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Why America Overthrew A Democratically Elected Government in Ukraine

Updated on May 17, 2015

United States and the European Union supported the overthrowing of a democratically elected government in Ukraine in February 2014. In particular, the U.S.A. conducted all the planning regarding this overthrowing. U.S politicians facilitated most of the funding in the Ukrainian protests. Moreover, the U.S state department handpicked and installed new politicians in the country at the expense of what democracy or political stability (Nimmo, 2015, p.1). The involvement of U.S in overthrowing of a democratically elected government could be explained in a realistic perspective of international relations. This owes to the fact that much of the concern in this involvement was focused on serving the interests of U.S (Kennan, 2014, p.7). This aspect can be seen in U.S disregard of the destruction and the many deaths that occurred during the civil conflict in Ukraine.

Upon the overthrowing of Ukrainian government, there was much celebration in U.S media and political circles. Majority of people in U.S hailed these as a putsch while ignoring the fact that the neo-nazi militias instigated the instability.

When we focus on the events that triggered the overthrow, it is apparent that were it not the intervention of U.S, Ukraine could not have been in its current state of devastation. By the of 2013, the economy of Ukraine was in disarray. Despite the then president Yanukovych requesting U.S and EU to support the country in bailing it out of the economic devastation, the governments seemed not to be concerned on these problems. It was because of this that the government of Ukraine chose to accept an offer by Russia in its economic bailout. If the government of U.S was concerned on the wellbeing of the state, it could not have allowed these to happen. Rather, it could have employed other forms and strategies of solving the perceived problems in the country (Mankoff, and Kuchins, 2015, p.2).

While politicians in Washington pretended to advocate for democracy, this was all hypocrisy as the motive was different. It should be considered that the government, which U.S was so keen at destabilizing, was a democratically elected one. With disregard to the peace and stability of the nation, U.S politicians were encouraging riots, glorifying violent putsches, as well as destabilizing constitutionally established structures.

However, events in Ukraine have served to indicate that U. S was not concerned on the outcome of the election. Moreover, in the perspective of U.S working within the legal structures or flawed political systems is not important unless U.S is the winner. If U.S happens to lose, then as Parry (2014) points out U.S has to employ a “shock doctrine” which is followed by demonizing the perceived “enemy” leader.

The ousted president Yanukovych Victor was surely not a perfect politician, though it appears that there were few such politicians in the country. Nonetheless, it should be considered that president Yanukovych was elevated into present in an election that could be termed as free and fair in 2010. Indeed, a number of some international analysts considered the election of president Yanukovych as a critical step in creating a democratic and orderly political structure in the state of Ukraine.

The enmity between U.S and the administration of President Yanukovych Victor stemmed from the close ties of Yanukovych with Russia, which was an ardent enemy of U.S. Russia, had rubbed the U.S neocons the wrong way. What is more, many of the influential neocons in Washington had been enraged with President Vladimir Putin because he had influenced Barack Obama to avert the U.S war against Syria and Iran. In these cases, the political figures had wanted to maneuver Obama to engage U.S into confrontations as a way of advancing their short and long-term strategy of regime change across Middle East. The entire process had began in 2003 when the U.S invaded Iraq. The process had only paused because of the disastrous impact of the war.

U.S political neocons were looking up for military interventions in Syria and Iran against their nuclear facilities. However, Russia’s president Viladmin Puttin brought Iran to the negotiating table, which led Iran to guarantee that its nuclear program would not result into a nuclear weapon. It was also Putin who brokered a deal in averting U.S planned strikes over Syria in regard to Damascus chemical attach. Putin made the Syrian authorities to disband its arsenal of chemical weapons.

This made Putin to be at the focus of neocon’s eyes considering that he was a strong defender of antigay campaigns that were being spearheaded in Russia. This factor, alongside the excessive spending on Sochi Olympics made Puttin to become a designated villain in America perspective. Both the mainstream media and political figures denounced him. Therefore, the close tie with Ukrainian president with Russia was not looked upon lightly by U.S political figures as these perceived that the two countries might conspire against U.S.

This was what particularly set the stage against Ukraine and there was no any other special interest other than safeguarding their own. As already discussed, Yanukovych was bound to forge a closer tie with EU which had demanded a substantial “economic reform”. However, he found these conditions harsh and was forced to turn into its neighbor Russia which a part from providing the country with natural gas was also ready to hand it over $15 billion loan (Shoichet, et al, 2014, P.1).

For reasonable people, we can agree that the bargain spearheaded by EU and U.S on Ukraine was too hard. Moreover, the suggested economic reforms were extremely hard for the young democracy. It was also not easy for the country to balance the interests of a divided country with the east dominated by Russians. However, protesters turned this policy dispute as an avenue to overthrow a government that was elected democratically. Efforts in quelling the disturbances were mostly violent, with the police becoming victims.

Although U.S media showed these scenes of violence in Ukraine, the media vested the blame on Yanukovych. Moreover, the media seemed to be happy that the government of Yanukovych was collapsing as it was being replaced by right-wing militias. Upon the fleeing of Yanukovych and his supporters, the opposition seized the control of parliament and began passing strange laws. Interestingly, the U.S politicians and media treated these as uplifting, an uprising against a dictator and did not consider this as a coup (Mankoff, and Kuchins, 2015, p.2).

In the perspective of U.S, president Yanukovych who had been democratically elected had turned into a dictator. On the other hand, coup planners who managed to overthrow the democratically elected government had been labeled as a pro-democracy crisis. Focusing on the Realism theory of international relationship, it is apparent that U.S involved itself in overthrowing the U.S government out of their self-interest and expanding their own political ambitions.


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