by Stephen Lendman
US-led NATO threatens humanity. It's an imperial tool. It's a global killing machine.
It prioritizes war. It deplores peace. Humanity's survival hangs in the balance.
It includes 28 member nations, 22 Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) ones, seven Mediterranean Dialogue countries, and four Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) states.
They comprise nearly one-third of world nations. NATO plans exponential expansion. It wants new members and partners.
It wants them on all continents. It wants them virtually everywhere. It wants a global military established.
It wants unchallenged control. It wants all outliers eliminated. It wants pro-Western vassal states replacing them.
Its strategy prioritizes war on humanity. It's ravaging and destroying one country after another.
Ukraine is in the eye of the storm. On Friday, Putin said it may join NATO. Washington may take full advantage.
It may deploy nuclear-armed missiles on Russia's borders. It may target its heartland.
Ukraine's coup occurred, said Putin. "(T)hey (won't) talk to us." They obey orders from Washington.
"The next step will be Ukraine's membership in NATO. They never ask us about that…"
"(A)nd they do not engage in dialog with us…'No dialog,' they say…"
"(I)t is none of your business, and it does not concern you.' "
"Ukraine may become a member of NATO tomorrow," said Putin. Under US control.
Doing so threatens Russia. Cooperative relations with Moscow ended. Minimal contacts alone continue.
Putin said Western countries elevated Kiev putschists to power. They have no legitimacy whatever.
"There was a coup d'etat backed by American and European partners," he explained. "Then there was chaos, and now we are witnessing a full-scale civil war."
Washington imposed sanctions on Russia to gain economic advantage, Putin said. They're counterproductive. They won't work.
On the one hand, Chinese investors will replace EU companies if they're squeezed out. So will other global businesses.
On the other, Russian economist/Putin advisor Andrey Belousov said Moscow prepared retaliatory measures in response.
At different levels, he explained. It depends on US policy going forward. Moscow will respond in kind.
In its own way. Its own timing. "(W)e know exactly how to react," said Belousov.
On May 23, Reuters headlined "Exclusive: EU weighs Russia sanctions from caviar to oil and gas," saying:
"EU leaders will hold their first detailed discussion next week of specific steps they can take against Russia if Ukraine's elections are not free and fair, including restrictions ranging from luxury goods imports to an oil and gas ban."
Reuters cited a two-page document. It explains three scenarios - low, medium and high-intensity sanctions.
Low ones target Russian diamonds, precious metals, furs, vodka, caviar, and other luxury goods.
Medium ones aim at fertilizers, chemicals, tires, vessels to Russia, as well as weapons imports and exports.
High-intensity ones target investments, capital markets, other financial operations, as well as importing oil and gas.
At the same time, said Reuters, "there is no (EU) unanimous backing for (this) move." German and other European business interests strongly oppose it.
They want no restrictions imposed. They want nothing interfering with bottom line interests.
"Unless there is unanimous backing for stricter sanctions, the EU will not be able to move ahead - a hurdle that has been frustrating for the United States, which is keen for Europe to move further in imposing restrictions on Moscow," said Reuters.
On May 24, Itar Tass headlined "Lugansk Republic head says provocations possible during Ukrainian presidential elections."
A false flag attack may be planned. Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) Governor Valery Bolotov said:
"I recommend LPR nationals not go to the polling stations as we have information about provocations being prepared by the Ukrainian government and National Guard."
"They will be conducted to later accuse the Army of the Southeast of disrupting the elections."
May 25 voting began. It remains ongoing. Kiev's sham electoral process won't change things.
Putschist approved aspirants alone are competing. Billionaire bandit Petro Poroshenko looks sure to win.
A previous article explained. He made his money the old-fashioned way. He stole it.
He supported Maidan putschists. He ignored their violence. He helped bankroll them. He wants Ukraine plundered for profit.
He's up to his old tricks again. He's paying 1,000 hryvnyas per day (about $84) for anti-Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighter volunteers.
He admitted it publicly. Their "life and health will be insured for one million hryvnyas," he said. Ukrainian forces receive 600 hryvnyas per month.
Results are predetermined for Poroshenko to win. Perhaps on two rounds. Ballot choices exclude democracy. Expect worse than ever policies to follow.
Fascist regimes operate this way. Ukraine is Europe's worst. Putschists threaten regional security and stability.
Voice of Russia (VOR) interviewed Ukrainian Dennis Schedrivy. He participated in Maidan protests. He supported them. No longer.
Kiev-instigated violence continues, he said. He expects more ahead. He called coup-appointed Kiev officials "junta" governance.
"I don't see (May 25) elections as anything," he said. "The whole thing with Maidan revolution is not successful."
"According to the law they have adopted, even if the small village (alone) votes…elections will be considered successful."
"I am sure that at least part of the sane world will not accept these elections," he added.
"(T)hey are bombing…civilians…(T)his is a farce. (T)hey will try to (legitimize) this whole circus…"
Growing thousands of Ukrainians express similar views. Nothing ahead looks encouraging.
War without mercy rages. Ukrainian forces target civilians. They're killing them in cold blood.
Freedom is on the chopping block. Fascists want it entirely eliminated. They want unchallenged top-down hardline rule replacing it.
They want it enforced. They want junta power institutionalized. Gangsterism is planned. Democracy is prohibited.
They want what most Ukrainians oppose. It remains to be seen how they'll react. Civil war rages. National rebellion may follow.
Nothing ahead looks promising. What kind of government usurps power? What kind establishes itself by force?
What kind rules extrajudicially? What kind by intimidation? What kind of legitimacy do ultranationalist, xenophobic, neo-Nazi, anti-Semites have?
What kind substitutes unrestrained coercion for rule of law principles? What kind prohibits opposing views?
What kind mandates its message alone getting out? The same kind substituting despotism for democracy!
The battle for Ukraine's soul didn't end with putschists usurping power. It just began. It continues.
Ukraine's future is up for grabs. Ordinary people alone will determine it. They have every right to do so.
Hopefully they'll take full advantage. They'll have themselves to blame if not.
A Final Comment
On May 24, RT International headlined "Russian journalists being banned entry to Ukraine to cover presidential election."
They're accredited to do so. It doesn't matter. They're refused entry. RT's press service said:
"Without explaining the reason for refusal, the members of (Ukraine's) border service forced the RT crew to buy return tickets at their own expense."
It's not the first time. It won't be the last. Fascist regimes operate this way.
Expect more of the same ahead. Expect police state ruthlessness enforced.
RT's Anna Knishenko, Elderra Khaled ad Konstantin Bolshakov arrived at Kiev's Borispol International Airport.
Knishenko explained what followed, saying:
"At the border control, they immediately took our passports. An hour later, we - one by one - were invited to a special room for an interview."
They were denied entry. For falsified reasons. For not properly explaining why they came, they were told.
Echo of Moscow correspondent Ilya Azar was treated the same way. So were Russian TV channel reporters.
Everyone denied entry had press cards. Ukraine's Central Electoral Committee accredited them to cover its election earlier.
It didn't matter. Fabricated reasons denied them. Kiev wants its message alone reported. It wants truth suppressed.
"A whole range of Russian media outlets, including Channel One, NTV, TVC and Zvezda channels have been denied entry to Ukraine headed by the coup-appointed authorities," said RT.
Kiev putschists wage war on media freedom. Russian journalists are targeted. So are others not putschist-approved.
On May 23, The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) headlined "Russian journalists barred from entering Ukraine," saying:
CPJ "condemns the move…(It) call(ed) on Ukrainian authorities to allow all journalists to carry out their job without harassment."
CPJ's Europe and Central Asia program researcher Muzaffar Suleymanov added:
"If Ukrainian authorities are looking to build a democratic state, they must stop barring the press from covering public events in the country, especially the presidential vote."
"Openness and transparency are vital for democracy."
"We urge Ukraine to grant entry to all journalists, no matter their nationality or affiliation, or their newsroom's editorial line."
It "equate(s)" legitimate conflict reporting "with terrorism," he added. CPJ denounced what media scoundrels ignore.
They support Sunday's sham process. They equate putschist rule with democracy.
They turn truth on its head claiming it. Don't expect them to explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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