Moon of Alabama – July 22, 2019
The Ukraine, translated as ‘the borderlands, lies between core Russia and the Europe’s western states. It is a split country. Half the population speaks Russian as its first language. The industrialized center, east and south are culturally orthodox Russians. Some of its rural western parts were attached to the Ukraine only after World War II. They have historically a different culture.
The U.S., supported by the EU, used this split – twice – to instigate ‘revolutions’ that were supposed to bring the Ukraine onto a ‘western’ course. Both attempts were defeated when the Ukrainians had the chance of a free vote.
The 2004 run-off election for the president of the Ukraine was won by Viktor Yanukovych. The U.S. disliked the result. Its proxies in Ukraine alleged alleged fraud and instigated a color revolution. As a result of the ‘Orange Revolution’ the vote was re-run and the other candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, was declared the winner. But five years later another vote defeated the U.S. camp. Yanukovych was declared the winner and became president.
In 2014 the European Union made an attempt to bind the Ukraine to its side through an association agreement. But what the EU offered to Ukraine was paltry and Russia countered it. Unlike the Ukraine, which continues to get robbed by its oligarchs ever since its 1991 independence, Russia was economically back and in a much better position. It offered billions in investments and long term loans. Much of Ukraine’s industry depends on Russia and Russian gas was offered to the Ukraine for less than the international market price. Yanukovych, who originally wanted to sign the EU association, had no choice but to refuse it, and to take the much better deal Russia offered.
The U.S. and the EU intervened. They again launched a color revolution, but this time it was one that would use force. Militarily trained youth from Galicia in the west Ukraine was bused into Kiev to occupy the central Maidan place and to violently fight the police. Snipers from Georgia were brought in to fire on both sides. It was then falsely alleged that government forces were killing the ‘peaceful protesters’.
Yanukovych lost his nerves and fled to Russia. After some illegal political maneuvers new elections were called up and the oligarch Petro Poroshenko, bought off by the ‘west’, was declared the winner. The unreconstructed fascists from Galicia took over. The population in the industrial heartland in east Ukraine, next to Russia’s border, revolted against the new rulers. A civil war, not a ‘Russian invasion’, ensued which the Ukrainian government largely lost. Lugansk and Donbas became rebel controlled statelets which depend of Russia. Russia took back Crimea, which in 1954 had been illegally gifted to Ukraine by then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, himself a Ukrainian.
To end the war in the east Ukraine, the French, German and Russian leaders pressed Poroshenko to sign a peace agreement with the eastern leaders. But the Minsk agreement was seen as a political defeat and Poroshenko never implemented it. The war in the east simmered on ever since. The extreme right-wing politicians, who gained notoriety after the Maidan coup, prohibited the use of the Russian language which more than 50% of the Ukrainians speak. All opposition was harshly suppressed.
The oligarchs continue their plunder. Everything of value gets sold off to EU countries. The U.S. is allowed to build bases. Corruption, already endemic, further increased. The people came to despise Poroshenko.
In an attempt to regain support, Poroshenko launched a military provocation in the Kerch Strait which is under Russian control. The stunt was too obvious. Russia nabbed the sailors Poroshenko had send and confiscated their boats. No one came to Poroshenko’s help.
One can watch the full story of the above in UKRAINE ON FIRE – The Real Story (vid), a just released 90 minutes long Oliver Stone documentary. A version of the documentary was supposed to run on the Ukraine TV station of pro-Russian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk. The TV stations was forced to cancel it after right-wing groups mortared its building in Kiev.
On March 31 new elections were held. Volodymyr Zelensky, a TV comedian who played a teacher who accidentally became president, won the first round. Zelensky is of Jewish heritage and from the east Ukraine. He speaks Russian, not Ukrainian.