Russia Bashing Continues
by Stephen Lendman
Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Russia alone has gone all-out to resolve them responsibly.
Putin and Sergei Lavrov deserve Nobel Peace Prize recognition. War criminals alone get it. Obama is Exhibit A.
US bullying, bluster, and threats continue. Brazen lies repeat. Sanctions were imposed. Obama threatened more saying:
“My hope is we do actually see follow-through over the next several days, but I don’t think, given past performance, that we can count on that, and we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continues to be efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine.”
Neocons infest Washington. National Security Advisor Susan Rice is one of the worst.
“We expect and we will be watching whether Russia does or does not uphold its responsibility to use its very considerable influence to restrain and withdraw those irregular militia from the buildings and spaces that they’ve occupied,” she said.
“If we don’t see action commensurate with the commitments that Russia has made yesterday in Geneva, which we all welcome, then obviously we’ve been very clear that we and our European partners remain ready to impose additional costs on Russia for failing to adhere to its obligations.”
Eastern Ukraine freedom fighters reject Kiev putschists. Putin and Lavrov call them illegitimate.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying usurping power “was not a coup.” A “vacuum of leadership” was filled, she claimed.
Russia has a “responsibility” to “de-escalate” Eastern Ukraine crisis conditions and implement Thursday’s four-party agreement, she added. Otherwise, she warned, they’ll be “consequences.”
“We’re going to test (Russia) over the coming days (on) whether the accord sticks, whether it will be implemented,” she added.
“(T)he president (and) Secretary Kerry (see) a strong connection between these separatists and Russia. (Moscow can) influence (them) and change the situation on the ground. There’s no question about that.”
“I will say we’re clear-eyed about Russia’s record of not implementing steps in the past, so we will see if they do take steps this time, and if they don’t take steps there will be consequences.”
“But I’m not going to put a date on that. We won’t know for a couple of days.”
Moscow reacted sharply. Putin press secretary Dmitry Peskov warned against new sanctions. He called imposing them “absolutely unacceptable.”
“One cannot treat Russia like it is a shameful student, and brandish a piece of paper on which we put crosses next to the duties it has accomplished.”
A separate Foreign Ministry statement was sharply critical. In part, it said:
“The assessments voiced in Washington regarding the meeting held between representatives of Russia, the US, Ukraine and the European Union are disappointing.”
“The US is trying persistently yet again to lighten the actions of the current Kiev authorities.”
“(T)he guilt for the Ukrainian crisis and its current escalation is put groundlessly on Russia…”
“(S)ome statements by US officials have ultimatums and they try to threaten us with sanctions and this is absolutely unacceptable.”
“It appears that sanction language substitutes normal diplomacy more and more for Washington.”
“The essence of the Geneva meeting was to send a clear signal to Kiev that the situation can be stabilized solely via the launch of comprehensive dialog with regions, especially those, where Russian-speaking residents prevail and whose opinion the central authorities should start listening to.”
“We expect that real actions of our Ukrainian and western partners amid the decisions made jointly in Geneva will be more in line with the content of the agreements reached.”
On April 18, Moscow’s EU ambassador Vladimir Chizhov said:
“We proceed from the fact that Ukraine needs a profound constitutional reform. Ukraine and its people deserve a better constitution than the one that is changed by each new president.”
“The work that has been done in Kiev until recently is the wrong path. A reform can be successful only when it takes into account the opinion of all regions, all political parties of a country.”
“It is absolutely natural. And such a reform should be carried out based on the referendum results.”
“I think there is no way a referendum can be avoided. The question is its format and essence.”
“Eastern regions insist that it should be held at the regional level. This is a difficult task. So, let us wait and see which solution will be found by Ukrainians.”
“As concerns federalization, the first step in this direction has already been made. After all, all the signatories to the Geneva documents agreed that decentralization was needed.”
“The main thing is not how to call this solution but how to implement it. It is vital that such a decision be passed openly, transparently and was accepted in all regions of the country.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Lavrov stresses “the of the immediate and complete fulfillment by the Ukrainian authorities of the Geneva statement provision that provide in particular non-use of force and the beginning of a nationwide dialogue on a new constitution involving all key political forces and Ukrainian regions.”
All sides must refrain from violence, intimidation and provocations. Lavrov said four-party representatives condemned (all) manifestations of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry added:
“The Americans are once again stubbornly trying to whitewash the actions of the Kiev authorities, who have embarked on a course of violently suppressing protesters in the southeast who are expressing their legitimate indignation over the infringements of their rights.”
On Friday, Kerry warned Lavrov. According to an unnamed senior State Department official, he holds Russia responsible for “full and immediate compliance” with four-party agreement terms.
“He made clear that the next few days would be a pivotal period for all sides to implement the statement’s provisions, particularly that all illegal armed groups must be disarmed and all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners,” the official added.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Andriy Deschytsia warned Eastern Ukrainian activists. They’ll face “more concrete actions” in days if they don’t vacate occupied buildings.
People’s Republic of Donetsk Governor Denis Pushilin said Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters weren’t represented in Geneva.
Kiev putschists usurped power lawlessly. He rejects them. He demands they resign.
“The Kiev junta is signing agreements and fulfilling none of them,” he said. “They are provoking crisis.”
Illegitimate putschist president Turchynov “committed a crime against his own people. We will keep going to the end.”
Georgy Muradov is Moscow’s Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) affairs deputy head. On Friday, he said:
Western countries are fighting “total war…Within the context of this policy, they are trying to give a final blow to the Commonwealth of Independent States.”
They want its total “disintegration.” Key members are being expelled. At issue is eliminating Russian allies.
The Ukrainian scenario may repeat if Russian nationals living abroad aren’t protected.
Illegitimate putschist National Security and Defense Council head Andriy Parubiy co-founded the ultranationalist neo-Nazi Social National party. It’s now called Svoboda.
He said Kiev intends withdrawing from CIS. Russia’s Foreign Ministry denounced the decision. Implementing it adversely affects millions of Ukrainians, it said.
Separately, Lavrov said:
“We are not keeping anyone in the CIS by force but this decision was made not for the benefits of the Ukrainian population but to stage another anti-Russian campaign of propagandistic nature. I don’t doubt that.”
The Warsaw, Poland-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OECD) main body involved with elections, human rights and democratization.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry denounced its biased position on Ukraine. It ignored Kiev’s latest human rights violation.
“It is outrageous there has been no official reaction from the ODIHR to Kiev’s discriminatory measure against Russian men aged 16 to 60, who have in fact been banned from entering the territory of Ukraine since April 17,” said Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
“The incomprehensible explanation of these actions taken by Ukraine as an OSCE member-state…was just shocking.”
“(T)he ODIHR has supported the provocative action against Russian citizens. This nearly total ban on visits by our citizens that the current authorities in Kiev have imposed cannot but cause indignation.”
“There have been many examples in history showing that such decisions are just one step away from persecution of other people on account of race.”
At the same time, ODIHR turned a blind eye to other flagrant Kiev abuses. Brutally beating Ukrainian presidential aspirant Oleg Tsarev was ignored.
“(O)ne cannot but feel indignant over (ODIHR’s) lack of proper reaction,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry added.
At the same time, it called OECD equating Kiev violence against journalists to Crimea’s media climate “absolutely unacceptable.”
At issue was OECD media representative Dunja Mijatovic’s statement. After visiting Ukraine in mid-April, she lied calling Crimea’s media climate “very dangerous.”
Russian journalists are vulnerable. They’ve been attacked. Some are barred from entering Ukraine. Russian TV channels are blocked.
Days earlier, assailants beat Evgeniy Polojii. He’s Panorama newspaper editor. Gorlovka.ua’s editor was kidnapped. So were Hromadske TV and RT International journalists.
Police states operate this way. Western media scoundrels ignore their crimes. So do ODIHR and OSCE officials.
Russia bashing continues relentlessly. The American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) is a right-wing think tank. Neocons infest its Board of Advisors.
They include former CIA director James Woolsey and Newt Gingrich. Stephen Blank is a senior fellow.
On April 18, he headlined “Russia’s Lurch Toward Fascism.”
He outrageously accused Moscow of invading Ukraine. He lied saying Kremlin “attempts to destroy the foundations of Ukrainian statehood, sovereignty, and territorial integrity are also aimed at Russia’s domestic opposition to Putin.”
“It represents the culmination of his campaign to suppress political dissent under a wave of officially imposed quasi-religious nationalism akin to that of the later Tsars and (more recently) to the late Stalin and late Brezhnev periods.”
He accused Moscow of “fulminat(ing) against ‘supposed’ neo-Nazis and anti-Semites terrorizing Ukraine…”
He ignored clear evidence proving it. “But what we really see emerging are clear (Moscow) aspects of fascism,” he claimed.
Russian democracy shames America’s sham version. Monied interests control things. People have no say.
Neocon fascists infest Washington. They’re in Europe. They influence policy. They hold high government positions.
They ignore popular sentiment. They enforce police state laws. They target independent governments.
They want them toppled. They want pro-Western puppet regimes replacing them.
Putin and Western leaders are geopolitical opposites. Doing the right thing isn’t tolerated. Supporting responsible global policies made him public enemy number one.
Blank lies for power. “Putin’s Russia resembles its fascist predecessors,” he said.
His “actions in Ukraine show (he) can now only move forward to more attacks, threats, and ever intensifying repression that ends in crisis and stagnation,” he added.
Putin’s Russia is polar opposite his assessment. It applies solely to Washington, its rogue allies, and installed puppet regimes. Don’t expect Blank to explain.
Separately, Stars and Stripes headlined “Report: US ground troops to be sent to Poland, Estonia,” saying:
Deployment is planned “for a series of upcoming ground exercises aimed at reassuring allies shaken by Russian intervention in neighboring Ukraine.”
No intervention whatever exists. Moscow plans none. Claims otherwise ring hollow. Russia bashing continues.
US-led NATO plans call for encroaching close to its borders. It’s threatening its heartland.
Last week, NATO said its Eastern European land, sea and air presence will increase. Doing so is provocative.
According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, “an entire range of possibilities and measures are being considered.”
Hegemons operate this way. Washington exceeds the worst of earlier ones.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.