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COMMENT:We can’t say whether or not Russian armor, self-propelled artillery and other forces have entered Ukraine. We CAN and DO say that the sources for such “intelligence” are worse than unreliable.
Not only do they have a track record of lying–witness the “rebel downing”  of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 –but they are inextricably linked with the Underground Reich forces to which the OUN/B elements  in charge in Ukraine belong.
The GroupThink line circulating in Washington and Europe is that President Putin and Russia are replaying the Hitler tactic of slowly gobbling up territory intended for conquest.
The truth is the opposite. The agreement whereby Gorbachev agreed to permit the reunification of Germany and the requisite withdrawal of some 24 divisions–totaling around 300,000 troops–mandated that NATO and the EU would not encroach on Eastern Europe and the former U.S.S.R.
They have done just that, with some 12 former Warsaw Pact members having joined NATO.
Note how many  of the Eastern European countries manifesting World War II fascist heritage are NATO members. Note, also, where  the reports of Russian artillery inside  Ukraine firing on Ukrainian forces come from.
The dependence on unreconstructed Nazi sympathizers referencing World War II-era fascist ideological constructs is as dangerous as it is relativistic. Note, again, our reliance for “intelligence” on the very fascist elements  we nurtured in the political womb of CIA/State Department/BND/GOP  and then recast in Eastern Europe and the former U.S.S.R. after the Cold war.
The satellite imager y purporting to show Russian armor and self-propelled artillery inside of Ukraine comes from a private company–DigitalGlobe . That company was founded by key personnel from Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.
DigitalGlobe co-founder Doug Gerull  had previously worked for the Zeiss firm, discussed in FTR #272  as one of the German/Underground Reich/Bormann firms that were moving into satellite imagery technology in the U.S.
Behind the Ukraine crisis is a revision of World War II history that seeks to honor eastern European collaborators with Hitler and the Holocaust by repackaging these rightists as anti-Soviet heroes, a reality shielded from the U.S. public, as Dovid Katz explains.
Would America support any type of Hitlerism in the course of the State Department’s effort  to turn the anti-Russian political classes of Eastern Europe into paragons of PR perfection that may not be criticized, howsoever mildly?
It was frankly disconcerting to see Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, embracing the leader of Ukraine’s far right, anti-Semitic, pro-fascist Svoboda party last December. It was disturbing to learn of the neo-Nazi elements that provided the “muscle” for the actual Maidan takeover last February (BBC’s Newsnight  was among the few major Western outlets to dare cover that openly).
Most disturbing of all has been the mainstream Western media’s almost Soviet-grade wall somehow erected against critical mention of the far-right component of Ukraine’s 2014 history, rendering any such thought as worthy of ridicule  on New York Times opinion pages last spring.
Most hilarious was the Times’s May 2014 publication of an (obviously ghost-written, State Department-scripted) op-ed  by Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia V. Tymoshenko which quotes Churchill writing to Roosevelt, “Give us the tools, as we will finish the job,” rumbling on about “the just and open democracy that is America’s greatest bequest to the world.”
This, from the far right politician who had shortly before that expressed genocidal musings for the millions of Russian-speaking citizens of her country, and who was, during her tenure as prime minister, a prime devotee of the wartime fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose organization slaughtered tens of thousands (many historians put it at hundreds of thousands) of Polish and Jewish civilians based on ethnicity, in the Aryanist drive for an ethnically pure state precisely on the Nazi model.
It was therefore refreshing to read in last Saturday’s Times a report  that had, albeit buried near the end, a single line informing readers that “One [militia active in the Kiev government’s military campaign] known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.” By contrast, London’s right-of-center Daily Telegraph ran a whole report  Monday titled “The neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists,” rightly including the observation that the neo-Nazi forces being used by the Ukrainian government to do military heavy lifting “should send a shiver down Europe’s spine.”
This goes to the heart of what is being kept from so many Western, and especially American readers. Putin — for all his authoritarianism, anti-democratic bent and revanchism — is not the cause of the Ukrainian conundrum (though he is certainly exploiting it). There is a genuine divide in Ukraine between a nationalist-dominated west and a Russian-speaking east.
Anybody who has traveled the country will tell you that these “Russians” in the east, and wherever else they are to be found, would much rather be living in a European Union-type country than in a Russia-type country. What then is the problem? They do not want to live in an ultranationalist-dominated state that is anti-Russian in a 1930s Aryanesque sense of ethnically and linguistically pure Ukrainism. They much prefer the Russia-model state to that.
Now those anti-racist values, including the revering of the Anglo-American-Soviet alliance that brought down Hitler, and the disdain of societies founded on models of racist purity, are in fact also American values. But that affinity between Western values and the easterners would never even be guessed at in the avalanche of Cold War II newsfeed coming our way.
Incidentally, some Western reports  that caricature the Putinist press’s use of the word “fascists” for Ukrainian nationalists don’t appreciate the colloquial Russian usage where it refers not necessarily to swastika-wielding thugs but even to high society that holds in esteem the likes of Bandera and other World War II-era Nazist fascists as supposed mythical “freedom fighters” to be revered today by the state, in street names, statues, museums, and more.
That is not to say that America’s allies among the western Ukrainian nationalists are all pro-fascist. They are not. But there are two salient issues that go beyond Ukraine and cover all of “anti-Russian” Eastern Europe, particularly the new member states of NATO and the EU.
The first is casual acceptance of neo-Nazi elements, symbolism and ideology as part of any kind of supposedly centrist mainstream. In Latvia [NATO member–D.E.] and Estonia [NATO member–D.E.], this is exemplified by tacit (or not so tacit) state support for honors for those countries’ Waffen SS divisions. In Lithuania [NATO member–D.E.], it can be manifest in state-sponsored shrines to the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) killers who unleashed the Holocaust on Jewish neighbors before the first German soldiers had quite arrived.
But there is a second issue that is much deeper, and has nothing to do with these more ostentatious kinds of Nazi worship. That issue is history.
While World War II is indeed “history” for the West, it is very much part of Now in Eastern Europe. State-sponsored institutions in the three Baltic countries, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, especially, and also at times in Croatia [NATO member–D.E.], Romania [NATO member–D.E.] and elsewhere have invested a fortune in a kind of Holocaust revisionism that would whitewash their own nationalists’ collaboration with Hitler and turn the Soviet Union into the real Hitler.
Known as “Double Genocide,” it posits the absolute theoretical equality of Nazi and Soviet crimes. Its constitution is the 2008 “Prague Declaration [the Czech Republic is a NATO member–D.E.],” which most Americans have never heard of, that sports the word “same” five times in reference to Nazi and Soviet crimes. Even fewer Americans know that one of its demands, that the world accept a unitary mix-and-match day of remembrance for Nazi and Soviet victims, was snuck under the radar  into last June’s congressional military appropriations bill.
The issue across the board is the choice made by nationalist elites in Eastern Europe to construct national myths not on the merits of a country’s great artists, poets, thinkers and genuine freedom fighters, but all too often, on the basis of Nazi collaborators whose claim to fame is that they were also “anti-Soviet patriots.”
The fact of the matter is that virtually all of Hitler’s collaborators in Eastern Europe were “anti-Soviet.” In fact, the Soviet Union was the only power putting up resistance to Hitler in Eastern Europe. If the Soviets had not pushed the Nazi armies back by the spring of 1944, at huge sacrifice to all the Soviet peoples, there would have been no D-Day or opening of a Western front.
Whether it is hero-worship of Hungary’s Miklós Horthy [Hungary is a NATO member–D.E.], leaders of Croatia’s Hitlerist Ustasha [Croatia is a NATO member–D.E.], the Nazis’ Waffen SS divisions in Latvia and Estonia, or the likes of Ukraine’s Bandera and his OUN and UPA, and the Waffen SS, it is an offense to Western values that a NATO or EU state, or NATO/EU-aspiring state, would disburse state funds on the distortion of history, obfuscation of the Holocaust and construction of societies that admire the worst of history’s racists.
To do so quite simply implies that all the minority citizens they butchered, or whose butchering they supported, were quite unworthy of continued existence. Incidentally, all these countries have real heroes from that darkest moment in their history: those (often the simplest of people) who just did the right thing and risked all to rescue a neighbor from the Nazist establishment collaborationist leadership of their own nationalists.
Any viable solution needs to take into account that it is a deeply divided country even in the absence of (ever-present) Putinist mischief. It therefore needs to also take into account the many millions of Russian speakers who oppose the racial chauvinism of some of the nationalist elite now in or close to the government, and who have very different ideas about Twentieth Century history.
That is the way forward, not the Cold War II nonsense of spreading the word that the westerners are pure angels and the easterners pure demons, not the neocon nonsense that America’s greatness depends on endless foreign military misadventures in regime change that lead to long , unpredictable, and uncontrollable cycles of violence.
That America shares with Russia the magnificent legacy of having in tandem brought down Hitler’s empire is a heritage worth invoking for building better understanding, not a fact to be buried in deference to the far-right revision of Holocaust history with which much of nationalist Eastern Europe is so obsessed.
NATO officials said that the Russian military had moved artillery units inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and was using them to fire at Ukrainian forces. . . .
. . . . The NATO allegations are based on intelligence reports from several alliance members, Western officials said, and the allegation generally echoed Ukrainian claims in recent days of an expanding Russian military involvement in support of pro-Russian rebels who are battling to hold off a Ukrainian offensive.
A NATO spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, also said that the alliance had receive multiple reports of the direct involvement of Russian airborne, air defense and special operations forces in Eastern Ukraine. . . .
For governments in the Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania, Russia has invaded Ukraine and the two countries are now at war. Head further west, and they’re less sure what to call it.
While all agree that a line has been crossed, U.S and NATO officials prefer to speak of an “incursion.” French and German leaders have warned President Vladimir Putin of further sanctions without defining what Russian forces have done.
“In the past 48 hours, we have tipped into a formal invasion,” Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, said in a Bloomberg television interview. “Russia and Ukraine as sovereign countries are now at war and it’s going to be very difficult for the United States and Europe to deny that reality.”
Calling it war or an invasion would force the U.S. and European Union to consider steps they’d never be willing to take, such as committing military forces, Bremmer said. While sanctions have been imposed on some sectors of the Russian economy, Europe continues to rely on Russia for natural-gas imports and Russian trade with the EU was worth about $390 billion last year.
“The EU appears to have exhausted its politically feasible options in the previous round” of sanctions, Ievgen Vorobiov, an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw, said in a telephone interview.
Pro-Russian insurgents widened their attacks yesterday on Ukraine government forces, taking several towns outside their strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, including near the Sea of Azov. There are currently 20,000 Russian troops in the border region, with 1,000 operating inside Ukraine, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization military officer estimated today.
Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Twitter that Russia’s actions amount to a “war” that should be taken up by the United Nations Security Council. The Foreign Ministry in Lithuania, another former Soviet satellite state that’s now one of the EU’s 28 members, said it “strongly condemns the invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russian Federation military forces, which has obviously begun.” . . . .
The satellite imagery purporting to show Russian armor and self-propelled artillery inside of Ukraine comes from a private company–DigitalGlobe. That company was founded by key personnel from Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.
. . . . . Origins
WorldView Imaging Corporation was founded in January 1992 in Oakland, California in anticipation of the 1992 Land Remote Sensing Policy Act (enacted in October 1992) which permitted private companies to enter the satellite imaging business. Its founder was Dr Walter Scott, who was joined by co-founder and CEO Doug Gerull in late 1992. In 1993, the company received the first high resolution commercial remote sensing satellite license issued under the 1992 Act. The company was initially funded with private financing from Silicon Valley sources and interested corporations in N. America, Europe, and Japan. Dr. Scott was head of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories “Brilliant Pebbles” and “Brilliant Eyes” projects which were part of the Strategic Defense Initiative. Doug Gerull was the executive in charge of the Mapping Sciences division at the Intergraph Corporation. The company’s first remote sensing license from the United States Department of Commerce allowed it to build a commercial remote sensing satellite capable of collecting images with 3 m (9.8 ft) resolution.
In 1995, the company became EarthWatch Incorporated, merging WorldView with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.’s commercial remote sensing operations. In September 2001, EarthWatch became DigitalGlobe. . . . . .
. . . . . Carl Zeiss
Privately Held; 10,001+ employees; Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing industry
January 1980 – 1985 (5 years) Toronto / White Plains, NY