In yet another attempt to widen the confrontation between Russia, Crimea, and the Western-backed regime in Kiev, snipers have opened fire on both Ukrainian and Crimean defense forces at a small military base within the heart of the Crimean peninsula, the administrative city of Simferopol.
The BBC immediately penned a report titled, “Ukraine officer ‘killed in attack on Crimea base‘,” citing the regime in Kiev’s official statements which included Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov admitting the attack was carried out by “unknown forces, fully equipped and their faces covered.” Despite absolutely no confirmation over the identity of the attackers, the Kiev regime, headed by self-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, claimed:
“The conflict is shifting from a political to a military stage. Russian soldiers have started shooting at Ukrainian military servicemen and that is a war crime.”
Yatsenyuk’s rushed and hamhanded political exploitation of an admittedly ambiguous attack carried out by unidentified gunmen exposes both the likely party behind the violence, and the most likely motivation for carrying out the fatal attack.
One must wonder what Yatsenyuk’s regime in Kiev has to gain by jumping to conclusions, thus stoking tensions that will inevitably lead to a military confrontation with Russia – a confrontation his regime has no hope of winning. To answer that question, Ian Bremmer’s TIME Magazine piece, “It’s Time to Look Beyond Crimea: The U.S. and Europe need to focus on supporting the fragile new government in Kiev,” offers some clues.
Military Confrontation Opens Doors to Otherwise Unjustified Material Support
“Supporting the fragile new government in Kiev,” is first and foremost among the priorities of the US and EU in Ukraine. Bremmer is kind in calling what resides in Kiev a “government,” considering it was not elected, and instead seized power violently.
The US and EU’s support of the regime in Kiev is also problematic, though Bremmer refuses to address the complications which include the self-proclaimed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk being a documented bigot and a member of the Hiteresque “Fatherland Party,” and the fact that the ruling regime is buttressed by a network of ultra-right wing parties including the anti-Semitic, homophobic, and anti-Russian Svoboda Party, and even further to its right, its armed affiliate “Right Sector.”
Despite this, Bremmer of the “Eurasia Group” – a partner of notorious corporate tax evasion facilitator PricewaterhouseCoopers, claims:
The results of the Crimean referendum on March 16, which will give the peninsula’s inhabitants the option of voting to leave Ukraine and formally retreat into Moscow’s shadow, are a foregone conclusion. Ukraine’s new government cannot stop the referendum from taking place, because it will not be baited into a military confrontation with Russia that it can’t win. There is nothing Americans and Europeans can do about it because there is no popular support in the West for NATO troops riding to the rescue. And there is no way for the Ukrainian side to win the vote, because Crimea is the only Ukrainian province in which ethnic Russians form a majority.
Bremmer continues by outlining what the US and EU should do:
The real test for the West will be in bolstering the fragile Ukrainian government in Kiev, providing it with the financing it needs to avoid a crippling default on its debt and helping Ukraine as it strives to become more European.
But how exactly can the West justify infusing billions of dollars into a nation run by an unelected fascist regime composed of literal Nazis, when the West itself is crushing its own population under the ever expanding bootprint of crippling austerity? Enter NATO’s “mystery gunmen” and the subsequent fabrication of an omnipresent “Russian threat” against which the West must defend.
Mystery Gunmen: A Familiar Tool Dusted Off Once Again
Bremmer himself admits that there is no popular support in the West for what it is doing in Ukraine. Despite this, he contradicts himself in mid-essay claiming that the West should satisfy public demand “for a get-tough response to Russian bullying.”
But Russia’s response to Kiev’s seizure by literal Nazis who immediately and demonstrably began oppressing the population, including through legislation targeting Russian-speaking Ukrainians and the censorship of Russian media across the country, was to utilize troops already long-stationed in Crimea under treaty to protect against further incursions by ultra-right wing extremists and to diplomatically back a democratic referendum in which the people of Crimea overwhelmingly voted for both independence from the regime in Kiev, and unity with Russia.
Since this could hardly be considered “Russian bullying,” the West as it is oft to doing, has decided to fabricate it instead. As it had done through the US-backed “red shirt” mobs in Bangkok, Thailand in 2010, in Libya, Egypt, and Syria during the opening phases of the US-engineered “Arab Spring,” and again documented in Ukraine itself during the height of the “Euromaidan” riots – it appears to be deploying “mystery gunmen” across Crimea to create the perception that Russia is not only stripping Ukraine of its “territorial integrity,” but doing so through deadly violence.
In the Daily Mail’s report, “Estonian Foreign Ministry confirms authenticity of leaked phone call discussing how Kiev snipers who shot protesters were possibly hired by Ukraine’s new leaders,” it stated explicitly that:
Estonia has confirmed the authenticity of a leaked telephone call between its foreign minister and an EU chief which suggested the sniper killings in Ukraine last month were ordered by the new coalition.
The 11-minute call between the EU’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and her Estonian counterpart Urmas Paet was made on February 25 in the aftermath of the massacre.
During the call, Paet claims a doctor told him both protesters and police were shot by snipers during clashes in Kiev allegedly on the orders of the opposition.
This pattern matches other uses of pro-Western “mystery gunmen.” In Bangkok 2010, snipers and gunmen wielding AK-47s and M16s were deployed specifically to both escalate the conflict aimed at overthrowing the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva, as well as justifying the use of a larger contingent of pro-Western militants already staged to wreck havoc across the Southeast Asian capital city. With the pro-Western regime of Thaksin Shinawatra now in place, these “mystery gunmen” have once again intervened, targeting regime police in an attempt to justify a large-scale terror campaign aimed at anti-Thaksin protesters – which in fact was announced in the pages of TIME Magazine by members of the regime itself.
An unnamed official told the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on April 3 that an unknown “armed group” shot at both protesters and security forces from rooftops.
Even protesters cited by the HRW report fail to provide any evidence that Syrian security forces carried out the shootings, and in fact, seem instead to bolster the government’s statement – claiming shots came from unidentified gunmen – just as was the case in Bangkok in 2010, and in Crimea today.
The unelected regime now occupying Kiev after Western-backed armed Neo-Nazis ran out the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych, is admittedly feeble, illegitimate, and in desperate need of continuous support from the West. For the West, its media machine has been relentlessly distracting global audiences from the true nature of their new proxies – a reality that not only ensures an inevitable uprising in the streets of Kiev against these proxies, but widespread global support for those that take to the streets against literal Nazis, fascists, and bigots.
If the regime in Kiev has no possibility of wresting Crimea from Russia through a military confrontation, then why would the Pentagon already be supplying its provisional military with material support and for what reason would US politicians like Senator John McCain be demanding that arms and advisers be sent to Kiev? The answer is quite simple – and just as Bremmer suggested – it is all part of “bolstering the fragile Ukrainian government in Kiev,” and preventing it from being dislodged by the same sort of unrest that brought it into power to begin with.
The US-funded expansion of the Ukrainian military is primarily to project the regime’s corrosive political machine well beyond Kiev and oppress the people within Ukrainian territory itself, not protect it from threats abroad. Just as had happened in Georgia after its humiliating defeat by Russia in 2008 and the subsequent protests that finally unseated Western-proxy Mikhail Saakashvili, Ukraine’s fascist regime is living on borrowed time – time the West hopes to extend by building it up under the pretext of the omnipresent “Russian threat.”
Observers of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine can expect more provocations to unfold as the West ramrods through financial support and the steady supply of material aid to keep their new proxies upright. For Russia and the people of Crimea, it is important not to react to these provocations irrationally and to continuously undermine the legitimacy of the regime in Kiev by stripping away the manufactured pretexts it uses to justify its daily transgressions against the Ukrainian people.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”