This article is just a stub, to alleviate the loading problems caused by too many comments – not that I’m complaining, because I love gossip – attached to the previous post. But I thought I should add something in the way of a public service. From Fedia Kriukov (thanks, Fedia!!) we received a fascinating clip, I daresay well before most other viewers since it is only now beginning to break big-time on the intertubes. Anyway, here it is again. I love the title: Marionettkiy Maidana – “Puppets of the Maidan”. Very imaginative, le mot juste. The clip records a conversation between Victoria Nuland (U.S. State Department, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, as well as the wife of Überconservative right-wing nutjob Robert Kagan) and Geoffrey Pyatt, the United States Ambassador to Ukraine.
To forestall any defense that the recording could be any two people of the correct gender from the region that matches their North American accent, I would point out – courtesy of Patrick Armstrong – that the semi-official response was pretty far from a denial. In fact, the White House immediately blamed Russia, and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called it “a new low” for Russia, in what must be the howler of the decade and suggests she has never heard of the NSA and their 24-7 snooping on everyone and everything.
Anyway, enjoy the entertainment, and against the possibility some might have trouble with the North American accent and the speed of the conversation, I have provided a transcript in English.
Nuland: What do you think?
Pyatt: I think we’re in play. The, uhh…the Klitschko piece is obviously the complicated electron here, uhhh…especially the announcement of him as Deputy Prime Minister..and you’ve seen some of my notes on the troubles in the marriage right now, so we’re trying to get a read really fast on where he is on this stuff. But I think your argument to Ann, which she’ll need to make, I think that’s the next phone call we want to set up, should be exactly the one you made to Ya (??? Yanukovych? Yatsenyuk?) tonight, I’m glad you sort of put him on the spot as to where he fits in this scenario, and I’m very glad he said what he said in response.
Nuland: Good. So..uhh…I don’t think Klitch should go into the government, I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.
Pyatt: Yeah. I mean, I guess…you think…in terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff, I’m just thinking, in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together; the problem is gonna be Tiahnybok and his guys, and…you know, I’m sure that’s part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all of this…I..
Nuland: I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience, he’s..he’s the guy, you know, what he needs is Klitch and Tiahnybok on the outside, he needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know…I just think Klitch going in, he’s gonna be at that level, working for Yatsenyuk, it’s just not gonna work.
Pyatt: Yeah..no..I think that’s right, OK. Good; well, you want us to try to set up a call with him, as your next step?
Nuland: My understanding from (inaudible, sounds like a name) call that you tell me was that the Big Three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was gonna offer, in that context, a three-way, you know, three-plus-one conversation, or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?
Pyatt: No, I think…I mean, that’s what he proposed, but I think, just knowing the dynamic that’s been with them, where..umm.. Klitschko’s been the top dog, he’s gonna take a while to show up to whatever meeting they’ve got, he’s probably talking to his guys at this point, so I think you reaching out directly to him helps with the personality management among the three, and it gives you also a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it before they all sit down and he..uh..he explains why he doesn’t like it.
Nuland: OK, good, I’m happy; why don’t you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.
Pyatt: OK, will do; thanks.
Nuland: OK; I’ve now written…oh, one more wrinkle for you, Jeff…
Nuland: Uh…can’t remember if I told you this or if I only told Washington this, that when I talked to Jeff Feltman (Jeffrey Feltman, Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs at the United Nations, working directly for Ban Ki-Moon and appointed by him), this morning, he had a new name, for the UN guy, Robert Serry (a Dutch diplomat who currently serves at the UN as the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process), did I write you that?
Pyatt: Yeah. Yeah, I saw that.
Nuland: He’s now gotten both Serry and Ban Ki-Moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday.
Nuland: So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing, and have the UN help glue it, and, you know…fuck the EU.
Pyatt: Oh, exactly, and I think that we’ve gotta do something to make it stick together, because you can be pretty sure that if it does, if it does start to gain altitude, the Russians’ll be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it, and again, the fact that this is out there right now, I’m still trying to figure out in my mind why Yanukovych did that. But in the meantime, there’s a Party of Regions faction meeting going on right now, and, you know, I’m sure there’s a lively argument going on in that group at this point. But..uh..anyway, we could lend Joey setup on this one if we move fast. So let me work on..let me work on Klitschko, and if you can just keep..I think we want to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing..and the other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych, but we can probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.
Nuland: So on that piece, Jeff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan’s (probably Jake Sullivan, the Vice-President’s National Security Advisor) come back to me VFR, saying you need Biden, and I said probably tomorrow for an attaboy (a gratuitous pat on the back to a subordinate) and to get the deets (details) to stick. If Biden’s willing.
Pyatt: OK, great, thanks.
I love how they refer to them as “Yats” and “Klitch”, as if they were house cats or something, just the ticket when you are trying to groom new leaders to serve you in a regime-change operation. I’ll bet Yats’s and Klitch’s followers are blown away by the respect in which they are held by those who are pulling their strings. Blown away, too, doubtless, is Angela Merkel, who is not only a big part of the EU that was just told to go fuck itself, but is also the patron of “Klitch” and who was pressing ahead with plans to get him installed as the Ukrainian President, only to find the U.S. State Department is doing an end-run around her and intends that her button-man shall not even have a seat in the government, never mind run it. No, he’s to do his political homework, and report to “Yats” four times a week. Nice work, if you can get it – does that come with a car and driver?
Marx spoke too soon; it is not history, but revolution in Ukraine that repeats itself – first as tragedy, the second time as farce. If Yanukovych cannot parlay this gift into firm reassertion of control over public order in Kiev, he deserves to be overthrown.