It is now obligatory in the Trans-Atlantic realm, to say “unprovoked aggression,” when referring to Russia’s military action in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin is accordingly condemned as a madman, who acted out of the blue. The truth is, describing Russia’s February 24 action as “unprovoked” is a fraud. This is so, no matter how one may judge the timing and alternatives for Russia’s decision. To insist on the “unprovoked” description, reflects mind control operations to manipulate public opinion by demonizing certain leaders, and heroizing others, and above all, blacking out all context and history.
The record shows there were decades of provocative NATO aggression against Russia. This point was stated dramatically by Ellen Taylor, the daughter of Brig. Gen. Telford Taylor, Chief Prosecutor during the second, 1946-1949 phase of the post-war Nuremberg Trials, in her lengthy, carefully-argued article, “War Crimes, From Nuremberg to Ukraine,” June 3 in Counterpunch.
Taylor stated, “The Nuremberg-formulated crime, the crime of conspiracy to commit a war of aggression, however, has to be laid at the feet of NATO and the U.S…. In the present case, the often-repeated claim that Russia’s aggression was unprovoked, is preposterous. The U.S. assertions of its rights to dominance are substantiated by an ample supply of statements….
“The oppressive presence of this bustling and officious dominance, deliberately provocative, around the world, and embodied in the menacing line of military bases and missiles along Russia’s border, is a conspiracy, a threat, to commit the crime of aggressive war.”
Moreover, the intent of those perpetrating the “unprovoked aggression” fraud through opinion policing, is to preclude any effective support for resolution of the immediate Ukraine crisis, to save lives, and make way for peace and development across Eurasia. As of the end of May, no talks were underway between Ukraine and Russia. Instead, more weapons are being sent to Ukraine. Still worse, voices from London, Washington and Brussels policy centers now speak favorably of winning a nuclear showdown.
We must end this madness. Join us in getting out the truth, supporting Ukraine negotiations immediately, and moving towards what must be a new security architecture of mutually beneficial relations among all nations. Stop sending weapons.
The following chronology combines three timelines: NATO membership expansion; NATO/Western military build-up on Russian borders; and Western instigation and prolongation of the Ukraine crisis, including backing for neo-Nazi formations.
The Schiller Institute released an in-depth review dated Dec. 30, 2021, “Are We Sleepwalking into Thermonuclear World War III?” That 17-page memorandum was published by EIR in the first issue this year, Vol. 49, No. 1, Jan. 7, 2022.
1949. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, was founded with 12 members—United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Its stated purpose was to deter USSR expansion and any revival of European militarism. By 2022, it had expanded to 30 members. Its stated “Open Door” criterion that any new member must “contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area” has been ignored in recent years.
1955. NATO now had 15 members, with West Germany joining, after Greece and Turkey joined in 1952. In response, the Warsaw Pact was formed, of the USSR and seven East European nations–Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania. (Albania withdrew in 1968).
1982. Spain joined NATO, making 16 member nations.
1991. The USSR dissolved. The Warsaw Pact disbanded. The Western strategists who called for NATO to begin to disband were overruled. The understanding was given to Russia that NATO would not move eastward. Archives released in 2017 confirm this.
1991. Dec. 20. The North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) was established as a security dialogue between NATO and former Warsaw Pact and non-NATO European nations.
1994. January. NATO formed the “Partnership for Peace” (PfP) program, for expanding joint activity to non-NATO members, accommodating former Soviet bloc nations, and traditionally neutral European countries. Russia was among the nations joining the PfP in 1994, and through the 2010s various additional agreements were made. The operational NATO/USA/UK perspective talked of cooperation, as long as Russia remained “weak.”
1994. NATO held, among three joint exercises, the “Cooperative Bridge” drill in Poland, marking the first time NATO forces had joined with former adversaries on the territory of a former member of the Warsaw Pact. Multiple NATO joint member and PfP exercises took place over the ensuing years.
1995. Aug. 30. NATO launched a three-week bombing offensive, Operation Deliberate Force, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with 3,315 sorties, which ended September 20. In December the Dayton Peace Accords were signed, overseen by NATO’s Implementation Force (IFOR), which deployed a 60,000-strong peace-keeping operation.
1997. NATO established the “Combined Joint Taskforce” concept, to expand further PfP involvement in joint “peace enforcement.” NATO’s Partnership for Peace roster now included 27 countries. Under NATO’s “Individual Partnership Program” (IPP) each nation agreed to certain specifics, ranging from ambassadorships and funding for Brussels NATO headquarters, to military interoperability. Switzerland and Uzbekistan demurred as of 1997. The other 25 fulfilled IPP terms, and besides Russia, were: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkmenistan, Ukraine.
1997. May 29. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) was founded as a successor to the NACC. The EAPC worked with NATO’s PfP, including with Russia. Also, the “1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security” added to the venues for potential dialogue, which played a role in common interest, including the May 2002 founding of the NATO-Russia Council; but by 2021, the network had become a sham, and Russia suspended its diplomatic mission to NATO.
1999. March 12. NATO membership hit 19, with the induction of former Warsaw Pact members Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock, looking back in 2014, said:
I personally opposed the way NATO was extended to Eastern Europe, but not because there had been a binding “promise” made earlier. I thought that a greater effort should have been made to create a “Europe whole and free,” by developing a new security structure including Russia….
1999. April 23-25. NATO activated a new Membership Action Plan (MAP) at its Washington D.C. summit.
1999. June. NATO conducted “Operation Allied Force,” a 78-day air-strike campaign, against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo war, from March 24 to June 10, including bombing Belgrade. This was launched without UN approval, after principal NATO nations had tried and failed to get it. NATO rationalized its unilateral use of force as “humanitarian” to eject Serb forces from Kosovo.
1999. August. The Second Chechen War began in Chechnya and the North Caucasus, of separatist militants and terrorists, continuing to April 2009. Russia’s overtures for strategic cooperation from NATO nations were met instead by Anglo-American backing of insurgency in Russia.
2001. June. President George W. Bush said in Warsaw, that NATO should try to add the three Baltic states on the border with Russia—Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia—to its membership.
2001. September. Article 5 in the NATO treaty, which stipulates that an attack on any NATO member is an attack on all, is triggered for the first time following the 9/11 attack on the United States.
2001. Sept. 25. President Vladimir Putin addressed the German Bundestag (federal parliament) for the first time, speaking in German, presenting a perspective of mutual interest in combatting terrorism and in other areas of cooperation. With a few exceptions, this came to be rebuffed. In his speech, Putin said,
It seemed just recently that a truly common home would shortly rise on the continent, a home in which the Europeans would not be divided into eastern or western, northern or southern. However, these divides will remain, primarily because we have never fully shed many of the Cold War stereotypes and clichés. Today we must say once and for all: “The Cold War is done with! We have entered a new stage of development. We understand that without a modern, sound and sustainable security architecture we will never be able to create an atmosphere of trust on the continent, and without that atmosphere of trust there can be no united Greater Europe!” Today we must say that we renounce our stereotypes and ambitions and from now on will jointly work for the security of the people of Europe and the world as a whole.
2001. October. The U.S. led an invasion of Afghanistan, in the name of pursuing the terrorists responsible for 9/11, but did not pursue Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attack.
2001. Dec. 13. President George W. Bush announced the U.S. withdrawal, effective six months hence, from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty made in 1972 with the USSR.
2002. The Russia-NATO Council was established on the basis of prior Russia-NATO agreements.
2003. NATO took command of the ISAF—International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, operating there since the U.S. invasion had begun. Russia facilitated U.S. non-military supply lines across its territory into Afghanistan under the ISAF. In 2015, the ISAF was formally ended, but NATO forces remained in Afghanistan to train local security forces until the exodus in August 2021.
2003. November. Georgia’s “Rose Revolution” was unleashed by Jacobin shock troops trained and financed by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros’s Open Society Georgia Foundation, and affiliated U.S.-financed foreign NGOs. President Eduard Shevardnadze was forced to resign and Mikheil Saakashvili, himself a product of Soros’s Open Society Institute at Columbia University, became President.
2004. NATO was enlarged to 26 by the addition of seven Eastern European nations: the three former Soviet republics—Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia—and Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
2004–2005. Nov. 2004 to Jan. 2005, saw the unleashing of Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” orchestrated by the National Endowment for Democracy according to the Gene Sharp playbook, following by less than a year the George Soros-financed “Rose Revolution” in Georgia. Masses of well-organized, well-financed Jacobin youth dressed in orange deployed to the streets daily, interrupting all normal functioning, to defend “democratic” candidate Viktor Yushchenko with claims he had been defrauded in the Nov. 21 presidential runoff elections by then pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. The suspicious poisoning of Yushchenko was also blamed on Vladimir Putin. A second runoff election Dec. 26 declared Yushchenko the winner.
2007. Feb. 10. President Putin addressed the Munich Security Conference. In his speech, Putin warned:
I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security. And we must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all participants in the international dialogue. Especially since the international landscape is so varied and changes so quickly—changes in light of the dynamic development in a whole number of countries and regions….
I think it is obvious that the process of NATO expansion is not at all related to the modernization of that alliance, as such, or to ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation, which reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: Against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners gave after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to remind this audience of what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO Secretary General Mr. Wörner in Brussels on May 17, 1990. He said at the time, “The very fact that we are prepared to refrain from placing NATO troops outside the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany gives the Soviet Union a firm guarantee of security.”
Where are those guarantees? The stones and concrete blocks of the Berlin Wall have long ago been scattered as souvenirs. But we should not forget that it could come down, thanks to a historic choice—a choice in favor of democracy, freedom, openness and sincere partnership with all the members of the big European family. And now there are attempts to impose new dividing lines on us; they may be virtual walls, but they nevertheless divide, and cut through our continent. Will it really once again take long years and decades, as well as several generations of politicians, to “disassemble” and “dismantle” these new walls?
2007. July. President Vladimir Putin, President George W. Bush and former President George H.W. Bush met in Maine. Putin raised the offer of cooperation on anti-missile defense, for which talks took place occasionally for two years, until stopping altogether under President Barack Obama. In Maine, Putin laid out such mutual-use options, as a Russian-American missile defense installation in Azerbaijan. But, the U.S. was already oriented to forward placement of systems for missile defense (dual-option as offense) in Poland and the Czech Republic (which would come to be in Romania instead).
2008. April 2-4. The NATO Summit in Bucharest welcomed Ukraine’s and Georgia’s “Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO.” In the Bucharest Summit Declaration, NATO’s leadership body, the North Atlantic Council stated that “both countries have made valuable contributions to Alliance operations,” and “these countries will become members of NATO.”
2008. August. In Georgia, government forces under President Mikheil Saakashvili attacked Russian peacekeepers in the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia, leading to a fierce, short war, which Georgia lost. NATO did not come to Saakashvili’s side, but the possibility of doing so was clear and ominous, including the prospect of doing so elsewhere, in particular in Ukraine. After a ceasefire, on Aug. 26 Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
2008. December. The European Union initiated the EU “Eastern Partnership” targeting six countries that were former Soviet republics (Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan), with mechanisms such as the EUAA–EU Association Agreements, which involved a “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement” (DCFTA), which ran parallel with the NATO eastward moves. Ukraine was a prime target.
2008. Dec. 19. The “U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership” was signed in Washington, D.C., with the commitment to revise it every 10 years or sooner. The document stated,
We plan to undertake a program of enhanced security cooperation intended to increase Ukrainian capabilities and to strengthen Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO membership.
2009. NATO’s 27th member was Croatia, and 28th member, Albania.
2011. NATO enforced a no-fly zone over Libya, as part of London’s and President Barack Obama’s operation to overthrow the government. It resulted in U.S. forces assassinating President Muammar Qaddafi, and Libya’s descent into chaos and violence, from which it has not recovered.
May. Ukraine signed a memorandum for observer status with the Eurasian Customs Union. This marked potential increased economic collaboration with Russia and other nations across Eurasia. Sergey Glazyev, Putin’s presidential aide for the coordination of the work of federal agencies in developing the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, met in Kiev with Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of Ukrainian Choice, on economic plans. Glazyev cited the poll by Kiev’s Social Monitoring Center that more Ukrainians favored the Customs Union (46%) than the European Union Association Agreement (35%), which was also under discussion.
October. In Romania, the easternmost site for the intended NATO European missile shield, groundbreaking took place for the Aegis Ashore missile defense installation by the U.S. and NATO, to be operational by 2016. The Aegis Ashore’s U.S. MK-41 launch system can also be used to fire cruise missiles, not just for air defense. Russia called this a breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987.
Nov. 21. Ukraine’s cabinet voted not to proceed with the plan for Ukraine to get Association Agreement (AA) status with the European Union. This rejection was unacceptable to the U.S.-Euro-NATO bloc. Within days, the pre-existing network of color revolution operatives went into gear, led by Yuri Lutsenko. His spokesman had warned Nov. 13 that “the people of Ukraine would have no other option than to take to the streets” if the government balked at the EU.
Lutsenko and Andriy Parubiy were amongst the first to take to the Maidan, where some Ukrainians had initially demonstrated in favor of the EU track, in hopes of a better life. (Parubiy had co-founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine and founded its youth wing, Ukrainian Patriot.)
Within three months, a hard core of neo-Nazis ratcheted up the violence, forcing a regime change. Hence, the early Maidan protests were a battleground in the overall clash between the U.S.-Euro-NATO bloc and the new development possibilities coming out of China and Russia.
Dec. 5. President Yanukovych, in Beijing, signed a “China-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Development Plan” (2014-2018) for $8 billion of investments, including port development. This came as part of the Sept. 7 “Belt and Road” announced by President Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan. Yanukovych expressed his appreciation for the “ ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ proposed by the Chinese side and is ready to actively join in relevant infrastructure construction.” It was not to be.
Dec. 5. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland personally participated in the Maidan protests. Nuland’s presence was the U.S. official public side of the extensive spook network involving the UK’s MI6 and U.S. counterparts, and NATO/EU capabilities, promoting the overthrow of the Yanukovych government. An escalation of violence occurred on Dec. 10, including the retreat of the riot police. Nuland confronted Yanukovych on Dec. 11, then headed to the Maidan to pass out cookies. Two days later in Washington, she described the confrontation. The only way he could avoid chaos was to return to the EU’s Association Agreement. “There is no other path.” He had to “get back into a conversation with the IMF.” In this same speech, Nuland stated that since 1991, “we’ve invested over $5 billion” to teach Ukrainians democracy; and she praised collaboration with the EU’s Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Ashton, a British baroness.
Dec. 17. A Ukraine cooperation agreement with Russia was signed by Yanukovych, following the Dec. 1-3 visit by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin. It involved the formation of a working group on industrial cooperation, including military and joint space production. It would be stillborn.
January onward. An escalation of protests and violence on the Maidan.
Feb. 4. Nuland told U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt on a phone call—leaked Feb. 6 in full—that the next leader of Ukraine must be “our man Yats” (Arsenyi Yatsenyuk). She said that Vice President Biden would make supportive, “atta boy” calls to selected Ukrainians, to back the U.S. intervention. Nuland’s infamous “F*** the EU” comment was her dismissal of their negotiations that would have left the elected government in power.
Feb. 18. The Canadian embassy in Kiev provided shelter and cover for the armed, neo-Nazi C14 provocateurs, headed by Yevhen Karas. Karas later boasted that the Maidan protest, were it not for the muscle of the C14, would have been merely a “gay parade”—and that’s why the West provided weapons, “to do their dirty work.”
Feb. 18-22. After violent demonstrations on the 18th, a truce agreement was worked out on the 19th. It was destroyed by Paruby and the Right Sector’s leader Dmytro Yarosh, who rabble-roused: “Right Sector will not lift the [armed] blockade of a single administrative building until our main demand is met—the resignation of Yanukovych.” The next day, the 20th, unidentified snipers killed 70 people, both demonstrators and police. The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland arranged for a peaceful transition, with Yanukovych to hold early elections by the end of the year. On the 21st, a Maidan Self-Defense commander, Volodymyr Parasyuk, agitated the crowd to revolt against even this agreement, with the threat that Yanukovych must resign immediately, or the crowd would assault his residence in the morning. Yanukovych fled Kiev the night of the 21st. Nuland’s Yatsenyuk indeed became the Prime Minister. The new head of the powerful National Security and Defense Council as of Feb. 26 was Andriy Paruby, Commandant of the Maidan.
March 1. President Putin received authorization from the Federal Assembly (national legislature) which he had sought, to deploy Russian forces on Ukrainian territory, to respond to threats on the lives of Russian citizens and Russian-ethnic residents of Crimea. There was no Russian “invasion” of Crimea. The troops who were detailed for defense, were already stationed in Crimea, in and around the Russian Black Sea Fleet facilities.
March 16. A referendum was held in Crimea on whether to rejoin the Russian Federation. The vote was 96% in favor, with an 83% voter turnout. Reintegration with Russia then occurred, which was termed by the U.S.-Euro-NATO bloc as “unlawful annexation” and “invasion” by Russia, and then used as grounds for action against Russia ranging from sanctions, to expulsion from the Group of 8, to expanding NATO and moving forces eastward.
April 11. A referendum in the Donbass for self-rule received an 89% yes vote, with 75% of the electorate voting. This came about, even as various neo-Nazi elements of the violent “Maidan Self Defense” had fanned out over March, to eastern Ukraine (and elsewhere) to enforce rule by Kiev over those opposed to the coup d’état and who wanted significant autonomy. The Donbass conflict turned to heavy fighting over 2014-2015 and thereafter. The notorious Azov Battalion was formed by Andrey Biletsky, released from prison as part of the coup. He chose the Nazi symbols–the black sun and wolf’s hook. Earlier, Biletsky had vowed to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans].” Dmytro Yarosh was an instigator in the Donbass War, leading a 20-man Right Sector gang to sabotage a TV tower in Sloviansk, Donbass.
April 13. Ukraine’s Acting President Oleksandr Turkynov announced an “anti-terrorist” operation in the Donbass, which stoked the worsening violence. CIA director John Brennan held secretive discussions in Kiev. In many instances, the regular government forces would not attack fellow citizens, so irregular formations grew. Billionaire oligarch Igor Kolomoisky privately funded neo-Nazi militias.
May 2. Opponents of the Kiev coup were burned alive in a building in Odessa, by action of the Right Sector, for which Dmitro Yarosh was considered a hero. The criminals have not been prosecuted to this day.
May 25. Viktor Poroshenko was elected the new Ukraine President, after running on a pledge to end the fighting.
June–Sept. A Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) was formed by Ukraine, Russia and the UN OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), to work out a resolution strategy. It met over the Summer, while fighting continued. By June 13, the Azov Battalion had conquered Mariupol. As of September, 3,600 people had been killed in the Donbass, and 8,700 wounded. Over 1 million sought refuge in Russia.
Sept. 5. Kiev’s military defeat at the Donbass’ Ilovaysk in late August motivated Kiev to participate in the signing of the Minsk Protocols, announced by the TCG. They included a ceasefire, OSCE monitoring, and a new Ukrainian law text, “On Temporary Order of Local Self-Governance of Particular Districts of Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts.” But fighting continued. Yarosh led the Right Sector in continued artillery bombardment of Donetsk City, from the high ground of the airport.
October. The Azov Brigade became officially folded into the Ukrainian National Guard and henceforth known as the Azov Regiment, though unofficially they maintained significant autonomy. Other neo-Nazi groups were treated similarly.
Poroshenko declared Oct. 14 the Defender of the Fatherland Day, honoring the day of the 1942 founding of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), notorious for its collaboration with Hitler in butchering Jews and Poles. On October 27, Yarosh, wounded at the Battle of the Donetsk Airport, was elected to the Rada (unicameral parliament), where he served for 5 years.
2014. December. As of year-end, President Obama had signed four Executive Orders since March, authorizing dozens of sanctions against Russian entities and individuals over the imputed “unlawful annexation of Crimea,” and other allegations. Issuance of sanctions has continued to the present time.
February. The UK launched “Operation Orbital,” sending military trainers to Ukraine. NATO announced that six new bases would be set up in Eastern Europe, with a new 5,000-man “spearhead” force, given the “changed security environment,” said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The bases would be in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. The personnel for the spearhead forces, deployable on two days’ notice, would come from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the UK.
February–April. Over the winter, Anton Heraschenko, the protégé of the infamous Arsen Avakov (Minister of Internal Affairs, 2014–2021), inaugurated what would become a full-fledged hit squad, the Myrotvorets (or “peacemaker”) unit. At least seven elected officials from the opposition Party of the Regions (PoR) were hung or shot, all labeled by officials as “suicides.” Other prominent hit-squad victims included Sehiy Sukhobok, a journalist critical of Ukraine’s oligarchs, who was gunned down April 13 near Kiev. It was labeled a private dispute. On April 16, Oles Buzina, described as an “opposition activist,” was shot dead on a sidewalk near his home. Two members of the neo-Nazi C14 grouping, who were eventually detained, were later released. The indictments were never acted upon.
Feb. 11-12. The “Minsk II” Agreement was produced at a 16-hour summit in Minsk, Belarus, as Minsk I was not proceeding. Participating were President Putin, President Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande, and the leaders of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, and LPR, Igor Plotnitsky. A specific schedule was agreed upon for a sequence of settlement actions: (1) ceasefire by February 15; (2) pullback from line of contact, two weeks later; (3) a local self-government law by mid-March. None of this was done.
Feb. 13. Yarosh declared that Minsk II was unconstitutional, and that combat operations would continue.
March 14. Poroshenko announced a new deal with 11 EU countries for weapons to be supplied to Ukraine. The presidential website stated that “the official embargo of the EU on the supply of weapons to Ukraine had been abolished.” Poroshenko spoke with then-Vice President Joe Biden on military aid. With a midnight deadline for the new law on the Donbass oblasts having special status, he belatedly submitted a draft, pro forma, to the Rada. No action was planned nor taken.
March 25. The Normandy Four (France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine) met in Paris at the level of their political directors, given that Ukraine was meeting none of the Minsk II deadlines. Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Vadim Priskaiko explained why Ukraine had not met with the DPR and LPR leaders:
It would be politically useless to talk to the people who in fact are field commanders…. [They] are not Ukrainians in the full sense of this word. They are illegitimate….
April. Following the British lead, the U.S. sent nearly 300 members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade to train Ukrainian soldiers (including Azov members). The new initiative, “Operation Fearless Guardian,” had Canada and Poland join with the UK and U.S.
April 2. The Rada directly contravened Minsk II conditions, by now asserting that elections must precede a withdrawal and the law on autonomy.
April 17. Truce broken in Donetsk. OSCE monitors reported that a “third party” was provoking the two sides in the protracted Donetsk airport fighting, disrupting efforts for a local truce. Andrei Kelin, Russia’s Ambassador to the OSCE, identified the “third force” as the Azov Regiment.
Aug. 31. Belatedly, the Rada took up the constitutional amendment allowing the occupied territories autonomous status; but violent protests erupted in front of the Rada. Four servicemen were killed. No vote was taken.
NATO this year deployed four multinational battlegroups to Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania under its “enhanced forward presence.”
March 3. The foreign ministers of the Normandy Four met in Paris. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, “We underlined the importance of adopting an electoral law to hold local elections by the end of the first half of 2016.” Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that this would not happen, until Ukraine is satisfied about its security.
May. The Aegis Ashore missile defense installation in Romania was inaugurated by the U.S., southwest of Bucharest, as part of the NATO European missile defense shield. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that it was no threat to Russia. “The interceptors are too few … and too close to Russia … to intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov later responded, “Who will this system be against? To begin with, the explanation we were given was a potential rocket attack from Iran…. Now we know the situation has changed dramatically.” The same month, work began in Poland, for an Aegis system near the Baltic Sea. “This is a violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,” said Mikhail Ulyanov, Director of the Department for Proliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Oct. 1. The Normandy Four agreed to a watered-down Minsk II, the “Steinmeier Formula,” named after Germany’s then Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier. The requirement for constitutional change was eliminated. The DPR/LPR elections were to be held under Ukrainian legislation and with OSCE observers; if approved, then the two oblasts (administrative divisions) would be back within Ukraine with some special status. However, no such elections ever occurred.
January. “Veterans of the nationalist battalions” started an illegal economic blockade of the Donbass, beginning with rail connections. Poroshenko hesitated, then backed it. Donbass coking coal no longer went to Dnieper Bend industries. Also, pension payments were suspended.
June. NATO’s 29th member was Montenegro.
Jan. 18. The Rada passed a “re-integration” law “to ensure Ukraine’s state sovereignty in temporarily occupied areas in Donetsk and Lugansk regions.” It labeled Russia as the aggressor, and therefore “liable for moral, financial or physical damage.” It expanded the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to repel Russia’s “armed aggression.” And, according to the director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Management of Policy, Ruslan Bortnik, it criminalized dialogue with the administrations of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk Republics. Poroshenko signed it on Feb. 21.
April 30. The first shipment of American Javelin anti-tank missiles arrived. A new “Joint Forces Operations” drive was launched against the Donbass.
August. The U.S./NATO Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Poland remained under construction, running behind its intended completion date this month. As of Spring 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was deployed to rush completion.
Aug. 31. Donetsk’s President Alexander Zakharchenko was assassinated by a bomb in a Donetsk restaurant. Kiev claimed that the bomb was from civil strife within the DPR.
Oct. 25–Nov. 7. NATO’s “Exercise Trident Junction,” the largest military exercise in Europe since the dissolution of the USSR, had 50,000 participants, 65 ships, 250 aircraft and 10,000 vehicles, from 29 NATO members, plus Sweden and Finland. NATO’s Stoltenberg officially commented that the mass exercise “sends a clear message … to any potential adversary.”
Nov. 11–Dec. 10. A Ukrainian boat deliberately flouted the longstanding 2003 treaty governing Russia’s policing of the Kerch Strait, provoking Russian maritime border patrol forces to detain 3 small Ukrainian military ships. On Nov. 30, Poroshenko called for NATO ships in the Sea of Azov. This incident stopped an expected side meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina, Nov. 30–Dec. 1. Ukraine’s Yevhen Marchuk, representative to the Trilateral Contact Group, told the TCG that cooperation on the sea is no longer a subject of discussion. “Russia crossed out this agreement, and the one on [joint] national border.”
Dec. 10. The “Termination of the 1997 Treaty of Friendship between Ukraine and Russia” was signed by Poroshenko. He stated,
We must regard the non-prolongation of our Agreement with Russia not as an episode but as part of our strategy towards the final breakup with our colonial past and re-orientation towards Europe.
All remaining agreements were being reviewed for termination.
Feb. 2. The U.S. announced its withdrawal, effective six months hence (Aug. 2) from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which had been made with the USSR in December 1987.
March. The Azov-formed National Corps attacked the home of Viktor Medvedchuk, head of the party “Opposition Platform–For Life” (formed in December 2018).
April 21. Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected President by a landslide 73% vote, after campaigning to end violence. He said,
I’ll do anything for peace, even meet with Putin.
May 27. Dmytro Yarosh issued a death threat to Zelenskyy shortly after the inauguration. Yarosh, now commander of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, gave away the game:
[The] Minsk format … is an opportunity to play for time, arm the Armed Forces, switch to the best world standards in the system of national security and defense. This is an opportunity for maneuver. But no more. The implementation of the Minsk agreements is the death of our state…. [Zelenskyy’s] statements about peace at any cost are dangerous for us. Volodymyr simply does not know the price of this world…. Zelenskyy said in his inaugural speech that he was ready to lose ratings, popularity, position [for peace]…. No, he would lose his life. He will hang on some tree on Khreshchatyk—if he betrays Ukraine…. It’s important that he understands this.
Summer. A “Capitulation Resistance Movement” (CRM) was formed by Yarosh’s friend, Serhiy Kvit, who had been co-chairman of the violent Maidan Defense. The CRM and others went on to hold marches and oppose the Steinmeier Formula (Minsk II “Light”) altogether. Kvit was from the Tryzub Bandery, a key component in the formation of Yarosh’s Right Sector. Kvit described the new CRM as a civic movement sprung into existence in the euphoria of Zelenskyy’s victory, which—
emerged spontaneously to counter Russian aggression and support further Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine under a new political reality in the affairs of state. We organized mass actions under the banner “No to Capitulation!” and rejecting official policy aimed at recognizing the aggressor country as a “partner,” legalizing “Steinmeier’s formula,” withdrawing Ukrainian troops from the front lines, and legitimizing Russian controlled terrorist organizations in the occupied territories of Donbass.
Aug. 24. A march by the “Defenders of Ukraine,” dressed in militia uniforms, included many of the CRM founding members. It claimed 15,000 attendees.
September. Kiev introduced new conditions and interpretations for the Steinmeier Formula, but refused Moscow’s request for a written version of what Kiev was actually proposing.
Oct. 6. A “Stop Capitulations!” mass rally in Kiev was CRM’s first official act. Their resolution stated,
Russia is the aggressor and should be fully responsible for crimes against Ukraine and the situation in the occupied territories. Donbass and Crimea should return to Ukraine together without any conditions from the Kremlin.
Oct. 23. An Azov showdown with Zelenskyy occurred, after he went to Zolote in the Donbass to display his ability to talk to both the villagers, who were afraid of the neo-Nazi militias, and the militias. On camera, residents intervened on Zelenskyy, demanding that he have a visiting Azov group obey the rules on disarming. (They had lyingly claimed they had no weapons.) Zelenskyy was provoked to confront them, saying that they can’t lie to the President. Afterwards, Biletsky of the Azov Regiment ordered Zelenskyy to cut it out, and to back down on even the 1-kilometer pullback from the borderline, or else he would order his Azov-based National Front to swarm the area.
Oct. 31. The CRM issued its “Ukrainian Doctrine of Security and Peace.” Russia must “cease armed aggression, cease violating international norms, unconditionally withdraw all its armed formations from Crimea, the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as well as further the establishment of Ukrainian control along the entire state border.”
Nov. 15. CRM initiated an All-Ukrainian “Dignity Forum” with 300 designated delegates from NGOs for “a common platform for protection of the national interests of the state.” According to Kvit, CRM organized regular rallies entitled “Red Lines for Zelenskyy,” with 20-50,000 participants. They also employed social-media-organized pop-up rallies, pickets and actions.
December. A long-awaited Normandy Four Summit in Paris took place, to no effect.
Feb. 18. The Atlantic Council, a foremost voice of the U.S./UK-Euro-NATO bloc, published glowing support for the Capitulation Resistance Movement, as “a democratic movement made up of distinguished Ukrainian diplomats and experts … fighting against the Russian fifth column” in Ukraine. It also carried the dark message that Zelenskyy better toe the line, or face another Maiden coup.
March 12. Zelenskyy’s appointee to create a “National Platform for Reconciliation and Unity,” Sergey Sivokho, gave an initial public forum on some very modest steps toward the Steinmeier Formula. He was publicly assaulted and pushed to the floor by a combination of Azov and Svoboda thugs. Although he had been appointed as an advisor to the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), the NSDC explained that Sivokho was expressing his personal opinion. Zelenskyy said and did nothing, though Sivokho was described as his good friend.
March 27. NATO’s 30th member is North Macedonia.
June. NATO granted Ukraine “Enhanced Opportunities Partner” (EOP) status. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s statement blatantly referred to NATO extending to areas “remote from the Alliance’s borders” and on how Ukraine would get support, and “be able to participate in the planning of NATO operations; gain access to all NATO exercises; representatives of Ukraine will be able to hold positions at NATO headquarters and command structures.”
Summer. U.S. and other NATO countries conducted frequent and provocative reconnaissance flights over the Black Sea. Similar recurring flights were conducted in regions of the Baltic Sea, Bering Sea and other locations, with ever more frequent intercepts by either the U.S. or Russia.
Aug. 27. Biletsky’s National Corps opened fire on an “Opposition Platform—for Life” bus, wounding several of their members.
October. Ukraine’s delegation to the Minsk Contact Group added the controversial Oleskiy Arestovych as “Information Policy Adviser.” He had been the deputy to the leader of the “Brotherhood,” a provocateur group self-described as “Orthodox Taliban.” Arestovych had already boldly admitted that he had “lied a lot” about Donbass, doing “pure propaganda work” in 2014.
Feb.–March. The NSDC conducted a sweeping shutdown of opposition political parties, media and related networks. Their operations were banned, key individuals were sanctioned. Leaders of the “Opposition Platform—For Life,” Victor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak, were targeted. The NSDC cited grounds of “national security” to perform “extrajudicial sanctions.” When the head of the Constitutional Court, Oleksandr Tupytskyi, denounced the NSDC’s actions as unconstitutional and a coup, Zelenskyy signed a decree canceling the judge’s appointment.
March 16–19. The Biden Administration approved its first military aid package for Ukraine, of $125 million of new weaponry. On March 19, Ukraine Foreign Minister Kuleba announced that a “new security strategy” was in effect, in which Ukraine would militarily take over Donetsk and Lugansk. Ukraine will exert “full sovereignty over Crimea and Sevastopol” (the home of the Russian Black Sea fleet). After discussions with the UK, U.S., EU and Turkey, Zelenskyy announced a new “Crimean Platform Initiative.”
April. Victoria Nuland was made Biden’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
April 14. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said about the planned U.S. Navy missions into the Black Sea:
There is nothing for American battleships to do off our coasts. These are strictly provocations…. They are testing us, playing on our nerves…. The USA, which evidently feels that it is ruler of the world, the heir in that respect of Great Britain from another epoch, should nonetheless realize that the risk of an incident is very high.
April 16. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, spoke of Ukraine’s recourse to restoring nuclear weapons, if other support does not materialize. He said on DLF Radio,
Either we are part of an alliance such as NATO … or we have the only option—to arm by ourselves, and maybe think about nuclear status again….
April 26. Zelenskyy called for the U.S., UK and Canada to be added to the Minsk process, saying that the Minsk format had been “designed before my time,” and must be changed. “It is just impossible for me in my position” [emphasis added] to talk with Donbass leaders. Two days later, Arestovych, now National Security Adviser, commented that when Zelenskyy was elected, he “had no practical political experience. Now the rose-colored-glasses period is over. Zelenskyy has no illusions anymore.”
May. Medvedchuk, leader of the Opposition Platform—For Life party, was arrested and charged with treason. Zelenskyy used an ominous new formulation to explain: Ukraine needs to “fight against the danger of Russian aggression in the information arena.”
June 14. NATO communiqué affirmed Ukraine’s right to join NATO. This is the “Brussels Summit Communiqué of NATO’s North Atlantic Council.”
June 23–July 10. The UK’s destroyer HMS Defender intentionally sailed into Crimea’s territorial waters. The UK Ministry of Defense denied there were any warning shots, but Russia then broadcast a recording of the warning. Further, a stray pile of classified Defense Ministry documents left at a British bus stop revealed evidence of planning for an apparent “innocent passage” close to Crimea. On June 30, Putin said:
The provocation was an integrated one, staged not only by the British, but also by the Americans, because the British warship ventured into our territorial waters in the afternoon, while early in the morning … a U.S. strategic reconnaissance plane took off from a NATO airfield in Greece…. It was obvious that the destroyer intruded in pursuit of military aims, trying to find out with the help of a reconnaissance plane what our armed forces’ countermeasures to this sort of provocation might be….
June 28–July 10. NATO’s “Sea Breeze” exercise was conducted in the Black Sea jointly with Ukraine.
July 17–30. NATO’s “Three Swords” land exercises took place with Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland. (NATO’s “Agile Spirit” exercise in Georgia with 700 U.S. troops was on July 26.)
Aug. 23. The Crimea Platform Initiative summit was held with representatives from 46 countries, including 30 NATO members. Zelenskyy said he would do “everything possible to return Crimea … [to Ukraine].” Crimea, he said, calls into question the “efficiency of the whole international security system…. We want to see the active efforts of our Western partners!”
Sept. 20. NATO kicked off “Exercise Rapid Trident 21” at the Yavoriv training range in western Ukraine, with 6,000 troops from 15 countries, including 300 from the U.S.
October. Ukraine deployed Turkish Bayraktar TB2 combat drones against the Donbass.
Oct. 23. Thirty Javelin anti-missile launchers and 180 missiles arrived in Ukraine from the U.S.
Oct. 25. Zelenskyy’s policy adviser Arestovych threatened missile strikes against Russia. Responding to Putin, who had objected a week earlier at the Valdai Club to NATO missiles being placed in Ukraine under the guise of training centers, Arestovych countered, “With his policy, Putin will reach the point where Ukrainian missiles will be aimed at Moscow in the near future.” Ukraine is working on a missile program, and “our missiles of operational and tactical level will be able to reach Moscow.”.
Nov. 10. “U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership” was signed. The U.S. affirmed that Ukraine would join NATO; committed to support “Ukraine’s efforts to counter Russia-led armed conflict in part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”; backed Ukraine to end “Russia’s occupation of Crimea;” and other points, including partnership in the Black Sea.
Dec. 17. The Russian Foreign Ministry published two draft documents on security guarantees, one, a treaty given to the United States, and the other an agreement given to NATO, for early negotiations, to be legally binding and in writing, as all prior security agreements no longer functioned, and the talks had also stalled on START (Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms). Washington and Brussels avoided any serious response.
Dec. 26. The U.S. and NATO produced written responses to Moscow, indicating areas of negotiations, but sidelining areas Russia considered core for security. The principal concern dismissed was that “security is indivisible,” meaning there must be security for all nations.
January. The OSCE reported that the conflict in the Donbass, from 2014 through 2021, had killed an estimated 14,000 people. The estimated breakdown: 4,650 from Ukrainian armed forces and battalions; 6,520 from Donbass militias and Russian volunteers; and 3,400 civilians.
Jan. 31. Ukraine’s NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov told AP:
The fulfillment of the Minsk agreement means the country’s destruction…. It’s impossible to implement those documents.
Feb. 7. Neo-Nazi C14 leader Yevhen Karas explained on Kiev television why they had “been given so much weaponry” by the West. Karas said:
[It is] because we perform the tasks set by the West, because we are the only ones who are ready to do them. Because we have fun, we have fun killing and we have fun fighting….
Karas went on to mock Ukraine’s Western supporters for thinking a neo-Nazi-run Ukraine will peacefully rejoin the West. Rather, it will use Western support for now, but “if we come to power, it will be both joy and problems for the whole world.”
Feb. 17. Kiev launched a major bombardment of the Donetsk Peoples Republic. According to an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission report, the number of explosions in Donetsk went from 6 in the previous 48 hours to 128 on February 17 alone. As of the Winter, large contingents of Ukraine national forces and militias had massed at strategic Kiev government-controlled areas in the Donbass.
Feb. 19. President Zelenskyy addressed the Munich Security Council, raising Ukraine’s request for NATO membership, and the contingency of having nuclear weapons in Ukraine:
The best time for it [dealing with NATO membership] is the next summit in Madrid [June 2022]. We have received no security guarantees for abandoning the world’s third nuclear capability. We don’t have that weapon. We also have no security….
Hence, the prospect of obtaining nuclear weapons.
Feb. 21. President Putin officially recognized the Lugansk and Donetsk Republics. In a speech to the citizens of Russia on the same day, Putin said:
In March 2021, a new Military Strategy was adopted in Ukraine. This document is almost entirely dedicated to confrontation with Russia and sets the goal of involving foreign states in a conflict with our country…. It also sets out the contours of a potential war, which should end, according to the Kiev strategists, “with the assistance of the international community on favorable terms for Ukraine,” as well as—listen carefully, please—“with foreign military support in the geopolitical confrontation with the Russian Federation.”
Feb. 22. Putin said that the Minsk Agreements “no longer existed.” He would respond to the calls for military assistance from the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Feb. 24. President Putin announced that the decision was made to carry out a “special military operation” in Ukraine, in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.” He said that Russia had no plans for occupying Ukrainian territories. The purpose of the operation was for “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine.
Further Documentation from EIR
Feb. 7, 2014, “Western Powers Back Neo-Nazi Coup in Ukraine.” See article and related articles in the same issue.
May 16, 2014, “British Imperial Project in Ukraine: Violent Coup, Fascist Axioms, Neo-Nazis.” See article.
Feb. 24, 2017, “Neo-Nazi Perpetrators of Regime Change.” See article.
Feb. 24, 2017, “Chronology of the Coup.” See article.