One of the heads of the prestigious think tank Stratfor said famously in December that the coup in Kiev, Ukraine on 22nd of February 2014 was the “most blatant coup in the history of mankind”. The Coup d’etat was organized with the support of Western services and “proto-fascists as the spear point of this Maidan coup”, says McGovern. Russian president Vladimir Putin couldn’t accept that. It is promising that the US is now excluded from the top four negotiators but still are represented in the negotiations by “US puppet” Poroschenko, Ukraine’s president. If Merkel and Holland are not able to persuade the US “then we have real problems”. McGovern: “The Minsk Accords need to be implemented. They are good accords. It’s just that people need to follow through”. Kiev has to concede East Ukraine a certain amount of regional autonomy. This is what people in the East are aiming for not separation or annexation with Russia, as commonly reported.
Ray McGovern, former senior CIA analyst whose duties included preparing the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He was an analyst of Russian foreign policy for the first decade of his 27-year career with the CIA. McGovern is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Elizabeth Murray, served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Theresia Reinhold: we would like to turn to another conflict zone – the Ukraine. There is a cease-fire in place right now, but a solution of the crisis is not in sight as all. While the economy is crumbling, people are suffering. What is your assessment of the situation and what is the role of the US, NATO, EU and probably Germany on the one hand and Russia on the other?
Ray McGovern: what people don’t realize from the media is that we started it. One of the heads of one of the most prestigious think tanks, Stratfor, said famously in December that the coup in Kiev, Ukraine on this 22nd of February 2014 was the most blatant coup in the history of mankind. Why did he say that? There is a funny expression here. We say that “the revolution will not be televised”. Well, this coup d’état was “youtubized” two and half weeks in advance. What I’m referring to, of course, is an intercepted telephone conversation between Victoria Nuland, high-level State Department official, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador in Kiev. And what she said is: “we got this thing underway, Yats (Arseniy Yatsenyuk) is the guy” and Geoffrey Pyatt said “Okay, Yats”. Well I wake up the day after the coup, turn the radio on and I understand that there’s been a coup and who’s the new prime minister? Yats! I wrote an article and I put the title “Yikes, it’s Yats!” That was Yatsenyuk, right? But who’s the Prime Minister now, a year and a half later? Yats! All I’m saying here is this is a coup d’état organized by the United States services with the help of some of the Western services and including some of the proto-fascist as the spear point of this Maidan coup. And that’s what started this whole thing. And if they thought that Mr. Putin would sit by and say “Oh gosh look what’s happening. Yatsenyuk wants to join NATO. Oh wow!” If they thought that would happen, they are crazy. What Putin did – and I would have done the same thing – is convening his security people and say: “All right well there’s been a coup, the US is trying to get Ukraine into NATO. The big deal for us is: our only freshwater and our only ice-free naval base plus other air and other bases is in Crimea, so what are we going to do?” Well they decided: maybe we are to ask the Crimeans, if they want to join this putsch regime or –like the folks in the Eastern Ukraine – do not want to join the putsch regime? And clearly the plebiscite there was about 90%. They knew that would happen. So what did Russia do? They annexed Crimea. Is that what the Americans are told? No, the Americans are told that Russia invaded Crimea; they invaded Ukraine – they’re a bunch of lies. But you know, the trick is, whoever lies first, wins.
Theresia Reinhold: Do you see any peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis? What should be done?
Ray McGovern: Yes, I see some favorable signs. Number one: thanks mostly to Angela Merkel and some to Hollande in Paris, the United States has been frozen out of the top four negotiators here. We have Poroschenko from Ukraine, Putin, Merkel and Hollande. That’s the only way that substantive progress is going to be made. Is the US represented on those four? Of course – Poroschenko is a US puppet. Now, the big thing is for Merkel and Hollande and Putin to persuade Poroschenko: “look, it’s time we enforce the cease-fire, it’s time we rewrote the Ukrainian Constitution to allow some reasonable autonomy out of the East and further bloodletting just is not going to be acceptable.” Now, if he hears from Washington: “Nah, don’t pay any attention to that. We’ll support you no matter what.” – then we have real problems. But if Frau Merkel and Hollande and others are able to persuade Washington: “look, you started this thing and it’s not at all what you wanted in terms of the outcome, because people really don’t like coup regimes.” So, the Minsk Accords need to be implemented. They are good accords; it’s just that people need to follow through. I understand that over the last couple of days cease-fire has held in a way that it has not held since the last Minsk agreement. And if the forces pulled back as they’re supposed to and, this is key, if the Ukraine government issues or makes available a certain amount of autonomy to the people in the East, then no longer they will be called – and this is kind of deceptive – pro-Russian separatists. Separatists? They don’t want to separate from the Ukraine and the Russians won’t have them. Putin made that clear from the beginning. Are they pro-Russian? Well, most of them speak Russian, most of them Russian style, but it’s not pro-Russian that’s the active ingredient here; it’s anti-coup. So instead of calling these people pro-Russian separatists all the time, you ought to call them anti- coup Federalists, because they want a more federated regional autonomy so that they can run their own affairs and they don’t have to be subjected to the likes of Poroschenko and many of the proto-fascist that are supporting his government.