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Dr. Stephen F. Cohen on Ukraine, by Ray Zwarich

To all the really good ones, and to all in peril on the sea, 

There are people who receive Caliban's laborious rantings who live in Russia, as well as in a number of other nations. (I maintain fairly regular communications with people all over the world). There are prominent ex-military officers, and ex-CIA officers/analysts. There are press editorial staff people, some of them at prominent publications. There are people I've known since I was a child, and those I've know since they were babies. There are also prominent academics. 

I have no way of knowing if any number of these people actually read this material. I do get encouraging feedback, however, and I'm pleased to think that these people seem to appreciate the shared imperatives I am trying to get more people to 'see'.

Professor Stephen Cohen needs no introduction among many (likely most) of the people here. He is widely regarded as our nation's pre-eminent expert on Russia. 

Dr. Cohen is a consummately excellent scholar, academic, and writer. He always projects a high degree of scientific objectivity into his analyses. He may hold 'contingent beliefs', but he himself recognizes them as such, and cites them as such. He knows the distinct difference between 'knowledge' and 'belief', and he takes great pains to differentiate between them. 

He does not believe things as 'known' until he considers them, (objectively), as 'proven'. 

He is a prolific writer. He does many podcasts, many of which are transcribed. (I prefer reading to watching or listening, simply because it is several times faster). He has a new book out, 'War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate'. (I'm sorry to sat I haven't yet read it). I just read his recent very short article (450 words) 'Why Are We in Ukraine?'.

For people not well-informed about matters and events in Ukraine, and/or Russia, I highly recommend Dr. Cohen's work. In the article linked above, the thesis to which he leads us, with his customary precision, (straightforwardly citing 'the facts' as he knows them to be), the thing he seems to most want people to 'see', is summarized in his conclusion:

".....Democrats [the US Democratic Party] are becoming a war party.......Meanwhile,as I have reported before, Russian leader Vladimir Putin continues to beaccused by hard-liners in Moscow of passivity in the face of “Americanaggression in Ukraine.....” 

"......Is it irony or tragedy", Dr. Cohen concludes, "that the often-maligned Trumpand Putin may stand between us and something much worse—between a fragile ColdWar peace and the war parties in their respective countries?"

When we consider these matters of Russia, Putin, and Ukraine, we are thinking over matters of war and peace. A imminently possible military conflict between the world's two foremost nuclear powers hangs in the balance of our predominate opinions, and those of the entire world's teeming billions. 

In short, we are considering the survival of all Humankind, including all our own children, and their children, and all whom we hold dear. 

There are many issues that cry out desperately for our attention, but none are more crucially important to our families' safety and survival than events in Ukraine. 

Some of you know that I have Ukrainian heritage. My father's parents, born in the declining years of the 19th century, immigrated from Ukraine in their late teens, not long before World War and revolution. They never spoke more than 'pidgin' English. I lived with them for long periods, over summers, when I was a young child, and well into my teens and young adulthood.  

To perhaps augment Professor Cohen's analysis ... If anyone wants to understand modern Ukraine, they need to understand who Stepan Bandera is/was. I'm only going to lightly touch on it here.  

I first saw Bandera's iconic portrait when I was 16, (1964). It was in the basement of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Jamaica Plain, Boston. It was also the first night I ever drank alcohol. The old women looked on sternly as the men slipped me a drink 'here and there'. It was a roofer named Romanchuk who showed me Bandera's iconic portrait, which, in his own zealotry, he kept in his wallet.  

My uncle later explained who Bandera was. He told me about Ukrainian collusion with the Nazis, (including that Ukrainians had served as guards at Nazi concentration camps). My uncle contended that Stepan Bandera, a charismatic leader, hated Russia due to the 'Holodomor', (although I never heard that term used for it until many years later). The Holodomor, (which roughly translates to 'the Great Starvation'), was the famine that occurred in Ukraine in the early to mid 1930s. 

There are people receiving this, people for whom I hold the highest respect and admiration, including a prominent writer who lives in Russia, who contend that the Great Famine was a propaganda myth, which never actually happened. 

Well ... I have no way of knowing ... What I do know, as fact, is that I learned about this Great Famine at the knees of my own family's elders, who were in direct correspondence with their own families in the "old country" during the famine. It was from their mouths, often in broken English, that I learned about the suffering our families had endured.

They contended that millions of Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death because Stalin stole their entire crop, to sell on the international market, to buy desperately needed industrial machinery, and to force Ukraine, Russia's breadbasket, into collectivized Big Tractor farming methods. "Big machine, very big" was what my grandfather had said, in his pidgin English. "He put soldier on road, so nobody can run away. They die. Lots of people die", my grandfather said to me.

Whether motivated by this purported 'Holodomor', (or for whatever other reasons), the modern Ukrainian "neo-Nazis", who are a powerful minority political faction in today's Ukraine, are animated by a 'blood deep' hatred of Russia and Russians. They comprise a major and relatively powerful minority faction among the various forces that the US financed (i.e.: that the US installed in power) after the US-supported/engineered violent coup that overthrew the elected democratic Ukrainian government in early 2014.

A man named Andriy Parubiy was the primary recognized leader of the Maidan riots, which were promoted by US Mass Media as a 'heroic' democracy movement. It was neo-Nazi thugs, reporting to Andriy Parubiy, (whom they addressed as "Commandante"), who provided the on-the-street 'shock troops' that forced the elected president, and the entire democratic government, to flee for their lives. 

We're talking about some of the most vicious street thugs imaginable, many of them with actual swastikas tattooed on their necks. In Odessa, these thugs surrounded a pro-government demonstration, chased the people into a public building, barricaded the doors and first floor windows, and set the building on fire with a barrage of molotov cocktails. Several dozen people were burned alive. (Pictures of the corpses, skinned peeled off their charred bodies, can be viewed online). People who jumped from upper floor windows were brutally beaten to death. 

The Ukrainian Maidan Revolution, promoted as a 'democracy movement' by US Mass Media, was led, and largely fueled, by modern Ukrainian Nazi street thugs who revered Stepan Bandera as a great hero.

When the US handpicked junta government was installed in Kiev, Andriy Parubiy was rewarded for his Maidan services with a high position in that government. He was named Speaker of the Parliament. 

That is as far as I will go here ... I strongly urge all who are still under the influence of US Mass Media propaganda, (any who still believe the Big Lies fomented by US Mass Media), to make themselves aware of the facts. 

Try to set aside whatever you may 'believe', and find out what there is to 'know'. (Hint: You are NOT going to find out from reading the NY Times, or WaPo, or watching Mass Media 'news' on TV).  

There is not a better available source of information, in our entire nation, about Ukraine and Russia, than Dr. Stephen Cohen.

Hope all are well and strong.


R Zwarich
Bent Birch Farm
63 Webber Rd
Brookfield, MA 01506
774 449-8030