US-Stoked Violence Rocks Ukraine
by Stephen Lendman
Washington bears full responsibility for three months of street protest violence. At issue is toppling Ukraine’s democratically elected government. More on this below.
On Sunday, Ukraine offered amnesty to anti-government protesters. It did so provided they vacated occupied public buildings. An official statement said:
Amnesty “comes into force from February 17, 2014 and stipulates that charges against the people having committed offensesÃ¢â‚¬¦will be dropped.”
It took effect after protesters met authorities half-way. They left some occupied Kiev buildings. They evacuated others in Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk and Ternopol.
Ukrainian authorities agreed to let OSCE ambassadors control the buildings. Unblocking Grushevsky Street began. Traffic was partly restored.
Municipal services began removing debris. Under amnesty agreed on terms, 268 people arrested from December 27 – February 2 were scheduled for release.
National Strategy Institute director for International Projects Yuri Solozobov said authorities prepared to honor their commitment even though opposition elements only partly observed theirs.
Amnesty terms required all occupied buildings be vacated. Only four in Kiev were returned to authorities. Only one was an administration building.
Batkivshchina party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk demanded 2,000 detainees be released. Otherwise protests would continue until “final victory,” he said.
He and other protest leaders are US stooges. They’re self-serving. They represent Washington. They’re mindless of what best serves Ukrainians.
Obama wants Ukraine’s sovereignty destroyed. He wants a subservient pro-Western government replacing a democratically elected independent one.
The battle for Ukraine’s soul continues. Washington wants control over all former Soviet republics. It wants them transformed into subservient US satellites.
It wants them plundered. It wants them colonized for profit. It wants Russia increasingly isolated and weakened.
On February 18, new violence erupted. It’s gripping Ukraine. Opposition elements demand President Viktor Yanukovych resign. Their other demands aren’t clear.
Hopes for ending three months of crisis faded. Rioting left buildings in flames. Death toll numbers keep rising.
Early Wednesday, 26 were reported. Ten police officers were killed. They were shot. They died from gunshot wounds. So was Vesti newspaper reporter Vyacheslav Veremey.
Around 700 others were injured. They include dozens of security forces. A Ukrainian Health Ministry statement said:
“Taking into consideration the nature of the dead civilians’ wounds and also the nature of the weapons, which have been confiscated, we can assume that these wounds were inflicted by violent protesters.”
“Police officers and interior troops do not use fire arms. Law enforcers are only using non-lethal weapons.”
Western politicians wrongfully blame street thug violence on President Viktor Yanukovych’s government. It doesn’t surprise.
Washington threatens to impose sanctions. So do several EU nations. Ambassadors are paid to lie for their countries.
US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, earlier was caught on tape openly plotting the overthrow of Ukraine’s government with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.
On February 19, he said: “From this moment on, the USA holds Yanukovych responsible for everything that happens in Ukraine.”
Moscow calls these type comments carte blanche authority for radicalized extremists to continue violence.
Vice President Joe Biden spoke to Yanukovych. He practically threatened him. “(T)he government bears special responsibility to de-escalate the situation,” he said.
John Kerry through his spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed similar views. He blamed Yanukovych for US-stoked violence.
The State Department issued a travel alert. It warned US citizens “of the increased risks of travel to Ukraine because of the ongoing political unrest and violent clashes between police and protesters.”
“US citizens whose residences or hotels are located in the vicinity of the protests are cautioned to leave those areas or prepare to remain indoors, possibly for several days, should clashes occur.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cautioned against outside meddling. “We don’t want to be as intrusive as our Western partners are trying to be, nor do we advise anyone else to be,” he said.
“The situation must be settled within the limits of the constitutional prerogatives of the incumbent Ukrainian authorities.”
“We caution against attempts at intrusive mediation. We have witnessed such attempts more than once.”
“We call upon everyone to put the interests of the people of Ukraine above their own geopolitical plans.”
Voice of Russia (VOR) reported weapons and ammunition stolen from an Ivano-Frankovsk region Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) facility.
Included were 268 pistols, two rifles, three assault rifles, 92 grenades, and 15,000 cartridges.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian Security Service head Oleksandr Yakymenko said:
“The Ukrainian Security Service and Antiterrorist Center decided today to start holding an antiterrorist operation in Ukraine.”
“I have already informed the president of the decision regarding holding the antiterrorist operation.”
Ongoing violence shows “growing escalation of forceful resistance and mass use of arms by extremist-minded groups.”
“In many regions of the country, local authorities, structures of the Interior Ministry, Security Service, prosecutor’s office, military units and storage facilities with ammunition are being seized.”
“Court offices are burning, and vandals are destroying private apartments and killing civilians.”
“In the past 24 hours alone, over 1,500 units of firearms and 100,000 pieces of ammunition ended up in criminal hands.”
Ukraine’s Security Service deputy head Volodymyr Porodko said it switched to “a higher state of readiness. (It’s) in accordance with the law on fighting terrorism.”
It’s US-manipulated. It’s Western-sponsored. It’s aim is destabilizing Ukraine. It’s toppling its government.
It’s worse than anything so far seen since violence erupted in November. Security forces warned protesters to disburse. Otherwise a harsh crackdown will follow.
An official government statement said:
“Extremists are killing innocents on the streets of the capital, burning buildings and cars. Unless the disorder stops, we will have to restore order by all means envisaged by law.”
Disruptive mayhem in parliament accompanied street violence. Opposition leaders want Ukraine’s government transformed. They want a dominant parliamentary system replacing a presidential one.
They want Ukraine’s 2004 constitution restored. They won’t succeed by rioting. Nor by diktat declarations.
Yanukovych allies blocked their scheme. Events are fluid. They’re incendiary.
Russia accused Washington of meddling in Ukrainian affairs. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said:
“Once again, we note that the United States is trying to impose the ‘Western vector’ of development on the Ukrainian government under the guise of calls to stop interference into the Ukrainian people’s freedom of choice, and tells the authorities of a sovereign state what they should do next and how they should do it.”
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf “offers numerous instructions for what the Ukrainian government should do next.”
She issued outrageous Obama administration demands.
They include halting “all investigations, arrests, detentions and prosecutions against demonstrators and civil society activists.”
“The next step in this process,” she said, “should be the formation of a multiparty technical government, with genuine power-sharing and responsibility…”
Imagine any government irresponsibly making demands on another. Imagine lawlessly interfering in its internal affairs.
Imagine practically saying do it our way or else. Imagine manipulating street protests. Imagine stoking violence.
Imagine supporting fascist extremists. Imagine arming them with deadly weapons. Imagine directing their rioting.
Imagine trying to topple a democratically elected government. Imagine inciting violence to do it.
Imagine if violent protesters ran wild in Washington. Imagine if they occupied government buildings.
Imagine if they set some ablaze. Imagine if foreign elements armed them. Imagine if they used life fire. Imagine if they hurled petrol bombs and bricks.
Imagine if they shot and killed people. Imagine if they seriously injured many others.
Imagine if Russia demanded no arrests, investigations, detentions and prosecutions. Imagine if it demanded power-sharing.
Imagine Obama administration rage. Imagine it on Capitol Hill.
Imagine screaming anti-Russian headlines. Imagine greater than ever Putin bashing.
Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara “call(ed) on foreign states and international organizations to make objective and impartial assessments of the situation in Ukraine and expect them to strongly condemn the illegal actions of radical forces.”
An Interior Ministry report said “(f)ive interior troops were wounded.”
“Doctors have taken a bullet from one serviceman’s body and another one is bleeding.”
“A pistol bullet has been removed from one serviceman’s body. Another law enforcement official is now bleeding and doctors are trying to remove a bullet from him.”
Police reported 37 law enforcement officials hurt. Government loyalists held their own rally.
They want Western manipulated violence stopped. They demonstrated around Kiev’s parliament building.
They chanted “Stop Nationalism and Fascism!” “Support Viktor Yanukovych.”
Washington and key EU partners bear full responsibility for stoking violence. They’re in league with fascist extremists. They recruited street thugs.
They’re paid to riot. Paul Craig Roberts quoted sources saying “most protesters get an average payment of 200 – 300 grivna (about 15 – 25 euros).”
Another just back from Ukraine said most protesters “get only 100 grivna. 300 is for students.”
Washington is spending billions of dollars to control Ukraine. It’s the most important former Soviet republic.
Ordinary Ukrainians are being duped. They’re deceived. They’re manipulated to support what’s against their own self-interest. They’d never participate in this type destructive violence otherwise.
CIA and State Department funded organizations are involved. They’re coup-fomenting experts. They’ve done it lots of times before.
Whether this one succeeds remains to be seen. Extreme violence was strategically timed. It wasn’t spontaneous.
It’s while Moscow largely focuses on Sochi. Putin prioritizes a successful Winter Olympics. On February 6, it began. It continues through Sunday, February 23.
On February 18, well-planned extreme violence erupted. It was after Kiev’s amnesty offer. Washington manipulators chose this time to act. It remains to be seen how much worse things may get.
On February 19, RT.com headlined “Moscow blames radicals for deadly clashes in Ukraine, EU leaders ponder sanctions against government.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry called ongoing violence a radicalized coup d’etat attempt. Moscow accused Western officials and supportive groups of “refusing to admit that all of the responsibility for (street violence) rests with the opposition.”
Dmitry Peskov is Putin’s press secretary. He said “Moscow strongly condemns violence on the part of the extremist elements, which used the fulfillment of conditions of the amnesty and immediately began violent actions.”
Russia doesn’t meddle in Ukraine’s internal affairs, he added. Resolving what’s ongoing “is the exclusive prerogative of the legitimate (Ukrainian) authorities.”
Putin respects sovereign independence of all countries. He opposes outside interference. He knows Washington’s dirty hands are manipulating ongoing violence. How he’ll respond remains to be seen.
He’s keeping close watch. He’s not interfering. He’s watching and waiting. The Federation Council is Russia’s parliament upper house.
Its International Affairs Committee chairman Mikhail Margelov called ongoing violence stage-managed.
“(M)ilitants dealt with law enforcers’ attacks…skillfully,” he said. “There is an evident organized nature behind the fighting, he added.
Rioters “not only occupy state offices…but storm police wards and dismantle (special police unit) Berkut(s).”
Everything ongoing was carefully orchestrated. It’s a Washington manipulated operation. It’s similar to what’s happening in Syria.
At issue is regime change. It’s attempting a violent coup d’etat. Events remain fluid. Washington doesn’t initiate violence to quit.
Expect no easy end of conflict. Perhaps things will get worse before improving. Maybe they’ll spin entirely out-of-control.
Imperial ruthlessness operates this way. It’s longstanding US policy. It involves ravaging and destroying one country after another.
It’s the American way. Advancing its imperium matters most. So is making the world safe for corporate plunderers.
It’s carving countries up for profit. It’s looting their resources. It’s exploiting ordinary people mercilessly. It’s inflicting unspeakable human misery.
Obama exceeds the worst of his predecessors. Rapaciousness has no limits on his watch.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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