While Nuland describes Crimea and eastern Ukraine as in the grip of a “Reign of Terror”, over 90 percent Crimeans support unification with Russia. The fact Nuland is prepared to depart so far from reality when discussing Ukraine is dangerous rather than funny.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Alexander Mercouris is RI's international affairs editor. This article also appeared at Sputnik
To enter the mind of Victoria Nuland, US assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, is to enter a parallel universe.In comments to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Nuland describes Crimea and eastern Ukraine as in the grip of a "Reign of Terror".
In Crimea, "Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians who refuse to surrender their passports, gays and lesbians, journalists and others" experience violation of their human rights as "the norm, not the exception". In eastern Ukraine "Russia and its separatist puppets" have "unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage".
The blame for all this horror rests squarely with Moscow, which has "manufactured a conflict fuelled by Russian tanks and heavy weapons; financed by Russian taxpayers" to which the Kremlin has sent "hundreds and hundreds of young Russians to fight and die".
Meanwhile, as Crimea and eastern Ukraine groan under "illegal occupation" and "terror", "Ukraine is building a peaceful, democratic, independent nation across 93 percent of its territory".
Anyone who believes this fantasy must however explain certain facts.
It turns out that far from feeling oppressed by "illegal occupation" and "terror", over 90 percent Crimeans support unification with Russia (see here and here). This contrasts with reports of growing discontent in "peaceful, democratic, independent Ukraine". Meanwhile the German government and intelligence service can find no trace of the vast Russian army in eastern Ukraine or on Ukraine's border Nuland talks about.
Whilst Nuland sees things that are not there, she cannot see things that are.
She does not notice that the removal from office of President Yanukovych was unconstitutional and violent. She does see the fascist and neo-Nazi groups and militias that scar Ukraine's political life. The words "Right Sector" do not pass her lips. She is oblivious to the withdrawal of accreditation to Russian journalists, of Ukraine's banning of Russian and dissident Ukrainian media and of the deaths of Russian journalists. She does not observe how despite repeated promises the Ukrainian government's refuses to negotiate a constitutional settlement with the people of eastern Ukraine. She is not aware of Ukraine's military offensive against the Donbas, launched in July as the Ukrainian government's foreign minister signed in Berlin a call for an unconditional ceasefire.
As for the shelling of Ukraine's eastern cities, the bombing of Donetsk and Luhansk, the fire and murder of protesters in the trade union building in Odessa, the economic blockade imposed by Kiev on dissident regions, the assaults on dissident politicians, and the humanitarian crisis caused by Kiev's actions, if one takes one's news from Nuland one would know nothing of them.
It is not that Nuland does not know these things or that she really believes the fantasies she is peddling. Rather she is, as the German government according to Der Spiegel believes, one amongst several ideological hardliners within NATO and the US who are unhappy with the Minsk peace process and who are looking for ways to wreck it so that the war in Ukraine can restart with Ukraine armed with US weapons. In order to achieve this objective Nuland and her co-conspirator NATO General Breedlove are prepared to say whatever they deem necessary regardless of truth. It is an attitude which Der Spiegel says has officials in Germany's Chancellery "shaking their heads" in dismay.
The fact Nuland is prepared to depart so far from reality when discussing Ukraine is dangerous rather than funny. It does not merely risk the West's credibility as the German government supposedly thinks. Rather it is a sign of how far Western hardliners like Nuland are prepared to go to get the anti-Russian war in Europe that they want.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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