Shaky Run-up to Syrian Peace Talks – By Stephen Lendman



Shaky Run-up to Syrian Peace Talks
by Stephen Lendman


Talks are scheduled to begin Friday at Geneva’s Palais des Nations. It’s still unclear precisely who’s coming – what parties and individuals got invitations, which ones accepted or rejected them.


From what’s known so far, US/UK/Saudi-backed terrorist groups were invited – a bloc known as the Higher Negotiating Committee, including ISIS-equivalent Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam).


It’s committed to Syria’s destruction, mass slaughter of Shiites and Alawites – former leader Zahran Alloush (killed by Syrian airstrikes) earlier saying “(o)ur nation has a great thirst for an Islamic state.”


He and his followers reject democracy, international law, and pluralistic governance. Not yet named similar terrorist groups were invited. Anti-Assad moderates don’t exist.


Media reports indicated Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem will attend, along with UN envoy Bashar al-Jafari as government moderator.


Syrian political defector Riyad Hijab heads the Saudi-backed Higher Negotiating Committee. Syrian army defector Asaad al-Zoubi heads other opposition groups – both men committed to Assad’s removal by any means.


Arab media indicated de Mistura invited 15 delegates from each side. Various other groups and individuals got invitations.


The PYD (Democratic Union Party) was excluded, Syria’s largest Kurdish group, despite the importance of its inclusion. Turkey demanded its exclusion, falsely calling it a terrorist organization, part of its longstanding war on Kurds, currently raging.


PYD fighters are some of the most effective in combating ISIS and other terrorist groups. Excluding the group denigrates its commitment against a common scourge.


Veteran Syrian opposition figure Haitham Manna said he’ll boycott talks without the PYD’s inclusion. The Swiss government invited its leader Saleh Muslim to serve as an advisor to the talks – meaningless if he’s excluded from proceedings.


Months of proximity talks are planned. Opposing sides won’t meet face-to-face. Anti-Assad, Western-controlled UN negotiators will mediate proceedings, biased before beginning.


On the eve of talks, bickering on who should or shouldn’t attend continues, some groups (including Saudi-backed ones) threatening to boycott proceedings if their conditions aren’t met.


Talks are supposed to take place with no pre-conditions, beyond what Security Council Res. 2254 stipulates:


  • initiating a political process toward establishing “inclusive and non-sectarian governance” within six months by Syrians alone, free from outside interference;


  • drafting a new constitution, likely largely replicating the current one, overwhelmingly approved by national referendum in February 2012; and


  • holding new elections in 18 months.


Assad is overwhelmingly popular, reelected in June 2014 with an 89% majority – a process independent international observers called open, free and fair.


He won’t be removed from office electorally, why Washington and rogue partners plan endless war. Expect Geneva III to fare no better than previous talks.


How can it with US-led opposition to Assad’s rule committed to ousting him militarily. The evidence speaks for itself.


ISIS, Al Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra weren’t invited to Geneva. They’re US foot soldiers committed to conflict to achieve their objectives – with full support and encouragement from Washington, including Pentagon warplanes bombing infrastructure and government targets, as well as increasing numbers of US combat troops heading for northern Syria.


On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner lied, saying:


“We believe (opposition elements) should seize this opportunity to test the regime’s willingness and intentions and expose before the entire world which parties are serious about a potential peaceful political transition in Syria and which are not.” 


He failed to explain Washington intends endless war, attempting to oust Assad militarily, so far Russia’s aerial campaign defeating its imperial objectives.


On Wednesday, Sergey Lavrov warned about talks threatened by “irrelevant conditions,” ignoring the need for unity against terrorism.


He defended Russia’s aerial campaign, saying it’s “clear who is fighting the terrorists, who are acting as their accomplices, and who are trying to use them for their unilateral, selfish goals” – indicating Washington, Britain, France, Gulf States and complicit allies without naming them.


Lavrov fears unacceptable opposition-imposed conditions may doom talks, maybe before beginning.


It bears repeating. Expect Geneva III to fare no better than earlier talks. Washington’s imperial agenda likely dooms them.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 


His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”



Visit his blog site at 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


posted by Stephen Lendman @ 3:57 AM


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.


Hillary Clinton: The Bride of Frankenfood


In-depth Report:

hillary-clinton-GMO-monsanto-480x264-400x220Although during her tenure in the White House as first lady Hillary enjoyed the benefit of 8 years of organic non-GMO food by virtue of her residency in the White House, 2016 candidate Clinton has been perhaps the most vocal proponent of GM food to yet enter the race.

According to Global Research writer Stephen Lendman, nearly all the food produced for the Clinton White House was obtained from local growers and suppliers, GMO-free, pesticide-free, and with a preference for organic.[1] That, preference, however, is not to be afforded the American people and the people of the Third World for whom Hillary is pushing every toxic GM variety known to man.

Hillary’s Big-Agra ties go back quite a long ways. As far back as the 1980s, Hillary was working at high levels within the Rose Law Firm, a law firm that itself was tied to a number of scandals. Although not a scandal at the time, it is now important to note that the Rose Law Firm, at which Clinton was a partner, maintained Monsanto and Tyson Foods as clients.[2]

Yet a mere association between law firms and such food giants was by no means the depths of Clinton’s connection to these institutions and the industry of Genetically Modified Organisms and “biotechnology.”

It has been speculated by many that Hillary’s ties to Monsanto and Tyson as a result of her career with Rose was yet another link in the chain pulling biotech giants together with the Bill Clinton administration in the 1990s. Indeed, Clinton’s disastrous presidency resulted in seeing a number of former-biotech giant employees being hired and appointed to the FDA, USDA, and other relevant regulatory posts within the US government. While being careful not to ascribe the blame of Bill Clinton’s either years of treachery to Hillary, it is nevertheless worthwhile to ask whether or not Hillary served as a middleman of sorts for major government-corporate collusion of this type.

After all, when Clinton became US Secretary of State, she acted as Monsanto’s promoter both domestically and across the world, continuing a policy of GMO promotion that preceded and, apparently, continued even after she left the office.

In December, 2010, WikiLeaks released sizable number of cables, about ten percent of which revealed that the US State Department was essentially acting as the marketing wing for biotech companies and “biotech” products across the world. The thousands of cables that were released spanned over 100 embassies and were, unfortunately, released just before Christmas. As a result, the story faded into the holiday madness.[3]

Thankfully, in 2013, the watchdog organization Food and Water Watch delved into the cables and released a report entitled “Biotech Ambassadors: How The U.S. State Department Promotes The Seed Industry’s Global Agenda.” According to Food and Water Watch, their study “reveals a concerted strategy to promote agricultural biotechnology overseas, compel countries to import biotech crops and foods they do not want, and lobby foreign governments — especially in the developing world — to adopt policies to pave the way to cultivate biotech crops.”[4]

Food and Water Watch wrote,

Food and Water Watch closely examined five years of State Department diplomatic cables from 2005 to 2009 to provide the first comprehensive analysis of the strategy, tactics and U.S. foreign policy objectives to foist pro-agricultural biotechnology policies worldwide. Food & Water Watch’s illuminating findings include:

The U.S. State Department’s multifaceted efforts to promote the biotechnology industry overseas: The State Department targeted foreign reporters, hosted and coordinated pro-biotech conferences and public events and brought foreign opinion-makers to the United States on high-profile junkets to improve the image of agricultural biotechnology overseas and overcome widespread public opposition to GE crops and foods.

The State Department’s coordinated campaign to promote biotech business interests: The State Department promoted not only pro-biotechnology policies but also the products of biotech companies. The strategy cables explicitly “protect the interests” of biotech exporters, “facilitate trade in agri-biotech products” and encourage the cultivation of GE crops in more countries, especially in the developing world.[5]

The State Department’s determined advocacy to press the developing world to adopt biotech crops: The diplomatic cables document a coordinated effort to lobby countries in the developing world to pass legislation and implement regulations favored by the biotech seed industry. This study examines the State Department lobbying campaigns in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria to pass pro-biotech laws.

The State Department’s efforts to force other nations to accept biotech crop and food imports:The State Department works with the U.S. Trade Representative to promote the export of biotech crops and to force nations that do not want these imports to accept U.S. biotech foods and crops.[6]

FWW also provides a few Hillary quotes demonstrating the State Department’s push for GM crops worldwide such as her statements linking GMOs to solving “climate change” and world hunger.[7]

“We believe that biotechnology has a critical role to play in increasing agricultural productivity, particularly in light of climate change,” Clinton is quoted as stating.[8]

“[W]e want to shift our focus to agricultural sustainability, focusing on the small producers, helping them understand the value of GMOs — genetically modified organisms,” she also said while serving as Secretary of State.[9]

Clinton also extolled the virtues of GE technology upon her visit to Kenya when she stated that “With Kenya’s leadership in biotechnology and biosafety, we cannot only improve agriculture in Kenya, but Kenya can be leader for the rest of Africa.”[10]

While the FWW report can scarcely be dealt with in any reasonable detail within the scope of this article, it is recommended that the reader take advantage of the fact that it is freely available online at this link:

It should be mentioned that, as Secretary of State, Hillary also helped promote the USAID –funded program “Feed the Future,” an initiative that promotes and introduces Round-up Ready®products all over the world.[11]

Yet, even as Hillary was acting as Monsanto and Big-Agra’s PR woman as Secretary of State, the Clinton Global Initiative was receiving sizable donations from Monsanto and Dow Chemical. As Judy Frankel of the Huffington Post writes in her article Hillary vs. Bernie On Frankenfood,

How is Hillary personally involved in supporting big agriculture? The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which gathers leaders to solve the world’s problems, promotes Monsanto, the maker of RoundUp® and RoundUp Ready® seeds. Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s Chairman and CEO spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in September, 2014. Ms. Clinton’s top campaign advisor, Jerry Crawford, was a lobbyist for Monsanto for years and is now the political pro for her Super PAC, “Ready for Hillary.”[12] Clinton spoke in favor of the government’s Feed the Future (FtF) program, a USAID funded, corporate-partnered program that brings RoundUp Ready® technology to the most vulnerable populations of the world.[13] Monsanto and Dow Chemical support Hillary and Bill’s ‘Clinton Foundation’ with generous donations.

Last year, at a San Diego biotech conference, Hillary coached her audience in messaging. “Genetically modified sounds Frankensteinish. Drought-resistant sounds like something you’d want. Be more careful so you don’t raise that red flag immediately.”

It’s also highly unlikely for Hillary Clinton to stand up against her benefactors, saying she favors a review of RoundUp, 2,4-D, and the even more toxic poisons used by farmers worldwide when she has friends in the industry telling her that they will “feed the world” someday with their agricultural methods.[14]

According to Stephen Lendman,

Monsanto gave the Clinton Foundation from half a million to one million dollars – Ag giant Dow Chemical from one to five million dollars, according to Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation disclosures.

Numerous other corporate giants contributed large sums. Expect them donating handsomely to Hillary’s presidential campaign.[15]

The Washington Times echoes Lendman’s claims by stating that “Monsanto gave the foundation between $501,250 and $1 million. Dow Chemical Company, which is among the top GMO players, gave between $1 million and $5 million, according to financial disclosures by the Clinton Foundation.”[16]

Candidate Clinton is no better than Secretary, Senator, or First Lady Clinton. In fact, she may even be worse considering that, even when faced with election woes stemming from her support of GM foods, she is still stalwart and vocal in her support of them, going so far as to openly raise funds from Big-Agra donors and attend Big-Agra lobbying initiatives.[17]

Candidate Clinton in 2008 was bad enough. Back then, Clinton was supported by a group called Rural Americans For Hillary, an organization closely connected to the lobbying firm of Monsanto.[18]

Clinton’s “adviser” for her campaign for Secretary of State, 2008 Presidency, and both Senate runs was Mark Penn, a close adviser to Clinton as well as PR rep for Monsanto via his PR firm Burson-Marsteller. [19] [20] [21]

Linn Cohen-Cole suggests that it was Hillary Clinton who was the brainchild (at Penn’s instruction) to appoint notorious Monsanto henchman Michael Taylor to the position of head of the FDA, a man whom Bill Clinton had once appointed to the FDA and USDA.[22]

In 2015, when Hillary began assembling her 2016 campaign team, she tapped Monsanto lobbyist Jerry Crawford to act as an “adviser” to the Ready For Hillary Super PAC. Crawford was also co-chair of her 2008 campaign.[23]

As Zaid Jilani wrote for Alternet,

Before joining Clinton’s campaign in 2008, Crawford served in a variety of high-profile political roles. In addition to a variety of local positions, he served as the Iowa chair for the presidential campaigns of Mike Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry—each one the more conservative candidates in their Democratic presidential primaries.

So it was a natural fit for Crawford to sign up for the Hillary campaign. But after Clinton’s 2008 loss, Crawford spent his days at Crawford Muaro, his law and lobbying firm.[24] While there, he represented a variety of corporate clients, including Kraft and Altria (the parent company of Philip Morris USA). He also served as a lawyer for Jack DeCoster, a factory farm tycoon who infamously supplied eggs that led to a salmonella outbreak. His most prominent client, however, was Monsanto.[25]

Stephen Lendman also points out that Crawford was involved in fighting small farmers through the court system on behalf of Big-Agra.[26]

Hillary’s long history with Big Agra should have foretold the glowing praise she would leap upon GM crops and big Biotech companies at the world’s largest trade organization of biotechnology firms in San Diego in late June 2014.[27]

“I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record,” Hillary said. She also added that pro-GMO advocates need to continue to hammer at those more skeptical of frankenfoods. “There is a big gap between what the facts are, and what the perceptions are,” she said, echoing a typical Big Agra talking point designed to be appealing to trendies and hipsters.[28]

Clinton also gave some marketing advice to the participants regarding how they present GM food to the public. “‘Genetically modified’ sounds Frankensteinish. ‘Drought resistance’ sounds really – something you want. So how do you create a different vocabulary to talk about what it is you’re trying to help people do,” she said.[29]

She also stated

We talk about drought-resistant seeds, and I’ve promoted them all over Africa. By definition, they have been engineered to be drought-resistant, I mean that’s the beauty of them. Maybe somebody can get their harvest done and not starve, and maybe there’s some left over to sell. And yet I’ve been involved in a lot of the political debates in other countries about whether or not to accept certain kinds of seeds.

. . . . .

We created a program called Feed the Future, which is trying to help the farmers be educated enough to know that drought-resistant seeds, for example, are not going to hurt them. And this is painstaking work, doesn’t get solved overnight. You have to be working at the top with the departments of agriculture, with finance ministries, with prime ministers and presidents’ offices, and you have to be working from the bottom up. I don’t see the short cut for it.

. . . . . .

I don’t want to see biotech companies or pharma companies moving out of our country simply because of some perceived tax disadvantage and potential tax advantage somewhere else.[30]

Hillary Clinton at BIO Convention 2014



Clinton’s 2016 race has, as mentioned, gotten off to a great start thanks to donations from Monsanto lobbyists in the form of bundlers – fundraisers who are able to skirt election donation laws by convincing their contacts and associates to donate to a political candidate.

Jerry Crawford, the famed Iowa-based Monsanto lobbyist, has already raised $35,000 for Clinton.[32]

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 600 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at)

This article (Hillary Clinton: The Bride Of Frankenfood) can be republished under this share-alike Creative Commons license with attribution to Brandon Turbeville, the article link and Natural


[1] Lendman, Stephen. “Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOS. White House Meals Are Organic.” Global Research (Centre For Research On Globalization). May 25, 2015. Accessed on September 1, 2015.

[2] Gerth, JeffVan Natta, Jr., Don (2007). Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham ClintonNew York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-01742-6. p. 60.

[3] Hatfield, Leslie. “New Analysis Of Wikileaks Shows State Department’s Promotion Of Monsanto’s GMOs Abroad.” Huffington Post. July 20, 2013. Accessed on September 1, 2015.

[4] “Biotech Ambassadors: How The U.S. State Department Promotes The Seed Industry’s Global Agenda.” Food and Water Watch. May, 2013. Accessed on September 1, 2015.

[5] U.S. Department of State (U.S. DoS). “FY 2008 biotechnology outreach strategy and department resources.” Cable No. 07STATE160639. November 27, 2007.

[6] “Biotech Ambassadors: How The U.S. State Department Promotes The Seed Industry’s Global Agenda.” Food and Water Watch. May, 2013. Accessed on September 1, 2015.

[7] Biotech Ambassadors: How The U.S. State Department Promotes The Seed Industry’s Global Agenda.” Food and Water Watch. May, 2013. Accessed on September 1, 2015.

[8] U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. Hearing on the President’s FY2009 War Supplemental Request. April 30, 2009.

[9] Lauritsen, Sharon Bomer, Executive Vice President of Food and Agriculture at BIO. Letter to Professeur De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. May 29, 2009 at 14.

[10] Clinton, Hillary. Remarks at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute. August 5, 2009

[11] Biotech Ambassadors: How The U.S. State Department Promotes The Seed Industry’s Global Agenda.” Food and Water Watch. May, 2013. Accessed on September 1, 2015.

[12] Jilani, Zaid. “Hillary’s Pick For Her Political Fixer In Iowa Is A Classic Illustration Of America’s Political Corporate Insider Problem.” Alter Net. March 9, 2015. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[13] Ishii-Eiteman, Marcia. “U.S. Looks To Monsanto To Feed The World.” Ground Truth. February 2, 2011. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[14] Frankel, Judy. “Hillary Vs. Bernie On Frankenfood.” Huffington Post. June 23, 2015. on September 2, 2015.

[15] Lendman, Stephen. “Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOS. White House Meals Are Organic.” Global Research (Centre For Research On Globalization). May 25, 2015. Accessed on September 1, 2015.

[16] “Hillary’s Agribusiness Ties Give Rise To Nickname In Iowa: ‘Bride Of Frankenfood.” Washington Times. May 17, 2015. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[17] “Hillary’s Agribusiness Ties Give Rise To Nickname In Iowa: ‘Bride Of Frankenfood.” Washington Times. May 17, 2015. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[18] Parker, Jennifer. “Yee-Haw.” ABC News. December 17, 2007. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[19] Sarich, Christina. “’Bride Of Frankenfood’ Hillary Clinton’s GMO Ties Spark Backlash In Iowa.” Natural Society. May 28, 2015. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[20] Johnson, Luke. “Mark Penn All But Out For Potential Hillary Clinton 2016 Run.” Huffington Post. May 20, 2013. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[21] Scarehuman. “Mark Penn, Taking A Break From Monsanto To Run Hillary Clinton’s Campaign.” Daily Kos. March 17, 2008. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[22] Cohen-Cole, Linn. “Monsanto And Hillary Clinton’s Redemptive First Act As Secretary Of State.” OpEdNews. February 9, 2009. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[23] Terris, Ben. “Jerry Crawford Has Two Goals: Delivering Iowa For Hillary Clinton And Winning The Kentucky Derby.” Washington Post. March 2, 2015. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[24] “Jerry Crawford.” Crawford Mauro Law Firm.” Crawford bio. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[25] Jilani, Zaid. “Hillary’s Pick For Her Political Fixer In Iowa Is A Classic Illustration Of America’s Political Corporate Insider Problem.” Alter Net. March 9, 2015. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[26] Lendman, Stephen. “Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOS. White House Meals Are Organic.” Global Research (Centre For Research On Globalization). May 25, 2015. Accessed on September 1, 2015.

[27] Lim, XiaoZhi. “Video: Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOs, Solution-focused Crop Biotechnology.” Genetic Literacy Project. July 3, 2014. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[28] Ocean, Max. “Hillary Clinton Goes To Bat For GMOs At Biotech Conference.” Common Dreams. July 3, 2014. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[29] Ocean, Max. “Hillary Clinton Goes To Bat For GMOs At Biotech Conference.” Common Dreams. July 3, 2014. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[30] Lim, XiaoZhi. “Video: Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOs, Solution-focused Crop Biotechnology.” Genetic Literacy Project. July 3, 2014. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[31] “Hillary Clinton At BIO Convention 2014.” Youtube. Posted by Ken Stone. June 27, 2014. Hillary Rodham Clinton, answering questions as if a presidential contender, speaks to thousands at the BIO International Convention on June 25, 2014, at the San Diego Convention Center. She was interviewed by Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Accessed on September 2, 2015.

[32] Brody, Ben. “Lobbyists For Monsanto, ExxonMobil Raise Money For Hillary Clinton.” Bloomberg, July 17, 2015. Accessed on September 2, 2015.


Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk convince Ukrainian President Poroshenko to blackmail constitutional reform.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk: The Evil behind blocking a referendum on the Ukraine’s Constituion

Holocaust Remembrance 2016: Remembering Humanity’s Capacity for Inhumanity

By Sputnik

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whose fate ‘hangs by within a hair’s breadth of dismissal’, is pushing a proposal to hold a referendum on the country’s constitution as a way to “blackmail” the president, Ukrainian media and political analysts suggest.

Over the weekend, Yatsenyuk called for a referendum on a new constitution. It’s “high time for the Ukrainian people to have their say about a new Ukrainian constitution in a new European Ukraine,” the prime minister said, during his weekly televised address to the nation on Sunday. 

The new constitution, in his words, would be a “new agreement on the redistribution of powers between authorities, an agreement on relations between the center and the country’s regions, an agreement on a new honest and fair judicial system, and on clear geopolitics,” (i.e., enshrining in the constitution Kiev’s goals of joining the European Union and NATO).

Ukraine's President, Petro Poroshenko
© AP Photo/ Mindaugas Kulbis
Poroshenko Vows Not to Postpone Vote on Ukraine’s Decentralization

Yatsenyuk’s remarks came on the heels of President Petro Poroshenko’s warning, a day earlier, that the parliament’s decision to block constitutional reform aimed at decentralization for the autonomy-seeking regions in the Donbass could lead to the collapse of the Minsk Agreements, and “the resumption of the ‘hot phase’ of the conflict.”Commenting on the prime minister’s response, the Ukrainian newspaper Vesti suggested that his words amount to “blackmail.”

First off, the paper recalls, the conflict between Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko escalated following the quarrel between Odessa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov over corruption allegations last month, and the ‘leak’ by the presidential administration about Poroshenko’s desire to sack the disgraced interior minister. The prime minister bluntly responded to the veiled threat that he would leave “together with Avakov, and immediately into the opposition.”

Moreover, the paper notes, Poroshenko is now attempting to “pressure Yatsenyuk” to at least replace Avakov with another candidate from Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front. 

In response to Yatsenyuk’s initiative, Vesti says, MPs from the People’s Front are already preparing their own version of the constitution, ostensibly to counter presidential proposals presented to parliament earlier this year, which call for a modest decentralization of power to the regions.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk gestures as he speaks with Finance Minister Natalia Jaresko during a parliament session in Kiev. File photo.


The People’s Front, according to the paper, has effectively torpedoed the president’s proposals, promising that they would not vote for them. Subsequently, the other forces dominating the country’s post-Maidan political space, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland Party and Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party, have stepped out in support of Yatsenyuk’s proposal, with the Radical Party even putting for a date for the referendum – March. The Petro Poroshenko Bloc, complaining under its breath that constitutional amendments are a function of the parliament, says that “everything else is mere populism.” For his part, Poroshenko Bloc Rada Chairman Volodymyr Groysman suggested that a referendum would mean that the Donbass would not receive the autonomy so vital for the Minsk peace plan, adding that the referendum’s question would surely be ‘subject to manipulation’.

Speaking to Vesti, Ukrainian political scientist Ruslan Bortnik explained that at the moment, “Yatsenyuk, Avakov and his entire government hang within a hair’s breadth of dismissal.” Subsequently, the analyst noted, “the prime minister’s announcement is a form of blackmail: the president is being told that…he will not be able to count on the People’s Front’s support any longer.”

Ultimately, the newspaper suggests, all this testifies to the fact that the country’s pro-EU, pro-Washington coalition may be on the verge of collapse.

“The coalition is de-facto collapsing. But before the parliament’s dissolution, the president has other tools: a ‘reformatting’ of the government (expected in the spring), and a ‘reformatting’ of the ruling coalition.” 

This, Vesti notes, would require a series of maneuvers, including tapping the ‘People’s Will’ parliamentary group, together with ‘reconnaissance’ on the prospects of bringing the UKROP party (which includes ultranationalist and outright fascists and neo-Nazi MPs including Dmytro Yarosh, Andriy Biletsky, and Boryslav Bereza). “For this to occur,” the paper explains, “the president will have to transcend his conflict with his other ‘enemy #1’ – Ihor Kolomoisky,” the famed oligarch from Dnipropetrovsk accused of cheating the government out of $1.8 billion in IMF loan money.

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