By Jim Cole
As I write, the world is on the edge of nuclear and humanitarian crises after a year of the Ukraine “proxy” war with Russia. No single event can be seen as the sole cause, but the most dramatic lurch in the story was the “Revolution of Dignity” in Ukraine in November 2013 to February 2014, notably the horrific massacre of protesters and police in Maidan (Independence) Square on February 20, 2014.
Without dismissing the large sectors of Ukrainian society with legitimate grievances against corruption and stagnation, this was a bloody coup d’état, engineered largely by the U.S. over years with parts played by NATO puppets and local proxies. Viktor Yanukovych was elected in internationally recognized fair elections, and new elections were planned to occur within a year. But powerful interests and a large section of the public believed it could not wait as he could not be trusted. And he was chased out of the country like a hunted animal.
And, like all “color revolutions,” despite the underlying legitimate grievances, it was no true upheaval or revolution at all, it was simply local elites of the same class switching their allegiances to another external power. As Ukrainian political researcher Volodymyr Ishchenko describes, four groups gained power after the violent 2014 coup: “the oligarchic opposition, the NGOs, the far right and Washington-Brussels.”
Many protesters congregated in Maidan Square from late November to February, sparked by the governments reticence to agree to the EU association agreement and its clauses on economic reform. Initially peaceful, the protests experienced periodic escalations in violence, often precipitated when things were settling down.
But it was the sniper attack of February 20, 2014, that was the crucial event that pushed things over the edge and led to the violent overthrow of the government, the consolidation of elements of fascist power in the government, and snowballed into the annexation of Crimea, a civil (and proxy) war in Donbas and the 2022 Russian “invasion” or “Special Operation Z,” depending on which side of the prism one is. The official and Western-implied view is that it was Yanukovych, or perhaps Russian-backed snipers, behind the massacre, yet those events received barely any coverage and no conclusive investigation or trial has occurred.
Who were the snipers? Who trained them? Who paid them? Who planned it? Who ordered it? Who benefited? Who covered it up and why?
The Liberal-Fascist Alliance: Imperial Terrorism
Before we look at the influence of U.S. soft power on events, it is essential to consider the history of U.S. support of fascist and nationalist groups during the Cold War, including the recruitment of hundreds of Nazis in the Reinhardt Gehlen organization to develop the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and the use of diaspora Croatian and Ukrainian nationalists-fascists as spies and covert actors.
This dual track of elite power—using both soft social democratic or liberal and hard fascist hands—is neither new nor a U.S. invention. For example, the murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919 by fascist Freikorps were pursuant to orders of Gustav Noske of the Social Democratic Party.
Mark Twain was so taken aback at the “banditry” of Teddy Roosevelt, William Randolph Hearst and Henry Cabot Lodge’s vile lurch into global imperialism that he suggested the flag should be changed into black and white stripes with skull and crossbones replacing the stars. One hundred and twenty years later, and perhaps as many million people killed in aggressions of regime change and counterinsurgency since, the comparison to piracy seems a quaint anachronism.
When your modus operandi is anti-communism, fascists are your best friends. In fact, the rabid anti-communism was and is itself a front for corporate imperialism, and its true aim was and is to crush any resistance, whether it is indigenous sovereignty or an uncooperative local elite.
In the recent post-war U.S. context, in parallel to the “left-hand” overt and covert support of center-left political actors—a sort of “democracy washing”—there were simultaneous “right-hand” covert recruitments of fascist militias across the world. In Europe (and Turkey), for example, there were (are?) the Operation Gladio-type military-intelligence “stay-behind operations” that also apparently practiced a “strategy of tension” terrorism under U.S.-NATO control.
Similar imperial terror strategies of sabotage, death squads, torture and propaganda were also used in Asia (e.g., the CIA’s Edward Lansdale/General Thé’s terrorist bombing campaign in Saigon 1952–53, Operation Phoenix in Vietnam and similar operations earlier in the Philippines and Indonesia), Latin America (e.g., funding, training and intelligence support for police, military and paramilitaries in Operation Condor counterinsurgency in the Southern Cone and death squads in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador) and the Middle East, such as Shah-era SAVAK torture and assassination and the use of so-called Mujahadeen, Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and ISIS-ISIL mercenary-terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Lest we forget, the Homeland is no exception to imperial aggression, and counterinsurgency (including provocateurism and terror) was and is rife; the FBI’s COINTELPRO was the enemy of any group even hinting at challenging the power structure and would not hesitate to intimidate, incarcerate or assassinate (most often in overzealous police raids as in Fred Hampton’s case), especially when their targets got geopolitically wise; its PATCON agents (including a German BND agent) riddled and provoked the right-wing militia movement in the 1990s; the CIA’s Operation CHAOS along with Army intelligence monitored hundreds of thousands of anti-war activists and infiltrated, rattled and incited thousands of organizations; and the FBI’s GOON squads terrorized and neutralized the American Indian Movement. Once one understands that the priority is counterinsurgency—elite power protecting itself—and not public or national safety, the violence and illegality of these operations are indefensible. And this is perhaps only the tip of a vast and disturbing iceberg, not to mention the links almost always found, when one takes the time to dig, between intelligence agents and terrorist acts on even cursory research of an event.
Back to foreign policy: in the end, to win a client-state against the interests of the majority of its citizens, a final push of terror, shock and violence is often needed for both regime change and—once a state is a client—to protect the regime with counterinsurgency operations. Once the masses are terrorized and traumatized or disenfranchised, it is much easier to maintain the status quo, and the elites might consider the country “stabilized.”
But the goons and dragoons that do the dirty work of empire are largely only pawns, radicalized with weaponized nationalism to face killing and death without squinting in the service of empire. Meanwhile, safely a few steps detached and hidden behind the façade of liberalism or feigned benevolence and endless trails of front organizations, the power players keep their hands clean and faces out of sight. These psychotic puppeteers use their psychotic puppets as agents of chaos, division and terror against the masses and their enemies.
In Ukraine, you do not have to look far to see an 80-year history of U.S. meddling with fascist groups for their own ends. The oldest is the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) which was formed in the 1920s, made up the 14th Waffen SS Division during World War II, and its Bandera OUN-B branch. After OUN head Stepan Bandera was killed in 1959, Yaroslav Stetsko became its leader and, like many fascist-nationalist leaders across Eastern Europe, was chosen by U.S. intelligence—initially military intelligence, later the CIA—as their man to fight communism by any means necessary and, ultimately, like all of these brainwashed psychos, as a tool of U.S. imperialism.
More recent groups are the Ukrainian National Assembly—Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), founded in the 1990; its 2013 offshoot, Right (Pravy) Sector, founded by Dmytro Yarosh; and Svoboda, formed from the OUN.
All of these ultra-nationalist groups and more were supported by U.S. politicians and agencies before the coup, were present at Maidan, and formed the leadership and majority of the “Maidan self-defense.” Svoboda—supported by the U.S.—had already gained 10% of the vote by 2012, no doubt thanks to a savvy political grooming of their leader and violent anti-Semite Oleh Tyahnybok. After the coup, Svoboda and Right Sector leadership gained prominent positions in Poroshenko’s post-coup government. Svoboda’s new politicians, for example, included Oleksandr Sych as Vice Premier for Economic Affairs, co-founder Andriy Parubiy as Secretary of the Security and National Defense Committee, as well as ministers for education, agriculture, and the environment.
One can also see “Gladio-B” parallels in the use of jihadists, mujahadeen and “moderate rebels” in the 1980s to the present, and some consider the training, funding and arming of neo-fascists more recently as a “Gladio-C.” (As a report by the Counter Extremism Project stated in an April 2020 report on Ukraine: “In 2019, right-wing extremism effectively replaced jihadi terrorism as the number one threat to internal/homeland security of the countries of the broader West.”)
In many of these projects there have been accusations of assassination and terrorism, including “false-flag” operations that blame an atrocity or outrage on the target in order to increase state authority, destabilize and weaken enemies, precipitate invasion or intervention, drive the permanent war economy and marginalize left-wing (or more correctly, “non-aligned”) politics.
As Italian fascist and convicted bomber Vincenzo Vinciguerra said in 1992 of CIA-NATO Operation Gladio’s strategy of tension that killed hundreds in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s: “You were supposed to attack civilians, women children…innocent people outside of the political arena for one simple reason: To force the Italian public to turn to the state…turn to the regime and ask for greater security.” It is the elite’s covert use of military, intelligence, police and paramilitary fascist might to maintain control in so-called liberal democracies.
As well as state terrorism, these sleeper cell “stay-behind networks” also perform sabotage operations, and there is no doubt that equivalent forces are still active and under CIA-DIA-NATO direction in most enemy states, including Russia and Belarus. And it seems such cells were activated there before the Russian attack of February 24, 2022.
Mainstream media, particularly recently, claim Ukraine as a legitimate democracy, with the defense that the parliamentary vote is less right wing than other European nations. However, the continued co-opting of fascists into state power by other means, and reverence for fascist heroes such as Stepan Bandera, speaks of deeper roots. For example, in the early 1990s, officials from the Ukraine Defense Ministry attended an SS Galician Division reunion in Kyiv, whilst a similar reunion occurred in Lviv, endorsed by the city council and celebrated with the renaming of a street after Stepan Bandera, one that ironically had been called Peace Street.
More recently, as part of a tsunami-level neo-liberal PR campaign, the fascist brown is liberally whitewashed by both internal players seeking political power and the external U.S. and EU power-brokers not wanting their pawns weakened. It is important to look for blips in this whitewashing to see behind the propaganda to the true power of fascists in Ukraine. When you rule by fear, you do not need to be large in number, only in the right positions to create, validate and use that fear.
The fact that Zelensky is Jewish is often mentioned by the naïve or deceptive as an obvious sign that “Ukraine can’t be that fascist.” But this ignores the strange bedfellows of money and power politics, particularly in a region that has been pumped full of aid, gas money, corrupted investment and propaganda for decades, and has long been a battleground between the U.S. and Russia as well as between a large minority of Ukrainians and Russia.
Behind Zelensky and many of the notorious nationalist-fascist militias in the Donbas war, such as the Azov Battalion, is Ihor Kolomoisky, the PrivatBank and Burisma-linked billionaire.
Not only is he accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of millions in fraud and embezzlement, but Federal Court records show a far greater level of embezzlement that triggered a recession in Ukraine: “Between 2006 and 2015, more than $4.45 billion was transferred without any apparent effort by the banks or the government to stem the movement of dollars as the oligarch and his partners acquired an enormous [U.S.] real estate portfolio.” Yet, for the most part, the government, Deutsche Bank and mainstream media continue to look the other way. “He might be a totally corrupt oligarch with no morals, but he’s our guy!”
04/02/23 – Prominent Russian military blogger killed in St. Petersburg cafe blast –
How many investigations could be opened regarding Ukrainian civilians that the Russian state is methodically murdering in Ukraine?
The real question is how many investigations will be opened about the Ukrainian government killing Ukrainians in Ukraine…
When the violence and deprivation of the war that Putin started finally comes home to Russia, that will be the end of Vladimir Putin.
But it won’t be the end of the War.
You people started a war for the sole purpose of regime change.
Shame on you.
When Putin is gone, the war will be ended. It only continues because Putin is desperate to avoid the personal consequences of his own evil actions.
If that were true, he’d already be dead.
Ok he go boom.
I saw where a Ukrainian Priest was fitted with an ankle bracelet, a woman praying for peace in a town square has been taken away by authorities. The closing of churches and arresting those that pray, thats Zelenskys Ukraine.
Police in St. Petersburg have reportedly arrested local resident 26-year-old Daria Trepova on suspicion of carrying out the cafe bombing earlier today that killed z-blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and injured more than two dozen people.
“The head of the #WagnerPMC confirmed that the orchestra had occupied the administrative buildings of #Bakhmut. The https://gab.com/emoji/1f1f7-1f1fa.svg Russian flag & the banner of Wagner were erected on the roofs of the houses. Nevertheless, the forces of the Armed Forces of https://gab.com/emoji/1f1fa-1f1e6.svg #Ukraine remain in the western outskirts.
The woman arrested for the assassination of pro-invasion blogger Vladlin Tatarsy is RUSSIAN.
War is hell
Thank God Putin is defeating biden
Wasn’t Trump supposed to do that?
About that New York Times Story Concerning the “Online Leak” of U.S. Ukraine and Geopolitical Plans
Merkel had already admitted as much in the past, on multiple occassions that the Minsk accords where never meant to be implemented and were used to buy time to arm Ukraine.
The fact that Hollande said it now (Ii is said there’s a record of Hollande saying it in the past as well) is not new information.
Putin does not even need to make his own propaganda, he just needs to play back what these fools say over and over on the Russian media. Putin has been proven more than right and vindicated in his move into Ukraine.