Thursday, 20 February 2014

Ukraine Turmoil Escalates Into Foreign-backed Armed Uprising

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As the deadly chaos in Ukraine spirals out of control amid foreign meddling on all sides, news reports suggest that dozens of rebels and protesters have been killed in violent clashes with government forces, which also suffered multiple casualties. When a so-called “truce” between the Moscow-backed Ukrainian regime and the Obama administration-supported opposition apparently crumbled shortly after being agreed to, violence exploded again in the capital, Kiev, and across much of the nation.

It is the worst crisis to strike the nation in decades — some analysts even suggest Ukraine is on the verge of civil war — with February 20 reportedly the deadliest day so far. Pictures and videos pouring out of Ukraine reveal what looks like a war zone: blazing fires and smoke everywhere, protesters violently clashing with security forces, burning cars and police vehicles, trashed city centers filled with rubble, impromptu barricades across major streets, and more.

The reported death tolls vary widely, but estimates suggest that as many as 100 protesters and 10 police may have been killed in recent days. Hundreds more on both sides of the conflagration have been wounded. The violence, which has been simmering for months, started escalating out of control this week as both sides upped the ante amid a dispute between proponents of closer ties with the European Union and those who seek deeper links with Moscow.

Some protesters, for example, can be seen clearly in videos shooting at police, many of whom have also started firing live ammunition at the rioters. Reports suggest that Western establishment-backed rebels have seized weapons from military depots and are using them to attack regime forces. Footage has also shown rioters mercilessly beating police officers, throwing rocks and bricks, and even using Molotov cocktails to neutralize the regime’s armored personnel carriers.

According to the Ukrainian regime’s Interior Ministry, rebels have kidnapped some 67 police officers, some of whom are being paraded around the streets. “They [the rebels] went on to the offensive. They are working in organized groups. They are using firearms, including sniper rifles. They are shooting to kill,” claimed a statement from “President” Viktor Yanukovich's office released on Thursday. “The number of dead and injured among police officers is dozens.”

In a supposed effort to regain control and free the kidnapped policemen — a few people dressed as police appeared on TV and said they had voluntarily joined the uprising — authorities said “security” forces had been authorized to use weapons. Doctors quoted in unconfirmed media reports said that government troops had resorted to sniper fire against some protesters, including more than a dozen who were reportedly shot through the head or the heart.  

The property damage has been intense as well. Rioters have invaded and torched numerous government buildings, political party headquarters, and even a post office. Kiev’s “Independence Square” looks like a post-apocalyptic scene, with ashes and rubble everywhere following multiple clashes between rebels and the regime for control of the centrally located area. Multiple analysts and officials said Ukrainian authorities were expected to crack down hard to secure the square.

So far, despite calls for “peace” from governments around the world, the growing violence shows no signs of receding. The EU and the Obama administration are reportedly working on sanctions targeting government officials, while the Kremlin is said to be plotting a major bailout of Ukraine once the situation calms down. The official narrative, at least, suggests that the turmoil in Ukraine is essentially a proxy battle between Western powers and Putin over influence in the strategically located nation. 

As far as evidence goes, a recorded phone call reported to be between Obama administration Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt exposed the two conspiring to bring regime change to the embattled nation. The plot, analysts say, features remarkable similarities to the Obama administration’s semi-secret support for Islamist “regime-change” rebels in Syria, as well as other covert U.S. government schemes to topple foreign governments.

Multiple U.S. government-linked and -funded outfits, including some bankrolled by globalist billionaire George Soros, have been implicated in the ongoing turmoil wreaking havoc across Ukraine (and the world). The Obama administration has openly injected itself into the conflagration as well, making demands on the Ukrainian regime and lawlessly threatening “consequences” if it fails to heed his unsolicited decrees.    

“We expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters,” Obama claimed, saying the rebels had “legitimate” grievances that the regime must address. “We’ll be monitoring very carefully the situation, recognizing that, along with our European partners and the international community, there will be consequences if people step over the line.” He also ordered “peaceful protestors to remain peaceful,” claiming that “a large majority of Ukrainians are interested in an integration with Europe.”

EU bosses have been making similar claims and issuing threats as well. European Commission boss José Manuel Barroso, a former Maoist revolutionary who is now obsessed with building an unaccountable “federal” EU, blamed Ukraine's “political leadership” for the havoc. He also threatened to impose sanctions. “We therefore expect that targeted measures against those responsible for violence and use of excessive force can be agreed by our member states as a matter of urgency,” Barroso claimed.

Russian officials, meanwhile, put the blame squarely on Western powers, calling for the regime to negotiate with the opposition to end the crisis. “What is happening is a direct result of the conniving politics of Western politicians and European bodies,” Putin’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Moscow’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, also said the threats from Western powers “resemble blackmail” and that sanctions outside of the United Nations were “absolutely illegitimate.” The actions of “radicals and extremists, who are mostly responsible for violence and bloody riots,” should be condemned, Lavrov added.

With dueling propaganda efforts aimed at making the other side look as bad as possible, the truth is becoming increasingly murky. Both sides, neither of which is particularly trustworthy, continue accusing each other of intervention in Ukraine. Russian officials are accusing Western powers of arming and backing the uprising. The Obama administration and EU bosses, meanwhile, claim that Putin is coddling the out-of-control regime in Kiev so it can crush its “peaceful” opponents. 

As The New American reported in December, the conflict erupted when Putin-backed “President” Yanukovych’s regime announced that it was backing out of talks aimed at forging a closer alliance with the totalitarian-minded EU. Yanukovych, a former Soviet-era Communist Party operative with strong links to the Kremlin, wanted to pursue deeper ties with the Russian government. EU bosses and the Obama administration were outraged, as were some Ukrainians who sought closer ties with the emerging Brussels-based superstate rather than Moscow.

Liberty-minded analysts called for the Obama administration to stay out of the conflict and mind its own business. “The further we stay away from there, the better,” former U.S. congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul said in an interview on Fox News, calling for talks and diplomacy rather than intervention. “I would be willing to wager that most of the people in the Ukraine would like to see the United States stay out, and I think they’d like to see the Russians stay out.” 

In an analysis on the popular freedom-oriented LewRockwell.com Blog, Daniel McAdams argued that the Western-backed uprising in Ukraine features numerous similarities with the establishment’s “regime-change” machinations in Syria. “One need not side with either opposing group in Ukraine to point out the choking hypocrisy of the U.S. position,” he added, citing examples of the federal government’s lawlessness in dealing with perceived threats to its own security.

As Ukraine goes up in flames amid a battle over which oppressive power to side with — Putin’s lawless gangster government or the power-hungry, sovereignty-crushing entity in Brussels — a far better option is not even being discussed. Instead of “integration” with enemies of freedom, the Ukrainian people would be much better off under a free and independent government that protects their unalienable rights. For now, however, it appears that the nation will continue to burn as the establishment dictates the options.

Obama, the EU, and Putin, meanwhile, ought to keep quiet for a change and let Ukrainians decide their own fate. Even as the establishment figures posture for the cameras on the world stage, it is important to remember that the global establishment is also openly working for “integration” and "convergence" between “East” and “West,” too. How Ukraine fits into the broader agenda, if at all, remains somewhat unclear. The fact that the international establishment on both sides of the bogus “divide” is in cahoots and that the public is the victim, though, is beyond dispute.

Photo of protestors in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine: AP Images

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at

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