Ukraine on Fire (2016) - full transcript

Ukraine. Across its eastern border is Russia and to its west-Europe. For centuries, it has been at the center of a tug-of-war between powers seeking to control its rich lands and access to the Black Sea. 2014's Maidan Massacre triggered a bloody uprising that ousted president Viktor Yanukovych and painted Russia as the perpetrator by Western media. But was it? "Ukraine on Fire" by Igor Lopatonok provides a historical perspective for the deep divisions in the region which lead to the 2004 Orange Revolution, 2014 uprisings, and the violent overthrow of democratically elected Yanukovych. Covered by Western media as a people's revolution, it was in fact a coup d'état scripted and staged by nationalist groups and the U.S. State Department. Investigative journalist Robert Parry reveals how U.S.-funded political NGOs and media companies have emerged since the 80s replacing the CIA in promoting America's geopolitical agenda abroad.

Here in Kiev in recent days,

the Maidan, Independence Square,

has turned into a full-scale war zone.

More clashes
in Ukraine's capital Kiev.

There is absolutely no doubt

that snipers are working here.

I counted 10 bodies.

Now on
the brink of civil war,

at least 70 dead so far,

and the death toll rising.

- What we saw here today was a revolution.

- We have invested over $5
billion to assist Ukraine

in these and other goals.

- NATO has expanded into 13 countries

up to the borders of Russia, 13 countries.

- The focus has to be
not allowing this crisis

to turn into a hot war
between Ukraine and Russia.

Ukraine, it's
an ancient and proud land

with a rich history,

filled with much beauty,
heroism and sacrifice.

Ukraine is a border land,

a place where east meets west.

This is the flag of Ukraine.

The blue represents the sky.

The gold, its seeming
endless fields of wheat.

Ukraine is a prize many have sought

and much blood was spilled
in the quest to possess it.

Ukraine has been the path
for the western powers

as they attempted to conquer the east

in World War I and World War II,

and every time, the Ukrainian people

ended up paying the highest price

for these grand games of power.

"History doesn't repeat
but it surely rhymes,"

said Mark Twain.

If one looks closely at
the history of Ukraine,

one will notice many rhymes.

Being surrounded by stronger powers,

Ukraine has needed a lot
of cunning to survive,

and the art they truly mastered with time

is the art of changing sides

In the middle of the 17th century,

Ukrainian leader Bogdan Khmelnitskiy

broke a truce agreement made with Poland,

siding with more powerful Russia.

Just over 50 years later,

as the Russian-Swedish war was raging

another Ukrainian leader Ivan Mazepa

broke the Union with Russia
when he switched sides,

joining forces with the Swedish invaders.

Many times Ukrainian history
was written by third parties.

Seeking to keep the gains
of a revolution at any cost,

Russia agreed to the
humiliating conditions

of the Brest-Litovsk treaty of 1918,

which turned Ukraine into
a German protectorate.

Another historical document
that changed the fate of Ukraine

was the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939,

one of many such agreements being signed

between European countries
and rising Germany.

Attempting to protect his nation

from the approaching Nazi threat,

Joseph Stalin negotiated a treaty

of non-aggression with Adolf Hitler.

While promising each other peace,

the Soviet and German foreign ministers,

Molotov and Ribbentrop, realigned
the map of eastern Europe,

splitting it into German and
Soviet spheres of influence.

No sooner had the
Molotov-Ribbentrop pact been signed,

then Poland was split.

And in September of 1939,

eastern Poland awoke to be
western Ukraine and a part

of the family of the Soviet
republics and the USSR.

But even this bold dividing

of land and nations only
delayed the inevitable.

Germany broke its promise to the USSR.

On June 22nd 1941,
Germany invaded the USSR,

launching Barbarossa, the
largest military operation

in world history.

Barbarossa was aiming
for Saint-Petersburg,

Moscow and Kiev, Ukraine,

three destinations of major significance.

Ukraine, with its rich
lands and resources,

was an important industrial
and economic source

for the USSR.

To cut it off from the Soviet Union

would strike a big blow indeed.

For most of the Soviet Union,
the Second World War was

about fighting the invaders of their land,

but it wasn't quite so simple for Ukraine.

The truth is Ukraine has
never been a united country.

When World War II broke out,

a large part of western
Ukraine's population

welcomed the German soldiers as liberators

from the recently forced
upon them Soviet rule

and openly collaborated with the Germans.

The real scale of
collaboration was not announced

for many decades after the war,

but we now know that whole divisions

and battalions were formed
by Ukrainian collaborators,

such as SS Galizien, Nachtigal
and Roland battallions.

Just in the beginning of the war,

more than 80,000 people
from Galicino region

voluntarily enrolled
into division SS Galizien

in a month and a half.

Notorious for their
extreme cruelty towards

the Polish, Jewish and Russian people

on the territory of Ukraine.

Members of these military
groups came mostly

from the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists, the OUN.

Founded in 1929, this
organization had an ultimate goal

of creating an ethnically
pure, independent Ukraine

and considered terror an acceptable tool

for achieving their ends.

Their official flag was black
and red, land and blood.

It will remain in Ukraine's
history long after the OUN

will cease to exist.

In early 1940, the most
radical nationalistic part

of the organization of
Ukrainian nationalists

got its own leader, Stepan Bandera.

Severely anti-Semitic and anti-communist,

he proclaimed an
independent Ukraine in 1941.

His German allies frowned
upon such an act of self-will

and it landed him in prison

for nearly all of the Second World War.

Not participating in
the events physically,

Bandera still managed to
successfully spread his ideology.

Many independent historians estimate

that the OUN militia exterminated

from 150,000 to 200,000 Jews

on the Ukrainian territory
occupied by the Germans

by the end of 1941.

(somber instrumental music)

The most notorious and outrageous massacre

took place September 29th and
30th, 1941 in Babi Yar, Kiev.

All kikes of the city of Kiev
and its vicinity must appear

on Monday, September 29th by
eight o'clock in the morning.

Bring documents, money and valuables,

and also warm clothing, linen, et cetera.

Any kikes who do not follow this order

and are found elsewhere will be shot.

33,771 Jews were killed
in this two day operation

of the Nazis and Ukrainian militia.

Another outrageous
massacre was carried out

by the Ukrainian insurgent
army and the Bandera faction

of the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists

in German occupied Polish
Wolyn and eastern Galicia

in 1943 and 1944.

This genocide of Poles
was led by Mykola Lebed.

35,000 to 60,000 in Wolyn
and 25,000 to 40,000

in eastern Galicia fell victim

to this massive ethnic
cleansing operation.

Sensing the inevitable
loss of the German troops,

the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists

gave up on their former ally
and began fighting equally

against Germans and Soviet forces.

In January 1943, USSR troops
started pushing the Nazis back,

liberating one part of
Ukraine after another.

Western Ukraine was the
last Ukrainian region held

by the Germans, finally being
liberated in October of 1944.

Bandera's bands continued
to wage their guerrilla war

against the Soviet regime,
carrying out bloody raids

on Ukrainian villages and towns

and leaving behind chaos and casualties.

This war went on till
the middle of the 1950s

when the last collaborators
were either detained

or fled the country.

On May 7th, 1945, Germany
unconditionally surrendered

to the Allies.

Ukraine remained a part
of the Soviet Union.

The peace after the Second
World War was short-lived.

The United States and the Soviet Union,

nations who allied together,

along with England to defeat the Nazis,

tragically became foes
as the Cold War began.

The era of political and military tension

between the US and the USSR
lasted for nearly 45 years,

keeping humanity under the
constant threat of nuclear war.

In this battle, the United
States never lost sight

of Ukraine's importance.

US intelligence kept a close eye

on Ukrainian nationalist organizations

as a possible source
of counter-intelligence

against the Soviet Union.

CIA documents that just
recently have been declassified

show strong ties between US intelligence

and Ukrainian nationalists since 1946.

From the CIA agency report,

it is clear that they were not mistaken

about the nature of Ukrainian
nationalist organizations

or their leader, Stepan Bandera himself.

According to an OSS
report of September 1945,

Bandera had earned a fierce reputation

for conducting a reign of
terror during World War II.

After the Second World War,

Bandera and other Ukrainian Nazi leaders

fled to Europe where the
CIA helped them hide.

The CIA later informed

the Immigration and Naturalization Service

that it had concealed Stepan Bandera

and other Ukrainians from Soviets.

The operations involving
Ukrainians continued

for many years.

The Nuremberg trials of 1945 and 1946

brought the political,
economic and military leaders

of fascist Germany to justice

and revealed to the world
the monstrous face of Nazism

and the crimes they committed.

But the Ukrainian Nazis
were spared the same fate

and some were even granted
indulgences by the CIA.

By 1954, the agency excused
the illegal activities

of the OUN's security branch

in the name of Cold War necessity.

In 1949, Mykola Lebed, the man responsible

for the massacres in Wolyn was
moved to the United States,

where he died in 1989 without
ever being investigated

or pursued as a war criminal.

The CIA moved to protect
Ukrainian nationalist leader,

Mykola Lebed, from criminal investigation

by Immigration and
Naturalization Service in 1952.

Perhaps Bandera lost his use to the US

or maybe KGB agents outsmarted the CIA,

but in 1959, Stepan Bandera,

the leader of the Ukrainian nationalists,

was killed in Munich,

where he was hiding under
the name of Stefan Popel.

It would be fair to say that
Bandera became a major symbol

of Ukrainian nationalism by sheer chance

for he wasn't neither its only
nor its most powerful one.

Dmytro dontsov was the father

of the far right totalitarian
doctrine in Ukraine.

Andriy Melnyk the leader of
another fraction of the OUN.

Roman Shukhevych was the general

of the Ukrainian insurgent army,

and others contributed
greatly to the movement.

Bandera's dangerous ideology,

suppressed by the communist authorities

but supported by external
forces, never really died.

The seeds of Ukrainian
nationalism were passed

from generation to generation.

Unfortunately, it was
just a matter of time

before they would once again blossom.

In 1954, Ukraine's territory
was expanded even more

when Nikita Khrushchev,
the leader of the USSR

and an Ukrainian himself

generously gave the
Crimean region to Ukraine.

Historians would argue about
the legitimacy of this transfer

for many years to come.

And 60 years after Khrushchev's gift,

dramatic new events would
take place in Crimea

- The eyes of the world are on Ukraine

as the crisis in Crimea continues.

Dozens of heavily armed men

seized government buildings in Crimea.

- Should Ukraine just shrug its shoulders

and say, okay, Crimea is lost?

And the old arguments
would heat up once again.

The Cold War would heat
up and cool down by turns

while both rivals

were obsessively building
up military capacity.

The turning point took place
when the new era, Perestroika

came to the USSR with its new
leader, Mikhail Gorbachev,

in the middle of the 1980s.

Perestroika meant restructuring

towards liberalization
and democratization.

It certainly had a positive impact

on the international situation.

- Astonishing news from East Germany,

where the East German authorities
have said, in essence,

that the Berlin wall doesn't
mean anything anymore

But inside
the USSR, the weakening

of Kremlin control had
different consequences.

In Ukraine, a nationalistic
political organization,

Narodniy Rukh, or People's Movement

emerged in 1989 due to this new openness.

They advocated
for independence of Ukraine

from the USSR and became an incubator

for leaders of Ukrainian neo-Nazism.

In 1991, one of them, Oleh
Tyahnybok, founded Svoboda,

an openly radical nationalistic party

preaching the good old
principles of Bandera.

Purge Ukraine
from Jews and Russians,

Ukraine for Ukrainians, and so on.

His statements got him the fifth place

in the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Top 10 Anti-Semitic World
Leader rankings of 2012.

But also, sadly,
attracted numerous followers.

Dmitri Yarosh founded another
extreme right organization

Trizub or Trident in 1994.

In April 2013, Yarosh became an assistant

to a member of parliament
from the opposition party Udar

Later that same year,

he would become the leader

of the most radical Ukrainian
Nazi group, the Right Sector.

Andriy Parubiy would soon
appearing leading a whole army

of ultra-nationalist warriors

and the torch marches would once again

light up the streets of Ukrainian cities.

The world drastically
changed in August 1991

when the USSR de-facto ceased to exist.

The global political map
welcomed many newcomers,

Ukraine one of them.

In modern history,

it was the first time
Ukraine was truly independent

and all on its own.

- The red flag came down
over the Kremlin tonight

as president Gorbachev resigned

and brought to an end seven decades

of communist rule in the Soviet Union.

The years after
the disintegration of the USSR

became known as crazy '90s

in all the post-Soviet territories.

- He's leaving behind
15 independent states

which share only a disastrous economy

and an uncertain future.

After having been

under a government-controlled economy,

the free market dramatically
changed the rules of the game.

New businesses emerged instantly

and the first oligarchs
were born overnight.

The former country with no class division

suddenly became stratified,

the chosen few became rich

while the rest had to fight to survive

The people's
growing discontent

made Ukraine more
vulnerable to outside forces

and a new kind of warfare was launched,

one not known before,
the color revolutions.

clash with police,

hundreds of thousands protesting
the results of the election

and calling for a new vote.

Ukraine has
had two color revolutions

in its 24 years of its independence.

In 2004, crowds of people
descended upon Kiev,

marking the start of
the Orange Revolution.

At that time, Ukraine became
once again a battlefield

of two forces, the Russian
and western governments.

The culmination of this
conflict took place

during the presidential
elections in November of 2004.

The two major candidates,
Western-backed Viktor Yushchenko

and Russian-leaning Viktor Yanukovich

almost equally shared
the votes of Ukrainians.

By the way, calling Viktor
Yushchenko western-backed

is not an exaggeration.

His wife, Kateryna Yushchenko,

is a former US state department official

and worked in the white house

during the Reagan administration.

The division was along geographic lines.

Traditionally Russian eastern Ukraine

voted for Yanukovich,

while western Ukraine chosen Yushchenko.

By the announced results,

Viktor Yushchenko lost
to Viktor Yanukovich

but thousands of people
didn't agree with it

and they came to the
central square of Kiev

on the 22nd of November.

The situation received wide news coverage.

The country's
election commission

ignored reports of fraud,

declaring Kremlin-backed
Viktor Yanukovich the winner.

International politicians

such as former General Secretary
of NATO, Javier Solana,

became frequent guests in Kiev,

initiating negotiations
between the parties.

The results of
the negotiations, however,

were often reached only on paper.

Thus, Yushchenko never told his supporters

to stop blocking the government
buildings in central Kiev.

Therefore these non-violent
and very orange protests

lasted for a month, during which time

the previous election
results were annulled,

marred by massive corruption,

and new elections were announced

An important nuance, just 3 months before,

Viktor Yushchenko became a victim

to a mysterious and
still unsolved poisoning

but it didn't prevent him from
winning in the new election.

Though as we shall soon see,

there was much more than
just the people's will

that led to this victory.

This peaceful revolution and its leader

were warmly welcomed by
the international community

but the euphoria didn't last long.

Yushchenko's government
completely failed with reforms

and lost its chance to
establish democracy,

instead descending into in-fighting.

Viktor Yushchenko was not
reelected for a second term

but at the end of his presidency,

he had time to make one last gift

to his supporters from western Ukraine

The hero status

of Stepan Bandera was short-lived.

In 2010, Viktor Yanukovich
was elected president.

This time the international
community had no doubts

about the legitimacy of the elections.

In January 2011, Viktor Yanukovich

repealed the hero title of Bandera.

Almost four years into
his presidency, though,

another revolution shook Ukraine.

Unfortunately, this one
was anything but peaceful.

(speaking in foreign language)

- Mr. Yanukovich, I am an American.

I'm an outsider to this situation
and it's very complicated

but I would like, as a filmmaker,

just to jump into the action

and go to those moments in November 2013.

You're president of the Ukraine,

you've been president for
three years at this point.

The country is in a bad
economic shape, very bad.

You have a trade agreement with Russia

and now you're seeking to
make a better agreement

with the EU, with the European Union,

and you're negotiating.

Can you bring me to that moment
and what you were thinking?

Violent clashes erupted

in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev

as more than 100,000 people protested

against government decision

to delay an association deal with the EU.

- Vitaliy, you were the
Minister of Interior Affairs

for the Ukraine during this period

and you were Chief of Police,
essentially of the country.

Can you tell me your
version of what happened

from November protests
through February protests?

Arseniy Yatsenuk,

leader of the opposition party Fatherland,

Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of
the opposition nationalist

far right radical party Svoboda,

Vitali Klitschko, leader of
the opposition party Udar.

Both EU and
Ukrainian officials said

on Thursday, the suspension
of talks on closer ties

could be revived after
the two-day meeting,

but officials said the deal
was off the table for now.

Pro-EU protests
on the streets of Kiev

enter their second day.

The crowd of around 1,000
protesters were joined

by the leader of the opposition,

the reigning world boxing
champion, Vitali Klitschko.

He called on the demonstrators

to maintain pressure on the government

after it decided not to sign a
major trade deal with the EU.

- You go back to Kiev the next day

after the meeting with Merkel

and protests are up, am I right?

Can you take me through that period?

Robert Parry

is a longtime investigative journalist

based in Washington DC,

best known for his major disclosures

about the Iran-Contra scandal in 1980s.

He is the founder of Consortiumnews,

where he has reported extensively
on the crisis in Ukraine

and the forces behind the unrest.

- An NGO is a
non-governmental organization.

Now many NGOs are quite legitimate.

They represent good causes,
maybe they help people

in a country feed or
deal with water problems

or deal with various
kinds of social problems.

But there are some NGOs
that have become funded

by government entities

and serve more the
purpose of that government

rather than trying to serve the people

that they are ostensibly working for.

One thing we saw in the 1980s,

at that point the Central
Intelligence Agency

had been largely discredited

because of the scandals that
had been exposed in the 1970s.

For 15 years,
the CIA had secretly financed

overseas activities of the
National Students Associations,

but then there came to
light a fantastic web

of CIA penetrations.

- So when the Reagan
administration came in,

there was this concept that
instead of having the CIA

which traditionally would go

into these different target countries

funding their media, funding NGOs,

funding different political operations,

that was essentially farmed
out to a new organization

called the National
Endowment for Democracy,

which was created in 1983.

And it would do pretty much
what the agency used to do.

It would go into one of these countries

and it would support
various political groups,

train activists, deal with
journalists, business groups

and try to advance US
foreign policy interests,

sometimes against the interests

of the host government,
the target government.

And beyond that, they received financial

and other logistical help

from the National Endowment for Democracy

and other US agencies that
helped them training activists,

working with journalists

to get their side
presented more favorably.

They work on things like
how do you get traction,

how do you get things to go viral,

how do you then use that to
generate support for your cause.

And support was generated.

Mustafa Nayem, a founder of one

of Ukraine's new media outlets

Hromadske. tv knew very well

how to make something go viral.

It was his notorious Facebook post

on November 21st, 2013

that brought the first crowds to Maidan.

"If you
don't read the newspaper,

you are uninformed.

If you read the newspaper, you
are misinformed," Mark Twain.

To deliver your message efficiently enough

in the modern world with so
many different technologies

and means of communications,
you must embrace them all.

As the disturbing events
of Euromaidan started

on November 21st, 2013,

three new TV channels went on the air

and suddenly became
stunningly popular in Ukraine.

Spilno. tv, November 21st,

Hromadske. tv, November 22nd

and Espreso. tv, November 24th.

Directly from opposition protests,

these channels went viral,

supporting the protests and
encouraging more and more people

to come to Maidan.

November 30th of 2013

became the first turning
point of Euromaidan

and one of its most reported
and mysterious events.

After riot police

attacked peaceful protesters with clubs...

It happened early in the morning hours.

Eyewitnesses that were there say

that the police did use truncheons.

Serhiy Lyovochkin

is a close associate
to many US politicians.

The security service
of Ukraine had evidence

that on that night,
Lyovochkin was in contact

with the opposition leader Yatsenyuk

where they discussed
the clearing of Maidan

on the pretext of installing
the annual Christmas tree.

News media reported

that the riot police cruelly
attacked the students

peacefully sleeping in their tents

but scenes from the event seem
to tell a different story.

It appears that the protesters
were waiting for the police.

Additionally, there were
dozens of journalists

and cameramen from all the
new public TV news outlets

prepared to covered the events.

And most ominously, group
of well trained young men

arrived to Maidan almost simultaneously

with the riot police.

They infiltrated the crowd
and began provocations

with insults, stones and torches

- The Right Sector in Ukraine

represents a part of
the Ukrainian population

that has often favored fairly
extreme right-wing positions.

They had militias

that came especially
during the Maidan protests.

There were groups that were
being shipped into Kiev

where they would provide
the muscle, in effect,

for the demonstrations.

So the demonstrations went

from being relatively
peaceful political protests

to being increasingly violent.

The first
step in any detective work

is to establish a motive.

It is now said that Serhiy Lyovochkin

is held in high esteem by
his powerful US friends.

Outraged by what was reported in the news,

the Ukrainian people came
out in force on the next day

to vent their anger
with the police actions.

- The violence started to take off when?

As veiled and masked

as the color revolutions can be,

an attentive viewer can
see a subtle patterns

and similarities revealing
their true nature.

To make crowds act as one obedient group,

they have to be united
at the unconscious level.

The masterminds of color
revolutions know this well

and have perfected the art.

Symbolism is one of
the most powerful tools

to achieve this end.

Revolutionary political organizations

with surprisingly similar names

and even more similar logos

have appeared time and again

almost as omens marking the
countries that would be hit

by the color plague next.

They are often described
as being aware and active,

when they're actually trained and radical.

They are the ones who take the first shot,

literal and metaphorical

to transform the peaceful protests

into full-blown coup d'etats.

Their fingerprints can be found everywhere

on the map of color revolutions.

Using all the experience
of past generations,

simple but effective tools

like catchy singalongs
and chanting are employed.

Well known
for exciting the crowd

and creating the group identity,

they depersonalize individuals

and make them easier to manipulate.

one such organization,

Hromadske. tv, received generous donations

from the Dutch and US embassies

as well as from the
Renaissance Foundation,

an NGO founded by George Soros.

- I've set up a foundation in Ukraine

before Ukraine became
independent of Russia

and the foundation has
been functioning ever since

and it played a important
part in events now.

"I like criticism,

"but it must be my way,” Mark Twain.

- Did you see any evidence
of US involvement?

Did you feel a presence from the US?

- We will be back here, on this square,

to celebrate with you a Ukraine

that stands together with Europe

and stands with the United States.

- Well, members of congress
were visiting Ukraine

during that period.

Most famously, Congressman John McCain.

So some of the people who were
challenging their government,

their elected government at that point,

were being told by the senior US official,

a person who ran for president,

and a top official in the US Congress

that the US was with them.

- I'm senator John McCain
and it's always a pleasure

to be back in Ukraine

- Senator McCain was, in
a sense, giving the people

in the Maidan a feeling
that they had the backing

of the most powerful country on Earth.

- This is about the future
you want for your country.

This is about the future you deserve.

- Who was your highest level
contact at the US government

in this period?

- And the US Ambassador?

- In early February of 2014

as the Maidan crisis was
getting more violent,

there was a phone call
that was intercepted.

It was a call between the
Assistant Secretary of State

for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland,

and the US Ambassador to
Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.

- Questions of credibility
are being raised

after a private chat
between two top US diplomats

was leaked online.

I think Yats is the guy

who's got the economic experience,

the governing experience.

What he needs is Klitsch
and Tyahnybok on the outside

I just think Klitsch going in,

he's going to be at that
level working for Yatsenyuk,

it's just not going to work.

Yeah, no,
I think that's right.

Okay, good, do you want us to
try to set up a call with him

as the next step?
- Sullivan's come back to me,

VFR saying you need Biden
and I said probably tomorrow

for an atta-boy and to
get the deets to stick.

So Biden's willing.
- Okay.

- So you had this remarkable phone call

where you have these two senior officials

of the US government
apparently talking about coup

or how they were planning

to restructure the government of Ukraine.

- Fuck the EU.
- No, exactly.

- I'm not saying the whole
US government feels that way.

There is division on this,

but the neoconservative
element wants very much

to change the strategic
dynamic in the eastern Europe.

The neocons are very smart people

and they've been at this for a long time.

They came in around the
issue of propaganda.

They studied how to create hot buttons

for the American people.

They had this experience

when they were getting the
American people to get excited

about Central America back in the 1980s.

- Sandinista regular
army, their ground force

is being equipped now
with Russian artillery.

- And they've been applying

those same strategies ever since.

They remain very dedicated
to achieving their goals.

They still want to get rid
of certain governments.

They want a regime change
in Syria, for instance.

Regime change in Iran.

They're very skilled at this

and they have a lot of allies
now inside the news media,

inside the government,

and that means that they can do a lot

to control the narrative of any story.

- I think in america these days

we have somehow told ourselves

that there are a lot of ways
of dealing with these problems

other than hard power.

Viadimir Putin cares about hard power.

- The neoconservatives
can now demonize a leader

of a country.

That sells with the american people.

So you don't just argue a
policy, you attack the leader.

So the neoconservatives
became very skilled

at picking out leaders,
finding their ugly traits,

and then highlighting them.

Yanukovich, you might say

was a rather clunky political leader,

but you make him into a devil.

He's totally corrupt and he's evil

and he wants to kill people in the Maidan,

these wonderful
white-hatted demonstrators.

You've got a black hat versus white hat.

And you keep repeating that basic scenario

and it works with American people.

- You got to realize
what Viadimir Putin is.

He's an old KGB colonel that wants

to restore the Russian empire

- You make them into demons

and the American people find that,

the way they can understand the world.

Once that happens, it's very
difficult for journalists

or anyone else to say,

hold it, that guy, he's
got more of a gray hat

than a white hat or a black hat.

And if you say that, you're
suddenly a Yanukovich apologist

or you're a Putin apologist

and then the attacks come
onto the person saying it,

the journalist, the academic or whoever.

Any good
director will tell you

that tempo and rhythm are
the most essential components

to hold an audience's attention.

It can also be
called a method of betrayal

when the allies and followers
are relentlessly thrown

into the revolutionary flame.

The idea is simple.

When the preparation work is done,

the trigger just needs to be pulled

to set the machine into full motion.

The murder of politician Rafik Hariri

led the Cedar Revolution.

Looking back at the mysterious poisoning

of Viktor Yushchenko

right before the Orange
Revolution of 2004,

we now see that he became
the sacred victim himself.

Most political analysts believe

that compassion of the
Ukrainian people at that moment

tilted the scales, giving
him the presidency.

The number of victims among protesters

during Euromaidan totalled over 100.

They are called the Heavenly Hundred.

All the sacred victims were
immediately mythologized.

The beating of students
on November 30th, 2013

was the obvious trigger of Euromaidan.

Those who sent trained
provocateurs to the square

very well realized that peaceful
protesters were the ones

who would get hurt the most.

It's hard to keep protests
going for months on end.

Tensions subside and people
inevitably get tired.

Holidays are also a big danger

for revolutionary masterminds.

People want to be home with
their families and friends,

and one needs to get
inventive to keep people

in a cold tent city.

On Christmas day of
2013, tabloid journalist

and political wannabe, Tetiana Chornovol

was chosen to become the tool

to whip the protests on Maidan back up.

- A civic activist and journalist

known for investigating corruption
amongst senior officials

was beaten outside Ukraine's
capital on Christmas.

Her heroic
deeds as a reported

looked more like petty crimes.

Trespassing on the presidential residence

of Viktor Yanukovich,

leading a rioting crowd

to seize the Kiev City
administration building,

breaking into a car of the
security service of Ukraine.

It looked like Tetiana was
more interested in making news

than reporting it, and
gaining name recognition

that could be turned into votes

for her struggling political career

in the opposition party Fatherland.

She gave the world media a
Christmas present in 2013

when she was cruelly beaten

by unknown assailants on the road.

Despite the fact that in just three days

all the suspects were
arrested and confessed

to beating Tetiana during
a road rage incident,

world media kept insisting
upon the political background

of that crime.

Instantaneously, Tetiana
became a heroic martyr

uniting people around her image.

- The beating, coming amid
political turmoil in Ukraine,

this has drawn a protest.

was once again center stage

and Tetiana in less than two
months after the assault,

she was already healthy enough

to attack the office of Party of Regions,

the party of Viktor Yanukovich.

One of the staff members,

65-year-old IT specialist,
Viadimir Zaharov

was killed during the attack

So, where is Tetiana now?

Well, she finally got
her position of power

in the new government.

One month later the time for
another act in the play came.

Armenian Ukrainian
protester Sergei Nigoyan

was one of the first to arrive on Maidan.

He wasn't radical or violent

but instead, naive and full of hope.

Watching Sergei read a patriotic poem

is like watching a casting tape

for the role of a sacred victim.

Sergei got the part.

Betrayed by his brothers in arms,

this video would eventually go viral

after Sergei was killed
early in the morning

of January 22nd, 2014.

The circumstances of his death
remain unknown to this day

even though the whole area

of protest was heavily
filmed at that time.

There were no records or witnesses
to help the investigation

and his body was moved immediately

from the scene of the crime.

Sergei became the first
killed martyr of Euromaidan.

And in a heartbeat,

the police officers were
appointed as his killers.

Almost two years later,

the official investigation
would still deliver no results.

Now it is widely believed
Nigoyan's murder was staged

by provocateurs to escalate the conflict.

God speaks to people with
the language of signs.

On January 26, 2014, Pope
Francis prayed for Ukraine,

addressing thousands of
people at St. Peter's Square

in Vatican City.

After the prayer, two
white doves were released

from the papal window and
were immediately attacked

by a crow and seagull.

Those who understand the language

could easily read the
meaning of this omen.

Soon, great forces, the
seagull and the crow,

would be tearing apart two
Slavic nations, the white doves.

This omen gave hope to
the Ukrainian people,

saying that by God's will,
the doves would be saved

but it also predicted severe
hardship and many victims.

The events which could
enter into the history

of the color revolutions

as the most massive human sacrifice yet

arrived right on
schedule, one month later.

For weeks,
this European capital

has been the scene of a violent uprising.

Today, the bloodiest day yet.

The protesters are pushing up

towards the government district.

Armed here with Molotov cocktails,

but we saw handguns and shotguns too.

There are casualties on both sides.

- She just said that there
are six dead people up there.

Not just injured, dead.

They said they've been hit by snipers.

And here again
we meet our old acquaintance

from Narodniy Rukh, Andriy Parubiy,

who was at the peak of his glory

as a self-proclaimed commandant of Maidan,

which basically means the leader
of the radical opposition.

The protesters
were filmed leading a long line

of riot police away.

It's not clear where
they were taking them.

67 officers are currently
reported to be missing.

- 14 policemen dead and 43 wounded?

Earlier from
inside the protest camp,

the opposition leader Vitali Klitschko

urged his supporters to stay put.

Each of you here should stay
strong in spirit, he said,

because we're not going anywhere.

Like in 2004,
during the Orange Revolution,

the international leaders
felt it necessary to intervene

and bring both sides to
the negotiating table.

Laurent Fabius,

Frank-Walter Steinmeier,
Radoslaw Sikorski.

The Ukrainian
president and the leaders

of the anti-government protests there

have agreed on a truce.

The truce was to give talks

between President Yanukovich
and the opposition a chance.

Just like in 2004,

the opposition or at
least its radical faction,

the Right Sector, headed by Dmitri Yarosh

had no intention of fulfilling
his part of the bargain

- The opposition leaders left saying

they may have found a
way to end the bloodshed,

but they wanted to take the conclusions

from their meeting to the people.

It was soon apparent that
the people were not happy.

At the same time,

Kiev was saying its last goodbyes

to the victims of the massacre.

It was also welcoming those who
came to power at their cost.

parliament has voted

for new speaker of the assembly
to become interim president.

Oleksandr Turchynov called on lawmakers

to form an interim government by Tuesday.

These latest developments
follow the dismissal

of President Viktor
Yanukovich on Saturday.

- And they removed Yanukovich

not following the constitutional
procedures for impeachment.

The parliament
of Ukraine consists

of 450 deputies.

The constitution of Ukraine requires

at least a 3/4 majority to vote.

In other words, 338 votes
in favor of the impeachment,

but only 328 deputies voted yes.

- The US state department
almost immediately said

this was a legitimate government

and that was a part of this
effort to get regime change.

Instead of trying to find some way

to revive the February 21st agreement

or maybe you could bring back Yanukovich

in some titular way,

that became not a possibility anymore.

Then you had eastern Ukraine resisting,

you had Crimea wanting to break away,

and things rapidly escalate.

Voters will decide Sunday

whether they'll leave
Ukraine and join Russia.

The campaign with the slogan,

together with Russia, has
the backing of Moscow.

- The Crimea situation, the referendum,

is also happening during
this period very quickly.

Crimean authorities,

sensing the mood of the populace,

fully supported Viktor
Yanukovich's decision

to postpone the 2013 European
Union association deal,

and side deeper ties to Russia.

As the events in Kiev took their course,

Crimean authorities issued a declaration,

putting into words the
fears of its people:

"based on the will of the
Crimeans who elected us,

"we declare that we will not give Crimea

"to extremists and neo-Nazis

"seeking to seize power in Ukraine

"at the cost of the blood of
the country and its citizens.”

After the regime change in Kiev,

rumors began spreading in Crimea

that the new authorities
would be merciless

to those that oppose them.

This led to the
pro-Russian demonstrations

rejecting the new government in Kiev.

On February 27th, the government buildings

in the capital of Crimea were seized

by pro-Russian protesters.

The current Crimean
government was dismissed

and the new leader, Sergey Aksionov,

was assigned as the leader

of the Crimean autonomous republic.

On March 16th,
the Crimean referendum was held

and the people voted to leave Ukraine

and enter the Russian federation.

The situation
in Crimea is being presented

as a Russian invasion,

and again, nobody who
looks at this seriously

and look at the poll numbers.

Some of the poll numbers done

by the US government agencies themselves

showing that people of Crimea
prefer being part of Russia.

In the US news media, it
has all been presented

as the Russians invaded,

they then staged a sham election.

With people with guns at their backs,

somehow they faked the ballot
boxes to get 96% approval

for rejoining Russia.

- The idea of referendum in Crimea

is just quite simply unconstitutional.

- But it does raise questions

on whether this vote
really is free and fair,

especially given the
heavy military presence

in Crimea right now, Errol.

- So that's how it's been
sold to the American people.

The reality is very different.

- The atmosphere here
is certainly electric.

Thousands of people have gathered

in the capital Crimean city of Simferopol.

All of this following a
referendum held last Sunday

in which the majority of people
here overwhelmingly voted

in support of being reunited with Russia.

Russia, Russia.

- What is described in the
west as a Russian invasion

of Crimea is in fact the presence

of Russian soldiers in Crimea.

Can you clarify that?

As long as
1804, Sevastopol's naval base

became the main military
port of the Russian empire

on the Black Sea.

During the Second World War,

the heroic defense of
Sevastopol lasted almost a year

and took hundreds of thousands of lives.

Therefore, the naval base
in Crimea has a legacy

of historical pride for the
Russian Black Sea fleet,

as well as being of huge
strategic importance.

- Those of us alive back then remember

when there were Soviet
missiles put into Cuba,

how frightened Americans
were and how angry

and how we almost went to
a nuclear confrontation

over having weapons of that
kind of destruction placed

that close to the United States.

If the United
States considers Cuba

to be in its backyard,

then Crimea lays at Russia's doorstep.

- The consequences of a
US seizure of that base,

or a NATO base?

- If we're attacked, we
would certainly respond.

- I am concerned about
the expansion of NATO.

NATO has expanded into 13 countries

up to the borders of Russia, 13 countries.

In early spring of 2014,

eastern Ukraine was also
buzzing with protests

against the new authorities in Kiev.

This region, with a
population close to Russia

geographically and culturally,

feared that the newly
formed ultra-right leanings

of the newly formed government

would bring neo-nationalism
to their lands,

and they had their reasons.

The status of the Russian
language in Ukraine

has been a stumbling block for many years.

Implementing Russian

as the second state language

was one of the main campaign promises

of President Viktor Yanukovich.

In 2012, the
Yanukovich government passed a law

making it the second official language

in the southern and
eastern parts of Ukraine,

the areas where the
Russian-speaking population

makes up a majority.

Ukrainian nationalist groups

initiated massive
protests opposing the law.

An observing viewer might see
some familiar faces there.

On February 23rd, 2014,

the very next day after the regime change,

the new government voted for an annulment

of the official status
of the Russian language,

and even though later
this decision was vetoed

by the acting president
Oleksandr Turchynov,

it still sent a message,
and a powerful one.

This alarmed the Russian-speaking
cities of eastern Ukraine

and people took to the streets
to show their disagreement.

In response, the pro-Maidan groups

conducted their own demonstrations.

When the two parties would
meet, it was always tense

and eventually it lead to tragedy.

One person died and over
50 people were wounded

in clashes during a pro-Russian march

protesting the new government in Kiev.

On April 6th, the Crimean
scenario began repeating

in eastern Ukraine,

where protesters seized
government buildings.

And the next day, April 7th,

they proclaimed Donetsk,
people's republic.

Kiev replied by announcing the beginning

of an anti-terrorist
operation in eastern Ukraine.

By that time, the international
media was screaming

about a Russian invasion in Ukraine.

- Russia could now be on the
verge of invading Ukraine.

But strong words
stayed only in the media.

The Ukrainian authorities

never announced a war-like situation.


"IMF cannot give money
to countries engaged

in ongoing war," Petro Poroshenko.

Too much money
was already invested in Ukraine

to stop half way.

invested over $5 billion

to assist Ukraine in these and other goals

that will ensure a secure and prosperous

and democratic Ukraine.

Obviously, the
funds had to keep coming

and the conflict had to keep going,

getting more and more bloody and deadly.

As parties from both sides

were using more sophisticated
and lethal weapons.

The world seemed too busy

welcoming this new democracy in Kiev

to notice what was being done

as it spread its wings over the country.

Many in southern Ukraine

had been viewing the
revolution with concern

And an
anti-Maidan movement formed

in the city of Odessa
in early January 2014.

The protesters set up their camp in front

of the Trade Union house,

a building which would
soon become a monument

to a massacre of its own.

It's difficult to overestimate
the importance of Odessa.

It is strategically
located on the Black Sea

and it's Ukraine's largest seaport.

It's not surprising that
Ukraine's new authorities

were watching the
situation unfolding there

with growing alarm.

More and more of Odessa's people

were joining the anti-Maidan movement

at the same time as events

in eastern Ukraine were heating up.

The new Ukrainian government
didn't have the power

to wage war on too many fronts.

If Odessa were to join
the growing uprising

in the eastern regions,

it would seriously
complicate the situation.

This rebellion had to be
extinguished immediately

and at any cost, and that cost was high.

On May 2nd, 2014, soccer fans flocked

to the center of Odessa city

for the Ukrainian championship match.

Surprisingly, a great number of these fans

who descended into Odessa
just the night before

also turned out to be fighters

from the Maidan self-defense units,

along with members of
radical organizations

from all parts of Ukraine.

These fans, masked, armed,

and shouting nationalistic mottos

began disturbances in
the center of the city

as they marched to the
anti-Maidan tent encampments

where they attacked.

The anti-Maidan protesters sought shelter

in the Trade Union
house, but it was a trap.

Maidan supporters started
throwing Molotov cocktails

into the building until
it was engulfed in flames.

People burnt to death
inside or trying to escape,

jumped from the windows.

Although the fire station
was less than a mile away,

it took almost half an hour
for firefighters to arrive.

When they finally did,
the damage had been done.

But here is an intriguing fact.

Just a few days before
those dreadful events,

a messenger from Maidan, Andriy Parubiy,

made a visit to Odessa.

It's an interesting coincidence

that some of people he met with in Odessa

were seen at the scene that fateful day.

But not everyone was mourning.

On the popular political
talkshow Shuster Live,

the news about the people
burnt alive in Odessa

was welcomed with a
long round of applause.

On its Facebook page,

the Right Sector announced
the events of May 2nd

a proud moment of national history.

An official investigation
into this sad event

has been going on now for nearly two years

and it's yet to reach a conclusion.

But it seems the experts had
all the information they needed

from the very beginning.

It looks like Odessa

really is a very important
piece of real estate,

as it was honored with a
very special new governor,

appointed on May 30th of 2015.

Mikheil Saakhashvili, an old
friend of the United States,

and born and raised

in Ukraine's neighboring country Georgia.

- A little hoedown there in Georgia.

A quick look at his biography

gives one an understanding
that he's been groomed

for a special mission.

Mr. Saakashvili

received a US state department scholarship

and he worked for a New York law firm

which represented the organization Kmara,

a group that appeared earlier

when we learned about
the color revolutions.

- We are dealing with
democratic bloodless revolution.

This is
the Revolution of Roses

and this is Mikheil
Saakashvili with Kmara,

busy overthrowing the
legitimately elected president,

Edward Shevarnadze.

- Remove the government by peaceful means.

That's classic, really European.

I'm proud of it.

Soon after the
Rose Revolution blossomed fully,

Georgia announced its
intentions to join NATO

and plant fresh NATO military bases

in the fertile soil
right on Russia's border.

- Never ever will we give
our freedom and independence.

Never ever will we give
any piece of our territory.

mission was accomplished

at least with his friends in NATO.

The Georgian populace wasn't
quite as happy, though.

In 2007, they took to the
streets to voice discontent

and Mr. Saakashvili responded with force.

The people's discontent was grew.

Saakashvili's party lost
parliamentary elections

and the opposition took control.

He said this means

that the parliamentary majority

should set up a new government
and me as a president,

according to our constitution.

Mikheil decided not to wait

for the results of the
president's election

and fled the country in October 2013.

In 2014, Saakashvili refused
summons to appear in court

as a witness in several criminal cases.

Later that same year,

he was accused of misuse
of power and embezzlement.

Saakashvili wound up in the US

and soon his friends in Washington

found him a new assignment.

Mikheil actively supported Maidan

and very soon was rewarded
with a high position

in the new Ukrainian government,

first as a the president's counselor,

and then as the governor of Odessa.

The day before taking this position,

he renounced his citizenship to Georgia,

the country of his birth, and
became a Ukrainian citizen.

As they say,
the battle is worth the blood

both literally and figuratively.

Geoffrey Pyatt,
the US Ambassador to Ukraine

paid a visit to Saakashvili just a month

after he took office in Odessa.

- And as long as the Odessa administration

is delivering results on Ukraine,

you're going to see a steady flow

of embassy and Washington
visitors coming here.

The meeting was fruitful

and Geoffrey, generous.

No matter how well Saakashvili's job goes,

it looks like he shouldn't be worried

about his own finances.

On his Facebook page, he
posted an official document

showing that the new governor of Odessa

gets a pretty penny from
Washington, almost $200,000 a year.

For comparison, the governor
of Maine gets $70,000 a year.

So if Odessa became a new US state,

it would be at the top of the list.

Mr. Saakashvili should feel right at home

in his newly adopted country.

He is best of friends

with fellow color revolutionary
leader, Viktor Yushchenko,

who is the godfather of his son.

A war, once launched,

doesn't choose its victims.

- We are just learning at this
hour that Malaysian Airlines

has now confirmed that it has lost contact

with one of its planes.

- The plane was indeed
shot down by a missile

while flying at a high
altitude over eastern Ukraine

near the Russian border.

298, revised number of souls
on board, all feared dead.

- It was a murder, it was a crime.

There's been this odd nonchalance

about pursuing the answers.

There was a report, a very limited report

put out a few months after the event.

But since then, they said
the next report will be

on the first anniversary of the event.

But you deal with a criminal investigation

before it becomes a cold case,

so there's been this curious element

of why is there not greater
pressure from both the media

and the Western governments
to answer these questions.

But even without any answers,

the fingers were pointed immediately.

- That's not an accident.

That is happening because
of Russian support.

Evidence indicates that
the plane was shot down

by a surface-to-air missile

that was launched from the
area that is controlled

by Russian-backed separatists
inside of Ukraine.

The Malaysian
Boeing wasn't the first plane

to play a significant part

in American-Russian relationships.

On September 1st 1983,
Korean Airlines flight 007

from New York to Seoul via
Anchorage was shot down

by a Soviet interceptor
aircraft over territory

of the USSR in the Sea of Japan.

- There was absolutely no justification,

either legal or moral,
for what the Soviets did.

The tragedy
of the Korean Boeing

was considered a perfect occasion

to demonstrate the NATO military power

within dangerous proximity to the Soviets.

On November 2nd, 1983,
NATO launched Able Archer,

a 10-day command post exercise

simulating a conflict escalation

culminating in a nuclear attack.

It was followed

by placing Pershing II
nuclear missiles in Europe.

What Reagan didn't take into consideration

was the paranoid
overreaction of the Soviets.

A recently declassified US
intelligence report shows that

for the first time since
the Cuban missile crisis

the world was that close to nuclear war.

Just like in 1983, the
Malaysian Boeing crash

was leveraged against the enemy.

A new wave of sanctions hit Russia

immediately after the tragedy.

- The United States is
imposing new sanctions

in key sectors of the Russian economy.

Almost a year
and three months later,

the Dutch Safety Board published a report.

- Ladies and gentlemen,
Flight MH17 crash was caused

because of a 9M314M warhead
detonated outside the airplane

off the left side of the cockpit.

The report didn't blame

any specific group or person

and estimated a very wide
area of 320 kilometers

as the zone from which
the missile was fired.

At the same time,

the Russian producer of
Buk missiles, Almaz-Antey,

conducted its own
independent investigation.

During the experiment,

they blew up retired
airliner with a Buk missile

and came to the conclusion

that the Malaysian plane was brought down

by the older type of missiles,
not used by Russia anymore

but still in the possession of Ukraine.

The company claims that
the missile was launched

from the territory controlled
by the Ukrainian military.

One would expect that
these controversial results

would again stir up public
interest in the investigation,

but the tragedy of Malaysian flight MH17

had already played its role
in the big geopolitical game.

Therefore, it was soon forgotten.

The goal was achieved.

After the third wave of
sanctions hit Russia,

the tensions between the
two countries skyrocketed,

so the question presents itself:

are we truly witnessing the
beginning of Cold War 2.0?

And if so, what are our chances
to survive it this time?

In 1947, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

introduced the Doomsday Clock.

It represents a countdown to
global nuclear annihilation.

In 1953, during the
height of the Cold War,

it came its closest to midnight

as the superpowers were creating
massive nuclear arsenals.

This is the story

of America's ever-expanding
atomic weapons program.

As the world began
to grasp the insane danger

of nuclear warfare and took measures

to control the arms race,

the situation steadily improved.

In 1991, the Doomsday Clock was its

at furthest from midnight, 17 minutes.

That time of hope was short-lived, though,

as the world has become
more and more unstable.

But in 2015, the Bulletin
of Atomic Scientists

moved the clock to just
three minutes to midnight.

- Today, unchecked climate
change and a nuclear arms race

resulting from modernization
of huge arsenals

pose extraordinary and undeniable threats

to the continued existence of humanity.

The United States and Russia

have embarked on massive programs

to modernize their nuclear arsenals,

undermining the existing
nuclear weapons treaties.

The clock ticks now at just
three minutes to midnight

because international leaders are failing

to perform their most important duty:

ensuring and preserving
the health and vitality

of human civilization.