US gov. spent $22M on anti-Russia narrative in Ukraine
The US has spent $22 million on anti-Russia campaign in Ukraine since 2014, including media training, funding media organizations, and training pro-Western parties.
As tensions are still increasing between Russia and NATO amid the Ukraine crisis, a report by MintPress News revealed that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has spent $22.4 million on operations inside the country since 2014.
The NED was established in 1983 by the Reagan administration following a series of public scandals that undermined the CIA's public image. Explaining the NED's creation, its President Carl Gershman said in a 1986 interview, "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA." Its co-founder Allen Weinstein told The Washington Post in 1991, "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."
The National Endowment for Democracy, as the MintPress report reveals, was behind a number of prominent uprisings and coups around the world. It currently has 40 active projects in Belarus, and NED senior Europe Program Officer Nina Ognianova even said her agency was involved in protests that took place last year. “We don’t think that this movement that is so impressive and so inspiring came out of nowhere — that it just happened overnight,” she said, adding that NED had made a “modest but significant contribution” to the protests.
Moreover, Cuba's 2021 protests were led by NED-financed operatives, as were the Hong Kong protests. Millions were given to opposition groups in Nicaragua or projects in Venezuela, but the National Endowment for Democracy, whose aim is allegedly to grow and strengthen democratic institutions around the world, has never had a single project in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, or the UAE.
A look into the NED's database shows that it has approved 334 grants to Ukraine, which the Organization's 2019 report identified as its "top priority" because of its "size and importance for the Europe region." The report also shows that NED's focus in the country is on “counter[ing] foreign [i.e., Russian] malign influence, particularly disinformation and corrosive capital.” Only Russia has been the target of more NED funds in Europe, with $37.7 million going to Russian organizations compared to $22.4 million to Ukraine.
Where the money is going
Although the information is vague on where these funds are going, it seems NED has two major objectives in Ukraine, MacLeod writes:
- Pushing through mass privatization of the country’s state-owned businesses;
- Building up political parties that will represent elite US interests.
The organization also focuses on establishing and supporting pro-Western media outlets and NGOs, such as the ones that backed the 2014 overthrow of Yanukovych and the new pro-Western government's agenda of privatization.
An analysis of the groups receiving the funds shows that the whole operation in Ukraine is an attempt to support the US-backed Zelensky administration and to carry out a foreign interference operation.