Ukraine’s NATO Bid Risks Even Worse U.S.-Russia Ties

Ukraine has made new moves towards joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which would cross a Russian “red line” and further deteriorate U.S.-Russia relations, argues Will Porter.

By Will Porter Special to Consortium News

It’s been four years since the hectic “Euromaidan” protest movement culminated in a coup that deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Though civil war grinds on in the eastern half of the country, Ukraine has wandered in and out of American news cycles since the dramatic change of government in Kiev.

But a more recent development has implications that are rarely explored in American media, despite what it could mean for broader U.S. international relations. Ukraine is vying to take its place as NATO’s newest member state, a move that could seriously escalate tensions between Washington and Moscow beyond their current high point.

“It’s safe to say that Russia would be, and has been, opposed to NATO membership for Ukraine,” James Carden, former advisor to the State Department’s U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, said in an email exchange.

Neighboring states such as Ukraine and Georgia, Carden added, “are red lines for Russia and we should take them at their word.”

While Ukraine’s original application to join the alliance came in 2008, subsequent political complications put the issue on the back burner. It wasn’t until 2014 that the Ukrainian parliament voted to end the country’s “non-aligned” status and renew the push for membership.

Poroshenko: Drive towards Nato on Facebook. (Ukrainian Govt. Photo)

In a March Facebook post, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine’s “next ambition” on its path to membership was to seek a Membership Action Plan (MAP). Countries seeking to join NATO must go through a multi-step process that ensures the prospective member meets the alliance’s various obligations in areas ranging from military spending to law.

“This is what my letter to [NATO Secretary General] Jens Stoltenberg in February 2018 was about, where, with reference to Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, I officially [put forward] Ukraine’s aspirations to become a member of the Alliance,” Poroshenko wrote on Facebook.

The renewed effort to join the alliance, if successful, could further ratchet up tensions between Russia and the United States, who–in case anyone could forget–preside over the world’s two largest hydrogen bomb arsenals.

Not One Inch

Founded in 1949 as a bulwark against alleged Soviet expansionism in post-war Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization functions as a mutual defense pact between its 29 member states. Until the early 1990s, NATO existed ostensibly to counter the Soviet Union’s analogous alliance, the Warsaw Pact.

In December of last year, the National Security Archive at George Washington University published a series of declassified documents which reveal that strong assurances were given to the crumbling USSR that NATO, in the words of then-Secretary of State James Baker, would not advance “one inch eastward” in the post-Soviet era.

Yet between the time those promises were made, beginning in early 1990, and the present, NATO has expanded to encompass thirteen additional states, all of them in Eastern Europe. In 1999, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary joined; in 2004 the alliance expanded to include Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, while Albania and Croatia followed in 2009.

Baker: Promises not kept.

The addition of NATO’s newest member, Montenegro, in 2017 provoked a hostile Russian response after it became clear the new member would join in on European Union sanctions targeting Russia. Given the agreements set out in the waning days of the Cold War, the Russians have looked on subsequent NATO expansion as part of an aggressive policy designed to hem in its borders.

Ukraine is no exception. In a 2014 interview with Bloomberg News, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Ukraine’s acceptance into NATO would amount to a setback for regional security, and explained the general Russian position on the question.

It Started in the Nineties

“The attempts to draw Ukraine into NATO would be negative for the entire system of European security and we would be categorically against it,” Lavrov said.

“In my view, it all started … back in the 1990s, when in spite of all the pronouncements about how the Cold War was over and that there should be no winners yet, NATO looked upon itself as a winner,” Lavrov said. “All these commitments have been, to one degree or another, violated.”

The Russian perception of being surrounded was again intensified in 2002, when the George W. Bush administration unilaterally pulled out of the landmark Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The agreement was signed in 1972 to slow down the Cold War nuclear arms race and prevent either power from building defenses against the other’s missiles. A “balance of terror” was maintained to deter nuclear war, or at least that was the logic underpinning the treaty.

Bush portrayed the treaty as an outdated artifact, only serving to codify a “hateful relationship,” but it’s abrogation heightened Russian anxiety as it opened the way for a U.S. advantage of first strike capability by defending against a nuclear retaliation from Moscow. It effectively ended Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

Though Bush announced the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty as a response to the 9/11 terrorism attacks he had by requirement of the treaty to inform Russia four months before September 11. Washington’s argument that the deployment of anti-ballistic batteries in Romania and Poland are intended to defend against Iran were dismissed by Moscow, especially after the nuclear deal with Teheran effectively ended an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Bush W. team withdrawing from the ABM Treaty, Dec. 13, 2001 (White House Photo)

Not long after the ABM was scrapped, the United States began selling or otherwise deploying missile systems of various types across Eastern Europe, and now conducts dozens of joint military exercises just beyond Russia’s borders every year. In 2016,  NATO staged significant war games with 31,000 troops on Russia’s borders. For the first time in 75 years, German troops retraced the steps of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

That led then German Foreign Minister  Frank-Walter Steinmeier to accuse NATO of “war-mongering” against Russia. “What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering,” Steinmeier stunningly told Bild am Sontag newspaper. “Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken.” Instead Steinmeier called for dialogue with Moscow. “We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation,” he said, saying it would be “fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence.”

Nyet Means Nyet

The trouble Ukrainian NATO membership would stir up was seen as early as 2008 when a leaked State Department cable, entitled “Nyet Means Nyet: Russia’s NATO Enlargement Redlines,” made clear that the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO remains an “emotional and neuralgic” issue for Russia.

“Strategic policy considerations also underlie strong [Russian] opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia,” the document concludes. “In Ukraine, these include fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which could force Russia to decide whether to intervene.”

Derived from discussions between former U.S. Ambassador William Burns and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the document represents high-level U.S. recognition of the Russian position behind closed doors, but it remains unclear whether policymakers are treating the issue with appropriate sensitivity.

“Many [policymakers] inhabit a kind of fantasy land . . . in which Russia was never promised anything regarding NATO expansion,” Carden said. “Total nonsense, but that is the position of the American establishment in a nutshell.”

Carden added that U.S. officials view Russian opposition to NATO expansion as a “cover story,” rather than a genuine grievance, but that is not reflected in the documentary record.

‘Stealing Russia’s Girlfriend’

Nuland: Yats is the guy.

Of all of Russia’s neighbors, Ukraine is an especially touchy matter due to the informal but highly significant U.S. role in the country’s 2014 revolution.

In a leaked recording of a phone conversation between then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, the two Obama administration officials casually discuss hand-picking members of Ukraine’s post-coup state, before the coup happened.

The leak was a minor scandal at the time in the West, but the outrage was directed more at Nuland’s profane remark about the European Union rather than the fact that American officials were selecting the political leadership of a foreign country over the heads of its citizens. Instead of addressing its content, Obama White House spokesman Jay Carney accused Russia of leaking the recording.

A February 2014 appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” was a unique source of insight on the American establishment’s thinking on Ukraine. Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, the media arm of the Council on Foreign Relations, appeared on the show to explain Ukraine’s political troubles. Through a few humorous analogies, Rose portrayed the situation as first and foremost a struggle between the United States and Russia.

“[Ukraine is] basically Robin to Russia’s Batman,” Rose said, drawing laughter from the audience. “The challenge here is to attract it to the West–to get it to flip sides.” He went on to make a silly comparison of likening U.S. policy to attempting to “steal Russia’s girlfriend.”

To that end, the American role in Ukraine’s revolution went far beyond organizing the transitional government in Kiev.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which describes itself as a private non-governmental organization, spent over $4.5 million on some 70 separate projects in Ukraine in 2014. Hundreds of thousands of dollars went toward setting up media and activist groups in the country’s highly volatile political climate.

Despite its NGO status, since its inception in 1983 the vast majority of the NED’s funding has come from U.S. government agencies. The Endowment’s 2014 annual report, for example, shows it received $135 million in grant money from the State Department in that year alone.

In the largest of the NED’s 70 projects in Ukraine, the endowment gave $476,630 to the International Republican Institute (IRI), an American nonprofit chaired by Sen. John McCain. A page on the NED’s website (now defunct, but resurrected with the Wayback Machine) characterized the project as, “Reaching out to voters.”

In a 1991 column in The Washington Post, David Ignatius said the NED has “been doing in public what the CIA used to do in private…”

Documents released through a 2004 Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the IRI had trained leaders of the 2004 coup in Haiti and funded opposition groups in the months leading up the ouster of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The Haitian uprising was led by right-wing paramilitary groups, closely mirroring hardline elements within Ukraine’s own opposition. Organizations at the vanguard of the Ukrainian coup included the Svoboda Party, known to openly admire WWII Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, as well as the ultra-nationalist Social National Party, whose founder Andriy Parubiy became Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council in the post-coup state.

The neo-Nazi Azov Battalion also spearheaded many street protests during the coup, and was later incorporated into Ukraine’s armed forces to put down a separatist uprising in the country’s Russophone Donbass region.

While the full significance of the IRI’s involvement in the 2014 coup in Ukraine remains unclear, the Institute’s track record of training opposition figures to topple elected governments raises questions about its role, as well as the American government’s role in funding such organizations.

Like the NED, the IRI is also a direct recipient of large sums of American government money, receiving $36 million in federal funds in 2004, the same year of the Haitian coup.

Approaching a Boiling Point

In the last year, the already strained relationship between the U.S. and Russia has rapidly declined to what some describe as worse than Cold War levels.

The News Hostility Scoreboard is almost too long to detail in one place:

The ongoing, seemingly never-ending, Russiagate controversy;
• The death of Russian defense contractors in Syria in an American airstrike, among other alarming developments in that country;
The expulsion of 60 diplomats over alleged Russian involvement in an attempted assassination in the UK (reciprocated by Russia);
• The sale of Javelin missiles to the Ukrainian government, to be used in its war in the Donbass;
Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review, which lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons;
Proposed and imposed economic sanctions; the list goes on.

Expanding NATO to include yet another Russian neighbor can only exacerbate the trend, increasing the likelihood for a real conflict between the world’s largest powers.

Nevertheless, in March NATO’s website was updated to officially include Ukraine as an aspirant nation, alongside Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Macedonia. The page is aptly titled “Enlargement.”

So, is NATO membership for Ukraine a foregone conclusion?

Not quite, Carden said, “but given who sits in the Oval Office right now, it would be impossible to rule anything out.”

“I think as long as Merkel remains at the helm in Germany the chances are slim,” Carden said. “She, among all Western leaders, seems to understand that Ukrainian membership would be nothing short of disaster for the alliance.”

Will Porter is a journalist who specializes in U.S. foreign policy and Middle East affairs. He writes for the Libertarian Institute and tweets at @WKPancap.

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75 comments for “Ukraine’s NATO Bid Risks Even Worse U.S.-Russia Ties

  1. Hank
    April 21, 2018 at 9:52 am

    No doubt who is pushing this agenda. Nuland claimed the US had spent $ 5 Billion (taxpayer) on Ukraine. Someone bankrolled the so-called protesters back in 2014 (wonder which NGO). This formula has been used many times. I guess Russia wants war, look how close they have placed their country to Our Bases?

  2. April 21, 2018 at 8:22 am

    In 1950 most of the coastline of the Black Sea was controlled by the Soviet Union, Romania, and Bulgaria. If Ukraine joins NATO then most of the coastline of that sea will be controlled by a NATO state. That is dangerous.

  3. Skip Scott
    April 21, 2018 at 7:38 am

    This is the first article I’ve read at CN about Ukraine that has not had a comment by Michael Kenny. He must be on vacation.

  4. April 21, 2018 at 6:01 am

    In the end Russia will have no option but to destroy Ukraine. If Ukraine ever joins NATO Russia will never sleep, and will never have
    peace, The US and its vassals will make it a point that Ukraine is sacrifised in an attack on Russia. There are some people in the US who want to fight wars as long as they are thousands of kms from the mainland of US. Putin should be ready with his nuclear weapons to destroy the US in any war where they attack Russia, whether it is a vassal of US or any other stooge who starts it; the US will always be behind that devillish act. The US is busy planning to destroy Russia instead of trying to put its debt on the mend. It is behaving like a wounded and defeated animal. It seems like it is not at peace with itself.

  5. Piotr Berman
    April 19, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Re: Martin – Swedish citizen
    April 19, 2018 at 3:46 pm
    Yes, and it is more or less doomed to fail (as do almost all regime change operations).
    It is a tragedy for the EU to have supported this, a terrible scar in the reputation and idea of the Union.

    If you inspect “regime changes”, the success rate is not that bad, if you lower the bar. Take Latvia that is a staunch member of EU and NATO. The treatment of linguistic minorities is crappy, Nazi nostalgia is flourishing, the country lost about 20% of population, but nevertheless it functions somewhat adequately and I bet there are positive stories to tell. Sadly, there are many reasons to believe that Ukraine will not become such (modestly) successful case in the “Western embrace”. One problem is that Ukraine is just too big. Latvia with other Baltics was a pet cause for the former overlord, Sweden, and Swedish businesses and government could sink considerable money to improve infrastructure and so on, perhaps the least successful part being loans to real estate sector that almost wiped out liquidity of Swedish banks (who could guess that as a country gets depopulated real estate prices may be soft?). But with the population 20 times larger, the generous former overlord would have to be proportionally larger than Sweden, and try as I might, only Russia ever shown interest of that kind. This is one reason why Belorus, authoritarian as it is, is economically at par with her Baltic neighbors.

    In EU, surpluses of grain, steel and other staples form a toxic combination with matching surpluses of Ukraine. EU needs Ukraine like … a cow needs a pasture covered with deep snow? The problem is profound, because those products are from a short list of economic Ukrainian products, and EU would rather keep them at a distance. By the way of contrast, many products and industries were complementary with Russia. So a fight with Russia yields many losses but only few gains from more amicable trade relations with the West. That much for EU membership or “association”.

    With NATO, the case is even worse. A large minority in Ukraine is either (a) speaking Russian or (b) attracted to Communism. Unlike in, say, Latvia and Estonia, there is no “objective litmus test” to tell more “pro-Western” citizens from “pro-Russians”, unless you want to accept only diehard followers of Stepan Bandera. That combined with rather numerous army makes any NATO technology provided to Ukraine a security risk to NATO. The hapless arms and aerospace industries of Ukraine are in a no-mans land, they require a web of cooperating companies to thrive but are not trusted by East and West, and out of poverty they are caught selling old engines for intercontinental missiles to North Korea. Perhaps a solution would be like in Iraq and Afghanistan, dissolve the current military and arm and train a new one — as we know, it worked splendidly.

    In the absence of ongoing conflicts you could just throttle the size of military to some minimum, and as some of us know, the budget of Ukraine could use some relief, but this is a rhetorical hypothetical. In the actual situation, if Ukraine get Western anti-tank missiles Russia can experiment with countermeasures and display proudly the results to potential customers, and the same goes for any other type of weapons. Then there is an issue of NATO weapon standards and the cost — much higher than production in Russia, Belorus, and Ukraine. In NATO members that did belong to Warsaw Pact this issue led to a drastic shrinkage in the size of military — what Bulgaria, Poland, Baltics can afford now is only a fraction of what they could afford in the past. E.g. Lithuania proudly increased the military expenditure above 2% of GDP, but it does not mean that they can afford a tank. (Not a single one.) No problemo, the Lithuanian defenses are bolstered by 1-2 battalions from “core NATO countries”. And it works, because there is no hot conflict there. But such tokens would become only practice targets in Ukraine. Mind you, Russia already uses the results (or the lack of it) of the most recent missile attack on Syria to collect materials for the future sales pitches — India seems interested already.

    But hey, the West could “get serious”, send a few full divisions. In other words, a replay of “The Charge of Light Brigade” in the age of nukes. To the youngsters here, I am writing about the Crimean war of mid 1850-ties. Besides, the sentiments for liberating inhabitants of Crimea from the Russian yoke that they actually cherish is totally lacking (with an exception of Baltics, the chaps who cannot afford tanks?).

    Ukrainian politicians need some semi-plausible grounds for ground standing, not a peculiar oddity, and the quest to joint EU, NATO (and Galactic Union?) is needed for that. But how many non-Ukrainians are ready to charge forward to liberate Donetsk, Lugansk and Balaklava? Even in Ukraine that has few takers.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      April 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      Piotr Berman, I hold your knowledgeable comments on Ukraine in high regard: the coup and present state and cultural- historical background really need to be highlighted if the situation and Western attitude are to improve.

      In regard to the parallel between the Baltic countries, in particular Latvia, and Ukraine, I think it is worth pointing out a few aspects (and you hint at them, too, I think): this parallel is in fact not very parallel! At least in this country, it is employed as a tool to make the case for the policy towards Ukraine and against Russia, which makes it quite suspicious. The Latvians are protestant, belong to the old Hansean German cultural sphere. The big (30-40%) Russian-speaking minority mostly immigrated after WWII. Riga probably has been multicultural for much longer. The sense is that Latvians strive to reestablish their place in North Western Europe, although, of course, Russian culture and ties with Russia are strong. Sadly, there is discrimination of Russians, and this is ignored (or encouraged?) by the West. There was no coup or regime change proper, unless one means the harsh economic remake and the discrimination of the Russian part of the population.
      Possibly, there might be parallels between Latvia the north-westernmost part of Ukraine (Volhynia, Galicia, Lviv), which were incorporated in the USSR after WWII, too, and where the culture is influenced by Poland and Austria. This is where Ukrainian nationalism and the ideology of the post-coup regime has its roots, as well as its leaders, like Parubiy. Apart from that, the South and East speak Russian and share the same cultural community with Russia (including, probably, the Soviet legacy), and are Orthodox. In between, there is sliding scale. This cultural identity and proximity is why it is hard to imagine the regime change will prevail – and it is definitely not desirable. The present regime is trying hard to oppress the Russian speaking Ukrainians by outlawing Russian in school, and celebrating Bandera, the Nazi collaborator and foe of most of the population. Natural forces will work for the reestablishment of close friendly ties between Ukraine and Russia, and organic development. It would be much wiser for the West not to interfere, or to support such a development, obviously.

      • Piotr Berman
        April 21, 2018 at 2:22 am

        I precisely meant that changing a regime into “friendly, democratic and stable” actually happened many times, and Latvia could serve as an example, but there are many reasons why Ukraine is not a good prospect for another “qualified” success story. In a way, Latvia has most elements of Ukrainian situation, but the proportion of “ingredients of the situation” are different and that flips “possible” into “impossible”.

      • Peter Loeb
        April 21, 2018 at 6:41 am

        NORM AUGUSTINE OF LOCKHEED MAKES OUR WORLD

        Above I cited a Chapter of William D. Hartung’s brilliant book,
        PROPHETS OF WAR: LOCKHEED MARTIN AND THE MAKING
        OF THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (Nation Books,
        2011( first hardcover ed). The Chapter we should
        be reading again (and again and again) is Chapter 8,
        “Saint Augustine’s Laws”, (pp. 163-189).

        This chapter explains how a defense contractor can (and
        does) change global policies. It is of note that Norm
        is rarely mentioned. We continue to discuss policy
        divorced from the activities of the defense industry.
        Is it so blinding clear that we see nothing at all?

        Once we begin to understand these power relationships
        so well hidden from news headlines and chatter, we can
        go on and read the rest of Hartung’s book which
        is so easy to read.

        It gives no easy answers to what to do but this book
        certainly shows us all what is.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA USA

  6. Pam Ryan
    April 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    They want WW3.

  7. Den Lille Abe
    April 19, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    As a European I am very much against Ukraine joining anything that my country is part of. Ukraine is a kleptocracy, It is more ultra right than their idols, the Nazi’s. We don need more rubbish in the EU and certainly not in Nato.
    Maybe one day the Ukrainian people loses patience and hangs those that needs hanging, but the current regime would be as welcome as Pol Pot would be or maybe Idi Amin.
    At least the IMF have given up, even they could not curtail the ripping off.

    • Abby
      April 20, 2018 at 2:54 am

      Amazing, isn’t it? The first black president not only brought slavery back to Libya after the coup, but neo Nazis are now in power in Ukraine. This is the legacy of Barack Obama.

      When I voted for him I thought that I was electing someone who would have done the opposite of what he ended up doing.

      That Donald Trump followed his presidency is a direct reflection of his. This too is his legacy.

  8. michael crockett
    April 19, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    I believe Russian is the language spoken in east Ukraine. Many of the people here have family in Russia whom they are very close to. With mining and manufacturing this region was far more productive than the western half of the country. A bone of contention developed has a result of taxes imposed on the east and sent to Kiev. Very little of this revenue returned eastward. Now Kiev has delayed or refused to send social security and pension checks to retirees in the east. I know this is just a subset to the larger geopolitical conflict that has been spoken to by the author and the many fine posts at CN. Does anyone think a partition between east and west could result, via referendum? Could that even work?

    • Piotr Berman
      April 19, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Linguistic situation in Ukraine reflects the history, which is a bit complicated. The coastal part of Ukraine and the easternmost part were not part of Slavic settlement until quite late. The central and eastern (not easternmost) part was heavily depopulated in XIII century, while the western-most part form a thriving Halich state/kingdom that in XIV century was partitioned between Poland and Lithuania, the states that later created a Commonwealth. Under the rule of Lithuanian/Polish state the central/eastern part was gradually repopulated.

      Then in the middle of XVII century the eastern part form a union with Russia after a war with Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, and there was quite a bit of Great Russian settlement. The resulting vernacular today was described to me as a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, “Russian vocabulary with Ukrainian phonetics and grammar”, and educated people were mostly bi-lingual, often preferring Russian.

      Most of the remainder of Ukraine was annexed by Russia around 1790, from Poland and Crimean Khanate (coastal area + the peninsula).
      The Khanate area and the “far east”, Donets basin, were settled only in XIX century and as the settlers were coming from different parts of Empire and nearby countries, e.g. Caucasus, Balkans, Poland, and “proper Ukraine”, they were Russian speakers or adopted Russian language. However, Halich/Lvov region and Transcarpathian region never belonged to Russia, and to USSR only after 1945.

      As a result, provinces along Black Sea and Donets have Russian majority, and east of Dniepr river there is zone of intermediate dialects and bilingualism.

      On top of that, political traditions are very much influenced by history. The east cultivates closeness with Don region, Kossak tradition in eastern, pro-Russian variation, and the struggle against Fascist Germany. The west has tradition of Zaporozhe Kossaks, more “anarchic” and legendary — these Kossaks became common serfs in 18-th century, more exposure to Polish language of their nobility, and in 20th century, virulent nationalist movement that allied itself with Nazi Germany, and later, NATO. That kind of guarantees a mutual hatred of easterners and westerners.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      April 21, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      The idea of a partitioning has been proposed, and some people say it is “the only solution”. Such a partition could render two sovereign states or a federation. The division in two roughly equally sized parts follows linguistic-cultural lines and has also been reflected in practically all political election results since independence. For a description of the background, here is a link to an excellent article on the subject by one of the foremost scholars on modern Ukrainian history there is, prof em John-Paul Khimko of Canada (press the small text “pdf” to get to the article):
      http://chtyvo.org.ua/authors/Khymka_Ivan-Pavlo/The_History_behind_the_Regional_Conflict_in_Ukraine_anhl/
      Because of the gradual shift in culture and language along a north-west to south-east axis, the division is diffuse. Also, there are other groups in the country: Hungarian and Romanian/Moldovan, Bulgarian, and ethnic Russian, complicating the situation a little further. One should keep in mind that the Russian-speaking Ukrainians consider themselves Ukrainian, just as the Ukrainian speakers of Volhynia and Galicia. Their understanding of the concept “Ukrainian”, however, differs.
      Another aspect is international law and the Helsinki agreement not to change borders in Europe, and the implications a division could have for the domestic situation in other European countries, eg Italy, Spain and Belgium. Although Crimea belonging to Russia is very natural, this argument has been brought against it, and came in handy for the West.
      The reason for the Maidan protests of 2014, like before, was the ailing economy and corruption. The dream of EU membership which would put an end to the economic chaos was employed as a (deceptive) carrot to create support for a pro-Western regime, and help create a situation suitable as the basis for the coup, with the intention of ending Russian influence. None of the real hopes have been fulfilled. The economy and corruption are what Ukrainians have expressed as their biggest concern, bigger than the cultural divide.

  9. jaycee
    April 19, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    The political decision to incorporate Ukraine into the European Union and NATO was made during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko (2005-2010). At the time it was acknowledged that NATO membership was a highly controversial and divisive issue within the country. Yushchenko made vague assurances that it would only be the result of a full debate and referendum within the country. In 2010, Yushchenko running on a platform of European integration during a federal election campaign polled only 5.45%.

    The next president, Yanukovych, continued to explore ties to the European Union (but not NATO). His decision in 2013 to not proceed was influenced by the conditions of a proposed EU deal, including the imposition of an extreme austerity program ( as has been described numerous times on this website). This backing off led to the orchestrated Maidan protests and eventually the coup in early 2014. After the coup, the political and military program whose representative polled less than six percent in the preceding federal election was back on the table. The Poroschenko government came to power on back of a coup and the instigation of a civil war, and cannot be said to speak for all Ukrainians.

    A move to join NATO will lead directly to the final splitting off the eastern regions of the country, followed by unrest in other areas, subsequent repression and conflict, and very likely the direct involvement of NATO militaries and Russia.
    This is a very bad idea. Senior NATO leaders expressed “shock” and surprise when Crimea split off in 2014, a reaction which could not be true since NATO had been researching for a decade by then what might happen if they sought to incorporate Ukraine. This mendacious public stance is a sure clue as to the full lack of good faith which motivates this obvious effort to increase international tensions.

  10. xyptol
    April 19, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Yes! Lets build the daycare centre next to the dingo farm! What could go wrong?

  11. Mark Thomason
    April 19, 2018 at 11:34 am

    The risk is of much worse than just “worse ties.” Russia might do to Ukraine what it did to Georgia. It has done it before for generations, and there is no reason to presume that is now impossible.

    • April 19, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      And exactly what did Russia do in Georgia – that saak a shitvilli, the Cia and Mossad didn’t start? Let’s talk about the Chemical warfare lab in Tsibilsi that Bechtel built for the Cia. Or the terrorist training camps in Georgia. Let’s hope RU takes back Novi Rossiya – since the West made International rules – Void. Spacibo

      • Den Lille Abe
        April 19, 2018 at 4:49 pm

        Well at least Russia now knows it is ok to send cruise missiles if it feels its “national interests” are threatened. So they got a pass to unilaterally take action if they dont like, I mean the rules are equal to all, are they not ?

      • Abby
        April 20, 2018 at 2:57 am

        If Putin decides to do that, our government will say that his aggression is why they need to go to war with Russia. They are looking for any excuse they can find to start their war that they have been planning for over two years.

    • Valeria Nollan
      April 19, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Russia did not do anything negative to Georgia; this is Western propaganda. Russian peacekeepers were in Georgia because of Georgia’s killing of the South Ossetians and attempted takeover of their lands. It was Georgian military aggression that started that short war. A European tribunal subsequently found that Georgia, not Russia, was at fault in the conflict.

  12. Pliquett Joerg
    April 19, 2018 at 2:26 am

    …and not to forget! The the territory of the today`s Ukraine is the territory of the original funding state of Russia, the Rus of Kiew. This is of significant importance to the people in Russia and Ukraine. It is their common history! The people are not enemies. They lived together for hundreds of years.

  13. Pliquett Joerg
    April 19, 2018 at 2:18 am

    A good overview over the peace- killing activities of the US- government and the NATO. Thank you.

  14. Kozmo
    April 19, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Interesting to think what the US reaction would be if Mexico was invited to join a Warsaw Pact, or asked to join after a Russian-sponsored coup, and Russian military advisors and equipment was deployed in Mexico.

  15. David G
    April 19, 2018 at 12:39 am

    “‘[Ukraine is] basically Robin to Russia’s Batman,’ Rose said, drawing laughter from the audience. ‘The challenge here is to attract it to the West–to get it to flip sides.'”

    I know of at least one Batman story like that, where somebody got Robin “to flip sides”. And you know who that somebody was? The Joker!

    In Gideon Rose’s little analogy, Russia is Batman, and the U.S. is the Joker.

    Well played, sir.

  16. David G
    April 19, 2018 at 12:27 am

    Thanks to Will Porter and CN for staying on this. Very necessary!

    I hadn’t known about the recent formal (albeit still apparently symbolic for now, fortunately) steps to advance Ukraine’s NATO candidacy. Very unwelcome!

  17. Dave P.
    April 18, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    john christopher – I worked in auto industry in Detroit during 1960’s and 1970’s. Detroit still was the richest city in the country during 1960’s. Go and look at Detroit now, it is surreal; that is what South Korea and Japan did to it, the countries that you are writing how wonderful these are. And all around in Michigan and other Midwestern States, new jobs are part time at Walmarts and other outfits like that at $10 an hour without any medical insurance – and the folks are on food stamps. And there is this Opoids crisis and drug labs all over Michigan. We go back every year because my wife is from that State with all the relatives in the Midwest.

    Instead of badmouthing Russia and meddling in that part of the World, we should be concerned what is happening here. I have never been to Russia or any where near it, but looking at the pictures of Russians in the newspapers or movies for more than half a century now, they seem to be pretty well fed. And all these Russian emigre engineers (mostly Jewish and a few Russians, mostly spouses, among them) I have worked with during 1980’s and 1990’s, they were very well read people – compared to the engineers here. Russians have lot of their own problems they should take care of.

    There are too many problems here to be solved. There is something wrong with the System where a Scientist educated from Institutions like Caltech and MIT earns around $130,000 a year after many years of work experience and TV anchors like Rachel Maddow and others are making $8 millions or more a year for spitting out all these lies, disinformation and other garbage every day. And I am not talking about tens of millions without medical insurance and working on wages below the poverty line, that is some thing else.

    • Lawrence Magnuson
      April 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      “that is what South Korea and Japan did to it [Detroit]” I share your pain–I’m from Detroit, too, and it is so, so sad. But South Korea and Japan are not to blame. American car makers abandoned the city without so much as a good-bye and good riddance. They went to Mexico, too, and down south in the States where I live now. But Mexico and Tennessee didn’t cause this. GM, Chrysler, and Ford planned and executed every bit of it. Isn’t it ironic that Detroit built a “Renaissance Center” as a tombstone to the death of Detroit? The people were willing and wanted to work and wanted a future. The Big 3 wanted cheap production. That’s why cars are so (un)affordable now!

    • Den Lille Abe
      April 19, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      South Korea and Japan has nothing to do with the sorry state of Detroit, as little as China has to do with the sorry state of the US.
      The sorry state in both instances can be attributed to : GREED. Nothing was was ever done to dis encourage or alleviate outsourcing, no the corporations off-shored to gain lower taxes, and left the rest to fend for themselves. How do you think that Northern Europe (Brexitania excluded) have managed to stay on top? Because we dont have capitalism unhindered!
      Put your blame on your own people-hostile governments, starting with, ohh i dont know Reagan ?

    • April 21, 2018 at 8:44 am

      At the end of WW2 I lived in the Netherlands. At that time there was essentially only one country which could quickly change from the production of war vehicles to regular automobiles. That was the USA with Detroit in the forefront. Then the leaders of the Detroit automobile industry made a colossal blunder from which that industry has never recovered. At that time they produced the “gas guzzlers” but Europeans needed Volkswagen’s. Once the VW “bug” came on the market Detroit was half-cooked.
      The second blunder occurred several decades later when the Ieaders of the US car industry did not realize what the Japanese were doing: much better inspection of cars going on the market. Now the US car industry was fully cooked.
      The problem with our car industry is not so much the shift of production elsewhere as the utter stupidity of its leaders. I live in Houston. The great majority of automobiles in our streets are foreign brands. What makes you think that people will stop buying German or Japanese-brand cars regardless of where these are made even after all of Ford and GM returns home?

  18. bob
    April 18, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Russia’s red line has been crossed ever since the fall of the berlin wall & the war in bosnia,so what’s so different with Ukraine & Georgia today.if Russia got it’s way then Russia would still be sitting in east germany & east berlin till today-so why are we preaching about red lines on Ukraine & Georgia’s border now?u should be asking yourself do we need nato today or do we disband it?what’s your answer?if u say disband it because it’s no longer relevant then u are handing not only Ukraine & Georgia to the Russians, u will be handing over all of Europe because that will be the end result of NATO disbandment.so before dreaming up all these reasons ,including some coming from comedians,take note of what I just said!russia simply wants nato gone so it can start gobbling up Europe,one by one-u have already offered Ukraine & Georgia to them on a platter-whose next? this is how Russia works-it chips away at weak points until the empire is recreated.

    • Realist
      April 19, 2018 at 1:19 am

      Bob, you must be high on BZ toxin if you think that Russia has any plans or desires to “gobble up Europe” one country at a time and so want NATO gone. Yes, Russia would like to see NATO disappear but that is because of its truly menacing aggression and threats towards Russia.

      Explain to all of us how a country i) that spends approximately 7% as much on its military as the United States and about 3% as much as NATO and Washington’s other allies (like Saudi Arabia) put together, ii) which has a yearly military budget approximately the same as India, Germany, Japan, France and South Korea and significantly smaller the budgets of the U.S., China, Saudi Arabia and the U.K., iii) which has actually CUT its military budget in recent years and has plans for even greater cuts in the coming budget years, and iv) (as so many in the West love to gloat about) only has a national economy as large as Spain or Italy is in any position to even dream about regional conquest, let alone the domination of all Europe as you foresee in your delusions.

      Putin has admitted ALL these things and always attached the logical extrapolation that he and his country have no designs on expansion or conquest. He and his relatively small population of 140 million people housed within the world’s largest landmass are, however, made constantly paranoid by the aggressive rhetoric and actions of the United States and its foreign legion called NATO, which is why the country maintains a potent military for defensive purposes. It has learned what it means to be invaded by major foreign powers from both East and West throughout its history, a lesson never yet administered to fortress America protected by two huge moats called oceans.

      If you study the composition and capabilities of the Russian military, you will see that it is organised, not for power projection to distant countries like the American military juggernaut (it has no carrier task forces, no 1,000 bases scattered across the planet, the air and sea bases in Syria are the sum total of its troops on foreign soil), but mainly for defense of its own borders and own people. And, it realises that many around the world covet what it has in terms of Earth’s dwindling natural resources.

      Russia does not have the capability of “overrunning Europe” as you propagandists would claim. It could not even hold Poland or the Baltics for very long against a NATO counterattack, if it ever foolishly undertook to invade those countries–and Putin is no fool. (With all it has at home, why would it want to take over those countries?) Why do you think it has NOT (contrary to the idiotic propaganda spread by Washington and its media tools) invaded Ukraine? It could certainly defeat Ukraine, but it has no stomach for the losses it would take in an extended war inside of an occupied Ukraine that would certainly be joined by NATO. (In fact, NATO troops are there already.)

      A big difference between Washington and Moscow is that Moscow learned the proper lesson during its disastrous adventure in Afghanistan. Washington has apparently learned nothing from Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and all the other wars of aggression it continues to gin up. Think, man. Parroting propaganda you hear on the American corporate media is no substitute for rational thought and analysis.

      • Dave P.
        April 19, 2018 at 2:25 am

        Realist – An outstanding analysis as always. All your observations are on the mark. It really explains the position Russia is in vs NATO and EU, and Ukraine.

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          April 19, 2018 at 2:52 pm

          Definitely so!

      • BaBa
        April 19, 2018 at 7:09 am

        “A big difference between Washington and Moscow is that Moscow learned the proper lesson during its disastrous adventure in Afghanistan.”

        The “Soviet Union” like all associations was never homogenous and context is always important although not particularly well known or accepted.

        From 1944 to 1954 the “Soviet Union” was engaged in warfare in the Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine against forces encouraged/supplied by the antecedents of the present opponents.

        From 1944 to 1956 and beyond the “Soviet Union” was engaged in restructuring including through COMECON which exacerbated this warfare.

        Hence the realisation of the destructive consequences of “controlling” populations without their consent was a growing trend from 1944 onwards which facilitated the transcendence of the “Soviet Union” by the Russian Federation.

        As to showing “international solidarity” in Afghanistan between 1979 to 1989, this was implemented largely through the hubris of the majority of the Politburo citing detente based on spheres of influence agreed with the “US” in the 1970’s, and despite the objections of much of the military and intelligence services, all acting as accelerators in transcending the “Soviet Union” by the Russian Federation.

      • Brko
        April 21, 2018 at 6:16 am

        Pure logic backed up by facts. Alas, it is not receptive to indoctrinated. Nevertheless, consequences of not trying to put the facts before them are too great.

      • Skip Scott
        April 21, 2018 at 7:32 am

        Realist-

        Thank you for your excellent rebuttal to Bob.

    • April 19, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      I guess you never much of what Robert Parry wrote – eh ?

  19. Tuba
    April 18, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Ukraine is a sovereign nation! If Ukraine chooses NATO membership, SO BE IT!

    • Abby
      April 18, 2018 at 11:34 pm

      Don’t you understand how dangerous this would be if Ukraine was admitted to NATO? Are you aware of the people who we put into power after we overthrew another government because it wasn’t allowing our special interests to take the resources that they wanted.

      And after the coup we installed the same neo Nazis that we and the rest of Europe fought during WWII. They killed up to 20 million Russians during the war and now we think it’s a good idea to put them back on Russia’s borders?

      I could go on all night describing why this is a very dangerous move. But you should do some research yourself to understand why this is not good.

      Russia has already been moving troops into areas around the Donbass border and if Russia has to defend its citizens the world will say that they are being aggressive and then they will join the fighting. This would bring nukes into play and then what?

      So no m, no “so be it.”

    • Abby
      April 18, 2018 at 11:36 pm

      ps. When the Russian president tore down the Berlin Wall, he was told that NATO would not move one inch toward Russia. Since then we’ve admitted many countries into NATO. Yep. We lied! Again.

    • Sam F
      April 19, 2018 at 6:50 am

      Tuba apparently seeks to blow a large horn as a troll.

      He probably knows well that it is not Ukraine but West Ukraine that seeks NATO membership to advance its coup to the point of theft of resources from East Ukraine, split off by US conspiracy to make trouble on the borders of Russia. He knows very well that the US did not respect democracy or sovereignty when it fomented the coup there, but exactly the opposite.

      NATO does not need or want West Ukraine. The US does not need or want NATO. The US troublemaking for Russia is advanced by geriatric cold warmongers who could not let their reason for existence be forgotten, and the MIC opportunists and scamming tyrant politicians who follow them, longing for another cold war to steal power and public funds for themselves.

      The US badly needs to dump NATO and all AUMFs, and severely limit executive power.

    • mike k
      April 19, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Ukraine is a puppet nation, of guess who? Hint – it ain’t Russia.

    • April 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      The trolls have invaded Consortium – remember – the USG just gave them millions and millions to – talk – stupid.

    • Lawrence Magnuson
      April 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Ukraine is a hijacked, regime-change nation. It is ruled by US approved functionaries that can’t even keep the hot water running in Kiev, its largest city.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      April 19, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      Ukraine is run by a puppet installed by the US in a coup against a democratically elected president.
      The present leadership is based on the Ultra-nationalist movement of parts of north west Ukraine, that happened to be suitable for US plans. These movements trace back to Bandera eg als who fought for Hitler against their own countrymen and were highly involved in the holocaust as well as in killing 80,000 Polish people in Ukraine, ethnically cleansing the land.
      Andrei Parubiy, the founder of the Socialist Nationalist party in Ukraine (a Nazi party – just flip the words to get Nationalist Socialist = Nazi), was head of security on Maidan and is, unless recently dismissed, chairman of the Rada (parliament).
      Very interesting with the IrI and Haiti! Is that possibly how the paramilitaries of Parubiy were trained?
      Ukraine is divided in two parts, equal in size, based on history and language. In the South and East, language and history are essentially Russian. This part accounts for half the country and population. With the present north west nationalism, schools will no longer teach their children in their mother tongue, and they are fed the official canon of Bandera as a national hero, the genocidal collaborator whom their grand-parents fought in the Red Army.
      Corruption is higher than ever, and the government is held in contempt.
      The US and the West probably look at Ukraine as a game played with Russia. Russia most likely does not look at it quite that way, and most Ukrainians most certainly do not. Joining NATO or not, the West will most likely loose this “game”.

    • Den Lille Abe
      April 19, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Like Cuba did in 1962, right ? Ehh RIGHT?
      You see how hollow and irrelevant and waste of time your comment is? Ok go read about the Finns or Willy Brandt and learn a new word: Realpolitik.

  20. Zachary Smith
    April 18, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Just because Ukraine wants into NATO doesn’t mean it is going to happen. In my opinion, the consequences for Europe would be disastrous, and are all those NATO nations really suicidal enough to allow this?

    It’s a Red Line for Russia, and virtually anything the Russians do in reaction will be very, very bad news for the peace and stability of Europe.

    • Realist
      April 19, 2018 at 12:37 am

      It bears reminding everyone what has always been the purpose of NATO’s existence in order to understand Russia’s displeasure with NATO’s growth and encroachment along its entire western border. NATO was formed to prevent Soviet expansion and to counter Soviet interests. The Soviet Union is long gone, but NATO remains, now dedicated to, not preventing Russian expansion because such is NOT happening nor likely to happen, but to impeding Russian interests and advancement in all areas and arenas of human endeavor. It wants to hamstring Russia in every possible way, control resources and events in that country and ultimately rule its people. In brief, NATO is clearly an agency of active aggression towards the Russian nation and its people.

      The last people in the world that Russian citizens want to see set against them by a bunch of foreigners would be the huge Russian population that resides within the artificial, unstable and fractious country called Ukraine. They used to feel nearly as close to the Ukrainian people who were a part of Czarist Russia for many hundreds of years, at least until those folks jumped on Hitler’s bandwagon back during WWII. If Ukraine were properly partitioned, Russia might swallow seeing the Russophobic Galicians in the western part of the country merge with their self-avowed enemies in NATO. If NATO dropped its incessant confrontational anti-Russian rhetoric and policies, Russia probably wouldn’t give a hoot who joined it, including Georgia and some other former soviet republics.

      The other Western policy that bugs Russia and causes it to bristle at NATO expansion, is that NATO membership seems always to be conflated with EU membership, and EU membership is always taken to preclude a country’s participation in any trade union with Russia. So, long time Russian trading partners like Ukraine, Georgia, the rest of the Caucuses and the Central Asia Republics would be expected to abandon their long-term relationships with Russia and deal exclusively with the West. Those were the terms in the deal that Yanukovych rejected before he was overthrown by the American-inspired coup. What’s in THAT for Russia to like? These policies being pushed by the West (mainly by the American hegemon with its vassals meekly following orders) are only begging for an explosive confrontation with a Russia that has been needlessly isolated and bullied into a corner. Just what are these so-called Western values that Washington and its flunkies relentlessly try to spread by force?

    • MEJ
      April 19, 2018 at 2:58 pm

      All it takes is one member to vote NO and block any applicant from joining NATO. Supposedly Georgia was black-balled by Germany and France, because it had frozen conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Ukraine is even worse, demanding somebody force Russia to relinquish Crimea and asking for help to suppress Donbass. Does Ukraine seriously think all members of NATO will vote to allow it membership when the first thing it will do is declare war on Russia?

      The best Ukraine can hope for is what it already has: a “special relationship” with NATO but not one where it can require other member states to enter its war.

  21. Abe
    April 18, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Toria “Pussycat” Nuland, that darn Catwoman’s protégé, scratched Robin with a cataphrenic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlNlogEVHRQ

  22. mike k
    April 18, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    It is appropriate to bring the Ukronazis into NATO – after all, The US Empire is the heir to Hitler’s dream of world domination.

  23. WC
    April 18, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    The Russians can roll through the Ukraine in less than two weeks. This is exactly what NATO wants. In this game of global hegemony, the Ukrainians don’t matter, any more than the Syrians and the Palestinians do.

    • Anon
      April 18, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      NATO wants nothing of the kind. West Ukraine wants free protection of their US-funded anti-Russian coup.
      NATO is no more than an excuse for US warmongering to get political bribes from zionists via “aid” to Israel.

      • WC
        April 18, 2018 at 9:49 pm

        NATO was created as a bulwark against soviet expansion. If the Russians or anyone else (with the exception of Israel) have no interest in occupying anyone’s territory what use is NATO?

        • Anon
          April 19, 2018 at 6:38 am

          Yes, NATO is useless except as an excuse for warmongers to pretend that their aggressions are defensive.

          • WC
            April 19, 2018 at 3:24 pm

            Exactly. :)

  24. john christopher
    April 18, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    This is exactly what Putin wants. For Ukraine to never join NATO and to forever be his puppet state. This can no longer continue! Ukraine is a sovereign and democratic country which can chose its own path!

    • mike k
      April 18, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      Actually Putin probably loves having a gang of Nazis on his border; after all, Russia has been there before………..

      • mike k
        April 18, 2018 at 7:21 pm

        And John, there is nothing I love more than having a Nazi troll on CN. So much fun.

        • john christopher
          April 18, 2018 at 7:28 pm

          Mike, didn’t anyone ever tell you that you need to provide evidence and back up your claims? Explain and provide examples of how the most democratic association on earth ( the EU) has nazi roots.

          • Zachary Smith
            April 18, 2018 at 8:58 pm

            Claiming the EU is “the most democratic association on earth” sounds an awful lot like declaring the Army of Israel “the most moral army in the world”. If you care to take the time to do some google searches, you’ll get some surprising results. Suggestions:

            rise of the far right in europe
            far right {nation name}
            “far right” “poland” holocaust

            Right here in North America we have a nation to the north of the US with what appears to be a genuine Nazi as a “minister”.

            But back to Europe – I tried to find some specific numbers about whether or not the citizens of France wanted to join Trump. This appears to be a taboo subject on Google, but I finally found this from a few days ago:

            May backed Trump despite British public opinion’s strong opposition to the Syria strikes. Macron, too, went against the majority of the French. Merkel, facing similar polls — 60 percent of Germans consider the three nations’ strike a mistake — went along with public opinion.

            From here it looks as if Merkel was the only one paying the least bit of attention to what the people wanted. So much for “democracy”.

            h**ps://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-16/syria-strikes-why-germany-stayed-on-the-sidelines

          • mike k
            April 19, 2018 at 11:26 am

            The EU is complicit with NATO in seeking the same goal the Nazi’s pursued: conquering Russia. The American Empire which controls NATO, seeks to realize Hitler’s dream: world domination. None of this has anything to do with real democracy.

      • Gregory Herr
        April 18, 2018 at 10:25 pm

        Bullseye mike.

    • Tom F
      April 18, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      As long as the Ukraine remains a US puppet it will never be free.

      • john christopher
        April 18, 2018 at 9:17 pm

        US puppet!? Wtf!? Also if it was a US puppet it would be 10x better than Russian puppet ( look at south Korea and north Korea)

        • Dave P.
          April 18, 2018 at 9:59 pm

          john christopher – I think you should be more concerned and worried about Detroit, Bronx, Newark, Baltimore, Washington . . . the list goes on and on, instead of talking about Ukraine and South Korea that how wonderful these are. East Ukraine and Russia have common history of thousand years, let them live as they should as neighbors. We owe about twenty trillion dollars to the World and live in debt. It is better to spend on cities here than on the military projects and adventures overseas as Trump was promising during his campaign.

        • Anon
          April 19, 2018 at 6:32 am

          Look at China, which has progressed at an historically high rate despite rejecting US pseudo-democracy. South Korean growth has been subsidized by the US and Japan while NK was bombed to complete destruction. But then mass media believers wouldn’t know that.

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          April 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

          It definitely is a US puppet.
          If it were not, there is no reason at all to assume it had to be a Russian puppet. Pure logic.

          I warmly recommend you check the history and languages of Ukraine to form an informed opinion. It is not easy given our propaganda msm and our natural bend to be loyal to the views of our governments. It is a sad state of affairs.

    • Anon
      April 18, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      That propaganda will fool no one on this site. You don’t believe it either.
      Ukraine was never a puppet state of Russia. It has a large Russian-culture population segment.
      The coup was not democratic, and neither is their war on the Donbass region they would steal territory from.
      Only fools would believe your attempt to equate Putin and Russia. You need to target a group of fools.

    • Lawrence Magnuson
      April 19, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      “Ukraine is a sovereign and democratic country which can chose its own path”

      No, Ukraine is a hijacked, regime-change nation. It is ruled by US approved functionaries that can’t even keep the hot water running in Kiev, its largest city.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        April 19, 2018 at 3:46 pm

        Yes, and it is more or less doomed to fail (as do almost all regime change operations).
        It is a tragedy for the EU to have supported this, a terrible scar in the reputation and idea of the Union.

    • TS
      April 22, 2018 at 5:10 am

      > Ukraine is a sovereign and democratic country

      – In which the somewhat democratically elected government was overthrown in an armed putsch by avowedly fascist groups (financed and supported by hostile foreign powers), who still form an important armed wing of the current regime?

      Your concept of “democracy” seems to be even more peculiar than the ones held in places like Washington, Brussels, and London.

Comments are closed.