The 2013 CIA Coup in Ukraine

Ukraine on Fire

Directed by Igor Lopotanok (2016)

Film Review

This documentary explores the 2013 US color revolution in Ukraine that led to the replacement of Ukraine’s democratically elected government with a coalition of neo-Nazi groups covertly supported CIA-funded foundations. Late investigative journalist Robert Parry appears in the film to describe his investigations into the role of the US Embassy; CIA-funded foundations like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); George Soros’s Renaissance Foundation and the Dutch Embassy.

The film begins by exploring Hitler’s invasion of Ukraine in 1941. Western Ukraine welcomed the Nazis, as this liberated them from Soviet occupation. The OSS (which became the CIA in 1947) protected Ukraine’s Nazis (who had participated in genocidal terrorism against neighboring Poles and Ukrainian Jews) to ensure they never stood trial for war crimes at Nuremberg.

In 1989, as the Soviet Union began to disintegrate, Ukrainian fascists the CIA had incubated formed the Ukrainian nationalist neo-Nazi group Svoboda. In 1994, three years after Ukraine declared independence, others would form the far right paramilitary organization Tryzub.

These and other US-funded groups were extremely instrumental in Ukraine’s first color revolution in 2005. The “Orange Revolution,” as it was known, displayed the same characteristic hallmarks as CIA-inspired “color revolutions” (eg coups) in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Georgia, Lebanon and elsewhere.

2013 witnessed a a similar color revolution after Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych rejected a pending EU association agreement.* When Yanukovych turned to Russia instead for financial support, the US-backed fascist groups began a campaign of “peaceful protests” in Kiev’s Maidan. As happens with many US-sponsored color revolutions, fascist and neo-Nazi instigators quickly escalated their nonviolent protests into violent attacks against police and government officials with rocks, bats, metal bars, Molotov cocktails and bulldozers.

With the help of three EU leaders, government officials negotiated a truce with opposition leaders, which the violent protestors refused to to honor. After being informed by Ukrainian intelligence that mercenaries had been hired to assassinate him, Yanukovich sought asylum in Russia. Violent protestors immediately occupied Yanukovich’s home and public office.

Although a parliamentary proposal to remove Yanukovich from the presidency lost by 68 votes, the US immediately recognized the head of the Ukrainian parliament as the new president.

A leaked phone conversation between Victoria Nuland, the lead US diplomat during the Ukraine crisis, confirms direct US involvement in the 2014 coup. During the call, Nuland is heard instructing coup leaders on US choices to form the new government.

This documentary also refutes the widespread MSM myth concerning a Russian invasion** of Crimea that never occurred. Concerned the US would organize a similar coup in the province of Crimea, the predominantly Russian-speaking residents of Crimea seized the Crimean Parliament in on February 27, 2014. On March 17, they organized a popular referendum in which 96.77% of voters (with 90% turnout) opted to leave Ukraine and request reunification with the Russian Federation.*

Russian-speaking residents of the western provinces of Luhansk and Donestsk also seized the government buildings in both provinces and declared the entire region as the People’s Republic of Donetsk. The military conflict between the Republic of Donetsk, which receives military and humanitarian support from Russia, is ongoing.

For me, the most interesting part of the film is Oliver Stone’s interview with Vladimir Putin.


*Yanukovych worried that punitive IMF loans required to implement the agreement would destroy Ukraine’s economy.

**In 1954, Ukrainian native Nikita Khrushchev transferred governance of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. Following the Soviet collapse, Russian maintained (via a treaty with Ukraine) a military force of 2,000 troops in Crimea following Ukrainian independence, largely to protect the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

Snowden: The Book Behind the Film

snowden-files

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man

By Luke Harding

Guardian Books (2014)

Book Review

The Snowden Files is the fast-paced thrilleresque account of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s dramatic escape from US capture in Hong Kong, following his leak of thousands of computer files documenting Orwellian NSA surveillance activites. Earlier this year, this book was remade as the motion picture Snowden.

Published in the UK, The Snowden Files provides substantial background on the NSA’s British counterpart GCHQ, whose spying on innocent civilians is even more egregious than the NSA’s, owing to the country’s weaker civil liberties protections. In fact, the NSA relies on GCHQ to engage in certain types of snooping (on Americans) that are expressly forbidden in the US.

When Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald first broke the story that Internet giants Google, Facebook, Apple and Yahoo were secretly turning over vast amounts of customer data to the NSA, his editors were forced to release the story online from the Guardian’s New York office to avoid prosecution in Britain. Shortly after the story’s release, British police destroyed all the hard drives in the Guardian’s London office – in the belief they continued copies of NSA files Snowden had released.

I especially appreciated the book’s epilogue about Snowden’s life in Russia, as it dispels much of the western propaganda about his selling NSA secrets to Russia, his refusal to learn Russian (he speaks enough to do his own grocery shopping and is working to improve his fluency), and his (non-existent) job with a Russian tech company. At the time of publication, Snowden supported himself through savings and speaking fees.

Four other government whistleblowers (Coleen Rowley, Jesselyn Radack, Ray McGovern and Thomas Drake) visited Snowden in Moscow in 2013, and the book recounts their meeting.

The book’s major shortcoming is its embarrassing fact checking lapses – for example the assertion that Putin “invaded” Crimea in 2014. Most independent sources confirm that in 2014 the legislature of the Autonomous Republic Crimea held a referendum in which 95.5% voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The referendum was triggered when a US-sponsored fascist coup seized the government in Kiev.

Unelected Regime Begins Killing Spree in Eastern Ukraine

 

With fanatical, irregular forces, armored vehicles, and aircraft including warplanes and helicopter gunships, the unelected government in Kiev has undertaken a war against their own people. That the US and EU are supporting this regime in terrorizing the Ukrainian people is a total reversal of the so called “responsibility to protect” they advocated in both Libya and Syria.

As Cartalucci points out at the end of his article: the west has already lost in Ukraine. With the people of Crimea choosing to rejoin Russia and with unrest spreading across eastern Ukraine, the notion of a “united” Ukraine shifting West is unlikely if not indefinitely impossible.