The European Union pumped €436m (£348m/$586m) into Ukraine's anti-Russian "civil society" groups in the seven years leading up to overthrow of the democratically-elected President Yanukovych in February this year.
Civil society groups and other pressure groups - some of them backed by the United States as well as the EU - were behind the Euromaidan demonstrations which undermined Yanokovych after he decided not to sign an agreement that would have put Ukraine on the path towards EU membership and compulsory military cooperation.
The figure of €436m was uncovered after the European Commission office in London hadclaimed that just €31m (£25m/$42m) was given to the Ukraine for civil society groups between 2004-2013.
The commission made the claim in a letter to British writer Peter Hitchens after he had quoted in the Mail on Sunday a figure of €389m, originally from the American Spectator. Hitchens published the commission’s letter on his blog.
Hitchens had pursued the topic because, as he wrote on August 1,
"I have repeatedly, laboriously and with much supporting evidence argued that the supposed outbreak of Ukrainian public opinion was in fact manipulated from beyond Ukraine’s borders, through NGOs and Civil Society organisations."
EU historian and blogger Richard North saw the correspondence and went to the European Commission’s own Financial Transparency System where the full figures for 2007-2013 are disclosed.
Rather than just €31m over the ten years of 2004-2013, North found: “Adding each year, we come to the grand total of €434,918,585, and that for seven years rather than the ten in which the Commission says €31m was disbursed.”
“Helpfully, the Commission also lists each of the recipients, and the exact sums paid to each…Go through these and the other years and it is very clear that the €435m is being paid to civil society.”
“This is the extent of the ‘bribe’ being paid to Ukrainians, and it follows that recipients will be beholden to the European Union and will tend to support it.”
“There can be no doubt that the EU is attempting to buy favour but, since it is so proud of its support for the Ukrainians, one wonders why it feels the need to lie about the extent of its backing.”
Hitchens also wrote in his blog:
"We know, because it is beyond dispute, and happened on TV, that significant figures from the USA and the EU, Victoria Nuland [US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, John McCain [US Senator], Catherine Ashton [EU foreign policy chief], Guido Westerwelle [German foreign minister until December 2013], came personally to the Euromaidan to show their support.
"My claim is that the EU used ‘people power’ to overthrow a government that stood in its way. This action was intended to lead, and did lead, to the unconstitutional overthrow of the elected President as a result of organised foreign pressure."