Ukraine

There is much more to the violence that has recently erupted in the Ukraine than the Western media propaganda machine would have you believe.

In the mainstream media, it was reported that anti-government protesters peacefully occupied Independence Square in central Kiev after president Viktor Yanukovych’s government ditched a far-reaching agreement with the European Union in favour of stronger ties with Russia.

However the media claimed that the violence of the protests intensified after new anti-protest laws were drafted in by the government and activists were beaten by the police.

Shortly afterwards, we are told that President Victor Yanukovych was then forced out of office after the violence escalated following the shooting of policemen who were accused of heavy-handed tactics against the demonstrators.

Scores of people were then killed and wounded, and it was reported that the protests gathered pace following growing resentment towards Yanukovych who was seen to be serving Russia’s interests.

Russia has recently been reported to have sent troops to Crimea, in a move which the Ukraine has described as “a declaration of war”. Crimea is a semi-autonomous region of Ukraine, which means that while it is part of Ukraine’s sovereign territory, it is largely self governed. It  was the site of the Crimean War fought in the 1850’s against the French, British and Ottoman Empire . Although Russia lost, the bravery of its soldiers is still a source of Russian pride, much like The Alamo in Texas. The naval base at Sevastopol, on Crimea’s southwestern tip, is Russia’s only warm water naval base and its primary means of extending force through the Mediterranean.

It currently has a large Russian population living there, who, as we shall see in part two of this article, will not necessarily enjoy protection under the newly installed government of Ukraine.

And because the majority of the population in Crimea is Russian, the seizure of power by vehemently anti-Russian Nazis and their Western-friendly neoliberal collaborators has been part of a strategy to safeguard Russian citizens against potentially being targeted and also to seize control of its security bases in the country.

Recent talks between Russia and Ukraine have also failed.

And despite the claims to the contrary, the situation in Ukraine is far from that simple.

In fact, there is growing evidence that rather than being a grassroots protest against a dictator in the Ukraine, the ousting of President Yanukovych was in favour of a pro-Western government was orchestrated by the CIA in Kiev.

US-NATO interference

Of particular relevance is the fact that the new illegal putsch government is pro-western, anti-Russian and pro-EU. This represents a huge shift from the stance of the previous government.

Despite all the criticisms that could be levelled at Yanukovich, and the allegations that he was a dictator, his government was never defeated in a democratic election.

He was however, forced to seek refuge in Russia after his violent overthrow by a group of far-right thugs, some of which, just coincidentally happened to have received training in the US.

That mob, which has alarmingly seized power in the country, has now been consecrated by the EU, NATO and US.

This flies in the face of international law, democratic principles and completely runs roughshod over Ukraine’s constitution.

Am I an apologist for Russia? Far from it. I do not see the Russian government as any less corrupt or ‘independent’ from the Western superpowers.

However, the blatant support for rising fascism and the ever-looming threat of a third-world war should be of concern to everyone.

And when you consider that the most powerful and influential international institutions such as the United Nations and International Criminal Court firmly are under the control of the United States, then it is easy to see why this latest conflict is yet another escalation of the power-struggle between Western forces and their influential sponsors who are hell-bent on global control – at any cost.

It is also worth noting that NATO – the alliance that has been angling to bring Ukraine into the fold since the fall of the Soviet Union – is currently one of the only institutions powerful enough to enforce international law in Ukraine.

Of course, both the UK and US governments are playing out their usual puppet-show of feigned outrage and calls for calm in a breathtaking show of hypocrisy.

On Sunday March 2nd, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “You don’t just invade another country on a phony pretext in order to assert your own interests.”

Of course, this statement completely sidesteps the fact that the US (and its ally the UK) has a long and fairly recent history of invading other countries under phony pretexts.

This was seen with the 2003 war in Iraq in which the public were told they could be bombed to smithereens in under 45 minutes – a statement which later turned out to be a lie.

The illegal assassination of Gaddafi in Libya led to the ethnic cleansing and torture of black Libyans and the destruction of the country’s infrastructure and economy. Then there is the ongoing drone bombings of Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, as well as the continuous conflicts across Africa. This has been seen most notably in the Congo – where Western peacekeepers have been deployed to further the interests of multinational mining companies who have a vested interest in continuing the civil war.

Well over five million people died as a result of the conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and millions of women were raped as part of deliberate efforts to terrorise the population. Rape as a weapon of war has been used and often covered up in virtually every major world conflict and represents just a taste of what could happen across Europe and America, if the powers that be are allowed to perpetuate wars unabated.

In fact, governments in Europe have a long and chequered history of arranging coups in other countries.

In 2004, the US government illegally arranged a coup d’état in Haiti and ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide during his second term, after previously making threats towards the country. Mr Aristide left on an American plane surrounded by military personnel which many described as a kidnapping.

In the 1980s, when growing anger against the white minority rule in Zimbabwe threatened Western business interests in the country, a British military coup led to the installation of Robert Mugabe who trained with the British military and continues to rule to this day.

And recently, the mainstream media has already tried to blame the escalation of tension between Russia and the Ukraine on the West’s inaction over Syria – which it also tried to invade.

In fact, Tory ministers claimed that Ed Miliband’s vote against action in Syria – an ally of Russia – has helped to spark the conflict.

And in the Forbes magazine, Michael Auslin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington claims that the West is “weak” due to its failure to take military action in Syria. This, he suggests, has helped to influence the present situation.

Mr Auslin claimed: “Reduced military budgets, global perceptions of American and European weakness, the outright dismissal of presidential redlines, and memories of total inaction like during the 2008 Georgian invasion or Syrian civil war have set the stage for future opportunism.”

The threat of war

One of the most worrying aspects to all of this is the ever-looming threat of war. Although I do not believe that cries of ‘world war three’ or an ‘apocalypse’ are at all helpful or desirable – because it implies that public pressure has no power to stop it – it is necessary to recognise the potential for the situation to get worse and affect the lives of men and women across the world – including Britain.

Only a fully informed public has the power to defeat the insanity that our governments seem hell-bent on exposing us to.

Sustained pressure on public officials both at a national and local level and grassroots efforts to unite different movements which are dedicated to reducing the power of the banks and promote genuine equality and peace in society are among some of the many alternatives to this orgy of violence perpetuated by the politically insane.

As the present situation stands, Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that he will not perpetuate war against Ukrainian troops – yet. With ‘yet’ being the operative word.

Meanwhile, the new government of Ukraine has already stated that Russia’s decision to deploy troops in Crimea which lies on the border of Russia and Ukraine is tantamount to a declaration of war.

Meanwhile Putin claims that his main interests is in protecting Russian citizens that live there, although it may also be a strategic attempt to seize control of the region.

And in the event that war does erupt between Russia and the Ukraine, it is also worth noting that the UK has signed a treaty with Ukraine to intervene on its behalf if it should ever get attacked.

Whatever way you look at it, the situation is volatile and highlights the ease with which the superpowers of the world will facilitate wars in other countries – including our own – if it serves their interests.

Therefore the need for the public to be constantly vigilant, wary and suspicious of the actions taken by their respective governments is a constant one.

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