganda is aimed at a country in Russia that really does have weapons of mass destruction.

The Russians also have noted the arrival of financially self-interested Americans, including Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Ukraine’s new Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, reminding the Russians of the American financial experts who descended on Moscow with their “shock therapy” in the 1990s, “reforms” that enriched a few well-connected oligarchs but impoverished millions of average Russians.

Ukraine's Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Jaresko, a former U.S. diplomat who took Ukrainian citizenship in December 2014 to become Finance Minister, had been in charge of a U.S.-taxpayer-financed $150 million Ukrainian investment fund which involved substantial insider dealings, including paying a management firm that Jaresko created more than $1 million a year in fees, even as the $150 million apparently dwindled to less than $100 million.

Jaresko also has been involved in a two-year-long legal battle with her ex-husband to gag him from releasing information about apparent irregularities in the handling of the U.S. money. Jaresko went into Chancery Court in Delaware to enforce a non-disclosure clause against her ex-husband, Ihor Figlus, and got a court order to silence him.

This week, when I contacted George Pazuniak, Figlus’s lawyer about Jaresko’s aggressive enforcement of the non-disclosure agreement, he told me that “at this point, it’s very difficult for me to say very much without having a detrimental effect on my client.”

With Jaresko now being hailed as a Ukrainian “reformer” who in the words of New York Times’ columnist Thomas L. Friedman “shares our values,” one has to wonder why she has fought so hard to shut up her ex-husband regarding possible revelations about improper handling of U.S. taxpayer money. [See’s “Ukraine’s Made-in-USA Finance Minister.”]

More Interested Parties

The Russians also looked askance at the appointment of Estonian Jaanika Merilo as the latest foreigner to be brought inside the Ukrainian government as a “reformer.” Merilo, a Jaresko associate, is being put in charge of attracting foreign investments but her photo spreads look more like someone interested in some rather kinky partying.

Janika Merilo, the Estonian being put in charge of arranging foreign investments into Ukraine. (From her Facebook page via Zero Hedge)

Jaanika Merilo, the Estonian being put in charge of arranging foreign investments in Ukraine. (A photo released by Merilo on the Internet via DanceswithBears)

The Russians are aware, too, of prominent Americans circling around the potential plunder of Ukraine. For instance, Hunter Biden was named to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm. Burisma is also a shadowy Cyprus-based company linked to Privat Bank.

Privat Bank is controlled by the thuggish billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who was appointed by the Kiev regime to be governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a south-central province of Ukraine. Kolomoysky has helped finance the paramilitary forces killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

And, Burisma has been lining up well-connected lobbyists, some with ties to Secretary of State John Kerry, including Kerry’s former Senate chief of staff David Leiter, according to lobbying disclosures. As Time magazine reported, “Leiter’s involvement in the firm rounds out a power-packed team of politically-connected Americans that also includes a second new board member, Devon Archer, a Democratic bundler and former adviser to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Both Archer and Hunter Biden have worked as business partners with Kerry’s son-in-law, Christopher Heinz, the founding partner of Rosemont Capital, a private-equity company.” [See’s “The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis.”]

So, the Russians have a decidedly different view of the Ukrainian “reforms” than much of the U.S. media does. But I’m told that the Russians would be willing to tolerate these well-connected Americans enriching themselves in Ukraine and even having Ukraine expand its economic relations with the European Union.

But the Russians have drawn a red line at the prospect for the expansion of NATO forces into Ukraine and the continued killing of ethnic Russians at the hands of neo-Nazi death squads. Putin is demanding that those paramilitary forces be disarmed.

Besides unleashing these right-wing militias on the ethnic Russians, the Kiev government has moved to punish the people living in the eastern sectors by cutting off access to banks and other financial services. It also has become harder and more dangerous for ethnic Russians to cross into territory controlled by the Kiev authorities. Many are turned back and those who do get through face the risk of being taken and killed by the neo-Nazi militias.

These conditions have left the people in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas the so-called Donbass region on Russia’s border dependent on relief supplies from Russia. Meanwhile, the Kiev regime — pumped up by prospects of weapons from Washington as well as more money — has toughened its tone with vows to crush the eastern rebellion once and for all.

Russia’s Hardening Line

The worsening situation in the east and the fear of U.S. military weapons arriving in the west have prompted a shift in Moscow’s view of the Ukraine crisis, including a readiness to resupply the ethnic Russian forces in eastern Ukraine and even provide military advisers.

These developments have alarmed European leaders who find themselves caught in the middle of a possible conflict between the United States and Russia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande rushed to Kiev and then Moscow this week to discuss possible ways to defuse the crisis.

The hardening Russian position now seeks, in effect, a division of Ukraine into two autonomous zones, the east and the west with a central government that maintains the currency and handles other national concerns. But I’m told that Moscow might still accept the earlier idea of a federated Ukraine with greater self-governance by the different regions.

Putin also does not object to Ukraine building closer economic ties to Europe and he offered a new referendum in Crimea on whether the voters still want to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, said a source familiar with the Kremlin’s thinking. But Putin’s red lines include no NATO expansion into Ukraine and protection for ethnic Russians by disarming the neo-Nazi militias, the source said.

If such an arrangement or something similar isn’t acceptable and if the killing of ethnic Russians continues, the Kremlin would support a large-scale military offensive from the east that would involve “taking Kiev,” according to the source.

A Russian escalation of that magnitude would likely invite a vigorous U.S. response, with leading American politicians and pundits sure to ratchet up demands for a military counterstrike against Russia. If Obama were to acquiesce to such bellicosity to avoid being called “weak” the world could be pushed to the brink of nuclear war.

Who’s to Blame?

Though the State Department and the mainstream U.S. media continue to put all the blame on Russia, the fact that the Ukraine crisis has reach such a dangerous crossroads reveals how reckless the behavior of Official Washington has been over the past year.

Nuland and other U.S. officials took an internal Ukrainian disagreement over how quickly it should expand ties to Europe while seeking to retain its historic relations with Russia and turned that fairly pedestrian political dispute into a possible flashpoint for a nuclear war.

At no time, as this crisis has evolved over the past year, did anyone of significance in Official Washington, whether in government or media, stop and contemplate whether this issue was worth risking the end of life on the planet. Instead, all the American people have been given is a steady diet of anti-Yanukovych and anti-Putin propaganda.

Though constitutionally elected, Yanukovych was depicted as a corrupt tyrant who had a pricy sauna in his official mansion. Though Putin had just staged the Winter Olympics in Sochi, signaling his desire for Russia to integrate more with the West, he was portrayed as either a new-age imperial czar or the second coming of Hitler if not worse because he occasionally would ride on a horse while not wearing a shirt.

Further, the U.S. news media refused to conduct a serious investigation into the evidence that Nuland and other U.S. officials had helped destabilize Yanukovych’s government with the goal of achieving another neocon “regime change.”

Nuland, who personally urged on anti-Yanukovych protests in Kiev, discussed with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in early February 2014 who should lead the new government “Yats is the guy,” she said, referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk and how to “glue this thing.”

After weeks of mounting tensions and worsening violence, the coup occurred on Feb. 22, 2014, when well-organized neo-Nazi and other right-wing militias from western Ukraine overran presidential buildings forcing officials to flee for their lives. With Yanukovych ousted, Yatsenyuk soon became Prime Minister. [See’s “When Is a Putsch a Putsch.” ]

Many ethnic Russians in southern and eastern Ukraine, who had strongly supported Yanukovych, refused to accept the new U.S.-backed order in Kiev. Crimean officials and voters moved to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a move that Putin accepted because of Crimea’s historic ties to Russia and his fear that the Russian naval base at Sevastopol might be handed to NATO.

The resistance spread to eastern Ukraine where other ethnic Russians took up arms against the coup regime in Kiev, which responded with that it called an “anti-terrorist operation” against the east. To bolster the weak Ukrainian army, Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov dispatched neo-Nazi and other “volunteer” militias to spearhead the attacks.

After the deaths of more than 5,000 people, a shaky cease-fire was announced in September, but — amid complaints about neo-Nazi death squads operating in government-controlled areas and with life deteriorating in rebel-controlled towns and cities — the ethnic Russians launched an offensive in January, using Russian-supplied weapons to expand their control of territory.

In reaction, U.S. pundits, including columnists and editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, called for dispatching U.S. aid to the Kiev forces, including proposals for lethal weaponry to deter Putin’s “aggression.” Members of Congress and members of the Obama administration have joined the chorus.

On Feb. 2, the New York Times reported “With Russian-backed separatists pressing their attacks in Ukraine, NATO’s military commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, now supports providing defensive weapons and equipment to Kiev’s beleaguered forces, and an array of administration and military officials appear to be edging toward that position, American officials said. President Obama has made no decisions on providing such lethal assistance.”

That same day, the lead Times editorial was entitled “Mr. Putin Resumes His War” and continued with the theme about “Russian aggression” and the need “to increase the cost” if Russia demands “a permanent rebel-held enclave.”

On Feb. 3, the Washington Post ran an editorial entitled “Help for Ukraine. Defensive weapons could deter Russia in a way sanctions won’t.” The editorial concluded that Putin “will stop only if the cost to his regime is sharply raised and quickly.”

A new war fever gripped Washington and no one wanted to be viewed as “soft” or to be denounced as a “Putin apologist.” Amid this combination of propaganda, confusion and tough-guy-ism and lacking the tempering wisdom about war and nuclear weapons that restrained earlier U.S. presidents a momentum lurched toward a nuclear showdown over Ukraine that could put all life on earth in jeopardy.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.


34 comments for “Nuclear War and Clashing Ukraine Narratives

  1. Andrey
    February 12, 2015 at 04:18

    Nothing is said about Jewish communities (esp. Chabad ( and their influence on what’s going on. UA nazi have been used by Jews to make up a clash. Poroshenko and Kolomoisky are at power and compete on other country’s resources, other people are get poorer or even dead. Where are those Nazi now ( What omitted in the news is the connection between Israel and Ukraine (via Chabad / Hasidism).
    The interests are obvious: Israel gets new land (safer than Palestine), Jewish landlords will bring international capital to UA (like Monsanto), US will use this place for geopolitical purposes. EU & nazis will get nothing – because this epoch is not about old-fashion ideas, but for gaining & multiplying the capitals.
    If only Ukranians and Russians do not …

  2. Wacher
    February 10, 2015 at 14:17

    I think this article would be enhanced by including a key piece of information regarding the treaty Ukraine has broken with Russia at America’s prodding. When Russia agreed to Ukrainian independence as part of the CIS treaty in 1991

    A term of the treaty gave Russia the right to militarily enter the territory of the newly independent states if they allowed foreign troops into their nation. So far, the US has caused Kazakhstan and other central asian nations to break that term of the treaty – but Russia tolerated it. Now the US has caused Ukraine to break the treaty by taking US forces. This I imagine crosses the line for the Russians. It is obvious aggression by the US and is an attempt to get Russia to engage the US directly.

  3. Linda Brown
    February 10, 2015 at 12:37

    American workers, especially coal miners, deserve to know that Ukraine has a lot to do with them.

    The Donbas is a world-famous coal mining region, as rich as any oil field in the Middle East. The rebel soldiers we see on TV are coal miners. Off-duty soldiers who volunteered to join them were probably born and raised in the coalfields of Russia.

    Coal miners, who face the same dangers the world over, should stick together.

    In this spirit, Rich Trumka, former head of the United Mine Workers and now head of the AFL-CIO, should go to the Ukraine. The reasoning is simple: The coal miners of Ukraine could use some real solidarity from miners around the world. The UMWA and AFL-CIO are getting nowhere fast. In southern West Virginia, the coal operators have broken the union. In the U.S., union membership is down to what? 8% in private industry?

    A Trumka visit to Ukraine could put a sprag in the wheels of both situations.

  4. onno
    February 9, 2015 at 18:38

    Great article, Mr. Parry. Also in Europe you find many supporters.
    First of All I want to know what Americans are doing interfering in a European business which it was and still is. As far as I remember The EU is sovereign Block of 28 nations with 500 million inhabitants and a GDP exceeding the USA.
    USA entered WW II in Europe – Germany didn’t bomb Pearl Harbor – but to annex Europe not to free it. It was of the colonization program under the Monroe doctrine of 1823. And why do we still have since WW II 67.000 American troops on our territory with 120 nuclear war heads. Why, to make us feel safe, on the contrary as we see now in 2015 it has become a threat to our peaceful community. We don’t have a habit to settle our differences with guns we consider ourselves civilized and intelligent human beings who are able to communicate with each other and negotiate. Some of us still remember WW II and the suffering and most Russians feel the same way, We Europeans understand the Russian people.

    Now lets’ go back to the Cuba Crisis in 1962 when again the USA took the initiative to risk WWIII when the Soviets installed their rockets 250 miles from Florida. I don’t remember that European leaders were even consulted or asked to negotiate with the Soviets ? So what are the Americans doing on our territory, bullying us into a war we don’t want or escalating the peaceful co-existence we have build with Russia. Europe needs Russia as much as Russia needs Europe,

    And finally, we do not carry guns in our pockets or have 2 or 3 year old children shoot their parents or have white policemen killing black teenagers. So I believe America has plenty of problems at home that need the attention of US politicians including those Putin bashers senator McCain and George Soros. Plus VP Biden and John Kerry who are protecting their family business in gas rich East Ukraine with oligarch, governor and criminal Kolomoisky and see the 5400 civilians killed so far
    as Collateral damages.

    And please stop the American and NATO propaganda/smear campaign against Russia and President Putin it has become nuisance and more Europeans realize that these are only lies and sponsored by US defense industry

  5. Human Being
    February 9, 2015 at 15:45

    An episode called ‘Putin’s New Year’s Resolution’ on the International Focus programme: Leaves out much of what has been described here on Consortiumnews, but it does provide a lot of what I thought was good information about Russia in 2015.

  6. February 9, 2015 at 12:46

    Thanks for your article. This is an urgent issue and I’m so glad someone is writing about it. However, when you state, “None of the nuclear-age presidents… would have engaged in such provocative actions on Russia’s borders”, you are incorrect.

    In fact, the U.S. and UK sponsored covert interventions in Belarus and Ukraine after WWII, parachuting in covert agents, and supporting covert guerrilla armies left over from right-wing nationalist forces, riddled with Nazis, who had gone into hiding after the end of the second world war. The U.S. utilized stay-behind spy networks set up by Reinhard Gehlen, former Nazi Abwehr chief, who was hired by the CIA.

    All of this and more are available in excellent histories written in the last 20 years or so. I’d recommend both Peter Grose’s book, Operation Rollback, and Christopher Simpson’s book, Blowback.

    The longer history of intervention of intervention remained even after the more aggressive covert guerrilla wars were scaled back. See my article CIA Intervention in Ukraine Has Been Taking Place for Decades. The significance of this longer history of intervention adds to our understanding of the aggressiveness of the U.S. and NATO in this instance. I hope you’ll incorporate it into your future articles.

  7. Helge Tietz
    February 9, 2015 at 11:33

    Hi Robert!

    I am wondering whether you or anyone over there in the US has actually become aware on what Urkaininan PM Yatsenyuk uttered on German TV station ARD on 8th Jan. 2015, it was as follows: The Russian aggression in the Ukraine, that is an attack on the World order and onto the order of Europe. We can all remember very well the Soviets invading the Ukraine and eventually Germany. That has to be avoided. And no one has the right to re-write the results of World War II.” I can only conclude that Mr Yatsenyuk claims that WWII started in November 1942 with the Soviet attack and encirclement of the German city of Stalingrad. In other words, he totally wants to re-write world history.

  8. Zachary Smith
    February 8, 2015 at 16:30

    I found an interesting story about the Ukraine at a Russian site.

    No one in history has ever won a war with Russia at its borders – an American military expert

    Why Ukraine can not win the war with Russia and why America will not supply the Ukrainians with weapons, explained the military expert of the Academy of Public Policy at the Kennan Institute, Michael Kofman

    The guy says that Ukraine no longer has a functional Army, and sending weapons would be useless. Given the likely outcomes, worse than useless.

    • Lyudmila
      February 9, 2015 at 04:16

      Ukraine people, espaessialy men are fleeting to Russia and Poland, saying that IT IS NOT OUR WAR! but, what is more interesting, English speaking people somehow is found with the weapon on the territory of Ukraine, Ukraine is not NATO , how it comes whatsoever?? AS for me , I WANT TO LIVE , as you and as anybody in the world! NO WEAPONS !

  9. Animalaura
    February 8, 2015 at 11:02


    We have been hearing from high US government officials, including the president himself, for months and months about Russian tank columns and troops entering Ukraine, with NO proof whatsoever. The Russian government denies this steadfastly, but, of course, we cannot trust the now-demonized Russians. We are not allowed to believe them, because they are positioned as the Enemy, and good patriotic Americans never believe the Enemy.
    THEN AGAIN… perhaps Americans should question… “Who is the REAL Enemy of the U.S..?”

    But how can we help but believe the Russians? If all these Russian tank columns and troops that have allegedly been pouring into Ukraine were real, Washington’s puppet government in Kiev would have fallen sometime last year, and the conflict would be over.
    Anyone with a brain knows this.

  10. Eric
    February 7, 2015 at 19:08

    President Obama stated in a CNN interview (Feb. 2, 2015) that the United States took an active part in the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, which installed pro-Western authorities. The administration will no doubt claim this statement was taken out of context. But the evidence is irrefutable, and Obama’s “Freudian Slip” is hardly the singular proof of US complicity. Nevertheless, well over 90% of the American population continues to believe the lie that Russia was the primary cause for the crisis in the Ukraine.

    For story and video, click here:

  11. February 7, 2015 at 11:15

    Thanks for this valuable critique of what the U.S. (with the acquiescence of U.S. citizenry) is doing. There is a question of how we can most effectively organize/mobilize to do what’s needed. There is a temptation to urge that everyone become “experts” on Ukrainian affairs. But isn’t the more important thing to call on everyone to become “refuseniks” about escalation of any kind, and opposing use of force — and in this current Ukraine situation demand the U.S. unconditionally cease contributing to the fighting? Further, don’t we all need to be working to demand that our government (specifically Obama) move affirmatively into negotiations with Putin for complete nuclear disarmament? i.e. cut out every excuse, including Ukraine?

    • Pat
      February 7, 2015 at 17:05

      Joe, how are we going to do that?

      In August 2013, when Obama was preparing to launch air strikes on Syria, I fired off letters to my senators telling them I strongly opposed the strikes, especially given the absence of proof that al-Assad was behind the chemical attacks. Now, one might argue that Congress paid attention to the overwhelming public opposition and didn’t want to be in a position of blatantly ignoring their constituents. However, Seymour Hersh later reported that the real reason Obama backed off was that the Pentagon presented him with proof that the sarin used in the August attack didn’t match what was known to exist in the Syrian government’s arsenals. And then Putin bailed him out.

      The responses I received from both of my senators parroted the Obama line, “Assad did it,” we can’t let this go unpunished,” etc. One of them attempted to educate me about the “facts.” What was most disheartening is that both of my senators are “progressive,” and yet they were prepared to toe the party line, and they would have justified it to their constituents based on “facts,” as though anyone who disagrees is simply ignorant. After all, ordinary people can’t be expected to understand foreign policy. A couple of times in the past, I included links to reliable sources of information contradicting the official narrative, but I don’t do that anymore. What’s the point? All they do with letters from constituents is to tally how many are for a particular policy and how many are against. I even got a response once from a congressman thanking me for my support when my letter questioned the reasoning behind his position. I wrote back to clarify and got no reply.

      So, what then? Rioting in the streets? Occupy accomplished squat. Its main organizer since has conceded that public demonstrations are useless, ever since GW Bush dismissed thousands marching against the war in Iraq as “focus groups” that had no bearing on his decisions.

      So, seriously, how do we “demand” anything of a government that isn’t “ours” and that is totally out of control?

    • Zachary Smith
      February 8, 2015 at 00:48

      In August 2013, when Obama was preparing to launch air strikes on Syria, I fired off letters to my senators telling them I strongly opposed the strikes, especially given the absence of proof that al-Assad was behind the chemical attacks.

      Same here, and given how my three dip**** representatives all voted against the Lobby, the letters and calls must have been hundreds to one against starting another loony fight for Holy Israel.

      I’ll admit the result was a surprise considering how totally Israel usually totally owns my congresscreeps.

  12. Joe
    February 7, 2015 at 10:17

    The US provocations in Ukraine exactly parallel those in Korea which led China to push the US back to the original border. The US had broken diplomatic ties to China and rejected advice that China would be forced to attack if US forces entered the border provinces at the Yalu river, as nearby industrial areas required that any confrontation be on NK soil. But MacArthur pushed to the border, and China had to push the US Army back to SK with heavy losses.

    Again it is cowardly US bully-boys and careerist militarists hoping to push around a smaller country and taunt their counterparts. Again it is right wing US politicians who seek power in the US by trumping up foreign monsters, accusing anyone who disagrees of sympathy with the devil, just as Aristotle described the tyrants of democracy millennia ago. The US learns nothing because its oligarchy does not seek truth, it seeks war to demand domestic power.

    The situation is also a replay of the US support of Al Qaeda against the USSR in Afghanistan to create a Vietnam for Russia. It is amazing that the US plans these traps for others and falls into such traps without others having created them, as it did in Afghanistan, where it fell into its own trap.

    We can all see that this is a conflict between ethnic/cultural/linguistic regional factions that could not resolve their differences under democracy. Their leaders were apparently regional demagogues on both sides, just like the US leaders before the Civil War. We have no basis for preference in that situation, no underlying issue of justice which favors one group over another, no right to favor one ethnic group over another, and no reason to let West Ukraine tyrannize East Ukraine, let alone to promote that tyranny.

    The fault is with the US, because its economic concentrations have taken control of elections and mass media, denying truth and justice to its people, as well as all means to restore democracy, which is almost certainly lost forever. If there is hope for the US, it is only via the dismal path of its demise as an aggressive power, when the rats may abandon the ship. That path probably involves more resounding defeats of the kind it has had in its wars to suppress the rights of humanity since WWII, all of them wars against socialism which sacrificed democracy to promote oligarchy. So if the US oligarchy pushes and putsches Russia and China, we will all be better off sooner if Putin defeats the US proxies. But he has shown restraint, probably sees less gain in killing and impoverishing his people than the US oligarchy, and will likely seek a stable militarized buffer state in East Ukraine, as the US forced China to create in North Korea.

  13. Kiev Rus
    February 7, 2015 at 09:24

    Dear sir ,,, You seem to forget the FACT that Yanukovich was one of the most corrupt Oligarchs in ukraine . Stealing billions from his own people as they suffered to build his life of luxury . THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE were tired of the corruption in Ukraine and also being the continual puppet of RUSSIA and PUTIN who they saw was the source of this corruption . THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE wanted a new path ,, a way out of this corrupt past . When Yanukovich decided to accept Putins 15 billion ,, they saw this as another bribe ,, and a continuum of the same old destructive ways . Yanukovich had promised a path to the EU ,,, HE LIED !!! THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE had had enough ,,, THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE REVOLTED ,, eventually forcing Yanukovich out of office after the RADA IMPEACHED HIM .. He had lost all respect and control of THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE . Your putting the blame on the USA ,,, is a farce !! What happened in Ukraine , THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE , WANTED !!!! Freedom from corruption and freedom from being Putins puppet

    • Aka
      February 7, 2015 at 13:22

      Why did you let Yulia out of jail then? Was she NOT corrupt?

    • Human Being
      February 7, 2015 at 15:34

      From the article: “Nuland and other U.S. officials took an internal Ukrainian disagreement over how quickly it should expand ties to Europe – while seeking to retain its historic relations with Russia – and turned that fairly pedestrian political dispute into a possible flashpoint for a nuclear war.”

      For most part, people understand that there were legitimate grievances against Yanukovich and that a significant part of Ukraine did and still does want closer partnership with Europe, which is perfectly fine. However, what’s being left out of the public discussion is how the USA seems to have catalyzed these grievances and desires to bring about a national catastrophe on the borders of Russia.

      P.S.: May your country be well! I have relatives in Ukraine myself.

    • a.z
      February 7, 2015 at 16:57

      if it was a strictly an ukrainian project then why the rush? why not wait for the next election to depose him? it was made even easier when the corrupt shithead called for an early election and i know corrupt leaders have tricks to play between the time of promise and fulfillment but to any intelligent patriot the on ground ethnic makeup made a democratic transition a must and failure to take that into account simply amounts as a conspiracy

    • Capt Merka
      February 7, 2015 at 19:46

      @kiev rus……..corruption is not an acceptable excuse for a putsch…since that’s what elections are intended to do and Yanukovich had been democratically elected by Ukrainians. That’s what courts and law are for..not employing out of work NeoNazis to help overthrow an elected govt. There’s a lot more wrong with Ukraine NOW than before and perhaps it will get worse if you allow a ‘military solution’…remember the neocons led to the absolute destruction of Iraq based on lies, also. Get a clue. !!

      • Kiev Rus
        February 7, 2015 at 22:33

        ))) There is NO JUSTICE SYSTEM IN UKRAINE . It is as corrupt as the MAFIA !! Justice is gotten thru BRIBES . Nothing is just . Yanukovich was the leader of the Mafia . There is only one way to rid a cancer like that .

    • Chet Roman
      February 7, 2015 at 20:42

      As others have mentioned, Yanukovich agreed to an early election, the next day the neonazi thugs illegally overthrew he government. You highlight the corruption of Yanukovich but fail to mention the corruption of the current government or appoiting another corrupt oligarch, Kolomoisky, to be Governor of Dnepropetrovsk. It seems that the western Ukrainians deserve elected government but the eastern Ukrainians don’t.

      • KIEVRUS
        February 7, 2015 at 22:22

        Western Ukraine deserves an elected government and the East DOESNT ???? Sorry , BUT THERE IS ONE UKRAINE !!!! They had a free and fair election with many candidates representing ideas from the far right to the left !! Poroshenko won !!! There is STILL a lot of corruption in Ukraine ,, but the new government wants to change this and rid this cancer . It will take time . The country was run by Corrupt Yanukovich . There was no justice system . Justice was thru BRIBERY !! If you have no money you receive no justice . Everything was done thru bribery and corruption ,, and there was only one way to rid it ! Yanukovich word meant nothing any longer . But , the Ukrainian people wanted the corruption to end and a new path of freedom and independence , and away from RUSSIA . If the USA helped the Ukrainian people with this desire for a free and uncorrupt country .. THANKS


        • February 8, 2015 at 06:09

          The new government is just as corrupt as the previous one : Poroshenko was part of the previous government plus a billionaire, then there’s Kolomoyski, etc. That’s what you get if you overthrow an elected government — certainly not everybody will be happy with it, hence a civil war.

        • Human Being
          February 8, 2015 at 15:15

          No country is one anything. Even couples and families have disputes and fights everywhere all the time, let alone entire countries of millions. Geography plays a role, history plays a role, upbringing plays a role, ideology and visions of future also play a role — for any group of people, countries included. And, of course, external parties can become involved as well for various reasons.

    • Lyudmila
      February 9, 2015 at 03:56

      Dear All, ypu can easily watch YOUTUBE video regarding German point of view, both common people and politicals, all of them just saying that it is USA who starts the maidan and revile the facts and the reasons. Right noe Ukraine under Obamas rewrighting History, shame on you! Your and my grand parents set the world free from Nazi disease and right now Ukraine is ill itself. Ok, leave alnong what Russian people think, listen to Germans. USD dollar was spread worldwidw when WW2 and another WW is required to keep it alive. My heart is filled with tears that Ukraine is a playground for USA and Ukraine people got so agressive towords Russian, we are the common blood and it herts greatly! Dear Kiev Rus just google YOUTUBE , the Germand Lind party speech or common Germans songs regarding Donbas , it will elp you to understand situation. Now it is like that , the worlds laws are neglected in every case regarding whart is going on in Ukraine, and under Obama”s aplaude it is neglected every single day! to make the whole picture you should read Chinese report abut USA dept , believe to annul it another war is required! and the qestion to everybody, where are you planning to live? On Mars?

    • onno
      February 9, 2015 at 17:47

      I worked in UA since 1995 – Kuchma time – and the corruption was widespread and deep. Then came Yushenko with Julia Timoshenko probably the most corrupt person in UA history who closed the Gas deal with Russia thru her Swiss Corp. Then came Yanukovich who was as corrupt as the former bunch but he was HONEST with Ukrainian people by refusing ‘the deal’ with the West. And as we can see today with the Neo-Nazis in Kiev corrupt and hateful followers of the Nazis and Bandera in WWII. Again the people all over UA suffer while more young Ukrainians come home in body bags as a result of total incompetent army. Ukrainians prove again that they’re liars and not trustworthy people but this time they are selling themselves to the devil = USA. Go to hell Slava Ukraini you’re digging your own grave.

  14. Horst L.
    February 7, 2015 at 08:00

    Robert Parry wrote: … the ethnic Russians launched an offensive in January, using Russian-supplied weapons to expand their control of territory..

    I think it is more a “counter-offensive”, because the Ukrainian Army started heavy attacks including shelling of Donezk and other cities with lots of citizens killed on January 18. Af the ukrainian offensive failed the Separatist launched their counter-offensive in order to make further shelling of their cities impossible!

    • Oleg
      February 8, 2015 at 06:00

      Good point!

  15. Guyot
    February 7, 2015 at 07:07

    Dear Mr. Parry,

    I do not know, if you would accept my (pessimistic) comment in French, but in any case I send you a little text about the recent visit of Philaret in Washington and the meaning of Kiev’s demand for US providing of modernized weapons.

    A Washington, message de paix du patriarche Philarète de Kiev : « Gott mit uns, as usual ! »

    Lors de la conférence de presse qu’il a donnée le 6 février dernier à Capitol Hill, Philarète, prêtre excommunié de l’église orthodoxe russe, et à présent primat de l’église orthodoxe d’Ukraine, a plaidé pour l’envoi, par les Etats Unis d’Amérique, d’armes défensives modernes destinées à l’armée de Kiev.
    Philarète a ainsi déclaré :

    « Nous avons besoin d’un armement plus moderne. Nos généraux, notre armée, les membres de l’armée sont prêts à faire le sacrifice de leurs vies, mais ils ont besoin d’armes défensives plus modernes.”

    Avec le soutien de différents membres du Congrès américain, Philarète a ensuite lancé un appel à Obama pour que le président américain mette en application les décisions que le Congrès et le Sénat américains ont d’ores et déjà adoptées.

    Le sénateur de l’Arizona John McCain, « héros » de la guerre du Vietnam, menace pour sa part de faire adopter par le Congrès une législation qui imposerait au Pentagone d’envoyer des armes en Ukraine, si Obama ne prenait pas les mesures d’application nécessaires .

    Le héros américain McCain a reçu par ailleurs des mains de l’homme d’église Philarète une décoration qui lui a été remise au nom de l’église orthodoxe d’Ukraine.

    Le commun des mortels se posera bien des questions. Qu’est-ce qui distingue les armes dites défensives des autres armes ? Quelle est la différence entre un criminel et un héros de guerre ? Un homme d’église est-il toujours un homme de paix ?

    Une seule chose est sûre : si le président ukrainien, le gouvernement de Kiev et l’église orthodoxe ukrainienne réclament des armes à l’Amérique, c’est parce qu’ils n’envisagent au conflit qu’une solution militaire, et qu’ils excluent toute possibilité de parvenir à un accord négocié.

    En fait, ce dont ils ont besoin, ce n’est pas d’armes dont ils disposent en abondance, mais de soldats prêts à mourir, car fiers de combattre pour une juste cause.

    Mais la cause de Kiev n’est pas juste. Vouloir écraser militairement la population russe de l’Est de l’Ukraine, lui interdire l’usage de la langue russe, traiter comme des terroristes des gens qui n’ont envahi personne, les contraindre à fuir le pays sous les bombardements, rompre les liens séculaires et familiaux qui existent entre Russes et Ukrainiens, attribuer aux Russes tous les malheurs de l’Ukraine, voilà le crime et le mensonge des ultranationalistes ukrainiens et du régime installé à Kiev.

    Non, Philarète, ni les Ukrainiens, ni encore moins leurs généraux ne sont prêts à faire le sacrifice de leurs vies. La guerre entre Russes et Ukrainiens est un mythe. La population ne demande que la paix, elle est victime d’une guerre qui dépasse l’Ukraine, et qui est voulue par des extrémistes et leurs parrains étrangers.

    Malheureusement, la paix parait bien enterrée, et pour longtemps. Comme pourraient le dire les gens du spectacle, « the show must go on ». Sans doute, et puisqu’il s’agit de mêler Dieu au crime de la guerre, vaudrait-il mieux dire « Gott mit uns, as usual ! »

  16. Zachary Smith
    February 6, 2015 at 23:34

    Victoria Jane Nuland
    Born: 1961
    Religion: Jewish
    Occupation: Diplomat
    Husband: Robert Kagan (co-founder of PNAC)

    US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (2013-) {obama}
    US State Department Spokesman (2011-13) {hillary}
    US State Department Special Envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (2010-11)
    US Ambassador to NATO (2005-08)
    US Official Principal Deputy National Security Advisor to Dick Cheney (2003-05) {cheney!!!!}
    US State Department Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secy. of State (1993-96)
    Council on Foreign Relations Visiting Fellow (1996-97, 1999-2000)

    It was difficult for me to locate details of the pre-2000 work of Nuland. One thing is for certain: she has been a busy girl, working for the enlargement of NATO from WAY back. This publication dates to 1997 – the Bill Clinton era.

    Task Force Report
    Russia, Its Neighbors, and an Enlarging NATO
    Director: Victoria Nuland

    Another thing for certain – there have been a string of high US officials boosting her career. Her close ties to the unspeakable Bush administration ought to have made her utter poison for any government job. But Hillary and BHO continued her elevation to the point where her devoted work may yet cause a European war. The stakes involved could mean that nukes will be harshly rattled if not actually demonstrated for the first time since Nagasaki. I hope the talk of the current POTUS being some kind of stealth peacenik will go away.

    Victoria Jane Nuland is a perfectly awful neocon, and Barack Hussein Obama is the most recent person to promote and retain her in his administration. IMO, VJN is also evidence that Hillary Rodham Clinton is fit to be elected dogcatcher of a small rural county.

    • Stop the neocons
      February 7, 2015 at 01:38

      Official Biography – from the U.S. State Department – page not found

      Victoria Nuland biography – from the U.S. NATO Mission website – page not found.

  17. February 6, 2015 at 22:15

    The military industrial complex is preoccupied with quarterly earnings and needs a war as fish need water. With clandestine control of the mass media, which on the surface appear to be “private” and “independent,” the CIA and MIC are successfully driving the US toward another profitable and career-making war. Remember that under President Kennedy, the CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff drafted a detailed proposal for a first-strike nuclear war against the Soviet Union, not once but twice! To start a war with Cuba, the Joint Chiefs of Staff even devised a plan for fake terrorist attacks within the US: “Operation Northwoods.”

  18. Cord MacGuire
    February 6, 2015 at 20:40

    A totally marvelous summation of this crucial issue, Robert.
    Your efforts are greatly appreciated & widely admired.
    Ukraine has become, perhaps, the central question of our day,
    because of the irresponsible, crazy policies that Obama has overseen.
    The US corporate media have been criminally biased, untruthful & contemptible.

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