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Another Day, Another Billion for Color Revolutions Near Russia's Borders

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Last week, the Obama administration proposed its final, 2017 fiscal year budget proposal to Congress. Among the proposed outlays is a State Department request for nearly a billion dollars to counter "Russian aggression" and "promote democracy" in the former Soviet Union. In other words, Washington thinks the region needs more color revolutions.

On Tuesday, the State Department and USAID held a special joint briefing, laying out a $50.1 billion spending request for 2017, including $953 million in "critical support for Ukraine and surrounding countries in Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia to counter Russian aggression through foreign assistance and public diplomacy."

The funds, officials specified, would go toward "enhancing access to independent, unbiased information; eliminating corruption and supporting rule of law; strengthening civil society; enhancing energy security, supporting financial reforms, trade, and economic diversification; and increasing some defense capabilities" in countries including "Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova [and] in Central Asia."

The spending would be separate from the proposed $3.4 billion (up from $789 million in 2016), provided by the so-called "European Reassurance Initiative," which aims for "a significant reinvestment in the US military presence in Europe after decades of gradual withdrawal" to counter "the growing threat Russia poses to long-term US national security interests in Europe and beyond."

With most of the Western media basically ignoring the plans and focusing on other aspects of the budget's whopping $4 trillion in proposed spending, Russian security analysts, naturally, couldn't let this 'minor detail' simply slip by unnoticed, given that the spending proposal is openly oriented against Russia.

Analyzing the State Department's proposed new spending spree, Svobodnaya Pressa columnist Andrei Ivanov says that the outlays raise as many questions as they answer.

A man flahes the V-sign for victory during an anti-government protest in downtown Skopje on May 17, 2015
© AFP 2016/ DIMITAR DILKOFF
"It's not difficult to guess what is implied by [the proposed spending for] 'democratization,'" the journalist noted. "However, several questions arise. Firstly, this year, the State Department has already allocated $117 million 'to support democracy' in Ukraine, and $51 million for Moldova and Georgia. But in these countries, so-called color revolutions have already taken place, and the Americans have already almost achieved what they set out to do."

"Secondly, it's unclear what kind of 'countering of Russian aggression' the State Department means in relation to Central Asia. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have long been oriented toward Moscow, and even joined with Russia in the common customs area of the Eurasian Economic Union. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are also part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization's unified security system. Russia has also signed a series of bilateral cooperation agreements with Uzbekistan."

The proposed spending, Ivanov notes, "assumes a serious US commitment to pursuing its [geopolitical] goals, which threatens Russia with obvious negative consequences. The question thus arises about the countermeasures our country might take in response."

"According to experts, on the eve of the coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014, over two thousand non-governmental organizations were created, from training camps for militants to various clubs of political scientists and media workers."

Unfortunately, the journalist recalls, "Moscow relied more on the agreements reached with Ukrainian elites; the result was disastrous. Today, the question again arises about the need to work actively with the civil society of neighboring states."

Asked to comment on the State Department's new spending proposal, Andrei Manoilo, a professor of political science at Moscow State University, expressed a commonly held view among Russian security professionals.

Namely, the professor told the newspaper, "when Washington talks about spreading democracy, and allocates money for this purpose, it is referring to 'color revolutions' – the overthrow of undesirable regimes and the drive to bring puppets who mimic democracy to power."

"Factually, these countries find themselves under American control. Ukraine is a vivid example. Until recently, Georgia too served as a good example, with each department and ministry in the country featuring an advisor and curator from the State Department. In Ukraine, supervision is carried out through the US Embassy, and through officials loyal to Washington, charged with implementing its instructions."

As for the earmarking funds for countries which have already undergone color revolutions, Manoilo explained that the money "is allocated for the purpose of maintaining the stability of the dependent regime." This is especially true in Ukraine's case, he said. It is also meant "to ensure the loyalty of local elites."

In Georgia's case, "after Mikheil Saakashvili resigned from his post and was forced to flee the country, the American position weakened somewhat, mainly due to the perceived negativity which the color revolution had brought the country. So here, the US [spends] in order to maintain its influence. It is also possible that the US is considering ensuring the loyalty of Georgian elites by 'nourishing' cyclical color revolutions, thus carrying out a rotation of the elite."

As for Central Asia, the State Department announcement seems to indicate, according to Manoilo, "that color revolutions are planned there as well. The Americans need to see regime change in the countries which, for the most part, are oriented toward Russia. In Central Asia, Moscow has several projects geared toward integration, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the CSTO. Today, the countries in the region face a difficult situation, with disintegratory processes growing among them."

In Tajikistan, the professor warned, the State Department may attempt to reignite the embers of the country's civil war, which took place between 1992-1997, taking advantage of disagreements between the country's north and south. "US NGOs, which operated freely in the country until recently, are taking advantage [of discontent] among both northern and southern elites. It was not until about a year ago that President Emomali Rahmon began to restrict their activities."

In Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, "the situation has changed little since the last color revolution. The protest mood remains strong. US NGOs and foundations have been working actively with the rural population, which is not very versed in politics, but is easy to agitate to participate in demonstrations against authorities, as the 'melon' revolution of 2010 demonstrated."

In all the countries of Central Asia, Manoilo noted, "there is the strong factor of Islamist radicalism. By and large, only the presence of Russian military bases holds back an Islamist offensive in the region."

Unfortunately, he says, "practice has shown that when it comes to overthrowing undesirable governments, the State Department easily finds a common language with even the most rabid fundamentalists. It's sufficient to recall the color revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring. It would not be out of place to presume that the US is preparing their repetition, except this time in the post-Soviet space."

"In addition to Central Asia, there is the southern Caucasus. Last summer, Armenia saw a rehearsal of a color revolution under non-political slogans – a new technology called the 'Electro-Maidan'. Armenia is a Russian ally in the South Caucasus, and the US has plans for regime change, using their methods of the so-called 'democratic transition'."

Ultimately, Manoilo warns, "by dismantling the political order in Russia's neighboring countries, the US wants to create a vacuum around our country. Simply put, this indicates a repeat of the Ukrainian scenario. After all, until very recently it was simply impossible to imagine Ukraine as a country which is hostile to Russia."

Russia's Response

Asked what measures Russia can take in order to prevent new, State Department-inspired color revolutions from breaking out on its borders, the professor suggested that "the best way to counter the phenomenon is to constantly monitor the situation, and identify preparations for color revolutions."

"After all," Manoilo noted, "preparations for coups begin covertly, over a period of several years, before protesters come out to the square. Protest movements are prepared according to a well-established pattern, and if the 'revolutionary' activity is uncovered at the preparation stage, the State Department tends to curtail its activities, due to the risk of something going wrong, or costs exceeding the allocated budget."

"Today, Russia and the countries of Central Asia coordinate their efforts within the CSTO framework to identify threats of a military nature – from Islamists and others. The same kind of coordinated work is necessary for identifying planning for the organization of color revolution. That is, there needs to be a single coordination center, and unified monitoring, intelligence and warning systems in place."

"Without question," the professor notes, "it is also necessary to expand work with civil society, especially with the youth. For this, one can rely on the governments of the countries which are at risk. But there must be a common policy –one which would help reduce the base of recruitment for the organizers of color revolutions."

"In Ukraine, this work was not carried out. Things came to a point where the protesters were already formed into a critical mass, with which it is difficult to work, to level reasonable arguments toward, and which quickly degenerated into a state of aggression. The opportunity was missed."

"For young people," Manoilo emphasizes, "it is necessary to build social mobility, so that youth can look for opportunities and engage in constructive activity."

"The 'revolutionaries' offer young people an instant career. It is well-known that young people are anything but patient. They want to achieve social status here and now. In day-to-day life, it demands long, hard work…But the 'revolutionaries' offer something different. They say to a young man: 'Come to the square, yell against the authorities for a while, and in a week we'll give you the title of a 'hundreds' revolutionary. And a member of the 'hundreds' is someone of status, a big cheese, the girls see him as a hero. And it is through such 'little lies' that the organizers of coups attract young people. They understand the psychology of young people, and the needs they seek to satisfy, very well."

"Therefore," the political scientist notes, "it's necessary to carry out broad social work. Young people need to see their prospects for the future. And then they would not come out to any 'Maidan', no matter what someone did to urge them on."

Ultimately, Manoilo says, "this system has to be built from scratch." Unfortunately, "Russia does not have experience of work with civil society abroad." 

However, "we have accumulated some experience at home. Most importantly, Russia itself has experts capable of working to counteract color revolutions. We know what to do and how. The time when everyone feared color revolutions and did not know how to react to them has passed. And so in response to the American export of 'color revolution technology', Russia can export its own technology – political stabilization."

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Tags:
U.S. Department of State, expert analysis, Maidan scenario, color revolutions, color revolution, Maidan, export, analysis, Armenia, United States, Ukraine, Russia, Central Asia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Georgia
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  • karlof1
    Color Revolutions are "soft" terrorism that can be easily and rapidly escalated into "hard" terrorism as we've seen on several occasions. So, the Outlaw US Empire wants to allocate at least another billion dollars for the promotion of terrorism, but I bet there're even more billions allocated that are hidden a bit better.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn
    The American Empire is like a cancer eating away at the frontiers of Russia. Islamism is primarily a US creation meant to pave the way for their acts of aggression.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
    armor, They know perfectly well what they have done, which has been quiet deliberate. They want the world and mean to have it. Their consciences are clear, for they are the exceptional and indispensable people who have been chosen by providence to rule the world.
  • armorin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn (Show commentHide comment)
    Randall Lee Hilburn, alas, alas, you are right there. I hope Providence will decisively decide on another course and make them a little humble, make them realize that they are not indispensable, and allow the world to breathe normally....
  • anne00marie
    Soros so loves a colour revolution for his NGO projects. However, didn't Russia issue an International Arrest Warrant out on the moron, for financial terrorism and isn't Russia running rings around Soros and his demonic actions?
  • Mitach2002
    I'm in Canada and would cheer the downfall of the terrorist American government.
    Once again they attemp to enforce democracy when the fact is America doesn't even have democracy.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
    armor, I am convinced that the American leadership is dangerously insane and quiet stupid to boot. This is what the world is up against. People who are both mentally deranged and not very intelligent. Their handling of internal US affairs reflects the same thing. Things will keep going in the direction they now are until the US collapses internally from the insanity and imbecility.
  • armorin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn (Show commentHide comment)
    Randall Lee Hilburn, I understand better and better all the time. Yet, with your blessing, I won't include many good people there, only that elite, controlling everything, dominating, and arrogant. They have to collapse somehow....
  • siberianhusky
    Excellent article, looks like somebody has seen the light.

    With Europe having become a lost course for the Americans and far less likely to dance to there tune Asia should be very aware what will be coming down the pipe for them.

    The Neocon ZionNazie's in Washington with slowly loosing Europe will not take this lying down and will be actively looking for an other sandbox to drop their sh*t in.
  • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
    As long as the us zio government will find people who will betray their country ( if annihilating hospitals/schools and of course killing civilians) with the help of mercenaries those colored revolutions will be a thing.
  • Baybarsin reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
    armor, Are you kidding? In order to work for American government, you must remove your conscience and leave it at the door.
  • Baybarsin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn (Show commentHide comment)
    Randall Lee Hilburn, Oh, wait! Did you just say Americans think they are The Chosen People?? LOL, that explains Everything...
  • Bob Hofererin reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
    armor, Us of NA does NOT have a conscience. America, the land of 'milk and honey', only the milk has gone sour and the honey is 'laced' with chemicals/poison.
  • All of Central Asia needs to immediately throw out all USAid or other US based "charity" directly or indirectly sponsored NGOs and cut the US embassy staff to a basic minimum to match the number of diplomats these countries keep in the US. And by no means, keep any monies in US controlled financial institutions. Or they will leave themselves vulnerable like Ukraine.
  • rmpblue
    The only thing really 'colorful' is the chosen words and blather used in this load of propaganda and expression of Russian (Kremlin) insecurity. The FACT is that every nation that remains in Russia's 'sphere' (as Russia imagines there is a right to) is either a dictatorship or autocratic backwoods. The vast majority of the populations of said nations desire a better life with more freedoms and thus seek closer relations with the US and Europe. That fact is absolutely undeniable! And yes, I can say that as I have been many times to just about every country mentioned in the above article . . .

    Russia will respond in typical fashion with threats of economic pressure by way of gas and oil and other forms of intimidation. Then there is the similar means that Putin used to buy the Ukrainian criminal regime of Yanukovych . . .where by the way the vast majority of the population seeks closer ties with Europe and the US rather than the insecure, corrupt, autocratic Russia under 'Tsar' Putin.

    Get over it . . .'Stop concerning yourselves so much with the US budget and get your own house in order' is the advice that the Kremlin and whole of Russian government should adhere to. The fact is Russia has no real allies that are not either bought through intimidation or autocratic and lacking rights and freedoms to varying degrees. Leaders are found in all of them that have hung on to power for years and even decades and opposition democracy are persecuted or outright banned. That is the driving force behind the masses seeking freedom and prosperity away from Russia's 'sphere'.

    *yawn*
  • vendorin reply tormpblue(Show commentHide comment)
    rmpblue, if the countries under the Russian sphere of influence are dictatorships or autocratic backwoods, how would you consider for instance the USA or majority of the Western countries? Democracies? If so, do not forget that these dictatorships have voting systems in place too. :) If, so, please do not forget about Florida, and a number of other instances.

    There are two types of dictatorship;

    1) Covert dictatorship.
    2) Overt dictatorship.

    There is no democracy at present anywhere in the world.
  • vendorin reply tormpblue(Show commentHide comment)
    rmpblue, I must add;

    The fact is Russia has no real allies that are not either bought through intimidation or autocratic and lacking rights and freedoms to varying degrees.

    Do you think the Americans do and how do they go about scoring friendships? :)
  • rmpblue
    Vendor, the difference is NATO, European, South American, and Asian allies of the US are allied because they WANT to be and if they decide to sever relations or adjust as happens over years for good and/or bad they are free to do so without US interference.

    France was a member of NATO for years and then left NATO and later returned. Ukraine desired for years to flee Russia's 'orbit' and Russia concocts threats to Russian speaking Ukrainians. Then invades Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

    Every former nation that once made up the USSR that has allied with NATO or integrated with Europe has done so willingly and in fact anxiously in order to get out and away from Russia's domineering and autocratic sphere. Further more want to now and for those Russia instigates and propagates threats and pressure. There is no end to it and while much of the world is slow to grasp the realities of Putin's elementary propaganda and tactics it is clear and extremely transparent to those not shut off from reality by greed or self-serving agendas. Putin is no better than Hitler was and he is just as much of a dictator as was Stalin, the man who murdered many times more Russian/Soviet peoples as did Hitler.

    I love Russia and consider it as like a second home. But I will never deny the truth that it's leaders are repugnant liars and corrupt fools. That starts from Putin and runs down to many of the local levels. That I say from in person observations and experience where a bribe can always help rid one of the red tape and hassles, bribes which I never once paid but paid the price for refusing. OVIR always has a price or exacts one for those with integrity. *This is just a small example of why peoples from every former USSR nation and/or Warsaw Pact country either has ran from Russia swiftly without regret or desires to presently, unless they are one of the few ran by autocratic dictators like Putin . . .
  • vendorin reply tormpblue(Show commentHide comment)
    rmpblue, that is just one way of interpreting things if you agree to swallow the USA pill. The American allies especially South American and Asian and some European (not including the Brits) have been cutely convinced some by force while other by blackmail to become the USA allies. Every kid knows this. The same situation with France, and now Germany. Both of these countries want to work with Russia but the Americans are saying NO. Ukraine just like Montenegro or other East European countries have been either blackmailed or after installing a pupped regime signed up for NATO membership. Every kid knows this as well.

    I agree with your statement of the Russian leaders but they are equally corrupt as any American or Western European politician or any ME snack bar. They just are. They would not be in these positions if they were not.

    So, when you are trying to be just well, be just completely.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply toBaybars(Show commentHide comment)
    Baybars, They feel that it gives them the right to play by a different set of rules than everybody else has to. They are similar to the old monarchies of Europe in that in their estimation they rule by what amounts to divine right.
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