(LifeSiteNews) — When the compounding disaster of Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine was inflicted upon the people of that nation, much of the world was rightly outraged by what it apprehended to be a sudden military assault by a regional bully upon a lesser power.
Amid the saturating media coverage of the tragedy came the repeated talking point assertion that this Russian incursion was “unprovoked.” Right off the bat, in his initial February 23 press release and then in his March 1 State of the Union address, Joe Biden set the tone utilizing this term which has been regularly repeated throughout the media even six weeks into the war.
Yet, upon a detailed analysis, this tall-tale ranks in its audacity with the impressively coordinated media lies that the 2020 revelations regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop were “Russian disinformation,” that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, and that the riot at the U.S. Capital on January 6, 2021 was an “armed insurrection” by “domestic terrorists.”
A prolonged war is always of great concern to Christians and pro-lifers around the world, who naturally are attempting to understand the key issues at play in this conflict.
With the real threat of nuclear war in the balance, what is also discovered is a powerful network of policy influencers and office holders who have made continual deliberate decisions for at least 25 years to provoke a military response from Russia through, 1.) a relentless expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 2.) the facilitating of a violent overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014, 3.) persistent military attacks upon ethnic Russians in the Donbass region of the country, and finally, 4.) a cascade of reckless diplomatic and military provocations following the installation of the Joe Biden administration in 2021.
And much of this has been no secret.
‘The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path, and the end result is that Ukraine is going to get wrecked’
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991, many foreign policy experts in the West have urgently warned that eastward expansion of NATO was a needless provocation that would inevitably lead to a military response from Russia, as we are now disastrously experiencing today in Ukraine.
As of April 5 and since the February 24 invasion, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that over 7.1 million people have been internally displaced in the nation and 4.3 million more have become refugees in countries like Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, and Russia to the east. The UN Human Rights Office reports 1,954 civilian deaths in both the east and the western portions of the country including the deaths of at least 61 children. Of course, we see images of bombed and burned-out buildings and hear reports of a smashed economy and humanitarian crisis as well.
But for many close observers, including academics, foreign policy experts, diplomats and military leaders, these results were fully predictable.
In a viral video clip of a 2015 lecture, Dr. John Mearsheimer, a distinguished political science professor at the University of Chicago, predicted the eventuality of the current ruinous war with certitude. “I actually think that what’s going on here is that the West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path, and the end result is that Ukraine is going to get wrecked,” he said.
Coming from what has been described as the realist perspective on international relations, Mearsheimer went on to explain at the time, “What we’re doing is encouraging the Ukrainians to play tough with the Russians. We’re encouraging the Ukrainians to think that they will ultimately become part of the West because we will ultimately defeat Putin and we will ultimately get our way.”
John J. Mearsheimer in 2015:
“The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path and the end result is that Ukraine is going to get wrecked.”
— Brenda Walsh (@Brenda902iknow) April 1, 2022
“And, of course, the Ukrainians are playing along with this, and the Ukrainians are almost completely unwilling to compromise with the Russians and instead want to pursue a hardline policy,” he said. “If they [continue to] do that, the end result is that their country is going to be wrecked.”
Mearsheimer is best known for co-authoring an impactful academic paper which turned into a New York Times best seller titled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (with Stephen M. Walt, 2007). The professors argued that the highly effective efforts of “a loose coalition of pro-Israel individuals and organizations” was a driving force for American foreign policy adopting “decades of unconditional U.S. support for Israel” as its centerpiece with detrimental effects to the authentic interests of both nations.
Focusing his attention on the current tragedy in Ukraine in an early March New Yorker interview, the former West Point graduate and fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations alluded to a thirty-year history on this question arguing that “the West, especially the United States, is principally responsible for this disaster,” and he is far from alone in this judgment in foreseeing this tragedy.
Initial rounds of NATO expansion, a ‘profound strategic blunder’
Jack F. Matlock, who was the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union under the Reagan and Bush administrations (1987-1991), occupied a front-row seat for the falling of the iron curtain. He recalled in a February 14 essay how in 1990, “[USSR President Mikhail] Gorbachev was assured, though not in a formal treaty, that if a unified Germany was allowed to remain in NATO, there would be no movement of NATO jurisdiction to the east, ‘not one inch.’”
When in 1997, despite this assurance, the U.S. was considering NATO expansion anyway, Matlock testified before the U.S. Senate that this policy would be “misguided” and if adopted, “may well go down in history as the most profound strategic blunder made since the end of the Cold War. Far from improving the security of the United States, its Allies, and the nations that wish to enter the Alliance, it could well encourage a chain of events that could produce the most serious security threat to this nation since the Soviet Union collapsed.”
Despite the former ambassador’s efforts, the Clinton Administration went on to welcome Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary into the Alliance in 1998. U.S. Secretary of State at the time, Madeleine Albright, wrote in her memoir that the heavily nuclear-armed Russians responded with sharp disapproval. “[Russian president Boris] Yeltsin and his countrymen were strongly opposed to enlargement, seeing it as a strategy for exploiting their vulnerability and moving Europe’s dividing line to the east, leaving them isolated.”
The late George Kennan, who has been credited as a primary advocate for the U.S.’s policy of containment of the Soviet Union responded to this move in 1998 as well stating, “I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else.”
“I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe,” Kennan explained. “Of course, there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are — but this is just wrong.”
Continuing their expansion in April 2004, NATO welcomed Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria which included not only three former Warsaw Pact nations but the three Baltic states on the border of Russia itself, which had also been regions of the former empire during the Czarist era.
Russian Response: expansion ‘a serious provocation,’ ‘direct challenge to Russian interests’
Though Mearsheimer explains the Russians “made it clear from the mid-1990s they were adamantly opposed to NATO expansion,” at this point “they were too weak to do anything about it.” Even today, Russia has a population of just over 146 million, and a gross national product lower than Italy. Secondly, the states involved were either not on their border or they were the small Baltic states, and thus, “the Russians were willing to live with it.”
In a March 2007 speech at the Munich Conference on Security Policy, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his nation’s discontent with the Alliance’s expansion, complaining “NATO has put its frontline forces on our borders,” and this policy “represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact?”
This diplomatic yet clear language was contrasted by the direct internal candor of a memo sent by U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation in 2008, William Burns, to his boss Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Burns, who now serves as director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, wrote at the time:
Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.
This broad and firm sentiment of the Russian elites was further corroborated by a leaked February 2008 U.S. diplomatic cable which confirms the State Department’s clear understanding that proposing, seeking or fostering Ukrainian membership in NATO was a likely (and now prophetic) scenario for war:
Strategic policy considerations also underlie strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. In Ukraine, these include fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.
2008 NATO Bucharest Summit: a ‘monumental provocation’ of neocons ‘recklessly ignoring’ Russian ‘vital national interests’
According to Mearsheimer, the big trouble began two months later at the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, when, defying such warnings as those above, the U.S. lobbied other members resulting in the Alliance including the following statement in its final declaration: “NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.”
The U.S.’s national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the time was Fiona Hill. She recently recounted, in a January article, how as “part of a team briefing Mr. Bush,” she and her colleagues “warned him that Mr. Putin would view steps to bring Ukraine and Georgia closer to NATO as a provocative move that would likely provoke preemptive Russian military action. But ultimately, our warnings weren’t heeded.”
In their thesis on the Israel Lobby, Mearsheimer and Walt identified the prominent influence of neoconservatives in the Bush administration at that time as not only being a central contingent of the Lobby’s “loose-affiliation,” but as playing a decisive role in their galvanizing the U.S. Congress, and with their media allies, driving the U.S. to invade Iraq in 2003.
These best-selling authors explained that while the core of this network “is comprised of American Jews,” such as pundits William Kristol and Robert Kagan, not all Jews or Jewish organizations are in agreement with its positions, priorities or objectives. In addition, the neoconservatives also include many people who are not Jews such as John Bolton, George Will, Bill Bennet and Bush administration vice-president Dick Cheney.
According to retired congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul, the neoconservatives are ideological heirs of early Bolshevik terrorist Leon Trotsky in believing in “permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual,” in advancing an American Empire, through “hard politics,” and that “lying is necessary for the state to survive.” They also support aggressive “imperialism” to enforce a “progressive” agenda on other nations and “using American might to force” the implementation of these objectives.
Journalist, author and also a former presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan, demonstrated how a network of these “neocons” were the architects of the invasion of Iraq by many underhanded means including the creation and dissemination of false intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction being held and concealed by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
As perhaps an example of utilizing hard politics to provoke an eventual violent response from Russia, and despite multiple warnings, the U.S. delegation at Bucharest, pressed other resistant NATO members to accept the eventuality of Ukraine and Georgia entering the Alliance.
“This was a compromise formula to allay concerns of our European allies,” Hill explained. It entailed “an explicit promise to join the bloc, but no specific timeline for membership.”
As Mearsheimer recalled, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said at the time, “Georgia’s and Ukraine’s membership in the alliance is a huge strategic mistake which will have most serious consequences for pan-European security” while Putin himself called it a “direct threat” to Russia.
Demonstrating their seriousness about this threat, Russia responded militarily to a provocation by the Georgians in August of that year. This war was a consequence of the Bucharest Declaration, Mearsheimer argued.
“The Georgians thought we [the U.S.] were sending them a signal that they could get uppity with the Russians, and we would back them because they were going to become part of NATO. That’s not what happened,” he said. Instead, “the Russians clobbered the Georgians and Georgia is in deep trouble today because it thought it could become part of NATO.”
Robert Gates, who served as U.S. secretary of defense in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, wrote in his 2014 memoir, “Moving so quickly to expand NATO was a mistake,” and “trying to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was truly overreaching and an especially monumental provocation.” Such a policy, he argued, was a case of “recklessly ignoring what the Russians considered their own vital national interests.”
US ‘non-military intervention’ in Ukraine leads to the violent 2014 toppling of their duly elected government
The U.S. foreign policy establishment’s disregard of Russia’s national interests went beyond the provocative rhetoric in the Bucharest Declaration, and even the expansion of NATO to the borders of their Motherland, but continued by means of non-military intervention in neighboring Ukraine through the State Department-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its Agency for International Development (USAID).
According to a 2016 analysis by former CIA officer Ray McGovern, the neoconservatives became “irate” when in August 2013, Vladamir Putin intervened to broker a peaceful solution thwarting the enormous pressure they were putting on President Barack Obama to order military strikes against Syria.
With a motivation of serving Israel’s regional interests, the former intelligence officer said “Syria had been on the neocon ‘regime change’ list as long as Iraq and was supposed to follow the 2003 Iraq invasion,” and thus these interventionists “felt cheated out of their almost-war.”
McGovern, who spent his career as a Russian specialist at times providing briefings to U.S. presidents, explained that the neocons responded by immediately moving in earnest to “make Putin pay for his interference six months later by promoting an anti-Russian putsch in Ukraine.”
The late award-winning investigative journalist Robert Perry explained in 2014, how neoconservatives such as NED president Carl Gershman, along with “other hawkish politicos and pundits, envisioned using the Ukraine gambit as a way to undermine Putin inside Russia.”
Less than two weeks following a September 11 Putin op-ed in The New York Times marking what McGovern called a “high water [mark]” in the relationship between Russia and the U.S., Gershman penned a column in the same pages calling Ukraine “the biggest prize” as an incremental step in toppling the Russian leader.
Furthermore, Perry reported that the “NED funded a staggering 65 projects in Ukraine” which provided the organization with “what amounted to a shadow political structure of media and activist groups that could be deployed to stir up unrest when the Ukrainian government didn’t act as desired.”
In addition to these financial networks, USAID funded non-profit Pact Inc. to run an organization called Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms (UNITER). Along with George Soros’ International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), UNITER funded dozens of local organizations to enhance their network.
In fact, Soros had been exerting his influence in the former Soviet Republic for many years. Since 1990, he “provided over $181 million in support of almost 17,000 civil society initiatives in Ukraine that were implemented by thousands of activists throughout the country.”
In December 2013, speaking at the Ukraine Foundation Conference, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland told her audience that since the nation’s independence in 1991, the U.S. government had “invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine. . . [and] ensure a secure and prosperous democratic Ukraine.”
But instead of securing democracy in the Eastern European nation, Nuland — who is wife to neoconservative pundit and activist Robert Kagan — was exposed as directly working to overturn it through the facilitation of a coup d’état of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich.
In a bugged telephone conversation with U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland was caught discussing how the government would be reconfigured following the removal of Yanukovich. “I think Yats is the guy,” she said referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk who became prime minister five days after the former president fled for his life to Moscow on February 21, 2014.
Pyatt also referred to the need “to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing,” transparently indicating the U.S.’s lead role in the coup, with Nuland responding that vice-President Joe Biden would be available to assist.
US officials support neo-Nazi organizations in Ukraine, take bow following coup, Hunter Biden appointed to the board of Burisma Holdings
This coup which is often dubbed the “Euromaidan Revolution” began with these western-funded networks of mobilized pro-EU, anti-Russian civic organizations activating their members to protest President Yanukovich’s late rejection of a trade deal with the EU and a choice to strengthen economic ties with the Russian Federation.
Yanukovich argued that the deal offered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was “unacceptable” as it would have required a “significant raise of utility rates,” including those of natural gas and electricity, on the people of the nation without an increase in their income. This left them with a much better option looking east to Russia.
In response to calls from local organizations, many thousands of people poured out into the streets. When the numbers were sufficiently high, the militarization of the campaign began in December 2013 with the participation of neo-Nazi organizations who attacked police while they protected governmental buildings in the capital city.
As Foreign Policy reported in 2014, Ukraine’s political party Svoboda, was likely “Europe’s most influential far-right movement.” It was established in the 1990’s as “the Social-National Party (a name deliberately redolent of the National Socialist Party, better known as Nazis), with its logo the fascist Wolfsangel.”
The leader of Svoboda is Oleh Tyahnybok, who in addition to being considered for a role in the post-coup government by Nuland, was also honored in sharing a platform and embrace with U.S. Senators John McCain and Chris Murphy at a mass rally in Kyiv. Speaking to a December 13 crowd, McCain assured demonstrators, “The free world is with you; America is with you.”
Even more extreme is The Right Sector, a confederation of several hard-right nationalist groups who were instrumental in bringing the militant muscle to the coup and, in the end, driving Yanukovich from office. They were “the first to throw Molotov cocktails and stones at police,” burn military troop carriers, and mount barricades occupying administrative buildings.
They played a prominent role in breaking a final-hour deal mediated by the EU which would have kept the elected government in power while limiting the authority of the president. Their leader at the time, Dmytro Yarosh, pledged “Right Sector will not lay down arms. Right Sector will not lift the blockade of a single administrative building until our main demand is met — the resignation of Yanukovych.”
Another militant group vowed “to lead an armed attack if Yanukovych had not announced his resignation by 10 a.m. local time Saturday [February 22].” The duly elected president of the nation departed for Russia later that day and was ostensibly removed from office by an act of parliament on the 22nd in a fashion outside the constitutional requirements for impeachment.
Following the coup, American diplomats began paying visits to Ukraine including CIA director John Brennen who arrived in the second week of April to provide what was broadly perceived as a “victory lap” and an implicit admission that the CIA had a role in pushing out the Ukrainian president, according to Lee Smith of The Epoch Times.
The next week, the vice president of the U.S., Joe Biden arrived as well, and the following month his son, Hunter Biden, was appointed to the board of the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, where he was lavished with over $83,000 a month for the honor of his presence.
From exile in Moscow, Viktor Yanukovich reaffirmed himself to be “the legitimate head of the Ukrainian state, elected on the basis of the free expression of the will of Ukrainian citizens” and later charged the U.S. foreign policy establishment with “creating and deepening the conflict” in his nation. “Can a Ukrainian ambassador come to the protesters in Ferguson [MO] and hand out donuts and accuse the police officers? I believe it is unacceptable in any European country as well, so why was Ukraine treated like that?” (45:22)
Soon after the completion of the coup, Soros — whose simultaneous support for radically leftist prosecutors in the U.S., and Black Lives Matter terrorist organizations wreaked havoc in 2020 — appeared on CNN taking some credit for the violent toppling of the duly elected government in Ukraine.
“I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia,” he said. “The foundation has been functioning ever since, and it played an important part in events now” (43:33).
With no little irony, McCain had also announced to the mass crowd of protesters in December, “We … want to make it clear to Russia and Vladimir Putin that interference in the affairs of Ukraine is not acceptable to the United States.”
Instead of pursuing a policy of ‘reconciliation,’ neocons and their neo-Nazi allies sow ‘the seeds of civil war’
Former U.S. Secretary of State (1973-1977) Henry Kissinger responded to these events with an implicit scolding of the State Department writing in a March 6, 2014 Washington Post column that a “wise U.S. policy toward Ukraine” would “seek reconciliation, not the domination of a faction,” including a “way for the two parts of the country [Ukrainian and Russian] to cooperate with each other.”
He affirmed that “Ukraine should not join NATO,” but “should pursue a posture comparable to that of Finland,” including a “fierce independence,” cooperation with the West, while carefully avoiding “institutional hostility toward Russia.”
Unfortunately, due to the focused determinations of neoconservatives and their neo-Nazi allies, the seeds of civil war were aggressively sown between the Ukrainian-speaking faction in the west, and the Russian-speaking in the south and east.
Yanukovich and many of his supporters were forced to flee for their lives as the Ukrainian hard right took control of their parliament. In addition, the Guardian reported numerous “MPs for southern and eastern [Russian-speaking] Ukraine were absent [attending] … a pre-scheduled congress of regional politicians in Kharkiv, where the president was also believed to be.”
At this point, Perry recounted how the opposition parties pounced on this situation and “began passing draconian new laws… as neo-Nazi thugs patrolled the scene,” including the unconstitutional ousting of Yanukovich and the changing of the constitution, providing the coup with the disguise of a working parliamentary democracy.
From Kharkiv, the leaders from the Russian-speaking provinces adopted a resolution challenging the measures being taken in Kyiv, stating “such circumstances cause doubts about their … legitimacy and legality.”
“The central state organs are paralysed. Until constitutional order and lawfulness are restored… we have decided to take responsibility for safeguarding constitutional order, legality, citizens’ rights and their security on our territories,” they wrote.
From exile in Moscow, Yanukovich declared “everything that is happening now in the Verkhovna Rada [Parliament] of Ukraine has no legitimate character,” and “the people in southeastern Ukraine and Crimea do not accept lawlessness and de facto lawlessness in the country, when ministers are elected by the crowd in the square.”
Crimea rejoined to Russian motherland through bloodless annexation and lopsided referendum
As a direct result of the coup, there were secessions from the Kyiv government in the southern peninsula of Crimea, and among the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
On February 28, 2014, with the unanimous approval of the Russian Senate, Vladimir Putin initiated a bloodless annexation of Crimea, where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been harbored at Sevastopol for over two centuries. The peninsula had been a part of Russia since 1784 when Catherine the Great declared it a province. In 1954, when both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian himself, transferred the peninsula to Ukraine absent any consultation with the predominantly Russian population.
With the local government, a referendum on secession was rapidly organized to take place on March 16. In the lead-up to the vote, the neo-Nazi Svoboda party was successful in accomplishing one of their primary demands by getting a law passed in Kyiv mandating all government business be conducted in Ukrainian alienating one third of the overall population and 60 percent of Crimeans who speak Russian.
The official reported results of the vote showed an 83% turnout with 97% of the voters choosing to secede from Ukraine and rejoin the Russian Motherland, an outcome The Washington Post acknowledged was “widely expected,” and which continues to be celebrated.
Though some have suspected foul play or intimidation being exercised by the Russian army calling these results into question, Gallup conducted an April 2014 survey of the peninsula’s population and found that 93.6% of ethnic Russians and 68.4% of ethnic Ukrainians believed the referendum results accurately represented the will of the Crimean people. In contrast, only 1.7% of ethnic Russians and 14.5% of ethnic Ukrainians living in Crimea believed the referendum results did not accurately reflect the views of the people.
LPR & DPR declare independence triggering war, this ‘Russian-speaking population’ is continually ‘bombarded by the Kiev government’
In the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, in the Donbass region on the border of Russia, polls revealed three quarters of those surveyed rejected the coup in Kyiv while 70 to 90 percent of residents identified Russian, and not Ukrainian, as their primary language.
Refusing to accept the legitimacy of the new coup government which was enacting policies hostile to these communities, the Luhansk and Donetsk Peoples Republics (LPR & DPR) declared their independence from the Kiev regime in the spring of 2014 following their own occupation of government buildings and insistence on holding referendums similar to Crimea’s.
The reported results of the initial vote indicated overwhelming support for independence (96.2% and 89% respectively) triggering a civil war between the Ukrainian government forces and these breakaway self-declared independent republics which has continued to this day.
Prior to the recent (2022) Russian invasion of Ukraine, human rights agencies had reported 14,000 resulting deaths overall from this civil war including more than 3,300 civilians killed, and over 30,000 wounded.
While there have been sporadic reports of Ukrainian military forces shelling civilians throughout this period in the Western media, one French war reporter in the region suggested the level of coverage was far from sufficient.
Speaking from Donetsk in a March 3 interview, Anne-Laure Bonnel explained to her native French audience how the Ukrainian air force regularly bombs the region, and this has been happening since 2014.
“This is something serious that obviously escaped attention: the population of Donbass in 2014 was targeted by its own government,” she said. “The Russian-speaking population was bombarded by the Kiev government… and the point is that it continues today.”
“I’m sorry to shock everyone,” Bonnel said. “I don’t take sides and I don’t defend Putin. It’s just that I’m closest to the civilians.”
“The Ukrainian government bombed its own people. Children have been living in cellars for months. The film I made in 2015 is proof of these crimes against humanity. I stand by it, and I invite you to watch it,” she announced (here, for English closed captions, click “cc”).
She went on to show pictures she had recently taken herself of brutalized and murdered Russian-speaking residents of Donetsk, who were killed at the hands of Ukrainian militants.
Corroborating her reporting is another independent journalist named Patrick Lancaster who has been living in the region since the start of the civil war in 2014. “These people [in the Donbass region] have been living under eight years of war [and] that’s what a lot of people in the West don’t realize,” he said.
Lancaster, an American and former U.S. Navy soldier, stated this war has involved “thousands and thousands of civilians dying … [and] what I’ve seen here, with my own eyes, is indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas year after year by Ukrainian forces—indiscriminate and targeted. In fact, just last month there was two electric plants, civilian electric plants, targeted by Ukraine forces.”
“What the West isn’t showing is every day here in Donetsk there is attacks from Ukraine controlled territory. Ukraine attacking the civilian population here,” he said (brief example).
According to an analysis of former U.S. congressman David Stockman, who also worked in the Reagan White House, the Donbass Region was first acquired by Russia 355 years ago in 1667, and thus, these territories “have actually been ‘Russian’ for more than three and one-half centuries and ‘Ukrainian’ for about 31 years.”
In his estimation, given the differences in language, culture, geography and history, the present borders of Ukraine, as commonly recognized, “has virtually no chance of long-term survival in its present form.”
Lancaster further related, “the locals that live here do not consider this part of eastern Ukraine anymore,” as this “went out the window after the referendum eight years ago.” This is especially the case now following the bombardments from the Ukrainian authorities, the recognition from Russia, and the fact that Russia has been issuing passports to citizens of these communities as well.
War crimes at Odessa and the birth of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, a group of pagan ‘jihadists’ in Ukraine
One heinous war crime which happened early in the now eight-year conflict occurred in the seaport city of Odessa along the northern shore of the Black Sea on May 2, 2014. According to the Washington Post “pro-Kiev demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails into a building where a pro-Russia contingent was holding out” killing dozens.
Leading the way, as reported by journalist Howard Amos who was featured by the Post, were members of the neo-Nazi “Right Sector” who had provided violent terror for the Euromaidan coup less than three months prior.
Assailants were reportedly armed with shields, medal chains, and bats while the people in the building had retreated there for protection. Women, including at least one with a child in utero, were among those reported raped, burned alive or physically murdered prior to their bodies being set on fire with flammables (disturbing photos). The death toll of this bloody crime against civilians was at least 38 people.
Born out of Right Sector, just after the Odessa atrocity, was the Azov Battalion “which the FBI says is associated with neo-Nazi ideology” (here). They are based out of Mariupol on the northern coast of the Azov Sea with headquarters in Kyiv where they also share space with “practitioners of a very marginal form of esoteric Nazism” who are reported to believe Adolf Hitler to be an actual deity and an object of worship.
While electorally these Nazi groups could only elicit a very small percentage of support from the Ukrainian people, former war reporter Aris Roussinos states, “the issue is they are armed and funded by the Ukrainian state. They have tank units, they have artillery units, they’re very heavily equipped” and accommodated by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.
They are also described as pagan, “against Christianity,” and are charged with many documented war crimes such as embedding their weapons and forces in used civilian buildings and committing rape and torture even against civilians. Roussinos and his host compared Azov with “jihadist groups in Syria” like ISIS who are “very good fighters” but could represent a potential threat to other important interests at a later date.
Reminder: When the US and Israel supported jihadists targeting Christians in the Middle East, Putin came to their defense
In addition, looking back at the Syria context, by supporting such jihadists in their efforts of toppling president Bashar al-Assad in 2013, the U.S. foreign policy establishment and Israel showed at least shocking indifference to local Christian communities which were targeted and many destroyed by such terrorists.
In May 2014, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq, declared: “We are a ruined church… 1,400 years of Islam could not uproot us from our land and our churches, while the policies of the West [have] scattered us and distributed us all around the world.”
In fact, Christians in Syria were very supportive of President Assad as he protected them and other minorities from the Western supported al-Qaeda jihadists who attacked their communities and vowed to slaughter them once they took power with the help of the U.S. and Israel.
But of course, coming to the aide of Assad at the time, and thus the Syrian Christians as well, was Vladamir Putin and the Russian military. Assad later referred to Putin as “the sole defender of Christian civilization one can rely on.”
While the Israelis, NATO and the U.S. neocon-dominated foreign policy apparatus were quite unhappy with Putin’s move to intervene, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart of Aleppo said the Russian president’s intervention “serves the Christians’ cause” and was a source of “hope” for the country’s Christians. The archbishop said this provided Christians in Syria with a “renewal of confidence” and that Mr. Putin was “solving a problem.”
The US and Israel deliberately support and train anti-Christian war-criminals like the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, assisted by complicit media
As the United States and Israel supported radical jihadists in the Middle East to serve their regional interests—with no discernable concern for the lives of locals, including Christians—so too have they funded, supported, and trained radical neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine.
In 2018, human rights activists in Israel filed a petition with their High Court of Justice demanding their government cease providing weaponry to Ukraine since they “serve forces that openly espouse a neo-Nazi ideology,” including “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.”
Leaders of Azov have also assumed powerful positions in the government including their founder Andriy Biletsky who became a member of Ukraine’s parliament, and senior Azov commander Vadym Troyan, who was named by a patron of the group—internal affairs minister Arsen Avakov— as the head of Kiev’s police force.
And while Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish, with a close relationship to Israel, the report from Haaretz complains that such arming of radical, even Nazi-affiliated regimes is not new for the country as it has happened with such support being given to “the generals’ regime in Argentina,” and “Bolivia’s military regimes, knowing that Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie was part of the regime.”
In a Fox News interview clip with the Ukrainian president, Zelenskyy dismissed concerns about the neo-Nazi Azov and their reported atrocities, simply saying “they are what they are, they were defending our country,” indicating at least a comfort level in the government with both this ideology and their criminal methods.
Bret Baier asked Zelensky about Azov Battalion’s shooting of Russian POWs.
Zelensky’s answer? “They are what they are.”
Zelensky also claims that some were prosecuted after 2014 and given prison sentences. He doesn’t mention that those convictions were overturned. pic.twitter.com/5m3EOlJhU6
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) April 2, 2022
And since the Ukrainian president’s response seemed so incriminating, Fox News edited it out for the rebroadcast of the interview and its uploaded version on YouTube.
Understanding the significant presence of such ideologies within the Ukrainian government apparatus helps explain not only atrocities in the field, but a recent official policy order being handed down for Ukrainian medics to commit war crimes by castrating Russian prisoners “because they are cockroaches.”
Back in the United States, however, one of the loose-affiliated Israel Lobby groups, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), came out strongly criticizing Putin for raising alarm over Nazi ideology and personnel in the Ukraine government. Instead, they downplayed their impact calling them “a very marginal group with no political influence and who don’t attack Jews or Jewish institutions in Ukraine.”
Indeed, even Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook followed suit by “reversing its ban on posts praising Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion.” Though they were “banned in 2019 under Facebook’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy,” Business Insider reports that a spokesperson from the company said “we are making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”
Noticing this trend of acceptance in the mainstream and social media corporations, Glenn Greenwald highlighted the hypocrisy showing how the New York Times referred to the Azov Battalion as “openly neo-Nazi” in 2015, but as only “far-right” last month. “All you have to do to lose your status as a ‘Nazi’ [in American media] is fight on the side of the US,” he tweeted.
NYT, 2015: Azov Battalion is “openly neo-Nazi”
NYT, yesterday: Azov Battalion is “far-right”
All you have to do to lose your status as a “Nazi” is fight on the side of the US. pic.twitter.com/p6Fy8T1sbk
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 18, 2022
Playing its part in the information war, Facebook’s exceptions also extend to “call[s] for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion,” according to Reuters. This even includes calls for the death of “Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko,” in some countries.
As certain facts regarding the views and accusations against the Azov Battalion came to light in the U.S. Congress in 2015, a bipartisan amendment to the House Defense Appropriations bill was introduced limiting “arms, training, and other assistance to the neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia, the Azov Battalion.” The amendment passed with a unanimous vote but was later removed due to “pressure from the Pentagon.” Thus, it becomes explicitly clear, that the U.S. foreign policy establishment consciously chose, as a matter of policy, to ensure the continued funding, arming, and training of Azov.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 8, 2022
Under the patronage of a suspected criminal and militantly anti-Russian oligarch, progressive actor Volodymyr Zelenskyy becomes president of Ukraine
Following years of expanding NATO to the east, facilitating the coup of the duly elected government of Ukraine, supporting neo-Nazi Ukrainian militias and violently opposing the resulting declarations of independence by the DPR and the LPR with military shelling of civilian populations, other deliberate decisions by the U.S., its client government in Kyiv and other NATO allies appear to have helped motivate the recent Russian invasion.
After spending much of his earlier entertainment career promoting a “progressive” agenda among the more conservative and largely Catholic Ukrainian population, current president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was swept into office in 2019 in the wake of what could be seen as a televised social engineering exercise.
The comedian and actor was typecast for a television role as a righteous schoolteacher who becomes president of Ukraine by accident. The series titled Servant of the People, was broadcast on Ukraine’s popular 1+1 television channel owned by billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Reuters reported that 1+1 gave Zelenskyy a “powerful platform” propelling his “meteoric rise to the brink of the presidency” which included running “back-to-back shows by the comedian and actor” the day preceding his primary victory.
While Zelenskyy “rail[ed] against corrupt politicians influenced by rich oligarchs,” the fact that his campaign was lavished with such extensive media support from “one of the country’s wealthiest tycoons,” raised suspicions that he would ironically be Kolomoisky’s “puppet” while in office.
Kolomoisky, a citizen of Israel, Ukraine and Cyprus, is also violently anti-Russian. As George Soros sponsored violent Black Lives Matter terrorists in the U.S., this oligarch in Ukraine privately funded the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion along with other similar militias which were documented as committing war crimes fighting LPR & DPR separatists.
While the billionaire offered his militia members “a bounty of $10,000 of his own money for each captured Russian ‘saboteur,’” a warrant for his arrest was issued across the border in Russia for “organizing the killing of civilians” through his sponsorship of these militants.
Kolomoisky is also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for his part in “a vast scheme to steal millions of dollars from Ukraine’s largest bank and move the money into the U.S. to buy steel mills and skyscrapers,” the Pittsburg Post-Gazette has reported.
These allegations have also caused prosecutors to ban the oligarch from entering the U.S. and to file legal actions for the seizure of properties purchased with funds stolen from the Ukrainebank, where Kolomoisky was a major shareholder.
As the narrative of Russia’s supposed imperialist ambitions saturate the West, Dr. Mearsheimer observed in his 2015 lecture “there is no evidence that [the United States] thought Putin was aggressive before the [2014 coup] crisis. There’s no evidence that we were talking about expanding NATO because we had to contain the Russians.”
“What happened here was that after the crisis broke out on February 22nd, we then decided that Russia was aggressive. We then decided that Russia was bent on creating a Greater Russia. It was after the fact,” the best-selling author explained.
And thus in April 2014, following the coup and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Kolomoisky joined the ramped-up chorus of American neoconservatives such as NED president Carl Gershman, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and Max Boot in depicting Vladimir Putin as a madman and Russia as an imperial threat to Western Europe.
He called the Russian president a “psychopath,” a “schizophrenic of short stature” who is “completely inadequate, totally insane.” He charged him with having a “messianic drive to recreate the Russian empire of 1913 or the U.S.S.R. of 1991 [which] could plunge the world into catastrophe.”
Yet, following Zelenskyy’s election in 2019, Kolomoisky suggested that he himself could play a role in such a catastrophe. As quoted in the New York Times, he stated, “If I put on glasses and look at myself like the whole rest of the world, I see myself as a monster, as a puppet master, as the master of Zelensky, someone making apocalyptic plans… I can start making this real.”
Evidence of one possible means of his making this real emerged last October in the discovery of a $40 million funds transfer “from structures linked to oligarch Igor Kolomoisky… to offshore companies of Vladimir Zelensky and his associates.” Though pressed for a response to this report, Zelenskyy’s spokesperson messaged the Guardian declining to comment, simply stating that there “Won’t be an answer.”
Upon Biden’s 2021 inauguration, precipitating provocations aimed at provoking a Russian invasion begin; Zelenskyy issues an effective declaration of war against nuclear-armed Russia
Perhaps much of the tremendous popularity Zelenskyy enjoyed at the time of his election (reportedly winning 70% of the vote) had something to do with his campaign promises of easing tensions with the Russians and resolving the conflict with the DPR and LPR in the east. Yet after two years of doing quite the opposite, at the apparent behest of Washington, and likely other invested actors such as Israel, his approval numbers dropped to approximately 25% according to a poll last fall.
Many will recall how in 2016 Democratic nominee for U.S. president Hillary Clinton was saber rattling on the campaign trail promising to implement a no-fly zone over Syria upon her election, despite the probability it would lead the U.S. into hot war with nuclear-armed Russia.
Such a confrontation with Putin was put on hold with the surprise election of establishment outsider Donald Trump, but this agenda item was apparently prioritized when Joe Biden was installed as president last year bringing the same neoconservative “war party” establishment back into the halls of power as well.
Less than two months after taking the oath of office, on March 17, Biden raised tensions with Russia calling Putin “a killer” with no soul, and Russia responded identifying the statements as “very bad,” unprecedented, and assured that their own policies would be affected by this posture. Putin also invited Biden to participate in a live “open and direct discussion” viewable to citizens of both nations but did not receive an acceptance of his offer.
Two days later, with the clear approval of the new administration in Washington, President Zelenskyy’s government initiated what may be considered the immediate cause of Russia’s invasion which still has the potential to expand into a third world war.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba announced the approval of a strategy “aimed at retaking Crimea and reintegrating the strategically important peninsula” into Ukraine. Zelenskyy himself tweeted this new “Crimean Platform Initiative” would strive to “step up international pressure on Russia” in order to “achieve the de-occupation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine.”
With the explicit insistence of sovereignty over the city of Sevastopol, the centuries-old home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the initiative was highly provocative and Russia received it as such recognizing it as effectively a declaration of war.
Russian foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded, “All efforts by Kiev to reclaim Crimea are illegitimate and cannot be interpreted in any other way but a threat of aggression [against Russian subjects].” She further stated that the Kremlin “will consider participation of any states or organizations in such activities, including the Crimean Platform initiative, as a hostile act against Russia and direct encroachment on its territorial integrity.”
In the UN Security Council, the U.S. was the first nation to voice its approval of the “Crimean Platform Initiative” and encouraged “like-minded partners [to] consider joining it.”
In response to these statements, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military to amass thousands of troops with necessary invasion equipment to their border with Ukraine, and sufficient defensive forces to take position in Crimea.
With Russia having taken this offensive posture, Zelenskyy pressed further with provocation in July during a joint press conference with Lithuanian president Gitanas Nauseda calling on “U.S. power to help Ukraine put an end to this tragedy in the center of Europe in the 21st century,” that is, to “end the war in Ukraine.” This would seem to indicate asking the United States to help drive Russia and it’s Black Sea Fleet out of Crimea and subjugate the break-off republics in the Donbas region.
At about the same time, Zelenskyy announced that the U.S. would lead joint military exercises in Ukraine with units from Poland and Lithuania as well, stating “The de-occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol remains among the highest foreign policy priorities. The transformation of Crimea into a military base on the Black Sea [by Russia] completely destroys the security architecture in the region. Countering this requires active consolidation of the efforts of the international community.”
‘Ukraine was dragged into a dangerous geopolitical game aimed at turning Ukraine into… a springboard against Russia,’ wrote Putin
Having spent time in Crimea in the spring of 2014, during the period of the referendum and Russian annexation, Patrick Lancaster testified that there was “a big difference in what was being shown in the western media and what was actually [happening on the ground].” In his estimation the media was trying to make it appear the Russians were forcing the local residents to rejoin their nation, but what he saw at the time was “overwhelming support” by the people to be reunited with Russia, including “a sea of Russian flags [everywhere].”
“Virtually every single person I met was for [rejoining] Russia and becoming part of Russia. The people that were born there before 1956 were born in Russia, so it just makes sense to them to go back,” he said.
And supposedly being great defenders and promoters of democracy around the world, despite facilitating the toppling of a democratically elected government in Kiev, it would seem the U.S. foreign policy establishment would be in support of this democratic process in Crimea and the actualization of the expressed will of the people in this regard. Yet, instead, they were encouraging Zelenskyy to risk a tremendous amount of damage to the Ukrainian people and their country, with the possibility that his stoking for war over this matter would conflate to an invasion that could even involve conflict between the world’s two greatest nuclear powers.
In a candid statement by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, titled “December 2015 National Security Strategy,” the organization assessed what at least the Russian authorities viewed as a general motivation for such conduct by the U.S.:
The Kremlin is convinced the United States is laying the groundwork for regime change in Russia, a conviction further reinforced by the events in Ukraine. Moscow views the United States as the critical driver behind the crisis in Ukraine and believes that the overthrow of former Ukrainian President Yanukovych is the latest move in a long-established pattern of U.S.-orchestrated regime change efforts.
Examples of other similar efforts by the United States include reports of coup d’états against the democratically elected governments of Honduras, Paraguay and Bolivia.
Approximately a week following President Zelenskyy’s July announcement, an essay attributed to President Putin was released on the Kremlin website. “On The Historical Unity Of Russians and Ukrainians” conveyed the Russian leader’s overall view of the relationship between the two nations providing a historical perspective on why they are “one people.”
He asserted “Ukraine was dragged into a dangerous geopolitical game aimed at turning Ukraine into… a springboard against Russia,” that his nation is always open to enter discussions with Ukrainian leaders so long as they are serving their own national interests and not acting as “a tool in someone else’s hands to fight against us.” Mr. Putin concluded pledging “Russia has never been and will never be ‘anti-Ukraine.’ And what Ukraine will be – it is up to its citizens to decide.”
Provocations intensify with US / Ukraine strategic partnership agreement; Mearsheimer: ‘with Putin in control, it’s not going to happen.’
Provocations from the U.S. and Ukrainian governments continued on November 10, 2021, when U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken signed a Charter on Strategic Partnership with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The Charter served to cross once more what American and Ukrainian officials knew was “the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite” and that was the affirmation of Ukraine’s right to join NATO. In addition, it stated the U.S. “remains committed to assisting Ukraine with ongoing defense and security reforms and to continuing its robust training and exercises.”
Blinken, who has been seen as a steady advocate for dangerous escalation of the current conflict with Russia, not only has family roots in Ukraine but was also an integral player, with Victoria Nuland, in managing U.S. policy related to the coup against Yanukovych in 2014 as President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor.
Robert Service, a British historian on Russia, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in early March calling the signing of this charter “shambolic mismanagement” by the U.S. as it “gave no apparent thought to how such a tectonic move” would be received in Russia. And further, “Nothing was done to prepare the Ukrainians for the kind of negative response that they would get,” he said.
In his estimation, this “blunder” was “the last straw” for Russia and triggered immediate preparations for their “special military operation” in Ukraine.
But after years of warnings, which were confirmed as sincere by U.S. diplomats and intelligence agencies, Russia still did not give up on diplomacy. A month later on December 10 and 17, they issued a draft treaty to the United States, and then a draft agreement proposal to NATO demanding the Alliance refrain from eastward expansion and “formally disavow the decision of the 2008 NATO Bucharest summit that ‘Ukraine and Georgia will become NATO members.'”
U.S. News reported that both Washington and Kyiv “categorically ruled out” accepting the offer and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg vehemently agreed stating “It is a fundamental principle that every nation has the right to choose its own path … including what kind of security arrangements it wants to be part of.”
“NATO’s relationship with Ukraine is going to be decided by the 30 NATO allies and Ukraine, no one else. We cannot accept that Russia is trying to re-establish a system where big powers … have spheres of influence, where they can control and decide what other members do,” he said.
Offering his realist perspective on “great power politics” to this position, Mearsheimer told a television panel in 2014:
When you have a country like Russia, it does not make good sense to talk about ‘rights.’ It’s the same thing when you’re dealing with the United States of America. If you think that Cuba has a ‘right’ to invite the Soviets into the Western Hemisphere, you’re living in a dream world… We do not tolerate great powers coming into our neighborhood, why do you expect that the Russians should accept the idea that NATO, a former military foe, can drive its alliance right up to its doorstep?
In 2014, John Mearsheimer tells Amb. @McFaul that pushing Ukraine into NATO will spark a Russian response: “If we pursue policies that you’re advocating, we’re going to wreck Ukraine” pic.twitter.com/ZWUIG6117y
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 1, 2022
“The idea that you’re going to turn this place [Ukraine] into a bulwark of the West, right on the Russian border, with Putin in control? It’s not going to happen,” he concluded.
‘Are we placing missiles near the borders of the United States?’ The US already has missiles ‘on the porch of our house,’ said Putin
Two days before Russia delivered its draft agreement proposal to NATO, Vladimir Putin held a high visibility virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in what appeared to be an effort to demonstrate to the West that his nation was far from isolated. In fact, the Kremlin announced the same day that Xi voiced his support of Russia’s initiative to obtain security guarantees from NATO.
In addition to NATO expansion, the Russians have also been highly alarmed by MK 41 “defensive” missile launchers which the U.S. and its allies have deployed in Poland and Romania. According to Foreign Policy, these systems can also “be adapted to fire Tomahawks [offensive missiles]” which have been the “preferred weapon of choice” for launching more than 4,000 offensive attacks in many places since the 1980’s including Iraq, Syria and the former Yugoslavia. “Now Russia is worried that it could be the next target.”
Making himself available for a four-hour press conference on December 23, Mr. Putin fielded a question from a Western journalist asking whether he would unconditionally guarantee that the Russian Federation would not invade Ukraine, or would “that depend on how negotiations go?”
“Our actions will depend not on the course of negotiations,” he responded, “but on the unconditional provision of Russia’s security today and in the future. In this regard, we have made it very clear that NATO’s further eastward expansion is unacceptable.”
The Russian leader continued:
What is incomprehensible here? Are we placing missiles near the borders of the United States? No. It was the United States that came to our home with their missiles, they are already on the porch of our house. Is this some kind of excessive demand – not to deploy any more attack systems at the front of our home? What is so unusual here? How would Americans react if we put our missiles on the border of Canada and the US, or put our missiles on the border of Mexico and the United States?
They came to our borders and now they are saying Ukraine will also join NATO. This means that they will deploy their missile systems there as well… And you demand some kind of guarantee from me. You must give us a guarantee – you! And that is immediately, now! And not to chat about it for decades and not under a soft talk about the need to ensure safety for everyone. They keep doing what they planned to do… We are not threatening anybody… We want to ensure our own security.
Final provocations: ‘horror and genocide’ of increased bombing of civilians in the Donbas; Zelenskyy calls for Ukraine to acquire nuclear weapons; Putin recognizes DPR & LPR.
Entering the new year with no changes in posture from the United States, Mr. Putin joined Communist Chinese President Xi Jinping in launching the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Going beyond mere rhetoric in projecting the strong relationship of the two nuclear-armed nations, they issued a joint statement on February 4 (2022) declaring that they “oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches.”
They also emphasized that the “friendship” between their two nations is “superior to political and military alliances,” having “no limits” and “no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.”
Throughout January and February the intensity of bombings between the Ukrainian military and the Donbass separatist republics spiked with both sides blaming the other for the escalation. The leaders of the DPR and LPR reported observing a significant increase in Ukrainian military personnel and equipment at the contact line and, suspecting a major invasion of the area, ordered an evacuation of civilians to cross the Russian border to the east on February 18.
The Ukrainian foreign minister denied any plans for an invasion, charged the separatist leaders with issuing “disinformation,” and despite all the increased bombing assured that their military “does not conduct or plan any such actions in the Donbas. We are fully committed to diplomatic conflict resolution only.”
On February 19, with Russian troops massed on the border of their country, instead of making efforts for peace, Zelenskyy chose further provocation in an address to the Munich Security Conference where he provided a rationale and expressed a desire for his nation to acquire nuclear weapons.
With this statement still lingering in the background, and a significant flow of tens of thousands of refugees from the Donbass into Russia, on February 21, Vladimir Putin responded by signing a decree formally recognizing the DPR & LPR as sovereign nations and entered into a Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance with each republic.
Instead of seeking to adhere to the prior Minsk agreements (2014 & 2015) which were aimed at settling the conflict, Putin said the “ruling Kiev elites … are not interested in a peaceful settlement. On the contrary, they are trying to orchestrate a blitzkrieg in Donbas… Not a single day goes by without Donbas communities coming under shelling attacks.”
He charged the western media with ignoring “this horror and genocide, which almost 4 million people are facing” simply because they “did not agree with the West-supported coup in Ukraine in 2014,” and are merely “fighting for their elementary right to live on their own land, to speak their own language, and to preserve their culture and traditions.”
He warned those “who seized and continue to hold power in Kiev to immediately stop hostilities. Otherwise, the responsibility for the possible continuation of the bloodshed will lie entirely on the conscience of Ukraine’s ruling regime.”
Tucker: the US ‘would have to want an invasion of Ukraine to say something like that.’
The same day, Kamala Harris, who was installed as the U.S. vice president in January 2021, held a press conference following a meeting with NATO allies in Germany where she threatened “some of the greatest sanctions” that have ever been issued if Russia does indeed invade Ukraine.
With tension rising and the Russian military poised at the border of Ukraine, Harris also repeated the position of NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg saying “no other country can tell anyone whether they should or should not join NATO. That should be their independent choice. That is the point of sovereignty. So, I respect President Zelensky’s desire to be a member of NATO.”
Looking back just ten days later, Tucker Carlson noted the significance of this “unbelievably inflammatory” statement from Harris and rationally concluded that the Biden administration must have wanted Putin to invade Ukraine.
“The idea that Ukraine might join NATO obviously caused this crisis in the first place,” the television host observed. “We have watched for years, the more western leaders pushed the idea of Ukraine in NATO, the closer Russians came to invading Ukraine.”
“So obviously no sane person would say something like that with Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border. You would have to want an invasion of Ukraine to say something like that. And at the time, we didn’t think they [the Biden administration] did want that. So, we got it completely wrong.”
Putin announces a ‘special military operation’ and invades to defend Russia ‘from those who have taken Ukraine hostage and are trying to use it against our country and our people.’
In a comprehensive national address on February 24, Putin announced he was initiating a “special military operation” into Ukraine with a purpose “to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime.” In addition, he explained the Russian military would “seek to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.”
“It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory,” he said, but rather it’s an act of “defending Russia from those who have taken Ukraine hostage and are trying to use it against our country and our people.”
He explained the history of the NATO expansion controversy, how for decades the West exemplified a “contemptuous and disdainful attitude” to Russia’s “interests and absolutely legitimate demands,” the history of illegal Western aggression in Belgrade, Iraq, Libya and Syria, their war on “traditional values,” and Ukraine’s aspiration “to acquire nuclear weapons” which he said Russia would “not let happen.”
And thus, Russian forces invaded the east, mainland and south of Ukraine taking the proxy civil war which had been ongoing in the Donbass region of the country for eight years into an actual war between nations.
In addition to the many thousands of refugees who fled to Russia from the Donbass region, since February 24 over 4.4 million Ukrainians have fled the country to the west taking refuge in Poland, Slovakia, Hungry, Romania, and Moldova.
The UN has also reported, as of April 5, 1,480 civilian deaths and 2,195 injured in Ukrainian government-controlled territories, and 474 civilians killed with 1,065 injured in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Of course, there has been tremendous damage to the Ukrainian infrastructure not to mention the decimation of their economy, the economy of the world and a real prospect of nuclear annihilation.
Contrary to the Western media narrative, ‘Russia’s limited attacks could help map a path towards peace.’
In a March 29 analysis, retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor indicated that the media narrative demonizing Vladimir Putin as conducting a merciless and devesting invasion is not fully accurate.
“Many of us thought that when the Russian forces entered Ukraine they would come in like a sledgehammer,” he said. “In reality, they didn’t do that at all.” Instead, “Putin made it very clear to his generals… [that] when this is over, we would like to live with the Ukrainians.”
Newsweek magazine has acknowledged this pattern as well, conceding “Russia is causing less damage and killing fewer civilians than it could.”
“Russia’s conduct in the brutal war tells a different story than the widely accepted view that Vladimir Putin is intent on demolishing Ukraine and inflicting maximum civilian damage—and it reveals the Russian leader’s strategic balancing act,” wrote journalist William Arkin.
According to the article, a senior analyst from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, speaking on the condition of anonymity, explained that while “The destruction is massive … especially when compared with what Europeans and Americans are used to seeing… the heart of Kyiv has barely been touched. And almost all of the long-range strikes have been aimed at military targets.”
This analysis indicates that Putin’s actions are consistent with his words regarding the intent of Russia’s “special military operation.” Arkin explains that the conduct of the Russian military indicates Putin’s “goal is to take enough territory on the ground to have something to negotiate with, while putting the government of Ukraine in a position where they have to negotiate.”
According to these experts, “Understanding the thinking behind Russia’s limited attacks could help map a path towards peace.”
In the meantime, the Levada Center, which is branded as “Russia’s independent pollster,” reported on March 30 that Mr. Putin’s approval rating “soared to 83%” among the Russian people, which is corroborated by images on the ground of significant popular support.
At the same time, U.S. polls, as of April 6, show President Joe Biden’s approval rating to be less than half this number averaging 40.8%.
It’s time to ‘ignore the people who have been consistently wrong and instead listen carefully to the people who’ve gotten it right;’ Tucker Carlson
During an insightful March 30 monologue on this topic, Tucker Carlson contrasted the initial responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by the supposed “most highly credentialed people in the world,” and those who have simply exercised common sense predicting this catastrophe for many years.
Ben Judah of the Atlantic Council wrote in Slate, the invasion “was a shock to many of the leading experts and policy makers in the United States, Europe, and even Ukraine,” which suggested Putin somehow acted in an irrational way, raising doubts about his mental state. According to Jonathan Cook, these ‘madman scripts’ have been utilized by the West in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan to encourage the perception that war is the only possible solution to these conflicts.
In contrast, Carlson emphasized the need to listen to people who have been correct on these issues all along and as an example highlighted a speech given by Nigel Farage to the European Parliament in 2014. In the clip, the former Leader of the UK Independence Party condemned the West’s push to bring Ukraine into NATO, and its participation in orchestrating the coup against Ukrainian president Yanukovych which led to Putin’s reaction in annexing Crimea.
“And the moral of the story is that if you poke the Russian bear with a stick, don’t be surprised when he reacts,” he said.
“Have we taken leave of our senses?” Farage asked. “Do we actually want to have a war with Putin? Because if we do, we’re certainly going about it the right way… I suggest we grow up … [and] we stop playing war games in the Ukraine.”
Carlson explained, “so now is a moment to ignore the people who have been consistently wrong and instead listen carefully to the people who’ve gotten it right in the past, the ones who saw the Ukraine war coming and said so out loud.”
Toward solutions: ‘Ukraine should have long ago divorced itself from the United States and worked out a modus vivendi with Russia;’ Mearsheimer
One of these experts is Pat Buchanan, who, in a direct challenge to the neoconservative foreign policy establishment, wrote the 1999 book A Republic, Not an Empire, and made a third run for president of the United States.
In the wake of the first wave of NATO expansion in 1998, Buchanan prophetically wrote “If the United States has one overriding national security interest in the new century, it is to avoid collision with great nuclear powers like Russia. By moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch, we have scheduled a twenty-first-century confrontation.”
In a late February analysis of the invasion, the CATO Institute’s Ted Galen Carpenter summarized, that far from the Russian incursion being a surprise, “It was entirely predictable that NATO expansion would ultimately lead to a tragic, perhaps violent, breach of relations with Moscow. Perceptive analysts warned of the likely consequences, but those warnings went unheeded. We are now paying the price for the US foreign policy establishment’s myopia and arrogance.”
Looking towards solutions to the crisis, Buchanan took a historical view and wrote in 2014, “should Putin annex Eastern and Southern Ukraine all the way to Odessa, he would simply be restoring to Russian rule what had belonged to her from [George] Washington’s inaugural in 1789 to George H. W. Bush’s inaugural in 1989.”
And this seems to be approximately what Putin is seeking, the protection, peace and restoration of ethnic Russians, and their territory, to their historical homeland. In an early March interview with Reuters, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov laid out his nation’s simple terms including: “Ukraine cease military action, change its constitution to enshrine neutrality, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory, and recognize the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states.”
In a March 3 assessment of the situation, Mearsheimer opined that Ukraine had already lost Crimea, and was going to lose the Donbass region of the DPR & LPR as well. He went on to say, “Ukraine should have long ago divorced itself from the United States and worked out a modus vivendi [way of life] with Russia.”
Further, Peter Van Buren writes, that while NATO membership for Ukraine was a long-shot in the first place, the Alliance “cannot realistically admit countries that don’t control their borders,” and thus, “Putin has already gotten most of what he wanted” in that respect as well.
For the Biden administration, continued war is ‘exactly what they want’ in executing a plan to ‘overextend and unbalance’ Russia
However, with millions of Ukrainian refugees being displaced, instead of seeking a diplomatic approach to peace, the neocon U.S. foreign policy establishment, with its NATO allies, has been flooding Ukraine with weapons and preparing for a long, protracted conflict.
Anthony Blinken said last month, that while they expect the Russian military to make “short-term tactical gains” in Ukraine, the aim of the Biden administration is to hand them “a strategic defeat.”
“We’ll accomplish this by backing Ukrainians in their fight, by remaining united in holding Russia accountable through the devastating sanctions, the diplomatic isolation and other measures,” the U.S.’s chief diplomat said.
Since then, the Western authorities have sent signals to Ukrainian refugees, many of whom are Catholic, that they should not expect to be able to go home anytime soon. The EU made arrangements for them to have temporary residency for up to three years, and the Biden Administration allocated $1 Billion for their support.
To complicate matters, instead of engaging in constructive diplomacy with the only man who is able to order the Russian military to stand down, Joe Biden has also recklessly been using what Buchanan calls “insult diplomacy” with the natural effect of escalating tension. In the last several weeks he has called Putin “a killer,” “a war criminal,” “a butcher,” “a pure thug” and suggested he must be removed from power.
As being “the man we must look to if we hope to end the war in Ukraine,” it indicates that a peaceful and timely resolution is something the Biden administration, with its Ukrainian government proxies, is taking great pains to avoid.
Noticing these patterns as well, former congresswoman from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard spoke out in a Fox News interview which was then strangely censored by YouTube having been identified “as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.”
In her conversation with host Laura Ingraham, Gabbard observed, “Nothing the Biden administration has done has helped to make this situation better, has helped to de-escalate this situation. Which is why the only conclusion I can draw … is that what is happening before our eyes [with this active war in Ukraine] is exactly what they want to see continue.”
CENSORED: YouTube/Google are offended by my criticism of the Military Industrial Complex and my advocacy for negotiated settlement in Ukraine, because they are the social media arm of that warmongering Power Elite/MIC. pic.twitter.com/tYe714y7cj
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 16, 2022
Also recently surfacing to provide evidence for the direct intentionality of U.S. officials in seeking to destabilize Russia comes from a document produced by the Rand Corporation titled “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia.”
Being a quasi-US governmental think tank, which receives three fourths of its funding from the US military, the Rand report “examines nonviolent, cost- imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress — overextend and unbalance — Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad.”
According to independent journalist Rick Sterling the document provides suggestions for provocations that have already been implemented, including the deploying of tactical nuclear weapons to locations in Europe and Asia, increasing U.S. naval presence in the Black Sea, and the conducting of war game exercises on Russia’s borders.
The full report, he writes, considers it a “‘benefit’ if increased US assistance to Ukraine results in the loss of Russian blood and resources” and “disadvantageous” if it leads to a peace agreement.
As recently observed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, “This [crisis] is not about Ukraine. This is the end result of a policy that the West has carried out since the early 1990’s.”
Who is to blame for the present crisis?
For this reason, Dr. Mearsheimer emphasizes that understanding “who caused this disaster is of tremendous importance because it involves assigning blame.” And since this calamity is so very serious, “the question of who caused it and who bears the blame really matters.”
From the mid-1990’s we have seen a neoconservative U.S. foreign policy establishment intentionally press for policies supporting their agenda of “permanent revolution,” “hard politics” and an imperialism advancing a degenerate, anti-Christian, “progressive” agenda, by any and all means available. These include the elevation, arming, training, and shielding of pagan neo-Nazi war criminals in Ukraine, and the facilitation of ongoing bombardments and false flag attacks against civilian populations.
Catherine Austin Fitts who served in the George H.W. Bush administration, spoke of her experience working with neocons in Washington stating, “It was clear they were looking to get the bit in their teeth and if they got it, they would do any scale [of damage] you can imagine. They would do destruction to the whole planet,” if they were allowed to do so.
In further comments (edited for clarity) she also recalled how “when the Roman Empire conquered, they brought the infrastructure of education, roads, bridges and water systems.”
Comparing this to the record of the neocons in Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere, she observed, “what you realize is the neocons bring chaos, the end of civilization and institutional organized crime which destroys people, civic infrastructure, and culture. They’re like a whirling dervish of demonic force.”
With tremendous chutzpah, the neoconservative foreign policy establishment in Washington defied each confirmed warning signal in expanding NATO eastward, ever closer to the border of nuclear-armed Russia, including the “monumental provocation” of slating Ukraine and Georgia to be future members in 2008.
After Putin successfully impeded an escalation of their war for Israeli interests in Syria, with his 2013 intervention, the neocon cabal including Victoria Nuland, other establishment figures, along with their neo-Nazi allies on the ground, were successful at toppling the regime of a democratically elected president in Ukraine. This coup d’état served to exploit ethnic divisions in the country, sow the seeds of civil war and bait Russia to respond.
Since then, according to Karel van Wolfren, “one of the most respected voices in the Netherlands on geopolitics,” Ukraine was changed “from a relatively sovereign country into a country remote controlled by Washington, and in a more direct fashion controlled by the CIA for detailed operations, false flags, [etc.]… I don’t think anything important happened in Ukraine without the consent or the orders of the CIA [and] Washington.”
This would naturally include government bombarding of ethnic Russians in the Donbass region, the escalation of these attacks in January and February of this year, Zelenskyy’s statements announcing policies of “retaking Crimea” and floating the possibility of becoming a nuclear power, along with a continued posture aimed at prolonging the current war into an indefinite future, despite clear prospects for peace.
And given the track record of this network in places like Syria and Iraq, the millions of displaced Ukrainians today, many of whom are Catholic Christians, are at the mercy of policy makers who have shown a contemptuous disregard for their interests when considering the pursuit of their own geopolitical aggressions.
“As such,” writes James Carden, “one of the most urgent questions before us is: How do Americans of good conscience finally break their stranglehold on power before it’s too late?”