How US Toppled European & Central Asian Governments Using The Almighty Dollar

Since February, the US and its allies have paid “pseudo-pacifist” individuals in Russia more than four billion rubles ($66 million US), according to Deputy Security Council Secretary Alexander Grebenkin. The extravagant spending conforms within a well-established playbook of meddling used by Washington in Eastern Europe for well over 30 years, so it is nothing new. This is how the US topples European and Central Asian governments using the almighty dollar.

How US Toppled European And Central Asian Governments Using The Almighty Dollar

Alexander Grebenkin has claimed that pseudo-pacifistic groups who repeat Western talking lines over the Ukraine issue have taken tens of millions of dollars in cash from foreign intelligence agencies.

“In February-March of this year, individual radical structures and individuals who received their thirty pieces of silver’ from abroad attempted to organize so-called anti-war protest events. Now these events has become isolated and do not find support among the population,” the deputy Security Council secretary stated in an interview with Russia’s Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Monday.

The timely infusion of money to support pro-Western political and social forces in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has been perfected by the US into an artistic expression, and it has been used repeatedly over the past three decades to achieve desired political outcomes, pressure national elites to change course, or even topple sovereign governments.

Ukraine: Starting a Disaster and Bragging About It

In late 2013, multiple weeks into the Euromaidan protests in Kiev that would result in the demise of the country’s democratically elected government and the implementation of a pro-Western, pro-EU, radically nationalist regime, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland delivered a speech emphasizing the significance of Washington’s “investment” in Ukraine’s “civil society.”

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“Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991 the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine,” Nuland said at a US-Ukraine Foundation event in Washington, DC on December 13, 2013.

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“Today there are senior officials in the Ukrainian government, in the business community, as well as in the opposition, civil society and the religious community who believe in this democratic and European future for their country. And they have been working hard to move their country and their president in the right direction,” the neocon added.

Nuland hand-picked Ukraine’s new government over the phone with Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador she had walked the streets of Kiev with giving away free cookies, a few weeks later, in February 2014, on the day of the Euromaidan coup. She famously remarked in a leaked call, “Yats is the guy!” in reference to politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who received less than 7% of the votes in the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election but would be chosen as the first prime minister of the post-coup administration.

The coup was a resounding success; President Viktor Yanukovych’s administration was overthrown, and Ukraine was plunged into a security crisis that is still raging today. The ‘investment’ proved lucrative.

Cash for Kyrgyzstan

The top prize was Ukraine, the most populated, most developed, best educated, and richest former Soviet nation to be transformed into a US client state. It was not, however, the first.

Almost a decade earlier, in the spring of 2005, enthusiastic public-spirited Kyrgyz inhabitants came to the streets to overthrow President Askar Akayev’s authoritarian administration, with his kleptocratic regime swept away by the democratic “Tulip Revolution” revolt. That, at least, is the Western version of events.

The National Endowment for Democracy (also known as the “Second CIA“), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Radio Liberty all worked in the background to lay the foundation for the “revolution,” as major mainstream media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times would attest. These organizations and agencies, along with the American University in Bishkek, invested tens of millions of dollars in “democracy programs” for opposition forces, including funding for “independent” media and civil society organizations as well as scholarships.

“American money helps finance civil society centers around the country where activists and citizens can meet, receive training, read independent newspapers and even watch CNN or surf the Internet in some. The NDI alone operates 20 centers that provide news summaries in Russian, Kyrgyz and Uzbek,” the NYT explained. “All of that money and manpower gave the coalescing Kyrgyz opposition financing and moral support in recent years, as well as the infrastructure that allowed it to communicate its ideas to the Kyrgyz people,” the paper added.

How US Toppled European And Central Asian Governments Using The Almighty Dollar 2
Wall Street Journal article from 2005 explaining how US helped bring “democracy” to Kyrgyzstan. © Photo : Screenshot / Wall Street Journal

One of two color revolutions backed by the US that shook Kyrgyzstan was the coup of 2005. In April 2010, additional US-backed troops headed by Roza Otunbayeva overthrew President Kurmanbeck Bakiyev’s government, which had been established with US help five years earlier. Her government lasted until December 2011, when it was replaced by Almazbek Atambayev, who sought to restore positive ties with Moscow while also cutting off the US’ access to the key Manas transit station, which Washington used to transfer troops and equipment into and out of Afghanistan.

Rose Revolution Nourished by Greenbacks

Protests erupted in the Caucasus nation of Georgia during November 2003, with citizens flocking to the streets to protest corruption and nepotism, poverty, economic mismanagement, and alleged electoral fraud in parliamentary elections held on November 2, 2003. The government of President Eduard Shevardnadze – the former Soviet foreign minister-turned-Georgian president lauded as a “hero” by ex-US Secretary of State James Baker for his contribution in ceding Soviet interests in Eastern Europe, dismantling thousands of intermediate-range missiles, and handing over a large chunk of maritime territory in the Bering Sea – had run its course and proven unsustainable.

The bloodless coup of late 2003 would not last long, with Mikheil Saakashvili, a young politician trained in the United States and France, seizing power and ruling the country with an iron fist, replacing Shevardnadze’s ancien regime with his own loyalists. Five years later, Saakashvili would conduct an unsuccessful war against the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, forcing Russian intervention.

Just like in Kyrgyzstan, Washington established the foundation for the coup, with US Ambassador Richard Miles advocating for a “democratic transition” (read below) of power for several years, and the US and its European allies, in addition to private interests such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, splurging millions on media, “civil society” organizations, and educational initiatives to compel Shevardnadze out.

Saakashvili was removed from power in 2013 and compelled to leave the country amid allegations of graft and abuse of power, first to the United States, where he briefly taught at Tufts University, and then to Ukraine, where he served as governor of Odessa for two years before falling out with fellow US-backed politician Petro Poroshenko. In late 2021, Saakashvili returned to Georgia and was imprisoned.

Bulldozer Revolution

The modern concept of Western-sponsored, color revolutionary-style regime change operations has its origins in the final moments of the Cold War, with Gene Sharp, a neoliberal political scientist, attributed with conceptualizing the academic core behind the notions of the color revolution, which were first tested out in the anti-communist revolutions that shook Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Yugoslavia’s “Bulldozer Revolution” of 2000, in which President Slobodan Milosevic was adeptly ousted from power and replaced by a pro-Western government, sent him to The Hague on war crime charges he was never convicted of before his death in 2006, served as the modern-day prototype for modern color-coded coups.

Otpor! (lit. “Resistance!”) was the driving force behind the 2000 Bulldozer Revolution, a foreign-backed civic youth movement supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, and the International Republican Institute. Between late 1998 and late 2000, the NED alone supplied over $3 million to the organisation, while USAID provided over $30 million for telecoms equipment, cash for “election monitors,” posters, badges, t-shirts, and other goodies.

Otpor! was so effective that it helped usher in a new age of regime change operations in the 21st century in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Asia. Unfortunately, there has not yet been a case of a color revolution that has transformed its host nation into a thriving, prosperous, democratic one, which is bad news for any sincere supporters in liberalism’s ideals and Western-style democratic values.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Interference in another country’s politics is a centuries old British policy, which U.S. diplomatic and security types have practiced at least since the Civil War. As long as there was manageable “blowback”, the definition of “defense” as “promotion of U.S. commercial interests abroad” served to justify this policy. Now that suddenly there are repercussions, President Biden has to take those accustomed to guaranteed profits (and jobs) off the Federal teat. Since WWII, most Americans have been geopolitical ignoramuses. That’s why popular reaction to Biden’s Afghanistan pullout is just the first chicken returning to the roost.

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