(7) NYT admits Ukraine using Neo-Nazis as shock troops to kill separatists in East - Robert Parry http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/10/nyt-discovers-ukraines-neo-Nazis-at-war/
NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War
August 10, 2014
Exclusive: Throughout the Ukraine crisis, the U.S. State Department and mainstream media have downplayed the role of neo-Nazis in the U.S.-backed Kiev regime, an inconvenient truth that is surfacing again as right-wing storm troopers fly neo-Nazi banners as they attack in the east, Robert Parry reports.
By Robert Parry The New York Times reported almost in passing on Sunday that the Ukrainian government’s offensive against ethnic Russian rebels in the east has unleashed far-right paramilitary militias that have even raised a neo-Nazi banner over the conquered town of Marinka, just west of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.
That might seem like a big story – a U.S.-backed military operation, which has inflicted thousands of mostly civilian casualties, is being spearheaded by neo-Nazis. But the consistent pattern of the mainstream U.S. news media has been – since the start of the Ukraine crisis – to white-out the role of Ukraine’s brown-shirts.
Far-right militia members demonstrating outside Ukrainian parliament in Kiev in March 2014. (Screen shot from RT video via YouTube video)
Only occasionally is the word “neo-Nazi” mentioned and usually in the context of dismissing this inconvenient truth as “Russian propaganda.” Yet the reality has been that neo-Nazis played a key role in the violent overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February as well as in the subsequent coup regime holding power in Kiev and now in the eastern offensive.
On Sunday, a Times article by Andrew E. Kramer mentioned the emerging neo-Nazi paramilitary role in the final three paragraphs:
“The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat.
“Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.
“In pressing their advance, the fighters took their orders from a local army commander, rather than from Kiev. In the video of the attack, no restraint was evident. Gesturing toward a suspected pro-Russian position, one soldier screamed, ‘The bastards are right there!’ Then he opened fire.”
In other words, the neo-Nazi militias that surged to the front of anti-Yanukovych protests last February have now been organized as shock troops dispatched to kill ethnic Russians in the east – and they are operating so openly that they hoist a Swastika-like neo-Nazi flag over one conquered village with a population of about 10,000.
Burying this information at the end of a long article is also typical of how the Times and other U.S. mainstream news outlets have dealt with the neo-Nazi problem in the past. When the reality gets mentioned, it usually requires a reader knowing much about Ukraine’s history and reading between the lines of a U.S. news account.
For instance, last April 6, the New York Times published a human-interest profile of a Ukrainian nationalist named Yuri Marchuk who was wounded in the uprising against Yanukovych in February. If you read deep into the story, you learn that Marchuk was a leader of the right-wing Svoboda from Lviv, which – if you did your own research – you would discover is a neo-Nazi stronghold where Ukrainian nationalists hold torch-light parades in honor of World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.
Without providing that context, the Times does mention that Lviv militants plundered a government arsenal and dispatched 600 militants a day to Kiev’s Maidan square to do battle with the police. Marchuk also described how these well-organized militants, consisting of paramilitary brigades of 100 fighters each, launched the fateful attack against the police on Feb. 20, the battle where Marchuk was wounded and where the death toll suddenly spiked into scores of protesters and about a dozen police.
Marchuk later said he visited his comrades at the occupied City Hall. What the Times doesn’t mention is that City Hall was festooned with Nazi banners and even a Confederate battle flag as a tribute to white supremacy.
The Times touched on the inconvenient neo-Nazi truth again on April 12 in an article about the mysterious death of neo-Nazi leader Oleksandr Muzychko, who was killed during a shootout with police on March 24. The article quoted a local Right Sektor leader, Roman Koval, explaining the crucial role of his organization in carrying out the anti-Yanukovych coup.
“Ukraine’s February revolution, said Mr. Koval, would never have happened without Right Sector and other militant groups,” the Times wrote.
The brutality of these neo-Nazis surfaced again on May 2 when right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails. As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten, while those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons.
“Burn, Colorado, burn” went the chant.
As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading “Galician SS,” a reference to the Ukrainian nationalist army that fought alongside the German Nazi SS in World War II, killing Russians on the eastern front.
The death by fire of dozens of people in Odessa recalled a World War II incident in 1944 when elements of a Galician SS police regiment took part in the massacre of the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka, which had been a refuge for Jews and was protected by Russian and Polish partisans. Attacked by a mixed force of Ukrainian police and German soldiers on Feb. 28, 1944, hundreds of townspeople were massacred, including many locked in barns that were set ablaze.
The legacy of World War II – especially the bitter fight between Ukrainian nationalists from the west and ethnic Russians from the east seven decades ago – is never far from the surface in Ukrainian politics. One of the heroes celebrated during the Maidan protests in Kiev was Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose name was honored in many banners including one on a podium where Sen. John McCain voiced support for the uprising to oust Yanukovych, whose political base was among ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
During World War II, Bandera headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-B, a radical paramilitary movement that sought to transform Ukraine into a racially pure state. OUN-B took part in the expulsion and extermination of thousands of Jews and Poles.
Though most of the Maidan protesters in 2013-14 appeared motivated by anger over political corruption and by a desire to join the European Union, neo-Nazis made up a significant number and surged to the front during the seizure of government buildings and the climatic clashes with police.
In the days after the Feb. 22 coup, as the neo-Nazi militias effectively controlled the government, European and U.S. diplomats scrambled to help the shaken parliament put together the semblance of a respectable regime, although at least four ministries, including national security, were awarded to the right-wing extremists in recognition of their crucial role in ousting Yanukovych.
As extraordinary as it was for a modern European state to hand ministries over to neo-Nazis, virtually the entire U.S. news media cooperated in playing down the neo-Nazi role. Stories in the U.S. media delicately step around this neo-Nazi reality by keeping out relevant context, such as the background of coup regime’s national security chief Andriy Parubiy, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991, blending radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Parubiy was commandant of the Maidan’s “self-defense forces.”
Last April, as the Kiev regime launched its “anti-terrorist operation” against the ethnic Russians in the east, Parubiy announced that his right-wing paramilitary forces, incorporated as National Guard units, would lead the way. On April 15, Parubiy went on Twitter to declare, “Reserve unit of National Guard formed #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning.” (Parubiy resigned from his post this past week for unexplained reasons.)
Now, however, as the Ukrainian military tightens its noose around the remaining rebel strongholds, battering them with artillery fire and aerial bombardments, thousands of neo-Nazi militia members are again pressing to the front as fiercely motivated fighters determined to kill as many ethnic Russians as they can. It is a remarkable story but one that the mainstream U.S. news media would prefer not to notice.
Threatening Russia: The Unanswered Questions of Malaysian Airlines MH17 | Global Research
Ionut Dobrinescu 4 August 2014 03:39
(8) Ukraine a key part of pivot to Asia - Mike Whitney http://www.globalresearch.ca/threatening-russia-the-unanswered-questions-of-malaysian-airlines-mh17/5394664
The Unanswered Questions of Malaysian Airlines MH17
By Mike Whitney
Global Research, August 03, 2014
If you’re starting to think that everything you’ve read about the MH17 crash is bullshit, you’re probably right. There’s not much truth to most of it.
But why would the administration lie about things that are so easy to disprove? What’s the point? Are they just getting sloppy and apathetic or is something else going on here?
To get a handle on what’s really going on, we have to understand that Ukraine is not just another bloody afterthought like Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, none of which would dramatically impact the US’s role as the world’s only superpower. Ukraine is different. Ukraine is an essential part of Washington’s plan to pivot to Asia. If Washington is unable to achieve its objectives in Ukraine — create a chokepoint for vital resources flowing from Russia to the EU, establish NATO bases in the heart of Eurasia, and drive a wedge between Moscow and Brussels — then the plan to maintain US global hegemony for the next century will fail. And if the plan fails, then China will gradually become the world’s biggest and most powerful economy, economic ties between Moscow and Europe grow stronger, and the US will slide into irreversible decline. Get the picture?
This is the scenario that Washington wants to avoid at all cost. That’s why the anti-Russia hysteria in the media has been so ferocious and unrelenting. That’s why the State Department assisted in the coup d’état that toppled the Ukrainian government and triggered the crisis. And that’s why ruling elites of all stripes have thrown their support behind a policy that recklessly pits one nuclear-armed adversary against another. It’s because the bigshot money-guys who run this country are bound and determined to be the Kingfish for the next hundred years even if it means plunging the world into the abyss of a third world war. That’s just a chance they’re willing to take.
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(9) Tensions grow in Germany over threat of war with Russia http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/08/11/germ-a11.html
By Ulrich Rippert and Peter Schwarz
11 August 2014
A fierce dispute over German policy towards Russia has broken out between two leading German business newspapers, Handelsblatt and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). While the FAZ calls for a robust confrontation with Russia, the Handelsblatt describes this as a "wrong track" leading directly to war. The conflict expresses sharp divisions within the ruling class over the future direction of German foreign policy.
Since the start of the crisis in Ukraine, virtually the entire German media has supported and encouraged the federal government's aggressive line. The Handelsblatt, speaking for the German export industry, had merely cautioned for a little more prudence.
But last Monday, Handelsblatt publisher Gabor Steingart made a frontal attack on the FAZ. In his "Morning Briefing" column, delivered daily by e-mail to Handelsblatt subscribers, he accused the FAZ editorial board of "openly" calling "for a strike against Russia." He referred to the lead article, "Show strength," published the same day on the front page of the FAZ, which demanded that the West "strengthen and also demonstrate its willingness for military defense." Such phrases amount to an "ideological conscription order," Steingart charged.
The FAZ responded immediately. Christian Geyer described Steingart's accusations as "ludicrous" and accused him of submitting to "pressure from the business lobby" and making himself into a "mouth-piece for an economism for which business is the be-all and end-all". Steingart's maxim, Geyer charged, was: "Be nice to Putin, whatever he does; otherwise business located in Germany will have an economic problem."
According to the FAZ, "military aggression" by the Russian army has already begun, and anyone who failed to take this into consideration had tragically lost contact with reality.
Steingart responded with a long essay, "The West on the wrong path," which simultaneously appeared in Russian and English on Friday. The article is noteworthy because it adopts an openness rarely found in the bourgeois media to warn of the imminent threat of war with Russia.
The Handelsblatt publisher compares the war propaganda against Russia with the war fever at the beginning of the First World War. He writes that the formula that "History does not repeat itself" brings him no comfort, as the US Congress is openly discussing arming Ukraine. Former security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was recommending equipping local citizens there for house-to-house and street combat. And the German chancellor was declaring herself ready "to take severe measures."
Steingart attacked the conformism of the German media, citing by name the Tagesspiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel. In his view, German journalism has "switched from level-headed to agitated" in a few weeks. The spectrum of opinion had been "narrowed to the field of vision of a sniper scope ... Newspapers we thought to be all about thoughts and ideas now march in lock-step with politicians in their calls for sanctions against Russia's President Putin."
At the end of his article, Steingart urgently appeals to Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to abandon the political course of the United States. "(N)o one is forcing us to play the role of vassals," he writes. Everyone can see how President Obama "and Putin are driving as in a dream directly towards a sign which reads: Dead End."
Steingart argues that the American tendency to engage in military escalation has not proven itself. After the successful Normandy landing in the Second World War, all major US wars--Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan--had been clear failures. Moving NATO units towards the Polish border and thinking about arming Ukraine was "a continuation of a lack of diplomacy by military means."
Steingart advises the federal government to be guided by the example of Willy Brandt. Brandt, as mayor of Berlin in 1961, had reined in his impotent rage over the construction of the Wall, "so as not to slip from the catastrophe of division into the much greater catastrophe of war." Instead of pursuing a "policy of running your head against the wall", Germany needed a policy designed to achieve a "reconciliation of interests" with Russia.
The sharp exchange of words between the two business dailies shows that the risk of a war with Russia, which may develop into a nuclear catastrophe, is far more imminent than is otherwise admitted by the media. The Handelsblatt editor's stark warning of an imminent military escalation clearly reveals that leading capitalist interests take this threat very seriously.
For a long time, German business organisations have--albeit grudgingly--declared their willingness to bow to the "primacy of politics" in the Ukraine crisis. However, following the imposition of tough sanctions against Russia, which have also had a telling effect on the German economy and threaten to throw Europe back into recession, they are now breaking their silence.
At the same time, the danger of military confrontation increases daily. The Ukrainian army's besieging and bombardment of the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk has forced hundreds of thousands to flee to Russia, and is aimed at provoking Russia into a military response.
On Thursday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen travelled to Kiev and ensured the Ukrainian government of the Western alliance's financial and military backing. US President Barack Obama also announced support for the regime in Kiev. At the same time, the US Navy announced that a guided missile warship, the Vella Gulf, was to arrive Thursday in the Black Sea with a 400-man crew.
This has led to more calls from within leading German circles advocating a fundamental reorientation of foreign policy: a departure from the alliance with the US and closer cooperation with Russia.
Steingart makes a sharp attack on US foreign policy, but he falls short of calling for such a change of course. That is done instead by Jakob Augstein, who recommends a very similar line to Steingart's in his weekly Spiegel Online column. While the Spiegel editors clamour an for aggressive confrontation with Russia, Spiegel co-owner Augstein pleads for the build-up of new security structures together with Russia--and "if necessary without the United States." [...]
(10) Why have the media and Obama administration gone silent on MH17? http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/08/18/ukmh-a18.html
By Niles Williamson
18 August 2014
The deafening silence of the US media and government about the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 one month ago reeks of a cover-up.
In the hours and days immediately after the crash, without a single shred of evidence, US officials alleged that the passenger jet was shot down by an SA-11 ground-to-air missile fired from pro-Russian separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine. They launched a political campaign to obtain harsh economic sanctions against Russia and strengthen NATO’s military posture in Eastern Europe.
Picking up on the scent, the CIA attack dogs in the US and European media blamed the crash squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The cover of the July 28 print edition of German news magazine Der Spiegel showed the images of MH17 victims surrounding bold red text reading “Stoppt Putin Jetzt!” (Stop Putin Now!). A July 26 editorial in the Economist declared Putin to be the author of MH17’s destruction, while the magazine ghoulishly superimposed Putin’s face over a spider web on its front cover, denouncing Putin’s “web of lies.”
Anyone comparing the media’s demonization of Putin with their treatment of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi had to conclude that Washington was launching a campaign for regime change in Russia like those it carried out in Libya and Iraq—this time, recklessly pushing the United States towards war with a nuclear-armed power, Russia.
Having built up the crash into a casus belli against Russia, however, the US media suddenly dropped the matter completely. The New York Times has not found it fit to print a word on the MH17 crash since August 7.
There is no innocent explanation for the sudden disappearance of MH17 from the media and political spotlight. The plane’s black box has been held in Britain for examination for weeks, and US and Russian spy satellites and military radar were intensively scanning east Ukraine at the time of the crash. The claim that Washington does not have detailed knowledge of the circumstances of the crash and the various forces involved is not credible.
If the evidence that is in Washington’s hands incriminated only Russia and the Russian-backed forces, it would have been released to feed the media frenzy against Putin. If it has not been released, this is because the evidence points to the involvement of the Ukrainian regime in Kiev and its backers in Washington and the European capitals.
From the outset, the Obama administration presented no evidence to back up the incendiary charges that Putin was responsible for the MH17 crash. In his press briefing on July 18, the day after the crash, President Obama stated that it was still “too early for us to be able to guess what the intentions of those who might have launched this surface-to-air missile might have had.”
While cynically exploiting the crash to pressure and threaten Russia, Obama warned that “there will likely be misinformation” in the coverage of the crash. In a backhanded acknowledgment that he had no evidence to support his claims, he said: “In terms of identifying specifically what individual or group of individuals or personnel ordered the strike, how it came about those are things that I think are still going to be subject to additional information that we’re going to be gathering.”
In the event, the misinformation on the MH17 crash came from the Obama administration itself. Secretary of State John Kerry went on a media blitz on July 20, arguing that the pro-Russian separatists and the Russian government were responsible for the shoot-down.
The sole evidence he presented were a few, dubious “social media records” posted to the Internet. He presented unauthenticated audio recordings of separatists speaking of a plane crash, edited and released by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence agency, which works closely with the CIA; YouTube video clips showing a truck moving unidentified military equipment along a road; and a retracted social media statement claiming responsibility for shooting down a plane attributed to separatist leader Igor Strelkov.
Very quickly, the US government’s story line on MH17 began to collapse. At a press briefing on July 21, State Department spokesperson and former CIA Middle East analyst Marie Harf declared that the Obama administration’s conclusions regarding the downing of the plane were “based on open information which is basically common sense.” Challenged by reporters to provide the evidence, she admitted that she could not: “I know it’s frustrating. Believe me, we try to get as much out there are possible. And for some reason, sometimes we can’t.”
After a month during which Washington has failed to release evidence to support its charges against Putin, it is clear that the political offensive of the NATO governments and the media frenzy against Putin were based on lies.
If pro-Russian separatists had fired a ground-to-air missile, as the US government claims, the Air Force would have imagery in their possession confirming it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The US Air Force’s Defense Support Program utilizes satellites with infrared sensors to detect missile launchesanywhere on the planet, and US radar posts in Europe would have tracked the missile as it shot through the sky. These satellite and radar data have not been released, because whatever they show does not fit the storyline concocted by the US government and media.
What has emerged, instead, is a drumbeat of evidence pointing to the US-backed regime in Kiev’s role in the MH17 shoot-down. The day after Kerry made his remarks, the Russian military presented radar and satellite data indicating that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was in the immediate vicinity and ascending towards MH17 as it was shot down. This claim has not been addressed, let alone refuted by the American government.
NSA whistle-blower William Binney and other retired American intelligence agents issued a statement at the end of July calling into question the social media data presented by Kerry, and demanding the publication of satellite imagery of the missile launch. They added, “We are hearing indirectly from some of our former colleagues that what Secretary Kerry is peddling does not square with the real intelligence.”
On August 9, the Malaysian New Straits Times published an article charging the Kiev regime with shooting down MH17. It stated that evidence from the crash site indicated that the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter with a missile followed by heavy machine gun fire.
While it is too early to say conclusively how MH17 was shot down, the preponderance of the evidence points directly at the Ukrainian regime and, behind them, the American government and the European powers. They created the conditions for the destruction of MH17, backing the fascist-led coup in Kiev this February that brought the current pro-Western regime to power. The Western media then supported the Kiev regime’s war to suppress opposition to the putsch in east Ukraine, turning the region into a war zone in which MH17 was then shot down.
After the murder of the 298 people aboard MH17, in which they played an important if as-yet unexplained role, Western governments and intelligence agencies seized upon the tragedy in a reckless and sinister maneuver to escalate war threats against the Putin regime. Silence denotes consent, and the deafening silence of the Western media on the issue of Kiev’s involvement in the MH17 crash testifies to the criminalization not only of the foreign policy establishment, but also of its media lackeys and the entire ruling class.
This newsletter is at http://mailstar.net/bulletins/140819-b2444-MH17.rtf