The Brown Revolution of the Ukraine
a great fan of Kiev, an affable city of pleasing bourgeois character,
with its plentiful small restaurants, clean tree-lined streets, and
bonhomie of its beer gardens. A hundred years ago Kiev was predominantly
a Russian resort, and some central areas have retained this flavour. Now
Kiev is patrolled by armed thugs from the Western Ukraine, by fighters
from the neo-Nazi -Right Sector, descendants of Stepan Bandera, the
Ukrainian Quisling’s troopers, and by their local comrades-in-arms of
a month of confrontation, President Viktor Yanukovych gave in, signed
the EC-prepared surrender and escaped their rough revolutionary justice
by the skin of his teeth. The ruling party MPs were beaten and
dispersed, the communists almost lynched, the opposition have the
parliament all to themselves, and they've appointed new ministers and
taken over the Ukraine. The Brown Revolution has won in the Ukraine.
This big East European country of fifty million inhabitants has gone the
way of Libya. The US and the EU won this round, and pushed Russia back
eastwards, just as they intended.
remains to be seen whether the neo-Nazi thugs who won the battle will
agree to surrender the sweet fruits of victory to politicians, who are,
God knows, nasty enough. And more importantly, it remains to be seen
whether the Russian-speaking East and South East of the country will
accept the Brown rule of Kiev, or split off and go their own way, as
the people of Israel (so relates the Bible) after King Solomon’s death
rebelled against his heir saying “To your tents, o Israel!” and
proclaimed independence of their fief (I Kings 12:16). Meanwhile it
seems that the Easterners’ desire to preserve Ukrainian state integrity
is stronger than their dislike for the victorious Browns. Though they
assembled their representatives for what could be a declaration of
independence, they did not dare to claim power. These peaceful people
have little stamina for strife.
great neighbour, Russia, does not appear overtly concerned with this
ominous development. Both Russian news agencies, TASS and RIA, didn’t
even place the dire Ukrainian news at the top, as Reuters and BBC did:
for them, the Olympics and the biathlon were of greater importance, as
you can see on these print screens:
“ostrich” attitude is quite typical of the Russian media: whenever they
find themselves in an embarrassing position, they escape into showing
the Swan Lake ballet on TV. That's what they did when the Soviet Union
collapsed in 1991. This time it was the Olympics instead of the ballet.
opposition in Russia heartily approved of the Ukrainian coup.
Yesterday Kiev, tomorrow Moscow, they chanted. Maidan (the
main square of Kiev, the site of anti-government demos) equals
Bolotnaya (a square in Moscow, the site of anti-government protests
in December 2012) is another popular slogan.
majority of Russians were upset but not surprised. Russia decided to
minimise its involvement in the Ukraine some weeks ago as if they wished
to demonstrate to the world their non-interference. Their behaviour
bordered on recklessness. While foreign ministers of EC countries and
their allies crowded Kiev, Putin sent Vladimir Lukin, a human rights
emissary, an elder low-level politician of very little clout, to deal
with the Ukrainian crisis. The Russian Ambassador Mr Zurabov, another
non-entity, completely disappeared from public view. (Now he was
recalled to Moscow). Putin made not a single public statement on the
Ukraine, treating it as though it were Libya or Mali, not a neighbouring
country quite close to the Russian hinterland.
hands-off approach could have been expected: Russia did not interfere in
the disastrous Ukrainian elections 2004, or in the Georgian elections
that produced extremely anti-Russian governments. Russia gets involved
only if there is a real battle on the ground, and a legitimate
government asks for help, as in Ossetia in 2008 or in Syria in 2011.
Russia supports those who fight for their cause, otherwise Russia,
somewhat disappointingly, stands aside.
West has no such inhibitions and its representatives were extremely
active: the US State Department representative Victoria “Fuck EC’’
Nuland had spent days and weeks in Kiev, feeding the insurgents with
cookies, delivering millions of smuggled greenbacks to them, meeting
with their leaders, planning and plotting the coup. Kiev is awash with
the newest US dollars fresh from its mint (of a kind yet unseen in
Moscow, I’ve been told by Russian friends). The US embassy spread money
around like a tipsy Texan in a night club. Every able-bodied young man
willing to fight received five hundred dollar a week, a qualified
fighter – up to a thousand, a platoon commander had two thousand dollars
– good money by Ukrainian standards.
is not all. People are also needed for a successful coup. There was an
opposition to Yanukovych who won democratic elections, and accordingly,
three parties lost elections. Supporters of the three parties could
field a lot of people for a peaceful demonstration, or for a sit-in. But
would they fight when push comes to shove? Probably not. Ditto the
recipients of generous US and EC grants (Nuland
estimated the total sum of American investment in “democracy
building” at five billion dollars). They could be called to come to the
main square for a demo. However, the NGO beneficiaries are timid folk,
not likely to risk their well-being. And the US needed a better fighting
stock to remove the democratically elected president from power.
the Western Ukraine, the serpent eggs hatched: children of Nazi
collaborators who had imbibed hatred towards the Russians with their
mothers’ milk. Their fathers had formed a network under Reinhard Gehlen,
the German spymaster. In 1945, as Germany was defeated, Gehlen swore
allegiance to the US and delivered his networks to the CIA. They
continued their guerrilla war against the Soviets until 1956. Their
cruelty was legendary, for they aimed to terrify the population into
full compliance to their command. Notoriously, they strangulated the
Ukrainians suspected of being friendly to Russians with their bare
confession of a participant tells of their activities in Volyn: “One
night, we strangulated 84 men. We strangulated adults, as for little
kids, we held their legs, swung and broke their heads at a doorpost.
…Two nice kids, Stepa and Olya, 12 and 14 years old… we tore the younger
one into two parts, and there was no need to strangulate her mother
Julia, she died of a heart attack” and so on and so on. They slaughtered
hundreds of thousands of Poles and Jews; even the dreadful Baby Yar
massacre was done by them, with German connivance, somewhat similar to
Israeli connivance in the Sabra and Chatila massacres of Palestinians by
the Lebanese fascists of the Phalange.
children of these Bandera murderers were brought up to hate Communism,
Soviets and Russians, and in adoration of their fathers’ deeds. They
formed the spearhead of the pro-US anti-government rebels in the
Ukraine, the Right Sector led by out-and-out fascist
Dmytro Yarosh. They were ready to fight, to die and kill. Such units
attract potential rebels of differing backgrounds: their spokesman is
young Russian -turned -Ukrainian -nationalist Artem Skoropadsky, a
journalist with the mainstream oligarch-owned Kommersant-UA
daily. There are similar young Russians who join Salafi networks and
become suicide-bombers in the Caucasus mountains – young people whose
desire for action and sacrifice could not be satisfied in the consumer
society. This is a Slav al-Qaeda -- real neo-Nazi storm troopers, a
natural ally of the US.
they did not fight only for association with EC and against joining a
Russia-led TC. Their enemies were also the Russians in the Ukraine, and
Russian-speaking ethnic Ukrainians. The difference between the twain is
moot. Before independence in 1991, some three quarters of the population
preferred to speak Russian. Since then, successive governments have
tried to force people to use Ukrainian. For the Ukrainian neo-Nazis,
anyone who speaks Russian is an enemy. You can compare this with
Scotland, where people speak English, and nationalists would like to
force them to speak the language of Burns.
Behind the spearhead of the Right Sector, with its fervent
anti-communist and anti-Russian fighters, a larger organisation could be
counted on: the neo-Nazi Freedom (Svoboda), of Tyagnibok. Some years ago
called for a fight against Russians and Jews, now he has become more
cautious regarding the Jews. He is still as anti-Russian as John Foster
Dulles. Tyagnibok was tolerated or even encouraged by Yanukovych, who
wanted to take a leaf from the French president Jacques Chirac’s book.
Chirac won the second round of elections against nationalist Le Pen,
while probably he would have lost against any other opponent. In the
same wise, Yanukovych wished Tyagnibok to become his defeatable opponent
at the second round of presidential elections.
parliamentary parties (the biggest one is the party of Julia Timoshenko
with 25% of seats, the smaller one was the party of Klitschko the boxer
with 15%) would support the turmoil as a way to gain power they lost at
Union of nationalists and liberals
a union of nationalists and liberals was formed. This union is
the trademark of a new US policy in the Eastern Europe. It was tried in
Russia two years ago, where enemies of Putin comprise of these two
forces, of pro-Western liberals and of their new allies, Russian ethnic
nationalists, soft and hard neo-Nazis. The liberals won’t fight, they
are unpopular with the masses; they include an above-average percentage
of Jews, gays, millionaires and liberal columnists; the nationalists can
incite the great unwashed masses almost as well as the Bolsheviks, and
will fight. This is the anti-Putin cocktail preferred by the US. This
alliance actually took over 20% of vote in Moscow city elections, after
their attempt to seize power by coup was beaten off by Putin. The
Ukraine is their second, successful joint action.
in mind: liberals do not have to support democracy. They do so only if
they are certain democracy will deliver what they want. Otherwise, they
can join forces with al Qaeda as now in Syria, with Islamic extremists
as in Libya, with the Army as in Egypt, or with neo-Nazis, as now in
Russia and the Ukraine. Historically, the liberal–Nazi alliance did not
work because the old Nazis were enemies of bankers and financial
capital, and therefore anti-Jewish. This hitch could be avoided:
Mussolini was friendly to Jews and had a few Jewish ministers in his
government; he objected to Hitler’s anti-Jewish attitude saying that
“Jews are useful and friendly”. Hitler replied that if he were to allow
that, thousands of Jews would join his party. Nowadays, this problem has
vanished: modern neo-Nazis are friendly towards Jews, bankers and gays.
The Norwegian killer Breivik is an exemplary sample of a Jew-friendly
neo-Nazi. So are the Ukrainian and Russian neo-Nazis.
the original Bandera thugs killed every Jew (and Pole) that came their
way, their modern heirs receive some valuable Jewish support. The
oligarchs of Jewish origin (Kolomoysky, Pinchuk and Poroshenko) financed
them, while a prominent Jewish leader, Chairman of the Association of
Jewish Organizations and Communities of the Ukraine,
Josef Zissels, supported them and
justified them. There are many supporters of Bandera in Israel; they
usually claim that Bandera was not an anti-Semite, as he had a Jewish
doctor. (So did Hitler.) Jews do not mind Nazis who do not target them.
The Russian neo-Nazis target Tajik gastarbeiters, and the Ukrainian
neo-Nazis target Russian-speakers.
Revolution: the Outline
revolution deserves to be described in a few lines: Yanukovych was not
too bad a president, prudent though weak. Still the Ukraine came to the
edge of financial abyss. (You can read more about it in my previous
piece) He tried to save the situation by allying with the EC, but
the EC had no money to spare. Then he tried to make a deal with Russia,
and Putin offered him a way out, without even demanding from him that
the Ukraine join the Russian-led TC. This triggered the violent response
of the EC and the US, as they were worried it would strengthen Russia.
Yanuk, as people call him for short, had few friends. Powerful Ukrainian
oligarchs weren’t enamoured with him. Besides the usual reasons, they
did not like the raider habits of Yanuk’s son, who would steal other
men’s businesses. Here they may have had a point, for the leader of
Belarus, the doughty Lukashenko, said that Yanuk’s son’s unorthodox ways
of acquiring businesses brought disaster.
Yanuk’s electorate, the Russian-speaking people of the Ukraine (and they
are a majority in the land, like English-speaking Scots are majority in
Scotland) were disappointed with him because he did not give them the
right to speak Russian and teach their children in Russian. The
followers of Julia Timoshenko disliked him for jailing their leader.
(She richly deserved it: she hired assassins, stole billions of
Ukrainian state money in cahoots with a former prime minister, made a
crooked deal with Gazprom at the expense of Ukrainian consumers, and
what not.) Extreme nationalists hated him for not eradicating the
US-orchestrated attack on the elected President followed
Gene Sharp’s instructions to a tee, namely: (1) seize a central
square and organise a mass peaceful sit-in, (2) speak endlessly of
danger of violent dispersal, (3) if the authorities do nothing, provoke
bloodshed, (4) yell bloody murder, (5) the authority is horrified and
stupefied and (6) removed and (7) new powers take over.
most important element of the scheme has never been voiced by the
cunning Sharp, and that is why the Occupy Wall Street movement (who
thumbed through the book) failed to achieve the desired result. You have
to have the Masters of Discourse™ i.e., Western mainstream media, on
your side. Otherwise, the government will squash you as they did with
the Occupy and many other similar movements. But here, the Western media
was fully on the rebels’ side, for the events were organised by the US
first, they gathered for a sit-in on the Independence Square (aka
“Maidan Square”) some people they knew: recipients of USAID grants via
the NGO network,
wrote a Ukrainian expert Andrey Vajra, networks of fugitive oligarch
Khoroshkovski, neo-Nazis of the Right Sector and radicals of the Common
Cause. The peaceful assembly was lavishly entertained by artists; food
and drink were served for free, free sex was encouraged – it was a
carnival in the centre of the capital, and it began to attract the
masses, as would happen in every city in the known universe. This
carnival was paid for by the oligarchs and by the US embassy.
the carnival could not last forever. As per (2), rumours of violent
dispersal were spread. People became scared and drifted away. Only a
small crowd of activists remained on the square. Provocation as per (3)
was supplied by a Western agent within the administration, Mr Sergey
Levochkin. He wrote his resignation letter, posted it and ordered police
to violently disperse the sit-in. Police moved in and dispersed the
activists. Nobody was killed, nobody was seriously wounded, - today,
after a hundredfold dead, it is ridiculous even to mention this
thrashing, - but the opposition yelled bloody murder at the time. The
world media, this powerful tool in the hands of Masters of Discourse,
decried “Yanukovych massacred children”. The EC and the US slapped on
sanctions, foreign diplomats moved in, all claiming they want to protect
peaceful demonstrators, while at the same time beefing up the Maidan
crowd with armed gunmen and Right Sector fighters.
referred to Gene Sharp, but the Maidan had an additional influence, that
of Guy Debord and his concept of
Society of Spectacle. It was not a real thing, but a well-done
make-believe, as was its predecessor, the August 1991 Moscow “coup”.
Yanukovych did everything to build up the Maidan resistance: he would
send his riot police to disperse the crowd, and after they did only half
of the job, he would call them back, and he did this every day. After
such treatment, even a very placid dog would bite.
Spectacle-like unreal quality of Kiev events was emphasized by arrival
of the imperial warmonger, the neocon philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy. He
came to Maidan like he came to Libya and Bosnia, claiming human rights
and threatening sanctions and bombing. Whenever he comes, war is
following. I hope I shall be away from every country he plans to visit.
victims of the Brown Revolution were the monuments – those of Lenin, for
they do hate communism in every form, and those of the world war,
because the revolutionaries solidarise with the lost side, with the
History will tell us to what extent Yanuk and his advisors understood
what they were doing. Anyway, he encouraged the fire of Maidan by his
inefficient raids by a weaponless police force. The neo-Nazis of Maidan
used snipers against the police force, dozens of people were killed, but
President Obama called upon Yanuk to desist, and he desisted. After
renewed shooting, he would send the police in again. An EC diplomat
would threaten him with the Hague tribunal dock, and he would call his
police back. No government could function in such circumstances.
Eventually he collapsed, signed on the dotted line and departed for
unknown destination. The rebels seized power, forbade the Russian
language and began sacking Kiev and Lvov. Now the life of the placid
people of Kiev has been turned into a living hell: daily robberies,
beating, murder abound. The victors are preparing a military operation
against the Russian-speaking areas in the South East of Ukraine. The
spectacle of the revolution can yet turn really bloody.
Ukrainians hope that Julia Timoshenko, freshly released from jail, will
be able to rein the rebels in. Others hope that President Putin will pay
heed to the Ukrainian events, now that his Olympic games are,
mercifully, finished. The spectacle is not over until the fat lady
sings, but sing she will – her song still remains to be seen and heard.
English language editing by Ken Freeland
Israel Shamir can be reached at