Thursday, December 19, 2013


     Putin has triumphed over EU manipulators .Background on Ukraine Crisis .Watch for this space for more .                                                                            FOUNDATION FOR INDO-TURKIC STUDIES                         

Tel/Fax ; 0040216374602                                                         Amb (Rtd) K Gajendra Singh                                                       
Emails; Flat No 5, 3rd Floor 9, Sos Cotroceni,
Web site.                                                                                        Bucharest (Romania).                    Camp; Brussels                               5 January , 2005
Like two sides in a tug of rope battles, some what fatigued after the last pull following November 21 polls for the Ukrainian President, which gave the pro-Russian Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich 'victory', but on an appeal citing irregularities by his opponent Yushchenko, the Ukrainian Supreme Court declared the result null and void .The legal action was reinforced by incredibly well organized sit ins and demonstrations in Ukrainian capital Kiev, and called the "Orange revolution' with large scale financing by the West and help in training of thousands of Yushchenko supporters .The re-poll held on 26 December gave pro-West Victor Yushchenko, 52% against 44% for Yanukovich, who filed an appeal charging of irregularities running into 57 volumes . But it appears that Yanukovich might throw in the towel.
Although the results are still not official, but Yushchenko again declared himself the winner as he has done in the wake of his petition against the November poll. The Parliament had also joined in the fray and set aside   21 November elections and dismissed Yanukovich as Prime Minister, which the President Leonid Kuchma did not ratify. The Parliament also changed the constitution to reduce incoming President's power and unanimously voted for the return of Ukrainian soldiers from Iraq. (To please his western master's Yushchenko was already soft pedaling on the issue). Yushchenko supporters did not allow Yanukovich to hold a cabinet meeting and occupied government buildings in Kiev barring the latter's supporters from discharging their duties.
Against Yushchenko's planned economic reforms, the most powerful clans are based in Ukraine's heavy industry heartland - in Kharkov, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk. Others are based in Kiev. Common to all of them is the mix of businesses. In most cases they own large industrial steel or chemical conglomerates, banks, football clubs, newspapers - and television stations, the biggest asset, or liability, for any ambitious politician. As a result, the clans have established powerful lobbies in the Parliament so that any legislation that hinders their interests is defeated. This explains why the clans this week supported a strong parliamentary system after they saw how the Supreme Court.
In Donetsk, Yanukovich supporters are defiant. The street protests in Kiev and western cities have set an example to the east. But political leaders in Donetsk have reacted angrily to accusations from the Yushchenko camp that Donetsk is arming itself to repel the new government. "This is pure lies, it is simply stoking up tension," says the Donetsk mayor, Oleksandr Lukianchenko. "Before the second round they said Russian spetsnaz [special forces troops] were defending the government; this turned out to be false. Now they have shown once again what methods the opposition are using to sow fear and confusion."
Yushchenko also suggested that he was willing to prosecute Mr. Kuchma, who has been accused of election-rigging, corruption and abuse of state power, including a role in the murder of a journalist, Georgy Gongadze, in 2000."The president has to answer under the law like any other citizen," Mr. Yushchenko said. "He should not get any preferential treatment." And he restated his intention to investigate privatization deals he says were rigged by Kuchma's administration to sell state assets at absurdly low prices particularly that of a metallurgical plant earlier this year to Viktor Pinchuk, the president's son-in law.
At the same time Yushchenko hinted that his wealthy controversial ally Yulia Tymoshenko might be his prime minister. Many Ukrainians are suspicious of Ms Tymoshenko who was on Interpol list on a fraud case and was arrested for further interrogation into charges that she took part in illegal smuggling operations, forgery and bribery amounting to $80 million
Yushchenko also declared his intention of not making Russian an official second language but promised "no Russian school will be closed under my administration." "Kiev has to say openly that Russia is our close neighbour, our strategic partner, and we need to integrate with it, but the Western market interests us and it doesn't contradict our relations with Moscow," he told another Russian paper, Rossiskaya Gazeta.
In this murky goings on Yushchenko whose face still bears the cysts and swelling of dioxin poisoning blamed a Sept. 5 dinner with the head of Ukraine's secret police. Last week Ukrainian Transport Minister Heorhiy Kirpa, a supporter of Yanukovych, was found dead in his house from a gunshot wound. Recent events and Yushchenko utterances and tactics bode ill for a civilized democratic discourse in Ukraine.
But Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov told the Interfax news agency that he did not believe Yushchenko's victory would have serious implications for Moscow's close military ties with Kiev. "I think that there won't be any big change in our cooperation with our neighbour Ukraine in the sphere of defence and security," he said, amid concerns in some quarters in Moscow about the future of Russia's Black Sea fleet, based at the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol.
Unlike the November poll when outside supporters were vocal in support of their favored candidate, this time around the major powers with strategic interests ie, Russia, USA and EU were cautious. Adam Ereli of the US Department of State said that it was Yanukovich's (his petition) prerogative, which complied with the Ukrainian law. "Ereli did not forget to mention that the US administration had not rendered support to any of the candidates." US would not comment on political events in Ukraine as long as the poll situation remains unclear, Ereli added. Vladimir Putin who had hastily congratulated Yanukovich in November, this time declared that he would work with Yushchenko, if he were elected.
Ukraine is not like Czech Republic or even Ukraine's neighbour Poland, which are now firmly in the European orbit. Ukraine was generally an integral part of the historical East and strategically vital for Russia in East West rivalry. The first seeds of Russian identity and nationalism had sprouted in Kiev, but the Ukrainian perception of its own national identity has been some what ambivalent. After the collapse of atheistic communism, Russia has reverted to orthodox Christianity and wants to be partner of European and western political and economic system, but still remains on the other side strategically. So the reactions of from US led west and Russia mimicked the cold war utterances, at a time when the major world should concentrate on the ongoing confrontation between Jihadis and Crusaders. 
Soon after 26 December re-poll, Mikhail Saakashvili, West's poster boy of the "Rose revolution" in Georgia, who studied in Kiev, and is thus fluent in Ukrainian, turned up to address a meeting of hundred thousand Yushchenko supporters in Kiev and proclaimed," This is the triumph of good over evil." Saakashvili later studied law in USA, worked in a US law firm and has a Dutch wife. Yushchenko, himself a former Prime Minister is married to an American, who reportedly worked for US state department .He is closely associated with Ukrainian oligarchs worth billions as is the outgoing President Leonid Kuchma, whose billionaire son-in-law swayed Kuchma to lean towards Yushchenko. 
"Rose revolution" in Georgia
On November 22, 2003, Saakashvili supporters had charged through the portals of the Georgian parliamentary building in Tbilisi, forced Shevardnadze, a fixture on the Georgian scene, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, who along with Gorbachev dismantled the USSR .was forced resign. (GEORGIA IN TURMOIL- a Gambit in Eurasian Great Game –paper 850 of Dec 2003) Saakashvili then won the new poll by 90%, which looked suspiciously like Communist era results.
Many publications in the West like the Economist of London called the events in Georgia a "velvet" or "rose" revolution. "Proud Georgians will point to this non-violence to argue that their country is fundamentally different to its Caucasian neighbors, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Both of these held flawed elections earlier this year too."  That things in Georgia happened differently was "a tribute partly to the vibrancy of the democratic opposition there, and partly to the fact that the West's involvement - both in monitoring the elections and in speaking out about fraud afterwards - was much greater."  The reality was that elections in Azerbaijan and even Armenia ensured pro west leadership.
US had put up with Shevardnadze misrule and provided aid worth $1 billion, and other help to build Georgia as a bulwark against Russian interests in the region. Most of the money went into pockets of the ruling elite but in return, under Shevardnadze, Georgia fully toed the US line. Russian President Putin turned hostile to Shevardnadze because of his conviction that the latter was less than helpful in the war in Chechnya, across Georgia's northern border. In 1999, outgoing president Boris Yeltsin phoned Shevardnadze and requested allowing use of Georgia for a Russian attack on Chechnya. US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott advised Shevardnadze to say no. With little heed for long-term consequences, as earlier in Afghanistan and now in Iraq, the US perhaps let Georgia overlook Chechens using its territory to establish international links, which were possibly behind the end 2003 Istanbul bombings against two synagogues, the British Consulate and HSBC Bank. And perhaps elsewhere, too, including Iraq.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell who urged Shevardnadze for a bloodless departure, said in an interview: "An unstable Georgia automatically results in an unstable Caucasus." Shevardnadze was a good man. It was nice to cooperate with him, but his time was up. Reportedly Powell hinted that US ambassador Richard Miles was part of a plan to depose Shevardnadze. On November 29, Shevardnadze told the Russian television that US multibillionaire George Soros was one of the major malefactors who led to the change of leadership in Georgia. Ambassador Miles was known to have been active in grooming Saakashvili. A series of senior US figures passed through Tbilisi earlier in 2003 to warn Shevardnadze that his days were numbered, including his old friend Jim Baker. "We would like to see stronger leadership," Miles told the Washington Post before Georgia elections.
Georgia now:
Writing in International Herald Tribune last month, Tinatin Khidasheli, Chairwoman of the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association, a human rights group, and now a fellow at the Yale University and who was an enthusiastic participant in the "Rose revolution" wrote that Saakashvili planned a giant bash to mark the anniversary. But he has used the year to consolidate his power, initiating constitutional amendments which will reduce the Parliament's powers, and grant him more powers than any elected president in any democratic state. As for freedom of speech now in Georgia, "dozens of media outlets were shut down, including three television stations. Even the more popular political talk shows were discontinued and replaced" and others labeled as traitors. Several critics have fared worse the editor of an independent newspaper, with no history of drug use, was arrested in the street for drug possession after criticizing a Saakashvili appointed regional governor. The home of a member of parliament was raided without warrant, "where police claimed to find a stockpile of arms in his children's wardrobe." So many freedoms in Georgia.
West's Franchised revolutions:
"Elections are a moment of triumph," said USA Today last week. It added that "the potential is clear: Ukraine's Orange Revolution was fueled by young voters in Kiev, who created Web sites and wrote rap songs to inspire voters. They ate at the McDonald's off Independence Square and lined up at Coca-Cola kiosks for drinks. The Orange Revolution is the latest in what appears to be a slow trend toward more democracy among the former Soviet republics and satellite states, including Georgia in 2003, Serbia in 2000 and years earlier in the Czech Republic and Poland.
Yes, the same tactics were applied by the US triumphantly in Serbia in 2000 to topple Slobodan Milosevic. Michael Kozak, the US ambassador in Minsk, then sought to emulate the success in elections in Belarus against the authoritarian Alexander Lukashenka, but failed.
There have been many write ups in Guardian, Global search and other websites which have documented western agencies' support to Yushchenko.  According to New Statesman Yushchenko was supported covertly by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Freedom House and George Soros' Open Society Institute, the very entities, which had helped oust Shevardnadze last year. The NED has four affiliate institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). They" provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide." 
"In Ukraine, the NED and its constituent organizations funded Yushchenko's party Nasha Ukraina (Our Ukraine), as well as the Kiev Press Club. Freedom House, along with "The Independent Republican Institute (IRI) "were involved in assessing the "fairness of elections and their results". IRI had its staff in "poll watching" in 9 districts, and local staff in all 25 districts. "There are professionals outside election monitors from bodies such as   the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, but the Ukrainian poll, like its predecessors, also featured thousands of local election monitors trained and paid by western groups. ... They also organized exit polls which gave Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed."  
Of course, western media and governments are committed to the "Freedom of the Press".  They organize exit polls and then feed disinformation into the Western news chain, create and fund "pro-Western", "pro-reform" student groups, who then organize mass displays of civil disobedience. (Read Traynor, in Guardian) "In the Ukraine, the Pora Youth movement ("Its Time") funded by the Soros Open Society Institute is part of that process with more than 10,000 activists.  Supported by the Freedom of Choice Coalition of Ukrainian NGOs, Pora is modeled on Serbia's Otpor and Georgia's Kmara.  The Freedom of Choice Coalition acts as an Umbrella organization. It is directly supported by the US and British embassies in Kiev as well as by Germany, through the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (a foundation linked to the ruling Social Democrats).  
Victor Yushchenko
In 1993, Viktor Yushchenko as the head of the newly-formed National Bank of Ukraine enforced the IMF's usual shock therapy economic medicine which only impoverished its economy. As it had all over the world. He created a new Ukrainian national currency, which resulted in a dramatic plunge in real wages, with bread, electricity and transportation prices increasing by three, six and nine times respectively. The standard of living tumbled .So why is Yushchenko so popular. By manufacturing assent, to use Noam Chomsky's phrase. As was in the case of George W. Bush in recent US elections. Seventy five percent of those who voted for him believed that Iraqis were connected with 11 September and Al Qaeda.  
Yushchenko was appointed Prime Minister in 1999 because of loans which IMF etc had promised. In the now discredited IMF programs, it closed down part of the country's manufacturing base. Yushchenko also tried to undermine bilateral trade in oil and natural gas with Russia and demanded that this trade be conducted in US dollars rather than in terms of commodity barter. In 2001, he was dismissed following a non-confidence vote in the parliament-"Viktor Yushchenko has fulfilled obligations to the IMF better and more accurately than his duties to citizens of his our country, Olena Markosyan, a Kharkov-based analyst, has opined in Ukrainian centrist daily Den" (BBC Monitoring, 16 Nov 2004)
Putin was quite upset with the western interference in Ukraine and so called promotion of democracy .At a recent press conference in Moscow he said that, "Every country has the right to choose the development path it considers best, including in organizing its political system." Referring to US criticism of 21 November elections in Ukraine (Powell said US would not accept them), he retorted that he was not ecstatic about what happened there (USA), "Do you think that the electoral system in the United States is entirely flawless? ""Do I have to recall the last elections in the United States or the one before?" he added .He pointed out that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe had criticized the US for barring observers from some polling stations in last month's elections. "There was even intimidation of voters" He also ridiculed the Texan judge's ruling on the sale of the Russian oil company Yukos. . "I am not sure whether they know where Russia is. The level of professional training [of the judge] perplexes me, "he added. He also lambasted the scheduled elections on 30 January elections in Iraq saying that "it could not be fair while the country remained occupied by US-led forces "  
Would Ukraine go the Yugoslav Way?
In early 1990s when the author enquired from Yugoslav diplomats if their country would break up, they denied it vehemently, citing Serb-Croat marriages and other common interests. But led by Europeans, especially FRG, then bulldozed by USA, a multiethnic country was sundered and destroyed, basically to eliminate a pro-Russian Slav state. Muslim states and fundamentalists were not impressed with the US argument that it was to liberate the Muslim Kosovars from the Serbian yoke. In the process many Al Qaeda and other Muslim Jihadis were brought to the region to fight the Serbs and many have settled down there, they will remain a constant threat. Western aid was dangled to Yugoslavia if it handed over Milosevic .By doing so Prime minister Zoran Jinjic, who was enmeshed in mafia linkages signed his own death warrant. He was soon assassinated. Whatever happened to the Western donor's pledge of aid to Yugoslavia? As for democracy the Yugoslavs are so fed up with the system and leadership that elections had to be held many times, as enough cynical and disheartened voters refused to come to polling stations to fulfill electoral requirement. 
Ukraine's former Foreign Minister Borys Tarasiuk (1998 and 2000) and likely to get back the post told Radio Free Europe that Ukraine would now deal with Moscow as an equal partner. He said that" after a new administration was formed; the first steps of the new government would demonstrate that indeed the European Union has a new type of partner in Ukraine. I think that very shortly we will have positive signals from Brussels." While Yushchenko would first visit Moscow but Ukraine is keen to join the EU, the World Trade Organization and NATO. The outgoing Ukrainian government had agreed to become part of a new Moscow-led union comprising Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, called the Single Economic Space. The future of that project is now in doubt. Tarasiuk, the head of Ukraine's parliamentary committee on integration with the EU, has made it clear that he believes Ukraine's membership in the new Single Economic Space is incompatible with Western economic and military bodies. 
Yushchenko's colleague and political crony, former Defense Minister Yevyen Marchuk is a fervent supporter NATO military presence in the region. It was largely at the initiative of Marchuk that Ukrainian troops were sent to Iraq, a decision which was opposed by the majority of the Ukrainian population. The games being played in Ukraine could like in Yugoslavia create divisions between Ukrainians, Russians, Tatars in Crimea and other ethnic groups, between Russian Orthodox. Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholics, etc. 
Energy pipe lines and strategic games
Georgia is being built up as a bulwark against Russia and would protect the $2.9 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipe line that will run from Baku in Azerbaijan through Georgia to a new terminal at Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Now under construction, it is financed by Western oil companies and would counter the present Russia monopoly of oil transport from the Caspian basin to the West. Similarly Western control over Ukraine would throttle Russian plans to export its oil to Europe. Loss of control over Crimea, populated by ethnic Russians and Tatars would make Russia's coastline restricted like Iraq's in the Gulf .Of course, Russia could sell oil to energy hungry China and Japan as would many central Asian republics, who also oppose US led western regime changes and would close ranks with Russia. It appears that EU has no clear policy and would suffer the most. Even tiny countries in EU talk of glory and influence, and defiantly against Russia.
Ukraine made several military agreements with NATO and Washington under the government of Leonid Kuchma. Ukraine is a member of GUUAM, a military alliance between five former Soviet republics (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova). Its objective was to undermine the alliance between Russia and Belarus, signed between Moscow and Minsk in 1996.
The Ukraine also signed agreements with Poland and the Baltic states for control of transport corridors and pipeline routes. Members of GUUAM lie strategically at the hub of the Caspian oil and gas reserves "with Moldova and the Ukraine offering [pipeline] export routes to the West" and thus excluding Russia from the Black Sea, and protect the Anglo-American pipeline routes out of Central Asia and the Caspian sea. The turmoil in the Caucasus and now in Ukraine should be a cause of great concern for the general stability of the region, but more so as Georgia adjoins Chechnya, Turkey and Azerbaijan. The Chechens, also called Cherkes and Circassians, were relocated by the Ottoman rulers to its various provinces in Anatolia and Arab lands like Syria and Jordan. The jihadis can move through Georgia, Azerbaijan and even Turkey.
The East-West faultlines
The East West rivalry is as old as history itself, beginning with the Indo-Europeans, Trojan and Greek-Persian Wars and others, Turks and Mongols, and later Russian Czars and Communists from the East who moved in to the European heartland. The other points of East-West tectonic clash are now ambidextrous Muslim Turkey, trying to join a predominantly Christian EU, Cyprus, still divided among Christians and Muslims, and the Western implant Israel in the Arab heartland. Russia was invaded by French Emperor Napolean and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, making Ukraine a major battle field. Both failed miserably but Russia suffered tremendously. USA was not prepared to pay the price and open a front through Greece, to keep East Europe democratic and out of USSR orbit. The brunt of Nazi onslaught was borne by Russia, but West propaganda paints a different picture. Indians know it in the case of Jammu and Kashmir
Apart from Georgia and curiously Muslim Azerbaijan in the Caucasus, US presence is now all over Asia including central Asia. But Uzbekistan voted last week in an election that featured only parties loyal to autocratic President Islam Karimov, who said he would not tolerate "revolutions" such as those in Ukraine and Georgia. To further fuel the talk of a revived Cold War, Russia and China have announced plans for large-scale military exercises in China with submarines and, possibly, strategic bombers. 
But Georgia can be undermined through Abkhazia by Russia and Azerbaijan through Armenia. While Romania is firmly in the western orbit, its historical part Moldova is under pressure not to join the West, and Transdniester, a narrow stretch of land along the Dniester River between Moldova proper and Ukraine under Russian control. Russia is now stronger, more so since the increased oil prices, and now under a firm leader Putin, unlike an ill and drugged Yeltsin or a some what naïve Gorbachev, who failed to leverage USSR military power for economic advantage. 
The power struggle is for strategic control, influence, and raw materials, the so called promotion of democracy and people's welfare is of the least concern. Following implementation of IMF programs in Ukraine, trade liberalization (which was part of the economic package), allowed US grain surpluses and "food aid" to be dumped on the domestic market, contributing to destabilizing one of the World's largest and most productive wheat economies. By 1998, the deregulation of the grain market had resulted in a decline in the production of grain by 45 percent in relation to its 1986-90 level. The collapse in livestock production, poultry and dairy products was even more dramatic. The cumulative decline in Ukraine's GDP resulting from the IMF sponsored reforms was in excess of 60 percent (from 1992 to 1995). India knows too well the impact of IMF programs and wants rich nations like USA and EU to remove agriculture subsidies for free trade. 
There is a similar pattern developing elsewhere in Eastern Europe with the nationalist card being used by corrupt politicians to cover up their own corruption. The events in Serbia, Georgia and now Ukraine are an expression of people's frustration and helplessness. However, pro-West leadership is unlikely to deliver the goods either. Romania's GDP now equals what it was in 1989, when the communist regime was overthrown. Most of the GDP is now cornered by 10-15% of the top political and bureaucratic elite. The masses - especially the older generation - suffer from daily privations and are withering away. The populations in most of the former communist states are declining fast. But the Western media rarely write about the terrible impact of this so-called liberal democracy, capitalism and globalization. 
After the Fall of the Berlin wall, western media joked that communism was the longest and the most tortuous way from capitalism to capitalism .The route unfortunately first falls under mafia style authoritarian rulers and can be seen allover Eastern Europe, central Asia, Russia and elsewhere .The Joke in Moscow was that what the Communists said about Communism was all wrong but what they said about Capitalism was all correct.
(K Gajendra Singh is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies.  The views expressed here are his own. -