In particular the “Putin is crazy” line echoed throughout the establishment press and articulated by Secretary of State Kerry seems to be losing its luster. Foreign Policy decided to make the point explicit saying “Sorry, Putin Isn’t Crazy: Why Russians have good reason to suspect the West’s motives in Ukraine.”
It should surprise no one that Putin has concluded that the United States was behind the Euromaidan protests. He famously blamed the 2011 eruption of opposition demonstrations in Russia on meddling American NGOs. Moreover, in February, Victoria Nuland, a State Department official, declared that since Ukraine achieved independence in 1991, the U.S. government has spent more than $5 billion to “assist” it in building “democratic skills,” “civic participation,” and “good governance.” Aid has been provided, as far as is known, under the Freedom Support Act passed in 1992 to help stimulate former Soviet economies using American funds. But to Russians, Nuland’s words have been interpreted to mean that the United States fomented the Euromaidan, paid its participants, and instructed them in the use of weapons. “Western instructors” Putin said last week in a press conference, did their best to train the Euromaidan’s “armed brigades.”
Yes, $5 billion to strengthen the opposition that overthrew the Russian-backed president and install anti-Russian leaders who were (and are) coordinating with the US government. Just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you.
Whatever the current state of President Putin’s mental health, the US and EU were involved in overthrowing President Yanukovych.
Not only are people rethinking the crazy Ivan meme, the much celebrated Ukrainian opposition is getting a second look. Despite initially being sold as a group of dedicated democrats who were opposing a corrupt deal to box out the European Union, it seems a significant faction within the opposition have their own vision for the Ukraine. A vision of ethnic and racial purity.
From, of all places, the National Interest.
It has yet to be reported in major western newspapers that the new government installed in Ukraine on February 26, after the deposition and flight of Viktor Yanukovych, includes eight figures associated with Ukraine’s far right. The positions they have filled are not insignificant. They include deputy prime minister, chief prosecutor, defense minister and head of the national-security council, portfolios where the coercive power of the state resides.
Svoboda has mostly been ignored by newspapers parroting the US/EU lines about freedom and democracy. Founded as the Social-National Party in 1991, Svoboda seeks to promote ethnic nationalism as a government policy. It’s opposition to Russian influence is not so much a stand for self-determination as for cleansing the country of non-ethnic Ukrainians.
When the US and EU are supporting the Ukrainian opposition it’s important to recognize that Svoboda and other like minded neofascists are the winners.
So some truth is trickling into US elite media, will the trend continue? Or, will the American people be subject to another round of Cold War hysteria with the noble freedom and peace loving Ukrainian opposition being up against Culigula in the Crimea? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.