Sunday October 21st 2018

Who Opened the Pandora’s Box in Ukraine?

Opera House, Odessa, Ukraine. 15-Aug-2010.
Photos courtesy of Standard News Fotos

Sevastopol, Crimea — The Russian military has taken control of Crimea without firing a shot. Russian troops surround Ukrainian army and naval bases, boxing in the Ukrainian soldiers. Russian troops moved into Crimea supposedly to ensure the safety of Russian-speaking people in Crimea. Close to 60% of Crimea is ethnic Russian.

The move by the Kremlin was in response to the overthrow of the Ukrainian government under President Yanukovych, who was forced to flee to Russia. After several months of peaceful protests, just after a truce agreement was reached between the government and demonstrators, armed right-wing militants from a group called Right Sector ((Ukrainian: Пра́вий се́ктор, Pravyi Sektor)1 overthrew the government. Some 80 anti-government protestors and police were killed by unknown snipers.

Will More Of Eastern Ukraine Come Under Russian Control?
Other cities in eastern Ukraine, like Kharkov and Donets, have had pro-Russian demonstrators take over public buildings, tear down the blue and white Ukrainian flag and replace it with the tri-color Russian Federation flag.

Observers are worried that Moscow will send troops to more cities in eastern Ukraine, to protect Russian-speaking citizens there. Moscow hands out Russian citizenship and Russian passports to ethnic Russians in former Soviet republics, which then gives Moscow an excuse to send in military force in those countries. This happened in Georgia in 2008 when Russia send troops into South Ossetia.

Meanwhile, the western powers, including the U.S. and Great Britain, tell the Kremlin that there will be consequences. Consequences would come in the form of economic sanction to punish Russia. Ukraine is not a part of NATO and there is no talk of any military action by the west to secure Ukraine’s borders.

With mobilization by Russian troops, the new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk has asked the international community to protect the integrity of Ukraine’s borders. But it is impossible for the west will intervene on his behalf. The risk of direct combat with Russia is too great. Russia still has thousands of nuclear weapons that can be pointed at western Europe and the United States. No one will risk nuclear war for the sake of a sovereign Ukraine. Yats will be left twisting in the wind.

But how did Ukraine get into this mess? What precipitated the far right overthrow of the Ukrainian government, which could be characterized as a coup d’etat2.

Leaked Telephone Conversation
A leaked telephone conversation between U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland discussing their plans for the Ukraine government after the removal of President Yanukovych.

“Fuck the EU! - Exactly!” - Victoria Nuland & Geoffrey Pyatt

Read Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call

Regime Change?
Nuland: I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the…

Yats is Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Within a few weeks of this conversation, Arseniy Yatsenyuk was Ukraine’s new prime minister! Coincidence? The U.S. State Department is discussing their choice for leadership in Ukraine, and within no time the old government is overthrown and Yats, the U.S. choice, is in charge.

Is this a smoking gun?

Pandora’s Box
In Greek mythology, when Pandora opened the jar, all the evil contained within escaped and spread over the earth. But unlike Pandora who did not know what was in the jar, surely Washington, NATO and the EU must have considered a scenario where the Kremlin would take military action to protect its interests in Crimea and Ukraine. One can only surmise that this was a calculated risk and the possibility of civil war and Ukraine splitting into two parts was considered an acceptable tradeoff to getting a western-friendly government in western Ukraine.

Other commentary:
Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on Role of Russia, United States in Regional Crisis on, which is an independent progessive, i.e. left-leaning, news outlet.

One of the guests interviewed was former CIA analyst Ray McGovern,

National Endowment for Democracy - Ukraine

UKRAINE PROTESTS The Truth Behind The KIEV Uprising

Washington Orchestrated Protests by Paul Craig Roberts

This video, which could be characterized as propaganda for regime change, is intended to show that the Ukrainian revolt is a grass roots movement.

I Am a Ukrainian

BBC News report about the far-right in Kiev:
Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine: NEWSNIGHT

Did the U.S. Carry Out a Ukrainian Coup? - report from The Real News Network. The guest is Robert Parry of

1Right Sector is a Ukrainian militant group consisting mostly of young men with right-wing, ultra right-wing, borderline fascist or neofascist views. Members come from different regions of Ukraine and are both Ukrainophone and Russophone. According to various reports, the organization has between 2,000 and 3,000 active members in Kiev. from Wikipedia.

2A coup d’état (/ˌkuːdeɪˈtɑː/; French: blow of state; plural: coups d’état), also known as a coup, a putsch, or an overthrow, is the sudden deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to depose the extant government and replace it with another body, civil or military. A coup d’état is considered successful when the usurpers establish their dominance. When the coup neither fails completely nor succeeds, a civil war is a likely consequence. from Wikipedia.

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