Who paid for all the sandwiches?

Whilst I was watching all the demonstrators in Kiev recently, and applauding the Ukraine's orange revolution, and their victory over the forces of darkness, I got to wondering who was organizing everything.

After all, if you keep 100,000 demonstrators out in the open air in winter for several days somebody has to be supplying all the necessities. One hundred thousand demonstrators means that somebody is organizing at least 200-300,000 sandwiches and as many hot drinks every day. That same somebody is also arranging for lots of buildings to be open for people to go and sit down and get warm. Somebody has gone out and bought 20,000 toilet rolls and arranged Portaloos. Not to speak of all the marshalling, the buses and the stream of entertainers to keep the crowds occupied.

This article by Timothy Ash provided an indication of who had been funding the orgamnisation.

“Today, with a little digging, you can find the list of Ukrainian NGOs supported by the American National Endowment for Democracy, and by George Soros's foundation in Kiev.”


“The US state department recently said it spent some $65m in Ukraine in the past two years. Other western governments and independent donors made significant contributions. I have before me an October 2004 report from the Soros foundation in Ukraine that says it allocated $1,201,904 to NGOs for "elections-related projects". The donors say this western money went to help create conditions for free and fair elections, not directly to the opposition; that, too, should be carefully examined.”

Another article in the Guardian, this time by Ian Traynor, provided some more answers.

“But while the gains of the orange-bedecked "chestnut revolution" are Ukraine's, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavory regimes.

Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box. Richard Miles, the US ambassador in Belgrade, played a key role. And by last year, as US ambassador in Tbilisi, he repeated the trick in Georgia, coaching Mikhail Saakashvili in how to bring down Eduard Shevardnadze.

Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk, Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in central America, notably in Nicaragua, organised a near identical campaign to try to defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko. “

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