Did the U.S. orchestrate the 2014 Maidan uprising? Or did it just back it and exploit it?

There are competing views about this.

Modern Diplomacy’s US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev says, “Incontrovertible proofs will be presented here not only that it was a coup, but that this coup was organized by the U.S. Government:  “that the U.S. Government initiated the ‘new Cold War’.”   I don’t know the nature of that publication.

Likewise, Robert Parry’s 2015 piece The Ukraine Mess That Nuland Made in Truthout says, “Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s regime change without weighing the likely consequences.” Parry said that far right groups such as the Right Secktor played a large role in the 2014 regime change and will be difficult to control.

So, for nearly a year and a half, the West’s mainstream media, especially The New York Times and The Washington Post, twisted their reporting into all kinds of contortions to avoid telling their readers that the new regime in Kiev was permeated by and dependent on neo-Nazi fighters and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who wanted a pure-blood Ukraine, without ethnic Russians.

Any mention of that sordid reality was deemed “Russian propaganda” and anyone who spoke this inconvenient truth was a “stooge of Moscow.” It wasn’t until July 7 that the Times admitted the importance of the neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists in waging war against ethnic Russian rebels in the east. The Times also reported that these far-right forces had been joined by Islamic militants. Some of those jihadists have been called “brothers” of the hyper-brutal Islamic State.

Though the Times sought to spin this remarkable military alliance – neo-Nazi militias and Islamic jihadists – as a positive, the reality had to be jarring for readers who had bought into the Western propaganda about noble “pro-democracy” forces resisting evil “Russian aggression.”

I’m aware of the infamous “Fxxx the EU” phone conversation with Victoria Nuland, showing the U.S. choosing the new government of Ukraine. That in itself doesn’t imply the U.S. orchestrated the uprising, though it certainly raises one’s suspicions.
But in an essay in the Jacobin, A US-Backed, Far Right–Led Revolution in Ukraine Helped Bring Us to the Brink of War, written right before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Branko Marcetic wrote “It’s an overstatement to say, as some critics have charged, that Washington orchestrated the Maidan uprising. But there’s no doubt US officials backed and exploited it for their own ends.” Yanukovych was corrupt, the country was torn between pro-Western and pro-Russian factions, and Yanukovych had to choose between economic support from either the West or from Russia. “The driver of this [Maidan] violence was largely the Ukrainian far right,” which was integrated into the new government and the Ukrainian military.

By January 2014, even NBC was admitting that “right-wing militia-type toughs are now one of the strongest factions leading Ukraine’s protests.” What was meant to be a revolution for democracy and liberal values ended up featuring ultranationalist chants from the 1930s and prominent displays of fascist and white supremacist symbols, including the American Confederate flag.

Yet after Maidain, “Little to nothing has changed about Ukrainian corruption or authoritarianism, under either Poroshenko or current president Volodymyr Zelensky, elected in 2019 as an outsider change agent.”

Joe Lauria, editor of Consortium News, wrote Evidence of US-Backed Coup in Kiev. Fact-checking site NewsGuard had criticized Consortium News for saying that the U.S. orchestrated the coup. But NewsGuard does admit that the U.S. backed the coup/uprrising.  https://www.newsguardtech.com/feedback/publisher/consortium-news-com/ .  Also, Luria writes:

The U.S. and NATO have also trained and armed Azov since Barack Obama had denied lethal aid to Ukraine. One reason Obama declined sending arms to Ukraine was because he was afraid they may fall into these right-wing extremists’ hands. According to the green-checked New York Times, “Mr. Obama continues to pose questions indicating his doubts. ‘O.K., what happens if we send in equipment — do we have to send in trainers?’ said one person paraphrasing the discussion on the condition of anonymity. ‘What if it ends up in the hands of thugs? What if Putin escalates?”

It would take a long time to dig through and organize all the evidence and opinions about what exactly happened in 2014. My Compendium has many such links.

Conservatively, I usually say “U.S.-backed uprising.” But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was U.S.-orchestrated.  A lot of what the CIA did was classified, and, indeed, the New Yorker’s Is the F.B.I. Truly Biased Against Trump? contains a telling and suggestive paragraph on the U.S. government’s efforts to suppress information about exactly what happened in Ukraine:

According to [FBI agent] Buma’s statement, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, he was told to terminate relations with one of his most valuable sources in that field, Dynamo. The order came from both his supervisors and the F.B.I.’s Foreign Influence Task Force, and, per Buma, superiors told him that the shutdown of Dynamo was based on “highly classified information from the National Security Agency” which he could not access. They also said that it was part of a broader effort, around the time of the invasion, to close off many “sources related to Russia/Ukraine matters.”


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