Wave of assassinations in Ukraine targets critics of Kiev regime

POTROLAND

POTROLAND

 

In the lead-up to the May 9 celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, there has been an accelerating wave of political assassinations targeting critics of the Western-backed, far-right regime in Kiev.

Yesterday evening, a group calling itself the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)—the name of a Ukrainian fascist militia that collaborated with Nazi forces in carrying out ethnic genocides of Jews and Poles during World War II—claimed responsibility for the killings. In a statement emailed to opposition legislators and political commentators, it also gave “anti-Ukrainian” persons 72 hours to leave the country or be killed if they stayed behind.

It pledged to carry out the “complete extermination” of enemies of Ukraine and a “merciless insurrectionary struggle against the anti-Ukrainian regime of traitors and Moscow toadies,” according to a report in Der Spiegel .

The killing spree began this week with the murder of journalist Sergey Sukhobok. On Wednesday evening, Oleg Kalashnykov was found dead in his home in Kiev. He was a former parliamentarian from the Party of Regions and a close ally of President Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian politician ousted in a NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in February of 2014 that installed the current regime in Kiev.

According to Interior Ministry advisor Anton Heraschenko, killers were waiting for Kalashnykov outside his residence and shot him when he returned.

Before his death, Kalashnykov indicated that he had received death threats over his call to commemorate May 9. He addressed a letter to his friends warning that “open genocide on dissent, death threats, and constant dirty insults” had become the “norm” since he publicly raised the issue. He reportedly added in the letter that Ukraine was under Nazi occupation.

On Thursday, pro-Russian journalist Oles Buzyna was shot and killed near his house in Kiev by two unidentified masked gunmen firing from a car. Buzyna had edited the Segodnya newspaper, a pro-Russian publication financed by Ukraine’s richest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, a multi-billionaire who was also one of the leading sponsors of Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions. Also killed on Thursday was Neteshinskiy Vestnik editor Olga Moroz.

The killings were the latest in a spate of deaths of high-profile opponents of the Kiev regime. The victims have largely been political and media associates of the faction of the post-Soviet Ukrainian business oligarchy tied to Akhmetov, Yanukovych and the Kremlin oligarchy in Russia. Other deaths include:

* Aleksey Kolesnik, former chairman of the Kharkov regional government, found hanged on January 29;

*Stanislav Melnik, a Party of Regions member reportedly close to Akhmetov, found shot in the bathroom of his Kiev apartment on February 24;

*Sergey Valter, the mayor of Melitopol, found hanged before his trial on February 25, leaving no suicide note;

*Aleksandr Bordyuga, the deputy chief of Melitopol police, found dead the next day, in his garage;

*Mikhail Chechetov, a former member of the Party of Regions, who jumped from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev on February 28, leaving a suicide note;

*Sergey Melnichuk, a prosecutor who fell from a 9th floor apartment in Odessa on March 14.

Russian and Ukrainian officials have traded accusations of responsibility for the killings. Speaking on a call-in television show, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and said of Buzyna’s killing, “It is not the first political assassination, we have seen a series of such killings in Ukraine.”

Officials in Kiev offered up dubious arguments to blame the killings on Russia. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the killings “a deliberate provocation which plays into the hands of our enemies, destabilizing the political situation in Ukraine.”

In the meantime, officials and far-right parliamentarians in Kiev have openly endorsed and celebrated the murders. While lawmaker Borys Filatov rejoiced that “one more piece of sh*t” had been eliminated,” Irina Farion, a lawmaker of the fascist Svoboda Party, attacked Buzyna as a “degenerate” and hoped that his “death will somehow neutralize the dirt this [expletive] has spilled… Such ones go to history’s sewers.”

Political responsibility for the killings rests with the imperialist powers that oversaw and backed the Kiev putsch. They have encouraged Kiev to wage a bloody civil war against pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine and covered up its reliance on fascistic, anti-Russian forces. In the resulting political atmosphere, opponents of the Kiev states can be murdered without investigation and with political impunity.

What is occurring in Ukraine is a warning to the international working class. With the support of Washington and its European allies, which are moving to train the neo-Nazi militias that make up much of the Ukrainian regime’s National Guard, an ultra-right regime has emerged in a major European country.

With Ukraine’s economy disintegrating and its population resisting Kiev’s attempts to reinstate the draft to wage war against eastern Ukraine, Kiev is seeking to crush domestic dissent and relying ever more directly on the far right. Terrified that mass opposition might coalesce around the May 9 holiday, it has banned public discussion of communism. It also rehabilitated the UPA and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).

This is the culmination of a series of police state measures by the Kiev regime that have enjoyed the full support of its NATO backers. During last year’s Ukrainian legislative elections, opposition candidates, including Pyotr Symonenko, the Stalinist Communist Party of Ukraine’s (KPU) former presidential candidate, were physically attacked by fascist thugs.

Even before the murder of Buzyna, Kiev regime officials and sympathizers were demanding draconian punishments of journalists who oppose the regime. Last month, Ukrainian Minister of Information Policy Yuri Stets demanded that journalists in the breakaway eastern Ukrainian Donbass region serve prison terms of eight to 15 years.

In an account on Facebook of a speech he had given at Harvard University, pro-Kiev regime commentator and political analyst Yuri Romanenko boasted that he had argued for murdering pro-Russian journalists and summarized his arguments.

“The Ukrainian army must selectively and carefully eliminate Russian journalists covering the situation in Donbass. We need to direct Ukrainian army snipers to shoot people wearing PRESS helmets, making them priority targets,” Romanenko wrote. “Since the media represent a destructive weapon and allow Russia to operate not only in the war zone but across Ukraine, taking out several dozen journalists in the conflict zone will reduce the quality of the picture presented in the Russian media and, therefore, reduce the effectiveness of their propaganda.”

The murder of Kalashnykov, Buzyna and their political associates emerges directly from the foul political atmosphere produced by such ranting. It is an indictment of the NATO powers backing the regime in Ukraine and the illusions peddled by the Western media and corrupt pseudo-left groups that the right-wing protests on the Maidan and the February 2014 putsch were part of a democratic revolution.

While these forces insisted, without any proof, that the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was a crime carried out by the Russian government, they are maintaining a hypocritical silence as the Kiev regime’s internal opponents are gunned down in the streets.

Mikhail Chechetov: Suicide or Murder?

Mikhail Chechetov

Mikhail Chechetov, member of Party of Regions, and ex MP

 

The Witch-Hunt of Former Party of Regions Officials Continues

March 05, 2015

by Halyna Mokrushyna

On February 28, a former member of the Party of Regions, Mikhail Chechetov, committed suicide by jumping from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kyiv. Before ending his days, he left a note saying: “I am leaving. I think this will be better for everyone. A huge thank you to all of you for your support. Forgive me and understand me correctly. M. Chechetov.”

On February 21, Chechetov was arrested by the Pecherskyi court of Kyiv under accusations of malfeasance, abuse of authority and forgery. Bail was set very high by the court–five million hryvnias (app. US$170,000). It was paid by Chechetov’s friends and on February 23 he was able to walk out of the detention centre.

Chechetov was one of the targets of newly appointed Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin, an old-time friend and relative of President Petro Poroshenko. Shokin was appointed on February 10 after former Prosecutor General Vitaly Yarema submitted a letter of resignation under pressure from deputies of the Verkhovna Rada. The pressure came mostly from the faction of the presidential party in the Rada, the Poroshenko Bloc. The deputies claimed that Yarema did not investigate fast enough the sniper shootings on Maidan Square on February 20, 2014 and that he was not quick enough in bringing to justice officials of the previous governing regime of President Viktor Yanukovych. Yarema explained that, naked assertions of the deputies of the new Euromaidan parliament of Ukraine notwithstanding, the Office of the Public Prosecution does not have any proof of “concrete” crimes committed by  Serguei Liovochkin (former head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine under Yanukovych), former deputy and member of the Party of Regions Andrei Kluiev, and the current deputy of the Rada and member of the Opposition Bloc, Yuri Boyko.

Shokin worked under Yarema as deputy prosecutor general. When Shokin received his new appointment as prosecutor general, he started without delay to “restore justice” and call the “former people” to account. Alexander Efremov, the former leader of the faction of the Party of Regions in Verkhovna Rada, was arrested on February 14, 2015 under the same accusations that were leveled against Chechetov. What do these accusations mean concretely? Chechetov as well as Efremov were accused of voting for the “scandalous” and “odious” laws of January 16, 2014, adopted by then-governing Party of Regions and which sought, among other goals, to curb violence on Maidan Square by making stricter rules governing the right to stage public protests. Before I comment on these laws, I would like to say a couple of words about Mikhail Chechetov.

After the February 2014 coup d’état which overthrew the Yanukovych regime and sent him fleeing to Russia, together with several other high-ranking officials, Chechetov remained in Ukraine. He did not participate in the October 2014 election to the Verkhovna Rada and retired completely from politics. He was living in his Kyiv apartment with his wife.

Chechetov was a professor and author of over 500 scientific and current affairs publications. He had a candidate degree in economics and a doctoral degree in public management. His career path is what in Soviet times was called the path of a simple worker.

He was born in 1953 in the Kursk region of Russian Federation. He worked as a fitter in Yenakiyevo (the home town of Viktor Yanukovych), then in the “Yunkom” coal mine of Ordzhonikidze Coal Company.  In 1979, he graduated from Kharkiv Institute of Engineering and Economy with a diploma in mining engineering and economics. From 1982 to 1994, he taught in the same institute and held the position of dean of the faculty of economy. In 1994, he entered big-time politics, being elected a deputy to the Verkhovna Rada. He held high ranking positions in the government related to economic management. From April 2003 to April 2005, he was the head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, responsible for the privatization of big state assets. Under Chechetov’s directorship, Krivorozhstal, one of the biggest metallurgical complexes in Ukraine, was sold in 2004 for 800 million dollars to a consortium created specifically for this reason by two oligarchs – Rinat Akhmetov and Viktor Pinchuk. Allegedly, this price was five times lower than the true value of the enterprise. When Yulia Tymoshenko became Prime-Minister in 2005, this privatization was declared illegal. In October of the same year, the enterprise was sold for 4.8 billion dollars to Lakshmi Mittal, one of the largest metallurgical conglomerates in the world. Chechetov explained later that he purposefully organized the privatization in such a way that it fell into the hands of Ukrainian, not foreign, owners.

The then-head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, Valentyna Semeniuk, who oversaw the second privatization to Mittal, later wanted to reverse it because the buyer did not respect certain conditions of the contract, namely, Mittal closed the program of social payments owed to employees, and promised foreign investment in the enterprise did not materialize. Semeniuk objected to the privatization right from the beginning, stating that Krivorozhstal was a strategic enterprise providing not only vital production but also jobs and social security to thousands of Ukrainian workers. (Semeniuk also committed suicide under dubious circumstances, on August 26, 2014 in her country house. Apparently, she shot herself with a shotgun).

After the Orange Revolution of 2004, when the camp of presidential candidate Victor Yuschchenko won the election late that year, Chechetov left politics and went back to teaching at the institute in Kharkiv. In 2007, he was reelected to the Verkhovna Rada as a member of the Party of Regions. He was part of the leadership of the party. In December 2012, he became First Deputy Chief of the party. In the Rada, he was a member of the committee on industry and investment policies and a member of the board responsible for tallying votes in the Rada.

It was this latter membership which gave rise to the accusations against him of abuse of power and forgery, ultimately leading him to take his life. Ukraine’s prosecutor general stated that on January 16, 2014, Chechetov, Efremov and two other members of the Party of Regions who have since fled from Ukraine to Russia, forged the vote in the Rada. While some deputies were absent, the accused organized voting by hand instead of by using a card, as is the regular procedure. They counted votes of absent members. Chechetov refuted the accusations stating that it was the heads of the parliamentary factions and the head of the counting board who counted the votes, not him.

The famous “dictatorial”, “draconian”, “odious”, “scandalous” laws, as the then- opposition in the Rada and the Ukrainian media, owned by opposition oligarchs, quickly called them, were meant to curb the violence of protesters on Maidan, many of whom, wearing balaclavas and military clothes, were throwing Molotov cocktails at regular police and the ‘Berkut’ riot police and using bars and poles torn from metal fencing to assault police.

On the day of voting on January 16, members of the ruling Party of Regions indeed had to vote with their hands because the deputies from the opposition had disrupted the procedure by snatching voting cards from them. In the highly charged political atmosphere, the following of normal procedure was very problematic. Any initiative by the Party of Regions would be met with great hostility by the opposition. Both sides were accusing each other of breaking the law. And in general, what law can we talk about in the situation of an uprising prevailing in January of 2014 on Kiev’s Maidan Square?

As for the laws themselves, according to one of their authors, Vladimir Oleynik, they were drafted according to the legislation of many European countries. And they are not as “draconian”, as the opposition pretended. For instance, in the Criminal Code of Canada, a person taking part in an unlawful assembly and wearing a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse is guilty of a (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction. If such a person participates in a riot, he/she is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. The violent Maidan protests largely exceeded the definition of riot according to the Canadian Criminal Code.

In the proposed laws of January 16, concealing of identity of any kind of gathering in public, as well as using fire, pyrotechnical means, or any dangerous object or wearing military clothes imitating the uniform of police or military, was punishable by a fine between 150 and 250 non-taxable minimal monthly incomes or an administrative detention for up to 15 days.

I could give many other examples of how these “draconian” laws were not really so draconian. For those who read Russian, a very good analysis is done by Anatoliy Shariy, a Ukrainian journalist in exile. The problem was not the laws, but their very superficial reporting by Ukrainian media and also the superficial reaction to them by the high-ranking European bureaucrats and politicians who relied on Ukrainian media and promptly expressed their concerns with the “repressive laws”. For instance, Anatoliy Shariy cites the headline in a popular Internet newspaper “Ukrainska Pravda” (Ukrainian Truth) reporting on the laws of January 16: “Citizens are not allowed to travel more than five cars at a time – Rada restrains the rights of protesters”. What the newspaper refers to is a proposed law according to which any procession of more than five automobiles which was not approved in advance by the respective division of the Ministry of Interior and which obstructed traffic is punishable by a fine, namely revoking of a drivers license for up to two years and a possible suspension of the vehicle registration. A Russian liberal newspaper “Novaia gazeta” failed to report an essential part of this law – about the obstruction of traffic.

And of course, these laws were said to be the product of the Federal Security Service of Russia, because, presumably, the members of the Party of Regions are not smart enough to come up with such sophisticated laws.

On January 16, 2015, on the one-year anniversary of the “draconian” laws, Mikhail Chechetov explained that the current parliament has legitimized many of the same laws as those voted one year ago. For instance, in the 2014 laws, it was stipulated that a forceful overthrowing of power and calls for the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine are punishable. The new law proscribing “separatism” states the same. Chechetov also said that the goal of the laws of January 16 was to decrease the political tension within society, to avoid violence and to peacefully resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

The then opposition in the Rada criticized the Party of Regions, saying it did not follow the correct procedures and did not give the opposition the time to read the text of the bill. It was put to a vote on the same day it was introduced, and voted without discussion. Under those difficult conditions, given the huge political tensions and the impatient crowds on Maidan Square, what legal procedures could have been respected? And how were the actions of Party of Regions deputies any different from the voting of the state budget for 2015 when deputies of the current Verkhovna Rada voted during one, lengthy overnight session on Dec. 29, 2014 for a document they had not seen before and for which there were no accompanying notes or explanations?

When Poroshenko heard about Chechetov’s suicide, he said it was not a contract killing. There are not and there never will be contract killings in Ukraine, said Poroshenko.

And yet, I have doubts. Chechetov in his public speeches always reiterated that he was for a negotiated resolution of the conflict during Euromaidan. He participated in various television programs explaining the position of the Party of Regions. He did not flee Ukraine, as other high-ranking officials of the Yanukovych regime did.

Since the appointment of Poroshenko’s proxy Shokin as prosecutor general, the Ukrainian justice machine has advanced accusations against several public figures, such as Alexander Efremov and Hennadiy Kernes (mayor of Kharkiv), of being “separatists”. Efremov and Kernes deny the accusations. The Opposition Bloc in the Rada made an official statement on February 28 that the government in power in Ukraine drove Chechetov to kill himself by its cynical hounding and public humiliations of him. In Bloc’s opinion, the current power holders are driving its citizens to extreme despair. Some, such as Chechetov, are driven to despair by hounding and groundless accusations; others by war, poverty, lack of employment and of any hope for the future.

I rather agree with this statement. Prosecution of the former officials from the Party of Regions resembles more victors’ justice than a lawful investigation of abuses of power and corruption.

Halyna Mokrushyna is currently enrolled in the PhD program in Sociology at the University of Ottawa and a part-time professor. She holds a doctorate in linguistics and MA degree in communication. Her academic interests include: transitional justice; collective memory; ethnic studies; dissent movement in Ukraine; history of Ukraine; sociological thought. Her doctoral project deals with the memory of Stalinist purges in Ukraine. In the summer of 2013 she travelled to Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Donetsk to conduct her field research. She is currently working on completing her thesis.

German news site Spiegel Online interviews Ukrainian fascist Yarosh

Dmytro Jarosh, leader of the Right Sector

Dmytro Jarosh, leader of the Right Sector

 

By Peter Schwarz
25 April 2014

WSWS

On April 22, Spiegel Online published an interview with Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Ukrainian fascist paramilitary organisation Right Sector. This interview confirms that the fascists not only played a decisive role in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych on 22 February, but also play a significant role in the current transitional government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Yarosh explained that the armed wing of his organisation had not been disbanded, but legalised. “Our battalions are part of the new territorial defence. We have close contact with the intelligence services, and the general staff. We actually have good relations with everyone, apart from the police,” he told Spiegel Online.

Yarosh is closely connected to Andriy Parubiy, who commanded the self-defence forces during the protests on Independence Square (the Maidan). Parubiy was the co-founder of the fascist Ukrainian Social National Party, the predecessor of Svoboda. He is now a leading member of the Fatherland Party of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, and heads Ukraine’s security and defence council. Yarosh was originally supposed to have been his deputy, but rejected the offer in order to maintain his freedom to manoeuvre against the government.

In the interview, he made clear that Right Sector does not accept the authority of the current government, nor would it accept a future elected government. “Our revolution will only be completed when we have totally renewed the state,” he stated.

His goals are clearly of a fascist character. His choice of words was similar to those of the Nazis, whose terror regime he described as a “government of national revolution.”

Asked by Spiegel Online about his motives, Yarosh answered, “I am a Ukrainian nationalist. My goal is a strong state.” He described liberalism as “a form of totalitarianism.” On the EU, he criticised its alleged “anti-Christian orientation.”

“We oppose the destruction of the traditional family, and are against same-sex marriage.” By contrast he supported the EU’s social and economic policies, calling for tax cuts to support the middle classes and foreign investment.

In his militarist work “Nation and Revolution,” Yarosh expressed himself even more explicitly, as Spiegel Online pointed out. In it, he openly opposes parliamentary democracy and advocated an ethnically-based nationalism. He intends to spread “the nationalist ideology throughout the entire territory of our state,” “de-russify” eastern Ukraine, and ensure that the native people have the leading role in the state.

Yarosh no longer appears in a military uniform. He is a candidate for the upcoming presidential election and now wears a suit and tie. In his interview with Spiegel Online, he sought to downplay his anti-Semitic beliefs, which could prove embarrassing for the Western supporters of the new regime in Kiev.

The interview with Yarosh—and the fact that he was provided a political platform by Spiegel Online—shows the thoroughly reactionary nature of the forces Western powers relied upon to force regime change in Kiev and provoke a confrontation with Russia. In February, the armed provocateurs of Right Sector played a key role in escalating the conflict with security forces, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives and the overthrow of the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Meanwhile, there are reports indicating that western cooperation with Right Sector goes back some time. According to a report in the Polish weekly Nie (“No”), published by 80-year-old journalist Jerzy Urban, the Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski invited 86 members of Right Sector to an intensive, four-week training course at the Police Training Centre Legionowo near Warsaw last September.

The fascists were trained in crowd management, person recognition, combat tactics, command skills, behaviour in crisis situations, protection against gases used by police, erecting barricades, and especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles. The training was officially described as “student exchange.”

The visit took place a full two months before the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an Association Agreement with the EU on 21 November—the event that triggered the Maidan protests. If the report in Nie is true, it shows that the events leading up to the regime change in Kiev were a carefully planned provocation.

The Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski has close links to ruling circles of the USA. He is married to the right-wing American journalist Anne Applebaum and was director of the Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, starting in 2002.

On February 21, Sikorski together with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, negotiated the agreement between President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian opposition, which was then sabotaged within the space of a few hours by the Right Sector and other armed groups. If Sikorski maintained close links to the Right Sector then he must have known of or possibly planned the provocation with the fascists.

EIR – Executive Intelligence Review – Press Release

 

EIR – FACT SHEET

 

Western Powers Back
Neo-Nazi Coup in Ukraine

by an EIR Research Team

[PDF version of this fact sheet]

Feb. 2, 2014—Western nations, led by the European Union and the Obama Administration, are backing an outright neo-Nazi regime-change coup in Ukraine. If the effort succeeds, the consequences will extend far beyond the borders of Ukraine and neighboring states. For Russia, such a coup would constitute a casus belli, coming as it does in the context of NATO missile defense expansion into Central Europe and the evolution of a U.S.-NATO doctrine of “Prompt Global Strike,” which presumes that the United States can launch a pre-emptive first strike against Russia and China and survive the retaliation.

The events in Ukraine constitute a potential trigger for a global war that could rapidly and easily escalate to a thermonuclear war of extinction. At this weekend’s Munich Security Conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a heated public exchange with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in which the latter accused Russia of “bellicose rhetoric” and Lavrov responded by citing the European missile defense program as an attempt to secure a nuclear first-strike capability against Russia.

In his formal remarks at Munich and a week earlier at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, Lavrov also assailed Western governments for supporting neo-Nazi terrorist organizations in their zeal to place Ukraine under European Union and Troika control to tighten the NATO noose around Russia.

If anything, Lavrov understated the case.

Nazi Hooligans Take the Lead

Ever since President Viktor Yanukovych announced that Ukraine was withdrawing its plans to sign the European Union’s Association Agreement on Nov. 21, 2013, Western-backed organizations made up of remnants of the wartime and immediate postwar Nazi collaborationist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) and their successors have launched a campaign of provocations aimed at not only at bringing down the government of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, but at overthrowing the democratically elected President Yanukovych.

The EU Eastern Partnership was initiated in December 2008 by Carl Bildt and Radek Sikorski, the foreign ministers of Sweden and Poland, in the wake of Georgia’s military showdown with Russia in South Ossetia. The Eastern Partnership targeted six countries that were formerly republics within the Soviet Union: three in the Caucasus region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and three in East Central Europe (Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine). They were not to be invited to full EU membership, but drawn into an EU vise through so-called Association Agreements, each one centered on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The prime target of the effort was Ukraine. Under the Association Agreement negotiated with Ukraine, but not signed, the industrial economy of Ukraine would have been dismantled, trade with Russia would have been savaged (with Russia ending its free-trade regime with Ukraine, to prevent its own markets from being flooded via Ukraine), and the European markets’ players would have grabbed for Ukraine’s agricultural and raw materials exports. The same deadly austerity regime as has been imposed on the Mediterranean states of Europe under the Troika bailout swindle would have been imposed on Ukraine.

Furthermore, the Association Agreement mandated “convergence” on security issues, with integration into European defense systems. Under such an upgraded arrangement, the long-term treaty agreements on the Russian Navy’s use of the crucial Crimean Black Sea ports would have been terminated, ultimately giving NATO forward basing on Russia’s immediate border.

While Western news accounts promoted the demonstrations in Kiev’s Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnesti, or Euromaidan as it is now called), as initially peaceful, the fact is that, from the outset, the protests included hardcore avowed neo-Nazis, right-wing “soccer hooligans” and “Afghansy” combat veterans of the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Georgia. According to Ukrainian parliamentarian Oleh Tsaryov, 350 Ukrainians returned to the country from Syria in January 2014, after fighting with the Syrian rebels, including al-Qaeda-linked groups such as the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Already, on the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2013, rioters were throwing Molotov cocktails and seized the Kiev Mayor’s Office, declaring it a “revolutionary headquarters.” Protesters from the opposition Svoboda Party, formerly called the Socialist-Nationalists, march under the red and black flag of Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B), the Nazi collaborators who exterminated Jews and Poles as an adjunct of the Nazi war machine, and in fulfillment of their own radical ideas on ethnic purity, during World War II.

The slogan of the Svoboda Party, “Ukraine for the Ukrainians,” was Bandera’s battle cry during the OUN-B collaboration with Hitler following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. It was under that slogan that mass executions and ethnic cleansing were carried out by Bandera’s fascist fighters. Ukrainian sources have reported that the Svoboda Party was conducting paramilitary training during the Summer of 2013—months before President Yanukovych made his decision to reject the EU Association Agreement.

The neo-Nazi, racist and anti-semitic character of Svoboda did not deter Western diplomats—including U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland—from publicly meeting with the party’s leader Oleh Tyahnybok, who had been kicked out of the Our Ukraine movement in 2004 for his speeches railing against “Muscovites and Jews”—using offensive, derogatory names for both.

The Bandera fascist revival has been underway in plain sight since the “Orange Revolution” of 2004, when Viktor Yushchenko was installed as President of Ukraine through a foreign-backed street campaign heavily financed by George Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation and more than 2,000 other non-governmental organizations from Europe and America, after he had been officially declared the loser in a tight presidential contest with Viktor Yanukovych. On Jan. 22, 2010, one of Yushchenko’s last acts as President, after losing his reelection bid to Yanukovych by a wide margin, was to name Stepan Bandera a Hero of Ukraine, which is a high state honor. Yushchenko’s second wife, Kateryna Chumachenko, was herself a member of the youth group of the Banderist OUN-B in Chicago, where she was born, according to news accounts. In the 1980s, Chumachenko headed the Washington offices of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (in which OUN-B influence was great at that time, according to the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine) and the National Captive Nations Committee, before moving over to the State Department Bureau for Human Rights. In January 2011, President Yanukovych announced that Bandera’s Hero of Ukraine status had been officially revoked.

The OUN-B: A Bit of History

The Bandera OUN-B legacy is critical to understanding the nature of the armed insurrection now unfolding in Ukraine. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists was founded in 1929, and within four years, Bandera was its head. In 1934, Bandera and other OUN leaders were arrested for the assassination of Bronislaw Pieracki, the Polish Minister of Internal Affairs. Bandera was freed from jail in 1938 and immediately entered into negotiations with the German Occupation Headquarters, receiving funds and arranging Abwehr training for 800 of his paramilitary commandos. By the time of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Bandera’s forces consisted of at least 7,000 fighters, organized into “mobile groups” that coordinated with German forces. Bandera received 2.5 million German marks to conduct subversive operations inside the Soviet Union. After he declared an independent Ukrainian state under his direction in 1941, Bandera was arrested and sent to Berlin. But he maintained his Nazi ties and funding, and his “mobile groups” were supplied and given air cover by the Germans throughout the war.

In 1943, Bandera’s OUN-B carried out a mass extermination campaign of Poles and Jews, killing an estimated 70,000 civilians during the summer of that year alone. Although Bandera was still running the OUN-B operations out of Berlin, the ethnic cleansing program was run by Mykola Lebed, the chief of the Sluzhba Bespeki, OUN-B’s secret police organization. In May 1941, at an OUN plenary in Krakow, the organization issued a document, “Struggle and Action of OUN During the War,” which stated, in part, “Moskali, Poles, Jews are hostile to us and must be exterminated in this struggle.” (“Moskal” is derogatory Ukrainian slang for “Muscovites,” or Russians.)

With the defeat of the Nazis and the end of the war on the European front, Bandera and many leaders of the OUN-B wound up in displaced person camps in Germany and Central Europe. According to Stephen Dorrill in his authoritative history of MI6, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Bandera was recruited to work for MI6 in April 1948. The link to the British was arranged by Gerhard von Mende, a former top Nazi who had headed the Caucasus Division of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories (Ostministerium). Von Mende recruited Muslims from the Caucasus and Central Asia to fight with the Nazis during the invasion of the Soviet Union. At the close of World War II, he worked for the British through a front company, Research Service on Eastern Europe, which was a recruiting agency for principally Muslim insurgents operating inside the Soviet Union. Von Mende was instrumental in establishing a major hub of Muslim Brotherhood operations in Munich and Geneva.

Through von Mende, MI6 trained agents from the OUN-B and dropped them inside the Soviet Union to carry out sabotage and assassination operations between 1949 and 1950. A 1954 MI6 report praised Bandera as “a professional underground worker with a terrorist background and ruthless notions about the rules of the game.”

In March 1956, Bandera went to work for the German equivalent of the CIA, the BND, then headed by Gen. Reinhardt Gehlen, the head of German military intelligence on the Eastern Front during World War II. Again, von Mende was one of his sponsors and protectors. In 1959, Bandera was assassinated by the KGB in West Germany.

Bandera’s top OUN-B killer, Mykola Lebed, the on-site commander of the group’s secret police, fared even better at the close of World War II. Lebed was recruited by the U.S. Army’s Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) in December 1946, and by 1948, was on the CIA payroll. Lebed recruited those OUN-B agents who did not go with Bandera and MI6, and participated in a number of sabotage programs behind the Iron Curtain, including “Operation Cartel” and “Operation Aerodynamics.” Lebed was brought to New York City, where he established a CIA front company, Prolog Research Corporation, under the control of Frank Wisner, who was the head of the CIA s Directorate of Plans during the 1950s. Prolog operated well into the 1990s, getting a big boost when Zbigniew Brzezinski was President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor.

In 1985, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into Lebed’s role in the wartime genocide in Poland and Western Ukraine, but the CIA blocked the probe and it was eventually dropped. Nevertheless, in 2010, after the release of thousands of pages of wartime records, the National Archives published a documentary report, Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War, by Richard Breitman and Norman Goda, which included a detailed account of Bandera’s and Lebed’s wartime Nazi collusion and involvement in mass executions of Jews and Poles.

It is this Bandera-Lebed legacy, and the networks spawned in the postwar period, which are at the center of the current events in Ukraine.

Speaking Out

On Jan. 25, 2014, twenty-nine Ukrainian leaders of political parties, civic and religious organizations, including former presidential candidate and parliamentarian Natalia Vitrenko, sent an open letter to the United Nations Secretary General and leaders of the EU and the United States, decrying the Western support for the neo-Nazi campaign to carry out a bloody coup against a legitimately elected government.

The open letter read, in part: “You should understand that, in supporting the actions of the guerillas in Ukraine … you yourselves are directly protecting, inciting, and egging on Ukrainian neo-Nazis and neo-fascists.

“None of these oppositionists (Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, and Tyahnybok) hide that they are continuing the ideology and the practices of the OUN-UPA…. Wherever the Euromaidan people go in Ukraine, they disseminate, besides the slogans mentioned above, neo-Nazi, racist symbols…. Also confirming the neo-Nazi nature of the Euromaidan is the constant use of portraits of the bloody executioners of our people, Bandera and Shukhevych—agents of the Abwehr.”

The open letter posed the question to Western leaders: “Have the UN, the EU, and the U.S.A. ceased to recognize the Charter and Verdict of the International War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremburg, where the Hitlerite Nazis and their henchmen were convicted? Have human rights ceased to be a value for the countries of the EU and the world community? Is the Ukrainian nationalists’ devotion to Hitler and his mass murders of civilians now considered democracy?”

Only in the recent days, with scenes of mass violence by armed protesters finally breaking through the propaganda fog, has the Western media taken up the neo-Nazi character of the ongoing destabilization. Time magazine, on Jan. 28, headlined its coverage from Kiev “Right-Wing Thugs Are Hijacking Ukraine’s Liberal Uprising,” profiling one group of neo-Nazi hooligans called Spilna Sprava (“Common Cause,” but the Ukrainian initials spell “SS”), as being near the center of the protests.

The next day, Jan. 29, the Guardian headlined “In Ukraine, Fascists, Oligarchs and Western Expansion Are at the Heart of the Crisis,” with the kicker: “The story we’re told about the protests gripping Kiev bears only the sketchiest relationship with reality.” Guardian reporter Seumas Milne candidly wrote, “You’d never know from most of the reporting that far-right nationalists and fascists have been at the heart of the protests and attacks on government buildings. One of the three main opposition parties heading the campaign is the hard-right anti-Semitic Svoboda, whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok claims that a ‘Moscow-Jewish mafia’ controls Ukraine. The party, now running the city of Lviv, led a 15,000-strong torch-lit march earlier this month in memory of the Ukrainian fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose forces fought with the Nazis in the second world war and took part in massacres of Jews.”

Counterpunch also published a Jan. 29 article by Eric Draitser, “Ukraine and the Rebirth of Fascism,” which began with the warning: “The violence on the streets of Ukraine is far more than an expression of popular anger against a government. Instead, it is merely the latest example of the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich…. In an attempt to pry Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence, the U.S.-EU-NATO alliance has, not for the first time, allied itself with fascists.”

Our People in Ukraine Vandalize a Russian Bank

 

Washington  Blog

 

Eric Zuesse

On Monday, June 22nd, a video was posted to youtube showing (starting at 3:00) a Russian bank being vandalized in Ukraine by a mob of “Right Sektor” thugs, which is the same organization who were used by Obama’s team (led by our State Department’s Victoria Nuland) to bring down the former — the Russia-friendly — Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, and who were also used by us to firebomb Odessa’s Trade Unions Building on May 2nd in order to massacre the hundreds of people inside seeking shelter from the mob that our regime had organized for this massacre. Yanukovych was the last freely elected President of Ukraine, the last one who was elected by all parts of the country. The new regime is now carrying out an ethnic cleansing operation in the southeastern provinces where Yanukovych had won the most votes, so as to get rid of the people who had voted for Yanukovych. During the Odessa massacre the victims inside the Trade Unions Building had been people who didn’t like the new Ukrainian regime that we had imposed upon Ukraine, by means of this “Right Sektor” organization, and another, called “Svoboda,” whose original name had been the “Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine,” a copycat Ukrainian version of Hitler’s National Socialist Party of Germany (for short the “Nazi” Party).

 

Here is a frame from this new video, showing our people’s vandalization of that Russian bank:

23.June_.2014.Screen-shot-2014-06-23-at-11.38.38-AM1

The event’s description, which is provided in the video’s accompanying “About,” says that “Several hundred people with ‘Right Sector’ [or ‘PS,’ for Pravy Sektor’] and carrying Ukrainian flags, blocked in Kiev a group of religious activists from the town of Lavra who were supporting a measure in Parliament against the military action in the Donbas region. … Police gave assurances to representatives of the PS, whose SS column then moved on, … shouting slogans [Ukrainian Nazi ones, praising Ukraine, and damning Russia and Russians].” Then they went on to a “branch of Sberbank of Russia.” But actually, the police weren’t cooperative with the thugs. A friend who lives in Ukraine made the video’s meaning clearer for me by saying of it simply: “Pravy Sektor wanted to beat refugees from south east but could not find them. They beat police and broke up Sber bank instead,” simply because it happened to be “Russian.”

 

Ukraine’s own largest bank is Privat Bank, which is owned by the Governor that Obama’s people appointed to run the Dnipropetrovsk region, Ihor Kolomoysky, who had been the mastermind behind our May 2nd massacre in Odessa. So, our thugs here in this new video are actually helping to eliminate in Kiev one of Kolomoysky’s competitors. In fact, Sberbank is the largest bank not only in Russia, but in all of Eastern Europe, and it is the third-largest bank in all of Europe. So, within Ukraine, it was Kolomoysky’s own stiffest competitor. Eliminating it would block our opponents in Ukraine from being able to patronize a Russian bank instead of Kolomoysky’s or another of our allied fascists’ banks, and that’s what these fascists were, in effect, doing.

 

Forbes rates Kolomoysky’s fortune at $6.3 billion. Kolomoysky is famous in Ukraine for using his private armed gang to help him to take over Ukrainian corporations. His bank’s name, “Privat,” is thus especially appropriate. Kolomoysky, moreover, had “earned” his fortune during the Harvard-led privatizations of the formerly communist-government properties, which had occurred in all of the former Soviet states. He’s a very “anti-big-government” person, very “pro-free-market,” against regulations, etc.

 

Kolomoysky’s main residence is in Geneva, but his friend Yulia Tymoshenko, the rabid anti-Russian whom Obama had wanted to become Ukraine’s President, got word to Victoria Nuland that Kolomoysky would be the best person to appoint to become the new Governor of Dnipropetrovsk; and so he was selected for that post, and he now lives in Dnipropetrovsk.

 

Kolomoysky has turned out to be an extremely effective agent for Obama throughout Ukraine, and a major asset for the present Ukrainian Government. As a businessman, he can’t be beat, because he is the one who does the beatings (or at least commissions them). He is clearly a master at getting a job done. In fact, that’s how he became Ukraine’s third-wealthiest person. Of course, the results for his (and our) victims aren’t good at all. But Obama obviously doesn’t care about that. He doesn’t care about them.

 

Kolomoysky recently hired Joe Biden’s Son, the lawyer Hunter Biden.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

 

New York Times Editors Defend the Indefensible – Stephen Lendman

By Stephen Lendman
Published by Global Research, May 20, 2014
news11Jill Abramson is gone. Dean Baquet replaced her as executive editor. Deplorable policy remains unchanged.

It’s featured daily. It’s done so in articles, commentaries and editorials. Disgraceful op-eds are standard practice.

Misinformation rubbish is featured. What readers most need to know is buried.

Lies, damn lies and Big Ones infest Times pages. Yulia Tymoshenko is a former illegitimate Orange Revolution prime minister.

She’s billionaire mega-thief. She accumulated wealth the old-fashioned way. She stole it.

She was imprisoned for embezzlement and serious “abuse of public office.”

Charges included illegally diverting $425 million meant for environmental projects into pension funds. A second case involved stealing around $130 million for personal use.

Putschists freed her. They did so lawlessly. She has presidential aspirations. She enjoys weak support.

Earlier she had dozens of secret offshore bank accounts in over two dozen countries. Reportedly most are closed.

At least 13 worldwide remain open. They hide her ill-gotten wealth. She conspired with former prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko among others.

From the mid-1990s, enormous funds were stolen. They disappeared. They did so when Tymoshenko ran United Energy Systems (UES).

Lazarenko awarded it monopoly rights to import Russian natural gas. In 2004, a US court convicted him of money laundering, theft, and hiding funds in foreign accounts.

His indictment called his crime “part of a conspiracy (related to) receiv(ing) money from companies owned or controlled by Tymoshenko, including United Energy Systems, in exchange for which (he) exercised his official authority in favour of (her) companies.”

US prosecutor Martha Moerosch cited “evidence that companies controlled by Tymoshenko took part in the schemes for transferring money to Lazarenko’s accounts.”

“There were bank statements” proving it, she said. Prosecutors found Tymoshenko funds worldwide.

As Orange Revolution prime minister, “she did nothing to reform the economy and establish rule of law,” she explained.

“Instead, she focused her attention on infighting inside the Orange Revolution in order to prepare her presidential race.”

“Most (Euromaidan protesters) were not demanding her release.” Her shady business practices earned her the nickname “gas princess.”

On May 18, she headlined her NYT op-ed “A Vote for Ukrainian Freedom.”

She lied about Ukraine’s upcoming sham May 25 elections. She called fascist governance democratic.

She ludicrously cited “threats of invasion and sabotage by fifth-column separatists.” She outrageously suggested putschist-run Ukraine resembles America under Lincoln.

She quoted his 1864 reelection comment, saying:

“We cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone, a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.”

“Like Lincoln, we Ukrainians are resolved to go to the polls to choose a new president, in defiance of every threat.”

“We will not grant victory to those who would discredit and dismember our country by allowing the May 25 vote to be canceled.”

“Our election must go ahead if only to prove that the 100 and more men and women who died for our liberty in the protests around Maidan, Kiev’s Independence Square, did not die in vain.”

Fact: Coup-appointed putschists rule Ukraine.

Fact: They’re lawless fascists.

Fact: Washington elevated them to power.

Fact: They include neo-Nazi militants.

Fact: They’re Obama’s new friends.

Fact: He pretends they’re democrats.

Fact: They have no legitimacy whatever.

Fact: So-called May 25 elections exclude democracy from ballots.

Fact: Fascist putschists intend anointing likeminded ideologues.

Fact: They murdered scores of Maidan civilians and special Berkut police in cold blood.

Fact: They planned it well in advance.

Fact: Shots came from nearby Philharmonic Hall windows. Its rooftop.

Fact: Ukraine’s toppled legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed.

Fact: Police died doing their job.

Fact: They showed remarkable restraint.

Fact: Washington’s dirty hands bore full responsibility.

Fact: Stooge putschists shared it.

Fact: Right Sector thugs were trained to commit what happened.

Fact: CIA operatives were involved.

Fact: Tymoshenko represents the worst of Ukrainian society.

Fact: She belongs in prison serving hard time.

She lied claiming Putin intends “transform(ing) our democratic country into a Russian vassal state.”

“No one should doubt that Mr. Putin’s primary aim is to hollow out our democracy.”

“But Americans, and free people everywhere, must not be deceived by Russia’s aggression, or by Mr. Putin’s current peace offensive.”

“The separatist cause fomented by Russia would never win on its merits in any free and fair vote of Ukrainians.”

“Russia’s separatist mafia can win only sham elections of the type that Mr. Putin has imposed on Russia since he came to power 14 years ago, and which he recently forced upon our fellow citizens, now hostages, in Crimea.”

Fact: Putschist-run Ukraine excludes democracy.

Fact: Putin represents responsible geopolitical leadership.

Fact: He’s polar opposite Obama.

Fact: He believes rule of law principles are inviolable.

Fact: He respects sovereign self-determination.

Fact: Democracy in Russia shames America’s sham process.

Fact: Crimeans voted near unanimously for reunification with Russia.

Fact: They reject Kiev fascists.

Fact: They want fundamental democratic rights.

Fact: They want what everyone deserves.

Fact: They merit universal support.

Tymoshenko lied called Putin Russia’s “strongman.” He’s overwhelmingly popular. He enjoys over 85% support.

It’s for good reason. He governs democratically. He opposes imperial lawlessness. He’s polar opposite Kiev fascists.

Tymoshenko lied claiming “Ukraine’s liberty is a mortal threat to the authoritarian, state-capitalist system that Mr. Putin has unleashed on Russia’s citizens.”

“If Ukrainians…can build an open society and a free economy…then ordinary Russians may recognize the scale of the liberties and the economic opportunities that have been stolen from them under Mr. Putin’s misrule.”

Fact: Putschist-run Ukraine is polar opposite Tymoshenko’s Big Lie.

Fact: Times editors are complicit.

Fact: They embrace it.

Fact: They featured it.

Fact: It’s longstanding Times policy.

Fact: Reprehensible rubbish substitutes for what readers most need to know.

“(W)e must man the barricades of freedom…if Ukraine is to remain free,” Tymoshenko claimed.

She turned truth on its head saying so. She wants more Western aid. She wants weapons and other military aid.

She wants it straightaway.

She wants democracy supporters crushed. She wants hardline fascist rule solidified.

She wants greater opportunities for more grand theft. She wants her share of plundered Ukrainian resources.

She wants her own people exploited. She wants freedom entirely crushed. She wants what most Ukrainians reject.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of time before thousands, maybe millions, of Ukrainians nationwide realize they were had.

Perhaps they’ll rebel and demand better. Real democracy replacing illegitimate putschist power.

Maybe they’ll defeat Obama’s imperial ambitions. Maybe handing him another defeat.

Maybe preserving rights too precious to lose. Maybe saving Ukraine at the same time. Maybe achieving real change.

Maybe inspiring others to emulate them. Maybe people everywhere wanting to live free.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

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

Peddler of Iraq War Lies now Pushes Lies on Urkaine to Drum Up Confrontation with Russia

Painting by Anthony Freda

Painting by Anthony Freda

 

 

 

Posted by Global Research