Did a covert op ignite the Ukraine crisis? We've touched on this question in a previous post
. Remember this
What provided the rationale for the coup d'état was the killing of demonstrators by uniformed snipers, blamed on the previous government... But there are serious questions about this interpretation of events: the special forces were never issued rifles and were never ordered to open fire on the protesters; there were quite a few special forces members themselves among those killed; the killings were carried out in such a manner as to incite rather than quell protest, by targeting women, bystanders and those assisting the wounded.
I wasn't convinced by this assertion, but I found it intriguing. Now we have further evidence
According to a leaked EU's Ashton phone tape, the Kiev snipers, who shot both protesters and police, were hired by Ukrainian opposition leaders, did not work for overthrown Yanukovych
The link goes to this YouTube video
, which contains the (English language) call between Urmas Paet, a representative of the European Union, and Catherine Ashton
, a British Labour politician and Vice-President of the European Commission. You have to get about eight minutes into the video if you want to hear the important stuff.
Paet (who has just returned from Ukraine) says:
"There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition..."
Paet claims that he spoke with a doctor named Olga Bogomolets who treated the victims of the shooting. According to this doctor, the same people shot both the protestors and policemen.
“And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides...”
He says that the same type of bullets were used on both sides, and the new government in Ukraine has been unwilling to investigate.
Question: Did the now-deposed Ukrainian leader Yanukovich have a motive to perpetrate an act of violence? He had just negotiated an agreement that would keep him in power for the near future. The shooting of the demonstrators undermined that deal.
The obvious parallel goes to Syria.
As readers know, I came to doubt
Assad's responsibility for the chemical attacks in that Damascus neighborhood. The saintly Mother Agnes
, a peace activist who is no Assad fan, felt that the true perpetrators were the pro-Al Qaeda rebels.
In both Syria and Ukraine, our first and best question is, as always, cui bono
The CBW attack against civilians in Damascus gave Assad no military advantage. The only people who benefited were American neocons seeking to drag us into Syria's civil war. Fortunately, Obama wisely let Congress decide the question of American involvement. Congress had no choice but to listen to the voters -- who, still recovering from the Iraq disaster, insisted on non-intervention.
If Paet is correct, then a very similar ploy took place in Ukraine. A bloody tragedy shocked the world. That tragedy was blamed on a leader whom the neocons had targeted for removal. Now we have excellent reasons to question whether that leader bears actual responsibility.
We do not yet have hard proof that Yanukovich was framed. Frankly, though, that seems to be the way to bet.
Why would the neocons stoop to such odious trickery? Robert Parry has some answers
I want to apologize for misspelling the name of Olga Bogolomets in the original version of this post. She seems to be one hell of a lady
. Since she was a prominent anti-Yankuovich activist
(demanding that he not only be "sacked" but subjected to a psychological evaluation!), it's hard to argue that an anti-Russian bias prompted her to make her claims about the shooting victims.