Ukrainian Myths and Myth-Conceptions

Busting myths and misconceptions about Ukraine that are promoted by the propaganda machinery of the Western media, Western politicians, and the Kyiv regime—and offering a more helpful narrative. It's an unthankful job to fight BS, but has to be done.

Ukrainian Myths and Myth-Conceptions

I had already gone in-depth on many individual points regarding the Ukrainian conflict. Yes, there's enough material to be covering the Ukrainian conflict ad nauseam. However, we need to move onto more global geopolitical games, for two reasons:

  1. Ukraine conflict cannot be understood in isolation from the geopolitical macro-trends afoot,—and

  2. Ukraine conflict in itself is just a side-note to those very trends.

Therefore, I propose to now cover quickly a bunch of myths from the Kyiv and Western propaganda playbook, in condensed form of one (albeit long) post.

Note: the post is truly long, because it contains a lot of BS-busting evidence—it is designed to be an encyclopaedic reference for you to come back to when needed. Do not read it at once. Choose the bits that are of most interest. Hell, read it all at once over a glass of stiff stuff, if you so desire.

Consider yourself warned now.

Forward it to others with a warning, discuss the bits of it, post snippets on social.

Now, per Brandolini's Law, a.k.a the bullshit asymmetry principle, this undertaking is unthankful, for:

"The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it." (Source: Wikipedia)

But hey, it must be done.

The myths are presented in two parts: the new ancient Ukrainian myths of Kyiv about itself, and the Western myths about the conflict in Ukraine.

I conclude by offering a more helpful (and more truthful) evidence-based counter-propaganda narrative, designed to achieve peace for the Ukrainian people (my # 1 concern).


New Ancient Ukrainian Myths and Legends

What do Heracles, Buddha, and Genghis Khan have in common?

They are all ancient Ukrainian heroes, if you didn't know.

Jesus Christ and Tutankhamun, also.

I wish I were making this up, but no:

  • Here's an award-winning Ukrainian historian Professor Valeriy Bebik, PhD presenting a case for Heracles to have been a Ukrainian hero of antiquity in a film that also won awards:

    Among other things, the notes to the movie say that "He [Heracles] accomplished most of his feats in Central and Asia Minor Ukraine. Hercules is the progenitor of the Scythians/Dorians, who are the ancestors of Ukrainians."

    Hm, I didn't even know Ukraine went as far as Asia Minor in those days!

  • About Buddha, here's a link to an article by the same V. Bebik, via a tweet:

  • Genghis Khan was a son of a Ukrainian mother and a Jewish father, was born in Donbass, and with his Mongols (who also came out of Ukraine) went Eastwards, rather than the other way around. This is covered in the "scientific" work by a historian from Kharkov, Aleksandr Zinuhov:

It would've been hilarious, had this literal shit or its diluted version not made its way into the Ukrainian school textbooks and the general "all civilizations came out of Ukraine and everybody owes us" mentality that's been fostered over the past 30+ years. A historian Aleksei Pensensky called this a "historical suicide" at the end of this article you can read (use a translation function) here: Христос, Будда, Тутанхамон, Чингисхан – великие украинцы! И только Пушкин – еврей….

You could say the above V. Bebik is just a freak outlier—but again, no, I cited two historians, and Bebik's bio alone is quite impressive:

A worthy learned man - Doctor of Political Sciences, Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Professor, Vice-Rector of the University "Ukraine", Chairman of the All-Ukrainian Association of Political Sciences... Back in the 90s, he worked as a chief consultant in the press service, the Administration of the first presidents of Ukraine Kravchuk and Kuchma. Now he is the head of the working group on social communications of the Public Humanitarian Council under the President of Ukraine. Host of the radio program "From the Depths of Millennia". His scientific articles are regularly published by the official body of the Verkhovna Rada "Voice of Ukraine". Read on WWW.KP.RU:

Propaganda Marketing: the Why? and the How?

Of course, since we've started covering propaganda, Goebbels-style, you by now recognize the pattern and (more importantly) the Why? of propaganda.

You want to manipulate the people into doing something. Typically, something that goes against their best interests.

How can you do it?

There are many frameworks, but they all involve simple, emotional messages, repeated often and loudly.

The brain trust behind StoryBrand framework—an NY Times bestselling author Donald Miller and Dr. J.J. Peterson, an Adjunct Professor of Management at Vanderbilt University—adapted a 5,000-year-old story and hero journey structure to marketing in the following rough way:

  1. A hero is happy, but his/her life is disturbed by a cataclysmic event or a main antagonist, who wants to break the world-as-we-know-it;

  2. The hero must face the trials, learn from the Guide, and grow through these trials, preparing for the final showdown with the Nemesis;

  3. The Nemesis = the Crisis to overcome, has some characteristics, but the main of which is some sense of injustice or unfairness;

  4. The hero must then face and vanquish his/her Nemesis, in order to…

  5. …get back to the "best of all possible worlds".

There are a few more elements, but the gist is the same.

And why the story framework? Because it's powerful and it works. Why? Because we've evolved to understand the world through stories and narratives.

Given that Ukraine of 1991 was a purely made-up entity with diverse ethnic and cultural regions, some of which are historically antagonistic to each other (see below in Myth 9), the new Ukrainian mythology was designed and promoted by Kyiv to build a "unified" Ukrainian identity through this narrative:

  1. Ukrainians = an ancient, proud, European nation, suddenly attacked and destroyed from without by many forces (Poland, the Ottomans, but above all evil Moscow);

  2. Ukrainians must persevere through the trials and tribulations, to face their main Nemesis = Moscow;

  3. Moscow is the big baddie, only the death of which will bring Ukrainians the salvation they seek; the struggle is eternal and without the total destruction of Moscow and death of all Muscovites (= Russians), there will never be peace; all injustices in the history of Ukraine are from Moscow; this is a fight for justice itself;

  4. Ukrainians must therefore bring about the destruction of Russia, in order to…

  5. …achieve peace and prosperity and return into the European civilization (the EU and NATO, because all cool kids are in NATO), which Ukrainians are the progenitors and the defenders of. Then and only then will there be an awesome life where Ukrainians will have no need to work because they will have Europeans to shower them with gifts, because the Ukrainians sacrificed themselves fighting the World Evil, the Satan himself, Russia.

We already saw this framework in action in Goebbels, Brand Management, and Genocidal Myth Making, where we analysed the negative PR anti-Russia campaigns and in particular how a USSR-wide famine and tragedy was turned into an anti-Soviet and now anti-Russia "Holodomor" myth, a would-be "genocide" of Ukrainians. Apart from being anti-Russian in its target, this "genocide" myth was also designed to forge and foster the victim mentality amongst Ukrainians, to amplify the points 1 through 3 of the above framework: "Look what those Muscovites did to us!"

Now, if you use this framework as a prism through which to interpret every single thing that you hear from Kyiv and from some the Ukrainian refugees (countless social media videos of entitled behaviour, not wanting to pay in the public transport, etc. etc.)—if you do that, you'll start noticing this behaviour everywhere.

And please, challenge me on my interpretation—I'm merely combining what I saw happening in the early 1990s, what I've been taught at school after 1991, and my marketing expertise, to highlight patterns.

Does this apply to all Ukrainians? Of course, not!

That's why I wrote this:

I am very conscious in my own counter-propaganda, to separate the common Ukrainians from the actions of the so-called Kyiv "elites".

I am now more than ever convinced, that the above myth-making campaign is nothing short of a mass-scale psychological warfare of the successive Kyiv regimes against their own people.

This mythmaking, coupled with insane taught Russophobia and dehumanizing the Russians, both in Ukraine and abroad, is some advanced next-level brainwashing, turning brother against brother.

We saw in 2014 how this mythmaking (among other things) spilled into a full-blown civil war inside Ukraine.

Our General and Specific Positions on Conflicts and Strategy

It is now worth repeating both our general position on conflicts as well as our specific position as pertains this particular conflict:

  1. Wars and military conflicts are a terrible—and man-made—humanitarian catastrophe.

  2. Like any man-made problems, they have man-made solutions.

  3. In order to agree on even a set of plausible solutions, it is imperative to understand the causes of a conflict. Strategy is how to get from A to B. How can you devise a strategy if you don't know what or where "A" is?

  4. A solution to a conflict needs to be plausible.

  5. In terms of the Ukraine conflict, the current behaviour of the Western governments leads to no plausible solution. Zero, keine, bupkis, никакого. It (the Western behaviour) is both unjust and counter-productive—if your goal were to actually end the conflict.

I therefore am pursuing a triple goal here:

  1. To develop and teach a framework for applying critical and strategic thinking to information flows and good strategy;

  2. To educate people about the nature of this very conflict (its causes, actors, motivations);

  3. To help nudge (with your help, if you agree with my position) the society towards a better strategy than the current one of "Quickly! Pour more oil into the fire!"

Propagandistic Myths and Myth-Conceptions: A Case for the Defence, Your Honour

Some people ask: why am I covering the Western Propaganda and not also Russian Propaganda? Especially, as I believe that every conflict has several sides, and no one side is 100% at fault?

  1. First of all, I already said that every side lies (the last "P" in P(L)EGSHIP framework from our Dirty Dozen (Thinking Principles)).

  2. Second, as per Uncle Ben, "with great power comes great responsibility". I find the West to generally have more power (military and financial) to influence the world affairs, and therefore this should be accompanied with more responsibility. Their completely irresponsible and oftentimes malicious use of power (e.g., Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) hoax to start an utterly criminal and barbaric war against Iraq in 2004 to plunder the Iraqi gold and oil reserves) makes them the absolutely legitimate # 1 target for criticism, in my opinion. It's not that the "other" side is white and cuddly, it's just that I don't care about a petty thief while a homicidal mass-murdering maniac is on the loose.

  3. I objectively find the so-called "Russian Propaganda" to be much closer to the objective truth than the Western & Kyiv Propaganda. A Ukrainian blogger Yuri Podolyaka once said, Moscow coverage of the conflict is 10% BS, while the Kyiv coverage is 90% BS.

There's an alternative look at what we're doing: I'm being a defence lawyer, while you're being the jury. The case for the prosecution is obvious and made elsewhere at length. I'm presenting the defence side of the story.

My job here isn't "academic", it's pointed towards action. I use facts and evidence and make my case as to how I would interpret the evidence.

Your job as the jury is to agree or disagree. But above all, your job is to think.

And as I keep saying from the very beginning, I have my own biases, which I am open about.

With this explainer out of the way, let's present the standard laundry list of the Western talking points about the Ukraine conflict and everything that led up to it:

  1. On 24 February, 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine in an act of an unprovoked aggression, violating Ukraine's sovereignty, UN Charter, Budapest Memorandum, and decency itself.

  2. Ukraine is standing up for democratic values against the authoritarian dictatorship of Putin.

  3. All Ukraine ever wanted was to protect itself by joining NATO—every country should be able to join whatever defensive military alliance it wants.

  4. The Kremlin saying that NATO is a threat is BS: NATO is a defensive alliance and pauses no threat to Russia.

  5. Putin sees the restoration of the former Russian Empire and is expansionist and aggressive against its neighbours, and it's the cause of the Ukraine invasion.

  6. The Kremlin instigated the Donbass separatism after having illegally annexed Crimea. For 8 years, Russia had funded the Donbass separatists and committed war crimes in Donbass, including the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 / MH17 aircraft.

  7. Europe and Kyiv wanted to peacefully solve the Donbass situation through the Minsk Accords, which Russia kept sabotaging for 8 years.

  8. Maidan was a peaceful, popular protest movement against the pro-Russian "puppet" President Yanukovych, while anti-Maidan was a Kremlin-sponsored separatist movement that started the atrocities like the events that led up to the burning of people in Odessa in May 2014.

  9. Putin personally and Russians in general, want to perpetrate the genocide of the Ukrainian nation, while all Ukrainians are together in this fight against the Russian aggression.

  10. Ukraine has no neo-Nazi influence; how can it, their President is Jewish; if there are any neo-Nazis, they are few and far between, every country has some, look at Russia!

  11. This is an inhumane war of aggression, with Putin personally giving orders to his troops to rape, steal, and murder Ukrainian people; Russia is a terrorist state for targeting civilians.

  12. The only way to help Ukraine is to pump more weapons, so that more Ukrainians die in the meatgrinder of war. Only more war will lead to peace.

  13. Russia and Russians are inherently evil (orcs, an Asiatic Horde), Ukrainians are inherently good (elves, the beacon of European values), and Russia has a thousand years of imperialistic and genocidal track record, especially against Ukraine.

  14. Everything that comes out of the Kremlin and Russia in general is "Russian disinformation", anything out of China and Iran is pure propaganda—and only the Western mainstream media are the most honest and fact-based media in the world.

  15. Russian language status in Ukraine was never the issue, and anyway only a minority of Ukrainians speak Russian, and BTW Russia surely doesn't pay for state schools to teach in anything other than Russian, so there!

All of the above statements are pure BS and propaganda, but let's address these one by one.

Myth 1: Russia's Unprovoked Aggression Against a Sovereign Nation Violated UN Charter

1— On 24 February, 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine in an act of an unprovoked aggression, violating Ukraine's sovereignty, UN Charter, Budapest Memorandum, and decency itself.

Who is spreading this myth: every article in the Western mainstream media is accompanied with the words "unprovoked aggression" when it comes to describing what Russia is doing on the territory of Ukraine. You can just Google it. The "Russia violates UN, Budapest, and decency itself" is repeated ad nauseam both in the media and on the social media.

Why is this done?

First of all, this is done in order to manufacture consent for the West's proxy war against Russia. But second of all, it is to make oneself feel better for own war crimes such as lying to the UN about Iraqi WMDs as a pretext to a war of aggression, or a litany of other such crimes against humanity. I am convinced that this psychological need to not feel like you're a criminal, live in a criminal country, and supporting a criminal regime—this need to find somebody else and go, "See! They're so. Much. Worse!"—this need is what's driving the "average" Western media consumer to jump onto the "Russia bad!" bandwagon.

Because deep down inside, the average Western media consumer knows the genocidal destruction that their governments wreck abroad. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti… how many other countries had been criminally attacked, militarily and economically, by the US and its vassals—erm, "allies"? How many millions of lives lost and ruined? But feeling impotent against their own crimes, the average Western consumer now has a release valve for their frustrations, because look! Russia exists, and it's BAAAD!

Anyway, this is a short but important aside into my personal hypothesis of one of the major psychological underpinnings for the current attitudes & behaviours.

Now, back to the analysis of the myth.

Noam Chomsky addresses the very point of "unprovoked aggression" in the video below 👇

Noam Chomsky is one of those people that when he speaks, you'd better listen. Here's his take on the propaganda applied to the Ukrainian conflict:

Chomsky is much more balanced than I—my reading of some of the things he describes here is different—but that's exactly the reason I appreciate listening to another perspective, delivered calmly and with evidence. I appreciate listening to alternative reading of the situations, because they make me and my arguments better.

He and I (and many others) consider this conflict to be provoked, and any other reading is propaganda.

He considers the Russian actions to be provoked and criminal, while I do not consider them to be criminal. In terms of criminality, I do not understand Chomsky's position beyond that one statement, because he does not expand and the interviewers do not ask; I do not know where he's coming from, why he's saying what he's saying on the "criminality" point.

I do know the position of Scott Ritter, a decorated former US Marine Intelligence Officer and a UN weapons inspector who stood up at cost to himself (and unfortunately, in vain) to the US Government on the Iraqi WMDs: Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression published in Consortium News on 29 March, 2022—where he writes this (emphasis added):

The bottom line is that Russia has set forth a cognizable claim under the doctrine of anticipatory collective self defense, devised originally by the U.S. and NATO, as it applies to Article 51 which is predicated on fact, not fiction.

While it might be in vogue for people, organizations, and governments in the West to embrace the knee-jerk conclusion that Russia’s military intervention constitutes a wanton violation of the United Nations Charter and, as such, constitutes an illegal war of aggression, the uncomfortable truth is that, of all the claims made regarding the legality of pre-emption under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, Russia’s justification for invading Ukraine is on solid legal ground.

Whether or not the Russian actions are criminal is also beside the point—if these actions had been provoked, we must focus on the act of provocation itself, first and foremost. Fix the cause, the effect will follow. Therefore, I can continue comfortably holding my position, knowing full well that where it really matters, Noam Chomsky and I hold the same position.

More on "provoked" regarding the exact details of how and why—have a listen to these in full, I think they are great, and The Duran one also relates to propaganda and the US intelligence:

As for sovereignty and all the implications therein… since USA's Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland facilitated a successful coup d'état in Kiev in 2014 and subsequently installed a puppet regime, we can be sure that "Ukraine" since 2014 no longer was a sovereign country.

There's plenty of evidence to this, including this flex by Biden when he strong-armed the Ukrainian President to remove the State Prosecutor. Oh, and there's a nice tip of the iceberg Hunter Biden-to-Ukrainian corruption hint there, too! 👇👇

UPDATES after 20 February, 2023 👇👇

After I published this piece, I was (quite correctly) criticized for saying some things without evidence:

You can read her other responses, which I'll get into shortly.

LittleDesertFlower is correct, and I appreciate this type of evidence-based argument and truly thank LDF for spending her time to read and comment on the article.

Now, let's get through the arguments one-by-one. This will be a response to the debunking within debunking.

Note: we're having a really good discussion, so this is ongoing and I'll update here what happens—or, you can follow the Twitter discussion.

Victoria Nuland's Call

Victoria Nuland's call is not an evidence of her planning and facilitating the coup.

Not by itself, no.

But as analysed by Chay Bowes, an independent Irish journalist and political analyst, in his essay An Inevitable War.., the involvement of high-ranking US Government officials in the internal affairs of Ukraine is quite astounding. Read the part “Maidan” an unmissable opportunity to see multiple visits by Victoria Nuland to meet with Maidan leaders, or the senator John McCain giving addressing the protestors:[1]

McCain even thought it would be a good idea to stand brazenly with Tyagnibok on a stage in Maidan square, proclaiming to thousands of protesters that “the free world is with you, America is with you, I am with you.”

Incredibly the United States Senator made this speech while the democratically elected Government of Yanukovych and the millions of Ukrainians that had legitimately given him their vote looked on in dismay.

By use of the Victoria Nuland call is not a "single" piece of evidence, on which I base my conclusions—it's part of the cumulative evidence.

LDF further says:

But, Nuland's call took place prior to 7 February, 2014 (when BBC reported on it)[2]—while Yanukovych's agreement to form an interim "Unity" Government was agreed to on the 21 February, 2014.[3]

Finally on this call, LDF says:

I cordially disagree. Involvement of high-ranked foreign individuals, on the ground, during a protest demonstration-cum-uprising-cum-insurgency, to me is the quintessential violation of a country's sovereignty:

Now, admittedly, I do not know the standard UN law precedents or stance on the involvement of foreign politicians in the internal politics of UN members. I don't think it's a no-go, but I'm willing to discuss the arguments.

So far, let's leave it with this:

Biden's Involvement

Biden's behaviour in 2018 is neither shady, nor related (see the picture).

To be honest, there are a lot of red flags regarding the Biden's family connection to Ukraine corruption.

  • Do I care to investigate this? Not now.

  • Is it "unrelated"? No, it's very much related. As a governance professional (Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors in 2022), I see many red flags about the conflict of interest of Biden with regard to Ukraine. I think, it is 100% related to the question at hand. A professional director with this level of conflict of interest would be forced to resign. And conflict of interest in governance isn't even something necessarily tangible—even perception of the conflict of interest is enough. That's considered good governence practice.

  • Do we know for sure Biden's family is involved in corruption in Ukraine? No.

  • Is there enough evidence to start an investigation? Republicans seem to think so—but again, I don't want to get into the minutiae of American internal politics, for there's no question that this is politically-motivated. But even if it's politically-motivated, this doesn't mean it's not true.

  • Facts are: Hunter Biden has business dealings in Ukraine (Google "Hunter Biden Ukraine business"); Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe (Google "Ukraine" and "corruption" in the same sentence, this claim is self-evidence, but I can also do that work later if needed; just read Igor Kolomoyskiy's Wiki page—when your leading oligarch is this corrupt, you know corruption runs deep).

  • You just don't do business in Ukraine at the highest level, without somehow being implicated in corruption. This requires a separate massive article I might get to in due course—I'm comfortably leaving this as the "weakest" part of my argument. For now.

  • Biden's strong-arming Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk to fire the Prosecutor General, essentially blackmailing them with the $1B loan guarantee… this is a debatable one:

    • On the one hand, yes, I suspect there were strings attached regarding the "corruption" and other governance-related. I accept this without verification—I am convinced verification will support this point. So, LDF is right.

    • On the other hand, is a brief discussion between Biden and Porosh and Yats the appropriate procedure for dealing with this? Who the hell is Biden, anyway, in this scenario?

    • I don't know the exact details of the loan guarantee, but good governance practice would assume there's some form of a contract, and this contract would proscribe the procedure by which "corruption" would be identified and by which the Ukrainian side should be going about rooting it out. Biden's recounting of the situation does not fit what a contract involving that number should look like. But maybe at that level, all things are dealt with like that? I don't know.

    • Summary: LDF is right. Proof of anything? Maybe not. Still dodgy, though, in my opinion.

  • I'd like to know more how LDF would prove Biden is not dodgy with regard to Ukraine, though.

Yanukovych's Last Days (as President)

In these 2 tweets, LDF starts off correctly but ends up with missing a vital point:

  • 21 February, 2014:[4]

    1. Yanukovych signs into law a deal with the opposition parties to revert constitution to the 2004 version, to hold early elections (no later than December 2014), and to create a "Unity" Government in the interim;[5]

    2. The opposition leaders (Klichko, Yatsenyuk, Tyahnibok) announce this to the Maidan crowd;[6]

    3. Right Sector's Yarosh basically says, "Nah, not gonna happen"—and gives Yanukovych until the morning of 22 February, 2014, to step down, promising that they will storm the Government quarter.[7]

  • 22 February, 2014:

    1. Ynukovych is nowhere to be found;

    2. Verhovna Rada gathers and (under Yatsenyuk) passes into law that Yanukovych is no longer the President,—but!

    3. This decision is illegal and unconstitutional, at least because Rada did not have the quorum. In 2021, a lawyer and MP from the President's party "Sloga Naroda" agreed that this wasn't "completely legal".[8]

One also needs to understand that the the Ukrainian far-right started capturing administration and police buildings in the West of Ukraine long before the events of the 21 February.[9] This included getting access to firearms.[10]

A More Balanced View

Branko Marcetic's piece A US-Backed, Far Right–Led Revolution in Ukraine Helped Bring Us to the Brink of War for Jacobin from 7 February, 2022—is probably the best, most comprehensive and yet balanced piece about Maidan 2014 written by anyone in the Western media.[11]

A: This piece of journalism is just great, highly recommend reading.

And B: the reality is a bit more complex than what I make it out to be—for sure. But as the late, great Stephen F. Cohen once said:[12]

Cohen sees enough bad intent, misconceptions, and misperceptions to go around, but on balance thinks Moscow’s narrative, almost entirely deleted from US mass media, is closer to the historical realities of 2013–2014.

This (everyone lies, but on this particular point, Moscow's position is much closer to the objective truth) is what I subscribe to, too.

Now, I remove all the subtlety for a conscious reason (see my conclusion to this very piece as an example): I think this helps. It's my counter-narrative battle.

But for those like LDF who quite rightly call me out on this, here's the real position with all the subtlety (but still shrunk to a few bullet points):

  • In 2013, a large minority of Ukrainians got really angry about Yanukovych's Government's corruption, and took to the streets.

    • This may or may not have been influenced by some US elements, or it might've been largely organic.

    • Some involvement is highly likely: through the decades of the US NGOs operating in the country, there's been developed a methodology and the network for instigating exactly this type of protests, dating back to 2004's Orange Revolution.

  • Were there legitimate grievances? Yes.

  • Were these legitimate grievances manipulated somehow? For sure. The economic deals were not properly explained / discussed, some branding of the Maidan was the "pro-EU vs pro-Russia" narrative, rather than "what's best for Ukraine"—which, BTW, was unequivocally the Russian deal.[13]

  • Far-right groups, either with or without the nudging from the US agents, started getting involved, and the Maidan started getting violent.

  • Here are several things we could say of the US involvement:

    • Do we know for sure? No. We're holding the proverbial "smoking gun", though.

    • Could the US have planned and instigated the whole thing? That's unlikely. Nobody can predict the exact turn of events once the mob gets unleashed.

    • Could the US have planned some scenarios on how to destabilize Ukraine? That's very likely. Maybe not everyone in the Capitol or the White House was on-board with, or was even aware of, what was going on. Maybe even very few people in the Capitol or the White House knew what was going on. But it's highly likely some did.

    • Could the US have piggy-backed on the legitimate protest, and nudged it into the violence and eventual coup? This is highly likely. The far-right did exactly this via a false-flag massacre (see Myth 8: Maidan a "peaceful" movement).

    • Could the US have co-opted, via the far-right, a legitimate, peaceful protest into something more radical and violent? This is highly likely, too.

    • Could it be that the far-right forces got "out of control" and the goals that the US wanted to achieve (the 21-Feb agreement) got sidetracked by the actions of the Right Sector's Yarosh? That's also possible.

    • Did some US groups related the hawkes in Washington (via NGOs) have participated in the gathering of the Maidan protests in the first place? I have no doubt, given the American involvement in protests in various places (Iran, for exmaple) and time (2004 Orange Revolution).

Which level of involvement do you think the US had?

I'm waiting for some other points from LDF, but I just presented what I consider overwhelming evidence that the US was at least somehow involved in the coup—definitely in the very last stage(s).

Finally, using our motive/means/opportunity query—they had all 3—expecially after the Yanukovych Government signed the (objectively better for Ukraine) economic deal with Russia.

After all, who was giving all these loans woth of $1B?

So, in short:

  1. Was the Maidan a "coup d'état"? Insofar as the actions of the Right Sector's Yarosh on the eve of 21 February, 2014, and the subsequent taking by force of the Government buildings and the unconstitutional Rada "vote" to remove Yanukovych from the post of the elected President, triggering an unconstitutional transfer of power, can be called a "coup d'état", then yes, it unquestionably was.

  2. Was it "US-instigated"?

    • Insofar as we take the widest possible meaning of the word "To initiate or bring about, often by inciting. To urge on; goad."[14]—then yes, certainly, the actions of the high-ranking US politicians certainly incited and goaded the Maidan protests, through Senators John McCain and Chris Murphy visiting the Maidan, McCain's speech, Victoria Nuland's visits and cookie handouts and phonecalls.

    • Insofar as we take the narrower definition, where "Instigate implies responsibility for initiating or encouraging someone else's action and usually suggests dubious or underhanded intent"[15]—then highly likely, though chances are that the origins were not the Department of State at the beginning. See this quote from the aforementioned Jakobin article by Branko Marcetich when discussing the 2004 Orange Revolution:

      Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine.

    • Using the Cambridge Dictionary's definition "to cause an event or situation to happen by making a set of actions or a formal process begin"[16]—then yes, certainly, the actions of various actors associated with the US caused the coup to happen. Were they the only actions? No. Ukraine's far-right had a lot to do with it, and so did some Ukrainian people (though minority). But did the US actions contributed to the final outcome? And were these the key contrebutions? Yes, and yes.

  1. Was the subsequent regime a "US-puppet" regime?

    • Let me put it differently: in the absence of Russian loan and cheap gas and joint common market area, did the US become the key lender to the Ukraine? Yes. Did that lending come with strings attached? Hell, yes. How long was the piece of string? I'm mixing puns but you get the idea. I intend to investigate the economic underpinnings fully in a later post.

    • Did Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, discuss placing certain individuals into the seats of power? Yes. Did said individuals end up in the key seats of power? Yes. Does this look like normal foreign relations to you? Looks like "puppetry" to me.

    • Did the US (via Biden, for example) manage to exert an outsize influence on the internal Ukrainian politics? Yes.

In short, I'm comfortable with the evidentiary support for all my statements that I had previously made without evidence.

Again, I thank LittleDesertFlower for pointing all of this out.

I'll leave you with this derogatory comment about Zelensky:

END UPDATES, now back to the original piece 👇👇

Let me be absolutely clear here: US interfered into the internal Ukrainian politics by instigating Maidan and then planting a puppet regime, then continued interfering into the Kyiv politics by telling the President what to do; this is enough obvious evidence to claim that:

  1. US violated the UN Charter and any agreements it had been party to with Ukraine, such as Budapest Memorandum (not a treaty) where it explicitly states that the US agrees to "refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by the signatory of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind."[17]—and
  1. In 2014, with toppling of the democratically elected President Yanukovych, Ukraine lost its sovereignty due directly to the actions of the USA, after which time Ukraine no longer was a sovereign country. This would also make any agreements entered with the former (constitutional) Ukrainian Government null and void, because the Kyiv regime no longer represents the sovereign Ukrainian state.

And just to overkill on the "provocation" part, lest there be any remaining doubt—the fact that the NATO expansion would eventually lead to a hot conflict was clear to everyone in the West. Just to give you two examples:

  1. In 1997, a group of 50 US foreign policy experts (including Robert McNamara and Susan Eisenhower) wrote an open letter to President Clinton about the dangers of the NATO expansion.

    • All they said came to pass, starting with that in Russia, NATO expansion will "strengthen the nondemocratic opposition, undercut those who favor reform and cooperation with the West, bring the Russians to question the entire post-Cold War settlement" and in Europe, "foster instability, and ultimately diminish the sense of security of those countries which are not included".[18]

    • You can follow this thread of mine on this and other material about who in the US warned against the NATO expansion to the East:

    • And no, this provocation wasn't an "accident"—it was by design:

  • More recently, in 2008, when the Bush admin was pushing for the Ukraine's NATO MAP, here's what the US Ambassador to Russia warned:[19]

    In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests. At this stage, a MAP offer [an offer to Ukraine of a path to NATO membership via a “Membership Action Plan”] would be seen not as a technical step along a long road toward membership, but as throwing down the strategic gauntlet… It will create fertile soil for Russian meddling in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

    —William Burns, US Ambassador to Russia, in an email to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, February of 2008.

You get the idea. The cumulative evidence for the provocation is so overwhelming, I'm constantly flabbergasted at the insistence of the Western propagandists, political liars, and useful idiots that the Russia's reaction was "unprovoked". There's no other way to call these people.

Myth 2: Ukraine = Democracy, Russia = Dictatorship

2— Ukraine is standing up for democratic values against the authoritarian dictatorship of Putin.

Who's spreading this myth, completely or in parts: again, this pops up everywhere, from CNN to the print media to social, this is a standard narrative.

That Ukraine is not a democracy is easily shown. Ukraine in January 2022 was the most corrupt country in Europe. After February 2022, Zelensky closed opposition parties and opposition TV channels.[20]

But even before February 2022, there were stories about Zelensky's corruption,[21] closing down TV channels,[22] placing opposition politicians under house arrest,[23] and generally becoming more autocratic,[24] with aggressive in-fighting.[25]

What's fascinating is how the likes of NY Times, The Guardian, The National Interest, DW et al. have all had a case of collective amnesia about Ukraine's corruption and slide into authoritarianism—and this amnesia happened at around 24 February, 2022.

There's even a hypothesis that Zelensky wanted war. Here's Brazil's Lula da Silva in an interview to Time magazine on 4 May, 2022:

If you were President right now, what would you do? Would you have been able to avoid the conflict?

I don’t know if I’d be able to. If I was President, I would have phoned [Joe] Biden, and Putin, and Germany, and [Emmanuel] Macron. Because war is not the solution. I think the problem is that if you don’t try, you don’t fix things. And you have to try.


And now, sometimes I sit and watch the President of Ukraine speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the [European] parliamentarians. This guy is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war, there’s not just one person guilty.


I don’t know the President of Ukraine. But his behavior is a bit weird. It seems like he’s part of the spectacle. He is on television morning, noon, and night. He is in the U.K. parliament, the German parliament, the French parliament, the Italian parliament, as if he were waging a political campaign. He should be at the negotiating table.

Can you really say that to Zelensky? He didn’t want a war, it came to him.

He did want war. If he didn’t want war, he would have negotiated a little more. That’s it. I criticized Putin when I was in Mexico City [in March], saying that it was a mistake to invade. But I don’t think anyone is trying to help create peace. People are stimulating hate against Putin. That won’t solve things! We need to reach an agreement. But people are encouraging [the war]. You are encouraging this guy [Zelensky], and then he thinks he is the cherry on your cake. We should be having a serious conversation: “OK, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV.” And we should say to Putin: “You have a lot of weapons, but you don’t need to use them on Ukraine. Let’s talk!”

But… Why? In no particular order, the reasons for Zelensky wanting war could be that:

  • His rating was slipping and the war gave him a way to unprecedented control over power and money (something he essentially admitted in his 23 August, 2022, interview to the Washington Post):[26]

    (click through on the tweets below if it doesn't render fully in your browser 👇👇)

  • He's simply afraid for his life in front of the Ukrainian far-right ultranationals.[27]
  • He's simply following the orders of the foreign interests (e.g., Boris Johnson flying urgently to Kiev to kibosh the budding Istanbul Agreements, as verified by many people including Ukrainska Pravda[28] and Israel's Naftali Bennet[29]).[30]

As for the charge that Russia is an authoritarian dictatorship regime, let's see the definition of an authoritarian regime from Encyclopaedia Brittannica:

Authoritarianism, principle of blind submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action. In government, authoritarianism denotes any political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or a small elite that is not constitutionally responsible to the body of the people. Authoritarian leaders often exercise power arbitrarily and without regard to existing bodies of law, and they usually cannot be replaced by citizens choosing freely among various competitors in elections. The freedom to create opposition political parties or other alternative political groupings with which to compete for power with the ruling group is either limited or nonexistent in authoritarian regimes.

Authoritarianism thus stands in fundamental contrast to democracy. It also differs from totalitarianism, however, since authoritarian governments usually have no highly developed guiding ideology, tolerate some pluralism in social organization, lack the power to mobilize the entire population in pursuit of national goals, and exercise power within relatively predictable limits.

Russia fits some of the above, yes, but not all. I don't find Putin's exercise of power "arbitrary", for instance—all his powers are proscribed in the Constitution. Can he institute a change in the constitution? Sure. Is his power to do so absolute? I don't think so.

I find this article from a Washington think-tank to be very informative: Russia’s Adaptive Authoritarianism | The New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington D.C.; 25 May, 2021:

Today’s Russia is not simply the totalitarian dictatorship that many contemporary analyses tend to present it as. Instead, Putin, as a head of state, fulfills the role of a coordinator or arbiter between Russia’s powerful factions and interest groups that make up its elite. That elite itself also doesn’t simply rule through blunt authoritarianism but has instead established a more nuanced, tightly controlled system of “managed democracy” that plays an important role in establishing legitimacy for the elite. This system effectively shares the trappings of both democracy and dictatorship. But as with any political system, its nature is forced to adapt to changes in its external environment and domestic requirements.

Read more on Russia if you want, the detailed analysis is beyond the scope of this post.

If we're taking a comparative approach, Ukraine under Zelensky has already disintegrated into a full-fledged fascist state (except without sovereignty), while Russia under Putin is fairly responsive to its population.

Myth 3: Every Country Can Join Whatever Military Alliance They Like

3— All Ukraine ever wanted was to protect itself by joining NATO—every country should be able to join whatever defensive military alliance it wants.

First of all, Ukrainian support for joining NATO until 2013 was very low: around 17-24%.

Why is 2013 important? Because this is when the Maidan Coup started taking place (finished in early 2014).

The first talk about Ukraine joining NATO was in 2008: completely strange, as the support back then was at around 21%. But this was apparently pushed for by the Bush administration.[31]

Anything that one would consider post-2014 depends on how you treat the 2014 Maidan. If you treat it as an unconstitutional coup, then any decisions by the subsequent post-coup regime are illegitimate, and any polls would be compromised by the totalitarian media (the lack of free media in Ukraine we've already partially addressed).

I claim that the NATO decision was not a popular one—certainly provably so back in 2008, when it started. It was also pushed for by the US, not Ukraine itself, which makes absolutely no sense if you take the Ukraine's supposed sovereignty and internal security concerns.

As for "anyone should be able to join whatever military alliances the want"—this is just a very naïve statement.

Ignore the stupidity of this statement when it comes to a hypothetical military alliance of Mexico and China, for instance.

Just read this from CNN about the actual China-Solomon Islands Security Agreement:[32]

As China put it, it was a mutually beneficial agreement aimed at creating peace and stability in the Solomon Islands, a country with a population less than half the size of Manhattan that was rocked by violent protests last year.

But other countries saw it differently.

To Australia, New Zealand and the United States, it was Beijing’s latest power play in an ongoing struggle for influence in the Pacific – a move that some claim threatens the very stability of the region.


But beyond the political and security fears, experts say the situation is a reality check for Australia and its partners that they need to adopt a different approach to China’s rising influence.

“Australia and the United States still haven’t woken up to the reality of Chinese power and how we’re going to deal with it,” said Hugh White, an emeritus professor of strategic studies at Australian National University, who previously worked as a senior adviser to the Australian defense minister and prime minister. “In both Canberra and Washington, they think that somehow we can make China go away, put China back in its box.”

Or this from The Diplomat:[33]

Given all these pressures, it is not difficult to foresee a potential scenario where a conflict between the proxies of China and the U.S. and its allies, could occur – with devastating effect – in the Solomon Islands. There is no question that security in the Solomon Islands is greatly undermined by this agreement, despite Sogavare’s assertions to the contrary.

This comes from the same people who claim that Ukraine should be allowed to join whoever it wants.

Spot a difference, so to speak.

As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keeps saying, one country cannot guarantee its security at the expense of another. Yet this is exactly what Ukraine joining NATO would be: a threat to Russia (see the next myth).

Myth 4: NATO Is a Defensive Alliance and Pauses No Threat to Russia

4— The Kremlin saying that NATO is a threat is BS: NATO is a defensive alliance and pauses no threat to Russia.

NATO started unprovoked wars against sovereign states on 2 separate occasions: Yugoslavia and Libya.

This alone, beyond any reasonable doubt, proves that NATO is very much an offensive alliance.

USA—the key driver of NATO decision-making—has started wars or military interventions, with the serious help of NATO member countries, against other sovereign nations: Iraq and Syria, for example.

Notice the key element that joins all of the above? It's oil and/or geopolitical location (Yugoslavia was the only country to have had zero oil).

Russia has oil, gas, gold, and a key geopolitical location.

Is the logic here not obvious?

Myth 5: Putin Just Wants to Restore the Russian Empire

5— Putin sees the restoration of the former Russian Empire and is expansionist and aggressive against its neighbours, and it's the cause of the Ukraine invasion.

Would Putin be against restoring the Russian Empire?

In the absence of costs to doing so, maybe not.

Is this the # 1 driver of his decisions?

No way.

Pre-2022 Russian Federation lived largely off sucking stuff out of the ground (oil, gas), sticking it into the pipes going to the EU (Germany, primarily), and living off of this trade.

The Russian elites (Putin included) are fat cats, happily making a (massive) buck from this resource trade.

With a shrinking population, there is nobody rising up from below to take your place. You life, as a Russian oligarch, is set.

Why would you disturb this comfy life? Why risk it all via sanctions and destroyed market (Germany + Nord Streams)?

That's right: you wouldn't.

Something must've happened to make 24 January, 2022, the only possible decision.

On the opposite side, the cost side, does RF have the resources to lead an expansionist politics? Look at the first year of the Ukrainian campaign, and the answer is: clearly not.

So, there is no upside in expansionism (already enough land & resources), there's only downside (sanctions), and there's also no resources for it.

And under this set-up, anyone claims that Putin is driven by a desire to "expand" Russia?


Now, true, this doesn't have to be the only reason—but my point is that there's neither evidence nor logic to make this any reason, let alone one of the main ones.

Myth 6: Kremlin Started Donbass Separatism

6— The Kremlin instigated the Donbass separatism after having illegally annexed Crimea. For 8 years, Russia had funded the Donbass separatists and committed war crimes in Donbass, including the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 / MH17 aircraft.

People who say this clearly hadn't spoken to anybody from Donbass. Or Crimea.

I covered this in Mariupol & Bucha: Narrative v Reality or you can listen to this interview by Scott Ritter with Aleksandr Khodakovsky, a leader of the "Vostok" unit in Donbass, and at the time of the Maidan events a senior ranked SBU officer, where AK says that the separatism started in the West of Ukraine in the form of Maidan insurgents capturing the municipal centres, getting weapons, then moving towards Kiev and then further East:

You can read about the Maidan versus anti-Maidan split in Ukraine also in the Washington Post, from whence I take this map—highly recommend you check that article out, it's gold:[34]

The reaction of Donbass was truly a spontaneous, bottom-up, people-driven reaction to the US-instigated Maidan insurgency. In addition to the above evidence, I was told the same by multiple sources, including civilians from Donbass and independent international journalists who were in Kiev and Donbass in 2014 (one interview upcoming on Business Games).

Who is spreading the rumour of the Donbass separatism? Post-2014-coup Kyiv regime, Western governments and mainstream media. Outside of the media (who don't have agency) the others are direct beneficiaries of the events to date.

As for MH17, I also covered this in NY Times: Disinformation Central? Or: How I Lost Trust in the Western Mainstream Media and What to Do About It, and I again recommend Prof. Oliver Boyd-Barrett's The MH17 Trial: The Dangers of Presuming the Fairness of a Geopolitically-Driven Enterprise | Citizen Truth; 10 May 2021. Prof. Boyd-Barrett is also a guest on Business Games.

Finally, a quick word on Crimea. See Myth 9 below about how Khruschev randomly gave it to Ukraine in 1954. Forget about prior to that—even after 1954, Crimeans never considered themselves part of Ukraine, my father's generation would've been born in Russia then found themselves randomly in Ukraine overnight, they were strongly anti-Maidan in 2014, their protestors' busses that went to peacefully oppose the Maidan demonstrations were shot up by the pro-Maidan ultra-right forces (many Crimeans killed), saw what was going on in other places in the South-East of Ukraine, genuinely feared for their lives, observed the end of the sovereign Ukraine in a bloody coup, and voted in a legirimate, self-determining referendum to ask Russia for help, which Russia was happy to oblige for its own reasons. Did Russia act for its own reasons? Of course it did. Does this invalidate a legitimate expression of the will and self-determination of the peoples of Crimea, as per the UN Charter? No. I therefore refuse to call this an "annexation", let alone an illegal one. Crimea came home. Where they always felt they belonged. Full stop.

Myth 7: Russia Sabotaged Minsk Accords

7— Europe and Kyiv wanted to peacefully solve the Donbass situation through the Minsk Accords, which Russia kept sabotaging for 8 years.

We can put this to bed, given that Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko, Germany's former Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, France's former President François Hollande, and now soon-to-be-former President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky all came out and said that Minsk Accords' only purpose was to buy Kyiv time to arm itself, and nobody had any interest in making Minsk Accords work, and they all basically lied to Russia.

Also, if you think about it, both Minsk I and Minsk II were initiated by the Kremlin, each time with a major breakthrough after the Donbass Militias resoundingly defeated the Kyiv forces (Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo, respectively). That is, Donbass was winning. The party with the position of strength, who could've back then easily overwhelm the forces loyal to the post-coup Kyiv regime... hell, whose supposed proxy could've easily overwhelmed the Kyiv forces... that party initiates a peace agreement, where it can write anything, then writes it, then gets the other party to sign it... that party then proceeds to sabotage said agreement for 8 straight years?

Even thinking about this logically, the "Russia sabotaged Minsk Agreements" makes no sense.

And yes, I'm simplifying, but the general brushstrokes are as per above.

And then of course came the 2022 and the admissions by all the Kyiv, Berlin, and Paris actors from that time, plus now Zelensky in 2023, who all admitted that they basically lied to Moscow:

  • In Mariupol & Bucha: Narrative v Reality, I cover Poroshenko's words about Minsk to Germany's DW and Ukraine's Espresso TV / Radio Liberty Europe in 2022, with links to the interviews.

  • On 7 December, 2022, Angela Merkel gives an interview to Die Zeit, where she says:[35]

    the 2014 Minsk agreement was an attempt to give Ukraine time.


    She also used this time to get stronger, as you can see today. The Ukraine of 2014/15 is not the Ukraine of today. As you saw in the battle for Debaltseve (railway town in Donbass, Donetsk Oblast, ed.) in early 2015, Putin could easily have overrun them at the time. And I very much doubt that the NATO countries could have done as much then as they do now to help Ukraine.

    ... and also this about the link to the Nord Stream 2:

    It was clear to all of us that the conflict was frozen, that the problem had not been solved, but that gave Ukraine valuable time. Of course, one can now ask the question: Why was the construction of Nord Stream 2 still approved in such a situation?


    Ultimately, for the federal government and for me, it was a matter of deciding whether we would make a new law as a political act to expressly refuse approval of Nord Stream 2.

    ZEIT: What prevented you from doing that?

    Merkel: On the one hand, such a refusal in combination with the Minsk Agreement would, in my view, have dangerously worsened the climate with Russia. On the other hand, the energy policy dependency arose because there was less gas from the Netherlands and Great Britain and limited production volumes in Norway.

    Much is made of this interview in the Russian media ("Merkel admits lying!"), much is made to debunk the Russian view of this interview in the West.[36] While the Western media attempt to say that she hadn't meant it like that, the Russians take it out of context, I invite you to read the full interview (the relevant full snippet in the footnotes, both in German and in English translation) and make up your own mind.

    To me, if you're saying that the goal was to "give Ukraine time" and that you kept stringing Moscow along on the Nord Stream 2, because of its relation to "giving Ukraine time" via the Minsk Accords... this very much feels like she knew full well what Minsk was for: "It was clear to all of us that the conflict was frozen, that the problem had not been solved, but that gave Ukraine valuable time."

    Valuable time for what? To re-arm and try to solve the conflict by force, what they attempted doing in January, 2022?

  • On 14 February, 2023, François Hollande gives an interview to the Kyiv Independent, where he says many things, most of them defensively lest he be accused being weak (my interpretation):[37]

    The Kyiv Independent: In an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit, Angela Merkel said about the Minsk protocols that 'It was obvious that the conflict was going to be frozen, that the problem was not solved, but it just gave Ukraine precious time.'

    Do you also believe that the negotiations in Minsk were intended to delay Russian advances in Ukraine?

    François Hollande: Yes, Angela Merkel is right on this point.

    The Minsk agreements stopped the Russian offensive for a while. What was very important was to know how the West would use this respite to prevent any further Russian attempts.


    Since 2014, Ukraine has strengthened its military posture. Indeed, the Ukrainian army was completely different from that of 2014. It was better trained and equipped. It is the merit of the Minsk agreements to have given the Ukrainian army this opportunity.

    Again, read the full interview.

    It should be obvious that I disregard any attempts on behalf of Hollande to interpret what Putin was thinking or wanted (like, "He dreamt of a recreation of the Soviet Union" is such a propagandistic hearsay, it's not even funny... how would Hollande know what Putin dreams of?)—but speaking for himself or Angela Merkel and their plan for the Minsk Accords, this we can trust IMO.

  • On 9 February, 2023, Zelensky gave an interview to Germany's SPIEGEL, where he said the following:[38]

    SPIEGEL: But you tried to implement the Minsk Agreement yourself?

    Zelenskyj: I jumped on this train, which to be honest was already headed towards the abyss. By "train" I mean these agreements as a whole. Each dot represents a wagon, and when you start picking it apart, you get the point: the whole thing is constructed in such a way that one side can't fulfill something and the other side freezes the conflict. I didn't see any desire in the agreements to leave Ukraine its independence! I understand their point: first of all, they wanted to appease Russia's appetite a little at the expense of Ukraine. Procrastination is perfectly fine in diplomacy. You never know when a decision-maker dies and everything suddenly becomes easier. I saw only one purpose in these agreements: thanks to them, there was an official platform for discussion to solve anything at all. And then I concentrated on the issue of the prisoner exchange and said to the head of the presidential office: Andriy, let's expand this, it's about people. And when we create an all-for-all exchange, we look further. But as far as Minsk is concerned as a whole, I said to Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel: We cannot do it like this.

    Again, this is an admission of not wanting to ratify the accords that Ukraine signed in 2014. As Lula said, "Zelensky wanted war"—this is the only logical interpretation, for if he hadn't wanted it, he would've acted differently.

    If you want to know what Zelensky said to Le Figaro and what the Russians think about this, I could only find the Russian translation and the opinion on it on the site, as my French is definitely not up to my German, Ukrainian, English or Russian level—so I recommend you find Le Figaro interview with Zelensky through other means and then correct my interpretation if need be.[39]

8— Maidan was a peaceful, popular protest movement against the pro-Russian "puppet" President Yanukovych, while anti-Maidan was a Kremlin-sponsored separatist movement that started the atrocities like the events that led up to the burning of people in Odessa in May 2014.

Reality: Maidan was soaked in blood, and it was unpopular: Maidan was a minority-driven insurgency, and more Ukrainian people supported anti-Maidan.

The Maidan and Ukrainian far-right leaders perpetrated a false flag massacre of 100 of their own peaceful protestors, in order to blame Yanukovych and his Government. This was done with at least the quiet prior agreement of the Western governments.

A Ukrainian-Canadian academic and a foremost authority on the Ukrainian far-right, Ivan Katchanovski, a Professor at the University of Ottawa, wrote about his peer-reviewed and censored for political reasons research here:

I tweeted about it here:

I covered this in more detail elsewhere: False Flags, False Narratives.

I provide a primer on the sequence of the 2014 events, including the Odessa Union Building burning and Lugansk air-bombing of civilians here: Mariupol & Bucha: Narrative v Reality. Here I also cover the evidence from the Ukrainian mainstream media polling that anti-Maidan supporters outnumbered Maidan supporters, 48% to 45%.

In my upcoming interview with Johnny Miller, a reporter for Iran's Press TV who reported from Kiev and Donbass in 2014, Johnny talks about what he saw in Maidan (a clearly, in his opinion, sponsored event) versus Donbass (a truly bottom-up people's movement).

I also have multiple eye-witness accounts from Odessa who I trust about who was peaceful and who wasn't.

More Odessa sources that make sense to me are in the footnotes.[40]

Also, Yanukovych was not "pro-Russian"—he was pro-Yanukovych. As almost everyone in Ukrainian politics, he was an oligarch with his business interests. There is not a single Ukrainian oligarch that is pro-Russia. This is very convenient Western narrative to simultaneously dehumanize one side of Ukraine as "pro-Russian" and lionize the other as "pro-Europe".

I'll look separately at the economic underpinnings of this conflict, but in the meantime, here's a good read: What Do the World Bank and IMF Have to Do with the Ukraine Conflict? by Frédéric Mousseau, published on the Our World (by United Nations University) site on 19 August, 2014.[41]

Myth 9: Putin Personally Wants to Perpetrate a Genocide of the Ukrainian Nation

9— Putin personally and Russians in general, want to perpetrate the genocide of the Ukrainian nation, while all Ukrainians are together in this fight against the Russian aggression.

One could easily dismiss any claim starting with "Putin wants" or "Putin dreams" because, well, who knows what Putin wants, really?

Hitchens's Razor: that which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

Yet, there's much ink and even this site dedicated to the question of the so-called desired "genocide" by Putin personally, and Russians in general:

…which I skimmed and to which I reply:

Look up the "facts" on the website, more of my thread, and see for yourself.

Now, the notorious and much talked-about 2021 article by Putin where he speaks of Ukrainians and Russians as being "one people" needs more clarification.

Ukraine is not a uniform country; there is no single Ukrainian identity—no matter what the ultra-nationalists would have you to believe.

Watch this Ukrainian video of Ukrainian history in maps—no words needed—even though it's in Cyrillic, it's clear who controlled which which territories of the 1991 Ukraine, and when:

Now tell me this: how realistic is it to have a single identity between Galicia (around Lvov) that had been under Poland for 700 years on the one hand, and Donbass (Golden Horde, Ottoman Empire, Moscow Kingdom / Russian Empire—the latter since 1700s) on the other?

I speak nothing of Crimea, which had been randomly handed over to Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Khruschev in 1954.[42]

No, Ukraine of 2014 in reality was a multi-ethnic, multi-identity country, with at least 6 wider identities: Galicia, Volhynia, Transcarpathia, Central Ukraine, Donbass & Eastern Ukraine, South Ukraine, Crimea—but likely more.[43]

The already discussed Washington Post story about the Ukrainian conflict in 1 map is a "mapping" (no pun unintended) of these 6 identities into 2 dimensions—but they can also be mapped by the regions' attitudes towards Bandera: hated in the South-East, glorified in the West (click through on the tweet below if it doesn't render fully in your browser) 👇👇

Interesting to note, these divisions had existed forever. I already showed you the 1,000-year map of the "Ukrainian" lands, but here's proof closer to us in history:

  • In late 19th / early 20th century, while most of Ukraine is Soviet and supports Soviet rule, the then-Austro-Hungarian Galicia develops its own genocidal Ukrainian nationalism that gives rise to Andrij Melnik and later Stepan Bandera, in their fervent fascism and anti-communism, and their full-blown collaboration with the Nazis (including the SS division Galizien and other military formations committing Holocaust and other mass murders and war crimes, etc.). We'll cover this in a separate post.[44]
  • After the WW2, CIA developed a plan for destabilizing the USSR via Ukraine—lo and behold, they identified roughly the same regions with different identities! They identified 12 regions, but you could roll these up into 6, or you could stay with 12—this doesn't change our main thesis.[45]

But what does any of this mean for our Ukraine-Russia relations?

Well, you remember Putin's thesis about "one people"? The key argument in the arsenal of the supporters of the "one Ukrainian identity" myth, who use Putin's "one people" thesis as # 1 "evidence" that Putin wants to deny Ukrainians their identity, thereby wanting to commit genocide or ethnocide?

As it turns out, 41% of Ukrainians outside Donbass and Crimea support agree with Putin. If you include Donbass and Crimea with their ~5 million extra people, the majority of "Ukraine" support Putin's thesis that Ukrainians and Russians are "one people" 👇👇

So, either this thesis is correct—or the majority of Ukrainians want to genocide themselves.

The fact of the matter is, there is no single Ukrainian identity. The Ukrainian "identity" used by the ultranationalist comes from the fascist Bandera and is an extension of the Galician identity, forcibly pushed down the throat of the rest of Ukraine, most of which simply rejects this vile ideology.

Hence, the Ukrainian Civil War.


Myth 10: There Are No Nazis in Ukraine

10— Ukraine has no neo-Nazi influence; how can it, their President is Jewish; if there are any neo-Nazis, they are few and far between, every country has some, look at Russia!

If you think of Nazis as the members of the now defunct NSDAP, then yes, there are probably very few surviving members.

But if you consider the ideological followers, the neo-Nazis, then sorry, there is by now incontrovertible evidence that these do, in fact, exist, and that they are, in fact, influential.

Yes, neo-Nazis exist everywhere.

No, not everywhere do they have tanks and are incorporated into the highest echelons of power.

In Ukraine, the parties espousing neo-Nazi ideology are several, diverse, had been in Verhovna Rada (Ukraine's Parliament). They are not in the current version of Verhovna Rada, but this hasn't prohibited Rada from voting in all the policies that favoured the neo-Nazi / far-right ultranationalist parties.[46]

Azov—a bona-fide terrorist organization that was considered as such by various international entities prior to 2022—is described thusly:[47]

The far-right neo-Nazi group has expanded to become part of Ukraine’s armed forces, a street militia and a political party.

Azov is the most prominent such Ukrainian ultranationalist far-right organization, but far from the only one.

Read more about the links between Jewish Zelensky personally and the Ukrainian neo-Nazis here:[48]

Myth 11: War of Aggression, Russia Targeting Civilians

11— This is an inhumane war of aggression, with Putin personally giving orders to his troops to rape, steal, and murder Ukrainian people; Russia is a terrorist state for targeting civilians.

I already covered the myth of the Russian on-the-ground "war crimes" such as targeting civilians and mass rapes, here:

The "crime of aggression" part is covered above in Scott Ritter's Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression.

In short:

  • There is zero evidence that Russian military is targeting civilians.

  • On the other hand, there is plenty verifiable evidence that Ukrainian civilians die due to the actions of the Kyiv army (including the pro-Kyiv forces using civilians as human shield).

  • There is no basis to claim that this is a war of "aggression".

Myth 12: More Weapons to Ukraine = the Only Way to Help

12— The only way to help Ukraine is to pump more weapons, so that more Ukrainians die in the meatgrinder of war. Only more war will lead to peace.

Why is this myth being promoted? Who benefits? Those who benefit include mainly the US (but also NATO-members') military-industrial complex that's raking in unprecedented profit windfall, the US LNG producers (now that they have removed Russian pipeline gas from the German and EU market), and also Washington and London neocon / hawkish geopolitical interests, Zelensky himself and his inner circle.

Losers: EU industry, Russian economy, and definitely Ukraine.

As I wrote Dirty Dozen Thinking Principles: How I Process Information:

  • Ask: Are the actions of the actors consistent with the stated objectives?

    • Almost every foreign official and media presents the policy of "no negotiation" and "sending more and stronger weapons to the Kyiv regime" as being done for the benefit of the Ukrainian people. Is it, though?

    • What's better for the common Ukrainian people: to live or to die?

    • If to die, then to die for what?

    • If you believe that the Russians are genocidal monsters and the Ukrainians are literally fighting for their survival, then this is a "just" (proxy) war by the West. But in that case, wouldn't we see carpet bombing of Ukrainian cities, rivers of blood, and overwhelming evidence for this alleged "genocide"? Also, if this were true, wouldn't it be our (Western) obligation to put boots on the ground? Yet, there is zero evidence that Russian soldiers are targeting civilians, there's no carpet bombing of the cities, no rivers of blood, and clearly the Western governments do not want to put boots on the ground, meaning they themselves do not believe the existential threat to the Ukrainian people from Russia (at least, not enough to warrant the costs). So, is prolonging the conflict in the best interest of the Ukrainian people?

    • No: any policy that stops the conflict sooner is good for the common Ukrainian people, and any policy that prolongs the conflict is bad for Ukrainian people.

    • What alternative explanation could there be for the policy that effectively prolongs the conflict, then? "Using Ukraine as a battering ram in a hybrid war on Russia" seems like the only explanation that fits here. Fighting Russia till the last Ukrainian is actually a brilliant and cost-effective strategy. Which BTW some US leaders freely admit.

This from Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader, on 21 December, 2022:

[…] But the most basic reasons for continuing to help Ukraine degrade and defeat the Russian invaders are cold, hard, practical American interests.

Helping equip our friends in Eastern Europe to win this war is also a direct investment in reducing Vladimir Putin’s future capabilities to menace America, threaten our allies, and contest our core interests.

You can read more evidence for the proxy war view here: The Claim That The Ukraine War Advances US Interests Discredits The Claim That It's "Unprovoked"

Not only is sending more weapons not a step towards peace, it's actually a step away from peace.

Peace could've been achieved many times over:

  • Before 2014, Ukraine could've been peaceful if not for the ultra-nationalist interests inside and the Western influence outside; all that the South-East ever wanted, was to be able to go about their daily lives using Russian language—the dominant language of the South-East of Ukraine; + NATO non-expansion;

  • Between 2014 and 2021, peace could've been had with NATO non-expansion, some autonomous self-determination for Donbass, Crimea going to Russia, and that's it;

  • February & March 2014 (before Istanbul): NATO non-expansion, Donbass and Crimea going off to Russia;

  • September 2022 (after the referenda): NATO non-expansion, Donbass + Crimea + Kherson + Zaporozhie going off to Russia…

At each point in time, there was a less-costly-for-Kyiv-than-afterward peaceful solution.

If this was the goal, it was on the table even before the bloody 2014 Maidan coup and the subsequent Ukrainian Civil War in Donbass.

At every point in time, this was rejected—and we now know especially after Istanbul, who the sabotaging party was: it was always US and UK.

US and US had raised the stakes and escalated at every turn.

Their actions resoundingly invalidate any statement about "peace for Ukrainians".

Myth 13: Russians Are Inherently Evil

13— Russia and Russians are inherently evil (orcs, an Asiatic Horde), Ukrainians are inherently good (elves, the beacon of European values), and Russia has a thousand years of imperialistic and genocidal track record, especially against Ukraine.

I covered this extensively in Goebbels, Brand Management, and Genocidal Myth Making.

This "Russia evil" is a racist smear campaign, a massive dehumanizing campaign running for generations.

Its current expression online (and in increasingly more places offline) is a literal call for a genocide of Russians:

…and here's my "answer" to this vile filth:

You think that Latvian fella is an isolated case? Not at all:

And yes, we need to talk about Krasovsky—the degenerate TV host who said something totally vile on air, was immediately dismissed and whistled down in Russia by 90% of the population. He was inexplicably later reinstated after an apology—a decision which I was always against: I think, his place is out of work and in court, facing a hate-speech charge; many Russians agreed.

But Krasovsky was still the only case I'm aware of. Ukrainian and Baltic TV reports have over a dozen easily discoverable ones. And there are also things like these:

Anyway, enough said.

Now, to close on a positive:

… well, almost:

Myth 14: Russian Media = Disinformation; Western Media = Objective Reporting

14— Everything that comes out of the Kremlin and Russia in general is "Russian disinformation", anything out of China and Iran is pure propaganda—and only the Western mainstream media are the most honest and fact-based media in the world.

In one of his No Mercy / No Malice newsletter entries titled TikTok: Trojan Stallion, Scott Galloway writes this:[49]

Vladmir Putin is a seventh-level wizard at this. He has poured state resources into high- and low-tech means to pit Americans and Europeans against one another, with only a fraction positioned as official state messaging, or even connected to Russia. His objective isn’t to win an argument, it’s to defeat our will. To generate pessimism, not popularity. And the launch vehicle for this weapon is the guy/gal next to you in the foxhole (your neighbor, aunt, etc.).

Scott Galloway is an NYU Stern Professor of Marketing, as well as an entrepreneur and a social justice advocate. I took online courses with him and exchanged a brief LinkedIn conversation; we interact often on Twitter.

I'm giving Scott the benefit of the doubt for now and saying that I believe that his heart is in the right place. I reached out to Scott for a clarification of his stance, given all the new evidence that came to light after he posted his newsletter—I'll update this as soon as I get an answer, if I get an answer.

For now, I'd still claim that the above passage is simply inexcusable for a highly intelligent person and a good analyst. Because RussiaGate looked like an unproven hoax even in its heyday, if you investigated at least a bit more, instead of believing the first thing that your Government told you (in itself a questionable practice, to believe immediately what your Government tells you, it seems; maybe trust but verify?).

Unfortunately, it looks like Scott falls prey here to the typical propaganda of the US state, believing the existence and the extent of the Russian "disinformation" campaigns—based on the report from the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, no less.

Scott repeats (wittingly or not, I cannot tell) the Western trope that I covered already in NY Times: Disinformation Central? Or: How I Lost Trust in the Western Mainstream Media and What to Do About It already, namely "Russian disinformation is so sneaky, it doesn't even have to connect to Russia".

First, "Russian disinformation" is a hoax. Using Hitchens's Razor, I can dismiss without evidence such statements that the likes of NY Times make without evidence:[50]

As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility.

During 2022 & early 2023, there were several critical pieces of the puzzle published by respected researchers:

  • A joint Stanford University's Internet Observatory Cyber Policy Centre and Graphica, NY, report titled Unheard Voice was published on 24 August, 2022:

    Stanford Internet Observatory collaborated with Graphika to analyze a large network of accounts removed from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in our latest report. This information operation likely originated in the United States and targeted a range of countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.

    Our joint investigation found an interconnected web of accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and five other social media platforms that used deceptive tactics to promote pro-Western narratives in the Middle East and Central Asia. The platforms’ datasets appear to cover a series of covert campaigns over a period of almost five years rather than one homogeneous operation.

    These campaigns consistently advanced narratives promoting the interests of the United States and its allies while opposing countries including Russia, China, and Iran.

    After this, Pentagon Orders Review of Its Overseas Social Media Campaigns | NY Times; 19 September, 2022. So, we know this was Pentagon. Incredibly, even in this article NYT manages to write the following:

    Russia pioneered many of these online disinformation tactics, using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to spread divisive messaging. Some of the country’s earliest efforts were aimed at spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda in Eastern Europe. Countries worldwide have mimicked Russia’s techniques.

    So, even when the story is 100% about the Pentagon-run disinformation campaigns, NYT never fails to note who the real culprit is, citing their 2018 article To Stir Discord in 2016, Russians Turned Most Often to Facebook where they keep promoting the false narrative that Russia somehow influenced the 2016 election—the narrative so false, it's been disproven many times over, including by a massive academic study by New York University Center for Social Media and Politics that analysed the extent of the purported "influence", finding none. We'll get to this in a second.

  • A University of Adelaide research into tweets around the first weeks of the hot phase of the Ukraine conflict showed that 60-80% of all tweets are from the accounts that are bots or exhibit bot-like behaviour, and of those, 90%+ are pro-Kyiv regime and only 6.80% pro-Russia (the remainder were "neutral").

  • On 9 January, 2023, WaPo ran an article about the New York University Center for Social Media and Politics research that was published on the same day in Nature Communications—"an offshoot of the science journal Nature magazine". The research was into the question of the extent of the so-called Russian "influence" on the 2016 election—the influence that so many "respected" media outlets made so much fuss about, winning Pulitzer awards in uncovering of the so-called RussiaGate:[51]

    Key findings of the report:

    • Only 1 percent of Twitter users accounted for 70 percent of the exposure to accounts that Twitter identified as Russian troll accounts.

    • Highly partisan Republicans were exposed to nine times more posts than non-Republicans.

    • Content from the news media and U.S. politicians dwarfed the amount of Russian influence content the electorate was exposed to during the 2016 race.

    • There was no measurable impact on “political attitudes, polarization, and vote preferences and behavior” from the Russian accounts and posts.

    As Matt Taibbi put it:

    This should've been more widely covered, yet there's been very little "noise" about it, even by the likes of WaPo, despite the story above.[52]

  • At about the same time, 13 January, 2023, Matt Taibbi breaks another story from the "Twitter Files" archive, about the RussiaGate hoax:

So, all-in-all, we have countless evidence against the RussiaGate hoax—yet like Jason Voorhees, the hoax keeps coming back and keeps getting spread by the "respectable" media like NYT and respectable commentators like Scott Galloway.

To wrap this up, let's switch on our logic: every government lies, but only one government in the world has the golden trifecta of motive, means, opportunity. This government is that of the USA.

USA controls the vast majority of the global social and traditional media. If you remember our Goebbels & Brand Management piece, the key to propaganda is emotional messaging times reach. US has both.

USA also controls all the HQs and the technological choke points when it comes to the social networks, as well as the top tech talent, meaning it can identify and shut down any enemy Psy Op on the one hand, while multiplying the effectiveness of its own Psy Ops.

And you're telling me that Russia is the # 1 disinformation spreader?

Come on, let's be serious.

Myth 15: Ukrainians Speak Ukrainian; Russia Forces All to Speak Russian

Another UPDATE 👇👇

15— Russian language status in Ukraine was never the issue, and anyway only a minority of Ukrainians speak Russian, and BTW Russia surely doesn't pay for state schools to teach in anything other than Russian, so there!

This is a bonus variation on the "good Ukrainian / bad Russian" series of myths. It goes something like this:

  1. Most Ukrainians speak Ukrainian, Russian is a minority language: the official 2001 Census shows that 67.5% of Ukrainians consider Ukrainian their native language versus only 29.6% for the Russian language.[53]
  1. Nobody's forcing anyone to not speak Russian in their private life, but why would you give equal status to a minority-spoken Russian? Where would it end? What about Hungarian, Rumanian, Crimean Tatar?

  2. Why are you complaining about the European-valued Ukraine, when we all know evil Russians are forcefully Russifying everyone; Russia would never fund state education in any language other than Russian. Russia bad! Argh!

So, let's quickly Google for "Russian language in Ukraine" and follow the links to the citations from Wikipedia + switch on critical thinking:[54]

  1. Critical thinking: if you accept a possibility of there being language-based persecution on the territory of Ukraine, you'd have to accept a possibility that any "official" census result produced by any post-1991 Kyiv government might be wrong, at least for one of these reasons:

    • It could've highly likely been falsified (yes, Kyiv governments did and do falsify statistics);

    • It could've suffered from the self-censorship of the respondents, who—knowing full well of the non-desirability to come across as a "Muscovite"—would simply lie to an official government representative about their usage of Russian vs Ukrainian

    • In either case, you would want to triage the official census result with surveys—and this is where we start having problems…:

  2. Multiple nation-wide surveys (typically with ±3% sampling error) by both Ukrainian and Foreign companies show the following picture:

    • More people in Ukraine are proficient in Russian (75%) than in Ukrainian (69) (2010)[55]

    • More people speak predominantly Russian at home (48%) than speak predominantly Ukrainian at home (39%), with the rest being bilingual (2004)[56]

    • 84% of respondents preferred to fill out a questionnaire in Russian than Ukrainian (2008, Gallup)[57]

  1. Why do I trust the surveys performed by the foreign polling companies over the "official" census? Because of logic and knowing the motives of the post-1991 Kyiv governments (to build an ethno-nationalistic unified nation based on the language principle, among other things)—but also by knowing that while I was growing up in the South of Ukraine (not Crimea) in the 1980s and 1990s, I had not heard any Ukrainian spoken on the streets or anywhere amongst any of my acquaintances—none! Zero! Until individual cases well after 1991.

So, we went from "Russian is a minority" language, to 84% of nation-wide respondents prefer answering the questionnaire in Russian.

Talk is cheap (I can say that Chinese is my native tongue, tick the Chinese box in an English-language questionnaire), but actions reveal preferences. Lick choosing the language of the questionnaire.

But what about Russia?

Well, Russian Federal Law lets every region choose its official languages (one must be Russian as the official language at the Federal level, but others can be chosen locally). In all regions, there is a possibility to study local languages, and in some regions like Tatarstan, all children regardless of nationality must learn at least one of the official languages other than Russian (where there's more than one).[58]

For example, in Crimea since 2014, there are 3 official languages: Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar, and Russian, with a full spectrum of education in all 3 languages.[59] Yes, Crimea is part of Russian Federation, regardless whether this is internationally acknowledged or not: RF laws and regulations and banks work on the territory of Crimea, and Ukrainian laws and banks do not.

And yes, all across the Russian Federation, there are state-funded schools teaching fully in the official regional languages, too. Meaning, there are state-funded schools in all the 30+ official languages of the Russian Federation. There are various laws and considerations making it a bit more complicated than what I just presented (for example, there's a consideration that a fully immersive education in a language other than Russian could limit the child's future education and work opportunities, meaning this is discriminatory towards a Russian Federation citizen)—but by and large the Russian Federation attitudes towards the native languages is perhaps some of the most advanced I see in the world (compare to what the French did to the people and languages of Alsace, Brittany, Aquitaine, Corsica, Occitania…). [60]

Meanwhile, back in the "democratic" Ukraine fighting for "European" values…

  • In February 2017, Kyiv banned import of books from Russia;

  • In April 2019, Kyiv regime adopted the law forbidding using Russian at the doctor's, state-owned companies, at schools (from my Ukrainian sources, I find that this also means during coffee breaks the teachers aren't allowed to speak Russian, and there is harrassment of the Russian-language staff in private shops to switch to Ukrainian)(emphasis added):[61]

    The law, which passed with a 278-38 majority, will require all Ukrainian citizens to know the state language and that it be used while performing official duties. Those subject to the latter requirement will include politicians, judges, doctors, employees of the national bank and state-owned companies, officers in the military, teachers and others.

As a sidenote, I don't know what is it with the Nazis and books. 🤷 I mean, I do, and talk about imitations![62]

Speaking of imitations:

To be honest with you, I'm a bit tired of debunking all the Western and Ukrainian myths about Ukraine and Russia—fighting BS is truly an order of magnitude more difficult than to spew it out.

Now BACK to the OG post 👇👇

Conclusion: Fixing the Narrative

I've shown here a relatively easy debunking of the Western talking points about Russia in general and the Ukrainian conflict in particular.

What we must now do is to turn the narrative around—to perform the counter-propaganda. Yes, countering bullshit is an order of magnitude more difficult. But, I believe, it must be done, if for no other reason than this is the best way to stop the escalating humanitarian catastrophe and prevent wars.

The academic in me would've described the conflict in many more shades of grey—but they don't help.

Yes, all sides were complicit in letting the conflict turn into a hot one, with civilian casualties. Conflicts usually have several culprits.

But if "with great power comes great responsibility", then we must accept that the real victim are the civilians of Donbass and the South-East of Ukraine in particular, and the main perpetrator is Washington and their on-the-ground henchmen in the Ukrainian far-right and the post-coup puppet regime in Kyiv.

So, the proper narrative must therefore be:

  1. On 24 February, 2022, Russia intervened on behalf of the people of Donbass, who had been subjected to genocidal attacks from the US-puppet Kyiv regime since 2014 with an escalating aggression in February 2022; thus, Russia is upholding the key principles of the UN Charter and international law, and decency itself, trying to stop the Ukrainian Civil War that the US puppet post-coup Kyiv regime started in 2014 and also trying to return Ukrainians the sovereignty they lost in 2014 through the US actions.

  2. Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe by far, increasingly disintegrating into outright totalitarian fascism under Zelensky; the corruption also evidently involves the Biden family.

  3. US had been provoking Russia for decades through the (irresponsible) NATO expansion including to Ukraine, against the wishes of the 3/4 of the Ukrainian population.

  4. NATO is an offensive alliance with the history of unprovoked aggression against the countries with oil and/or strategic geopolitical position (Yugoslavia, Libya); in addition the US and its NATO vassals—erm, "partners"—have a history of aggression against oil-producing countries, based on blatant lies (Iraq, Syria).

  5. We don't know what Putin thinks—but whatever those thoughts are, his alleged "expansionism" is the last reason for this conflict or for Putin's observed behaviour, in general. Putin's so-called "expansionism" is highly likely a figment of the Western imagination, as all his actions can be better described by defence against the Western aggression.

  6. Maidan started with the US-funded and -instigated (and Western-supported) separatism and insurgency in the West of Ukraine, that spilled into the coup d'état in Kiev in 2014. Donbass (and the Ukrainian South-East in general) never supported this anti-constitutional insurrection, leading to truly bottom-up people's anti-Maidan movement and the referenda in Crimea and Donbass. The post-coup Kyiv regime started the Ukrainian Civil War by shooting at (ostensibly) "its own" civilians in Donbass.

  7. Europe and Kyiv negotiated the Minsk Accords in bad faith, and kept lying to Russia for 8 years. The sole purpose of the Minsk Accords charade was to arm the post-coup Kyiv regime and prepare it to retake Donbass and Crimea by force.

  8. Maidan was literally a bloody minority-driven unpopular coup where the Maidan leaders executed a mass-murder of 100 protestors as a false-flag operation against Yanukovych, then proceeded in their cloody trail through the South-East of Ukraine, including the burning of people live in Odessa in May 2014, dropping an air bomb onto peaceful Lugansk, and many other such cases.

  9. Half the Ukrainians agree with Putin's thesis that Ukrainians and Russians are "one people". Ukraine of the 1991 borders is historically a completely random agglomeration of regions with sometimes incompatible identities, the citizens of some of which often viscerally hate each other. This is a historic fact due to Lvov having been under Poland for 700 years, while Donbass having been under the Horde, the Ottomans, and then the Moscow Kingdom.

  10. Ukraine has massively outsized neo-Nazi influence. For an ideology that is shared by single-digit percentage, the neo-Nazi parties have own military, including tanks and heavy guns. You don't need to be in Rada in order to influence the national politics. NYT wrote about it in early February, 2022.

  11. Russian army is prosecuting a surprisingly careful Special Military Operation, often sacrificing its own goals in order to protect the Ukrainian civilians. This stems both from the Putin's orders directly, as well as from the belief that Ukrainians and Russians are "one people". Pro-Kyiv forces, on the other hand, contain previously convicted (by Kyiv) war criminals, who indiscriminately shell the living quarters of Donetsk in pointless terrorist attacks, who often and vocally speak of wanting to kill everyone in the South-East who is against them, and who use civilians as human shield, causing civilian deaths. Mass rapes are a figment of the former Ombudsman Denisova's sick imagination, picked up by the Western media.

  12. The only way to help Ukraine is force Kyiv to the negotiation table and then let it negotiate, like it did in Istanbul in March 2022. Pumping weapons into Ukraine leads to more destruction of the Ukrainian infrastructure, more deaths of innocent Ukrainian lives, more human suffering. Arming Kyiv is irresponsible if you want to help Ukraine—but it's a brilliant strategy if you want to fight Russia till the last Ukrainian.

  13. Russia is a target of generations-long and very successful smear campaign of dehumanization. Nobody talks about how a Russian prevented a nuclear war in the 1980s on the one hand—while the US is still the only country that deployed a nuclear bomb (let alone two) against the civilians.

  14. Every government lies, but much more of the stuff coming out of the Kremlin looks like truth than one would think, while almost all the stuff that comes out of the Capitol looks like a lie. US Government is the only government in the world that has all 3 of: motive, means, and opportunity to be prosecuting a successful disinformation campaign. Verify everything and pass all the information through our dirty dozen thinking principles.

  15. The ethno-nationalist Kyiv regime wanted to forcefully impose a minority-spoken Ukrainian onto the majority-Russian-speaking country, especially the South-East of Ukraine. This could qualify as an ethnocide. In contrast, Russian Federation promotes all official and unofficial native languages of the Russian Federation, as a state policy; the approach is not without issues, but it's one of the most friendly-towards-minority-cultures regimes in the World.

The counter-propaganda narrative is purposeful. First, it's much closer to the truth, as evidenced here. Second, it's the only narrative that will bring peace to the Ukrainian people.

Because this is the only narrative that will deliver what Putin wanted to achieve in February, 2022—and what Elon Musk later suggested, namely: that each region in Ukraine freely self-determines in a democratic binding referendum on how and where its people want to live.[63]

Just think about this again: what's more noble than allowing Ukrainians to freely choose their own destiny—something that was ripped away from them in 2014 by the far-right neo-Nazis at the behest of the US?

The above narrative is both closer to the objective truth and it helps achieve this noble, humanitarian goal, for the benefit of all Ukrainians (except the neo-Nazis and maybe the oligarchs).

Which is also a fundamental, core Principle of the UN Charter.


  1. An Inevitable War.. | The Islander; 15 January, 2023 ↩︎

  2. Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call | BBC; 7 February, 2014 ↩︎

  3. Yanukovych to form unity government | The Herald; 22 February, 2014 (midnight) ↩︎

  4. If you want, the same in a Twitter reply thread:

  5. Yanukovych to form unity government | The Herald; 22 February, 2014 (midnight) ↩︎

  6. Соглашение об урегулировании политического кризиса на Украине | Wikipedia ↩︎

  7. Евромайдан требует отставки Януковича к утру субботы | RBC Ukraïna; 21 February, 2014 via WaybackMachine ↩︎

  8. Отстранение Януковича в 2014 году было не совсем законным, — "слуга народа" Качура (видео) |; 1 December, 2021 ↩︎

  9. You can read about this in this WaPo article: This is the one map you need to understand Ukraine’s crisis | The Washington Post; 24 January, 2014 ↩︎

  10. A sample list of Ukrainian media stories about the occupation of regional centres and seizing weapons, including the announcement of the Head of the SBU to start an anti-terrorist operation:

  11. A US-Backed, Far Right–Led Revolution in Ukraine Helped Bring Us to the Brink of War | Jacobin; 7 February, 2022. Note: I occasionally appear with Branko on his podcast, 1/200, where he's a regular co-host. ↩︎

  12. Four Years of Ukraine and the Myths of Maidan | The Nation; 3 January, 2018:

    The history of the Ukrainian crisis, which has made everything it affected worse, is distorted by political myths and American media malpractice.

  13. I'll look at this in more detail in a later post, but for now: What Do the World Bank and IMF Have to Do with the Ukraine Conflict? | published on the Our World (by United Nations University) site on 19 August, 2014. ↩︎

  14. Instigate at Wordnik ↩︎

  15. Instigate at Merrian-Webster ↩︎

  16. Instigate at Cambridge Dictionary ↩︎

  17. See UN Document CD/1285 here. Point 3. in nparticular. ↩︎

  18. Opposition to NATO Expansion | Arms Control Association; 26 June, 1997:

    On June 26, a group of 50 prominent foreign policy experts that included former senators, retired military officers, diplomats and academicians, sent an open letter to President Clinton outlining their opposition to NATO expansion. Stanley Resor, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association, spoke at the press conference announcing the letter, focusing on the arms control implications of expansion. Resor's remarks and the group's letter are printed below.

  19. Via Nonzero Newsletter on Substack: Putin the Great ↩︎

  20. Zelensky nationalizes TV news and restricts opposition parties | Yahoo! News; 21 March, 2022 ↩︎

  21. Revealed: ‘anti-oligarch’ Ukrainian president’s offshore connections | The Guardian; 3 October, 2021—there are many more articles like this if one were to search, some from inside Ukraine. ↩︎

  22. Ukraine bans pro-Russian TV stations | DW; 3 February, 2021 ↩︎

  23. Release opposition leader, EU tells Ukraine's Zelensky – media is an RT-retold story broken by the outlawed-by-Kyiv Ukrainian new media Strana; RT; 23 December, 2021 ↩︎

  24. Why Zelensky’s Ukraine Is Becoming Increasingly Autocratic | The National Interest; 6 April, 2021:

    In the Western media (and partly in the Russian opposition press), there is a widespread opinion that, unlike Russia, Ukraine, although not without problems, is following a democratic path of development. If only. This illusion rests on the assumption that the choice in favor of integration into the EU declared by Ukraine signifies a choice in favor of liberal democracy, the realization of civil rights and freedoms, and everything that is good and true in the world. The political regimes of Hungary and Poland offer a rejoinder to the fallacy of this assumption. So that the formation of another right-wing populist anti-democratic regime in Europe does not come as a surprise, it is useful to take a closer look at the internal situation in Ukraine.

  25. Court in Ukraine Declines Request to Arrest Former President | NY Times; 19 January, 2022 ↩︎

  26. See both the interview—An interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—and the reaction to the interview inside Ukraine: Zelensky faces outpouring of criticism over failure to warn of war ↩︎

  27. Not specifically about Zelensky, but a prophecy of a potential destabilizing effect of the Ukrainian ultranationalists in this article from NY Times on 10 February, 2022: Armed Nationalists in Ukraine Pose a Threat Not Just to Russia where they wrote this:

    Kyiv is encouraging the arming of nationalist paramilitary groups to thwart a Russian invasion. But they could also destabilize the government if it agrees to a peace deal they reject.

  28. Possibility of talks between Zelenskyy and Putin came to a halt after Johnson’s visit - UP sources | Ukrainska Pravda; 5 May 2022:

    According Ukrainska Pravda sources close to Zelenskyy, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, who appeared in the capital almost without warning, brought two simple messages.

    The first is that Putin is a war criminal, he should be pressured, not negotiated with.

    And the second is that even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they [the UK and US] are not.

    Johnson’s position was that the collective West, which back in February had suggested Zelenskyy should surrender and flee, now felt that Putin was not really as powerful as they had previously imagined, and that here was a chance to "press him."

  29. Former Israeli prime minister rebuts claim, boosted by Russia, that the US blocked a Ukraine peace agreement: 'It's unsure there was any deal to be made' ↩︎

  30. I don't want to get too much into this here, but there needs to be at least a footnote about this. The Naftali statement is of particular interest, as well as the role of Bucha versus the role of Boris Johnson.

    Now, I encourage you to read the fuller story about Naftali Bennet as presented by the Business Insider, including his walking back some of the comments, issues of translation, etc. here: Former Israeli prime minister rebuts claim, boosted by Russia, that the US blocked a Ukraine peace agreement: 'It's unsure there was any deal to be made'

    Of especial interest is the passage from 2:39:20 when NB says, "Moreover, I realize we're on borrowed time, I said that we're on the verge of another Kafr Kanna. I'll explain what I mean for the listeners: An extreme situation will occur, whereby many civilians will be killed, and then it will be very hard to reach a ceasefire."

    Amidst many different claims about the role of Boris Johnson's visit to Kiev versus the role of Bucha, one thing is clear: Bucha in itself could've been staged to trigger this Kafr Kanna situation. See my thoughts on this in Mariupol & Bucha: Narrative v Reality. ↩︎

  31. U.S. wins NATO backing for missile defense shield from CNN, 12 June, 2008, via Wayback Machine. ↩︎

  32. Why Australia and the US care so much about China’s security pact with a tiny Pacific island nation | CNN; 21 April, 2022 ↩︎

  33. The China-Solomon Islands Security Deal Changes Everything | The Diplomat; 5 April, 2022 ↩︎

  34. This is the one map you need to understand Ukraine’s crisis | The Washington Post; 24 January, 2014 ↩︎

  35. "Hatten Sie gedacht, ich komme mit Pferdeschwanz?" | Die Zeit; 7 December, 2022:

    Merkel: Oder schauen wir auf meine Politik in Bezug auf Russland und die Ukraine. Ich komme zu dem Ergebnis, dass ich meine damaligen Entscheidungen in einer auch heute für mich nachvollziehbaren Weise getroffen habe. Es war der Versuch, genau einen solchen Krieg zu verhindern. Dass das nicht gelungen ist, heißt noch nicht, dass die Versuche deshalb falsch waren.

    ZEIT: Man kann aber doch plausibel finden, wie man in früheren Umständen gehandelt hat, und es angesichts der Ergebnisse trotzdem heute für falsch halten.

    Merkel: Das setzt aber voraus, auch zu sagen, was genau die Alternativen damals waren. Die 2008 diskutierte Einleitung eines Nato-Beitritts der Ukraine und Georgiens hielt ich für falsch. Weder brachten die Länder die nötigen Voraussetzungen dafür mit, noch war zu Ende gedacht, welche Folgen ein solcher Beschluss gehabt hätte, sowohl mit Blick auf Russlands Handeln gegen Georgien und die Ukraine als auch auf die Nato und ihre Beistandsregeln. Und das Minsker Abkommen 2014 war der Versuch, der Ukraine Zeit zu geben.

    Anm. d. Red.: Unter dem Minsker Abkommen versteht man eine Reihe von Vereinbarungen für die selbst ernannten Republiken Donezk und Luhansk, die sich unter russischem Einfluss von der Ukraine losgesagt hatten. Ziel war, über einen Waffenstillstand Zeit zu gewinnen, um später zu einem Frieden zwischen Russland und der Ukraine zu kommen.

    Sie hat diese Zeit hat auch genutzt, um stärker zu werden, wie man heute sieht. Die Ukraine von 2014/15 ist nicht die Ukraine von heute. Wie man am Kampf um Debalzewe (Eisenbahnerstadt im Donbass, Oblast Donezk, d. Red.) Anfang 2015 gesehen hat, hätte Putin sie damals leicht überrennen können. Und ich bezweifle sehr, dass die Nato-Staaten damals so viel hätten tun können wie heute, um der Ukraine zu helfen.

    ZEIT: Beim ersten öffentlichen Auftritt nach dem Ende Ihrer Kanzlerschaft haben Sie erklärt, Sie hätten schon 2007 erkannt, wie Putin über Europa denkt, und dass die einzige Sprache, die er versteht, Härte sei. Wenn diese Erkenntnis so früh da war, warum haben Sie eine Energiepolitik betrieben, die uns von Russland so abhängig gemacht hat?

    Merkel: Es war uns allen klar, dass das ein eingefrorener Konflikt war, dass das Problem nicht gelöst war, aber genau das hat der Ukraine wertvolle Zeit gegeben. Natürlich kann man jetzt die Frage stellen: Warum hat man in einer solchen Situation noch dem Bau von Nord Stream 2 zugestimmt?

    "Wir hätten schneller auf die Aggressivität Russlands reagieren müssen"

    ZEIT: Ja, warum? Zumal es schon damals sehr heftige Kritik am Bau der Pipeline gab, zum Beispiel von Polen und den USA.

    Merkel: Ja, man konnte da zu einer unterschiedlichen Meinung kommen. Worum ging es? Zum einen legte die Ukraine sehr viel Wert darauf, auch weiter Transitland für russisches Gas zu bleiben. Sie wollte Gas durch ihr Gebiet und nicht durch die Ostsee leiten. Heute wird ja manchmal so getan, als ob jedes russische Gas-Molekül des Teufels war. So war das nicht, das Gas war umkämpft. Zum anderen war es auch nicht so, dass die Bundesregierung die Genehmigung von Nord Stream 2 beantragt hatte, das haben die Firmen getan. Für die Bundesregierung und für mich ging es also im Ergebnis darum, zu entscheiden, ob wir als politischen Akt ein neues Gesetz machen, um die Genehmigung von Nord Stream 2 ausdrücklich zu versagen.

    ZEIT: Was hat Sie daran gehindert?

    Merkel: Zum einen hätte eine solche Versagung in Kombination mit dem Minsker Abkommen aus meiner Sicht das Klima mit Russland gefährlich verschlechtert. Zum anderen ist die energiepolitische Abhängigkeit entstanden, weil es weniger Gas aus den Niederlanden, aus Großbritannien und begrenzte Fördermengen in Norwegen gab.

    And in English (Google Translate):

    Merkel: Or let's look at my policy towards Russia and Ukraine. I come to the conclusion that I made the decisions I made back then in a way that I can understand today. It was an attempt to prevent just such a war. The fact that this was not successful does not mean that the attempts were wrong.

    ZEIT: But you can still find plausible how you acted in earlier circumstances and still consider it wrong today in view of the results.

    Merkel: But that presupposes also saying what exactly the alternatives were at the time. I thought the initiation of NATO accession for Ukraine and Georgia discussed in 2008 to be wrong. The countries neither had the necessary prerequisites for this, nor had the consequences of such a decision been fully considered, both with regard to Russia's actions against Georgia and Ukraine and to NATO and its rules of assistance. And the 2014 Minsk agreement was an attempt to give Ukraine time.

    Editor's Note: The Minsk Agreement is a set of agreements for the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which broke away from Ukraine under Russian influence. The aim was to gain time with a ceasefire in order to later come to a peace between Russia and Ukraine.

    She also used this time to get stronger, as you can see today. The Ukraine of 2014/15 is not the Ukraine of today. As you saw in the battle for Debaltseve (railway town in Donbass, Donetsk Oblast, ed.) in early 2015, Putin could easily have overrun them at the time. And I very much doubt that the NATO countries could have done as much then as they do now to help Ukraine.

    ZEIT: In your first public appearance after the end of your chancellorship, you said that you had already recognized in 2007 how Putin thinks about Europe and that the only language he understands is harshness. If this realization came so early, why did you pursue an energy policy that made us so dependent on Russia?

    Merkel: It was clear to all of us that the conflict was frozen, that the problem had not been solved, but that gave Ukraine valuable time. Of course, one can now ask the question: Why was the construction of Nord Stream 2 still approved in such a situation?

    **"We should have reacted more quickly to Russia's aggressiveness"

    ZEIT: Yes, why? Especially since there was already very strong criticism of the construction of the pipeline at that time, for example from Poland and the USA.

    Merkel: Yes, one could come to different opinions. What was it about? On the one hand, Ukraine attached great importance to remaining a transit country for Russian gas. She wanted to channel gas through her territory and not through the Baltic Sea. Today it is sometimes acted as if every Russian gas molecule was from the devil. It wasn't like that, the gas was contested. On the other hand, it was not the case that the federal government had applied for the approval of Nord Stream 2, the companies did that. Ultimately, for the federal government and for me, it was a matter of deciding whether we would make a new law as a political act to expressly refuse approval of Nord Stream 2.

    ZEIT: What prevented you from doing that?

    Merkel: On the one hand, such a refusal in combination with the Minsk Agreement would, in my view, have dangerously worsened the climate with Russia. On the other hand, the energy policy dependency arose because there was less gas from the Netherlands and Great Britain and limited production volumes in Norway.

  36. Merkel and Minsk | The Daily Sceptic BY NOAH CARL 14 DECEMBER 2022 7:00 AM ↩︎

  37. Hollande: ‘There will only be a way out of the conflict when Russia fails on the ground’ | The Kyiv Independent; 14 February, 2023 ↩︎

  38. »Putin ist ein Drache, der fressen muss« | SPIEGEL; 9 February, 2023, retrieved via

    SPIEGEL: Sie haben aber doch selbst versucht, das Minsker Abkommen umzusetzen?

    Selenskyj: Ich bin auf diesen Zug aufgesprungen, der ehrlich gesagt bereits Richtung Abgrund fuhr. Mit »Zug« meine ich diese Vereinbarungen als Ganzes. Jeder Punkt steht für einen Waggon, und wenn du anfängst, das auseinanderzunehmen, kapierst du: Das Ganze ist so konstruiert, dass eine Seite etwas nicht erfüllen kann und die andere den Konflikt einfriert. Ich erkannte in den Vereinbarungen gar nicht den Wunsch, der Ukraine ihre Unabhängigkeit zu lassen! Ich verstehe ihren Sinn so, dass man den Appetit Russlands auf Kosten der Ukraine erst mal ein wenig stillen wollte. Aufschieben ist völlig in Ordnung in der Diplomatie. Man weiß ja nie, ob nicht ein Entscheidungsträger stirbt und alles plötzlich einfacher wird. Ich habe in diesen Vereinbarungen nur einen einzigen Sinn gesehen: Es gab dank ihnen eine offizielle Gesprächsplattform, um überhaupt irgendetwas zu lösen. Und habe mich dann auf die Frage des Gefangenenaustauschs konzentriert und dem Chef des Präsidialbüros gesagt: Andrij, lass uns das ausbauen, da geht es um Menschen. Und wenn wir einen Austausch »alle gegen alle« schaffen, schauen wir weiter. Aber was Minsk insgesamt angeht, habe ich Emmanuel Macron und Angela Merkel gesagt: So können wir das nicht umsetzen.

  39. Зеленский признался, что мир не входил в его планы |; 11 February, 2023. ↩︎

  40. See these reports that make sense to me, including maybe the least bad Western report by DW below:

    … and maybe the least bad of the Western points of view on Odessa?

  41. From Our World site, the author's bio:

    Frédéric Mousseau is Policy Directory of the Oakland Institute where he coordinates the Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa project. Trained as an economist, Mousseau has worked as a staff member and consultant for international relief agencies for nearly two decades, including Action Against Hunger, Doctors Without Borders, and Oxfam International. He has conducted numerous reviews and studies on food security policies, programs and institutions; and has authored many reports and articles in international media outlets. He is also co-author of the recent report “Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict”.

  42. See USSR's Nikita Khrushchev gave Russia’s Crimea away to Ukraine in only 15 minutes | Pravda; 19 February, 2009—or, if you prefer a Western source, see Crimea: A Gift To Ukraine Becomes A Political Flash Point | NPR; 27 February 2014. For the latter, please ignore the now-commonplace "Holodomor" lie, or at least read more about the Holodomor Myth in Goebbels, Brand Management, and Genocidal Myth Making. ↩︎

  43. Some more tweets by yours truly on the topic:

  44. Highly recommend reading this: The Fascist Kernel of the Ukrainian Genocidal Nationalism | by Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe for The Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies, published by University Library System, University of Pittsburgh; June 2015 ↩︎

  45. RESISTANCE FACTORS AND SPECIAL FORCES AREAS UKRAINE | CIA; 1 August, 1957—or the .pdf here ↩︎

  46. From 1/200 Episode 136 - Ukraine, Present and Past w/ Volodymyr Ishcenko—Dr. "Volodymyr Ishchenko is a research associate at the Institute of East European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. His research focuses on protests and social movements, revolutions, radical right and left politics, nationalism and civil society. He is working on a collective book manuscript, The Maidan Uprising: Mobilization, Radicalization, and Revolution in Ukraine, 2013-2014." (bio from ↩︎

  47. From Al Jazeera's Profile: Who are Ukraine’s far-right Azov regiment?. ↩︎

  48. How Ukraine’s Jewish president Zelensky made peace with neo-Nazi paramilitaries on front lines of war with Russia | The Grayzone; 4 March, 2022 ↩︎

  49. TikTok: Trojan Stallion | No Mercy / No Malice; 8 July, 2022. Here, Scott cites the White Paper by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence titled The Tactics & Tropes of the Internet Research Agency. ↩︎

  50. From A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories | NT Times; 29 August, 2016—discussed in my NY Times Disinformation analysis. ↩︎

  51. Russian trolls on Twitter had little influence on 2016 voters | the Washington Post; 9 January, 2023 ↩︎

  52. ↩︎
  53. About number and composition population of UKRAINE, by All-Ukrainian population census'2001 data | 2001 Census of Ukraine ↩︎

  54. Russian language in Ukraine | Wikipedia, accessed on 22 February, 2023 ↩︎

  55. Taken from the Wikipedia page Languages of Ukraine, referencing a 2010 poll, now a dead link. ↩︎

  56. Портрет электоратов Ющенко и Януковича |; 18 January, 2005—archived via Wayback Machine & also similar stats are cited in this post from circa 2003/4: Мовна ситуація України(via Wayback Machine)—this last piece highlights that more Kievans speak Russian than Ukrainian, and that more people in Ukraine prefer to answer questionaires in Russian than in Ukrainian (see also the next footnote). ↩︎

  57. Russian Language Enjoying a Boost in Post-Soviet States | Gallup; 1 August, 2008 ↩︎

  58. Образование на языках народов России | Wikipedia, accessed on 22 February, 2023 ↩︎

  59. Республика Крым: образование на родных языках | The International Affairs; 2019; by Ayder Ablyatipov, Deputy Minister for Education, Science & Youth, Republic of Crimea.

  60. Образование на языках народов России | Wikipedia, accessed on 22 February, 2023 + Languages of France | Wikipedia, accessed on 22 February, 2023 ↩︎

  61. Ukraine adopts language law opposed by Kremlin | The Guardian; 25 April, 2019 ↩︎

  62. Although maybe—just maybe—this whole thing would make much more sense if we were to accept that fascism, genocides and ethnocides are core European values? Tracing the French ethnociding all the other nationalities and languages from their territory, Anglo-Saxon & Belgian slavery, Europe falling within days to the Nazi Germany (was there even any resistance? I mean, Kyiv cannot subjugate Donbass for 8 years!) and all the fascist regimes of Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Vichy France, etc. etc., burning of the books… maybe, there's just something fundamentally wrong with Borrell's "garden", and not with the jungle out there? Just thinking out loud here… ↩︎

  63. Russia wants all peoples of Ukraine to freely determine their destiny — Lavrov | TASS; 26 February, 2022:

    "We want the Ukrainian people or, as [Russian President Vladimir] Putin said, all the peoples living on the territory of modern-day Ukraine to be able to freely, without trying to drive them into the clutches of Bandera psychology, determine their destiny," the top diplomat said