Tag Archives: cold war

Putin Kills “South Stream” Pipeline, Will Build New Massive Pipeline To Turkey Instead

In retrospect, it should have been obvious in August.

Back then we wrote that the EU’s poorest member nation, Bulgaria, had been an enthusiastic supporter of the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline project, whose construction has stoked tensions between the West and Moscow as it enabled gas supply to bypass troubled Ukraine (thus squeezing the desparate economy back into Russia’s hands). In early June, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski ordered an initial halt (after Europe offered the nation’s suddenly collapsing banking system a lifeline). Subsequently, Energy Minister Vasil Shtonov has ordered Bulgaria’s Energy Holding to halt any actions in regards of the project as it does not meet the requirements of the European Commission.

And then, just to send Putin a very clear message where the allegiances of this former Soviet satellite nation lie, NATO deployed 12 F-15s and 180 troops to Bulgaria’s Graf Ignatievo Air Base.

A dozen F-15s and approximately 180 personnel from the 493rd, based at RAF Lakenheath, England, have deployed to Graf Ignatievo Air Base to participate in a two-week bilateral training exercise with the Bulgarian air force, Pentagon spokesmen Col. Steve Warren told reporters Monday.

The exercise began Monday and will continue through Sept. 1.

The purpose of the deployment is to “conduct training and focus on maintain joint readiness while building interoperability,” Warren said.

The move comes at a time when America’s Eastern European partners and allies are concerned about Russian military intervention in Ukraine. There are fears that Moscow might try to destabilize other countries in the region.

“This is a reflection of our steadfast commitment to enhancing regional security,” Warren said about the exercise.

We concluded as follows: “How will Putin react one wonders?”

We now have the answer: earlier today, in a stunning announcement, Putin revealed that the South Stream project is now finished. As the WSJ reports, “Putin said Moscow will stop pursuing Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline project that would supply natural gas to Europe with an underwater link to Bulgaria, blaming the European Union for scuttling the project.”

“We couldn’t get necessary permissions from Bulgaria, so we cannot continue with the project. We can’t make all the investment just to be stopped at the Bulgarian border,” Mr. Putin said. “Of course, this is the choice of our friends in Europe.”

“We think that the European Commission’s position was not constructive,” Mr. Putin said. “If Europe does not want to implement it, it will not be implemented.”

Putin is right: Europe – Austria excluded – had seen rising resistance to the South Stream in recent months as the crisis in Ukraine has intensified. The EU is concerned that the project would cement Russia’s position as Europe’s dominant supplier of natural gas. Russia already meets around 30% of Europe’s annual needs.

So what does Putin do? He signs a strategic alliance with NATO member Turkey, the only country in Europe that is anything but European (over the endless veto of Germany preventing its entrance into the EU over fears of cheap, migrant labor) and which lately has been increasingly anti-Western, to build a new mega-pipeline to Turkey instead. As RT reports, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller said the energy giant will build a massive gas pipeline that will travel from Russia, transit through Turkey, and stop at the Greek border – giving Russia access to the Southern European market. In effect, Russia will still have access to the Southern Stream endmarkets

The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters. A total of 14 bcm will be delivered to Turkey, which is Gazprom’s second biggest customer in the region after Germany.

Russia’s energy minister Aleksandr Novak said that the new project will include a specially-constructed hub on the Turkish-Greek border for customers in southern Europe.

In a joint press conference between Putin and Turkish leader Erdogan, the Russian said that the supply of Russian gas to Turkey will be raised by 3 billion cubic meters via the already operating Blue Stream pipeline, Last year, 13.7 bcm of gas was supplied to Turkeyvia Blue Stream, according to Reuters.

And another fringe benefit of becoming a preferred Russian ally: Moscow will reduce the gas price for Turkish customers by 6 percent from January 1, 2015, Putin said. Later, Novak said the discount could reach 15 percent, subject to negotiations. Sorry Ukraine.

And sorry Bulgaria, which despite being wholly reliant on Russian gas for its commercial, industrial and residential needs, has decided to side with the sinking European Union, making it merely the latest insolvent vassal state of the sinking Eurozone, something Putin made abundantly clear during today’s conference:

  • PUTIN: BULGARIA UNABLE TO ACT AS SOVEREIGN STATE OVER GAS LINK
  • PUTIN: RUSSIA TO REORIENT ENERGY RESOURCES TO OTHER MKTS: IFX

Bulgaria should now expect its gas costs to boldly go where Ukrainian energy prices have so boldly gone before.

As for Turkey, the country that bridges Europe with Asia is merely the latest expansion of Putin’s anti-dollar alliance:

  • TURKEY, RUSSIA AGREE TO USE LOCAL CURRENCIES IN TRADE: TRT

Or, as Obama would put it, Russia just got even more “isolated.”

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The Engineered Destruction and Political Fragmentation of Iraq. Towards the Creation of a US Sponsored Islamist Caliphate

The Western media in chorus have described the unfolding conflict in Iraq as a “civil war” opposing the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham against the Armed forces of the Al-Maliki government.

(Also referred to as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS))

The conflict is casually described as “sectarian warfare” between Radical Sunni and Shia without addressing “who is behind the various factions”.  What is at stake is a carefully staged US military-intelligence agenda.

Known and documented, Al Qaeda affiliated entities have been used by US-NATO in numerous conflicts as “intelligence assets” since the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war. In Syria, the Al Nusrah and ISIS rebels are the foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance, which oversees and controls the recruitment and training of paramilitary forces.

The Al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) re-emerged in April 2013 with a different name and acronym, commonly referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The formation of a terrorist entity encompassing both Iraq and Syria was part of a US intelligence agenda. It responded to geopolitical objectives. It also coincided with the advances of Syrian government forces against the US sponsored insurgency in Syria and the failures of both the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and its various “opposition” terror brigades.

The decision was taken by Washington to channel its support (covertly) in favor of a terrorist entity which operates in both Syria and Iraq and which has logistical bases in both countries. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s Sunni caliphate project coincides with a longstanding US agenda to carve up both Iraq and Syria into three separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, and a Republic of Kurdistan.

Whereas the (US proxy) government in Baghdad purchases advanced weapons systems from the US including F16 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham –which is fighting Iraqi government forces– is supported covertly by Western intelligence. The objective is to engineer a civil war in Iraq, in which both sides are controlled indirectly by US-NATO.

The scenario is to arm and equip them, on both sides, finance them with advanced weapons systems and then “let them fight”.

US-NATO is involved in the recruitment, training and financing of ISIS death squads operating in both Iraq and Syria. ISIS operates through indirect channels in liaison with Western intelligence. In turn, corroborated by reports on Syria’s insurgency, Western special forces and mercenaries integrate the ranks of ISIS.

US-NATO support to ISIS is channeled covertly through America’s staunchest allies: Qatar and Saudi Arabia. According to London’s Daily Express “They had money and arms supplied by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

“through allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the West [has] supported militant rebel groups which have since mutated into ISIS and other al‑Qaeda connected militias. ( Daily Telegraph, June 12, 2014)

While the media acknowledges that the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of supporting ISIS, it invariably fails to mention that both Doha and Riyadh are acting on behalf and in close liaison with Washington.

Under the banner of a civil war, an undercover war of aggression is being fought which essentially contributes to further destroying an entire country, its institutions, its economy. The undercover operation is part of an intelligence agenda, an engineered process which consists in transforming Iraq into an open territory.

Meanwhile,  public opinion is led to believe that what is at stake is confrontation between Shia and Sunni.

America’s military occupation of Iraq has been replaced by non-conventional forms of warfare. Realities are blurred. In a bitter irony, the aggressor nation is portrayed as coming to the rescue of a “sovereign Iraq”.

An internal “civil war” between Shia and Sunni is fomented by US-NATO support to both the Al-Maliki government as well as to the Sunni ISIS rebels.

The break up of Iraq along sectarian lines is a longstanding policy of the US and its allies. (See map of Middle East below)

“Supporting both Sides”

The “War on Terrorism” consists in creating Al Qaeda terrorist entities as part of an intelligence operation, as well as also coming to the rescue of governments which are the target of  the terrorist insurgency. This process is carried out under the banner of counter-terrorism. It creates the pretext to intervene.

ISIS is a caliphate project of creating a Sunni Islamist state. It is not a project of the Sunni population of Iraq which is broadly committed to secular forms of government. The caliphate project is part of a US intelligence agenda.

In response to the advance of the ISIS rebels, Washington is envisaging the use of aerial bombings as well as drone attacks in support of the Baghdad government as part of a counter-terrorism operation.  It is all for a good cause: to fight the terrorists, without of course acknowledging that these terrorists are the “foot soldiers” of the Western military alliance.

Needless to say, these developments contribute not only to destabilizing Iraq, but also to weakening the Iraqi resistance movement, which is one of the major objectives of US-NATO.

The Islamic caliphate is supported covertly by the CIA in liaison with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkish intelligence. Israel is also involved in channeling support to both Al Qaeda rebels in Syria (out of the Golan Heights) as well to the Kurdish separatist movement in Syria and Iraq.

More broadly, the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) encompasses a consistent and diabolical logic: both sides –namely the terrorists and the government– are supported by the same military and intelligence actors, namely US-NATO.

While this pattern describes the current situation in Iraq, the structure of “supporting both sides” with a view to engineering sectarian conflict has been implemented time and again in numerous countries. Insurgencies integrated by Al Qaeda operatives (and supported by Western intelligence) prevail in a large number of countries including Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, Pakistan. The endgame is to destabilize sovereign nation states and to transform countries into open territories (on behalf of so-called foreign investors).

The pretext to intervene on humanitarian grounds (e.g. in Mali, Nigeria or the Central African Republic) is predicated on the existence of terrorist forces. Yet these terrorist forces would not exist without covert US-NATO support.

The Capture of Mosul:  US-NATO Covert Support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Something unusual occurred in Mosul which cannot be explained in strictly military terms.

On June 10, the insurgent forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) allegedly (according to press reports) captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, with a population of over one million people.  While these developments were “unexpected” according to the Obama administration, they were known to the Pentagon and US intelligence, which were not only providing weapons, logistics and financial support to the ISIS rebels, they were also coordinating, behind the scenes, the ISIS attack on the city of Mosul.

While ISIS is a well equipped and disciplined rebel army when compared to other Al Qaeda affiliated formations, “the capture” of Mosul, did not hinge upon ISIS’s military capabilities. Quite the opposite: Iraqi forces which outnumbered the rebels by far, equipped with advanced weapons systems could have easily repelled the ISIS rebels.

There were 30,000 government forces in Mosul as opposed to 1000 ISIS rebels, according to reports. The Iraqi army chose not to intervene. The media reports explained without evidence that the decision of the Iraqi armed forces not to intervene was spontaneous characterized by mass defections.

Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters. Isis extremists roamed freely on Wednesday through the streets of Mosul,openly surprised at the ease with which they took Iraq’s second largest city after three days of sporadic fighting. (Guardian, June 12, 2014, emphasis added)

The reports point to the fact that Iraqi military commanders were sympathetic with the Sunni led ISIS insurgency intimating that they are largely Sunni:

Speaking from the Kurdish city of Erbil, the defectors accused their officers of cowardice and betrayal, saying generals in Mosul “handed over” the city over to Sunni insurgents, with whom they shared sectarian and historical ties. (Daily Telegraph,  13 June 2014)

The report is misleading. The senior commanders were largely hardline Shiite. The defections occurred de facto when the command structure collapsed and senior (Shiite) military commanders left the city.

What is important to understand, is that both sides, namely the regular Iraqi forces and the ISIS rebel army are supported by US-NATO. There were US military advisers and special forces including operatives from private security companies on location in Mosul working with Iraq’s regular armed forces. In turn, there are Western special forces or mercenaries within ISIS (acting on contract to the CIA or the Pentagon) who are in liaison with US-NATO (e.g. through satellite phones).

Under these circumstances, with US intelligence amply involved, there would have been routine communication, coordination, logistics and exchange of intelligence between a US-NATO military and intelligence command center, US-NATO military advisers forces or private military contractors on the ground assigned to the Iraqi Army in Mosul and Western special forces attached to the ISIS brigades. These Western special forces operating covertly within the ISIS could have been dispatched by a private security company on contract to US-NATO.

Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria

Yaser Al-Khodor/Courtesy Reuters

In this regard, the capture of Mosul appears to have been a carefully engineered operation, planned well in advance. With the exception of a few skirmishes, no fighting took place.

Entire divisions of the Iraqi National Army –trained by the US military with advanced weapons systems at their disposal– could have easily repelled the ISIS rebels. Reports suggest that they were ordered by their commanders not to intervene. According to witnesses, “Not a single shot was fired”.

The forces that had been in Mosul have fled — some of which abandoned their uniforms as well as their posts as the ISIS forces swarmed into the city.

Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, overran the entire western bank of the city overnight after Iraqi soldiers and police apparently fled their posts, in some instances discarding their uniforms as they sought to escape the advance of the militants. http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/10/mosul-falls-to-al-qaeda-as-us-trained-security-forces-flee/

A contingent of one thousand ISIS rebels takes over a city of more than one million? Without prior knowledge that the US controlled Iraqi Army (30,000 strong) would not intervene, the Mosul operation would have fallen flat, the rebels would have been decimated.

Who was behind the decision to let the ISIS terrorists take control of Mosul? Who gave them the “green light”

Had the senior Iraqi commanders been instructed by their Western military advisers to hand over the city to the ISIS terrorists? Were they co-opted?

Source: The Economist


Was the handing over of Mosul to ISIS part of a US intelligence agenda?

Were the Iraqi military commanders manipulated or paid off into allowing the city to fall into the hands of the ISIS rebels without “a single shot being fired”.

Shiite General Mehdi Sabih al-Gharawi who was in charge of the Mosul Army divisions “had left the city”. Al Gharawi had worked hand in glove with the US military. He took over the command of Mosul in September 2011, from US Col Scott McKean. Had he been co-opted, instructed by his US counterparts to abandon his command?

(image left) U.S. Army Col. Scott McKean, right, commander, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Division, talks with Iraqi police Maj. Gen. Mahdi Sabih al-Gharawi following a transfer of authority ceremony on September 4, 2011

US forces could have intervened. They had been instructed to let it happen. It was part of a carefully planned agenda to facilitate the advance of the ISIS rebel forces and the installation of the ISIS caliphate.

The whole operation appears to have been carefully staged.

In Mosul, government buildings, police stations, schools, hospitals, etc are formally now under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In turn, ISIS has taken control of military hardware including helicopters and tanks which were abandoned by the Iraqi armed forces.

What is unfolding is the installation of a US sponsored Islamist ISIS caliphate alongside the rapid demise of the Baghdad government. Meanwhile, the Northern Kurdistan region has de facto declared its independence from Baghdad. Kurdish peshmerga rebel forces (which are supported by Israel) have taken control of the cities of Arbil and Kirkuk. (See map above)

UPDATE [June 17, 2014]

Since the completion of this article, information has emerged on the central role played by the Sunni Tribes and sections of the former Baathist movement (including the military) in taking control of Mosul and other cities. The control of Mosul is in the hands of several Sunni opposition groups and the ISIS.

While these forces — which constitute an important component of the resistance movement directed against the al-Maliki government– are firmly opposed to ISIS, a de facto “relationship” has nonetheless emerged between the ISIS and the Sunni resistance movement.

The fact that the US is firmly behind ISIS does not seem to be a matter of concern to the Tribal Council:

Sheikh Zaydan al Jabiri, leader of the political wing of the Tribal Revolutionary Council, told Sky News his organisation viewed ISIS as dangerous terrorists, and that it was capable of taking them on.

“Even this blessed revolution that has taken place in Mosul, there may be jihadist movements involved in it, but the revolution represents all the Iraqi people – it has been brought about by the Sunni tribes, and some baathist elements, it certainly does not belong to ISIS,” he said.

But Mr Jabiri,  [based in Amman]… also made a clear threat that without Western help, the tribes and ISIS may be forced to combine efforts targeting their shared enemy – the Shia-dominated Iraqi government. (Sky News, emphasis added)

An exiled leader of the Iraqi resistance movement calling for “Western help” from the aggressor nation? From the above statement, one has the distinct impression that the Tribal Revolutionary Council has been co-opted and/or infiltrated.

Moreover, in a bitter irony, within sectors of the Sunni resistance movement, US-NATO which supports both the Al Maliki government and the ISIS terrorists– is no longer considered the main aggressor nation.

The Sunni resistance movement broadly considers Iran, which is providing military assistance to the al-Maliki government as well as special forces- as the aggressor alongside the US.

In turn, it would appear that Washington is creating conditions for sucking Iran more deeply into the conflict, under the pretext of joining hands in fighting ISIS terrorism. During talks in Vienna on June 16, US and Iranian officials agreed “to work together to halt ISIS’s momentum—though with no military coordination, the White House stressed”.(WSJ, June 16, 2014)

In chorus The US media applauds:  “The US and Iran have a mutual interest in stemming the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)” (Christian Science Monitor,  June 13 2014).  An absurd proposition knowing that the ISIS is a creature of US intelligence, financed by the Western military alliance, with Western special forces in its ranks.

Is a regional conflict involving Iran in the making?

Tehran is using the ISIS pretext as an “opportunity” to intervene in Iraq: Iran’s intelligence is fully aware that ISIS is a terrorist proxy controlled by the CIA.

Concluding Remarks

There were no Al Qaeda rebels in Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion. Moreover, Al Qaeda was non-existent in Syria until the outset of the US-NATO-Israeli supported insurgency in March 2011.

The ISIS is not an independent entity. It is a creation of US intelligence. It is a US intelligence asset, an instrument of non-conventional warfare.

The ultimate objective of this ongoing US-NATO engineered conflict opposing the al-Maliki government forces to the ISIS insurgency is to destroy and destabilize Iraq as a Nation State. It is part of an intelligence operation, an engineered process of  transforming countries into territories. The break up of Iraq along sectarian lines is a longstanding policy of the US and its allies.

The ISIS is a caliphate project of creating a Sunni Islamist state. It is not a project of the Sunni population of Iraq which historically has been committed to a secular system of government. The caliphate project is a US design. The advances of ISIS forces is intended to garnish broad support within the Sunni population directed against the al-Maliki government

Through its covert support of  the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, Washington is overseeing the demise of its own proxy regime in Baghdad. The issue, however, is not “regime change”,  nor is the “replacement” of the al-Maliki regime contemplated.

The division of Iraq along sectarian-ethnic lines has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 10 years.

What is envisaged by Washington is the outright suppression of the Baghdad regime and the institutions of the central government, leading to a process of political fracturing and the elimination of Iraq as a country.

This process of political fracturing in Iraq along sectarian lines will inevitably have an impact on Syria, where the US-NATO sponsored terrorists have in large part been defeated.

Destabilization and political fragmentation in Syria is also contemplated: Washington’s intent is no longer to pursue the narrow objective of “regime change” in Damascus. What is contemplated is the break up of both Iraq and Syria along sectarian-ethnic lines.

The formation of the caliphate may be the first step towards a broader conflict in the Middle East, bearing in mind that Iran is supportive of the al-Maliki government and the US ploy may indeed be to encourage the intervention of Iran.

The proposed re-division of both Iraq and Syria is broadly modeled on that of the Federation of Yugoslavia which was split up into seven “independent states” (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia (FYRM), Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo).

According to Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, the re division of Iraq into three separate states is part of a broader process of redrawing the Map of the Middle East.

The above map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers”. (See Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East” By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, November 2006)

Episode 24: Red Star vs. Brown Shirt (Interview with Sergey Kirichuk of the Borotba Party)

The Last Defense: Interview with Sergey Kirichuk of the Borotba Party
By Haneul Na’avi and Michael Bielawski
31 March 2014 | borotba.org

The following is a transcript of our interview with Sergey Kirichuk of the Borotba Party, a left-wing, antifascist Ukrainian political party fighting for the solidarity of Ukrainians. We discuss the oligarchic forces and right-wing groups operating in Kyiv such as Svoboda, Euromaidan, and Right Sector, go over the players and pawns of the current Ukrainian Parliament (Rada), and discuss the possible outcomes of the crisis. You can listen to the full interview here.

HANEUL: Sergey, can go ahead and tell us a little about yourself, what you do with your organization, and please further elaborate?

SERGEY: Yeah, the Borotba movement is a young political movement. We have been operating for three years in Ukraine and we started our activities from the unifying of many left-wing groups and common people in Ukraine that are fighting against capitalism and oligarchy. Ukraine is a country totally controlled by a few rich families that we used to call oligarchs, and they are doing whatever they want—changing political parties and regimes, and when we have some kind of election here, we have everything under the control of a few families. So, fighting this system is one of our aims and we are trying to do our best to change the political situation in Ukraine. Actually, we are just a left-wing political movement.

HANEUL: You say [the organization] is basically aligned with Communist values and principles, and you’re trying to form international partnerships and friendships with other people, regardless of race and gender, and you’re trying to get rid of the fascist element, or at least to expose it. Now, according to your website, Borotba.org, can you please give us a definition of what you think fascism is, in the eyes of Ukrainians as well as in Europe?

SERGEY: What we have here in Ukraine, and all over Eastern and Western Europe; we have political change. We don’t have traditional fascist movements anymore. We have so-called new far-right movements. That means these people have changed [throughout] history and now they are trying to use more Populism. They are talking more about the problems of common people; about working class people. So, you see, when you use some symbols of Adolf Hitler or German Nazis, or Benito Mussolini and his fascist party, you will not be successful, of course. That means that you should find some other forms and they are finding these forms in Ukraine, especially. They are trying to be very bourgeois; they are trying to be a part of the Ukrainian political establishment. So, Ukrainian fascist have two kinds: One is a kind of bourgeois fascist that is represented in Ukrainian parliament and in [the] Ukrainian government, and the other kind is street fascism, which are in military clothes patrolling our streets, and they are really angry. They are not under somebody’s control, and they are really aggressive and really dangerous.

 

HANEUL: Wow, that’s an interesting portrait of what’s going on there. Which of those would you say is bourgeois? Is it Svoboda?

SERGEY: It’s Svoboda; it was a very small political party in the West of Ukraine. Their name was [formally] the Social-Nationalist Party of Ukraine. It was like saying “hello” to Hitler’s National-Socialist Party, but they understood they couldn’t move forward with the old name, so they changed [it] to Svoboda, which means “Freedom” in English. They were supported by some groups and the bourgeois government because the Ukrainian government [and] administration of Yanukovich [were] trying to use fascists to fight their political enemies. For example, you know that in Ukraine, one of the most popular politicians was Julia Tymoshenko. She was a really corrupt politician, but at the same time, she was quite popular, so, Yanukovich and his team used Svoboda in order to attack [her]. They made some good financial donations to Svoboda, and within a few years, they [went] from [being] the small fascist party in the West of Ukraine [to becoming] a big parliamentary political party. I should explain that Ukraine is a very nationalistic country. When the Soviet Union crashed and we had a big social disaster here in Ukraine, it was [the] intention and willingness of people to fight capitalism because it didn’t give anything good to people, and [all of the] Ukrainian oligarchy, new businessmen, new rich people began to use nationalistic ideology to prevent the country from returning to the “Red Past”. We’ve had nationalistic propaganda for 20 years through media, in school, and we have good financial support to fascist movements. These two conditions made possible for fascists to be in the Ukrainian parliament.

HANEUL: Mike, what would you like to ask or add?

MICHAEL: Well, for any of these groups that you guys are working against, do you think that there are any outside influences, or is it entirely internal within the country? For example, people accuse the United States intelligence, CIA, etc., or British Intelligence for meddling in other countries affairs, especially groups that aren’t in the natives best interests. Do you think that any of that is playing into the groups of Ukraine?

SERGEY: I should explain from the very beginning that we are not fighting fascists. It’s not our main goal. Our main goal is [the] Ukrainian oligarchy and Ukrainian ruling class, because Ukrainian fascists are only a symptom of this disease called capitalistic development. Actually, they are only one of the problems in Ukraine because we have a huge number of problems connected to corruption, poverty, and far-right movements. This big unemployment, this poverty in Ukraine, they are not creating a good basis of development, [but] of these fascist neo-Nazi movements. So, our main enemy is the ruling class. Of course, we are attacked every time by fascists, but we should understand that they are only some part, some guard of the ruling class. If we are talking about these paramilitarists that are acting now in Ukraine, I don’t have any evidence that the CIA or British Secret Services are cooperating with them, but we know that some of their gangsters were training in Latvia and they had some military bases in the Baltic countries. That means that they [were] prepared by somebody. I don’t know by whom, but we can imagine that the US government was very active in Ukrainian issues because Western diplomats have declared that they had spent five billion dollars [on] the development of democracy in Ukraine, but we don’t have any idea of how this money had been spent, or what they paid for, but five billion dollars had been invested for the last 10 years to different political groups. We are really disappointed about this strong Western influence because they are not condemning far-right groups. They are not concerned about growing far-rights. They didn’t see any problems with this, so I think that Western countries have a lot of influence in the Ukrainian situation.

HANEUL: We wanted to mention also there were talks between the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and the EU Foreign Affairs Representative Catherine Ashton, and they both declared at one point that Euromaidan had financed the snipers at the time of the ousting of Yanukovich, but we also noticed some of the Euromaidan leaders were actually working with people like John McCain. They had been seen in speeches. Can you tell us, who are some of the main people that are some of the fascist or oligarchic elements that are currently running parliament, and what were their roles in the attacks of the initial protests that lead to Yanukovich fleeing the country?

SERGEY: You would not believe that Right Sector was created by the administration of Yanukovich. They created this part of the protests in order to show fascist participation there, so they took radical fascist groups in order to show that all of the protests were far-right, and they thought that people would be disappointed when they saw all of the fascist elements in Kyiv and Euromaidan, but people were so angry at the administration of Yanukovich that they followed and supported Right Sector, and when Yanukovich ran away from the country, Right Sector became a powerful political force. This is really big problem, and now the leader of Right Sector—his name is [Dmitry] Yarosh—he is trying to be the president of Ukraine, and he will participate in presidential elections. I have no idea how many votes he will get, but nevertheless, participation of far-right leaders is a very, very bad mark for Ukrainian policy. It’s like, in Germany, Andy Peewood participating in Presidential and parliament elections.

MICHAEL: I have a question. What is an example of a policy from far-right people that specifically isn’t good for the Ukrainian people?

SERGEY: The main idea of the far-right is a national, corporate state. They are against trade union and the Russian language. You know that Ukraine is separated into two big divisions. Half of Ukraine speaks Ukrainian and the other half speaks Russian. They are against Russian language. They are against feminism, women’s rights. They are very homophobic, so in this [their] internal policy, they are trying to be very traditional, right-oriented politicians.

HANEUL: And you know what’s funny about that, I wanted to mention, is that when you find financial backing by Western powers, they tend to support neoconservative groups like Svoboda and Right Sector, but also, in other parts of the world, you have al-Nursra in Syria, you have al-Qaeda factions around the world, al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the funny thing about it is, they always give backing to these ultraconservative groups of people. Like, just recently, Barack Obama has decided to rekindle ties with King Abdullah of the Saudi Arabia kingdom.

SERGEY: Yeah, sure. You see that this is big chain. We are not surprised about this Western policy because Ukraine is a big part of a big chain. You know what they’re doing in Syria, in Ukraine, in Venezuela, in Thailand; it is the same. They are supporting ultraconservative governments. You can see that all of these governments—Bashar al-Assad, Victor Yanukovich—they are not really progressive. They are not very democratic governments, but they, more or less, they are Western-oriented, they are not anti-imperialists. They are very common politicians that are trying to be in some way useful to their countries. So, you see, Yanukovich was a very pro-Western politician. He was guilty only of his willingness to minimize all of these conditions of free-trade zones with the EU. That was his only problem. He was not a socialist. He was not anti-imperialist. He was dreaming about how he could be in the Western establishment. So, this support of ultraconservative forces is one of the foundations for US foreign policy.

HANEUL: Yeah, it’s absurd. It’s amazing, and it goes all across the board, all across the world. Now Mike, did you want to ask any questions?

MICHAEL: Yeah, well we’ve spoken a little about how foreign interests may or may not be influencing politics in Ukraine. Certainly, it’s happening to some degree. Now, Ukraine is kind of stuck, physically and politically, between the interests of Russia and NATO. So, who do you think right now is interfering more positively or negatively with Ukraine’s internal affairs?

SERGEY: Ah, you see, Ukraine is a country with a very dramatic history, and if you could see history since WWI and WWII, you can see that Ukraine was one of the battlefields in both World Wars. Now, we’re on the big battlefield between the Russian and Chinese blocs, and the Western blocs. We are on the frontline, and I don’t think that Western influence can have any positive influence on Ukrainian policies. At the same time, the problem with Russia is that it is not a very progressive regime. Vladimir Putin is quite an interesting politician, but he is not a socialist. He is not really progressive, so people here don’t want to be in one bloc or the other. We have supporters of European integration, people that want to be in NATO and the European Union, and we have some people who are very close economically and mentally to Russia, but we also have a third group that are supporting Ukrainian national independence and our movement is one of those movements who are fighting for Ukrainian independence, that we should not be in any political blocs, but this position is quite hard to be protected, because people understand that we should either be in the EU or in Russia. The other problem is, right now, I’m in the eastern part of Ukraine, and here we have high-tech industrial production. Right now, we are still able to produce airplanes and space rockets, and we are producing equipment for nuclear stations. It is a very high-tech industry and the only markets that can [preserve] our products are Russia, China, and India, and other Eastern countries. You can imagine that the European Union will never [preserve] our airplanes, space rockets, and our nuclear equipment; they are closing high-tech industries in the Eastern countries they get in. So, people here are really afraid of this Western integration, that we will be in the EU free-trade zone, but what will we supply to EU markets? What can we supply? Ukraine is one of the biggest producers of grain, and is the biggest producer of sunflower oil in the world, but these are raw materials [of lesser value], and [by] integrating into the European Union, we are losing our high technologies.

HANEUL: One thing I really wanted to note on was the importance, geopolitically, that Ukraine plays into the entire picture. We have one of Barack Obama’s top foreign policy advisors, [who] is Zbigniew Brzezinski. One of the things that he said, 20 years ago—he talked about this particular quote: “Russia can be neither an empire nor a democracy, but it cannot be both. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine, suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.” So, he’s talking specifically about one of the two things. The first is the natural gas pipelines that go through Crimea as well as the Southern parts of Ukraine, [and] additionally, that brings NATO to the doorstep of Moscow, which also plays an even stronger geopolitical role, as we know there are also missile defense systems in place in Poland, and they were trying at one point to get them into Ukraine. I’m not sure if they actually went through with that. Can you tell me some of the other geopolitical points for the United States if they were to destabilize Ukraine?

SERGEY: It was one of the dreams of the US administration to create in Ukraine an anti-Russian regime in order to escalate this confrontation with Russia, and Russia is really surrounded from different parts of their borders by US allies. You see Afghanistan is more or less controlled by NATO. Turkey is also a very Western-oriented country and they are controlling the Black Sea, and Russia is very worried about it. Now they are trying to have Ukraine. I think that one of the main reasons for this coup was the close relationship between Ukraine and China, because President Yanukovich, when he was disappointed with these conditions on free trade zones with the EU, he made important steps to make Ukraine closer to China, and China arranged some credit line for Ukraine, and they were ready to invest some money [in] Ukrainian industries and agriculture. I think that one of the reasons for this attack was Ukrainian cooperation with China.

HANEUL: One of the things I wanted to note, Sergey, is that there were talks also, I remember one of our acquaintances Eric Draitser was [saying], about how Turkey recently had a leak, and in it, he was talking about this false-flag event that [Erdogan] wanted to start in Syria. Now, the strategy behind the leak was… one of the things about Erdogan and Turkey was that they were trying to align themselves with the EU, and then they moved back towards the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, because they’re actually an observer state [correction: dialogue partner]. So, in order to get rid of that possibility, they were trying to release the leak. Now his major opponent at this point, I think his name is [correction: Fethullah Gulen], he is more closely tied to the CIA, the United States, and pro-Western powers. So you see how they try to create this shift in balance, this shift in policy, when they don’t find that the current leader complies with the demands of the Western hegemony. What are your opinions on that?

SERGEY: Yeah, I think that Turkey is a very specific country, and that Turkish policy is showing how it is proceeding inside countries that are willing to develop independence, and at the same time, they are under the strong influence of Western countries. I knew Turkey quite well. I visited this country many times, and I can see how much people there are willing to develop independence. They are very anti-imperialistic and want to have a good future for Turkey. At the same time, they have so-called political allies that are closely integrated into the Western establishment. They are trying to control everything. This political life and biography of Erdogan shows how difficult it is for Turkish politicians to be for the West or East. You see in Ukraine, when Russia took the Crimean peninsula, these are 300,000 Tatar people whom are Muslims. They are quite close to Turkey, because, you know, Crimea was the territory of the Ottoman Empire and Tatars are quite friendly to Turkish people, and I think that one of the main problems for Vladimir Putin will be to minimize Turkish influence in the Tatar minorities in Crimean, because it is quite a dangerous issue. They (Turkey) have 15 percent Tatar people, and this also quite interesting issue for your investigations.

HANEUL: Wow, yeah, this is going to play into a very sensitive geopolitical game in the near future. We’ll see what happens. Many of them voted for secession into the Commonwealth of Independent States, or the Russian Federation. Only time will tell what happens as they begin to go back into the Russian system.

MICHAEL: Sure, as we were talking, I was pulling up a couple of headlines here. This one is from Infowars.com, and it says “Ukrainian Junta Concedes to IMF Looting Plan”. This gets back into the West and East fighting for influence, and this is the economic angle. It’s obviously very shaded with the West, NATO and the World Bank, and this article is saying that the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former central banker, is conceding to IMF demands for austerity. Would you agree with that statement?

SERGEY: Yeah, sure. The IMF plan is killing Ukraine, and the funniest thing was that the Ukrainian government [and] the Ukrainian politicians who are on the administration right now were criticizing Yanukovich for his anti-people, anti-social policies. They were criticizing pension and medical reform, but now, when they are in the government, they are proceeding with these reforms, and they are promoting social cuts and austerity measures. They are promoting the IMF plan to kill the Ukrainian social sphere. So, the role of the IMF here is really dramatic.

HANEUL: Yeah, that’s going to be very huge, especially now that they’re passing that in Parliament. Once you privatize everything, it’s going to create chaos and it’s not going to make things any better. It’s this constant cycle of conflict that they create in these countries, for instance, when they wanted to fight Siad Barre in Somalia, and the country collapsed, and there were warlord factions. The same with Libya—a  [relatively] stable country. After the [correction: killing] of Muammar Gaddafi, basically all of the elements within start to fight with each other. It’s going to disrupt what people naturally want. They never seem to do things that work within the interests of the people, working with these IMF bailout packages [and] if they don’t see what’s happening in Spain, Greece, Italy, what’s happening with Cypress as well, with Ireland… these austerity packages don’t do anything. They don’t produce any growth. They don’t help them to innovate. They don’t help to put plans back into the social sphere.

HANEUL: The last question that I’d like to ask you is this. There is a group of people on both sides of the Ukrainian border. We have the Russian troops to the right and in Crimea. We have the Ukrainian troops on the left, and I see some kinds of provocations that are taking place with snipers. One Ukrainian soldier was killed and another injured, and this is bringing tensions of the Cold War to all-time highs. So, what do you think about the possibility of a full-scale war or invasion taking place, and what do you hope we can prevent, or how can we stop this situation?

SERGEY: I hope that war between war Russia and Ukraine is impossible because they’re two big industrial countries, and on the east of Ukraine, they could be occupied or taken by Russia. There are so many industrial plants and there could be a great chemical catastrophe if this war is started. So, I think that we will have this great tension between these countries for many years. It will be very similar to the India and Pakistan conflict, and all of this military hysteria. You see, some people in the Russian establishment—they are interested in these tensions because they want to have some [military] contracts, and this is good business for many people. At the same time with Ukraine, this tension and possibility of war with Russia is a good reason to explain why we are so poor, why we cannot go forward and develop our economy, and to do anything with the social issues, to develop the social sphere. So, Ukrainian and Russian governments are interested in these tensions in order to talk about external problems and are keeping silent about internal problems. It’s really a pity.

HANEUL: It’s a [pitiful] situation. I’ve met a lot of Ukrainians while living in Shanghai. I’ve met them in Seoul. They’re a good people, along with the Russians as well. The funny thing is, people pretty much want the same thing in life. They want to be happy. They want to be free. They want to be secure.

SERGEY: Yeah, right. Sure, and right now, here in Ukraine, we are starting to mobilize against this dictatorship and work for peace, democracy, and solidarity between different peoples, and we are sure we will be successful, because nobody in Ukraine wants to be involved in this war.

HANEUL: Yeah, it’s very true, and as a spokesman for Borotba, can you tell us what you and your organization would like people to do in order to become involved or in order to show support?

SERGEY: Yeah, we are calling people in Ukraine and all over the world to support our efforts to escape this bloody war with Russia, and we are calling people for organization, high consciousness, and discipline, and this is our [collective] action; that is our only weapon, our ideas are our only weapon that we can [use to] fight with this military hysteria and, of course, people in Ukraine are hoping for international solidarity to stop this political and military crisis.

HANEUL: Wonderful, wonderful, and we hope so, too. We hope that everything will be okay in the end. Mike, do you have any final comments?

MIKE: I do have one question from my original list. From both sides, the West and the East, is a false-flag attack going to be at play? And, of course, a false flag attack is when somebody stages an attack on their own people or their own forces, in order to create an incentive for more fighting. Between everything that’s going on in terms of violence and fighting on the ground in Ukraine, do you think that either side, or Ukraine itself, could use such a tactic?

SERGEY: Um, I don’t know, because there are such things that, yesterday, some things are not possible in Ukrainian policy, but now, everything is possible. So, we cannot be sure about anything. Anything could happen here, so, unfortunately, the situation right now is very, very unstable and everything is possible.

HANEUL: In addition, what I had mentioned to people before, with the Orange Revolution of 2004 and with this current uprising taking place in Ukraine, there was CANVAS operating—that was the Center for [Applied] NonViolent Action [and Strategies], and they were basically stoking the fires. One of my associates was talking about how, during this time, they were handing out food and water, and trying to get support. You had people like John McCain, and people from the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, that were also operating in Ukraine, and that was basically a failed coup in 2004, but this one, they seem to be pushing their agenda once again. So, that’s one of the things I would like to see out of the picture so that Ukrainians can get back into healing the country and also, getting involved with one another. Not on this hateful bent that a lot of these far-rights are trying to provoke.

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