U.S. President Barack Obama has confirmed for the whole world what Russia made repeated reference to in connection with the events in Ukraine: Washington was directly involved in the preparation of a coup in Kiev.
The American leader relayed this open secret without the slightest embarrassment; on the contrary, [he revealed it] with pride. In early 2014, U.S. authorities acted as intermediaries during the change of power in Ukraine, according to Obama. However, the role in the Ukrainian revolution and the bloody chain of events that followed, which the U.S. president modestly called “intermediary,” has a much more precise definition. In removing Viktor Yanukovych from power, Washington acted as an agent provocateur, whose strategic objective was to destroy Ukraine as a state and weaken Russia by drawing it into a confrontation inside of Ukraine.
Responding to CNN’s questions, Obama didn’t hide the fact that the purposeful actions by the U.S. toward regime change in Ukraine took Moscow by surprise and forced it to “improvise.” At the same time, the head of the White House made no mention of the consequences of American “mediation,” which, as a matter of fact, led to a civil war in Ukraine. On the contrary, one got the impression from Obama’s responses that he’s proud of the “controlled chaos” created by Washington’s political strategists in Ukraine, where in the murky water of Kiev’s politics, it’s easy for American emissaries to pull the strings, controlling the executives of the Ukrainian state.
But why, after so many months of silence, did the U.S. president confess his administration’s involvement in the events in Kiev? Why did he not acknowledge earlier what the Russian and Western media wrote about time and again?
Perhaps human vanity moved Obama to give his candid testimony: He wanted to feel like a master of geopolitical destinies and at the same time demonstrate his foreign policy successes to American voters. After all, the current U.S. president is still often criticized for a defensive foreign policy. And just like criminals, who, having become famous once behind bars, start working on their memoirs in order to set down their exploits, Obama could no longer be silent about what he considered his success. Indeed, destroying the dynamically developing state that was Ukraine under Yanukovych — is that not an obvious success of American policy?
But Obama’s confession about the American role in the collapse of Ukraine has a different, hidden subtext. The U.S. president’s statement is intended to explain the White House’s unprecedented involvement in Ukrainian events. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Kiev Thursday. According to The New York Times, a new discussion about providing Kiev with lethal weapons is in store for him and the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the end of the trip. In the course of the upcoming inspection, Kerry will have to “fend off” an onslaught by the Ukrainian authorities, who demand not only financial assistance from the White House on a massive scale but also free weapons. Kiev’s position is completely understandable: To paraphrase the famous words from “The Little Prince,” Washington becomes “responsible, forever, for what it has tamed.”
According to The New York Times, the U.S. president’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, previously spoke out against giving Ukraine lethal weapons. The White House had expected that assistance to Kiev’s security service personnel would be limited to nonlethal aid: body armor, night vision goggles, engineering equipment and rations. But the losses by Ukraine’s security service personnel have forced the U.S. administration to rethink its plans.
Many American experts have warned of the obvious: Sending conventional arms to Kiev will lead to an escalation of the conflict and civilian casualties on an even larger scale. Alongside these reasons is the risk of an uncontrolled proliferation of American weapons across Europe and their falling into the hands of terrorist organizations. As an investigation has shown, the assault rifles used by the gunmen who attacked the editorial office of the French satirical weekly were “born” in the Balkans.
Those who support supplying weapons to the Ukrainian army proposed that Obama earmark $3 billion for this purpose. On the list of equipment requested by Kiev are armor-piercing missiles, drones, armored jeeps and radar. All this, in the words of the White House’s official National Security Council representative, represents “other options that will help create space for a negotiated solution to the crisis.”
Neither the Afghanistan experience nor the events in Libya have taught Washington that American weapons supplied to so-called allies will sooner or later be turned against the United States’ own servicemen. And the drive to “[raise] the risks and costs to Russia of any renewed major offensive,” as stated in a report by senior representatives of the U.S. administration, increases the risks for both Kiev and the White House at the same time, and not just in the Ukrainian direction.
Russia’s permanent representative to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, called the possible supplying of arms to Ukraine by a number of European countries a violation of the code of conduct for EU countries, since such a move is a “pure violation of the United Nations Charter, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe documents, and, moreover, the EU’s own resolutions.”* However, for many members of united Europe, approval from American politicians carries far more weight than the displeasure of Brussels.
In the CNN interview, Obama refrained from excessive promises to Ukraine and got off the hook with platitudes about supporting its economy and Kiev’s ongoing reforms. Obama ruled out the possibility of a military conflict between Moscow and Washington, explaining that the White House will continue pumping weapons into the NATO countries in Eastern Europe. I should add that it was these very states that previously announced their willingness to supply lethal weapons to Kiev …
*Editor’s note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.