A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See

Exclusive: Ukraine on Fire, a new documentary about the Ukraine crisis, might change how people in the West perceive the conflict, but it’s unlikely to get much distribution since it contests the prevailing narrative, writes James DiEugenio.

By James DiEugenio

It is not very often that a documentary film can set a new paradigm about a recent event, let alone, one that is still in progress. But the new film Ukraine on Fire has the potential to do so – assuming that many people get to see it.

Usually, documentaries — even good ones — repackage familiar information in a different aesthetic form. If that form is skillfully done, then the information can move us in a different way than just reading about it.

A good example of this would be Peter Davis’s powerful documentary about U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Hearts and Minds. By 1974, most Americans understood just how bad the Vietnam War was, but through the combination of sounds and images, which could only have been done through film, that documentary created a sensation, which removed the last obstacles to America leaving Indochina.

Ukraine on Fire has the same potential and could make a contribution that even goes beyond what the Davis film did because there was very little new information in Hearts and Minds. Especially for American and Western European audiences, Ukraine on Fire could be revelatory in that it offers a historical explanation for the deep divisions within Ukraine and presents information about the current crisis that challenges the mainstream media’s paradigm, which blames the conflict almost exclusively on Russia.

Key people in the film’s production are director Igor Lopatonok, editor Alex Chavez, and writer Vanessa Dean, whose screenplay contains a large amount of historical as well as current material exploring how Ukraine became such a cauldron of violence and hate. Oliver Stone served as executive producer and conducted some high-profile interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin and ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The film begins with gripping images of the violence that ripped through the capital city of Kiev during both the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2014 removal of Yanukovich. It then travels back in time to provide a perspective that has been missing from mainstream versions of these events and even in many alternative media renditions.

A Longtime Pawn

Historically, Ukraine has been treated as a pawn since the late Seventeenth Century. In 1918, Ukraine was made a German protectorate by the Treaty of Brest Litovsk. Ukraine was also a part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 signed between Germany and Russia, but violated by Adolf Hitler when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941.

German dictator Adolf Hitler

The reaction of many in Ukraine to Hitler’s aggression was not the same as it was in the rest of the Soviet Union. Some Ukrainians welcomed the Nazis. The most significant Ukrainian nationalist group, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), had been established in 1929. Many of its members cooperated with the Nazis, some even enlisted in the Waffen SS and Ukrainian nationalists participated in the massacre of more than 33,000 Jews at Babi Yar ravine in Kiev in September 1941. According to scholar Pers Anders Rudling, the number of Ukrainian nationalists involved in the slaughter outnumbered the Germans by a factor of 4 to 1.

But it wasn’t just the Jews that the Ukrainian nationalists slaughtered. They also participated in massacres of Poles in the western Ukrainian region of Galicia from March 1943 until the end of 1944. Again, the main perpetrators were not Germans, but Ukrainians.

According to author Ryazard Szawlowksi, the Ukrainian nationalists first lulled the Poles into thinking they were their friends, then turned on them with a barbarity and ferocity that not even the Nazis could match, torturing their victims with saws and axes. The documentary places the number of dead at 36,750, but Szawlowski estimates it may be two or three times higher.

OUN members participated in these slaughters for the purpose of ethnic cleansing, wanting Ukraine to be preserved for what OUN regarded as native Ukrainians. They also expected Ukraine to be independent by the end of the war, free from both German and Russian domination. The two main leaders in OUN who participated in the Nazi collaboration were Stepan Bandera and Mykola Lebed. Bandera was a virulent anti-Semite, and Lebed was rabidly against the Poles, participating in their slaughter.

After the war, both Bandera and Lebed were protected by American intelligence, which spared them from the Nuremburg tribunals. The immediate antecedent of the CIA, Central Intelligence Group, wanted to use both men for information gathering and operations against the Soviet Union. England’s MI6 used Bandera even more than the CIA did, but the KGB eventually hunted down Bandera and assassinated him in Munich in 1959. Lebed was brought to America and addressed anti-communist Ukrainian organizations in the U.S. and Canada. The CIA protected him from immigration authorities who might otherwise have deported him as a war criminal.

The history of the Cold War was never too far in the background of Ukrainian politics, including within the diaspora that fled to the West after the Red Army defeated the Nazis and many of their Ukrainian collaborators emigrated to the United States and Canada. In the West, they formed a fierce anti-communist lobby that gained greater influence after Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.

Important History

This history is an important part of Dean’s prologue to the main body of Ukraine on Fire and is essential for anyone trying to understand what has happened there since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. For instance, the U.S.-backed candidate for president of Ukraine in 2004 — Viktor Yushchenko — decreed both Bandera and his military assistant Roman Shukhevych, who was also involved in atrocitites, were both named national heroes by Yushchenko.

Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and Nazi collaborator.

Bandera, in particular, has become an icon for post-World War II Ukrainian nationalists. One of his followers was Dmytro Dontsov, who called for the birth of a “new man” who would mercilessly destroy Ukraine’s ethnic enemies.

Bandera’s movement was also kept alive by Yaroslav Stetsko, Bandera’s premier in exile. Stetsko fully endorsed Bandera’s anti-Semitism and also the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Stetsko, too, was used by the CIA during the Cold War and was honored by Yushchenko, who placed a plaque in his honor at the home where he died in Munich in 1986. Stetsko’s wife, Slava, returned to Ukraine in 1991 and ran for parliament in 2002 on the slate of Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party.

Stetsko’s book, entitled Two Revolutions, has become the ideological cornerstone for the modern Ukrainian political party Svoboda, founded by Oleh Tyahnybok, who is pictured in the film calling Jews “kikes” in public, which is one reason the Simon Wiesenthal Center has ranked him as one of the most dangerous anti-Semites in the world.

Another follower of Bandera is Dymytro Yarosh, who reputedly leads the paramilitary arm of an even more powerful political organization in Ukraine called Right Sektor. Yarosh once said he controls a paramilitary force of about 7,000 men who were reportedly used in both the overthrow of Yanukovych in Kiev in February 2014 and the suppression of the rebellion in Odessa a few months later, which are both fully depicted in the film.

This historical prelude and its merging with the current civil war is eye-opening background that has been largely hidden by the mainstream Western media, which has downplayed or ignored the troubling links between these racist Ukrainian nationalists and the U.S.-backed political forces that vied for power after Ukraine became independent in 1991.

The Rise of a Violent Right

That same year, Tyahnybok formed Svoboda. Three years later, Yarosh founded Trident, an offshoot of Svoboda that eventually evolved into Right Sektor. In other words, the followers of Bandera and Lebed began organizing themselves immediately after the Soviet collapse.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

In this time period, Ukraine had two Russian-oriented leaders who were elected in 1991 and 1994, Leonid Kravchuk, and Leonid Kuchma. But the hasty transition to a “free-market” economy didn’t go well for most Ukrainians or Russians as well-connected oligarchs seized much of the wealth and came to dominate the political process through massive corruption and purchase of news media outlets. However, for average citizens, living standards went down drastically, opening the door for the far-right parties and for foreign meddling.

In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, whose political base was strongest among ethnic Russians in the east and south, won the presidential election by three percentage points over the U.S.-favored Viktor Yushchenko, whose base was mostly in the country’s west where the Ukrainian nationalists are strongest.

Immediately, Yushchenko’s backers claimed fraud citing exit polls that had been organized by a group of eight Western nations and four non-governmental organizations or NGOs, including the Renaissance Foundation founded by billionaire financial speculator George Soros. Dick Morris, former President Bill Clinton’s political adviser, clandestinely met with Yushchenko’s team and advised them that the exit polls would not just help in accusations of fraud, but would bring protesters out into the streets. (Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. 19, Number 1, p. 26)

Freedom House, another prominent NGO that receives substantial financing from the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), provided training to young activists who then rallied protesters in what became known as the Orange Revolution, one of the so-called “color revolutions” that the West’s mainstream media fell in love with. It forced an election rerun that Yushchenko won.

But Yushchenko’s presidency failed to do much to improve the lot of the Ukrainian people and he grew increasingly unpopular. In 2010, Yushchenko failed to make it out of the first round of balloting and his rival Yanukovych was elected president in balloting that outside observers judged free and fair.

Big-Power Games

If this all had occurred due to indigenous factors within Ukraine, it could have been glossed over as a young nation going through some painful growing pains. But as the film points out, this was not the case. Ukraine continued to be a pawn in big-power games with many Western officials hoping to draw the country away from Russian influence and into the orbit of NATO and the European Union.

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

In one of the interviews in Ukraine on Fire, journalist and author Robert Parry explains how the National Endowment for Democracy and many subsidized political NGOs emerged in the 1980s to replace or supplement what the CIA had traditionally done in terms of influencing the direction of targeted countries.

During the investigations of the Church Committee in the 1970s, the CIA’s “political action” apparatus for removing foreign leaders was exposed. So, to disguise these efforts, CIA Director William Casey, Reagan’s White House and allies in Congress created the NED to finance an array of political and media NGOs.

As Parry noted in the documentary, many traditional NGOs do valuable work in helping impoverished and developing countries, but this activist/propaganda breed of NGOs promoted U.S. geopolitical objectives abroad – and NED funded scores of such projects inside Ukraine in the run-up to the 2014 crisis.

Ukraine on Fire goes into high gear when it chronicles the events that occurred in 2014, resulting in the violent overthrow of President Yanukovych and sparking the civil war that still rages. In the 2010 election, when Yushchenko couldn’t even tally in the double-digits, Yanukovych faced off against and defeated Yulia Tymoshenko, a wealthy oligarch who had served as Yushchenko’s prime minister.

After his election, Yanukovych repealed Bandera’s title as a national hero. However, because of festering economic problems, the new president began to search for an economic partner who could provide a large loan. He first negotiated with the European Union, but these negotiations bogged down due to the usual draconian demands made by the International Monetary Fund.

So, in November 2013, Yanukovych began to negotiate with Russian President Putin who offered more generous terms. But Yanukovych’s decision to delay the association agreement with the E.U. provoked street protests in Kiev especially from the people of western Ukraine.

As Ukraine on Fire points out, other unusual occurrences also occurred, including the emergence of three new TV channels – Spilno TV, Espreso TV, and Hromadske TV – going on the air between Nov. 21 and 24, with partial funding from the U.S. Embassy and George Soros.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Pro-E.U. protests in the Maidan square in central Kiev also grew more violent as ultra-nationalist street fighters from Lviv and other western areas began to pour in and engage in provocations, many of which were sponsored by Yarosh’s Right Sektor. The attacks escalated from torch marches similar to Nazi days to hurling Molotov cocktails at police to driving large tractors into police lines – all visually depicted in the film. As Yanukovich tells Stone, when this escalation happened, it made it impossible for him to negotiate with the Maidan crowd.

One of the film’s most interesting interviews is with Vitaliy Zakharchenko, who was Minister of the Interior at the time responsible for law enforcement and the conduct of the police. He traces the escalation of the attacks from Nov. 24 to 30, culminating with a clash between police and protesters over the transport of a giant Christmas tree into the Maidan. Zakharchenko said he now believes this confrontation was secretly approved by Serhiy Lyovochkin, a close friend of U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, as a pretext to escalate the violence.

At this point, the film addresses the direct involvement of U.S. politicians and diplomats. Throughout the crisis, American politicians visited Maidan, as both Republicans and Democrats, such as Senators John McCain, R-Arizona, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut. stirred up the crowds. Yanukovych also said he was in phone contact with Vice President Joe Biden, who he claims was misleading him about how to handle the crisis.

The film points out that the real center of American influence in the Kiev demonstrations was with Ambassador Pyatt and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland. As Parry points out, although Nuland was serving under President Obama, her allegiances were really with the neoconservative movement, most associated with the Republican Party.

Her husband is Robert Kagan, who worked as a State Department propagandist on the Central American wars in the 1980s and was the co-founder of the Project for the New American Century in the 1990s, the group that organized political and media pressure for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Kagan also was McCain’s foreign policy adviser in the 2008 presidential election (although he threw his support behind Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race).

Adept Manipulators

As Parry explained, the neoconservatives have become quite adept at disguising their true aims and have powerful allies in the mainstream press. This combination has allowed them to push the foreign policy debate to such extremes that, when anyone objects, they can be branded a Putin or Yanukovych “apologist.”

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Thus, Pyatt’s frequent meetings with the demonstrators in the embassy and Nuland’s handing out cookies to protesters in the Maidan were not criticized as American interference in a sovereign state, but were praised as “promoting democracy” abroad. However, as the Maidan crisis escalated, Ukrainian ultra-nationalists moved to the front, intensifying their attacks on police. Many of these extremists were disciples of Bandera and Lebed. By February 2014, they were armed with shotguns and rapid-fire handguns.

On Feb. 20, 2014, a mysterious sniper, apparently firing from a building controlled by the Right Sektor, shot both police and protesters, touching off a day of violence that left about 14 police and some 70 protesters dead.

With Kiev slipping out of control, Yanukovich was forced to negotiate with representatives from France, Poland and Germany. On Feb. 21, he agreed to schedule early elections and to accept reduced powers. At the urging of Vice President Biden, Yanukovych also pulled back the police.

But the agreement – though guaranteed by the European nations – was quickly negated by renewed attacks from the Right Sektor and its street fighters who seized government buildings. Russian intelligence services got word that an assassination plot was in the works against Yanukovych, who fled for his life.

On Feb. 24, Yanukovych asked permission to enter Russia for his safety and the Ukrainian parliament (or Rada), effectively under the control of the armed extremists, voted to remove Yanukovych from office in an unconstitutional manner because the courts were not involved and the vote to impeach him did not reach the mandatory threshold. Despite these irregularities, the U.S. and its European allies quickly recognized the new government as “legitimate.”

Calling a Coup a Coup

But the ouster of Yanukovych had all the earmarks of a coup. An intercepted phone call, apparently in early February, between Nuland and Pyatt revealed that they were directly involved in displacing Yanukovych and choosing his successor. The pair reviewed the field of candidates with Nuland favoring Arseniy Yatsenyuk, declaring “Yats is the guy” and discussing with Pyatt how to “glue this thing.” Pyatt wondered about how to “midwife this thing.” They sounded like Gilded Age millionaires in New York deciding who should become the next U.S. president. On Feb. 27, Yatsenyuk became Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko shakes hands with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 7, 2016.[State Department Photo)

Not everyone in Ukraine agreed with the new regime, however. Crimea, which had voted heavily for Yanukovych, decided to hold a referendum on whether to split from Ukraine and become a part of Russia. The results of the referendum were overwhelming. Some 96 percent of Crimeans voted to unite with Russia. Russian troops – previously stationed in Crimea under the Sevastopol naval base agreement – provided security against Right Sektor and other Ukrainian forces moving against the Crimean secession, but there was no evidence of Russian troops intimidating voters or controlling the elections. The Russian government then accepted the reunification with Crimea, which had historically been part of Russia dating back hundreds of years.

Two eastern provinces, Donetsk and Lugansk, also wanted to split off from Ukraine and also conducted a referendum in support of that move. But Putin would not agree to the request from the two provinces, which instead declared their own independence, a move that the new government in Kiev denounced as illegal. The Kiev regime also deemed the insurgents “terrorists” and launched an “anti-terrorism operation” to crush the resistance. Ultra-nationalist and even neo-Nazi militias, such as the Azov Battalion, took the lead in the bloody fighting.

Anti-coup demonstrations also broke out in the city of Odessa to the south. Ukrainian nationalist leader Andrei Parubiy went to Odessa, and two days later, on May 2, 2014, his street fighters attacked the demonstrators, driving them into the Trade Union building, which was then set on fire. Forty-two people were killed, some of whom jumped to their deaths.

‘Other Side of the Story’

If the film just got across this “other side of the story,” it would provide a valuable contribution since most of this information has been ignored or distorted by the West’s mainstream media, which simply blames the Ukraine crisis on Vladimir Putin. But in addition to the fine work by scenarist Vanessa Dean, the direction by Igor Lopatonok and the editing by Alexis Chavez are extraordinarily skillful and supple.

Screen shot of the fatal fire in Odessa, Ukraine, on May 2, 2014. (From RT video)

The 15-minute prologue, where the information about the Nazi collaboration by Bandera and Lebed is introduced, is an exceptional piece of filmmaking. It moves at a quick pace, utilizing rapid cutting and also split screens to depict photographs and statistics simultaneously. Lopatonok also uses interactive graphics throughout to transmit information in a visual and demonstrative manner.

Stone’s interviews with Putin and Yanukovych are also quite newsworthy, presenting a side of these demonized foreign leaders that has been absent in the propagandistic Western media.

Though about two hours long, the picture has a headlong tempo to it. If anything, it needed to slow down at points since such a large amount of information is being communicated. On the other hand, it’s a pleasure to watch a documentary that is so intelligently written, and yet so remarkably well made.

When the film ends, the enduring message is similar to those posed by the American interventions in Vietnam and Iraq. How could the State Department know so little about what it was about to unleash, given Ukraine’s deep historical divisions and the risk of an escalating conflict with nuclear-armed Russia?

In Vietnam, Americans knew little about the country’s decades-long struggle of the peasantry to be free from French and Japanese colonialism. Somehow, America was going to win their hearts and minds and create a Western-style “democracy” when many Vietnamese simply saw the extension of foreign imperialism.

In Iraq, President George W. Bush and his coterie of neocons was going to oust Saddam Hussein and create a Western-style democracy in the Middle East, except that Bush didn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shiite Moslems and how Iraq was likely to split over sectarian rivalries and screw up his expectations.

Similarly, the message of Ukraine on Fire is that short-sighted, ambitious and ideological officials – unchecked by their superiors – created something even worse than what existed. While high-level corruption persists today in Ukraine and may be even worse than before, the conditions of average Ukrainians have deteriorated.

And, the Ukraine conflict has reignited the Cold War by moving Western geopolitical forces onto Russia’s most sensitive frontier, which, as scholar Joshua Shifrinson has noted, violates a pledge made by Secretary of State James Baker in February 1990 as the Soviet Union peacefully accepted the collapse of its military influence in East Germany and eastern Europe. (Los Angeles Times, 5/30/ 2016)

This film also reminds us that what happened in Ukraine was a bipartisan effort. It was begun under George W. Bush and completed under Barack Obama. As Oliver Stone noted in the discussion that followed the film’s premiere in Los Angeles, the U.S. painfully needs some new leadership reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, people who understand how America’s geopolitical ambitions must be tempered by on-the-ground realities and the broader needs of humanity to be freed from the dangers of all-out war.

James DiEugenio is a researcher and writer on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other mysteries of that era. His most recent book is Reclaiming Parkland.

103 comments for “A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See

  1. Ben Cosin
    February 19, 2017 at 09:31

    I had never heard before of a number as small as 42 for the immolation of protestors at the TradeUnion Centre in Odesa. 46 is the usual (low) figure quoted. Reading of The Saker, Russia Today etc suggests that somewhere in the 200’s is a more plausible minimum figure.
    The degradation of the Russian language, spoken by more Ukrainians than is Ukrainian, from its status as the equal public language, by the Yatseniuk regime, must surely feature as an important provocation.

  2. J.Anderson
    February 18, 2017 at 22:21

    Please tell us how to buy or view this documentary. Who are likely or potential distributors?

  3. Reesh
    February 18, 2017 at 06:52

    Seems Crimea once belonged to Turkey, perhaps this mickey mouse author should say Crimea should be Turkish again.

  4. Reesh
    February 18, 2017 at 06:24

    Russia is a dump where people drink anti-freeze and bath oil, low life expectancy, planes that crash, hospitals falling apart. Yeah, I’m sure Ukraine wants to join that country and bow to their $70 billion dollar leader from being a KGB agent. Probably blow up their own apartments so they can start wars in Chechnya, the dump is going to become Islamic anyway.

    • Geneva Observer
      February 27, 2017 at 21:26

      Winston Churchill drank Crimean champagne at Yalta. You can too if you pay the price. Life expectancy has been rising for the last 19 years since Putin came to power. The days of Gorbachev and Yeltsin are long gone. Russia has no monopoly for plane crashes. They are relatively few for the amount of passenger km flown, particularly having some of the most extreme temperature swings in which aircraft have to operate.

      Yes, Russian hospitals have been attacked in Syria by “moderate rebels” who have no idea about the Geneva Convention. They did not fall apart; they were blown apart.

      Two million Ukrainians now live and work in Russia. 600’000 refugees fled from their putchist government from the Donbass region.

      The war in Chechnya led to BP building a pipeline from Baku, across Georgia, through Turkey to Ceyhan. If there had been no war, the oil and gas would have been piped through Grozny through pre-existing infrastructure. The pipeline was worth billions of USD. It would never have been built without the war.

      Grozny has been completely rebuilt. It looks more like Las Vegas with an Islamic touch. Search on YouTube.

      Few really know what Putin was doing at the KGB. He studied law, with excellent grades from the University of St. Petersburg. There is a lot of speculation and nonsense around the subject. I am unaware of any allegation of violence, physical abuse or torture against him. He was an excellent bureaucrat. The sole thing in common with the KGB he had with the terror was the uniform.

      He officially resigned from the KGB on the 20th of August 1991 when the KGB supported the coup d’êtat against the Soviet president Mihail Gorbatchev.

      He played a key role in defeating the putschists in St. Petersburg. His actions were certainly decisive, bold, apparently effective and filled with great personal risk.

      Putin was implacable against the Whabbite djihadists in Chechenia, which won him a large popular support from the electorate.

      You need to do your homework.

  5. February 17, 2017 at 02:25

    The problem with European / North American politicians is their failure to respond when caught out in dirty tricks like regime change in various countries, Ukraine specifically. Clearly none of them are democrats or have confidence in the will of the people. Just getting elected is an act of fraud for them, posing as representatives of their constituents when in fact they are members of a faction that has usurped power from the democratic process and applied it for their own financial gain.

    If we are to have representative government, the representatives must be constantly watched. The leader in power must appear on TV nightly to say who has been to see him and what he has done. The elections should be for much shorter periods, say 12 months, so the attraction of bribery to corrupt businessmen is mitigated. Some attempt at competitive management should be made with countries divided into smaller units that compete for wealth and quality of life. Finally we need a new institution to police the politicians and I suggest it should be the youth of the country. They serve a year after graduation in observing the debates and attitudes of the representatives and publishing their findings in a weekly journal that is distributed free.

    The message is that we must attend more closely to our political management or crooks will run off with the nation’s wealth

  6. dana
    February 17, 2017 at 00:59

    Does anyone know where I can purchase Ukraine on Fire, original English version? I went to Oliver Stone’s official website and it doesn’t appear there. Strangely, Oliver Stone’s website hasn’t been updated in 2 years. Next I tried Amazon. Not available on Amazon. Is it being censored?

  7. Exiled off mainstreet
    February 16, 2017 at 13:32

    This is an excellent view of reality which everybody should see. It absolutely destroys the groupthink of the power structure. Even if it has to be from Russian funding in light of the obvious boycott from the neocon hollywood elite, I think this film should appear in its original language, and most likely will occur at some time. The fact the power structure is so intent on silencing this should give it more appeal, and modern presentation methods should get around the hollywood ziocon media monopoly.

  8. Ann Nelson
    February 16, 2017 at 10:25

    Great article and review of an important-sounding film. The expose on U.S. involvement sounds particularly good, as most of this nation remains in the dark about its governments’ imperialist actions. But you mention JFK as an alternative type of leader and wrote a book on him, so could you explain to me why we have his voice recorded agreeing with Ambassador Lincoln Gordon that the U.S. needed to send support to Brazil’s military coup to “stop the Commies?” (There was no communist threat. The democratically elected president pledged to create land reform and nationalize resources. The CIA dressed up as peasants in the Northeast and set fire to plantations, claiming to be Communists, in order to drum up the proper pretext for intervention.)
    Even though he was killed 46 days later, Johnson followed his lead and gave the green light and offer of aid to Brazil’s Castelo Branco, which sparked a 21-year fascist dictatorship costing hundreds of lives and thousands of people to be arrested, tortured, and exiled. The CIA’s/USAID’s Dan Mitrione was sent to train Brazil’s police how to torture civilians, and the U.S. suppressed reports of torture while continuing to send “aid” to the subsequent dictators. U.S. and multinational corporations funded Brazil’s repression system largely to support leaders friendly to a neoliberal agenda that assured them Brazil halted any nationalizing of its oil or mineral resources and took on variable interest rate loans that ensured Brazil’s indebtedness to northern banks up to the present.
    How can JFK be seen as any different than Bush or Obama? Or was he, as one author suggests, having “second thoughts” about Brazil and this contributed to his assassination?

  9. GM
    February 15, 2017 at 11:14

    As always, I am extremely grateful for the excellent journalism produced by Parry and Consortium News. Keep up the great work.

  10. Deborah Harris
    February 15, 2017 at 03:20

    Full documentary with English subtitles here; https://youtu.be/uqVB3qY3Qwo

  11. Kalen
    February 15, 2017 at 02:36

    Good piece and good film. For more info and background on the Ukrainian war try an essey that especially emphasize Ukrainian nationalism which is quite unique among all nationalist movements as well as its creation as a intelligence agencies project not as a national movement of independence as it is common elsewhere:

  12. Michael
    February 15, 2017 at 00:39

    Lebed was NOT decreed national hero by Yushchenko. It was another man, Roman Shukhevich, another Nazi collaborator and murderous thug. The decree declaring him and Bandera heroes was later overturned on a technicality: they were not citizens of Ukrainian state because it did not exist.

    • Tavolga
      February 15, 2017 at 21:24

      Ukrainian republic was existed.
      Interesting to mention that wikipedia lists Bandera and Shukhevich as national Ukrainian heroes. Do we need to trust to wikipedia now?

  13. Carol
    February 14, 2017 at 18:42

    “A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See”: Why isn’t the English version being distributed? We’ve looked on Amazon Prime, Netflix (both CD and streaming), Youtube, etc. It just isn’t there. Is Oliver Stone not being allowed to distribute the English version in the U.S.?

    The English version apparently came out on June 16, 2016 in Italy, then in November of 2016 came out in Russian. However the only version i can find is the version in Russian with English subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqVB3qY3Qwo . Most people who are not completely interested in a subject are not going to watch a movie where they have to read the whole movie rather than listen to it in their native language.

    Of course it’s quite easy to find the CIA knockoff/State Dpt/Soros version of this movie (in English) called “Winter on Fire” all over our internet.

    Did the author of this article ask Mr. Oliver Stone why the english version of his documentary is not available for viewing in the U.S.?

    • Litchfield
      February 14, 2017 at 23:23

      Does Consortium News have a Youtube channel?
      Maybe it should . . .

    • Tavolga
      February 15, 2017 at 21:21

      This is called “selective freedom of speech”.

  14. backwardsevolution
    February 14, 2017 at 18:24

    That Geoffrey Pyatt appears to be a good little enabler for the neocons. When I heard that he became the new U.S. ambassador to Greece, I said: “Look out, Greece!” I wonder what they have in store for Greece, a country that is barely keeping its head above water. Time will tell. Pyatt had been in Honduras previously. It appears that trouble follows him.

  15. backwardsevolution
    February 14, 2017 at 18:04

    James DiEugenio – wow, what a fascinating article. Well done! Tremendous reporting!

    “Immediately, Yushchenko’s backers claimed fraud citing exit polls that had been organized by a group of eight Western nations and four non-governmental organizations or NGOs, including the Renaissance Foundation founded by billionaire financial speculator George Soros. Dick Morris, former President Bill Clinton’s political adviser, clandestinely met with Yushchenko’s team and advised them that the exit polls would not just help in accusations of fraud, but would bring protesters out into the streets.

    Freedom House, another prominent NGO that receives substantial financing from the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), provided training to young activists who then rallied protesters in what became known as the Orange Revolution, one of the so-called “color revolutions” that the West’s mainstream media fell in love with. It forced an election rerun that Yushchenko won.”

    Sounds like what happened after the Trump win. NED needs to have the plug pulled on it. And is there anywhere that George Soros doesn’t have his hand in? Dangerous, dangerous man.

    Thank you, James.

  16. Antiwar7
    February 14, 2017 at 16:17

    The situation in Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina is very similar, complete with local pro-Nazi genocidal maniacs during WW II, who out-killed the Nazis there.

    Also, a longtime battleground for influence between the Catholic and Orthodox churches, between West and East. Plus, outside Great Powers stoking local ethnic hatreds and violence, and viewed by those Great Powers as a place to roll back Russian influence.

    • Antiwar7
      February 14, 2017 at 16:19

      And both areas are obscured by mountains of propaganda.

  17. February 14, 2017 at 13:11

    Thanks Drew, that looks like a good book, with some respectable contributors.

  18. Drew Hunkins
    February 14, 2017 at 11:28

    This sounds like a magnificent docu flim.

    Also, a tremendous book on the conflict is by Steven Lendman called “Flashpoint in Ukraine”. If you get time, pick up Flashpoint in Ukraine. Lendman’s basically the editor of the book as it’s a collection of articles and essays by such luminaries as James Petras, Michael Parenti and Paul Craig Roberts.

    Can’t wait to see this docu.

  19. Herman
    February 14, 2017 at 11:14

    Stone has always been viewed skeptically, taking a strong case “over the top.” Having such a reputation diminishes the impact and is used by those on the “other side” to discount what he produces. Would it have made any difference if Stone was not involved, not. The gathering of the lemmings has been accomplished and they instinctively know where the cliffs are.

    Sad to hear what happened to Flynn. Does Trump really believe Flynn’s dismissal will call off the dogs? The Logan Act? Where did that come from. First time I heard it mentioned was when gutsy Tulsi Gabbard talked to Assad.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 14, 2017 at 11:55

      I find it most interesting that Flynn’s interactions with the Russians embarrassed VP Pence, and the CIA have the conversational transcripts to prove it…oh, and President Trump knew about Flynn’s deception getting over on VP Pence…this weeks episode makes for some really great TV.

      • Realist
        February 14, 2017 at 19:18

        Well, as Dennis Kucinich said today, and as I said at the time, the biggest crime was the American intelligence communities spying on the future Trump administration, including its intended national security advisor. If that is not the hallmark of a coup by the Deep State against an elected president not even installed yet, I don’t know what is.

        That said, it seems as though Trump has been thoroughly cowed by these people. Perhaps they have candidly threatened his life. As the Saker said, Trump could have refused to accept Flynn’s resignation if he was willing to fight his subordinates in the CIA et al. Moreover, he didn’t have to immediately demand that Russia return the Crimea to Ukraine as a condition for good relations with Russia. That. will. never. happen. It is a pretext for the next world war. He might just have well said that we should give Texas or California back to Mexico.

        It’s clear, the American Deep State and NATO want war. It’s why they have stationed troops and weapons all along Russia’s western border. It’s not to defend the Baltics, it’s to invade Russia from the Baltics. This will soon force Putin’s hand against Ukraine as the US military will not allow the conflict to remain frozen. They are champing at the bit to fire their missiles and artillery at Moscow and St. Petersburg. They figure a few cultural icons left in smoldering ruins will convince the Russian people to hang Putin and find some stooge like Yeltsin to run the country at America’s behest. And if Warsaw, Budapest and Berlin become collateral damage, Uncle Sam will count it as worth the price, in fact a bonus to American contractors.

        • Joe J Tedesky
          February 15, 2017 at 00:46

          I saw that Fox Business interview with Dennis Kucinich, and I also read what the saker had to say, and both made perfect sense to me.

          We here on this comment board have speculated many times in the past, and with comments made by consortiumnews many contributors, of how there is a war going on inside our American government. I think with Flynn’s resignation that we are at the start of something big. Along with the Deep States ejection of Flynn, we certainly should expect that there is yet more to come.

          Trump is a huge target for conflict of interest charges. The Ethnics Oversight Committee is making statements to how they are thinking of opening up an investigation of Kellyanne Conway’s promoting Ivanka’s clothing line. Now CNN has flashed on the screen how Trump aides were in constant touch with Russian officials. At this point I’m wondering if Trump will make it until April.

          The Vegas Bookies gotta love this!

        • Tavolga
          February 15, 2017 at 21:18

          100% agree with you. This is sad.

    • SteveM
      February 14, 2017 at 12:33

      Re: “Sad to hear what happened to Flynn.”

      I can’t say the same. Flynn has ginned up a strategy with long-time Neocon hack Michael Ledeen in which the U.S. would be engaged in an almost perpetual global war with radical Islam. I.e. islands of radical Islam would be ground into dust by the U.S. military. The remaining population would then be transitioned into a social order consistent with Western norms. All on the U.S. taxpayers’ many dimes.

      Flynn sees Russia as an ally in that massive exercise. I.e. an enemy of my enemy is my friend. He is no friend of American realists/ non-interventionists. (Or the taxpayers)

    • Litchfield
      February 14, 2017 at 23:22

      And what about McCain’s and Graham’s antics in both Ukraine and Syria????
      And, BTW, the two offensive offensives are related.
      Let’s get McCain impeached via the Logan Act.

  20. SteveM
    February 14, 2017 at 10:52

    Agree with others that an elucidation of the Holodomor is required to properly frame the basis for the contemporary Ukrainian Right.

    Incidentally, a great book that fully describes the ruthless insanity that convulsed Eastern Europe/Western Russia which led up to the current pathological dynamic is “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” by Timothy Snyder.

    I highly recommend it.

  21. Winston
    February 14, 2017 at 05:49

    And what about this:


    How the Trump Regime was Manufactured by a War Inside the Deep State

    • Litchfield
      February 15, 2017 at 00:01

      Wow, this guy Nafeez Ahmed is effing brilliant
      This article is a must-read, IMHO, for all who seek to see beneath the surface.
      Thanks so much for the link.

  22. Upright
    February 14, 2017 at 05:43

    Reading this reminded me of the film ‘La Spirale’ about the US/CIA subversion and overthrow of Allende I watched as a film student in the 70’s, a consummate piece of filmmaking – fast paced, packed with information and destined never to be seen by the mainstream.

  23. irina
    February 14, 2017 at 04:32

    response to typingperson : correction, Stalin did not ‘give’ Crimea to Ukraine, Kruschev (who was ethnic Ukrainian) did that. It was basically an administrative action — the Crimean Peninsula has issues, including water (delivered via canals controlled by Ukraine), power and other services, which could more easily be addressed by Kiev than by the much more distant Moscow. At the time (mid 1950’s), since Ukraine was part of the USSR, the transfer was not considered to be a big deal politically speaking. Mainly done for administrative convenience. Other than that, your description is correct.

    Also of interest is Monsanto’s recent (and current) activities in Ukraine, in light of the fact that Victoria Nuland’s neocon spouse Robert Kagan sits on the Monsanto Board. And of course Joe Biden’s son had interests in oil and gas exploration offshore from Crimea. . .

    response to Zachary — yes, as I was reading this, I was wondering why no reference to the Holodomor of the early 1920’s, driven by Soviet collectivization of the very fertile farms of Ukraine; farmers who resisted were punished through famine, land seizure, and imprisonment or deportation to Siberia. Nevertheless, the recent history is much more accurately related than has been presented in mainstream western media.

    Also missing from this narrative is any mention of the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, the historic home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and its only warm water port. Russia was certainly not going to give up that port. Many Russian soldiers died fighting over / defending Sevastopol during the Crimean War of the mid-1800’s, during World War 1, and again during World War 2. Although Sevastopol fell to the Nazis in World War 2 when they staged a surprise air attack. At great risk and loss of life, Russian soldiers managed to safely evacuate most of the civilian population of Sevastopol. By the end of the war, the city lay in ruins. Russian engineers and workers rebuilt it. So there is definitely a strong historical and ongoing connection between the Crimean Peninsula — and Sevastopol in particular — and Russian culture, including as stated above that most of the residents of Crimea (with the notable exception of the Tatars) are ethnically and linguistically Russian.

    Many observers note that, politically and geographically speaking, Ukraine as it exists today is really two countries both logically and ideologically divided by the Dneiper River, with Crimea belonging to the lands east of the Dneiper.

    The entire situation is much more complex than presented by Western media and I hope that this documentary, despite its omissions, receives wide viewership and catalyzes more informed dialogue about the recent history and near future of Ukraine.
    The US is definitely complicit; just after the 2014 coup, i heard a presentation by a person who had worked for the NED to foment student unrest at universities in western Ukraine. It was obvious that he was shocked by how things were in fact progressing . . .

    • Adrian Engler
      February 14, 2017 at 05:43

      Ukraine is certainly diverse, but I think it is more appropriate to talk about four parts than about two.

      1) Western Ukraine (e.g. Lviv, Chernivci, Rivne)

      This is the only part of Ukraine that is really more or less monolingually Ukrainian-speaking. It never belonged to the Russian empire. It is also an area where right-wing nationalists are particularly strong.

      2) Central and Northern Ukraine

      A more mixed linguistic situation. Some people speak Ukrainian in everyday life, but in many places, Russian and surzhik, a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian is more common. Anti-Russian sentiments are relatively common, but less consistent than in Eestern Ukraine.

      3) Eastern and Southern Ukraine

      Here, the main language is Russian, along with surzhik (a mixture between Russian and Ukrainian). Generally, people see more cultural commonalities with Russia. Most people also understand Ukrainian, but it is used less than Russian. Odessa was culturally diverse (Jews, Greeks, Armenians, …) from the time when it was founded, and the main language had always been Russian. These areas also suffer economically from the deterioration of relationships with Russia, they used to produce a lot for the Russian market.
      While Russian is clearly the main language in Donetsk, Lugansk and Odessa, in some rural areas in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, the Ukrainian language still plays an important role, and while the cities are predominantly Russian-speaking, the Ukrainian language also has some presence.

      4) Crimea (if it is regardedas a part of Ukraine)

      Ukrainian language and culture is mostly absent. People from Western Ukraine complained that Crimeans often did not understand them when they talked Ukrainian. Crimea is generally a monolingual Russian-speaking area, and the second language after Russian is probably the one of Crimean Tatars, not Ukrainians. Since the early 90es, there had been lots of attempts of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea either to become independent from Ukraine or at least autonomous or to rejoin Russia to which it belonged until the 50es. Already in the 90es, the Russian Block was the strongest party on Crimea during some time..

      • irina
        February 14, 2017 at 13:52

        Thank you so much for the more detailed explanation ! Much appreciated.

      • Junius
        February 14, 2017 at 19:46

        Let us not forget that the two imperial superpowers of the nineteenth century, Britain and France, contrived excuses in 1854 to launch a devastating attack on Russia in the Crimean War. British troops occupied the Crimean part of the Russian homeland for two decades after they defeated the vastly out-gunned Russian defenders. This is one of the historical reasons why Russia moved so quickly to protect the region from the recent western-backed coup in Kiev.

        Some three-quarters of a century after these events, in 1939, Britain and France would once again team up to eliminate a continental economic rival, this time using the excuse of “rescuing” an aggressively militarist Poland to launch a total war against Germany that ultimately slew more than a quarter of Germany’s entire population.

    • Litchfield
      February 14, 2017 at 22:26

      Some more Ukraine trivia.
      So, the Ukraine, or a large portion of it, was historically known as Malorossiya, Little Russia. It was/is certainly a border country, with no natural barriers to invasion from the northwest or the east. Hence the hegemony of the Mongolian Golden Horde over the whole region from the early 13th to the early 16th century, and then the Poles and Lithuanians expanding their empires in the direction of the Ukraine. Cf. Taras Bulba. For an entertainment break, watch one of the greatest scenes and the greatest scores in film history, the Ride of the Cossacks to Dubno (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lNwPA1FHdw). Bet you can’t watch it just once. Sometimes the Poles turn out to be the villains, not the victims.

      Nikolai Gogol was from the Ukraine. Much of the grotesque quality of his stories is rooted in the strange atmosphere of the folktales of his youth (as retold in Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka). The Dniepr River is an uncanny presence, heaving along placidly in the night while weird things take place on its banks or out on its waters, a real religious/pagan mishmash . . . and there were the Jews . . . Jewish families in Odessa grew relatively (within Russia) powerful and wealthy on the grain trade. In so many respects a fascinating region.

      • Tavolga
        February 15, 2017 at 21:16

        Just a little detail about Gogol, my favorite writer. He was Ukrainian, born in the Ukraine and yet he had never wrote in Ukrainian language, only Russian. He refused to write in artificially created in late 1900 language, Ukrainian language.

  24. Zachary Smith
    February 14, 2017 at 03:06

    It is not very often that a documentary film can set a new paradigm about a recent event, let alone, one that is still in progress. But the new film Ukraine on Fire has the potential to do so – assuming that many people get to see it.

    The first thing I went looking for in the essay was a link to the film. Surely Mr. Stone didn’t expect a presentation which went against all recent US propaganda to be accepted/allowed in the movie theaters. But not seeing one, I went looking online. All I could eventually find was a youtube version in a foreign language with English subtitles, and I watched the first 20 minutes of this.

    I don’t know enough about the issue to say whether what I was seeing was historically accurate or not, but it was clear from the outset that a great deal had been left out. Yes, the western Ukrainians had initially accepted the invading Germans with open arms, but after the unmentioned Holodomor who could blame them? Stalin’s genocide effort cost millions of Ukrainian lives, and the survivors were bound to be bitter and wanting payback.

    As for the murders by the Ukrainian Nazis of the Jews and Poles, Mr. Stone again left out the fact that the German Nazis encouraged the local thugs to do their dirty work for them in all the nations they conquered. This hardly excuses the evil deeds, but consider these stats I found at the Holodomor wiki.

    According to one estimate[76] about 81.3% of the famine victims in the Ukrainian SSR were ethnic Ukrainians, 4.5% Russians, 1.4% Jews and 1.1% were Poles.

    Ukrainians who had suffered during the artificial famine would recall that the Jews and Poles were mostly survivors, and would have constructed real or imaginary reasons for this. Again, my ignorance of Ukrainian events in that era is total, so I’ve no idea what was going on in the heads of the Ukrainian Nazis. It might be as simple as a handful of notorious Polish or Jewish famine profiteers becoming the “face” of their entire ethnic groups. What I DO know is that religion was also involved. The Orthodox church welcomed the dispatch of the Catholic Poles, and possibly the Jews as well. (Does the Orthodox Church hate them as much as did the Catholic Church?) Very recent history in Africa has had high-ranking Catholic clergy actively engaged in genocidal activities there. Ditto modern Israel. Ditto India. Ditto ISIS.

    That’s my partial “take” on the first 20 minutes. Mr. Oliver Stone presents a compelling tale, but this and other shows of his I’ve seen had some serious omissions and sometimes some important points he’s flat-out wrong about.

    If you watch it, try to keep that in mind.

    • Adrian Engler
      February 14, 2017 at 05:15

      I agree that the film (which I saw on Youtube) is somewhat one-sided and leaves out relevant things. I think it is laudable that the film highlights aspects of history that are not often mentioned in the Western press. But, of course, this does not mean that the film presents the “whole story”, if that would be possible.

      While I agree that the extreme famine that followed mass collectivization of land in the Ukrainian Soviet republic and other parts of the Soviet Union, such as Kazakhstan, would have been an important topic, I don’t think the argument about the percentage of Polish victims of the famine makes sense in that context. The Polish minority in the Ukrainian Soviet republic was not that large and Western Ukraine including Eastern Galicia and Western Volhynia (where later the massacre of Poles by the Ukrainian extremists of UPA took place) was not a part of the Soviet Union, at all, but of Poland between the first and second world war. So, the area was not affected by the Holodomor, and therefore it makes no sense to talk about remembering who survived the Holodomor there (there was the Eastern part of Volhynia that did belong to the Soviet Union at that time, so for that area, it may make sense).

      The UPA was mainly active in areas that belonged to Poland before the Second World War (before the First World War, these areas belonged to the Austrian-Hungarian empire). They were active in areas that only had been under Soviet rule for a short time (after Nazi German troops occupied the Western part of Poland, Soviet troops occupied the Eastern part).

      Of course, although people in the parts of today’s Ukraine that belongey to Poland at the time had not experienced the Holodomor themselves, they certainly heard about it. It was common to blame Jews for Stalinism and its crimes – not only in Ukraine, but also in the Baltic states, Poland and Nazi Germany. In a full account, the fact that mass murderers of Jews blamed them for the communist Soviet regime should certainly be mentioned, but I doubt whether it would be appropriate to give such apologies for genocide too much space in such a documentary.

      In the case of Poles, the situation is different. It would be absurd to claim Poles had a good relationship with the Stalinist Soviet government. On the contrary, Stalin had a paranoia about alleged conspiracies by Polish spies, he commanded local functionaries to fight this conspiracy, and this meant that many people with a Polish name were killed in the time before WWII just because of their name and ethnicity – local functionaries feared that they would be charged with not being active enough against the alleged Polish conspiracy if they did not kill enough Poles. Then, of course, after the war had started, there were furter mass killings of Poles by the Soviet Union, the most well-known is the mass killing of Polish officers in Katy? (Western Russia, close to Smolensk).

      So, whatever apology the Ukrainian extremists from UPA might think up for their genocidal massacres of Poles in Galicia and Volhynia, blaming Poles for Soviet crimes would be so absurd that it was hardly ever attempted. In the case of Jews, it was often attempted and, of course, in no way can ever excuse the genocide against Jews in which UPA also participated (though the main target of their genocidal warfare were Poles). But in the case of Poles, the idea that the UPA’s massacres could be excused by identifying Poles with the Soviet power, even though few groups were persecuted as ferociously in the Soviet Union before WWII as Poles, just would be too absurd and therefore was hatdly attempted.

      • Typingperson
        February 15, 2017 at 02:21

        And so, what are your thoughts on the US-backed coup of the democratically elected leader of Ukraine to install a neo-fascist regime?

    • February 14, 2017 at 12:45

      In reply to this:

      1. Oliver Stone did not write or direct this film. He did some of the interviews in Russia, and he helped with the opening. Period. So to say its his film, or to characterize at as his progeny, that is simply wrong.

      2. To attack the film for leaving out that whole Holodomor affair is not criticism of THIS film, its criticism for not making ANOTHER film. Which is unfair and unwarranted. Because that whole episode is so mired in controversy and so politicized that it would take a whole documentary to sort out the claims about it that are true, false, or manufactured. To put it mildly, Robert Conquest was not a reliable source. He was a propagandist by profession and was reportedly paid by Ukrainian nationalists to write his book on the subject. He has been criticized by no less than Richard Evans as a neocon first and historian second. Mark Tauger, among others, has done first hand research on the issue and concluded that Conquest’s work was deeply flawed and misleading.

      3. But even if that were not the case, how would that excuse what Bandera and Lebed did? Especially from someone who says he is ignorant of Ukrainian events of the era. To assume religion was involved, based on other cases, that is what we do not need.

      4. The point of the film is that many of these rightwing groups that have used terror tactics since 1991 are heirs of Bandera and Lebed. They do not have popular support for their acts, but their tactics and goals coincide with powers from outside, and completely skew the picture and have mislead a mass movement.

      • Litchfield
        February 14, 2017 at 21:32

        A Russian friend told me, when the Baderisti first started hitting the radar in a big way in early 2014, that the Bandera militias did the kinds of extermination actions of Poles, and Ukrainian and Jewish peasants—such as herding families into a barn and setting the barn on fire or just hacking people to pieces—that were too brutal and sickening for the regular German troops and the SS Einsatzgruppen in the Ukraine (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einsatzgruppen_der_Sicherheitspolizei_und_des_SD).

    • Abe
      February 14, 2017 at 13:07

      The collectivization of agriculture in the USSR (1929-1931) resulted in terrible Soviet famine (1932-1933). The famine affected the major grain-producing areas of the Soviet Union, leading to the deaths of millions in those areas and severe food insecurity throughout the USSR. These areas included Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, Volga Region and Kazakhstan, the South Urals, and West Siberia. The subset of the famine within the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic is called Holodomor or “hungry mass-death.”

      In Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard (1987), Douglas Tottle shows how claims that the Soviet famine of the 1930s was an act of intentional genocide directly focused against the people of Ukraine are “fraudulent”.

      Tottle exposes the Holodomor notion of a genocidal “terror-famine” specifically directed against the people of Ukraine by a vengeful Stalin as a “myth” based in fascist (Nazi German and Ukrainian nationalist) propaganda.

      Anti-Semitic “famine-genocide” stories about Ukraine were fabricated by Nazi propagandists in their campaigns against Bolshevism during the 1930s, and to support their 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union.

      The spread of these stories to America took route through the presses of William Randolph Hearst, who worked in collaboration with the Nazis and publishing Nazi propaganda in mainstream American publications throughout the later half of the 1930s and into the 1940s.

      Tottle does not deny that famine happened in Ukraine and elsewhere in the Soviet Union, but he suggests that Ukrainian resistance to Soviet collectivization contributed to the severity of the famine in Ukraine.

      For more on this subject read:

      “In Search of a Soviet Holocaust” by Jeff Coplon
      (Originally published in the Village Voice in 1988)

      • February 14, 2017 at 13:28

        Thanks Abe, this is what I mean about that being a whole separate subject about which so much controversy exists.

        To criticize this film based on leaving that subject out is simply obtuse, and it ignores the much larger part of the documentary which deals with the Orange Revolution and the coup of 2014 and how the USA was directly involved in both. And how we ended up backing some rightwing zealots who resorted to violence and terror in order to relaunch the Cold War.

      • Zachary Smith
        February 14, 2017 at 15:19

        If I’d ever given the matter any thought, I’d have realized that since genocide denial exists in so many other instances, there was probably a mini-industry of doing so with Ukraine as well.

        Turns out that somebody made a bad scan of the Tottle book and put it online.


        The man makes it clear from the outset he is an apologist for the USSR. On the other side of the fight were the Robert Conquest types. They were equally fanatical and just as dishonest with their “facts”. I threw away my Conquest book many years ago.


        As this book showed, it was a cottage industry in the West to deny anything extraordinary was happening in the Soviet Union during the Thirties. Lenin and Stalin were simply misunderstood Good People.

        Stalin was pure evil, just as Hitler was pure evil. It was in the national interests of the US and Britain to join with the former to protect ourselves from the latter. “We” assisted in the coverups and made excuses for Ukraine, for Katyn Forest, and elsewhere. That is, until the end of WW2 when we didn’t need Stalin’s Red army anymore. Then the newly-formed CIA started operations against the new enemy, leaving weapons caches in eastern Europe as the US Army withdrew to the designated lines and the Ukrainian nazis got plenty of other support right into the Fifties for their nasty little guerrilla war.

        Fast forward to the Eighties when Ronald Reagan wanted to highlight the evils of Communism and stroke the Ukraine Nazis.


        This wasn’t hard work for the congressional critters – real events are lots easier than fake ones to use as propaganda vehicles. Again, building a case using “truth” is simpler than doing so with “lies”.

        Second Fast Forward to Obama-time. Demonizing the dirty Russians was once again a priority, and Hillary and her Victoria Nuland-type helpers were unleashed to harm Russia by enabling the Ukrainian Nazis again.

        I believe Jim DiEugenio missed the part about my watching only the first 20 minutes of the rather long film. That I remarked about it being seriously incomplete doesn’t mean I also dispute the main thrust of deadly and stupid US meddling in Ukrainian affairs.

        That’s it. I’m not going to tackle Holodomor denial today. Maybe some other time….

        • Junius
          February 14, 2017 at 19:43

          This talk of “evil” nations and people is too theological to take seriously. The Manichean worldview in which reality is but a metaphysical battleground between good and evil is surrealistic nonsense – programmed into us by the religious institutions that have always served as the compliance assurance arm of state power. The “good” British and French empires that attacked Germany in 1939 slaughtered, enslaved, and exploited hundreds of millions in the Third World.

        • February 15, 2017 at 01:29

          He isn’t an apologist for the USSR, he was a Canadian labor union trade analyst. ANd that copy of his book is so bad that its incoherent.

          Abe, that Coplon article is really good. Everyone should read it. The film made of Conquest’s book was as fallacious as his book. And it was backed by the same Ukrainian nationalists. It was then promoted by none other than William F. Buckley on TV. The film even used fake pictures.

          What is really scary about that article is this: At that time, there were several academics willing to speak out against Conquest’s lousy work. In fact, Coplon got four of them to go on the record in just one article. But today, due to political pressure by the neocons, its much harder to get someone to do that in this country. (Although Evans will in England.) Conquest’s assistant, who was just as bad and political as he was, James Mace, is actually looked upon today as respectable. That is how far the neocons have moved the academic spectrum in general, and the debate about Ukraine specifically.

          In fact, what we have today in Ukraine shows how well Reagan and Buckley succeeded.

        • Tavolga
          February 15, 2017 at 21:08

          I have a personal remark on Holodomor. My father is Ukrainian. He was a child during Holodomor time. He remembers how horrible the hunger was, how desperate his parents were…
          My mother is from Ural region. Do you think she had a different memories? No ! She remembers the hunger when she was a baby.
          To me Holodomor is “all-Soviet -inclusive” reality. Everyone was suffering. Everyone. Not just Ukrainians, not just Russians , everyone…

      • Litchfield
        February 14, 2017 at 21:47

        Another factor is that there is a very active and influential faction within the USA consisting of right-wing Urkainians. Think of Cubans in Miami and their influence on US policy toward Cuba.

        These people are v ery well connected. Surprisingly so! I mean, when first started to read about these types I kind of thought, “Nah, Ukrainians????” But, yes. Very influential group of rightwingers right here in the USA. Also in Canada. It would be great if someone in the “mainstream” section of the “alternative media” (that is, someone at Consortium News) would write about this group of Ukrainian fifth column in the USA, and their connections in DC and elsewhere such as right-wing think tanks.

      • voicu manolache
        February 16, 2017 at 14:54

        collectivization does NOT produce famine.it enhances the standard of living of ALL the members of the collective by a factor of 2 to 4. i have lived trough it at the beginning of the sixties.

    • Abe
      February 14, 2017 at 21:07

      “Ukrainians outside of Ukraine constructed the victim narrative and fought to have the Holodomor classified as genocide by the international community. This exclusive national identity was employed to set Ukrainians apart from Russians through language, culture, historical roots of the Kiev Rus state, and ultimately, through the narrative of the Holodomor.”

      Memory Politics: The Use of the Holodomor as a Political and Nationalistic Tool in Ukraine
      By Jennifer Boryk

    • February 16, 2017 at 11:28

      I also was looking for Holodomor references and notice this does not get acknowledgement in any perspective on Ukraine.
      Perhaps there is a surface amnesia in general and an abused/abuser pattern running beneath, that has significant bearing on anti-Russian sentiment. The leaning to ‘the enemy of my enemy’ did not work in the past and is not working today. I suspect Ukraine is only being used and brought to ruin by its ‘friends’ with a view to its strategic resource. But where isn’t that destructive influence at work?

    • Geneva Observer
      February 27, 2017 at 13:51

      The “Holdomor” did not affect only political opponents of the Stalinists. It also affected neighboring states. The Ukrainian nationalists paint a very lopsided picture. If the “Holdomor” was strictly a political act, there would not have been a wide-spread decimation of livestock of all kinds. See the USDA statistics for the Ukraine from the period. Vladivostok was importing grain three months after the disaster of 1932 was known.

      The western sanctions led to the refusal of Soviet gold to pay for imports. The Soviets in desperation reminted Czarist coinage from 1911, the Chevronet, which was still acceptable payment. The Soviets were forced to pay with commodities for their international trade. They ran down their stocks of grain to a minimal level when the weather turned against them.

      Note: There has never been a famine since then anywhere in the Soviet Union or its satellites, despite the devastation from Stalingrad to Berlin at the close of WW2 or the Great Patriotic War.

  25. Realist
    February 14, 2017 at 03:04

    “…the hasty transition to a “free-market” economy didn’t go well for most Ukrainians or Russians as well-connected oligarchs seized much of the wealth and came to dominate the political process through massive corruption and purchase of news media outlets.”

    Well, there’s the problem. They tried to model their “democracy” after that of the United States. We’ve had four hundred years of Native American genocide, indentured servitude, Black African slavery, onerous sharecropping, Chinese coolie labor, child labor, exploitation of white ethnics in dangerous sweatshops and mines, Japanese detention camps, drug running by Latino mules, and migrant stoop labor by said Latinos, to name a few of the most egregious practices of “free market” capitalism in America imposed by our establishment elites whose major accomplishment was being first in stealing the land and its resources from the continent’s original inhabitants. When it wasn’t stolen directly from them it was stolen from Mexico, Hawaii or Spain, or bought at a discount from a distressed France or Russia. Quite frankly, both those countries should have turned out far bloodier and less egalitarian then they presently are if America was to be the template. The fact of the matter is, we are now in the process of trying to roll or hoodwink them and all of their immediate neighboring states using our “subtle” means of gentle persuasion (guns, lots of guns).

    • Typingperson
      February 15, 2017 at 00:55

      Oh and PS-one of Putin’s main initiatives when he became prez was to reign in the oligarchy. Try finding that fact nugget in US media.

      He also got the Russian deficit under control. They have no deficit, if I recall correctly. Compare that to Obama adding $10 trillion–yep, that’s trillion–to US deficit for total of $30 trillion.

      Crumbling empire. USA! USA!

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 15, 2017 at 02:57

        Just for what you said here, is why the oligarchy dislikes Trumps fascination with Vladimir Putin…it scares the hell out of them rich folk!

  26. Joe J Tedesky
    February 14, 2017 at 01:36

    I can’t wait to see this movie. Where is it going to play, movie houses or Netflex, Hulu,,where?

    It may be a good idea to plan a sequel since in case no one has noticed (I know you all have been paying attention) but there is a ‘ Ukraine on Fire II’ underway.

    I don’t know what Trump has planned, but I think it safe to say that there are those around him that are not on the same page.

    If there is a media vs Trump battle going on, well I think tonight with Flynn’s resigning this is a media win, and a Donald loss. Ukraine, Syria, and to some degree N.Korea (China) is where a lot of Saber rattling is going on. Now Trump might have on his mind how this Saber rattling will raise the bar in a negotiating a better deal,,but my question is, is he really the one in charge? Henry Cabot Lodge Jr and the CIA undermined JFK with the assassination of the The Ngô brothers in 1963. So undercurrents may make a huge difference to where a moving object can be guided to a specific place.

    If anyone has anymore info on Oliver Stone’s ‘Ukraine on Fire’ please post it here.

    • Typingperson
      February 14, 2017 at 01:58

      Trump, sadly but predictably, is being co-opted by the Deep State. So much for a pivot in our pointlessly bellicose, dangerous and expensive, anti-Russia warmongering.

      Putin is the only grownup in the room vis his dealings with the US and NATO. Has been the case under Bush, then Obama and now, Trump. And he’s acted with savvy and restraint–but he’s dealing with a roomfull of heavily armed, powerful and belligerent teenagers. A tricky situation…

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 14, 2017 at 03:13

        Although I don’t believe the Russians did anything to throw our 2016 Presidential election, I do think the Russians were putting their trust and hopes into a friendly Trump presidency, I now wonder to what could be going on inside of Putin’s mine.

        Listening to cable news networks tonight speaking about Fylnn’s resignation, and their referencing RT News as a government ‘run’ new agency in my mine leaves the American audience with credibility issues to many to deal with to little knowledge to be able and overcome this narrative. These same news networks when referring to Fylnn’s attending a RT News dinner,make Fynn sound like a traitor.

        The same sanctions which Fylnn was referring to in his conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyk are the same sanctions that were put on Russia over the Ukraine coup affair. Going after Flynn is one thing, but the NATO buildup along Russia’s western borders is another thing, and just the type of thing which could escalate into a much bigger conflict.

        • James van Oosterom
          February 14, 2017 at 12:05

          “…I now wonder to what could be going on inside of Putin’s mine.” (sic)

          He’ll continue playing footsie with India, Iran and China. He may just support the “mujahideen” in Afghanistan! The rabbit hole doesn’t end there.

          (He’ll probably move on Andorra, too, just to expand options for another European naval base) ;-)

          Do I sound frustrated?

          • Typingperson
            February 15, 2017 at 00:48

            Yep. And you sound like an ill-informed, poorly informed American. Do I sound frustrated??

          • Typingperson
            February 15, 2017 at 02:06

            Russia has exactly two military bases outside Russia. One is in Crimea. Did that turn on any lightbulbs for you, James? The USA has 800+ military bases outside the USA, fyi.

            Also, Russia spends 1/10 of what USA spends on its military. Good old democratic shining-beacon-on-the-hill USA is world’s largest arms dealer and accounts for 40 percent of global spending on military / arms–aka war / murder / sowing chaos / turning normal, hard-working, decent people into refugees. 60 percent of our discretionary budget is spent on military. War is our biggest industry, bar none. Does that turn on any light bulbs for you?

            Russia isn’t that stupid. And they ain’t “playing footsie.”

            Putin is not “playing footsie” with India, Iran, China.That’s rather demeaning and patronizing to say. Why do you phrase it such? Russia is in a legit and smart alliance with China, Iran, Brazil–in large part because the USA and Europe have barred Russia from their alliances, cf NATO and economic trade pacts. But we are only too happy to welcome the fascists running Ukraine, whom we backed in an illegitimate coup. Does that not strike you as bizarre, James?

            Have you never heard of BRIC?

            I hope Russia, China, Iran, India and Brazil are able to ally and shut down USA’s sick, criminal warmongering. It won’t come from reform within the USA. Too many poorly informed useful idiots such as yourself.

            Russia under Putin is resolutely and effectively anti-terrorist and anti-fascist. They put their money where their mouth is, as we say here in the good old US of A! The USA backed fascists in illegal Ukraine coup and we’re backing terrorists in Syria. Not to mention that we fund and back the two biggest states sponsoring terrorism in the Middle East–Israel and Saudi Arabia. Oh and plus they’re both racist as hell. Like I said, shining city on the hill that can do no wrong.

            Do I sound frustrated?

            Yep. I am so ashamed of this country. USA. My country. That I used to be so proud of. So sad.

        • Typingperson
          February 15, 2017 at 00:46

          Agreed. Too bad Americans don’t get this. A reporter at work today–considers herself a super-savvy investigative reporter–started spewing re a Kurt Eichenwald story re Russian “agression” v USA.”They are massing battleships against us!!!”

          It’s Kurt Eichenwald!, I exclaimed in exasperation. A seriously discredited nutbag! Leading the hysterical anti-Russia charge, for Pete’s sake!!

          Unfazed, she replied: 17 US security agencies have concluded Russia hacked the US election.

          Me: Oh, even the Coast Guard? Please! That’s a meme–a tired, discredited US propaganda meme Hillary has been pushing since October and that Obama backed. Total b.s. You are really trusting the CIA? Really? And the solid Intel says the Clinton and DNC emails were leaked, not hacked!! Inside job, that is. And even so–so what? So the American people learned more re how duplicitous the DNC and Clinton campaign are??

          No response. She was bitchy and passive-aggressive toward me the rest of the day.

          • Joe J Tedesky
            February 15, 2017 at 02:49

            The American media is doing a twofer, undermining Trump’s credibility, and demonizing Vladimir Putin. As I write with this little tv on in front of me on mute, I see the cable networks are going after Trump’s whole campaign staff, as if Trump Aids were communicating with Putin’s Russia.

            Now by going after the whole campaign apparatus and linking it to Putin, we now have great grounds for Trump’s impeachment, and possibly even better odds at getting our asses kicked…oh I mean taking down Bad Vlad. And all of this from the creative smart kids!

            This is the same media who when it was Hillary’s unsecure server security breach, well as Bill Maher once said it was a ‘NothingBurger’, are now the media who are appalled and shocked by Flynn’s and possibly other Trump people of them handing over the holy grail of U.S. Security Secrets to Vladimir Putin. Oligarchs fear Putin, so the media needs to protect their bosses…hey it’s just a career, right?

            The American media with it’s telling Americans everything there is that’s bad about Russia should go tell their one sided version to the Russian people, and then let’s get a read out of how bad it really is in the Kremlin. Although our brilliant kids in our American media know all that made up stuff is just for print, but then they say, hey who in America is going to go out and source all of that one sidedness to reach at least something of an opinion based on the truth? I’m sure there are read out sheets showing the demographics of where each style and version of a spin will work to its best percentage of advantage. We sell cars, and fast food this way, so why not?

            Today I think the Trump Adminstration loss a big battle. Tomorrow is just another day.

            Take care Frustrated one, best regards Joe

    • Realist
      February 14, 2017 at 02:43

      Fat chance of it ever seeing the light of day in America’s corporate/government-controlled media. I believe there is a word for that arrangement.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 14, 2017 at 03:14

        That’s to bad I was going to buy everyone a popcorn.

      • James van Oosterom
        February 14, 2017 at 12:07

        Dead man walking?

      • Gregory Herr
        February 14, 2017 at 21:04


    • Marko
      February 14, 2017 at 02:59

      ” If anyone has anymore info….”

      Lots here :


      I’d guess Stone might be torn between working on the sequel , ‘Ukraine on Fire II’ , versus being ready as events fall in place for a truly epic production : ‘ World on Fire ‘. Of course he’d have to weigh the odds that the potential audience for the latter might turn out to be dramatically reduced.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 14, 2017 at 03:17

        Wow you put new meaning into, ask and you shall receive…tks Joe

      • February 17, 2017 at 01:30

        I went on Oliver Stone’s official website to see if it was available for purchase and there is no mention of it.
        It’s not available on Amazon. Is this censorship?

    • Sam F
      February 14, 2017 at 08:52

      It is essential to see that news and art that “contests the prevailing narrative” is “unlikely to get much distribution” because this is the heart of the problem. The oligarchy that controls marketing and distribution of all media does not permit any criticism of its power grabs.

      A truly democratic mass media prevents primitive demagogues from whipping up war fever with lies. We don’t have that because we don’t have a democracy, because the emerging middle class was not vigilant as growing economic concentrations captured mass media and election budgets and Congress itself. A bribed Congress refuses to debate measures to free democratic institutions and mass media from economic powers. Education has had little effect in freeing the population from mass media deception, even among college educated people.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 14, 2017 at 11:35

        And everybody joins in, and the crowd sings…..

        “Living is easy with eyes closed
        Misunderstanding all you see
        It’s getting hard to be someone
        But it all works out
        It doesn’t matter much to me”. Lennon & McCartney

        • Sam F
          February 14, 2017 at 17:56

          I wonder whether there is a pop equivalent to that today, better or worse. No doubt it would be suppressed by the oligarchy. I doubt that the seers are more numerous, but perhaps I am wrong.

          • Joe J Tedesky
            February 14, 2017 at 18:21

            I miss John Lennon.

        • Gregory Herr
          February 14, 2017 at 21:12

          I miss him too Joe. And we’re not the only ones.

      • Typingperson
        February 15, 2017 at 00:50

        Hear hear!

    • Bill Bodden
      February 14, 2017 at 14:44

      I can’t wait to see this movie. Where is it going to play, movie houses or Netflex, Hulu,,where?

      I Googled “ukraine on fire” and it came up with You Tube.

    • Deborah Harris
      February 15, 2017 at 03:17

      I found full documentary on Youtube with English subtitles.
      Ukraine on Fire (ENG SUB) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqVB3qY3Qwo

    • Dara
      February 15, 2017 at 12:06

      I’m pretty sure Netflix has an editorial direction which conflicts with the information given in this film.

    • GrandmaR
      February 22, 2017 at 15:14



      This version was dubbed over (in Russian, I think), so has been subtitled in English. A bit of pain in neck (and brain), but I just stop it and even “rewind” when it is hard to keep up. It is, indeed, packed with important information. So far I’ve not found the version voiced in English. Maybe Mr. Parry will have a clue. His interviewing is excellent. And I am eaten up with jealousy over Mr. Stone’s interview with Vladimir Vladimirovich — must have been a real thrill for him, speaking personally with the world’s “@ real-adult president.”


      Although it is “made in Russia,” I highly recommend, for those who have not seen it, “Crimea: the Way Back Home,” which chronicles the return of Crimea to it’s REAL home. @ YouTube in its entirety. Some may chalk it up to propaganda, but it is a good companion flick to “Ukraine on Fire” and matches up well with the version of those events I got from an acquaintance who lives in Sevastopol and witnessed and participated in what happened there following the coup in Kiev.

    • David Otness
      February 25, 2017 at 00:54

      It’s going around YouTube, but not in English.

  27. Typingperson
    February 14, 2017 at 01:30

    Excellent informative piece. I learned a lot, especially re historical context. So sad that the average American won’t read it–or believe it. Last month I was talking to a conventionally liberal, “held her nose and voted for Hillary” friend,” who considers herself to be informed about US politics.

    “Well I do think it’s serious and concerning that Russia interfered in the election, ” she said.

    I went thru the points that there is no evidence of this, other than CIA’s say-so–and since when are you trusting the CIA?

    She chewed on that. “Yeah, but Russia does bad stuff.”

    “Like what?” I asked.

    “Well, like annexing Crimea. Shows their aggression, untrustworthiness and that they’re a warmongering threat. We sanctioned them for it! Cause it was bad.”

    “But that was after the US-backed coup in Ukraine of the democratically elected leader and we helped replace him with a guy who is proto-fascist,” I said. “The Crimeans are ethnically Russian. Speak Russian–and part of Russia til Stalin gave Crimea to Ukraine after WWII. They asked Russia to take them in.”

    “And fascism is a very big scary deal to the Russians. 26 million Russians killed by the Nazis–after the Nazis invaded Russia. US has never been invaded by a foreign power like that,” I added.

    “What US backed coup?” she asked.

    “And what evidence is there of that?” she added, skeptically.

    “Fomented by Victoria Neuland, prime neocon. There are leaked emails documenting her involvement,” I said.

    “Who is Victoria Neuland?” she asked.

    “You know, Robert Kagan’s wife. Big cheese in Obama State Dept.,” I said.

    “You sound informed, but I don’t have the time to study up on all this stuff like you do,” she replied defensively, disconcerted and displeased at being challenged for repeating CNN propaganda. She considers herself well-informed and savvy cause she watches Meet the Press every Sunday and is a former journalist.

    That’s what we’re dealing with here….

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 14, 2017 at 01:50

      Until the end typingperson I thought that you and I knew the same girl, but then you said she was a journalist….and I don’t know any journalist, but I know women and men who fit the profile you made appear when relating to us readers about you and the Woman, who gets her news from Meet the Press.

      I don’t have an answer, but I will ask a question. How many hours a day do you spend gathering news? I estimate I spend on average 4 hours aday.

      • Typingperson
        February 14, 2017 at 02:21

        I’m a reporter myself, so I monitor news while doing my job, plus after hours. Don’t know how much time I spend–more time because I check non-mainstream sites like consortiumnews, intercept, etc–v. just sucking in CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo. Maybe 2-3 hours a day? Sometimes more. Um, a lot of times more…. Takes a lot of effort and time in today’s USA to get the real skinny v. US propaganda.

        That my friend prides herself on being informed cuz she’s a former journo makes it more depressing to me. She’s in PR now–and making a lot more money than me.

        Also, most journos just buy CNN, NYT, WaPo propaganda. These are still their respected, trusted news orgs. They are shocked–shocked, I tell you!–to be told / confronted that NYT is a US govt propaganda arm when it comes to Israel, MidEast, foreign policy and US war.

        Journos are under so much pressure to produce–and so afraid of losing their jobs–that they don’t have time, space to think critically. We’re just churning out content for our corporate overlords, these days..

        • Joe J Tedesky
          February 14, 2017 at 02:54

          You being in the ‘business’ let me ask you this; is it no accident that there is a blur between CNN, MSNBC, and the Comedy Network, and how about HBO? In essence there is no news, that it’s all packaged up to sound correct, but slanted and sold through infotainment scripts, would you agree? Are the same people who hover and obstruct a debute of ‘Ukraine on Fire’ and who appear in my eyes to be one in the same editors & publishers by their standards to predetermine what the public should see, and will hear, am I correct that they are basically one in the same?

          • Typingperson
            February 15, 2017 at 00:31

            I don’t watch TV, so I’ve got nothing to say on this. TV news is all infotainment, propaganda, as best I can tell.

    • venice12
      February 14, 2017 at 07:21

      ” til Stalin gave Crimea to Ukraine after WWII. ”

      It was not Stalin after WWII, but Chruschtschow (who was Ukrainian himself) in 1954, who “gave” Crimea to Ukraine, that remained to be part of the Soviet Union.

      The majority of inhabitants since the time of Catherine the Great were/are Russian and decided in a referendum, they wanted to join Russia again.

      • Typingperson
        February 15, 2017 at 00:32

        Agreed. Thanks.

      • Michael
        February 15, 2017 at 12:59

        Actually, it’s Khrushchev (Chruschtschow) and he was n born in the village of Kalinovka in Russia’s Kursk Region about 3 km from the Ukrainian border, not in Ukraine

    • James van Oosterom
      February 14, 2017 at 11:03

      She’s already taken the blue pill. She doesn’t have time, so she goes through the reset. Nothing changes. I meet too many people like that. I only discuss these things with people who are open to taking the red pill.

      Be sure to warn them about the rabbit hole though….

    • Miranda Keefe
      February 14, 2017 at 23:51

      Wow, this sounds like my friend. It’s very frustrating.

      • Typingperson
        February 15, 2017 at 01:23

        Thank you! You make me feel less like I’m the one who’s crazy. It’s why I come to consortium news. I am following current US news in a very careful, limited fashion, to prevent my head from exploding.

    • Michael
      February 15, 2017 at 12:48

      This is EXACTLY the conversation I’ve had when trying to explain the situation in Ukraine to family members, who are also educated “liberals” who think they’re well informed, and depend on NYT, WaPo, and CNN for news… In short, it’s hopeless and pointless talking to them…

    • Auspex42
      February 20, 2017 at 04:16

      >>>The Crimeans are ethnically Russian. Speak Russian–and part of Russia til Stalin gave Crimea to Ukraine after WWII.

      I mostly agree with you said, but you made a factual mistake.

      Stalin died in 1953.

      Crimea was handed to Ukraine (Ukrainian SSR) after Stalin’s death upon Khruschev’s initiative in 1954. During the USSR it did not matter much, as borders between Soviet republics virtually did not exist.

      Crimea actually made attempts to separate from Ukraine and return to Russia in the 1990-s. They even managed to get their own Crimean pro-Russian president, but this attempt was ignored by Russia (Yeltsin did not care at all), and Ukraine squashed the active separatist movement by adding amendments into Ukrainian constitution (and eliminating the Crimean one in 1995).

    • David Otness
      February 25, 2017 at 00:52


      It was Nikita Khrushchev who gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954.

      And yeah, I get the same response as you from people all the time.

      That movie is making the rounds, but not in English unfortunately.

Comments are closed.