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Ukraine: Shaky Truce with Consequences

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at 7:53 AM


Ukraine: Shaky Truce with Consequences

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and fascist opposition leaders agreeing on terms to end street violence.

They suggest unconditional surrender. Events are so fluid it's hard knowing for sure what's coming until they play out. They're unlikely to any time soon.

Ukraine is an ongoing story. Strings are pulled in Washington and key EU capitals. Protest leaders are Western puppets. Disparate street elements have ideas of their own.

Yanukovych agreed to hold early presidential and parliamentary election. He'll reinstate Ukraine's 2004 constitution. He'll form a national unity government. These were key protester demands.

Parliament approved unconditional amnesty for all detainees facing potential prosecution for street crime violence.

Martial law won't be imposed. Or a state of emergency. In return, both sides agreed to refrain from violence. Reports said it continued  sporadically in Kiev and other cities.

Disparate elements want more. They want Yanukovych replaced now. They want elections earlier than he proposed.

They want new government as soon as possible. They want their will imposed unilaterally.

They want Yanukovych tried for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Obama represents predatory Western interests. He wants Ukraine colonized. He wants its resources controlled. He wants them plundered.

He wants ordinary Ukrainians exploited. He wants Ukraine made part of NATO. He wants all former Russian republics under US control.

His policies risk confrontation with Moscow. Expect Putin to take so much and no more. He won't sacrifice vital Russian interests for Washington.

The struggle for Ukraine's soul continues. It remains to be seen how things play out. On Thursday, Obama turned truth on its head.

"(W)e hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way..."

(T)hat (they're) able to assemble and speak freely about their interests without fear of repression...(W)e expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters."

Ukrainian authorities have shown remarkable restraint. Far more than most Western societies ever would.

Fascist street protesters bear full responsibility for street violence. They're armed and dangerous. They have blood on their hands.

They shot and killed civilians. They murdered police in cold blood. Obama deplorably called them "peaceful."

They're thugs. They're fascists. They're bought and paid for. Washington and EU partners support them.

Whether Yanukovych's deal quiets things remains to be seen. Some violence continues. Things could escalate further any time. Conditions remain volatile.

On Friday, Ukraine's parliament voted 310 - 54 to free former prime minister Yulia Tymosenko. She was imprisoned for "abuse of public office" and embezzlement.

Charges included illegally diverting 5 million meant for environmental projects into pension funds. A second case involved stealing around 0 million for personal use.

Freeing her whitewashes her crimes. She argued against negotiating with Yanukovych.

She urged his immediate removal from office. She's allied with dominant western Ukrainian anti-Russian interests.

She profited hugely from privatizing state enterprises. Her husband is one of Ukraine's wealthiest oligarchs.

She was president of United Energy Systems of Ukraine. At the time, she was called "gas princess."

She was involved in stealing enormous amounts of Russian gas piped through Ukraine.

She was accused of other criminal dealings. Her 2004 Orange Revolution involvement earned her the nickname "Orange princess."

She's a disreputable character. She profited hugely at the expense of ordinary Ukrainians.

Freeing her grants her license to steal more. It lets her act disruptively against democratic governance.

Reuters said Ukraine's parliament voted to dismiss Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko. He showed great restraint against violent protesters. They claimed otherwise. They wanted him removed.

Ukraine is more two countries than one. Some say three. Eastern Ukraine has longstanding historical ties to Russia.

Western Ukraine is more EU oriented. Crimea in Ukraine's south is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet. It has an ethnic Russian majority population.

Don't expect Moscow to let the area fall into Western hands. It's too strategically important to lose. Potential confrontation ahead is possible to keep it.

It bears close watch to see what happens. Conditions remain volatile. Local authorities are preparing for possible eventualities.

Some recruited volunteers to aid police. Others are prepared to act independently if necessary.

Emergencies will be declared if needed. Key is restoring order. It's preserving it.

It's preparing to confront disruptive extremist elements. It's engaging with Russia for whatever help Moscow can provide.

It's holding Ukraine together if possible. It's preparing to go it alone if necessary. Conditions are so volatile, it's hard knowing what's coming day to day.

At times, hour to hour. Some areas are more stable than others. Most trouble is in Ukraine's West.

Larger cities are prizes both sides want. Confrontations to control them may continue for some time. Ukraine may stay destabilized much longer than most people think.

On February 21, spoke to people "on both sides of the barricades." Native Kiev resident Dmitry Zvershovsky was in Independence Square (Maidan) 10 years ago.

He was there during Orange Revolution protests. They were largely peaceful compared to now. "I remember the atmosphere, the warmth people treated each other with," he said.

He looked for similar comradeliness this time. People want to fight, he said. An anti-government protester eschewed dialogue.

"There can't be any," he said. "They've crossed the line. No talks! They must resign. We won't be satisfied by anything less."

A mother said she comes to Maidan every day. "I leave my child with my husband and come here," she said.

Political analyst Vasily Stoyakin said "(o)n weekends, there are plenty of city dwellers, and then Maidan looks more crowded, more sensible and friendlier."

"But on weekdays, there are Maidan protesters for-hire from Galichina and even straight up homeless tramps."

Western money funds them. Many wouldn't come otherwise. According to a (special police) Berkut officer, "(i)t's not ordinary people who are gathering here."

Orthodox priest, Father Alipiy, blesses all those who ask. At the same time, he criticizes protesters.

"What's terrifying is that people are longing for war, not for peace," he said. "They have a sick need" to fight.

Other Kiev residents express varying views. Some support protesters. Others curse them. Some are largely indifferent or seem so.

Some Kiev residents bring protesters food and warm clothes. Others do the same for Berkut.

It's the key force able to maintain security. Whatever there is of it. Without them they'd be none. They'd be out-of-control chaos.

They'd be more violence, injuries and deaths. They'd be more buildings set ablaze. Parliament might be successfully stormed and controlled. Legislators could be killed if inside.

Mariyinsky Palace is Kiev's official presidential residence. Without protection, it could be ransacked, burned and destroyed. Officials inside could be killed.

Maidan protesters reflect different points of view. Masked ones are violent. They want confrontation. They want war. They want forcible regime change.

Unmasked protesters want peaceful conflict resolution. A woman doctor "keeps vigil in the protesters' camp," said RT.

At times, divisions between both sides aren't relevant, she said.

"If burning gas hits a Berkut member and he's in flames, and I happen to be nearby, I won't stop for a second to think about who it is."

"It's a human being burning. That's all that matters. Of course, I'd run to help him," she said.

If all Ukrainians felt the same way, conflict wouldn't have erupted in the first place. Most protesters are doing so against their own self-interest.

Gains they hope to make are illusions. They're being set up to be had. Washington, EU partners and fascist anti-government allies want Ukraine plundered for profit.

They want ordinary people exploited in the process. They want harsh neoliberal austerity force-fed. They want wealth and power at the expense of ordinary Ukrainians.

As things now stand, they appear well on the way to getting it. Ukraine is low-hanging fruit ripe for picking.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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