The coup provoked a chain of events which the U.S., London and NATO used as justification to impose punitive sanctions against Russia, while demonizing Russia's President Putin, asserting that the he was engaged in military operations in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, to reverse the coup. Efforts to stop the fighting between the regime's armed forces and ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine led to the Minsk Accord in 2015, which included a cease fire and the granting of autonomy for Donetsk and Luhansk. The Minsk Accord was brokered by France, Germany and Russia.
On January 18, 2018, the Ukrainian Parliament ripped up the Minsk Accord, referring to the two republics as "temporarily occupied" by an "aggressor country," that is, Russia, and vowed to reintegrate them, by military force if necessary. This bill, which received the full support of Ukraine's President Poroshenko, has been described by the Russian Foreign Ministry as "a preparation for a new war." It occurs simultaneously with an outburst of war-like propaganda from western neocons, typified by a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), released on February 20 with the title, "Coping with Surprise in Great Power Conflicts." The report charges that both Russia and China are preparing for war against the U.S., and that the Russians are deploying forces and artillery to overrun the Baltic states in a lightening strike, to reincorporate them into a new Russian empire!
What is also not yet publicly known, but is now coming into focus due to Congressional investigations of the role of British secret agent, Christopher Steele, a "former" MI6 operative, is that the dirty alliance behind the coup, and the subsequent escalation of anti-Russian, war-like hysteria, is the same network running the Russiagate scam as a regime change coup against U.S. President Trump.
THE CASE OF PAUL MANAFORT
This background is necessary to understand the vicious hostility behind the targeting of Paul Manafort, a long-time U.S. political operative, by the "amoral legal assassin", special counsel Robert Mueller. Manafort, who served as Donald Trump's campaign manager at a key moment in his fight to secure the Republican nomination, from May to August 2016, was indicted by Mueller on October 27, 2017, charged with numerous counts of money laundering, tax fraud, not registering as an agent of a foreign government, and of making false statements to the FBI. Mueller filed a revised indictment on February 28, 2018, following his "turning" of Manafort's partner Rick Gates, who filed a guilty plea to a single count on February 22. While awaiting trial in September, Manafort is confined to house arrest.
None of the charges against Manafort are related to the initial mandate given to Mueller, by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to investigate the allegations of Russian hacking and sundry meddling in the 2016 election, and whether Donald Trump had "colluded" with the Russians. However, they are directly related to the geopolitical manipulations against Russia, which have been sharply criticized by Trump, both as a candidate and as President.
Manafort was first placed under surveillance following a FISA Court order in 2014. FISA, the super-secret court set up as part of the post-9/11 apparatus to spy on potential terrorists, granted the surveillance order as part of an investigation into alleged illegal lobbying on behalf of the Yanukovic government of Ukraine by Manafort and others. Note that the timing of the court order coincided with the 2014 coup in Ukraine. Manafort had been working for several years as an adviser to the Party of the Regions, which was the party of President Yanukovic, who was overthrown by the regime change coup.
The original FISA warrant targeting Manafort was subsequently not renewed, for lack of evidence. A second order, however, was approved by the FISA Court for surveillance of Manafort sometime during 2016—the exact date of the order has not been released—likely around the time Manafort took over the reins of the Trump campaign. Manafort played a key role in holding the Trump coalition together heading into the Republican convention July 18-21, as Bush-directed "Never-Trumpers" were attempting to steal the nomination away from him.
Prior to the convention, Manafort was involved in the successful fight to remove language from the party's platform which called for providing lethal weapons to the Poroshenko government, allegedly to fight against "Russian subversion." Manafort had the backing of Trump for this, as Trump had campaigned for an end to U.S. support for regime change wars, such as the Obama-neocon coup in Ukraine.
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, a leading campaigner for tougher sanctions against Russia—he was one of the authors of the initial anti-Russia sanctions, in the Magnitsky Act—accused Trump and Manafort of changing the platform to benefit Russia, which he accused of robbing Ukraine of sovereignty! It is now reported that Manafort's role in changing the language in the platform is "under investigation" by Mueller!
(Manafort was also instrumental in including a plank supporting restoration of Glass Steagall banking separation, something vehemently opposed by Wall Street and the City of London financial institutions.)
It was during this same time period, June and July, once it was evident that, barring some unforeseen event, Trump would be the Republican nominee, that the anti-Trump activities of the "Deep State" went into high gear. While the "Never Trumpers" were unsuccessfully plotting to prevent his nomination at the convention, Christopher Steele began churning out memos, paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, which included wild claims about Putin's secret service filming Trump in compromising sexual activity during the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow. His first memo was written on June 20, 2016, and he met for the first time with an FBI official on July 5, 2016.
It was also in June that CIA Director John Brennan was briefed by GCHQ Director Hannigan, on "evidence" compiled by his agency, of "suspicious" activity they had picked up on Russian activity with Trump. GCHQ is Britain's cyber security intelligence agency, which works directly with MI5 and MI6. Brennan then pulled together an inter-agency task force to investigate the British charges of Russian activity. Among those in the FBI unit which was part of this task force were the now-famous duo, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, whose extensive text messaging shows that they were engaged in creating the fake narrative of "Russian meddling and Trump collusion". One text spoke of developing the Russiagate narrative to either defeat Trump in November, or provide an "insurance policy" against him, if he won.
This incriminating text describes the meeting as taking place in "Andy's office", a reference to the now-fired Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who told a Congressional hearing that there would have been no surveillance warrant issued by the FISA court in October 2016 against Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page, had it not been for the Steele dossier.
Nunes has sent a list of ten questions regarding how the Steele's dossier shaped the anti-Trump mobilization of Obama's intelligence agencies. Among those receiving the list of ten questions are James Comey, the former FBI director fired by Trump, Obama's Director of National Intelligence Clapper, Brennan and Victoria Nuland. They are given until March 2 to answer, or they will face subpoenas. What Nunes is looking for is answers as to when the Steele dossier was brought to their attention, by whom, what actions were taken in response to it, its role in the submission to the FISA Court, and whether President Obama was briefed on what the dossier contained. They lay the basis for possible indictments against those receiving the questions, and for Steele. Senators Grassley and Graham have already stated they believe charges should be filed against Steele, who has thus far been protected by Her Majesty's government, which has acted to prevent Steele from being brought before a court of law.
STEELE AND THE UKRAINIAN CONNECTION
But Steele's role in shaping U.S. policy predates the setting up of the Get Trump task force. Both Nunes and Grassley are investigating Steele's connections with the U.S. State Department, including with the notorious Nuland. They are looking into the role of Jonathan Winer, a former assistant Secretary of State who served as a long-time aide to former Secretary of State John Kerry. Winer befriended Steele in 2009, when they were collaborating on investigations of Russian "corruption".
Beginning in 2013, Steele drafted more than 100 memos on Ukraine and Russia, and passed these on to Winer, who was then a special assistant to Kerry on Libya, which had been destroyed in a Clinton-Obama regime change operation. Winer admitted, in an oped in the Washington Post on February 8, 2018, that he passed these on to Victoria Nuland, who asked that he continue to bring them to her. Note that these were written at the time of, and the immediate aftermath of the coup in Ukraine. The Washington PostDeep State conduit, James Rosen, wrote that Nuland found these reports "informative and sometimes helpful", and asked Winer to keep them coming.
When asked about the Steele memos on Ukraine in an interview with CBS on February 4—four days before Winer's oped was published—Nuland lied, denying that she had used the Steele memos.
But the Steele-Winer connection continued. In September 2016, Winer met with Steele, who presented to Winer his anti-Trump dossier. Winer drafted a two-page summary of the dossier, which he gave to Nuland. She told him to present this to Kerry. Later in the month, Winer met with Hillary Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal, who showed him another specious anti-Trump dossier, compiled by Clinton operative Cody Shearer. Winer then shared this who Steele, who then claimed it confirmed the charges he made in his dossier, though coming from different "sources."
Nunes and Grassley are both investigating the Steele-Winer-Nuland connection to see what this means as far as Obama administration direct involvement in running the Russiagate coup. Among those calling for a full criminal investigation into Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Hillary Clinton, which would reach Obama as well, is former Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova, who said it's very likely they could all be indicted.
YET BRITISH HITMAN MUELLER PROCEEDS!
As evidence piles up that the real collusion in the 2016 election was between British intelligence, the Clinton campaign, and Obama's intelligence team, Robert Mueller keeps going, indicting bit players on charges that have nothing to do with his mandate. Among the more ridiculous set of indictments was that against a Russian "troll farm", which will never be contested in court. However, it gave the media more ammunition to use against Trump.
The new indictments against Manafort come from squeezing his former partner, Rick Gates. Using a prosecutor's set of tools, Mueller went after Gates on his weak flank, the threat to him and his family of bankruptcy, were he to fight the charges. In entering his guilty plea, Gates told the court, "Despite my initial desire to vigorously defend myself, I have had a change of heart. The reality of how long this legal process will likely take, the cost, and the circus-like atmosphere of an anticipated trial are too much. I will better serve my family moving forward by exiting this process."
On the new charges against Manafort on money laundering, a well-informed insider said he's astonished at the lengths to which Mueller is going. He noted the irony that, when Mueller and Comey were FBI Directors, they never made a criminal case against leading banks which engaged in billions of dollars in money laundering, much of it proceeds from drug and arms-trafficking. One of the banks given a repeated pass was the notorious HSBC, which while being fined repeatedly for money laundering, never faced criminal prosecution, and continued to engage in money laundering! Among those arguing against criminal charges was the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, who said a criminal proceeding against a "systemically important" bank, such as HSBC, would risk "global financial disaster." Obama's Attorney General Holder shared this view, as he refused to file any criminal charges against "Too Big to Fail" banks.
Until his appointment by Obama as Director of the FBI, James Comey served on the Board of Directors of HSBC!
From this review of the significance of Ukraine in the whole Russiagate process, it becomes clear that the perversion of justice it represents is surpassed only by the danger which flows from the anti-Russia theme it serves. Unless there is an intervention to shut down this witch hunt, as there was to end the hysterical red-baiting charges of the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, the threshold for a possible nuclear confrontation with Russia is being dramatically reduced. It was Trump's campaign pledge to cooperate with Russia, rather than prepare for war, which is the reason for the Russiagate fraud.
With the Ukraine tensions heightened by recent developments, full exposure of Steele's dirty role, and that of his collaborators, has become an essential component of a war-avoidance strategy.