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Why Europe is obsessed with fighting ‘Russian propaganda’

The European Union relies on propaganda against Russia to draw attention away from critical economic shortcomings.

Haneul Na'avi

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“See how elastic our prejudices grow when once love comes to bend them.” — Moby Dick

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) convened on 23 Nov. to enact yet another non-legislative motion to combat “Russian propaganda”.

The EU resolution, created by European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) member Anna Fotgya (Poland), rallied parliamentarians in a torch and pitchfork session to scapegoat Russian media for exposing the hard truths about incompetent Western leadership.

Citing the typical Crimean ‘annexation’,“[…] the European Parliament condemned Russia’s state media as ‘disinformation and propaganda’ designed to ‘increase Russia’s influence and weaken the EU’, [which] passed by 304 votes to 179, with 208 abstentions”, the Moscow Times reported.

The resolution also called for “investing more in awareness raising, education, online and local media, investigative journalism and information literacy”.

Russian Spokesperson Maria Zakharova promptly responded to the accusations:

“[It] is beyond my understanding what our Western colleagues are so afraid of. I cannot call this anything but fear […] [the resolution] is stupidity and fear through and through.”

Europe’s “investments” in the Russian economy, including backing regime change in Ukraine and Syria, enacting unilateral sanctions, and bailing out Ukraine’s criminal government, have yet to yield any return on investment.

In fact, evidence shows that the EU has placed stock by ignoring its trade deficit with Russia and forging deeper ties to the indebted United States economy.

In 2014, Germany was Russia’s second-largest EU trading partner (6.6%) after the Netherlands (8.7%). Conversely, Russia was the EU’s fourth largest trading partner in 2015. Germany’s successes in the single market made it an easy target for American imperialism.

To increase its market share, US officials targeted Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands—Russia’s top three trading partners—with sanctions to procure future negotiations and trade deals.

A 2014 CNN article explained this in perfect detail:

[…] the European Union exports about 100 billion euros worth of goods and services to Russia and takes in roughly 200 billion euros of the latter’s imports […] For Germany, curtailed trade with Russia could really bite. And considering as the former is Europe’s biggest economy the implications would be felt well beyond its borders.

German financial analyst Ernest Wolff extrapolates from this observation in a Sputnik article:

“Over 6,000 German companies are trading with Russia, and many of them are now experiencing difficulties, and this is exactly what the sanctions were aimed at,” he stated.

“[It] clearly plays into the hands of the US geopolitical interests and American capital. If the US employment and labor law is introduced in European companies, this will bring the US one step closer towards US global dominance,” he mentioned.

Several conditions within EU-Russian trade became evident in 2014, which are intrinsically linked to the desperate US-EU EuroMaidan colour revolution.

Firstly, it was an attempt to circumvent Europe’s chasmic trade deficit. From 2005-2015, the EU traded disproportionately with Russia, incurring a deficit of over $90b in 2011.

The same year, EU and US officials began secret consultations of a future agreement “based on the recommendations of the EU-US High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth that steered the deliberations on the future EU-US relations,” the EU Commission reported. The ‘agreement’ would later become the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

According to a 2013 London Centre for Economic Policy Research study, [it] “could bring the EU economic gains of €119 billion a year [and] translate on average to an extra €545 in disposable income each year for a family of four in the EU.”

In reality, this was to counteract Russia’s positive trade balance of $196b (2011), with $506b in exports and $310b in imports; the highest on record.

Conversely, the US incurred a trade deficit of over $72b (2011), with imports at $2.06t and exports at 1.34t. America’s massive trade and fiscal deficits, exacerbated by the 2008 financial crisis and endless war in the Middle East, increased America’s appetite for surplus value in new markets to make up for the deficit, using conflict to divide the EU from Russia and finalise plans for the TTIP.

Furthermore, Russia’s growing Economic Complexity Index (ECI), which attracts trading partners to bundled export packages, also prompted the shift in policy. Russia’s ECI ranking almost doubled from its lowest point in 2009 (50) to 2014 (27), 5 points away from its record high in 1992 (22), diversifying its markets to weather the US-inspired 2008 global financial crisis.

The Council of the European Union then worked to entice as many countries away from Russia’s geopolitical orbit amidst the chaos, on behalf of Washington:

Major progress was achieved in the field of visa liberalisation with the Republic of Moldova with entry into force of the visa free regime in April. The visa facilitation agreement and readmission agreement entered into force on 1 January 2014 between EU and Armenia and on 1 September 2014 between EU and Azerbaijan […] The EU began negotiations on Visa Facilitation Agreement with Belarus.

Nevertheless, the subterfuge backfired. Armenia, instead of pivoting westward, joined the Eurasian Economic Union, blocking progress on the South Stream pipeline and fuelling tensions with EU vassal state Azerbaijan.

Additionally, Moldova’s leadership recently became ‘pro-Russian’, thanks to Party of Socialists’ Chairman Igor Dodon winning the country’s 2016 elections, infuriating Brussels even further.

The main problem for Brussels lies not in Moscow, but in the streets of Europe, as anti-TTIP protesters denounce the theft of worker’s rights, increased imports of genetically-modified foods, repressive copyright laws, as well as impending corporate rule over individual sovereign states.

So, how has ‘big, bad Vlad’ undermined the ‘weakened’ the ‘free and democratic’ European Union?

Amidst Western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin has made it even easier to do business in Russia by creating Special Investment Contracts (SICs), which “support potential investors in transferring business into Russia” as well as create “new facilities and receiving the status of Russian domestic [manufacturers]”, quotes the Moscow Times.

This has attracted multinational businesses to Russia and facilitated joint ventures between Moscow and other economic powerhouses. EuroChem, one of Europe’s largest mineral fertiliser producers based in Zug, Switzerland, recently signed a massive SIC at the 2016 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Sochi, Russia.

“EuroChem’s investment in three projects [Kingisepp, EuroChem-VolgaKaliy and EuroChem-Usolskiy] totals approximately RUB 287 billion while their implementation will create 3,750 new jobs in the aforementioned regions and will ensure annual tax revenues of RUB 22 billion,” the company highlighted.

Success stories such as these have increased Russia’s standing in the World Bank Doing Business ranking for startups, moving it from 37 to 26 (↑11%), mitigating sanctions in 2016.

Due to Europe’s counterproductive actions, Russia has also purged much of the EU’s market share and passed it to China—its largest trading partner. A Bruegel working paper elaborates:

[…] the EU’s relative comparative advantage is being chipped away as it continues to lose market share, and the question really is how much this might be related to China’s increasing export capacity. […] China has moved from supplying only 3.9 percent of Russia’s imports in 1998 to more than 21 percent in 2014. In the meantime the EU’s share has gradually decreased from nearly 70 percent to 55 percent.

Additionally, the largest indicator of Russia’s intentions with the European Union stems from the MIR Initiative, a large-scale freighting infrastructure project headed by Dr. Ernest Sultanov.

According to the organisation’s two charters, signed in Turin, Italy and Sochi, Russia, Moscow will play an indispensable role as an international conduit between Asia and Europe. The initiative makes a ‘Silk Road Metro‘ of the entire Asian and European continent, placing Moscow at a sensitive, critical junction to transport both freighters and passengers via high-speed rail.

Chinese President Xi spearheaded the ambitious New Silk Road project in 2013, which is a modernised version of intercontinental trade during the Han dynasty, in order to lift billions of people out of poverty across Asia, the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, and Europe.

Dr. Sultanov theorises the following about his perspective on the MIR Initiative:

[The] creation of common infrastructure is certainly a key factor in promoting a sustainable model of development in the world today. Social mobility, security and economic upliftment find their base on [transportation] mobility and presence of infrastructure and communications permitting the fast passage of people, goods and ideas.

Socio-economic and transport/communication mobility are inversely proportional to the risk of [unacceptable] and conflict behavior: i.e. the higher system mobility a region features, the less likely it is to see a crisis or conflict break out. A common transport system in constant development unhindered by any walls or barriers is the most important factor that allowed Europe to decrease the chance of internal clashes.

The MIR Initiative is arguably the paragon of future Russo-European relations, and only ‘weakens’ the Western narrative about ‘Russian aggression’. On the contrary; it is imperative that Russia maintains stability to ensure the Silk Road’s success. Even the initiative’s Turin charter, signed by 13 high-ranking international officials, states the following:

A large infrastructure project requires a prolonged mobilization of important interests, seamless cooperation among institutions, international political action at the highest levels, and enormous resources. However, the most essential precondition is the creation of a deep consensus among countries that are located far from one another and often in conflict (as it is now occurring in the METR region). These countries could be motivated to understand one another and to cooperate because of efforts of Eurasian corridor cities.

The very definition of propaganda is “the organized dissemination of information, allegations, etc, to assist or damage the cause of a government, movement, etc”, which is precisely what the European Union is using to slander the Russian government. By shifting towards US foreign policy, Europe risks alienating herself from a rising Asia and Eurasia.

As Europe’s business class pivots eastward, they disprove Mrs. Fotgya’s baseless claims, and Zakharova is correct to say that if “the European Union has any internal issues, the cause of those problems must be found within, rather than blaming them on a third party.”

Whether or not European MEPs kowtow a Eurosceptic organisation that wishes to “decentralise power back to national capitals” and support “transatlantic alliances” will not deter Vladimir Putin from doing everything possible to make peace with the European continent and building a New World Order with Asia and Eurasia fully united in purpose. If this scares Europe, then so be it.

Better yet, EU parliamentarians should step off of the USS Pequod and chart their own destiny.

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Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation are one of the few issues on which the great powers agree, intending to continue to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent new entrants into the exclusive nuclear club.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

“I’ll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons.”

The issue of nuclear weapons has always united the great powers, especially following the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The decision to reduce the number of nuclear weapons towards the end of the Cold War went hand in hand with the need to prevent the spread of such weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the best interests of humanity. During the final stages of the Cold War, the scientific community expended great effort on impressing upon the American and Soviet leadership how a limited nuclear exchange would wipe out humanity. Moscow and Washington thus began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) negotiations to reduce the risk of a nuclear winter. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances persuaded Ukraine to relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede to the NPT in exchange for security assurances from its signatories.

Ukraine has in recent years begun entertaining the possibility of returning to the nuclear fold, especially in light of North Korea’s recent actions. Kim Jong-un’s lesson seems to be that a nuclear deterrent remains the only way of guaranteeing complete protection against a regional hegemon. The situation in Ukraine, however, differs from that of North Korea, including in terms of alliances and power relations. Kiev’s government came into power as a result of a coup d’etat carried out by extremist nationalist elements who seek their inspiration from Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. The long arm of NATO has always been deeply involved in the dark machinations that led to Poroshenko’s ascendency to the Ukrainian presidency. From a geopolitical point of view, NATO’s operation in Ukraine (instigating a civil war in the wake of a coup) follows in the footsteps of what happened in Georgia. NATO tends to organize countries with existing anti-Russia sentiments to channel their Russophobia into concrete actions that aim to undermine Moscow. The war in the Donbass is a prime example.

However, Ukraine has been unable to subdue the rebels in the Donbass region, the conflict freezing into a stalemate and the popularity of the Kiev government falling as the population’s quality of life experiences a precipitous decline. The United States and the European Union have not kept their promises, leaving Poroshenko desperate and tempted to resort to provocations like the recent Kerch strait incident or such as those that are apparently already in the works, as recently reported by the DPR authorities.

The idea of Ukraine resuming its production of nuclear weapons is currently being floated by minor figures, but it could take hold in the coming months, especially if the conflict continues in its frozen state and Kiev becomes frustrated and desperate. The neoconservative wing of the American ruling elite, absolutely committed to the destruction of the Russian Federation, could encourage Kiev along this path, in spite of the incalculable risks involved. The EU, on the other hand, would likely be terrified at the prospect, which would also place it between a rock and a hard place. Kiev, on one side, would be able to extract from the EU much needed economic assistance in exchange for not going nuclear, while on the other side the neocons would be irresponsibly egging the Ukrainians on.

Moscow, if faced with such a possibility, would not just stand there. In spite of Russia having good relations with North Korea, it did not seem too excited at the prospect of having a nuclear-armed neighbor. With Ukraine, the response would be much more severe. A nuclear-armed Ukraine would be a red line for Moscow, just as Crimea and Sevastopol were. It is worth remembering the Russian president’s words when referring to the possibility of a NATO invasion of Crimea during the 2014 coup:

“We were ready to do it [putting Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert]. Russian people live there, they are in danger, we cannot leave them. It was not us who committed to coup, it was the nationalists and people with extreme beliefs. I do not think this is actually anyone’s wish – to turn it into a global conflict.”

As Kiev stands on the precipice, it will be good for the neocons, the neoliberals and their European lackeys to consider the consequences of advising Kiev to jump or not. Giving the nuclear go-ahead to a Ukrainian leadership so unstable and detached from reality may just be the spark that sets off Armageddon.

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Mike Pompeo lays out his vision for American exceptionalism (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 158.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda take a look at Mike Pompeo’s shocking Brussels speech, where the U.S. Secretary of State took aim at the European Union and United Nations, citing such institutions as outdated and poorly managed, in need of a new dogma that places America at its epicenter.

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Speaking in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unwittingly underscored why nobody takes the United States seriously on the international stage. Via The Council on Foreign Relations


In a disingenuous speech at the German Marshall Fund, Pompeo depicted the transactional and hypernationalist Trump administration as “rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” He did so while launching gratuitous attacks on the European Union, United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—pillars of the existing postwar order the United States did so much to create. He remained silent, naturally, on the body blows that the current administration has delivered to its erstwhile allies and partners, and to the institutions that once upon a time permitted the United States to legitimate rather than squander its international leadership.

In Pompeo’s telling, Donald J. Trump is simply seeking a return to the world that former Secretary of State George Marshall helped to create. In the decades after 1945, the United States “underwrote new institutions” and “entered into treaties to codify Western values of freedom and human rights.” So doing, the United States “won the Cold War” and—thanks to the late President George H. W. Bush, “we won the peace” that followed. “This is the type of leadership that President Trump is boldly reasserting.”

That leadership is needed because the United States “allowed this liberal order to begin to corrode” once the bipolar conflict ended. “Multilateralism has too often become viewed as an end unto itself,” Pompeo explained. “The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are. The more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done.” What is needed is a multilateralism that once again places the nation-state front and center.

Leave aside for the moment that nobody actually believes what Pompeo alleges: that multilateralism should be an end in itself; that paper commitments are credible absent implementation, verification, and enforcement; or that the yardstick of success is how many bureaucrats get hired. What sensible people do believe is that multilateral cooperation is often (though not always) the best way for nations to advance their interests in an interconnected world of complicated problems. Working with others is typically superior to unilateralism, since going it alone leaves the United States with the choice of trying to do everything itself (with uncertain results) or doing nothing. Multilateralism also provides far more bang for the buck than President Trump’s favored approach to diplomacy, bilateralism.

Much of Pompeo’s address was a selective and tendentious critique of international institutions that depicts them as invariably antithetical to national sovereignty. Sure, he conceded, the European Union has “delivered a great deal of prosperity to the continent.” But it has since gone badly off track, as the “political wake-up call” of Brexit showed. All this raised a question in his mind: “Is the EU ensuring that the interests of countries and their citizens are placed before those of bureaucrats and Brussels?”

The answer, as one listener shouted out, is “Yes!” The secretary, like many U.S. conservative critics of European integration, is unaware that EU member states continue to hold the lion’s share of power in the bloc, which remains more intergovernmental than supranational. Pompeo seems equally unaware of how disastrously Brexit is playing out. With each passing day, the costs of this catastrophic, self-inflicted wound are clearer. In its quest for complete policy autonomy—on ostensible “sovereignty” grounds—the United Kingdom will likely have to accept, as the price for EU market access, an entire body of law and regulations that it will have no say in shaping. So much for advancing British sovereignty.

Pompeo similarly mischaracterizes the World Bank and IMF as having gone badly off track. “Today, these institutions often counsel countries who have mismanaged their economic affairs to impose austerity measures that inhibit growth and crowd out private sector actors.” This is an odd, hybrid critique. It combines a shopworn, leftist criticism from the 1990s—that the international financial institutions (IFIs) punish poor countries with structural adjustment programs—with the conservative accusation that the IFIs are socialist, big-government behemoths. Both are ridiculous caricatures. They ignore how much soul-searching the IFIs have done since the 1990s, as well as how focused they are on nurturing an enabling institutional environment for the private sector in partner countries.

Pompeo also aims his blunderbuss at the United Nations. He complains that the United Nations’ “peacekeeping missions drag on for decades, no closer to peace,” ignoring the indispensable role that blue helmets play in preventing atrocities, as well as a recent Government Accountability Office report documenting how cost-effective such operations are compared to U.S. troops. Similarly, Pompeo claims, “The UN’s climate-related treaties are viewed by some nations simply as a vehicle to redistribute wealth”—an accusation that is both unsubstantiated and ignores the urgent need to mobilize global climate financing to save the planet.

Bizarrely, Pompeo also turns his sights on the Organization of American States (OAS) and the African Union (AU), for alleged shortcomings. Has the OAS, he asks, done enough “to promote its four pillars of democracy, human rights, security, and economic development?” Um, no. Could that have something to do with the lack of U.S. leadership in the Americas on democracy and human rights? Yes. Might it have helped if the Trump administration had filled the position of assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs before October 15 of this year? Probably.

Equally puzzling is Pompeo’s single line riff on the AU. “In Africa, does the African Union advance the mutual interest of its nation-state members?” Presumably the answer is yes, or its members would be headed for the door. The AU continues to struggle in financing its budget, but it has made great strides since its founding in 2002 to better advance security, stability, and good governance on the continent.

“International bodies must help facilitate cooperation that bolsters the security and values of the free world, or they must be reformed or eliminated,” Pompeo declared. Sounds reasonable. But where is this “free world” of which the secretary speaks, and what standing does the United States today have to defend, much less reform it? In the two years since he took office, Donald Trump has never expressed any interest in defending the international order, much less “returning [the United States] to its traditional, central leadership role in the world,” as Pompeo claims. Indeed, the phrase “U.S. leadership” has rarely escaped Trump’s lips, and he has gone out of his way to alienate longstanding Western allies and partners in venues from NATO to the G7.

When he looks at the world, the president cares only about what’s in it for the United States (and, naturally, for him). That cynicism explains the president’s deafening silence on human rights violations and indeed his readiness to cozy up to strongmen and killers from Vladimir Putin to Rodrigo Duterte to Mohammed bin Salman to too many more to list. Given Trump’s authoritarian sympathies and instincts, Pompeo’s warnings about “Orwellian human rights violations” in China and “suppressed opposition voices” in Russia ring hollow.

“The central question that we face,” Pompeo asked in Brussels, “is the question of whether the system as currently configured, as it exists today—does it work? Does it work for all the people of the world?” The answer, of course, is not as well as it should, and not for nearly enough of them. But if the secretary is seeking to identify impediments to a better functioning multilateral system, he can look to his left in his next Cabinet meeting.

“Principled realism” is the label Pompeo has given Trump’s foreign policy. Alas, it betrays few principles and its connection to reality is tenuous. The president has abandoned any pursuit of universal values, and his single-minded obsession to “reassert our sovereignty” (as Pompeo characterizes it) is actually depriving the United States of joining with others to build the prosperous, secure, and sustainable world that Americans want.

“Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” the secretary of state declared in Belgium. “This is the poisoned fruit of American retreat.” How true. Pompeo’s next sentence—“President Trump is determined to reverse that”—was less persuasive.

 

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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