As news comes out about the war in Ukraine, there have been many conflicting and debunked news stories. Photos of President Zelensky surfaced of him walking through trees dressed in army gear. 12 men dead at Snake Island after telling a Russian warship “F You” awarded post-humorously for sacrificing their lives. The ‘Ghost of Kiev’ shooting down Russian jets. A beautiful “Miss Ukraine” taking up arms to fight. Photoshopped pictures, stolen photos from previous wars and even scenes from realistic military video games.
All of those stories mentioned above were entirely fictional. We have members from Congress sharing twitter posts applauding the Ghost of Kiev who isn’t even a real person.
The Ghost of Kiev does not have a name, because the Ghost of Kiev is, in fact, made up. (PS. that is a horribly done photoshop job, now that I look at it up close) Miss Ukraine also confirmed that she was merely posing with an air-soft gun and showing support and solidarity. She has since taken down the photo. The ‘Snake Island’ men were actually captured (which still sucks), but not dead, confirmed by the Ukrainian military. (Is that true? Who knows)
There is a war happening in Ukraine. No doubt. But why the media propaganda? I am beginning to see that the media overseas is much like the media on our home turf.
I do get concerned when one side is the only side allowed to be shown. Take note of the fake stories in the Ukrainian media. Now take note of the fact that those stories were still allowed to be shared, despite them lacking any truth. That’s fine. It’s bound to happen. Let it happen from both sides. I want to hear the Russian side too. Including the propaganda.
Every single side will contain lies, exaggerations and half-truths. I want to know it all, and I really despise the media and the government’s overreaching in an attempt to shut down any conflicting stories from the media, regardless of what country it is. That is no way to have a legitimate discussion. That is no way to seek the real truth. Things are not so black and white.
We all know how political propaganda is pushed by the media over here. Think of Joe Rogan and the calls to shut him down, when he’s entirely neutral in his podcast. The man is independent. He doesn’t side with every guest he has on. His podcast offers what the mainstream media doesn’t. It tells other sides.
It seems the same thing happens in every single country. The government controlled media only wants one side shown. The side that puts them in the best light. That is extremely dangerous. If someone is trying to censor the reality of the situations, by simultaneously churning out “fake news” myths, that is a recipe for disaster. The world is screaming #PrayForUkraine and many, who have zero background on the history between the countries, are putting the blame entirely on Russia. That is the whole story being pushed. That is the story they are screaming from their social media accounts after turning off the television.
But this post isn’t about the myths or the fake stories or the media propaganda.
Over the past few days I have read a lot of the history regarding Ukraine and Russia. I wanted to understand the reason behind Putin invading Ukraine . The media is acting like this just started a month ago, and Putin one day woke up and said “I am going to invade a country today”. But that obviously not true.
This is a deeply personal, deeply twisted and intertwined story of two countries that have been going at it for decades, with Ukraine, NATO countries and Russia all committing offenses against each other, yet all pointing the finger at everyone but themselves.
I wanted to delve into more of the history of Russia and Ukraine over the last ten years.
Why did I write it out? More for myself than for anyone else. I’m a nerd. I love this stuff. My goal isn’t to convince you of anything. My goal is to put information out there that is actually factual. Whether you choose to read it is entirely up to you.
It’s like the scientific method.. you don’t just arrive at a conclusion, even if that conclusion seems like the most logical and most obvious one. You make a hypothesis and then do countless tests. What we do nowadays in society, is make a hypothesis based on one-sided biased media coverage, and then come to the conclusion. The media is not your friend. The media is irresponsible, reckless and there to sell you a story.
I wanted to research key topics like “Maidan”, “Odessa” and the “Minsk Accords” and highlight some important events over the years that have divided the east and west parts of Ukraine. I decided to share it in case anyone else wants to do their own research into key topics. I recommend reading more than just Wikipedia (the owner is part of the World Economic Forum which could mean nothing but also could mean that the content it churns out is automatically biased). Look beyond Fox News, CNN and The Washington Post.
Some of the recent attacks in the past week have hit key places where big divisive riots and fighting have taken place within the past ten years. Where many people, both Ukrainian and Russian, died fighting for what they believed to be their “freedoms”.
Like I said, this war is deeply personal. I pray for Ukraine. I pray for Russia. I know that the citizens in each country really just want peace, besides maybe a portion of nut jobs (like in every country).
This is very long but I didn’t want to separate it into different posts. I may make updates as well or provide added sources, but this stuff all happened. However I am not siding with either or trying to excuse the violence happening in Europe.
I encourage you, if NOTHING else, to listen to the Putin video below. What would the United States do if Russia began placing troops at our southern border? Would we have a different opinion? Putin has been asking us to stay out of their business for decades.
But, once again, that is merely his side. The US has another side. Ukraine has theirs as does the EU. And all of them might be a little right, and a little wrong.
Also for sources, try to check who is behind it. For example, when researching topics like “Euromaidan” (described below), I noticed that the first article pushed by Google is from the Open Society Foundation, owned by George Soros, who has huge stake in the Green Energy crisis and supports the “Great Reset”. That in itself should tell you everything. Look at a variety of sources before you form an opinion, if possible.
So..finally.. I conclude my extra long intro. There is so much more backstory to the situation. If you’re interested, I listed some key topics that you can look into. I just highlighted a few different crucial events below. As always I welcome discussion.
The Sovereignty of the Donbas Region
On February 21, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized two breakaway areas of eastern Ukraine. On February 24, he invaded the Donbass Region in two places known as “Donetsk”” and “Luhansk”.
They call themselves “The People’s Republic of Donetsk” and “The People’s Republic of Luhansk”.
Since 2014, there has been a lot of controversy in the region. Tensions reached their peak when a Western backed government replaced Ukraines previous President, Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych.
The Ukrainians and the pro-Russia separatists have been fighting each other across this border for years, even though there is supposed to be a ceasefire.
Fighting really started around 2015 surrounding controversy of who broke the first and second “Minsk” Agreements.
Almost 40% of people from “Donetsk”” and “Luhansk” are ethnic Russians.
2013-2014 “Ukrainian Revolution”
In 2013 a man named Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych was President of Ukraine. Yanukovych created a lot of controversy in the region.
Opponents of Yanukocvh said he was more aligned with Russia versus the European Union. They wanted him out because they desired a more Western-favored government. But proponents of him said he valued Russian culture and their ethnic ties to their homeland. They wanted to keep their more traditional culture, their Russian language, the church, their currency.
However, in 2012 Yanukocvh considered signing a document that could potentially change all that. Essentially the agreement would have created economic ties between Ukraine and the EU, otherwise known as The Ukraine-European Association Agreement.
On November 21 2013, President Yanukovych’s administration suspended preparations for signing the document, causing a lot of controversy amongst pro-Russian separatists and West Ukraine.
In the months leading up to Yanukovych’s suspended signature, Russia had changed their customs regulations on imports from Ukraine and even halted all incoming goods.
Some said that Russia’s actions consituted a “trade war” and was merely a way to leverage control over Ukraine by preventing them from uniting with the EU.
Ukraine attempted to get an IMF loan but on November 23 2013 was met with some extremely harsh conditions. One of the loans terms included a 40% increase in gas bills.
At the EU Summit almost a week after the loans terms had been introduced, Ukraine declined to sign the agreement, with both Yanukovych and high level EU officials signaling the desire to do so at a later date.
Yanukovych said he couldn’t sign because in the previous months, Ukraine had experienced “a drop in industrial production and our relations with CIS countries”.
(CIS countries stands for “Commonwealth of Independent States” and includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It was formed after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.)
The Ukrainian Prime minister, Mykola Azarov said that he had asked for the EU for $27 billion (USD) dollars to offset the cost of the EU deal. The EU offered a max of $838 million (USD) in loans.
Russia one up-ed them. They put $15 billion (USD) on the table. Plus cheaper gas prices. Russia also did not require major changes to regulations and laws either, like the EU did in their loan requirements.
Opponents of his refusal to sign called Yanukovych “Pro-Russian”. They wanted a Ukrainian government that aligned more with that of the Western states because they believed they would have a less corrupt government and more freedom with a government that favored the West.
The EU (and many U.S. leaders) were both equally pissed with Yanukovych and his decision.
Proponents of the agreement argued that Yanukovych was merely interested in balancing Ukraine with its oldest and closest, trading partner and political partner-Russia.
Yanukovych’s suspended signing of the agreement led to many disputes amongst Eastern and Western Ukraine which are still ongoing today.
Protests broke out in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on November 2013 after Yanukovych’s suspended signing. They called this period Euromaidan or “Maidan”.
“Euro” obviously stood for Europe, while Madian is another word for “square” or “open space”. The place where most of the protests took pace was at a place called “Maidan Nezalezhnosti”, which means “Independence Square” or “Freedom Square”.
Euromaidan has been called the largest ever pro-European rally in history. It lasted for months. But not everyone who participated wanted to be a part of the EU. A lot of fighting and protests broke out amongst those with opposing views, especially towards the end of Euromaidan in February of 2014. Riots happened. People took over government buildings. Police used tear gas and batons. Over 100 died.
One of the places that was allegedly targeted this past week with two Russian war missiles was Independence Square. (See videos below)
Revolution of Dignity
In February 2014 after much unrest in Eastern Ukraine, Yanukovych was voted out of office early, in an unanimous vote, with over three hundred parliament members supporting his removal from office.
This resulted in the “Revolution of Dignity” in which a series of violent events involving protesters, riot police, and unknown shooters broke out in the capital of Kiev. In total, 130 people, including 18 “Berkut” police officers lost their lives.
Yanukovych was not convinced. Nor was Russia. They considered these actions an overthrow of the government that was democratically voted into place. They also believed that the election was rigged to force a Yanukovych out of office. An interim government was put in place who signed the EU association agreement.
Russia refused to recognize the interim government and protests broke out throughout the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine where Yanukovych had received strong support in the 2010 election. Russia intervened with their military. There were many rebel forces made up of Donbas residents who united to fight against Ukraine because they felt they had more ties to Russia. A man named Petro Poroshenko became President in 2014. He won the election in a landslide victory. He was a man who favored aligning with the West.
Remember, many in the Donbas region are ethnic Russians. Many throughout Western Ukraine and Russia have ties to the region. They speak the same languages. They are not only neighbors but family.
The Battles of Mariupol
If you have been listening to the news lately, you may have heard the name: “Mariupol”. Mariupol is the second-largest city in the Donetsk Region.
Pro-Russia separatist groups first occupied the Mariupol city council buildings in March 2014 in an attempt to stage their displeasure with the Ukrainian Revolution.
The first violent incident occurred in the middle of the evening on April 16 2014. Ukrainian troops were stationed throughout the city and claimed that they were attacked by the rebel forces forcing them to open fire on the crowd, killing 2 cilivians.
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly responsible for the attack, despite that it involved rebel forces.
Putin called this claim “rubbish”.
May 9th was supposedly the first time the Ukrainian government launched a “frontal attack” on a separatist filled building.
Ukrainian security forces attacked the Mariupol police headquarters in an attempt to recapture it from the separatists who. During the assault the building caught fire. Some local policemen reportedly helped the militants during the takeover and later clashed with Ukrainian Internal Troops who fired on the building with heavy machine guns in claims that they were “liberating” Mariupol. Police officers who attempted to help the seperatists were arrested by the Ukrainian government who said “20 terrorists died in the attack”.
The Kiev government said 20 separatists and 1 Ukrainian soldier had died in the attack. They referred to the dead pro-Russians as “terrorists”. At least 40 suffered gun shot wounds. According to an article by The New York Times, the brutal attack was launched merely two days after Putin had publicly and strongly urged that “all sides settle their differences through dialogue”.
The next year, in January of 2015, separatists launched an attack on the newly “liberated” Mariupol, killing 30 and injuring 95. The day prior, the Separatists had announced the end of their initially desired “peace talks” with the Ukrainian government, saying their game plan had changed and they would be launching a new offensive.
Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic stated that the attack on Mariupol was “the best possible monument” for the groups lost loved ones who died throughout the Ukrainian revolution. Zakharchenko said the attack was meant to “avenge them all”.
Burning Alive in Odessa
Odessa is the third largest city in Ukraine. After the Ukrainian Revolution, fighting was rampant in the region. They call this the “Odessa Clashes”. The fighting came to a halt, after an altercation in the city center and Trade Unions House building during a demonstration on May 2 2014.
46 Pro-Russia activists and 2 Ukrainian activists were burned alive after getting trapped inside the building when it became engulfed in flames.
Protests and fights broke out all over Odessa. President Obama announced his displeasure with the situation and afterwards told Russia that there would be harsh sanctions. It was a sad day for both Ukraine and Russia and furthered the divide between the countries.
Pro-Ukrainian, Anti-Russia, “Nazi-Sympathizers”?
The Azov Battalion is a right-wing extremist and neo-Nazi unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, based in Mariupol, in the Azov Sea coastal region.
Following a 2015 deal known as the Minsk Accords that was meant to be a road map to end the fighting but did little more than turn down the intensity, the Azov Battalion was officially incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard and its leadership shifted focus from the battlefield to the political arena.
They have been accused of torture and war-crimes by pro-Russia separatists and against those who do not believe in their Ukraine nationalist ideals.
One of the leaders reportedly said that the nation’s mission was to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led Untermenschen (which means “subhumans” in English).
Here is an article that came out today saying that the Ukrainian Azov Battalion are dipping bullets in pig fat meant to be fired at Muslims. I am not sure if this is true or not.
Despite being integrated into the official military, Azov fighters have reportedly continued to wear the Wolfsangel insignia used by a number of Nazi divisions during WWII.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has referenced the presence of such units within the Ukrainian military as a reason for launching his so-called “special military operation … to de-militarize and de-Nazify Ukraine”.
Azov participated in the storming of the building in Odessa that burned 46 pro-Russians to death. They are currently fighting as a part of the Ukrainian Army overseas.
The Russian military in a press briefing has also claimed that “Nazi Battalions” form a significant part of the resistance to their offensive. But both Russia and Ukraine have pro-Nazi organizations, just like any country.
The Barcelona Center for International affairs states that over the past decade, Russia “has explicitly shown that both internal milieu and foreign policy domain have expressed staggering signs of radicalization and growing division between “us” (ethnic Russians) and “them” (non-Russian citizens and foreigners”).
So.. back to 2014. This divide over Western/Eastern ties and favoritism led to Ukraine splintering into two portions. It resulted in establishment of the self-proclaimed “Russia-aligned Separatist” People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in the East and the more” EU-aligned” Ukraine in the west.
A Leaked Call from a U.S. Official Detailing a Coup?
In 2014, Reuters leaked a phone conversation from Ukraine which seemed to hint that Ukrainian opposition was being manipulated by Washington. After this, a senior Kremlin aide accused the United States of arming Ukrainian “rebels” and warned Russia could intervene to maintain the security of its neighbor. President Obama’s Administration strenuously disputed these claims but confirmed the authenticity of the phone call
The leaked audio clip shows the Official Assistant U.S. Secretary of State under the Obama Adminstration- Victoria Nuland- weighing in on the make-up of the next Ukrainian government.
On the call, Nuland tells U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt that she doesn’t think Vitaly Klitschko, the “boxer turned politician”, who was a main opposition leader, should be in the new government.
“So I don’t think Klitsch (Klitschko) should go into the government,” Nuland says. “I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Nuland and Wyatt discuss strategies to work with the three main opposition figures: Klitschko, Arseny Yatseniuk, former Ukrainian economy minister, and Oleh Tyahnybok, the far-right nationalist opposition leader.
Nuland also references getting the United Nations involved in a political solution in Kiev.
“So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the U.N. help glue it and you know … fuck the EU,” Nuland says in the recording.
“Exactly. And I think we’ve got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it”, responds Pyatt.
Russia claimed the U.S. meddled in Ukraine by assisting a coup that overthrew the democratically elected Government that would side more with the West.
If you go back to 1996, President Clinton had a meeting with then President of Russia Boris Yeltsin where he discusses the Russian election prior to Putin getting in to office.
Then there was a phone call between Clinton and Yeltsin which you can read below. You form your own opinion on the meddling in the election. The Ukrainian Revolution or the Ukrainian Coup?
Joe Biden’s “Unity Against Russia”
As Vice President under the Obama Administration at the time, Joe Biden gave his first speech to the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev in Feb of 2015. He stoked up a lot of feelings of “unity against Russia” and Western support.
“The United States does not, will not, never will recognize Russia’s attempt to annex Crimea”, said Biden.
To summarize, Biden told Ukrainian parliament that he told the IMF (aka the International Monetary Fund) to give Ukraine a loan. A big loan.
According to their website, the IMF “promotes international financial stability and monetary cooperation. It facilitates international trade, promotes employment and sustainable economic growth, and helps to reduce global poverty. The IMF is governed by and accountable to its 190 member countries.”
The IMF money went straight out to Swiss bank accounts and everywhere else off shore for Ukraine. $25 billion total.. with a $2 billion loan and $756 million coming from Americans under the Obama Administration. Our tax dollars.
Biden demands Russia adhere to the “Minkst Agreements”.
What Were The Minkst Agreements?
How Were They Broken?
The Minsk Agreements (or accords) were a series of international agreements which sought to end the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine. There are only two parties to the Agreements, Ukraine and Russia. France, Germany, and the OSCE oversee the negotiations.
The Minkst Agreements were signed in 2014 and again in 2015 after they were broken the year prior. The goal was to promote peace between the 2 countries after the Ukrainian Revolution.
There are 13 “promises” in the second round of agreements, signed in February of 2015.
Both sides were supposed to withdraw troops and military equipment from the Donbas region to observe a ceasefire. Ukraine was supposed to pardon the pro-Russia seperatists that were arrested during the events of Euromaidan. Ukraine was also supposed to carry out local elections within the Donbas region and recognize a de-facto autonomy of the region in the Constitution. Russia was required to return its equipment and mercenaries to Russia, ensure the local military formations lay down arms, give Ukraine control over its border with Russia.
The Central Electoral Commission decided not to conduct elections in 18 so called “Russian” communities in the Donbas region.
“Local elections cannot take place in the Russian-occupied parts of eastern Ukraine. Moscow continues to call for a vote in the Kremlin-controlled areas of the Donbas region prior to de-occupation, but Kiev has sensibly ruled out any elections until Ukrainian control is reestablished”, stated The Atlantic Council in 2020.
The Minsk accords set out military and political steps that remain unimplemented. Disputes over the agreements directly relate to the war going on in Europe today. A major blockage has been Russia’s insistence that it is not a party to the conflict and therefore is not bound by its terms.
The article below discusses percentages of actual Russian National army forces in Russia and states that the majority of the fighting is between Western Ukrainians and Pro-Russia rebel forces in the Eastern Donbas region.
The Russian Annex of Crimea
Crimea and the rest of the Donbas region used to belong to Russia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, it was administratively given to Ukraine. 60% of people in Crimea are ethnic Russian and speak the language. Just like many others in the Donbas region.
In February and March 2014, Russia entered the Donbas region with military troops and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
Russia recognized the breakaway Crimea region of Ukraine as an independent state. However the territories were never recognized internationally. The West thought that move was inappropriate because it did damage to the European Security order.
Putin’s popularity actually soared after he annexed Crimea, despite the global condemnation and international sanctions imposed on Russia which caused the Russian ruble to tank in value while increasing living costs.
The Ukrainian government sought to cause a drought in Crimea in 2014 by erecting dams to prevent them from accessing water on the other side because Russia annexed Crimea, which Russia has attempted to use in order to justify their most recent recent attacks. Ukraine cut off nearly 90% of Crimea’s fresh water. A severe doubt followed, along with scorching hot temperature in the region. Water had to be rationed.
Just this past week, a video was released showing a Crimean dam allegedly being blown up by Russian forces. They say they did this to allow water into Crimea again.
NATO’s Response and Reaction to Putin’s 2022 Military Expansion into the Donbas Region
Watch President Joe Biden’s reaction to Putin declaring the sovereignty of the Donbas region on February 15 2022.
“I’m gonna begin to impose sanctions in response far beyond the steps me and my partner and allies implanted in 2014 and if Russia goes further with this invasion we stand prepared to go further with the sanctions. Who in the lords name does Putin think gives him the right to declare so called new countries on territories that belong to his neighbors? This is a flagrant violation of international law and demands a firm response from the international community.”-Joe Biden, February 14, 2022
Watch Prime Minster Justin Trudeau’s reaction to Putin declaring the sovereignty of the Donbas region on February 15 2022. Don’t forget Trudeau had just declared martial law in Canada weeks prior, doing ridiculous things like freezing bank accounts because people were peacefully protesting his authoritarian vaccine mandate.
NATO put out a list of claims on their website, and delves into why their expansion to the east was necessary. They don’t deny the expansion, but just say it’s a much small number compared to Russia’s large army and that it truly is not a threat.
So NATO says that they were justified. The United States was justified because Russia took Crimea in 2014.
The Minkst Accords were a nice attempt at peace between Russia and Ukraine over the Donbas region.
Each country places the blame on one another. Over the past 8 years, Ukrainian rebel forces have been shelling the Eastern region over and Russian rebel forces have been shelling the Western region. Overall, more than 14,000 Ukrainians and Russians have been killed, with the majority being civilians.
This goes back way farther. I only touched on a couple key events over the past 8 years. Ukraine and Russia have been fighting for decades with both parties contributing to the violence and killing.
1 out of 6 Ukrainians is a ethnic Russian
1 in 3 speaks Russian as a native language
1/3rd speaks Russian as their first language
West Ukraine: European, Ukrainian, looks at Russia with suspicion.
East Ukraine (Donbas region): closer to Russia , native Russian, looks at Russia through lens of shared history.
What do you guys think?