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How the CIA Front group National Endowment for Democracy Laid Foundations for Ukraine War

In the hours following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NED hurried to remove any and all trace of its funding for organizations in Ukraine from its website.

A search of the NED grants database today for Ukraine returns “no results,” but a snapshot of the page captured February 25th reveals that since 2014, a total of 334 projects in the country have been awarded a staggering $22.4 million. By NED President Duane Wilson’s reckoning, Kiev is the organization’s fourth-largest funding recipient worldwide.

NED’s expurgation of records exposing its role in fomenting and precipitating the horror now unfolding in southeast Ukraine not only protects de facto CIA agents on the ground. It also reinforces and legitimizes the Biden administration’s fraudulent narrative, endlessly and uncritically reiterated in Western media, that Russia’s invasion was entirely unprovoked and groundless.

Substack, Kit Klarenberg, Jul 2, 22

Obvious examples of Central Intelligence Agency covert action abroad are difficult to identify today, save for occasional acknowledged calamities, such as the long-running $1 billion effort to overthrow the government of Syria, via funding, training and arming barbarous jihadist groups.

In part, this stems from many of the CIA’s traditional responsibilities and activities being farmed out to “overt” organizations, most significantly the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Founded in November 1983, then-CIA director William Casey was at the heart of NED’s creation. He sought to construct a public mechanism to support opposition groups, activist movements and media outlets overseas that would engage in propaganda and political activism to disrupt, destabilize, and ultimately displace ‘enemy’ regimes. Subterfuge with a human face, to coin a phrase.

Underlining the Endowment’s insidious true nature, in a 1991 Washington Post article boasting of its prowess in overthrowing Communism in Eastern Europe, senior NED official Allen Weinstein acknowledged, “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

It Begins…

Fast forward to September 2013, and Carl Gershman, NED chief from its launch until summer 2021, authored an op-ed for The Washington Post, outlining how his organization was hard at work wresting countries in Russia’s near abroad – the constellation of former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states – away from Moscow’s orbit.

Along the way, he described Ukraine as “the biggest prize” in the region, suggesting Kiev joining Europe would “accelerate the demise” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Six months later, Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in a violent coup.

Writing in Consortium News not long before that fateful day, investigative legend Robert Parry recorded how, over the previous year, NED had funded 65 projects in Ukraine totaling over $20 million. This amounted to what the late journalist dubbed “a shadow political structure of media and activist groups that could be deployed to stir up unrest when the Ukrainian government didn’t act as desired.”

NED’s pivotal role in unseating Yanukovych can thus be considered beyond dispute, an unambiguous matter of record – yet not only is this never acknowledged in the mainstream press, but Western journalists aggressively rubbish the idea, viciously attacking those few who dare challenge the established orthodoxy of US innocence.

As if to assist in this deceit, NED has removed many entries from its website in the years since the coup, which amply underline its role in Yanukovych’s overthrow.

Read more: How the CIA Front group National Endowment for Democracy Laid Foundations for Ukraine War

For example, on February 3rd 2014, less than three weeks before police withdrew from Kiev, effectively handing the city to armed protesters and prompting Yanukovych to flee the country, NED convened an eventUkraine’s lessons learned: from the Orange Revolution to the Euromaidan.

It was led by Ukrainian journalist Sergii Leshchenko, who at the time was finishing up an NED-sponsored Reagan–Fascell Democracy Fellowship in Washington DC.

Alongside him was Nadia Diuk, NED’s then-senior adviser for Europe and Eurasia, and graduate of St. Antony’s College Oxford, a renowned recruiting pool for British intelligence founded by former spies. Just before her death in January 2019, she was bestowed the Order of Princess Olga, one of Kiev’s highest honors, a particularly palpable example of the intimate, enduring ties between NED and the Ukrainian government.

While the event’s online listing remains extant today, linked supporting documents – including Powerpoint slides that accompanied Leshchenko’s talk, and a summary of “event highlights” – have been deleted.

What prompted the purge isn’t clear, although it could well be significant that Leshchenko’s oratory offered a very clear blueprint for guaranteeing the failure of 2004’s Orange Revolution – another NED-orchestrated putsch – wasn’t repeated, and the country remained captured by Western financial, political and ideological interests post-Maidan. It was a roadmap NED subsequently followed to the letter.

Along the way, Leshchenko highlighted the importance of funding NGOs, exploiting the internet and social media as “alternative [sources] of information,” and the danger of “unreformed state television.”

So it was that on March 19th, representatives of the far-right Svoboda party – which has been linked to a false flag massacre of protesters on February 20th, an event that made the downfall of Yanukovych’s government a fait accompli – broke into the office of Oleksandr Panteleymonov, chief of Ukraine’s state broadcaster, and beat him over the head until he signed a resignation letter.

That shocking incident, motivated by the station broadcasting a Kremlin ceremony at which Vladimir Putin signed a bill formalizing Crimea as part of Russia, was one of many livestreamed by protesters that traveled far and wide online.

Panteleymonov’s savage defenestration notwithstanding, much of this livestreamed output served to present foreign audiences with a highly romantic narrative of the demonstrations, and their participants, which bore no relation to reality.

The Revolution Will Be Televised

Writing in NED’s quarterly academic publication Journal of Democracy in July that year, Leshchenko discussed in detail the media’s fundamental role in the Maidan coup’s success, drawing particular attention to the work of “online journalist” Mustafa Nayyem.

Nayyem personally kickstarted the protests the previous November, rallying hundreds of his Facebook followers to protest in Kiev’s Independence – now Maidan – Square, after Yanukovych scrapped the Ukrainian-European Association Agreement in favor of a more agreeable deal with Moscow.

Nayyem was no ordinary “online journalist”. He had by that point worked alongside Leshchenko for many years at Ukrainska Pravda, an opposition media outlet funded by NED, and also USAID, another CIA front, which likewise played a key role in the Maidan coup.

This may account for why, in October 2012, Nayyem was one of six Ukrainians whisked to Washington DC by Meridian International, a State Department-connected organization that identifies and grooms future overseas leaders, to “observe and experience” that year’s Presidential election………………………………………….

only 40 – 45 percent of Ukrainians were in favor of European integration, Yanukovych remained “the most popular political figure in the country,” and no poll conducted to date had ever indicated mass support for the uprising.

In fact, “quite large majorities” opposed “takeover of regional governments by the opposition,” and the population remained bitterly divided on the future of Ukraine, Darden and Way wrote. Such hostility stemmed from “anti-Russian rhetoric and the iconography of western Ukrainian nationalism,” rife among demonstrators, “not [playing] well among the Ukrainian majority.”

…….. “Anti-Russian forms of Ukrainian nationalism expressed on the Maidan are certainly not representative of the general view of Ukrainians. Electoral support for these views and for the political parties who espouse them has always been limited,” Darden and Way concluded. “Their presence and influence in the protest movement far outstrip their role in Ukrainian politics and their support barely extends geographically beyond a few Western provinces.”

‘Pro-Ukrainian Agenda’……………………………. an objective analysis of what actually happened and why, in which NED is completely central. Still, the organization didn’t need to rely purely on Leshchenko to keep the Minsk Accords moribund. Its extensive network of assets in the country, and Washington’s dark alliance with Ukraine’s far-right, was more than sufficient to ensure that Zelensky’s overwhelmingly popular mission of restoring relations with Russia would and could never be fulfilled.

‘In Solidarity’

In the hours following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NED hurried to remove any and all trace of its funding for organizations in Ukraine from its website.

A search of the NED grants database today for Ukraine returns “no results,” but a snapshot of the page captured February 25th reveals that since 2014, a total of 334 projects in the country have been awarded a staggering $22.4 million. By NED President Duane Wilson’s reckoning, Kiev is the organization’s fourth-largest funding recipient worldwide.


An archive
 of NED funding in Ukraine over 2021 – which has now been replaced with a statement “in solidarity” with Kiev – offers extensive detail on the precise projects backed by the CIA front over that fateful 12-month period.

It points to a preponderant focus on purported Russian misdeeds in eastern Ukraine. One grant, of $58,000, was provided to the NGO Truth Hounds to “monitor, document, and spotlight human rights violations” and “war crimes” in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Another, of $48,000, was provided to Ukraine’s War Childhood Museum to “educate the Ukrainian public about the consequences of the war through a series of public events.” Yet another received by charity East-SOS aimed to “raise public awareness” of “Russia’s policies of persecution and colonization in the region, and document illustrative cases,” its findings circulated to the UN Human Rights Council, European Courts of Human Rights, and International Court of Justice.

There was no suggestion this wellspring would be used to document any abuses by Ukrainian government forces. UN research indicates 2018 – 2021, over 80 percent of civilian casualties were recorded on the Donbas side. Meanwhile, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reports show that shelling of civilian areas in the breakaway regions intensified dramatically in the weeks leading up to February 24th, potentially the precursor of a full-blown military offensive.

As such, NED’s expurgation of records exposing its role in fomenting and precipitating the horror now unfolding in southeast Ukraine not only protects de facto CIA agents on the ground. It also reinforces and legitimizes the Biden administration’s fraudulent narrative, endlessly and uncritically reiterated in Western media, that Russia’s invasion was entirely unprovoked and groundless.

Ukrainians now live with the mephitic legacy of that reckless, unadmitted meddling in the most brutal manner imaginable. They may well do for many years to come. Meanwhile, the men and women who orchestrated it rest comfortably in Washington DC, insulated from any scrutiny or consequence whatsoever, every day cooking up fresh schemes to undermine and topple troublesome foreign leaders, hailed as champions of liberty by the mainstream press every step of the way.  https://kitklarenberg.substack.com/p/anatomy-of-a-coup-how-cia-front-laid

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November 9, 2022 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA

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