Weaknesses of the National Security Strategy 2022- Part 11. My secession is legal, yours isn’t: Defending the UN Charter

Kristin Christman, with dedication in video to Angel Christman

In this series, I’ve been refuting the claims made in the National Security Strategy 2022 (NSS 2022). I refer to the NSS as the Sullivan & Biden NSS, even though it’s not known whether or not Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, took part in writing the document.

In this essay, I’ll continue to refute Claim #9, a refutation begun in NSS Essay 9:

Claim 9. The US government (USG) is helping Ukraine fight Russia because of the USG’s steadfast commitment to defending the UN Charter.

In particular, we’ll be focusing on Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter which states: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”[1]

We’ve already discussed the concept that the USG violates the territorial integrity and political independence of many nations with its invasions, coups, and political interference abroad, as well as when it imposes military bases upon nations whose populations have no voice in the matter.

However, Sullivan & Biden ignore all that and instead conclude that it is the USG who’s the defender of Article 2 (4) and it is Russia who’s the threat to the UN Charter. Why? Because according to the USG, Russia illegally and forcefully annexed Crimea in 2014 and then illegally and forcefully annexed Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson in 2022.

In fact, according to Sullivan & Biden’s NSS, the entire war with Russia is about the USG’s noble striving to help Ukraine defend the UN Charter. The NSS states:

“The basic laws governing relations among nations, including the United Nations Charter and the protection it affords all states from being invaded by their neighbors or having their borders redrawn by force, are under attack.”[2]

“This is not about a struggle between the West and Russia. It is about fundamental principles of the UN Charter, which Russia is a party to, particularly respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the prohibition against acquiring territory through war.”[3]

So let’s put aside for now the numerous significant USG violations of Article 2 (4) and look at the matter of whether or not Russia has violated the territorial integrity and political independence of these 5 regions.

It’s important to note that the USG is extraordinarily fickle on the issue of declarations of independence and secession. The USG considers its own declaration of independence to be nothing less than sacred. It considered the Southern states’ secessions from the United States to be treason. When Virginia seceded from the United States in 1861, the USG considered that to be illegal. But when West Virginia seceded from Virginia in 1861, the USG welcomed the secession and accepted West Virginia as a state in 1863.

Native American attempts to live independently as separate nations were accepted only if they agreed to be forced upon squalid patches of infertile land far from their homeland and with their way of life destroyed.

In South America, the USG had routinely sided with the Colombian government against impoverished Panamanians who sought to revolt and secede from the white-elite rule. The USG sent in troops to crush the rebellions and protect the Panamanian Railroad, headed by William Cromwell of Sullivan & Cromwell, the infamous law firm whose client, United Fruit Company, owned one-quarter of the private property in Panama.

Yet in 1903, when Colombia wouldn’t agree to the price that the USG offered for the Panama Canal, Cromwell used Panamanian railroad workers and bribed the locals to instigate a revolt. The USG joined forces with a small group of well-to-do Panamanians who wanted their political interests and wealth secured in an independent Panama. US troops, instead of protecting the railroads, denied passage on Colombian railroads to Colombian troops seeking to put down the revolt, and Panama broke away from Colombia.[4]

During WWI, a war supposedly for freedom and democracy, US policymakers considered it a priority to fully back France rather than support Northern Africans seeking independence and freedom from France. Similarly, during WWII, the USG considered it more important to be supportive of British colonialism rather than support Iranians’ desires for freedom from the British yoke.[5]

In Indonesia, the USG, whose US oil companies were threatened by nationalization, was hoping for a break-up of the islands so that Sukarno would be left ruling only Java, and the rest of Indonesia, rich with natural resources, would be ruled by US puppets.[6] In Congo, the USG and American mining magnates, lusting for uranium, cobalt, copper, gold, and diamonds, so much wanted the mineral-rich Katanga province to secede that the CIA helped topple Congo’s much-admired leader, Patrice Lumumba, and then helped hunt him down so that he could be savagely beaten and butchered in 1961.[7]

In the 1970s, the USG considered Angola’s declaration of independence from Portugal to be outrageous, especially since Portugal was threatening to leave the NATO alliance if it weren’t supported against the Angolans. Moreover, the USG wanted to continue to lease Portugal’s Azores Islands for US air bases. The USG therefore supported Portugal’s propaganda that the Angolans were not revolutionaries seeking freedom from oppression but rather Communist tools seeking to oppress.[8] Likewise, the USG considered Vietnam’s declaration of independence from France to be a dangerous rebellion and cause for bombing to death millions in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

It’s only too obvious that USG decisions about the validity of declarations of independence and secession have nothing to do with morality or legal principle and everything to do with selfish, shallow goals for wealth, military advantages, peculiar control-obsessions, and absurd international rivalries and wars that supposedly are fought in the name of the very principles the USG and its allies are betraying.

And so when the USSR dissolved and Ukraine broke away, the USG was all smiles. When Yugoslavia broke up into Serbia and other nations, the USG flashed that smile again. When Kosovo broke away from Serbia, the USG gave the thumbs up.

But when Crimea broke away from Ukraine, the USG was no longer smiling. According to Russia, Crimea had voted for its independence from Ukraine and its reunification with Russia. Nonetheless, the USG portrayed the entire circumstance as the undeniable result of Russian “aggression.”

When Iraq wanted its former province of Kuwait back, the USG said no. When Serbia wanted Kosovo back, the USG said no.

But when Ukraine wants back the republics of Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaparozhye, and Kherson, the USG, claiming the referendums were phony and a result of Russian aggression, sends billions of dollars in weapons to Ukraine to get them back into the fold!

The steady pattern throughout is that the USG will support a secession if it will help achieve the financial and military goals of those particular American social and business circles who rule the US, and it will condemn a secession as the fraudulent result of another nation’s aggression if that secession won’t help those same social and business circles.

In other words, if the leader of Congo isn’t giving American investors the deals they want but the leader of Katanga province is, then the USG will push for the secession of Katanga and the murder of Congo’s leader. On the other hand, if the leader of Ukraine is giving the USG and business circles the deals they want but the leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk aren’t, then the USG will send weapons to Ukraine to ensure that these republics never break away.

Legally, Sullivan & Biden are standing on extremely thin ice in stating that Russia is violating Article 2 (4) and its prohibition against the “use of force against the territorial integrity” of states, when Donetsk and Lugansk both declared their independence from Ukraine in 2014 and requested Russia’s military assistance.

Consider what happened on February 17, 2008, when Kosovo, without Serbia’s permission, declared itself an independent state. The very next day, February 18, 2008, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the USG recognized Kosovo as an independent nation. As if seeking to block the anticipated wishes of others to secede, Rice stressed, “Kosovo cannot be seen as a precedent for any other situation in the world today.”[9] To add to its worldwide collection, the USG soon had a military base installed in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel, which was later accused of being a “smaller version of Guantánamo” for the brutal interrogation of suspected al-Qaeda members.[10]

But while the USG was trying to shut the gates to further secessions, the UN General Assembly submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) a request for the Court’s opinion on the question: “Is the unilateral decision of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo in accordance with international law?”

The Russian Federation submitted detailed comments to the ICJ explaining why Kosovo’s declaration of independence violated international law. The USG submitted comments explaining why Kosovo’s declaration upheld international law.

On July 22, 2010, the Court concluded that “‘the declaration of independence of Kosovo adopted on 17 February 2008 did not violate international law.’” Significantly, the Court also remarked upon the history of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries that “‘points clearly to the conclusion that international law contained no prohibition of declarations of independence.’”[11]

Despite the ICJ’s opinion of July 2010, Russia, in its effort to help Ukraine maintain its territorial integrity and resolve the conflict non-violently, chose not to recognize Donetsk and Lugansk as independent nations until eight years later, in February 2022. Responding to the requests of Donetsk and Lugansk for military protection from Ukraine’s government and ultranationalist groups, Russia directed its military troops to enter these newly recognized nations.

Note that by recognizing them as independent prior to its military entry, Russia was showing its intent not to violate international law. This intent should have been recognized as an indicator that Russia’s military operation in Donetsk and Lugansk was initially limited to protecting the people. It’s my belief that if that goal had been successful, it’s doubtful that Russia would have widened the war.

So how did the UN respond? Instead of recognizing Donetsk and Lugansk, members of the Security Council—with the USG presumably at the head of the pack—tried to condemn Russia’s military actions. Russia vetoed the proposal. If any permanent member of the Security Council vetoes a draft resolution, it cannot be passed.

However, guess what! As of April 2022, there’s a new procedure adopted in the UN General Assembly mandating that the General Assembly meet automatically within ten working days of the casting of a veto by any of the Security Council’s five permanent members in order to scrutinize and comment on the veto.[12]

How convenient for the USG and NATO that this rule should pass now, when it’s Russia who’s most likely to veto the votes of the USG and UK. Why didn’t this rule exist all those past times when the USG was vetoing resolutions, such as proposals to condemn Israel’s violence? Ignoring past Security Council inaction regarding USG and Israeli violence, the UN article announcing the new rule states: “Amidst growing criticism of inaction by the Security Council on the war in Ukraine, the General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution today aimed at holding the five permanent Council members accountable for their use of veto.”

In other words, in the midst of a conflict situation, the UN is being used as a machine to enable one side of the conflict to try to dominate the other, even though the purpose of the UN is to try to resolve matters cooperatively among nations, not to overpower them through force or through votes.

The measure, which was adopted without a vote, was introduced by Liechtenstein and co-sponsored by 83 Member states, including 3 permanent Security Council members: France, the UK, and the US.

As reported by the UN, Russia’s representative to the UN stated that

“The veto is not the problem; it is certain Council members’ unwillingness to listen to others and achieve compromise, thus compelling the use of the veto. The veto is used as a last resort, and when using it, permanent Council members provide exhaustive and openly accessible clarification as to why it was cast. Providing the same explanation of veto to the General Assembly would not add value.”[13]

Russia’s comment hits the nail on the head. I’ve seen no evidence of cooperative dialogue or even open-minded, truth-seeking thought in the UN, the USG, or the US media with regard to the conflict in Ukraine. It’s shocking that in the Security Council, where one would expect people to be particularly talented in listening, empathizing, and cooperative problem-solving, the dynamics are more like a simplistic TV Western, with the USG’s “good guy” gang physically and verbally fighting against Russia’s “bad guy” gang.

The verbal attacks by UN Members against Russia’s action show no attempt to address or even recognize the grievances of Russia, Donetsk, and Lugansk as legitimate. It’s like the unenlightened behavior of a self-righteous, ignorant, heartless parent who doesn’t want to listen to their child’s point of view but demands unquestioning obedience.

It must be completely frustrating for Russia to be part of a group that is so psychologically immature and ungifted in cooperative dialogue, problem-solving, and negotiation. How on Earth are these people even appointed into these UN positions? Shouldn’t it be required to have relevant credentials in non-violent conflict resolution, an appropriate disposition geared towards 360 degrees of empathy, and talent in searching for 360 degrees of truth and harmonizing the pieces of the puzzle of peace in order to serve in the UN?

Of interest, India’s representative noted a double standard: when the same type of resolution regarding the veto was suggested a decade ago, the same Members who now support the measure condemned it.[14]

Russia vetoed the Security Council’s draft resolution to condemn Russia’s military action, and so the UN General Assembly held its emergency session as required by the new procedure. With 141 in favor, 5 objections, and 35 abstentions, the General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding that Russia immediately end its illegal use of force in Ukraine and withdraw.[15]

Notice the enormous difference between the UN response to Russia in Donetsk and Lugansk and the UN response to Ukraine’s behavior in Donetsk and Lugansk and to USG behavior in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Panama, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Chile, the Koreas, Congo, Cuba, Guatemala, Iran, Greece, and so forth.

The appearance of all these General Assembly delegates voting against Russia gives the appearance of a strong moral voice against Russia. However, as discussed in the previous essay, the 2003 article “Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote in Iraq war” provides evidence that UN votes are not necessarily made based upon principles of morality, justice, or humanitarian care for people of other nations.[16]

The General Assembly resolution of March 2022 called upon peaceful resolution of the conflict through the use of dialogue, negotiation, and mediation. It sounds so principled, but where was the General Assembly or Security Council for the eight years of the civil war?

As the Syrian delegate stated,

“Had the United States and its Western allies been serious, they would have fulfilled the promises made decades ago to refrain from transforming Ukraine into a threat to the Russian Federation and should have stopped Ukraine from not complying with the Minsk agreements.”

The fact that Donetsk and Lugansk had declared their independence seems deliberately ignored as the mud is slung at Russia. Notice how Ukraine’s delegate to the UN falsely exaggerated Russia’ intent and declared that “Half a million people have fled as the Russian Federation tried to deprive his country the right to exist, carrying out a long list of war crimes. The Russian Federation’s goal is not just an occupation, it is genocide.”[17]

From where did this alleged Russian goal of depriving Ukraine of the right to exist come? From a magic hat? Why did Ukraine’s delegate not mention that Donetsk and Lugansk were now independent and that Ukraine was fighting to deprive these republics of their right to exist? Why did he fail to mention the genocide of which Ukraine was accused against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk, particularly ethnic Russians? Why is he denying Russia’s years of concern about the atrocities committed by Ukraine and its ultranationalist cohorts against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk?

One-sided empathy and truth—only 180 degrees of empathy and truth—only serve the purpose of war and hatred, not peace or problem-solving. Ukraine’s delegate is falsifying Russia’s goals so as to conceal Ukraine’s own human rights crimes and international law violations and to make Russia’s legitimate motivations seem illegitimate.

Even when Russian troops did enter the republics, Russia reportedly did not seize these territories from the inhabitants. Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson soon voted in referendums to join Russia. The USG, however, without any sort of investigation that I could find, immediately declared these referendums to be false.

At the UN in September 2022, when seeking a resolution condemning the referendums and Russian annexation of the four regions, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated unequivocally “that the referendums were a ‘sham,’ predetermined by Moscow, ‘held behind the barrel of Russian guns.’”[18] But what proof did she have? The write-up offered no hint of any proof behind her allegations. Nor, from the information I saw, was there any hint that such proof was requested by UN members.

It’s completely disappointing that UN votes appear, at least in this crisis, to be made without any scientific curiosity for the truth and without any humanitarian interest in justly and compassionately solving international problems. Decisions made based upon prejudice, selfishness, greed, or deceitfulness are psychologically immature, and it is quite disillusioning to see such immaturity at the highest levels of the UN.

The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, said

“that there had been ‘overwhelming’ support from residents in the four regions that Russia now claims. ‘The residents of these regions do not want to return to Ukraine. They have made an informed and free choice, in favour of our country.’”

“He said that the outcome of the so-called referendums had been recognized by international observers, and now, after being endorsed by the Russian Parliament, and by presidential decrees, ‘there will be no turning back, as today’s draft resolution would try to impose.’”[19]

Here’s some possible proof right here. Russia says there were international observers. Would it be so hard to track them down and get their input?

Article 1 (1) of the UN Charter states a purpose of the UN: “to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace” and “to bring about by peaceful means. . . settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.”

Article 34 states: “The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuation of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.”[20]

In accord with these articles, wouldn’t an impartial follow-up investigation with surveys and interviews have helped to resolve the dispute over the controversial validity of these referendums?

And why no UN action in 2014? Since the 2014 coup and resulting eight-year civil war had international causal factors and consequences “which might lead to a breach of the peace” and “which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute,” the UN should have been on top of this long ago, struggling its utmost to cooperatively negotiate resolution.

In September 2022, the Security Council voted on the draft resolution to condemn the referendums, with 10 votes in favor, 1 veto by Russia, and 4 abstentions.[21] Instead of requiring an investigation to get the facts, the new Security-Council-veto rule again required a meeting of the General Assembly, which passed a resolution, with 143 votes in favor, 5 against, and 35 abstentions, condemning Russia’s annexation of the four eastern Ukraine regions. There’s no indication that the General Assembly did any investigative work prior to passing the resolution. In fact, Russia’s delegate again referred to the fact

“that more than 100 international observers from Italy, Germany, Venezuela, Latvia and other countries, who observed the referendum, recognized its outcome as legitimate. He called today’s text a politicized and openly provocative document that risks destroying any efforts towards a diplomatic solution to the crisis.”[22]

It’s an excellent point. The referendum pathway was a method of trying to resolve the crisis without violence. If the Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine are so different in their views from the Ukrainians of western Ukraine, why not allow for secession as a peaceful way to separate?

My own theory is that the referendums were legitimate but the USG didn’t want to recognize them because of its own ulterior, undemocratic goals: the USG doesn’t want its puppet government in Kiev to lose access to the Black Sea and its resources. Had the USG’s puppet governments been in eastern Ukraine and not in Kiev, it would’ve favored secession.

Again, it should be a simple matter to confirm with these more than 100 international observers the results of their observations. Then, we could compare this with the evidence provided by US Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, if, in fact, she has any evidence.

Syria’s delegate, Bassam Sabbagh, noted that this response of condemnation against Russia is not actually helping to resolve the conflict: it’s fueling conflict with Russia. He “said the rostrum of the General Assembly is being manipulated by Western countries for their own interests. . . . Such a provocative approach shows that they are trying to fuel the conflict and to push neo-Nazism in Ukraine to one side, rather than resolving issues through dialogue and negotiation. He condemned Western States for ‘whipping things up against the Russian Federation through false information, false news and falsified images.’”

As described in numerous previous essays, I can certainly attest to the false information being promoted as truth by the US media.

North Korea’s delegate, Song Kim, who voted against the resolution,

“stressed the crucial role of the right of self-determination, adding that the people of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia have the right to decide their international political status at their own discretion. . . . The sovereignty and territorial integrity of former Yugoslavia, as well as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were violated brutally by the United States and other Western countries, he said, adding that such unlawful and illegal actions have never been called into question in the Security Council.”[23]

The inconsistency within the Security Council of trying to condemn Russia for actions of annexation, annexations that may have been legal, while excusing the USG for its clearly illegal actions points to the double standard of justice upheld by the UN whose members apparently have been purchased by the USG.

Crimea. A related action that Russia took—also portrayed by the USG as a violation of the UN Charter and therefore pseudo-justification for belligerence towards Russia and Putin—pertains to Crimea in 2014. Putin has repeatedly explained that a referendum took place in Crimea, and Crimeans voted to rejoin Russia. His voice remains ignored in US and Western mainstream media which instead incessantly describes the event as “Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea.”

So who’s telling the truth?

Keep in mind, Crimea had been a part of Russia until 1954 when Khrushchev made it part of Ukraine. According to a 2001 census, 77 percent of Crimeans speak Russian as their native language, 11 percent speak Tatar, and 10 percent speak Ukrainian.[24] Also keep in mind that the post-coup Ukrainian government dropped Russian as a language of secondary school instruction in 2017, banned certain pieces of Russian literature from the educational curriculum, turned a cold political, economic, and military shoulder to Russia, and collaborated with Russian-killing ultranationalists and neo-Nazis.

In other words, it’s not illogical that Crimeans would choose to rejoin Russia. In fact, it’s USG insistence that it will never recognize Crimea as part of Russia that seems peculiar, suggesting an unusual preoccupation with wanting Crimea for itself, for NATO—who likely has an eye on installing a base on the Black Sea, and for companies like ExxonMobil—who likely covet the fossil fuel deposits of the Black Sea and seek greater access to Europe’s energy market.

In his March 18, 2014 speech, Putin states that when Crimea and Sevastopol were transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954, this was done in a totalitarian manner: “Naturally, in a totalitarian state nobody bothered to ask the citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol.” Yet in the referendum of 2014, “More than 82 percent of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96 percent of them spoke out in favor of reuniting with Russia.”

Russian troops were already in Crimea according to an international agreement. Putin describes Russia’s role in Crimea prior to the referendum:

“First, we had to help create conditions so that the residents of Crimea for the first time in history were able to peacefully express their will regarding their own future.

“What do we hear from our colleagues in Western Europe and North America?

“They say we are violating norms of international law. Firstly, it’s a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law—better late than never.

“Secondly, and most importantly—what exactly are we violating? . . . Russia’s Armed Forces never entered Crimea; they were there already in line with an international agreement. True, we did enhance our forces there; however—this is something I would like everyone to hear and know—we did not exceed the personnel limit of our Armed Forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000. . . .

“. . . As it declared independence and decided to hold a referendum, the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter, which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination. Incidentally, I would like to remind you that when Ukraine seceded from the USSR it did exactly the same thing, almost word for word. Ukraine used this right, yet the residents of Crimea are denied it. Why is that?

“Moreover, the Crimean authorities referred to the well-known Kosovo precedent—a precedent our western colleagues created with their own hands in a very similar situation, when they agreed that the unilateral separation of Kosovo from Serbia, exactly what Crimea is doing now, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country’s central authorities.”

Putin then refers to the earlier-mentioned UN International Court’s conclusion of July 22, 2010 with regard to Kosovo’s independence:

“‘No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence,’ and ‘General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.’”

Putin also quotes from the Written Statement of the United States, of April 17, 2009, submitted to the UN’s International Court in connection with Kosovo:

“‘Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legalities. However, this does not make them violations of international law.’ End of quote. They wrote this, disseminated it all over the world, have everyone agree and now they are outraged. Over what? . . .

“They keep talking of some Russian intervention in Crimea, some sort of aggression. This is strange to hear. I cannot recall a single case in history of an intervention without a single shot being fired and with no human casualities.”[25]

It seems to me that the USG is resorting to its holy code book of double standard morality.[26] “The secession we support is legal and we’ll recognize it tomorrow with a parade. The secession you support is illegal so we’ll kill you.” The USG supports secession if it has puppet leaders in power in the seceding republic. It opposes secession if it has puppet leaders in the larger nation from which the republic wants to secede.

And how to account for the discrepancy in facts regarding an allegedly forceful Russian invasion? Did the UN do anything to try to resolve this controversy? How hard can it be? Wouldn’t interviews and satellite images help confirm or deny Putin’s words? Again, knowing the CIA’s propensity to provide fake evidence and photos, any evidence should be impartially scrutinized.

On March 27, 2014, the UN’s General Assembly, with 100 in favor, 11 against, and 58 abstentions, immediately condemned the March 16 referendum in Crimea and called on nations not to accept it. To my knowledge, the UN didn’t investigate to determine whether the referendum was, in fact, a valid and legitimate effort to handle matters legally and peacefully in accord with the UN Charter. Nations that abstained or voted against the resolution pointed out “that the Assembly had failed to consider the historical context of the geopolitical dispute and the nature of the regime change that had occurred in Ukraine.”[27]

As former Kremlin advisor Alexander Nekrassov writes in April 2014, these resolutions against the referendum

“smacked more of propaganda. . . and did absolutely nothing to resolve the crisis. I would even go so far as to say that they probably made matters worse, as the whole of eastern Ukraine felt alienated and decided it was their turn to follow the example of Crimeans, taking matters into their own hands—literally.”[28]

Notice that word: “alienated.” The USG repeatedly portrays pro-Russia individuals as if they’re false plants, brainwashed, bribed, or threatened into existence by Russia to serve its own illegitimate purposes. But according to Nekrassov, eastern Ukrainians felt alienated to be so misunderstood—to have the West assume that any pro-Russian thoughts are ingenuine or sinister, that any desire to rejoin Russia is inauthentic or malicious, the result of bribes, intimidation, or evil goals. It’s a feeling that I and probably many others can relate to if they also find truthfulness and validity in Putin’s words and Russia’s perspective. It’s insulting and eerie to have one’s loyalty to truthfulness and justice labeled as sinister “disinformation.”

In 2023, human rights and labor lawyer Dan Kovalik and journalist Rick Sterling traveled to Crimea and spoke with two women, Larisa and Irina, regarding the events in Crimea in 2014. According to their article, the Maidan protests sparked a small group of ultranationalists in Crimea to try to topple a statue of Lenin, but this resulted in a larger counter-response.

Fearful that the violence in Kiev of the Maidan protests would spread to Crimea, hundreds of Crimeans therefore travelled on buses to Kiev to protest the Maidan violence. On the way home, on February 20, 2014, the eight-bus convoy was held up by a gang of Right Sector ultranationalist/neo-Nazi activists.  The Right Sector gang beat up dozens of Crimeans and killed seven. This is the type of ugly brutality that has been occurring in Donetsk and Lugansk since 2014 and against which Putin has been protesting for years, but which Western media and policy makers have ridiculed as non-existent.

On February 22, 2014, Ukraine’s elected government was overthrown. Kovalik writes:

“On its first day in power, the coup government enacted legislation to remove Russian as a state language. These events provoked shock, fear and the urgent desire to re-unify with Russia. According to Larisa and Irina, there was a huge popular demand to hold a referendum to secede from Ukraine. . . .

“There was no involvement by Russia in the referendum; it was organized and carried out by the traditional election council on March 16. The results were decisive:  with 83% voting, 97% voted to rejoin Russia.

“Two days later the Crimean parliament appealed to the Russian Federation. Two days after that the agreement was signed in Moscow. Larisa and Irina say, ‘Everyone was happy’; they call it ‘Crimea Spring.’

“. . . . Following Crimea’s secession, Ukraine tried to punish Crimeans by cutting off the electricity supply to the peninsula. They were without power for five months. Next Ukraine blocked the fresh water supply.”[29]

The cut-offs to Crimea’s electricity and water following its secession from Ukraine are discussed in articles online, with at least one electrical interruption involving Ukraine’s Right Sector. In 2014, Ukraine, claiming that Russia hadn’t paid for the water, cut off the canal that supplied Crimea with 85 percent of its water. The water supply wasn’t restored until March 2022 when the Russian military operation broke down the dam that Ukraine had built to stop the water flow.[30]

Larisa and Irina were from Simferopol, one of the regions within Crimea with the highest percentage of Russian speakers.[31]  Therefore, it’s possible their experience was somewhat different from other regions. I did find one article which quoted a Crimean who was angry with Putin for sending in additional Russian troops.[32]

That said, the information gained in this interview with the two women of Crimea squarely refutes the narrative promoted by the USG: that Russia aggressively invaded and annexed Crimea and the referendum was a bogus maneuver by Putin, who, we’re to believe, like some sort of cartoon figure, is ever-so-tricky with nothing but predictable lies, silly pretexts, and imperial plans.

Did anyone from the USG or the UN take the initiative to journey to Crimea on a fact-finding mission to talk with Crimeans? Shouldn’t this have been a UN responsibility under Articles 1 and 34?

Instead of gaining insightful information from surveys and interviews with Crimeans, we’ve got Jake Sullivan giving the green light to Ukraine to use F-16s in Crimea, because Crimea, he insists, is part of Ukraine.[33] Even as he claims to be defending the UN Charter, Sullivan is encouraging an attack that would violate Articles 1 and 2 of the UN Charter.

Why do US policymakers assume that Crimea was taken by Russia in the same violent way that the USG took Hawaii? Perhaps, since every single piece of American land was taken by force against the native inhabitants, with the possible exception of Alaska, it’s hard for US policymakers to imagine that some people might actually choose to join Russia, a nation Americans have always been taught by slanted history books, deceptive news programs, prejudiced TV shows, and fictional movies to hate and fear. And perhaps their views on Crimea are also slanted by far-right-wing Ukrainian lobbyists flooding Washington, DC.

Certain key US policymakers are also likely driven by aggressive cravings to ensure that Crimea and the Black Sea are placed under the control of a nation whose leadership they can manipulate. There’s already a US-built Ukrainian naval base on the Black Sea. The USG was probably hoping to use or direct it. While supporting Kosovo’s secession from Serbia enabled the USG to plant a military base in Kosovo, it’s the denial of Crimea’s right to secede that will enable the USG to have a base in Crimea.

USG violent response to Crimea. Instead of a UN investigation into Crimea’s referendum, and instead of USG promotion of peaceful, cooperative means—as called for by Articles 1, 2, and 34—to examine the wishes of Crimeans and their reasons for opposing the post-coup Ukraine government, the trigger-happy USG took Crimea’s rejoining with Russia as a cue to take to the warpath. Kovalik refers to a key article by Zach Dorfman in 2022 which describes a covert CIA intensive training program in the southern US begun in 2015—during the Obama administration in which Biden was vice president and Sullivan was his national security advisor—a covert CIA program for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel, as described by five former intelligence and national security officials. The program’s purpose has been to give Ukrainians “‘specific training’” on how to “‘push back against the Russians.’” One former CIA official explained: “‘The United States is training an insurgency.’”

While the covert program “was established by the Obama administration after Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014, and expanded under the Trump administration, the Biden administration has further augmented it.” Dorfman writes, “By 2015, CIA Ground Branch paramilitaries also started to travel to the front in eastern Ukraine to advise their counterparts there, according to a half-dozen former officials.”[34]

In other words, US paramilitaries were already in Ukraine in 2015 participating—at a minimum in the form of advising—in Ukraine’s war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk who were opposed to the US-supported 2014 coup. In violation of the UN Charter’s Article 1 (1), likely without congressional approval, without American approval, the US CIA was engaged in war in Ukraine.

In fact, Dorfman’s report parallels reports from Russian and German news sources regarding the presence in Ukraine in 2015 of US private military contractors connected with Academi training far right-wing Ukrainian extremists.[35] Note also that Ukraine’s President Zelensky had met with Erik Prince, former head of the infamous Blackwater, regarding the development of a private military contract in Ukraine. The Time article reported that nothing came of the meetings.[36]

The aggressive nature of USG behavior towards Russia is further revealed in Kovalik’s reference to a 2019 report by the Rand Corporation, “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia, Assessing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options.” Amongst the numerous tools suggested to overextend and unbalance Russia is “‘Providing lethal aid to Ukraine’ in order to ‘exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability.’”[37]

The decisions of the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations to train Ukrainian forces and to send billions in weapon shipments to Ukraine for war against Russia directly violate the UN Charter, including Article 1 (1) and Article 34 already mentioned as well as these:

Article 1 (2): “To develop friendly relations among nations. . . .”

Article 1 (3): “To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights. . . .”

Article 2 (3): “All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.”

Article 2 (4): “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”[38]

The USG took no cooperative problem-solving approach at all but instead jumped at the chance to build up a force of Ukrainians to fight Russia—as if this had been its goal all along.

Conclusion. The NSS claim that the conflict in Ukraine is not a struggle between the West and Russia but rather a case of defending the UN Charter is absolutely bogus. Sullivan & Biden are clumsily trying to wrap themselves in the UN flag as they trod upon it and shred it in the process.

Articles 1 (1) and 1 (3) call for “collective measures” and “international cooperation in solving international problems. . . .” Unfortunately, US policymakers seem to interpret these cooperative efforts as collaboration between the CIA and Ukrainian special forces to kill Russians, united action amongst NATO members to send fighter jets, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium to Ukraine to kill Russians, cooperative world efforts to sanction Russia, and cooperative NATO and Ukrainian military efforts to kill Russians.

The USG is missing the point of the UN, for such behaviors slay the very spirit of the UN Charter. The intent of UN collective cooperation is not to have a gang of allies shipping off weapons and forces to kill off adversaries.

International cooperation refers to cooperation across the divisions; it refers to engaging in cooperative dialogue and negotiation with adversaries from the other side of conflict and sincerely striving to understand their perspectives. This is the spirit of the UN Charter.

It involves learning about American fears, Russian fears, the fears of Ukrainians on all sides—Ukrainians who hate their government, Ukrainians who love their government, ethnic Russians, Jews, ultranationalists, neo-Nazis, the peace movement, Crimeans, Romani, and more, with awareness of the variations within each group.

You find out what these individuals and groups fear and hope for, put yourself in the shoes of each of them, listen, and give each one value. You try to satisfy the legitimate grievances of all sides, kindly separate irrational from rational fears, take steps to alleviate the worst fears of all sides, help those with noble goals to achieve them, help those with ignoble goals to strive for something better within themselves, try to help them see each other in a positive light, and try to help them improve their own lives and the lives of others in positive ways.

You care equally for all of them, and you try to help them care about each other, not cheat, harm, or kill one another. This is how you create peace, and this is how you defend the UN Charter.

Kristin Christman has been independently researching US foreign policy and peace since 9/11. Her channel focuses on US-Russian relations at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuNEw9-10lk-CwU-5vAElcg. Kristin graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a BA in Russian, and she holds Master’s degrees in Slavic languages from Brown University and public administration from SUNY Albany. She has been a guest with former UNSCOM weapons inspector Scott Ritter and UNAC coordinator Joe Lombardo on Cynthia Pooler’s program, Issues that Matter, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDlaLNJih7UPeace Review: A Journal of Social Justice recently published her article on suicide, culture, and peace in their special edition on suicide, Vol. 33 No. 4.  [email protected]

[1] United Nations, “United Nations Charter (full text),” https://www.un.org.

[2] National Security Strategy (NSS) 2022, Oct. 2022, https://www.whitehouse.gov, 7.

[3] NSS 2022, 25-26.

[4] James D. Cockcroft, Latin America: History, Politics, and US Policy (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1998), 249-50;

Our Hidden History Interview, “Sullivan & Cromwell: Capitalism, Intelligence, & Fascism with Hugo Turner,” Nov. 24, 2018, https://ourhiddenhistory.org;

Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013), 18-19.

[5] Michael Oren, Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present (New York: W. W. Norton, 2007), 456.

[6] Kinzer, Brothers, 226.

[7] William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, rev. ed. (London: Zed Books, 2014); 156-63, 260;

Telegraph, “Larry Devlin,” Dec. 31, 2008, https://www.telegraph.co.uk;

Murray N. Rothbard, “Wall Street, Banks,” Mises Institute, 10, 12-13, 23-25, 31-32, 37, https://mises.org/library. This article first appeared in World Market Perspective (1984), 32-33;

Jeremy Kuzmarov, “Builders of the American Century: Bechtel and Crony Capitalism,” Huffington Post, May 20, 2017, https://www.huffpost.com;

Ken Silverstein, “Diamonds of Death,” The Nation, April 23, 2001, https://www.thenation.com;

Kinzer, Brothers, 247-83.

[8] John Marcum, The Angolan Revolution Volume 1: The Anatomy of an Explosion (1950-1962), (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1969), 183, 186, 271, 273.

[9] Condoleezza Rice, “US Recognizes Kosovo as Independent State,” US Department of State Archives, Feb. 18, 2008, https://2002–2009.state.gov.

[10] Daniel McLaughlin, “US denies running secret prison in Kosovo as covert CIA flights investigated,” Irish Times, Nov. 28, 2003, https://www.irishtimes.com;

“Clandestine Camps in Europe: ‘Everyone Knew What Was Going on in Bondsteel,” Der Spiegel, Dec. 5, 2005, https://www.spiegel.de.

[11] International Court of Justice, “Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect to Kosovo,” https://www.icj-cij.org.

[12] UN, “Russia vetoes Security Council resolution condemning attempted annexation of Ukraine regions,” Sept. 30, 2022, https://new.un.org.

[13] UN, “General Assembly Adopts Landmark Resolution Aimed at Holding Five Permanent Security Council Members Accountable for Use of Veto,” Apr. 26, 2022, https://press.un.org.

[14] UN, “General Assembly Adopts Landmark Resolution.”

[15] UN, “General Assembly Overwhelmingly Adopts Resolution Demanding Russia Federation Immediately End Illegal Use of Force in Ukraine, Withdraw All Troops,” Mar. 2, 2022, https://press.un.org.

[16] Martin Bright, Ed Vulliamy, and Peter Beaumont, “Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote in Iraq war,” Guardian, Mar. 1, 2003, https://www.theguardian.com.

[17] UN, “General Assembly Overwhelmingly Adopts Resolution Demanding Russian Federation.” Mar. 2, 2022.

[18] UN, “Russia vetoes Security Council resolution condemning attempted annexation of Ukraine regions,” Sept. 30, 2022, https://news.un.org.

[19] UN, “Russia vetoes Security Council resolution,” Sept. 30, 2022.

[20] United Nations, “United Nations Charter (full text).”

[21] UN, “Security Council Fails to Adopt Resolution Condemning Moscow’s Referenda in Ukraine’s Occupied Territories, as Permanent Member Employs Veto,” Sept. 30, 2022, https://press.un.org.

[22] UN, “With 143 Votes in Favour, 5 Against, General Assembly Adopts Resolution Condemning Russian Federation’s Annexation of Four Eastern Ukraine Regions,” Oct. 12, 2022, https://press.un.org.

[23] UN, “With 143 Votes in Favour, 5 Against.” Oct. 12, 2022.

[24] Hashem Said, “Map: Russian language dominant in Crimea,” AlJazeera America, Mar. 15, 2014, https://www.america.aljazeera.com.

[25] Vladimir Putin, “Address by President of the Russian Federation,” Mar. 18, 2014, http://en.kremlin.ru.

[26] Kristin Christman, “Iran and the US Holy Code Book of Double Standard Morality,” Oct. 3, 2020, https://countercurrents.org.

[27] UN, “General Assembly Adopts Resolution Calling upon States Not to Recognize Changes in Status of Crimea Region,” Mar. 27, 2014, https://press.un.org.

[28] Alexander Nekrassov, “Ukraine crisis: What’s the UN doing about it?” Al Jazeera, Apr. 21, 2014, https://www.aljazeera.com.

[29] Dan Kovalik and Rick Sterling, “What We Saw and Heard in Crimea,” Antiwar.com, May 30, 2023, https://www.original.antiwar.com.

[30] Moscow Times, “North Crimean Canal Fills with Water After Russian Forces Destroyed Dam,” Mar. 4, 2022, https://www.themoscowtimes.com;

Reuters, “Crimea without power after pylons ‘blow up,’” Nov. 22, 2015, https://www.france24.com;

Reuters, “Crimea loses quarter of power after Ukraine halts supplies,” Dec. 31, 2015, https://www.reuters.com.

[31] Hashem Said, “Map: Russian language dominant in Crimea.”

[32] AlJazeera America, “Tensions mount on eve of Crimean independence,” Mar. 15, 2014, https://www.americaaljazeera.com.

[33] Nadah Tousi contributing writer, “How Biden got to yes on F-16s and Ukraine,” Politico, May 22, 2023, https://www.politico.com.

[34] Zach Dorfman, “CIA-trained Ukrainian paramilitaries may take central role if Russia invades,” Yahoo.com, Jan. 13, 2022, https://news.yahoo.com.

[35] Tass, “Militia Claim Spotting up to 70 Mercenaries of US Military Company Academi in East Ukraine,” Apr. 21, 2015, https://tass.com.

[36] Simon Shuster, “Exclusive: Documents Reveal Erik Prince’s $10 Billion Plan to Make Weapons and Create a Private Army in Ukraine,” Time, July 7, 2021, https://times.com.

[37] Zach Dorfman, “CIA-trained Ukrainian paramilitaries.”

[38] United Nations, “United Nations Charter (full text).”

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