US Threatens Ukraine Sanctions Over Protest Crackdown

Insists 'Range of Options' to Use Against Govt

In comments that seem tailor-made to fuel more criticism about their double-standards with respect to human rights worldwide, the Untied States today threatened sanctions against Ukraine over the use of riot police against demonstrators in Kiev, an action which injured several dozen people.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel also warned of unspecified retaliation if the Ukraine government used its military in ending the protests, though President Yanukovych has already said that’s not going to happen.

The Ukraine protesters are calling for closer ties with the European Union, and support the pro-West opposition. The current government, by contrast, leans toward stronger ties with Russia, it’s largest trading partner.

The US has been repeatedly criticized for their piecemeal stance toward crackdowns, cheerfully looking the other way during bloody military crackdowns in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and shrugging off a military coup and several subsequent massacres of protesters in Egypt with less fuss than they are now making of a Ukraine crackdown that, so far, has seemed tame by comparison.

The difference is, of course, the nature of the protesters, as when they’re calling for reforms or replacement of pro-US regimes, the administration cheers anything done to silence them, while the Ukrainian government is pro-Russian, so the US views the stance of the pro-West protesters more favorably.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.