The shock doctrine in Ukraine

Naomi Klein, in her book, The Shock Doctrine, told how the global banking system took advantage of crises, and sometimes created crises, in order to force national leaders to accept policies against their will.   This seems to be what is going on in Ukraine.

Ukraine has beem in gave financial difficulties.  Last fall the International Monetary Fund offered Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich a bailout, under conditions that reportedly included a doubling of prices for gas and electricity to industry and homes, the lifting of a ban on private sale of Ukraine’s rich agricultural lands, a sale of state assets, a devaluation of the currency and cuts in funding for schools and pensions to balance the budget.  In return, Ukraine would have got a $4 billion loan, a small fraction of what was needed.

Then the Russian Federation offered a $15 billion loan and a 30 percent cut in gas export prices.  Naturally Prime Minister Yanukovich accepted.  Then all hell broke loose.

Arseny Yatsenyuk

Arseny Yatsenyuk

A mysterious sniper killed peaceful demonstrators in Maidan square in Kiev and, as has happened with mysterious sniper attacks in Venezuela, Thailand and other countries, the killings sparked a violent uprising.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said in a leaked telephone conversation with the Ukraine ambassador that “we” want the former banker, Arseny Yatsenyuk, installed at Yanukovich’s replacement, rather than some more popular politician.  And that’s what happened.

Yatsenyuk said he will do whatever it takes to get IMF financing, even though this probably will make him the most unpopular prime minister in Ukraine history.  He in fact has little choice.  The Russian offer has understandably been withdrawn, and Ukraine is in a much more desperate plight than it was six months ago.

Elections are scheduled for May, but that’s plenty of time for Ukraine to be locked into binding commitments to the IMF.

Ukraine is a country rich in natural resources but poor in money — an inviting target for financial speculators.   Based on what has happened in other countries in like situations, I look for Ukraine’s resources and assets to be sold off at bargain prices.

I don’t see what business a U.S. Assistant Secretary of State has trying to name the head of a foreign government, or how this in any way benefits the American people.  It seems to be an example of the workings of Wall Street as a component of Michael Lofgren’s deep state.


The shock doctrine

Washington’s Man Yatsenyuk Setting Ukraine Up for Ruin by Kenneth Rapoza for Forbes.

The Rape of Ukraine: Phase Two Begins by F. William Engdahl for World News Daily Information Clearing House.

Former Ukrainian Minister of Economy Says Aid for Ukraine “Will Be Stolen” by Wolf Richter.

Ukraine Premier States ‘Kamikazi’ Mission As Crimea Erupts by Bloomberg News.

The mysterious snipers

Snipers Are Commonly Used As “False Flag” Terrorists by Washington’s Blog.

Ukraine: Ashton Phonecall on Maidan Snipers by Moon of Alabama.

Everyone Agrees Sniper Attack Was False Flag Operation by Washington’s Blog. [added 3/15/14}

Ukraine’s right wingers

Who Are the Protesters in Ukraine? by political scientists Keith Darden and Lucan Way. [Added 3/15/14]

Front and Center in Ukraine Race, a Leader of the Far Right by Andrew Kramer for the New York Times.  [added 3/15/14]

After Ukraine protest, radical group eyes power by Maria Danilova for the Associated Press. [added 3/15/14]


I think governments should repay their debts, just as individuals do, and I think the Ukraine needs to get its house in order.  But I don’t think debt repayment is the supreme obligation that supersedes all other obligations.

I think two parties are responsible for an un-repayable loan, the borrower and the lender, and the consequences of the bad decision should fall on both.  I think borrowers are morally obligated to make a good-faith effort to pay back loans, but that obligation falls short of selling themselves and their dependents into the equivalence of indentured servitude.

When a government is in the position of Ukraine or Greece, it should be able to freeze its debts and pay off the principal, rather than trying to keep up with compound interest by reducing its population to misery and selling off national assets to speculators at bargain prices.

I recognize that there are other political issues in Ukraine besides foreign debt, including governmental corruption, ethnic divisions and relations with the Russian Federation and European Union, and I don’t claim to understand them all.  But I think these other issues would have been worked out by the Ukrainian people if let alone to decide for themselves.

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6 Responses to “The shock doctrine in Ukraine”

  1. billycoztigan Says:

    Exquisite analysis. A shame every single point you made is missed by mainstream media. Even the alternative sites fail to follow the finance. I read the Shock Doctrine and was shocked. Also very skeptical, and after months of research even more shocked. Where can I get more current affair news from this angle?


    • philebersole Says:

      For more current affairs news from this angle, you might check out the links on my Blogs I Like page, starting with Naked Capitalism, Ian Welsh, Pepe Escobar and Washington’s Blog, and the links on my Resources page, starting with the Real News Network, Counterpunch, Common Dreams and Black Agenda Report


  2. peteybee Says:

    right on, thanks for the article!


  3. Vincent Says:

    It would help if you linked to prove or even document your claims.
    All hell broke loose because Ukrainians got sick of totally corrupt thugs in their government. It’s no coincidence that Yanukovich is now partying in Yeltsin’s old luxury suites.


  4. philebersole Says:

    Here’s what I see going down in Ukraine.

    A broad and diverse coalition of Ukrainians organized popular protests against the legally elected, but deeply corrupt, administration of Viktor Yanukovich.

    Through the good offices of representatives of Poland, Germany and France, an agreement was negotiated through between the protestors and the Yanukovich government for early elections in December, 2013, which Yanukovich surely would have lost.

    Mysterious snipers fired on protestors (and also police, it seems) in Maidan square in Ukraine, sparking a violent revolution which led to the violent overthrow of the Yanukovich government and the installation of an unelected interim regime.

    The makeup and policies of that regime reflects the priorities of the U.S. government, as stated by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, more than it goes the priorities of the Ukrainian people.

    Right-wing, nationalist, anti-Russian parties are greatly overrepresented in the government coalition, which is committed to imposing austerity measures to repay foreign loans which would result in great hardship the Ukrainian people.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert on Ukrainian politics, but there are a few things of which I am certain.

    1. I, as an American, am opposed to my government once again intervening in the internal affairs of a foreign nation.

    2. I, as an American, am opposed to my government once again acting as a debt collector for international banks.

    3. I, as an American, am alarmed at the possibility of a military confrontation with Russia, the world’s only other nuclear superpower, over a matter that is not vital to U.S. national interest (any more than it was a vital interest of the old USSR to install missiles in Cuba).

    4. Vladimir Putin does not have Ukraine’s best interests at heart either. His long-range goal seems to be to reassemble the constituent parts of the old Soviet Union / Russian Empire.

    5. If I were a Ukrainian, I would wish to have an honest, independent and neutral government like Finland’s, on good terms with the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United States.

    6. If I were a Ukrainian, the thing I would wish to avoid at all costs would be the partition of my country into a pro-Russian and pro-Western half, like Germany after the Second World War, which would become proxies in a new cold war.

    As I have said, I am not an expert on Ukrainian history and politics, but I think that as a result of reading during the past few weeks, I know a bit more than fellow Americans who depend on their local newspapers and TV news for information, and this is my justification for writing this post.

    I don’t presume to tell Ukrainians what they should do or think. My concern is the U.S. government taking actions that, in my opinion, are not in the interest of either the American or the Ukrainian people.

    I expect to add to my original links on this post.


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