Need Debunking: Leaked Victoria Nuland phone call proves that the Maidan Revolution was a coup

A common claim uttered by many about the Maidan Revolution is that this leaked phone conversation between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt proves that it was a US orchestrated coup. This is best indicated by this article from the World Socialist Web Site as follows:
What [Nuland's] tape makes clear, however, is that Washington is employing methods of international gangsterism, including violence, to effect a political coup aimed at installing a regime that is fully subordinate to US geo-strategic interests. This operation has no more to do with democracy than the US-orchestrated coups in countries like Chile and Argentina some 40 years ago.
Their argument primary comes from these quotes from the call as follows:
Voice thought to be Pyatt's: I think we're in play. The Klitschko [Vitaly Klitschko, one of three main opposition leaders] piece is obviously the complicated electron here. Especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister and you've seen some of my notes on the troubles in the marriage right now so we're trying to get a read really fast on where he is on this stuff. But I think your argument to him, which you'll need to make, I think that's the next phone call you want to set up, is exactly the one you made to Yats [Arseniy Yatseniuk, another opposition leader]. And I'm glad you sort of put him on the spot on where he fits in this scenario. And I'm very glad that he said what he said in response.
So the claim is that as Pyatt is telling Nuland to make a phone call to Vitaly Klitschko, one of the opposition leaders, and as she has made a call to another opposition leader Yatsenyuk, it follows that they're likely organising directly who should be the leader after the ousting of Yanukovych.

Sorry because of my ignorance, but what are some other possibilities as to why Nuland called Yatsenyuk, and why Pyatt might be suggesting to Nuland to call Klitschko?
Nuland: Good. I don't think Klitsch should go into the government. I don't think it's necessary, I don't think it's a good idea.

Pyatt: Yeah. I guess... in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I'm just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok [Oleh Tyahnybok, the other opposition leader] and his guys and I'm sure that's part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all this.
The next argument following from this is that since Nuland has said that Klitschko shouldn't be in government, and given the aforementioned context, this also hints at a coup happening.

Her following statements on Yatsenyuk are also seized on as evidence of a coup:
Nuland: [Breaks in] I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the... what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in... he's going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it's just not going to work.
I've heard the counter argument is that discussing preferences in future leadership is not the same as arranging for leaders to be put into power, but I don't know why I don't find this compelling?

Another claim that can be seized on as evidence of a coup is Nuland's statement that Yatsenyuk was going to offer a conversation with Pyatt or her. I don't know what three-plus-one or two means in this context, so it's useful if anyone can help me understand.
Nuland: My understanding from that call - but you tell me - was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a... three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?
That's it for today, as I'm rather tired AF.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
common claim uttered by many about the Maidan Revolution is that this leaked phone conversation between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt proves that it was a US orchestrated coup.
For this claim to be true, I'd like the phone call to have occurred before the Maidan demonstrations began; but it was two months late for that. I'd also like it to anticipate the violence that broke out the following week, which it does not. So I'm actually left with the impression that this call is a diplomatic reaction to the Maidan protests, and not the "orchestration" of said protest.

The US was quite public with its diplomacy:
Article:
On 7 February 2014 Victoria Nuland told a press conference in Kyiv that the U.S. was ready to provide support to Ukraine "if it moves quickly in the direction of the protection of human rights, dignity, conflict de-escalation, and political reform. Otherwise the EU, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. will not provide financial assistance to Ukraine".[369]

So it's obvious the US had an interest in seeing the situation resolved a certain way, and diplomatic/financial support were its leverage. That does not imply that they had a hand how the conflict unfolded beyond that. I don't think the phone call contradicts that?
 
For this claim to be true, I'd like the phone call to have occurred before the Maidan demonstrations began; but it was two months late for that. I'd also like it to anticipate the violence that broke out the following week, which it does not. So I'm actually left with the impression that this call is a diplomatic reaction to the Maidan protests, and not the "orchestration" of said protest.

The US was quite public with its diplomacy:
Article:
On 7 February 2014 Victoria Nuland told a press conference in Kyiv that the U.S. was ready to provide support to Ukraine "if it moves quickly in the direction of the protection of human rights, dignity, conflict de-escalation, and political reform. Otherwise the EU, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. will not provide financial assistance to Ukraine".[369]

So it's obvious the US had an interest in seeing the situation resolved a certain way, and diplomatic/financial support were its leverage. That does not imply that they had a hand how the conflict unfolded beyond that. I don't think the phone call contradicts that?
Unfortunately, I can see the more conspiratorial minded out there claiming that diplomatic support = proof of coup, as to them, any sort of US support must mean some coup.

But anyways, I would like an explanation as to why having a phone call before demonstrations lends credence to the coup hypothesis and vice versa? I'm not the most knowledgeable in history and geopolitics.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
But anyways, I would like an explanation as to why having a phone call before demonstrations lends credence to the coup hypothesis and vice versa? I'm not the most knowledgeable in history and geopolitics.
If I "orchestrate" something, that means I plan and control it. If I make plans when things have already been happening, I'm not controlling it, I'm reacting to something that other people control. (I can't "orchestrate" something in the middle of the concert.) That's why I linked to the timeline, so you can compare the "plans" to what actually happened.

You may also want to pin down the distinction between "coup" and "revolution".

And you may want to look up the "Iran-Contra-Affair" to compare what actual support of a coup looks like (or, if you want the discussion to go downhill fast, illustrate it with Jan 6, 2021, as an example).
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
Unfortunately, I can see the more conspiratorial minded out there claiming that diplomatic support = proof of coup, as to them, any sort of US support must mean some coup.
I just "agreed" with Mendel's post. Did I put him up to posting it? There is no valid logical step between the premises and the conclusion.
But anyways, I would like an explanation as to why having a phone call before demonstrations lends credence to the coup hypothesis and vice versa? I'm not the most knowledgeable in history and geopolitics.
Nope, the phone call happening *after* the coup demolishes credence of the claim that this phone call provides any evidence for involvement in the coup. No statement about credence regarding any calls before the coup has been made, as none have been identified yet. This is not a zero-sum game, pulling something down doesn't push anything else up.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Nope, the phone call happening *after* the coup demolishes credence of the claim that this phone call provides any evidence for involvement in the coup.
Prime Minister Azarov offered his letter of resignation on 28 January 2014. The new government was voted into position February 21-27, I think?

So the phone call falls into that in-between period when the opposition has to come up with a new government, and it's already clear that they're not going to be Russian puppets again, so will require Western recognition and support once they are in office. So the question, which government would the West be willing to support, comes up naturally at this point, and needs to be discussed before the new government is instituted. That's what diplomacy is for: so politicians can learn the consequences of their actions before committing to them.

It's perfectly clear that this diplomatic power gives the US/EU some influence over who this government is going to be (and that's no secret at all!), but a) the actual choice still lies with the Ukrainian parliament, and b) the old government has already resigned at that point.
 
I've found a Guardian article that has documented a leaked phone call between the Estonian Foreign Minister and the EU Foreign Affairs chief where the former quotes a woman called Olga who claimed that both the protestors and police that were killed were shot by the same snipers:
During the conversation, Paet quoted a woman named Olga – who the Russian media identified her as Olga Bogomolets, a doctor – blaming snipers from the opposition shooting the protesters.

"What was quite disturbing, this same Olga told that, well, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides," Paet said.

"So she also showed me some photos, she said that as medical doctor, she can say it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it's really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don't want to investigate what exactly happened."

"So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition," Paet says.
However, an article from The Telegraph contradicts the claims of Russian media by quoting Olga:
Olga Bogomolets said she had not told Mr Paet that policemen and protesters had been killed in the same manner. "Myself I saw only protesters. I do not know the type of wounds suffered by military people," she told The Telegraph. "I have no access to those people." But she said she had asked for a full forensic criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred in the Maidan. "No one who just sees the wounds when treating the victims can make a determination about the type of weapons. I hope international experts and Ukrainian investigators will make a determination of what type of weapons, who was involved in the killings and how it was done. I have no data to prove anything... Mr Paet's assertion that an opposition figure was behind the Maidan massacre was not one she could share. "I think you can only say something like this on the basis of fact," she said. "Its not correct and its not good to do this. It should be based on fact.
One thing I do find rather weird about all this is that we still haven't seen any news outlet publish the photos that Olga supposedly showed. You'd think she would have at least sent the photos that proved that it was the protesters who were responsible to at least some outlet somewhere.
 

WhistlingWinds

New Member
If I "orchestrate" something, that means I plan and control it. If I make plans when things have already been happening, I'm not controlling it, I'm reacting to something that other people control. (I can't "orchestrate" something in the middle of the concert.) That's why I linked to the timeline, so you can compare the "plans" to what actually happened.

You may also want to pin down the distinction between "coup" and "revolution".

And you may want to look up the "Iran-Contra-Affair" to compare what actual support of a coup looks like (or, if you want the discussion to go downhill fast, illustrate it with Jan 6, 2021, as an example).
Iran Contra isn't a very good example there either. The Iran-Contra affair was distinct and parallel from the actual covert action programs supporting the Contras.
If you want some further reading on the CAP side of that, Enrique Prado just released a book the other month and has done some interviews in the past year. He was the first guy on the ground under the CAPs authorities and spent multiple years in the camps with the Contras.
The Iran-Contra affair also wasn't really anything comparative to supporting a coup. It provided (illegal) covert material support to people fighting a *resistance*. In generic use that difference may not matter but if we start to talk about specifics and the terminology used around those activities it becomes a bit more important.
Edited with links to content from Prado;
Book
Team House podcast
OODALoop podcast
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
It provided (illegal) covert material support to people fighting a *resistance*.
i use "resistance" to describe operations against an occupying force; I don't think it applies to Nicaragua.

I'd describe using military means to effect political change as a coup attempt.

But my point is that the US did not provide military aid to the Ukrainian opposition that was trying to effect a peaceful revolution.
 

WhistlingWinds

New Member
i use "resistance" to describe operations against an occupying force; I don't think it applies to Nicaragua.

I'd describe using military means to effect political change as a coup attempt.

But my point is that the US did not provide military aid to the Ukrainian opposition that was trying to effect a peaceful revolution.
We'll have to agree to disagree on the terminology aspect then. It'd also be fair to consider a lot of the armed groups insurgencies. Not all of them unified with the UNO or later Nicaraguan Resistance.

And yes, your point is accurate, wasn't talking about that itself, same page there.

Some better examples of the sort of things you were speaking about though; Early 1900s US provided support to Manuel Bonilla in Honduras, PBSuccess targeting Guatemala in 1954, Wappen and Straggle against Syria in the mid-late 50s. There was an op in brazil in the early 1960s but forgot the name of it, FUBELT in Chile in the 70s. Those all have a decent bit of writing out about them.
 
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