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Members of Svoboda barged their way into the offices of Aleksandr Panteleymonov, the acting president of the National Television Company of Ukraine on Tuesday night.
The Ukraine state TV's head was physically forced to resign by three Svoboda party MPs.  The pony-tailed man is Igor Miroshnichenko, the deputy head of the "Freedom of Speech" committee in Ukraine.  They called the TV station chief "Moscow trash," a derogatory term for Russians, and were angry the Ukrainian station ran footage of Putin explaining that the Russian Parliament signed a treaty with Crimea.

On January 28, 2014, a month before the coup ousting the democratically elected Ukraine president, a phone call between Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, was intercepted.  A little after 3 minutes into the conversation, Nuland uttered the undiplomatic phrase, "F--- the EU," and more importantly, a little after 1 minute, Nuland told Pyatt the names of the people she wanted governing Ukraine following the coup that hadn't happened yet.  One of her picks was Oleh Tyahnybok, a man who revered a Nazi war criminal as a hero and has used anti-semitic hate speech in his quest to keep Ukraine for ethnically pure Ukrainians.

One of the “Big Three” political parties behind the protests is the ultra-nationalist Svoboda, whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has called for the liberation of his country from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.”
After the 2010 conviction of the Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for his supporting role in the death of nearly 30,000 people at the Sobibor camp, Tyahnybok rushed to Germany to declare him a hero who was “fighting for truth.”
However, in 2004 leader Oleh Tyahnybok gave a speech attacking what he called "the Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine" and in another speech declared: "the Moskali, Germans, Kikes and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state."
Nuland sounded more like a MAFIA don planning a hit rather than a well meaning diplomat looking out for the Ukrainian populace when she offered Ukraine a government with Nazi apologists they couldn't refuse via a coup, displacing the government they democratically elected:
I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the... what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in... he's going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it's just not going to work.

Seeing the government Nuland forged behaving like thugs comes as no surprise.  This is not what democracy looks like.  The Deputy Minister of the "Free Speech" committee coercing a television station chief to resign with his fists says it all.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:07:53 AM PDT

  •  If China took Hawaii (0+ / 0-)

    a television network here which had supported their picked candidate for President of the United States might find itself in hot water too.  Svoboda would probably have tolerated Panteleymonov if Putin hadn't taken Crimea.  Extremism breeds extremism.

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:20:02 AM PDT

  •  But you see..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CIndyCasella, native

    They might be fascists, but they're "our" fascists. Or something like that.

  •  Amateurs. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amyzex, Tony Situ

    Putin would have assassinated him with polonium-209.

  •  lol. "Nuland forged." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:33:45 AM PDT

  •  One swallow does not make a spring. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amyzex, ER Doc

    Yes, the presence of Svoboda and the Right Sector in the transitional Ukrainian government is unfortunate. But why do you ignore the response of one of the two leading candidates for president of Ukraine, as reported in The Guardian?

    Politician Vitali Klitschko, who plans to stand in the presidential elections in May, said it was important the MPs were punished, calling their acts "savagery and lawlessness". He added: "Ukrainians changed the power in the country because of lawlessness and lack of justice. This should not remain unpunished. All Svoboda MPs who resorted to force should vacate their seats."
    And this:
    The interior minister, Arsen Avakov, wrote on his Facebook page that while he found the broadcasting of the First Channel to be unacceptable, he found Svoboda's methods to be the same.

    "As the interior minister, I am ready to organise all the required investigative efforts as soon as instructed by the general prosecutor," he wrote.

    Given that the prosecutor general is also a member of Svoboda, the incident could prove a key test for Ukraine's fledgling government, cobbled together in the aftermath of Yanukovych's flight from Kiev.

    It's a fantasy to think that the overthrow of the corrupt, repressive Yanukovych regime and was orchestrated by sinister outside forces.

    The fledgling Ukrainian democracy needs support.

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:47:13 AM PDT

  •  I wonder why Nuland insisted that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, mookins

    Vitali Klitschko be sidelined? It's a shame that "Doctor Ironfist" Klitschko wasn't in Panteleymonov's office when those tough guys barged in. Different ending then, probably.

    What an amazing telephone conversation -- Vicky Nuland plans out the Ukrainians' new government for them! They'll appreciate that, I'm sure. They'd better, if they know what's good for them.

  •  You should at least update your readers on (5+ / 0-)

    what's happened since: the president and attorney general have begun criminal proceedings against the MPs on two charges: "group hooliganism" and interference with press freedom.  It's also supposed to be discussed in the Rada this week, so I'll keep an eye out for any reports on that note.

    The most upsetting thing is that the victim of the beating, Panteleimonov, does not want to press charges against his aggressors because he sees that as a distraction.  This could be intimidation at work, but it could just as well be a wrongheaded concession for "a greater purpose", which only encourages similar beatings in the future.  And meanwhile the thug at Svoboda who physically grabbed Panteleimonov is both defending his actions and publicly smearing his victim in pretty disgusting ways.

    Whether they follow through with the prosecutions is going to be a major test for how serious this new government is about breaking with their old, corrupt past.  That the government responded swiftly with a criminal investigation is a good sign. That the Svoboda MPs weren't immediately pressed to resign is a bad sign.

    On Nuland's comments, I think you've misunderstood what she was saying.  Klitschko and Tyahynbok weren't her picks: it's the other way around.  They'd both emerged as leaders of different factions in the Maidan coalition, and she and Pyatt were saying they didn't want power to coalesce around these two guys, though currently they were with Yatsenyuk as the self-appointed "the big three", meeting to discuss post-Maidan politics.  Both Pyatt and Nuland express discomfort with those two, so Yatsenyuk - the only moderate democrat with political experience - wins by default. Here's Pyatt's lead-in to the segment you quoted:

    I'm just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok and his guys and I'm sure that's part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all this.
    So it's not that Nuland wanted Tyahynbok to come to power: it's that she wanted to keep him out of direct power as much as possible.  Tyahynbok was a major figure in the far-right supporters of Maidan, so he couldn't be ignored, but - as Nuland says in the call - Yatsenyuk could keep him on the outside and talk to him a few times a week, to keep the Maidan coalition together.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:10:23 AM PDT

    •  So then, why sideline Klitschko? (0+ / 0-)
      •  You should read the whole transcript. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, ER Doc

        Two major strikes against him: political inexperience (Nuland makes a withering comment about him needing to do "his political homework") and personal problems that had, typically, gotten in the way of his career.  Ugly comments all around, but that's when you get when people think they're assessing other people frankly in confidence.

        I'm not saying this discussion of backroom deals was a good thing, just that it's being misread: it's clear that Nuland and Pyatt were making an argument that Yatsenyuk was the only one of the Big Three with the experience and political stances that we should be reaching out to; to keep the other two as advisors but not to encourage them to be part of the new government.  We didn't create that Big Three, but we were trying to manage their political asperations.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:26:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's also the side argument (0+ / 0-)

          that Klitschko has lived primarily in Germany for many years, & has permanent resident status in Germany, so might not be constitutionally eligible to be the Ukrainian president until he's been back in Ukraine long enough to re-establish his residency. (I have no idea how long that would be; I've just seen this brought up.)

          -7.25, -6.26

          We are men of action; lies do not become us.

          by ER Doc on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:24:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It is not only Nuland's strategies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joncleir, CIndyCasella

      that are questionable, but rather the fact that she feels entitled to participate in the process at all. I don't see how you can call what she's doing anything but "orchestrating".

    •  Thank you for stating the facts. Let's be careful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      not to repeat all of Putin's talking points.

      Nuance, guys. Nuance.

  •  As Woody Harrelson's Sweater Said (0+ / 0-)

    "Courage, Mom."

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:59:59 PM PDT

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