The Geopolitical History of Ukraine


Alfred Mendes - Global Research

It is first necessary to place this amorphous region known as the Ukraine within its historical context: the Catholic/Orthodox schism in the region around 1024 AD had led the newly-formed Jesuits of the 16th century (with not-a-little-help from the dominant Habsburg dynasty) to alleviate this festering wound in the side of the Roman Catholic church by creating the hybrid Uniate Church which would acknowledge the supremacy of the Pope – while retaining its Orthodox liturgy! This was blatant pragmatism. Now just another scapegoat in the struggle between Catholic and Orthodox, the Ukraine would be one of a number of other countries/regions stretching from the Baltic in the north southwards via the Black Sea, the Aegean, the Ionian into the Adriatic – later known as the ‘Intermare’.

With this background in mind, it was inevitable that the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 would result in a sharp aggravation of this schism. The Vatican, now backed by a capitalist West, would confront those ‘atheists’ – those ‘Reds’. And with the assistance of the many ‘White Russian’ émigrés who had fled from their homeland, the Vatican, in collaboration with the French and British Intelligence Agencies, set up, in the mid-30’s, the Intermarium, which was, in essence, a highly influential Intelligence organization which would concentrate on that now crucial line: the Intermare (see above).

In the lead up to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, it was common knowledge that his target was the Soviet Union (those Untermenschen), and that one important aspect of this was the creation of a ‘Greater Ukraine’ which would supply him with Lebensraum (wheat fields, minerals, and industrial development). This suited the anti-communist British and French – for which they paid the price of WW 2!

Hitler’s subsequent invasion of the USSR in June 1941 was aided in no small measure by fascist Ukrainian paramilitaries, such as the nationalist anti-Russian Ukrainian separatist organization – the Melnyk Faction; and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) with its paramilitary force, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (under the command of Stepan Bandera – of whom, more, later), which had, for instance, assisted the Germans in their takeover of Kovel, in northwestern Ukraine.

The Vatican, realizing that it stood to gain from the invasion of the USSR – at the expense of the Orthodox Church – sent Cardinal Lavitrano and a member of the Intermarium, Bishop Ivan (John) Bucko (auxiliary Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic dioceses in the US until posted to the Vatican in 1941) to reach an accommodation with the Germans. Suffice it to add that the subsequent deportation of millions of young Ukrainians to Germany as slave labor, and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Jews, partisans, communists et al. – in which the above-mentioned Ukrainian groups played a major role – resulted in deep silence from the Vatican. But more was to come: the Germans now formed the (Ukrainian) Galicia SS Division which was subsequently involved in much anti-Soviet military action.

(At this point, it is pertinent to note that this author can vouch for the fact that Ukrainians had served in the wehrmacht. As a trooper in ‘A’ Squadron of the ‘Royals’ for the latter half of WW 2, in the immediate aftermath of the Armistice we were posted to a recently evacuated German military camp at Silkeborg in Denmark. Not long after arrival, our troop – 3rd Troop – was sent nearby to oversee the disarmament of a Ukrainian regiment serving in the werhmacht. They had just shot their German officer – and had finally agreed to be disarmed. It was an unforgettable scene as we watched from our armored cars as these rugged peasants marched by in long, wide columns – interspersed by the odd horse-drawn cart carrying a woman-or-two – their march accompanied by beautifully synchronized martial song. ..It was awesome – bordering on fearsome.)

In May 1945, the Galician SS Division – now more acceptably known as the First Ukrainian Division – surrendered to the British in Klagenfurt, Austria, whence they were sent to Rimini Camp in Italy, and two years later eight thousand of them – many of them guilty of war crimes – were shipped to Britain to be given civilian status. (Rimini was to gain notoriety for the role it played in the smuggling out of Nazi war criminals to the Americas – with the aid of the Vatican). As noted by Mark Aarons and John Loftus on page 198 of their book “Ratlines”: “Forty years later, in November 1998, a British All-Party Parliamentary Committee determined that the Galician SS had not received even the minimal screening required for normal immigration to Britain, let alone the rigorous scrutiny promised in 1947”. This is hardly surprising in view of other revelations from the same book (p. 200): “The leader of the Ukrainian nationalists, Stepan Bandera [see above], had worked for the SIS [British Intelligence] before the war. In 1945, after the Nazis were defeated, the prodigal Bandera was taken back into the fold. He was not alone.”

In view of the foregoing, only one conclusion can be drawn: the ‘Cold War’ was still very much alive throughout the war, but it is worthy of note that from now on American Intelligence would take over control from their British and French counterparts.

The introduction of the reforms known as Glasnost by Gorbachev in the late ‘80’s led to the economic collapse within the Soviet Union. As Eric Hobsbawn put it in his “Nations and Nationalism since 1870” (p. 167) in reference to Glasnost: “The changes in and after 1989 were thus essentially not due to national tensions…but primarily to the decision of the Soviet regime to reform itself, and in doing so

(a) to withdraw military support from its satellite regimes,

(b) to undermine the central command and authority structure which allowed it to operate, and consequently

(c) to undermine the foundations of even the independent communist regimes in Balkan Europe.” The only conclusion to be drawn from this is that Gorbachev was/is the best friend America ever had!

Ukraine, the most heavily-populated and economically important of the Soviet republics – after Russia – would, understandably, play an important role in the break-up of the USSR in December 1991, perhaps best illustrated by the following brief account (in chronological order) of events concerning same, to be found in “The World Almanac of 1993” (Pan Books) on pages 1 & 2:

Dec. 1 [1991] : “On that day the people of the Ukraine, the so-called breadbasket of the Soviet Union, voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from the USSR”.

Dec. 2: “Pres. George Bush directed Sec. of State James Baker to visit the Ukraine to explore establishing diplomatic relations and to discuss control of nuclear weapons on its territory”.

Dec. 3: Contrary to Gorbachev’s appeal, “Yeltsin recognized the Ukraine as an independent state”.

Dec. 5: Ukraine parliament endorsed result of referendum of Dec 1st.

Dec. 8: Leaders of the three Slavic USSR republics – Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia – signed an agreement to form a “Commonwealth of Independent States” – and invited other USSR republics to join.

Dec. 9: “Gorbachev denounced the agreement as illegal”.

Dec.12: Kravchuk, Pres. of the Ukraine, “declared himself commander of all Soviet troops in Ukraine territory”.

Dec. 21: Leaders of 11 republics met in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, and signed agreements creating the Commonwealth.

The USSR no longer existed, and the oil and gas reserves of Russia would now be available to Corporate America – to say nothing of that vulnerable ‘breadbasket’ – Ukraine!

In 1994, the American-Ukrainian Advisory Committee (AUAC), was formed, under Zbigniew Brzezinski with such prestigiously notorious members as Henry Kissinger, General Gavin (ex-head of NATO), Frank Carlucci, George Soros et al. It would thenceforth hold meetings alternately in the US and Ukraine.

On the Ukrainian side, membership included President Leonid Kravchuk (see above), and his advisor, professor Bohdan Hawrylyshyn (whose nephew, Olech Hawrylyshyn, was on the Soros Foundation payroll while deputy minister of finance!).

Bohdan not only chaired the AUAC’s Ukrainian side – but also the influential International Center for Policy studies (ICPS). On May 2nd and 3rd of 1997, this ICPS organised a meeting of 15 top Ukrainian officials to discuss economic policy, among whom was one Victor Yuschenko, chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine. He was to serve as Prime Minister from 1999 until his removal two years later – only to become a central figure in the 2004 election debacle (see below).

In the meantime, Kravchuk had been replaced as president in the 1994 election by Leonid Kuchma, who during his candidature had visited Soros in the US. Moreover, the Soros foundation would supply $363,100 to support the independent television stations’ coverage of this election – all of it used within 3 months!. Kuchma would later send 1650 Ukrainian troops as allies to the Americans after the latter’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. The above can only be described as a web of intrigue.

It was now self-evident that the AUAC would do all in their power to ensure the election of Yuschenko in 2004. A brief look at the glaring similarities between the events in Belgrade in 2000, in Tblisi, Georgia in 2003, and those in the recent election in Kiev is all that is needed to confirm this:

(a) The similar massive, highly-organised student demonstrations;

(b) the fact that these expensive demonstrations had been organised by the same Serbian-trained group, but under different names – ‘OTPOR’ in Serbia, ‘Khmara’ in Georgia, and ‘PORA’ in Ukraine;

(c) The fact that all three elections were immediately denounced as ‘rigged’; but most importantly (d) the fact that they had all three been manipulated by America

Some years ago, this author received a letter from a media correspondent, with the following quotes pertinent to this article:

“It is a great shame that more people are not aware of what has become the unchallenged power of global capitalism. It has a very pernicious effect, particularly on the thinning of state power and the weakening of democracy……Sadly, understanding the role of the past on the present has become a heresy of much contemporary journalism. Modern technology, which allows instant news reporting, has further segregated journalism from a proper appreciation of historical dialectics and causation”.

The implication here is that the media of today must conform to the wishes/needs of its corporate capitalist ownership – and say what it is paid to say. This is clearly the explanation for the apparent ‘irrationality’ noted in the opening paragraph of this article.


This article was first published by GR in 2004 and sheds light on the history of Ukraine.

By the same author:

Geopolitics of the Ukrainian Breadbasket

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