The US Is Culpable in Today’s Ukraine Crisis, by Liam Cosgrove

The backstory of the U.S.’s involvement in Ukraine, particularly it regime change in 2014. From Liam Cosgrove at

Many know this story, but I’d like to summarize it as succinctly as possible, using only primary and establishment media sources in hopes that this article may be persuasive and shareable to friends/family of all politics. The goal is not to distract from Ukrainian suffering but to inform US citizens of how their leaders often engage in harmful foreign policy so that we may refrain from electing such leaders in the future.

Brief Background

Throughout 2012 and most of 2013, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had been in negotiations with the European Union on the terms of a political/trade agreement involving a sizeable loan, lowering of tariffs, and a goal to “promote gradual convergence on foreign and security matters with the aim of Ukraine’s ever-deeper involvement in the European security area” (direct quote from the agreement). Putin has stated, numerous times over several decades, his concerns about Western military forces creeping closer to Russia’s border. The Ukranians asked for $160 billion to offset trade restrictions that Russia would likely implement as a result of the deal. The EU could only offer $828 million. Russia then offered Ukraine a $15 billion loan and to cut Russian natural gas prices by almost a third. Yanukovych canceled negotiations with the EU and accepted Putin’s offer. Considering the Russian loan was nearly 20 times greater than the EU loan and the agreement eliminated the possibility of Russian sanctions while leaving EU relations largely unchanged, this was a rational decision by Yanukovych. To quote Reuters, “the unwillingness of the EU and International Monetary Fund to be flexible in their demands of Ukraine also had an effect, making them less attractive partners.”

Results of 2010 election in which Yanukovych (written Janukovych) won by a slim majority almost entirely on the South-Eastern vote – Ukrainian political division falls on geographic lines.
Results of 2010 election in which Yanukovych (written Janukovych) won by a slim majority almost entirely on the South-Eastern vote – Ukrainian political division falls on geographic lines.

The decision to cancel the EU agreement, which was not a unilateral decision by Yanukovych but a valid vote by Ukranian Parliament, was met with protests in the North-Western Capital Kiev, led by prominent members of Yanukovych’s opposition party, which quickly turned violent. Western Ukranians were understandably upset after the one-year-long negotiations fell through. By January 20, 2014, the BBC reportedUkraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych has agreed to negotiate with pro-EU protesters and opposition leaders after violent clashes in the capital Kiev.” Days later, in an attempt to quell the uprising, Yanukovych offered1 two opposition leaders key positions in his administration – prime minister to Arseniy Yatsenyuk and deputy prime minister for humanitarian affairs to Vitali Klitschko. When they declined, he repealed anti-protest laws and agreed to accelerate the presidential elections (which were due in about one year) to allow the people an opportunity to vote sooner.

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