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The situation in Ukraine is a looming catastrophe.  It has already become a catastrophe for the citizens of Ukraine.  It threatens to rekindle the Cold War, and that brings all of us closer to a Hot War.  Just today, the Right Sector, a political party closely associated with the newly installed government in Kiev, attempted to enter Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in southeastern Ukraine.   The attempt was thwarted by the Ukrainian Police.  Good, I suppose.  But this begs the question: "Who's Who?"

This is an incredibly dangerous situation.  It is important for everyone to become very well informed about all sides of this conflict.  Former CIA officer Ray McGovern, who delivered the Daily Briefs for Presidents, spoke about the recent interview which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave to Bloomberg News.  In the introduction to Ray McGovern's piece, Consortium News says:

How NATO Jabs Russia on Ukraine
May 15, 2014   

Exclusive: The U.S. mainstream media portrays the Ukraine crisis as a case of Russian “imperialism,” but the reality is that Moscow has been reacting to aggressive moves by Washington to expand NATO to Russia’s border in violation of a post-Cold War pledge, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

For more discussion of McGovern's insights and links to the Lavrov interview, please proceed below the golden orange handshake.

By Ray McGovern

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov used Wednesday’s interview with Bloomberg News to address the overriding issue regarding the future of Ukraine, at least from Moscow’s perspective. Speaking in fluent English, he said Russia would be “categorically against” Ukraine joining NATO.

Lavrov said he welcomed the interviewer’s question regarding whether Ukraine can be part of NATO, recognizing it as a chance to shoehorn background information into the interview. It was an opportunity to explain Moscow’s position to a wide English-speaking international audience – first and foremost Americans. His comments seemed partly aimed at those so malnourished on “mainstream media” that they might be learning the history of NATO enlargement for the first time. Lavrov said:

“In my view, it all started … back in the 1990s...US and NATO  reneged on a series of commitments: not to enlarge the Alliance; then (after NATO was expanded contrary to that commitment), not to deploy substantial forces on the territories of new NATO members; and then not to move NATO infrastructure to the Russian border.

“All these commitments have been, to one degree or another, violated,” said Lavrov, adding that “attempts to draw Ukraine into NATO would have a negative impact on the entire system of European security.” Lavrov said Russia’s national security interests and 25 years of recent history make this a key problem, not only for Ukraine and NATO, but also “an issue of Russia.”

Is Lavrov distorting the history? The answer is important – the more so inasmuch as the information needed to form cogent judgments is rarely found in the U.S. “mainstream media.” What happened in the months immediately before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9/10, 1989, is key to understanding Russia’s attitude now.

Echoes of treaties, agreements, and promises that the dominant cultures have made to peoples again and again.  In his old age, Red Cloud was quoted as saying:
"They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one--They promised to take our land...and they took it."
Please see what McGovern has to say about the history of agreements regarding the Us & NATO -/- Ukraine.

To read Ray McGovern's historical account of US/NATO actions since 1989, go here.

For the Bloomberg interview (46") video, click Lavrov.  

I thought of adding a poll, but decided instead to simply ask you all to ask yourselves  where the blame lies, and in what proportion.

Thanks for reading.

Originally posted to dharmasyd on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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