What Happened in Ukraine?

European media are reporting the leak of a taped phone call between the Estonian Foreign Minister and European Community foreign policy chief Lady Catherine Ashton alleging that the same snipers killed demonstrators as well as security forces during the Maidan Square uprising. The Estonians are no friends of Putin--quite the contrary. Russia and Estonia have been bitterly at odds for years. Russian stated media posted the call on YouTube. Presumably they got the tape from the Russian spy agencies.

Writes the London Guardian:

A leaked phone call between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet has revealed that the two discussed a conspiracy theory that blamed the killing of civilian protesters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on the opposition rather than the ousted government.

The 11-minute conversation was posted on YouTube – it is the second time in a month that telephone calls between western diplomats discussing Ukraine have been bugged.

In the call, Paet said he had been told snipers responsible for killing police and civilians in Kiev last month were protest movement provocateurs rather than supporters of then-president Viktor Yanukovych. Ashton responds: "I didn't know … Gosh."

It's a lead story on Der Spiegel's main German language news page and extensively covered elsewhere. It raises the question: to what extent was Maidan Square the triumph of Western-looking lovers of democracy (surely true to some extent) and to what extent was it an intra-oligarchical mob war (surely true to some extent)?

Not a word in the US media yet, judging from a Google News search.