Ukraine Timeline Tells the Story

Without historical context, buried by corporate media, it’s impossible to understand Ukraine. Historians will tell the story. But the Establishment hits back at journalists, like at CN, who try to tell it now. 

May 18, 2015: Remains of an Eastern Orthodox church after shelling by the Ukrainian Army near Donetsk International Airport. Eastern Ukraine. (Mstyslav Chernov. CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The way to prevent understanding of the Ukraine war is to suppress its history.

A cartoon version says the conflict began in February 2022 when Vladimir Putin woke up one morning and decided to invade Ukraine.

There was no other cause, according to this version, other than unprovoked, Russian aggression against an innocent country.

Please use this short, historical guide to share with people who still flip through the funny pages trying to figure out what’s going on in Ukraine.  

The mainstream account is like opening a novel in the middle of the book to read a random chapter as though it’s the beginning of the story.

Thirty years from now historians will write of the context of the Ukraine war: the coup, the attack on Donbass, NATO expansion, rejection of the Minsk Accords and Russian treaty proposals — without being called Putin puppets. It will be the same way historians write of the Versailles Treaty as a cause of Nazism and WWII, but aren’t called Nazi-sympathizers.

Providing context is taboo while the war continues in Ukraine, as it would have been during WWII. Journalists have to get with the program of war propaganda while the war continues. Long after the war, historians are free to sift through the facts. 

Journalists are clearly not afforded the same liberties as historians.

For our efforts to provide real-time context in Ukraine, which you can find encapsulated below, we’ve had PropOrNot, PayPal and NewsGuard try to hinder us, and Hamilton 68 put CN‘s editor on its disinformation “dashboard.” Consortium News has been undeterred, thanks to its readers’ generous support. 

So please consider a donation during our Spring Fund Drive to help us keep delivering.

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World War II— Ukrainian national fascists, led by Stepan Bandera, at first allied with the German Nazis, massacre more than a hundred thousands Jews and Poles.

1950s to 1990 – C.I.A. brought Ukrainian fascists to the U.S. and worked with them to undermine the Soviet Union in Ukraine, running sabotage and propaganda operations. Ukrainian fascist leader Mykola Lebed was taken to New York where he worked with the C.I.A. through at least the 1960s and was still useful to the C.I.A. until 1991, the year of Ukraine’s independence. The evidence is in a U.S. government report starting from page 82. Ukraine has thus been a staging ground for the U.S. to weaken and threaten Moscow for nearly 80 years.

November 1990:  A year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe (also known as the Paris Charter) is adopted by the U.S., Europe and the Soviet Union. The charter is based on the Helsinki Accords and is updated in the 1999 Charter for European Security. These documents are the foundation of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The OSCE charter says no country or bloc can preserve its own security at another country’s expense.

Dec. 25, 1991: Soviet Union collapses. Wall Street and Washington carpetbaggers move in during ensuing decade to asset-strip the country of formerly state-owned properties,  enrich themselves, help give rise to oligarchs, and impoverish the Russian, Ukrainian and other former Soviet peoples.

1990s: U.S. reneges on promise to last Soviet leader Gorbachev not to expand NATO to Eastern Europe in exchange for a unified Germany. George Kennan, the  leading U.S. government expert on the U.S.S.R., opposes expansion. Sen. Joe Biden, who supports NATO enlargement, predicts Russia will react hostilely to it.

1997: Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. national security adviser, in his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, writes:

“Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state.”

New Year’s Eve 1999:  After eight years of U.S. and Wall Street dominance, Vladimir Putin becomes president of Russia. Bill Clinton rebuffs him in 2000 when he asks to join NATO.

Putin begins closing the door on Western interlopers, restoring Russian sovereignty, ultimately angering Washington and Wall Street. This process does not occur in Ukraine, which remains subject to Western exploitation and impoverishment of Ukrainian people.

Feb. 10, 2007: Putin gives his Munich Security Conference speech in which he condemns U.S. aggressive unilateralism, including its illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq and its NATO expansion eastward.

He said: “We have the right to ask: against whom is this [NATO] expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them.” 

Putin speaks three years after the Baltic States, former Soviet republics bordering on Russia, joined the Western Alliance.  The West humiliates Putin and Russia by ignoring its legitimate concerns. A year after his speech, NATO says Ukraine and Georgia will become members. Four other former Warsaw Pact states join in 2009.

2004-5: Orange Revolution. Election results are overturned giving the presidency in a run-off to U.S.-aligned Viktor Yuschenko over Viktor Yanukovich. Yuschenko makes fascist leader Bandera a “hero of Ukraine.”

April 3, 2008: At a NATO conference in Bucharest, a summit declaration “welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO”. Russia harshly objects. William Burns, then U.S. ambassador to Russia, and presently C.I.A. director, warns in a cable to Washington, revealed by WikiLeaks, that,

“Foreign Minister Lavrov and other senior officials have reiterated strong opposition, stressing that Russia would view further eastward expansion as a potential military threat. NATO enlargement, particularly to Ukraine, remains ‘an emotional and neuralgic’ issue for Russia, but strategic policy considerations also underlie strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. 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 would force Russia to decide whether to intervene. … Lavrov stressed that Russia had to view continued eastward expansion of NATO, particularly to Ukraine and Georgia, as a potential military threat.”

A crisis in Georgia erupts four months later leading to a brief war with Russia, which the European Union blames on provocation from Georgia.

November 2009: Russia seeks new security arrangement in Europe. Moscow releases a draft of a proposal for a new European security architecture that the Kremlin says should replace outdated institutions such as NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The text, posted on the Kremlin’s website on Nov. 29, comes more than a year after President Dmitry Medvedev first formally raised the issue. Speaking in Berlin in June 2008, Medvedev said the new pact was necessary to finally update Cold War-era arrangements. 

“I’m convinced that Europe’s problems won’t be solved until its unity is established, an organic wholeness of all its integral parts, including Russia,” Medvedev said.

2010: Viktor Yanukovich is elected president of Ukraine in a free and fair election, according to the OSCE.

2013: Yanukovich chooses an economic package from Russia rather than an association agreement with the EU. This threatens Western exploiters in Ukraine and Ukrainian comprador political leaders and oligarchs.

February 2014: Yanukovich is overthrown in a violent, U.S.-backed coup (presaged by the Nuland-Pyatt intercept), with Ukrainian fascist groups, like Right Sector, playing a lead role. Ukrainian fascists parade through cities in torch-lit parades with portraits of Bandera.

Protesters clash with police in Kiev, Ukraine, February 2014. (Wikimedia Commons)

March 16, 2014: In a rejection of the coup and the unconstitutional installation of an anti-Russian government in Kiev, Crimeans vote by 97 percent to join Russia in a referendum with 89 percent turn out. The Wagner private military organization is created to support Crimea. Virtually no shots are fired and no one was killed in what Western media wrongly portrays as a “Russian invasion of Crimea.”

April 12, 2014: Coup government in Kiev launches war against anti-coup, pro-democracy separatists in Donbass. Openly neo-Nazi Azov Battalion plays a key role in the fighting for Kiev. Wagner forces arrive to support Donbass militias. U.S. again exaggerates this as a Russian “invasion” of Ukraine. “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text,” says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who voted as a senator in favor of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 on a completely trumped up pre-text.

May 2, 2014: Dozens of ethnic Russian protestors are burnt alive in a building in Odessa by neo-Nazi thugs. Eight days later, Luhansk and Donetsk declare independence and vote to leave Ukraine.

Sept. 5, 2014: First Minsk agreement is signed in Minsk, Belarus by Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, and the leaders of the breakaway Donbass republics, with mediation by Germany and France in a Normandy Format. It fails to resolve the conflict.

Feb. 12, 2015: Minsk II is signed in Belarus, which would end the fighting and grant the republics autonomy while they remain part of Ukraine. The accord was unanimously endorsed by the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 15. In December 2022 former German Chancellor Angela Merkel admits West never had intention of pushing for Minsk implementation and essentially used it as a ruse to give time for NATO to arm and train the Ukraine armed forces.

2016: The hoax known as Russiagate grips the Democratic Party and its allied media in the United States, in which it is falsely alleged that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to get Donald Trump elected. The phony scandal serves to further demonize Russia in the U.S. and raise tensions between the nuclear-armed powers, conditioning the public for war against Russia.

May 12, 2016: U.S. activates missile system in Romania, angering Russia. U.S. claims it is purely defensive, but Moscow says the system could also be used offensively and would cut the time to deliver a strike on the Russian capital to within 10 to 12 minutes.

June 6, 2016: Symbolically on the anniversary of the Normandy invasion, NATO launches aggressive exercises against Russia. It begins war games with 31,000 troops near Russia’s borders, the largest exercise in Eastern Europe since the Cold War ended. For the first time in 75 years, German troops retrace the steps of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union across Poland.

German Foreign Minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier objects. “What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering,” Steinmeier stunningly tells Bild am Sontag newspaper. “Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken.”

Instead Steinmeier calls for dialogue with Moscow. “We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation,” he warns, adding it would be “fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence.”

December 2021: Russia offers draft treaty proposals to the United States and NATO proposing a new security architecture in Europe, reviving the failed Russian attempt to do so in 2009. The treaties propose the removal of the Romanian missile system and the withdrawal of NATO troop deployments from Eastern Europe.  Russia says there will be a “technical-military” response if there are not serious negotiations on the treaties. The U.S. and NATO reject them essentially out of hand.  

February 2022: Russia begins its military intervention into Donbass in the still ongoing Ukrainian civil war after first recognizing the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Before the intervention, OSCE maps show a significant uptick of shelling from Ukraine into the separatist republics, where more than 10,000 people have been killed since 2014.

Ukrainian troops in the Donbass region, March 2015. (OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

March-April 2022: Russia and Ukraine agree on a framework agreement that would end the war, including Ukraine pledging not to join NATO. The U.S. and U.K. object. Prime Minister Boris Johnson flies to Kiev to tell Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to stop negotiating with Russia. The war continues with Russia seizing much of the Donbass.

March 26, 2022: Biden admits in a speech in Warsaw that the U.S. is seeking through its proxy war against Russia to overthrow the Putin government.

September 2022: Donbass republics vote to join Russian Federation, as well as two other regions: Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

May 2023: Ukraine begins counter-offensive to try to take back territory controlled by Russia. As seen in leaked documents earlier in the year, U.S. intelligence concludes the offensive will fail before it begins.

June 2023: A 36-hour rebellion by the Wagner group fails, when its leader Yevegny Prigoshzin takes a deal to go into exile in Belarus. The Wagner private army, which was funded and armed by the Russian Ministry of Defense, is absorbed into the Russian army.

The timeline clearly shows the aggressive Western intent towards Russia, and how the tragedy could have been avoided if NATO would not allow Ukraine to join; if the Minsk accords had been implemented; and if the U.S. and NATO negotiated a new security arrangement in Europe, taking Russian security concerns into account.

*  *  *

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He is the author of two books, A Political Odyssey, with Sen. Mike Gravel, foreword by Daniel Ellsberg; and How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, foreword by Julian Assange. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe     

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64 comments for “Ukraine Timeline Tells the Story

  1. Robert Emmett
    July 3, 2023 at 17:12

    Except that 30 yr time-lag is worrying, at least to me. Look what’s happened in the time lag between Viet Nam & a fuller picture & broader public understanding & acceptance of what happened there.

    All that stuff in the Balkans under Clinton, pretty paltry general understanding of all that (for me too) & how it plays into what’s happening today, wouldn’t you have to say?

    And Iraq, even WITH exposure of some of the lies & cover-ups & dark site deeds, it’s still misperceived, still unraveling secondary spin-off effects, spread to other countries, even to another continent. Still not accepted for what it was/is. Still not dealt with.
    Like Colin Powell feckin’ said, it’s like at Pottery Barn, you break it, you pay for it. That been done yet?

    And what happening today, here now. It seems there are overlapping lag times that could be speeding-up or getting shorter or something. How many plates can we keep spinning in the air?

    Thanks for getting it down in black & white, now & over the years, CN.

    That “cartoon version” ref. reminded me of Pogo (aw): “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  2. Mike
    July 3, 2023 at 16:39

    Nice summary. Thank you.

  3. Lois Gagnon
    July 3, 2023 at 15:07

    Two brave souls wrote a piece in my local paper last week titled “Stop the Double Standard, Time to Come Clean on Ukraine.” They did a respectable job of laying out the history we are all familiar with. It was bound to stir the Russophobic passions of this area’s liberal Democrats.

    Today, there appeared three letters attempting to shame the authors. One was by Michael Klare who I’m sure most people who read CN are familiar with. Thanks to Joe Lauria, I can rebut the rebuttals with an easy to read concise timeline of events leading to the conflict in Ukraine many of which were left out of the original piece. Thanks to everyone at CN for speaking up for truth as this rickety empire attempts to stamp it out. People need to see how badly they are being led astray.

  4. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
    July 3, 2023 at 06:36

    Excellent timeline by Lauria providing objective snippets in between including that of John Kerry helping to put U.S. hypocrisy in contextual relief, kudos !

  5. pawlush
    July 3, 2023 at 01:24

    “The OSCE charter says no country or bloc can preserve its own security at another country’s expense.”

    Exactly! Think about it…..

  6. Humwawa
    July 2, 2023 at 18:52

    More details that prepared the way for the war:

    – March 2021: Zelensky issues presidential decree 117 for the reconquest of the Donbas and Crimea. This is a violation of Minsk II and UNSC Resolution 2202.

    – March 2021: A Nato-trained Ukrainian army is concentrated in the Donbass to start shelling Luhansk and Donetsk (see OSCE).

    – Sumer 2021: Zelensky issues “the law for the protection of indigenous people”, which distinguishes between Ukrainians, indigenous people and ethnic groups with a “statehood” outside of Ukraine. This makes ethnic Russians 2nd class citizens and prepares for ethnic cleansing/genocide of ethnic Russians after the conquest of the Donbas and Crimea.

    Numerous Nato maneuvers involving Ukraine:
    – March 2021 British Navy decides to increase activity in Black Sea.
    – March 2021 Defender Europe Nato maneuver with 26 countries
    – April 2021 Turkish/Ukrainian declaration for the territorial integrity (including Crimea)
    – May 2021 Defender 2021 Nato/Ukraine maneuver
    – June 2021 British/Ukraine “Naval Capabilities Enhancement Program for supplying war ships to Ukraine
    – June 2021 Nato maneuver “Noble Jump” in Rumania
    – July 2021 Nato maneuver “Sea Breeze” in the Black Sea
    – July 2021 Nato maneuver “Breeze 2021”
    – July 2021 Maneuver “Three Swords” with Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian and American troops
    – July 2021 British maneuver “Cossak Mace 2021, which included Ukrainian troops
    – Aug. 2021 UK decides training mission for Ukrainian navy
    – Sept. 2021 US/Ukraine maneuver “Rapid Trident 2021”
    – Sept. 2021 British/Ukrainian maneuver “Joint Endeavour”
    – Oct. 2021 British/Ukraine maneuver “Warrior Watchers”
    – Nov. 2021 Signing of US/Ukraine Charta of Strategic Partnership
    – Dec. 2021 Ukrainian parliament ratifies law for the stationing of foreign troops on Ukrainian soil to prepare for maneuvers in 2022: Rapid Trident, Cossack Mace, Light Avalanche, Silver Sabre, Sea Breeze, Riverine, Maple Arch and Viking.

    Jan. 2022 US decides Land-lease program for Ukraine

    Feb. 2022 Zelensky demands nuclear weapons in a speech for the Munich Security Conference under the applause of Western powers

    Feb. 13th, 2022 Biden predicts Russian invasion for Feb. 16th

    Feb. 16th, 2022 Ukraine starts shelling the Donbass (see OSCE daily reports), Russia evacuates civilian population from the line of contact

    Feb. 21st, 2022 Russia recognizes the Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk (after 8 years)

    Feb. 23rd, 2022 Russia signs an agreement for mutual assistance with Luhansk and Donetsk

    Feb. 24th, 2022 Russia launches an SMO on the basis of “collective defense” under Art. 51 UN Charta on the basis of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) established as international law by Western powers.

  7. Frederik Holzapfel
    July 2, 2023 at 15:32

    Joe, thanks great work it should be widely made know to the American public……luckily still rational knowledgeable thinking Americans cousins are around …….the real reasons behind this is … maintaining the hegemonic status of the USA? The big question how to turn around the policy of those at the helm of these events in big government and start working towards peace rather then pouring in more ammunition which slowly heads towards WWIII …..

  8. Chris Kinder
    July 1, 2023 at 23:20

    Thanks so much to Joe Lauria and Consortium for this very important review of the actual facts of this US proxy war! I have one important detail that got left out. In my research for an article on the Ukraine war, I learned that right after the war the US managed to protect the Ukrainian fascists from having to appear at the Nuremberg trials, despite their clear alliance with the German nazis during the war. This was done so that the US could use them as tools against the USSR. And, it was in keeping with the bringing of German military leaders to the for the same purpose, and with other atrocities committed toward the end of the war: the fire bombing of Dresden and the dropping of 2 atomic bombs on Japanese cities. All of this served to assert the total dominence of the US in the coming period. I don’t remember the source of the information on saving these nazis from the trials. Maybe you can help with that. Thanks again for this excellent piece of truth telling.

      July 2, 2023 at 08:03

      Important information but outside the scope of this concise piece.

  9. July 1, 2023 at 22:32

    Thank you so much for your hard work tracking the situation in Ukraine for the past several years. It seems that it’s impossible for people to understand that wars can have multiple causes and influences—if you say anything other than “the Ukrainian attacks came out of nowhere” or criticise the Kiev government in any way, you are on the wrong side of history.

  10. July 1, 2023 at 20:31

    In February 2014, during the Maidan demonstrations, in the hotel in Kiev on the Maidan square or plaza, from the hotel occupied by the right wing, parties like Svoboda, and neo-Nazi groups, that it was from the roof of this hotel that snipers shot demonstrators and anyone below. Right wing groups misleadingly blamed the Yanukovich government police for shooting and sniping at the crowds, the shots were coming from the roof of the hotel. Testimony later showed that that was impossible as the hotel was securely occupied by the right wing
    anti-go0vernment forces.

  11. RWilson
    July 1, 2023 at 19:29

    I estimate it would only take about 150 willing people in the corporate media to blanket the country in lies. Ten major networks, three programs per network, five people per show. This would give those citizens who rely on TV and radio for news the impression that “everybody” agrees on their fabricated cover story. This shows the power of just a few levers of power. Add a batch more in the government (Congress, key agencies) and you’ve got the country under your thumb. But this is still a tiny number in a population of 330 million.

    I monitor three corporate outlets and six independent outlets, with Consortium News setting the standard. I took an oath to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. In my view these corporate “news” people are working for enemies of America. Since the facts are readily available (e.g. this article) their deeply dishonest “reporting” cannot possibly be accidental. It must be intentional.

  12. James White
    July 1, 2023 at 17:22

    Excellent summary by Joe Lauria. The propaganda wall created by the Biden Regime and the U.S. vassal states in Berlin, London and Brussels has brainwashed at least half of the people of Western nations that Russia is to blame for the Ukraine war. Most major press publications amplify the lies of Biden, Nuland, Blinken, Sullivan as well as Olaf Scholz/Baerbock, Boris Johnson/Rishi Sunak, Von der Leyen, Borell and Stoltenberg. The facts are not hard to follow and understand. The central truth about the present century so far has been the massive lies told by Democrats in the U.S. and their co-conspirators in Europe. Every thinking person should be outraged about their constant Psychological Operations where the CIA and other Western spies are constantly feeding blatant falsehoods to the masses to preserve their desperate grip on power. The only solution is a massive rejection of these people in the next election cycle. The vast majority of elected leaders in the U.S. and Europe are entirely corrupt. Their corruption is bad enough but their constant lies are what is most infuriating. The voters need to stand up and show these losers the door. I have never in my life been so disgusted with what passes for leadership in the U.S. and Europe. Each one of these people is a detestable con-artist. They are bankrupting the world while elevating the threat of nuclear destruction of the planet. Their greed and lust for power seems to have driven them all mad.

    • Eddy Schmid
      July 2, 2023 at 03:15

      Absoluetly Spot on James. However, I believe the establishment realised after the 911 event, if the people will accept the LIES told to them of this event, there’s no bar to prevent telling much bigger lies ,which will then also, be believed. The record clearly shows, they were totally on the money with that assumption. The average people, especially the Western peoples, cannot claim innocence on this issue. I live in a country where the MSM is totally controled by our Government, yet I am able to see the truth. If I am able to do that, then every other western citizen, should also be able to do the same.

  13. JMF
    July 1, 2023 at 16:09

    It’s good. It’s very, VERY good. Bravo!

    • Andre Lebedev
      July 2, 2023 at 01:56

      It angers me to no end that the conflict was totally avoidable and yet the US chose to escalate. Nice to be fighting proxy wars on a different continent.

      • Valerie
        July 2, 2023 at 18:01

        The main instigators of this “proxy” war are not only on another continent, they appear to be on another planet. Their reasoning and rhetoric is “alien” to earthly goodness. The other (closer) contingents in this “avoidable conflict” seem to be in thrall and submissive to the US. with apparent suicidal tendencies manifesting in slavish deference.

    • Robert
      July 2, 2023 at 11:51

      Wonderful article. The United States involvement in this war is mind bogglingly stupid and unnecessary. Unfortunately, like the Bush Jr., Cheney, Powell invasion of Iraq, it will take at least 10 years after the invasion for the American people to learn that they were lied to.

      The only comment to war proponents that I find to be somewhat effective is to ask them if they think it is honorable for a wealthy country (United States) to use the blood and guts of a poor country (Ukraine) to benefit only the wealthy country.

      • July 3, 2023 at 17:36

        Hi Robert, you mention the politicians who are responsible for the present mess but you left out the monsters who actually make the evil plans, the neocons, who have been the guiding hand behind the invasions of Lebanon and Iraq and the destruction of Libya and the coming war with Iran, all advocated by Israeli statistician, Oded Yinon, in the Yinon Plan in the 1980s, later to become the Biden Plan. Ex-Supreme Commander of NATO, General Wesley Clark, mentioned the countries which were to be destroyed by US forces in five years to facilitate the expansion of Israel’s power and influence in the greater Middle East area.

  14. vinnieoh
    July 1, 2023 at 15:34

    Thank you Joe Lauria and CN. This may indeed prove to be useful should I again try to convince my siblings that the “official narrative” is nothing more than war propaganda. I find it amazing there are none of any note in this dysfunctional nation willing to state the obvious fact that the US is indeed now at war with Russia.

    • Eddy Schmid
      July 2, 2023 at 03:16

      Not just the U.S. the whole Western hemisphere is at war with Russia.

  15. lester
    July 1, 2023 at 14:19

    “Thank you for this brief over-view, Mr. Lauria! I hope it becomes widely known!

  16. Brent
    July 1, 2023 at 13:10

    I specifically recall a tv story from Kyiv, about a retired IDF officer who was training 14 Ukrainians. They worked at their jobs during the week and trained on the weekends. After the Maidan events, I did a search for that story. Couldn’t find it but found a newspaper article about another IDF retired officer and his group of 50 Ukrainians. The first comment read, that story “had to be taken down”. Later, I searched again for that article to no avail.

    • Eddy Schmid
      July 2, 2023 at 03:20

      That’s why I advise All readers to download/copy any such articles together with their Web address, so you can PROVE the article was published, by whom and when. Doesn’t matter then, if they take it down, you can always repost it anywhere. If we all did that, these articles would never disappear.

      • Valerie
        July 2, 2023 at 16:53

        Bloody good idea Eddy. Beat them at their own game. (I usually save what i deem to be important articles from all over the net and sometimes on obscure subjects. It’s amazing how significant they can become in the future.)

    • Humwawa
      July 2, 2023 at 18:03

      I followed the events in 2014 very closely. When the SMO started 2022, I wanted to write something referring to events back in 2014. Since I don’t speak Ukrainian I wanted to check the spelling of some of the names and confirm that I had remembered correctly. It had all been deleted. I started to doubt my memory and thought maybe I had imagined it all until I found the episode by chance embedded in a video which they hadn’t managed to detect for deletion. The episode I had remembered was former PM Yulia Tymochenko saying that she wanted to “put a bullet through the head of every Russian.” Back in 2014 it had been widely written about in the media, but by 2022, most of it had been deleted. I’m now saving everything to my PC.

  17. JonnyJames
    July 1, 2023 at 12:46

    A great timeline summary – cheers Joe. I appreciate that CN has done honest, genuine reporting on the Ukraine issue since day one: starting with Robert Parry’s coverage of the US-backed coup in 2014.

    Contrast this with this, posted on Counter Punch for the weekend edition.

    “Are Putin and Trump Playing Russian Roulette?”
    by Matthew Stevenson

    The superficial treatment, the total lack of historical context and one-sided hypocrisy of this article is not surprising, but it is very disappointing that CP has sunk to such lows. If they are not funded by CIA/NED and/or one of the oligarch foundations, they might as well be.

  18. Robert Sinuhe
    July 1, 2023 at 12:27

    The world witnessed the skill with which Vladimir Putin handled the Prigozhin affair. The West gleefully expected or hoped for a revolution or bloodbath; the disappointment was palatable. When one takes in the handling of this situation and assesses his other actions as the leader of the Russian Federation, one has to be in awe of his ability. He makes Biden, Macron and others appear like children. I feel he is the greatest leader in the 21st and part of the 20th century. And those kudos extend to Serge Lavrov, his able foreign minister.

    • Valerie
      July 3, 2023 at 08:25

      They are still hoping Robert. Here’s the latest muck from that McFaul person:

      “The fallout from the Wagner Group’s armed rebellion against Vladimir Putin’s government could eventually topple the Russian leader, according to an American professor and former US ambassador to Russia.”

      “Professor Michael McFaul, who is now director of political science at Stanford University, said on his website that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s short-lived mutiny has irreversibly damaged the Russian president’s reputation, despite careful handling of the Wagner Group leader in the aftermath.”

      “In the short term, Putin will prevail. But the longer term does not look good for Putin. His image as an invincible leader has taken a hard hit. He will not recover,” Prof McFaul said. 

      “He added that Prigozhin’s safety is somewhat guaranteed, at least for now, as “Putin can’t turn Prigozhin into a martyr while his Wagner fighters are still armed and independent”.”
      Sky News (who else) 3rd July

  19. John V. Walsh
    July 1, 2023 at 12:12

    I think one important item which would not require much space is the Depression imposed on Russia by the US in the 1990’s even before NATO’s expansion Eastward. It was worse than the Great Depression in the US. The GDP fell more steeply and the lifespan decreased by 5 years.
    It was consciously done by the US as Jeffrey Sachs has pointed out and as explained in this piece:

    Russia knows full well what awaits it if the US once again gains control over Russia. And with the neocons in control measures will be taken to insure that there is no recovery this time. The proxy war in Ukraine is indeed an existential threat to China.

      July 1, 2023 at 20:51

      This is in the timeline. It says that the events by the US in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s “impoverished the Russian, Ukrainian and other former Soviet peoples.” This is meant as a concise timeline showing how we arrived at where we are. It is not meant to be an exhaustive or detailed history of the period following WWII to the present in Ukraine.

  20. CaseyG
    July 1, 2023 at 12:00

    I am horrified that those said to be running this nation both politically and militarily, are such distinctive lairs and story tellers. Thank you for this piece as it clears up my many questions about who does what to whom.

    Russia is not the enemy—-but it seems that many in the American government are more interested in , “being somebody, ” rather than they are about the future of their own nation. In past history, Kruschev and Kennedy were able to speak to each other and come away with a solution re: Cuba. Sadly Biden and Boris are idiots although Trump is even worse.

    Maybe all future people who are running for political office ( and many seem so incredibly stupid) I would like for all of the vote winners to pass a Constitution test, before being seated, and if they fail, then person number two, or three etc. needs to show they know something about their own nation’s history and laws. Sadly, it truly does seem that the novel “1984′ was not just a novel but a through line to the horribly sad nation we have become–where WE THE PEOPLE and the nation seems to have turned into farce. : (

  21. Charles E. Carroll
    July 1, 2023 at 11:23

    Thank you for this excellent report.

    • Selina
      July 1, 2023 at 15:55

      Yes, excellent, superlative really after the propaganda that goes for MSM news. Reading of Putin’s various invitations and (almost) appeals to collaborate in lieu of provoke and the USA’s quite consistently reactive door slam responses evoked the image of Russia being scapegoated for the West’s projections of its own aggressive, violent shadow. Russia is put into global solitary confinement by the USA and its vassals, Britain and Germany. Truly, a capitalist corporatist government who needs an enemy to hate – like all corporations – to rationalize and assert their addiction to money and power at whatever the cost. Of course Biden et his ilk couldn’t wouldn’t don’t hear Russia. Peace = loss of delusions of empire. Like an alcoholic desperate for her fix as her fantasy identity is about to crash uses anything to avoid the fall.

  22. Hank
    July 1, 2023 at 11:10

    Brilliant job! I believe it is important to include April 2019: Rand Corporation think tank publishes Extending Russia, a research paper recommending actions to weaken Russia including: “Provide Lethal Aid to Ukraine,” “Increase support to Syrian Rebels,” “Promote regime change in Belarus,” “Challenge Russian presence in Moldova” among other recommendations that have all been followed by the US government. hxxps://

      July 1, 2023 at 11:55

      Unfortunately this was intended to be a concise article and could not include everything of note.

  23. IJ Scambling
    July 1, 2023 at 11:04

    Key points in the summary:

    *Yanukovich is elected and favors Russia, and is promptly overthrown via a coup led by Victoria Nuland.

    *Crimea’s 96% approval of breaking from Ukraine to return to Russia is consistently portrayed as Russia “seizing” Crimea (instead of the will of the Crimean people), in the overall narrative of Russian “aggression.”

    *The Minsk accords were false and designed to give time for Ukraine to build military strength (as confessed by Angela Merkel).

    *The so-called “invasion” of Russia Feb 2022 was defensive following the erosion of its security in Ukraine, NOT an imitation of Hitler sweeping into Europe (the initial and frequently emphasized propaganda).

  24. David
    July 1, 2023 at 11:02

    The “cartoon” version has been so successfully propagandized by the US media that trying to counter it is futile. Ronald Reagan’s CIA director, William Casey, once said, “We will know that our disinformation program is a success when everything the American public believes is false.” I have a deep sense of despair because for the late William Casey, it is “mission accomplished.” This website provides a form of refuge for me.

  25. July 1, 2023 at 10:13

    Excellent and accurate historical analysis essential to understanding of the present, and perhaps, to avoiding disaster in the future. Assuming there is a future.

  26. Vera Gottlieb
    July 1, 2023 at 10:05

    What better way than to obfuscate history which doesn’t suit us: bury it ‘six feet’ deep…

  27. J Anthony
    July 1, 2023 at 10:02

    It’s surreal that anyone still buys-in to the west’s corporate-media, especially in light of the reality of the history leading up to this farcical, for-profit proxy war. It’s a disgrace. Anyone still pushing that line ought to be ashamed. Of course, the beneficiaries of this bs war are shameless.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      July 1, 2023 at 14:25

      Quite right. If they see it “on tee-vee” it must be true. Hopelessly propagandized Americans.

      • Eddy Schmid
        July 2, 2023 at 03:25

        That’s why I advise All readers to download/copy any such articles together with their Web address, so you can PROVE the article was published, by whom and when. Doesn’t matter then, if they take it down, you can always repost it anywhere. If we all did that, these articles would never disappear.

        • Vera Gottlieb
          July 2, 2023 at 09:11

          If only the day had more than 24 hours…

  28. mgr
    July 1, 2023 at 08:19

    Thank you. Reality, as opposed to the “immaculate conception view of history” in which everything “just happens” (no reason) and beginnings and timelines are set to fit a particular narrative for someone’s particular benefit. If you don’t have truth, pile on the narrative. Welcome to “perception management (propaganda)” in Western “democracies” in the 21st century AKA “mushroom cultivation”: keep them in the dark and feed them shit.

  29. Valerie
    July 1, 2023 at 04:45

    “A cartoon version says the conflict began in February 2022 when Vladimir Putin woke up one morning and decided to invade Ukraine.”

    I know it’s no laughing matter, but that made my first good laugh of the day. Thankyou Mr. Lauria for the humour and a very concise appraisal of the situation.

    • JonT
      July 1, 2023 at 09:46

      Well said. I was going to post comments on a very similar vein, but you have nailed it, I think.

  30. Francis Lee
    July 1, 2023 at 03:42

    The ideological roots of Ukrainian fascism can be found in the writings of the Ukrainian philosopher, Dmitry Dontsov, in the 1920s. This gentleman was much influenced by Benito Mussolini and of the earlier fashionable irrationalist philosophical theories doing the rounds in Europe in the late 19th century; the usual mish-mash of Sorel, Nietzsche, Bergson, et al. The predictable rag-tag of the far-right disoriented and political ne’er-do-wells in post-war Ukraine found the emergent political milieu much to their liking. Emerging from this breeding ground was the likes of Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukeyvich. Bandera was to become the leader of the (OUN-B) Ukrianian Organization of Nationalists and his buddy Shukeyvich became the Commander -in-Chief of the (UPA) Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

    These two gentlemen were notable for the massacre of the hundreds of thousands of Poles, Russians, and Jews, particularly in Volhynia and Carpathia in 1943-44. They were assisted and trained in their grisly endeavours by none other than Heinrich Himmler leader of the German SS extermination units.

    The sleeping monster of Ukro-fascism slept through the post-war period until it was to emerge naked and unashamed in the Independence Square, Kiev, in 2014. Ably assisted by the likes of Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt, et. al. and the US National Endowment for Democracy and Human Rights Watch.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      July 1, 2023 at 14:28

      You’ve said what I was going to say and quite right, too. I wish that my self-named “woke” friends would read this and learn what those of us interested in the facts of history have known all along.

  31. Drew Hunkins
    July 1, 2023 at 01:58

    “May 4, 2014: Dozens of ethnic Russian protestors are burnt alive in a building in Odessa by neo-Nazi thugs. Five days later, Luhansk and Donetsk declare independence and vote to leave Ukraine.”

    I’ll never forget this. It was at this point in time that I was hoping President Putin would send in the Russian forces (to heck with the Western propaganda barrage that was sure to blare loud and clear across the entire world) and avenge this ruthless and depraved crime by taking out the fascist thugs.

  32. June 30, 2023 at 23:35

    Thank you for reminding me of why I opted to become a professional historian rather than a journalist!

    Imperial Russia’s geopolitical competition with the likes of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Swedish Kingdom, Napoleonic France, the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Prussian / German Empires from the Middle Ages to the First World War (thereby showing the background of competition over present-day Ukrainian territory, how contemporary pan-Ukrainian nationalism implying a united society is premised on historical mythology, and showcasing the various times that Russia had to contend with foreign invasions involving Western powers compared to the continental United States, which has not experienced a full-scale foreign invasion since approximately the War of 1812); Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War by the United States, Japan, Britain, the Czechoslovak Legion, and others, alongside sponsorship of ethnic nationalist minorities in Russian Empire by Central Powers during the First World War (demonstrating that there is longstanding precedent for US-backed coalition involvement to destabilize Russian society); Nikita Khrushchev’s decision to transfer Crimea from Russian to Ukrainian control under the Soviet Union in 1954 despite its far more extensive ties to Russian culture and society (with the exception of ethnic minorities such as the Crimean Tatars), and the USSR’s failed bid to join NATO around the same time before forming the Warsaw Pact; etc.

    However, this includes far more context than a vast majority of media consumers are used to receiving, especially in the United States and many aligned countries.

      July 1, 2023 at 10:57

      It would also have been unwieldily and not serve the intended purpose.

  33. June 30, 2023 at 21:54

    Thank you, Joe. This is the best example of basic facts on the Russia-Ukraine conflict I have been able to find, so far. You could add the US bombing of Nord Stream in September 2022 and Kiev’s criminally insane bombardment of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant – something to show our Parliamentary ‘representatives’ when they give sanctimonious speeches, which omit basic facts, in support of the Kiev regime. See also “Zelenskyy’s war of choice may have killed 300,000 Ukrainians” at hxxps:// beneath “Putin rebuts in detail US-NATO accusations, provides dishonoured Ukraine neutrality agreement” (18/6/23)

  34. Frtiz
    June 30, 2023 at 21:49

    In the June 29/23 issue of Dissident Voice under the heading of:
    What Could Have a Huge Effect on Billions of People?
    By Allen Forrest

    Is a four panel cartoon wherein the character states in panel #1:
    “The government wants to contain and stop a new virus.”
    at panel #2:
    “It could have a huge effect on billions of people.”
    panel #3:
    “Its name?”
    panel #4:


  35. Jeff Harrison
    June 30, 2023 at 20:25

    Very well done, Joe. I would like to blame the Western media as a complete failure. When Putin’s chef made his march toward Moscow, we were treated to Russia is crumbling, Putin’s grip on power is shaken, yada, yada, yada. The Western press never seemed to mention that Prigozhin himself said his beef was with Shoigu and Geramanov and not Putin. I object to calling Mr. Putin a dictator. He won his election in a field of multiple political parties and enjoys an approval rating >80%. The American people are never going to understand what’s going on when all they really get is opinion and slanted adjectives and, as you say, nothing ever happens until the MSM takes notice of it.

    The other imbalance is What about France? Is France crumbling? Is Macron’s grip on power shaken? You can go on line and see video from France shot by some guy driving a BMW. Burned out cars and trucks along both sides of the road. And, unlike Russia, France’s riots are by the people and are aimed directly at the French government.

    • Valerie
      July 1, 2023 at 05:02

      ” I would like to blame the Western media as a complete failure. ”

      Can we really say they are a “failure” Jeff? I know what you mean, but they are not a failure with respect to convincing millions of people to believe blatant lies and coverups on innumerable subjects for many years now. Their propaganda and control of the “narrative” of the PTB is something to behold.

      As for France; their second riot/insurrection of this year alone. It would seem the people of France are a lot more discontented than the people of Russia. I haven’t heard of any such turmoil/looting/burning of buses, cars etc in Russia. Macron was busy dancing with Elton John apparently, whilst Mr. Putin was out in the street in Derbent mingling with the citizens.

      • Piotr Berman
        July 1, 2023 at 09:50

        It depends how you set the criteria of “success”. Within the collective West, the technique of erasing history, and building narrative on empty slogans (what is democracy and authoritarianism these days?), false flags like Russian influence causing Trump and Brexit, and affairs like poisonings and explosion in the warehouse of a Bulgarian arms trader in Czechia, worked very well. But outside, the domination of the Western narrative does not hold. The example that is easiest to check for English speakers are YouTube channels of Indian media organizations like Hindustan Times. A polyglot may check media in Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic and so on. And in Russian.

        So this is like a crop plant engineered to thrive with the application of proper fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that has bumper crops not reproduced in less favorable environments.

        • Mark Stanley
          July 1, 2023 at 12:22

          Oh…What a superb analogy Piotr!
          The MSM media is a Genetically Modified Organism.

        • Scared Person
          July 1, 2023 at 21:08

          It is a neat little circle, that the ruling class in the west operates corporate media to serve it’s own pursuit of wealth and power and narrative control… and at the same time, the people believe simultaneously that – corporate media is extremely biased – and that any dissent from the mass narrative must be caused by the nefarious actions of the enemy of the day.

          It is a big mess of cognitive dissonance. To believe in free press, at the same time as corporate corruption, when the media corporations are supposed to be free press. To believe one is a participant in deciding state policy, at the same time as knowing representatives are bought by wealthy interests. To believe there is a will for peace in a state dominated by those who profit from war. It is disturbing.

          Even without systemic limitations on democracy, all it really takes to get the result of a generally compliant populace, is information control. It is never perfect, but the confusion and social divisions caused are often enough to allow a relatively free hand for doing terrible things for private profits. The empire has become adept at turning the better angels of the populace towards support for atrocity. Other wars may have been “mistakes” but THIS one is different, again, and again. Yes governments and their corporate owners lie, but don’t you see? The enemy of the day is worse, the corporate state told us so.

          It is heart-breaking. I’ve met some people who refuse to even look at media from other nations, under the assumption it is all lies. Perhaps even, that to do so would be a sort of betrayal of their own benevolent nation, but in the very next hour claim again how corrupt their nation is. One way or another, all things change eventually, for better or worse, this cannot last.

      • Jeff Harrison
        July 1, 2023 at 20:11

        LMAO. Thanx, Valerie. I am quite capable of thinking in terms of what am I (/They) trying to do as you and Piotr below suggests. However, just as Caesar’s wife must be above reproach, journalists must first and foremost be Sgt. Joe Friday. Just the fact’s ma’am.

        You do realize that whoever the hell it was that said, the natives are revolting, was talking about the Parisians. I would also point out that those countries that tout themselves as democracies, don’t have leaders that go out and wander around with the hoi polloi – Macron, Sundak, Scholz, etc. But the country that is a democracy but is smeared as an authoritarian regime has a leader that does.

  36. Gregg Scott Schneider
    June 30, 2023 at 19:38

    Thanks, I was searching for a comprehensive timeline on the Ukraine proxy war.

    • Lily
      July 1, 2023 at 06:25

      Thank you, Joe, for this concise timeline.

      With the rightout lying or at least omitting main media in Germany we desperately need to find the truth elsewhere.

      V. V. Putin is no dictator. He is presently the most intelligent and human leader in the world. 78,6 percent of the Russians do trust him and 74,8 percent appreciate his work.

      Edward Snowson flew the democratic US and now lives in Russia. I sincerely wish Julien Assange could have made it to that highly cultivated country.

      I believe that all these years of continious hunting a fine journalist who did nothing but report on US war crimes has done a lot for the whole world to recognize the US as what it truely is. Now it is BRICS deciding about a new world order and it is last not least Julians work and suffering which has a big part in this.

  37. Dictynna
    June 30, 2023 at 19:09

    Thank you for this…definitely a keeper.

    • Larry McGovern
      July 1, 2023 at 10:43

      ….and, hopefully, a “spreader”. We should disseminate this much needed, fact-based timeline far and wide.
      Thanks, Joe. I suggest you also – maybe in response to these comments, or in some other way – post your amazing response to NewsGuard.

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