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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ukraine: Behind the scenes

Previous posts about "regime change" in Ukraine have evinced some very thought-provoking reader reaction -- none moreso than the analysis published below. For reasons which shall soon become obvious, the writer prefers to remain anonymous. Call him Mr. A. (Please don't assume that this is his real initial. I'm now assigning 'nyms in alphabetical order.)

Everything below the asterisks was written by A, and printed here by permission. If you're a newcomer to the story, I should explain that "Engdahl" (mentioned below) is William Engdahl, the writer of an important piece claiming that the "mystery snipers" who fired on those Ukrainian protestors were actually neo-Nazis linked to our own neocons. The sniper attacks were blamed on Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich, who was driven from office.

Now take it away, Mr. A...

* * *

Firstly, I should explain why I'm not putting this in the comments, and under my own name. Basically it comes down to personal and professional interests - I'm a postgrad student of political violence, hopefully looking to pursue a doctorate soon. I'm also a part time analyst for a number of...well, whether you would call them "strategic forecasting" firms or "private intelligence agencies" strongly depends on the day of the week and who is paying them. I'll just say while I don't work for Stratfor, its in much the same field.

Because of recent events in the Ukraine, the people who pay my wages wanted me to brainstorm the potential fallout and future development of the conflict. And as such, I came across information pertinent to your most recent post, and Engdahl's allegations.

UNA-UNSO are certainly a nasty piece of work. Originally ex-Afghan war veterans (Red Army of course) and with a fascist worldview to boot, they are certainly high contenders on any possible list for the shooters in Maidan. Their links with German far-right movements are also troubling, given the revelations about the National Socialist Underground, and the possibility that German intelligence looked the other way while they carried out their murder spree.

However, the UNA-UNSO aren't only linked to Western states and Western-backed politicians. They've also had considerable dealings with Viktor Medvedchuk, often described in somewhat breatheless tones, but not entirely inaccurately, as the leader of "Russia's 5th column" in Ukraine.

During the 2004 "Orange Revolution", Medvedchuk, according to Andriy Shkil, gave the UNA orders to put protests on in favour of Yuschenko, in order to discredit him in the eyes of the western media.

You can read about these allegations more here:

I will admit, Mr Shekhovtsov is not exactly what I'd describe as an entirely reliable source. He seems rather blind to the very real and credible fascist component to the Ukrainian opposition. Nevetheless, as someone who has dealt with Mr Medvedchuk in a personal capacity before now...well, let's just say I would not be surprised to find such allegations were credible.

His allegations of a "pro-Russian network" are also somewhat overblown, though there is certainly a kernel of truth to the allegation. Despite Ukraine's desperate financial straits, someone was throwing money at US libertarian and paeleoconservative writers to produce soft pieces on the Ukrainian regime before it fell, and I've seen some suspiciously relaxed pieces on the former Ukrainian government from otherwise trustworthy news sources, like Asia Times Online (though the "Saker" is at least entirely clear about where his alleigance lies, I'll give him that).

My feeling is that both pro-US/NATO and pro-Russian networks are pumping out disinformation at an extraordinary rate right now, and finding the truth among the lies is going to be a hard job.

I still think that its probable the snipers in Maidan had links to someone among the opposition, now government. However, the situation in Ukraine has at least as much to do with elite oligarchical competition as street protestors. The financial crisis there means Yanukoych wasn't able to pay off his political backers with no-bid government contracts, turning the financial crisis into a political one.

That said, Medvedchuk has familial links to Putin, and I strongly doubt he would turn on Yanukoych without Putin's approval. Putin has since thrown Yanukoych under a bus, but at the time he was still backing him.

I'm not entirely sure Andriy Shkil can be trusted either. When someone turns up on both sides of a political dispute and then tells you he's really working for one side...well, that could just be another layer of disinformation. Was supporting Yuschenko the false-flag operation, or was smearing Medvedchuk? Unfortunately, I don't know enough about him to say one way or another.

And of course, it's possible Engdahl is being fed bullshit by his sources, purposefully putting a group with such...unclear affiliations into the limelight. Even if we accept UNA-UNSO is on one side or another, whether or not they were the snipers is still an allegation at this stage.

So yes, it's a confusing situation. I thought you might appreciate knowing a bit more in depth about just how confusing it is, since I've always gotten the impression from your blog that you're interested in the truth, rather than contorting the facts to fit a particular agenda. And to be honest, if you were to find something which could clarify the situation - in either direction - I'd be glad to know the truth too.

Apologies for a long email there.
Interesting article, somehow i get the imression that the shooting/snipers are the Ukrainian version of the Reichstag fire
Interesting, and surely provides some leads worthy of investigation, but I notice on the top that this source who wishes to remain anonymous provides so many clues to his identity that many of the people who know him may be able to identify him. How many westerners under 30 can brag about their dealings with Mr. Medvedchuk? Is he lying about that? If not, is such carelessness with his anonymity common among aspiring private spooks? Or does his comfort level derive from his confidence that his many client agencies have no objection to his leaks? The smell is not right. An ambitious guy who's carelessly leaking stuff to the press before he's even been accepted to a PhD program can be--at the least--easily manipulated and misled.

Anonymous Too

i tend to agree with 109pm anonymous too's comments on the author of this e mail.. thanks for sharing either way.
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