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US-linked NGO Implicated in Ukraine Uprising


Close analysis of documents related to the recent protests in Ukraine culminating in the ouster of the Viktor Yanukovych-led government suggest probable foreign-orchestration, according to historian and geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl. The US has vigorously advocated for Ukraine-European Union integration, much as it backed the 2004 failed “Orange Revolution” to split Ukraine from Russia in an effort to weaken Russia. Yanukovych opposed such amalgamation.

In December 2013 Ukrainians presented evidence suggesting direct involvement of the Belgrade-based, US-financed training group, CANVAS, as a key player behind the Kiev protests–an information sheet distributed to opposition protestors in Kiev that “is a word-for-word and picture-for-picture translation of the pamphlet used by US-financed Canvas organizers in the 2011 Cairo Tahrir Square protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak and opened the door to the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood.” In addition, Ukrainian boxer-turned political guru Vitaly Klitschko, a major figure inspiring the coup, has met with US State Department officials and is close to Angela Merkel’s CDU political machine in Germany. Two EU statespersons pushing integration—Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski—are also both closely aligned with Washington interests.

EDITOR’S NOTE – April 1, 2014: It has come to Project Censored’s attention that certain aspects of Engdahl’s report for Boiling Frogs Post are not only controversial but also have the potential to be factually misleading.  Readers are encouraged to read the original report, linked below, with circumspection, and to pay careful attention to the critique by Stephen Zunes, posted in the comment section on April 1, 2014. Project Censored stands behind its decision to post the Validated Independent News summary of Engdahl’s story, as researched by Chris Jimenez and evaluated by James F. Tracy of Florida Atlantic University, which accurately summarizes Engdahl’s report.


William Engdahl, “US NGO Uncovered in Ukraine Protests,” Boiling Frogs Post, January 7, 2014,

Student Researcher: Chris Jimenez (Florida Atlantic University)

Faculty Evaluator: James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)

  • drbhelthi March 4, 2014

    Reminds me of Mikhail Saakashvili´s (Georgia) attack on South Ossetia, Aug 2008. Russia jumped in to protect South Ossetians, who had no army, ending the skirmish in five days or so.
    US insiders reported afterwards that at the time Saakashvili troops marched into South Ossetia, 42 “US military experts” were meeting with Saakashvili. The CIA/MOSSAD have used other nations´ puppets to do their secretive intrusion in the Ukraine. Former marine, former CIA station chief, John Stockwell, whistle-blower, explains the over 1000 coups performed by the CIA in 3rd world countries at this link:

  • tom blair March 4, 2014

    Excellent. Keep pushing on this issue. They are playing with WW3 here. Scream this from the mountain tops.

  • edgar March 4, 2014

    There are even photos of the Ukrainan NAZI-Training in Lituania:

  • Aaron Aarons March 5, 2014

    What’s this about “2011 Cairo Tahrir Square protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak and opened the door to the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood”? While the U.S. would certainly prefer the MB to any genuine left, there’s no evidence that they supported the Brotherhood against the government led by Mubarak nor that they support it against the semi-fascist government led by Sisi — quite the opposite, in fact!

  • Mark March 5, 2014

    Very important revealing CANVAS is used by USA for regime change. It’s leader, Srda Popovic, was revealed by Wikileaks as being associated with an American private intelligence firm, Stratfor, which describes itself as a ‘shadow CIA.” (His wife worked there for a year.) Popovic was trying to overthrow Chavez in Venezuela among other US sponsored regime change. CANVAS was involved along with the Neo-Nazi parties in the putsch in Ukraine.

  • Valeri Hood March 5, 2014

    Excellent article and excellent comments- keep up the good work here and on KPFA!

  • drbhelthi March 5, 2014

    The presence of heavy-weight boxer, Vitaly Klitschko, a major figure inspiring the coup in the Ukraine, suggests that Klitschko is being used in a manner similar to the use by the Illuminati/NAZI of Schwarzenneger in California, preceded by the use of the lovable, Hollywood-star-family-man, Ronnie Reagan, to slide George H.W. Bush into the V.P. slot. That Klitschko is favored by Angela Merkel’s CDU political machine suggests that the Bundes Nachrichten Dienst(BND) actively influences German leadership and is affiliated with the CIA. WWII NAZI, general Reinhard Gehlen, resurrected the duties of the defunct OSS into the CIA, approved into law by Pres. Truman, 1947. Gehlen returned to Germany and established the BND, resurrecting the WWII spy apparatus across Europe and into the USSR. The BND has secretively functioned sympathetically to, if not as the German corollary of the CIA. The BND was affiliated with the NSA-operated, USArmy post at Bad Aibling, Germany, and assisted with spying on German and European leaders, 1971-2004.
    Some German politicians, genuine patriots to Germany, enemies of Adolf Hitler, know the tip of the iceberg, underway since 1945. Their views are suppressed, especially in Bavaria, the first province seduced by Adolf Hitler. Many Germans are aware that the power-crazy machine, organized by Adolf Hitler and his worshippers, continues to exist.

  • Pax Bono March 6, 2014

    So, you really think the United States helped overthrow an Egyptian regime that successive administrations propped up with tens of billions of dollars worth of aid? Engdahl is an idiot and Project Censored is hurting its reputation by posting this trash.

  • Hank March 6, 2014

    The trend of expanding Nato member nations started by Clinton has increased steadily and has overtly been illegally applied with Libya. That none of these countries have stated public support for Russia to combat terrorism after the bombings at Volgograd, and the direct threats to Russia by Bandar revealing Saudi terrorist actions planning to strike again, Americans can only conclude that Kerry supports and actively seeks acts of terrorism directed against Russia. In most other countries, a diplomat would resign or be fired for the lies that Kerry made on the gas attacks in Syria. There appears to be a war criminal contagion infecting foreign policy, when our time should be spent protecting borders here at home.

  • BenMax March 12, 2014

    Your source is weak and the article is half assed. Write about the revolts themselves.

  • Stephen Zunes April 1, 2014

    It is profoundly upsetting that—just as Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, and other progressive scholars are mobilizing against the U.S.-backed military government in Egypt —to see on the Project Censored web site and list serve an article defending that right-wing regime’s ludicrous charges against its leftist opponents, many of who are currently being imprisoned and tortured.

    First of all William Engdahl, a long-time follower of the far right Lyndon LaRouche cult, cannot be taken seriously. (Among other things, claims that climate change is a hoax and that oil, rather than being a fossil fuel, is actually stored in vast oceans at the center of the Earth which he claims are known by governments but are being covered up.) His absurd accusation that the Egyptian revolutionary socialists of the April 6th movement who rose up against the U.S.-backed Mubarak regime in 2011 were actually organized by U.S. agents in order to bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power is the exact same line given by the U.S.-backed military junta to discredit this leftist movement.
    From the outset, the Serbian NGO which is the subject of the article is falsely labeled a “US NGO” in the original headline.

    Furthermore, while some U.S.-funded oppositionists took part in the uprising which ousted the democratically-elected—though corrupt and increasing authoritarian—president Viktor Yanukovych in February, Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) neither receives direct U.S. funding nor is there any evidence to suggest that CANVAS was responsible for the uprising. Engdahl claims that CANVAS “received significant money from the US State Department in 2000.” This would have been quite difficult to accomplish, however, since CANVAS did not even come into existence until 2004.
    Engdahl claims that CANVAS had formerly been known as Otpor, a Serbian opposition group which for a brief period did receive some U.S. funding. However, while a few members of the two groups overlap, they are and have always been two very distinct organizations. And, in any case, it would not make the organization a “US NGO.”
    In his conspiratorial rant, Engdahl claimed that CANVAS serves as a full-time “revolution consultancy” for the US government. This is absolutely untrue. CANVAS has led workshops for activists organizing against U.S.-backed Israeli and Moroccan occupation forces; for activists organizing against a series of U.S. backed governments in Guatemala, Indonesia, Bahrain, and other countries; as well as for immigrant rights, social justice, and anti-war activists in the United States. Apparently, he is unaware that the CIA backs groups that support U.S. policy, not those that oppose them. (CANVAS has also worked with other groups that do support U.S policy goals and I have publicly criticized them for it. However, but they do so on their own terms, not because they are working for the U.S. government.)
    Engdahl refers to “US-financed Canvas organizers in the 2011 Cairo Tahrir Square protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak and opened the door to the U.S.-backed Muslim Brotherhood.” In reality, not only was CANVAS not funded by anyone in the United States, 1) no one in CANVAS was involved in the Tahrir Square protests; 2) the U.S. government supported the Mubarak regime, not the Muslim Brotherhood or the Tahrir Square protesters; 3) the organizers of the Tahrir protests opposed both U.S. imperialism and the Muslim Brotherhood and had absolutely no interest in supporting either.
    The only “evidence” Engdahl presents is that CANVAS was somehow behind the Egyptian and Ukrainian uprisings was an information sheet put together by CANVAS that was used in both the 2011 protests in Egypt and the and 2013-14 protests in Ukraine. However, the information sheet cited in the article is available on the CANVAS website for anyone to download at their own choosing. It has been used by scores of activist groups around the world, including the Occupy movement here in the United States. However, Engdahl thinks this somehow constitutes conclusive evidence that this supposed “US NGO” was behind a “foreign-orchestrated attempt to destabilize the government of Viktor Yanukovych.”
    Indeed, Engdahl fails to show any evidence that CANVAS was involved in the recent Ukraine uprising and I’m not aware of evidence elsewhere to suggest that they were. (There was a small now-defunct Serbian group, known as the Center for Nonviolent Resistance, which did engage in some workshops prior to the 2004 Orange Revolution, but not CANVAS.)
    The role of the U.S. government funded groups, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, in destabilization efforts overseas is a serious issue that has been largely ignored by the mainstream media and deserves to be uncovered and disseminated. Similarly, U.S. policy in the lead-up to the ouster of Ukrainian president Yanukovych deserves critical inquiry as well. However, such efforts are jeopardized by the circulation of the kind of nonsense found in this article.

  • James Tracy April 22, 2014

    I am the faculty advisor on the above censored story and I am confident that F. William Engdahl’s analysis is sound. Upon Stephen Zunes’ remarks one is left to question what exactly constitutes the “misleading” analysis and/or commentary the editor suggests.

    I don’t believe it is overall productive to engage with those employing ad hominem techniques to situate an argument. In the above, however, Dr. Zunes goes one step further by even misrepresenting author Engdahl’s assertions at least once. This maneuver, in addition to unfounded emotional appeals, calls into question Zunes entire argument.

    For example, Zunes writes, “Engdahl claims that CANVAS received significant money from the US State Department in 2000.’ This would have been quite difficult to accomplish, however, since CANVAS did not even come into existence until 2004.”

    Here is Engdahl’s full quote from the BFP article: “Canvas, formerly Otpor, received significant money from the US State Department in 2000 to stage the first successful Color Revolution against Slobodan Milosovic in then-Yugoslavia.”

    A video worth considering is, “Does the USA Sponsor Revolutions?”

    In contrast to Zunes’ assertions, the 27.5 minute documentary provides a revealing look at CANVAS’ activities, including CANVAS “chief instructor” and director Srdja Popovic’s on camera admission (at around 4:28) that the organization was directly involved in attempted revolutions “in 37 countries after the Serbian revolution … including “Ukraine … Egypt and Tunisia.” “It was here in his [Belgrade] office that the Egyptian revolution was planned,” the video notes.

    Also chronicled is Popovic’s trip to New York to solicit funds for CANVAS. Of course, we may rest assured that Popovic will probably never accept funding from any Western intelligence-backed front entities, or those that may act as conduits for such for the coordination of such soft revolutions.

    Zunes further asserts that CANVAS and Otpor “are and have always been two very distinct organizations.” Actually Otpor was initially a movement, and Otpor and CANVAS are now synonymous, although it is difficult to fully ascertain where one begins and the other ends because few CANVAS employees will go “on the record,” as the video suggests. Yet CANVAS director Srdja Popovic was in fact a central figure of Otpor, the New York Times observes.

    Since the creators of “Does the USA Support Revolutions” saw fit to include Engdahl in the production vis-a-vis Popovic and other would-be “revolutionaries,” it is also suggested that interested parties view the piece in its entirety, and refrain from relying solely on any forthcoming selective (and thus potentially misleading) transcriptions of Engdahl’s remarks posted here.

  • Kristina S. April 17, 2015

    Ukraine is another victim of the routine “regime change” operation of the CIA.

    Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War.
    (* indicates successful ouster of a government)

    China 1949 to early 1960s
    Albania 1949-53
    East Germany 1950s
    Iran 1953 *
    Guatemala 1954 *
    Costa Rica mid-1950s
    Syria 1956-7
    Egypt 1957
    Indonesia 1957-8
    British Guiana 1953-64 *
    Iraq 1963 *
    North Vietnam 1945-73
    Cambodia 1955-70 *
    Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
    Ecuador 1960-63 *
    Congo 1960 *
    France 1965
    Brazil 1962-64 *
    Dominican Republic 1963 *
    Cuba 1959 to present
    Bolivia 1964 *
    Indonesia 1965 *
    Ghana 1966 *
    Chile 1964-73 *
    Greece 1967 *
    Costa Rica 1970-71
    Bolivia 1971 *
    Australia 1973-75 *
    Angola 1975, 1980s
    Zaire 1975
    Portugal 1974-76 *
    Jamaica 1976-80 *
    Seychelles 1979-81
    Chad 1981-82 *
    Grenada 1983 *
    South Yemen 1982-84
    Suriname 1982-84
    Fiji 1987 *
    Libya 1980s
    Nicaragua 1981-90 *
    Panama 1989 *
    Bulgaria 1990 *
    Albania 1991 *
    Iraq 1991
    Afghanistan 1980s *
    Somalia 1993
    Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *
    Ecuador 2000 *
    Afghanistan 2001 *
    Venezuela 2002 *
    Iraq 2003 *
    Haiti 2004 *
    Somalia 2007 to present
    Honduras 2009
    Libya 2011 *
    Syria 2012
    Ukraine 2014 *