Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Silence of American Hawks About Ukraine's Kiev Junta its Atrocities & War Crimes

The Silence of American Hawks About Kiev's Atrocities

Stephen F. Cohen on June 30, 2014 - 6:01PM ET

Ultra-Nationalist Party Rally
Members of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist Svoboda Party rally in Kiev (ReutersMaxim Zmeyev)
Editor's note: This article was updated on July 7.
For weeks, the US-backed regime in Kiev has been committing atrocities against its own citizens in southeastern Ukraine, regions heavily populated by Russian-speaking Ukrainians and ethnic Russians. While victimizing a growing number of innocent people, including children, and degrading America's reputation, these military assaults on cities, captured on video, are generating pressure in Russia on President Vladimir Putin to "save our compatriots." Both the atrocities and the pressure on Putin have increased even more since July 1, when Kiev, after a brief cease-fire, intensified its artillery and air attacks on eastern cities defenseless against such weapons.
The reaction of the Obama administration—as well as the new cold-war hawks in Congress and in the establishment media—has been twofold: silence interrupted only by occasional statements excusing and thus encouraging more atrocities by Kiev. Very few Americans (notably, the independent scholar Gordon Hahn) have protested this shameful complicity. We may honorably disagree about the causes and resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, the worst US-Russian confrontation in decades, but not about deeds that are rising to the level of war crimes, if they have not already done so.
* * *
In mid-April, the new Kiev government, predominantly western Ukrainian in composition and outlook, declared an "anti-terrorist operation" against a growing political rebellion in the Southeast. At that time, the rebels were mostly mimicking the initial Maidan protests in Kiev in 2013—demonstrating, issuing defiant proclamations, occupying public buildings and erecting defensive barricades—before Maidan turned ragingly violent and, in February, overthrew Ukraine's corrupt but legitimately elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. (The entire Maidan episode, it will be recalled, had Washington's enthusiastic political, and perhaps more tangible, support.) Indeed, the precedent for seizing official buildings and demanding the allegiance of local authorities had been set even earlier, in January, in western Ukraine—by pro-Maidan, anti-Yanukovych protesters, some declaring "independence" from his government. Reports suggest that even now some cities in central and western Ukraine, regious almost entirely ignored by international media, are controlled by extreme nationalists, not Kiev.
Considering those preceding events, but above all the country's profound historical divisions, particularly between its western and eastern regions—ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural, economic and political—the rebellion in the southeast, centered in the industrial Donbass, was not surprising. Nor were its protests against the unconstitutional way (in effect, a coup) the new government had come to power, the southeast's sudden loss of effective political representation in the capital and the real prospect of official discrimination. But by declaring an "anti-terrorist operation" against the new protesters, Kiev signaled its intention to "destroy" them, not negotiate with them.
On May 2, in this incendiary atmosphere, a horrific event occurred in the southern city of Odessa, awakening memories of Nazi German extermination squads in Ukraine and other Soviet republics during World War II. An organized pro-Kiev mob chased protesters into a building, set it on fire and tried to block the exits. Some forty people, perhaps many more, perished in the flames or were murdered as they fled the inferno. A still unknown number of other victims were seriously injured.
Members of the infamous Right Sector, a far-right paramilitary organization ideologically aligned with the ultranationalist Svoboda party, itself a constituent part of Kiev's coalition government, led the mob. Both are frequently characterized by knowledgeable observers as "neo-fascist" movements. (Hateful ethnic chants by the mob were audible, and swastika-like symbols were found on the scorched building.) Kiev alleged that the victims had themselves accidentally started the fire, but eyewitnesses, television footage and social media videos told the true story, as they have about subsequent atrocities.
Instead of interpreting the Odessa massacre as an imperative for restraint, Kiev intensified its "anti-terrorist operation." Since May, the regime has sent a growing number of armored personnel carriers, tanks, artillery, helicopter gunships and warplanes to southeastern cities, among them, Slovyansk (Slavyansk in Russian), Mariupol, Krasnoarmeisk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk and Luhansk (Lugansk in Russian). When its regular military units and local police forces turned out to be less than effective, willing or loyal, Kiev hastily mobilized Right Sector and other radical nationalist militias responsible for much of the violence at Maidan into a National Guard to accompany regular detachments—partly to reinforce them, partly, it seems, to enforce Kiev's commands. Zealous, barely trained and drawn mostly from central and western regions, Kiev's new recruits have reportedly escalated the ethnic warfare and killing of innocent civilians. (Episodes described as "massacres" soon also occurred in Mariupol and Kramatorsk.)
Initially, the "anti-terrorist" campaign was limited primarily, though not only, to rebel checkpoints on the outskirts of cities. Since May, however, Kiev has repeatedly carried out artillery and air attacks on city centers that have struck residential buildings, shopping malls, parks, schools, kindergartens and hospitals, particularly in Slovyansk and Luhansk. More and more urban areas, neighboring towns and even villages now look and sound like war zones, with telltale rubble, destroyed and pockmarked buildings, mangled vehicles, the dead and wounded in streets, wailing mourners and crying children. Conflicting information from Kiev, local resistance leaders and Moscow make it impossible to estimate the number of dead and wounded noncombatants—certainly hundreds. The number continues to grow due also to Kiev's blockade of cities where essential medicines, food, water, fuel and electricity are scarce, and where wages and pensions are often no longer being paid. The result is an emerging humanitarian catastrophe.
Another effect is clear. Kiev's "anti-terrorist" tactics have created a reign of terror in the targeted cities. Panicked by shells and mortars exploding on the ground, menacing helicopters and planes flying above and fear of what may come next, families are seeking sanctuary in basements and other darkened shelters. Even The New York Times, which like the mainstream American media generally has deleted the atrocities from its coverage, described survivors in Slovyansk "as if living in the Middle Ages." Meanwhile, an ever-growing number of refugees, disproportionately women and traumatized children, have been fleeing across the border into Russia. In late June, the UN estimated that as many as 110,000 Ukrainians had already fled to Russia, where authorities say the actual numbers are much larger, and about half that many to other Ukrainian sanctuaries.
It is true, of course, that anti-Kiev rebels in these regions are increasingly well-armed (though lacking the government's arsenal of heavy and airborne weapons), organized and aggressive, no doubt with some Russian assistance, whether officially sanctioned or not. But calling themselves "self-defense" fighters is not wrong. They did not begin the combat; their land is being invaded and assaulted by a government whose political legitimacy is arguably no greater than their own, two of their large regions having voted overwhelmingly for autonomy referenda; and, unlike actual terrorists, they have not committed acts of war outside their own communities. The French adage suggested by an American observer seems applicable: "This animal is very dangerous. If attacked, it defends itself."
* * *
Among the crucial questions rarely discussed in the US political-media establishment: What is the role of the "neo-fascist" factor in Kiev's "anti-terrorist" ideology and military operations? Putin's position, at least until recently—that the entire Ukrainian government is a "neo-fascist junta"—is incorrect. Many members of the ruling coalition and its parliamentary majority are aspiring European-style democrats or moderate nationalists. This may also be true of Ukraine's newly elected president, the oligarch Petro Poroshenko, though his increasingly extreme words and deeds since being inaugurated on June 7—he has called resisters in the bombarded cities "gangs of animals"—collide with his conciliatory image drafted by Washington and Brussels. Equally untrue, however, are claims by Kiev's American apologists, including even some academics and liberal intellectuals, that Ukraine's neo-fascists—or perhaps quasi-fascists—are merely agitated nationalists, "garden-variety Euro-populists," a "distraction" or lack enough popular support to be significant.
Independent Western scholars have documented the fascist origins, contemporary ideology and declarative symbols of Svoboda and its fellow-traveling Right Sector. Both movements glorify Ukraine's murderous Nazi collaborators in World War II as inspirational ancestors. Both, to quote Svoboda's leader Oleh Tyahnybok, call for an ethnically pure nation purged of the "Moscow-Jewish mafia" and "other scum," including homosexuals, feminists and political leftists. And both hailed the Odessa massacre. According to the website of Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh, it was "another bright day in our national history." A Svoboda parliamentary deputy added, "Bravo, Odessa…. Let the Devils burn in hell." If more evidence is needed, in December 2012, the European Parliament decried Svoboda's "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views [that] go against the EU's fundamental values and principles." In 2013, the World Jewish Congress denounced Svoboda as "neo-Nazi." Still worse, observers agree that Right Sector is even more extremist.
Nor do electoral results tell the story. Tyahnybok and Yarosh together received less than 2 percent of the June presidential vote, but historians know that in traumatic times, when, to recall Yeats, "the center cannot hold," small, determined movements can seize the moment, as did Lenin's Bolsheviks and Hitler's Nazis. Indeed, Svoboda and Right Sector already command power and influence far exceeding their popular vote. "Moderates" in the US-backed Kiev government, obliged to both movements for their violence-driven ascent to power, and perhaps for their personal safety, rewarded Svoboda and Right Sector with some five to eight (depending on shifting affiliations) top ministry positions, including ones overseeing national security, military, prosecutorial and educational affairs. Still more, according to the research of Pietro Shakarian, a remarkable young graduate student at the University of Michigan, Svoboda was given five governorships, covering about 20 percent of the country. And this does not take into account the role of Right Sector in the "anti-terrorist operation."
Nor does it consider the political mainstreaming of fascism's dehumanizing ethos. In December 2012, a Svoboda parliamentary leader anathematized the Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis as "a dirty kike." Since 2013, pro-Kiev mobs and militias have routinely denigrated ethnic Russians as insects ("Colorado beetles," whose colors resemble a sacred Russia ornament). On May 9, at the annual commemoration of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, the governor of one region praised Hitler for his "slogan of liberating the people" in occupied Ukraine. More recently, the US-picked prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, referred to resisters in the Southeast as "subhumans." His defense minister proposed putting them in "filtration camps," pending deportation, and raising fears of ethnic cleansing. Yulia Tymoshenko—a former prime minister, titular head of Yatsenyuk's party and runner-up in the May presidential election—was overheard wishing she could "exterminate them all [Ukrainian Russians] with atomic weapons." "Sterilization" is among the less apocalyptic official musings on the pursuit of a purified Ukraine.
Confronted with such facts, Kiev's American apologists have conjured up another rationalization. Any neo-fascists in Ukraine, they assure us, are far less dangerous than Putinism's "clear aspects of fascism." The allegation is unworthy of serious analysis: however authoritarian Putin may be, there is nothing authentically fascist in his rulership, policies, state ideology or personal conduct.
Indeed, equating Putin with Hitler, as eminent Americans from Hillary Clinton and Zbigniew Brzezinski to George Will have done, is another example of how our new cold warriors are recklessly damaging US national security in vital areas where Putin's cooperation is essential. Looking ahead, would-be presidents who make such remarks can hardly expect to be greeted by an open-minded Putin, whose brother died and father was wounded in the Soviet-Nazi war. Moreover, tens of millions of today's Russians whose family members were killed by actual fascists in that war will regard this defamation of their popular president as sacrilege, as they do the atrocities committed by Kiev.
* * *
And yet, the Obama administration reacts with silence, and worse. Historians will decide what the US government and the "democracy promotion" organizations it funds were doing in Ukraine during the preceding twenty years, but much of Washington's role in the current crisis has been clear and direct. As the Maidan mass protest against President Yanukovych developed last November-December, Senator John McCain, the high-level State Department policymaker Victoria Nuland and a crew of other US politicians and officials arrived to stand with its leaders, Svoboda's Tyahnybok in the forefront, and declare, "America is with you!" Nuland was then caught on tape plotting with the American ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, to oust Yanukovych's government and replace him with Yatsenyuk, who soon became, and remains, prime minister.
Meanwhile, President Obama personally warned Yanukovych "not to resort to violence," as did, repeatedly, Secretary of State John Kerry. But when violent street riots deposed Yanukovych—only hours after a European-brokered, White House–backed compromise that would have left him as president of a reconciliation government until new elections this December, possibly averting the subsequent bloodshed—the administration made a fateful decision. It eagerly embraced the outcome. Obama personally legitimized the coup as a "constitutional process" and invited Yatsenyuk to the White House. The United States has been at least tacitly complicit in what followed, from Putin's hesitant decision in March to annex Crimea and the rebellion in southeastern Ukraine to the ongoing civil war and Kiev's innocent victims.

How intimately involved US officials have been in Kiev's "anti-terrorist operation" is not known, but certainly the administration has not been discreet. Before and after the military campaign began in earnest, CIA director John Brennan and Vice President Joseph Biden (twice) visited Kiev, followed, it is reported, by a continuing flow of "senior US defense officials," military equipment and financial assistance to the bankrupt Kiev government. Despite this crucial support, the White House has not compelled Kiev to investigate either the Odessa massacre or the fateful sniper killings of scores of Maidan protesters and policemen on February 18–20, which precipitated Yanukovych's ouster. (The snipers were initially said to be Yanukovych's, but evidence later appeared pointing to opposition extremists, possibly Right Sector. Unlike Washington, the Council of Europe has been pressuring Kiev to investigate both events.)
As atrocities and humanitarian disaster grow in Ukraine, both Obama and Kerry have all but vanished as statesmen. Except for periodic banalities asserting the virtuous intentions of Washington and Kiev and alleging Putin's responsibility for the violence, they have left specific responses to lesser US officials. Not surprisingly, all have told the same Manichean story, from the White House to Foggy Bottom. The State Department's neocon missionary Nuland, who spent several days at Maidan, for example, assured a congressional committee that she had no evidence of fascist-like elements playing any role there. Ambassador Pyatt, who earlier voiced the same opinion about the Odessa massacre, was even more dismissive, telling obliging New Republic editors that the entire question was "laughable."

Still more shameful, no American official at any level appears to have issued a meaningful statement of sympathy for civilian victims of the Kiev government, not even those in Odessa. Instead, the administration has been unswervingly indifferent. When asked if her superiors had "any concerns" about the casualties of Kiev's military campaign, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki has repeatedly answered "no." Even worse, the German, French and Russian foreign ministers having urged Poroshenko to extend the ceasefire, his decision instead to intensify Kiev's military campaign was clearly taken with the encouragement or support of the Obama administration.
Indeed, at the UN Security Council on May 2, US Ambassador Samantha Power, referring explicitly to the "counterterrorism initiative" and suspending her revered "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine, gave Kiev's leaders a US license to kill. Lauding their "remarkable, almost unimaginable, restraint," as Obama himself did after Odessa, she continued, "Their response is reasonable, it is proportional, and frankly it is what any one of our countries would have done." (Since then, the administration has blocked Moscow's appeal for a UN humanitarian corridor between southeastern Ukraine and Russia.)
Contrary to the incessant administration and media demonizing of Putin and his "agents" in Ukraine, the "anti-terrorist operation" can be ended only where it began—in Washington and Kiev. Leaving aside how much power the new president actually has in Kiev (or over Right Sector militias in the field), Poroshenko's "peace plan" and June 21 cease-fire may have seemed such an opportunity, except for its two core conditions: fighters in the southeast first had to "lay down their arms," and he alone would decide with whom to negotiate peace. The terms seemed more akin to conditions of surrender, and the real reason Poroshenko unilaterally ended the cease-fire on July 1 and intensified Kiev's assault on eastern cities, especially on the smaller towns of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, which their defenders abandoned—to prevent more civilian casualities, they said—on July 5–6.
The Obama administration continues to make the situation worse. Despite opposition by several NATO allies and even American corporate heads, the president and his secretary of state, who has spoken throughout this crisis more like a secretary of war than the nation's top diplomat, have constantly threatened Russia with harsher economic sanctions unless Putin meets one condition or another, most of them improbable. On June 26, Kerry even demanded ("literally") that the Russian president "in the next few hours…help disarm" resisters in the Southeast, as though they are not motivated by any of Ukraine's indigenous conflicts but are merely Putin's private militias.

In fact, from the onset of the crisis, the administration's actual goal has been unclear, and not only to Moscow. Is it a negotiated compromise, which would have to include a Ukraine with a significantly federalized or decentralized state free to maintain longstanding economic relations with Russia and banned from NATO membership? Is it to bring the entire country exclusively into the West, including into NATO? Is it a vendetta against Putin for all the things he purportedly has and has not done over the years? (Some behavior of Obama and Kerry, seemingly intended to demean and humiliate Putin, suggest an element of this.) Or is it to provoke Russia into a war with the United States and NATO in Ukraine?
Inadvertent or not, the latter outcome remains all too possible. After Russia annexed—or "reunified" with—Crimea in March, Putin, not Kiev or Washington, has demonstrated "remarkable restraint." But events are making it increasingly difficult for him to do so. Almost daily, Russian state media, particularly television, have featured vivid accounts of Kiev's military assaults on Ukraine's eastern cities. The result has been, both in elite and public opinion, widespread indignation and mounting perplexity, even anger, over Putin's failure to intervene militarily.
We may discount the following indictment by an influential ideologist of Russia's own ultra-nationalists, who have close ties with Ukraine's "self-defense" commanders: "Putin betrays not just the People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Lugansk but himself, Russia and all of us." Do not, however, underestimate the significance of an article in the mainstream pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia, which asks, while charging the leadership with "ignoring the cries for help," "Is Russia abandoning the Donbass?" If so, the author warns, the result will be "Russia's worst nightmare" and relegate it to "the position of a vanquished country."
Just as significant are similar exhortations by Gennady Zyuganov, leader of Russia's Communist Party, the second-largest in the country and in parliament. The party also has substantial influence in the military-security elite and even in the Kremlin. Thus, one of Putin's own aides has publicly urged him to send fighter planes to impose a "no-fly zone"—an American-led UN action in Qaddafi's Libya that has not been forgotten or forgiven by the Kremlin—and destroy Kiev's approaching aircraft and land forces. If that happens, US and NATO forces, now being built up in Eastern Europe, might well also intervene, creating a Cuban missile crisis–like confrontation. As a former Russian foreign minister admired in the West reminds us, there are "hawks on both sides."
In recent days, Kiev's stepped-up "punitive" campaign against eastern Ukrainian citizens, shelling of Russia's own bordering territory and the subjugation of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk have made anger over Putin's inaction even more vocal in his own establishment. On July 4, the dean of Moscow State University's School of Television, a semi-official position, even suggested that the Kremlin was part of "a strange conspiracy of silence" with Western governments to conceal the number of Kiev's innocent victims. He warned that "those who permit murderers to win…automatically have the blood of peaceful citizens on their hands." And on July 6, the state's leading television news network demanded that the Kremlin take immediate military action, including imposing a "no-fly zone."
Little of this is even noted in the United States. In a democratic political system, the establishment media are expected to pierce the official fog of war. In the Ukrainian crisis, however, mainstream American newspapers and television have been almost as slanted and elliptical as White House and State Department statements, obscuring the atrocities, if reporting them at all, and generally relying on information from Washington and Kiev. Why, for example, are not the The New York Times, The Washington Post and major television networks reporting directly from Ukraine's war-ravaged cities, only from Moscow and Kiev, or at least doing reports based on other foreign media? Most Americans are thereby unknowingly being shamed by the Obama administration's role. Those who do know but remain silent—in government, think tanks, universities and media—share its complicity.

Russia Stands Alone in call for War Crime Tribunal

 Russia’s Investigative Committee pledged that it will sue those guilty of war crimes in Ukraine in accordance with international law. Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin asserted that the committee already launched criminal investigations into the killing of civilians and children and the use of illegal military tactics in southeastern Ukraine.
Kramatorsk_Ukraine_16April2014_1Markin’s assertion came after combat operations by forces loyal to Ukraine’s government in Kiev resulted in the death of scores of non-combatant civilians in the southeastern Ukrainian cities Donetsk, Slavyansk and Lughansk.
Both a school and a children’s hospital in the city of Slavyansk have been shelled within a matter of two days, when troops loyal to Kiev shelled residential areas with artillery and mortar rounds. Eyewitnesses reported to nsnbc that internationally banned munitions, including exploding large-caliber machine gun rounds have been used against non-combatant civilians.
Russia is not the only country stressing the illegality of Kiev’s military crackdown and war crimes against Ukraine’s rebelling regions, although most western governments have chosen to look the other way.
Sunday, three weeks ago, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded an immediate end to Kiev’s military crackdown. Addressing the press during a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin, Merkel warned Kiev that the use of Ukraine’s military against civilians is strictly prohibited. Merkel stressed that military forces only may be used to protect infrastructure and human life, “and even then” Merkel said, “the use of force must be proportional”.
Slavyansk_Ukraine_TankKiev has deployed about 15.000 troops with armored personnel carriers, tanks, artillery and mortars, as well as planes and helicopters to the region, plus an unknown number of paramilitary forces. The shelling of residential areas, including a school and children’s hospital, has led to the evacuation of hundreds of children.
Russia’s Investigative Committee responded on Friday, stressing that it will apply the principles and provisions of international law on those guilty of war crimes in Ukraine. Other than the calls from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, three weeks ago, Russia has stood rather isolated within the “international community” with regard to calling for an end to the crackdown.
Slavyansk Childrens Hospital
Slavyansk Childrens Hospital
The spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee,Vladimir Markin, implicitly noted the absence of calls for an end to the ongoing war crimes from the “international community. The Russian Itar-Tass news agency quoted Markin as saying:
“Those guilty in deaths of civilians and children must be prosecuted in line with all the provisions of international law. … And if not a single state in the world is capable to admit the evident facts that the Ukrainian authorities have been acting as criminals, Russia’s Investigative Committee will shoulder this responsibility by opening a criminal case. …The Investigative Committee is to start collecting evidence on each person involved in the crimes against peace and security of the humanity rather than just admitting facts of crimes against civilians”.
School No. 13 in Slavyansk.
School No. 13 in Slavyansk.
Markin accused western powers of hiding behind propaganda. He asserted that Russia would investigate and disclose these western powers like an emperor without clothes. Markin said:
“If politicians in Kiev and in the West prefer to live inside the propaganda reality, in the children’s story about the emperor’s new clothes, so these are their problems. … Here, in Russia, we will look into the facts with sober eyes, including the obvious reality of the country’s dismemberment and Ukraine’s failure to protect interests and freedoms of its citizens.”
The Investigative Committee has already launched criminal investigations, Markin stressed, saying:
“Russia’s Investigative Committee has instituted a criminal case against unidentified servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces, the National Guard and the Right Sector on charges of shelling the cities of Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk, Mariupol and other localities around Donetsk and Lughansk and envisaged by Article 356, Part 1 of the Russian Criminal Code /the use of banned methods and tactics of war”.
Image: Lonpicman
Image: Lonpicman
It is so far unclear, whether prosecutions will be limited to the jurisdiction of Russian courts only, or whether the Russian government also will refer crimes committed in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
It is noteworthy, within this context, that the special tribunals and the ICC in The Hague, so far, have not prosecuted a single war crime committed by any NATO member state.
Among those who have been prosecuted in The Hague are, the late President of the Republic of Yugoslavisa Slobodan Milosevic, who died while in the custody of the court, the alleged murderers of Lebanese P.M. Rafiq Hariri, whose son, Saad Hariri has been implicated in arming Syrian “rebels”, including with chemical weapons, the President of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted in a French-engineered coup d’├ętat. One of the persons wanted by the ICC is Saif al-Islam, the son of the former head of state of Libya, Muammar Gadaffi, who was murdered during a NATO backed coup d’├ętat in 2011.

Ukraine: The International War-Criminal is Obama, Not Putin

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In February this year, the Obama administration violently overthrew the freely-elected and Russia-friendly President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. We hired gunmen dressed to appear to be from the Yanukovych government firing into the "Maidan" crowd who were demonstrating against Yanukovych. This made it seem to be violence from him, not from Obama's team. Obama further justified the overthrow by saying that Yanukovych was corrupt. But virtually all recent Presidents and Prime Ministers of that country have been corrupt. The Prime Minister who had preceded Yanukovych, Yulia Tymoshenko, was even in prison for it. Britain's Guardian noted in 2004 that, "According to Matthew Brzezinski's 2001 book Casino Moscow, which devotes a chapter to Tymoshenko entitled 'The Eleven Billion Dollar Woman,' she was guarded by an entire platoon of ex-Soviet special forces bodyguards." However, during the Obama administration's 18-24 February 2014 coup in Ukraine (called not a "coup" but a "revolution" by the coup's supporters), they got her freed from her 7-year prison sentence, and she immediately announced her campaign to become Yanukovych's successor as President. She was widely regarded as Obama's preferred person for that post, but instead the person that she chose to lead the interim government as Prime Minister became Ukraine's leader (with the expectation that Tymoshenko would soon be elected and then take over), and Tymoshenko wasn't elected, so Obama was faced with a predicament. Since the person whom she had placed in temporary control did Obama's bidding, he has been allowed to stay on in the new permanent Ukrainian government, in his same official capacity, ruling Ukraine as the Prime Minister, just as he was during the "interim" government.
The way to remove a democratically elected President (and/or Prime Minister) is by constitutional means; and a coup is not constitutional -- not even in Ukraine, and it's certainly not supposed to be the constitutional means in the U.S. Yet we immediately recognized the coup-government, because we had actually installed it.
Obama's agent planning and controlling the overthrow (besides the CIA, etc., providing essential support for it), was the Tymoshenko-backer Victoria Nuland, who told our Ukrainian Ambassador to choose (Tymoshenko's friend) "Yats," Arseniy Yatsenyuk, to become Ukraine's leader, or Prime Minister, in the "interim government." He's the person who's still the Prime Minster, even after the figurehead oligarch, Petro Poroshenko, became elected (over Tymoshenko) as Ukraine's President, in the May 25th election, which was held only in the northwestern part of Ukraine, because Yatsenyuk's troops were by that time (May 25th) bombing the nation's southeastern parts, the parts where Yanukovych had won overwhelmingly the 17 January 2010 presidential election, which was the last Ukrainian election when the entire country voted -- the last election in a united Ukraine -- the last actual Ukrainian national election.
Yatsenyuk has been bombing the southeast allegedly in order to compel them to accept the legitimacy of the coup government. And Yatsenyuk continues bombing them, even to this day. It's his policy, and it's backed by Obama. It wouldn't happen without him.
In fact, almost immediately after Yatsenyuk became the leader of Ukraine, he sacked the existing three Deputy Defense Ministers, on March 5th, and replaced them with three rabidly anti-Russian neo-Nazis, who were committed to this bombing policy. The person who was made the Minister of Defense, Mikhail Koval, has announced his intention to ethnically cleanse from southeastern Ukraine the "subhumans" who voted for Yanukovych, who will "be resettled in other regions," meaning either Russia (if Russia accepts these Ukrainian refugees) or else concentration camps inside Ukraine (and then perhaps death). "There will be a thorough filtration of people." Their property will be confiscated, and "Land parcels will be given out for free to the servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military formations, as well as to the employees of Interior Ministry and the Security Service of Ukraine, that are defending territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country in eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine." That's the euphemism for the ethnic cleansing and mass-theft. In other words, Obama's rulers of Ukraine are offering their soldiers the opportunity to grab legally the property of their victims. Ukraine doesn't have the money to pay for all the soldiers that are needed to do this ethnic cleansing; so, they're being promised war-booty instead. Sort of like paying them by tips: but with the bigger tips going to the killers with the most (or biggest) scalps.
When people in the area of the ethnic cleansing managed to shoot down one of the regime's planes and its 49 soldiers who were in the process of perpetrating it, Yatsenyuk himself vowed revenge, by using similar language: "They lost their lives ... in a situation facing a threat to be killed by invaders [i.e., by the residents, not by those troops from the northwest that they shot down] and sponsored by subhumans [presumably meaning Russians]," he said. "First, we will commemorate the heroes [the exterminators] by wiping out those who killed them and then by cleaning our land from the evil." However, of course, that's what he was already doing ("cleaning" the land), which is the reason why that plane was shot down in the first place: those troops were invaders and killers.
A TV commercial has been running on Ukrainian TVs ever since the start of the bombing campaign, in which the chief local agricultural pest (the Colorado beetle), which Ukraine's far-right frequently uses in order to symbolize the country's Russian-speakers, is portrayed destroying crops and then being exterminated as the solution to the problem in Ukraine. The symbolism used there is immediately understandable to Ukrainians, though (and this is one reason it's used, since they are advised by our CIA) not so easily understandable to people outside that country. Propaganda like this helps to rouse the racist nationalist sentiment to make them "exterminators," heroes to their fellow-racist-nationalist haters of people whose native language is Russian.
Consequently, ever since May 2nd, when this extermination program started with a bang, by an organized massacre of hundreds of regime opponents via burning them alive in the Odessa Trade Unions Building, and then followed it up on May 9th by military actions throughout southeastern Ukraine, to kill the residents there, and then pursued it all over the region during the time since, thousands of residents in the region have been fleeing. This is the objective: to get rid of them, one way or another. Hitler called this "Lebensraum."
Consequently, whereas the post-coup election was held only in the northwest, maybe the next general election will be able to be held throughout the country, after enough Yanukovych-voters have been killed or otherwise disposed of.
Obama is thus redefining "democracy."
All of this is being done so that the U.S. will be able to base nuclear missiles in Ukraine, only a ten-minute flight to Russia's command-center, so as to be able to conquer Russia too fast for them to get their retaliatory weapons into the air, so that we'll "win" a nuclear war against them, in a pre-emptive one-strike blitz-attack to prevent "Putin's aggression," as our propagandists call it. George W. Bush invented the pre-emptive war, in Iraq, on 19 March 2003. Obama's would be a prelude to a nuclear war. NATO surrounds Russia with our weapons, and Ukraine would be the keystone of that NATO attack. NATO was supposed to end when the Soviet Union did, but that was a lie. Obama is serious about U.S. military dominance of the world.
Perhaps the only way to stop this from happening would be to stop Obama, by prosecuting his war crimes, which are clear and blatant. He installed and sustains a regime to slaughter and expel the residents of southeastern Ukraine. This prosecution and subsequent conviction would warn any future fascist who might somehow win America's Presidency: if you try this, you too will be prosecuted for it. The world would be made much safer if he is held to account.
Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to ramp up U.S. military aid to the fascist regime that Obama has installed in Ukraine, so they obviously wouldn't want to prosecute him for that -- maybe they'd prosecute him for his "false birth certificate," or his "death panels," but not for his fascism, since they are even farther to the right than Obama is (if that's even possible).
If the necessary action is to be taken against Obama, it thus will have to come from Democrats in Congress. And if they don't introduce an impeachment resolution against him for it (and for his protecting Wall Street fraudsters, etc.), and prosecute him, for his real and serious crimes, then the Democratic Party will need to be replaced, just as the Whig Party was replaced by the Republican Party in order to end slavery.
Prosecution of Obama should be easy if there's any merit to today's Democratic Party, because the Republicans in Congress would support any measure against him. If there's no merit to today's Democratic Party, then the Democratic Party itself should disband as a Republican clone, and be replaced by a new party, an authentically progressive party, just like happened to the Whigs before Lincoln. Then we would truly have a progressive party versus a conservative party -- a real choice and a real democracy. If Obama is not prosecuted, then we merely have two conservative parties.
If Democrats don't take action and the Democratic Party is not replaced, then American "democracy" itself is gone -- moribund -- because Obama's actions are even worse than George W. Bush's, and this would be two Presidents in a row who need to be prosecuted but aren't.
 Thus, this really is is decision-time for America.
The case is clear: ethnic cleansing is a war-crime, and it must be prosecuted. The neo-Nazis in Kiev are doing the bidding of their master in Washington. They are perpetrating war-crimes because he placed them in power to do what they're now doing.
Only America's Democrats can stop this, if they will. And only Democratic voters can replace them, if they won't.
We should do it to prevent nuclear war, and also to restore honor to America.
On June 30th, Gallup headlined "Americans Losing Confidence in All Branches of U.S. Govt.: Confidence hits six-year low for presidency; record lows for Supreme Court, Congress." If anything can turn this around, prosecuting Obama for his blatant and massively dangerous criminality here -- entailing genocide in preparation for a nuclear attack, no less -- would be the best, the essential, first step in the effort. It would finally establish accountability, in a country that now catastrophically lacks it. It would be transformative, and it is necessary.

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