From CIA's own archives: Cold War Allies: The Origins of CIA's Relationship with Ukrainian Nationalists:
The sometimes brutal war record of many emigre groups became blurred, as they became more critical to the CIA... Hillenkoeeter did not deny that many emigres had sided with the Nazis, but did so, he said, less out of a "pro-German or pro-Fascist orientation, but from a strong anti-Soviet bias. In many cases their motivation was primarily nationalist and patriotic with their espousal of the German cause determined by the national interests."
CIA later informed the Immigration and Naturalization Service that it had concealed [Nazi] Stefan Bandera and other Ukrainians from the Soviets... By 1951, the Agency excused the illegal activities of OUN's security branch in the name of Cold War necessities.
While hailed by the US as an expression of Ukraine’s democratic aspirations, the post-coup Ukrainian government was dominated by the right-wing forces that had brought it to power. At least five key cabinet posts went to members of the far-right Svoboda and another right-wing party, Right Sector, including the national security, defense, and legal ministries. Andriy Parubiy, the far-right co-founder of Svoboda’s origin party, was appointed the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. During the Maidan protests, Parubiy had served as the Maidan encampment’s “commandant” and head of its security.
In the fall of 2014, the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was formally incorporated into Ukraine’ National Guard, making post-Maidan Ukraine the "world's only nation to have a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces,” the Ukrainian-American journalist Lev Golinkin later observed.
In 1991 he founded the far-right Social-National Party of Ukraine together with Oleh Tyahnybok the party combined radical nationalism and neo-Nazi features (by its name and the "Wolfsangel"-like sign). In 1998–2004 Parubiy led the paramilitary organization of SNPU, the Patriot of Ukraine....
Between 2002 & 2007 Parubiy was head of the L'viv based Society to Erect the Stepan Bandera Monument...
From December 2013 to February 2014 Parubiy was a commandant of Euromaidan. He was coordinator of the volunteer security corps for the mainstream protesters. He was then appointed Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. ...
As Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Parubiy supported the anti–terrorist operation against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
BBC reports Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call: "An apparently bugged phone conversation in which a senior US diplomat disparages the EU over the Ukraine crisis has been posted online. The alleged conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, appeared on YouTube on Thursday."
In the conversation, Nuland and Pyatt can be heard planning who will run the new government of Ukraine.
Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.
George Washington University’s National Security Archive reports NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard. “Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner.”
The 2019 RAND Corporation study Overextending and Unbalancing Russia “examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress – overextend and unbalance – Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad." It includes the paragraph:
"Providing lethal aid to Ukraine would exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability. But any increase in US military arms and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages."
The highlighted words indicate that the authors were quite aware that US provocations would cause Russia to respond militarily.
"Since 2015, the CIA has spent tens of millions of dollars to transform Ukraine’s Soviet-formed services into potent allies against Moscow, officials said....
The extent of the CIA’s involvement with Ukraine’s security services has not previously been disclosed....
These [often lethal] ... represent capabilities that Ukraine’s spy agencies have developed over nearly a decade — since Russia first seized Ukrainian territory in 2014 — a period during which the services also forged deep new bonds with the CIA."
Surrounded by Ukrainian soldiers in U.S.-style Army fatigues, and with Senator Amy Klobuchar watching, Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain promise to help Ukraine stop Putin.
Lindsey Graham: “2017 will be the year of offense. All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. Enough of Russian aggression. It is time for them to pay a heavier price. Our fight is not with the Russian people but with Putin.
McCain: “I believe we will win, I am convinced we will win, and we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win.... we cannot allow Vladimir Putin to succeed here, because if he succeeds here he will succeed in other countries.”
(Skip to 1:22.)
I was the UN representative for the elections in Ukraine in March and June 1994 and criss-crossed the country, including Crimea. Without a doubt, the vast majority of the population there and in the Donbass are Russian and feel Russian.
At first Sivokho’s optimism [that peace with Russia was possible] was echoed by Zelensky himself. At the 2020 Munich Security Conference, and later at the Forum on Unity in Mariupol, Zelensky called for “a massive national dialogue,” where people could discuss their common future face-to-face. To this end, he endorsed Sivokho’s pet project — a National Platform for Reconciliation and Unity — which was formally presented to the public on March 12, 2020.
That presentation, however, lasted just 20 minutes, because a gang of some 70 young people from the National Corps (the civilian wing of the Azov Battalion) stormed into the hall, and with shouts of “traitor,” pushed Sivokho until he fell to the ground. Sivokho was fired from his advisory government position two weeks later.
"Three separate times in the early weeks of the war, negotiations produced the real possibility of peace. The third even yielded a tentative agreement that was, according to Putin, signed. Both sides made “huge concessions,” including Ukraine promising each time not to join NATO. But each time, the U.S. put a stop to the promise of a diplomatic solution and peace, allowing the war to go on and to escalate, seemingly in the pursuit of U.S., not Ukrainian, interests."
David Arakhamia, a high-ranking member of Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People political party, said that Kyiv could have ended the war with Russia after a month if it agreed not to join NATO. The official said that Moscow was not concerned about other issues, such as “denazification,” but only wanted Kyiv to agree to neutrality.
In an interview with TV channel 1+1, a Ukrainian network, Arakhamia confirmed previous reporting that Moscow and Kyiv had nearly agreed to end the war in March 2022. Still, Ukraine’s Western backers pushed it to try to win the war against Russia
An WSJ/NORC poll taken in June of 2022 showed that 58% of Ukrainians polled thought that the U.S. bears a great deal or some responsibility for the war. They knew what the U.S. did.
|Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute in The US and NATO Helped Trigger the Ukraine War. It’s Not ‘Siding With Putin’ to Admit It:
“One can readily imagine how Americans would react if Russia, China, India, or another peer competitor admitted countries from Central America and the Caribbean to a security alliance that it led – and then sought to add Canada as an official or de facto military ally. It is highly probable that the United States would have responded by going to war years ago. Yet even though Ukraine has an importance to Russia comparable to Canada’s importance to the United States, our leaders expected Moscow to respond passively to the growing encroachment.They have been proven disastrously wrong, and thanks to their ineptitude, the world is now a far more dangerous place.”
The U.S. intentionally provoked the war by aggressive NATO expansion, including helping to overthrow the pro-Russian government of Ukraine in 2014; allying with far-right militias attacking Russian-speakers in the east of Ukraine; and underming potential peace deals both before and after the Russian invasion.
"The Iraq War was totally unprovoked: Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had to struggle hard, even to resort to torture, to try to find some particle of evidence to tie Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda. The famous disappearing weapons of mass destruction wouldn’t have been a provocation for aggression even if there had been some reason to believe that they existed."
"In contrast, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was most definitely provoked — though in today’s climate, it is necessary to add the truism that provocation provides no justification for the invasion."
Medea Benjamin and Nicholas Davies wrote:
The most devastating campaign the U.S. military has waged in recent years dropped over 100,000 bombs and missiles on Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa in Syria, and other areas occupied by ISIS or Da’esh. An Iraqi Kurdish intelligence report estimated that more than 40,000 civilians were killed in Mosul, while Raqqa was even more totally destroyed.
The shelling of Raqqa was the heaviest U.S. artillery bombardment since the Vietnam War, yet it was barely reported in the U.S. corporate media. ....
When British playwright Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 [he said,] "The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”
In June 1997, 50 prominent foreign policy experts signed an open letter to [President Bill] Clinton, saying, “We believe that the current U.S. led effort to expand NATO “is a policy error of historic proportions” that would “unsettle European stability.”
|Former U.S. Ambassador to the USSR Jack Matlock says in Ukraine: Tragedy of a Nation Divided:
“Interference by the United States and its NATO allies in Ukraine’s civil struggle has exacerbated the crisis within Ukraine, undermined the possibility of bringing the two easternmost provinces back under Kyiv’s control, and raised the specter of possible conflict between nuclear-armed powers. Furthermore, in denying that Russia has a “right” to oppose extension of a hostile military alliance to its national borders, the United States ignores its own history of declaring and enforcing for two centuries a sphere of influence in the Western hemisphere.”
"What President Putin is demanding, an end to NATO expansion and creation of a security structure in Europe that insures Russia’ security along with that of others, is eminently reasonable. He is not demanding the exit of any NATO member and he is threatening none. By any pragmatic, common sense standard it is in the interest of the United States to promote peace, not conflict. To try to detach Ukraine from Russian influence — the avowed aim of those who agitated for the “color revolutions” — was a fool’s errand, and a dangerous one. Have we so soon forgotten the lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis?"
Diplomat and historian George Kennan“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the founding fathers of this country turn over in their graves.”
“were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial complex would have to remain, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy."
|William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton, wrote How the US Lost Russia – and How We Can Restore Relations in Sept. of 2022:
"Many have pointed to the expansion of NATO in the mid-1990s as a critical provocation. At the time, I opposed that expansion, in part for fear of the effect on Russian-U.S. relations….Still, the first step in finding a solution [to the war in Ukraine] is acknowledging the problem and recognizing that our actions have contributed to that hostility.”
|Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush, in We Always Knew the Dangers of NATO Expansion:
"[T]rying to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was truly overreaching, … recklessly ignoring what the Russians considered their own vital national interests."
|Ambassador Michael Gfoeller and David H. Rundell: in Newsweek‘s Lessons From the US Civil War Show Why Ukraine Can’t Win:
“Before the war, far right Ukrainian nationalist groups like the Azov Brigade were soundly condemned by the US Congress. Kiev’s determined campaign against the Russian language is analogous to the Canadian government trying to ban French in Quebec. Ukrainian shells have killed hundreds of civilians in the Donbas and there are emerging reports of Ukrainian war crimes. The truly moral course of action would be to end this war with negotiations rather than prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people in a conflict they are unlikely to win without risking American lives.”
James W. Carden, journalist and former adviser to the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the U.S. Department of State, in Simone Weil Center’s America’ Crisis of Reality and Realism: A Symposium (Part I):
"The de facto alliance of Ukrainian westernizing liberals and the fascist Ukrainian far-Right which together drove the so-called Revolution of Dignity in 2013-14 ignored their obligation to respect the democratic process."
|Former Ambassador Thomas Graham, who served under six U.S. presidents and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in Was the Collapse of US-Russia Relations Inevitable?:
"US hubris and Russian paranoia undermined partnership." After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a weakened Russia sought closer ties to the West and even helped George W. Bush fight the war on terror. But instead of helping Russia fight Chechen rebels, which Russia considered to be terrorists, the U.S. lent support to those rebels. The U.S. pressed its advantage, aggressively expanding NATO, instigating regime change operations in countries friendly to Russia, and undermining Russian energy exports.
"Finally, in light of the growing problems with Russia in the former Soviet bloc, the US push in 2008 to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was ill-advised at best. It tied together the two strands of the Bush administration’s hedging policy—NATO expansion and Eurasian geopolitical pluralism—in a way guaranteed to provoke a powerful Russian backlash. Key allies, notably France and Germany, were adamantly opposed. Bush’s own ambassador in Moscow warned that extending an invitation to Ukraine would cross the “brightest of red lines” and elicit sharp condemnation across the political spectrum."
|Henry Kissinger in an interview with The Wall Street Journal:
“We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to.”
|U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said in an interview in 2014:
"With respect to Ukraine, we have not sat on the sidelines. We have been very much involved. Members of the Senate have been there, members of the State Department who have been on the square …. I really think that the clear position of the United States has been in part what has helped lead to this change in regime…. I think it was our role ... that forced, in part, Yanukovich from office."
|Fiona Hill, former official at the U.S. National Security Council during the administration of George W. Bush, in the New York Times’ Putin has the U.S. right where he wants it:
“At the time, I was the national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia, part of a team briefing Mr. Bush. We warned him that Mr. Putin would view steps to bring Ukraine and Georgia closer to NATO as a provocative move that would likely provoke pre-emptive Russian military action. But ultimately, our warnings weren’t heeded.”
|Alfred de Zayas, a former senior lawyer with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says in The Ukraine War in the Light of the UN Charter:
"The war in Ukraine did not start on 24 February 2022, but already in February 2014. The civilian population of the Donbas has endured continued shelling from Ukrainian forces since 2014, notwithstanding the Minsk Agreements. These attacks on Lugansk and Donetsk significantly increased in January-February 2022, as reported by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine."
|Chas W. Freeman, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a Lifetime Director of the Atlantic Council, says in The Many Lessons of the War in Ukraine:
"Less than a day after the US-engineered coup that installed an anti-Russian regime in Kyiv in 2014, Washington formally recognized the new regime... The United States and NATO began a multi-billion-dollar effort to reorganize, retrain, and re-equip Kyiv’s armed forces. The avowed purpose was to enable Kyiv to reconquer the Donbas and eventually Crimea.... Crimea was Russian-speaking and had several times voted not to be part of Ukraine." And: "From 2014 to 2022, the civil war in Donbas took nearly 15,000 lives." Freeman says that the U.S. undermined several possible peace deals. "Ukraine is being eviscerated on the altar of Russophobia" but Russia has not, after all, been weakened.
|Christopher Caldwell in the New York Times' The War in Ukraine May Be Impossible to Stop. And the US Deserves Much of the Blame:
“In 2014 the United States backed an uprising – in its final stages a violent uprising – against the legitimately elected Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych, which was pro-Russian.”
|Thomas Friedman: in the New York Times' This Is Putin’s War. But America and NATO Aren’t Innocent Bystanders:
“The mystery was why the US – which throughout the Cold War dreamed that Russia might one day have a democratic revolution and a leader who, however haltingly, would try to make Russia into a democracy and join the West – would choose to quickly push NATO into Russia’s face when it was weak. A very small group of officials and policy wonks at that time, myself included, asked that same question, but we were drowned out.”America and NATO Aren’t Innocent Bystanders [from the title]
|Pope Francis in Yahoo News’ Pope Francis Says NATO Started War in Ukraine by “Barking at Putin’s Door":
The real “scandal” of Putin’s war is NATO “barking at Putin’s door.”
|Neoconservative Robert Kagan writes in an otherwise hawkish Foreign Affairs essay from May, 2022, The Price of Hegemony: Can America Learn to Use its Power?:
“Although it is obscene to blame the United States for Putin’ inhumane attack on Ukraine, to insist that the invasion was entirely unprovoked is misleading. …. the invasion of Ukraine is taking place in a historical and geopolitical context in which the United States has played and still plays the principal role, and Americans must grapple with this fact.”
|Stephen M. Walt, professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, in an essay in Foreign Policy:
“This war would have been far less likely if the United States had adopted a strategy of foreign-policy restraint…. The Biden Administration and its predecessors are far from blameless.”
Richard Sakwa, Professor at Univ. of Kent and author of multiple books on Russia and Ukraine
in Book Talk: The Lost Peace:
"The argument that the invasion was unprovoked is completely false."
"The global north, once again, it's got this obsession, obsessive tendency to fall into war, endlessly. So the global north clearly is shooting itself in the foot. Blowback is going to be massive."