Head of Stratfor, ‘Private CIA’, Says Overthrow of Yanukovych Was ‘The Most Blatant Coup in History’

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, looks back at US President Barack Obama, left, as they arrive with Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.(Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Eric Zuesse

In a December 19th interview in the Russian magazine Kommersant, George Friedman, who is the Founder and CEO of Stratfor, the ‘Shadow CIA’ firm, says of the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych that occurred on February 22nd of 2014: “It really was the most blatant coup in history.” Perhaps he is saying this because of the videos that were uploaded to the Web which showed it to be so, but this statement by him contradicts the description that is asserted by the U.S. White House and the European Union, and the Western press, which description is that Yanukovych’s overthrow was instead just the result of the U.S. Government’s $5+ billion expense since 1991 to establish ‘democracy’ in Ukraine.

Friedman further says that “The Russian authorities can not tolerate a situation in which western armed forces will be [in Ukraine] a hundred kilometers from Kursk or Voronezh [in Russia]”, and that the goal of the U.S. is to “maintain the balance of power in Europe, helping the weaker party,” which he says is Europe. He furthermore says, “The United States considers the most dangerous potential alliance to be between Russia and Germany. This would be an alliance of German technology and capital with Russian natural and human resources.” So: the U.S. is trying to antagonize Germans against Russia. This will weaken both of them. However, that would be not a “balance of power” but an increasing imbalance of power in favor of the United States. The Russian interviewer failed to catch his inconsistency on that.

Friedman was consistent with the U.S. Government’s line that Russia is a threat to the U.S.; he said: “No American president can afford to sit idly by if Russia becomes more and more influential.” He said that this is especially the case in the Middle East, and regarding Syria. But he then clarified himself, “I’m not saying that Russia’s intervention in the Syrian conflict was the cause of the Ukrainian crisis, it would be a stretch.” Regarding Ukraine, he said: “The bottom line is that the strategic interests of the United States are to prevent Russia from becoming a hegemon. And the strategic interests of Russia are not to allow the US close to its borders.” He avoided even to mention the United States as possibly being a “hegemon” itself, one which is trying, along with its NATO allies, to crush Russia for its resisting America’s hegemony – that is, global dominance by America’s aristocracy.

President Obama had something to say about this very question when speaking at West Point on May 28th and asserting (with loaded anti-Russian assumptions and false outright allegations): “Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. … The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed [sp.: past [[somebody at the White House didn’t even know the difference between ‘past’ and ‘passed’ and still don’t, six months afterward]] and it will be true for the century to come.” So: The U.S. President was telling West Point’s graduating cadets that the U.S. is the only hegemon and will stay that way for at least a hundred years. This was their marching-order, from the U.S President himself, their own Commander-in-Chief, representing America’s aristocracy (in this alleged ‘democracy’), for whom they will fight and kill, and, some of them, perhaps even die, or else become crippled for life.

Friedman closed by saying, “Russia will not make concessions in the Crimea, this is obvious. But I believe that it could face serious problems with supplies to the peninsula. Yet Moscow cannot retreat from some of its requirements with regard to Ukraine. It cannot be allowed that Western military appear in Ukraine. This is a nightmare in Moscow. … This is already happening, slowly but occurs. And it will be something that Russia does not accept … The US is not aiming that you need to have control over Ukraine, but that it is important that it is not controlled by Russia.” Here he was repeating his idea that America isn’t seeking to achieve advantage over Russia – that the U.S. has no hegemonic intentions, just “balance of power,” notwithstanding the Commander-in-Chief’s charge, months earlier, to his troops, for them to extend America’s hegemony another century.

He said that this overthrow in Ukraine was a coup aimed against Russia, but then he closed with this statement that Russia is hegemonic but that the U.S. is not, which contradicts it.

Apparently, Mr. Friedman was nervous about losing U.S. Government business by being too honest, but he had already been too honest about the coup, and his self-contradictions didn’t help him at all. Perhaps he believed that the vast majority of people can be fooled, as Americans were about “Saddam’s WMD” and still are about “torture aimed at finding truth,” none of which ever was true, but all of which the aristocracy wanted people to believe to be true. Their rule seems to be: Fools never learn, it’s what they are and will continue to be, no matter how often they’ve been fooled in the past. Perhaps George Friedman was relying on this rule. But why then did he say things that are true but that his paymasters say are not? Might this ‘intelligence expert’ not be intelligent after all? If so, he has fooled the U.S. Government into thinking that he is: he’s succeeded.

Here is an attempt to address the same issues that Friedman did, but without internal contradictions.

UPDATE: On 17 January 2015, the first English translation of this entire interview was posted to the Web, and it’s here.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


  • Doom Sternz

    Thanks again for your great articles Eric. I always look forward to your updates on what is really happening in Ukraine.

  • Doom Sternz

    After Estonian independence in 1991, ethnic Russians were not given citizenship, even if they were born there. They can’t vote in national elections and have trouble finding work. So nearly 1/5 to a 1/4 of the population cannot vote, this they call democracy.

    The Language Inspectorate, “the language police,” performs spot checks on bureaucrats and teachers to make sure they know Estonian. If they fail the test, they lose their jobs. “I don’t see what people are complaining about,” Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said.

  • SgtKF

    Nice article!

  • Laura Green

    And here are consequences of that illegal Nazi government
    Ukraine Crisis: Donbass. Chronicle of Genocide.