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OUN/B Heirs Hold Prominent Ministerial Posts in Ukraine

Heinrich Himmler inspecting troops of the 14th Waffen SS Division (Galicia), staffed by OUN/B

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: We have cov­ered the Ukraine coup in pre­vi­ous posts–here, hereherehereherehere and here. (We are pro­duc­ing pro­grams about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis at the present time.)

Swoboda and Pravy Sektor are the most prominent parties that are the direct political heirs to the OUN/B, a Ukrainian fascist organization allied with the Third Reich and its most murderous subsidiary organizations–the SS,  Gestapo and Einsatzgruppen. OUN/B found sanctuary within Western intelligence agencies and the GOP in the Cold War period.

Both Swoboda and Pravy Sektor are prominently represented in the Ukrainian cabinet that succeeded the ousted Viktor Yanukovich.

Some of the most significant are: 

  • Andriy Paru­biy of Swoboda is the new sec­re­tary of the Ukrain­ian National Secu­rity and Defence Coun­cil.
  • His number two is Deputy Sec­re­tary of National Secu­rity Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sec­tor [Pravy Sektor.] 
  • Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Olek­sandr Sych is a mem­ber of the far-right Svo­boda party.
  • Svo­boda now con­trols the ecol­ogy and agri­cul­tural min­istry with Andriy Mokhnyk, the deputy head of Svo­boda,run­ning ecol­ogy and Ihor Shvaika as agri­cul­ture min­is­ter.
  • Svo­boda mem­ber Oleh Makhnit­sky is now act­ing pros­e­cu­tor gen­eral.

“How the Far-Right Took Top Posts in Ukraine’s Power Vacuum”; Channel 4 News [UK]; 3/5/2014.

EXCERPT: The man facing down Putin’s aggression as secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council is Andriy Parubiy. He oversees national security for the nation having previously served as security commandant during the anti-government protests in Kiev.

Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler’s Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians.

The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok was one of the three most high profile leaders of the Euromaidan protests – negotiating directly with the Yanukovych regime.

Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sector – a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine. . . .

. . . .The new Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych is a member of the far-right Svoboda party, which the World Jewish Congress called on the EU to consider banning last year along with Greece’s Golden Dawn.

The party, which has long called for a “national revolution” in Ukraine, has endured a long march from relative obscurity in the early 90s. Their declaration that Ukraine is controlled by a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” has raised fears for the safety of the country’s Jewish population.

Svoboda now controls the ecology and agricultural ministry with Andriy Mokhnyk, the deputy head of Svoboda, running ecology and Ihor Shvaika as agriculture minister.

Associate professor at Lund University Pers Anders Rudling, an expert on Ukrainian extremists, told Channel 4 News that there are other ministers who are also closely in the orbit of Svoboda.

“Two weeks ago I could never have predicted this. A neo-fascist party like Svoboda getting the deputy prime minister position is news in its own right.

There are seven ministers with links to the extreme right now. It began with Svoboda getting 10 per cent of the vote in the last election, it is certainly a concern in the long run.” . . . .

. . . . Svoboda member Oleh Makhnitsky is now acting prosecutor general.

The initial actions of the interim government have included forcing making Ukrainian the only official language of the nation and making moves to remove a law which forbids “excusing the crimes of fascism”. . . .



11 comments for “OUN/B Heirs Hold Prominent Ministerial Posts in Ukraine”

  1. While it’s very unclear when or how the situation in Ukraine can be resolved, one of the key objectives for all the parties involved should be to avoid making a bad situation worse. Anything that makes the lives of Ukrainians worse going forward and dampens their prospects for rebuilding their economy and healing the social contract and ethnic tensions should be avoided at costs. That’s just a no-brainer.

    So, with that in mind, check out the plans for Ukraine’s “bailout”:

    Kyiv Post
    EU’s long-awaited $15 billion package may add to government’s austerity program
    March 5,
    2014, 6:30 p.m. | Ivan Verstyuk

    The European Union has promised $15 billion of financial help to Ukraine as the nation tightens its belt amid a looming cash crunch.

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters in Brussels on March that the money would come via various instruments over several years.

    Ukraine will receive $1.4 billion in the form of loans, paid from the EU budget. Another $2 billion will come as EU grants over the next seven years. The European Investment Bank is to contribute $4.2 billion over 2014-2016 and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is to add $7 billion through 2020.

    Meanwhile, Barroso added that the macro-financial aid and some $840 million in new grants can be disbursed “very fast … within a matter of weeks.”

    Earlier on Feb. 5 Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak said that Ukraine must pay out $10 billion by end of this year to service all of its debt obligations.

    The $15 billion (of EU money) mentioned was just window dressing and little of this will be disbursed as balance of payments/budget support,” said Timothy Ash, head of research for emerging markets at Standard Bank in London.

    “Everything will depend on how this money will be used. It could be used for fixing the balance of payments, the central bank’s reserves, or the budget gap,” said Igor Burakovsky, head of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Analysis.

    Barroso also proposed that EU countries should immediately apply lower trade tariffs on Ukrainian imports, as envisaged in a future free trade agreement that ex-President Viktor Yanukovych had originally shunned on Nov. 21.

    Austerity on the part of government has already begun. It cut a number of social programs and other projects to save $5.1 billion. These measures include a ban for state bodies to purchase automobiles, mobile phones and laptops. Moreover, some state-owned automobiles will be sold through the publicly held auctions.

    So European Commission President Barroso is calling for immediate cuts in tarrifs and austerity in return for loans are described as “window dressing” that won’t really be used to support the budget anyways. Just imagine, years from now, how thankful Ukrainians will be about their revolution when those same austerity programs are still in place because they sent their economy into the same austerity-induced death-spiral we’ve come to know and love in the EU. The public in general might not be super pleased with that fate but those that want to reshape Ukraine’s society in radical far-right ways probably won’t mind:

    Washington’s Man Yatsenyuk Setting Ukraine Up For Ruin
    2/27/2014 @ 4:58PM
    Kenneth Rapoza Contributor

    Ukraine’s interim prime minister, Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, may prove to be arsenic to the beleaguered nation.

    “Recall the phone exchange between the Ukraine ambassador and Victoria Nuland (Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs) that got leaked out, where she basically said ‘we want Yats in there.’ They like him because he’s pro Western,” says Vladimir Signorelli, president of boutique investment research firm Bretton Woods Research LLC in New Jersey. “Yatsenyuk is the the kind of technocrat you want if you want austerity, with the veneer of professionalism,” Signorelli said. “He’s the type of guy who can hobnob with the European elite. A Mario Monti type: unelected and willing to do the IMFs bidding,” he said.

    Mario Monti was a centrist Italian technocrat who passed an austerity package that called for increased taxes, pension reform and measures to fight tax evasion.

    Ukraine’s new 450-seat parliament approved the appointment of the former Central Banker Yatsenyuk on Thursday by a vote of 371 to 1. Oddly enough, earlier this month, the pro-Western Yats trailed behind popular opposition leaders such as former heavyweight boxer Viltali Klitschko and the leader of the nationalist, Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok. But Yats had friends in high places and while he does not have strong support of the electorate, and would have no chance of winning an election, he is pro-IMF austerity and apparently the bulk of parliament is as well.

    “Yatsenyuk was saying that what the Greeks did to themselves we are going to do ourselves,” said Signorelli. “He wants to follow the Greek economic model. Who the hell wants to follow that?”

    Also today, Yatsenyuk promised to implement “very unpopular measures” to stabilize the country’s finances. The government said it needs $35 billion to support the country over the next two years. His language in a news report broadcast by Bloomberg today indicates he is heading toward a potentially destabilizing austerity campaign:

    “The treasury is empty. We will do everything not to default. If we get the financial support from the IMF, the U.S., we will do it. I’m going to be the most unpopular prime minister in the history of my country,” he said. “But this is the only solution. I would never promise any kind of huge achievements. First and the most important issue is to stabilize the situation.”

    He also said that, “We want Russia to have transparent and fair relations with Ukraine. We want to be partners with Russia…we strongly believe it will never intervene with a military force in Ukraine.”

    Under the brewing divide-and-conquer political crisis lies Ukraine’s economic problems. The Ukrainian currency, the hryvnia, is down over 16% year-to-date, a record decline against the dollar.

    It is unclear the kind of measures Yatsenyuk will tolerate, but it appears austerity is the path forward. That includes a regimen of tax increases, interest rate hikes and further currency devaluation.

    Yanukovych resisted the International Monetary Fund’s demand to raise taxes and devalue the currency. Yatsenyuk doesn’t mind. For economists who think austerity is a disaster, Ukraine is on a path to ruin.

    “We saw this in the 90s and what the IMF did to Russia with Yeltsin. They’ll do that to Ukraine,” said Signorelli. Remember Slobodan Miloševic in Yugoslavia? After the IMF finished with Yugoslavia it was only a matter of time before the separatist movements gained traction,” he said. “I think things in Ukraine can get really really bad.”

    Well, at least Ukraine can devalue its currency in the middle of all this to help smooth out the coming economic disruptions. It could be worse!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 5, 2014, 10:59 am
  2. There are some very interesting pictures with this post, that make it worthwhile to click the link to check it out.



    The U.S. has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine
    By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
    Global Research, March 02, 2014

    According to the New York Times, “The United States and the European Union have embraced the revolution here as another flowering of democracy, a blow to authoritarianism and kleptocracy in the former Soviet space.” ( After Initial Triumph, Ukraine’s Leaders Face Battle for Credibility, NYTimes.com, March 1, 2014, emphasis added)

    “Flowering Democracy, Revolution”? The grim realities are otherwise. What is a stake is a US-EU-NATO sponsored coup d’Etat in blatant violation of international law.

    The forbidden truth is that the West has engineered –through a carefully staged covert operation– the formation of a proxy regime integrated by Neo-Nazis.

    Confirmed by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, key organizations in the Ukraine including the Neo-Nazi party Svoboda were generously supported by Washington: “We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals. … We will continue to promote Ukraine to the future it deserves.”

    The Western media has casually avoided to analyze the composition and ideological underpinnings of the government coalition. The word “Neo-Nazi” is a taboo. It has been excluded from the dictionary of mainstream media commentary. It will not appear in the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post or The Independent. Journalists have been instructed not to use the term “Neo-Nazi” to designate Svoboda and the Right Sector.

    Composition of the Coalition Government

    We are not dealing with a transitional government in which Neo-Nazi elements integrate the fringe of the coalition, formally led by the Fatherland party.

    The Cabinet is not only integrated by the Svoboda and Right Sector (not to mention former members of defunct fascist UNA-UNSO), the two main Neo-Nazi entities have been entrusted with key positions which grant them de facto control over the Armed Forces, Police, Justice and National Security.

    While Yatsenuyk’s Fatherland Party controls the majority of portfolios and Svoboda Neo-Nazi leader Oleh Tyahnybok was not granted a major cabinet post (apparently at the request of assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland), members of Svoboda and the Right Sector occupy key positions in the areas of Defense, Law Enforcement, Education and Economic Affairs.

    Andriy parubiy.jpgAndriy Parubiy [right] co-founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine (subsequently renamed Svoboda) was appointed Secretary of the National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU). (Рада національної безпеки і оборони України), a key position which overseas the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces, Law Enforcement, National Security and Intelligence. The RNBOU is central decision-making body. While it is formally headed by the president, it is run by the Secretariat with a staff of 180 people including defense, intelligence and national security experts.

    Parubiy was one of the main leaders behind the Orange Revolution in 2004. His organization was funded by the West. He is referred to by the Western media as the “kommandant” of the EuroMaidan movement. Andriy Parubiy together with party leader Oleh Tyahnybok is a follower of Ukrainian Nazi Stepan Bandera, who collaborated in the mass murderer of Jews and Poles during World War II. Reuters / Gleb Garanich

    Neo-Nazi march honoring Stepan Bandera

    In turn, Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector delegation in the parliament, has been appointed Parubiy’s deputy Secretary of the RNBOU.

    Yarosh was the leader of the Brown Shirt Neo-Nazi paramilitary during the EuroMaidan “protest” movement. He has called for disbanding the Party of the regions and the Communist Party.

    Dmytro Yarosh speech at Euromaidan (Centre)

    The Neo Nazi party also controls the judicial process with the appointment of Oleh Makhnitsky of the Svoboda party to the position of prosecutor-general of Ukraine. What kind of justice will prevail with a reknown Neo-Nazi in charge of the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine?

    Cabinet positions were also allocated to former members of the Neo-Nazi fringe organization Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense (UNA-UNSO):

    “Tetyana Chernovol, portrayed in the Western press as a crusading investigative journalist without reference to her past involvement in the anti-Semitic UNA-UNSO, was named chair of the government’s anti-corruption committee. Dmytro Bulatov, known for his alleged kidnapping by police, but also with UNA-UNSO connections, was appointed minister of youth and sports.

    Yegor Sobolev, leader of a civic group in Independence Maidan and politically close to Yatsenyuk, was appointed chair of the Lustration Committee, charged with purging followers of President Yanukovych from government and public life. (See Ukraine Transition Government: Neo-Nazis in Control of Armed Forces, National Security, Economy, Justice and Education, Global Research, March 02, 2014

    The Lustration Committee is to organize the Neo-Nazi witch-hunt against all opponents of the new Neo-Nazi regime. The targets of the lustration campaign are people in positions of authority within the civil service, regional and municipal governments, education, research, etc. The term lustration refers to the “mass disqualification” of people associated with the former government. It also has racial overtones. It will in all likelihood be directed against Communists, Russians and members of the Jewish community.

    It is important to reflect on the fact that the West, formally committed to democratic values, has not only spearheaded the demise of an elected president, it has instated a political regime integrated by Neo-Nazis.

    This is a proxy government which enables the US, NATO and the EU to interfere in Ukraine’s internal affairs and dismantle its bilateral relations with the Russian Federation. It should be understood, however, that the Neo-Nazis do not ultimately call the shots. The composition of the Cabinet broadly coincides with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland ” recommendations” contained in the leaked telephone call to the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

    Washington has chosen to spearhead Neo-Nazis into positions of authority. Under a “regime of indirect rule”, however, they take their orders on crucial military and foreign policy issues –including the deployment of troops directed against the Russian federation– from the the US State Department, the Pentagon and NATO.

    The World is at a dangerous crossroads: The structures and composition of this proxy government installed by the West do not favor dialogue with the Russian government and military.

    A scenario of military escalation leading to confrontation of Russia and NATO is a distinct possibility. The Ukraine’s National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU) which is controlled by Neo-Nazis plays a central role in military affairs. In the confrontation with Moscow, decisions taken by the RNBOU headed by Neo-Nazi Parubiy and his brown Shirt deputy Dmytro Yarosh –in consultation with Washington and Brussels– could potentially have devastating consequences.

    However, it goes without saying that “support” to the formation of a Neo-Nazi government does not in any way imply the development of “fascist tendencies” within the White House, the State Department and the US Congress.

    “The flowering of democracy” in Ukraine –to use the words of the New York Times– is endorsed by Republicans and Democrats. It’s a bipartisan project. Lest we forget, Senator John McCain is a firm supporter and friend of Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok (Image right).

    Posted by Vanfield | March 5, 2014, 12:28 pm
  3. It appears that the snipers during the protests were run by the leaders of the coup:


    Estonian Foreign Ministry confirms authenticity of leaked phone call discussing how Kiev snipers who shot protesters were possibly hired by Ukraine’s new leaders

    Leaked phone call suggests anti-government protesters hired the snipers

    Call between EU’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonia’s foreign affairs minister Urmas Paet

    Paet appears to claim opposition leaders hired the snipers that killed 94

    More at link

    Posted by Swamp | March 6, 2014, 8:41 am
  4. @Swamp: There’s some more details on info relayed to Estonia’s foreign minister published in the Kyiv Post. It sounds like there’s also speculation that a “third party” could have been behind the attacks.

    Kyiv Post
    Estonian foreign minister, in leaked phone call, raises suspicions about Ukraine’s new government and sniper killings

    March 5, 2014, 9:18 p.m. | Ukraine — by Brian Bonner, Katya Gorchinskaya

    A leaked conversation between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton relays explosive suspicions that the same snipers are responsible for the Feb. 18-20 killings of both EuroMaidan demonstrators and police officers.

    Paet goes further by raising the possibility that the gunmen may have been working for supporters of Ukraine’s new interim government, not ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, and that Ukraine’s current rulers are not interested in fully investigating who is behind the killings of some 90 people in the three-day period.

    Paet also says that civil society leaders of EuroMaidan Revolution distrust the new Ukrainian government because they are tainted by corruption and have “a dirty past.”

    He relays suspicions of coalition government involvement in the sniper killings after a conversation he had with Dr. Olga Bohomolets, a physician who attended to dead and wounded EuroMaidan protesters and who recently refused a ministerial appointment in the new government.

    “What was disturbing is that the same snipers …killed people on both sides. She (Bohomolets) showed me some photos. She said that as a medical doctor she could tell it was the same handwriting, the same type of bullets and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened,” Paet tells Ashton. “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych. It was somebody from the new coalition.

    The authenticity of the Feb. 25 telephone conversation was confirmed to the Kyiv Post by Estonian Ambassador to Ukraine Sulev Kannike, speaking by telephone from Tallinn, the Estonian capital.

    Bohomolets, however, did not respond to a phone call or text message seeking comment. However, the London Telegraph reported on March 5 that Bohomolets did not tell Kannike. “I think you can only say something like this on the basis of fact,” the London newspaer quoted her as saying. “It’s not correct and it’s not good to do this. It should be based on fact.”

    Kannike, Estonia’s ambassador to Ukraine, said that the 11-minute conversation took place on Feb. 25 while Paet was in Tallinn and Ashton was in Brussels, the European Union’s administrative capital.

    “Unfortunately, it’s true. Yeah. That’s fact-based,” Kannike said. “We are doing damage control.”

    Kannike, however, cautioned against reaching conclusions based on one telephone conversation and said that Paet’s relayed suspicions do not represent any official Estonian position. He said it’s possible that “a third party” is responsible for the killings, making it all the more important for authorities to identify the killers and form who they were working.

    Interior Minister Arseniy Avakov in Kharkiv on March 5 raised suspicions that a third party – neither Yanukovych nor the opposition leaders – was involved in the shootings. Especially after Russia’s invasion of Crimea, speculation about Russian involvement in the deadly shootings has increased.

    “The full recording is also available in English,” Kannike said, so the public “can track and check what the minister actually said.”

    The Paet-Ashton exchanges marks the second leaked conversation in the last 31 days between high-level Western officials discussing Ukraine. The first came with the leaked Feb. 4 conversation between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who were discussing the strengths and weaknesses of then-oppositon political leaders. The conversation is most famous for Nuland’s blurting out “you know, fu ck the EU!” in frustration with the 28-nation bloc’s inaction in solving Ukraine’s crisis.

    Here is a partial transcript of the conversation:

    Paet: “Impressions are sad…my impression is that there is not trust towards those politicians in those coalition from people on Maidan and the civil society. They say they know all these people, and these people have a dirty past, that they made some proposals to the same Olga (Bohomolets) and some other from civil society to join the new government. Olga, for example, she says directly that she is ready to go to the government only in the case if she can take with her her team, foreign experts to start real healthcare reforms. I thought, basically, that the trust level is absolutely low. On the other hand, all these security problems, integrity problems, Crimea – all this stuff. Regions Party was absolutely upset. They say they accept that there will be a new government, there will be extraordinary elections, but there is enormous pressure against members of parliament, there are uninvited visitors to party members. Some journalists … saw during the day that one member of parliament was beaten in front of the parliament building by these guys with guns on the streets. All this mess is still there, and of course, this Olga and others from civil society were absolutely sure that people will not leave the streets before they see that the real reforms will start. It’s not enough that just have a change of government. This is the main impression from EU’s and Estonia’s point of view. We should get ready to put together a financial package, also together with others. A clear message is needed: it’s not enough that there is change of government, that there is real reforms and real action (needed) to increase the level of trust, otherwise it will end badly. The Regions Party is saying that we will see that people from the eastern parts of the country will wake up and start to demand their rights. Some people also admit there were in Donetsk, where people said well, we can’t wait how long still will the occupation will last in Donetsk, that it’s a real Russian city and they would like to see Russia will take over…short impressions.”

    Ashton: “…very, very interesting…we’re working on packages short, medium and long term, everything from how we’d get money in quickly, how we spoke with IMF and how we would get investment packages from business leaders and so on…

    Paet: (Paet said that the only person who got a lot of positive mentions from the Maidan and civil society people was former Minister Petro Poroshenko, who has a lot of trust.)

    “Second, what was quite disturbing is that the same Olg shwow all the evidence shows that the same snipers …killed people on both sides… she also showed me some photos. She said that as a medical doctor she could tell it was the same handwriting, the same type of bullets and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened. There is now a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not (ousted President Viktor) Yanukovych, but that it was somebody from the new coalition.”

    (Paet said it was very disturbing that the new government was discredited from the very start.)

    Ashton: “…I think they do want to investigate…They also the need to let the Rada function. If the Rada doesn’t function, it will be complete chaos. Being an activist and a doctor is very, very important, but if it means you’re not a politician.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 6, 2014, 8:42 pm
  5. Those are rather extraordinary events. All the more interesting to me as my wife is from Crimea. About the austerity measures planned, there have been news that pension payments would be halved in Ukraine. Pensions in Ukraine are typically a fraction of what they are in Russia. Contrast this with another piece of information from a private source in Crimea, where the banking system has been seriously disrupted in the past few weeks and some pensions have not been paid last month; yet they were this month, and apparently the payments came, amazingly, from Russia. Crimeans have also been promised pension raises. It should be quite obvious to anybody that Russia will not let go of Crimea. We are told, futhermore, contrary to what the media say, that there has been no surge of Russian troops on the ground (although it can be assumed there are troops somewhere nearby in readiness). A lot has already been said elsewhere and I will stop here, but the level of disinformation and infantilization of their audience from the Western leaders and the media in this Internet age is quite stunning. It should take even a 12-year-old only a few minutes, for instance, to understand how attempting to strip Russia of its access to the Mediterranean may be a big deal to Putin. And how about an unelected government official meeting with the Nato chief and making tacit commitments on behalf of Ukraine? Is that in accordance with international law? Etc., etc. All the best to you all,

    Posted by goelette | March 7, 2014, 12:48 am
  6. The “he said, she said” over secret snipers is continuing to make the prospect of any future Ukrainian government obtaining a mantle of legitimacy increasingly unlikely:

    Russia, Ukraine feud over sniper carnage
    By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press | March 7, 2014 | Updated: March 7, 2014 2:49pm

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — One of the biggest mysteries hanging over the protest mayhem that drove Ukraine’s president from power: Who was behind the snipers who sowed death and terror in Kiev?

    That riddle has become the latest flashpoint of feuding over Ukraine — with the nation’s fledgling government and the Kremlin giving starkly different interpretations of events that could either undermine or bolster the legitimacy of the new rulers.

    Ukrainian authorities are investigating the Feb. 18-20 bloodbath, and they have shifted their focus from ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s government to Vladimir Putin’s Russia — pursuing the theory that the Kremlin was intent on sowing mayhem as a pretext for military incursion. Russia suggests that the snipers were organized by opposition leaders trying to whip up local and international outrage against the government.

    The government’s new health minister — a doctor who helped oversee medical treatment for casualties during the protests — told The Associated Press that the similarity of bullets wounds suffered by opposition victims and police indicates the shooters were trying to stoke tensions on both sides and spark even greater violence, with the goal of toppling Yanukovych.

    “I think it wasn’t just a part of the old regime that (plotted the provocation), but it was also the work of Russian special forces who served and maintained the ideology of the (old) regime,” Health Minister Oleh Musiy said.

    President Vladimir Putin has pushed the idea that the sniper shootings were ordered by opposition leaders, while Kremlin officials have pointed to a recording of a leaked phone call between Estonia’s foreign minister and the European Union’s foreign policy chief as evidence to back up that version.

    This much is known: Snipers firing powerful rifles from rooftops and windows shot scores of people in the heart of Kiev. Some victims were opposition protesters, but many were civilian bystanders clearly not involved in the clashes. Among the dead were medics, as well as police officers. A majority of the more than 100 people who died in the violence were shot by snipers; hundreds were also injured by the gunfire and other street fighting.

    On Tuesday, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov signaled that investigators may be turning their attention away from Ukrainian responsibility.

    “I can say only one thing: the key factor in this uprising, that spilled blood in Kiev and that turned the country upside down and shocked it, was a third force,” Avakov was quoted as saying by Interfax. “And this force was not Ukrainian.”

    The next day, Prosecutor General Oleh Makhntisky said officials have found sniper bullet casings on the National Bank building a few hundred yards up the hill from Maidan, the square that became the center and the symbol of the anti-government protests. He said investigators have confirmed snipers also fired from the Hotel Ukraine, directly on the square, and the House of Chimeras, an official residence next to the presidential administration building.

    Deputy Interior Minister Mykola Velichkovych told AP that commanders of sniper units overseen by the Berkut police force and other Interior Ministry subdivisions have denied to investigators that they had given orders to shoot anyone.

    Musiy, who spent more than two months organizing medical units on Maidan, said that on Feb. 20 roughly 40 civilians and protesters were brought with fatal bullet wounds to the makeshift hospital set up near the square. But he said medics also treated three police officers whose wounds were identical.

    Forensic evidence, in particular the similarity of the bullet wounds, led him and other to conclude that snipers were targeting both sides of the standoff at Maidan — and that the shootings were intended to generate a wave of revulsion so strong that it would topple Yanukovych and also justify a Russian invasion.

    Russia has used the uncertainty surrounding the bloodshed to discredit Ukraine’s current government. During a news conference Tuesday, Putin addressed the issue in response to a reporter’s question, suggesting that the snipers in fact “may have been provocateurs from opposition parties.”

    That theory gained currency a day later when a recording of a Feb. 26 private phone call between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was leaked and broadcast by the Russian government-controlled TV network, Russia Today. In the call, Paet said he had heard from protesters during a visit to Kiev that opponents of Yanukovych were behind the sniper attacks.

    Paet said another physician who treated victims, Dr. Olha Bogomolets, told him that both police and protesters were killed by the same bullets — and “there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new (government) coalition.”

    On Wednesday Paet confirmed the recording was authentic, and told reporters in Tallinn that he was merely repeating what Bogomolets had told him. He said he had no way of verifying the claims, though he called Bogomolets “clearly a person with authority.”

    Bogomolets could not be immediately reached by the AP for comment; she did not answer repeated calls to her cell phone or respond to text messages.

    Musiy, the health minister, said “her comments do not correspond with reality.”

    On Thursday, Russia’s U.N. envoy said he discussed the leaked phone call during a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

    If the call represents the truth, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters, “it is hard to imagine how such a parliament … can be regarded as a legitimate parliament that can pass legitimate decisions on the future of Ukraine.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 7, 2014, 1:22 pm
  7. More on the snipers: If we can trust the sourcing in this report, they may be part of a Gladio-type operation:


    Ukraine: Secretive Neo-Nazi Military Organization Involved in Euromaidan Snyper Shootings

    By F. William Engdahl
    Global Research, March 03, 2014
    21st Century Wire and Global Research


    “A secretive neo-nazi military organization reported linked to NATO played a decisive role in targeted sniper attacks and violence that led to the collapse of the elected government.”


    The question unanswered until now is who deployed the snipers? According to veteran US intelligence sources, the snipers came from an ultra-right-wing military organization known as Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO).
    Strange Ukraine ‘Nationalists’

    The leader of UNA-UNSO, Andriy Shkil, ten years ago became an adviser to Julia Tymoshenko. UNA-UNSO, during the US-instigated 2003-2004 “Orange Revolution”, backed pro-NATO candidate Viktor Yushchenko against his pro-Russian opponent, Yanukovich. UNA-UNSO members provided security for the supporters of Yushchenko and Julia Tymoshenko on Independence Square in Kiev in 2003-4.[4]

    UNA-UNSO is also reported to have close ties to the German National Democratic Party (NDP). [5]

    Ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the crack-para-military UNA-UNSO members have been behind every revolt against Russian influence. The one connecting thread in their violent campaigns is always anti-Russia. The organization, according to veteran US intelligence sources, is part of a secret NATO “GLADIO” organization, and not a Ukraine nationalist group as portrayed in western media. [6]

    According to these sources, UNA-UNSO have been involved (confirmed officially) in the Lithuanian events in the Winter of 1991, the Soviet Coup d’etat in Summer 1991, the war for the Pridnister Republic 1992, the anti-Moscow Abkhazia War 1993, the Chechen War, the US-organized Kosovo Campaign Against the Serbs, and the August 8 2008 war in Georgia. According to these reports, UNA-UNSO para-military have been involved in every NATO dirty war in the post-cold war period, always fighting on behalf of NATO. “These people are the dangerous mercenaries used all over the world to fight NATO’s dirty war, and to frame Russia because this group pretends to be Russian special forces. THESE ARE THE BAD GUYS, forget about the window dressing nationalists, these are the men behind the sniper rifles,” these sources insist. [7]

    If true that UNA-UNSO is not “Ukrainian” opposition, but rather a highly secret NATO force using Ukraine as base, it would suggest that the EU peace compromise with the moderates was likely sabotaged by the one major player excluded from the Kiev 21 February diplomatic talks—Victoria Nuland’s State Department.[8] Both Nuland and right-wing Republican US Senator John McCain have had contact with the leader of the Ukrainian opposition Svoboda Party, whose leader is openly anti-semitic and defends the deeds of a World War II Ukrainian SS-Galicia Division head.[9] The party was registered in 1995, initially calling itself the “Social National Party of Ukraine” and using a swastika style logo. Svoboda is the electoral front for neo-nazi organizations in Ukraine such as UNA-UNSO.[10]

    One further indication that Nuland’s hand is shaping latest Ukraine events is the fact that the new Ukrainian Parliament is expected to nominate Nuland’s choice, Arseny Yatsenyuk, from Tymoshenko’s party, to be interim head of the new Cabinet.

    Whatever the final truth, clear is that Washington has prepared a new economic rape of Ukraine using its control over the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


    Writer F. William Engdahl is a geopolitical analyst and the author of “Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order”.


    [1] F. William Engdahl, US-Außenministerium in flagranti über Regimewechsel in der Ukraine ertappt, Kopp Online.de, February 8, 2014, accessed in http://info.kopp-verlag.de/hintergruende/enthuellungen/f-william-engdahl/us-aussenministerium-in-flagranti-ueber-regimewechsel-in-der-ukraine-ertappt.html

    [2] Bertrand Benoit, Laurence Norman and Stephen Fidler , European Ministers Brokered Ukraine Political Compromise: German, French, Polish Foreign Ministers Flew to Kiev, The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2014, accessed in http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303636404579397351862903542?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303636404579397351862903542.html


    [4] Aleksandar Vasovic , Far right group flexes during Ukraine revolution, Associated Press, January 3, 2005, Accessed in http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20050103&slug=ukraine03

    [5] Wikipedia, Ukrainian National Assembly Ukrainian National Self Defence, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, accessed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_National_Assembly_%E2%80%93_Ukrainian_National_Self_Defence

    [6] Source report, Who Has Ukraine Weapons, February 27, 2014, private to author.

    [7] Ibid.

    [8] Max Blumenthal, Is the US backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine?, AlterNet February 25, 2014, accessed in


    [9] Channel 4 News, Far right group at heart of Ukraine protests meet US senator, 16 December 2013, accessed in


    Posted by Swamp | March 8, 2014, 12:30 pm
  8. It’s not very clear how a population that just revolted over the corruption of their oligarch-run government is going to respond to this move:

    Ukraine oligarchs get key posts in bid for unity

    By MARIA DANILOVA March 7, 2014 8:52 AM

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — In a surprising move after Russia flexed its military might in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine’s new leadership has reached out to oligarchs for help — appointing them as governors in eastern regions where loyalties to Moscow are strong.

    With their wealth, influence and self-interest in preventing further conflict, the oligarchs could be the key to calming tensions and maintaining Ukraine’s control in areas where pro-Russian activists have stoked separatist tensions.

    But the decision to appoint the country’s richest men as regional administrators has its risks. Some believe the oligarchs, who have a history of manipulating governments, may become too entrenched in their new jobs and could use their posts for personal gain.

    The unexpected move drew instant ire from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called one of the oligarchs, Ukraine’s third-richest man, Ihor Kolomoisky, a “swindler.”

    “They name oligarchs, billionaires as governors of eastern regions,” Putin said during a news conference earlier this week. “Naturally, people don’t accept that.”

    Under Ukrainian law, governors are appointed by the country’s president instead of being elected. After President Viktor Yanukovych fled for Russia last month in the wake of mass protests against his government and deadly clashes with police, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov fired Yanukovych’s appointees and replaced them with his own.

    Kolomoisky, a metals, banking and media tycoon, was named governor of his native region of Dnipropetrovsk, while Serhiy Taruta, the country’s 16th-richest man, according to Forbes Ukraine, was named governor of his home Donetsk region. Both oligarchs are seen as pro-European and Kolomoisky’s media have provided sympathetic coverage of the pro-Western protests.

    The move comes after other top oligarchs, including the country’s richest man and a key backer of Yanukvoych’s Party of Regions, Rinat Akhmetov, called for preserving Ukraine’s unity.

    Experts said the appointments demonstrated that despite its strong ties to Russia, industry leaders in eastern Ukraine who provide jobs to tens of thousands of Ukrainians are against a split-up.

    “The oligarchs taking on this responsibility is a demonstration of their commitment to an independent, sovereign and territorially integrated Ukraine,” former U.S. Ambassador John Edward Herbst told The Associated Press.

    For the head of a Kiev think tank, the decision to appoint the tycoons was a shrewd move.

    “It’s a creative solution, which was dictated by the current circumstances,” said Ihor Burakovsky, of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting. “A revolutionary situation requires revolutionary actions.”

    Kolomoisky, worth $2.4 billion, according to Forbes, told the AP his task would be to quell any possible unrest in his region, which he said was being fomented by agents from Russia.

    “I hope that my presence in the region will help cool the few hotheads that are present here and stabilize the situation, to bring calm so that the citizens of Ukraine living in the Dnipropetrovsk region would feel safe,” Kolomoisky said in a telephone interview.

    Asked whether he feared Russian troops in eastern Ukraine, Kolomoisky voiced hope there would be no violence.

    “We do have those concerns, but we hope that conflict between the Ukrainian people and the Russian people cannot take place,” Kolomoisky said. “I believe it is absolutely impossible.”

    The appointment of Kolomoisky, who is a prominent leader of the Jewish community in Ukraine, also belies Moscow’s claim that power in Kiev has been seized by ultranationalist militants. The new government appointed last week promised quick reforms to achieve closer ties with the European Union.

    In Donetsk, a coal-mining region that borders Russia, Taruta said he had never planned to serve in the government, but accepted the governor’s post because his country was finding itself “in dangerous times.”

    “My decision is a desire to protect our country,” said Taruta, who is the leader of a large industrial group and the head of a soccer club. “We Ukrainians have the right to a strong and united Ukraine.”

    A test in Taruta’s new job was quick to present itself. Clashes between protesters and police broke out early Thursday in Donetsk as police cleared pro-Russian demonstrators from the regional administration center who had raised a Russian flag over the building. The Ukrainian flag was once again hoisted over it.

    With all the oligarchs’ patriotism, self-interest was also a big factor in taking the governors’ jobs. With hundreds of millions of dollars invested in their industries, based mostly in eastern Ukraine, their empires could crumble were the country to split up or plunge into war.

    “The oligarchs understand very well that a significant part of their wealth is located and is formed in Ukraine,” Burakovsky said. “And if events start happening in the country … the problems that exist today, of course they affect the value of the business of our Ukrainian oligarchs.”

    The decision carries long-term risks, because the tycoons may want to use their posts to promote their business interests. Kolomoisky, for example, is seen as an ally of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was recently released from jail and who is believed to be wielding considerable influence through Turchnynov, her right-hand man. When Tymoshenko was prime minister in 2005, she was accused of lobbying for Kolomoisky’s interests.

    Well, the oligarchs may not be super popular, but hey, could be worse!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 8, 2014, 4:52 pm
  9. Dmytro Yarosh is throwing his hat into Ukraine’s presidential race. While he doesn’t really stand a chance of winning he does look pretty well positioned to help normalize far-right ideas in Ukraine’s politics:

    The New York Times
    Front and Center in Ukraine Race, a Leader of the Far Right


    KIEV, Ukraine — During the Independence Square protests, Dmytro Yarosh made a name for himself as an expert with firebombs. Now, just weeks later, Mr. Yarosh, leader of the right-wing coalition known as Right Sector, says he is running for president.

    When Russia’s politicized state media talk about the “neo-fascists” and “anti-Semites” who pulled off what the Kremlin calls a coup in Kiev and are now supposedly threatening Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, they have men like Mr. Yarosh in mind.

    But who these men really are and what they stand for, outside the caricatures in the Russian media’s fun-house mirror, are not always clear.

    Other than his unstinting nationalism, penchant for secrecy and leadership role in the street fighting, little is publicly known of Mr. Yarosh, beyond that he is 42, a graduate of a teachers college and a man who has been active in Ukraine’s once-fringe right-wing politics for most of his life.

    In one of his first public appearances over the weekend, Mr. Yarosh, who has the buzz cut and tightly coiled mannerisms of a military man, arrived at a hotel conference room in a scrum of bodyguards with pistols, all dressed in black. Newly appointed to the position of deputy director of Ukraine’s security council, he is clearly riding the popularity of the street fighters to stake a claim to a role in the political future of Ukraine.

    Mr. Yarosh has hinted at a role for his group in balancing the influence of a longtime player in Ukrainian politics, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, the former prime minister who emerged from prison after the fall of the old government with members of her political party, Fatherland, already holding the positions of acting president and prime minister.

    Before the protests, the nationalist party Svoboda had occupied the nationalist niche to the right of Ms. Tymoshenko. But Svoboda and Fatherland are now allied. Mr. Yarosh’s ambitions, observers of Ukrainian politics say, fall well short of winning a national election but do include supplanting Svoboda as the leading right-wing party.

    Mr. Yarosh’s bid for office, political commentators here say, is best understood as the latest maneuver in the ceaseless churn and infighting among the leadership of western Ukrainian nationalist groups — White Hammer, Patriots of Ukraine and the Trident of Stepan Bandera, the organization Mr. Yarosh helped found in the early 1990s. Setting this contest, between Svoboda and Right Sector, apart are the extraordinarily high geopolitical stakes today in a crisis the British foreign minister called the worst in Europe of the 21st century.

    “A lot of people fear that Maidan brought to power the old establishment,” said Vadim Karasev, director of the Institute of Global Strategy, a policy research organization in Kiev, referring to the protest site. In that atmosphere, he added, Mr. Yarosh has a distinct advantage: “He popped out of the square like a jack-in-the-box.”

    The Svoboda party, meanwhile, has moderated, and did not openly endorse the tactic of throwing firebombs when street fighting began in January. Svoboda was founded in 1991 under the name the Socialist-Nationalist Party of Ukraine, with a symbol that resembled a swastika. Its leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, met Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday and in December appeared onstage with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. Svoboda holds 37 seats in Parliament.

    Even with the widespread admiration for its role in toppling the loathed former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, Right Sector is not likely to win more than about 5 percent in any national election, political experts say.

    Recent polls show that Petro Poroshenko, an oligarch and owner of the Roshen confectionary company, leading in the presidential race, with the election scheduled for May 25. He is followed by the former champion boxer Vitali Klitschko, Ms. Tymoshenko and Serhei Tihipko, a former chairman of the national bank.

    “The Svoboda party, meanwhile, has moderated”. LOL.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 12, 2014, 9:36 am
  10. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/nazi-hunters-identify-living-members-of-death-squads-9768317.html
    Nazi hunters identify living members of death squads

    The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has identified dozens of former members of Nazi mobile death squads who might still be alive, and is pushing the German government for an investigation.

    The Wiesenthal Centre’s top Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, said that in September he sent the German Justice and Interior ministries a list of 76 men and four women who served in the so-called Einsatzgruppen.

    The Einsatzgruppen, made up of primarily SS and police personnel, followed Nazi Germany’s troops as they battled their way eastward in the early years of the war, rounding up and shooting Jews before the death camp system was up and running.

    According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, they had killed more than a million Soviet Jews and tens of thousands of others by the spring of 1943.

    “In the death camps the actual act of murder was carried out by a very small number of people – the people who put the gas into the gas chambers – but the actual act of murder in the Einsatzgruppen was carried out individually,” Mr Zuroff said. “Almost every person in the Einsatzgruppen was a murderer, a hands-on murderer.”

    ‘Time is running out,’ says Efraim Zuroff ‘Time is running out,’ says Efraim Zuroff (AP)

    Mr Zuroff narrowed down the list of possible suspects by choosing the youngest from a list of some 1,100 men with dates of birth known to his organisation, from the estimated 3,000 members of the death squads.

    All 80 would be very old if still alive, born between 1920 and 1924, Mr Zuroff said.

    “Time is running out,” he said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem. “Something has to be done.”

    Because of Germany’s strict privacy laws, the Wiesenthal Centre has been unable to confirm where the suspects live, but Mr Zuroff said that task, and determining if they’re still alive, should be relatively easy for police or prosecutors.

    “The hope is as many as possible will be alive, but there’s no guarantee, obviously,” he said. “But every person alive today is a victory of sorts.”

    Germany’s Interior Ministry had no immediate comment, but the Justice Ministry said it had passed the details of the letter to the special federal prosecutors’ office that investigates Nazi-era crimes.

    Posted by Vanfield | October 2, 2014, 2:44 pm
  11. This should be tragically interesting: Dmitro Yarosh is heading to parliament:

    Poroshenko claims landslide victory for pro-western parties in Ukraine elections
    Over 75% of voters supported Ukraine’s ‘course towards Europe,’ says Poroshenko.
    By Andreas Stein, Nikolaus von Twickel Oct. 27, 2014 | 12:22 AM

    REUTERS – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday claimed a landlside victory for pro-western parties in the country’s key parliamentary elections.

    More than half of the votes went to pro-government parties, and “a constitutional majority” of more than 75 per cent of voters supported the country’s course towards Europe, Poroshenko said in a statement.

    “The Ukrainian government won a compelling vote of confidence from the people,” he said, adding that he will speed up reforms in the crisis-hit country.

    And exit poll released after polls closed on Sunday said that the President’s newly formed party, the Poroshenko Bloc, stands to get 23 per cent, followed by prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s National Front with 21.3 per cent. The pro-European Samopomich party, led by the mayor of the western city of Lviv, came in third with 13.2 per cent.

    Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Pro-western Fatherland party managed to just meet the 5-per-cent hurdle for staying in the legislature by getting 5.6 per cent, according to the national exit poll conducted by three polling institutes.

    Yatsenyuk and many other prominent figures left the Fatherland party in August.
    Also in parliament, according to the poll, are: the nationalist Svoboda party (6.3 per cent); the Radical Party of populist politician Oleh Lyashko (6.4 per cent);
    and the Russia-leaning Opposition Bloc party (7.6 per cent).

    Among those who failed to get in are the Communists with 2.9 per cent and the nationalist Right Sector party with 2.4 per cent. However, exit polls predict that Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh won a direct seat in his native Dnipropetrovsk region, according to Svyatoslav Oliynyk, a deputy regional governor.

    The Ukrainian Election Commission said that the turnout stood at 52.9 per cent per cent, based on figures from 115 of the 198 voting districts, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reported.

    A dominance of pro-Western groups in the 450-seat unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, means a sharp break with the previous Rada, elected for a five-year period in 2012, which was dominated by Russia-leaning forces.

    Poroshenko has said he hopes that the snap election will bring more stability to the crisis-hit country, where more than 3,600 people have been killed in a conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the east.

    “I voted for Ukraine – single, indivisible, European,” Poroshenko said on Twitter after casting his ballot in Kiev Sunday afternoon.

    Earlier, the president showed up dressed in fatigues in a polling station in Kramatorsk, a city in the eastern Donetsk region that was recaptured by government forces in July.

    Poroshenko said that he aimed to protect the right to vote of the more than 10,000 soldiers serving in the region.

    Observers doubt, however, that a new government – expected to be formed as early as next week – will be able to end the fighting with pro-Russian separatists in the east quickly.

    Security was tight on Sunday, and some 84,000 police officers were on duty throughout Ukraine to ensure a peaceful vote, the Interior Ministry said.

    Voting did not take place in the districts controlled by the separatists, whose leaders have vowed to ignore Sunday’s polls because they consider Ukraine a neighbouring state. They have set their own elections for November 2.

    Turnout in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are partly rebel-held, was much lower than elsewhere – just 31 per cent in Donetsk and 27 per cent in Luhansk, according to official figures.

    Some 1.83 million voters were registered in both regions – only a fraction of their combined peacetime population of almost 7 million.

    Overall, 36 million Ukrainians are eligible to cast a ballot.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 26, 2014, 5:20 pm

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