Wednesday, April 22, 2015

US quick to react to Russian opposition murder ignores those in the Ukraine

Ron Paul points out the radical differences in the response from the U.S. government when a prominent opponent of the Russian government is murdered and when several members of the Ukrainian opposition meet the same fate.
Ron Paul is a well-known former member of Congress who represented a Texas district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He retired in 2013. Wikipedia describes Paul: Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American physician, author, and former Republican congressman, two-time Republican presidential candidate, and the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in the 1988 U.S. Presidential Election.

Paul notes that in Ukraine two prominent opposition figures were shot and killed in broad daylight. Ten other prominent opposition figures in the Ukraine have either committed suicide in suspicious circumstances or been killed outright. All these figures were either associated with or friendly to the Yanukovych government ousted after huge demonstrations in Maidan, but Paul terms the overthrow of the government as a "US-backed coup." This is a bit simplistic as an explanation as it was the actions of then president Yanukovych and his security forces, and the demonstrations that led to the success of the coup, but the U.S. certainly helped the matter along and as the Nuland tapes show, the U.S, managed to get their man in power. Below is a tape of an interview with Stephen Cohen from New York University,an expert on Russia and US relations with Russia, who gives some of the background to the overthrow of the then president Yanukovych:

Just last week, three opposition figures were murdered. Two were pro-Russian journalists Oles Buzina and Serhiy Sukhobov, and a former politician Oleh Kalashnikov, all killed by unknown assailants. Ukrainian security chief Vasily Vovk in response to the murders is reported to have said on television: “I think that in our time, when there is practically a war going on, Ukrainophobes, if they don’t shut their mouths, should at least stop the rhetoric. I think that in the present situation, there shouldn’t be anyone stepping out directly against Ukraine and Ukrainianness,”As Paul notes, the US government has as yet said nothing, while EU has condemned the killings. EU spokesperson, Maja Kucijancic, said: "We condemn the recent killings of the journalists Oles Buzina,, and Serhiy Sukhobov, as well as of Oleh Kalashnikov, a former MP."
In contrast was the U.S. reaction to the murder of Boris Nemtsov, a member of a minor political party not even represented in the Russian parliament, but nevertheless a prominent critic of Putin. The U.S. immediately demanded Russia conduct a thorough investigation. As Paul points out, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce, a Republican representing California told U.S. media that "this shocking murder is the latest assault on those who dare to oppose the Putin regime."
An article in Politico, a scathing attack on Russian investigative powers when it comes to murders that might have connections to the Russian power structure, even suggests that it was up to a US investigation to find out the truth. The author of the Politico article is Bill Browder, the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management said to be the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005.
In contrast to these responses to the Nemtsov murder, Paul remarks: Neither Royce, nor Secretary of State John Kerry, nor President Obama, nor any US government figure has said a word about the series of apparently political murders in Ukraine.
Indeed, the U.S, is even sending in troops to help train Ukrainian armed forces, as Paul points out.

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