Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
A Photo Essay

Ukraine, a Fascist Coup?

by ANDRE VLTCHEK

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

Russian-Ukrainian border – all quiet.

right-wingers are proud of this

Right-wingers are proud of this.

police protecting court house where left-wing,  anti-government activist is being tried

Police protecting courthouse where left-wing, anti-government activist is being tried.

Maidan from above

Maidan from above.

Kharkiv is anti-Western,  pro-Russian and pro-Soviet

Kharkiv is anti-Western, pro-Russian and pro-Soviet.

Fascism and religion hand in hand

Fascism and religion hand in hand.

EU is interested - an oil rig in central Ukraine

EU is interested – an oil rig in central Ukraine.

Adverisement used by snipers to tune up their weapons

Advertisement used by snipers to tune up their weapons.

what is left of Ukrainian village

What is left of a Ukrainian village.

Ukrainean tank on Russian border,  north of Kharkiv

Ukrainean tank on Russian border, north of Kharkiv.

Doing business with EU flags

Doing business with EU flags.

burning barricades on Maidan during 18 February 2014 clashes

Burning barricades on Maidan during 18 February 2014 clashes.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk - current acting PM of Ukraine joins right-wingers during their attack on police

Arseniy Yatsenyuk – current acting PM of Ukraine joins right-wingers during their attack on police.

Two Maidan protesters in the time of calm

Two Maidan protesters in the time of calm.

Right-wing activists and football fanatics attacking on 19 January 2014

Right-wing activists and football fanatics attacking on 19 January 2014.

Maidan protesters brutally beating up a man they accused of supporting the government

Maidan protesters brutally beating up a man they accused of supporting the government.

Texas supports Maidan

Texas supports Maidan.

Righ-wing group _Self-defence of Maidan_, behind a mob ravishing October Revolution monument

Right-wing group.

right-wing on barricaden

Right-wing on barricaden.

_Right Sector_ and right-wing football fans are attacking police in Kiev on 19 January 2014

Right-wing football fans.

Right-wingers are encouraging passers-by to clen their shoes with a banner of the Communist Party of Ukraine

Right-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.