US Private Military Contractors in Ukraine?

Published on Steve Lendman Blog, by Stephen Lendman, March 10, 2014.

Reports suggest their presence in Eastern Ukraine. Perhaps Washington deployed Academi (formerly Xe Services/Blackwater USA) forces. Jeremy Scahill’s book titled “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” described the organization. He called it a “shadowy mercenary company (employing) some of the most feared professional killers in the world accustomed to operating without worry of legal consequences (and) largely off the congressional radar.” It has “remarkable power and protection (within) the US war apparatus.” It’s well funded. It operates extrajudicially. It’s unaccountable. It’s licensed to kill, terrorize, destroy and destabilize. It takes full advantage wherever its forces are deployed. 

Other private military contractors operate the same way. They’re mercenaries. They’re well-paid. They’re well-trained. They’re guns for hire. More on them below. Washington bears full responsibility for ousting Ukraine’s democratically elected government. EU partners share it. Neo-Nazi putschists were installed. They have no legitimacy whatever. So-called May 25 elections are scheduled. They’ll be sham ones when held … //

… Washington employs thousands private military contractors (PMCs). They’re mercenaries. They’re hired guns. Peter Dale Scott once said they’re “authorized to commit violence in the the name of their employers.” They’re “predatory bandits.” They’re “uncontrollable subordinates…representing…public power (in) remote places.” They operate extrajudicially. They’re unrestricted by US, international, or local governments’ laws. They’re free from civil or criminal accountability. Under Article 47 of the 1977 Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions:

“A mercenary is any person who:

  • (a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;
  • (b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities:
  • (c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of the Party;
  • (d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;
  • (e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and
  • (f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.”

Washington substitutes them for Pentagon forces. At multiples more in cost. Using them gives US authorities cover for whatever crimes they commit. Doing so avoids accountability. They’re an integral part of America’s imperial agenda. Apparently they’re operating in Ukraine. Perhaps hundreds will increase to thousands. Maybe in other Ukrainian cities. Maybe covertly in Crimea. If not now, maybe later. Expect East/West tensions to escalate. Expect the risk for open conflict to increase.

A Final Comment:

  • US-backed putschists usurping power in Kiev was phase one. Next comes forced-fed austerity. IMF and other Western loans demand it.
  • Neo-Nazis in charge presented what they have in mind. Looting Ukraine began. Pensioner income was halved. It went from $160 to $80 dollars monthly.
  • Expect other social benefits slashed. Expect it across-the-board. Ordinary people will be hardest hit. Kommersant-Ukraine (K-U) obtained an internal document.
  • “The Finance Ministry has prepared a plan for optimizing budget expenditures, which implies budget sequestration is to be in force before the end of March,” said K-U.
  • “For this purpose, in particular, it has been proposed to reduce capital costs, eliminate tax schemes and preferences and to cut social benefits, for example, 50 percent of pensions to working pensioners.”
  • Putschists intend depriving ordinary Ukrainians to pay bankers. They’re doing it straightaway.
  • Expect much greater pain and suffering. Expect mass layoffs. Expect deepening poverty. Expect predatory Western corporations taking full advantage … //

… (full long text).

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