Ukraine, a Fascist Coup? A Photo Essay By Andre Vltchek

4 April 2014 — Counterpunch

Ukraine is burning, it is going to the dogs; it has been taken over by an illegitimate government engorged with fascists, neo-Nazis and simple pro-Western opportunists, as well as countless EU and US-sponsored members of various NGO’s.

The West has destabilized an entire nation, supporting right-wingers and fascists. Then it began spreading anti-Russian propaganda, even before Crimea had voted to join its historic homeland.

Everything was well planned, with Machiavellian precision. The EU was hoping to get its hands on the abundant natural resources, heavy industry and a well-educated and cheap labor force. In exchange, it was willing to give… nothing. No sane government would be willing to accept such a deal. Therefore, the only way to push through its agenda, the West began supporting violence and terror, as well as the fascist, neo-Nazi groups. A similar approach is being used by the US and EU in Venezuela, Syria and even Thailand.

Just a few days ago, I concluded my 2,000-kilometer drive, from Kiev to Odessa, and then to the border with Transnistria and Kharkov. I visited destroyed and abandoned villages – a result of the ‘collapse of the Soviet Union’ and Ukrainian flirtation with the market economy, its obedience to the IMF and World Bank. I spoke to workers at an enormous steel plant in Krivoi Rog, located in the country’s industrial heartland. I met several leading intellectuals at the university city of Kharkiv, and I stood on the Ukrainian-Russian border, observing and photographing several Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles.

All that I witnessed will be included in my in-depth report, which will be published, next week, in CounterPunch.

But right now, I would like to share some images with our readers. Those that I took, and those taken by two brave Ukrainian reporters: Andriy Manchuk and Andrey Nedzelnitsky.

I took the photographs very recently, this week and last week, while both Manchuk and Nedzelnitsky worked in Kiev in January and February 2014.

Andriy Manchuk wrote for this photo essay:

The photos were taken by me, and by the Kiev-based activist Andrey Nedzelnitsky, between January & March 2014, during the armed political confrontations in the center of the capital. I took some photos on 19th January, and 18th-20th February, in the periods when the intensification of events were at their peak. During those days, supporters of the opposition backed by the EU and US turned to violence, with the EU and US directing attempts to seize power. The result of these actions was the establishment of a new government – a coalition of neoliberals and ultra-right politicians, as well as the unleashing of a rightwing terror campaign – unseen in the history of independent Ukraine.

You can see in the photo series, the most significant moments of the last three months in Ukraine: the violent clashes between units of rightwing football fans and far-right militants and the police; burning barricades, marches by far-right paramilitaries with Nazi symbols, the moments of the demolition of the monuments to communists, and participants of the workers uprising of 1918, the public desecration of the communist red flag seized by the neo-Nazis in the offices of the Communists Party of Ukraine. You can also see the moment of the brutal assault and beating up of the anti-Maidan supporters – it took place on the Maidan itself and as a result of my work, the right-wing fighters grabbed my camera. There is also one photo of Arseniy Yatsenyuk – the current acting PM of Ukraine – who recently met with President Obama in Washington, and negotiated the possibility of obtaining loans while agreeing to implement brutal anti-social, neoliberal reforms that will affect millions of Ukrainian citizens. This was the very price of the victory of the rightwing and neoliberal politicians that organized and controlled the Euro-Maidan movement.”

The photos of my Ukrainian comrades were mainly taken by their mobile phones, as cameras were often destroyed or ‘confiscated’ by those self-proclaimed and later glorified by Western media, pro-European ‘democrats’.

The maliciousness and brutality of the Empire, the propaganda and lies that the mass media are spreading, are reaching top gear. They are increasingly determined, but also progressively primitive and desperate. It must be obvious even to a child that the Emperor is naked!

Photos: Andre Vltchek, Andriy Manchuk and Andrey Nedzelnitsky:

Russian Ukrainian border all quite e1396564850548

Russian-Ukrainian border – all quiet.

Right wingers are proud of this e1396564868227Right-wingers are proud of this.
Police protecting court house where left wing anti government activist is being tried e1396564882929Police protecting courthouse where left-wing, anti-government activist is being tried.
Maidan from above e1396564895372Maidan from above.
Kharkiv is anti Western pro Russian and pro Soviet e1396564909637Kharkiv is anti-Western, pro-Russian and pro-Soviet.
Fascism and religion hand in hand e1396564922455Fascism and religion hand in hand.
EU is interested an oil rig in central Ukraine e1396564935740EU is interested – an oil rig in central Ukraine.
Adverisement used by snipers to tune up their weapons e1396564948162Advertisement used by snipers to tune up their weapons.
What is left of Ukrainian village e1396564960559What is left of a Ukrainian village.
Ukrainean tank on Russian border north of Kharkiv e1396564974624Ukrainian tank on Russian border, north of Kharkiv.
Doing business with EU flags e1396565385163Doing business with EU flags.
Burning barricades on Maidan during 18 February 2014 clashesBurning barricades on Maidan during 18 February 2014 clashes.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk current acting PM of Ukraine joins right wingers during their attack on police e1396565412324Arseniy Yatsenyuk – current acting PM of Ukraine joins right-wingers during their attack on police.
Two Maidan protesters in the time of calm e1396565425272Two Maidan protesters in the time of calm.
Right wing activists and football fanatics attacking on 19 January 2014 e1396565439236Right-wing activists and football fanatics attacking on 19 January 2014.
Maidan protesters brutally beating up a man they accused of supporting the governmentMaidan protesters brutally beating up a man they accused of supporting the government.
Texas supports MaidanTexas supports Maidan.
Righ wing group Self defence of Maidan behind a mob ravishing October Revolution monument e1396577198620Right-wing group.
Right wing on barricaden e1396577183167Right-wing on barricaden.
Right Sector and right wing football fans are attacking police in Kiev on 19 January 2014 e1396577166150Right-wing football fans.
Right wingers are encouraging passers by to clen their shoes with a banner of the Communist Party of Ukraine e1396577112475Right-wingers are encouraging passers-by to clen their shoes with a banner of the Communist Party of Ukraine.

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. He has just completed the feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

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