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Azerbaijan after the Presidential Elections: Internal and Foreign Policy Dynamics

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The campaign, which ended on April 11, was held ahead of schedule. If it had been held in the “normal mode,” the vote would have taken place on October 17. Thus, the shift of the election date itself already indicates a certain intrigue. Indeed, Ilham Aliyev did not have any real competitors before announcing the shift of the campaign to an earlier date. They did not appear even during the election race, although it should be noted that Ilham Aliyev’s exclusive position in Azerbaijani politics can be explained not only by his notorious administrative resource, which, no doubt, was used to its full capacity.

For many years, the Azerbaijani authorities have skillfully appealed to various strata of the population. Pro-Western intellectuals see it as an embodiment of the principles of secularism and active cooperation with the U.S. and the EU, especially in the economic sphere. In this regard, complaints towards the authorities related to, for example, restraint of freedom are compensated for by a choice in favor of stability and deterrence of Islamic extremists (the threat comes both from neighboring Iran and the Russian North Caucasus, and in the last few years from the “Islamic State”, banned in the Russian Federation and a number of other countries, as well). A paternalistic mindset makes the rural population content with the current government. As for ethnic minorities, they tend to be conservative and not interested in changing the leadership, which might bring unpredictability to their status. An aim to strengthen the army (as a reference: the military budget of Azerbaijan is higher than the national budget of Armenia) makes the armed forces a serious ally of the state. Stability is an attractive brand both for the common man on the street and for businessmen who experienced the short-term rule of the “Popular Front” in the 1990s. At the same time, social discontent is managed by high labor emigration. Azerbaijanis are the fourth-largest group of foreigners on the territory of the Russian Federation: only according to official figures, the number is 620 thousand people, and according to available expert estimates, it exceeds 1 million people.

During the recent election campaign, the absence of a strong secular opposition was also in favor of Ilham Aliyev. Its representatives (primarily the National Council of Democratic Forces, as well as the Republican Alternative Movement (ReAl)) declared their non-participation in the campaign. Previously, the opposition, representing other structures, had repeatedly imposed a boycott, but did not achieve much success in this area. In 2018, ReAl and the National Council of Democratic Forces could not come up with any other effective way to counteract the aspirations of the authorities to extend Ilham Aliyev’s period in office.

Politicians who had already participated in presidential election campaigns were among the competitors of the current Head of State. In 2003, 2008, and 2013, the following candidates stood for election: Gudrat Hasanguliyev (0.55, 2.28 and 1.99% respectively) and Hafiz Gajiyev (0.40, 0.65 and 0.66%). In 2013, Zakhid Oruj (1.45%), Faraj Guliyev (0.86%), Araz Alizadeh (0.87%) and Sardar Mamedov (0.62%) also took part in the elections. Only Razi Nurullayev had not participated in presidential campaigns before.

Ilham Aliyev’s opponents expressed oppositional views in one way or another in different years. At the same time, some of them were often ahead of the government in terms of populism and nationalism. For example, in January 2012, Gudrat Hasanguliyev initiated a renaming of the country to the Republic of Northern Azerbaijan, declaring Azerbaijanis a “divided nation”, and fighting for unity with fellow Iranians. Hafiz Gajiyev is famous for the scandal he raised by claiming the Azerbaijani origin of the Prophet Muhammad, and also for promising a reward for reprisals against writer Akram Aylisli for his allegedly «Armeniaphilic” novel “Stone Dreams” [1] . He also announced full support of Ankara in the face of “Russian imperialism” after the incident with the Russian Su-24 in the sky over Syria.

During the presidential campaign of 2018, all these scenarios were played over again. Razi Nurulaev called for strengthening strategic ties with Pakistan to quickly resolve the Karabakh conflict, and Gudrat Hasanguliyev promised to return “lost lands” in case of his victory. Set against the other candidates competing in populism, Ilham Aliyev maintained the image of a respectable politician, although he did not escape the rigid rhetoric about Karabakh. What is the sense of shifting the election’s date then, if the result was quite predictable?

Formally, the elections were shifted because of the ceremonies dedicated to the centenary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first national state of Azerbaijanis, proclaimed in May 1918. Visits of representative foreign delegations and negotiations about prospects for cooperation between the pre-Caspian republic and other countries are scheduled for these dates. However, when answering the question about the timing of elections, it should be kept in mind that the 2018 campaign was the first after the implementation of constitutional reforms in Azerbaijan. Due to two rounds of constitutional amendments (in 2009 and 2016), restrictions on the number of legislatures for one head of state were lifted, and the term of office was extended from five to seven years. In this context, the “accelerated” elections were called upon to “cement” this power model in order to shorten the time for possible discussions (not so much in a public format, but among the ruling elite) and avoid unpleasant surprises. In fact, the election of Ilham Aliyev for a new, fourth term signifies the completion of the constitutional reforms.

New Government and Old Staff

Having taken office (the inauguration took place a week after the vote), the Azerbaijani President did not take a path of cardinal personnel changes. Nevertheless, in April 2018, a new prime minister was approved. For many years, Arthur Rasizadeh [2] had headed the office, and after the election he was replaced by Novruz Mamedov. On the one hand, an ‘older than old’ political figure left one of the first posts in the country. At the time of his resignation, Rasizadeh was 83 years old! However, Mamedov is not a newcomer to politics. He is 71 years old. Being a professional French language interpreter, he worked in Africa during Soviet times, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he held various posts in the team of Geydar Aliyev and later in his son’s team. Upon taking up the position of prime minister, Mamedov left the post of presidential aide on foreign policy issues. In this capacity, he was very active in public, making regular statements on international issues.

With Mamedov taking the post, the composition of the government changed slightly. The key ministers retained their seats in the new government. Among them are the “defense” men (Zakir Gasanov, Head of the Ministry of Defense, and Ramil Usubov, Chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs), as well as Elmar Mamedyarov [3] , a key Azerbaijani diplomat. However, it is worth noting that the head of the State Committee for Diaspora Issues was replaced in the new Government. Fuad Muradov replaced Nazim Ibragimov, who was subjected to public criticism for being unable to cope with his duties.

Most likely, the new Prime Minister will not become an alternative center of power. Mamedov is being called upon to play the role of Aliev’s assistant in the settlement of informal relations within the Azerbaijani elite, representatives of the “old team” (inherited by the current head of the Republic from his father) and the “new” group that has common interests with Ilham’s wife, first Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva. Strengthening the vertical of power requires unity among the ranks. For many years, Ramiz Mehtiyev, another veteran of Azerbaijani politics and long-term Head of the Administration of the President (since 1995), has successfully been playing the role of moderator, but due to his health problems, additional strength is required; otherwise the “cementing” of the power system will be incomplete.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s stability comes with a downside. It is built on the monopolization of the political space and the marginalization of secularist opposition. It is important that the weakness of the secular opposition, the absence of bright leaders and attractive programs, bears a risk of accumulating social discontent with the help of various non-systemic forces (non-state actors). Today, these groups (like radical Islamists) are scattered and not strong enough. Nevertheless, there are certain risks in this regard.

Nagorno-Karabakh, Security, International Agenda

With regards to foreign policy and security, the significance of the past elections can hardly be overestimated. They showed that both the authorities and the opposition (even those who boycotted the campaign) still maintain a consensus on the prospects for the settlement of the Karabakh situation. Even so, different opinions were voiced on this issue. According to Rasim Musabekov, an influential expert and deputy of the Azerbaijani Milli Mejlis, the shift of the election date was connected to a kind of “breakthrough solution” in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution, which would involve compromise. At the same time, there was no shortage of statements about the return of not only Karabakh, but also Yerevan. Consequently, the familiar algorithm is still working, when tough rhetoric is combined with promises of progress in the negotiations. On April 21, there was a slight aggravation on the line of contact between the sides. The mass actions in neighboring Armenia and the deepening of the “velvet revolution” (as the leader of the protests, Nikol Pashinyan, called it) could result in destabilization. In March 2008, the most significant violation of the truce at the time was recorded just after clashes between the authorities and the police in Yerevan (on completion of the presidential election).

However, for Baku, which is extremely uninterested in maintaining the current status quo, there are limits to escalation. Firstly, it is the commitment to the traditional course: pressure on all political azimuths without a descent into war. Secondly, Russia and the West, despite the confrontation over Syria and Ukraine, remain united in their views on the prospects for Karabakh issue settlement. The entire “big three” (the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group: Russia, the United States, and France) favor the implementation of the “Updated Madrid Principles” exclusively through negotiation. To challenge this approach means to oppose oneself to the West and Russia at the same time, and Baku is not ready for this. On the contrary, Baku is trying to use careful balancing between them in its own favor. Iran is a separate issue. Tehran does not support the “Updated Madrid Principles,” but at the same time insists on a peaceful resolution of the conflict based on a compromise between Yerevan and Baku. Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan, its strategic ally, in every way. However, today Ankara is focused on the Middle East (Iraq and Syria) and is not interested in the escalation in Transcaucasia with possible interference from both Moscow and Washington. Thus, the most likely scenario is a maintained status quo with constant attempts to find opportunities for its revision.

First published in our partner RIAC

[1] Published in the Russian literary journal Druzhba Narodov (Friendship of the People) in December 2012 (2012, № 2), narrating about Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict at the beginning of the 20th century and in 1980s. It has a dedication: “In the memory of my countrymen, who left behind their unmourned pain.” At home, the writer was severely criticized as “Armeniaphile”.

[2] For the first time he got this post in November 1996, and gave it up for only a few months (from August to November 2003) to vacate this place for Geydar Aliyev’s successor Ilham, who, after his father’s election as president, immediately returned «the settled post» to its previous holder. Since that time, Rasizadeh has been Prime Minister for almost 15 years. But in this capacity he was more a technical leader than a political player.

[3] Gasanov has been in office since October 2013, Mamedyarov since April 2004, and Usubov from April 1994.

PhD in History, Associate Professor, Department of Regional Studies and Foreign Policy, Russian State University for the Humanities, RIAC Expert

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The History of the Polish Orthodox Church to Repeat in Ukraine?

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The autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church seems to be closer and closer, and for some this will be a victory, recognition of independence and a great advantage on the eve of the coming presidential elections. However, almost a century ago, in 1924, a similar situation took place in Poland, and it resulted in persecutions of the autocephaly-granted church and a greater division.

Why the Polish Orthodox Church wanted autocephaly

The history of the Orthodox Church in Poland begins in the 10th century when the first diocese was established in Slavic-populated areas in the east. As the Polish ruling elite was influenced by Catholics, for centuries Orthodoxy witnessed oppression and had to defend the indigenous faith by establishing new monasteries and brotherhoods. Following the divisions of Poland in the 18th century, the eastern regions acquired by the Russian Empire came under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. After the united Polish state was renovated in 1918, an attempt was made to establish the independent Polish Orthodox Church on the territories of Western Belarus and Ukraine’s Volhynia region.

In 1923, the Metropolitan of the church became Dionizy (Valedinsky), whose primary goal was to defend the Orthodoxy in Poland against the background of the pressure of the authorities, which sought control over the church, and the tensions between the Soviet government and the Moscow Patriarchate, which could simply result in the latter’s elimination. When Moscow Patriarch Tikhon was released from prison in November 1923, Dionizy addressed him with an appeal for autocephaly. Waiting for the answer, the Polish Synod decided to prepare myrrh during Lent in 1924. That caused a fierce reaction from Moscow, and strong objections were expressed. The Soviet government accused the Polish authorities of intervening in church affairs, and later Patriarch Tikhon refused to grant autocephaly. This made Dionizy turn to the See of Constantinople.

Constantinople Patriarch Gregory VII reviewed the appeal of the Polish Synod backed by Warsaw, striving for a non-Moscow-controlled Orthodox church, and on November 13th, 1924, bestowed the Tomos of autocephaly on the Orthodox Church in Poland, which since then bears the name of the “Polish Autocephalous Holy Orthodox Church”.

Déjà vu

Let’s come back to the present day here and look at the case of Ukraine’s autocephaly. We can easily draw parallels: the state seeks independence from Moscow, it turns to Constantinople and gets it, Moscow doesn’t recognize it. Even the reason for the Ecumenical Patroarchate’s decision seems to be the same – a hundred years ago, it claimed the transfer of the Kyivan Metropolia (part of which Poland was) under the jurisdiction of Moscow Patriarchate occurred contrary to canon law. Most likely, the Tomos for Ukraine will be based on the same grounds.

However, there are also some points that make the two cases different. First, the appeal for the Polish autocephaly was made in concord. Prior to it, three bishops who disagreed with the Synod’s decision left the country, so there was no division among the faithful and hierarchs. Meanwhile, today’s Ukraine is on the eve of an inter-Orthodox war between the laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches of the Kyivan and Moscow Patriarchates. And to expel thousands of dissident clergy is unbelievable move nowadays. Second, the Polish Church hierarchs of 1924 had been canonically ordained unlike the Ukrainian clergy, who initiated the process of obtaining autocephaly. To add, there was no certain procedure of granting autocephaly in the early 20th century. But now it is agreed that no autocephaly can be proclaimed unilaterally.

Nevertheless, these facts don’t disturb Constantinople.

Did Tomos yield results?

Not really. Instead, there were repercussions of Patriarch Gregory’s decision. The autocephaly brought about violent repressions against Orthodoxy in Poland (although, the tensions had emerged in the country even before the autocephaly). Many Orthodox cathedrals and churches were captured by Catholics, dozens of them were even demolished. Would the same fate befall Ukraine?

Anyway, after years of violent struggle, Polish Orthodoxy returned under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. When the Soviet Union regained political control over Poland in 1948, the Polish Orthodox Church renounced the Tomos of 1924 and replaced it with the Tomos of autocephaly by Russian Patriarch.

So, what did the Polish Orthodox hierarchs achieve? They did get independence but it brought even more violence and actually caused discord in the already weary Orthodox world. Should Constantinople take this case as an example for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s autocephaly? Patriarch Bartholomew should really think twice as if Poland was a powder keg in 1924, modern Ukraine is an atomic bomb ready to go off any minute.

Sources:

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EU-Armenia relations reached new highs

MD Staff

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Since January 2015, EU-Armenia relations have developed significantly. The negotiation and provisional application of a new bilateral partnership agreement, as well as the finalisation of Partnership Priorities in February this year have contributed to this success, a new EU report said.

Issued ahead of the first European Union – Armenia Partnership Council, which will be held on 21 June, today’s report looks at developments in Armenia and in EU-Armenia relations over the past two-and-a-half years.

“We have witnessed a very important period for EU-Armenia relations and for Armenia itself”, said the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini. “A lot of hard work and determination has gone into our new bilateral agreement, which stands to bring visible benefits to our citizens, from strengthening transparency and accountability, to creating more opportunities for trade and investment, to environmental protection. Now is the time to implement the agreement, along with our Partnership Priorities, so as to turn the hard work on paper into concrete results.”

“In addition to the new agreement, which was ratified unanimously by the Armenian Parliament and is now being provisionally applied, we also have seen encouraging steps forward when it comes to bringing our citizens closer together, through initialling a common aviation agreement and extending the Trans-European Transport Network, said the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn. “Armenia has also participated actively in our Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels last November, when leaders endorsed the 20 deliverables for 2020, complementing the priorities of our bilateral agenda.”

In Armenia, peaceful protests in April and May 2018 brought about a change of government within the framework of the Armenian Constitution. The EU will continue to support reforms in Armenia that promote democracy, the rule of law and respect of human rights, as well as a resilient and prosperous social and economic system.

Notable developments highlighted by the report include the adoption by a large majority in the Armenian Parliament of a new Law on the prevention of violence, protection of victims and restoration of cohesion within the family in December 2017. The EU considers the new law an important step towards the greater protection of human rights and gender equality.

In the area of education, reforms have taken place in line with the Bologna process with the support of the Erasmus+ programme. Armenian universities have been able to modernise study programmes, moving towards a better match with labour market needs. 1,800 students and university professors have been involved in EU-Armenia academic exchange and mobility until the end of 2017.

In 2016 Armenia became associated to the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, which opens up new opportunities for the country’s research institutions and enterprises to enhance the transformation of scientific knowledge into commercial opportunities. The EU4Innovation initiative, launched in November 2016, aims at boosting innovation throughout the Eastern Partnership. An EU4Innovation Centre is about to be established in Yerevan to promote scientific education and close links between universities and businesses.

Since 2014, the EU has provided close to €120 million of financial support to Armenia with a focus on private sector developments, governance and education. Furthermore Armenia has also benefited from funding for multi-country projects. Transport infrastructure development and energy efficiency has been supported under the Neighbourhood Investment Facility, while further EU support is aiming at delivering concrete results to citizens in areas such as judicial reform, access to finance and economic development, connectivity, education and mobility. Support to civil society, human rights, deepening democracy and strengthening citizen participation will continue to be a focus, as well as support to economic development.

The EU has also continued to fully support the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group Co-Chairs and confidence/peace building and conflict prevention activities in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The European Union firmly believes that the conflict needs an early political settlement in accordance with the principles and norms of international law.

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How and why the U.S. Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine

Eric Zuesse

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This will document that the ‘new Cold War’ between the U.S. and Russia did not start, as the Western myth has it, with Russia’s involvement in the breakaway of Crimea and Donbass from Ukraine, after Ukraine — next door to Russia — had suddenly turned rabidly hostile toward Russia in February 2014. Ukraine’s replacing its democratically elected neutralist Government in February 2014, by a rabidly anti-Russian Government, was a violent event, which produced many corpses. It’s presented in The West as having been a ‘revolution’ instead of a coup; but whatever it was, it certainly generated the ‘new Cold War’ (the economic sanctions and NATO buildup on Russia’s borders); and, to know whether it was a coup, or instead a revolution, is to know what actually started the ‘new Cold War’, and why. So, this is historically very important.

Incontrovertible proofs will be presented here not only that it was a coup, but that this coup was organized by the U.S. Government — that the U.S. Government initiated the ‘new Cold War’; Russia’s Government reacted to America’s aggression, which aims to place nuclear missiles in Ukraine, less than ten minutes flight-time from Moscow. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, America had reason to fear Soviet nuclear missiles 103 miles from America’s border. But, after America’s Ukrainian coup in 2014, Russia has reason to fear NATO nuclear missiles not just near, but on, Russia’s border. That would be catastrophic.

If America’s successful February 2014 overthrow and replacement of Ukraine’s democratically elected neutralist Government doesn’t soon produce a world-ending nuclear war (World War III), then there will be historical accounts of that overthrow, and the accounts are already increasingly trending and consolidating toward a historical consensus that it was a coup — that it was imposed by “somebody from the new coalition” — i.e., that the termination of the then-existing democratic (though like all its predecessors, corrupt) Ukrainian Government, wasn’t authentically a ‘revolution’ such as the U.S. Government has contended, and certainly wasn’t at all democratic, but was instead a coup (and a very bloody one, at that), and totally illegal (though backed by The West).

The purpose of the present article will be to focus attention on precisely whom the chief people are who were responsible for perpetrating this globally mega-dangerous (‘Cold-War’-igniting) coup — and thus for creating the world’s subsequent course increasingly toward global nuclear annihilation.

If there will be future history, then these are the individuals who will be in the docks for that history’s harshest and most damning judgments, even if there will be no legal proceedings brought against them. Who, then, are these people?

Clearly, Victoria Nuland, U.S. President Barack Obama’s central agent overseeing the coup, at least during the month of February 2014 when it climaxed, was crucial not only in overthrowing the existing Ukrainian Government, but in selecting and installing its rabidly anti-Russian replacement. The 27 January 2014 phone-conversation between her and America’s Ambassador in Ukraine, Jeffrey Pyatt was a particularly seminal event, and it was uploaded to youtube on 4 February 2014. I have discussed elsewhere that call and its significance. Nuland there and then abandoned the EU’s hope for a still democratic but less corrupt future government for Ukraine, and Nuland famously said, on that call “Fuck the EU,” and she instructed Pyatt to choose instead the rabidly anti-Russian, and far-right, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. This key event occurred 24 days before Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych was overthrown on February 20th, and 30 days before the new person to head Ukraine’s Government, Yatsenyuk, became officially appointed to rule the now clearly fascist country. He won that official designation on February 26th. However, this was only a formality: Obama’s agent had already chosen him, on January 27th.

The second landmark item of evidence that it had been a coup and nothing at all democratic or a ‘revolution’, was the 26 February 2014 phone-conversation between the EU’s Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton and her agent in Ukraine investigating whether the overthrow had been a revolution or instead a coup; he was Estonia’s Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet, and he told her that he found that it had been a coup, and that “somebody from the new coalition” had engineered it — but he didn’t know whom that “somebody” was. Both Ashton and Paet were shocked at this finding, but they proceeded immediately to ignore that matter, and to discuss only the prospects for Europe’s investors in Ukraine, to be able to get their money back — their obsession was Ukraine’s corruption. Ashton told Paet that she had herself told the Maidan demonstrators, “you need to find ways in which you can establish a process that will have anti-corruption at its heart.” So, though the EU was unhappy that this had been a coup, they were far more concerned to protect their investors. In any case, the EU clearly wasn’t behind Ukraine’s coup. Equally clearly, they didn’t much care whether it was a coup or instead what the U.S. Government said, a ‘revolution’.

The network behind this coup had actually started planning for the coup back in 2011. That’s when Eric Schmidt of Google, and Jared Cohen, also now of Google but still continuing though unofficially as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chief person tasked to plan ‘popular movements’ to overthrow both Yanukovych in Ukraine, and Assad in Syria.

Then, on 1 March 2013, the implementation of this plan started: the first “tech camp” to train far-right Ukrainians how to organize online the mass-demonstrations against Yanukovych, was held inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev on that date, which was over nine months before the Maidan demonstrations to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected President started, on 20 November 2013.

The American scholar Gordon M. Hahn has specialized in studying the evidence regarding whom the actual snipers were who committed the murders, but he focuses only on domestic Ukrainian snipers and ignores the foreign ones, who had been hired by the U.S. regime indirectly through Georgian, Lithuanian and other anti-Russian CIA assets (such as via Mikheil Saakashvili, the ousted President of Georgia whom the U.S. regime subsequently selected to become the Governor of the Odessa region of Ukraine). Hahn’s 2018 book Ukraine Over the Edge states on pages 204-209: 

“Yet another pro-Maidan sniper, Ivan Bubenchik, emerged to acknowledge that he shot and killed Berkut [the Government’s police who were protecting Government buildings] before any protesters were shot that day [February 20th]. In a print interview, Bubenchik previews his admission in Vladimir Tikhii’s documentary film, Brantsy, that he shot ahd killed two Berkut commanders in the early morning hours of February 20 on the Maidan. … Bubenchik claims that [on February 20] the Yanukovich regime started the fire in the Trade Union House — where his and many other EuroMaidan fighters lived during the revolt — prompting the Maidan’s next reaction. As noted above, however, pro-Maidan neofascists have revealed that the Right Sector started that fire. … Analysis of the snipers’ massacre shows that the Maidan protesters initiated almost all — at least six out of a possible eight — of the pivotal escalatory moments of violence and/or coercion. … The 30 November 2013 nighttime assault on the Maidan demonstrators is the only clear exception from a conclusive pattern of escalating revolutionary violence led by the Maidan’s relatively small but highly motivated and well-organized neofascist element.”

Although Hahn’s book barely cites the first and most detailed academic study of the climactic coup period of late February, Ivan Katchanovski’s poorly written “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine”, which was issued on 5 September 2015, Hahn’s is consistent with that: both works conclude that the available evidence, as Katchanovski puts it, shows 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 [his investigation] 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.”

Hahn downplays U.S. heading of the coup. But shortly before the coup, the CIA secretly trained in Poland the Right Sector founder/leader Dmitriy Yarosh (“Dmytro Jarosz”), who headed Ukraine’s snipers. So, even the Ukrainian ones were working for the U.S.

On 19 November 2017 was issued Gian Micalessin’s “The hidden truth about Ukraine – Part 1”  & II Summarizing them here: Two Georgian snipers say Saakashvili hired them in Tblisi for a U.S.-backed operation. But they know only about the “Georgian Legion” part. They think it was patterned on Georgia’s Rose Revolution. They each got $1000 for the operation and flew to Kiev on 15 January and were promised $5000 on return. (9:00) “We had to provoke the ‘Berkut’ police so they would attack the people. By February 15th the situation [at the Maidan] was getting worse every day. Then the first shots were fired.” It was February 15 or 16. Mamunashvili [Saakashvili’s man] introduced them to “an American military guy, … Brian Christopher Boyenger” a former “sniper for the 101st Airborne Division” who “after Maidan he went to Donbass” to fight in the “Georgian Legion” but during the coup-climax, the far-right Andriy “Parubiy came very often,” and “Brian always accompanied him” and also instructing there was Vladimir Parasyuk, one of the leaders of the Maidan. The snipers were told not to aim but just to kill people randomly, to create chaos. There were also two Lithuanian snipers in the room. Some went down from the Ukraine Hotel to the second floor of the Conservatory Building, balcony. “They started to take out the guns and distributed them to each group.” “Then I heard shots from the next room” It lasted 15 minutes, then they were all ordered to escape.

On 13 February 2015 was telecast a German documentary, “Maidan Snipers. German TV expose. ARD Monitor. Eng Subs” in which one of the demonstrators said that many of the bullets were fired from buildings controlled by the demonstrators, but that “We were also shot at from the other direction.” However, at least before 21 February 2014, police (Berkut) were seized by demonstrators and at least the possibility exists that some of the Right Sector snipers were taking positions in and especially atop some of the government buildings so as to fire down into the crowd and seem to be firing from Yanukovych’s side. Gordon Hahn hasn’t been able to verify any firing in February 2014 by the Yanukovych government. Moreover: “they were the same snipers, killing people from both sides.”

On 1 February 2016 was posted to youtube a French documentary, “Ukraine — Masks of the Revolution” which shows, from a meeting at Davos, at 48:00, Victoria Nuland, the announcer trying to speak with her and saying to the audience, “The U.S. diplomat who came to support the Revolution, could she really ignore the existence of the paramilitaries?”; 48:50 Larry Summers at a meeting in Kiev during 10-12 September 2015 and then later at the “12th YES Annual Meeting”

saying, “Ukraine is an essential outpost of our fundamental military interests”; 49:25: Petraeus also shown there and the announcer says, “He also thinks that Ukraine is essential to block Putin.” Petraeus urges investment in Ukraine to block Russia; 51:00 McChrystal there also urges arming Ukraine; 51:50 Nuland is there and the announcer says: “The country that is most invested in Ukraine’s future is the U.S.” “She is the architect of America’s influence in Ukraine.” Nuland says there at the “YES” meeting, “We had a significant impact on the battlefield.” But the U.S. regime blames Russia for that war.

Whereas U.S. propaganda still treats the matter as if Russia is what threatens Ukraine, that’s not generally the case in the propaganda by other governments. Even UK propaganda now commonly acknowledges that a more overtly fascist (even nazi)  takeover of Ukraine’s Government is what mainly threatens the people of Ukraine. The U.S. regime, and its massively deceived population, are being increasingly isolated internationally; and, so, the U.S. Government increasingly stands out as the world’s leader of fascism, and even as the leader of fascism’s racist form (which is nazism). But, still, what continues to be effectively prohibited throughout the U.S. and its vassal nations, is public acknowledgment that the U.S. Government perpetrated a coup in Ukraine that overthrew Ukraine’s Government in February 2014 and that replaced it with a nazi anti-Russian regime and thereby started the current ‘Cold War’, which is much hotter than the U.S. side acknowledges, or allows the public to know.

Gordon Hahn’s restriction of blame for the coup only to native Ukrainian nazis doesn’t fit the evidence, because there clearly is leadership of Ukraine’s nazis by the U.S. regime. Furthermore, the U.S. regime and its Ukrainian client-state are the only two nations at the U.N. who vote (and repeatedly) to back fascism, nazism and Holocaust-denial. The anti-Russia nazis took over America’s Government, which has taken over Ukraine’s. All of this goes back to the key U.S. decision, which was made on 24 February 1990.

first posted at strategic-culture.org

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