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Ukrainian Protests Continue

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By Stephen Lendman
Steve Lendman Blog

Pro-EU elements called for a Sunday “March of Millions.” They hoped for maximum numbers turning out.

Their plan is a Washington manipulated power grab. It’s got nothing to do with democracy. It ignores Ukrainian sovereign rights.

The event’s slogan was “Ukraine for Europe.” It should be named Ukraine for Western corporate predators.

At noon Sunday Kiev time, Itar Tass estimated about 1,000 in Independence Square. By mid-afternoon, thousands more joined them.

Reports differ. AP said “several hundred thousand.” Russia Today had a live feed. Visually the crowd size looked large.

It was hard estimating numbers. Perhaps tens of thousands, not hundreds participated. It was far below a million.

At the same time, thousands of pro-government supporters gathered in Mariinsky Park. It’s close to Ukraine’s parliament building.

The event’s slogan was “Let’s Build Europe in Ukraine.” According to Kiev’s ruling Party of Regions’ press report, “speakers are calling for a peaceful settlement of the situation and condemn the actions of the opposing forces, aimed at splitting the society.”

They’re being manipulated to cause trouble. They want President Viktor Yanukovych ousted. They want his cabinet ministers replaced.

Former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko remains defiant. She’s imprisoned for serious “abuse of public office.”

Charges included illegally diverting $425 million meant for environmental projects into pension funds. A second case involved stealing around $130 million for personal use.

She urged pro-EU elements not to negotiate with government officials. On Sunday, her daughter, Yevgenia, read her prepared statement. It was defiant, saying:

“Don’t give up. Don’t take a single step back. Don’t have negotiations with the authorities. Our goal is Yanukovych’s immediate removal from his presidential office.”

On Friday, he met with Vladimir Putin in Sochi. According to his office, they discussed “trade and economic cooperation (as well as) preparation for the future treaty on strategic partnership.”

Both leaders are determined to resolve sticky issues. They’ve been ongoing for several years. They involve supplying Russian gas and disrupting industrial cooperation.

On December 7, Russia Today (RT) headlined  ”No secret deal on Ukraine joining Moscow-led Customs Union.”

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said both leaders “discussed the current issues of bilateral Russian-Ukraine relations, as well as preparations for a forthcoming meeting of the Russia-Ukraine inter-state commission in Moscow.”

Joining the Customs Union wasn’t discussed, said Peskov. Earlier reports said otherwise.

The Economist’s international editor, Edward Lucas, cited an unnamed “reliable” source. Moscow convinced Ukraine to join the union before 2015, he said.

Russia allegedly offered $5 billion in aid as well as a significant natural gas discount.

Yanukovych’s current term ends in early 2015. He hopes for reelection. According to Voice of Russia (VOR), “Ukraine opposition (elements are) ready to make compromise with gov’t.”

Whether true or not remains to be seen. Reports differ. More on that below. Former European parliament head Jerzy Buzek said:

“The opposition is ready for a compromise and does not have long-term demands. They are not expecting a new Cabinet any longer. They insist on some partial changes.”

“Now, they have only two basic demands – to punish those responsible for the events, which happened a week earlier, and to release all the detainees.”

VOR said Batkivschyna opposition demands are tougher. Its leader, Arseny Yatsenyuk, said protests will continue until they’re met. Main ones include:

  • replacing Yanukovych’s government with a new one;
  • punishing elements responsible for November 30 street violence;
  • releasing detainees;
  • agreeing to an EU alliance; and
  • seeking IMF aid conditional on accepting its terms.

Major media Ukraine bashing continues. It’s standard practice. Managed news misinformation is featured. Truth is turned on its head.

New York Times editors headlined “A Moment of Peril in Kiev,” saying:

Yanukovych “decided against signing a trade deal with European Union many ordinary citizens saw as critically important to their economic future.”

Fact check

Dark Washington forces manipulate street protests. They’re in league with Ukrainian right wing elements.

Street thugs were enlisted. They’re militants. They’re provocateurs. They’re paid to protest. They incited violence. More ahead is likely. Don’t expect Time editors to explain.

Yanukovych “has to understand the message from Kiev’s streets,” said Times editors. “Ukraine will not long be denied association with the European Union.”

Previous articles explained it offers sticks, not carrots. Turning East, not West, best serves Ukrainian interests.

The EU is a troubled alliance. Especially its Eurozone countries. It entraps dissimilar ones under one size fits all rules. They’re exploitive. They don’t work. They assure trouble.

They harm ordinary people. They do it destructively. They increase poverty, unemployment, underemployment and human misery.

Why join an exploitive alliance. Why jump aboard a sinking ship. Yanukovych was right abandoning EU terms. Times readers don’t understand unless they seek independent views.

Editorial bias is extreme. Imagine saying it’s the “West’s duty to give full support to the Ukrainians who are fighting for everything that an association with Europe represents to them: the commitment to democracy, the rule of law, honest government, human rights and a better future.”

Fact check

America and EU nations are models of anti-democratic unfairness. Democracy is verboten. So is honest government. Human and rights are on the chopping block for elimination. Rule of law principles are consistently violated.

Ordinary people are ruthlessly exploited. Western corporate interests alone matter. Bankers most of all. Don’t expect Times editors to explain. Nor Chicago Tribune ones.

On December 7, they headlined ‘Will Ukraine resist the bully?” They bashed Vladimir Putin. They asked if “he strip(s) off his shirt each time he picks up the phone to bully the president of Ukraine.”

Yanukovych “stunned” EU negotiators by abandoning an alliance.” He flew to Russia “for a secret meeting.”

It wasn’t secret. It was widely reported. It’s discussed in this article and a previous one. Not according to Tribune editors. They accused Putin of “put(ting) on the hard squeeze and Yanukovych wilted.”

“The EU offers short-term pain and long-term gain,” they claim.

False! One-way terms are offered. Accepting them assures protracted economic harshness. Ukraine could end up like Greece. It’s a zombie country. Only it’s obituary remains to be written.

Western corporate predators thrive on crisis conditions. It’s their best chance to buy state enterprises at fire sale prices.

Ukrainian leaders owe it to their people to avoid debt entrapment and longterm decline. Don’t expect Tribune editors to explain. They lied calling an EU alliance “a strong foundation for prosperity.”

Washington Post editors don’t want another Orange Revolution. They want a negotiated government surrender.

They want Yanukovych “to address the source of the unrest by agreeing to set a new date for an EU agreement.”

They want Ukraine forced West, not East. They want all former Soviet Republics going the same way. They want Russia increasingly isolated. They want Washington able to advance its imperium unchallenged.

The National Post (NP) is a Canadian national broadsheet. On December 3, it headlined “Fighting for Ukraine’s political soul,” saying:

“The Cold War ended a quarter century ago. But some Russians apparently still haven’t gotten the message.”

“Enraged by the prospect of Ukraine signing a free-trade deal with the European Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly tried to bribe the country to reject the agreement.”

He “threatened to cut off Russian gas supplies this winter. Moscow’s pressure worked – at least, at first.”

“Ukraine’s situation is part of a larger struggle that extends beyond Europe Russia (wants) to rebuild some of the clout it enjoyed in Soviet days.”

NP editors claim Ukrainians have “good sense” to turn West, not East. Nationwide sentiment is split.

All Ukrainians want better future prospects. Allying with troubled EU nations assures poor ones. Hopefully a majority has “good sense” enough to realize it.

Sources :

  1. Steve Lendman Blog
  2. Image Credit

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