“Ukraine’s Democratic Coup d’Etat: Washington Supports a Neo-Nazi Coalition Government” with Michel Chossudovsky.
The political and economic crisis in the Ukraine; involvement of the United States and the European Union in the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Ukraine President; the 2004 Orange Revolution in that country; its geography; the involvement of the International Monetary Fund and NATO in Ukraine’s history; lustration or mass disqualification of the members of Viktor Yanukovych’s government.
Guns and Butter, for March 5, 2014 – 1:00pm
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Michel Chossudovsky is an economist and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, based in Montreal, Quebec. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, War and Globalization: The Truth Behind September 11th and America’s War on Terrorism.
He is the author of many recent articles on the crisis in the Ukraine including “The US Has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine.” Today we discuss the political and economic crisis in the Ukraine, the involvement of the United States and the European Union in the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Ukraine president, the 2004 Orange Revolution in that country, its geography and the involvement of the International Monetary Fund and NATO in Ukraine’s history.
Bonnie Faulkner: Michel Chossudovsky, welcome.
Michel Chossudovsky: Delighted to be on Guns and Butter.
Bonnie Faulkner: With regard to the current upheaval in the Ukraine, what was the substance of the agreement to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union instead of Russia that President Yanukovych refused to sign because democratically elected president Yanukovych took refuge in Russia and still says he’s president?
Michel Chossudovsky: Absolutely. That agreement would have been devastating for the Ukraine because it would have put the Ukraine in the hands of Western creditors, it would have led to a subsequent process of impoverishment and it would also have led to the demise of bilateral relations with Russia, which from an economic standpoint were quite beneficial to Ukraine. It was a deal with regard to the pipelines and gas using Ukraine as a transit as well as bilateral relations between the two governments.
The issue is that upon Yanukovych’s refusal to sign that agreement (i.e. that agreement was put on hold), we then saw the emergence of protest movements and those protest movements were supported by the European Union and the United States.
One suspects that there was an intelligence operation, a very careful timeline of events leading up to what one might describe, though it’s a contradictory term, a democratic coup d’état in the sense that the Parliament actually passed a vote while the protests were ongoing, leading to the demise of the president. But that decision of the Parliament was totally illegal because you cannot fire a president under the Ukrainian constitution. It’s a long, drawn-out process. In the United States of America you cannot simply fire President Obama by a vote of the US Congress. And this was a vote which was taken at a period when most of the members of Parliament weren’t even there.
Then subsequently what happened was that they issued an arrest warrant accusing President Yanukovych of having committed mass murder by ordering the police to kill civilians in Maidan Square. In fact, if we look more carefully, those killings were conducted by Neo-Nazi gunmen which actually were part of the political landscape. One of the most important parties [which played a central role in leading the protests] there is Svoboda, which is a Neo-Nazi political party and which is part of that coalition.
So that in a sense is the background. The question is was it a legal coup d’état to fire the president? The Parliament cannot fire presidents. He’s elected head of state; they cannot simply fire him.
Now, the logic and the history of these protest movements is very important because the head of state is accused of “mass murder of civilians” during the bloody riots and clashes with police forces on Maidan Independence Square.
But when you look at it more carefully you realize that this mass murder for which he is accused bears the fingerprints of the Right Sector and the Neo-Nazi party, Svoboda, which incidentally is supported and financed through various channels by the United States and the European Union. You have the National Endowment for Democracy, you have the CIA operating in the background, you have the various so-called entities, NGOs, which are funded by the West and you have also paid gunmen, death squads, which played a very key role in the last few days of the riots before the decision of the Parliament to fire the president. I’m referring to the escalation of violence on the 18th of February after the Right Sector Neo-Nazi rioters and thugs – first, they attempted to take over the Ukrainian parliament and they were repelled by anti-riot police and then on the following two days we had incidents of sniper killings. That was on the 20th of February, two days later.
And on the 20th of February, according to reports, more than 20 people were killed by professional snipers in a matter of a couple of hours.
Now, the media didn’t really report on that. They mentioned it but it was assumed that these snipers were government.
Now, one might ask oneself why would the government start shooting on civilians? There was exchange of gunfire because many of those Neo-Nazi militia were wearing firearms. They had weapons. And there was an exchange of gunfire.
But as far as shooting on innocent people from the rooftops, this has all the hallmarks of a carefully planned intelligence operation. It happened within a few hours, it was at random on innocent people and then what happened is that these killings were used to accuse President Viktor Yanukovych of having ordered mass murder.
And I should mention – and it’s very important – that while these snipers were killing civilians – and that was acknowledged by the mainstream media – the riot police had entered into the square with a view to dismantling the barricades and they were using rubber bullets and conventional anti-riot equipment. They were not using live ammunition against the protestors in the square. Where the live ammunition came from was from the rooftops. And then there was also an exchange of gunfire between police and the Neo-Nazi militia who were armed to the teeth with automatic weapons and so on.
Now, the issue there is one of extreme forms of media disinformation. I’ve been listening to the reports on CBC, Canadian radio and television, Al Jazeera, US network television and so on, and there is never any word to the effect that they are Neo-Nazi gunmen. Not only did they integrate these protest movements but they actually lead the protest movements. They will talk about fundamentalists or extremists or radicals but they will never say that these people are Neo-Nazis with a whole history behind them and with a history of atrocities and so on.
The Right Sector are the militia and the Svoboda is the sort of civilian arm of that militia. They operate in tandem and they glorify a major figure of World War II, Bandera. It’s the hero. Bandera happened to be a Nazi collaborator during World War II. He was, in fact, very much instrumental in sending something like 900,000 Jews to the death camps, according to data and mortalities. So there was a certain section of these Neo-Nazi groups who were, in fact, collaborators of the Nazis during World War II and essentially what is now ongoing is that that particular formation of Neo-Nazis, which pledged their support to the Nazis of World War II, they are involved in atrocities and they are also leading the protest movements.
Now, why is this important? Because the Neo-Nazi supporters of Stepan Bandera, the hero of World War II who was a collaborator with the Third Reich, these people are now mingling with representatives from the European Union and from the United States. So you have Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok who meets up with US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Now, we know about Victoria Nuland who said some bad things against the European Union, the EU, and we also know that the issue of regime change was contemplated at the policy level and in the State Department with the intelligence community and so on.
But what is never mentioned is that Victoria Nuland is buddy-buddy with the head of a Neo-Nazi party, and a Neo-Nazi party which is not committed to any kind of democracy that we might expect within Western society. And then you have a whole bunch of these representatives from Western countries who mingle with Neo-Nazis. John McCain is, of course, notorious. He goes to the Ukraine and again he meets up with the Svoboda Party leader, Victoria Nuland, and then you have Catherine Ashton who is the foreign policy chief of the European Union. Other leaders don’t necessarily mingle but John Kerry, Francois Holland, Angela Merkel, among others, openly pay lip service to Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine. And that is something which the mainstream media simply does not mention. They will say there are extremists within the protest movement – they will acknowledge that, but they will never say a) that they are leading the protest movement because they are armed gunmen. Secondly, they will not acknowledge the fact that they have Neo-Nazi roots and thirdly, they will not acknowledge the fact that they are part of this bogus coalition government which was put together through a vote in Parliament at the height of the protest movement when most of the Members of Parliament were not even there and then what you get is some kind of government which then proclaims its authority and issues an arrest warrant directed against the former head of state.
And what is fundamental there is that Viktor Yanukovych was removed from power not by an act of Parliament but by a threat to his life. He was threatened and he left the country in haste. He did not give up his position as head of state and I think what is striking here is that those killings for which Yanukovych was accused were perpetrated by these Neo-Nazi elements in cahoots, in coordination with the Western military alliance, the United States and no doubt US intelligence was involved throughout.
The Right Sector had enough public support to destroy the national monument to the Red Army soldiers who died liberating Ukraine from Nazi Germany. You write that the riots in Maidan Independence Square and other places were “staged and carefully orchestrated.” What is the evidence for this and what was the timeline and specific political objectives of these riots?
There’s evidence that these riots were staged because right from the beginning you had the deployment of militia. These people are not civilian protestors. There was a large number of people and there was a very careful timeline of activities. The protest movement, the decision in the Parliament, then an arrest warrant against the president and so on and so forth, but I think we have to go back in history to the 2004 so-called Orange Revolution. It spearheaded into power a Western proxy government of President Viktor Yushchenko and the controversial prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. That happened in 2004. That protest movement was in effect very much rigged by organizations which were supported by the West and they were very similar to other Color Revolutions which took place in different countries. But what was distinct in that period is that you didn’t have the neo-fascist militia involved.
Bonnie Faulkner: Now, the 2004 Orange Revolution in the Ukraine was also directed at this same Viktor Yanukovych, wasn’t it?
Michel Chossudovsky: In 2004 Yanukovych was prime minister and Viktor Yushchenko became president. So what happened is that Yanukovych at the time was the target of a very carefully staged pro-EU protest movement and this was launched by an organization which was called Poral. And Poral was very similar to the surge in Otpor organization. It was an NGO which was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy and so on. It typically had the fingerprints of these Color Revolutions. It was not an armed insurrection if we compare it to the present protest movement and it did not involved in a significant way the actions of Neo-Nazi militia. But nonetheless, the geopolitics behind it many regard as similar to what we have today. It was essentially geared towards imposing the neoliberal agenda. President Yushchenko was really an IMF appointee. He was the architect of the devastating macro-economic reforms which were imposed on the Ukraine in the early- to mid-90s and he was the preferred candidate and they spearheaded him into the seat of power. And he was acting on behalf of the West, on behalf of the European Union and the United States.
At the time, what was also very important and it is today, as well – is the relationship of the Ukraine to the Western military alliance, namely to NATO. So essentially what was at stake was really a conflict between a pro-NATO, pro-European, pro-IMF president on one hand and a more nationalist Ukrainian option which would also be allied with Moscow. And the 2004 movement was also a pro-EU/NATO agenda.
Now, what distinguishes the present protest movement is that it is no longer a protest movement per se; it is an armed insurrection. Because elements within this protest movement are involved in acts of terrorism and arson. The Right Sector Neo-Nazi Militia are there killing civilians, they are shooting at the police. The civilian deaths are then blamed on the government and that is precisely the content of this so-called arrest warrant against Yanukovych, accusing him of killing civilians when those civilians were killed by Neo-Nazi snipers from the rooftops and coordinated, most probably, by Western special forces and intelligence.
This is not something which is unique to Ukraine. We have sniper firing in the protest movement during the election campaign in Venezuela. We had sniper firing at the very outset of the insurrection in Syria and inevitably when those sniper fires take place what happens is that civilians are killed and then the government is blamed for the deaths of civilians when, in fact, those sniper firings were part of an intelligence operation to create conditions of conflict and instability.
Bonnie Faulkner: The country is almost broke. It is seeking emergency credit from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF is currently considering an emergency loan program to the Ukraine. Didn’t the IMF intervene in Ukraine in 1994 with devastating consequences?
Michel Chossudovsky: Absolutely. In fact, in 1993 Viktor Yushchenko, who subsequently became president in the 2004 elections, was appointed head of the newly formed National Bank of Ukraine and he was hailed as a daring reformer. But, in fact, he was among the main architects of the IMF’s deadly economic medicine. In fact, the IMF was the architect; he was their man in Kiev and he worked hand-in-glove to implement this historic agreement, which was actually signed in Madrid in 1994.
Now, that 1994 agreement was absolutely devastating because it led to a dramatic plunge in real wages. The price of bread increased overnight by 300 percent, electricity prices went up by 600 percent and public transportation and namely fuel prices, essentially, went up by 900 percent and there you had the tumbling of the standard of living.
Now, another important occurrence was the fate of the breadbasket. We know that the Ukraine was a very important producer of wheat and what happened is that World Bank negotiators actually imposed a regime of trade liberalization whereby US grain surpluses and food aid would be dumped on the domestic market, contributing to destabilizing the breadbasket. Why did it destabilize the breadbasket? Because simultaneously the price of transportation and energy went up by 900 percent so that essentially farmers were pushed into bankruptcy and their domestic market was taken over by the import of these highly subsidized grain surpluses which came from the United States. It’s something that has happened in many countries, but essentially, we say it’s like bringing coal to Newcastle, where Newcastle was historically the center of producing coal in the United Kingdom. So you’re bringing wheat to the breadbasket with the purpose of destroying the breadbasket. Ukraine’s agriculture was destabilized, its industrial base was also affected by the trade package as well as the collapses in wages and essentially, these earlier reforms set the stage for the demise of the Ukrainian economy.
I should mention that what is contemplated by the IMF today is a continuation of IMF ministrations in the course of the last 20 years and they will lead to a further process of impoverishment beyond what has been achieved in these past adjustment programs, to use the World Bank and the IMF terminology. It’s called the Structural Adjustment Program.
Bonnie Faulkner: Let’s talk about the geography of the region. Hasn’t the Crimea in the south and the eastern part of Ukraine historically been part of Russia, or more specifically, the Soviet Union. Crimea only became part of Ukraine in 1954, I’ve read, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction from Russia, a move that was more of a formality, when both Ukraine and Russia were part of the Soviet Union. So the Soviet breakup in 1991 meant that Crimea landed in an independent Ukraine. Isn’t this also true for parts of eastern Ukraine?
Michel Chossudovsky: The borders of Ukraine have been changing in the course of the last few hundred years. Clearly, in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, during the Soviet period, those borders didn’t really have much meaning. There were Russian communities in the Ukraine overlapping with Ukrainians in the Russian Federation. One should understand that the history of Russia and the Ukraine have been integrated for the last several – I would say for more than 1,000 years. The language is almost identical and it’s very difficult to dissociate the Ukraine, Belorussia and Russia; they’re part of the same Slavic history. And the Ukraine has been caught in geopolitics.
After the Cold War the Ukraine declared its independence; that was in 1991. And that independence project was in effect supported by the United States and it was also supported ultimately by Gorbachev and Yeltsin to the extent that in December 1991 the Ukraine Parliament endorsed the decision to recognize Ukraine as an independent state. But at the same time, it’s very difficult to dissociate the Ukraine from Russia. It’s a little bit like Texas wishing to separate from the United States of America. It’s been part of Russian history for over 1,000 years.
Bonnie Faulkner: Hasn’t NATO been trying to suck in Ukraine for years? For instance, how was Ukraine affected by the 1999 NATO agreement?
Michel Chossudovsky: Well, in fact, at 1999 at the height of the war on Yugoslavia – in other words, that was NATO forces sent in to Yugoslavia – an agreement was signed between a number of former Soviet republics and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and this was held in Washington and it also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the founding of NATO. This agreement was with the following countries: Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
Now, if we look at these countries we’ll see that they’re located at very strategic points of the former Soviet Union: With Georgia, the Ukraine and Moldova, it’s the Black Sea and with Azerbaijan, it’s the Caspian Sea Basin. That’s the crossroads of strategic pipelines and essentially the objective of NATO at the time was to integrate these countries into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with a view to confronting Russia in the Black Sea and in the Caspian Sea Basin. That area, of course, is strategic because it’s at the crossroads of major pipeline routes, it’s an area of wealth in oil and natural gas and it is important with regard to maritime routes. We also had simultaneously in the ’90s, slightly before the signing of this agreement, the wars in Chechnya and we know that those wars in Chechnya and Dagestan were, in fact, supported by the CIA. In other words, the insurgent Chechen rebels were affiliated to al Qaeda. These rebel leaders had been trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so that essentially, there was an objective to destabilize the former Soviet republics, to impoverish them.
I should mention that the two countries which were impoverished in the wake of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union were the Ukraine and Georgia. According to IMF statistics, the wages in Ukraine collapsed by 75 percent in relation to the Soviet era. In other words, in a matter of a few years. In 1994, those wages had collapsed by 75 percent so that there was a mass impoverishment and the situation in Georgia was similar. There was a massive collapse in the standard of living.
When we look at the geopolitics of that region, we must understand that the Russians are still dominant on the Black Sea. They have their naval facilities based in Sebastopol in the Crimea. They have signed an agreement with the Ukrainian government which allows them to stay there for the next 25 years, beyond 2017, so essentially it’s a bilateral agreement which was signed with the outgoing president, Yanukovych, and it’s, of course, of crucial significance. So we can see there that since this agreement was signed with Yanukovych, the fate of President Yanukovych has a bearing on this relationship. But I should mention that that agreement, which allows Russia to deploy its naval facilities in the Black Sea out of its port in the Crimea, is a binding agreement between the two governments irrespective of who actually is in power. And it is also related to an agreement between the Ukraine and Russia with regards to the contracts on natural gas, selling natural gas to the Ukraine as well as the shipment of natural gas through Ukrainian territory.
Bonnie Faulkner: Well, yes. The Russian state gas company, Gazprom, said that Ukraine owed 1.59 billion in overdue bills for imported gas. Russia is also talking about eliminating its discounted gas price for Ukraine since this whole upheaval has taken place. You were discussing the 1999 NATO agreement.
Michel Chossudovsky: Yes. Let me give you details on that NATO agreement.
Bonnie Faulkner: It just wasn’t clear to me exactly what the agreement was.
Michel Chossudovsky: The agreement, the GUAM – GUAM is entitled Organizations of Democracy and Economic Development – and it was signed in 1999. It’s charter was then adopted in Yalta in the Crimea in June of 2001. Subsequently Uzbekistan withdrew and essentially sided much more with Moscow. Initially, this agreement was intended to enable the extension of NATO into the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea Basin. And we can see from the map of that region, first of all you have the Ukraine and Moldova, including, of course, Crimea, which legally is part of the Ukraine – constituting a large portion of the northern Black Sea coastline including the Sea of Azov. And then you have Turkey to the south and then you have Georgia and Azerbaijan, which respectively have bordered on the eastern part of the Black Sea and on the western part, as far as Azerbaijan is concerned, of the Caspian Sea Basin. So this agreement was very crucial from a geopolitical standpoint.
And eventually what NATO had in mind was the militarization of the Black Sea and of the Caspian Sea Basin. That objective is still on the books and current events point to a confrontation between Moscow on the one hand and NATO on the other in the Black Sea. NATO is telling the Russians that they have no right to be in Sebastopol because Sebastopol is Ukrainian territory. Sebastopol is where they have their naval base. So it’s a situation where in effect Russia and the North Atlantic military alliance, NATO, are in a state of potential confrontation. Given the fact that NATO’s objective is to militarize the entire Black Sea/Caspian Sea Basin, we can see that to the south of the Black Sea we have Turkey. And, of course, Turkey is a very important member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and that’s where a lot of NATO bases are located.
So this is a very crucial geopolitical issue – the control of the Black Sea – and it very much depends on relations between the Ukraine, on the one hand, and Russia, and under the previous government the Russians had a lease agreement whereby their naval forces would be based in Sebastopol and that they would be able to deploy those naval forces throughout the Black Sea Basin.
Bonnie Faulkner: It looks like Putin has gotten permission from the Russian Parliament to move troops into the Ukraine and especially into the Crimea.
Michel Chossudovsky: I think it’s significant that the Upper House of the Russian Parliament on March 1st approved the deployment of Russian troops inside Ukrainian territory. And this was decided in view of the fact that Moscow does not recognize the coalition government which has been illegally installed by the West in defiance of the authority of the outgoing president. So the issue really depends very much on the legitimacy of the outgoing president, Yanukovych, and his relationship to Moscow. Even if he’s in exile, he’s still the president of the country and it’s important. Both Russia and many other countries, including China, do not recognize this new coalition government. So if you don’t recognize the new coalition government the former head of state has the authority to enter into bilateral relations with Russia, which may involve the deployment of troops in the Crimea and in southern Russia.
We have to understand that while the United States, the European Union, the self-proclaimed international community are always talking about anti-Semitism – and ironically, prominent scholars and writers are accused of being anti-Semitic when they criticize the state of Israel – but here we have an International community which is supporting a Neo-Nazi party which in turn constitutes the core of the coalition government.
We must understand that there is a sizeable Jewish community in the Ukraine, mostly concentrated in the capital city, Kiev. It’s about 200,000 people. This community is described as one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in the world with many active Jewish organizations and institutions. The Ukrainian rabbi in Kiev, and I quote, asked Kiev Jews to “leave the city and if possible the country” due to fears that Jews might be targeted by Svoboda and the brownshirts of the Right Sector.”
And when you look at the Western media, I hardly saw anything in any of the mainstream media discussing this issue, whether it’s the Washington Post or New York Times, etc., there was an article in the New York Review of Books and what they say is a total fabrication. They portray the Jewish community as an unbending supporter of the Maidan protest movement led by the Right Sector Neo-Nazis and they even say that the Jewish leaders have made a point of supporting the movement. So they dispel the notion that this Jewish community is threatened despite the fact that the main rabbi in Kiev has said the lives of Jews are threatened. But as far as the West is concerned this is a non-issue and they don’t even discuss it.
Now, the Israeli leaders inevitably have raised the issue but they have also avoided and distorted the underlying realities because they say, yes, there’s a Jewish community in Kiev, but they say – and I’m quoting the Jerusalem Post – they say “no information of Jews being targeted as of yet.” They then say based on expert opinion that ,in fact, the two incidents of anti-Semitic violence, which they acknowledged, was really due to government provocation. So they lay the blame on the outgoing government of President Yanukovych.
Bonnie Faulkner: These Neo-Nazi parties could also be a threat to other groups, right, other political groups, communists, etc., don’t you think?
Michel Chossudovsky: They are a threat to everybody. They are a threat to the entire country. But I think they are also a threat to the whole socio-economic fabric of the country because they are operating in tandem with the neoliberals.
Neoliberalism and neofascism join hands, so to speak, because in as much as they establish a neofascist government in Ukraine, that neofascist government is going to take its orders from Washington and Brussels, from the International Monetary Fund, which acts on behalf of Wall Street.
Strong “economic medicine” will be implemented, the standard of living will collapse and these Neo-Nazi collaborators of the European Union and the United States will be there essentially as a mechanism of social control. So we must understand we’re moving towards an authoritarian form of government integrated by the extreme right, by Neo-Nazi elements which already have a track record, and that can only lead to disaster for the entire Ukrainian population.
Bonnie Faulkner: Since democratically elected president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych has been run out of Kiev and has taken refuge in Russia, a so-called coalition government has been installed. What do we know about the new coalition government and who comprises it?
Michel Chossudovsky: The coalition government is under the helm of the Fatherland Party, and the Fatherland Party controls the majority of the portfolios. But if we look carefully, this transitional government has granted key positions to the two Neo-Nazi political entities, namely Svoboda and the Right Sector. In other words, we’re not dealing with a transitional government in which Neo-Nazi elements integrate the fringe of the coalition. And in particular, these two main Neo-Nazi entities have been entrusted with key positions, which grants them de facto control over the armed forces, police and national security, and that, of course, is crucial at this particular crossroads.
One individual, Andriy Parubiy, who was co-founder of the Neo-Nazi Social National Party of Ukraine, which was subsequently renamed Svoboda, was appointed Secretary of the National Security and the National Defence Committee. Now, this committee is central to the formulation of foreign policy, national security, military deployments and so on. It’s a key position which oversees the ministry of defence, the armed forces, law enforcement, national security and intelligence. And this individual, Andriy Parubiy, was one of the main leaders of the Orange Revolution in 2004 and he is also referred to, by the Western media, as the commandant of the Euro-Maidan Movement, which means that he was in charge of the armed insurgency in the last few weeks.
Another individual who belongs to the Right Sector and who leads the so-called Right Sector delegation in the Parliament is Dmytro Yarosh. Now, Dmytro Yarosh is actually the leader of the brownshirt Neo-Nazi paramilitary during the Euro-Maidan protest movement. He’s a racist, he’s a Neo-Nazi, he’s called for the disbanding of the Party of the regions and the Communist Party and he directly led the armed insurrection. So we’re dealing with two individuals who are, in fact, Neo-Nazis and these two individuals have been appointed to key positions, which enable them to decide on the issues pertaining to law enforcement as well as armed forces through their roles in the National Security and the National Defence Committee. These are not portfolio assignments. They’re not ministries but in some regards this National Security and National Defence Committee overrides individual ministries.
Now, you have other positions, which are absolutely crucial. The Neo-Nazi Party, Svoboda, also controls the judicial process through the appointment of Oleh Makhnitsky, who is a Svoboda Party member, he’s a Member of Parliament and he’s been appointed to the position of Prosecutor General of Ukraine. Then we can ask ourselves, what kind of justice will prevail with a renown Neo-Nazi in charge of the prosecutor’s office of Ukraine? In other words, it would correspond to the office of the attorney general in the United States.
Then you have other cabinet positions allocated to former members of the Neo-Nazi fringe organization which is called Ukrainian National Assembly, Ukrainian National Self-Defence. That formation is no longer in Parliament but several of its former members who have integrated other parties in the Parliament have been allocated key positions. One is Tatiana Chornovol and she is known for her role in the UNSO and she’s been named Chair of the government’s Anti-corruption Committee so that enables her to wage some kind of internal witch hunt against senior officials in the government, municipalities and so on.
And then there’s another interesting appointment. It is Yegor Sobolev. He is also linked up to Neo-Nazi groups but not in a less formal fashion. He was appointed to chair what is called the Lustration Committee. The Lustration Committee essentially has the mandate to purge the followers of President Yanukovych from government and public life. It’s to organize a Neo-Nazi witch hunt against all opponents of the new Neo-Nazi regime and the targets of Lustration are people, of course, in positions of authority within the civil servants, regional governments, research institutes and so on. And the term Lustration refers to what is described as “mass disqualification” of people associated with the former government. It has inevitable racial overtones and in all likelihood it will also be directed against Communists, Russians and members of the Jewish community.
Bonnie Faulkner: Well, then, how do we qualify the Obama administration, which is supporting this Neo-Nazi takeover? That’s pretty much what it amounts to.
Michel Chossudovsky: I think that’s a very important question and I think that’s a question for the American public to answer. If the Obama administration, including the State Department and the US Congress – because it’s a bipartisan agenda – supports the development of a Neo-Nazi government, supports the installation of a Neo-Nazi government, it certainly reflects on these individuals. Because the sponsors of a Neo-Nazi regime in the Ukraine are people in high office – people in the White House, People in the State Department and the US Congress. In other words, can we say that they are responsible or can we point to the fact that this implies de facto the existence of Neo-Nazi or fascist tendencies within the various institutions of the United States state apparatus, including the US Congress?
Because if the “flowering of democracy” in Ukraine, to use the words of the New York Times, which in effect coincides with the installation of a Neo-Nazi government – if that flowering of democracy is supported as part of a bipartisan consensus we might imply from that that the bipartisan consensus has Neo-Nazi tendencies. And that is something I think everybody has to reflect upon. Supporting Neo-Nazism in any country in the world, from my standpoint, is an act of complicity, particularly in the Ukraine where the Neo-Nazi parties have a long history and where the forefathers were involved in atrocities directed against the Ukrainian population but also the Jewish community in the Ukraine.
I think the support to Neo-Nazi elements in the Ukraine is a reflection of the current status of US foreign policy under John Kerry. There’s no hesitation in having, very openly, ties with al Qaeda, including photo ops with John McCain with terrorist leaders inside Syria on the one hand and having buddy-buddy relations with Neo-Nazi leaders in the Ukraine. All avenues are on the table, including support to Neo-Nazis and jihadist terrorists.
Lest we forget, the United States supported German conglomerates during World War II and the privatization program launched by Adolph Hitler in 1933 was, in some regards, similar to that adopted in the UK under Margaret Thatcher. The first thing they did was to privatize the railways, and then they privatized the banks and they privatized heavy industry, so that, in effect, the thrust of the Nazi economy in the course of the 1930s was not the state; it was the private sector and it was a profit-driven military agenda.
Bonnie Faulkner: Michel Chossudovsky, thank you very much.
Michel Chossudovsky: Delighted to be on the program. Thank you very much.
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