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Ukraine

Diagnosing Sochi Media Coverage: Virulent Russophobia

Hacked

Any illusions some naïve soul may have had about the objectivity of the US media has been dispelled by their embarrassing performance at the Sochi Olympics: the chorus of whining complaints might as well have been written for them by the US State Department – which, come to think of it, is entirely within the realm of the possible given the imperious tone. The water, the toilets, the hotels – nothing pleases our pampered media divas, whose hatred of all things Russian oozes from between the lines of their "reporting" like pus from an old wound.

All the antipathy we saw aimed at Russia during the cold war years is now being revomited up by the political class, albeit in a new flavor: instead of genuine martyrs like Andrei Sakharov and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn being lionized, we see the professional provocateurs of "Pussy Riot" elevated by Western media to the status of "dissident" stars. Why do these heavily made-up show biz types merit our attention? Well, didn’t they desecrate a Russian Orthodox cathedral by stripping off their clothes, screaming obscenities, and insulting parishioners? Clearly this is the type of "dissident" the American media can get behind. (Try that in New York City, ladies, and see what happens.)

Our shameless media is always eager to place itself at the disposal of the State. If it isn’t David Gregory calling for the arrest of Glenn Greenwald, it’s the ubiquitous Richard Engel of NBC "News" – tireless cheerleader of US-sponsored "revolutions" abroad – deliberately downloading a virus onto his computer and then pontificating about how the minute you enter Russia you are bound to be "hacked."


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Victoria Nuland's 'Ukraine-gate' Deceptions

Nulandukraine

"That's some pretty impressive tradecraft," said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland of the interception and leak of her now-infamous call to US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt. The call consisted of the two plotting to install a US puppet government in Ukraine after overthrowing the current, democratically elected government.

Tradecraft means "spycraft." In other words, Nuland was crediting a foreign intelligence service with impressive use of technology to be able to hack into her call to the ambassador. Everyone knew she was talking about Russia, partly because the Administration had been blaming Russia from the moment the recording was made public.

However, Nuland knew all along that this was not the case, and she did nothing while the Administration continued to escalate the accusations against Russia.

Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, "It says something about Russia," that they would tap the telephone call. State Department Spokeswoman Jan Psaki was even harsher, calling it "a new low in Russian tradecraft."
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'F**k the EU': Tape Reveals US Runs Ukraine Opposition

Nuland Tape

In the latest debacle for the US State Department and the Obama Administration, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. That the Ukraine regime-change operation is to some degree being directed from Washington can no longer be denied.

The tape (listen below) was released today, on the eve of Nuland's second trip to meet with Ukrainian protestors and opposition leaders in the past two months -- last time she passed out cookies to protestors.

The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process. The "F**k the EU" part is her expressing anger that the EU is not moving fast enough with regime change in Ukraine and her plan is to get the UN involved in the process.
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Victoria Nuland: The Bride At Every Wedding

Nuland Cookies

The United States increases pressure on Ukraine while preparing sanctions against the country. It sends a high-level State Department official to visit the country only a month after her previous visit. US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland is going to Kiev on Thursday, February 6. The event is coordinated with the European partners. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will also visit Ukraine on February 5.

According to US State Department’s statement, in Kiev the Assistant Secretary will meet with government officials, opposition leaders, civil society and business leaders "to encourage agreement on a new government and plan of action that can put Ukraine back on track toward fulfilling the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for democracy, respect for human rights, European integration and economic growth." It means the US is to lend a helping hand only to the Ukrainians who want to associate with the EU. Those who don’t should be looking for support somewhere else. No taking sides and meddling, of course. That’s how democracy and impartiality are interpreted by the State Department.

The visit is taking place against the background of announcements from the White House that the US is reportedly readying financial sanctions that could be levied against Ukrainian government officials and opposition leaders. U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden has made at least three phone calls in recent weeks to press Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to accept forming a government akin to Western interests.
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What is the Real Price of Starting Another Cold War?

Ukraine Fire

In the late 1980s, the leaders of the west promised Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev that they would not expand eastward if the Soviet Union pulled out of Eastern Europe and ended the Cold War. That promise was not kept. A triumphal West stuck it to the Soviet Union’s greatly weakened Russian successor, by incorporating the former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO and the EU. But that was not enough to sate the lust of the neo-liberal

triumphalists in search of a new imperium. Their next move tried to incorporate the Caucasus country of Georgia — a country more a part of Central Asia than of Europe — into the West’s sphere of influence. That turned out to be a bridge too far; the Russians intervened militarily to put a stop to the lunacy.

But events in the Ukraine suggest that stop may have been viewed as a temporary speed bump on the pathway to rolling back Russia’s geography to the years of Ivan the Terrible.

Ukraine may be descending into chaos, and some triumphalists in the west are again tempted to meddle and fan the fires of chaos and revolution, perhaps with a near-term aim of a partitioning the Ukraine along its historic Orthodox-Catholic fault line. Seaumas Milne describes the chaotic state of play in Ukraine in this commentary in the Guardian.
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Radical Ukraine?

Watch RPI Academic Advisor John Laughland on RT's excellent Crosstalk discussing Ukraine's future as the unrest spirals out of control. Why is the US and EU supporting the same kinds of violent extramists in Ukraine that it condemns elsewhere in Europe and the US?
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Ukrainian Opposition and the West ‘Playing with Fire Siding With Extreme Nationalists'

Ukraine Riot

There is a danger that the Ukrainian extreme right are serving the political purpose of the apparently moderate leaders, who in fact want a revolution, Mark Almond, professor of history at Oxford University, told RT.


The so-called moderate opposition has desired a rise of nationalism during the riots, Almond believes. The Orange Revolution went wrong in 2004-05 precisely because the mass protests were peaceful, they led to a re-run of elections, but although Yanukovich lost, “he lost very narrowly and remained a viable political player with a very large body of support, and won of course the election in 2010.” Thus, the opponents of Yanukovich now recognize that “if you simply force fresh elections you don't fundamentally change the political system.”

“They want to marginalize Yanukovich and his Party of the Regions, his supporters. So you need a non-constitutional revolution. Remember one of the opposition television stations is now headlined the Revolution station,” Almond told RT.
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Vitali Klitschko's American Coaches

Klitschko

It has become the custom in independent Ukraine that there is not a single government ministry or agency and not a single political party in parliament besides the communists, where “quiet Americans”, or British, or Germans, do not stand by side to tell the Ukrainian politicians and officials how they should run the country.

And this is not likely to change if Vitali Klitschko becomes the next president of Ukraine. More likely this affliction will then be manifested in full. Lacking the knowledge and experience needed to govern a country, Klitschko will inevitably become a pawn in the hands of people who are about to raise him to the top of the state hierarchy hiding in the shadow of his “throne”. Among them will be the American consultants who work with the UDAR (“Удар” is “Punch” in Ukrainian)  Party. It is interesting to take a look at just what kind of companies are mediating in contacts between Klitschko and the U.S. Congress and American government agencies, as well as advising his staff on organizing the early presidential race …

Until recently, according to UDAR’s political strategist Rostislav Pavlenko, the party was working with the American company PBN, which specializes in the field of so-called “strategic communications” on the markets of Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries. According to PBN’s site, the key areas of the company’s activities are “corporate and crisis communications, public and government relations, and financial communications and investor relations.”
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