Tag Archives: Ukraine

How Syria and Ukraine Drove the Russia Hawks Insane, by David Stockman

Most Americans haven’t a clue what’s really gone on in Syria and Ukraine the past few years. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:

In Part 1 we referenced the infamous hysteria triggered in Salem Massachusetts by Betty Parris (age 9) and Abigail Williams (age 12).

In 1692 their prepubescent imaginations were apparently more than capable of detecting the evil doings of witches at loose in their community; and a population hopped up with Calvinist enthusiasm for the supernatural works of the Almighty apparently was also capable of lapsing into collective madness – at least for a spell.

But who would have thought that in the year 2018 the grizzled adults and racketeers who populate the Imperial City would fall prey to the same momentary outbreak of deliriums?

After all, Vladimir Putin was the very same Putin who made a mere cameo appearance in the 2012 presidential debates. He got an honorable mention when Barack Obama appropriately schooled Mitt Romney on the fact that Russia was not America’s principal national security threat.

Indeed, the MSM commentators who are shrieking about Trump’s parlay with Vlad today were knowingly furrowing their brows about Romney’s alleged gaffe back then.

So the question at hand is what changed? How did the politics as usual debating points about the status of Russia and Putin only 69 months ago turn into a veritable Salem style hysteria?

We’d suggest two pivotal events turned the Imperial City upside down. To wit, Barry lost his nerve in August 2013 on the Syrian red line and Donald Trump won the 2016 election in the red zones of Flyover America.

In between, the mainstream media completely lost its grasp on reality as the Imperial City dove headlong into it latest and greatest Indispensable Nation adventures by intervening in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Yemen, and Iraq for the third time.

The Indispensable Nation conceit, of course, is the ultimate cover story for the work of Empire and is the polar opposite of the rudimentary America First notions on which Donald Trump rode into the White House.

As it happened, the Indispensable Nation meme flourished when the neocons and liberal interventionists became ascendant during the Clinton and early Bush 43 era; and they virtually ran the policy tables after 9/11 as the full-throated War on Terrorism cranked up a powerful head of steam.

Nevertheless, the acolytes of Empire nearly lost their political lunch when Shock & Awe in Iraq turned into a bloody quagmire and the retaliation against the Taliban for harboring the 9/11 conspirators ended up as an endless trillion dollar war in the Hindu Kush.

To continue reading: How Syria and Ukraine Drove the Russia Hawks Insane

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Major Israeli Daily: Our Government Is “Arming Neo-Nazis In Ukraine”, by Tyler Durden

By now it’s an open secret that many within the Ukrainian government and its supporters are Neo-Nazis. Ironic then, that Israel’s government is providing those elements with arms. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

It’s not everyday that one reads such a shocking headline as this in a major Israeli daily paper: Rights Groups Demand Israel Stop Arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

An investigative report in Haaretz, Israel’s longest running and arguably most influential newspaper, details a broad campaign underway by over 40 human rights leaders to pressure Israel’s High Court of Justice to order the cessation of Israeli arms exports to Ukraine, as they argue militant neo-Nazi groups are among the recipients of those weapons.

According to Haaretz’s investigation:

They argue that these weapons serve forces that openly espouse a neo-Nazi ideology and cite evidence that the right-wing Azov militia, whose members are part of Ukraine’s armed forces, and are supported by the country’s ministry of internal affairs, is using these weapons.

An earlier appeal to the Defense Ministry was met with no response.

The ministry’s considerations in granting export licenses for armaments are not disclosed to the public, but it appears that the appearance of Israeli weapons in the hands of avowed neo-Nazis should be a consideration used in opposing the granting of such a license.

We’ve covered the infamous Azov Battalion many times before, and though it took the mainstream media years to catch up to this story, the group is so openly and unrepentantly pro-Nazi that even US Congress was forced to take notice while ironically at the same time directly propping up their political patrons in the pro-EU/US Kiev government that Washington helped install in 2014.

In terms of the extent of covert Israeli support to such groups as the neo-Nazi Azov Battallion, Haaretz lists as examples high level meetings between Ukrainian military officials and Israeli defense companies, especially involving contracts related to communications systems, warplanes, and helicopters; as well as Tel Aviv’s approval for the Ukrainian company Fort to produce Tavor, Negev, and Galil rifles under Israeli contract; and further IDF officers and instructors overseeing military training schools that include Azov militiamen; and perhaps most shocking a Ukrainian media interview which featured a former Israeli army officer who admitted to participating in battles in eastern Ukraine while also training militiamen.

There’s also of course the fact that Azov Battalion itself has never been shy about showing of its Israeli military hardware in social media photographs and videos.

To continue reading: Major Israeli Daily: Our Government Is “Arming Neo-Nazis In Ukraine”

The Babchenko Deception: Kiev’s Masters of Deceit, by Justin Raimondo

Here’s a curious story out of Ukraine that says a lot about the US media. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Ukraine faked a Russian “dissident” death – just because they could

The Ukrainian government has stretched the truth beyond credibility on more than one occasion: those snipers in the Maiden who started firing on both sides during the “revolution” turned out not to have been soldiers loyal to the Yanukovich regime. With billions of US tax dollar going to subsidize what may be the most corrupt government on earth, the Ukrainians contend they’re as pure as the driven snow. That’s disingenuous, to say the very least: lying through their gritted teeth is more like it. And now once again they have proven how dicey they are, with their make-believe “government” ruled over by grasping oligarchs, their disorderly country roiling with neo-Nazi thugs out to kill Jews, homosexuals, and leftists, and their distinctively un-European penchant for political murders, rampant thuggery, stealing as a way of life, and untrammeled aggression against their own people.

I’m talking about the faked death of Russian anti-Putin activist Arkady Babchenko, which was staged by the SBU – the Ukrainian political police – supposedly in order to prevent Babchencko’s actual assassination by sinister Russian agents. They claim one of these Bad Guys has been captured, but we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of him, and probably won’t. Indeed, the whole story is likely a lie: this was simply yet another propaganda campaign designed to blacken the name of Putin and his regime. The pattern is clear: the Skripal fraud, the Russia-gate hoax, and the list of provocations – all the way back to Viktor Yushchenko’s acne – goes on. This is Cold War II, folks, and don’t you forget it.

I love how all the Usual Suspects immediately decided that Putin was the culprit: Little Marco Rubio, professional Russophobe Anders Aslund (“the obviously Russian murder”), Euro-weenie Carl Bildt, anonymous Mensch-bot “Caroline O”, Guardian “reporter” Shaun Walker – who is normally a shill for Kiev, and is awfully mad about this deception  (as he should be) – the evil Natasha Bertrand, a reporter  for a business publication  whose hatred of Putin is only a little less than her hatred of our President, the ridiculous Daily Beast, which under Noah Shachtman’s tutelage has turned into the neocon version of the News of the World. And of course embittered Russian immigrant Julia Ioffe, who once accused Trump of having sex with his own daughter, fell for it and then freaked out when the truth came out. All the major media outlets fell for it, reporting the “murder” – complete with sketchy accounts of Putin’s other alleged crimes – with a straight face. All joined in an orgy of confirmation bias:

To continue reading: The Babchenko Deception: Kiev’s Masters of Deceit

A Time to Remember, by Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo revisits some stories that were once dismissed as fringe. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:

We’re headed into the Memorial Day weekend, and what better time to remember those stories that held your attention, briefly, weeks or even months and years ago ? Well, here’s some follow-up:

Perfidious Albion, Revisited – Remember when Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News commentator, was suspended from Fox because he highlighted the British connection to the plot to oust Donald Trump? In light of the Christopher Steele dossier, and the even more recent revelation of the Stefan Halper/Sir Richard Dearlove spying mission, it looks like the Judge was right.

Napolitano contended on air that the Obama White House used the Brits to get transcripts of conversations between Trump officials and their contacts so that “no American fingerprints” would be left on the dirty deeds. Yet it looks like they did go through our own FISA court to get a judge to sign on to the surveillance: however, there are many questions about what evidence they used to convince that judge.

The “dirty dossier” was one piece of the puzzle, the information funneled to the FBI by their spie(s) in the campaign was another, and I believe that information provided by foreign intelligence services, including the Brits, was the third addition to this brew.

The President’s critics, as well as his friends, say he could clear all this up by simply declassifying the relevant documents, but this is easier said than done: those documents doubtless implicate our foreign “allies” as the source of the “collusion” charges leveled at Trump. The Democrats didn’t think this up all on their own: the whole Russia-gate hoax originated, I believe, overseas, and was then eagerly adopted by the Clintonites. Rather than cause an international incident – and a serious one, to be sure – all concerned are doing their best to downplay this aspect of the unfolding drama, yet the truth is bound to come out eventually.

Hitlerian Ukraine – Remember Ukraine? That’s the country Vladimir Putin was going to invade any day now – except it never happened. Oh well, the “imminent” Russian invasion was years ago, so why bring it up now? Because Nazis are overrunning the place, that’s why.

The Forward reports:

“A wave of anti-Semitism has swept over Ukraine. In the past three weeks alone, a far-right leader publicly called for cleansing Ukraine of zhidi (a slur equivalent to ‘kike’); a Holocaust memorial in Ternopil was bombed; hundreds marched through Lviv, in honor of an SS unit, complete with Nazi salutes; ‘Death to Zhidi’ graffiti was scrawled in two cities; a revered rabbi’s tomb was vandalized; a Romani camp in Kiev was attacked and burned by far-right nationalists, and hundreds rocked out at a neo-Nazi concert clad in swastikas and throwing up Nazi salutes.”

To continue reading: A Time to Remember

How the European Union Became Divided on Russia, by Xander Snyder

The nations in European don’t, and can’t, have one monolithic stance towards Russia. From Xander Snyder at mauldineconomics.com:

Last week, the prime ministers of Hungary and Bulgaria criticized EU policy toward Russia for being too harsh. The European Union imposed sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, but Hungary and Bulgaria are concerned that the EU’s continued anti-Russia stance could pose a security threat and does not benefit either country.

This difference of opinion on Russia is just a symptom of a broader reality: Europe itself is becoming increasingly divided. As a result, there is no longer a European approach to Russia like there was during the Cold War, when a weak Europe, dependent on the US for its security, acted as one to maintain the US-led containment line. Today, each European country has its own interests determined by its own geographical realities.

In the case of Hungary, it understands that it has to be part of the Western bloc. Hungary was under Soviet occupation and experienced the suffering that followed its short-lived revolution in 1956 against Soviet rule. Though it understands and appreciates the support that the US provided after the end of the Cold War, it knows that this support is ultimately insufficient to protect it against nearby threats. The US is too far away and, as we saw in Georgia in 2008, the US is primarily concerned with its own interests and might not come to Hungary’s defense if it were truly threatened.


Source: Geopolitical Futures

To Hungary’s east lies Ukraine, a buffer state between the West and Russia. Hungary has generally opposed Ukraine’s developing closer ties with the West. Indeed, when diplomats speak of such integration with the West, Hungary is faced with a critical question: What does “integration” even mean? If it simply means having more diplomatic meetings, why risk rocking the boat with Russia when there is little benefit to Hungary? If integration means greater Western military presence in Ukraine, that would be even worse for Hungary. Russia would see it as a direct threat and would be more inclined to intervene militarily to recuperate its lost buffer space, potentially bringing a Russian military force closer to Hungary’s borders.

To continue reading: How the European Union Became Divided on Russia

In Unexpected Move, Trump Enacts Obama-era Law Opening US Arms Sales To Ukraine, by

The US government will sell arms to the corrupt and bankrupt Ukranian government that the US helped install in a coup. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

After years of covert American involvement in the Ukrainian proxy and civil war which has raged since 2014 – and which a leaked recording confirmed was precipitated by the US State Department – President Trump has decided to come off the fence regarding his prior reluctance to formally approve arms sales to the Kiev government. Late Wednesday the Washington Post first reported the bombshell news that after months of indecision over whether or not to move forward with Obama-era legislation which initially paved the way for legalizing US arms sales to Ukraine, Trump has approved the first ever US commercial sale of weapons to the war-torn country.

According to The Washington Post, “administration officials confirmed that the State Department this month approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. These weapons address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces. There has been no approval to export the heavier weapons the Ukrainian government is asking for, such as Javelin antitank missiles.”


Image via News Front

Though WaPo’s Josh Rogin characterizes the decision as intended to appease hawks while seeking to avoid broader conflict escalation based on “limited arms sales” (and not approving some of the heavier weaponry sought by Kiev), the move is likely to further ratchet up tensions with Russia, which is ironic for the fact that the decision comes the same week that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be handling Trump like “an asset”. Or perhaps we will be assured this is just more 4-dimensional chess playing between Trump and Putin to prove that not Putin but the Military Industrial Complex is once again “unexpectedly” in charge?

To continue reading; In Unexpected Move, Trump Enacts Obama-era Law Opening US Arms Sales To Ukraine

Mueller Investigating Podesta Group In Connection With Russia Probe, by ZeroPointNow

Imagine that, Democratic heavyweight Podesta Group is under investigation for its dealings with a pro-Russia group. From ZeroPointNow at ibankcoin.com:

Tony Podesta and his firm, the Podesta Group, are now under federal investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with the Russia investigation, three sources told NBC News.

The Podesta Group was subpoenaed in late August along with four other public relations firms who worked with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort during a 2012-2014 lobbying effort for a pro-Ukraine think tank – the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU) – tied to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych fled from Ukraine to Russia after he was unseated in a 2014 coup.

Two of the subpoenaed firms include Paul Manafort’s Mercury, LLC and the Podesta Group, founded by John and Tony Podesta and operated by the latter.

Manafort’s firm earned $17 million between 2012 – 2014 consulting for Yanukovych’s centrist, pro-Russia ‘Party of Regions.’ During the same period, Manafort oversaw a lobbying campaign for the pro-Russia “Centre for a Modern Ukraine,” a Brussels based think tank linked to Yanukovych which was pushing for Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.

The Podesta group, operating under Manafort, earned over $1.2 million as part of that effort.

In a statement to NBC, a spokesman for the Podesta Group said the firm “is cooperating fully with the Special Counsel’s office and has taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms timely compliance. In all of our client engagements, the Podesta Group conducts due diligence and consults with appropriate legal experts to ensure compliance with disclosure regulations at all times — and we did so in this case.”

White House Special Access

Visitor logs reveal that Tony Podesta visited the White House at least 114 times during the Obama administration according to White House visitor logs, and was said to have had ‘special access‘ to the administration through his brother, John Podesta, while lobbying for various pro-Kremlin interests.

To continue reading: Mueller Investigating Podesta Group In Connection With Russia Probe