Greenbacks for Blue Buckets: USAID Support for Instability in Russia

Strategic Culture Foundation

January 13, 2014

By Wayne Madsen

One «themed revolution», for which the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its allied operatives of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the George Soros Open Society Institute have become so infamous, went virtually unnoticed in the English language Western media.

In 2010, anti-Russian government provocateurs, financed by Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs), staged a number of protests featuring plastic blue buckets. The buckets were meant to symbolize the portable flashing blue lights, known in Russian as migalki, used atop many vehicles for Russian VIPs, including government officials and private businessmen.

The themed blue bucket protests were directly linked to the «pro-democracy» activities of USAID in Russia. American-backed provocateurs began placing blue buckets on top of their cars to mock the use of blue lights by officials. In response, three parties represented in the State Duma, United Russia, A Just Russia, and the Liberal Democratic Party, proposed a bill to crack down on the use of the blue buckets by protesters who were intent on causing traffic problems, sometimes resulting in vehicle accidents.

U.S. NGO support for the «blue bucket» revolution preceded by a year the nomination by President Barack Obama of anti-Russian activist Michael McFaul as the U.S. ambassador to Russia. McFaul began his tenure in Moscow by opening up the U.S. embassy to all sorts of anti-Russian political activists, provocateurs, and troublemakers.

These political provocateurs, which include People’s Freedom Party leader political blogger Aleksey Navalny, «Left Front» Sergey Udaltsov, chess celebrity Garry Kasparov, Russian «cover girl» Ksenia Sobchak, «Solidarity» co-leader Ilya Yashin, Boris Nemtsov, neo-fascist National Bolshevik Party leader Eduard Limonov, Yabloko Party leader Sergey Mitrokhin, and Lev Ponomarev were all well-schooled in the use of various devices and contrivances to gain media attention for their political causes and protests.

Themed street protests were used by Gene-Sharp-trained activists in a number of CIA- and Soros-advanced political operations. The first such group to successfully oust a government was OTPOR, which led protests that ejected Slobodan Milosevic as president of Serbia. Other groups backed by U.S.-trained activists included Kmara in Georgia, Pora in Ukraine, KelKel in Kyrgyzstan, and Zubr in Belarus.

The art of using symbols such as the clenched fist and devices like blue buckets was developed by civil disobedience «guru» Gene Sharp of the Albert Einstein Institution and Harvard. Sharp’s work on «non-violent» actions to bring down governments was adopted by the CIA to foment rebellions in countries in the post-Soviet and Soviet bloc space. Sharp denies his work is connected to U.S. intelligence, however, it has been funded by the largest funding pools used by the CIA for contract work by academia. Sharp has been directly funded by the RAND Corporation, Ford Foundation, and NED. His work also received funding from the International Republican Institute, an arm of the U.S. Republican Party.

Sharp’s call for cultural, religious, and historical icons to be ridiculed in small and large mass protests have often led to violent responses, thus driving a stake through Sharp’s contention that his blueprint for political change is «non-violent.»

McFaul was recruited from the right-wing, neo-conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University to serve as Obama’s envoy to Russia. McFaul served on the boards of a number of Cold War-oriented NGOs, including Freedom House, the Soros-linked Eurasia Foundation, and the USAID-funded NED.

The coordinator of the «Society of Blue Buckets» was Peter Shkumatov. The activities of the Shkumatov and his traffic disruptors included some of McFaul’s frequent embassy guests, notably Nemtsov and Udaltsov.

One Blue Bucket protester was shown wearing an Obama t-shirt in a video uploaded to YouTube on May 5, 2010. The video was produced by Nikita Tatarsky for the CIA- and Soros-controlled Russian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Other Blue Bucket protesters confused police by placing blue buckets on top of their vehicles, resulting a traffic snarls in downtown Moscow. If it were discovered that the Russian embassy in Washington organized protesters to place official-looking devices on their vehicles there would be two immediate reactions: criminal charges for impersonating law enforcement officers and a strong diplomatic protest with the Russian government.

It was not until September 2012, over two years after USAID was linked to the Blue Buckets, that President Vladimir Putin ordered USAID out of Russia. Some 57 NGOs in Russia were said to receive official financial support from USAID. That number did not count the unofficial support rendered by USAID to other groups, some with close links to terrorist groups in the Russian Caucasus region, particularly Chechnya and Dagestan.

In keeping with Sharp’s protest group template, the Society of Blue Buckets was divided into wings of «doves» and «hawks» all under an official organization with an official website called, which translates to English as «» By not calling the website «blue bucket», the provocateurs left open the possibility of changing their target to other migalki colors, including the red used for emergency and police vehicles in the event the protesters decided to raise the stakes in their anti-government activities.

The Blue Bucket organization was careful to disseminate the information that it would be supported by dues and donations so that it would not be connected to McFaul and the U.S. embassy. However, a number of Russian disruptive organizations received «donations» from entities linked directly to Soros, USAID, and NED. The «Blue Buckets» registered with the Russian government as a public organization by paying the standard fee of 35,000 rubles, a little over $US 1000.

Blue Bucket protesters were witnessed walking across official vehicles with «migalki» lights even on Red Square. Comparatively, if protesters jumped on US Secret Service vehicles at the White House, there would be a very good chance they would be shot dead by law enforcement. Russian authorities displayed relative restraint in dealing with the Blue Buckets.

The anti-Christian and anti-Muslim FEMEN group, which was established by American Zionist financiers in Ukraine, also took up the Blue Bucket cause. Topless FEMEN protesters were seen at various Blue Bucket protests around Moscow making obscene gestures with blue buckets.

The use of cheap trinkets like blue buckets in Russia and white clothing and eye coverings in China are examples of the subterfuge engaged in by the Sharp / Soros / NED public opinion manipulators. In Indonesia, it was the cheap rubber and plastic sandal that became the symbol of an aborted popular movement against the government. In 2012, a 15-year old bot was sentenced to a five-year prison sentence for allegedly stealing the old worn-out sandals of a police officer that were lying outside a police station in Palu in central Sulawesi. The sentence resulted in a massive protest in which people left sandals and flip-flops outside of police stations across Indonesia. The movement, which was linked to USAID, Soros, and NED manipulators, never got off the ground and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was not driven from office.

While the democracy manipulators brag about their successes, they never want to write or talk about their failures, of which there are many. The Blue Bucket, White, Sandal, Lotus, Jasmine, Cedar, Green, and Orange Revolution II capers in Russia, China, Indonesia, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, and Ukraine, respectively, were all miserable failures…

As long as Obama, Soros, McFaul and their ilk continue to try to set the clock back to the Cold War, their paid agent provocateurs will continue to suffer failure after failure until their «bag of tricks», blue buckets, white sheets, sandals, topless tramps, and otherwise, are no longer worthy of the public’s attention…

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