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U.S. and EU face opposition in Ukraine

By David Hungerford

The crisis in Ukraine is driven by outside forces, the U.S. and the European Union. Their aim is to gain control of the country and plunder it of everything they can get their hands on.

Ukraine has been atrociously run for a long time. It has almost $140 billion in foreign debt. There is little prospect of it being able to repay without help or devaluation. The U.S. and the EU have played on this economic weakness and other internal divisions to overthrow the government of President Victor Yanukovich, which, however imperfect, was democratically elected. In February, a junta with no constitutional legitimacy was imposed by violence. It was quickly designated as the ‘government’ by the U.S. and the EU.

Ukraine lies to the southeast of Poland. It is almost as big as Texas. The population is 45 million. The Russian language and identity as a people originated in Ukraine. It is closely bound to Russia. Historically, that separation was a prime goal of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II. People have not forgotten. There is massive and intense rejection in both countries of the aims of the U.S. and the EU. The people’s opposition to the U.S. and the EU is an important political factor in the crisis.

Protests began last year in the Euromaidan square of the capital city, Kiev. Many people were there because they were sick of seeing one gang of thieves in power follow another in power to line their pockets, while the overall economic conditions got worse and worse.

The protests were polluted by other influences. Since the Orange Revolution of 2004, the U.S. has poured $5 billion into Ukraine in order to buy friends, set up NGOs and find political allies. Beneficiaries include the CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy. Another is the Nazi-connected Svoboda Party. It traces directly back to the Organization of Ukrainian Unity (OUN) that, during WW II, set up a partisan army that fought against the Soviet Union alongside the Nazi invaders [see note 1]. The Nazi connection is so flagrant that there have been some misgivings about Svoboda even in the thoroughly tamed U.S. media.

At first there was little violence in the protests. The security forces generally had control of the streets. The situation turned bloody on Feb. 20 as dozens of people were killed by sniper fire. The western media were quick to blame the government of President Victor Yanukovich, despite the fact that 13 policemen were among the dead. It has since been revealed that the snipers were put there by some force outside the Yanukovich government [see note 2].

The tide turned against the security forces as Svoboda and a neo-Nazi faction called the Right Sector resorted to Molotov cocktails, bricks and baseball bats to overwhelm police forces that still were forbidden the use of deadly force. On Feb. 21 the police forces were withdrawn to the police stations and Yanukovich abdicated.

The circumstances were spelled out in a March 4 press conference by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He confirmed something that had been rumored already.

Putin said: “President Yanukovych, through the mediation of the Foreign Ministers of three European countries – Poland, Germany and France – and in the presence of my representative (this was the Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin) signed an agreement with the opposition on February 21. I would like to stress that under that agreement (I am not saying this was good or bad, just stating the fact) Mr Yanukovych actually handed over power. He agreed to all the opposition’s demands: he agreed to early parliamentary elections, to early presidential elections, and to return to the 2004 Constitution, as demanded by the opposition.” [see note 3].

On the basis of its imposition by the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland, the Feb. 21 coup d’etat has been called Munich II. The reference is to the infamous Munich Conference of September, 1938 in which Britain, with the cooperation of France and Italy, connived to hand the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia over to Adolf Hitler. The joint aim was to provide Hitler with a corridor to the east by which he could infiltrate, subvert and break up Ukraine prior to a full invasion of the Soviet Union.

Munich ended what little hope there was to avoid World War II.

At about the same time as the March 4 press conference, Russia moved 6000 troops into the Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that is the southernmost region of Ukraine. U.S. President Barack Obama reacted by saying, “Since the Russian intervention, we’ve been mobilizing the international community to condemn this violation of international law and to support the people and government of Ukraine.” He also threatened sanctions.

Obama’s statement was a strange thing coming from the government with the worst record in the world for violations of other countries’ sovereignty. Russia has large military bases in Ukraine and by treaty has rights to station up to 25,000 servicepersons there. The troop movement was within the treaty limits, therefore lawful.

The Russian reaction to the U.S. threats was fury, in the government and among the people [see note 4]. The parliament passed a measure allowing Mr. Putin full authority to take whatever military action he felt necessary. A plebiscite for independence from Ukraine is scheduled for Crimea on March 16. Crimean secession would unsettle the grip of the junta. The war of words is heating up but there is little the U.S. can do.

The U.S. has landed itself in another quagmire. It has seized control of a heavily indebted country it cannot bail out except through draconian measures that would further rouse the people. It has gained power through the neo-Nazi Svoboda and Right Sector, and this will place it conflict with the broad masses of people.

The Nazis have toppled statues of Lenin and defaced monuments to the heroes of WW II. The people’s fury has been expressed already in huge rallies against the junta and the Nazi brown shirts in Donetsk and Dniepropetrovsk.

The EU is lukewarm about economic sanctions, which would especially cost Britain and Germany a lot of business. They have little reason to pass up profits so the U.S. could heap the plunder on Washington D.C.’s plate. A lot of daylight has opened up between Europe and the U.S. Coming out of Munich I, Britain thought it had a deal with Germany to fight the Soviet Union. It did not turn out that way.

The situation is very dangerous. The track record of U.S. imperialism is that it is great at going into other countries and getting into trouble, but terrible at getting itself out. It is losing in its effort of more than two years to destabilize and subvert Syria, and doing badly at the same game in Venezuela. Hawks like John McCain and Lindsey Graham make political hay by tough talk about things that would only bring disaster. The people of the world must take a strong stand against these aggressions and help defeat them. That is the only way to safeguard world peace.



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