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Re: yenwoda @ 122

Upon re-reading your initial post to which I responded, I can admit that I read more cruelty into your comments than you stated or implied. I'm usually more careful. So, apologies for that.

Otherwise, your anti-war stance is suspect, and your gaze should be more inwardly directed as an American. Your rather short adumbration of Western influence in Ukraine purposefully avoids most of the evidence of US and European manipulation. You also avoid what I consider to be the elephant in the room - NATO expansion eastward after agreeing not to expand eastward. This was explicitly agreed to at the highest level of diplomacy, and this was an explicitly stated 'red line' for Russia. Whether or not NATO would have ever actually admitted Ukraine does not matter as NATO said (duplicitously in the words of McFaul) that they wanted to admit Ukraine from 2008 forward while training Ukrainian troops and including Ukrainian troops in many international endeavors (well beyond some innocent training in the Black Sea). The US also withdrew from treaties and moved to place missiles in the new Eastern European countries claiming that they were placed there to counter Iran (laughable). US/CIA connections in Ukraine run deep (since directly after WW2) and are part of US planning to destabilize and undermine both the USSR and Russia. As to the Association Agreement, the EU was also strongarming Ukraine and the terms of the Agreement included elements that were reasonably anathema to Yanukovich (who was legally elected with the support of the regions of Ukraine that identify as more Russian). Furthermore, in 2013, Yanukovich suggested an EU/Ukraine/Russian trade agreement which was summarily dismissed by the EU. The terms Russia offered were reasonably considered better for Ukraine and hardly legitimate reason for the government to be overthrown by violent means.

Your list of examples Russian interference in Ukraine is timid in comparison to US meddling. First, Russia didn't embargo any products until after the overthrowing of Yanukovich which also deeply involved the United States. You may remember that Nuland and Pyatt discussed who they thought would be the best new President of Ukraine and said "fuck the EU" (a statement meant to denigrate and undermine the EU's attempts to solve the Maidan situation by allowing a new election later in 2014). My understanding is that Yanukovich was ousted via a process that did not follow Ukrainian law and did not follow the EU agreement to solve the crisis. This was all done with explicit US support which is similar to its manipulation of the election process in Russia which allowed Yeltsin to come to power in the 1990's.

You mention the violation of treaties by Russia. Well, what about the violation of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine? You must have heard Poroshenko's statements about the Minsk agreements...is that not a violation? Did Ukraine allow the votes in the Donbass that Minsk required? The expansion of NATO violated the provisions of treaties in Europe which stated that the security of one nation should not come at the expense of other's security. The expansion of NATO, as mentioned earlier in the post, against the explicit agreement not to expand NATO is a violation of an agreement. The process by which Yanukovich was disposed of violated the provisions of the Ukrainian constitution.

You mention the invasion and annexation of Crimea. First, Crimea voted for independence in the 1990's, and Ukraine annexed Crimea against its stated wishes for more independence. Second, there are multiple polls from reputable pollsters prior to 2014 in which Crimeans clearly state that they would rather be independent or Russian than Ukrainian and that they view themselves as Russian. You can ignore the Crimean referendum if you want (and I'll admit that there were not many legal observers to document the validity of the vote), but the fairly deep record of the actual beliefs of Crimeans supports the outcome of the referendum in 2014.

You ask, "Can you really look at that history and say the US was the coercive empire here, and Russia was just forced to react?"

My answer - Yes, I can.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Aug 22 2022 | 153

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