Reality Peeks Through in Ukraine

Exclusive: With corruption rampant and living standards falling, Ukraine may become the next failed state that “benefited” from a neoconservative-driven “regime change,” though the blame will always be placed elsewhere in this case, on the demonized Russian President Putin, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Nearly two years since U.S. officials helped foment a coup in Ukraine partly justified by corruption allegations the country continues to wallow in graft and cronyism as the living standards for average Ukrainians plummet, according to economic data and polls of public attitudes.

Even the neocon-oriented Wall Street Journal took note of the worsening corruption in a Jan. 1, 2016 article observing that “most Ukrainians say the revolution’s promise to replace rule by thieves with the rule of law has fallen short and the government acknowledges that there is still much to be done.”

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. (Photo credit: Ybilyk)

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. (Photo credit: Ybilyk)

Actually, the numbers suggest something even worse. More and more Ukrainians rate corruption as a major problem facing the nation, including a majority of 53 percent last September, up from 48 percent last June and 28 percent in September 2014, according to polls by International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s GDP has fallen in every quarter since the Feb. 22, 2014 putsch that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Since then, the average Ukrainian also has faced economic “reforms” to slash pensions, energy subsidies and other social programs, as demanded by the International Monetary Fund.

In other words, the hard lives of most Ukrainians have gotten significantly harder while the elites continue to skim off whatever cream is left, including access to billions of dollars in the West’s foreign assistance that is keeping the economy afloat.

Part of the problem appears to be that people supposedly responsible for the corruption fight are themselves dogged by allegations of corruption. The Journal cited Ukrainian lawmaker Volodymyr Parasyuk who claimed to be so outraged by graft that he expressed his fury “by kicking in the face an official he says owns luxury properties worth much more than a state salary could provide.”

However, the Journal also noted that “parliament is the site of frequent mass brawls [and] it is hard to untangle all the overlapping corruption allegations and squabbling over who is to blame. Mr. Parasyuk himself was named this week as receiving money from an organized crime suspect, a claim he denies.”

Then, there is the case of Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, who is regarded by top American columnists as the face of Ukraine’s reform. Indeed, a Wall Street Journal op-ed last month by Stephen Sestanovich, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, hailed Jaresko as “a tough reformer” whose painful plans include imposing a 20 percent “flat tax” on Ukrainians (a favorite nostrum of the American Right which despises a progressive tax structure that charges the rich at a higher rate).

Sestanovich noted that hedge-fund billionaire George Soros, who has made a fortune by speculating in foreign currencies, has endorsed Jaresko’s plan but that it is opposed by some key parliamentarians who favor a “populist” alternative that Sestanovich says “will cut rates, explode the deficit, and kiss IMF money good-bye.”

Yet, Jaresko is hardly a paragon of reform. Prior to getting instant Ukrainian citizenship and becoming Finance Minister in December 2014, she was a former U.S. diplomat who had been entrusted to run a $150 million U.S.-taxpayer-funded program to help jump-start an investment economy in Ukraine and Moldova.

Jaresko’s compensation was capped at $150,000 a year, a salary that many Americans would envy, but it was not enough for her. So, she engaged in a variety of maneuvers to evade the cap and enrich herself by claiming millions of dollars in bonuses and fees.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Ultimately, Jaresko was collecting more than $2 million a year after she shifted management of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF) to her own private company, Horizon Capital, and arranged to get lucrative bonuses when selling off investments, even as the overall WNISEF fund was losing money, according to official records.

For instance, Jaresko collected $1.77 million in bonuses in 2013, according to WNISEF’s latest available filing with the Internal Revenue Service. In her financial disclosure forms with the Ukrainian government, she reported earning $2.66 million in 2013 and $2.05 million in 2014, thus amassing a sizeable personal fortune while investing U.S. taxpayers’ money supposedly to benefit the Ukrainian people.

It didn’t matter that WNISEF continued to hemorrhage money, shrinking from its original $150 million to $89.8 million in the 2013 tax year, according to the IRS filing. WNISEF reported that the bonuses to Jaresko and other corporate officers were based on “successful” exits from some investments even if the overall fund was losing money. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “How Ukraine’s Finance Minister Got Rich.”]

Though Jaresko’s enrichment schemes are documented by IRS and other official filings, the mainstream U.S. media has turned a blind eye to this history, all the better to pretend that Ukraine’s “reform” process is in good hands. (It also turns out that Jaresko did not comply with Ukrainian law that permits only single citizenship; she has kept her U.S. passport exploiting a loophole that gives her two years to show that she has renounced her U.S. citizenship.)

Propaganda over Reality

Yet, as good as propaganda can be especially when the U.S. government and mainstream media are moving in lockstep reality is not always easily managed. Ukraine’s continuing and some say worsening corruption prompted last month’s trip to Ukraine by Vice President Joe Biden who gave a combination lecture and pep talk to Ukraine’s parliament.

Of course, Biden has his own Ukraine cronyism problem because three months after the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Yanukovych government Ukraine’s largest private gas firm, Burisma Holdings, appointed his son, Hunter Biden, to its board of directors.

Burisma a shadowy Cyprus-based company also lined 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.”

According to investigative journalism inside Ukraine, the ownership of Burisma has been traced to Privat Bank, which is controlled by the thuggish billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who was appointed by the U.S.-backed “reform” regime to be governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a south-central province of Ukraine (though Kolomoisky was eventually ousted from that post in a power struggle over control of UkrTransNafta, Ukraine’s state-owned oil pipeline operator).

In his December speech, Biden lauded the sacrifice of the 100 or so protesters who died during the Maidan clashes in February 2014, referring to them by their laudatory name “The Heavenly Hundred.” But Biden made no heavenly references to the estimated 10,000 people, mostly ethnic Russians, who have been slaughtered in the U.S.-encouraged “Anti-Terror Operation” waged by the coup regime against eastern Ukrainians who objected to the violent ouster of President Yanukovych, who had won large majorities in those areas.

Apparently, heaven is not as eager to welcome ethnic Russian victims of U.S.-inspired political violence. Nor did Biden take note that some of the Heavenly Hundred were street fighters for neo-Nazi and other far-right nationalist organizations.

But after making his sugary references to The Heavenly Hundred Biden delivered his bitter medicine, an appeal for the parliament to continue implementing IMF “reforms,” including demands that old people work longer into their old age.

Vice President Joe Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden said, “For Ukraine to continue to make progress and to keep the support of the international community you have to do more, as well. The big part of moving forward with your IMF program — it requires difficult reforms. And they are difficult.

“Let me say parenthetically here, all the experts from our State Department and all the think tanks, and they come and tell you, that you know what you should do is you should deal with pensions. You should deal with — as if it’s easy to do. Hell, we’re having trouble in America dealing with it. We’re having trouble. To vote to raise the pension age is to write your political obituary in many places.

“Don’t misunderstand that those of us who serve in other democratic institutions don’t understand how hard the conditions are, how difficult it is to cast some of the votes to meet the obligations committed to under the IMF. It requires sacrifices that might not be politically expedient or popular. But they’re critical to putting Ukraine on the path to a future that is economically secure. And I urge you to stay the course as hard as it is. Ukraine needs a budget that’s consistent with your IMF commitments.”

Eroding Support

But more and more Ukrainians appear to see through the charade in Kiev, as the poll numbers on the corruption crisis soar. Meanwhile, European officials seem to be growing impatient with the Ukraine crisis which has added to the drag on the Continent’s economies because the Obama administration strong-armed the E.U. into painful economic sanctions against Russia, which had come to the defense of the embattled ethnic Russians in the east.

“Many E.U. officials are fed up with Ukraine,” said one Western official quoted by the Journal, which added that “accusations of graft by anticorruption activists, journalists and diplomats have followed to the new government.”

The Journal said those implicated include some early U.S. favorites, such as Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, “whose ratings have plummeted to single digits amid allegations in the media and among anticorruption activists of his associates’ corrupt dealings. Mr. Yatsenyuk has denied any involvement in corruption and his associates, one of whom resigned from parliament over the controversy this month, deny wrongdoing.”

The controversy over Yatsenyuk’s alleged cronyism led to an embarrassing moment in December 2015 when an anti-Yatsenyuk lawmaker approached the podium with a bouquet of roses, which the slightly built Yatsenyuk accepted only to have the lawmaker lift him up and try to carry him from the podium.

In many ways, the Ukraine crisis represents just another failure of neocon-driven “regime change,” which has also spread chaos across the Middle East and northern Africa. But the neocons appear to have even a bigger target in their sites, another “regime change” in Moscow, with Ukraine just a preliminary move. Of course, that scheme could put in play nuclear war.

Taking Aim

The Ukraine “regime change” took shape in 2013 after Russian President Putin and President Barack Obama collaborated to tamp down crises in Syria and Iran, two other prime targets for neocon “regime changes.” American neocons were furious that those hopes were dashed. Ukraine became Putin’s payback.

In fall 2013, the neocons took aim at Ukraine, recognizing its extreme sensitivity to Russia which had seen previous invasions, including by the Nazis in World War II, pass through the plains of Ukraine and into Russia. Carl Gershman, neocon president of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, cited Ukraine as the “biggest prize” and a key step toward unseating Putin in Moscow. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What the Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

Initially, the hope was that Yanukovych would lead Ukraine into an economic collaboration with Europe while cutting ties to Russia. But Yanukovych received a warning from top Ukrainian economists that a hasty split with neighboring Russia would cost the country a staggering $160 billion in lost income.

So, Yanukovych sought to slow down the process, prompting angry protests especially from western Ukrainians who descended on Maidan square. Though initially peaceful, neo-Nazi and other nationalist militias soon infiltrated the protests and began ratcheting up the violence, including burning police with Molotov cocktails.

Meanwhile, U.S.-funded non-governmental organizations, such as the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (which receives money from USAID and hedge-fund billionaire George Soros’s Open Society), hammered away at alleged corruption in the Yanukovych government.

In December 2013, Nuland reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations,” and in an intercepted phone call in early February 2014 she discussed with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who Ukraine’s new leaders would be.

“Yats is the guy,” Nuland said of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, as she also disparaged a less aggressive approach by the European Union with the pithy phrase: “Fuck the E.U.” (Nuland, a former aide to ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, is the wife of arch-neoconservative ideologue Robert Kagan.)

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.

Sen. John McCain also urged on the protests, telling one group of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists that they had America’s backing. And, the West’s mainstream media fell in love with the Maidan protesters as innocent white hats and thus blamed the worsening violence on Yanukovych. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]

Urging Restraint

In Biden’s December 2015 speech to the parliament, he confirmed that he personally pressed on President Yanukovych the need to avoid violence. “I was literally on the phone with your former President urging restraint,” Biden said.

However, on Feb. 20, 2014, mysterious snipers apparently from buildings controlled by the far right fired on and killed policemen as well as some protesters. The bloodshed sparked other violent clashes as armed rioters battled with retreating police.

Although the dead included some dozen police officers, the violence was blamed on Yanukovych, who insisted that he had ordered the police not to use lethal force in line with Biden’s appeal. But the State Department and the West’s mainstream media made Yanukovych the black-hatted villain.

The next day, Feb. 21, Yanukovych signed an accord negotiated and guaranteed by three European nations to accept reduced powers and early elections so he could be voted out of office if that was the public’s will. However, as police withdrew from the Maidan, the rioters, led by neo-Nazi militias called sotins, stormed government buildings on Feb. 22, forcing Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives.

In the West’s mainstream media, these developments were widely hailed as a noble “revolution” and with lumps in their throats many journalists averted their misty eyes from the key role played by unsavory neo-Nazis, so as not to dampen the happy narrative (although BBC was among the few MSM outlets that touched on this inconvenient reality).

Ever since, the major U.S. news media has stayed fully on board, ignoring evidence that what happened was a U.S.-sponsored coup. The MSM simply explains all the trouble as a case of naked “Russian aggression.

There were kudos, too, when “reformer” Natalie Jaresko was made Finance Minister along with other foreign “technocrats.” There was no attention paid to evidence about the dark underside of the Ukrainian “revolution of dignity,” as Biden called it.

Though the neo-Nazis sometimes even teamed up with Islamic jihadists were the tip of the spear slashing through eastern Ukraine, their existence was either buried deep inside stories or dismissed as “Russian propaganda.”

That was, in effect, American propaganda and, as clever as it was, it could only control reality for so long.

Even though the fuller truth about Ukraine has never reached the American people, there comes a point when even the best propagandists have to start modifying their rosy depictions. Ukraine appears to have reached that moment.

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 barnesandnoble.com).

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43 comments for “Reality Peeks Through in Ukraine

  1. Abe
    January 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    MH17 Coroner’s Inquest: More Questions than Answers
    By James ONeill
    http://journal-neo.org/2016/01/06/mh17-coroner-s-inquest-more-questions-than-answers/

  2. Abe
    January 6, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    MH17 Coroner Contracts Himself, Ignores Australian Forensic Evidence, Rules in Favor of Dutch Safety Board
    By John Helmer
    http://johnhelmer.net/?p=14812

  3. Dale Davies
    January 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    This is not Ukraine’s fault! It is the fault of being oppressed by Russia for so many years and THEIR corruption. Yes they have not dealt with it since independence but with the oligarchs
    seizing control by being thugs they have not stood a chance. Now give them a bit of space and time and encourage them to keep with the program to get this sorted out instead of sh*tting in their corn flakes.
    MH17; there was a phone conversation right after it was shot down by a rebel to the leader
    (Igor Girkin) reporting they had shot a plane down and giving themselves a pat on the back. Then it got removed as quick as they figured out they had stepped in the pig poo by shooting down a civilian plane. You want to crap on somebody, crap on MORDOR and the little goat Bad Vlad.

    • David Smith
      January 7, 2016 at 1:29 am

      Since ” the program to get this sorted out” includes a 20% Flat Tax on wages, average Ukrainians will be doing without ” cornflakes”.Regarding MH17, Sec State Kerry stated on NBC’s Meet The Press, July 20, 2014 that the US has exact knowledge who fired what from where, so if MH17 was shot down by the rebels using a missle supplied by MORDOR, it would be easily confirmed, but, well, it isn’t.

    • Libero Mauro
      January 7, 2016 at 3:30 am

      I like to know where and how the Russian have oppress the Ukrainians, many Russian soldiers die to free Ukraine from the Nazi during WW2, also let not forget that the two nations are actually Russians ethnicity. This coup will go no were eventually, the majority of Ukrainians are fed up, this current regime oppression has to work extra hard to silence opposition and targeting journalist exposing the truth.
      MH17: the fact that a rebel was referring to a plane been shot down (if it is true), it was quite simply unaware what plane or what really has happens, someone was trying to take credit even if was not their doing, it happens in any war zone theatre. But I am not surprise that you omit to write other things that have disappear from the internet; for example the BBC interview with ground witness (by Olga Ivshina) describing 2 Sukhoi jet flying straight after the impact. For example the Suckhoi capability sheet been altered to suit the USA propaganda (only after 2 days) also many question about the autopsy carried on the pilot. Far too many questions and too many doubts, to single out one culprit, one main question is why Ukraine allow that plane to fly over despite 6 days earlier one military plane was shot down at 6000 ft altitude? My bet is that Ukrainian military jet where using the civilian plane as cover to reach their destination undetected, that also explain why the fly path of the MH17 was changed the last minute. At the moment is Ukraine looking more like a bad copy of “Mordor” there is no gas, people are suffering because of the neo-Nazi and Kiev (with the blessing of USA) crimes against humanity have been committed since early 2014 by Ukraine and the neonazi. Justice will come.

    • Karl
      January 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

      1. The IMF is the one who refuses to give time and space
      2. “the program” as dictated by the IMF will destroy Ukraine’s economy, load it with debt it will never pay back before the end of human history, and throw its standard of living into a free fall. (Just like every other country which has ever followed the same program) As this article points out, the decline has already begun.
      3. You can talk about “oppression” and “MORDOR and the little goat Bad Vlad” (seriously?) all day long but if the new government is just as corrupt as the old and the economic conditions have worsened this much then, if we put the Nazis aside for a moment, the only difference between the old boss and the new is that the old boss payed better.

      • Dennis
        January 7, 2016 at 10:40 am

        Karl is right. Also, the IMF has never had a financial assistance program for any country in need that did not require that government programs should all be privatized.

        • Brad Owen
          January 7, 2016 at 1:15 pm

          Very good points, Karl and Dennis. Just before the NAZI Putsch went down in Ukraine, it was being “courted” by both the IMF/World Bank “West Bloc” AND the BRICS “East Bloc”. West Bloc’s Deal was exactly as K and D described. It would have turned Ukraine into a “Food Bank” colony of the West Bloc, complete with grinding poverty and reversion to “Peasantry” for Ukrainians. East Bloc BRICS offered Real industrial development, and generally a real advance in progress for the Ukraine people. The smart Ukrainians looked East; the Mafia-types, and hate-filled types looked West. The West was going to obviously lose this Deal…so the Putsch was on.
          BTW; read today’s briefing on Tarpley.net. Everything is changing RIGHT NOW: a new Sino-British Power Bloc is being built, aimed specifically at USA (for re-introducing republicanism into Western Culture in a BIG way; a deadly threat to Empire-ism) and Russia (for always siding with USA in the centuries-long power struggle between a non-Tory republican USA and Brit Empire who also always wanted to catch Russia in its’ “Empire Net”; “the Big Empire that got away”). This requires once again, a strong alliance between Russia and USA, and neo-“New Deal” policies including protective tariffs (co-ordinated with Russia), nationalizing the Fed, taxing Wall Street, bankruptcy re-organization (to shut down the hedgefund sharks and locusts). Both Nations are about on the same page now; One has experienced too much Gov’t Despotism, the other has experienced too much Corporatism with its’ free-wheeling, Autocratic CEO “Robber Barons”.

    • incontinent reader
      January 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      The ‘phone conversation’ was shown to have been fabricated and uploaded a day before the downing of MH-17. That was as good a reason as any to remove it from Youtube.

      As for giving the Ukrainians ‘space’, wouldn’t it have been better to acknowledge and give credence to Ukraine’s constitution, and allow Yankovich to stand for reelection- and be defeated at the polls if that’s what the people wanted- and in the meantime support the coalition government that the Europeans had insisted on and signed as guarantors on February 21, 2014, instead of standing aside the very next day after the government was overthrown in a violent coup?

      Or is the space you want is the same that our neocons and neo-liberals have imposed on Libya, Iraq and Syria?

    • nexusxyz
      January 8, 2016 at 4:05 am

      Comments from a very dim light bulb.

    • Alex T
      January 8, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Dale,
      Stick to commenting on football and the Kardashians.
      You no nothing about the truth of MH17 other than what was spoon fed to you my the government media.

    • Eileen K.
      January 10, 2016 at 2:51 am

      Oh, really??! It’s certainly NOT Russia’s fault, Dale .. it’s the fault of the USSA (mostly), along with the IMF and the EU. Don’t you know that Ukraine’s eastern neighbor is RUSSIA .. and that the USSA is over 4,000 miles away? Why in Heaven’s name did a nation so far away from Ukraine interfere in its internal affairs and orchestrate a regime change in form of a coup d’etat? Why did the USSA – through its puppet regime – cause the secession of Crimea and its reunion with Russia and the secession of the two Donbass regions – Donetsk and Lugansk?
      How would you feel, Dave, if the scenario were reversed? That Russia orchestrated a coup d’etat in Canada and installed a pro-Russian puppet gov’t in Ottawa, right in the USSA’s own backyard? What if Quebec seceded as a result? You wouldn’t like it one bit, and I wouldn’t blame you either for feeling that way,
      Well, this is exactly what happened with Ukraine, which, btw, is right in RUSSIA’s backyard .. and Russia has every right to be upset. The USSA put Russia’s own national security in jeopardy with this reckless, illegal act, making it a rogue, lawless state. The peoples of Ukraine deserve a whole lot better than what they currently have .. Ukraine has already lost 3 provinces as a result of the illegal coup, and will never get them back.

  4. Jerad Howell
    January 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    This site does some good reporting and provides an alternative to MSM propaganda but you give President Obama way too much of a pass. You blame every foreign policy debacle on the vague “neocons” while ignoring the reality that President Obama is the guy at the top, so he either approves of his underlings actions or he is hopelessly oblivious. Either way, it’s not a good look.

    • LondonBob
      January 7, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Agree, the buck stops somewhere and it stops with Obama. As Hersh’s latest article shows, if he wanted to tackle the neocons and R2P gals he would have a lot of allies.

    • Peter Loeb
      January 7, 2016 at 8:34 am

      THE WISDOM OF JERAD HOWELL….

      I agree with J. Howell. I must add that all of us are deeply
      indebted to Consortium for its reporting.

      I share in the dislike of neocons etc. but agree that civil authority
      ultimately decides in areas of war and peace. .See my response
      to a recent Gareth Porter under my comment title “Military or
      Civilian Authority” and based on Gabriel Kolko’s analysis.

      “…you give President Obama way too much of a pass.
      You blame every foreign policy debacle on the vague “neocons”
      while ignoring the reality that President Obama is the guy at
      the top, so he either approves of his underlings actions or he
      is hopelessly oblivious…”
      —Jerad Howell, above

      [Gabriel Kolko’s analysis is in Chapter 2 of his 1969
      book, THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY…
      Kolko describes the legislative acts including not
      only the formation of the Defense Department” and
      subsequent reorganizations and the establishment
      of the National Security Council —NSC]

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      .

    • Dennis
      January 7, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Responding to Jared; It is insane of any of us to think that Obama, or even GWB, is aware of, approves or disapproves of most of what our government does. For that matter, members of Congress as well.

      My reading of our political history reveals that heads of such offices as the CIA, FBI, etc. often have their own agendas as to what foreign/home policy should be and pursue whatever they want (often to further their own political careers at the expense of the country).

      • Larry
        January 8, 2016 at 9:10 pm

        I agree with Dennis that a President often doesn’t necessarily know who’s doing what until something is well underway or is over with. GWB however intentionallly stocked the government with wild-eyed and cynical neocon fantasists, and BHO left too many of them in place such as Nuland. Bush wanted the USA to punch the world in the face and begin a generation of warfare that would spread USA military power much further around and deeper into the world than ever. Obama knows that Bush did this intentionally, and because of BHO’s milder vision of the same thing pulled in the reins somewhat but left many neocons in place. And whether he did so to placate the neocons or to knowingly keep certain specific neocon intentions and goals intact is irrelevant. BHO, to whom I am grateful as a leader in many ways, should have and probably did know better than to leave those necons in power and turn a blind eye. In other words, BHO probably knew about the Ukrainian neo-nazi-industrialist coup and did nothing to prevent it, as he did nothing to try to overturn the Honduran military-oligarchy coup early into his first term. A President is a warmonger is a President. It’s just the way The American Empire works, and you don’t get to be a President unless you’ve agreed to go along with enough of the military regime’s terms of favorite goals and policies. That a President, such as BHO and Jimmy Carter, can go against some of the neocon preferences, such as BHO’s pulling out of Iraq on Bush’s negotiated schedule and Carter’s turning over the Panama Canal to Panama against strong right-wing preferences, is more of a testament to the relatively minor disagreements between or among the USA’s ruling factions. And each faction largely supports a presidential candidate who most closely shares their overall and more minor goals. These factions were once called the Yankees and the Cowboys, with much overlap in identification of its members and functionaries. And both factions, and several or more subfactions, still buy into the overall American Imperial Regime and vision. It’s like Junior High Uber Alles with nukes and control of the school newspaper and intercom system.

        • goldhoarder
          January 12, 2016 at 3:38 pm

          didn’t HRC appoint Nuland?

  5. Alex Stepanyk
    January 7, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Well, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin couldn’t have done a better job of spewing Russian talking points than this guy Robert Parry did. He did it masterfully, mixing in some truth with all the rest of the predictable Russian LIES & PROPAGANDA such as the laughable claim of “10,000 dead mostly Russian speakers” allegedly killed by Ukrainians. This is pure bullcrap, and no legitimate organization in the world has backed it up. But here’s the point of this article: it is supposed to get guys like me, American Democrats, to support Putin, because what happened in Ukraine is the work of “neocons”. Oh, how slick he is, this Robert Parry! See, he knows that most guys like me don’t like the neocons one bit; so what better way to get support for Putin than tying Ukraine to the much despised neocons. Unfortunately this argument is ridiculous as it was that noted neocon Barack Obama who supported the Ukrainian revolution from Day One. So that argument is exposed for the pure stupidity that it is. Let’s go to the rest: yes, Ukraine is struggling mightily. The corruption in that country, THE RESULT OF YEARS OF RUSSIAN AND SOVIET DOMINATION, is very deep. It will probably take years to get rid of it. But at least they are trying; they are on the right path, unlike Russia which is a gangster state run by criminals that is actually GOING BACKWARDS towards Stalinism. The Ukrainian people have a long way to go and being invaded by Russia hasn’t helped them one bit. No, Mr Parryvich, although I am a Democrat I am very happy that Obama is helping Ukraine. In fact, there is no way any self respecting liberal Democrat can ever support Putin! Today’s Russia is a fascist dictatorship that kills journalists and political opponents, jails and beats artists and musicians (remember Puzzy Riot), and violates the human rights of gay people and minorities. Ukraine is far from perfect, there’s no argument about that, but thank God they’re trying to become a much better country than what Russia is!

    • Andre
      January 7, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Your statement “Today’s Russia is a fascist dictatorship that kills journalists and political opponents, jails and beats artists and musicians…” Is more applicable to modern day Ukraine where the top officials are willingly comlpicit with fascists who murder innocent people with opposing points of view. In broad daylight in Kiev.

      Without external support and training, Feb 2014 events would have ended without an armed, unconstitutional overthrow of the government. No one argues that Yanukovich was a good president, but the newly installed government came illegally and forcefully. If you are blind to that fact, then blaming Putin is definitely easier, but not productive.

    • MG
      January 8, 2016 at 10:07 am

      *** Russian LIES & PROPAGANDA ***
      Usual Kiev propaganda – turn the problem outside.

      Speak facts first
      Ukrainian GDP went down from $183 bln in 2013 to $132 bln in 2014 and still going down.
      25 years ago it started from $86 bln – coming closer in 25 years?!
      Poland, to compare, started from $64 bln in 1989 and ~ $500 bln today, let blame Russia, Putin, whoever…

      Now emotionally
      Ivano-Frankovsk’s journalist Ruslan Kotsaba jailed in “liberated” Ukraine, not in Russia…
      Writer and journalist Buzina killed in Kiev in broad day light and killers were freed for holidays just two weeks ago.
      Wolfsangel parades like recent in Harkov are going on and not only there and Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs, says it means nothing, it means nothing in the country where 20 millions were killed by “wolfsangel ” Nazis in WWII, where only 1.6 Ukrainian soldiers died to beat them back. So much for revolution and fascist state!

    • Larry
      January 8, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Parry’s goal is to present the fuller picture of reality, which you avoid like the one-sided closed-loop mentality denialist you are. He calls out everybody equally. Today’s Russia is horrible in many ways true, but that doesn’t change the facts that Parry carefully researches and reports no matter how big your tantrum or rancid your spew.

    • Sam Fisher
      January 9, 2016 at 3:21 am

      First off if what Pussy riot had done had happened in the US they would have been arrested and charged with hate speech. They literally desecrated a Church and not just any church but Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. so let me give you a little history lesson. That church was originally built by the Romanov’s and consecrated in 1883. It was destroyed by the Soviets in 1931 so that they could build their monument to Socialism…except they never finished and the flooded foundation hole was turned into a swimming pool. Now to get this through your pea brain imagine Notre Dame torn down and turned into a swimming pool. Got that image? Good. So when after the fall of communism the Russian people decided to rebuild it and some punk anarchist dregs of society decided to use it as their personal venue to besmirch both the leader of the church and the president of the country, the Russian people were more then a little pissed. The equivalent for your small mind being someone making anti Jewish comments in a holocaust memorial and calling it expressive art. So every time time that pond scum shows their faces to launch some protest against a government which isn’t nearly as corrupt as Yeltsin’s you can imagine the Orthodox faithful (like those Cossacks) being more than a little hacked off.

      As for poor suppressed Ukraine you clearly have no concept of Russian or Soviet history. If you did you would understand that the Soviets were not just Russian. They were made up of a combination of all the peoples of the former Russian Empire and encouraged to think of the themselves as part of the Soviet people not Russian. As a matter of fact the Soviets created Ukraine (which means border lands) along with all the other Soviet Republics. Furthermore many of the key figures in the Soviet Union were Ukrainian and Ukraine enjoyed numerous privileges under Soviet rule including housing the large part of the Soviet Military industrial complex, the entire ship building infrastructure, most of the advanced rocket and aircraft industry, and the most modern farming apparatus in the entire country. But I digress we have to get to the next thing I’m sure you’ll bring up then, the Holodomor. Simply put the Holodomor was something the west made up and caused to try and cripple Stalin’s government. The Ukrainians were’t starved on purpose. The whole country starved because of a grain embargo instituted by the US. Just as many people died in Southern Russia as Ukraine and it was actually Stalin’s collectivization reforms that put an end to the periodic famines which plagued the Russian Empire and later Soviet Union. This is just some fabricated injustice that Ukrainian nationalists use to justify the horrors the UPA and OUN committed during WWII.

      Oh and as for Putin murdering journalists and political opponents, prove it.

      • MG
        January 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

        *** The Ukrainians were’t starved on purpose. The whole country starved because of a grain embargo instituted by the US. ***

        While first sentence is true, the second is not. Starvation was result of administrative mismanagement during transition from NEP market policies to plan based economy. Not “Stalin’s collectivization reforms that put an end to the periodic famines”, but was the primary cause of it. Agriculture has not recover until 50-s, if it can be called a recovery.

        *** injustice that Ukrainian nationalists use to justify the horrors the UPA and OUN committed during WWII ***

        Nationalists needed no justification for genocide, ethnic cleansing and murder by the very definition – nationalists. “Moskovites, Magyars, Jews are your enemies! Destroy them!” – from 1941 OUN leaflet. No other ideological reasons were given…

    • Gregory Kruse
      January 9, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      One of Parry’s persistent themes is the unfortunate tendency of many people to put white hats on some political leaders and black hats on others, depending upon what line of propaganda you are being fed. National leaders in world politics are like a football team, each player has their own level of skill and talent, but they are all playing the same game.

  6. Alex
    January 7, 2016 at 9:19 am

    And there are so many lies in the comments made by obvious PAID RUSSIAN INTERNET TROLLS. The existence of this Russian troll army has been confirmed and many websites have stopped allowing comments because of them. One liar says “many Russians died in WWII” to free Ukraine. How anyone can lie like that is amazing. First of all, Stalin made a deal with Hitler that allowed Russia to take over Western Ukraine in return for letting Hitler invade Poland! And while Russia was busy oppressing the rest of Ukraine they caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainians in a man made famine. Finally more Ukrainians died in WWII than Russians. The Red Army was full of Ukrainians and Stalin’s lousy military leadership caused millions of them to die not only in battle, but in German prison camps because he refused to sign the Geneva convention! See, I know my history well; very well! Your lies won’t fly with me around.

    • Joe L.
      January 7, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Alex, the only troll that I am seeing in this thread is you! While I do believe that there are Russians employed to patrol the web, I am also sure that the USA does it as well and I am guessing, through NSA revelations, that the USA does it on a much larger scale (The Guardian: “Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media” – March 17, 2011). I am Canadian, and you can believe that or not, and since the Iraq War with all of the lies that the US spread in order to invade Iraq, I don’t trust US media – all that was missing was pom-poms (US news coverage of Iraq was war porn and it was sickening). The fact is that I believe that there are a lot of people like me from countries all around the world, even Americans themselves, that are tired of American warmongering and coups for Empire (Salon: “4 biggest threats to global peace: Guess who’s No. 1?” – January 9, 2014). Also, I would say that much of what Robert Parry reports is in the same camp as other award winning American and Western journalists such as Pulitzer Prize Winner Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize Winner Seymour Hersh, Award Winning John Pilger and a whole host of other notable journalists (with Robert Parry himself being a Pulitzer Prize finalist and George Polk Award Winner amongst other accreditations).

      Alex, I would also say to you, if you are such a student of history, then maybe you should look into the history of the US coups and how they were undertaken. You could start with Iran in 1953 with the CIA paying protesters, thugs, and opposition politicians to foment the coup to overthrow the “democratically elected” Mossadegh because he threatened BP (British and American Oil Interests) – Operation AJAX. Go next to Guatemala 1954 and read about the Dulles Brothers – one the head of the CIA (John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles) and the other on the board of the United Fruit Company. The “democratically elected” Arbenz, I believe wanted to do some land reforms which threatened the interests of United Fruit, so the CIA overthrew him. You can move forward to Chile in 1973, who experienced its’ own 9/11, when the US targeted it for “regime change” by overthrowing the “democratically elected” Allende. Move to more recent times and you can read about the attempted coup against the “democratically elected” Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2002 which seems to have been funded, if not organized, by US NGO’s such as the “National Endowment for Democracy” and “USAID”. These same US NGO’s have attempted regime change in many countries around the world even to this day such as Cuba in 2010 by creating a Cuban Twitter, ZunZuneo, in order to create dissent within the country as reported by the Associated Press (US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest). We could also look at the role of US NGO’s in the coup that occurred in Egypt in 2013 which overthrew the “democratically elected” Morsi where the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID etc. were funding opposition within Egypt – as reported by Al Jazeera (Exclusive: US bankrolled anti-Morsi activists). Hell we could even look at the US training “11 Latin American Dictators” at the School of the America’s in Fort Benning, Georgia (The school of Latin America’s dictators). The US overthrew many “democracies” all across Latin America to install them. The latest graduate of the School of the Americas to pull of a coup was in Honduras in 2009 according to an article in the Guardian.

      So overall Alex, being a student of history as you are, there is a clear pattern or history of US imperialism against many countries around the world and it has no regard for “democracy” if it stands in the way of US interests. It is this history, along with involvement by someone like Yaresko who worked for USAID in Ukraine (amongst a whole host of inconsistencies and confirmation of funding by the US) that has lead me to believe that the US pulled off a coup in Ukraine as well. I am not paid by the Kremlin but I am aware of a history of American lies and underhanded actions around the world to expand US interests which has lead to the suffering and deaths of millions.

      So you can believe that every single person that voices opposition to certain stories is a “Kremlin paid troll” but that is a completely ludicrous assertion and is right inline with the stupidity seen when the US went on a witch hunt for “communists”, McCarthyism. The fact is that we should “question” and question our politicians vigorously and the actions of our governments which take us to war or other actions. I am thankful for people like Robert Parry who look deeper and involve a historical perspective in their reporting – those are the people that I listen to rather then people who try to create some hysteria over Putin putting a blanket on the first lady of China etc.

      So overall Alex, I am happy that

      • Joe L.
        January 7, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        So overall Alex, I am happy for people like Mr. Parry and the ilk.

      • Larry
        January 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm

        Joe, your comment was a pleasure to read – super well-informed, moderate in tone, information over emotion – the opposite of American neocon troll Alex, whose “spew” is pretty silly-sounding (oooo he’s so maaad!). He even blames the WWII deaths of Ukrainians on Russia and not the Axis powers. Hahahah. That’s big-picture thinking, Alex! HAHAHA! I just hope that our USA government isn’t wasting money paying Alex for his tepid tantrums. And you know of course that he’s too ‘smart’ to believe anything that’s actually true, but it’s kind of you to give him a chance to transcend his voluntary and useless enslavement as a blinkered factotum of neocon devilry.

    • Abe
      January 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Alex, you really are hilarious.

      It appears that the US-NATO-Kiev propagandists are scraping the bottom of the troll barrel.

      You claim that. “First of all, Stalin made a deal with Hitler that allowed Russia to take over Western Ukraine in return for letting Hitler invade Poland! And while Russia was busy oppressing the rest of Ukraine they caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainians in a man made famine. Finally more Ukrainians died in WWII than Russians.”

      This is a condensed stream of US-NATO-Kiev propaganda boilerplate bullshit meant to disrupt the discussion at hand.

      Do you even bother to read this stuff before you spew it?

      You further claim, “See, I know my history well; very well! Your lies won’t fly with me around.”

      Here’s a peek at reality.

      BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE EASTERN FRONT IN WORLD WAR II

      First of all, what you call “Western Ukraine” was known as “Eastern Poland” in 1939.

      In an effort to delay a war with Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union had signed a non-aggression pact, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, on 23 August 1939. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that divided territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland into German and Soviet “spheres of influence”, anticipating potential “territorial and political rearrangements” of these countries.

      Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, and Stalin ordered his own invasion of Poland on 17 September.

      After the Axis invasions of the Balkans, Hitler launched an invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. In December 1941, the Soviets managed to stop the Wehrmacht some 30 kilometres from Moscow. Over the next four years, the Soviet Union repulsed German offensives and pressed forward to victory.

      Known as the Great Patriotic War (Великая Отечественная Война, Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voyna) in the former Soviet Union and in modern Russia, and called the Eastern Campaign (der Ostfeldzug) or the Russian Campaign (der Rußlandfeldzug) by the Germans, the battles on the Eastern Front constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life due to combat, starvation, exposure, disease, and massacres.

      The Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches, ghettos, and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Of the estimated 70 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, many of them civilian, occurred on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome of World War II, eventually serving as the main reason for Germany’s defeat.

      Of the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1940, the region around Białystok and a minor part of Galicia east of the San river around Przemyśl were returned to the Polish state at the end of World War II.

      After World War II, there were extensive changes to the territorial extent of Poland, following the decision taken at the Teheran Conference of 1943 at the insistence of the Soviet Union. The Polish territories east of the Curzon Line, which the Soviet Union had occupied in 1939 along with the Bialystok region, were permanently annexed. While a large portion of this area was predominately populated by Ukrainians and Belarusians, most of their Polish inhabitants were expelled. Today these territories are part of Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania.

      Poland received former German territory east of the Oder–Neisse line, consisting of the southern two thirds of East Prussia and most of Pomerania, Neumark (East Brandenburg), and Silesia. The German population was expelled and these territories were repopulated mainly with Poles from central Poland and those expelled from the eastern regions.

      UKRAINIAN COLLABORATION WITH THE NAZIS

      The “romantic” legacy of Ukrainian nationalism hides a reality of Nazi collaboration and terrorist violence.

      The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was created in 1929 in Western Ukraine (at the time interwar Poland). The OUN sought to infiltrate legal political parties, universities and other political structures and institutions. Its strategy to achieve Ukrainian independence included violence and terrorism against perceived foreign and domestic enemies, particularly Poland, Czechoslovakia and Russia, which controlled territory inhabited by ethnic Ukrainians.

      In 1940, the OUN split into two parts. The older, more moderate members, supported Andriy Melnyk (OUN-M) while the younger and more radical members supported Stepan Bandera (OUN-B).

      After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, both factions of the OUN collaborated with the Germans and used the opportunity of the invasion to send their activists into the Soviet-controlled territory.

      Roman Shukhevych became a member the Revolutionary Command of the OUN headed by Bandera, taking charge of the section dealing with territories claimed by the Ukrainians, which after the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact had been seized by Germany.

      A powerful web was formed for the preparation of underground activities in Ukraine. Paramilitary training courses were set up. Military cadres were prepared that were to command a future Ukrainian army.

      Bandera held meetings with the heads of Germany’s intelligence, regarding the formation of Ukrainian staffed forces. In February 1941, the head of Abwehr Wilhelm Franz Canaris sanctioned the creation of the “Ukrainian Legion” under German command. Shukhevych became a commander of the Legion. OUN expected that the unit would become the core of the future Ukrainian army.

      In May 1941, the German command split a 700-strong Ukrainian Legion into three units. One of the units became known as Nachtigall Battalion, a second became the Roland Battalion, and a third was immediately dispatched into the Soviet Union to sabotage the Red Army’s rear.

      The Nachtigall (Nightingale”) Battalion was a Security Police unit composed almost exclusively from members of the OUN-B. After intensive training, outfitted in the standard Wehrmacht uniforms, the Battalion was moved to the border four days before the attack on the Soviet Union.

      On the night of 23–24 June 1941, the Nachtigall Battalion crossed the border near Przemyśl while traveling in the direction of Lviv. Before entering Lviv on 29 June, they placed blue and yellow ribbons on their shoulders.

      Under the command of Shukhevych, the Nachtigall Battalion took up guard of strategic objects, the most important of which was the radio station on the Vysoky Zamok Hill in the centre of Lviv. From this radio station, on 30 June, the OUN-B proclaimed the establishment of Ukrainian State in Lviv, with Yaroslav Stetsko as premier. The German administration did not support this act, but did not act harshly against the organizers until mid-September 1941.

      It is estimated that in June-July 1941, over 4,000 Jews were murdered in pogroms in Lviv and other cities in Western Ukraine. There is controversy regarding the participation of the Nachtigall Battalion.

      The first company of the Nachtigall Battalion left Lviv on 7 July in the direction of Zolochiv. The remainder of the unit joined later during their eastward march towards Zolochiv, Ternopil and Vinnytsia. During the march, Jews were said to have been shot en masse. The unit participated in action against the Stalin Line, where some of its members were awarded decorations by the Germans.

      The Germans refused to accept the 30 June OUN-B proclamation of Ukrainian independence in L’viv. In August, the Nachtigall Battalion was recalled to Cracow, then transported to Germany and disarmed at gunpoint. In September, OUN-B leaders and associates were arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo. Many members were killed outright, or perished in jails and concentration camps. Bandera and Stetsko were sent to Sachsenhausen. By the end of November 1941, the Germans started a second wave of repression in Reichskommissariat Ukraine specifically targeting OUN-B members.

      At the same time, Ukrainian soldiers of the disbanded Nachtigall and Roland Battalions were given the option of signing a one year contract for military service. Reformed into the 201st Schutzmannschaft Battalion. 650 Ukrainian personnel, including Shukhevych, were given German Police uniforms and sent to Belarus where they waged a brutal anti-partisan campaign. There are claims that the unit participated in the killing of Jews. In 1943, with the tide of war turning with the catastrophic German defeat at Stalingrad, all the Ukrainian soldiers refused to renew their services. Shukhevych escaped from arrest by the Gestapo.

      During 1942, the principal activities of OUN-B were propaganda and the development of its own underground network. Although German policies were criticized, the Soviet partisans were identified as the primary enemy of OUN-B. By October 1942, the OUN adopted a policy for the accelerated growth of a Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

      The OUN-B viewed the Germans as a secondary threat compared to their main enemies: the communist forces of the Soviet Union and Poland. They were content to let the Red Army and Soviet partisans battle the Germans. Due to its focus on the Soviets as the principal adversary, OUN-B anti-German actions were limited to situations where the Germans attacked the Ukrainian population or UPA units.

      TERROR AND ETHNIC CLEANSING IN UKRAINE

      In August 1943, Shukhevych was elected head of the Direction of the OUN and Supreme Commander of the UPN. During 1943 and 1944, UPA military units carried out large-scale ethnic cleansing against Polish and Jewish populations. Historians estimate that 60,000-100,000 Polish civilians were massacred in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.

      The OUN long regarded Galicia and Volhynia as ethnic Ukrainian territory that should be included in a future restored Ukrainian republic. It sought to use terror and violence in opposition to the Polish government. The UPA massacres of Poles in 1943-44 were a preemptive strike, in expectation of another Polish-Ukrainian conflict over the disputed territories which were internationally recognized as part of Poland in 1923.

      Conversely, killings of Ukrainians by Poles in Volhynia resulted in between 10,000 and 20,000 deaths in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia, while several thousand more were killed by Poles in Polish territory to the west.

      There are a number of contemporary far-right Ukrainian political organizations who claim to be inheritors of the OUN’s political traditions, including Svoboda, the Ukrainian National Assembly and the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists. The role of the OUN remains contested in historiography, as these later political inheritors developed a literature denying the organization’s fascist political heritage and collaboration with Nazi Germany, while also celebrating the Waffen SS Galizien.

      RELATIVE POPULATION LOSSES DURING WORLD WAR II

      Estimates for total Soviet losses in the Second World War range from 7 million to over 43 million. During the Communist era in the Soviet Union historical writing about World War II was subject to censorship and only official approved statistical data was published. In the USSR during the Glasnost period under Gorbachev and in post communist Russia the casualties in World War II were re-evaluated and the official figures revised.

      A 1993 Russian Ministry of Defense report authored by a group headed by General G. I. Krivosheev detailed military casualties. Their sources were Soviet reports from the field and other archive documents that were secret during the Soviet era, including a secret Soviet General Staff report from 1966–68. Krivosheev’s study puts Soviet military dead and missing at 8.7 million and is often cited by historians.

      A 2004 study by Russian journalist Vadim Erlikman pegs total war deaths at 10.7 million, exceeding Krivosheev’s estimate by an extra two million. This would presumably include Soviet POWs that died in Nazi captivity, partisans, and those who fought on the side of the Axis (for example, Moldova was a part of Romania at the time).

      Russia: 13,950,000 (Military: 6,750,000 / Civilian: 7,200,000)
      Ukraine: 6,850,000 (Military: 1,650,000 / Civilian: 5,200,000)

      Ukrainian authorities and historians have estimated the military casualties alone as exceeding 7 million. In 2011, former President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych claimed that Ukraine had lost more than 10 million lives during the Second World War. However, even the larger figure remains below the losses for Russia.

      While the World War II losses in Ukraine (16.3%) do represent a higher percentage of the pre-war population than the losses for Russia (12.7%), they were not as high as the losses for Belarus (25.3%).

    • Kiza
      January 8, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Damn Alex, as a mentioned Russian FSB troll I never get paid as I should. Since your guys imposed sanctions on Russia they stopped paying me for my hard work online. Now I would work online for your CIA buddies but they told me that they have got too many guys such as you already, so no chance of good paid trolling for me. So I now just do it for free whilst envying guys & gals such as you, because you have so much paid fun writing your stupid propaganda garbage.

      Well seriously, what are individuals such as you doing on an alternative media site when the MSM is full of your stuff only? You should comment on CNN, BBC or Fox online, everyone there would agree with you.

    • MG
      January 8, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Alex: **** First of all, Stalin made a deal with Hitler that allowed Russia to take over Western Ukraine in return for letting Hitler invade Poland! ***

      Not “to take over Western Ukraine”, but eastern Poland – there was no “Ukraine” in 1939 Poland.
      … And added to Ukrainian soviet republic, not to Russia.
      Roll the crime back and return criminal land grab back to Poland!

      Alex: *** Finally more Ukrainians died in WWII than Russians. ***

      Civilian dead:
      Ukraine – 5,200,000 (~ 900,000 Jews included?!)
      Russia – 7,200,000

      Military dead (Red Army):
      Ukraine – 1,650,000
      Russia – 6,750,000

      Total:
      Ukraine – 6,850,000
      Russia – 13,950,000

    • Alex T
      January 8, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Are you suggesting there are no paid Ukie trolls and only Russian trolls?
      I suggest you leave your bubble and seek the truth.
      There are plenty of zionist/neocon/Ukie paid trolls who have an axe to grind with Russia for having the oligarchic masters thrown out of the country by Putin.
      What do you think happened to the Ukie gold after the US sponsored revolution?
      I can tell you with 100% certainty, it’s not in Ukraine any more.

    • Sam Fisher
      January 9, 2016 at 3:44 am

      Funny how someone expressing a different opinion than yours is a paid Russian troll. You know you talk about the Germans and Soviets dividing up Poland but what you fail to mention is Poland taking a piece of Czechoslovakia after the Germans occupied violated the Munich agreement so. So I guess in your mind it was ok for Poland to take a piece of another country but when they were attacked and lost territory that wasn’t ok. Sounds kind of hypocritical. Oh yea and one other thing Stalin was a Georgian not a Russian but they were all Soviets. Also who cares if Stalin didn’t sign the Geneva convention?! Did the Germans follow the Geneva conventions when they killed surrendering Americans at Malmedy or French civilians at Oradour-sur-Glane?! Maybe the Nazis were just murdering psychopaths and “untermensch” would have been treated the same regardless of a signed piece of paper or not because to the Nazis all Slavs were subhumans. So pardon my French but you don’t know shit.

      You want to go spouting your BS platitudes go do it somewhere elsewhere other mindless peons will jump at the chance to agree with your ignorance.

      • Abe
        January 10, 2016 at 10:39 pm

        Your comment raises an important historical point about Polish actions during the European crisis of 1938.

        Těšínsko or Teschen was a historical region in south-eastern Silesia with the Polish, Czech and German national orientations. The area was divided between Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1920.

        The division of Teschen did not satisfy any side, and persisting conflict over the region led to its annexation by Poland in October 1938, following the Munich Agreement.

        Within the region originally demanded from Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany in 1938 was the important Teschen area railway junction city of Bohumín (Polish: Bogumin). The Poles regarded the city as of crucial importance to the Teschen area and to Polish interests.

        On 28 September, 1938, in the interest of mutual relations with Poland, the Czechoslovak President Edvard Beneš composed a note to the Polish administration offering to reopen the debate surrounding the territorial demarcation in Teschen. But Beneš delayed in sending the letter in hopes of good news from London and Paris, which came only in a limited form.

        Beneš then turned to the Soviet leadership in Moscow, which begun a partial mobilization in eastern Belarus and the Ukrainian SSR on 22 September and threatened Poland with the dissolution of the Soviet-Polish non-aggression pact. The Czech government was offered 700 fighter planes if room for them could be found on the Czech airfields. Romania agreed to allow 100,000 Soviet troops to pass through its territory as long as it happened quickly. On 28 September, all the military districts west of the Urals were ordered to stop releasing men for leave. On 29 September, 330,000 reservists were called to active duty throughout the western USSR.

        Nevertheless, the Polish leader, Colonel Józef Beck, believed that Warsaw should act rapidly to forestall the German occupation of the city of Bohumín. At noon on 30 September, Poland gave an ultimatum to the Czechoslovak government. It demanded the immediate evacuation of Czechoslovak troops and police and gave Prague time until noon the following day. At 11:45 a.m. on 1 October the Czechoslovak foreign ministry called the Polish ambassador in Prague and told him that Poland could have what it wanted.

        The Polish Army, commanded by General Władysław Bortnowski, annexed an area in Teschen of 801.5 km² with a population of 227,399 people.

        The Germans were delighted with this outcome, and were happy to give up the sacrifice of a small provincial rail center to Poland in exchange for the ensuing propaganda benefits. It spread the blame of the partition of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, made Poland a participant in the process and confused political expectations. Poland was accused of being an accomplice of Nazi Germany – a charge that Warsaw was hard-put to deny.

        The Polish side argued that Poles in Zaolzie deserved the same ethnic rights and freedom as the Sudeten Germans under the Munich Agreement. The vast majority of the local Polish population enthusiastically welcomed the change, seeing it as a liberation and a form of historical justice, but they quickly changed their mood.

        The new Polish authorities appointed people from Poland to various key positions from which locals were fired. The Polish language became the sole official language. Using Czech (or German) by Czechs (or Germans) in public was prohibited and Czechs and Germans were being forced to leave the annexed area or become subject to Polonization. Rapid Polonization policies then followed in all parts of public and private life. About 35,000 Czechoslovaks emigrated to core Czechoslovakia (the later Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia) by choice or forcibly.

        When Poland entered the Western camp in April 1939, General Gamelin reminded General Kasprzycki of the Polish role in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. According to historian Paul N. Hehn, Poland’s annexation of Teschen may have contributed to the British and French reluctance to attack the Germans with greater forces in September 1939.

        Édouard Daladier, the French Prime Minister, told the US ambassador to France that “he hoped to live long enough to pay Poland for her cormorant attitude in the present crisis by proposing a new partition.”

        In his postwar memoirs, Winston Churchill compared Germany and Poland to vultures landing on the dying carcass of Czechoslovakia and lamented that “over a question so minor as Teschen, they [the Poles] sundered themselves from all those friends in France, Britain and the United States who had lifted them once again to a national, coherent life, and whom they were soon to need to sorely. … It is a mystery and tragedy of European history that a people capable of every heroic virtue … as individuals, should repeatedly show such inveterate faults in almost every aspect of their governmental life.”

        The Soviets, who had a mutual military assistance treaty with Czechoslovakia, felt betrayed by France, who also had a mutual military assistance treaty with Czechoslovakia. The British and French, however, mostly used the Soviets as a threat to dangle over the Germans.

        The Soviet Union was so hostile to Poland over Munich that there was a real prospect that war between the two states might break out quite separate from the wider conflict over Czechoslovakia. The Soviet Prime Minister, Molotov, denounced the Poles as “Hitler’s jackals”.

        Stalin concluded that the West had actively colluded with Hitler to hand over a Central European country to the Nazis, causing concern that they might do the same to the Soviet Union in the future, allowing the partition of the USSR between the western powers and the fascist Axis. This belief led the Soviet Union to reorient its foreign policy towards a rapprochement with Germany, which eventually led to the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939.

        Teschen remained a part of Poland for only 11 months until the invasion of Poland started on 1 September 1939.

      • Abe
        January 10, 2016 at 11:58 pm

        General (later Marshal) Edward Rydz-ÅšmigÅ‚y, President Ignacy MoÅ›cicki, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Józef Beck collectively ruled Poland from 1935 until the outbreak of World War II. The oligarchy is often described by historians as a “dictatorship without a dictator”.

        In 1937, Hitler assured Beck that Germany had no claims on Danzig, and Beck supported Hitler’s position in the Munich Agreement in 1938. However, at the start of 1939, Hitler changed his earlier position and now laid claim to Danzig.

        Beck refused Hitler’s demands for annexation of Polish territories in Pomorze (Pomerania), that would cut off Polish access to the sea and its main trade route, effectively making Polish economy dependent on Germany, and for a rail and highway corridor that was to run to East Prussia and Free City of Danzig in exchange for vague promises regarding trade and annexation of territories inhabited by Ukrainians and Belorussians in Soviet Union after a future war.

        Hitler decided to go ahead with his plans for war by early September 1939.

        Beck was surprised when Britain, looking for a pretext to confront Germany, announced at the end of March 1939 it would defend Poland from Germany attack. France joined in, but both countries knew there was very little they could do if Germany invaded Poland.

        Beck refused a demand from the Soviets and delivered by Great Britain to allow Soviet forces to enter the country, which was made in talks in which Polish side did not take part.

        A third proposal soon followed, once again elaborated by Great Britain, which promised support to the Polish Government if the country’s borders were endangered. This time around, Beck accepted it.

        In the summer of 1939, Great Britain and France also sought a defensive military alliance with Soviet Union. One reason these efforts failed is that Beck refused to allow any Soviet military movement through Poland.

        Hitler shifted to the Soviet Union, and secured the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939. It secured Soviet neutrality in a war, a heavy flow of Soviet food and oil, and an agreement to partition Poland and split up the Baltic states. Everyone realized that war between Germany and Poland was imminent.

        On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Beck called on France and Britain to find out when they would enter the war to support Poland. Although both nations did declare war on Germany on September 3, 1939, France and Britain refused to act militarily to help Poland.

        The Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland on September 17, 1939. On September 18, after avoiding capture by Soviet and German troops, Rydz-Śmigły, Mościcki and Beck escaped to Romania and were interned.

        The Polish government’s crossing into Romania prevented Poland from having to officially surrender, and allowed Polish soldiers to carry on fighting against Nazi Germany. After heavy shelling and bombing, Warsaw finally surrendered to the Germans on September 27. The last operational unit of the Polish Army surrendered after a four-day battle near Lublin on October 6, 1939.

        The German occupation of Poland was one of the most brutal episodes of World War II, resulting in between 5.47 million and 5.67 million Polish deaths (about 20% of the country’s “total” population, and over 90% of its Jewish minority)—including the mass murder of 3 million Polish citizens (mainly Jews). The Soviet occupation of eastern Poland between 1939 and 1941 resulted in the death of 150,000 and deportation of 320,000 of Polish citizens, according to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance.

  7. Wowzy Wow-wow
    January 7, 2016 at 11:03 am

    @Alex Stepanyk > Wow, Alex!!!!! All I can say is wow!!! Talk about “mixing in a LITTLE truth”, son, you take the cake. I’m assuming Alex is short for Alexander, as opposed to Alexandria. Most of what Mr. Parry put in his article as factual evidence can be verified as such through multiple sources, on and off the net. In contrast, your counter claims can be just as easily be veritably refuted. I would prefer that your reasoning for such a putrid rebuttal is that you are Ukrainian and is just that ill informed and/or naive, due to a desperately desire that your country’s current leaders wouldn’t do such a thing, but I don’t know.

    • MG
      January 8, 2016 at 10:51 am

      This kind of stuff is going on since soviet breakup for 25 years already. No wonder this led to the current military confrontation. Especially when oligarchs use it in their own wealth wars. Alex absolutely sure in his “version” – they have a term for that – “svidomit” (enlightened one).

  8. Abe
    January 7, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Bruce Cockburn – Call It Democracy from World of Wonders (1986)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfcfdt0jcWs

    Padded with power here they come
    International loan sharks backed by the guns
    Of market hungry military profiteers
    Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
    With the blood of the poor

    Who rob life of its quality
    Who render rage a necessity
    By turning countries into labour camps
    Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

    Sinister cynical instrument
    Who makes the gun into a sacrament –
    The only response to the deification
    Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
    Idolatry of ideology

    North South East West
    Kill the best and buy the rest
    It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
    You don’t really give a flying fuck
    About the people in misery

    IMF dirty MF
    Takes away everything it can get
    Always making certain that there’s one thing left
    Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

    See the paid-off local bottom feeders
    Passing themselves off as leaders
    Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
    And it’s “open for business” like a cheap bordello

    And they call it democracy
    And they call it democracy
    And they call it democracy
    And they call it democracy

  9. Abe
    January 7, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    State-sponsored Internet sockpuppetry is a reality.

    US and Western-sponsored trolls, and pro-Israel hasbara trolls, attempt to trash the information space with conspiracy theories and rumours. They typically aim at confusing the audience, rather than convincing it.

    The “troll army” concept has become its own propaganda meme.

    Google Translate has been making some rather unflattering conversions when going from Ukrainian to Russian. “Russia” became “Mordor,” “Russians” became “occupiers,” and Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, became “sad little horse.”

    It should be noted that Google has been an enthusiastic sponsor of pro-US/NATO deception operatives “Rocket Man” Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat. Higgins froths about the “troll army” at the drop of a hat.

    The “troll army” meme has been heavily overplayed by US-sponsored organizations like Freedom House, a long-time agent of CIA “information activities” (see https://consortiumnews.com/2015/01/08/cias-hidden-hand-in-democracy-groups/)

    The Kyiv Post and Slidstvo.Info in Ukraine, and Novaya Gazeta in Russia are positively apoplectic about the “troll army”.

    The George Soros-funded Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), founded in 2006, was set up to support regime change projects stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia. The OCCRP lists the Kyiv Post and Novaya Gazeta among its “investigative centers” and “independent media”. Faux “independent investigative journalist” Higgins and Bellingcat collaborate directly with OCCRP.

  10. Lee
    January 7, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    “The next day, Feb. 21, Yanukovych signed an accord – negotiated and guaranteed by three European nations – to accept reduced powers and early elections so he could be voted out of office if that was the public’s will.” This was a democratically-elected leader, voluntarily reducing his powers and allowing an early election. Even though he was corrupt, from other sources I’ve read, he was elected. There is no way that leaders of my country, the USA, were justified in publicly rejoicing in the violent overthrow of a democratically-elected government. I was surprised when it was happening at that time, and I continue to be amazed at their stupidity for doing so.
    It does not help my opinion of the current situation that neo-Nazis were and are involved.
    It does not help my opinion of the current situation to have read that CHECHENS are fighting on the side of the current Ukraine government.
    It does not help my opinion of the current situation that police appear to have been slow to respond when pro-Russia demonstrators died in a fire.
    But none of that justifies, either, Russia allowing its border to be incredibly porous, and to allow who knows how many fighters and how much equipment to come across the border to escalate the conflict. And that is putting the best spin on it, assuming that Russia didn’t actively promote its soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

  11. Paul
    January 8, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    The murders on Maidan were a false flag to start unrest and justify the coup d’état (disguise it as a revolution). No evidence points to the government forces and a lot of evidence points to the Nazi forces or maybe an interested unknown third party.
    http://www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine

  12. Balderdasche
    January 12, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Kholomoiskiy is a unique creature in Ukraine – one among a cast of characters that would give the Beerhall Putsch a run.

    While he has extensive holdings in Ukraine, some reported to be the subject of justicial take-over proceedings, he is no ‘slouch’ abroad – with a ‘home in Switzerland, another residence in England and one on Cyprus. He was wise enough to ‘fly the Ukrainian coop’ with all 5 of his current passports – making Jeresko look like a pauper -, on a ’10-year visa’ when most Ukrainians can’t qualify for any visa.

    He is also reported to have removed $1.8 billion in IMF bailout funds, ostensibly to fund a foreign trade adventure with Central American countries, through his bank in Cyprus.

    I don’t think we’ll see Khlomoiskiy back in Ukraine before the next regime change and possibly never, if it looks like a court is in his future. He can and will ‘make aliyah’ for he is now , a ‘persecuted jew’ – with a bundle of boodle.

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