Coffee House

Ukraine’s turmoil highlights Vladimir Putin’s battle lines

23 February 2014

1:38 PM

23 February 2014

1:38 PM

After two decades in the economic basket, Russia is decisively back as an ideological force in the world — this time as a champion of conservative values. In his annual state of the nation speech to Russia’s parliament in December, Vladimir Putin assured conservatives around the world that Russia was ready and willing to stand up for ‘family values’ against a tide of liberal, western, pro-gay propaganda ‘that asks us to accept without question the equality of good and evil’. Russia, he promised, will ‘defend traditional values that have made up the spiritual and moral foundation of civilisation in every nation for thousands of years’.

Crucially, Putin made it clear that his message was directed not only at Russians — who have already been protected from ‘promotion of non-traditional relationships’ by recent legislation — but for ‘more and more people across the world who support our position’.


He’s on to something. Ukraine’s near-revolutionary turmoil this week pits East versus West — but it’s also a culture war between social conservatives and social liberals. The forces against the government in Kiev tend to be aligned with the EU and modern ‘democratic values’, including gay rights; whereas government supporters tend to be more Russophile and their banners include ones that say ‘EURO = HOMO’. These are precisely the battle lines on which Putin has raised his conservative ideological standard.

This is an extract from Owen Matthews’ cover piece on Vladimir Putin’s global ambitions in this week’s Spectator. Click here to read the full article.

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Show comments
  • Dean Jackson

    The CNN article reads, “Freed from prison, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko returned Saturday to the battleground capital the same day the country’s president said he left Kiev because of a “coup.”’

    She’s back, as we all knew she would be in this Communist melodrama! Yulia Tymoshenko, the Soviet era Communist Party member Quisling has returned to Communist adulation to pick up the stricken red banner left lying on the ground by her comrade in arms, fellow Soviet era Communist Party member Quisling, Viktor Yanukovych. In fact, all the presidents of the Ukraine post USSR have been inexplicably Soviet era Communist Party Quislings! Russia too. Georgia too, except for the first president, a trial run by Communist strategists to see how well non-Communist Party dissidents could be controlled while in the president’s office. Well, events didn’t turn out well for poor Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who didn’t even last nine months in office before he was ousted in a coup, later said to have committed “suicide”.

    Presidents of Russia, Georgia and the Ukraine since the “collapse” of the USSR, and their political affiliation before the “collapse” (cut off date June 30, 2013):


    Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin – July 10, 1991 – December 31, 1999 – Communist.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – 31 December 1999 – 7 May 2000 (Acting) and May 7, 2000 – May 7, 2008 – Communist.

    Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev – May 7, 2008 – May 7, 2012, during his studies at the University he joined the Communist Party.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – May 7, 2012 – Present, Communist.


    Zviad Gamsakhurdia – April 14, 1991 – January 6, 1992, not Communist (dissident).

    Eduard Shevardnadze – November 26, 1995 – November 23, 2003, 1948, Communist.

    Nino Burjanadze – November 23, 2003 – January 25, 2004, Communist.

    Mikheil Saakashvili – 25 January 2004 – 25 November 2007, Communist.

    Nino Burjanadze – November 25, 2007 – January 20, 2008 (Acting), Communist.

    Mikheil Saakashvili – January 20, 2008 – November 17, 2013, Communist.


    Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk, December 5, 1991 – July 19, 1994, joined Ukraine Communist Party in 1958.

    Leonid Danylovych Kuchma, July 19, 1994 – January 23, 2005, Communist, 1960.

    Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko, January 23, 2005 – February 25, 2010, Communist, 1980.

    Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, February 25, 2010 – Present, Communist, 1980.

    Since when do those once freed from a dictatorial Communist regime elect for president the same people who were party members in the previous regime that for 75 years persecuted the 95% of the population who were never Communist Party members? They don’t. Ask any black South African about that if you’re unsure.

    Now, what are protesters doing guarding President Yanukovych’s countryside home?!

    The photo caption reads, “A protester guards the entrance to Ukrainian President Yanukovych’s countryside residence in Mezhyhirya, Kiev’s region, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb, 22, 2014. Viktor Yanukovych is not in his official residence of Mezhyhirya, which is about 20 km (12.5 miles) north of the capital. Ukrainian security and volunteers from among the Independence Square protesters have joined forces to protect the presidential countryside retreat from vandalism and looting. Yanukovych left Kiev for his support base in the country’s Russian-speaking east, but an aide said that he has no intention of abandoning power.”

    CNN subtly explains who those “protesters” are when it says, “In several cities, people have toppled statues of Vladimir Lenin, a founder of the Soviet Union. The communist empire had included Ukraine until it gained independence in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union.”

    Get it? The demonstrations in Kiev were manufactured by the government (I explain why further down), but now spontaneous demonstrations have erupted throughout the nation, necessitating the stretched-thin security forces to press into service the government-approved protesters!

    Ask yourself why were those hated statues of Lenin still standing 23-years after the “collapse” of the USSR? The Communist Party in the Ukraine was only 5% of the population when the USSR collapsed in 1991, meaning all of Lenin’s statues would have been torn down by the end of 1991 (the “collapse” of the USSR took place on December 26, 1991).

    Here’s why Lenin’s statues weren’t taken down either by local governments in the Ukraine…

    After the collapse of the South African Apartheid regime in 1994 the South African Defense Forces was reorganized, where (1) the number of black officers were dramatically increased, and the number of white officers decreased by being pensioned out.—-83/Working%20Paper%2021%20-%20%20Licklider.pdf

    Guess what happened to the 90% Communist Party-dominated Soviet officer corps after the “collapse” of the USSR? Nothing! They all stayed in-place after the “collapse”, and the West never (1) demanded verification of the “collapse”, even though the survival of the West demanded verification (you never thought about “verification”, huh?); and (2) sent military/civilian teams into the “former” USSR to assist the “freed” Soviets to transition the Communist-dominated Soviet Military Forces into a non-Communist dominated military force for the 15 republics that emerged from the “collapse” of the USSR.

    What does the above mean concerning these protests in Kiev, you ask? Read on and find out…

    These protests are manufactured by Moscow in union with the Ukrainian government to facilitate Kiev “giving in” to the protesters’ demand that the Ukraine join the European Union Association, the ultimate purpose for joining so that the Ukraine will be one of the first nations to leave the EU, after it formally joins the EU, resulting in its collapse; the Ukraine’s exit will have a more dramatic effect because the Ukraine put up such a fight to join the EU in the first place. Europe will then form a new union with Russia, from the ‘Atlantic to Vladivostok’, which will accomplish two goals for Communist Strategists, (1) the further isolation of the United States in the world; and (2) the end of NATO…

    Read more: Viktor Yanukovych: Arrest Warrant Issued |

    Now read these two revealing quotes from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and former Soviet minister of foreign affairs Eduard Shevardnadze, and what they have in mind for you in the near future:

    “Editor’s Note: The phrases ‘From the Atlantic to the Urals’, ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’ and ‘From Vancouver to Vladivostok’ are interchangeable in the strategists’ lexicon. In the course of his Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, delivered in Oslo in June 1992, Gorbachev said: ‘Our [sic] vision of the European space from the Atlantic to the Urals is not that of a closed system. Since it includes the Soviet Union [sic], which reaches to the shores of the Pacific, it goes beyond nominal geographical boundaries’. Note that Gorbachev, who had been out of office for six months, referred to the Soviet Union, not Russia. In an interview on Moscow Television on 19 November 1991, Eduard Shevardnadze continued speaking as though he was still Soviet Foreign Minister: ‘I think that the idea of a Common European Home, the building of a united Europe, and I would like to underline today, of great Europe, the building of Great Europe, great, united Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, from the Atlantic to Vladivostok, including all our territory, most probably a European-Asian space, this project is inevitable. I am sure that we will come to building a united military space as well. To say more precisely: we will build a united Europe, whose security will be based on the principles of collective security. Precisely, collective security’. These statements by key implementers of the strategy reflect the central strategic objective of asserting ‘irreversible’ Russian/Soviet hegemony over Eurasia, thus establishing the primary geographical component of the intended World Government.” — ‘The Perestroika Deception’, by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn…

    For those unfamiliar with this subject, the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991 was a strategic ruse under the “Long-Range Policy” (LRP). What is the LRP, you ask? The LRP is the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with. The last major disinformation operation under the LRP was the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991.

    The next major disinformation operation under the LRP will be the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government. When that occurs, Taiwan will be stymied from not joining the mainland. This is why China is buying up gold all over the word. It is believed that China currently has 3,000 [metric] tonnes of gold. When China has 6,000 [metric] tonnes it will have the minimum gold reserves necessary for its currency, the yuan, to replace the United States’ dollar as the world’s reserve currency, that is after the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government (the United States gold reserves is approximately 8,133.5 [metric] tonnes).

    Of course, the fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Moscow & Allies, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”. Notice that not one political party in the West demanded verification, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    “Krasnaya Zvezda” is Russian (no kidding!) for “Red Star”, the official newspaper of Soviet and later Russian Ministry of Defense. The paper’s official designation is, “Central Organ of the Russian Ministry of Defense.” Note the four Soviet emblems next to the still existing Soviet era masthead, one of which pictures Lenin’s head, the man who removed the independent Russian nation from the map, supplanting it within the new nation called the USSR (the USSR being the nation that was to one day include all the nations of the Earth, incorporation taking place either by violent revolution or deception)! Those Soviet emblems and Lenin’s head can’t still be next to the masthead of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s newspaper due to their association with the Soviet Union and its ideals of world revolution; the nations of the world constituting the Soviet Union!

    For more on the “Long-Range Policy”, read KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn’s books, “New Lies for Old” and “The Perestroika Deception”, the only Soviet era defector to still be under protective custody in the West:

    The following is an excellent brief three-page introduction to Golitsyn and his significance in understanding Communist long-range strategy:


    The Kiev demonstrations were controlled by the Ukrainian government, but the demonstrations have now gone spontaneous throughout the nation, meaning those demonstrations aren’t controlled by the government in Kiev, therefore naturally people are tearing down statues of Lenin that they would have torn down 23-years ago. That’s why the security forces are using Kiev demonstrators to guard the president’s countryside residence, because (1) the security forces were taken by surprise by the independent demonstrations throughout the nation; and (2) are using what we now know to be the government-created Kiev demonstrators to guard government property (if the Kiev demonstrators were really independent, they wouldn’t be assisting the security forces, would they?).

    You see, many of those Kiev demonstrators ARE security forces attired in civilian clothing, so the security forces are stretched thin, since many have to remain in Kiev pretending to be demonstrators.

  • Augustus

    Culture war? It’s about time the EU learnt from the past. Corrupt countries without a decent rule of law shouldn’t be given support or reassurance. Naive Euro politicians insist on giving Ukrainians false hopes. And to start dishing out billions is not wise, and neither is promising prospective accession to the Union. The EU has had enough problems in recent years with the integration of countries that don’t operate a proper legal system, and/or are full of corruption, to make the same mistake yet again.

  • Graeme S

    Putin is playing a blinder ….. the west and specifically the EU element are being made to look like fools …. which is exactly what they are. Its amazing that the media continually moan on Russian anti gay legislation, I don’t care … no , I really really don’t care.

  • pdhan

    Oh dear, another tory being seduced by Putin’s macho charms. It is nonsense, of course – the Ukrainian opposition clearly aren’t all social liberals but have a large element of both religious and (worryingly) far right factions.

  • rtj1211

    Excuse me ‘in the economic basket for 2 decades’??

    I’d love Britain to be an economic basket case with the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Russia. Love Britain to be an economic basket case with the debt:GDP ratio of Russia. Love Britain to be an economic basket case with income tax at 15%.

    All credibility of this journal disappears when you wage an ideological campaign against Russia and all things Putin with no grasp of basic facts.

    You are CIA/MI6 pen pushers and should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • Kennybhoy

      Does that make you an FSB shill?

    • pp22pp

      He’s obviously not a native speaker of English, but that does not alter the fact that his comments on the UK economy are largely correct.

  • Noa

    Where is the benefit to Britain on involving ourselves in this mess?

    “…history is littered with instances of Western leaders and foreign-policy establishments choosing one side against another in volatile countries around the world and unleashing conflict in the process. But what is different today, in Ukraine, and also in places like Syria, is how incredibly amateurish, kneejerk and
    ill-thought-through such Western interference has become. In the past,
    when foreign policy analysts and diplomats had some sense of what their
    nation’s interests were and how such interests might be carefully and, where necessary, ruthlessly pursued in the global arena, careful thought was given to engagement and action in foreign fields: groundwork was done; political groups were sussed out and cultivated; relationships were developed. In Ukraine, by contrast, Western leaders conferred almost instantaneous political legitimacy on to an ill-organised Occupy-style camp that has its fair share of eccentric protesters, including extreme right-wing groups and anti-Semites, and they seem to have given no thought whatsoever, far less analytical resources, to what
    were likely to be the consequences of their actions. So now they are alarmed that there is seriously violent conflict in a European country and they are punishing Ukrainian leaders with sanctions.

    As a result of a hollowing-out of Western foreign policy, of the death of serious Western engagement in world affairs and its replacement by a diplomacy that has more in common with the short-term politics of spin than with the interest-driven politics of empire, Western governments now frequently pursue courses of action that end up both destabilising foreign countries and harming their own interests in the long term. For Western politicians to do such things in Syria, where they have also intensified conflict by handpicking a new ‘legitimate
    government’ and thoroughly isolating the country’s ruler, is bad enough; but for them to do something similar, if mercifully smaller-scaled, in Europe, on their own continent, in their own backyard, points to an extraordinary disconnect between what is in their national interests and how they actually behave. Ukraine is now at serious risk of becoming more deeply divided between west and east, urban and rural, Ukrainian and Russian-speakers, and the European continent has serious conflict on it – not something that is remotely beneficial to Brussels or

    • Daniel Maris

      We should recognise that Russia has some legitimate interests in Ukraine – e.g. its naval base and the ethnic Russian community. We should recognise that there are indeed some dark forces at work among the protesters.

    • Kennybhoy

      Absolutely spot on. Think Yugoslavia in the 90s but on the Russian border ffs!

  • Jez

    The crash course in Ukrainian politics for the West when taking into consideration Right Sector could be similar to finding out about Sunni & Shia or the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Shake the hornets nest with an ‘I know best’ attitude and watch everyone around you get stung badly.

    • Daniel Maris

      It’s certainly true the TV media in particular appear to be avoiding communicating the complexities. I have read references to the Right Sector but I don’t think I’ve heard it mentioned by TV reporters.

      • Jez

        We did during the Euro football tournament. It was then our media wanted to drag down the Ukrainian people for not being racially Multicultural enough.

        They obviously feel that the Western leaning Europhiles will now crush the Right Sector.


        • Kennybhoy

          Jez, Jez…

          You look for consistency and realism from the left-liberal msm…? They’re worldview has no real foundation just unanchored, free floating imperatives. Some of which are actually mutually exclusive.

  • colliemum

    “The forces against the government in Kiev tend to be aligned with the EU and modern ‘democratic values’, including gay rights; […]”

    Oh really?

    Watch this video of one major group of these forces, and you might, just might, change your view:

    • Trofim

      I understand Praviy Sektor are doing the policing of inner Kiev now, with their baseball bats at the ready. The similarity to BNP handouts I’ve seen is very striking. But I bet they’re really fluffy and gay-friendly inside.

    • Jez

      I read about these guys properly yesterday.

      They’ve been fighting against the odds for quite some time. That seem to be the legacy from the old OUN.

      To be honest this could be a huge miscalculation by the West.

      • Kennybhoy

        “To be honest this could be a huge miscalculation by the West.”

        Indeed. Far , far more serious even than the Balkans back in the 90s. Yugoslavia did not border on Russia…

  • david trant

    Hmmm who’d have thought it a cry from the heart by the Spectator for Putin to lead the ‘Conservative World’ any chance they’ll be touting him for Dave’s job?

    • MirthaTidville

      Well he would certainly do a better job!!

  • HookesLaw

    What a hilarious load of old guff.
    What a joke to see the nutjobs standing on their heads and cheering on the the totalitarian but comfortably homophobe Putin.
    Doesn’t it make you want to vomit.

    • Wessex Man

      yes he thinks ,like call me Dave he can part the waves, disgraceful isn’t it?

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      I do not cheer him on but I recognise that things look different from his position and that any Russian PM or President would act the same way. And that we are not well served by our media in the reporting of this story. They fit it into a lazy narrative. I don’t know the truth of it, but I smell a rat. Maybe Putin is the new US bogeyman, following Bin Laden, Saddam, Ghaddafi and all the leaders of the USSR.

      • Kennybhoy

        A qualified Amen to that…

        You think those you list, particularly the last, were mere bogeymen?

    • MirthaTidville

      err no

    • Kennybhoy

      Oh ffs Hooky get a grip!

  • DavidL

    Whatever the failings of Ukraine’s opposition politicians, Yanukovych was such a thug and crook that he lost even the support of the pro-Russian end of Ukraine. That’s one in the eye for Putin (no thanks to the West). Now, onwards to Venezuela.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Gay rights — how sweet of you to keep going on about that to this audience here.
    An entirely different question presents itself:

    Q: Were the $30bn expended in Sochi worth it?
    A: Of course they were! The Olympics opened up a window of opportunity (the EU played a blinder) and Ukraine took it.

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      Can’t see that 30bn in the buildings and facilities. One wonders whether this is merely an example of my pile of money theory. When ever there is a pile of money to be spent by government there is always a bunch of folks willing to take a share. HS2 is a good example, or any olympics anywhere.

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        Please refrain from mentioning the Olympic village in London ever again.

  • jazz606

    Well I just hope we (UK) have the sense to keep out of this and that the BBC reporting is completely non partisan.

    • Wessex Man

      Do you seriously think for one moment we are going to keep out of anything, as I type this our very own British COMMISSIONER Jackel from the EUSSS is winging her way there to spread the seeds of freedom accordling to our very own ex-commmunist EUSSS President!

      • jazz606

        Depressing isn’t it ?

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      WE are not ‘out of it’. Our rep, the awful Ashton, is up to her scrawny neck in it. She acts for us. Not some foreign entity called the EU which is separate from the UK. We are part of the EU, when they interfere, it IS us.

    • Kennybhoy

      “…BBC reporting is completely non partisan.”

      Yugoslavia redux…

  • Span Ows

    I think the reporting of the issues in Ukraine leave a lot to be desired: it is being increasingly made out to be poor down-trodden people rise up and tumble evil torturers. Then, after violently attacking parliament (amongst other things) the Law takes the expected response and are suddenly berated as if those attacking were hippies with flowers calling for peace. And the EU is a lot more more responsible than is being admitted (not entirely responsible of course because Ukraine is split almost down the middle but not the innocents that the lack of attention in the MSM would have us believe).

    • Span Ows

      P.S. Muahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa…MUAHAHAHAHAAA

  • Ron Todd

    Those who want closer links to Russia are more likely to openly agree with the Russian leaders policy of finding a common enemy. If Putin thinks he needs the common enemy ploy to unite the Russian people in support of his regime he must suspect that he is losing support.

  • swatnan

    This Ukrainian thing is all a conspiracy to sabotage the successful Sochi Olympics, by diverting attention away from the Games.
    And the Media have already decided Opposition Good, Govt Bad; Well in my opinion both Opposition and Govt are Bad as each other as is the case in practically all the conflicts going on all over the world at this moment; there’s one new conflict a week. Next week it’ll be the turn of Montenegro and Azerbajan.