Ukraine: Coup Plotters Consolidate Power

Stephen Lendman

Events continue fast moving. The Wall Street Journal headlined "White House Backs Political Change in Ukraine," saying:

"The Obama administration Saturday issued a cautiously worded statement about the swift political change in Ukraine, but generally endorsed the parliament's moves to set new presidential elections in May and to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office."

European officials reacted the same way, said the Journal. They backed the decisions of the parliament and rejected Mr. Yanukovych's allegations of a coup." Britain officially recognized Ukraine's coup d'état regime. Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

"Events in the last 24 hours show the will of Ukrainians to move towards a different future, and ensure that the voices of those who have protested courageously over several months are heard." "We will work closely with our EU partners in support of a new government in Ukraine, as and when that is formed." "In the meantime, it is important that Ukraine's political leaders respond to events calmly and with determination to harness the united efforts of all Ukrainians to work together for a successful future."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the "existing (reinstated 2004) constitutional order the new legal framework for all political decisions." Coup plotters restored it with virtually no debate or public input.

Expect IMF-style financial aid to follow. It comes with strings no government should accept. It involves debt bondage. Structural adjustment harshness include:

privatizing state enterprises at fire sale prices;
mass layoffs;
deep social spending cuts;
unrestricted market access for predatory Western corporations;
corporate friendly tax cuts;
debt service on the backs of ordinary people;
marginalizing or eliminating trade unionism; and
harsh crackdowns on nonbelievers.

Western bankers and other corporate predators get free reign to plunder. Strip mining countries for profit follows. Public wealth shifts inexorably to private hands. At the same time, neoliberal harshness is force-fed. It's holy trinity mandates no public sphere, unrestricted corporate empowerment, and devoting state resources to bottom line profits, national security and internal control. Neo-serfdom, impoverishment, mass unemployment and unspeakable deprivation follow. Economies are hollowed out for profit. They're financialized into dystopian backwaters. They become models of economic unfairness. Dark Western forces plan this type future for Ukraine.

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Ukraine's new government needs to commit to economic restructuring to get US financial help. "We've been very clear that there needs to be stability in Ukraine and a willingness to undertake the kinds of reforms they need to make their economy work," he said.

In other words, the worst of structural adjustment harshness will be forced on the backs of millions of ordinary Ukrainians. Those supporting new governance forgot the old adage about being careful about what you wish for. They'll yearn for what they lost to get it.

Meanwhile, power-grabbing coup plotters scramble for who'll get what office and other spoils of victory. Candidates for prime minister include convicted/lawlessly released mega-thief Yulia Tymoshenko. She heads the hard-right Batkivshchyna (Homeland) party. She's not after becoming prime minister, she said. She wants the top job. She'll run for president. She makes Yanukovych look almost saintly by comparison. Arseniy Yatsenyuk heads Batkivshchyna's Rada (parliamentary) faction. He's Rada chairman. He's a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Economy. Until Tymoshenko's release, he was Obama's top choice to succeed Yanukovych. Whether he remains so isn't clear. Pyotr Poroshenko is a hard-right Rada member/billionaire oligarch. His holdings include an anti-Yanukovych television station. Throughout the conflict, it featured anti-government propaganda. Expect more promoting Poroshenko for premier.

It may not have very long to do so. Coup plotters may install their candidate straightaway. Perhaps before this article circulates. Despots don't waste time on protocol. They do whatever they want because who'll stop them. They're in full control in Kiev. Democratic governance was abolished. On Sunday, Independence Square was calm. Coup plotters appointed new Rada speaker, Aleksandr Turchinov, acting president. He's hard-right Batkivshchyna party first deputy. Things are so fast moving, it's hard keeping up with lots of changes made. At a so-called emergency Rada session, Yanukovych ministers are being ousted. Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara was removed. So was Education Minister Dmitry Tabachnik.

Before usurping power, coup plotters demanded Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko's removal. He's out. He went into hiding for his safety. Newly appointed police and security chiefs ordered Yanukovych Incomes Minister, Oleksander Klimenko, arrested. Also, his Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka. He's closely connected to Tymoshenko's trial, conviction and sentencing. She got seven years for abuse of power and embezzlement. Acting Prosecutor-General Oleh Makhnytsky established an investigating-operational group. Its mandate is trumping up charges, detaining and prosecuting various Yanukovych officials. Earlier, coup plotters wanted Yanukovych tried in the International Criminal Court. They wrongfully accused him of murder. Now they likely want him prosecuted at home. He's in eastern Ukraine among supporters. They're not likely to hand him over.

Maybe coup plotters plan killing him. Maybe they'll have CIA hit men do the job. They stopped at nothing to usurp power. Fascist extremists operate this way. They murdered scores of Ukrainians. They injured hundreds more. They're in full control in Kiev and other western cities. Valentin Nalivaychenko heads Ukraine's Secret Service. He said any Yanukovych official accused (true or false) of giving orders to open fire on Ukraine streets must be prevented from escaping and detained. Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said he's investigating to determine lawbreakers during months of street protests. Thirty police suspects were identified. Avakov wants "former state leaders" accused of "grave crimes" arrested.

Expect lots of show trial prosecutions ahead. Expect guilt by accusation to suffice. Expect Yanukovych officials to be wrongfully imprisoned for coup plotter/street thug crimes. Expect media scoundrels to headline justice served. Expect the kind democratic societies denounce. Expect the struggle for Ukraine's soul to continue. Everything so far was prologue. Battles for real freedom remain to be fought. Expect millions of Ukrainians participating. Don't bet against them not winning.

A Final Comment

Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko heads the right-wing UDAR (Punch) party. He has close ties to Germany. He's physically imposing. He's a former heavyweight boxing champion. He looks it. He's a big man. He's 6'7" tall. His fighting weight was about 240 pounds. He was known as Dr. Ironfist. He knocked out nearly 90% of his opponents. No one ever knocked him down. He's an Obama administration favorite. Anti-government opponents have skeletons in their closets to hide. Klitschko has his own. - An unnamed Anonymous Ukraine member discussed emails he exchanged with Lithuania's presidential advisor. He maintains German bank accounts. He's funded by Lithuanian intermediaries. He's paid off to destabilize his own government. He's a convenient puppet for regime change. He's in league with fascist extremists. He's in it for what benefits him.

So are other coup plotters. They're well compensated for services rendered. Treason isn't pretty. Lots of traitors make it work. They're readily available. They sell out for the right price. They cash in handsomely in return.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He has devoted his time and efforts to progressive causes and organizations, all involved in working for a more humane and just world for all people everywhere, but especially for the most needy, disadvantaged and oppressed. His efforts since summer 2005 have included writing on a broad range of vital topics ranging from war and peace; social, economic and political equity for all; and justice for all the oppressed peoples of the world like the long-suffering people of Haiti and the Palestinians. He also co-hosts The Global Research News Hour, gives occasional public talks, and appears frequently on radio and at times television. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. Also visit his blog and listen to The Lendman News Hour on Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening. His new book "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War" can be ordered HERE. He can be reached at

Photo: AP. URL:


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