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In 2014, the then Ukrainian president Yanukovitch absconded the country, and de facto (although not de jure) abdicated power after the protests against him turned violent.

A certain phone call, presumed to be between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, was posted on YouTube. The content of the call seemed to suggest that the US was influencing the Ukranian Euromaidan Protests.

Is there any other known evidence, or reports, which point to the Ukranian Euromaidan 2014 Protests being US-backed?

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    I think your first sentence reflects the Russian position. Ukrainians probably see it otherwise.
    – Fizz
    Mar 23 at 11:56
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    Many people would disagree that it was a coup, see, e.g., Revolution of dignity. Also, the cited phone call, although a mark of US interference in Ukrainian internal affairs, is hardly a proof that the revolution was orchestrated by the US. This is not to disagree or agree, but the OP could benefit from a more neutral langauge. Mar 23 at 12:08
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    @Rekesoft the difference between a coup and a revolution is usually that the former is by a group of people (Typically, it is an illegal seizure of power by a political faction, rebel group, military, or a dictator.), whereas the latter by the majority (or a significant part) of the population. FYI, I had my much more neutral post deleted a few days ago as a pro-Russian propaganda: see here Mar 23 at 16:13
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    If using some possibly more neutral language this seems like an answerable question. Maybe "removal from power"? Might be good too to mention, in the question itself, because it definitely is part of the bigger picture, that Yanukovich's security forces killed about 100 protesters in the run-up to his removal. Which alters the picture considerably from a "coup/revolution/overthrow of a nice and benevolent elected leader" which kinda gets implied here. I'd vote to reopen given a more transparent phrasing, because this seems an important thing to know. Mar 23 at 17:41
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    and mentioning the specifics of that leaked phone call, without bothering with mentioning any of the surrounding events, certainly makes it look like a pushy leading question, as it is currently phrased. which, again, can be corrected easily enough. Mar 23 at 17:47

2 Answers 2

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Interfere is a quite remarkable word ...

The meaning ranges from meddling in the affairs of other people, to acting against other things. Some meanings have sinister overtones, some less so.

The West, including the US, is influencing governments and civil society all over the world. Some of this is the work of Western civil society, some is the work of Western corporations, some is the work of government, and some falls in between. Overt government-sponsored interference includes agencies like the Voice of America, the Instituto Cervantes, or the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. And the West is not alone in this. China has the Confucius Institute and Russia has the Rossotrudnichestvo. When agencies like that influence the political developments in a country, those who are against it mutter about foreign control. Both Russia and the United States have a foreign agents restrictions to hinder these activities.

There can be no doubt that Western societies approved of parts of the Euromaidan movement, and provided moral, intellectual, and even financial support. That's different from causing or controlling it.

Coup is another remarkable word ...

Coup stands for coup d'etat, which is generally understood as the violent overthrow of a government by a small, inside group. Opposed to that is revolution, the violent overthrow of a government by a large part of the population. And rebellion, which has connotations of separatism. From outside, one would speak of a coup de main, but that sort of event is not generally abbreviated as just a coup.

So a pat reply would be that the US did not interfere in the 2014 coup because there was no coup, there was a revolution. Which was not directed by the West, as far as we know.

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  • The answer could be improved by removal of the last paragraph. The definition of "coup" in encyclopedia britannica mentions "small group"; wikipedia and others do not. Neither mentions how many is "small" versus "big". Collins mentions "small group", but then compares coups and revolutions saying that "coups last days, revolutions run for years", or "revolutions produce profound societal change; coups produce changes in political leadership and often little else", which would make the Euromaidan much more coup than revolution.
    – Rekesoft
    Mar 23 at 16:17
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    @Rekesoft, the comments on the question show a certain controversy about the loaded words it uses. I wanted to dissect two of those words. I checked coup d'etat in M-W, which also says 'small.'
    – o.m.
    Mar 23 at 16:29
  • In many ways, 2014 events were initiated and mediated by Ukrainian parliament, this is an argument in favor of calling it a coup.
    – alamar
    Mar 23 at 16:51
  • well explained, upvote from me. However, reading the extensive comments on my question calling for neutral language I have tried to edit the question accordingly which might, unfortunately, make your answer a bit redundant(still encourage you to keep it up here!) Mar 24 at 7:57
  • A revolution can be non-violent (not sure if a coup can be).
    – gerrit
    Mar 24 at 9:39
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(Disclaimer: I'm worried that this answer will look biased. It is, because the question asks for evidence of US interference. Of course Russia has interfered in Ukraine as well, and I consider Putin's actions to be worse than those of the US. But I'm limiting this post to neutral sources that report on US interference.)

There are independent reports that the US has been involved in government changes in Ukraine and Georgia. The story dates back to 2004. The current events also closely mirror what was reported back in 2014.

There is evidence that Joe Biden has been diplomatically involved in Ukraine from at least as far back as 2014. The leak that probably prompts these questions is also from 2014.

But it doesn't come to the point of orchestrating a coup. The closest to a scientific source I've found so far is this conference paper from 2014. It shows that there was significant EU and US involvement in Ukraine, but that involvement supported an already existing movement rather than outright create it.

Overall, from publicly available evidence, it does not appear that 2014's Maidan was directly a US-organized coup. It was supported by prior US involvement and perhaps interference, but not directed by the US.

There are links between the revolution and US officials (warning: think tank). The 2000-2014 US policy in Ukraine has certainly been a factor. But overall, the US has displayed a preference for democratic or semi-democratic means. The resulting situation appears to be the combined result of prolonged interference by two powerful actors, and in some part the population's own development, rather than something directly orchestrated by someone specific.

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  • I'm not DV this (yet) because I haven't consulted the sources linked, but paras 2-4 are rather weak assertions / repetitions of the kind "yes, yes, there was, Biden did it" with little in the way of specifics of what the interference consisted of.
    – Fizz
    Mar 23 at 16:45
  • @Fizz I wouldn't say "Biden did it". There's clearly evidence that Biden was involved there - to some extent - just not that him or anyone else specifically orchestrated it.
    – HK-51
    Mar 23 at 16:54
  • Frankly the Guardian article is pretty ridiculous "US pollsters and professional consultants are hired to organise focus groups and use psephological data to plot strategy." But so did Yanukovych; his campaign was also run by Americans.
    – Fizz
    Mar 23 at 16:58
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    @Fizz The whole thing is a mess... Multiple foreign actors, limited transparency, conflicting reports. I'm trying my best to get a less-biased picture.
    – HK-51
    Mar 23 at 17:10
  • @Fizz "run by Americans" doesn't mean a whole lot if those Americans were not paid by the US government, or, at least, by an American political party. If these were private individuals, working for hire, that's par for the course. Bush (senior's) campaign printed some campaign paraphernalia in Mexico. That was a form of hiring foreigners to work on the campaign. It was embarrassing, but not illegal.
    – wrod
    Mar 26 at 19:08

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