U.S. Pressures Nobel Committee to Declare Ukraine’s President a Peace Prize Nominee, Leaked Letter

 

 

petro-poroshenko-209x300A leaked letter dated May 19th and sent by the Chairman of Ukraine’s parliament, Vladimir Groysman, to the chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Oslo Norway, thanks her for “the efforts you have made to have Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize,” but continues: “Still we consider your assurances of support by the two members of the Nobel Committee as insufficient,” because there are five members of the Committee, and the support of 3 of them is necessary.

Thus,

“We expect further efforts aimed at shifting the position of Berit Reiss-Andersen, Inger-Marie Ytterhorn and especially that of the Chair of the Nobel Committee Kaci Kullman Five. Regarding the latter, we recommend that you take advantage of the information you are going to receive from Germany. Your colleagues in Berlin have assured us that the dossier will soon be delivered to the U.S. Embassy in Oslo. It is of utmost importance for Mr. Poroshenko to have firm guarantees that he will be awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, since it could highlight the unanimous support of Ukrainian integrity by the democratic community of the world. Assistant Secretary of State Viktoria Nuland has highly estimated your job during her visit to Kyiv.”

The three mentioned Nobel Peace Prize Committee members are a politically varied group. Ms. Reiss-Andersen is from the social democratic or “Labour” party; Ms. Ytterhorn is from the libertarian or “Progress” party; and Ms. Five is from the Conservative Party. The two unidentified members are Thorbjørn Jagland from the Labour Party, and Henrik Syse from the Conservative Party. If this letter is correct, those are the two who are referred to by the letter’s phrase, “your assurances of support by the two members.”

The letter also makes a vague reference to the poor reputation that the Committee has engendered on account of the Committee’s having granted the Prize to Barack Obama in 2009 (a decision that the Committee’s Chairperson, Ms. Five, concurred with and has been criticized for):

“We understand the difficulties you face when promoting the candidacy of the President of Ukraine, therefore we ask you to exert additional leverages by engaging those U.S. Senators who effectively cooperated with the Committee in 2009.”

Presumably, this means that whomever “those U.S. Senators” were, the Chairman of Ukraine’s parliament thinks that they were “effective.”

President Poroshenko entered office on 25 May 2014 after a U.S.-sponsored coup in Kiev that installed Arseniy Yatsenyuk as Ukraine’s Prime Minister on 26 February 2014, after the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Asian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, had instructed the U.S. Ambassador in Kiev on 4 February 2014 to get “Yats” appointed as the junta’s leader; she issued that instruction to him by phone on February 4th and the coup occurred on February 22nd; Yatsenyuk was then appointed on February 26th, and he remains in power today.

One pro-Russian part of Ukraine, Crimea, then seceded and joined Russia, and another, Donbass, seceded and was not accepted by Russia; it thus was bombed by the Ukrainian Government during May through December 2014, since Donbass’s repeated requests to be allowed to join Russia were spurned by Vladimir Putin. (Yet, Ukraine accuses Russia of providing the fighters who are actually the men of Donbass, who refuse to be ruled by the U.S.-coup regime.

Russia sends them guns, and volunteers have come from Russia and many other countries to help the Donbass defenders.) German intelligence estimates that “up to 50,000” people were killed in that bombing campaign, but U.S. and other official estimates are only around 5,000.

Even before Poroshenko took office, the new Ukrainian government of “Yats” Yatsenyuk invaded Donbass, using bombers, tanks, rocket-launchers, and everything it had; and, when Poroshenko gave his victory speech in the ceremonial Presidential election on May 25th, he promised, and it was very clear from him, that: “The anti-terrorist operation [he called the residents there ’terrorists’] cannot and should not last two or three months. It should and will last hours.” (Another translation of it was “Antiterrorist operation can not and will not continue for 2-3 months. It must and will last hours.”)

But it did last months — Poroshenko’s prediction was certainly false; and, moreover, he lost first one round of the war, and then another — his prediction of its outcome was likewise false. And recently, he said that the war must be resumed for yet a third round, in order that Ukraine win back both Crimea and Donbass. However, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned him on May 12th that he must not do that, and that if he did he’d be violating the Minsk II ceasefire accords which had been arranged by France’s Francois Hollande and Germany’s Angela Merkel. Then, three days later, his Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, who had arranged the February 2014 coup, told both Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko to ignore what Kerry had just said, and that, “We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine and reiterate our deep commitment to a single Ukrainian nation, including Crimea, and all the other regions of Ukraine.”

Perhaps a reason why the Chairman of Ukraine’s parliament is boldly demanding the U.S. State Department to arrange for Poroshenko to get at least a nomination for the Peace Prize (and even goes so far as to assert that,

“It is of utmost importance for Mr. Poroshenko to have firm guarantees that he will be awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize”) is that otherwise they will follow through on Nuland’s statement of U.S. commitment, and re-invade Donbass. However, any invasion by Ukraine of Crimea would be exceedingly unlikely, because that would give Russia a virtual carte blanche to attack Ukraine, and neither the U.S. nor any other power will go to war against Russia in such an instance; Ukraine isn’t yet a NATO member, and NATO would be exceedingly reluctant to go so far as a third world war, this time against Russia, in order to defend the Ukrainian Government from the consequences of that Government’s own then-blatant ceasefire violation — especially in the wake of what virtually everyone now recognizes to have been a U.S. coup that had installed the present Ukrainian regime (and even EU officials were shocked to find out that it had been a coup). And it was a very violent coup, which was followed shortly thereafter by the extremely violent ethnic-cleansing campaign to get rid of the residents in Donbass.

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Why Would Bloomberg News Completely Disappear the February, 2014 Ukraine Coup?

Ukraine-anniversary-Maidan-coup-2-400x263Bloomberg says in a post today that the “confrontation between Russia and the US” over Ukraine was “provok[ed]” by Putin’s annexation of Crimea:“…Putin annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea last March, provoking the biggest confrontation between Russia and the U.S. and Europe since the Cold War.”

That’s odd, though, because the reintegration of Crimea into Russia (after a vote in favor – but remember democracy is what we say it is) happened, as Bloomberg says and BBC confirms, in March, 2014, about five months after violent, US-backed protests began in November 2013, and ended in the the elected Ukrainian president, Victor Yanukovych, being driven out of the country by, as BBC put it, “radical groups”, including neo-Nazis: see BBC’s “Neo-Nazi Threat in Ukraine“, Feb. 28, 2014.  (“BBC Newsnight’s Gabriel Gatehouse investigates the links between the new Ukrainian government and Neo-nazis.”  Later articles covering the topic were published by, among many others, Glenn Greenwald, Robert Parry, and even, albeit 8 or 9 months too late to make a difference, NBC)

It’s also strange that BBC would say the following (even in a piece rife with the British state-run outlet’s typical pro-Western spin):

Pro-Russian forces [ie the Russian troops already stationed in Crimea by agreement] took control of Crimea in February.  They moved in after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after street protests.

So, they reacted to the US-backed overthrow of elected Yanukovych.  To be precise, Russian troops began the process of, in US political-speak, liberating and securing Crimea on “February 23rd, 2014“.

Yet, again oddly, here is Time on February 22nd, 2014:

“Ukraine protesters seize Kiev as President flees”

“Yanukovych fled to the eastern city of Kharkiv where he traditionally has a more solid base of support…”

It is noted in Wikipedia that Yanukovych had “won election in 2010 with strong support in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and southern and eastern Ukraine.”

Here is US historian William Blum, March 7, 2014, on these events:

The Ukrainian insurgents and their Western-power supporters didn’t care who their Ukrainian allies were in carrying out their coup against President Viktor Yanukovych last month … thugs who set policemen on fire head to toe … all manner of extreme right-wingers, including Chechnyan Islamic militants … a deputy of the ultra-right Svoboda Party, part of the new government, who threatens to rebuild Ukraine’s nukes in three to six months. … the snipers firing on the protestors who apparently were not what they appeared to be – A bugged phone conversation between Urmas Paet, the Estonian foreign minister, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, reveals Paet saying: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.” … neo-Nazi protestors in Kiev who have openly denounced Jews, hoisting a banner honoring Stepan Bandera, the infamous Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the German Nazis during World War II and whose militias participated in atrocities against Jews and Poles.

And who could forget the pictures of Victoria Nuland and John McCain meeting with Ukrainian neo-Nazi and extremist leaders who use terms like “cleanse” and “kike”, or Nuland’s bragging to Chevron that the US had put billions and billions of dollars into these events, highly reminiscent of the US investment in overthrowing Iran’s democracy in 1953 after Iran nationalized its oil.

To the untrained eye, it would certainly seem that, in “liberating” Crimea, Russia was, very understandably, reacting to the above-mentioned series of events (not to mention the encroachment of a hostile, US-led, nuclear military alliance, NATO…).

So why would Bloomberg publish a piece that says the confrontation between Russia and the US was provoked by the annexation of Crimea, when it was provoked by a US-backed overthrow (one of about 60) of an elected president, who had strong ties to the highly ethnic-Russian east (including Crimea)?

We cannot credibly postulate that the Bloomberg author is unaware of the events prior to the “annexation of Crimea”, so we are forced to assume that he has a desire to paint Russia as the aggressor in the West/East standoff, as do so many working for the Western information systems.

This time, he has taken the easy way out by just pretending that nothing happened before Crimea, but other Western outlets have risen to the challenge, with impressive results.

When forced to acknowledge events that show the West as current aggressor in the (now perhaps winding down) West/East conflict, Western outlets have done what they do best: spin crackpot conspiracy theories about how everyone is trying to destroy the “free world” (the US happens to imprison more of its own people than any country in history, but in the free world we are smart enough to know that doesn’t count).

The New York Times, for example, attempted to explain the events that provoked Russia’s actions in Crimea (the US-backed protests and violent overthrow of an elected leader), by claiming Putin orchestrated all of that, too.

Robert Parry reports on the Times’ fanciful effort:

Is the New York Times really suggesting that Putin pulled the strings on the likes of Merkel and Nuland, secretly organized neo-Nazi brigades, and ruthlessly deployed these thugs to Kiev to provoke violence and overthrow Yanukovych, all while pretending to try to save Yanukovych’s government – all so Putin could advance some dastardly plot to conquer Europe?

…the Times’ narrative is something that would make even the most dedicated “conspiracy theorist” blush. Yet, the Times not only asserts this crazy conspiracy theory but calls it “incontrovertible.”

True to form, another times article recently proclaimed:

In all likelihood no one in the Kremlin actually ordered the killing [of Nemtsov]… The Kremlin has recently created a loose army of avengers who believe they are acting in the country’s best interests, without receiving any explicit instructions.

If someone in the US were to insist that Obama or Bush created a “loose army of avengers” who went around killing people “without receiving any explicit instructions”, he or she would be told to take off the tinfoil hat, leave mom’s basement, and get a job.

But when discussing the dark, ruthless, senseless forces of pure evil outside of our huddling “free world”, we are *free* to boldly rewrite history in our favor, concoct wild-eyed conspiracy theories to our hearts’ content, and use our new and improved histories and our nut-job theories to promote mass-violence against the bad people conspiring against “our freedoms”, and then kill millions of them.

Follow author Robert Barsocchini on Twitter@_DirtyTruths

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly HeartsThe Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Death of Novorossia: Why Kremlin Abandoned Ukraine Separatist Project

5616-novorossiya

“The Novorossia project is frozen until a new political elite emerges,” said Alexander Kofman, foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Standing in front of a small Moscow church last September, President Vladimir Putin told journalists that he had lit candles inside for people who had been injured or given up their lives defending Novorossia.

The historical term, meaning “New Russia,” was first used by the president last April and was subsequently picked up by insurgents in Ukraine’s east to define their effort to spread their anti-Kiev rebellion across the country’s southeast — the same large region north of the Black Sea that became known as Novorossia after Russia conquered it during 18th-century wars with Turkey, and that became part of Ukraine after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.

Russian conservative ideologists and Putin himself used the term to justify their claim that it was the Kremlin’s duty to protect the interests of ethnic Russians there.

In June, amid the pro-Russian rebellion in Ukraine’s east, Novorossia was proclaimed by rebels as a separate entity with its own parliament, flag and news agency. Novorossia was supposed to unite the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics into a confederation and also absorb other regions of Ukraine in the future.

But last week, Alexander Kofman, foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, announced that the Novorossia project had been put on hold.

“The Novorossia project is frozen until a new political elite emerges in all these regions that will be able to head the movement. We don’t have the right to impose our opinion on [the Ukrainian cities of] Kharkiv, Zaporizhia and Odessa,” Kofman told the Vechernyaya Makeyevka newspaper published in the Donetsk region.

His words echoed those of Novorossia parliament head Oleg Tsaryov, a former deputy of Ukraine’s official parliament in Kiev. Last month, Tsaryov told the Kiev-based Vesti Reporter magazine that Novorossia’s activities had been frozen because they did not fit into the Minsk cease-fire agreements signed in February by Putin, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and the leaders of France and Germany. The official website of Novorossia’s parliament is now offline.

Change of Tune

During recent weeks, as though in a preplanned chain of events, Russian officials have become remarkably active in stating that the Russian government wants the self-proclaimed republics to remain part of Ukraine.

“At all levels, including the presidential one and in other formats, we say that we want [these republics] to become part of Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta last week.

“They have unveiled their own constitution project in which they talk about their status as envisaged by the Minsk agreements: The republics will become part of Ukraine, followed by constitutional reform that will solidify this status into a permanent one,” he said.

A month earlier, Putin had something very different to say about the same subject. “I believe that — provided that the Minsk agreements are implemented — it is possible to find some elements for restoring a sort of common political field with Ukraine. However, in the long run, of course, ultimately the final say about how and with whom to live and on what terms should belong to the people who live in those territories,” he said during his most recent call-in show on April 16.

Leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic were already proposing their own amendments to the Ukrainian constitution back in February, suggesting that they intended to remain part of Ukraine.

Instrument of Leverage

Analysts interviewed by The Moscow Times said the change of rhetoric demonstrated that Russia had been using the prospect of the further expansion of the self-proclaimed entities into Ukraine’s southeast as leverage during negotiations with the West and Ukraine on how to resolve the crisis.

At the same time, Andrei Piontkovsky, an opposition-minded Moscow-based political analyst, said that Kremlin policymakers have realized that they had reached levels of tension with the West that they cannot afford.

“In order to maintain the level of tension, the Kremlin would have had to escalate the crisis further, which would have meant more victims among Russian soldiers and more sanctions,” said Piontkovsky, a senior researcher at the Institute of Systems Analysis of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Crimea Deal?

Andrei Kolesnikov, a senior associate at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, noted that the end of the Novorossia project was announced shortly after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Putin in Sochi for the first time since the Ukraine crisis unfolded at the end of 2013. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland followed hot on his heels with visits to Kiev and Moscow.

In an article published on the Carnegie Center’s website last week, Kolesnikov said that it was possible that during those negotiations, U.S. neutrality or silence with regard to Russia’s annexation of Crimea was offered in exchange for Russian support for the reintegration of Ukraine’s rebellious regions.

Piontkovsky agreed.

“Putin has offered the Americans a draw: They close their eyes to the Crimea issue, while Russia freezes the conflict in Ukraine’s east. This is a lucrative option for the West, but Ukraine cannot like it,” Piontkovsky said.

In the same interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta last week, Lavrov made a point of mentioning that the question of Crimea had not been brought up by Kerry during his meeting with Putin.

“Draw your own conclusions,” Lavrov said at the time.

According to Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a think tank with close links to the Foreign Ministry, pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine’s east have realized that Moscow will not support their independence or make them part of Russia.

“Despite their declarations, they understand that they want to stay within a unified Ukraine. The Kiev authorities will reject them [the rebels’ reintegration terms], but in that situation they can portray themselves as proponents of peace,” Lukyanov told The Moscow Times in a phone interview.

As a result, analysts say, Russia and the West have reached a situation in which the crisis has been defused — at least for a while — with neither side losing face.

What remains unclear, however, is how the Ukrainian government will react if Russia and the U.S. really have reached a deal behind its back.