Eastern Ukraine is heavily ethnic Russian. The main industry is coal. The miners are rough, tough, and hate Yushchenko for wanting to take Ukraine away from Russia and toward the West," writes Wheeler. "It was arranged for more than a thousand of them to be taken from Donetsk, the capital of the coal-mining region, by bus and train to Kiev, where, armed with clubs and blunt tools, they would physically beat up the Orange Revolutionaries. Such mass violence was not only to disperse the demonstrators but serve as an excuse for the government to declare martial law, suspending the Ukrainian Parliament (the Rada) and elections indefinitely."
Now comes the secret weapon: vodka.
"When the miners got on their buses and trains, they found to their joy case after case of vodka – just for them. When they arrived in Kiev, trucks awaited them filled with more cases of vodka – all free provided by 'friends' of the Donetsk coal miners. Completely soused, they never made it to Independence Square. Too hammered blind to cause any violence at all, they had a merry time, passed out and were shipped back to Donetsk."
Wheeler's column goes on to explain who provided the liquor: teams of Porter Goss' CIA working with their counterparts in British MI6 intelligence.
Hat tip to Instapundit