In about 50 BC the Latin poet Publilius Syrus said, “By knowing nothing, life is most delightful” (In nil sapiendo vita iucundissima est.) And in 1788 English poet Thomas Gray rendered the idea in English, “Where Ignorance is Bliss, It is Folly to be Wise.”
The preamble is necessary, I think, for two reasons. I do not pretend to be exempt from ignorance, but some among the readers may disagree with the ideas herewith brought forth. If so I will suggest to him/her to keep in mind one of Marc Twain’s best pronouncements, “In all matters of opinions our adversaries are insane” and apply it accordingly.
The second reason is that often emotions overpower objective truth, notably and especially when the masters of mass manipulation know how to stir emotions, impulses & passions often of the basest sort. Nor this is limited only to emotions. For example, the now departed US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld made a remarkable assertion in reply to a journalist, during the Iraq war. The journalist had produced incontrovertible evidence that what Rumsfeld had just emphatically declared was a lie. Unable to contradict the journalist, Rumsfeld let a few long seconds go by and then replied, “We create our own reality.”
Therefore, the dissenting reader may choose between the Twain’s and Rumsfeld’s options, as regards the subjects dealt with in this presentation.
My interest in Ukraine has a long history. I was there first in my 20s as an entertainer and found nothing about the country that I did not like, from the people to the environment and to nature. Those were still the times of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was one of the Soviet republics, but my impressions were absolutely apolitical. For sure, youth molds perceptions and among welcoming and friendly people we all see life through the metaphorical pink glasses.
To quote William Wordsworth,
“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!”
Nevertheless, my interest in Ukraine did not die out during the many following years. In fact some time ago I produced (for a Portland TV Channel) a History of Ukraine in 6 episodes which can be found on my website by searching in the video section of my website www.yds.com
It is the opinion of respectable historians that, culturally and traditionally speaking, there are roughly two Ukraines, the ‘western’ Catholic and the ‘eastern’ Orthodox Ukraine. While another important contributing minority ethnic group was and still is a sect that cannot be named without being censored
As we know ‘Russia’ was actually born in Kiev, as in ‘Kievan Russ’ For reasons impossible to be reduced to a few lines, in the 13th century Rus came to define a loose aggregate or federation of Slavic, Baltic (notably Lithuania) and Polish peoples. Today Belarus, Russia and Ukraine share Kievan Rus as their historic cultural ancestry.
After 300 years, during which the famous Cossacks came to the fore with their customs and martial manners – seeking the bubble reputation in the cannon’s mouth (1) Shakespeare would say – history bring us to the Pereyaslav Agreement. In which Bodan Khmelnytsky who had led a revolt against Polish rule, asked the Tsar of Russia to make Ukraine, as an autonomous duchy, part of Russia. This was eventually achieved. Therefore we can safely say that Ukraine became part of Russia in 1654.
By a quirk of fate and politics, in 1954, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the practical birth of the Russian Empire Khrushchev decided to gift the very ethnic Russian Crimea to Ukraine.
This had to do with a post-Stalinist revival of individual republics’ nationalities, as a means to soften the impact and historical weight of Bolshevism, responsible, among other things, of the practical starvation and consequent death of millions during the Holomodor – by the way a Ukrainian word meaning death by starvation. It would be the same as if a hypothetical pro-Norwegian British prime minister decided the gifting of Scotland to Norway. And then some time later the Norwegianized Scots were to become unhappy with the turn of political events in Norway and wanted to go back to their Great Britain motherland. Whereupon the Norwegians were to bomb and kill a large number of Scots. Which is what happened in real life not in Norway but but in Donbass, which by the way means the Donbass Basin.
Given the intuitive association between religion and culture, although there were never ethnic problems in Ukraine until the CIA got busy at work to create today’s conditions, the part of Ukraine east of the river Dnieper and most of the north are mostly of orthodox christian faith, while the region of the west of the river Dnieper (especially the region of further west Galicia, which was part of Poland throughout history).
A fact mostly unknown except perhaps to Lithuanians, the now relatively little Lithuania was in the past quite a large state, a grand-duchy that included some of current Ukraine.
As a geographical aside, although the Shakespearean exclamation “Shame where is thy blush?” has lost some of its sting, at least in political circles, I think it may be still properly applicable to the current minister, or rather ministress of Britain, who during a recent international meeting showed evident ignorance about the geographical difference between Russia and Ukraine.
Returning to Ukraine, during the 19th century, as we know, a wave of nationalism swept through Europe, following Napoleon’s inspiring quest for French glory. Nationalism also inspired by the Romantic movement in literature and art. There were also strategic power plays involving England, Austria, France and a Germany growing in strength. Still the blending of romanticism and nationalism led to a number of European states being born then, including for example Italy, which became a state in 1861.
Even the poet Byron went to Greece to liberate the Greeks from Turkish rule. But prior to attacking the Turkish fortress of Lepanto, near the gulf of Corynth, he fell ill. At the time the equivalent of the deadly Covid vaccine was blood-letting. Nevertheless Byron partially recovered. Soon later he caught a nasty cold that was treated with more blood-letting, followed by a bad fever that eventually caused his death.
In Ukraine, interpreting the wave of romantic-nationalistic ideology was the poet called Taras Shevchenko. His literary influence transformed the Ukrainian from a dialect to an official language. We can therefore consider Shevchenko as the Shakespeare and the Dante Alighieri of Ukraine.
Incidentally, as we know, one of the items of contention after the US instigated and paid-for so-called ‘Maidan’ revolution of 2014 has to do with language. Meaning the preposterous notion that Ukrainian who spoke Russian should be forbidden to speak their native language.
Although my knowledge of Russian amounts to about 20 words and a few sentences, Russians and Ukranian languages are and sound very similar. In my company we had a very good Ukrainian customer. And I witnessed dialogs between him speaking Ukrainian and a Russian employee speaking Russian perfectly understanding each other.
As a comparison, years ago I and my younger son visited the region of Abruzzo in central Italy and during lunch we sat near a table of locals who were conversing among themselves with sound volume loud enough to be heard. They were speaking their own dialect and I could understand less than 5% of what they were saying.
However, hypothetically speaking then, the preposterous banning of Russian by the current US-driven Ukrainian government correspond to a hypothetically independent Abruzzo state banning the use of Italian in that region.
As we know, in WW1 Russia having lost the war, after the treaty of Brest-Litovsk also lost part of her territory, some of which went to Poland. However, after the notorious Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of 1939 Bolshevik Russia reclaimed her Ukrainian territory lost to Poland in WW 1.
As it is also widely known – though official historical narrative is ambiguous or silent on the subject– during World War II Ukraine was anything but compact or uniform in its position towards Germany and the Wehrmacht. Possibly and probably, people at large had not forgotten the Holomodor, a Ukrainian term, which means death by hunger, which happened relatively a few years before.
Therefore, especially the Polish section of Ukraine was openly pro-German. Generally or strategically forgotten, quite a few Poles or Western Ukrainians were employed as guards in German concentration camps. Notorious revenge-trial cases after World War II involved some such Ukrainian guards.
I must introduce an aside in this context. Jim Traficant was a colorful US Congressman ex farmer, ex-sheriff, well educated but – what turned to be a liability – an honest person. He made national headlines by refusing to execute foreclosure orders on several unemployed homeowners. These were the 1980s when the industrial Midwest became the rust-belt due to manufacturing being moved to China or Mexico.
I wrote and article on him and those interested can still find it on my website, search for “Death of an Unsung Hero”. Anyway the apparatkit of the chosen people had essentially kidnapped a Ukrainian in the US and brought him to Israel for trial and probably execution for having been a guard in a concentration camp.
The family of the accused called on Jim Traficant and showed with solid evidence, that it was the classic case of a misleading identity. Whereupon Traficant, against the strong advice of his political advisors, took it upon himself to go to Israel and be a witness in court where he presented the undeniable evidence that the accused was innocent.
They had to let the wrongly accused defendant go – but they did not forget. Not long later they made-up some trumped charges of corruption. As evidence of the stranglehold of the unmentionable power over US Congress, only one congressman voted against his expulsion from congress. He was condemned to 7 years in jail for corruption. He would be given a pardon, however, if he admitted his guilt. His reply should be carved in stone, somewhere near the true scene of the crime in Washington DC. “Your pardon – he said – stick it up your ass.” and he served all his 7 years.
But I digress and back to Ukraine.
Best known exponent of the Pro-German Ukrainian element was Stephan Bandera, who was born in Galicia in 1909, when the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and who subsequently became an ardent Ukrainian nationalist.
And following Germany’s invasion of Poland and declaration of war against the USSR Bandera prepared the 30 June 1941 Proclamation of Ukrainian statehood in Lviv, pledging to work with Nazi Germany.
After the war he worked for various anti-communist organizations and was eventually assassinated in Munich in 1959, reportedly by the KGB.
In 2010 the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko (a sorry character installed by the US), awarded Bandera the posthumous title of Hero of Ukraine.
Typical of the confused ideology of post-soviet Russian independent republics, some Ukrainians hail Bandera as a liberator who fought with the Nazis against the Soviets, while trying to establish an independent Ukraine. While other Ukrainians as well as Poland and Russia condemn him as a fascist war criminal, who, with his followers, carried out massacres of Polish, Ukrainian civilians and particularly Jews. In fact, as I mentioned before in the case involving Jim Traficant, Israel even kidnapped and tried some Ukrainian prison guards of concentration camps
However, and this is one curious paradox of the current Ukrainian historical moment, Bandera is the ideological symbolic character of various current Ukrainian army formations, who, given Bandera’s historical allegiance, feature Nazi symbols in their celebrations and flags – notably the Azov battalion and Pravi-Sector.
In 2011 Ukraine’s elected president Viktor Yanukovych (eventually unseated by the CIA coup of 2014) annulled the award. But the current president Zelenski has re-instated Bandera’s honors and even changed the name of a main avenue in Kiev from ‘Moscow Avenue’ to ‘Stephan Bandera Avenue.’
Among many ongoing paradoxes, the current Ukrainian president Zelenski belongs to the chosen people, so do the prime minister and the oligarch who put both there, a curious (to be euphemistic) character in the current political Ukrainian stage named Ihor Kolomoyskyi. Zelenski is/was a Kolomoyskyi supported comedian. And, as I had earlier mentioned to you, in one of his sketches before being elected president he is featured playing the piano with his penis. I have written an article on Kolomoyskyi titled Ukraine, Shakespeare and the Oligarchs, where by the quotes, that I have generously included in the article, the reader may form an idea of the character better than I could by offering my own description.
In a brief historical flash back, the USSR, especially after WW2, encouraged the ‘nationalistic’ sentiment among the various Soviet Republics. According to historians, the policy was intended to act as a balance between the all-leveling ideology (associated with Bolshevism) and the post-Bolshevik phase of the USSR encouraging a kind of ethnic pride, always in the context of Marxist philosophy.
Since sometimes we use straws to pass judgment, I am not a ‘crypto-communist’, and for one simple reason. Given that equality among humans is physically and philosophically impossible, it happens that any structure involving more than 2 people requires a leader. Which is the first step to inequality, which gets magnified as the size of the group increases, even under the most egalitarian and communistic, let’s call it ‘regime.’ This is a theory well explained in the book titled “Political Parties” written at the beginning of the XXth century by a British author, Robert Michaels.
The struggle between maintaining a theoretical equality and a practical inequality creates a number of paradoxes less easily overcome than those that exist in non-marxist societies. This is a much objectionable simplification but, in the end, the degree of harmony in a society is directly proportional to, and begins with, the average honesty of its leaders. In turn honesty is also affected by a generally historic and cultivated cultural values. But I digress and abandon this notoriously thorny subject.
However, in the context of such thorny dilemma – what is the optimal “system” of government – I will describe an episode I was party of still Soviet Russia, and two historically recent Russian popular observations or aphorisms or witticisms or maxims.
During a visit to Moscow I was having dinner in a restaurant where my guide and I shared a table with a Russian family. Through the dinner the family asked the guide questions about me, given that at the time a ‘Western’ visitor was still considered an item of some curiosity. “Where are you from?” was one question. Instinctively thinking that answering ‘US’ may not have been understood I said, “United States of America.” Whereupon all through the dinner, the head of the family every now and then looked at me and kept repeating “The United States of America.” That repetition was the expression of an imagination convinced that ‘the United States of America’ was some ideal land, compared to what he perceived his own Russia to be at the time.
Then came the disbandment of the Soviet Union, which is still a rather murky episode, because, as we know, in the related Russian plebiscite the majority wanted to keep the union, though under a new regime.
But after the dissolution – two witticisms or maxims became popular in Russia.
One was, “All that the Soviet government told us about Russia was false, but all that they told us about the West was true.”
The other was/is, “In communist countries you need to have power in order to have money. In capitalistic countries you need to have money in order to have power.”
There is much wisdom in both aphorisms, because they explain the formation of the oligarchs both in Russia and in the former republics. The meaning of the term oligarch has evolved in recent times. Oligarchy is a Greek word meaning government by the few. Whereas recently it refers to people who became enormously wealthy by stealing previously public property.
I now deal with some of the disasters that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Echoed or at least reflected in the so-called European Union, which, notwithstanding the denervating propaganda, can be considered but the image in reverse of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Because, while the USSR was dissolved so that the various republics may be independent, the various republics of Europe lost their independence so that they could become members of what I call the QSEU (Quasi Soviet European Union). With the difference that in the Soviet Union, notwithstanding the Bolsheviks’ efforts to cancel Russian history and culture, they did not succeed. Whereas the QSEU (Quasi Soviet European Union), in its slave-like bowing to the dictates of the US apparatkit or congress, defined by many as Israeli occupied territory, is gingerly embracing the ‘cancel’ culture – an example of a historical case where the definition has rarely been more accurate.
My following narrative is a quick summary of the last years. The intent here is to bring forth the more meaningful characteristics, possibly lost in the turbulent flow of events.
There is a general perception that the Republics of the Soviet Union were a Bolshevik construction. They were not for, apart from the Baltic States all other republics were part of the Russian empire since the time of Catherine the Great.
Before the historically recent separation from Russia in 1991 Ukraine’s economy was just below France, according to some economists. It included state of the art technology of all sorts from aviation to space rockets to cars. Incidentally the largest aircraft on the world Antonov 225 – now apparently damaged or destroyed was produced in Ukraine. Nevertheless, production was strictly interconnected with Russia and after independence and the associated chaos in both countries industry was essentially paralyzed.
From 1991 to 2004 presidents of Ukraine were Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma. Both had held positions in the USSR communist government. The country was independent but still closely tied to Russia due to the 70 years of interdependence.
On June 1, 1996, Ukraine became a non-nuclear nation, removing its 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads. Ukraine had committed to this by signing the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in January 1994.
In 2000 following a scandal involving the killing of a journalist, the US accused Kuchma of having sold radar systems to Saddam Hussein – an accusation later proved untrue like the weapons of mass destruction. But the US did not like Kuchma. In 2004 he did not run for re-election. The new winner was Yanukovic, by a narrow margin over Yuvhchenko. the candidate the US wanted to win. The Supreme Court declared the result null and void. And the unelected Yuvchenko became president.
Yuvchenko strengthened the ties and involvement of the US in Ukraine. During his tenure there was the scandal of the gas moving to Europe stolen from the Russian pipelines while travelling trough Ukraine.
Due to her colorful figure a character that sprung up during Yuvchenko’s time was Yulia Timoshenko, who in 2010 ran for president against Yuvchenko and Yanukovich. This time Yanucovich won.
Yulia Timoscenko had become a bitter enemy of Yuvchenko. And there was a contest between the two on who was more anti-Russian. For example, in 2014 newspapers reported her statement, “The Russians must be killed with nuclear weapons.”
Nevrtheless in the next elections Yanukovic won again.
In February 2014 we have the orange, or rather the red with blood revolution called Euromaidan. It is worth mentioning only to underline the role of the State Department and in particular of that sorry figure of Victoria Nuland whose expression can hardly hide the nature of a diabolic soul, compared to whom even Lady Macbeth may look like Mother Theresa.
The unfathomable hypocrisy behind the whole operation is symbolically made evident by the historic if vomit-inducing conversation between Nudelman and the US ambassador in Ukraine, when they gingerly discuss which members to appoint in the new government. To a question by the ambassador whether ‘the Europeans’ would object to any of the appointments, Nuland replies with impeccable feminine charm, “F##k the Europeans”. While at the end of the conversation the ambassador concludes with satisfaction that “our cake fell with the sunny side up” – meaning mission accomplished. Perhaps Churchill say, “Such country, such cake” referring to both to Ukraine and the US.
As we know Yanukovic had agreed to new elections but for the US it was not good enough. A tragic farce followed in which – as even acknowledged in a recorded conversation whose text is public – Catherine Ashton, at the time VP of the European Union speaks talks about the ‘color revolutionaries’, who were mercenaries from various Nazi groups, shooting against the protesters as well as the police,.
Conflict continued and eventually the predominantly Russian Crimea was annexed by Russia on 18 March 2014 after a referendum.
After the coup the oligarch Poroshenko became president. Having been elected completely via US support, Poroshenko was rabidly anti-Russian.
In February 2019, the Constitution of Ukraine was amended, and the norms on the strategic course of Ukraine for membership in the European Union and NATO were made part of the preamble to the new Constitution.
Poroshenko, as well as his predecessors was involved in various financial scandals. His most notorious ‘achievement’, however, was the split of the Orthodox church from Russia and the creation of a local Ukrainian Orthodox church. More or less, this equates to splitting the Catholic church of France from Rome and electing a French Pope.
In April 2019, actor Zelenskyy won the elections. Zelensky belongs to the chosen people, as well as the current Ukrainian prime minister and their sponsoring Kolomoyskyi. An interesting triad that should make us pause. In the West anyone who dares to just mildly question the ‘holocaust’ ends up in prison – as is the case of German and ultra-nonagenarian Ursula Haberbech. But in Ukraine the presence of unmistakeably Nazi Battalions as part of the Ukrainian military force fails to even raise a brow.
Zelenskyy is no doubt a talented actor. In one of his sketches not long before he became president, he and a fellow actor play a piano with his penis. I fail to see how the sketch is funny but it may be my limitation.
A few words about the role of the Biden family in all this. As well known, Biden’s son found a good job with a Cyprus-based company called Burisma, but operating in Ukraine. Burisma officially conducts (or conducted) oil explorations though it never found anything. Biden’s modest salary was 50 k$ a month. Questioned about it at the time of the elections, Biden said he only knew about it after Biden Jr. had been hired by Burisma.
But then he Ukrainian attorney general began an investigation on the company Burisma as well as on Biden junior’s associated role. Whereupon Biden Sr. travelled to Kiev (and he boasts about it in an extant and available video). where he says,
… And I got a commitment from Poroshenko & from Yatseniuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor and they walked out of the press conference and said, ” we are not giving you this commitment at the 11th hour” They said you have no authority you are not the president and said I should call the president. … I said, “you are not getting the billion $$, I will be leaving here, I think it was in about 6 hours. If the pros (prosecutor) is not fired you are not getting the money…. Son of a bitch he [the state prosecutor] got fired
According to Rudy Giuliani, earlier major of New York – Biden’s self confessed action in Kiev amount to black-mail, extortion and corruption of justice.
Incidentally, prior to his new employment with Burisma, Biden Jr. travelled to Kazakhstan to conduct ‘some business,’ as it appears from the famous laptop that he did not collect from the repair shop. Perhaps it is fortuitously coincidental, but last year there was in Kazakhstan a color-turned-bloody revolution. It failed, but its history, if ever written, may prove interesting.
Given the current turmoil in Europe and Ukraine, will there be a third world war? I think probably not. But let us not be too sure. Why? On Feb 16, 2017 the British newspaper “The Guardian” featured an article titled “Billionaires’ bolthole: how New Zealand became an escapee’s paradise” where various ultra-rich, oligarch and chosen people have already built their escape from a world nuclear war.
To conclude, the speed, the totalitarian and global reach of current anti-Russian measures and the intensity of Western propaganda should not surprise after the business of the pandemic. But the plot thickens, for here there is no health problem used to sell the repression of freedom and dissent as humanitarian measures. But there is a war both declared in Ukraine and undeclared in the rest of the Western world, barely concealing the aim of establishing a new order of totalitarian capitalism, carefully prepared. A regime featuring degraded democracies emptied of substance and a degraded anthropology where mankind is but a quintessence of dust (2) and therefore disposable at any master’s will, for being unable to react.
(1) As You Like It