Basic Notes on Victoria (“Fuck the EU!”) Nuland

On January 5 Joe Biden quietly announced the nomination of Victoria (“Fuck the EU!”) Nuland as Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs. This announcement may signal the inception of the confrontation with Russia placed on hold during the Trump presidency.

For four years the Democrats have pilloried Trump for “coddling” Putin, although in fact Trump has heaped sanctions on Russia bringing relations to their lowest point since the early Cold War. Now they want some more serious anti-Russian measures. They want their president, Commander-in-Chief of the Exceptional Nation and Leader of the Free World against its adversaries, return us to Clinton-Obama normalcy. That means “getting tougher” with Russia. But what does tougher mean?

Nuland is eminently qualified for the task of making things much worse, even provoking war with the other superpower that while lacking foreign bases, and spending a fraction of what NATO spends on military defense, has over 6000 nuclear weapons. (Remember? The U.S. developed and used nuclear weapons in 1945, the only country to ever do so. The Soviets followed by developing their own bomb in 1949, in self-defense. That’s when Truman established NATO as an anti-Soviet, anti-communist military alliance.)

Moscow feels a mounting resentment over the expansion of a hostile military alliance, formed during the Cold War under conditions no longer pertinent, to surround it. Is this hard to fathom? How would Congress view a gradual expansion of a Russian-led military alliance committed to spending 2% of its members’ GDPs on military spending to embrace Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Panama and maybe Canada next year?

Nuland is a career official, serving under multiple administrations, representing bipartisan imperialism. She was deputy director for “affairs in the former Soviet republics” in the Bill Clinton administration. Her task was to exploit the pain and suffering caused by the implosion of the Soviet Union to assert greater U.S. hegemony over Eurasia, using the traditional mix of covert operations, National Endowment for Democracy meddling, “color revolutions,” aid promises, etc.

During this period Clinton reneged on the U.S. promise to Moscow in 1989 that NATO would not advance “one inch” east after the Soviets accepted German reunification. Instead he drew Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, long members of the dissolved Warsaw Pact, into the anti-Russian military alliance in 1999. It was an extraordinary repudiation of the Bush-Gorbachev agreement, an egregious provocation of a now-friendly country (then headed by the buffoonish Boris Yeltsin), unremarked on by the U.S. press at the time as anything controversial. Since then the expansion of NATO has been treated as no more remarkable than the expansion of UNESCO. Thank Nuland in part for making you think relentless NATO growth is normal, and that it makes sense for North Macedonia and Montenegro to have joined most recently (during the Trump term).

Thank Nuland too, in part, for the “color revolutions” in Serbia (2000), Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004) and Kyrgyzstan (2005). The (fake) concept of the popular uprising against (Russian-backed) tyranny, backed by an altruistic America that stands for Freedom and Democracy—that’s Nuland’s baby. She surely has plans for Belarus. And she must be deeply alarmed that the State Department did not try to interfere in the last flare-up of violence in Nagarno-Karabakh leaving Russian diplomacy to resolve the situation. (Just because Russia itself extends into the Caucasus and borders Georgia and Azerbaijan doesn’t mean that it should “interfere” in countries that ought by rights to be ruled by the U.S.A.—due to Exceptionalism and all.)

The extremely reactionary chauvinistic Nuland was deputy foreign advisor to Dick Cheney during the Bush-Cheney administration (2003-2005) and then U.S. ambassador to NATO (2005-2008). Under Obama she was Under Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, handpicked by Hillary Clinton. She is married to noted neocon warmonger-scholar Robert Kagan. Both were deeply complicit in spreading the Big Lies leading to the Iraq War in 2003. Nuland supported Hillary Clinton’s terroristic regime change efforts in Libya and Syria. But her main mission in life is to expand NATO. Joe Biden shares her passion for this project.

Nuland is perhaps best known for her pithy ejaculation: “Fuck the EU!” in a telephone call with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2014.

In that year, while Nuland built support for the coup in Kiev (Feb. 18 to 21), she boasted openly that the U.S. had invested $5 billion in supporting “the Ukrainian people’s European aspirations.” (This referred to the support of some Ukrainians for the violent overthrow of the democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, on the basis of his alleged pro-Russian policies and his opposition to European Union affiliation under the conditions the EU was then offering.) To state the matter honestly: the U.S. spent $5 billion to install a government in Kiev that would request NATO membership (ostensibly to protect it from always-aggressive, always expanding Russia) and bind it forever to the U.S. military-industrial complex and “Free World.”

Since NATO membership since the end of the Cold War has invariably been followed by EU membership, it was easy for Nuland to pose as the champion of Ukraine’s EU membership versus the evil Russians (supposedly) opposing that membership. Yanukovych himself had negotiated seriously with the EU but rejected a plan for association due to its austerity provisions. Meanwhile Moscow offered an attractive aid package. This in the world of U.S. propaganda was a choice between Europe and Russia, with Yanukovych siding with America’s adversary.

The Maidan coup occurred just a month after Nuland was recorded discussing the upcoming event with U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. Nuland, who had joined Sen. John McCain and other U.S. politicians in offering cookies to the Maidan protestors, discussed with Pyatt who should serve as prime minister after the coup. Pyatt noted that the EU favored Vitali Klitschko, the ex-boxer.

“Fuck the EU!” replied Nuland, who wanted banker and NATO supporter Arseniy Yatsenyuk to lead the new government. She soon got her way.

Nuland worked with Oleh Tyahnybok, head of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party (and one of the three leaders Nuland ordered Pyatt to keep in touch with) and the Right Sector militia. Both glorify Stephan Bandera, the Ukrainian fascist leader who aided the Nazis in rounding up Ukrainian Jews during the war. Tyahnybok publicly inveighs against the “Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine.”

When Congressman Dana Rohrbacher Nuland in a hearing soon after the coup was asked whether there had been any neo-fascists on the Maidan she refused to answer the question, stating there were “mothers, grandmothers, and veterans…all colors of Ukraine, including ugly colors” on the Maidan. In other words, a diverse anti-Russian crowd.

Nuland had told the U.S. ambassador that Yatsenyev once installed as planned “will need Klitschko and Tyahnybok on the outside, he needs to be talking to them four times a week.” The U.S. needed those ugly colors.

Now why would a Jew and Zionist, married to a Jewish Zionist neocon, align herself and Washington with Ukrainian fascists who glorify Stephan Bandera, the Ukrainian anti-Soviet pro-Nazi leader in the 1940s who rounded up Jews at the Germans’ behest?

Is it not clear? The vicious anti-Russian racism of the Ukrainian fascists is useful for the U.S. as it strives to expand the anti-Russian military alliance, NATO. The more hatred for Russia, the better. (Never mind that for 300 years Ukraine was a province of Russia, then a soviet republic within the USSR; never mind that that there is a huge ethnic Russian minority in the east, widespread intermarriage, historically porous border, integrated economies; never mind that Ukrainian views on EU membership as well as Russia are diverse and there is not in fact a consensus on trade relations. Hatred of Russia is useful and Nuland wanted to exploit it.) Why not make common cause with a politician who reviles the “Muscovites, Jews and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state”?

Do we not know the power of ethnic hatred in inciting violent putsches? Trump knows it. Nuland knew it too in 2014.

Among the first acts of the new regime swept to power by the (successful) February putsch was to rescind the law on language rights protecting Russian-speakers (as well as speakers of Hungarian, Moldovan and Romanian). It was perceived as a frontal attack on the ethnic Russian community, which responded (in the Donbas region) with armed insurrection. The (overwhelmingly Russian) population of Crimea voted to return to Russian sovereignty (that had been foolishly gifted from Russia to Ukraine by the half-Ukrainian Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1953). To punish Russia for its responses to the coup, the U.S. clamped more sanctions on it and kicked it out of the G8. Such were the preliminary results of the neofascist coup encouraged by Nuland.

Shortly after the coup Joe Biden was appointed by President Obama as the administration’s point man on the issue of Ukrainian corruption. Why him? To show the importance the U.S. lends to this relationship, post-coup, anticipating the development of anti-Russian military cooperation, and ultimately NATO admission. But NATO has standards. It can’t include a new member with an abysmal record on government corruption at all levels. The point was to clean it up to make it acceptable to Germany and other members of the expanding alliance.

Nuland’s actions helped produce the regime change in Ukraine which led to U.S. arms sales, U.S. sanctions on Russia, even the first Trump impeachment over the matter of anti-tank missile delivery. The coup damaged U.S.-Russian relations more even than the 2008 announcements that the U.S. would recognize Kosovo as a state, and that Georgia and Ukraine would eventually join NATO. The Russian response in 2008 was a quick invasion of Georgia and recognition of two breakaway states (South Ossetia and Abkhazia) within what had been soviet Georgia. These moves prompted U.S. criticisms and sanctions, while Sen. John McCain (now beatified as St. John of Bipartisan Incurable Cold War Russophobia) called for war on Russia to help its mad president now banned from the country.

But it was still possible to seek a “reset” during the early Obama period. Hillary sought such, or so she said; but she continued to “push back” against Russia—within and on its own borders.

The (predictable) Russian response to the U.S. effort to add their huge southern neighbor to NATO in 2014 (after John Kerry had succeeded Clinton as secretary of state) produced a much more aggressive U.S. reaction than in 2008. If U.S.-Russian relations are now at their lowest ebb since the 1950s, it is more because of Ukraine than any other issue.

Now Biden, deeply associated with Ukraine, and with the cause of NATO expansion—and whose son was famously employed by the country’s largest gas company two and a half months after after the coup (May 12, 2014) up to April 2019, netting some $ 5 million—is nominating Nuland, mistress of the Maidan coup, for a high State Department post for “political affairs.”

That means interfering in other people’s political affairs, while always threatening them with war, or threatening to fuck them.

Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Lloyd Austin, Avril Haines… Biden’s announced cabinet already reeked. The addition of Nuland stinks to high heaven.

Gary Leupp is Emeritus Professor of History at Tufts University, and is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 and coeditor of The Tokugawa World (Routledge, 2021). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: