At all Costs

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - Yesterday, the day after the German Chancellor held deliberations with two leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, protests in Kiev escalated into bloody confrontations. Demonstrators, unconditionally sponsored by Germany and other western countries for months, began, over the past few days, to arm themselves with firearms and ammunition. Two police officers were shot to death during yesterday's uprising. This escalation into a bloody confrontation followed on the heels of government compliance with a fundamental demand of the demonstrators, just as it seemed that a de-escalation was about to begin - to the tactical disadvantage of the "German's man" in Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, who has been calling for the president to resign. Klitschko, who flew to Berlin Monday, to discuss the next steps, threatened an even more bloody escalation and declared, that he does not "rule out the use of force in the evacuation of the Maidan." One of the organizations he is relying on is explicitly named after Nazi collaborators, who had carried out mass-murder of Soviet Jews. Escalation strategies, such as those currently implemented in Kiev, are not alien to German foreign policy. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - Following the escalation of the violent protests in Kiev, Berlin's favorite, Vitaly Klitschko, is threatening to launch a new "offensive" against the government. The offensive would begin, Klitschko announced on Wednesday, should President Yanukovych not resign by yesterday evening. The deadline passed without resignation. Tensions are rising. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has "various contacts" within the Ukrainian opposition, explained Chancellor Merkel, mounting pressure on the Ukrainian government by demanding that the government protect "the freedom of expression and peaceful assembly." Last weekend's surge in violence - which preceded the brutal police repression - was sparked by ultra rightwing activists, who had been participating in the "Euromaidan" protests from the very beginning and who, according to observers, are winning growing acceptance. "Progressive activists" have to fight "on two fronts" in Kiev today: "against the regime that supports police violence" but also "against extremist nationalism." Ultra rightwing leaders are already threatening civil war. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - Because the German government-backed attempt to overthrow the government in Kiev has not taken place, foreign policy experts in Berlin are now discussing cautious changes of course in Germany's policy toward the Ukraine. Retrospective analyses are now admitting that, had the Ukraine signed the EU Association Agreement, serious economic and social damage would have been inflicted on that country. The foreign policy establishment continues to assert that Berlin should bring the Ukraine into its sphere of hegemonic influence. This therefore places Berlin in an "integration rivalry with Moscow." To integrate the Ukraine, new proposals call for either bypassing elite circles by fostering contacts to "civil society" or by compelling integration with targeted economic interventions. In any case, the rightwing extremist Svoboda Party has been able to enhance its position within the protest movement during the recent demonstrations. It could benefit from the cooperation also with German diplomats during the agitation against the current Ukrainian government. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - According to press reports, the German government would like to have boxing champion Vitali Klitschko run for president and bring him to power in the Ukraine. It would like to enhance the popularity of the opposition's politician by staging, for example, joint public appearances with the German foreign minister. For this purpose, a meeting is also planned for Klitschko with Chancellor Merkel at the next EU summit in mid-December. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is, in fact, not only massively supporting Klitschko and his UDAR party. According to a CDU politician, the UDAR Party was founded in 2010 on the direct orders of the CDU foundation. Reports on the foundation's activities for the development of Klitschko's party give an indication of how Germans are influencing the Ukraine's domestic affairs via UDAR. Berlin's use of Poland in its policy toward the Ukraine is also increasing. Berlin and Warsaw are cooperating with the Ukrainian ultra right-wing Svoboda ("Liberty") party, which stands in the tradition of Nazi collaborators, who massacred 100,000 Christian and Jewish Poles during WW II. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - An influential publicist and former Head of the German Defense Ministry's Planning Staff is criticizing the "expansive ambitions" of Germany's current policies toward the Ukraine. The power struggle over Kiev, bombastically presented to the western public as a struggle "for self-determination," is "in reality" nothing more than a "big geopolitical game," writes Theo Sommer, longtime "Editor at Large" of the German weekly "Die Zeit." The EU Association Agreements - one of which is supposed to be signed by the Ukraine - are "reeking of expansive ambitions." Sommer's reference to "geopolitics" brings to mind Germany's more than a century old power struggle over the Ukraine - a country "interposed" between the two poles of power, Berlin and Moscow - in the course of Berlin's ongoing eastward expansion. The German Reich succeeded for only a short time in incorporating the Ukraine into its hegemonic sphere - during the spring and summer of 1918. Following Germany's defeat in WW I, German strategists continued to pursue their efforts and the objective is being sought by the Federal Republic of Germany still today. more…

KIEV/LVIV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/LVIV/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is encouraging the protest demonstrations being staged in the Ukraine by the "pro-European" alliance of conservative and ultra-rightwing parties. The "pro-Europe rallies" in Kiev and other cities of the country are transmitting "a very clear message", according to a government spokesperson in Berlin: "Hopefully" the Ukrainian president "will heed this message," meaning sign the EU's Association Agreement, which Kiev had refused to do last week, in spite of massive German pressure. To gain influence in the country, Germany has for years been supporting the "pro-European" alliance in the Ukraine. The alliance includes not only conservative parties, but also forces from the extreme right - because of their strength, particularly in western Ukraine, where a cult around former Nazi collaborators is manifesting itself. The All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda" party is particularly embedded in the national-chauvinist milieu, under the influence of this cult. Over the past few days, the party's leader has called for a "revolution" in Kiev. more…

KIEV/VILNIUS/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/VILNIUS/BERLIN (Own report) - In the run-up of the EU's "Eastern Partnership" summit scheduled to begin tomorrow in Vilnius, Berlin's expansion project is threatened to fail. Only two countries, Georgia and Moldova, will sign Association Agreements, while Belarus and Armenia prefer to join the "Eurasian Customs Union" with Russia. However, the biggest blow comes from the Ukraine, which has halted preparations for signing the EU Association Agreement. Germany has left no stone unturned in its efforts to eventually break the Ukraine completely out of the Russian sphere of influence and integrate it into Berlin's hegemonic system. German media now speaks of the "battle for the Ukraine" and a "new Iron Curtain," to be vanquished in the East. German government advisors had, in fact, already planned to forge ahead to integrate Russia into a European free trade zone, after the six countries have been firmly integrated into the German sphere of influence. This now has also been put into question. more…

BERLIN/KIEV/MOSCOW | | ukraine

BERLIN/KIEV/MOSCOW (Own report) - The struggle between Berlin and Brussels, on the one side, and Moscow, on the other, for the predominating influence in the Ukraine is growing sharper. Since the end of 2012, the German RWE company has been systematically expanding its natural gas deliveries to this East European country. Its objective is to break Kiev's dependence on Russian natural gas, by reversing the flow in the pipelines already in place, to deliver large quantities of the gas from the West. However, these efforts - also being supported by the German EU Energy Commissioner, Günter Oettinger - are not advancing rapidly enough. According to reports, pro-western circles in the Ukraine are complaining that Slovakia - without whose pipelines, a breakthrough would hardly be possible - is opposing the project. Brussels, therefore, should exert pressure on that country, because time is running out. The Ukrainian government signed a memorandum last week, which is considered an important step toward its integration in the Russian-dominated EurAsian Economic Community, about to be established. In Berlin, Ukrainian participation in this community is perceived as incompatible with Kiev's integration into EU structures. This conflict, which in principle, has been going on for twenty years, is being fueled by this new accentuation. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - A CDU Ukrainian partner organization has announced its close cooperation with an extremist right-wing party. As reported from Kiev, the "Batkivschyna" (Fatherland) Party - in which CDU ally Yulia Tymoshenko is playing a leading role - is planning to form a parliamentary coalition with the "Svoboda" ("Freedom") Party. Svoboda stands in the tradition of Nazi collaborators and internationally is affiliated with Hungary's neo-fascist "Jobbik" Party. Svoboda won 8.3 percent of the votes in last Sunday's parliamentary elections. It is not yet certain, whether the CDU's second partner in Kiev, world heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko and his "UDAR" Party will join the coalition. This cooperation will not be the first time that extremist right-wing forces have been integrated into the pro-Western Ukrainian opposition. Similar alliances had already emerged during the "Orange Revolution" in late 2004. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - German foreign policy experts are calling for sanctions to be applied to Kiev's government circles after Ukrainian parliamentary elections at the end of October. According to a recent paper published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) measures should be undertaken against members of the Ukrainian elite, even if the leader of the opposition, Yulia Tymoshenko is released from prison. Berlin and the EU must intervene because of the "multiple ramifications of bad governance" in the Ukraine. Berlin's campaign against the Ukrainian government, which is becoming increasingly aggressive, is aimed primarily at preventing Kiev from enhancing its ties to Moscow, while pushing it closer toward German spheres of influence. Berlin is thereby continuing to pursue a strategy, already applied during World War I and thereafter, particularly with the support of nationalist Ukrainian exiles in Germany. A publicist from the entourage of the foreign ministry was initiator of the strategy. He had elaborated his concepts already during the reign of the German Kaiser and had played a political role in maintaining contacts to the Ukrainian exile nationalists even in the Federal Republic of Germany. Already in the 1920s, this cooperation had included terrorist activities in Poland, and it led to numerous exile Ukrainians collaborating with Nazi Germany in the 1930s. more…