NATO Criticism of Russia’s Ukraine Policy Is Answered by Putin

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at

A NATO supporter criticized Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for Russia’s Ukraine policy, on October 19th, at the Valdai Discussion Club’s annual meeting in Sochi, and Putin fired back with his most detailed statement to-date, describing the overthrow in February 2014 of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, as having been a “coup” by the West, especially by the EU (which he blamed for it, rather than blame the U.S.).

Asle Toje, a Norwegian supporter of the NATO anti-Russian military alliance, had raised this subject when he asked Putin:

What about Ukraine? From the European point of view, the ball is firmly in the court of Russia. It has turned into a semi-frozen conflict; the sanctions that were meant to be dynamic have become semi-permanent. What does Russia intend to do about this?

Putin replied:

Well, we think the ball is in Europe’s court, because due to the completely unconstructive – I am choosing my words so as not to appear rude – position of the former members of the European Commission, the situation went as far as a coup.

On 4 February 2014 the agent whom U.S. President Barack Obama had tasked to plan the coup, Hillary Clinton’s longtime friend Victoria Nuland, instructed the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine whom to appoint to run Ukraine as soon as the coup would be culminated, which occurred 23 days later, on 27 February: “Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience the governing experience he’s the” person to appoint, she told the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. And “Yats” Yatsenyuk got the post, which was the appointment as Prime Minister, because Obama wanted the rabidly anti-Russian Yulia Tymoshenko to win Ukraine’s Presidency in an election, so as to be able to describe the change-of-government as being ‘democratic’ i.e., ‘elected’, not imposed (as was the appointment of “Yats”). However, Tymoshenko had too much of a public reputation as being a U.S. agent (and grifter), for her to win; and, so, Petro Poroshenko won the ‘election’ instead. It was an ‘election’ in all of the majority Ukrainian-speaking areas of Ukraine, but without allowing to vote the populations in many of the majority Russian-speaking regions, where the man whom Obama overthrew, Yanukovych, had won by over 75% of the votes, in the last democratic election in Ukraine, which was the Presidential election in 2010 — the final election in which Ukrainians in all parts of the country voted. Although Poroshenko was anti-Russian, he wasn’t nearly as anti-Russian as was Tymoshenko. Yatsenyuk was Tymoshenko’s subordinate, and he had been selected by Nuland because the Obama Administration were thinking that after the Presidential election, Yats would hand off the government to Tymoshenko, who led Yats’s Party.

Putin blamed the EU for the coup, though (in fact) when the EU’s Foreign Minister, Catherine Ashton, learned, on February 26th of 2014, that this overthrow had been a coup instead of a democratic revolution, she expressed shock and disappointment but went right on carrying out the Obama Administration’s plan for the integration of the formerly Russia-allied Ukraine into the EU, and, ultimately, as was expected, into NATO, so that U.S. nuclear missiles will be able to be installed there, on Russia’s border, as close to Moscow as possible, for a blitz-attack against Russia, to conquer Russia. Furthermore, in Nuland’s instruction to the Ambassador in Kiev, she said “F—k the EU”, because the EU aristocracies weren’t nearly as eager to conquer Russia as the U.S. aristocracy are; the EU aristocracies had wanted Vitaly Klitschko to head Ukraine; Klitschko wasn’t rabidly anti-Russian, like Tymoshenko and Yatsenyuk were. Putin knew this — he knew that the coup was done by the U.S., not by the EU.

Putin then described the coup as follows:

There were riots backed by the United States – both financially, politically and in the media – and all of Europe.

They supported the unconstitutional seizure of power, a bloody one at that, with casualties, and took things as far as a war in southeastern Ukraine. Crimea declared its independence and its reunification with Russia, and now you think that we are to blame for that? Was it us who brought about the anti-constitutional coup? The current situation is the result of the unconstitutional armed seizure of power in Ukraine, and Europe is to blame, because it backed it.

What could have been easier than to say back then: ”You staged a coup, and after all, we are the guarantors.“ As guarantors, the foreign ministers of Poland, France and Germany signed a document, an agreement between President Yanukovych and the opposition. Three days later, it was trampled upon, and where were the guarantors? Ask them where these guarantors were? Why did they not say, ”Please, put things as they were. Get Yanukovych back in office and hold constitutional democratic elections.“ They had every chance of winning, 100 percent, no doubt. No, they had to do it through an armed coup instead. Well, we were confronted with this fact, accepted it and signed the Minsk agreements.

However, the current Ukrainian leadership is sabotaging every paragraph of these agreements, and everyone can see it perfectly well. Those who are involved in the negotiation process are fully aware of it, I assure you. Not a single step has been made towards implementing the Minsk agreements. Still everyone is saying, ”Sanctions will not be lifted until Russia complies with the Minsk agreements.“

Everyone has long since realised that the current leadership of Ukraine is not in a position to comply with them. Now that the situation in that country has hit rock bottom both in terms of the economy and domestic policy, and the police are using gas against protesters, expecting the President of Ukraine to take at least a small step towards implementing the Minsk agreements is an exercise in futility. I am not sure how he can accomplish this. But there is no alternative to it, unfortunately. Therefore, we will keep the Normandy format in place as long as our colleagues like, and we will strive to implement these Minsk agreements that you mentioned.

Nowhere has Putin ever blamed the U.S. Government for that coup, but he knows at least as much about it as did the head of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor when Stratfor’s head described it as “the most blatant coup in history” because it had been so well documented via leaked phone-conversations and other solid evidences. There was no doubt that the U.S. State Department had run it, and, ultimately, evidence became public that Google and the U.S. State Department were already preparing the operation as early as in 2011.

Putin continued his response:

It is not enough only to appeal to Russia; it is also necessary to influence Kiev’s position. Now they have made a decision on the language, essentially prohibiting the use of ethnic minority languages in school. Hungary and Romania raised objections. Poland also made some comments in this regard. However, the European Union as a whole is silent. Why are they not condemning this? There is silence.

Now they have erected a monument to Petlyura. He was a man with Nazi views, an anti-Semite who killed Jews during the war. Except for the Zionist Jewish Congress, everyone else is silent. Are you afraid of hurting your clients in Kiev, is that it? This is not being done by the Ukrainian people; this is being done at the prompting of the relevant ruling authorities. But why are you keeping silent?

Putin was appealing for the EU to become neutral on the Ukrainian matter, not for the U.S. Government to do so, because Putin recognized that the U.S. Government wants to conquer Russia and took Ukraine in order to advance that goal, whereas many in the EU want instead to have peace and trade with Russia and aren’t so eager to invade. Putin has given up on America, whose Government is — along with Ukraine and Canada — the only defender of nazism (i.e., of racist fascism), at the U.N. But he knows that if he blames the coup on the U.S. Government, this would make more difficult any possible efforts by the EU to move away from the U.S. toward neutrality, because such an accusation against the U.S. Government would only unify NATO, not break it up. He might be able to pick off a few EU members, to move toward neutrality and away from the NATO goal of ultimately invading Russia, but this can work only if he plays down the real power-contest, the contest between the U.S. Government, whose goal is to conquer Russia, versus the Russian Government, whose goal is to remain a free and independent nation — to protect its national sovereignty. The reason Putin blames the EU instead of the U.S. is thus tactical. Especially interesting is that he says “This is not being done by the Ukrainian people; this is being done at the prompting of the relevant ruling authorities. But why are you keeping silent?” He is there making his appeal to anti-nazi Europeans, for them to break away from today’s pro-nazi U.S. regime. He is saying: Speak out against it; publicly separate yourselves from it. Then, he said:

I hope that this realisation will eventually come. I can see our partners’ interest, primarily our European partners’ interest in resolving this conflict. I can see real interest. Angela Merkel is doing a great deal, putting the time in, becoming deeply involved in these matters. Both the former president of France and President Macron are also paying attention. They are really working on this. However, it is necessary to work not just technically and technologically but politically. It is essential to exert some influence on the Kiev authorities, get them to do at least something. Ultimately, Ukraine itself has a stake in normalising our relations.

Now they went and imposed sanctions on us, as the EU did. We responded in kind. The president asks me, “Why did you do this?” I say, “Listen, you introduced sanctions against us.” This is just amazing!

He refers there to “the Kiev authorities,” instead of to the Washington authorities, because he knows that the Europeans he’s addressing are aware that Ukraine is now a vassal-nation of the U.S. He knows that they know what he knows, on this. Then, he really does address, not the rulers of Ukraine, but instead the people of Ukraine, when he says:

I believe that it is becoming obvious and most importantly, it is becoming obvious to the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian citizens. We like Ukraine and I really regard the Ukrainian people as a brotherly nation if not just one nation, part of the Russian nation.

Even though Russian nationalists do not like this and Ukrainian nationalists do not like this either, this is my position, my point of view. Sooner or later, it will happen – reunification, not on an interstate level but in terms of restoring our relations.

Numerous polls have shown that many Ukrainians do feel “brotherly” toward Russians; he is trying to appeal to these people, to seek a restoration of that previous alliance: Russia with Ukraine’s anti-nazis, instead of America with Ukraine’s pro-nazis.

The pro-NATO Asle Toje could have interjected a retort to what Putin was saying, but kept entirely quiet, perhaps because he knew that if he objected to any of what Putin said there, then Putin would have had a terrific opportunity to respond by hinting at the real role that NATO (i.e., the U.S.) was playing in Ukraine, the nazi role there, such as by perhaps alluding to the nazi American Victoria Nuland’s famous “F—k the EU!” statement, which she said when she gave the instruction, on 4 February 2014, for the next Government of Ukraine to be led by Ukraine’s rabidly anti-Russian nazis.

Hamid Karzai, the former ruler of Afghanistan (or at least of Kabul), was also one of the participants at this conference, and he spoke about his country’s long history of being a pawn in the ancient aristocratic “Great Game” of aristocracies waging wars of conquest in order to establish international empires and grab lands from each other. Then, he commented specifically about the role that America’s seizure of Ukraine in 2014 had played in the latest stage of the Great Game:

On Ukraine and the conflict phase there, I was, uh, it was during my last years of government when this crisis emerged in Ukraine. I and my close colleagues in my government and foreign policy and security issues convened, and we met. I told them that Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the independent states, Ukraine was one of the closest countries to Russia, in ethnic relations and economic relations, and in cultural relations, and in terms of the value that Ukraine holds for Russia. So my approach was one of sentiment and sensitivity, but, keeping the Russian sentiment in mind, keeping the Russian sensitivity in this region in mind. Look at it this way: if Russia went and tried to turn Canada into an ally of the Warsaw Pact against America, what would America do? They would act more aggressively than what Russia did. On Crimea: to the extent that I understand, Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1957, is that true? 1954. So it was part of Russian territory.

His point about “if Russia went and tried to turn Canada into an ally of the Warsaw Pact against America, what would America do?” was merely rhetorical, because in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. already had shown what the U.S. would do if Russia were to place missiles on or near America’s borders: the U.S. would launch a nuclear war against Russia. For some reason, Americans felt that that response — threatening World War III — was justified, by America, then, in 1962, but somehow don’t feel that it would be a justified response, by Russia, now, when the shoe is on the other foot and even more so than it had been back in 1962 (because Ukraine is right on Russia’s border). But, of course, it would be justified even more in the present instance, because conquest of Russia became, in 2006, America’s all-but-official strategic-policy goal, replacing the former reliance (by both sides) upon the strategic-policy peace-maintenance goal, “Mutually Assured Destruction” (or “MAD”), which was nuclear weapons being maintained in order to avoid a WW III, instead of to ‘win’ a WW III (such as it has been for the U.S. ever since 2006). Russia still believes in MAD, but America is now ‘going for the gold’, of ‘victory’. This was implicitly the U.S. and NATO policy ever since 24 February 1990, but it became, since 2006, overtly the U.S. and NATO objective, called “Nuclear Primacy,” meaning the ability of the U.S. to win a nuclear conflict against Russia — to conquer Russia.

The recent (October 19th) statement by Putin was the most extensive that he has yet presented on the Ukrainian matter, but it’s not the only statement he has made on this subject:

A year earlier than this latest Valdi discussion, Putin had said, on 12 October 2016, at the 8th annual investment forum VTB Capital “Russia is Calling!” seeking foreign investments in Russia:

You have just mentioned the crisis in Ukraine. But we did not bring this to a coup in Ukraine. Have we done this? No. Especially our American partners do not hide that to a large extent they stood behind this, funded a radical opposition, brought to an unconstitutional way of changing power, although it could be done quite differently. Former President Yanukovych signed all the requirements and was ready to hold early elections. Instead, they contributed to a coup d’état. What for?

And when we are forced to emphasize this, we were compelled to protect the Russian-speaking population in the Donbass, were compelled to respond to the aspirations of people living in the Crimea, to return to the Russian Federation, and immediately began to untwist a new flywheel of anti-Russian policy and the imposition of sanctions.

You have just said about the Minsk agreements. But we are not sabotaging them, the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

On that occasion, because he was responding then to a question which had been raised by Rick Boucher, a former member of the US Congress, and now a partner in a law firm, Putin had been more direct, by his saying, “We did not bring this to a coup in Ukraine. Have we done this? No. Especially our American partners do not hide that to a large extent they stood behind this, funded a radical opposition, brought to an unconstitutional way of changing power.” But he was ambiguous as regards whether America simply “stood behind this,” or instead actually “brought [the situation in Ukraine] to an unconstitutional way of changing power [i.e., to a coup there].” In any case, Boucher, too, had no response recorded there, to Putin’s statement.

Vagueness in political speech is the norm; it’s seen everywhere; and wherever it is encountered, tactical reasons are commonly being exemplified.

Still earlier, on 23 May 2014, just a few months after America’s coup, Putin took part in the plenary session of the 18th St Petersburg International Economic Forum, and said in response to a question from CNBC’s Geoff Cutmore:

President Yanukovych decided to postpone the signing and hold additional talks. What came next? A coup d’état. No matter what you choose to call it, a revolution or something else. It’s a coup d’état with the use of violence and militant forces. Who′s on whose side now? Who is using which tools from the past or the future?

It′s imperative to be very careful with regard to public institutions of emerging nations because if you are not things may slide into chaos, which is exactly what happened in Ukraine. The civil war and chaos are there already. Who benefits from it? Why would they do it, if Yanukovych agreed to everything? They had to go to the voting stations instead, and the same people would be in power now, only legally. We, like idiots, would be paying them the $15 billion that we promised, keeping gas prices low for them and continuing to subsidise their economy…

Let’s face it. We are all adults here, right? Intelligent and educated people. The West supported the unconstitutional coup d’état. It did in fact, didn′t it? Not only by way of the infamous cakes, but through informational and political support and what not. Why did it do so?

All right. And now you think that it′s all our fault? We proposed a dialogue and were denied it. What’s next? The last time I was in Brussels we agreed to keep this dialogue alive. That was before the coup. Mr Ulyukayev (he is sitting there across from me), a man of respect, speaks decent English, has absolutely market-driven brains, one of our top specialists in the economy, went for consultations. Ask him about it after the session is over. I won′t dwell on it now. But there were no consultations. Nothing but slogans.

What’s next? They made a coup and don′t want to speak with us. What are we supposed to think? The next step will take Ukraine into NATO. They never ask us about our opinion, and we have found out over the past two decades that there′s never any dialogue on this issue. All that they ever tell us is, ″It′s none of your business, none of your concern.″ We tell them, ″A military infrastructure is approaching our borders.″ ″Don′t worry, it’s not aimed against you.″ So, tomorrow Ukraine may end up being a NATO member, and the next thing you know, it will have a US missile defence complex stationed on its territory. No one ever talks to us on this subject, either. They just tell us, ″It′s not against you, and it′s none of your concern.″ …

if we did not do what we did in Crimea, Crimea would have it much worse than Odessa where people were burned alive. And there are no explanations, no real condemnations by anyone. It′s still not even clear who did it, I mean the tragedy in Odessa.

He said this, against “The West,” after the clear evidence that it had actually been the U.S. regime that did the coup, and that had hired local Ukrainian nazis to carry it out, was already public knowledge, outside “The West.”

On the front page of the New York Times on 23 October 2017 was a news-report about the efforts by Republicans in the U.S. Congress to focus on something else than the alleged Russiagate manipulation of the 2016 U.S. election, and about the efforts by congressional Democrats to focus only on those allegations, and this front-page NYT story casually employed the phrase “the extraordinary efforts of a hostile power to disrupt American democracy”, as if that were already a proven fact, instead of being the Democratic Party’s incessant propaganda-line in order to ‘explain’ Hillary Clinton’s electoral defeat. The U.S. propaganda-media do things such as that, in order to whip up, to the maximum, their audience’s hatred of Russians, and especially of the Russian Government, and so to promote the ‘case’ for war against Russia. Putin knows what the source of this march toward World War III is, and that it’s not in Europe. He knows that they’ve had more than their fills of wars, but that Americans are more malleable on this matter, more controlled by the aristocracy who own the nation’s “military-industrial complex.”

And the same controlling owners own America’s ‘news’media and the mega-corporations that advertise in them. Thus, I headlined on October 29th, “Does Russia Produce ‘Fake News’? Or Does America? Or Both?” and opened:

The biggest difference between American and Russian news-reporting has been a simple factual issue between the two sides, on what incident started the ‘New Cold War’ between the U.S. and Russia. (The original Cold War was between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and had an ideological, capitalist-versus-communist, alleged basis, but this one doesn’t — so, it’s not really a ‘New Cold War’; it is quite different, but it might be even more deadly.)

The U.S. and its allies say that what started it was in March 2014 when “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” and “the invasion of Crimea” and Russia’s “conquest of land” by means of that “invasion,” sparked America’s sanctions against Russia and NATO’s military buildup along Russia’s borders; but Russia says that what started it was in February 2014 when Ukraine was victimized, as Russian Television reported it, on 13 March 2014, by: “an armed coup …”

That’s the big issue (which is discussed at length in that article), and the U.S. regime’s ‘news’media refuse to allow America’s subjects (officially called ‘citizens’) to know about it, because the regime is now built on the lie that what had happened in Ukraine in February 2014 was a ‘revolution’ instead of a coup. The America that now is preparing to invade Russia is built on that lie. The military-industrial complex, which is essentially the same as the megabanks and the ‘news’media, can’t conquer Russia without relying upon that lie as the basis for public acceptance of their operation — which would destroy the planet, if it ‘succeeds’.


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.