Debunking the “$5B regime change” myth, U.S. spent 400% more on Russia

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A common myth disseminated by Russia and its supporters is the idea that the U.S. spent $5 billion to facilitate regime change in Ukraine, a falsehood premised on public statements made by Victoria Nuland in early 2014.

For example – RT, via phony intelligence officer Scott Rickard (who is also a self described “technologist & historian”) seized on Nuland’s remarks and said the U.S. rather “invested $5 billion so far in the uprising,” while conspiracy sites like Global Research state the money was used to directly and insidiously “subvert Ukraine.”

Nuland, for her part, said the money  “has been spent on supporting the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to have a strong, democratic government that represents their interests.”

The truth of the matter is more simply debunked by Politifact, who accurately point out “the money in question was spent over more than 20 years. Yanukovych was elected in 2010. So any connection between the protests and the $5 billion is inaccurate. And Obama was elected in 2008, so any connection between $5 billion and Obama also is inaccurate.”

They conclude: “Contrary to claims, the United States did not spend $5 billion to incite the rebellion in Ukraine.”

Will Stevens, the spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Russia took to Twitter to hopefully expand and finally debunk this myth with an eye opening graphic. Not only was the money in question used to help remove nuclear arms and spent on humanitarian assistance, but the U.S. has spent 400% more on those same initiatives in Russia:

Politifact, quoting State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson, breaks down the ominous $5 billion pictured: “$2.4 billion went to programs promoting peace and security, which could include military assistance, border security, human trafficking issues, international narcotics abatement and law enforcement interdiction […] More money went to categories with the objectives of “governing justly and democratically” ($800 million), “investing in people” ($400 million), economic growth ($1.1 billion), and humanitarian assistance ($300 million).”

 


Update: Russian Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov claimed that “we have been, in a way, sponsoring the Ukrainian economy for the last 20 years, spending hundreds of billions of dollars.” Russian political scientist Dmitry Oreshkin estimates Russia has invested approximately $200 billion in Ukraine during this time — 40x what the U.S. has spent on Ukraine. (source)