Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Five Facts the Media Isn’t Telling You About Ukraine

By Nick Giambruno

Quickly, look at the map below and find Ukraine.

Can you do it without cheating?

If you can find Ukraine, good for you. Many Americans cannot.

In fact, a recent study found that Americans’ attitudes about whether the US should intervene in Ukraine is correlated with the ability to find the country on the map.

Americans more in favor of intervention tended to be less likely to be able to locate Ukraine.

The media could have said the Russians invaded the lost city of Atlantis and the “ignorance is strength” crowd would still pound their chests about the need to intervene.

While this dynamic may seem strange at first, it really isn’t.

If you hear that the Russkies have aggressed in Ukraine and you believe Ukraine to be in… Iowa—as some of the respondents did—then you might be more in favor of nuking the bastards over it.

Given the dismal job the mainstream media has done covering the Ukraine crisis, this breathtaking ignorance is perhaps not surprising. To get to the bottom of what is going on, you have to be motivated enough to dig up the facts—most people just don’t have the time or motivation to do so.

This is just what I have done for you so you can better understand the crisis in Ukraine, and possibly profit from it

Below are the top five facts that the media isn’t telling you about Ukraine.

But first, I’d like to state I really don’t have a dog in this hunt.

Honestly, I don’t give two you-know-whats about Ukraine, except to the extent it might spark WWIII and cause me to get vaporized.

As in all conflicts, both sides are busy spinning their version of events. Check out the difference between how CNN and RT cover this story and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not a matter of this side is right and this side is wrong, but rather of finding the truth. And I try to do that by sticking to the facts and not listening to the government mouthpieces on either side.

That being said, it appears to me the US narrative is the one that is furthest from reality.

Fact #1: Yanukovych Was Legitimately Elected

Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was elected in 2010 in an election that was deemed “transparent and honest” by hundreds of international election observers. That of course is not my personal endorsement of the man or of democracy (I am a fan of neither). In fact, I’m sympathetic to H.L. Mencken’s view that “Democracy, too, is a religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.” But that’s a story for another day.

Bottom line, regardless of whether one loves him or hates him, one cannot deny that Yanukovych was elected fair and square.

Fact #2: Billions Spent Stirring Up Trouble

The US has spent $5 billion since the 1990s on “democratization” programs in Ukraine. (What would the US reaction be if Russia spent $5 billion promoting communism in Mexico?)

In addition to overt US government programs from the US State Department, USAID, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, nominally nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) like Freedom House, George Soros’ Open Society Institute, and the National Endowment for Democracy have all been heavily involved in “promoting democracy” in Ukraine for many years.

Fact #3: Yanukovych’s Ouster Had No Basis in Law

When Yanukovych was overthrown in February, it was done in a fashion that didn’t really comply with Ukrainian law. In effect, what happened was an illegal overthrow of a legitimately elected government. There’s a word for this—coup. And I bet it would have been labeled as such by the US media had it happened to a pro-US leader instead of a pro-Russian leader.

So what was the real objective of all those sneaky NGOs and the billions of dollars in covert and overt aid if its ultimate effect was to overthrow a legitimately elected government? Sounds like the exact opposite of their stated goal of “promoting democracy,” if you ask me.

Fact #4: The Sniper Killings, a Known Unknown

The real push for the immediate overthrow of Yanukovych came after the mysterious deaths of 75 or so people in the streets of Kiev by unknown snipers in late February 2014. The protesters blamed the government. However, later a leaked phone call between the Estonian foreign minister and Catherine Ashton (the EU foreign policy chief) showed that both the police and protestors were shot by the same people, leading these two EU officials (who are very anti-Russian, by the way) to think that this incident was some sort of false flag provocation.

The Estonian foreign minister said, “So there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

The fact is, to this day we really don’t know who was behind the sniper attacks. But this deep uncertainty didn’t prevent the incident from being used as a casus belli to remove the Yanukovych government.

Fact #5: Neo-Nazi Shock Troops

The two most prominent neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine are the Right Sector and Svoboda, which hold positions in the new government. While they aren’t the main political force, their power shouldn’t be underestimated. Just because the new Ukrainian government has a bunch of outwardly facing, pro-EU, empty-suit bureaucrats, that isn’t necessarily reflective of who has the real power on the streets. Right Sector and Svoboda were the real armed muscle on the ground—like the shock troops of the opposition—during the unrest that overthrew Yanukovych. Absent their help, it’s questionable whether the uprising would have succeeded.

The Bottom Line

While it is of course true that some segments of Ukraine resented being under the Russian yoke (I would too), it is certainly not the whole truth nor does it explain the bigger geopolitical picture.

Absorbing Ukraine into NATO and stationing missile defense systems there would go a long way toward neutering Russia militarily—a longtime fantasy of US strategists like Zbigniew Brzezinski. Doing this would be a big step in helping to guarantee the US as the steward of a unipolar world order. The subterfuge engaged by the US in Ukraine is the means to this desired end.

Democracy promotion is just the pretext, clearly.

If the US government really cared about promoting democracy, you’d think they’d have a word with their buddies who run pro-US autocracies—like Saudi Arabia—about having elections, but strangely you never hear a peep. Nor do you see the State Department flood the political opposition with billions of dollars and NGO assistance in those countries either.

Taking it all together, it’s no wonder that Putin sees US actions of “democracy promotion” in Ukraine as offensive and aggressive, and is responding accordingly.

The above originally appeared at Doug Casey's International Man and is reprinted with permission.Be sure to sign up for the free Doug Casey crisis investing newsletter.


  1. I want to retch.

    The average voter couldn't make "heads nor tails" of this. Iraq is our ally, Russia is our enemy, the ISIS are our enemy by Saudi Arabia is our friend...

    It is just bullshit from our government.

  2. Yep Rick and the average amerikan sheeple falls for it hook, line and sinker!