Narratives v. reality

So. The EU and US encouraged a coup in Kiev in February 2014. [1]

Russia pointed out that the “revolution” included in its ranks a lot of quite extreme nationalist elements. This seems to be a fact. [2]

The West in general and US Secretary of State John Kerry in particular explained to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the more right-wing elements would become moderate and mainstream. This is Minister Lavrov reporting on his discussions with John Kerry from 30 March 2014:

No, I mentioned this to my Western partners a few times. When I brought this up, one of my key partners hesitated a bit at first and then said: “We’re watching Svoboda, but they’re members of the coalition and they’re moving towards the political mainstream.” It’s very hard to react to that, because that’s a level of a dialogue with facts in hands. Still, that is how it is. [3]

The same discussion is also reported on another Russian state channel where Mr Lavrov names John Kerry as the source of this explanation about the Svoboda nationalists becoming mainstream. [4]

But the person who has been arrested in Kiev for throwing a grenade at policemen during a nationalist demonstration against the implementation of Minsk 2 was a Svoboda party member… [5] In the parliament the nationalists are not accepting even relatively benign parts of Minsk 2 such as decentralisation. (Just wait till they get to an amnesty, an independent judiciary and the right for the East to maintain militias).

It doesn’t look like the Svoboda party is becoming “mainstream”. As usual on Ukraine the Western narrative is at odds with reality. No matter. They have so much power. The Western press will gloss it somehow. But – in general the Western narrative on Ukraine has really been blown out of the water. Even the most brain-washed subjects must be able to see that the February 2014 coup in Kiev was not really the work of peaceful hymn-singing democracy protesters. [6][7]

Incidentally the clip of Nuland speaking [7] sums up the problem with US/EU policy on Ukraine. Yes. By all means some even perhaps the majority of Ukrainians do want a “European future”. Even (the subtext) a NATO future. But the people of Crimea didn’t. They expressed that view in an overwhelming vote. And in the Eastern regions of Ukraine support for EU membership and NATO membership runs at less than 20%. The figures are from a Gallup poll and so cannot be dismissed as “Russian propaganda”. [8] So. There are significant numbers of people in Ukraine who did not back Maidan. These people were happy with the elected President Yanochovich. Therefore any reasonable and sensible solution in Ukraine needs to balance the aspirations of all these people. This is exactly what Russia is proposing; a federal Ukraine with some degree of regional autonomy. The problem is caused by the US and the EU who want the whole pie. They back the pro NATO pro EU section of the population, shut their eyes to the nationalist elements amongst them, and simply ignore the 25% of the population who don’t believe in the European direction in Ukraine. This is a recipe for disaster.

(Also in the same clip of Nuland speaking she talks about security forces driving a bull-dozer at protesters. That may have happened. Russian state TV however showed unmistakable footage of protesters driving a bull-dozer at police lines. [9] But, hey, perhaps they were “singing hymns” as they did it?)


8. (See the fact box on this page ”So much for democracy in Ukraine”)

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer