The US-Russia Info-War: What’s Real?

The Obama administration is dangling the possibility of real peace progress in Ukraine to convince the Europeans to renew sanctions on Russia, but is that just a bait-and-switch trick to keep Europe in line, asks Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

The ongoing information war between Russia and the U.S.-led West creates moments that are paradoxical if not downright confusing. But confusion may be the prime objective of both sides, following the old maxim: if you cannot convince, confuse. But confusion can be dangerous, too.

This week, National Security Adviser Susan Rice expressed hope that the Ukraine crisis could be resolved by the time President Barack Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017, citing redoubled efforts by U.S., French and German officials to complete implementation of the Minsk-2 agreement signed in February 2015.

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“This is something that could get done between now and the end of the administration if the Russians in particular exhibit sufficient political will,” Rice said at a Washington Post event. “We are hopeful if the Russians want to resolve this – and we have some reason to believe they might – we have the time and the wherewithal and the tools to do so.”

Though Rice’s comments got scant attention in the U.S. news media, Russians picked them up presumably because they offer hope of an end to anti-Russian sanctions before the end of Obama’s term. But was Rice serious or was she just dangling some false optimism to ensure that the European Union doesn’t disrupt this supposed peace progress by failing to renew sanctions against Russia that are otherwise set to expire at the end of June?

The timing for this optimistic prediction from one of Obama’s closest advisers on security matters was well chosen to influence opinions within the E.U. in the next couple of weeks when the 28 Member States take a decision whether or not to extend the present sanctions for another six months.

After all, the thinking would go, if the pressure on Russia has brought the Kremlin to the point of implementing fully the Minsk-2 terms, why let up. Rice’s overture seems especially designed to shut up Hungary, Italy and most recently France, countries that have raised their voices in recent weeks. These waverers have suggested that the sanctions deserve an open discussion now and that some softening should be implemented without delay.

The underlying assumption in Rice’s statement is that Washington can break the deadlock on the Ukrainian side that has held up progress on implementation of Minsk-2, namely the passage through the Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) of laws for holding elections in the breakaway republics of the Donbass expected in July. However, given the present configuration of power in Kiev, nationalist radicals are in a position to block any meaningful concessions.

Russia’s Wishful Thinking

Meanwhile, the wavering within Europe has been wildly exaggerated, partly with the help of the self-deluding Russian media which gave intensive coverage to the near unanimous vote earlier this week by the French Senate to soften sanctions, thereby putting both houses of the French legislature on record as opposing the policy of President Francois Hollande and the E.U. leadership to punish Russia over Ukraine. By contrast, French major media largely overlooked the vote in its own Senate.

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisior Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

These alternative interpretations of what’s important and what isn’t also influence the people of both Russia and the West. This pattern of contradictory emphasis is not propaganda in the classic sense, but it has the effect of muddling minds and contributing to the misreading by one side of the other.

That, in turn, can contribute to very real dangers. The West insists that NATO’s war games, code-named Anaconda, very close to Russia’s borders are simply intended to deter “Russian aggression.” But these largest maneuvers since the Cold War are rehearsing, we are told, the capture of Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave.

So, Moscow sees the West threatening Russia by expanding NATO right up to Russia’s border, placing anti-ballistic missiles in Romania, and orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine that installed a virulently anti-Russian regime.

This divergence of opinion about who’s threatening whom creates genuine – not just theoretical – danger. And the last thing we need at this moment is muddled minds.

Gilbert Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His most recent book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. © Gilbert Doctorow, 2016

48 comments for “The US-Russia Info-War: What’s Real?

  1. Baldurdasche
    June 13, 2016 at 15:38

    Isn’t an info war supposed to be half-assed informative?

    This is just an exchange of unsubstantiated charges and accusations rounded-off with the occasional epithet and a lot of hand-wringing and whining. The US insists on echoing anything that bubbles up from Kyiv and the Russians deny it. Some infowar.

    Yesterday, for instance, the ‘hoo-haws’ were all a-twitter because some Russian newsie dropped a lead “Back to Russia” after a piece on the Crimea. As if his ‘I forgot Crimea was a part of Russia’ blooper is going to get him shot, or something. That and how Putin, personally, is oppressing the poor Tartars in Crimea that haven’t been able to make a run for freedom in EUkraine. Oh yes, and the Russians have gone bust on their Crimean Bridge project – so they won’t be driving onto Crime for a holiday anytime son.

    All i’nfo’, all the time. and not a shred of proof.

  2. Zachary Smith
    June 11, 2016 at 21:58

    I’ve been forced to admit to myself that unless some sort of miracle happens, Hillary is going to become President of the United States. This despite the woman being as near ‘unelectable’ as it’s possible for anybody to be. Whether by design or not, Trump seems to be on a course to force her election. Versions of this view seems to be catching on with a growing number of people within the US. And unfortunately, outside the US.

    Remember how intensely George W. Bush was hated; and all he did was break the Middle East and trash the Constitution. Hillary has no interest in restoring traditional rights and liberties; indeed, her view of whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden is worse than Bush’s or Obama’s. And the Middle East isn’t big enough for her: she has set her sights on Russia and China, nuclear powers capable of inflicting incalculable military and economic harm on the United States and other Western countries.

    Being as clueless and inept as Bush — and Dick Cheney and the other eminences around him who called the shots while he was President – Hillary too will break whatever she touches; and because her objectives are more global than Bush’s were, she could, and likely will, do even more harm.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/10/hillarys-victory-and-next-to-last-hurrah/

    My reading of what Russia has been doing lately causes me to conclude that nation feels it must be ready for Hillary. In other words, ready for war. They’re doing some things they really can’t afford, but still-living people know from bitter recent experience that there are times when it’s necessary to bite the bullet no matter what the cost.

    I’ve no feel for what’s happening with China, but surely that nation knows it’s in the crosshairs of the neocons to at least the same degree as Russia.

    So I’m still hoping for that miracle, but starting to think a lot more than I care to about some very bad things which may be happening in the not-too-distant future.

    • Gilbert Doctorow
      June 12, 2016 at 01:41

      Bingo!

      Zachary, you have captured the essence of my intent but the result should be energizing, not despair. The nuclear catastrophe clock is now at two minutes to midnight, and Hillary, with her policies and clearly lined up military and geopolitical advisers, will take us to the strike of midnight in no time.
      As a student of history, I always took it as quite normal that politicians in Europe were able to put together Right-Left alliances to resist the oncoming waves of fascism in the 1930s, even if ultimately they were unable to resist the world war.

      Today, looking around at the self-righteousness and stiff-necked behavior of people in parties and movements that disagree on many points of policy to the extent that they are unwilling and unable to join forces on the common interest in survival, I see how difficult it is to get people together. That is our great challenge of the moment: to spread the word that what we have to fear is not climate change in 50 years or that transgender folks are denied toilet access of their preference but nuclear war in one year. Right, Left and in between must rise in unison and call for a reversal of America’s aggressive, provocative and ultimately suicidal approach to Russia and China, a turn back to civilized discourse and removal of force.

      What can we, the people do about all this? For a starter, go beyond writing comments to Consortium articles, and also write daily to the editors of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and to the producers of CNN, MSNBC et al demanding that they open their media to genuine public discussion, to op eds holding opposed views of the foreign and security policy of the USA before we go off the cliff. If this is done en masse, in a civilized and respectful but insistent tone, they will get the message. Here numbers will count.
      best to you

    • June 12, 2016 at 10:35

      I quite agree, but I question the efficacy of writing letters to editors. I have tried to get Sanders supporters to see the importance of US-Russian relations, but they don’t see it and apparently neither does Sanders. Europeans (Germans, at least) don’t either. They are not listening to you or Paul Craig Roberts or Stephen Cohen:

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44852.htm

    • Gilbert Doctorow
      June 13, 2016 at 02:02

      Michael,
      Eighteen months ago, I saw to my chagrin how a very representative assembly of the US antiwar movement at a Peace Day conference in MIT led by Noam Chomsky completely misidentified where the risks of war and annihilation really lay and unwittingly focused on threat scenarios that could have been written in the Pentagon. See http://usforeignpolicy.blogs.lalibre.be/archive/2014/11/14/american-peace-movement-and-the-new-cold-war-1136655.html The fault lay not in these earnest and committed soldiers of peace but in the general disinformation and news blackouts in media that have been monopolized by the ideologists of Neoconservatism and Liberal Interventionism since the onset of the Information Wars in 2007.
      Perhaps a more effective remedy is mass mailings to our Congressmen and women, whose staffs are less immune to public expressions of disapproval than editorial offices are. The object of the letters would be to demand genuine as opposed to the present phony Congressional hearings on foreign relations and on relations with Russia and China in particular where the only witnesses are either supporters of the Administration policies or those who call for still more aggressive and provocative policies that will take us to Armageddon still faster.

    • Kiza
      June 13, 2016 at 11:26

      With all due respect Dr Doctorow, the problem you describe was not in the “earnest and committed soldiers of peace” then in the keyword Chomski. To my knowledge, it is only in the West where an established expert in one field (linguistics) can become a know-it-all public intellectual. On top, Chomsky had a knack for putting his name on primarily Herman’s work. Just one question: how can someone write so many books on Middle East and never mention the acronym AIPAC? Well Chomsky can. Therefore, putting Chomsky in charge of a peace initiative is just like putting Victoria Nulkand in charge of bringing peace to Ukraine.

      Reportedly, Chomsky publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton (I guess as a peace candidate, his kind of peace) in the forthcoming elections.

    • Jeff Davis
      June 13, 2016 at 13:34

      Calm yourself, miracles happen, Trump will win in a landslide.

      From now to the Repub convention, Trump will pound on Hillary for her record of arrogance, incompetence, and failure. Then, when he has the nomination signed and irrevocably in his pocket, he will declare himself the new owner of the Republican brand, and reinvent the party as the party of Trump, a centrist/populist party of Main Street, of the working man/woman. Right wing extremists will cleave off (or stay on board out of force of habit or fear of abandonment in the political wilderness), but conservative democrats will flock to the new GOP as will women, Hispanics, and to a lesser extent the melanin-enriched. Why will these supposedly “unrecoverably alienated” voting blocks come on board? For the simple and obvious reason that Trump’s economic revitalization will focus on creating jobs. That’s jobs for everyone across the spectrum: whites, Hispanics, blacks, women,…everyone. Hillary, the other choice, the candidate of the neo-liberal establishment — corporations, bankers, the “one percent” — offers what? More of the same old same old. Feel good talk and empty promises. The Bill Cosby approach: drug them with promises, take what you want — ie their vote — and then kick them back into the gutter until the next election cycle.

      The American people are sick to death of their serial screwing at the hands of the two-corrupt-party, good cop/bad cop duopoly, but till now they were helpless to do anything about it. Then came Trump. Can he fix a broken America? Maybe. Maybe not. But with Hillary, you know what your going to get: at best, screwed the same as before, but maybe screwed worse. No way Hillary can overcome her record and her negatives. So get ready for a Trump renaissance.

  3. Mary in Las Vegas
    June 11, 2016 at 17:40

    The US should just back off and stay away from Russia and Eastern Europe…this obsession of having to control the world has got way out of hand. Threatening Russia is a self defeating plan since Russia will respond and when it does, there will not be a good result for the US. What another country’s politics is is their business and the CIA has inserted itself in those misadventures way too many times. Regime change is the nice word WA uses…..the actual practice is violent and against all international law as well as the constitution of the US.

  4. atra hasis
    June 11, 2016 at 07:47

    The solution for ukraine is partition it and be done, the east can go back to the mother russia the west can join the e.u superstate problem solved.
    Go to love how the europeans plan for a large conventional war with russia when they have far bigger problems brewing inside their own borders

    • Baldurdasche
      June 13, 2016 at 15:50

      So where’s the up-side of that EU superstate Ukraine is going to want to be joining? And is it going to have to take its ‘far share’ of the refugee influx?

      The Ukraine could be just an honest election, or another Maidan Revolution, away from changing its mind.

  5. Silly Me
    June 11, 2016 at 04:10

    The heartbeat of America is not Congress; it is Wall Street. Insiders decide which country to destroy. The taxpayer will pay for it, anyway.

    If the legal racket stopped, the Glory of the Empire would end. Suddenly, we would be forced to realize what we are.

    Crap floats to the surface and the rest suffocates beneath.

    • Mary in Las Vegas
      June 11, 2016 at 17:42

      You are so right! And some of that crap surfaces in the White House…..as in what is coming up in November

    • Baldurdasche
      June 13, 2016 at 15:45

      The denizens on Wall street are, with the exception of US construction workers and the military, one on the most proudly ignorant demographics in America. While they can sniff a bond swap at a distance of light years and can sense when the economic hammer is about to fall – in order to get ‘theirs’ out first, if it wasn’t for signage they would be challenged getting back home nights. They don’t have time to listen to ‘info’ let alone think about it, or even worse, check it for ‘facts’.

      If you’re a ‘good’ patriotic American on the NYSE and don’t worry about that ‘info’ stuff too much, you may get a chance to dump your duds while everybody else is weeping with joy, or pride, or jingo.

  6. Realist
    June 11, 2016 at 03:48

    Greatest parallel to Ukraine was Yugoslavia in the 1990’s. Washington was all for splintering of that country along ethnic lines, yet not this one. A little consistency might be helpful.

  7. Damian
    June 10, 2016 at 18:08

    http://uawire.org/news/usa-militia-are-trying-to-blind-the-osce-observers-in-the-donbas
    Really why are the separatists shooting down OSCE monitoring drones comrades

    • Marcus
      June 10, 2016 at 18:42

      Comments here usually reflect a certain perspective. One not found in main stream media largely. The danger is in it becoming an echo chamber. However, that risk is mitigated by commentators here taking the trouble to craft their thoughts before sharing. And where disagreement is found it’s usually left hanging – we’re all grown up enough to know we can’t know everything and maybe the other ‘guy’ is right and we just need to think about it.

      This is also the big difference from msm comments sections where people troll each other and accuse those who they don’t agree with as being trolls, like calling people comrades. So Damian, if you have any original thoughts put some effort into stating your point and it’ll be read.

      If you can’t then I expect people will see through you here and that’s to no-one’s benefit is it now lad?

    • John
      June 10, 2016 at 20:45

      Marcus, The MSM is a bought and paid for outlet that is only interested in keeping those on top financially…. on top…end of story. This rape of the U S Constitution will continue….until there is nothing …..lad. I’m sure you have nothing to add

    • Marcus
      June 11, 2016 at 02:07

      Preaching to the choir John.

      As for being ‘sure’ I having nothing to add you’re quite wrong … If only you’d said something of substance … lad.

    • Joe B
      June 11, 2016 at 08:41

      Both Marcus and John speak truly. Not sure why John felt contrary to Marcus as I see no disagreement. As to Damian, “lad” is charitable: his trolling here should not be allowed to cause friction.

    • Marcus
      June 10, 2016 at 19:13

      Could you give any background to Uawire who you use as a source in your last comment? Quick scan revealed nothing about who funds/runs it except they started in 2016 and focus on Russia and Ukraine. Quite important to verify sources in an age of disinformation don’t you think?

      The article also quotes the US rep to the OSCE following the current narrative (to the point of stating something has ‘lots of evidence’ but providing none to verify), so i’ll take his words with respectful caution.

      The OSCE produces daily reports from east Ukraine. I didn’t see claims of shooting any ‘monitoring’ drones, just mention of jamming signals May 20 (http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/241826). Perhaps you could point to a more verifiable report and I could answer your question above?

    • incontinent reader
      June 11, 2016 at 05:10

      Damian: Why are Kiev and the neo-nazis constantly shelling Donetsk and Lugansk? Why are they running torture prisons as the UN recently noted (but the Western MSM has not reported)? Why have they been killing independent journalists and peaceful political opponents of their regime? Why are they obstructing the implementation of Minsk? Why did they overthrow the prior government in a violent unconstitutional coup when, in a few months they could have voted it out of office if that is what the people really wanted? Why did the US, Germany, France and the UK violate the Helsinki Final Act and Budapest Memorandum? And why has Kiev allowed its oligarchs to loot the funds the IMF provided for Ukraine (even if it was only to service its debt to the bankers while the people are being forced to live under more austere conditions)?

      The list goes on- indeed it is endless.

    • Abe
      June 11, 2016 at 18:02

      The UA Wire service was established as a media megaphone for NATO and EU propaganda in Ukraine.

      The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is a Vienna-based security and human rights organization.

      The OSCE has a history of involvement in NATO instigated regime change projects dating back to the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. OSCE observers were repeatedly accused of gathering intelligence for NATO-backed forces during the Balkan wars.

      Daniel B. Baer, the U.S Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was sworn in as Ambassador on September 10, 2013.

      Ukrainian President Yanukovych had urged his parliament to adopt laws so that Ukraine would meet the EU criteria and be able to sign the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement.

      On 21 November 2013, the Ukrainian government announced a suspension of preparations for signing of the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov cited “the extremely harsh conditions” of an IMF loan (presented by the IMF on 20 November 2013), which included big budget cuts and a 40% increase in gas bills.

      Chaos immediately erupted in Kiev as opposition party “Fatherland” faction leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk immediately called, via Twitter, for protests using the hashtag #Euromaidan. Protesters gathered at Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

      Ambassador Baer soon began issuing statements urging the formation of a new government in Ukraine.

      In February 2014, the Washington and EU-backed Maidan protests had culminated in a violent coup d’etat. A new government headed by Yatsenyuk seized power in Kiev in violation of the 1996 Constitution of Ukraine.

      Alarmed by the Western-backed political violence in Kiev, citizens in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and southern and eastern Ukraine began taking actions in their own collective defense.

      From the beginning of March 2014, demonstrations by groups opposed to the new regime in Kiev took place in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, together commonly called the “Donbass”.

      Separation from Kiev was favored by a large majority of voters in a status referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

      The Crimean parliament formally invited to OSCE observe the referendum, but the organization refused to send monitors. The OSCE insisted that it “respects the full territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine”.

      The Crimean parliament formally requested that the Russian government admit the breakaway republic into Russia. The Russian government officially recognized the Republic of Crimea as a sovereign and independent state and approved the admission of Crimea and Sevastopol.

      On 21 March 2014, at the Ukrainian government’s request, the OSCE agreed to send a Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine.

      On 27 March, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution, which declared the Crimean referendum and subsequent status change invalid.

      In April 2014, after consultations with CIA Director John Brennan in Kiev, acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov declared that the country was now “at war” with Russia and launched a major “anti-terror” operation against anti-Kiev regime forces in Donetsk and Luhansk.

      On 27 June 2014, the new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the economic part of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement. Poroshenko described this as Ukraine’s “first but most decisive step” towards EU membership.

      For more than two years, Ambassador Baer has been shrieking with the NATO chorus about a “Russian invasion” of Ukraine.

    • Kiza
      June 13, 2016 at 11:03

      Fantastic info, I personally know that one part of it is correct and I trust the rest.

    • John Luhman
      June 11, 2016 at 18:55

      Maybe the buzzing of drones overhead was annoying them?
      (that is, assuming the unnamed sources in your questionable link are actually accurate in their claim that this is happening.)

    • Jeff Davis
      June 13, 2016 at 12:57

      The OSCE inspectors, like the UN “inspection teams” in Iraq post Gulf War 1, are spies, using the “inspection” regime to prepare for possible military action by Kiev. The Donbas rebels, with Putin’s help, roundly defeated the two previous attempts by the Neocon-installed Kiev regime to militarily destroy the rebellion. That forced Kiev to accept Minsk 2 or lose yet more territory to Putin and the rebels. The Neocons, however, don’t accept defeat, and just keep plugging along using other means. Putin and the Donbas rebels however won’t be gulled, continue to be vigilant, and won’t permit Neocon espionage. Putin “pwns” Kiev.

      I wish the US had a leader as smart and strong as Putin,…. oh wait, here comes Trump. Yes!!!

  8. Oz
    June 10, 2016 at 16:58

    Susan Rice is one of the most nefarious members of Obama’s administration.

  9. delia ruhe
    June 10, 2016 at 16:37

    Maybe one day Europe will grow some backbone and quit agreeing to things that don’t speak to its own interests.

    • June 11, 2016 at 05:24

      Hear, hear — for more backbone in Europe. Sigmar Gabriel of the German SPD is one of those who have called for ending the sanctions against Russia, but the majority still believe the US propaganda, or (more likely) are too afraid to oppose it. The sanctions hurt everyone and do no good. Former US assistant secretary of the treasury Paul Craig Roberts gave an interview the other day (see his website for link) urging the Brits to Brexit, arguing that the EU is nothing but an instrument for destroying national sovereignty in Europe and for increasing US hegemony. I don’t know about that; the consensus in Germany is that the EU is not only a good thing but somehow “essential.” One might be tempted to argue that a united Europe could stand up better to the US, but Roberts says the opposite is true. One thing is sure: The anti-Russian Putin-demonizing US propaganda and the shameless and belligerent expansion of NATO, as well as supporting the Ukrainian putsch, are all extremely reckless policies that endanger the entire world. I wish just one European leader would stand up and say so.

    • William Beeby
      June 11, 2016 at 07:15

      Yes agreed but that someone with the courage to stand up to US strictures will not be our current leader Cameron . It certainly won’t be Fray Merkel either.

    • Kiza
      June 13, 2016 at 10:47

      Hungarian Orban did and became a “dictator”, Hitler and the rest of the usual epithets for the insubordinate foreign leaders.

      As to Germany, it wanted to use EU as a tool, but instead EU was turned into a tool for controlling Germany. The bigger shark did this. The BND and its puppet Frau both work for this shark. Keep dreaming, dear Germans, of independence which will never come. You will be pushed into a war with Russia by such leadership before you get to relax sanctions on Russia and repair your economy. Why were the German tanks transversing Poland towards the Russian border recently, just like in July 1941? To relax sanctions?

  10. Abe
    June 10, 2016 at 15:35

    The truth is hard to arrive at, not only because people intentionally seek to fool others, but because often, many unintentionally fool themselves. Reality can be unpleasant. Watching a nation be destroyed can be heartbreaking and the desire to insulate oneself from the pain through cognitive dissonance can be overwhelming. However, one of the greatest maxims in human conflict is to truly know yourself and know your enemy. Truth isn’t just a matter of virtue, it is a factor that will make the difference between victory and defeat.

    If victory over the forces of greed and hegemony is truly our goal, then we must face the facts no matter how unpleasant. Our failure to do so will cost us everything – and those driven by greed and hegemony know. That is why they have invested so much in clouding reality and obfuscating the truth. We must invest more in seeing through this clouded reality, and discover the truth, no matter how unpleasant.

    Surviving on the Battlefield in the Information War
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://journal-neo.org/2016/03/29/surviving-on-the-battlefield-in-the-information-war/

    • Erik
      June 10, 2016 at 17:12

      Good thoughts; I imagine that most readers here agree.

  11. John
    June 10, 2016 at 14:38

    News Flash !! Super corrupt US government to big to fail……

  12. Bob in Portland
    June 10, 2016 at 14:22

    The Kiev coup government consolidated its political gains in an election that excluded the breakaway region. The breakaway region was by far where most opposition to the coup came from, because they voted heavily for the guy who was couped.

    Now the current set of fascists, oligarchs and their representatives are as unpopular as the last elected president. If the unpopularity of the rump state is further strengthened by overwhelming opposition to the politicians who waged war on their part of the country the most likely outcome would be a stunning defeat for Poroshenko et al.

    Everyone knows this.

    Therefore, the US doesn’t want Minsk II to be implemented. Nor does Poroshenko. There will be another excuse, another false flag. Rinse, repeat.

    • Damian
      June 10, 2016 at 18:16

      Yes & there are no Russian troops in the. Rebel enclaves
      Just the odd member of Russia’s military who brought their ordinance with them eh comrade

    • Guzdeh
      June 11, 2016 at 02:05

      If some people go and fight voluntarily for certain cause it does not mean that the state is involved directly. And even if it is, its about their national security. American coast guard patrols other side of the Pacific because of their national security.

      And another example, during the Spanish civil war volunteers would go fight for the Republic and many of them came from Yugoslavia, they were called “Spanish fighters”, but it did not mean Yugoslavia invaded Spain or something like that. It was about volunteers

    • r.b.
      June 13, 2016 at 16:39

      Just in the same vein by some westerners going to fight for ISIS dont make their participation endorsed by their governments. Wake up people!

    • Clark
      June 11, 2016 at 04:16

      No offense, but your habitual use of “comrade” makes you look pretty id!0tic.

    • Kiza
      June 13, 2016 at 10:34

      I concluded that this character means “a person I disagree with” when he calls someone a Comrade. Maybe this is what comrade means in Galician (Western Ukrainian).

    • Joe B
      June 11, 2016 at 08:33

      The accusation of disloyalty shows intent to deceive and suppress opinion, in just the ways the right wing has caused every US foreign policy disaster since WWII, just as Aristotle warned millennia ago of the tyrants who destroy democracies. This is warmongering, waving the flag for personal gain, with no concern for truth or justice. It is the opposite of patriotism.

    • Jeff Davis
      June 13, 2016 at 12:04

      Russian troops or no, it doesn’t matter. The Neocons fomented a coup, yet another regime change, and they thought they could get away with it. The Russian bear — that is, Putin — said “No”, and put a stop to it. Whether carefully, smartly, and bloodlessly with “little green men” and referendums, or with “shock and awe” courtesy of Russian armored battalions and overwhelming airspace dominance, it makes no difference: Putin wins, the Neocons lose. Get over it. Flag waving and antique anti-Communist spluttering won’t change the strategic reality: Putin crashed the Wolfowitz Doctrine party, drained the punchbowl, and left Hillary, Nuland, and the Neocons holding the “turds”: a destitute, corrupt, skinhead-dominated albatross of a country. Game, match, set, Putin. This is what it feels like to have the Bear chew on your sorry arrogant ass. The Neocon-dominated US bully has met its match. Enjoy your turd sandwich, Damien, there’s more where that came from (Syria, for example).

  13. Chris Chuba
    June 10, 2016 at 14:15

    I don’t understand the logic here. At this point, the Europeans know that it is the Ukranians who are delaying Minsk 2 by not providing a structure for elections in Eastern Ukraine so how would applying more pressure on Russia help that? Logic would dictate that pressure needs to be applied to the Ukranian govt. If the Ukranian govt can unilaterally keep sanctions on Russia that creates an incentive for them to never implement Minsk-2, dropping sanctions against Russia would deprive them of that leverage.

    • Damian
      June 10, 2016 at 18:13

      Odd that in the Rada you have the opposition Bloc who represent the interests of ethnic voters in Ukraine.
      While in the rebel enclaves Ethnic Ukrainians were barred from running Pro Ukrainian candidates in their elections
      Add to that Plotnitsky’s & Zakharchenko’s militia in the Rebel Republics were guarding the polling booths & you can expect only one result eh Comrade.
      So who exactly is denying the protocols for free & fair elections

    • Chris Chuba
      June 10, 2016 at 19:16

      The first step is for Ukraine to define the offices to be held for election. They are supposed to define what a federalized state within Ukraine means. This hasn’t been done yet, so how can you say that elections, which haven’t been held yet are cooked? After that, I don’t recall if it is before or after elections are held, let’s assume after, the Ukrakian army will be allowed to occupy eastern Ukraine without having to fire a shot. So even assuming your accusation is true, the next election will be fair because of the presence of the Ukranian army. Actually, not sure of that, at this point, maybe they will suppress the Russian vote the next go around.

    • OS
      June 11, 2016 at 01:20

      The so called Opposition Bloc represents some opposition to the current government but it doesn’t represent interests of the people in the “Rebel Republics”. The Opposition Bloc folks are clearly “anti-separatist”, and under the current regime in Kiev it would be dangerous for them to be not so.

      The Minsk-2 agreement says the election in the Republics should be organized by a joint effort of representatives of Kiev and the Republics. The actual authority in the Republics is the militia. The militia is supported by vast majority of civilians. Before the recognized election, the militia may be the only representative on the part of the Republics. As long as Kiev refuses to talk with them there will be a perpetual deadlock.

    • Clark
      June 11, 2016 at 04:18

      Because guarding the polling booths in a country ravaged by a civil war is a bad idea, correct?

    • Jeff Davis
      June 13, 2016 at 11:03

      So what you’re saying then is that they couldn’t possibly be guarding the polling places to protect the voters? But wait. Considering your overt still-stuck-in-the fifties-anti-Commie (now anti-Russian) bias, one has to question your putative “facts”. What polling places? You mean some imaginary polling places for elections that haven’t been held? Right. Put down the tired old anti-Commie Kool-Aid and get with the new post-cold war reality. The Soviet Union has been gone for a quarter century, and we don’t need a new boogieman.

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