“A Leap into Darkness”

Howard Zinn once said: “if you don’t have history it’s as if you were born yesterday. If you were born yesterday you’ll believe anything anyone in authority tells you”. To know history is to recognize hypocrisy. We need not look too far into the past to see how the US, with unwavering support from the UK, has intervened in over 70 countries since 1945, directly and indirectly, to overthrow governments, manipulate elections and attack popular democratic movements. [1] Ukraine is merely the latest in a long list of countries that have fallen foul of US/UK foreign policy.

Relying solely on corporate media news reports, one could be forgiven for thinking the US and UK have played a responsible, albeit, insignificant role in recent events in Ukraine and that it is Russia who is the aggressor and violator of Ukrainian sovereignty and international law. But the truth is British and American governments are simply doing what they have always done – orchestrating and directing, with meticulous attention to detail, a violent coup d’état; in this instance, removing from office the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych.

In November 2013, Yanukovych withdrew from a cooperation agreement with the European Union. Following that decision the West began to ally itself with opposition groups and protestors including the fascist/neo-nazi storm-troopers from Svoboda (Right Sector). As the protests turned violent, the West increased pressure on Yanukovych and following threats to his life and his family (his own grandchild’s name was discovered on a hit list) he finally sought refuge in Russia.

US assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

During this time, US assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, had been effectively appointing the new government in Kiev, deciding ‘who’s on the inside’ and ‘who’s on the outside’. In the now infamous leaked telephone conversation with US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt [2], she can be heard demanding that Arseny Yatsenyuk become the new PM as he has the ‘right’ economic experience. The subtext being Yatsenyuk, with a background in central banking, will be acceptable to the IMF and will have no qualms about implementing austerity and pro-business polices. In a previous public statement, Nuland admitted the US has invested $5 billion into Ukrainian opposition groups in the past two decades. This is in addition to unknown amounts of private donations, including one recently from eBay founder and owner of First Look Media (Glenn Greenwald’s new ‘independent’ news venture) Pierre Omidyar. [3]

The western corporate news media, having consistently aired distorted and misleading reports on events in Ukraine, has surpassed itself with its blatant failure to honestly report claims made this past week that unknown snipers were firing on the crowd in Kiev, killing over one hundred people, including protestors, police and passers by. In another leaked telephone call this time between Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, [4] Paet revealed that doctors in Kiev who treated the injured told him snipers responsible for the killing at Maiden were protest movement provocateurs rather than supporters of then-president Yanukovych:

…what was quite disturbing … all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides among policemen and people from the streets that they were the same snipers…and the new coalition don’t want to investigate.

unknown snipers
Unknown snipers shoot at police, protestors and bystanders

Ashton can be heard replying “I didn’t know … Gosh.” This story was later confirmed by former chief of Ukraine’s security service Major General Alexander Yakimenko:

First shots were fired from the Philharmonic building. Maidan Commandant Parubiy was in charge of the building. On February 20, this building was used as a base by the snipers and people with automatic weapons. They basically covered those who were attacking the demoralized policemen running in panic, hunted down like animals. They were followed by armed people with different kinds of weapons. At that point, somebody opened fire at those who attacked the police, and some of them were killed. All this fire was coming from the Philharmonic building.

Yakimenko claims these mercenaries were taking orders not from opposition groups but from US intelligence:

All the orders were given either by the US embassy or by Jan Tombinski, a Polish representative who worked in the EU mission in Kiev. Poland played an invaluable role in the coup. [5]

We have seen this same strategy of using snipers in many US engineered coups in the past, including the 2002 attempted overthrow in Venezuela of then president Hugo Chavez. Independent political analyst Gearóid Ó Colmáin has extensively researched the use of snipers over the past 35 years. He concludes that ‘snipers are used to create terror, fear and anti-regime propaganda. They are an integral feature of Western sponsored regime change.’

Mercenary snipers in Kiev
Mercenary snipers in Kiev

Clearly the unknown snipers in Kiev were part of a false flag operation intended to place blame on the government of Yanukovych. Predictably, when the western corporate media could no longer ignore the leaked telephone conversation between Paet and Ashton, officials in London and Washington attempted to convince us that Paet had simply made a mistake with the translation or that the doctors had ‘misspoke’. But once the chief of Ukraine’s security service confirmed the presence of unknown snipers the official narrative quickly changed to implicate Russia. The entire situation has been blatantly spun within the western mainstream media. Most clear-sighted observers however, understanding that the msm, being an integral part of the corporate structure  which will always align itself with corporate power, fully comprehend what is at play.

But we must remain vigilant. Let us not drop our guard – a group called Anonymous Ukraine has unearthed emails which appear to be the final stages of planning for another false flag attack, this time the target being an airbase in Crimea or a transport hub in the south of Ukraine. Russia would, of course, be blamed immediately, with the sole intention of providing a justification for western military intervention. As I write, there are already two US war ships in the Black Sea and a aircraft-carrier group steaming towards the eastern Mediterranean. Additional forces have also been deployed in neighboring Latvia, Poland and Romania.

Writer and geo-political analyst, Dmitry Orlov, has closely followed events in Kiev and explains:

It appears that the US State Dept gave $5 billion to Ukrainian neo-Nazis who used some of the money to hire mass murderers who massacred protesters, policemen and bystanders in order to provide a rationale for overthrowing the democratically elected government of Ukraine and installing an anti-Russian puppet government. [6]

Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 00.40.04
Party leader Oleh Tyanhybok

Gary Leupp, Professor of history at Tufts University, has noted that for the first time since 1945, neo-fascists now hold cabinet positions in a European country:

They include the Ukrainian interim defense minister, Ihor Tenyukh (a naval commander who has studied at the Pentagon and favors NATO membership); deputy prime minster for economic affairs Oleksandr Sych (chief Svoboda ideologist who as a member of parliament co-authored a bill banning abortion, who’s said that women have the right to avoid pregnancy by “leading an orderly life”); minister of agriculture Ihor Svaika (an agro-oligarch); and minister of ecology Andriy Moknyk (who has served as Svoboda’s envoy to Italy’s neo-fascist Forzo Nuovo.Group). This is not business as usual. This is a leap into darkness. [7]

According to the Nation, the Svoboda Party wants to ban abortion, gun control, foreigners’ adoption of Ukrainian children, and “the Communist ideology.” It has organized violent attacks on gay pride events.

It’s hardly surprising that Russian speaking Ukrainians from the south and east of the country, especially the autonomous region of Crimea, fear imminent persecution. This apprehension is justified when we consider the ideology of the new government:

“…we will need to cancel parliamentarism, ban all political parties, nationalize the entire industry, all media, prohibit the importation of any literature to Ukraine from Russia… completely replace the leaders of the civil service, education management, military (especially in the East), physically liquidate all Russian-speaking intellectuals and all Ukrainophobes… execute all members of the anti-Ukrainian political parties…” [8]

In the major Ukrainian-speaking regions the population is almost half that of the core Russian speaking regions. Only one of the country’s ten largest cities, Lviv, is predominantly Ukrainian-speaking. In most walks of life – entertainment, education and commerce – Russian is overwhelmingly the favoured language. A 2012 study found:

over 60% of newspapers, 83% of journals and 87% of books, and 72% of television programs in Ukraine are still in Russian. Even more troubling, from the western Ukrainian perspective, is that the internet has only reinforced this cultural dominance. Russian is by far the preferred language on web sites in Ukraine (80.1%), followed by English (10.1%), then Ukrainian (9.5%), while the Russian version of Wikipedia remains five times more popular in Ukraine than the Ukrainian one.

It is not unreasonable, therefore, to expect some reaction from the Russian president. However it wasn’t until Putin received a formal request to help restore law and order from Yanukovych (who rightly claims to be the legal and constitutionally recognized president of Ukraine) did Russia act. The idea that Russia has invaded Crimea is, after an examination of the facts, absurd. Russia has had a longstanding agreement with Ukraine to base up to 25,000 troops in Crimea. The Crimean port of Sevastopol is home to the Russian Black Sea naval fleet. There is no public outcry in Crimea caused by the presence of Russian troops simply because they are made up of the friends and family of the local population.

Despite protests from William Hague, David Cameron and their counterparts in Washington claiming that Russia has violated the sovereignty of Ukraine, Putin has been careful to act according to international law. Hague, Cameron and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, have also since declared that the upcoming referendum on Crimean secession is unconstitutional. It’s difficult to imagine hypocrisy and double standards on a more blatant scale. The West has been content to ride roughshod over the Ukrainian constitution and international law when it serves its interests, even employing mercenary snipers to create the chaos necessary for regime change but when it comes to the opportunity for the mostly Russian speaking population of Crimea to determine their own future, the West cries foul –  obviously fearing the ‘wrong’ result.

The outcome of a supposedly peaceful, popular, grassroots, democratic transition has been to empower far-right groups representing a minority of the population of Ukraine who will waste no time in imposing harsh austerity measures as conditions of IMF loans. In his March 6 article “The Looting of Ukraine has Begun” Paul Craig Roberts writes of these harsh conditions the people of Ukraine will soon have to endure:

Naive protesters who believed the propaganda that EU membership offered a better life are due to lose half of their pension by April. But this is only the beginning. The corrupt Western media describes loans as “aid.” However, the 11 billion euros that the EU is offering Kiev is not aid. It is a loan. Moreover, it comes with many strings, including Kiev’s acceptance of an IMF austerity plan.

Remember now, gullible Ukrainians participated in the protests that were used to overthrow their elected government, because they believed the lies told to them by Washington-financed NGOs that once they joined the EU they would have streets paved with gold. Instead they are getting cuts in their pensions and an IMF austerity plan.

The austerity plan will cut social services, funds for education, layoff government workers, devalue the currency, thus raising the prices of imports which include Russian gas, thus electricity, and open Ukrainian assets to takeover by Western corporations. Ukraine’s agriculture lands will pass into the hands of American agribusiness. [9]

Acting Prime Minister Arseny Tatsenyuk last week ordered the airlift of Ukraine’s gold with a view to safe-keeping the nations reserves in the New York Federal Reserve. We must recognise that gold is one of the first spoils of war and regime change – the analogy between Ukraine and recent US interventions is obvious; both Iraq and Libya had their gold confiscated by the US. When Germany recently asked for the return of their 300 tons of gold, confiscated after WWII and currently stored in the NY Fed, the US gave back only 5 tons and this, it later transpired, was not of the same purity as the original bars. Who knows if any of these countries will ever see their gold again.

The new western supported, unelected government in Kiev is made up of gangsters and oligarchs. The Prime Minister has named three billionaires, including Ukraine’s richest, to head the key political regional or advisory posts. Geo-political analyst F. William Engdahl has researched the background of the key players:

Ihor Kolomoisky, a metals, banking and media baron worth between $3 and $6 billion, will be governor of his native region Dnipropetrovsk. He built his billions as a crony of convicted fraudster, ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko. He is an Ukrainian-Israeli business oligarch of Jewish descent with a dual Ukrainian-Israeli citizenship although dual citizenship is not recognized by Ukraine. Until now he has controlled his business empire from Switzerland.

Serhiy Taruta, the country’s 16th-richest man, was put in charge of the strategic coal mining region of Donetsk. Taruta is a Ukrainian businessman, chairman of Industrial Union of Donbas, and President of FC Metalurh Donetsk. According to Forbes magazine, he ranks among the 500 richest people in the world, with his estimated wealth being around $2 billion.

Most eyebrow-raising is the role of Ukraine’s richest man, billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, former money backer of Yanukovych. Akhmetov has pledged to “do everything possible to maintain the integrity of our country. Akhmetov, whose SCM Group controls nearly half of the country’s coal, steel, ore and thermoelectricity sectors is listed as the 47th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $15.4 billion.” [10]

With Crimea a strategic goal of NATO and key transport hub of Ukrainian oil and gas, it’s hardly surprising that the West is dismissing the upcoming referendum as unconstitutional. The big oil companies and international banks have the most to lose should the people of Crimea decide to realign with Russia in the western opposed referendum.  In the words of the famous American labor organiser, radical socialist and anarchist communist Lucy Parsons, ‘Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth.’


  1. John Pilger – Short clip of his documentary ‘War on Democracy’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzwjAF6mxrk
  1. Victoria Nuland ‘Fuck the EU’ leaked phone conversation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIvRljAaNgg
  1. Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with US government http://pando.com/2014/02/28/pierre-omidyar-co-funded-ukraine-revolution-groups-with-us-government-documents-show/
  1. Estonian FM Urmas Paet and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton leaked phone conversation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8
  1. Ex-Ukraine security chief Aleksandr Yakimenko – ‘Mercenaries took part in Maidan violence’ http://rt.com/op-edge/mercenaries-at-maidan-ukraine-558/
  1. Dmitry Orlov – The Crimean “Crisis” and Western Bias http://bsnews.info/crimean-crisis-western-bias/
  1. Gary Leupp – Ukraine: The Sovereignty Argument, and the Real Problem of Fascism http://bsnews.info/ukraine-sovereignty-argument-real-problem-fascism/
  1. Dmitry Orlov – The Crimean “Crisis” and Western Bias http://bsnews.info/crimean-crisis-western-bias/
  1. Paul Craig Roberts – The Looting of Ukraine Has Begun http://bsnews.info/looting-ukraine-begun/
  1. F. William Engdahl – Ukraine names Oligarchs and Gangsters as Governors and Ministers http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/03/10/what-happens-to-ukraine-will-be-a-model-for-the-rest-of-us/

Update: Feb 2016

Ivan Katchanovski, professor of political science at the University of Ottawa, has conducted a study on the massacre perpetrated by snipers on the Maidan square of Kiev two years ago. This document, from a presentation to the American Association of Political Sciences in San Francisco in September 2015, is the first academic study on this event. You can view the document in full by clicking the link below. The abstract is reproduced here.

The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine


The massacre of almost 50 Maidan protesters on February 20, 2014 was a turning point in Ukrainian politics and a tipping point in the conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. This mass killing of the protesters and the mass shooting of the police that preceded it led to the overthrow of the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych and gave a start to a civil war in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine, Russian military intervention in Crimea and Donbas, and an international conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. A conclusion promoted by the post-Yanukovych governments and the media in Ukraine that the massacre was perpetrated by government snipers and special police units on a Yanukovych order has been nearly universally accepted by the Western governments, the media, and many scholars. The Ukrainian government investigation identified members of the special company of Berkut as responsible for killings of the absolute majority of the protesters, but did not release any evidence in support, with the exception of videos of the massacre.

The question is which side organized the “snipers’ massacre.” This paper is the first academic study of this crucial case of the mass killing. It uses a theory of rational choice and a Weberian theory of instrumental rationality to examine actions of major actors both from the Yanukovych government, specifically various police and security forces, and the Maidan opposition, specifically its far right and oligarchic elements, during the massacre.

The paper analyzes a large amount of evidence from different publicly available sources concerning this massacre and killings of specifics protestors. Qualitative content analysis includes the following data: about 1,500 videos and recordings of live internet and TV broadcasts in mass media and social media in different countries (some 150 gigabytes), news reports and social media posts by more than 100 journalists covering the massacre from Kyiv, some 5,000 photos, and nearly 30 gigabytes of publicly available radio intercepts of snipers and commanders from the special Alfa unit of the Security Service of Ukraine and Internal Troops, and Maidan massacre trial recordings. This study also employs field research on site of the massacre, eyewitness reports by both Maidan protesters and government special units commanders, statements by both former and current government officials, estimates of approximate ballistic trajectories, bullets and weapons used, and types of wounds among both protesters and the police. This study establishes a precise timeline for various events of the massacre, the locations of both the shooters and the government snipers, and the specific timeline and locations of nearly 50 protesters’ deaths. It also briefly analyzes other major cases of violence during and after the “Euromaidan.”

This academic investigation concludes that the massacre was a false flag operation, which was rationally planned and carried out with a goal of the overthrow of the government and seizure of power. It found various evidence of the involvement of an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland. Concealed shooters and spotters were located in at least 20 Maidan-controlled buildings or areas. The various evidence that the protesters were killed from these locations include some 70 testimonies, primarily by Maidan protesters, several videos of “snipers” targeting protesters from these buildings, comparisons of positions of the specific protesters at the time of their killing and their entry wounds, and bullet impact signs. The study uncovered various videos and photos of armed Maidan “snipers” and spotters in many of these buildings. The paper presents implications of these findings for understanding the nature of the change of the government in Ukraine, the civil war in Donbas, Russian military intervention in Crimea and Donbas, and an international conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.