American Meddling in the Ukraine by Publius Tacitus


Historians will note the tremendous irony of the United States engaging in subversion and election meddling in Ukraine that surpasses anything attempted by Russia.

The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations.

Who is the United States government and media supporting? The Nazis. You think I'm joking. Here are the facts, but we must go back to World War II:

When World War II began a large part of western Ukraine welcomed the German soldiers as liberators from the recently enforced Soviet rule and openly collaborated with the Germans. IThe Soviet leader, Stalin, imposed policies that caused the deaths of almost 7 million Ukrainians in the 1930s–an era known as the Holomodor). 

Ukrainian divisions, regiments and battalions were formed, such as SS Galizien, Nachtigal and Roland, and served under German leadership. In the first few weeks of the war, more than 80 thousand people from the Galizien region volunteered for the SS Galizien, which later known for its extreme cruelty towards Polish, Jewish and Russian people on the territory of Ukraine.

Members of these military groups came mostly from the organization of Ukrainian nationalists ka the OUN, which was founded in 1929. It’s leader was Stepan Bandera, known then and today for his extreme anti-semitic and anti-communist views.

CIA documents just recently declassified show strong ties between US intelligence and Ukrainian nationalists since 1946.

Jump ahead now to the February 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort?

Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council is Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler’s Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians.

The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok was one of the three most high profile leaders of the Euromaidan protests. . . .

Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sector – a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine.


The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine. 

US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts. 

But Viktor Yuschenko is not an American who speaks a foreign language. He is very much a Ukrainian nationalist and steeped in the anti-Semitism that dominates the ideology of western Ukraine. During the final months of his Presidency, Yuschenko made the following declaration:

In conclusion I would like to say something that is long awaited by the Ukrainian patriots for many years I have signed a decree for the unbroken spirit and standing for the idea of fighting for independent Ukraine. I declare Stepan Bandera a national hero of Ukraine.

Without hesitation or shame, Yuschenko endorsed the legacy of Bandera, who had happily aligned with the Nazis in pursuit of his own nationalist goals. Those goals, however, did not include Jews. And here is the ultimate irony–Bandera was born in Austria, not the Ukraine. So much for ideological consistency.

US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yuschenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS. This is:

a USAID program with other National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated groups: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. In 2010, the reported disbursement for CEPPS in Ukraine was nearly $5 million.

The program’s efforts are described on the USAID website as providing “training for political party activists and locally elected officials to improve communication with civic groups and citizens, and the development of NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues.”

Anyone prepared to argue that it would be okay for Russia, through its Foreign Ministry, to contribute several million dollars for training party activists in the United States? 

What we do not know is how much money was being spent on covert activities directed and managed by the CIA. During the political upheaval in April 2014 (Maidan 2), there was this news item:

Over the weekend, CIA director John Brennan travelled to Kiev, nobody knows exactly why, but some speculate that he intends to open US intelligence resources to Ukrainian leaders about real-time Russian military maneuvers. The US has, thus far, refrained from sharing such knowledge because Moscow is believed to have penetrated much of Ukraine’s communications systems – and Washington isn’t about to hand over its surveillance secrets to the Russians.

Do you think Americans would be outraged if the head of Russia's version of the CIA, the SVR or FSB, traveled quietly to the United States to meet with Donald Trump prior to his election? I think that would qualify as meddling.

Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophies since Pearl Harbor or 9-11. 

There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it ain't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom. 

This entry was posted in Russiagate. Bookmark the permalink.

121 Responses to American Meddling in the Ukraine by Publius Tacitus

  1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    good points well made.
    On the twitters, you would be accused of “whatabouttism” – which isthe crime of excusing Putin’s diabolism by pointing out American interference with the internal politics an elections of other nations. A CIA guy reently said the US only interferes to ‘promote democracy’ – tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine…it’s a long long list.
    An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland’s Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans “refugees” so that Soros’ project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the slavic sphere as well as the west.

  2. Adrestia says:

    It’s not only the US. The EU borg are also meddling.
    In my country we had a referendum about Ukraine. The population voted “Against” on the question: “Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?”,_2016
    This was the only referendum that was done since it was implemented in 2015. A second one is being organized on the Intelligence and Security Services which has controversial parts with regard to access to internet traffic.
    This referendum will take place on March 21, 2018 and will probably be voted against because of the controversial elements (in part because there is still living memory of our Eastern neighbours in the second world war)
    These 2 will probably be the last. Our house of representatives have voted yesterday to end the referendum law (with a majority vote of 76 out of 150 representatives!)
    So much for democracy. The reason stated that the referendum was controversial (probably because they voted against the EU borg). Interesting is that the proposal was done by the party that wanted the referendum as a principal point. This will almost certainly ensure that the little respect left for traditional parties is gone and they will not be able to get a majority next elections.
    The liberal party – who provides the prime-minister – EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them.

  3. Tom says:

    I wouldn´t put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as “fascists” by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties.
    Even in the nineties anybody who travelled in Ukraine could feel the tension between East and West. The Russians were certainly aware of it and mindful not to rip the country apart they cut the Ukrainians an enormous amount of slack. Of course they supported “their” candidates and shoveled money into their insatiable throats. Only to be disappointed time and again. “Prorussian” Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian “patriot” (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently “democratic”. Really the West should have been content with things as they were. But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the “Western” camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy?
    Really the West (not only the US -the Eu is also guilty) is to blame. It is long past time to get down from the high horse and stop spreading chaos and mayhem in the name of democracy,

  4. Jony Kanuck says:

    An informative column.
    The coup & later developments soured me on the MSMedia. I’m an initiate into modern Russian history: NATO in the Ukraine = WW3!
    Some additional history:
    A Ukrainian nation did not exist until after WW1; one piece was Russian, another Polish and another Austrian. The Holodomor is exaggerated for political purposes; the actual number dead from famine appears to be ‘only’ 2M. It wasn’t Soviet bloody mindedness, it was Soviet agricultural mismanagement; collectivizing agriculture drops production. They did this right before the great drought of the 1930s – remember the dustbowl. There was a famine in Kazakestan at the same time; 1.5M died. The Nazis raised 5 SS divisions out of the Ukraine. As the Germans were pushed back they ran night drops of ordnance into the Ukraine as long as they could. The Soviets had to carry on divisional level counter insurgency until 1956. After the war, Gehlen, Nazi intelligence czar, kept himself out of jail by turning over his files, routes & agents to the US. He also stoked anti Soviet paranoia. The Brits ended up with a whole Ukr SS division that they didn’t want, so they gave it to Canada. Which is why Canada has such cranky policy around the Ukraine!

  5. bluetonga says:

    A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine :
    This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression.

  6. Tom,
    I’m sure you’d like us to ignore Bandera. I bet he liked children and dogs. Just like Hitler. Bandera was a genuine bad guy. There is no rehabilitating that scourge on society. Nice try though.

  7. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that your final comment is sarcasm. When you have two senior US Government officials who will and will not constitute a foreign government, you have gone beyond meddling. It is worse.

  8. VietnamVet says:

    The media is hysterical. Today, Putin’s Facebook Bot Collaborator contacted the Kremlin before his mercenaries attacked Americans in Syria. I’ve never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption. A World War is near. The realists are gone. The Moguls are pushing Donald Trump pull the trigger. Either in Syria with an assault to destroy Hezbollah (Iran) for good or American trainers going over the top of trenches in Donbass in a centennial attack of the dead.

  9. Publius Tacitus,
    Hallelujah and jubilation! We’re in full agreement on this subject. What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That’s in addition to Nuland’s bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base. I would definitely want to see a full account of what support we provided to the nazi thugs of Svoboda and Pravy Sektor. We have a long history of meddling, at least twice as long as the Soviet Union/Russia. But that does not mean we should stop investigating the Russian interference in our 2016 election. Just stop hyperventilating over it. It no more deserves risking a war than our continuing mutual espionage.

  10. TimmyB says:

    Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the electrd pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endevor were out and out Nazis.
    As a result of this rebellion, the Russian majority in Crimea overwhelming voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which they had been part of for over 150-years. While our government continues to provide military aid to Israel, which used force of arms take over the West Bank, it imposed sanctions against Russia when the people of Crimea voted to join their formet countrymen. Mind boggling.

  11. Greco says:

    This issue goes beyond double standards. The same kind of divisions that led to the Maidan coup in Ukraine are being used to promote similar levels of discord in the US.
    In Ukraine, the protests which culminated into the civil war were initially fueled by media sensationalizing, and by activists protesting, police misconduct.

    Published 11:15 a.m. ET July 2, 2013
    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Protesters hurling firebombs stormed a local police station unit in southern Ukraine after authorities refused to detain one of two police officers implicated in the brutal gang-rape of a young woman.
    Residents of Vradiyevka, some 330 kilometers (200 miles) south of Kiev, continued to rally outside the station Tuesday, booing the local governor and vowing to continue their vigil until the officer is arrested. During the storming late Monday, protesters smashed windows, broke doors and set fire to the building, while police fought back with tear gas.

    If this sounds familiar, it should. The circumstances above were somewhat similar to the protests that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri which gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement and which inspired George Soros to donate funds in excess of $30 million to a variety of groups that either partook in the protests or emerged out of the protests.
    How a death in Ferguson sparked a movement in America
    George Soros funds Ferguson protests, hopes to spur civil action

    Liberal billionaire gave at least $33 million in one year to groups that emboldened activists

  12. The real issue is not just what happened between 2014 and now. The real issue is what’s happening now.
    Trump has reneged on his campaign platform to not send lethal aid to Ukraine.
    Ukraine is ramping up for another full-scale war in the east.
    The Minsk 2.0 agreements are dead in the water.
    Ukraine’s economy continues to tank, with almost no assistance coming from the IMF.
    I’ll reiterate what I recommended before: Putin should invade Ukraine, wipe out the neo-Nazi battalions, disarm the Ukraine military, execute the oligarchs, install a puppet regime which will implement the Minsk accords – and then immediately go home.
    Neither the US nor NATO could do anything about it except bitch and whine because it would be over in a week.

  13. SmoothieX12 says:

    I’ll reiterate what I recommended before: Putin should invade Ukraine, wipe out the neo-Nazi battalions, disarm the Ukraine military, execute the oligarchs, install a puppet regime which will implement the Minsk accords – and then immediately go home.
    Absolute, 146% NO! This is not how it works, plus, Ukrainian political nation did actualize itself. Donbas is already not Ukraine but Russia under NO conditions should shed a drop of Russian blood, nor clear the mess both the West and Ukraine created. Why should Russia, as an example, take large numbers of hostile population on the balance. EU, especially France and Germany are culpable in this chaos–let them pay for it and deal with it. The real “fun” only begins now.

  14. reality check says:

    Ah, so much more that you didn’t know about our s0-called ‘allies’, I’ll wager. It would stand the hairs on your neck too, I’ll wager.

  15. reality check says:

    …well the, by the same toke, Crimea was a defensive (preemptive) action against NATO evicting Russia from its naval base. See how that works?

  16. Covergirl says:

    I’m very glad to see this articulate and informed post. There’s a mind boggling bambozzle going on that is most mind boogling in that it’s effective at all.
    I’m going to stop being nice to people blathering on about Russian aggression, meddling, influence peddling and all. I suspect much of it comes to personal grievance ’cause Putin’s better endowed in every way than Barak and Hillary combined. The narcissistic froth calling itself Democratic leadership is bat shit crazy to the core.

  17. Dave says:

    Speaking of Nazis, Putin annexed invaded and annexed Crimea.
    Nazis did the same thing to independent countries in WW II.
    The author’s affinity for this evil dictator is misplaced and puzzling.

  18. bluetonga says:

    It was sarcasm of course. My apology. I think this intercepted conversation is one of the most outrageous public evidence of foreign meddling ever. Here in Europe, the press focussed on one of Nulland’s reply: F**k Europe. It conveniently ignored or at least understated the implications of the whole dialog. As it remains largerly silent about the confessions of putative maidan snipers who declare having received orders to shoot people from both sides (police and demonstrators).
    I do not suggest that these confessions should be taken at face value just as they are. Yet, it seems to me they deserve at least some attention and further investigation. But doing so would definitely taint the narrative of a genuine spontaneous popular revolution and open the door to much speculation about the engineers behind the coup.

  19. What can I say? Great minds think alike. So, you are less Twisted and more Genius. Right?

  20. Dave,
    You don’t know history. The people who flooded the streets in Crimea wanted the Russians and feared the Nazi backed Ukrainians. You may not like that fact but it is a fact. Now, if you want to argue that the Russians sent in outside organizers to encourage the folks in Crimea to go out and protest against Ukraine, I do think that likely occurred.

  21. Pavlo says:

    Tyahnibok, Parubiy, Yarosh – funny guys.
    Tyahnibok the smart and sophisticated doctor led the repainted SNPU to unprecedented political power – the first Maidanaut cabinet was stacked with Svoboda party men (Defence, education, agriculture, prosecutor’s office). Then the Crimea operation kicked off and Tyahnibok’s man in the defence ministry was out on his backside. One by one the Svoboda’s party’s people were shunted aside in favour of Yushchenko-era politicians, and now Tyahnibok’s almost back where he started.
    Parubiy meanwhile used the 2004 Maidan to ingratiate himself with Yushchenko’s ‘Our Ukraine’ party, and when Our Ukraine’s fortunes collapsed he shifted to the Fatherland party of Timoshenko. From there, Maidan commandant to National Security Council secretary to Speaker of Parliament, a job where he now hobnobs with Prime Ministers, foreign ministers and the like. Not a bad career for a man with a diagnosed mental handicap (if the leaked medical report is to be believed).
    And Yarosh… if Parubiy is afflicted with aphasia Dmitry Yarosh is a bona fide imbecile – he has the mind of a child, and not a clever child either. Rather one whose breath reeks of crayons all the time and isn’t allowed to play with scissors unsupervised. Ended up being deposed from his own organisation for being completely bloody useless.
    All of which is to say that these characters are symptoms, not the disease itself. The Ukrainian elite is fully sympathetic to their ideas and has been since 2000 or so.

  22. JamesT says:

    I was in Ukraine a couple of years before Maidan2. I travelled to Kiev, Odessa, and Lviv and talked to a fair number of Ukrainians. I wanted to understand the “orange vs blue” thing. My impression was that 25% of the country (in the west) hated the Russians, 40% loved the Russians, and the rest just wanted a decent life and wanted good relations with both East and West.
    When I first reached Kiev the orange were in Maidan square. I turned on my TV and watched CNN and BBC give them constant coverage for two days straight. I like to hear both sides, so I looked for coverage on the Russians stations (I don’t speak Russian but one can learn a lot from body language etc) – and there was none at all. I was flabergasted. I went to Warsaw and came back a couple of weeks later. Now the blues were in Maidan square, and the Russian TV was covering it non-stop. I flipped to CNN and BBC only to find – zero coverage. Zero. This was a big learning experience for me.
    I left via a Kiev to Moscow overnight train. I found myself talking to a very likeable and intelligent Ukrainian from Western Ukraine. He spoke perfect English, had gone to George Brown College here in Toronto, and was the kind of Ukrainian we westerners get along very well with. I asked him about the “orange vs blue” thing and he gave me some complicated answer that I didn’t understand. Then, to my surprise, he asked me “what do you think”? I said “I don’t know – but to me it looks like a chessboard with Russia on one side and the US on the other”.
    He immediately became very animated and said “Yes! Yes!! That is exactly what we Ukrainians think. Ukraine is a chessboard, and we are the pawns.”

  23. J says:

    Don’t forget Operation Paper Clip that infested our government to the hip, pairing U.S. Intelligence, State, and Science/University programs to the scurried out Nazis intelligence, political, and science apparatchiks whom our government thought would benefit the U.S. in negating the Former Soviet Union in a variety of fields.
    We are still suffering the after effects of Paper Clip today.

  24. blue peacock says:

    Thank you for providing us insight into current Dutch politics and how little the major Dutch political parties trust democracy.
    Yes, it seems that during the march to further “integration” that the EU apparatchiks have pushed so hard, whenever it was put to the people it was rejected many times. In each of those cases the commissars decided to ignore the vote or make the people vote again to achieve their desired result.
    I am interested in the Italian elections but there is so little coverage of it here in the US. Nor is there coverage of the changes taking place in Hungary & Poland. And of course how far the center-left SPD has sunk in recent German polls, with the Euro-skeptic and anti-immigration, AfD continuing to gain support.
    My sense is that beneath the surface there is a lot of political tension in Europe, that demagogues from all sides of the political spectrum will potentially exploit and exacerbate the divisions further.

  25. blue peacock says:


    “…these characters are symptoms, not the disease itself…”

    What is the disease?

  26. blue peacock says:

    I haven’t been following the Ukraine story much at all. What is the current situation?

  27. drifter says:

    Publius Tacitus, would you be so kind as to change the reference, ‘Jump ahead now to the April 2014 “uprising” of anti-Russian forces…’ to “February 2014”? In April 2014, the Ukrainian army was already fighting the separatists at Sloviansk.

  28. burton50 says:

    Andrei, agreed. The better analysts (Rostislav Ishchenko especially, among others) have long maintained that the whole Maidan “project” was a cost-effective attempt at getting the Russian Federation involved in a very bloody, very expensive mess in/on the Ukraine. Vladimir Vladimirovich and his team has, in my view, wisely refrained, in spite of the howls of protest from Russia’s own “hurrah-patriots”. That said, the suffering of the people in the Donbass under constant shelling by the Ukrainian “army” has to be tough to take. As to the Crimea, unlike the boobs in DC, he did his homework conscientiously (I’m sure the populace was polled carefully, so that the referendum results were known, approximately, beforehand) and the main body of armed forces was already available on site. Having visited the Crimea on at least three occasions myself in the “oughts”, the sentiments of the locals was never in doubt. But I still get a kick out of the job tenders put up – and still up – by the U.S. Navy on the Federal Business Opportunities website for infrastructure projects in the Crimea, all dated in and around September, 2013. True, they all bear cancellation notices, “due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine”.

  29. Pavlo says:

    blue peacock,
    The disease is this: Ukrainian identity is a regional identity at best. There is no way to elevate it into a national identity without violent rejection of the original parent nationality (I seem to recall that Robert Rhett and some of the other Confederate ideologues engaged in this). The latest attempt at Ukrainian statehood inevitably drifted into red-and-black extremist nationalism because there’s nothing else to found a separate nation on.
    If the Ukraine were to envision itself as just another Russian state, then the drift back into the Russian orbit would be very difficult to avoid. The political and commercial elite see that as a threat to their own power and wealth – they’d be poorer and considerably less influential in the RF than they are in a separate Ukraine. Banderite nationalism’s goals align with their own, so the Ukrainian elite have absorbed its views and motivations (while demoting most its original adherents to subordinate roles).
    Better the first man in a Gallic oppida than second man in Rome – that is the thinking. It isn’t unique to the Ukraine either – Lukashenko in Belarus has exhibited this mentality more and more as his own hopes of attaining the Russian presidency have faded.

  30. Tel says:

    “The Holodomor is exaggerated for political purposes; the actual number dead from famine appears to be ‘only’ 2M. It wasn’t Soviet bloody mindedness, it was Soviet agricultural mismanagement; collectivizing agriculture drops production.”

    I’m not going play the “how many millions?” game either with Stalin’s murders or with Hitler’s murders because we should be able to agree that such things are unacceptable, regardless of exactly how many millions died.
    Mismanagement caused the shortage, but bloody mindedness decided who would pay the ultimate price for said shortage. If there had been widespread acknowledgement that socialism causes starvation then perhaps those people would not have died for nothing, but sadly this is a lesson that we keep learning over and over. Attempts to downplay the history only necessitate one more cycle of the same hardship.

  31. jld says:

    Excuse me but this is SST and your trolling doesn’t match the required level for the premises.
    Who sent you there?

  32. integer says:

    Kiev appears to be in the latter stages of preparation for another attempt to seize the Donbass territories, and has been receiving significant amounts of foreign assistance (i.e. training, intelligence, and equipment) during the last few months. See Free Ukraine Now for more info.

  33. rkka says:

    “I wouldn´t put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. ”
    Dunno about that. These Ukrainian Nationalists, like the Belarus Nationalists just to the north, facilitated German military operations implementing GeneralPlan Ost, the German plan to remove the Slavic populations of the areas they lived in so that the land could be settled by Germans. Thus would the territorial foundations of global power be laid for the Thousand-Year Reich.
    The main political question settled between Hitler and Stalin was this: Will Europe’s Slavs continue to live in their lands, or will they be killed, starved, or driven away so Germans could have it. Because Stalin won that war, the answer was yes. Had Hitler won, the answer would have meant racial extermination for them, Ukrainians & Belarus very much included. And these Ukrainian & Belarus nationalists were too blinded by hatred to see that backing Hitler meant death for the peoples they purported to represent. So ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ meant ‘Glory to an idea, whether Ukrainians survive the process or not!’
    Everything past your first paragraph I wholeheartedly concur with.

  34. Tom says:

    I am not saying he was a nice guy. I was just saying that his opponents were no better. Just read the contemporary accounts “Assignment to Utopia” or ” I chose freedom” by Kravchenko. Cold blooded mass murder and mass starvation was enacted not only by the NKVD but also by perfectly “normal” Komsomol fanatics. Or just read the novel “life and fate” by (jewish authour) Victor Grossmann where he compareS nkvd and Gestapo and finds no meaningful difference. YOu can´t understand neither the Baltics nor the Western Ukrainians support of the “wrong” side of the war without taking into account what the communists did in the thirties. As long as the Red Army is lionized by the East the Western Ukraine will cling to Bandera.

  35. Tom says:

    You probably are Polish. I would recommend the books by one very knowledgable Polish historian. His name is Bogdan Musial. He details the atrocities the Red Army committed against the local population in Western Ukraine. When they retreated they butchered all political prisoners. Tens of thousands in Lwiw alone. As to the Polish Armija Kraiova: they exterminated villages of Ukranians as well. It was a free for all of butchery. You just have to be on the right side to be well remembered. According to official Polish figures 300 ethnic German woman and children died every day in Wroclaw from starvation after the war. You just didn´t feed ethnic Germans. And so on and so on. Bandera was no exception. He was just on the losing side.

  36. rkka says:

    “If there had been widespread acknowledgement that socialism causes starvation then perhaps those people would not have died for nothing, but sadly this is a lesson that we keep learning over and over.”
    Social Democratic Swedes have been starving? Who knew?
    Mother Nature took a hand in this matter, it wasn’t all Stalin:
    Given these inconsistencies, there remains one factor in explaining the cause of the small harvest of 1932 that can account for the improved harvest in 1933, and that is the complex of environmental factors in 1932. As I documented in a recent publication, the USSR experienced an unusual environmental disaster in 1932: extremely wet and humid weather that gave rise to severe plant disease infestations, especially rust. Ukraine had double or triple the normal rainfall in 1932. Both the weather conditions and the rust spread from Eastern Europe, as plant pathologists at the time documented. Soviet plant pathologists in particular estimated that rust and other fungal diseases reduced the potential harvest in 1932 by almost nine million tons, which is the largest documented harvest loss from any single cause in Soviet history (Natural Disaster and Human Action, p. 19).

  37. Bandit says:

    Many thanks to Publius Tacitus for this and other excellent exposes. I would like to add just one clarification to this and other works in which many state or subscribe to the idea that, “We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination”. There may well be a number of deliberately ignorant politicians, war mongering militarist and media dupes among the chorus of neocons who believe that Russia is the perp set on world domination, but the great majority of that chorus know that it is just the convenient lie, the underlying pretext, the excuse for all of the saber rattling by the US in order to justify its neo-colonial imperatives.
    Unfortunately, that type of framing of the build up to wars, gives these very same neo-cons and all of the “ignorant” masses the excuse that they were somehow misled, tricked, as in the case of the Irag war. Don’t be fooled for one minute that this is the case. The profound stupidity of the American people cannot be excused. And, it is the media, which spends much energy burying reports that prove it is the US and not Russia that is the actual perpetrator and the greatest threat to world peace, and moreover the real “axis of evil” which consists of the the US and its western allies.

  38. Adrestia says:

    There is a huge distrust of the traditional political parties in Europe. This is partly because the EU has become a non-democratic entity that is far away from the different European peoples who don’t feel represented at all and want something else (IMO the same reason why Trump was chosen in the US)
    European law is above national law and is increasingly causing problems. The different European countries have differen cultures and also different economies. The main problem is the common currency which puts all these different countries in a straight jacket (Maastricht treaty):
    * a maximum of 60% debt of GDP
    * not more than 3% of budget deficit
    This removes the ability of national governments to stimulate their own economies (by printing money or increasing the national debt). The Maastricht treaty forces national governments to impose austerity on the population as their only option. National governments (but especially politicians) are increasingly losing faith with their electorate. For example last week statistics were released in the Netherlands that only 20% of all crimes are reported to the police while the politicians were claiming victory because of the decrease in crime (on paper). There is no faith in their ability to serve the people and one of the common complaints is that the police is just another part of the tax department (eg speeding ticket of 10 km (6 miles) = 120 EUR/$130)
    IMO it is significant in the western world (OECD-countries) that in all elections the ruling politicians are losing dramatically. Democracy seems to be a genuine problem for the ruling groups (borg, economical elite etc). IMO it will be a question of time that democracy will be replaced (eg state-of-emergency laws replaces by common law in France and similar trends as in our new intelligence and security services law).
    IMO there is a reason the Italian elections are not covered. The populist left and right seem to have created a partnership for these elections to get out of the Euro. Traditionally the Italian economy needs inflation for their economy. Eg when they devalue other northern Europeans go there on holiday because it is cheap.
    If these parties win this might be the drop that overfloods the bucket and is the start of the desintegration of the EU. The populations don’t want it anymore and countries want to cherry-pick parts at the expense of other countries. The EU needs reform because the foundations are breaking up, but it is very unlikely that they will do this.

  39. pantaraxia says:

    #24 James T,
    ” but to me it looks like a chessboard with Russia on one side and the US on the other”.
    There was another game being played which has been all but ignored, a sort of bastardized version of the Game of Thrones between various oligarchal factions for control of the ongoing looting of the Ukraine. This game may have played more of a role in the fomenting and eventual outcome of the Maidan revolution than generally recognized.
    An article in The Ukrainian Weekly, written approximately one year prior to the Maidan provides some background:
    The ever-expanding business empire of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is now preying on top oligarchs, forcing them to sell their business assets to family interests and cease their political activity….
    . “With this group coming to power, they’ve begun to force out others and now we have open financial-corporate wars in very rough forms,” said Dr. Oleh Soskin, chair of the Institute of Society Transformation in Kyiv. “Yanukovych, his sons and his closest circle are devouring and taking over all the smaller players around them on Ukraine’s political and economic map.”
    Western observers, such as Dr. Anders Aslund of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington and Dr. Alexander Motyl of Rutgers University Institute for International Economics in Washington and Dr. Alexander Motyl of Rutgers University in Newark, were predicting the current scenario as early as the autumn of 2012. They also predicted the oligarchs would retaliate politically, which hasn’t happened yet. “These elections will be either the final step in Yanukovych’s consolidation of power or his opponents’ last to disrupt his family rule”.. “This time, however, the most palpable threat to his rule comes not from the crowds on the street but the elite businessmen he has alienated”
    …Compared to someone like Mr. Firtash, who controls 15 to 20 percent of the entire Ukrainian economy, Mr. Kolomoisky is an easier target for the family, controlling between 5 and 10 percent “which is enough to widen its resource base,” …

  40. Peter AU says:

    Dave 18
    Here is a map, by regions, of the voting preferences prior to the 2014 coup.
    Yanuckovych vs Yushchenko. This election was deemed fair and above board by international observers.
    Here is a map of the language groups in Ukraine by regions
    (note – this particular map originated from a university. I have lost my original link)
    Both these maps I found in the weeks after MH17 and where on the net prior to 2014.
    Here is a map by OCHA on the displace people in Ukraine and where they are displaced to
    Note the vast majority to Russia and Belarus.
    If you have a look on the net, you will fid both video and transcipt of Nuland’s speech in Ukraine where she states US spend five billion, yes five billion on bringing democracy to a democratic but corrupt Ukraine.
    No Ukraine is not democratic (the ethnic Russians no longer have candidates to vote for, as they have now been deemed Russian spies or whatever), and is even more corrupt than before.
    Crimea has always been an autonomus province of Ukraine, that was removed from Russia and tacked onto Ukraine by the then Ukrainian president of the Soviet Union.
    Look it up. I didn’t give a fuck about Ukraine or Russia and knew nothing about them prior to MH17, but had to look up all this stuff when my politicians and media were feeding me crap.

  41. Peter AU says:

    Also note on the map of displaced people, Crimea is the only region there are none.
    Note the displaced persons map is OCHA
    “OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies.”

  42. DianaLC says:

    I tried to reply before, but it did not post for some reason.
    My own ancestors came from both the Volga Valley and the area above the Black Sea and the Ukraine. There had actually been another famine before the Holodmor in the 20’s. You are right about the Soviet mismanagement of agriculture. Russians just are NOT farmers.
    Catherine the Great and Alexander I invited farmers from Europe, mostly from German speaking areas, to come in to Russia specifically to far4m first the Volga Valley and then the steppes above the Black Sea and into Ukraine (what they called Bessarabia for some reason)
    The German farmers knew always to keep a supply of grain in case of famine for replanting and for food. The Bolsheviks determined that they were being greedy and took those reserves that would have prevented both famines. And, you are right, the factory and communal farms were a failure. Any real farmer would have been able to tell them those plans would fail.
    All my great grand parents and grandparents and their families came to the U.S. in the early 1900’s to escape the Bolsheviks. My generation grew up hearing “bolshevik” before we studied its use in Russia when we attended school. The way our elders used the term made us feel it meant something like “devil.”
    My guess is that the Germans who did not have the courage and foresight to leave ended up favoring the Nazis because they had never spoken Russian all the time they lived in Russia (some over 100 years), so they would have gravitated to German speakers. In fact, many of them–I had a great aunt in this category–were sent to work camps in Siberia. In fact, in my ethnic community, one of the insults they would give each other was to call the person a “Roosian.” It’s sad that they did then gravitate to the Nazis.
    The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia now often arranges trips back to Russia so people can visit the villages from which their grand parents and great grandparents emigrated. I know my villages: Friedricksfeld, Frank, und Dittel. They, of course, now have Russian names.
    Thank you PT for your very informative post.

  43. burton50 – as with PT’s article above I find myself in complete agreement with your assessment. Just wish I could put it as cogently myself – there are so many round my way who still believe of the Ukraine disaster “It’s those evil Russians!”, and it seems nothing one can say can convince them otherwise.
    I only looked at one tender in detail. That was a US Navy tender for the refurbishment of a school. I looked at it because it was often cited at the time as evidence that the the US Navy was intending to establish a base in the Crimea.
    As far as I could tell it wasn’t. The contract details showed no evidence that the school was to be used for any other purpose than a school. It was intended that the same pupils would return to the school after completion. A similar contract was put out by the US Navy at much the same time elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and there too there was no indication that the school was to be used for military purposes or for the children of US Navy personnel. I’m not familiar with US or Ukrainian building standards but as far as I remember it looked as if the school was to be refurbished to local building standards and the renovated facilities didn’t look as if they were to be modified for US use.
    I didn’t therefore believe that this particular tender could be used as evidence of intended occupation by the US Navy. In fact I think it’s most unlikely – it was a public tender so it would be as if the US Navy were announcing to the world “We’re coming”, which they would scarcely have done.
    I wondered if you or other commenters on the Colonel’s site knew of other tenders that might show NATO or US intentions in the Crimea.
    As a footnote, your comment led to me looking at Russian tenders put out for infrastructure work in the Crimea. Looks as if they intend to be there a while. Good. That’s one lot of people not getting shelled daily.

  44. Dennis Daulton says:

    In reference to CIA chief visiting in April 2014, don’t forget that there was a Malaysian airplane shot down just about three months later over Ukraine. It was reported at the time that the Russian presidential airplane had passed through that same airspace maybe 20 minutes before.

  45. Tom says:

    Socialism and capitalism are so many words. The reality was that the Bolsheviks basically had to give up on war communism (abolition of money and state distribution of all goods during the civil war) because of the resistance of the peasants. Sure Tukhatshevski used poison gas against the Antonov rebellion in Tambov. Hundred of thousands if not millions of peasants were slaughtered by the Bolsheviks in 22/23. But that proved not enough to get the peasants to turn over their produce for nothing. Finally the Bolsheviks retreated. The retreat is called NEP and it was declared in 1923. New economic policy which basically meant market economy for the peasants. Unfortunately the State was not able to produce as much of interest to the farmers that they considered expanding their production beyond their immediate needs.
    But without expanded agricultural production there was no expansion of industry and no growth of an industrial, military base. Therefore it was decided to take the land away from the peasants and force them into collectives. Basically make them slaves of the state. (They were even denied freedom of movement) The farmers in turn refused to work and slaughtered their animals. Stalin then took the hardest decision of his political life. (That is what he told Milovan Djilas at least). He decided to starve the peasants into submission. Every bid of grain was confiscated and brought to the cities. At least 12 millons died. One knows the number because in the nineties the heretofore censored population census of 1937 was finally published. The majority perished in Ukraine. There are any number of books about all of that. This is nothing but consensus among historians. The only question regards the Ukraine. That is the claim by Ukrainian nationalists that this holocaust was engineered especially against them.

  46. Prem says:

    The suppurating mess, that is the post-Maidan Ukraine, is a treat for aficionados of grim humour.
    We have self-described “Zhido-Banderas”, Radio Mille Collines-style TV stations supported by EU “yooman rights” funding, the Guardian newspaper writing gushing puff pieces about the Azov battalion, illustrated with photos of their vehicles festooned with 1488s and SS symbols.

  47. rkka says:

    “You can´t understand neither the Baltics nor the Western Ukrainians support of the “wrong” side of the war…”
    Neither the Balts nor the Galicians experienced the events you say scarred them so.
    “…without taking into account what the communists did in the thirties.”
    Keep in mind that Imperial Germany defeated Imperial Russia with her secondary effort, while Imperial Germany’s main effort was in the West.
    Just after getting out of the war, Russia had a bloody and destructive civil war. By 1922, Russia’s GNP was about 1/5th what it had been in 1913. By 1928, the NEP got the USSR back to the 1913 GNP. But Germany had a boom in the mid-’20s, financed significantly by American loans, so Germany’s 1929 GNP was a good deal greater than it had been in 1913, so by comparison, the German military-economic advantage over the USSR was even greater than Imperial Germany’s advantage over Imperial Russia in 1913.
    So the main thing the Communists did in the ’30s was to endow the USSR with the economic/industrial sinews of war such as no Tsar ever dreamed. By 22 June 1941, the USSR had the industrial capacity to build 25,000 tanks a year, 40,000 aircraft a year, 150,000 artillery pieces a year, 150,000 trucks a year, plus fuels, lubricants, and munitions for same, just in time for a German war of racial extermination against ‘Jew-Bolshevik-ridden subhuman Slavs’. This was what prevented Adolf exterminating said subhuman Slavs, and prevented the Baltic peoples being deported from their lands, Germanized, and scattered throughout the East, their languages & cultures destroyed.
    I can see why Western Ukrainians & Balts hate being reminded that they still live in their lands only because of what the Communists did in the ’30s.

  48. Anna says:

    Why the well-funded Nazi-hunters focus on the senescent former Nazi camp guards when there is a new crop of Nazis (neo-Nazi) that are supported by Israel-firsters in the US and UK? Nuland-Kagan and an Israeli citizen Kolomojsky should have been already ostracized by the Jewish community at large if the Holocaust biz was serious about Nazi collaborators. What about the memory of victims of the WWII?
    One of the most pronounced signs of the US victory in Ukraine has been the steep rise in anti-Semitism after the 2014 revolution arranged by Nuland-Kagan & the CIA:

  49. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    Excellent piece.
    To that add the composition of the new govt. Various foreigners just domesticized like Natalie Jaresko (US), Aivaras Abromavičius (lithuanian), Alexander Kvitashvili (georgian), all staunchly pro-US. Ah yes and ex-georgian strongman Saakashvili also suddenly turned ukrainian became governor of a province all this in govts ruled by extreme nationalists.
    This world has gone crazy.

  50. So you’d prefer that Ukraine continues to wage war and kill Donbass civilians?
    Because that “war on terrorists” is the only thing keeping the Ukraine government afloat right now.
    Remove their ability to do that and western Ukraine sinks beneath the waves.

  51. rkka, Tom,
    In response to #52 and earlier comments.
    A few random remarks about collectivisation and related matters.
    The idea of a ‘complete militarization’ of the national economy, which underpinned collectivisation, did not originate with Stalin. On this, the 1988 paper ‘Mass, Mobility, And The Red Army’s Road To Operational Art 1918-1936’ by Jacob W. Kipp, of what was then the U.S. Army’s Soviet Army Studies Office, and is now the Foreign Military Studies Office, is critical (together with other of his writings.)
    (See .)
    What Kipp demonstrated is how in the ‘Twenties the arguments about the ‘New Economic Policy’, and the ‘smychka’, or alliance with the peasantry, ran in parallel with an argument about the appropriate military strategy for the new Soviet state.
    On the one side, Tukhachevsky saw the new technologies whose potentialities had become apparent towards the end of the First World War as validating a renewed emphasis on the ‘Napoleonic’ strand in Clausewitz – the idea that one could win by decisive offensive operations at the outset of a war: which was the basis of ‘blitzkrieg.’
    (Possibilities which the machine gun had taken away, or at least severely compromised, although enormously more on the Western Front than further east, could be restored by aircraft and tanks.)
    And the conclusion Tukhachevsky drew was quite precisely that a ‘complete militarization’ of the national economy was necessary, in order to provide the instruments for this kind of warfare.
    Against this, the sometime Tsarist ‘genstabist’ Aleksandr Svechin developed the two-sidedness of Clausewitz – the way that the ‘Napoleonic’ strand is counterbalanced by the emphasis on defence as the stronger form of war. Following a great German Clausewitzian, the pioneer military historian Hans Delbrück, Svechin distinguished between strategies, and wars of ‘destruction’ – as in ‘blitzkrieg’ – and strategies, and wars, of ‘attrition.’
    And Svechin was no more convinced in the ‘Twenties than he had been before 1914 that it was wise to gamble on the possibility that initial successes with strategies of ‘destruction’ could obviate the need to plan for a prolonged war of ‘attrition.’ A key to success in war was the ability to decide which approach was appropriate in a given situation, and when to switch between them. And at the outset of a conflict, the appropriate strategy for Russia was likely to be defensive.
    In a protracted war, of course, the need for maintaining social cohesion becomes far more salient, a fact of which Svechin had very concrete reasons to be well aware, not simply because of the experience of the First World War, but because his initial experience of military operations was in the disastrous 1904-5 war against Japan, which had precipitated the initial attempt at revolution.
    Accordingly, it was hardly surprising that the corollary of Svechin’s strategy was an emphasis on the need to maintain the ‘smychka.’
    In relation to the peasantry Bukharin, who was a leading champion of maintaining the alliance with the peasantry, became what one might call a ‘capitalist roader’ – arguing in 1925 that we need to say to the entire peasantry, to all its different strata: enrich yourselves, accumulate, develop your farms.’ A natural corollary, obviously, was an industrial strategy geared to satisfying peasant demand.
    In the 1922 Testament which I think most historians still think Lenin actually wrote, it was suggested that the cost of abandoning the ‘smychka’ would be a split in the party which was likely to be fatal. In the event, it did precipitate just such a split, out of which came the Terror – which involved, among other things, cataclysmic damage to the officer corps of the Red Army and, not least important, military intelligence. In turn, these facts encouraged Hitler to believe that a rapid ‘blitzkrieg’ could destroy the Soviet system.
    As Kipp brings out, the adoption by Stalin of Tukhachevsky’s approach came when, in 1930, in the wake of the economic crisis, he abandoned Bukharin’s thesis about the ‘stabilisation of capitalism.’
    The ideas of Svechin had been developed at a time before war with Germany became a central concern. Whether a strategy based on those ideas could have coped with that threat as well as that which Stalin actually adopted must remain an open question. There is obviously a very powerful argument that a kind of Bukharin/Svechin strategy simply could not have created the necessary military-industrial base.
    But then, there are counter-arguments. So other problems, as well as those created by collectivisation and the Terror, might have been avoided. For one thing, key military-industrial facilities would not have been located in vulnerable areas such as Ukraine.
    A key problem which Stalin confronted in the summer of 1941, which recurs in many contexts, might also have been avoided. It is often difficult to judge whether or not war is inevitable, and the courses of action appropriate if one is still trying to avoid it may be diametrically opposed to those it is prudent to adopt if one concludes that this is impossible.
    The offensive nature of Soviet contingency planning ended up leaving Stalin with the worst of both worlds. Terrified that anything resembling mobilisation would be provocative, he ended up leaving the Red Army totally exposed to a devastating preemptive strike: and the sheer scale of the destruction the Germans inflicted in the opening period of the war almost beggars belief. Had contingency planning being based upon a defensive posture at the outset of a war, as Svechin thought appropriate, the problem would not have arisen.
    In relation to current arguments, however, it is material that an important and neglected strand in the Gorbachev-era ‘new thinking’ was the revival, among a number of ‘General Staff’ people, of Svechin, which had begun in the ‘Seventies, if not indeed earlier, and which always had strong anti-Stalinist undercurrents.
    Involved here were arguments not simply about the pre-war and wartime years, but about the immediate post-war period, and the belief that Stalinist strategies, while not intending to, had gratuitously turned the United States from a wartime ally into an enemy. A corollary of this was the belief that liquidating the Stalinist heritage would defuse Western hostility to Russia.
    It was precisely in the Institute of the USA and Canada, under Georgy Arbatov’s direction, that General Staff people like Colonel-General Nikolai Lomov and General-Mayor Valentin Larionov, both, like Arbatov himself ‘Old Mohicans’, were collaborating with younger civilians like Andrei Kokoshin in reviving Svechin. It may also I think be material here that quite a lot of Russian military people always had a certain nostalgia for the wartime alliance with the United States.
    A rather obvious effect of current Western strategies has been to persuade practically all thinking Russians that the notion that liquidating the Stalinist security posture would eliminate Western hostility was ludicrously naive. A natural enough next logical step – although it does not actually follow – is to conclude that in fact the Western powers would have been quite as hostile, if indeed Stalin had adopted strategies intended to avoid their hostility.
    If one wanted to persuade thinking Russians of this, I can think of no better strategy than to align with ‘Banderistas’ in an attempt to bring a united Ukraine, including Sevastopol, into NATO.
    There are, however, costs to this. Some are, I think, apparent in an interesting item I encountered some time back on ‘Youtube.’
    (See .)
    A further irony, perhaps, is that, in relation to Syria, Western policymakers assumed that the Russians would be either become involved in a protracted war of ‘attrition’, or, precisely because of fear of that contingency, and overall weakness, stay out. So, it would be, from the ‘neoconservative’ point of view, an ‘each-way bet.’
    What we saw instead strikes me as pure Svechin. A strategy based upon upon seeing technical military and political considerations as an interrelated whole, on calculating when it has been appropriate, as it were, to ‘go for the jugular’, and when to wear down the adversary by ‘attrition’ or indeed to do nothing: if there is a ‘Beyond’ somewhere, the old ‘genstabist’ must be beaming approval and feeling thoroughly vindicated.

  52. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It was not “the communists”, it was the prescience of one man who saw the war coming and acted on several initiatives: fostered National Fronts, Collectivized by Force, and attempted an Entente with France and UK to contain Germany.

  53. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    Any time there is some outrage(and the shooting of black motorists and others in the wind down of th Obama years was tactesly and poorly handled by officialdom), there’s a well funded machine to set up a marketing campaign and provide ‘leaders’ who the angry citizens did not choose (People taking part in the spontaneous protests in Furgeson told Jesse Jackson to @!&$*-off). I can’t tell what Soros’ end game is supposed to be. He mainly targets foreign governments that insulate themselves from his financial games. SO maybe it’s really jut creating a koom ba ya world where eveyone holds hands an sings the praises of JP Morgan-Chase.I see a lot of stuff on the intwerwebs about the “Jooz”- but I bet th average congregant at my local synagogue would not be overly excited about Soros’ Ecumenical Eschaton either,.

  54. pantaraxia says:

    The roots of Ukrainian animosity towards and distrust of Russia predates the Soviet era. It can be viewed as a natural response by a people subjugated to repeated attempts of eradication of their national and cultural identity. The Soviet era was merely the latest iteration of what appears to have been a core tenet of Russian policy vis-a-vis Ukraine.
    Russification of Ukraine
    “In 1720 Tsar Peter I of Russia issued a decree in which he ordered the expurgation of all Ukrainian linguistic elements in theological literature printed in Ukrainian typographical establishments.[1] Later Empress Catherine II of Russia issued a secret order to Count Aleksandr Alekseyevich Vyazemsky (the Prosecutor General of the Russian Empire from 1764 to 1792) in which she instructed him to institute a program of Russification for the provinces of Ukraine (“malorossia”), Livonia and Finland, “using light-handed methods”.[2] In the opinion of Vladimir Vernadsky, by the 17th century, Muscovy already had a long-standing policy to absorb Ukraine and liquidate the foundation for local cultural life.[3] …. In 1863, minister of internal affairs Pyotr Valuyev issued the so-called Valuev Circular, in which he stated that the Ukrainian language never existed, doesn’t exist, and cannot exist…

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think these observations are correct but France, Italy, and Germany were implementing analogous policies at the time. Specifically, in France, many Romance languages related to official French became extinct. And did it matter? I mean, does a Corsican today laments the loss of Corsican Culture and language? Or a Breton?

  56. Tom says:

    @rkka I have heard this many times: yeah collectivisation was bad, but the millions did die for industrialisation. Well nobody asked them. And certainly that is why the German Army was greeted with bread and salt all over Ukraine and Belorussia. Also why so many red army soldiers surrendered without putting up a fight. They hated Soviet power. About one million Russians served in the Wehrmacht. According to Keegan about 15% of soldiers on the German side at Stalingrad were actually Russians. So called Hiiws.
    As to the Baltics and Western Ukraine: my god! You really don´t know what happened when the Soviet Army entered the Baltic States and Western Ukraine (then Eastern Poland) in 1939? You really have never heard of the horrors perpetrated? If you haven´t you probably don´t want to know. So I won´t bother.
    As to the Red Army: it is certainly true that the Red Army took the brunt of the fight against Nazi Germany. But no army can fight without food. Nor without fuel. Both came in stupendous amounts from the USA. Plus hundreds of thousand of Studebaker trucks.

  57. Babak Makkinejad says:

    2 items:
    The consequence of adoption Bukharin’s policy would have been weak towns and cities that starved since they were not producing much that the Muzhik wanted or could use. SR’s might have liked it.

  58. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Number 2:
    All throughout the war, Stalin remained suspicious of FDR & Churchill intentions, that they might be attempting at concluding a separate peace with Germany and abandon USSR to fight alone.

  59. Anna says:

    “But that does not mean we should stop investigating the Russian interference in our 2016 election.”
    — Sure. See the amazing product of Mueller’s investigating team — the “Indictment of Trolls“ — which is an insult to common sense of any intelligent person and a revelation of the FBI/DOJ’ arrogance towards the US citizenry, namely the FBI/DOJ reliance on the stupidity of mob.
    Whatever “Russian meddling” the FBI\CIA are going to uncover (13 trolls, really?), its effect will fade next to the effects of the proliferation of incompetent opportunists in the security apparatus, zionization of the military, veracious profiteering of weapon manufacturers, and the oligarchic thirst for other nations’ mineral resources.
    Some of the woes of the US security apparatus:
    Exhibit one: “The attorney for an FBI informant who was deeply embedded in the Russian nuclear industry [re Uranium One deal] is demanding that Attorney General Jeff Sessions investigate a coordinated smear campaign against her client, William Douglas Campbell. … As part of the smear, Campbell’s name was divulged in a public filing by the DOJ, “making him unemployable in the industry and leaving him to survive on Social Security” after decades of loyal service to both the CIA and the FBI.”
    Exhibit 2: “The essential question is whether the Obama Justice Department provided notice of the criminal activity of certain officials before the CFIUS approval of the Uranium One deal and other government decisions that enabled the Russians to trade nuclear materials in the U.S. … Despite the FBI’s knowledge of the money laundering scheme – while Robert Mueller was the Director, the Obama administration approved the related deal for Tenex to purchase Uranium One.”
    — Whatever tears apart the Union, it is not the puny Russian meddling but the blatant massive violations of the US Constitution and the neglect of the needs of the US society at large.

  60. Sid_finster says:

    Just because his enemies are unsavory doesn’t make Bandera anything other than the fascist and murderous maniac that he was.

  61. Tel says:

    Russia won victory on the Eastern Front for a number of reasons:
    * Germany was under blockade (ordered by Prime Minister Chamberlain in 1939) thus chronically short of warm clothes and short of liquid fuel… and WWII was the first time a war had been fought primarily by motorized vehicles, so fuel was pivotal. Thanks largely to geography Russia was in a far better position in terms of available fuel reserves.
    * Germans massively miscalculated, believing they could rapidly bring Russia to full capitulation like they had done with France, even though in WWI they never managed this. The Nazi war planners gave too much weighting to their own technological advantage and too little weighting to the sheer size of Russia, the extreme winter (which by random chance was worse in 1940 than most years), transport difficulty, etc.
    * Americans supplied a large fraction of the equipment that gave Stalin’s troops a chance to win. Trucks and tanks built in American factories, along with food supply, warm clothing, important metals, etc.
    * Stalin was absolutely ruthless in driving the people under him, with not the slightest concern about how many lives were consumed in the process. Of course the Tzars had always used compulsion, but not with the same severity. There’s a comment from the above review, which I’ll quote:

    Mr. Parrish’s comment that “The victory over Nazi Germany was achieved through the economic power of the United States and the lives of millions of Soviets, who for reasons that defy logic made the ultimate sacrifice to keep in power a regime as brutal as their Nazi enemy” is directly on point – our trucks, their blood. However the mystery of why Ivan fought does not defy logic. The Soviet Regime was far more brutal towards its citizens than the German. First was Order 270 taking away rations from the family of any soldier captured in battle; then came order 227 – Not One Step Back – which was interpreted as allowing Zhukov’s (and others’) previously existing practice of using blocking detachments of NKVD troops with sub-machine guns just behind the front lines to murder any soldier refusing to attack when ordered or retreating without permission. To refuse to fight was certain death. Joseph Stalin is said to have remarked: “It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army.” Until close to the very end, the Nazi regime did not have to threaten to murder German soldiers to force them to fight.

    That’s not to deny that the Russian economy had modernized and improved from Tzarist times, but hardly significant, since all economies in the world had improved, including the UK, America and Germany. Technology tends to propagate, once it’s understood how to build a machine, pretty soon everyone is doing it. Decisive weapons such as the Spitfire were only just invented as the war got underway.

  62. rkka says:

    “Army was greeted with bread and salt all over Ukraine and Belorussia.”
    They were also met with the most ferocious military resistance they had encountered in the entire war to that point. They suffered casualties in numbers unprecedented in their experience of the war to that point.
    “Also why so many Red army soldiers surrendered without putting up a fight.”
    Mostly they resisted bitterly and inflicted more casualties on the Germans in a shorter time than anyone else had to that point in the war, but as they were encircled they did surrender by the hundreds of thousands, especially in Pavlov’s Western Special Military District, but both Kuznetsov in the Baltic & Kirponos in the Kiev Special Military Districts extricated themselves from the immediate border zones without suffering major encirclements.
    “About one million Russians served in the Wehrmacht.”
    Indeed. Their alternative was death by starvation and exposure in the open-air barbed wire enclosures the Germans put their Soviet POWs in & then left there.
    “According to Keegan about 15% of soldiers on the German side at Stalingrad were actually Russians. So called Hiiws.”
    Yes, doing labor, not fighting. Vlasov’s force actually took up arms, but not the Hiwis.

  63. rkka says:

    “* Germany was under blockade (ordered by Prime Minister Chamberlain in 1939) thus chronically short of warm clothes and short of liquid fuel… and WWII was the first time a war had been fought primarily by motorized vehicles, so fuel was pivotal. Thanks largely to geography Russia was in a far better position in terms of available fuel reserves.”
    The Germans captured massive French stockpiles of strategic resources in 1940, including a two-year supply of fuel oil & lubricants.
    “That’s not to deny that the Russian economy had modernized and improved from Tzarist times, but hardly significant, since all economies in the world had improved, including the UK, America and Germany.”
    None of those had to recover from a bloody, destructive civil war between the wars, and Russia went from one of the least militarily productive great powers to one of the 3 most militarily productive in essentially a decade.

  64. rkka says:

    “* Americans supplied a large fraction of the equipment that gave Stalin’s troops a chance to win. Trucks and tanks built in American factories, along with food supply, warm clothing, important metals, etc.”
    But had that massive industrial drive of the ’30s not occurred, Lend-Lease would have utterly failed at keeping the USSR in the war.

  65. Anna says:

    “Why should Russia, as an example, take large numbers of hostile population on the balance. EU, especially France and Germany are culpable in this chaos–let them pay for it and deal with it.”
    — Agree. Four years after the US-arranged Maidan revolution “Prices for products doubled. … The incomes of the average Ukrainian, however, did not increase, and even fell. If in November 2013, the average salary in Ukraine was 408.5 dollars, then in September 2017 it amounted to 274 dollars. The cost of utilities has also significantly increased. “Since the end of the Yanukovych era, the average income has decreased by 50 percent…”
    — Here is the US response to the ongoing disastrous siuation in Ukrainian: “With military trainers now on the ground and the U.S. budgeting $350 million for security assistance to Ukraine, Washington has also recently started delivering lethal weapons including the Javelin anti-tank missile system free of charge to Kiev.”
    US taxpayers money in action.

  66. Pavlo says:

    Like all Germans you are fundamentally a Nazi, and like all Germans your tone-deafness makes you give the game away with every word that comes out of your mouth.
    The Volga Germans were Nazis, as you are, and as all Germans are. They were punished as they deserved, and neither you nor any of your people are missed or mourned in the slightest.

  67. SmoothieX12 says:

    Andrei, agreed. The better analysts (Rostislav Ishchenko especially, among others) have long maintained that the whole Maidan “project” was a cost-effective attempt at getting the Russian Federation involved in a very bloody, very expensive mess in/on the Ukraine.
    Absolutely. Fact is, from the get go, from the February of 2014 my position was to be very cautious about any kind of direct involvement in Ukraine, once Crimea has been returned home. Paradoxically, it was Kharkov which prompted me to come to this conclusion. I saw and took part in being “around” with more than half a million people being very agitated ans some of them armed in the city the size (Baku is slightly larger) of 1.5 million such as Kharkov. While I do not condone what was happening–there is no denial that when nation puts its mind to something seriously–it is extremely difficult to contain. Kharkov, often considered as one of the most “Russian” cities in Ukraine went down with a week or so of about 30-35,000 protesters and then fizzled. So much for a “desire”. Donetsk and Lugansk took up arms–the difference is really startling. The best in hypothetical scenario of “invading” Ukraine Russia can hope for is majority of silent and very openly or tacitly hateful population which wants only one thing–Russia’s standard of living while remaining Ukrainian. As it happened with some Ukrainian military medics “proudly” leaving Sevastopol back to Ukraine, that is until they saw a pay-grade table for Russian Armed Forces medical personnel–they became “Russians” in an instant and were happy to disembark from the bus before it left Crimea.
    P.S. Ishenko is in the league of his own since he is a superb military historian, not just geopolitcal analyst and a profi on Ukrainian “elites”. Outstanding analyst.

  68. mikee says:

    We and the British annexed damn near a whole continent. Don’t be a hypocrite.

  69. mikee says:

    In the summer of 2014, from a window on Artema St. I was able to watch live the daily shelling and rocket attacks on Donetsk. Ain’t You Tube grand.

  70. SmoothieX12 says:

    Have you ever tried to study a real history of Soviet Union’s WW II effort? Not some collection of pseudo-historic memes? Try David Glantz and Johnathan House, as a primer–competent men, former senior US Army officers, real scholars. What you presented here is as related to the realities of the Eastern Front and as I am Chinese.
    Try this (this is an excerpt from authors I mentioned) for starters, if you need for me to post excerpts from West Point’s History Series, WW II–their Department of Military History, just whistle.
    then came order 227 – Not One Step Back – which was interpreted as allowing Zhukov’s (and others’) previously existing practice of using blocking detachments of NKVD troops with sub-machine guns just behind the front lines to murder any soldier refusing to attack when ordered or retreating without permission.
    You need to see actual statistics of Prikaz 227 application before spreading here yet another pseudo-historic narrative:
    around 1900 deserters were shot in the first phase of Stalingrad Battle in accordance to Pr. 227. In reality, main task of Blocking Unites (Zagradotruady) was capture of deserters, filtering and then return of those back to the front. There is a truck load of literature and archive documents available openly about this whole situation but I am sure the author you presented has difficulty in English reading comprehension, not to speak of knowing anything in Russian. Should it have been otherwise, you and him would find this and I quote: “But by 1943 as the tide of war changed for Nazi Germany, the Feldgendarmerie were given the task to maintain discipline in the Wehrmacht. Many ordinary soldiers deemed to be deserters were summarily executed by Feldgendarmerie units. This earned them the pejorative Kettenhunde (English: chained dogs) after the gorget they wore with their uniforms. The arbitrary and brutal policing of soldiers gave them the other nickname Heldenklauer (English: hero-snatcher) because they screened refugees and hospital transports for potential deserters with orders to kill suspected malingerers. Rear-echelon personnel would also be checked for passes that permitted them to be away from the front.”
    Wehrmacht executed own soldiers in thousands.IIRC in 1944 alone something around 10,000. For people who have no grasp of realities of Eastern Front it is beyond their intellectual and mental capacity to have real understanding of what it was.

  71. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Unconditional Surrender Grant was known to have said: “I do not count my dead.”; tbere is ruthless for you.

  72. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Ukraine, Yugoslavia, and Romania have been countries created by other powers in the 20-th century. No son paises real como Espana o Francia o Iran.

  73. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The 10th Siberian Rifle Regiment, 10,000 men, was destroyed in a single day in Stalingrad, at the site were the Motherland statue stands today – if I recall correctly.
    Zukov stated in his memoirs of the absolute and severe “discipline” in the early days of the war.

  74. Pavlo says:

    A want, but not a will.
    This is seems to be the case among Ukrainians of all regions and political persuasions – Maidanauts and anti-Maidanauts alike want one thing or another but lack the will to achieve it.

  75. fanto says:

    at DianaLC at 47
    your personal story reminded me of a nice book – The Story of Low German & Plautdietsch – by Reuben Epp (Reader´s Press, 1993) – the history of migrations of Mennonites from NW Germany and Netherlands in 17th Century, and in 18th Century via Danzig to Russian Volga region is very interesting and not well known. The `Sibiriaks` (those who were deported to Siberia by Soviets) ended up in Canada if I remember correctly. Thanks for your input.

  76. Fred says:

    Which continent was that? I don’t recall Europe being part of America’s “Manifest Destiny”.

  77. Tel says:

    Smoothie, here’s what the guy wrote: “Until close to the very end, the Nazi regime did not have to threaten to murder German soldiers to force them to fight.”
    And your response: “Wehrmacht executed own soldiers in thousands.IIRC in 1944 alone something around 10,000. For people who have no grasp of realities of Eastern Front it is beyond their intellectual and mental capacity to have real understanding of what it was.”
    Now I’m pretty sure that 1944 would fall into the category of “close to the very end” although the exact turning point might be a matter of opinion. At any rate, just throwing this idea out there, but if you spend more time reading and thinking about what other people write, it might reduce your need to be abusive.
    Here’s another Stalin quote for you (translated of course):

    “The Red Army and Navy and the whole Soviet people must fight for every inch of Soviet soil, fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages…onward, to victory!”

    Hmmm, fight to the last drop of blood, not much wiggle room there.
    Here’s another Bloshevik motivational technique: hold the families hostage to ensure compliance, they used this right through from the Russian Civil War, through WWII, it was standard Red Army practice. You being a great expert on Russia of course already know all about this, but since you choose to selectively ignore such things, it falls upon the bumbling ignoramus such as me to bring it up, lest it be forgotten.
    Another Stalin quote:

    “There are no Russian prisoners of war. The Russian soldier fights on till death. If he chooses to become a prisoner, he is automatically excluded from the Russian community”

    Sounds like a charming guy, not only was he completely uninterested in any sort of prisoner exchange, he explicitly requested Hitler to execute these traitors who not long ago were Russians, but suddenly became nobodies.
    Then there was the mass killing of political prisoners without trial inside the USSR by the NKVD, perhaps that might have left the surviving Russian soldiers somewhat fearful, what do you think? Remind them of what might happen.
    From wikipedia — Deaths, in excess of 100,000. That was in just 6 months during 1941.
    Then there was this “scorched earth” policy, which was a weapon slowing the German advance, but which also betrayed Stalin’s absolutely ruthless disregard for civilians in all circumstances.

    “The measures taken by the Soviet Union between 1940 and 1942 aimed not only at furthering the Soviet war effort, but also at harming the German enemy even at the cost of huge losses of life among Soviet civilians. The Soviet scorched-earth strategy included the deportation of millions of men, women and children; the resettlement and reestablishment of thousands of factories; the withdrawal of almost the entire railway rolling stock; the-annihilation of raw material depots; the removal of most of the agricultural machinery, cattle and grain stocks; the systematic destruction, burning and blowing up of the immovable infrastructure, inventories of all kinds, factory buildings, mines, residential areas, public buildings, public records, and even cultural monuments; and the intentional starvation of the civilian population which remained behind to face German occupation. It was basically a policy which unscrupulously used the civilian population as a strategic pawn. The extent and timing of this policy action is confirmed by so many sources that no real difference of opinion exists in this regard. What is strange is how scantily it has been covered so far in the scholarly literature. Until now, this policy has not been analyzed to the extent it deserves with an eye to identifying the party responsible for the conflict, nor to appreciating the German difficulties in prosecuting a war along established civilized lines, nor to assessing the claims of German brutality in Russia, nor to sizing up the numerical potential of the alleged German genocide of Soviet Jews, or indeed, of the Soviet Slavs.”

    As this author points out, those great experts on Russia (such as yourself) don’t disagree over whether it happened, but they just consistently forget to mention the suffering inflicted.
    Why is it that Stalin not only evaded any penalty for his war crimes, but his crimes are downplayed? Who does that?

  78. Tel says:

    “Between the years 1941-1942 alone, up to 200,000 Red Army soldiers were executed by the NKVD. However, since Order No. 227, the Battalions were increased in number and men within each increased also. Estimates on how many Red Army prisoner/soldiers, “Deserters” and “Panic-mongers” were executed throughout the war, are estimated between hundreds of thousands to a million… but one cannot truly know the true loss of life under these Orders.”

    He also mentions the arrest of family members used as punishment, and the penal battalions (shtrafbats) sent to die, but might as well use up the enemy’s bullets instead of Russian bullets.

    “The total number of people convicted to penal units from September 1942 to May 1945 was 422,700 very few of whom were known to have survived the war.”

    Wikipedia also points out there’s no available reference for the rumour that shtrafniks were sent to battle unarmed, but you can safely presume they got the worst equipment available at the time.
    Note that the Nazi’s used similar tactics, and Wikipedia cites numbers in the 10’s of thousands, so it was on a smaller scale to what Stalin was doing. Obviously the strategy was somewhat successful, that’s Total War for you.

  79. Adrestia says:

    “Russians just are NOT farmers.”
    Sorry, but that’s not true. Russians are always picking mushrooms and when I try that I probably kill myself with the first meal.
    I know some (older) Russians that are not professional farmers, but musicians. Every time they show me their gardens I’m impressed with the amount of knowledge they have of plants, herbs, growing techniques etc. Not only to eat, but also to use as medicine.
    In The Netherlands (and we are a huge and very exporter of agricultural products) the general population hardly has any knowledge on agriculture, only the couple procent that work and research has that. We started losing and transferring that knowledge in the late middle ages as we had already had 40+% urbanization then in Holland (the western provinces)

  80. DianaLC says:

    You, yourself, may be seeing history through a different lens, and so you may be as “ignorant” as you think I am.
    I should have used the past tense and written “were” not farmers. I did write that my ethnic group was brought in first under Catherine the Great (the late 18th century) and then under Alexander I. Go back to that time period.
    Catherine the Great had starving people and, since she was German and knew what was happening in Europe with the last phase of the Reformation, with so much fighting and bloodshed, she invited the farmers there to come in and farm in peace in Russia. She cleverly settled them in separate villages–a Lutheran village here, a Catholic village there, a Baptist village elsewhere, etc., to prevent religious fighting.
    When they arrived in Russia, the lad was much like it was in the U.S. as the Western part was first being settled. The prairie land was root bound. There were no trees. She told them they had to farm. They spent the first years just preparing the land for farming and planting trees. They lived in dug-outs underground. They endured Mongol raiders. In some cases whole villages were wiped out. The same happened–except for the Mongol raiding–when they were brought in under Alexander I to the steppes above the Black Sea after Russia took that land from the Ottomans and into the area around Ukraine now. There were some who called themselves Bessarabian farmers. I just use the term from my history books here in my personal library.
    Yes, of course I understand that the Bolsheviks were using their ideas of socialism to confiscate the grain reserves, but it does show their lack of understanding farming. A farmer must always prepare for crop failure for some reason–drought, pests, etc. The grain was kept for replanting when such things happened. The grain that was confiscated could have been used to alleviate the suffering from the drought by feeding and use for replanting. The Dust Bowl here in the U.S. was caused by weather conditions, but the dust was caused from poor farming practices that did not thin The stupidity of the last czar was also at fauth. (I had a great-uncle who was taken by his soldiers in the middle of the night to fight in his stupid war with Japan. He ended up spending a year in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Until he died here in the U.S., which our people called the “Good Stepmother,” he kept a photo of Teddy Roosevelt on his wall since he had brokered the end of that war.
    The socialist/communist revolution which was brewing as my families “illegally” left Russia (it was against the law at the time)then brought the Bolsheviks down, and they were in many cases as bad as the Mongols had originally been. They came in the night and dragged out the older sons and murdered them. They beat the old men. And, yes, they took the grain that might have been used to alleviate the two great famines that killed millions of people because they had no sense about the reason for the grain reserve.
    If Russians had been such good farmers, Catherine the Great and Alexander I would not have felt the need to bring in farmers from Europe.
    I know about the feudalism before, the Cossacks, etc. They treated their peasants like animals and so those peasants had no incentive to do the farming in the way the Germans eventually did and helped–as I said–to make Russia a grain exporter–at one time being called the bread basket of the world.
    When the NY Times star reporter went to Russia to report on the famine, he as reporters from the NYT do now, decided all he needed to do was hobnob with that famous socialist/communist (head bolshevik devil) Stalin, who told him there was no famine. He came back and wrote what Stlain said. Luckily others finally got the truth.
    Bolsheviks / mongols, tartars–whatever. My elders who had escaped having to deal with the terror they inflicted in the villages talked of them as if they were devils. I simply wrote that the way we young people who knew only America heard the word interpreted it as meaning something like “devils.” I did learn what the word meant later as I studied history. I gave me no desire for socialism or communism.
    I will not be anyone’s useful idiot, and I shake my head at the spoiled young people here in America who feel socialism is the form of government that will save them.
    Where is the USSR now? It’s well known that with large socialist/communist uprisings and takeovers, famine will follow and millions will die.
    Do not just jerk your knee, as the saying goes, and begin insulting someone you have never met. Read for the meaning behind what is written.
    Take your socialism/ communism and become the useful idiot you are destined to be under those forms of governemtn.

  81. Dave says:

    I find this adulation of a former KGB Colonel to be mind-boggling.
    Putin spent his entire professional carreer destroying innocent people’s lives.
    Ronald Reagan is turning in his grave over this fact.

  82. Dave,
    Adulation? What are you talking about? And what is your evidence that he has “destroyed innocent people’s lives?”
    If he did his work properly as an intel officer no one not cleared to know would know what he did and the results.

  83. Dave says:

    The history of the KGB is well established. Spying on and trumping up charges against innocent people did indeed destroy innocent people’s lives.
    Fast forward to today where independent, anti-Putin journalists often end up dead under mysterious circumstances. Putin’s thugs routinely beat gay rights activists.
    And the most troubling aspect in my opinion of Putin’s dictatorship is the hacking of our election systems which General McMaster says can no longer be credibly denied.
    Putin is a very dangerous man in a very dangerous world. And lets not overlook his war crimes and genocide in Syria.

  84. Flavius says:

    Excellent article, loaded with unpleasant reality.
    The question in my mind is whether our contemporary politics vis a vis all things Russian reflects entrenched ignorance, habits acquired during a time and USSR that no longer exist, corrupt domestic political opportunism, indifference, inertia, sloth, what?
    Does it matter? The net effect is the same: high danger.
    The hope of improvement appears to lie in Russian forebearance and that is not a good thing.
    By what mechanism does accountability come to the Beltway bureaucracies that have been crating this mess since 1989, really. If we haven’t already, we are on the verge of completely, blithely, blowing the end of the Cold War.
    Clinton, Bush, Obama, and now Trump – history will not be kind to these political punters.

  85. Dave,
    Are you really this obtuse? Guilt by association and innuendo may work in your fantasy world. Here, we prefer facts and evidence. The KGB, like the CIA, is an intelligence organization that has engaged in some unsavory activities. Linking Putin to those activities simply because he was a “KGB Colonel” is not proof. You made the claim, not me, that Putin destroyed “innocent people’s lives.” I asked for proof. You provided none. Instead, you deflected and went off on a rant.
    So, here’s another chance. Specifically which “innocent” lives did Putin destroy?
    And, with respect to “war crimes and genocide in Syria”? Are you mad or just delusional. Russia is operating in Syria in accordance with international law. They have been officially invited in. It is the United States and the UK who are providing illegal weapons to rebel forces and have put troops into Syrian territory without permission. Go spread your propaganda elsewhere.

  86. jld says:

    And eating babies for breakfast!!!
    Yeah! Yeah!
    A bit short on actual arguments.
    What EXACTLY are you expecting from your dumb statements?

  87. SmoothieX12 says:

    Now I’m pretty sure that 1944 would fall into the category of “close to the very end” although the exact turning point might be a matter of opinion. At any rate, just throwing this idea out there, but if you spend more time reading and thinking about what other people write, it might reduce your need to be abusive.
    I don’t need to “think” about baloney since records of instant executions in Wehrmacht by Field Gendermerie go as far back as winter of 1941-42. As an example, there are many records (such as memoirs of ober-lieutenant Kurt Steiger among many). So, I am not interested in discussing let alone “thinking” of anything from someone who doesn’t know his facts. Obviously you never heard about Wehrmacht soldiers being provided “incentive” for going on the attack at Stalingrad by means of being shot at from the rear by own German “friendlies”. So, you may stop your verbose propaganda here and get to study, as I already stated, a real history. You are not here to present the sound case.

  88. SmoothieX12 says:

    — Agree. Four years after the US-arranged Maidan revolution “Prices for products doubled. … The incomes of the average Ukrainian, however, did not increase, and even fell
    True, but the moment of truth which is coming for Ukrainians is not even the fact that the country will be split–this is an unstoppable process by now. What is the most shocking for them is the fact which only begins to sink into their minds–that overwhelming majority of Russians do not need, do not want and try their best to avoid any dealings with Ukraine and Ukrainians. Some parts of Eastern Ukraine may still be salvageable in a very long run, but that is about it. Not a Ruble of “investments” should be spent on that hell-hole by Russia. I omit here purely military-strategic issue of which neither EU nor US were aware, they never are–no qualifications for this, when they unleashed what is now moving inexorably towards true fascist state. Let Merkel deal with it.

  89. SmoothieX12 says:

    A want, but not a will.
    Whole modern Ukrainian state and Ukrainian “culture” are built on “wants” and fantasies derivative of those wants. Basically a total delusion. In the end, what else is expected from proud heirs of Sumerian civilization, which also founded Troy.

  90. SmoothieX12 says:

    Just to illustrate, 10th Rifle Division of NKVD was one of the first to face-off units of 6th Army near Stalingrad. In the time period from late August to early October 1942 this Division was reduced to two companies, as an example. BTW, this were those very people who are associated with Zagrad Otryady. I, of course, may also recall Rodimtsev (13th Guards Rifle) Division which just crossing Volga lost something on the order of 80% of personnel (IIRC). People sometimes lose the grasp of the scale that in Stalingrad Battle in 4 months the number casualties on both sides, including civilians of Stalingrad and suburbs reached 1.9 million people. This never was a “regular” war–it is the war which still defines, profoundly at that, the world we live in.

  91. DianaLC says:

    I could ask you to look up the Web sites for the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.
    Most of my information comes from the many books I have on the subject of my ancestors. I could give you titles, but I doubt you would take the time to get those books and read them.
    Droughts and famines have many causes. Both of those in Russia, the one in the 20’s and the Holdomor meant the deaths of millions of people because the Russians didn’t care about the farmers at the time when they took the reserves. They didn’t have the slightest intention of doing anything but taking the grain up the Volga to the cities and leaving the villages to starve. The starving would have been cut far shorter, too, if Saling had told the world the truth. Famines occur when crops fail, but famines don’t last as long when farmers can quickly grow more crops.
    those other two that you mention had different causes, so you should do some research yourself.
    And I truly dislike your tone about my ancesters. These were people who were very religious and knew the meaning of the Ninth Commandment.
    Sociolists seem to me to be the ones without a logical brain.
    Read “Wir wollen Deutsche Bleiben.” Don’t worry, it’s in English. That covers mostly the Volga German communities. It’s by George J. Walters
    Read “The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas; From 163 to the Present” By Fred C. Koch
    I grew up in my church here attending church where we sang out of the “Volga Gesang Buch.”
    But, I think you will also find much information from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.
    You will probably be afraid to do any of this reading because then all your sociolist mis-education may cause you some cognitive dissonance. And I notice you don’t mention the famine that occurred after the communists took over China. How about the food situation in North Korea?
    You also don’t want to admit the many many Russians who died working themselves to death under Stalin, do you? I believe he cused the death of more Russians than he did of Nazis.
    One thing my teachers never did was accuse me of believing fairy tales, as I graduated first in my high school class and I received a full turition scholarship for my undergrad based on my test scores and graduate with honor, as I did for my M.A. program.
    Your implication about my grandparents’ and great grandparents’ honesty makes me angrier than you implication about my knowledge.

  92. Dave – “Putin is a very dangerous man in a very dangerous world. And lets not overlook his war crimes and genocide in Syria.”
    Imagine someone in the house across the road is shooting at your house. The shooter has his family living with him and has dragged in some innocent neighbours so that if you shoot back you’re putting lives at risk that shouldn’t be at risk.
    How do you cope with that? Do you shrug your shoulders and accept you and your family are always going to exposed to his fire? Do you try to get the innocents out of the way before you fire back? What if the shooter won’t let the innocents go?
    This is the position as it was in most Jihadi occupied areas of Syria. It is the position in Damascus even now, with artillery fire coming into civilian areas out of Jihadi occupied areas.
    Both the Americans and the forces supporting the Syrian Government had to cope with such situations many times. This is not the place to go into comparisons of how well the various sides managed, nor am I by any means the best qualified to do so, but I can assure you, having followed as well as I could Aleppo and Raqqa and many other such operations to get the Jihadis out of population centres, that the Russians coped as well as anyone and I believe better than most.

  93. mikee says:

    There are only seven. You should be able to figure it out.

  94. Fred says:

    Sounds like you’re feeling lots of inherited resentment. Feel free to move to a one where you can feel guilt free.

  95. mikee says:

    I feel no guilt, just see the world as it is and not as portrayed on the boob tube.

  96. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yup, like Mongols across the Iranian plateau.

  97. (75)
    SmoothieX12 – “The best in hypothetical scenario of “invading” Ukraine Russia can hope for is majority of silent and very openly or tacitly hateful population…”
    Absolutely. I remember the time when Strelkov was retreating and one assumed the Ukrainian irregular forces were going to mistreat the population in the area he had had to abandon. I think that did happen but at the same time I heard from a friend whose relatives lived in Sloviansk. The relatives were immensely relieved that they were now under Kiev again.
    In other words this is a bitterly divided population, even in the East.
    It didn’t have to happen. Of that I am convinced. Pre-coup opinion polls showed all of the Ukraine with the exception of the Crimea more or less reconciled to staying in the Ukraine as it was, and most wishing to do so. That country had it in it to become one of the most prosperous in Europe. There was intense popular dissatisfaction, that is true, but it was dissatisfaction on both sides of the divide with the mafia style corruption in the Ukraine, no matter which party ruled. Mozgovoy was right when he said, at the height of the conflict, that if those fighting against him knew who the real enemy was the fighting would stop tomorrow.
    The correspondence on this thread gives a glimpse of the intensity of the old and not so old passions and animosities simmering in the pre-coup Ukraine. Potentially the place was a powder keg. But powder kegs don’t have to explode and I am now certain that it was the EU and NATO intervention that set it off. The spectacle of both blithely pursuing their “geo-political” aims, unaware or even making use of those deep animosities, is I believe one of the most shameful spectacles in our history. Making use of the more nationalistic elements as street fighters and then as an ersatz military was yet worse. It was that time, watching the Western politicians and media glossing over or even justifying what had been done, that I and I think many others realised it wasn’t only the Ukraine that was in deep trouble.
    I think that’s a painful realisation that comes across also on the Colonel’s site. Most here, I believe, are deeply proud of their country and of the fighting forces that defend it. Yet at the same time we must witness our countries engaging in evil acts and our fighting forces put to uses we deplore. How can one not feel conflicted loyalties in those circumstances, particularly when so many of our respective fellow countrymen are unaware of or even approving of what is being done?
    We’ve gone a long way down. The foreign policy of the old America, the America of Kennedy’s inaugural speech that offered reasoned hope to all, has been taken over, to speak plainly, by a cabal of Eastern European Russophobic refugees or their descendants or adherents. For those looking on from outside the beacon of hope to the world has been replaced by the planetary scourge of a vast military, uncontrolled by it’s own people and serving who knows what intricate and discreditable ends. The America of the Little House on the Prairie has been replaced by the Shtetl on the Potomac and there seems no end to it.
    And worse, if that’s possible, in Europe. My Europe, the Europe of the civilised and the creative, has been replaced by the leaden rule of derelict ideals opposed by forces that hark back to the worst times in their history. There’s not much to come out of that conflict between two sides neither of which offer any true hope. And England, my England? Still there, I believe, I know, but how shamefully it trails the juggernaut and how eagerly we undertake the squalid tasks entrusted to us.
    And like some ancient Morality Play, we see the consequences of our dereliction played out in real time on the borders of our continent. The old Ukraine, that corrupt and riven state but with such possibilities for the future, we have smashed past hope of reconstruction. As its people – a great people, I have always felt, and either side of the divide – drive deeper into poverty and strife we will not save them. We seem incapable even of saving ourselves.

  98. SmoothieX12 says:

    Agree. Excellent and passionate summary you wrote.
    The America of the Little House on the Prairie has been replaced by the Shtetl on the Potomac and there seems no end to it.
    Exactly. I live away from large cities, in what still bears some (increasingly disappearing) features of THAT America–the one I actually love and this America is disappearing.
    And worse, if that’s possible, in Europe. My Europe, the Europe of the civilised and the creative, has been replaced by the leaden rule of derelict ideals opposed by forces that hark back to the worst times in their history. There’s not much to come out of that conflict between two sides neither of which offer any true hope. And England, my England? Still there, I believe, I know, but how shamefully it trails the juggernaut and how eagerly we undertake the squalid tasks entrusted to us.
    It is with the great sadness that I have to agree with you here.

  99. EO,
    In response to 114 – a fine comment. My only criticism is that, while I think that the ‘Shtetl on the Potomac’ – or indeed the Thames – is an important part of this story, one should not neglect the importance of traditional British Russophobia.
    (Also, while many of the most damaging Western analysts of Russian affairs are Jewish, many of the best have been and still are.)
    As regards Ukraine, it is material that one is dealing with divisions not simply between people but within them. The area was at the centre of collectivisation, and also the scene of some of the most savage fighting in the war.
    Take a somewhat extreme example. Suppose you have an – ethnically Russian – kulak, who goes out into the street in Smolensk shortly after the news of the German attack is broadcast, and is never seen by his family again. His daughter ends up living in a hole in the ground across the river from Stalingrad, making shells.
    At the end of the war, with Smolensk flattened, a relative in the NKVD recommends she go to Lviv, which is largely undamaged. There she meets and marries an – ethnically Ukrainian – railwayman, who has a close relative in the SS Galicia Division.
    It would not be impossible that their children might be, how shall I put it, a mite confused.
    What the Galician nationalists have sought to do is to overcome these confusions, and forge a unitary national identity, by portraying the ‘Holodomor’ as a deliberate genocide directed against Ukrainians by Russians.
    Into what you aptly describe as a ‘power keg’ one then injects ‘retards’ – Andrei Lugovoi’s apt term – like Christopher Steele and my sometime BBC Radio colleague Mark Laity, now ‘Chief StratCom’ at SHAPE, and their American counterparts.
    One of the mantras of Laity’s presentations is ‘perception becomes reality.’ In relation to Ukraine, it appears, the ‘perception’ he thinks that ‘StratCom’ can make ‘reality’ is: ‘“I am a Ukrainian” “We have this freedom inside our hearts … we have this freedom in our minds … and now I ask you to build this freedom in our country.’ In his presentation, this is followed by a slide entitled ‘Objects of desire …’, featuring images of expensive cars.
    ( .)
    What then happens, with people like Laity, or Steele, or indeed Glenn Simpson, is that the Galician nationalists, or the sometime KGB officers anxious to turn a dishonest penny, say ‘we’ve got some real “retards” here, absolute ‘useful idiots’: If we just “talk the talk” we can twist them round our little finger and tie them in knots from which they have not a cat in hell’s chance of escaping.’
    And that is what happens, in Ukraine, in Syria, and all over the place. The ‘retards’ think they are the ‘dog’, and in control, while in practice what they regard as the ‘tail’ ends up wagging them. And if the ‘tail’ chooses to, as it were, ‘go off the reservation’, there is nothing they can do but cover up.
    The dynamics of this process were brilliant analysed, all those years ago, by Graham Greene in ‘The Quiet American.’ What is particularly galling, from a British point of view, is that these days were seem to be mass-producing our own versions of Alden Pyle.
    This was the problem with NATO expansion, from the start. As soon as one moves a hard dividing line East in what were, historically, the ‘borderlands’ between different empires, to leave areas which were part of the Soviet bloc out is – not surprisingly – perceived by many of their inhabitants as implicitly consigning them to remain in a Russian sphere.
    For others in these areas, however, Russia has historically been seen as their friend and protector, and also, central to their culture (including modern culture.)
    Historically, in the ‘borderlands’, different groups have looked to stronger outside powers not simply to defend them but – if possible – to impose their own maximalist agendas on rival groups.
    The expectation of NATO membership quite predictably, encouraged Saakashvili to attempt to do this with the Abkhaz and Ossetes, and encouraged the Galician nationalists to do with the same with the East of the country, and – most ludicrously of all – Crimea.
    The gamble they were taking – with the ‘retards’ apparently following – was that Russia was too weak to stop them.
    However, ‘perception becomes reality’ can be a double-edged sword. If the Western powers are determined to treat Russia as an adversary, this behaviour is indeed liable to be self-fulfilling.
    More specifically, if Russian weakness is treated as simply something to be exploited, then obviously the ‘Eighties-era ‘new thinkers’, who believed that the threatening nature of the security posture inherited from the Stalin era was largely responsible for Western hostility, were ‘useful idiots.’
    One can then end up with a new ‘narrative’, to use the ‘StratCom’ term, in which Gorbachev features as Russia’s answer to Neville Chamberlain: the man who didn’t even ask for a ‘scrap of paper.’
    Perhaps, when it finally dawns on at least some of the ‘retards’ that Russia may not be quite as weak as they thought, the realisation may sink in that there are can be costs from discrediting those who seek to be one’s friends.

  100. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Don’t go all wobbly on us now old chap:

  101. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “Ukraine”, means “border land”.
    Afghanistan was another one such “border land” state – where the Pashtuns tried to create a Pashtun nation – which failed miserably.
    And so was Yugoslavia.
    If Ukraine could be destroyed, so could that country called Romania, or Kazakhstan, or India.
    Caveat Emptor.

  102. SmoothieX12 says:

    It may also I think be material here that quite a lot of Russian military people always had a certain nostalgia for the wartime alliance with the United States.
    It was not necessarily nostalgia but appreciation of both actual Allied effort on the American side plus, undeniably humanly very appealing, positions of both George Marshal and his OPD and Ike in pushing for the earliest, however highly risky, landing in France, be it Sledgehammer or what followed later as Roundup. It was difficult not to get affected in many positive ways by knowing that, unlike Churchill, Americans were great allies. General Stanley Embick’s memorandum on Churchill’s “Primrose Path” of avoiding a real fight at Casablanca is a startling testimony to human and military integrity of many people in the US Army then. Those facts were known in Soviet Military. And, then, Lend-Lease, of course, it mattered and it was remembered. Consider this, you may recognize the Russian Cover of this:
    listen to the end.

  103. Out of respect for you, Babak, I followed that clip through to the end. Hard work. Someone’s England, I’m sure, so I don’t knock it. Not mine.
    Think of an ancient T20 crawling across the skyline, the paraffin lamp sheltered by a bale of straw at lambing time, the shotgun propped up in the corner, the quiet thoughtful voices. That’s a little closer. We were bound to lose it, and that’s as it always should be, but to lose it and get this?

  104. Anna says:

    “Like all Germans you are fundamentally a Nazi..”
    This is not just an insult — this is an exposure of the monumental stupidity and ignorance. What was your relatives’ contribution to humanity — to sciences, arts, architecture, music, engineering…? Who are you to smear the great people? Take a book and read about Germans and their enormous contribution to the world.

  105. Anna says:

    Well, if you persist:
    “The history of the KGB is well established.”
    — The Bolshevik secret police was organized and put in place by Jewish revolutionaries. Does this sound anti-semitic for you?
    What was a job decryption of Bush the elder (a hint—there was the abbreviation “CIA” in his CV) and what was his role during the untimely death of JFK?
    “..anti-Putin journalists often end up dead under mysterious circumstances. Putin’s thugs routinely beat gay rights activists.”
    –And what are the names of these journalists and how often they “end up dead under mysterious circumstances?” For example, here is the name of a journalist Buzina murdered in Kiev after Nuland-Kagan revolution there. The revolution involved a tight cooperation of both the US State Dept. and the CIA with Ukrainian neo-Nazis. (Did your family lost its members during the WWII so that you could emotionally process these news from Kiev?)
    Also, do you know that Ukraine has become the most anti-semitic country of Europe after the CIA-sponsored coup d’etat in Kiev (was not the coup a monumental case of “meddling?”) Yet no screeching from the Holocaust biz. – Why?
    — And who told you that Putin personally orders to “beat gay rights activists” — Masha Gessen? “Russia has been viewed as being socially conservative regarding homosexuality, with recent polls indicating that a majority of Russians are against the acceptance of homosexuality…” — Are you personally for democracy or what?
    “And the most troubling aspect in my opinion of Putin’s dictatorship is the hacking of our election systems which General McMaster says can no longer be credibly denied.”
    — You mean, “Russians hacked electrical grid in Vermont” or how to make Americans look stupid?
    “And lets not overlook his war crimes and genocide in Syria.”
    –You mean, Syrians did not want to greet the ISIS “liberators” (head-choppers) with flowers and such? The same ISIS fighters that the CIA has been arming and providing with logistics, while Israel was providing with free medical care (10 million American dollars per day are sent to Israel from the US– don’t you like how these dollars have been working to support the well-being of ISIS “freedom fighters” on the Golan Heights and beyond in Syria?)
    –Syria is a sovereign state; Russia was legally invited by the legitimate Syrian government to help Syrians in their defense against a variety of war profiteers, oilmen (Cheney strikes again,, despots (Saudis), and religious fanatics (including Israelis). If you are looking to those guilty in the genocide in the Middle East, then you need to reread PNAC and Oded Yinon plan. Here is General Clarke revealing the ziocon/neocon plans for the Middle East, which, since then, led to genociding the millions of people there:
    –Here is Clinton, a war criminal guilty of the supreme crime of a war of aggression against (formerly) sovereign Libya – a former gem of North Africa – which since then became a playground for ISIS/Daesh/Al Qaeda and a grave for hundreds of thousands of innocent people, including tens of thousands of children. But murdering children en masse is not new for the “morally superior” at the State Dept.:
    — Finally, look at the mirror before announcing your superior morality

  106. Babak Makkinejad says:

    But that England of a rural civilization and culture has been dead for more than 150 years. Few cared about its passing; I have very seldom indeed have come across any text by the English that indicted even awareness of the issue, let alone any call to action.

  107. Babak – Little cultural eco-systems come and go all the time. And that within wider cultural frameworks that are themselves constantly shifting. Never the same river and all that. Never the same little rivulet.
    No, I’m not pining after les neiges d’antan. The point is that although constant shifting is us, it’s a good idea to shift to something viable. Something better if possible – why not if we can? – but at least to something that works.
    I don’t think we’ve done that.
    That certainly applies to the bread and butter stuff – keeping a household going, getting a decent job. A great number of us don’t have to worry about that because we did it when times were easier, but the times are nowhere near as easy now and if we’ve rescued the very poorest from dire poverty millions upon millions are not doing anywhere near as well as they think normal.
    The top few per cent aren’t aware of that to any extent – for those few per cent I suppose the times have never been easier – but the millions are and they don’t like it. The test of the viability of a society is not so much how many people are poor. It’s to what extent people will put up with being poor. The graphs don’t show that but it’s clear that in that respect we’re less viable than we were. Our failure is not that we’ve shifted. It’s that we’ve shifted to something that doesn’t work.
    Incidentally – “Few cared about its passing?” I’d suggest that that’s partly what the repeal of the Corn Laws was about. Big mistake, that.
    (Wiki) “. Britain’s dependence on imported grain during the 1830s was 2%; during the 1860s it was 24%; during the 1880s it was 45%, (for wheat alone during the 1880s it was 65%.)[32] The 1881 census showed a decline of 92,250 in agricultural labourers in the ten years since 1871, with an increase of 53,496 urban labourers. Many of these had previously been farm workers who migrated to the cities to find employment,[33] despite agricultural labourers’ wages being higher than those of Europe.[33] Agriculture’s contribution to the national income was about 17% in 1871; by 1911 it was less than 7%.[34]
    “Robert Ensor wrote that these years witnessed the ruin of British agriculture, “which till then had almost as conspicuously led the world, [and which] was thrown overboard in a storm like an unwanted cargo” due to “the sudden and overwhelming invasion…by American prairie-wheat in the late seventies.”[35] Previously, agriculture had employed more people in Britain than any other industry and until 1880 it “retained a kind of headship,” with its technology far ahead of most European farming, its cattle breeds superior, its cropping the most scientific and its yields the highest, with high wages leading to higher standard of living for agricultural workers than in comparable European countries.[33] However, after 1877 wages declined and “farmers themselves sank into ever increasing embarrassments; bankruptcies and auctions followed each other; the countryside lost its most respected figures,” with those who tended the land with greatest pride and conscience suffering most as the only chance of survival came in lowering standards.[36] “For twenty years,” Ensor claimed, “the only chance for any young or enterprising person on the countryside was to get out of it.”[36]”
    ” … the only chance of survival came in lowering standards.” Relevant today since if our neo-liberals do get their way that’s what will happen again after Brexit.
    So that’s something else we might shift to that doesn’t work. Above PT excoriates a shift in foreign policy that definitely doesn’t work. Aren’t we doing rather a lot of shifting to things that don’t work these days?

  108. Pacifca Advocate says:

    I find it interesting nobody has mentioned the Gladio program. Does anyone contributing here know much about that? From my limited reading on the subject, I took away that the Ukrainian Banderists were a cornerstone of it.

  109. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you.
    Evidently Japanese learnt from UK’s mistakes and maintained a robust agricultural sector.
    But UK leaders also decided to be Bankers to the World – chemical dies were invented in England – like so many other things – but were industrialized in Germany.
    Did not the Parliament also do away with food security for parishes during the same period?

  110. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Samuel Huntington called Ukraine (along with several others) a “cleft country”,
    “cleft” between its Eastern Rite Catholic-dominated western section and its Orthodox-dominated east.
    My questions are:
    Would Ukraine be better off split in two?
    There seems to be so much hostility, why not let the two sides go their own ways?
    With the East incorporated into Russia,
    and the West either becoming independent or being absorbed into one or more of its neighbors with which it feels more compatible.
    Should the U.S. at least maintain neutrality about such a breakup.
    (To actively encourage it would be to invite the charge of meddling in other state’s affairs.)

  111. Babak – for once we’re on different tacks, and the tack you’re on is not one at present most in my mind. I’ll set down briefly how I see what you mention and then revert, if I may, to what this thread was about for me.
    The art of the scholar-historian is not merely to dig the facts out for us, vital though that work is. Not is it to shape the facts to a predetermined narrative, which is what our historians mostly did until quite recently.
    It is to enter into the minds of those who lived in past times, the minds of those we like and those we disapprove of, to be easy with the way they thought however strange to us their way of thinking now, and then to put what happened into a true context. The scholar-historians are our guides to strange country and we may confidently employ them as such.
    It is a true art and a difficult one. I’ve seen Finkelstein do it effortlessly, and Burleigh, and a few others. I’ve seen plenty fail, and sometimes fail deliberately. When they succeed, when, to quote the Colonel’s dictum that is the foundation of this site they ” .. tell the truth as it is given to me to know the truth”, their’s is an essential task and their calling an invaluable one.
    Now I could give you, were space to permit, my personal views on the dismantling of the Mediaeval welfare system, to use a modern term, on the slow dispossession of the common people that ran from Tudor times, on the recurring theme in English history – the usually timely recognition that if you pushed them too hard the common people would come after you with pitchforks, and on down to the modern discovery that if you got the PR and the policing right they wouldn’t want to or indeed be able to – a discovery we’ve been building on from early Victorian times because such techniques aren’t in fact that modern – but as you will see from that resume my take is so strongly coloured by my own personal political views that we are in no sense in the territory of the scholar-historian.
    All we ourselves can do is to exchange glimmerings, evanescent insights that may or may not be pertinent or valid – and that on a site the chief value of which is that it goes for hard edged indisputable facts about the present, not imperfect speculation about the past.
    Courtesy of our host we can do that sometimes, and it’s a tack we’ve been on before to the occasional bafflement of our fellow visitors to SST, but I think we’re on a different tack here.
    PT’s article took me back to that time some four years ago. Something didn’t feel right about what we were being told about the Maidan. I went looking, not very efficiently and at first impatiently because getting facts from partisan sites, and sometimes from sites one could only access through machine translation, isn’t a very neat and tidy way of gathering information.
    I started to form a view. Not long after I found that view confirmed by academics who saw that the story was not as it was being related to us, and who themselves were advancing tentative explanations for the seemingly slow and hesitant Russian reaction to the events in the Donbas. Later I found the view I had formed confirmed by SST. I’m glad now that I only found that out later – it allowed me to be confident that I hadn’t blindly followed the experts. Sometimes it’s better to find things out for oneself.
    It was a bleak view. One had to confront the fact that in the Ukraine we weren’t the good guys.
    Not just that we were being stupid, or justifying what we were doing as “fighting fire with fire”, or muddling inadequately through something we didn’t understand. What we did was evil and very destructive.
    One also had to confront the fact that the standard reporting of events was wrong. Again, not just misinformed or inadequate or one-sided, but plain wrong. Later, though that was mostly on the Syrian conflict then, I watched the State Department briefings and other such briefings and gradually came to see how it was done. The line for the day being shaped to fit the events that couldn’t be denied and to suppress if possible other facts. I watched the reporters trying to get sense out of it. Those reporters, one felt, were perfectly willing to accept the official line but they had enough professionalism to want to make it square with the known facts; and they couldn’t.
    I listened to the same official line for the day coming out of the BBC and to a lesser extent our press. I still don’t know how that happens, how the official line gets disseminated. I don’t think it’s some centrally organised information campaign. I think it’s mostly consensual herd instinct. However it happens, it happens, and we were a long way indeed from the conventional view of our intrepid reporter going out there and getting at the truth as he sees it even if he gets it skewed.
    It was a lonely time, that time in 14/15 sitting in front of a screen and watching it happen. Lonely because all around me, including my immediate family, were entirely divorced from it all. All we can know of such things is what we’re told. What all were told shaped what all believed and for most there was no reason to believe that the story on their screens and in their newspapers was false.
    And running concurrently with these unwelcome discoveries about ourselves was the courage and tragedy of it all. Those Ukrainian farm boys, straight off the tractor and sent untrained into killing fields. The retreats – who knew where they would stop? The encirclements. The desperate improvised defences. Those long lines of shattered vehicles and tanks. The cool heroism of the Ukrainian officer on Saur Mogila who guessed the fire pattern and led his men safe through it. A thousand such instances, both sides, and all totally, totally, unnecessary.
    And the ugliness. The mutilations, the graves, the spectacle of untrained troops firing big guns into civilian area and capering about wildly as the guns fired. The stories – I believe they are at least partly true – of the half-criminal half-mercenary bands who found ample opportunity on both sides for profit and atrocity. And those foolish young conscripts in an army strong point larking around like college students. The phones recording it recovered the next day from their bodies after they had inevitably been killed in an action they were neither equipped nor trained for.
    PT’s article brought all that back. I look back at that silent lonely figure in front of his screen, sitting there and thinking – God, we set all that lot off. For we did, you know; and we’re still doing it.

  112. fanto says:

    EO at #32
    Thank you for your clear little essay;
    You put in words what was on my mind. I could ‘spread’ my personal intellectual development (“Werdegang” in German) which led to present understanding of the world around me. I will resist that and will not go into my personal and my immediate family tragic experiences which led to my turn from a Russian hater to a “Putin Versteher” and into an American/Anglo/Franco/German/Israeli skeptic. It would be a too personal and anecdotal tale. But let me say that it is a great accomplishment to come to similar conclusions, for an Englishman, without the benefit of himself making “the journey” – from the omissions, half-truths and lies of the communist regime, to identical sins of the capitalist regime.

  113. fanto says:

    Eo – it should be at #132

  114. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you.

  115. A.I.Schmelzer says:

    Concerning the battle of Stalingrad:
    –Numbers of Red army executions in Stalingrad itself were very low. It was different on the Eastern side of the Volga
    –Chuikov could be harsh, and did not suffer fools for very long, but he was, other the Rokosvosky or Tolbukhin, perhaps the Soviet general least likely to execute his own.
    –Reality of fighting on the Eastern Front literally dwarfs modern comprehension
    –Supposedly, one factor of the Soviet victory at Stalingrad was that the Germans, (6th army had a very good radio compartment) didnt understand the very coarse Blyadni Jasik used by the Chuikovs Russians.
    Chuikov had a tendency go swear quite colorfully as well, and it rubbed off. He gave as few fucks about political correctness as a red army general possibly could. Needless to say, making up insulting nicknames for particular german units and having those as actual codewords in official communications was also a morale booster, supposedly, some Red armists captured a German divisional history (or some German who knew it by hard), promptly went all Zaporozhian Cossak on it and submitted that as a new codename for this german division, however, it was not accepted because it would have been waaay to too long)

  116. A.I.Schmelzer says:

    Putin was first directorate, and had a peripheral analyst role in Dresden (far from being a prestigious post).
    First directorate was foreign intelligence, they were not generally speaking involved with domestic repression inside of the USSR (although one of their predecessors, the OGPU, was quite involved with purging the GRU during Stalins purges because it was a rival agency. Bad blood between GRU and SVR, the successor to the first directorate of the KGB, exists today. GRU took some vengeance after Stalins dead after Chruschev and Zhukov triumphed over Berija and Malenkov). The other important thing about him being first directorate is that the first directorate was seen as the KGBs elite. Fencing with the CIA was a lot more “prestigious and challenging” then monitoring some dissidents.
    First directorate was involved with overseeing client states to an extent.

  117. A.I.Schmelzer says:

    “Cleft country” is very simplistic, and Ukraine is a fairly complex place.
    As an example, if Putins polite Green men would suddenly turn up in Odessa, they would likely be greeted as liberators from the Maidan yoke. In Dneprpetrovsk, which is considerably further east, they would likely be fought savagely.
    There are additional rural vs Urban divides (In some areas, Urban parts are more pro Russian then rural parts, and in other parts the rural areas are quite Anti Maidan, btw. Anti Maidan does not neccessarily equal pro Russian).
    There are at least 4 different regional power centres in Ukraine, Donbass, Dnipro, Kiev and Lviv (with different identities and stereotypes about each other), and other then Donbass and Lviv allying all of these have been allied or hostile to each other at some time point.
    In a way, the outer of Chruschev (from Donbass) by Breznev (from Dnipropetrovsk) was also linked to a conflict in Ukraine.
    You also have secondary centres such as Kharkov or Odessa, who are economically meaningfull but lacked the will to do violence in defense of their interests and thus got occupied.

  118. Me, I’m a Putin/Trump/Sanders versteher, with a soft spot for your Sahra Wagenknecht because she told the Bundestag what was what on one memorable occasion. All that put together is quite a difficult combination in Germany.
    I was there just after Brexit and everyone was most put out that I’d voted for it. I explained that the EU/Ukrainian association negotiations must surely have been one of the most pig headed shambles in the history of international diplomacy and if that was Festung Europa in action count me out. And that I couldn’t feel any affection for an EU that was putting its weight behind Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine.
    We all went a bit silent after that.
    On the Ukraine, I’d guess PT’s forceful article brought it all back for a lot of people. Typing a few recollections into this little window here made me realise how much. Your recollections, and from so much sharper a perspective, would I believe be considerably more significant.

Comments are closed.