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Civil War in Ukraine: another USA sponsored conflict designed to contain Russia

Economic nationalist view 

News Color revolutions Recommended Links Debt slavery Ukraine debt enslavement Nulandgate Predator state
Disaster capitalism The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism as a stage of development of Neoliberalism New American Militarism
EuroMaidan101 Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate Fifth column Resurgence of ideology of neo-fascism NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions
Events of November 30 and aftermath SBU raid on Kiev Batkivshchina office Revolt of diplomats EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis To whom EuroMaydan Sharp-shooters belong? Ukraine's oligarchs Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17 ?
Forming Provisional government Accession of Crimea to Russia Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Mariupol, May 9 events Presidential Elections of May 25. 2014 Diplomacy by deception Poroshenko presidency
Russian Ukrainian Gas wars Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Russian sanctions Demonization of Putin Ukrainian orange revolution Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few
Delegitimization of Ruling Party Compradors Opposition as a way to get rid of feeling of inferiority Human right activists or globalism fifth column Exploiting "Revolutionary Romantics" as polit-technology   Disaster capitalism
Neoliberal Propaganda The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Fighting Russophobia Foreign Agents Registration Act Russian Fifth column Humor   Etc
 

 


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live?

Dwight D. Eisenhower - Wikiquote

"War is simply the continuation of political intercourse with the addition of other means. We deliberately use the phrase 'with the addition of other means' because we also want to make it clear that war in itself does not suspend political intercourse or change it into something entirely different. In essentials that intercourse continues, irrespective of the means it employs. The main lines along which military events progress, and to which they are restricted, are political lines that continue throughout the war into the subsequent peace."[17]

Carl von Clausewitz - Wikipedia


Introduction

As "economic nationalist" I oppose both "ethnic nationalism" and neoliberalism. And in my view EuroMaydan victory in 2014 in some way is similar to victory of Trump in 2016: it confirmed that the far-right can serve as a fifth column, an emergency reserve for decaying neoliberalism, betraying the majority of population and plunging them in poverty despite their lofty political slogans.

In Ukraine this "revenge of neoliberalism"  turned into really tragic situation, with pensioners on the edge of starvation (with many beyond the edge; I really do not understand how they are able to survive on 1000 grivna a month (around $36 at exchange rate of 28 per dollar ) pension in cities. While I understand the tragic nature of the current situation I have no recipes, or proposal for the improvement. More over as a skeptical site this site is critical both toward Russian policy in Ukraine and Ukrainian nationalist policies (although to call Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko Ukrainian nationalist is a stretch -- they are neoliberals with nationalist camouflage). Both and especially Poroshenko are greedy and corrupt as hell.

 The key weakness of my position is that  I do not understand what is emerging as the alternative to neoliberalism, if anything at all. This is distinct weakness of this introductory article.  But it is true that the victims of neoliberal color revolutions are always common people. The struggle for power within the Ukrainian neoliberal elite (and in this sense Bat'kivshchyna  is not that different from the Party of Regions -- both serve neoliberal oligarchic clans) this time proved to be a bloody mess.  I really have great sympathy toward Ukrainian people who in incredible difficult condition displayed bravery and ability to survive shock which are simply incredible in scope and depth and are comparable to least two Great Depression. Viva to Ukrainian people.

Along with its own elite Ukraine is a victim to tectonic shifts in geopolitical map after the dissolution of the USSR, shifts caused by forces that no small country can resist and which revised the results on WWII and Yalta conference. It became a pawn in complex geopolitical play between US, EU and Russia. Although mistakes and greed of the Ukraine neoliberal elite played an important and continuing role, the key to events are US and EU geopolitical interests in the region. Paradoxically Ukraine is still unable to produce a real Nationalist leader, who would try to improve the life of ordinary Ukrainians. at least along the economic demands of NSDAP program of 1920.  Which included such economic demands as:

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7.  We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.
Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

Poroshenko is clearly a neoliberal oligarch, as was Yanukovich before him.  None of them have any significant gifts as politicians. Yanukovich in addition to this and despite his role as a head of mafia-like clan ("Donetskie") proved also to be despicable coward. Actually the line of Ukrainian presidents since independence consists of neoliberals only. The only difference between them was the level of anti-Russian sentiments and the flavor of Ukrainian nationalism (greatly simplifying Dnepropetrovsk "Kosak" nationalism is based on glorification of Zaporozhian Sich and is somewhat more tolerant toward Russia, then adamantly anti-Russian Western Ukrainian nationalism which glorifies such political figures as Stepan Bandera  and Symon Petliura)  they supported:

Timoshenko is also a neoliberal. Kind of cleptocratic neoliberal like Poroshenko.  She became that first female Ukrainian oligarch during Kushma Presidency.  Like Kuchma she also came from Dnepropetrovsk.

Nationalism  as a natural reaction on worsening economic conditions

  Governments having trouble meeting the needs of their citizens will be strongly tempted to turn to nationalism or nativism to transfer blame to external enemies and distract from problems at home, while publics fearful of loss of jobs to immigrants or economic hardship, are likely to be increasingly receptive to more exclusive ideologies and identities.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Global trends main report “How People Think” (2015)

Nationalism usually in on the upswing  if  we see the impoverishment of the population. In her groundbreaking book The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism  Naomi Klein  has shown how from Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, neoliberals have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies or neoliberalization and debt enslavement of the weaker countries. This concept is closely related to the concepts of Military-Industrial Complex and Predator state. Amazon review of the book states:

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.

"At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'' civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves… Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources the running of the 'War on Terror' to Halliburton and Blackwater… After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts… New Orleans residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened." Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes "produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today." Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.

There's little doubt Klein's book--which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo, will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It's also true that Klein's assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn't going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it's nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil. --Kim Hughes 

It is necessary to defend Ukrainian economic interests both against West and East;
nobody care about Ukrainian people

Even without this latest controversy over religion, it is clear that Ukrainians make the choice (or more correctly the USA made it for them). Current Ukraine can be viewed a client state.

Many Ukrainians falsely believed that the neoliberal West is in love with them.  Let me clear something for them: The west (its neoliberal elites) are not in the business of love. They are in the business of mercilessly exploiting lower 80% of population. Which means that they don't love even their own people, let alone the Ukrainians. Probably 10% of people (for example working in retail and getting less then $10 per hour, or $1200 a month, if they have 40 hours working week -- many do not -- 36 or less is common) in the USA live in such poverty that they can't find extra expense of $500 in case of emergency.  They essentially can't afford to live alone and need to rent an apartment with somebody else.  And that's the richest country of the West. So ignoring economics in favor of politic is what I call political degeneracy.

Both in Ukraine and the USA we see conversion from "classic neoliberalism" to "national neoliberalism" (In Ukraine along with converting the country into debt-slave of the West).  Ukraine is a  county which like Brazil signifies the possibility of alliance of neoliberals and far right nationalists in domestic policies, and further neoliberalization of Ukrainian economics,  the alliance which would be anathema for nationalists in 1920th-1930th. 

Similar to the opposition to Trump in the USA, EuroMaydan faced a strong resistance, as well as external interference, and in case of Ukraine eventually led to a civil war in Donbass region (the majority of fighters for independence of this region are residents of this region; Russian volunteers constitute only a tiny fraction of fighting forces; interference of Russia was mainly in supply of weapons and ammunition) . Like Trump, Ukrainian nationalists, who came to power after EuroMaydan are betraying economic interests of their key constituency due to which they came to power:

Astute observers saw this betrayal coming. The argument that Trump would somehow overturn America’s neoliberal economic order myopically focused on Trump’s trade policy. In doing so, it both misunderstood what Trump represented and the ideological framework of neoliberalism. Trump’s fever pitch agonizing over the United States’ trade deficit with China and Mexico are both the wallowing of an economic idiot and the maneuvering of a political savant. The issue was always economically inane. A trade deficit in-and-of-itself reveals very little about the overall health of an economy.

Whether a nation should strive for or against a trade deficit is more dependent on that nation’s strategic position within the global economy, and not necessarily an indicator of the health of domestic markets. But, trade proved to be a salient issue for symbolic purposes.

Stagnation and automation have compelled American middle and lower classes to accept an economic torpor. Making trade deficits a central campaign tenant provided these people with an outlet for their class anxieties without having to question the nature of class itself. Lethargic economic growth was blamed on Mexicans and the Chinese. The insinuation was for average Americans to take back what was rightfully theirs by engaging in a new round of economic bargaining with these two nations, if not an open trade war.

In case of EuroMaydan the economic alliance with EU was sold as a panacea for all economic devastation of people on Ukraine after economic rape by West in 1991-1994 (common for all xUSSR countries; trillions of dollars floated to the West then assents built during the USSR period were bought for penny on a dollar)  and after President Leonid Kuchma (in power from 1994 to 2005) installed oligarchic neoliberal regime with several major regional clans of oligarchs (Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev) having all the political power in the country. And which remained intact (sliding to more corruption) under Yushchenko despite the fact that the first Maydan was fought also under "anti-corruption" slogans. 

And Yanukovich and Russians was blamed for all ills of his two predecessors. Which is similar to the way Trump blamed Mexicans and Chinese for economic devastation of the US middle class under neoliberalism. But instead of trade war with China like is happening in the USA under Trump, a Donbass civil war emerged as the major side effect of transitioning to "national neoliberalism" ("externality" in neoliberal economics speak ). Steep deterioration of economic performance and hyperinflation followed. The latter resulted in approximately 300% depreciation of the currency in three year (2014-2017),  or 100% a year. Which put pensioners at the edge of beyond the starvation.

In covering such  events as civil wars and uprisings it is difficult to agree on common narrative. We will cover the event from the view that the supreme duty of the national state is not it s own existence at all costs ("classic nationalism"), but the well-being of its people and building the prosperous economy ("economic nationalism"). Of course those goals are interconnected, but one should not be scarified to another. And unleashing of a civil war under pressure from foreign country which pursue its own economic and geopolitical interests a sure path to misery. As General Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, “there is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.” Positioning  Ukraine as the bitter enemy of Russia does not benefit Ukrainians, but does benefit both the USA and EU.  More flexible approach might be a better deal, but currently is impossible. Ukraine might benefit from more tolerance and commitment to compromise.  Even selling some territories might be a better deal for straggling population of Ukraine then the prolonged warfare for the preservation of borders of the Ukrainian state established under Bolsheviks.  Buying the US weaponry is not the best use of Ukrainian money, at least not for the majority of the Ukrainian  population.  And it does not change the balance of forces on Ukrainian border, although defeated armies learn  really fast and the Ukrainian army of 2018 is qualitatively different and better than the army that suffered defeat from separatists before that. Just imagine that Canada leave NATO, doubles or triples its military budget and tried to confront imperial ambitions of the USA.  The same actually is true for Russian people, which now suffer under the burden of Putin's military budget, which makes total rearmament of Russia the top national priority.  And even the US people under Trump with his enormous military budget. .

This position has its weaknesses, as interests of people and the national elite under neoliberalism typically diverge and generally can't be reconciled.  And it is common people not the elite who die and receive grave injuries in those wars. The neoliberal elite often acts as occupying force of the country (comprador elite) acting in the interests of a foreign state... 

Economic nationalism should be understood as a set of practices to create, bolster and protect national economies in the context of globalized markets by returning in some areas to protectionism and regulation of big business, especially multinationals, while easing regulation of small and medium businesses and strengthening social security net.  In case of Ukraine EuroMaydan events forced Russian big business to leave Ukraine, but the tragedy is that the vacuum was filled with no less predatory "new partners".  The rise and institutionalization of economic nationalism was a product of the crisis of neoliberalism starting from 2008, which revitalized ethno-nationalist movements in many European countries including Baltic republics, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. As Bannon have said Steve Bannon on white nationalism, Donald Trump agenda - CBS News

“I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over.”

Some economists like Richard Wolf view Trump as the last, desperate attempt to save "classic neoliberalism" (The Coming Collapse of the American Economic System with Richard Wolff - YouTube). In Ukraine, EuroMaydan might be viewed as the desperate attempt to save oligarchic version of neoliberalism established by Kuchma.

I see Ukraine as a victim of policies of neoliberal globalization and the efforts to create global, led by the USA neoliberal empire (which by extension requires weakening and possibly neutering Russia and China). Simplifying, we can say that one of the most effective "disaster capitalism" scheme for establishing neocolonial control over the country is the transition of the country to debt slavery is unleashing a civil war. In this regard, a simple formula:

 "Color revolution" + "Civil war" ->  "Debt slavery".

works perfectly well. Around 11K people have been killed in the Ukraine between April 2014 and May 2017.  Around 1.6 million people have been internally displaced (mostly to central region of Ukraine and southern regions of Russia). European future dream proclaimed by EuroMaydan turned into Middle Eastern civil war nightmare with crimes committed against the civilian population.

It is interesting to note that the carrot of "European future" proved to work extremely well in post-Communist countries, especially for students and regions that depend on labor migrants for survival (Western Ukraine). Promising Ukrainian population "European future" was a very effective, albeit almost obvious move.

And outside well qualified professionals and entrepreneurs, or the top 10% of the population Ukrainian population is not needed (or wanted) in Europe. For lower 80% this "European future" is a future of low paid service personnel and prostitutes in Western cities. The status of a low paid gastarbeiters is the grim reality of the employment situation in most EU countries. Still this carrot proved to be an extremely effective way to fool the population into actions which destroyed their achieved standard of living, as low as it was in comparison with major countries of Western Europe such as France and Germany.

People generally hate and do not trust a local neoliberal government (and Yanukovich government was clearly a neoliberal government), so it, by definition, any such government is a low hanging fruit for a color revolution which typically installs even more rabid neoliberal and more cruel government.  such a Catch 22 on geopolitical scheme (with neoliberal regime instead of US army fighting in Europe ;-).  With a rather small financial infusion people from Western Ukraine (and not only Western Ukraine) were easily recruited to participate in mass protest actions with the goal to depose the government. This was proven during EuroMaydan in Ukraine and actually is true for all xUSSR countries.  For example, in Russia there were significant demonstrations of this type in 2011-2012.

First of all people are sick and tied of sliding and very low standard of living. As such they are highly susceptible to any agitation that promise "better future for them and their children".  Delegitimization of the ruling neoliberal elite (aka "Yanukovich gang") via controlled by "color revolutionaries" MSM  typically is presented via a more narrow term -- corruption --  created revolutionary situation that just waited to be exploited.  Actually corruption became the code work for staging a color revolution in many countries.  The fact the none of them managed to eliminate corruption which is endemic for any neoliberal regime ("Greed is good") including the USA ( for example "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry ) does not matter. What matter is people  perception of the issue as unfair and the current government as corrupt.  The idea the next government can be even more corrupt does not enter the mental picture.

Secondly because Western Europe that they knew only from TV or, at best, saw just its "tourist facade".  Few people know the reality of living in Western Europe. Which definitely has a higher standard of living even if it was substantially weakened by neoliberalism, and also weakened (but still strong in comparison with the USA) social security mechanisms. But it is very far from "worker paradise."  The real situation can be understood only after working in the particular country for three or more years and I doubt that those people came to EuroMaydan.

But it was relatively easy to use far right nationalists as a ram to depose Yanukovich (a "no brainer" as some observers put it). This is done by rallying against the government a large part of the disaffected population. In case of EuroMaydan, students and small entrepreneurs took active part, because they were among social groups oligarchic regime of Yanukovich really oppressed; add to that media of a couple of oppressed by and thus hostile to Yanukovich oligarchs, such  as Ihor Kolomoyskyi . It generally talked about a decade for people to forget how they were deceived in the past. So the memory about the promises of the  "bright future" in early 1990th and the grim reality that followed already evaporated. Another problem is that young people who were born after the first Ukrainian Great Depression that followed obtaining independence are not interested in a real history of this period.  This consideration suggests that in any xUSSR country you can stage a color revolution each 20 years or so.

It is also very easy for MSM to channel objective process of impoverishment of population under neoliberalism into the charge of corruption of the government. Which was definitely corrupt, especially Yanukovich himself,  but no more corrupt the previous (Kuchma, late Yushchenko) or subsequent Ukrainian governments (Provisional Government, Poroshenko).   In this sense the civil war in Donbass and its wide-range consequences is one of  the most important "externalities" of EuroMaydan (along with the loss of Crimea), the price of change of the government via violent uprising instead of regular election mechanisms.  

Both EuroMaydan and the civil war in Ukraine are related to (or even stem from) efforts of the USA to encircle Russia as a new geopolitical rival on one hand, as well as  the desire of the EU to get a resource base at the East and expand its market into yet another  country cutting Russia (plus Russophobia of elites of several countries including Poland and Sweden).  On the EU part, the "Economic Anschluss" of Ukraine can be viewed as a more gentle variant of "Drang nach Osten" -- a drive to enlarge its (mostly German) economic space by absorbing all Eastern European countries under the EU economic space umbrella.  

Contrary to statements about pro-Ukrainian bias of the USA policies in the region, the US efforts were not pro, but clearly anti-Ukrainian. Ukraine was viewed by the USA just as an important pawn in geopolitical chess game against Russia.  And this game is mainly directed by the goals of encircling, weakening and, if possible, dismembering of Russia.  In this respect Ukrainian national interests, especially economic interests,  were never a consideration.  At the core of events was Obama administration pushback against Russian opposition to American dominance and the EU and NATO expansion into Eastern Europe.

In this sense EuroMaydan was a logical continuation of a failed attempt to stage color revolution in Russia in 2011-2012; continuation of the same policy. This time the USA manage to inflict huge economic and political losses to Russia as EuroMaydan not only broke economic cooperation of Russia and Ukraine, but was followed by damaging Russian economic sanctions, as well as (naturally occurring, or artificially created) slump in oil prices which last  three and a half years (mid 2014 - 2018).  It also created an enemy from previously friendly or at least neutral state.  And another hostile to Russia state on its borders is the last thing that Russia needs.

This EU Anschluss  agreement (in the writing of which, at least formally,  participated functionaries from Yanukovich government, so, in some ways, it was a joint effort) also included such disastrous measures as adoption of EU standards in areas were Ukraine can't compete with the EU companies and thus de-facto replacement of local production with imported.  The process which in 2018 is very visible of the shelves of supermarkets. Such a pro-Russian president ;-)  “We want to move closer to the EU in our day-to-day work,” he used to say.  He wanted to sign it, but just wanted to bargain a little bit more. And he managed to get 3 billion loan from Russia on a really good terms. But by not signing the agreement in November 2013 he sealed his political fate (EuroMaidan - Wikipedia) and endanger his life, as neither EU, nor the USA take "no" for an answer. And they did unleashed a color revolution against him:

The demonstrations began on the night of 21 November 2013, when protests erupted in the capital, Kiev, after the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for signing the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement with the European Union, to seek closer economic relations with Russia

This attempt to demonstrate some degree of independence was a fatal political mistake because Ukraine was already under firm control of pro-EU/pro-US forces.  Previous Yushchenko government was essentially a vassal of the West and his appointees were deeply entrenched in all critical government structures including  security services; media was also controlled by neoliberal forces and hostile to Russia; the US NGO were extremely influential in Ukraine and influenced  the media landscape (Gromadske TV, etc) with NGO officers enjoying diplomatic immunity due to a special agreement, signed, I think, by Kuchma government. Which is a clear sign of sliding of the country to colonial status ( imagine this for a sovereign country, say for the Great Britain).

While from  imperial standpoint such policy is logical as Russia is one of the main threat to the US-led global neoliberal empire and the second largest nuclear power,  is sows "dragon's teeth". As such it is dangerous to the USA too. But after the USA became the only world superpower, Washington never played favorable for them situation strategically and patiently. They became a real global bully. That's why we have this "F*ck EU" coupe d'état and the attempt to kill Yanukovich in February 2014. While removing Yanukovich was "slam dunk" thing, as he was widely hated by the Ukrainian population (which is actually typical for any neoliberal president in xUSSR area with no exceptions) subsequent side effects of his removal did not played for the USA so well. They really antagonized Russia, which from this point started to view the USA as the enemy, not as a dominant economic power and the competitor in xUSSR space. This led to informal military and economic alliance to China which was the danger the Kissinger warned against.

Another nasty externality of this coup d'état  is that it eventually led to an uprising in some parts of the Eastern Ukraine against Western Ukrainian attempt to colonize it, and eliminate Russian language and Russian culture, which are native to the region (which might be one of the USA geopolitical goals, as it further weakens  Russia and make it n easy target for sanctions; which actually started before with Magnitsky Act, which was adopted in 2012 and was the fiorst robin int his area). BTW adopted on completely false premises as recent Nekrasov's documentary reveals (with a strong possibility of Browder being connected to MI6)

So it really created an artificial ethnic conflict in the country which basically was free of it.  My impression is that before EuroMaydan most Russian-speaking Ukrainians did not too closely associate themselves with Russia, viewing Moscow with some degree of suspicion. Especially strong in "intelligencia" circles (which from Soviet time resents the role of "smaller brother" and some level of discrimination). In other words, they viewed Russia much like Canadians view the USA ("two countries separated by common language"). But now, at least in Donbass region, and probably in several other Eastern regions, the attitudes drastically changed.  As well as the attitude toward Western Ukrainian nationalists (which were never viewed too favorably in Eastern regions of Ukraine to begin with.) In this sense Odessa fire was a precursor to Donbass civil war.

For the country where the majority of population speaks the same language as people in Russia and have many family level and cultural ties breaking such ties in the name of establishing a new national identity is a very tricky political move. BTW most Canadians do not like the USA for its Imperial Ambitions and (by-and-large successful) attempt to convert Canada into de-factor colony of the USA ("two countries separated by common language")

But imagine that Quebec nationalists came to power in Canada and outlawed the English language.  And introduction of Ukrainian language repeats that story of reintroduction of national language in Baltic countries (or enforcement of Hebrew in Israel) and in view of dominance of English language does not have any real significance culturally (as the cultural life is now completely dominated by Western players and filmmakers in any case) and might  have slightly detrimental effect on education and science.

I would be first to admit that it was a good time to replace Russian textbooks at universities with English language textbooks: previously Ukrainian universities (with the exception of Lvov and couple of other cities) typically used Russian textbooks for natural sciences, which now is politically incorrect. But they can't switch to English textbooks (potentially better for natural sciences and very cheap if bought used or reprints from India).

The move which would instantly raise the level on knowledge of English language in the country, especially among educated middle class. As such would diminish Russian cultural influence and, as such, strengthen the level of independence of the country from Russia.  Although increase in intensity and quality of study of English language is definitely one of the few positive effects of EuroMaydan.

Yanukovich was a rather weak and deeply corrupt President, which was not favorably viewed in Russia (which refused to create and support the government  in exile after he fled the country). Paradoxically he has no real friends ( other then Joe Biden, who backstabbed him  ;-). Politically at the  beginning of 2015 he was completely isolated due to his sling into authoritarianism. Now it became known that several members of his government (for example Lyovochkin) were covertly working for "EuroMaydan".

One can also wander about  Russia position in this area. Russia professes limited version of economic nationalism, while remaining by-and-large a neoliberal country (which create a big weakness in Putin position, as you can't be  half-pregnant; if you profess neoliberalism  inside the country, you should profess neoliberal globalization and by extension accept the role of Washington as the center of global neoliberal empire).  In other words, Russia invented Trumpism before Trump ;-).

So Russian neocolonialism is the fact of life (as long as Russia remains neoliberal country) and Russia does want to keep the xUSSR states as its sphere of influence,  but in reality while it has definitely unequal terms  they might be more benign toward Ukraine than EU neo-colonial expansion into Ukrainian space.  Those predators can really devour the country like they devour Greece.  And the first effect, is conversion of the country into the debt slave. The second, if we view Baltic states as a example, is deindustrialization.

I suspect that there is no good guys in this drama.

EuroMaydan disrupted and accelerated the natural process of distancing from former metropolia

After  getting an independence (and even before that during last years of the USSR) there was a process of distancing of Ukrainian population from Russia and Russian people. Dome animosity toward Moscow existed in Kiev even during Soviet days. This process naturally was accelerated after independence and typical attributes of a European nation (separate language, culture, often  separate church) became "a must" to obtain for the new Ukrainian neoliberal elite.

The key problem with forceful "Ukrainization" is that Ukrainian culture currently can't complete with Russian culture as the latter richer and is culture of several times larger country. Thaw same is true about cultures in other neighboring countries such  republic, Poland, Ukraine, Finland, Moldova, etc). They all experience strong influence of Russian culture. Actually rich culture is one of the  attributes of metropolia (for example China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Germany).

At the same time there are multiple countries which are independent  and still share the same language (Canada is one close example as its neighbor is the USA -- a country with distinct imperial ambitions).  As Bernard Show quipped about the USA and GB are "two nations divided by a common language"

Another important  factor is the quality of the elite. Without knowledge of English it is difficult to have high quality elite those days. The level of deterioration  of Soviet elite (which usually spoke only Russian; few members from the  Soviet elite studied in Western universities) was probably one of the factors in the collapse of the USSR. When leaders became a joke, the legitimacy of the Soviet Union was severely undermined and nationalist sentiments encouraged.  Also deep provinciality of Soviet politician -- clearly visible in Gorbachov and Yeltsin to name a few was also a native factor which allowed "economic rape of Russia" in 1991-2000.  The same was even more true for Ukraine and other former soviet republics.  Some years in Ukraine after 1991 (I think 1992-1996 until introduction of grivna) was absolutely desperate with rampant inflation (up to 10% a month) and the standard of living of population in single digits from previously level achieved during the USSR years.  While of course a large part of this were "tectonic shifts" -- global economic processes (ascendance of neoliberalism; in this respect the USSR chose to dissolve in the worse time possible). neoliberalism smash weaker countries converting them into debt slaves. But the provincialism (and greed which is related) of Russian and Ukrainian elite also played a role.

BTW there is an influential strata of Russian intelligentsia (so called "Zapandniki") who consider Russian culture inferior to some European cultures such  and French and German.  And there was a long  period in Russian history when the aristocracy spoke French and Russian was relegated to "common people". For example, during the Patriotic War of 1812 (Napoleon invasion of Russia) the officer corps of two armies spoke the same language.  Russia was generally very lenient  to usage of foreign languages with German being "trade language" used by merchants  for centuries.

I think that now only English now can "painlessly" replace Russian in Ukraine and that "forced "Ukrainization" will work against Western Ukrainian nationalists, although Donbass war proved to be a very influential factor which tremendously helped to overcome the resistance of the rest of Ukrainian population (as were switching  of schools to Ukrainian  language).  My impression is that the language situation in Kiev changed noticeably in just four years (2014-2018). While part of it is connected with the influx of Western Ukrainian (which have a higher birth rate than other regions of Ukraine), much of it I would attribute to patriotic sentiment among the population which is connected with sentiments created by Donbass war.

But the danger here is "provinciality" and it should be underestimated.  BTW Ukrainian is not a native language for a considerable portion of Ukrainian elite (especially in Eastern and Southern regions) and they support it only from the "sovereignty" standpoint, if at all. 

Created by Kuchma oligarchic neoliberalism survived EuroMaydan

Like with any uprising the goals were noble. But they the net results are far from the initial aspirations.  If we view EuroMaydan as an upraising against  Kuchma's oligarchic neoliberalism, it proved to be a dismal failure.  It became more cruel and more entrenched.

Despite all this rhetoric about "corruption", oligarchic neoliberalism survived and the cost of uprising and dislocation the followed it were offloaded on the bottom 80% of population.  In you compare NSDAP program on 1928 and the program of far right forces in Ukraine it is clear that the latter are devoid of any positive economic program of redistribution of wealth down

Here is a sample from which it is clear that NSDAP program (never fully implemented) includes several radical positions (which are anathema to neoliberals) such as "Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery." (p11) as well as "We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts)":

... ... ...

7.We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens

9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to productively work mentally or physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:

11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

21.The state is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

22.We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

23.We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press.

24.We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race...

But nationalists the come to power as the result of EuroMaydan just wanted to kick the neoliberal can down the road with the only difference that Russian oligarchs should be kicked out, economic ties with Russia severed,  and the EU and US oligarchs brought in.  The fact that their leaders are personally less corrupt does not matter.  They just served as a Trojan horse to let in EU and the USA oligarchs and multinationals. And that was the net result of  EuroMaydan. 

What really happened in Ukraine due to EuroMaydan was the transition from classic neoliberal social system created by Kuchma which was typical for post-Soviet space and pioneered by Yeltsin clan in Russia  (oligarchic capitalism)  to the military plutocracy.  This is the same process that is under way in the USA since 9/11 (when the country was converted from democratic oligarchic capitalism into national security state)  and is typical for any neoliberal country as the net effect of neoliberalism is increase of the debt (debt fuelled growth model). With high level of debt democratic mechanisms  of control of population stop working. So after the level of debt ( and poverty/unemployment) reached certain threshold the switch to national security state model ("militarized plutocracy") is the only way for the neoliberal elite to preserve its dominant position in the society.

I would like to stress that this is the same process of evolution of neoliberalism that started in the USA after 9/11. The elections are now more tightly manipulated by media owners. Existence of a convenient scapegoat make opposition by-and-large fruitless task ("war" mentality: who are not with us, is against us ).  So replacement of the leaders are now allowed only within the narrow circle of the ruling neoliberal elite which deposed both Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk oligarchic clans which ruled under Yanukovich umbrella  (or at least part of them). In this sense Poroshenko election was exactly what would happen in  the USA in similar circumstances. 

Strangely, the showdown between Timoshenko and Yanukovich was probably the first and the last Ukrainian election, where the neoliberal establishment didn't get their (wo)man. Yanukovich was also neoliberal and as such a second choice of the elite, but not the most desirable candidate.  Timoshenko seemed scared a few powerful people - she is too ruthless and had too many of her own "hungry people"  who wanted to enrich themselves as fast as possible at the expense of existing oligarchs (the sin which Yanukovich clan actually shared with her and that was a key part of his undoing).

Some key establishment players switched sides, allowing Yanukovich to win. The USA did not object as Yanukovich was no less controllable then Timoshenko and in some areas was even preferable (with Joe Biden as a very capable mentor ;-).

But this attitude apparently hanged when he started to demonstrate some level of independence and tried to balance between EU/USA and Russia. Disobedience to Washington Obcom  for which he paid the price.  It was no brainer to organize several oligarchs who were "suppressed" by Yanukovich oligarchic mafia into "resistance movement" and use Ukrainian nationalists (which Yanukovich supported) as the brute force to initiate the "regime change"  As Victoria Nuland famously said "F*ck EU which while it has a different meaning, can also be interpreted as "F*ck EU [aspirations of Ukrainians]" -- the net result of EuroMaydan European aspirations.  The winner was the USA, not EU or Ukrainian people. That was probably the most important geopolitical victory of Obama administration.

What were the triggers of this civil war

Interestingly, it was father of liberalism John Locke, who  provided a philosophical justification for overthrowing the government when it acts against the interests of its citizens. What Locke did not understand is that the next government can be worse. Much worse, if the "revolution" was supported by powerful players who pursue their own geopolitical goals at the expense of the citizens of a particular country.  In many such cases creation of internal civil conflict is a hidden or at least desirable goal as it greatly simplifies looting the country by the comprador elite and  the conversion of the country into the debt slave (this tactics is called "disaster capitalism"). 

It is difficult to talk about a single factor that created Donbass conflict, which later turned into civil war. There were multiple factors that created preconditions to civil war in Ukraine:

  1. Direct pressure from the USA which tried to exploit the  possibility of direct or indirect armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia for their geopolitical interests. So the pressure on Provisional Government to use military force in Donbass probably was immense.  From this point of view Ukraine Civil war can be viewed as textbook case of  "disaster capitalism" in action.  Neoliberals in general, and neoliberal countries in particular (read G7), are ready to use shocks and violence to implement their policies of creating neocolonial states (aka Washington consensus). The most powerful states practice neoliberalization and debt enslavement of the weaker countries.
     
  2. A side effect of the neoliberalization of the country after Kuchma and "fast track" to EU Anschluss adopted by Yanukovich government.  As Wikipedia states "In 2002 Kuchma stated that Ukraine wanted to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU) by 2003–2004 and that Ukraine would meet all EU membership requirements by 2007–2011.[17] He also hoped for a free-trade treaty with the EU.[17]"  So Yanukovich actions  were essentially continuation of the same policy. 

    An interesting nuance here is that economic difficulties for the ordinary people, including mass unemployment and redistribution of wealth up inherent under any neoliberal or semi-neoliberal regime (and which can be easily amplified by external actions) can also be used for unleashing color revolution against the "corrupt [neoliberal] regime" (as if the next will be less corrupt). Of course this can be done under noble slogans of democratization, "fighting with corruption" (which is endemic  under neoliberalism including the USA and other G7 countries) and "better life promises", which creates a mass support base for the "neoliberal revolutionaries". 

    Essentially this means conversion of Ukraine into "EU village", a resource base of cheap commodities and a very cheap workforce. Starting the same the process that is now fairly advanced in Baltic republics, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, as well as other central European countries.
     
  3. The slide of Ukraine toward more nationalist government was also facilitated by the global crisis of neoliberalism of 2008. In this respect Ukraine is not that different  from, say, Hungary, or Poland, which also expense a resurgence of nationalist parties.  So the rise of far right nationalism in not exclusively Ukrainian phenomenon, but a global trend caused by the crisis of neoliberalism both as an ideology and as a social system after 2008. So not only EU and the USA machination plus Yanukovich corruption and criminality caused EuroMaydan. It looks like Ukraine just is repeating the political trajectory of Baltic Republics, but  with 23 years delay.  And probably inevitably destined to repeat the mistakes the Baltic countries, especially Latvia, made on this path.
     
  4. The natural result of obtaining independence and subsequent rise of political importance and power (as guarantors of independence from Russia) of Western Ukrainian nationalists Parties and organizations,  previously completely decimated and eliminated as a political force. They were resurrected with the full and enthusiastic support of the Ukrainian State, Ukrainian, especially Canadian and the USA, diaspora (which, like any diaspora, are more radicalized and nationalistic  then people living in Ukraine; in this sense the existence of strong diaspora can be curse for a particular country).  As well as some neoliberal NGO such as Soros foundation, which openly promoted nationalism as a tool to blow off the Soviet Empire. The undisputable fact is that Yanukovich himself did quite a lot for resurrection of Svoboda as a viable political party. Usually this fact is swiped under the carpet by Western MSM, which incorrectly (with complete contempt for evidence) proclaiming him being a pro-Russian political figure. While in reality he was a moderate Ukrainian nationalist, who tried to extract some concession both from Russia and West trying to perform a delicate dance of balancing between them (he failed). In a sense Yanukovich brand of nationalism was not that different from the bran of nationalism which emerged in Dnepropetrovsk and which was represented by Kuchma and later Kolomoiski. The fact that with Svoboda Yanukovich brought into the nest a cuckoo egg escaped this mediocre and corrupt politician (who by the way was under heavy USA influence, with such names as Biden and Manafort and  as mentors and political consultant respectively) .  Luckily he managed to escape the attempt to kill him after the coup. It is kind of unsetting that a politician who used Joe Biden as a political mentor can be attested as pro-Russian.  Which smells with postmodernism "multiple truths" paradigm.
     
  5. Oligarchic republics has their own  dynamic of development and such a development in Ukraine led to the loss of political power of "Donetsk elite". The contributing factors were internal frictions within Donetsk oligarchic clan and the fact that Dnepropetrovsk oligarchs (and first of all Kolomoski) openly sided with nationalists. In other words nationalists were used as the brute force in oligarchic clans struggle to remove Yanukovich as a threat to other oligarchic groups and weaken the Donetsk oligarch clan. Ukraine was and still is an oligarchic republic -- owners of big businesses  have a decisive impact on the politics and economic policies of the government of the country. The Ukrainian oligarchic republic emerged during Leonid Kuchma’s presidency (1994–2004). There were several oligarchic clans in Ukraine with two most important being Donetsk clan (personalized by Akhmetov) and  Dnepropetrovsk clan (personalized by Timoshenko). They were the cornerstones of the Ukrainian oligarchic democracy. Yanukovich, who represented the Donetsk clan and was closely linked to Akhmetov, was not a satisfactory President for other oligarchic groups. Yanukovich attempt to create "the family" as a new  oligarchic group consisting of his sons and loyal politicians were also viewed with great suspicion by other oligarchic groups (see osw.waw.pl for more information)
  6. A "blowback" of the efforts of the USA led global neoliberal empire (of which EU states are vassals) to contain and encircle Russia. We can also view Ukraine as the latest victim of US geopolitics, which is directed on encircling, weakening and/or possible dismembering of Russia as well as German geopolitics with the kind of neoliberal version of "Drang nach Osten"

    Drang nach Osten, (German: “Drive to the East”), German policy or disposition to colonize the Slavic lands east of Germany. The term originally referred to the eastward movement of German settlers in the 12th and 13th centuries but was resurrected by Adolf Hitler in the 20th century to describe his plans for acquiring Lebensraum (“living space”) for Germans.

    Under neoliberalism we are talking not about direct occupation but by opening and dominating Ukrainian market and displacing Russians from this market.

I would like to stress again that EuroMaydan coup d'état represents the greatest success of the US diplomacy (and personally President Obama) in this direction (and an important step in the defense of the global neoliberal empire led by the USA) since the dissolution of the USSR.

The USA managed to turn a large, strategically positioned county into hostile to Russia entity for a tiny sum of around five billion dollars invested in organizing this color revolution (which exploited real dissatisfaction with neoliberalism of Ukrainian population), spinet via multiple years via NGO, MSM and embassies.   Please note that Israel in one year gets more. Later that led to forming in March 2018 of anti-Russian alliance of Geordia-Moldova-Ukraine -- another severe knockdown for Russian diplomacy in the region.  Donbass civil war can be viewed as externality of those geopolitical efforts.  Or desirable, if slightly unexpected,  result.

There were also other contributing  factors such as internal and external pressure on the Provisional Government (and euphoria from Maydan success); the side effect of Putin "overextending" his promises to Donbass residents after Crimea referendum.

The latter and subsequent betrayal of those "Referendum => Ascendance to Russia" promises were especially tragic.  In other words Putin shares the responsibility for the Donbass civil war.

The inherent political instability of neoliberal governments in post Soviet republics

Looks like deposing the elected government with the hands of disgruntled (and agitated with controlled by NGO "opposition" MSMs) citizens and few financial injections into opposition (with one stash of cash confiscated from Batkivshchyna offices) is a "sure thing". Just a matter of time and skills of more or less competent intelligences agencies operatives of any G7 country.  This way it is possible to change the government  in any xUSSR republic with some even rudimentary democratic structures, which experience slide in the standard of living of population and/or financial difficulties with payments of external debts. Neoliberalism caused gradual sliding of standard of living of population and mass discontent. Which created political instability even in the USA.  And thus opportunity exists to install a more pro-western government with minimal spending of money and resources by any more powerful economically country, which is ready to spend money for such a revolution. Kind of beating the person, who already fall on its knees. 

If this results in a subsequent civil conflict, that OK and does not interfere (actually can greatly help) with getting control over strategic resources that happen to be in this country. Which is all that matter in the large scheme of neoliberal expansion into the country.  So, paradoxically a civil was is even desirable outcome for neoliberal conquistadors (which are no longer persons, but multinationals).  This is the essence of what is called "Disaster Capitalism".

While there are regional variations most of post-Soviet republics are neoliberal oligarchic republics. As such  they have problem both with the  legitimacy of the ruling elite and in  withstanding pressure from major  western countries (where oligarchs  store their assets) to open their markets to transnational corporations and loot the resources.  The looting of Yeltsin Russia is a textbook example here.

It might well be that only "brutal dictatorships" in Western neoliberal oligarchs terms can mount some resistance to such color revolution attempts and "democracy" (the rule of neoliberal elite) is a very bad  idea for a country with a low and sliding standard of living.

Was this conflict inevitable?

As similar tensions exists in Baltic republics, Moldavia and Kazakhstan it looks like some state of development of post Soviet republics with large Russian speaking minority involves some sort of conflict, as this population generally is not inclined to accept more provincial culture and language of the republic in which they are now citizens or permanent  residents (Latvia actually discriminated against Russian minority).  But whether such a conflict results in the armed struggle and separation of some territory depends on additional circumstances, which might be present or not.

Long before Donetsk separatism,  we have a similar situation in Moldavia in the part of the country with dominant Russian speaking population and Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia. In Moldova Russian separatists formed de-facto independent republic (Transnistria - Wikipedia). In Ukraine itself there were tensions due to attempt of "forceful Ukrainization" of  Crimea as to a lesser extent other  Eastern regions (closure of Russian schools, etc). Even in Kiev population which generally is probably more nationalistic than the countryside resented forceful Ukrainization. Especially on the level of university education where it hit the wall of low quality or complete absence  of textbooks, the necessity of inventing "Ukrainian terminology" for technical subjects (instead of switching to English; which would instantly solve most of those problems) and low pay of professors, when those who has some value of the marketplace "en mass" moved to private industries or emigrated.

What Ukraine showed us again is that the distance from minor language related problems to armed conflict can be crossed very quickly even with the complete absence of ethnic tensions, if foreign pressure is applied and favorite conditions arise

What Ukraine showed us again is that the distance from such tensions to armed conflict can be crossed very quickly even with the complete absence of ethnic tensions, if foreign pressure is applied and favorite conditions  arise. That's why sudden appearance of  the scene a government with a couple of mediocre and rather reckless politicians (Yatsenyuk and Turchinov) that  (especially the latter) behaves like a bull in a china store was enough. You can imagine  the situation if Quebec  nationalists came to power and declared French language the only official language of Canada in order to diminish/eliminate  cultural and political influence of the USA on Canada (which is an imperial power and generally is resented in Canada ;-).

The net losers were bottom 80% of Ukrainian population (especially in the area of armed conflict and those who were drafted). Standard of living for whom deteriorated two to three times  in one year after EuroMaydan. The phrase "My zdobuli" (with the meaning "We achieved the victory/independence" and approximate translation "we obtained") now has sarcastic meaning in Ukrainian language.

So the fact that Provisional government come to power in Kiev and in euphoria from their victory immediately started to push Ukrainization further down the road (forgetting that they are essentially puppets installed with the help of the USA and EU) proved to be  powerful enough trigger to light a civil war. Stupid and reckless actions of tandem of
Yatsenyuk and Turchinov when they encountered some resistance only help further to ignite this conflict. They might be advised to do so by their US mentors.  It would be much wiser adding Russian as a state language but also introducing English as a new official language and requiring police and courts to accept it. As well as switch to teaching some subjects in English at high school and universities.  English beats Russian as the main international language of our epoch.

The fact that the Donbass region became an arena of this conflict also was probably more or less accidental. There were no notable ethnic tensions to justify it. Just a mild resentment to forceful Ukrainization on one hand and mild anti-Russian sentiments on another (Russia was and still is one of the most popular destination for Western Ukrainian Gastarbeiters) .  Only later two groups of population ("vatniki" vs. "banderovtsi") became bitterly involved in this conflict and started killing each other. After several years of fighting and several thousands of civilians killed, million or more displaced (with widespread looting or vacant houses and apartments on both sides)  re-integration of this territory into Ukraine looks like a very difficult and very expensive, if not impossible task. Which requires huge investment of money Ukraine does not have and neither US or EU which created this situation are willing to supply and superhuman patience.

So Minsk accords, which proposes as a solution to the conflict by federalizing Ukraine and granting Donbass the status similar to Crimea autonomy in the past as well as general amnesty ( in return for putting down all arms) are probably by-and-large dead and can be used only for political games.  Even conversion of Ukraine into federative republic and granting Donbass the status of autonomy of a type formerly enjoyed by Crimean now is not enough for Donbass residents and represent too big concession for Kiev. Partially because as economic situation deteriorates,  other parts of Ukraine, especially TransCarpatian region might want the same status.

Economic consequences of Donbass conflict: The Ukrainian Second Great Depression

The  most important effect of the EuroMaydan along with dropping of the standard of living of population is an almost complete and long-term breakup of economic and cultural relations with Russia. The process which already started since 1991 and way well under way under Yanukovich. The civil war in Donbass only accelerated and deepened those "pre-existing" trends.

We can view post EuroMaydan event as a Second Great Depression  for Ukrainian population (the  first was after the dissolution of the USSR). Ukrainian GDP dropped considerably after EuroMaydan, although exact figures are difficult to come buy ( see Ukraine GDP 1987-2018). Probably at least 50% in comparison with the level achieved in 2013. So it looks like another Great Depression in Ukraine. Also the fact that it is now under umbrella of EU will might eventually kill some Ukrainian  high tech industries and most of machinery manufacturing including auto industry. Without cooperation with Russia aviation industry is already dead (Ukraine has large Antonov factory in Kiev which produced transport planes and couple of other less important factories in Kharkov). Without Russia cooperation they are mostly gone (some can still service Soviet aircraft but how long it will last ?.  Even advice manufacturing like manufacturing of engines (Motorsich) experience huge difficulties as they lost Russia as a customer and did nit have a replacement or compensation for those lost orders. That was, of course a huge hit for Russia too, as to create the replacement requires time and money.  This is the same process of de-industrialization that we observed in Baltic republics. But it probably will have higher impact on Ukraine as this is a larger country and the loss of Russian market is more critical and is not compensated by EU in any form.

Resulting economic chaos and civil war destroyed the standard of living of the majorly of Ukrainian population and created more then a million of refugees.  Please take into account that one of the driving forces of EuroMaydan was a high unemployment rate in Western Ukraine, where the growth of population was fastest (Uniate religion is close to Catholicism and does not encourage birth control). 

Now the majority of Ukrainian live of less then $2 a day and will do so for many, many years, if not decades.  And that's what makes the whole EuroMaydan and subsequent Donbass conflict especially tragic, as most people who protested Yanukovich government were striving for better life, for lower unemployment  and better economic opportunities for themselves and their children.  And BTW all Donbass residents initially wanted was just a small degree of cultural autonomy and adoption of Russian language as the second state language.  That was all.

Now due to deterioration of economics and flow of refugees both to in central regions of Ukraine (especially Kiev region)  and to Russia we have zugzwang situation both for Ukraine and Donbass. Only external forces can benefit from the continuation of the war, but the common ground to bring parties to the negotiation table was lost.

In other word the net losers of those geopolitical games that created EuroMaydan is, unsurprisingly, the Ukrainian population and, first of all, the population of the Donetsk region.  Common Ukrainians were forced into abject poverty as the result of  a sophisticated geopolitical game played on them with visa free travel and ability to work in EU as a carrot. After EuroMaydan far right nationalism was unleashed to dull the pain of economic rape as some kind of "opium for the masses". It allowed to project the ills brought by more deep neoliberalization of Ukraine and conversion it into a debt slave nation on Russia. As the result the majority of Ukrainian population now is more hostile to Russia.  Of course, Ukrainians were not the first, and they are not the last among the victim of the color revolution for the installation of a "hardcore" neoliberal regime which started with the election of Reagan.  Arab countries such as Libya fared even worse.

It is surprising how resilient Ukrainians proved in such conditions. This was (and is) simply amazing to watch, despite the tragic nature of the situation.  Of course, in a typical development known since WWII Kiev became an even larger sex shop for rich Western tourists and pensioners, than under Yanukovich, but this is also typical for other countries in xUSSR space. Still there were no complete economic collapse after EuroMaydan and most of infrastructure continued to function although in decrepit state and there is no money for its modernization. Railways state is especially tragic. But trains are still running.

How Ukrainians survive food prices that approach the USA prices on their salaries is a question that I cannot answer. Probably some local markets have lower prices and self-grown vegetables help a lot (many Ukrainians has so called "dachas" from Soviet time, typically a plot 600 sq meters (around 6500 sq feet)  where you can grow fruits and vegetables. But transportation costs now bite hard (public transport in Kiev is now around $.20 per ticket.)

Meat consumption for the majority of population is now severely restricted and all poor people can probably afford are just eggs, milk and some pork fat.  Price of chicken meat is almost on the USA level and for a typical pensioner income represents a luxury.

I would like to stress that the process of cultural and economic separation of Ukraine from Russia was well under way since obtaining independence as the result of dissolution of the USSR in 1991 and would occur anyway, but probably will less economic losses for both Ukrainians and Russians.  Those US propaganda tales about Yanukovich government being pro-Russian are just what they are -- fairy tales for badly informed, or brainwashed. No Ukrainian government since independence was pro-Russian. The only variable was the level of anti-Russian sentiments (with Yushchenko Presidency being the most anti-Russian, which is what you can expect from a Western Ukrainian nationalist in power).  Moreover "pro-Russian" Yanukovich  actually supported creation of Western Ukrainian training camps which serve as indoctrination tool of Western Ukrainian youth into anti-Russian mindset.  He also supported Svoboda hoping to beat it in the elections. But they beat him on the barricades playing "divide and conquer" card.

Now Ukraine started the process the results of which we can see in Baltic states: the elimination of Russian culture and language and almost complete economic isolation from Russia (while Russia still remains the largest economic partner), as well as opening the market to Western Europe and the USA on conditions dictated by EU and the USA respectively  (which are clearly neo-colonial conditions).  The key problem with the Ukrainian elite and the population in general is dismal level of knowledge of English language, which prevents receiving many benefits of such an association.  The association remains one way street with EU multinationals  getting the Ukrainian market, and Ukrainians getting nothing in return although "free intellectual property" goods are definitely available and some of them quite valuable.  For example, high quality textbooks for universities (older university textbooks used in the USA before "political correctness" are definitely of higher quality then corresponding Russian textbooks)

In Baltic republics the pain of deindustrialization was smoothed by financial transfers from EU. Ukraine faces full economic consequences of breaking of economic ties with Russia and subsequent gradual elimination of whole sectors of manufacturing which can't compete with EU (which is the most manufacturing sectors and large part of chemical industry; they probably will soon be bought by transnationals) without any compensation and under pressure.  This de-industrialization process already started.  As well as residential building boom which probably can create a bubble in real estate market with the subsequent crash and corresponding consequences.

All economic hopes of EuroMaydan revolution -- higher salaries, more and better jobs, lower prices" were dashed very quickly as grivna was devaluated from 8 per dollar to around over 20 per dollar (currently over 28 per dollar).  And with it the standard of living of the population (although not to the same extent, as food prices were increasing more slowly then devaluation of grivna), but still dramatically.  But it was the  "liberalization" of gas prices for population which let to dramatic jump of the cost of heating of houses and apartments, which in many cases exceeded the size of pensions of people living in those apartments. For many the only way to survive was not to pay.  And still is.  Payment in winter for a modest one bedroom (two rooms and a kitchen) apartment of say 35-40 sq meters exceeds average pension. 

As the result of neoliberal policies pursued by new Provisional government and then Poroshenko government the price of hydrocarbons for consumers (and first of all natural gas which is widely used in heating homes and for cooking) in Ukraine skyrocketed and the cost of heating in winter became a huge problem in many regions and even large cities like Kiev (where salaries are probably 30%-50% higher then at the periphery).   Economic promises of EuroMaydan now can be viewed only a big hoax and Poroshenko can be reelected only via military hysteria and fuelling "Russian threat".  Otherwise he is fully cooked and Timoshenko will be the next President.

The cost of heating on one bedroom apartment (say 35 square meters; around 350 square feet) the last winter exceeded the half of the average monthly salary (or full average pension).  And that's a very modest  apartment  for a family.  See  Cost of Living in Kiev. Updated Prices May 2017 for the current costs. Please note that average salary in Ukraine is around 3000 grivna (higher in Kiev, probably twice higher) or $110 a month (with minimal 1000 grivna or $35 a month which is close to $1 a day -- an absolute, dismal, central African level of poverty; see Average Monthly Salary In Ukraine - Poltava Travel).

With food priced jumped and now in many categories reached the level of the USA (especially for meat; vegetables, especially tomatoes, potato, are probably twice or three times cheaper and are of higher quality). Ukrainians  can only thank IMF for their extreme generosity and valiant efforts in converting them into debt slaves. But that's the nature of neoliberal world order and we can do nothing about it.

Unlike far right forces in Hungary and Poland, Ukrainian far right in this case also proved as close to the neoliberal economics platform as one can get, real neoliberal stooges, which proved to be a really toxic combination.

If Russia cuts supplies of gas via Ukraine (for which Ukraine gets transit fees), or break economic ties with Ukraine, the country might soon be bankrupt. Trump is not willing to compensate for lost revenue and is generally adverse to economic aid. All he wants countries to buy as much the US weapon systems as they can afford and pay for them. His concern is the USA economics , not Ukrainian.  And rightly so. He did sold Ukraine coal to substitute for higher quality Donbass coal at double prices (the process that started under Obama I think; also South African coal was bought, which is cheaper, but of lesser quality).  Now he wants to sell Ukraine modern weapon systems with their exorbitant prices, such as Patriot missiles and helicopters.  Which is completely within the framework of the "The Art of the Deal".

The USA now also supply fuel for the Ukraine nuclear stations, displacing Russia (with some technological risk, associated with the change of the suppler), locomotives and several other types of heavy equipment.  If the developments in Ukraine after EuroMaydan mirror  the same in Eastern European counties Ukrainian energy sector will soon be controlled by foreign multinationals, which will extract "a peace of flesh"  from the population, no matter what. Trump administration also is weighting selling Ukraine advanced weapon, for which Ukraine will need to pay, depraving population of basic needs and fuelling Donbass war (Poroshenko government is locked into "Guns instead of butter policy" and can't change it )

Poroshenko regime, like Yanukovich regime before,  is essentially a (neo)colonial neoliberal administration; only worse

While population hoped for changes of their economic conditions to the better and that was the main reason (along  with typical for color revolutions propaganda about corruption) gave nationalists power, they proved to be a part of compradors. And Ukrainian wealth continued to be plundered just with a little bit different team of players. The terms of trade are very unequal and structure of export from Ukraine significantly deteriorated. The standard of living of population, especially pensioners is simply horrible. As I mentioned before I simply can' t understand how pensioners  can survive in Ukraine.  With typical pension around 1.5K grivna and exchange rate around 28 that comes to $54 a month. Pension of retired professor of the university is around 4K grivna or $142 a month.  That's why Poroshenko regime lost legitimacy and he like used condom will be replaced with another comprador (most probably with Yulia Timoshenko). The level of emigration from Ukraine  the last years is around 1 million people a year is not surprising.

Nationalists proved to be impotent and unable to run the country and instead the country got another neoliberal regime, only worse. Much worse.

As James Petras noted about US LA colonies, "Neo-liberal regimes take power with loud Wall Street cheers and collapse with barely a whimper." Latin America- Rightwing Interlude and the Death Rattle of Neoliberalism (Sept 4, 2018). The conclusions of his article which I highly recommend to read, because methods used in Ukraine  are then same as in Latin America are well worth repeating here:

While financial journalists and private investment consultants express surprise and attribute the ensuring crises to regime 'mistakes' and 'mismanagement', the real reasons for the predictable failure of neo-liberal regimes is a result of fundamental flaws.

De-regulation undermines local industries which cannot compete with Asian, US and EU manufacturers. Increases in the costs of utilities bankrupt small and medium producers. Privatization deprives the state of revenues for public financing. Austerity programs lower deficits, undermining domestic consumption and eliminate fiscal financing.

Capital flight and rising interest rates increases the cost of borrowing and devalues the currency.

Devaluations and capital flight deepen the recession and increase inflation. Finance ministers raid reserves to avoid a financial crash.

Austerity, stagnation, unemployment and social regression provokes labor interest and public-sector strikes. Consumer discontent, bankruptcies lead to deep decline of regime popularity.

As the crises unfolds, the regime reshuffles ministers, increases repression and seeks salvation with IMF financing.

Financiers balk sending good money after bad. The neo-liberal regimes enter in a terminal crisis.

While current neo-liberal regimes appear moribund, they still retain state power, a modicum of elite influence and a capacity to exploit internal divisions among their adversaries.

The anti-neoliberal opposition demonstrates its strength in challenging socio-economic policies but have difficulty in formulating an alternative political economic strategy for state power.Financial editors worry that pressure is building for a social explosion –a reply of Argentina 2001,when the President fled in a helicopter.

Economic and political consequences for Russia

Russia also suffered greatly from breaking ties with Ukraine, but this was Washington geopolitical design. This was kind of knockdown for Putin, his major geopolitical defeat. That standard of living of Russian population achieved at the end of 2013 did not return for the next 5 years and even in 2018 is still lower. Like Ukraine already did,  Russia plans to raise pension age in a typical neoliberal fashion -- without any compensation. 

Economic ties hit Russia directly as export to Ukraine was by-and-large eliminated. Russian multinationals were kicked out in some case their property was confiscated. Relations of Naftogas and Gasprom are commonly called "gas war" (in which Ukraine plays the role of foot soldier of the USA).  Import of strategically important equipment from Ukraine was also gradually eliminated. Export was either eliminated or curtained. The volume of Ukrainian export remain high but it became by-and-large  "colonial export" -- mostly commodities and food. Ukrainians were kicked out from Russian transportation sector with losses for both sides. Now Ukraine import uranium rods for its nuclear electric stations from the USA, and recently started to import coal form the USA too. Paying probably twice more that comparable or higher quality supplies from Russia. I think that it is only a matter of time when the  national energy companies will change hands. Ukraine also started to buy the US arms and all cooperation in arms industry with Russia stopped.   

The level of hostility to Russia which was present even under previous Ukrainian governments (especially Yushchenko), dramatically increased due to civil war in Donbass. For which Russia carry partial blame: when first they encouraged people uprising against Ukrainian nationalists who took power in Kiev via a coup, and then abandoned them limiting themselves to supply of weapons and volunteers despite implicit promises of repeating Crimea scenario, if population vote so in a referendum.  This is a personal fault of Mr. Putin. Donbass occurred on one hand because Putin irresponsible promise that Referendum would be treated just like in Crimea, but then by even more irresponsible behavior of junta (pushed by the USA which pursued their own geopolitical goal in the region in which Ukraine played the role of the patsy the only role of which is to weaken Russia as severely as possible). Far right junta moved army forces to pacify essentially minor conflict which started because of their overzealous application of the language law. There were no even minor ethnic conflict in this region with the rest of the county, which make this civil war and this breakaway region somewhat unique.

Russian now has a huge and long-term problem with Ukraine. This is now a hostile country on the border, another Poland. But even more unpredictable and hostile. And sharing the language means that Ukrainian intelligence agencies represent a huge threat for Russia. Exactly like Washington wanted them to be.  As one member of Obama administration Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia and Ukraine, Evelyn Farkas  (Who the hell is Evelyn Farkas)  boasted "We have very good intelligence on Russia." Which is not bad from the point of preventing WWIII, but also opens the door for various false flag operations under Russian flag, like Russiagate. 

Moreover Donbass conflict became a perfect opportunity for EU to demonstrate its usual level of Russophobia. As Beckow  aptly observer  (June 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT )

...EU wants cheap, reliable energy from Russia and to export to Russia as much as possible without interference from US. That is pure business. But the dominant political forces in EU are anti-Russia, some because they are fed by the security-military-academic spending, some because they 'studied' and were politically formed in US or UK. Some because that's just the way they are.

There is a strong, EU domestic anti-Russian population based on hundreds of years of history, resentment over losses (Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland), self-brainwashing about perceived abuse (Poland, Baltics, eastern Europeans in general), hatred and contempt towards anything 'eastern', and the traditional Anglo anti-Russian policies. Recently new emotional hatreds have been added with endless demonizing Russia about xenophobia, hooligans, gays, stray dogs, anything the creative propagandists can push. Most Europeans turn out on reflection to be quite gullible and stupid.

There are a few minor exceptions and some Latin nations are more level headed. There is also a minority view in the German world, mostly based on their business realism that is neutral toward Russia, but not pro-Russian. There will be no political rapprochement between EU and Russia. There will be better business relations because water flows downhill and EU-Russia economic ties are such an obvious fit. The cultural hatred and political hostility will go on.

After WWII it took most Europeans less than a generation to revert to the traditional anti-Russian attitudes. In some cases, nations that were literally saved from extermination were more resentful than grateful. In Poland it took less than a year, in Czech Republic 20 years, but the old visceral hatreds emerged again.

My advise to Russia would be to mind its own business and not try to sacrifice for the others or to help them. It has always backfired because the cultural milieu in Europe is naturally resentful of Russia and the east in general. Business doesn't change that.

In other words the Ukrainian civil war triggered resurgence of pre-existing anti-Russian forces in Europe. Contrary to a widespread myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-Russophobic force. The cancellation of SouthStream and Russian troubles with NorthStream II clearly attest that. While anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, there is no countervailing force that  can stop sanctions. Also the US influence is way to big for most European governments even to try. This is why for years now various EU politicians and public figures have made some noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

But this major  geopolitical victory of the Obama administration may eventually turn into Pyrrhic victory as it facilitated re-rapprochement of Russia and China. With some signs of an economic and military union. Still Obama managed first to stage color revolution in Russia (which failed and ambassor McFaul eventually booted from the country, but was no small feat) and  then to inflict real and substantial economic and political damages to Russia via Ukrainian civil war.  At minimal costs to the USA.

The Ukrainian  civil war disrupted many vital supply lines from Ukraine which were inherited from the USSR times.  Replacing them with native production, or other foreign sources takes both time and money.  Even Russian military-industrial complex was slightly disrupted as some types of engines were produced only in Ukraine (but Russians got the signal that supplies from Ukraine for Russian military industrial complex will be in 2005 with the election of Yushchenko, so they have has a decade to prepare for such a move). But the damage in "leaking vital technologies" still was done -- in the USSR years Ukraine (unlike Baltic republics) was treated like almost equal partner and now at the moment of dissolution had many critical USSR military technologies available.  Which now probably found new homes outside Ukraine, as Ukraine was always desperate for money and sold everything that can find a foreign buyer, including a large part of the military arsenal inherited from the USSR. 

In turn Ukrainian civil war also led to growth of anti-Americanism within normally pro-American part of Russian population. And some cooling of normally very friendly relations with Ukrainian industrialists and gastarbeiters. Of course, Russian wave of anti-Americanism never reached even one tenth of the Neo-McCarthyism witch hunt current in the USA. Where a simple contact with the Russian ambassador is as close to the treason as one can get ;-). Russian elite generally tries to cool down hot heads, understanding the key role of the USA as the major country in Western block as well as the technological powerhouse.  And the fact is that after Yeltsin years of economic rape of Russia it remains weak economically and depends on the West in major technologies.

But still growing anti-Ukrainian and anti-American sentiments  in Russia represent  an important political factor... and probably like growing hostility of Ukrainian population toward Russia is also a long time factor. Which will survive when Putin leaves that political scene, and might even be amplified.

First of all this  factor almost completely eliminated political influence of Russian neoliberals (aka "Liberasts") for probably a decade or more. They now are not  visible politically; just look at the most recent Russian Presidential elections. Unlike in 2012, where they were very active and enjoyed support of US NGO (now kicked out of the country) and financial support from Western embassies, during the last Presidential election they were a sad joke. Even for such a major player in Russian politics as USA embassy support of neoliberal fifth column become more difficult and requires more inventive schemes, especially in transferring  funds.  Now Russian neoliberals (including former cabinet members such as Kudrin) are viewed by population even less charitable than lobbyists of the foreign interest in Russia (aka fifth column) and more like traitors.

Paradoxically Russia did not block Ukrainian gastarbeiters, despite rather high level of unemployment and economic recession. Generally in economic relations with Ukraine  Russia  tried not to rock the boat. Which just allowed full freedom to rock it by Ukrainian side as if cutting economic relations with the largest neighbor and dominant in the region country is something that might be economically beneficial to Ukraine in a long run, outside plain political revenge motives.

In any case, even without open military confrontation,  this civil war in Donbass guarantees that economic relations of Ukraine with Russia will continue to be in the deep freeze for the foreseeable future. While state relations now are marketed by open hostility on the part of Ukrainian State and  attempt to undermine Russia where they can.

 And Ukrainian  security services do have an opportunity to inflict a damage on Russia. although fear of retaliation might keep them in check. Still they provides great help the USA neocons, supplying all kind of damaging information, which helps to  turn Russia into the enemy of choice once again (despite Russia being yet another neoliberal country), much like the USSR once was during the Cold War. So it is a part of Cold War II.

Far right nationalists as patsies of neoliberals

It is interesting and pretty surprising that that ethno-linguistic nationalism proved to be not always an opponent of neoliberal globalization. Especially in emigrant/diaspora communities. For example Canadian Ukrainian nationalists (which are more radical nationalists and more Russia-hating than most Ukrainians) played far from constructive role in Ukrainian political life. Emigration breeds political extremism and combination of inflow of political extremists with economic adventurists seeking "make money fast" ventures proved to be really toxic for Ukraine. Theoretically Ukrainian nationalism should know the lessons from being a neighbor of a powerful nation with the large territory (the USA) and the problems with the sovereignty that such an "oversized" neighbor creates (As   noted  Washington treats Canada like a vassal, though most Canadians don’t seem to care). And they should be voice of reason in relations between Ukraine and Russia. But this was not the case. Canadian nationalists most put gasoline on nationalistic fire which started in Ukraine with the obtaining independence.  Geography is a destiny in some way. It is sad that they like to fight with Russia until the last Ukrainian, excluding themselves and their families.  It is the same problem as female chickenhawks in the US government: female neocons are even more militaristic and chauvinistic then their male counterparts (look at Victoria Nuland, or Hillary Clinton).

Far right  nationalists were quickly sidelined by hard core neoliberals led by Yatsenyuk and lost any influence on economic policy.  Like Germans say "The Moor has done his duty, the Moor can go".  And Yatsenyuk was a neoliberal who only pretended to be nationalist (much like his former boss Yulia Timoshenko). 

While Yatsenyuk was a fake nationalist, he was forced to act as the real one: Provisional government did send the army to fight and die in Donbass region. As a result we have what we have: neoliberalization, conversion of the country into a debt slave, loss of Crimea and the civil war in Donbass region in a country with no ethnic conflicts before EuroMaydan.  And Poroshenko government has even less sovereignty then the corrupt Yanukovich regime.  It's completely subservient to the USA and IMF. While Ukraine now is full member of "debt slave" club (Yanukovich government actually managed to shrink national debt a little bit; at least not to enlarge it).

But an important fact is that all such color revolutions, being part of "disaster capitalism" games bring more poverty and sufferings (often with the possibility of civil war) to the population. So they are essentially a counter-revolution, or more precisely revolutions by financial oligarchy against people. But that becomes evident to agitated population only when it is too late (and  now many Ukrainians are longing for the return of the times  of "corrupt Yanukovich regime").   The Yanukovich story proves that it is really dangerous to by a "half-neoliberal" and only "half of a dictator" (actually Yanukovich proved to be a despicable coward, who only accidentally, by pure luck,  escaped the destiny of colonel Kaddafi.).  As unforgettable Bush II used to say You're either with us, or against us.

Due to civil war Ukraine lost probably up to a hundred thousand people and a couple of millions were displaced.  It also lost several hundred billion dollars as economic consequences of the war. Some found refuge in Russia, some in central and western regions of Ukraine, but their social status and well-being were severely affected by this displacement.  Tiny percentage managed to emigrate the western countries, which are not that eagerly accepting a stream of Ukrainian refugees.  Which they essentially created (making the situation very similar with Syria).  Please note that there was no ethnic or religious tensions in Donbass under previous governments, which can at least partially justify this civil war. It really is an 100% artificial creation, driven by the USA and EU geopolitical moves in the region as well as Russia counter moves.  

Ukrainian nationalists also played pretty destructive role facilitating the abrupt and compete cut of economic relations with Russia, ignoring devastating economic consequences of such a move.  If Russia reciprocated by prohibiting Ukrainian nationals to work in Russia and cutting the supply of gas via Ukraine, that might well lead to the bankruptcy of the country and splitting it into several independent statelets with Western Ukraine probably being the first,  or the second.  So much for "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina".  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

When Poroshenko became a legitimate President via nationwide election (Yanukovich formally remained the legitimate president until this moment, because he was alive and did not abdicate his post) he became the hostage of old policies of Provisional government and the USA puppet, despite having initial reservations about both.  Some oligarchs clearly decided to pour more kerosene on fire, especially Ihor Kolomoyskyi

New troubles for nationalist government in Kiev are on horizon as Trump administration might not willing to pay Ukraine the money which were flowing to the country as low percent loans under Obama administration. As the same time they are encouraging the Ukrainian government to buy as much of US arms and other goods (trains, coal, fuel for nuclear stations, etc) as possible. They will sell it even natural gas, if possible. At double prices. 

As the result a severe pension crisis might loom on the horizon even taking into account miserable level of pensions in Ukraine.  In case the EU does not come to the rescue, many Ukrainian pensioners will simply starve. 

Transition from semi-independent state to "debt slave"

In no way Yanukovich's Ukraine should be viewed as a sovereign state. At best I would call it "semi-independent". The USA actually has a big, if not decisive, influence on Ukrainian foreign policy. From this point of view EuroMaydan changed very little. After Kuchma Ukraine was already in semi-colonial state with most important decisions dictated by "Washington Obcom" (Joe Biden was a big friend and mentor of Yanukovich until he put a knife into his back; Manafort was a US political operative who managed Yanukovich election campaign; both names are hardly Russian).   And Marafort was probably closely connected to the US intelligence agencies and did pressed Yanukovich to pursue pro-US policies especially economic cooperation with EU.  The Mueller Indictments Still Don’t Add Up to Collusion The Nation:

There is widespread supposition that Manafort's dealings in Ukraine make him a prime candidate for collusion with Moscow. But that stems from the mistaken belief that Manafort promoted Kremlin interests during his time in Kiev. The opposite appears to be the case. The New York Times recounts that Manafort "pressed [then–Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych to sign an agreement with the European Union that would link the country closer to the West -- and lobbied for the Americans to support Ukraine's membership."

If that picture is accurate, then Manafort's activities in Ukraine during the period for which he has been indicted were diametrically opposed to the Kremlin's agenda.

due to level of his corruption and cronyism Yanukovich in late 2013 and early 2014 was deeply unpopular and posed to be defeated in the next Presidential elections.

In a way this new geopolitical arrangement represent the reversal of the result of WWII and partial accomplishment of the goals of Nazi Germany as for Slavic people in Ukraine and Russia. The net result is close -- abysmal poverty of the majority of population. But without planned by Nazi Germany extermination of Slavic population to make space for German colonists (essentially Hitler plan was a plagiarism from the USA colonial past; with Slavonic nations instead of Indians). Remember General Plan Ost ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generalplan_Ost):

German Plan Ost to exterminate ” inferior races ”

Percentages of ethnic groups to be destroyed and/or deported to Siberia by Nazi Germany from future settlement areas.[15][16][3]

Ethnic group/Nationality Population percent subject to removal

Russians[17][16]           50–60% to be physically eliminated and another 15% to be sent to Western Siberia
Estonians[3][18]            almost 50%
Latvians[3]                    50%
Czechs[16]                   50%
Ukrainians[16]              65%
Belarusians[16]            75%
Poles[16]                     20 million, or 80–85%
Lithuanians[3]              85%
Latgalians[3]                100%

The country was forcefully  converted into the debt slave without any chances to get out, another "neo-colony" with formal sovereignty as a fig leaf and nationalism as "opium for the people".   Neoliberal colony controlled via financial instruments and local fifth column of compradors instead of occupation army. Ukraine now repeats the history of Latin America: borrow billions of dollars from foreign banks, hand the money to the wealthy who immediately deposit it right back to foreign banks, and let the ordinary people pay back the principal and interest.

The EU desire to increase the pace of colonizing Ukraine played a very important role in unleashing this civil war. EU along with  the USA was instrumental in bringing far right junta to power  as they correctly assumed that being in economics ersatz-nationalists they will suite EU economic interests better then Yanukovich government.   EU Anschluss  agreement turns Ukraine into market for EU goods and  source of  cheap raw materials. It is undeniable that under the slogans of democratization EU played a sinister, neo-colonial role in EuroMaydan color revolution. Especially such countries as Poland, Sweden and Germany. Which encouraged and participated in financing of the coup against the corrupt Yanukovich regime clearly understanding that the next regime might be even worse, equally incompetent and no less corrupt, but were pursuing their own regional interests, which at the time coincided with the USA geopolitical interests and have had a distinct anti-Russian angle (especially for Poland and Sweden). At the expense of ordinary Ukrainians who became pawns in a bigger geo-political game. That reminds me  XIX century colonial policies of European powers.  Just on a new level.

EU honchos correctly assumed that weakened after 1991 Russia with not cease supplying hydrocarbons to EU as the result of the coup and the Russian sanctions, if any, will be minor (they were limited to food items so far) and Russia can't stop importing high technology goods and machinery from the EU and the USA.  Poland economics also depends on Russian gas and transit fees and that cut would be a serious economic hit, although not to the extent of the same for Ukrainian economics, but Poland government decided to take this risk and won.  Also the level of hate of Russia of Polish elite traditionally is one of the highest in Europe (although it is not yet shared by most of Polish population). Just looks as such figure as former minister of foreign affairs in Tusk government Radoslaw Sikorski who was instrumental in forcing Yanukovich into complete capitulation (masked as an agreement with opposition leaders about peaceful transition of power via forthcoming Presidential elections (which Yanukovich would definitely lose), but which opposition did not intended to obey and used to depose him as police was withdrawn and did not defend government quarters (unlike President Salvador Allende, who was one of the first victims of neoliberal coup d'état, Yanukovich proved to be despicable coward, but  that's another story).  According  to Wikipedia:

Sikorski was involved in the events of the winter 2014 Ukraine Euromaidan protests at the international level. He signed on 21 February along with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders Vitaly Klitchko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and Oleg Tyagnibok as well as the Foreign Ministers of Russia, France and Germany a memorandum of understanding to promote peaceful changes in Ukrainian power.[60]

In other words there are no good guys in this story, Yanukovich, Russia, the USA, the EU, provisional government and Poroshenko all were essentially hostile to the interests of the Ukrainian population and were instrumental in driving the population to a really abject, African level poverty. They all conspired to inflict hardships on Ukrainian population.  Ukrainian neoliberal oligarchy proved to be pretty destructive to the country, which reminds me the situation in Greece. And the country now is the same debt slave as Greece.  With the only difference that there is no civil war in Greece.

Shadow of Transdnistia

Trnasdnistia is a region of Moldavia which became informally independent after the dissolution of the USSR (Transnistria - Wikipedia )

After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian territory escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July of the same year. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, Transnistria) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarised zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: Transnistria is an unrecognized but de facto independent semi-presidential republic with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, currency and vehicle registration.[11][12][13][14] Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem, and coat of arms. It is the only country still using the hammer and sickle on its flag.

The problem of Donbass became frozen and with so much blood spilled by both sides re-incorporation of the region into Ukraine became exceedingly difficult task which need huge amount of money, money that neither the EU which facilitated this crisis, not the US who fanned insurgency against Yanukovich regime pursuing its own geopolitical interests are willing to pay. Shelling by Ukrainian side also does not help to resolve tension (and reciprocated by shelling  from separatists side) with people killed on the both sides.  Idea of conquering Donbass by military force might  succeed at great cost at blood and treasure, but also might end the same way as attempt for Georgia to conquer Abkhazia.

Attempts to solve the conflict by military means first by Provisional government (which was pretty stupid move, as initially the conflict was minor and could be solve by minor concessions) and then by Poroshenko administration (which inherited the problem from nationalistic hawks from Provisional government) put Ukrainian economics into a bigger and bigger hole.  and remember the initial issue was just a status of Russian language in the region. nothing else.  That reminds me medieval religious wars. So far the net result is loss of Crimea, destroyed industrial region and several millions of displaced population. The initial attempt to crush Donbass by Yatsenyuk-Turchinov Provisional government (which was pushed by the USA) failed dismally.

Here is how PaulR analyzed the situation if his article A question of attitude (Aug 24, 2018):

A couple of Ukraine-related items caught my attention this week.

The first is a report by Baylor University professor Serhiy Kudelia which discusses how to bring peace to Donbass. Kudelia starts by saying that Western states have regarded the resolution of the war in Donbass as being dependent on changing Russian behaviour. This is insufficient, he says, for 'the successful reintegration of Donbas into Ukraine rests on designing a new institutional framework that can provide long-term guarantees to civilians and separatist insurgents.' Kudelia says that academic literature on conflict resolution would suggest four elements to such a framework:

  1. Autonomy for Donbass within Ukraine. Such autonomy would come with risks, by entrenching local rulers with patronage networks outside of central control and with the means to challenge central authority. To reduce these risks, Kudelia suggests giving autonomy not just to the territories currently controlled by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR & LPR), but to the whole of Donbass, thereby bringing within the autonomous region some more pro-Ukrainian elements of the population as well as groups not connected to the DPR/LPR power structures. He also suggests devolution of power within the autonomous region to weaken the potentially disruptive consequences of hostile elements controlling the region's government.
  2. Transformation of the rebel state and military structures into political parties. Experience in other countries suggests that when this happens, the prospects of a successful transition increase substantially.
  3. Comprehensive and unconditional amnesty for everyone involved in the war. For obvious reasons, rebel leaders won't agree to the first two proposals without an amnesty. Past experience speaks to the necessity of this measure.
  4. No elections in Donbass for two to three years. Kudelia notes that, 'Holding elections in a volatile post-conflict environment creates ample opportunities for voter intimidation, electoral fraud, and disinformation campaigns that could build on conflict-related divisions.' Kudelia doesn't say who would rule Donbass in the meantime. I would have to assume that it would mean that the existing authorities would remain in place. That could be problematic.

With the exception of that last point, these are sensible suggestions. But when boiled down to their essentials, they don't differ significantly from what is demanded in the Minsk agreements -- i.e. special status for Donbass and an amnesty. As such, while I don't think that the leadership of the DPR and LPR would like these proposals, my instincts tell me that they would be quite acceptable to the Russian government, which would probably be able to coax the DPR and LPR into agreeing to them. If implemented, the results would be something Moscow could portray as a success of sorts.

And there's the rub. For that very reason, I can't see Kiev agreeing to any of this. Kudelia's argument is founded on the idea that there's more going on in Donbass than Russian aggression. Accepting that something has to be done to 'provide long-term guarantees to civilians and separatist insurgents' means accepting that there are civilians and insurgents who need reassuring, not just Russian troops and mercenaries. And that means changing the entire narrative which Kiev has adopted about the war. So while Kudelia's proposals make sense (after all, what's the alternative? How could Donbass be reintegrated into Ukraine without autonomy and an amnesty?), what's lacking is any sense of how to get there.

A large part of the problem, it seems, is the attitude in Kiev. This becomes very clear in the second item which caught my attention -- an article on the website Coda entitled 'Now Healthcare is a Weapon of War in Ukraine.' The article describes how the DPR and LPR are encouraging Ukrainians to come to rebel territory to receive free medical treatment, and then using this as propaganda to win support for their cause. This is despite the fact, as the article shows, that the medical facilities in the two rebel republics are in a very poor state. Author Lily Hyde isn't able to confirm how many Ukrainians have taken up the rebel offer of free medical aid, but does repeat a claim by the rebel authorities that 1,200 people have done so.

What interests me here is not the sensationalist headlines about healthcare being weaponized, but the question of why Ukrainians might feel it necessary to go to the effort of crossing the front lines to get treatment. And the article provides an answer, namely that parts of Donbass 'are trapped in a precarious limbo, still under Ukrainian government control but cut off from key services like healthcare.' The war destroyed much of the healthcare system in Donbass, but 'Ukraine provides no financial or other incentives for medics to work in frontline areas', and has done little to repair shattered infrastructure. Healthcare seems to be a lower priority than fighting 'terrorism'.

While the DPR and LPR use healthcare as a 'weapon' by providing it to people, Kiev has 'weaponized' health in another way -- by depriving people of it. As the article reports:

Kiev has not outlawed receiving medical treatment in occupied Donetsk or Luhnaks. But collaborating with the separatists -- or supporting their propaganda efforts -- is illegal. How exactly such charges are defined is not clear, but past experience has taught both individuals and organizations to be wary of such accusations. The Ukrainian authorities have investigated non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Ukraine who have provided foreign-funded medicines and other supplies to occupied Donetsk and Luhansk. NGOs working there have been banned by the de fact authorities [of the DPR and LPR] on similar charges. Doctors have found themselves placed on blacklists by both Ukrainian officials and the separatists, accused of being 'terrorist collaborators' by one side, or of being spies by the other.

Hyde contrasts the Ukrainian government's policies towards the DPR and LPR with that of Georgia, where:

The government offers free healthcare for people from Abkhazia, a breakaway territory it still claims which is now under de facto Russian occupation. The government is building a modern hospital in the nearest town to the boundary line, aimed at people from Abkhazia.

Essentially, says Hyde, it's 'a question of attitude'. She cites Georgy Tuka, Ukraine's Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories -- '"There's a wish to punish people," Tuka acknowledged.'

That's quite an admission from a government minister.

Even if the details need fleshing out, the institutional framework required to reintegrate Donbass into Ukraine has been pretty obvious for a long time now. The problem has been getting people to accept it. It is indeed, therefore, 'a question of attitude'. Sadly, the prevailing attitude stands firmly in the way of the institutional changes required for peace. The desire seems to be to punish people, not to reach agreement with them in order to promote reintegration and reconciliation. The issue, then, is whether this attitude can be changed (and if so, how) or whether it is now so firmly entrenched that there is nothing which can be done. Sadly, I fear that it may be the latter.

Can anything be done about this situation?

Economically the situation for Ukrainian population is really grim. No question about it.

To preserve the political stability of Ukraine and to start climbing out of the debt  hole (or at least stop digging it deeper) the slide in the standard of living of population needs to be stopped. It is easy to say but very difficult to accomplish. The status of "debt slave" leaves very little space for maneuvering. It also makes more difficult taming the political influence of oligarchs, halting  the war and cutting military expenses. Those three might be steps in the right direction.

The restoration of the standard  of living of population at least to the level achieved under Yanukovich would be the best revenge (before oil prices collapse, I saw figures that suggested that Russia has had the highest standard of living among xUSSR countries, above $1K a month (close to 2K in Moscow) with free university education and basic medical care and a large paid vacation for full time workers.

I do not know much about Russia but after the oil prices collapse officially median salary dropped to say 23500/50=$470  or approximately 50% (Зарплаты в России — Русский эксперт) a month in 2016;  they gradually rose in 2017 and 2018 due to growth of oil prices are still nowhere close to 2013 level ($23K a year).  And purchasing power of $500 in Russia is probably around $1K-1.5K in comparison with the USA or two to three times higher then in the USA (the same is true in Ukraine). This might be the benchmark to strive for.

From the other point  of view, the transfer of Ukraine to a colony of EU is probably the event that should have been expected after the dissolution of the USSR and now needs to be played with cool head and skilled hands.  There is some small space for maneuvering even if this dismal colonial situation too. The task of extracting maximum benefits from this status and minimizing the damage is difficult, but not impossible. But this needs talented politicians and cooperation of different  political parties, who areas in which Ukraine currently is severely lacking.

NOTE: In Eastern Europe there are very few regions which does not changed hands several times in the last, say, 300 years. And as balance of power after the dissolution of the USSR dramatically changed in favor of EU it is natural that it started absorbing the countries of the former Warsaw block and some former Soviet republics. For example, Baltic countries are only nominally sovereign and are by-and-large ruled from what is called "Brussels Obcom." With the current wave of neo-colonialism I would say that this EU might well continue this process with Moldavia, Belorussia, and Armenia, as another possible "associated states" after Ukraine (Georgia actually is already in EU orbit). Getting EU into "stans" might provoke a strong reaction from China, so EU probably with tread more carefully in this space. 


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[Apr 25, 2021] The Ukraine Crisis Recedes - But A False Narrative Of It Leads To Bad Conclusions

Apr 25, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Ukraine Crisis Recedes - But A False Narrative Of It Leads To Bad Conclusions

Some two month ago we discussed how the U.S. focus on narratives will let it collide with reality . It is certainly not only the U.S. government that creates narratives, comes to believe in them, and then fails when it is confronted with reality. Carried by think tanks and media the narrative mold has grown throughout the wider 'western' world.

On the danger of this development the above piece quoted Alastair Crooke who wrote :

[B]eing so invested, so immersed, in one particular 'reality', others' 'truths' then will not – cannot – be heard. They do not stand out proud above the endless flat plain of consensual discourse. They cannot penetrate the hardened shell of a prevailing narrative bubble, or claim the attention of élites so invested in managing their own version of reality .

The 'Big Weakness'? The élites come to believe their own narratives – forgetting that the narrative was conceived as an illusion, one among others, created to capture the imagination within their society (not others').

They lose the ability to stand apart, and see themselves – as others see them. They become so enraptured by the virtue of their version of the world, that they lose all ability to empathise or accept others' truths. They cannot hear the signals. The point here, is that in that talking past (and not listening) to other states, the latters' motives and intentions will be mis-construed – sometimes tragically so.

Over the last weeks we passed through a crisis that easily could have had a tragic ending.

Since February the Ukraine built up a force to retake the renegade Donbas region in east-Ukraine by military force. After waiting several week to see the situation more clearly Russia started to assemble a counterforce backed up by statements that were sufficiently strong to deter the Ukraine from continuing its plans. The danger of a Ukrainian assault has now receded.

Today the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu gave orders for the troops to return to their bases. Much of the equipment though will stay on training grounds near Ukraine until the regular fall maneuvers later this year take place. That minimizes transport costs and gives a little time advantage should someone in the Ukraine again have silly ideas.

Russia has clearly won this round.

But that is not how it looks when seen from the 'western' narrative. In that version the Ukrainian plans and its assembling of heavy weapons and troops near the Donbas border never happened. The narrative says that the whole incident started as a 'Russian aggression' when Russia very publicly showed its potential force.

Only a few analysts on the 'western' side have rejected that narrative and stuck to reality. Dmitri Trenin of Carnegie's Moscow Center is one who got it right :

In February, Zelensky ordered troops (as part of the rotation process) and heavy weapons (as a show of force) to go near to the conflict zone in Donbas. He did not venture out as far as Poroshenko, who dispatched small Ukrainian naval vessels through the Russian-controlled waters near the Kerch Strait in late 2018, but it was enough to get him noticed in Moscow. The fact of the matter is that even if Ukraine cannot seriously hope to win the war in Donbas, it can successfully provoke Russia into action. This, in turn, would produce a knee-jerk reaction from Ukraine's Western supporters and further aggravate Moscow's relations, particularly with Europe. One way or another, the fate of Nord Stream II will directly affect Ukraine's interests. Being seen as a victim of Russian aggression and presenting itself as a frontline state checking Russia's further advance toward Europe is a major asset of Kyiv's foreign policy.

Russia intentionally over reacted to Kiev's opening move. It demonstrated its overkill capability and made it clear to Zelensky's western sponsors that any further provocations would have extremely harsh consequences.

As Putin said yesterday :

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

Zelensky's plan did not work out. While he did get verbal statements of support from Biden and NATO everyone knew that those were empty promises.

But for people who have fallen for the false narrative the situation looks different.

Consider this reaction to Shoigu's return-to-barracks order today from a member of the European Council On Foreign Relations (a U.S. lobby shop in Europe):

Gustav C. Gressel @GresselGustav - 13:15 UTC · Apr 22, 2021

I have to congratulate (Flag of United States) @JoeBiden to deterence success and crisis management. The right warnings were sent to Moscow, the right intelligence to Ukraine. (Flag of Russia) could not extort concessions, could not provoke. Let's see w. these forces aren't just redeployed to (Flag of Belarus).

Indeed Biden's order last week to pull back two war ships that were supposed to go into the Black Sea to support Ukraine was really great deterrence. But that was not a warning to Moscow. It did not deter Russia from doing anything. But it did end Zelensky's illusions of U.S. support.

But for Gressel, who like others is stuck to the 'western' narrative, the sense is different. He really seems to believe that the U.S. deterred Russia from some nefarious plans which it never had. He ignores that Russia reacted to a Ukrainian provocation in a way that, in the end, has made NATO and the U.S. look weak.

The danger is that Gressel, and other 'political scientists' like him, may once take up government positions and use their learned illusions to handle the next crisis. Stuck in the idea that Russia will retreat if only 'deterred' enough they will lean to measures that are outright hostile to Russia and may have indeed very tragic consequences. To repeat Crooke's warning :

The point here, is that in that talking past (and not listening) to other states, the latters' motives and intentions will be mis-construed – sometimes tragically so.

Posted by b on April 22, 2021 at 17:25 UTC | Permalink


vk , Apr 22 2021 17:34 utc | 1

The Ukraine has now lost any notion of ridicule:

Act of war? Ukraine asks EU to consider cutting off Russia from SWIFT payment system as Kiev seeks more sanctions against Moscow

Stonebird , Apr 22 2021 18:02 utc | 2
The Russians have only partly gone. Heavy weapons will remain in place which can be reactivated easily. (Particularly in Crimea). However the Russian "Threat" to Zelnsky is still there. Logically he should now have more difficulty in stirring up the EU and US for cash and weapons as the "obvious and visble" threat is diminished. I don't think his troops can stay indefinitely where they are. How can he continue to pay for all his new mercenaries, new arms?

So how is the MSM going to react? They have a lot of "journalists" around there, waiting for something to happen.

One obvious factor is that the supply lines of both are within their own countries (Ukraine for Ukrainians, and Russia for the Russians). Those that have the longest supply lines are NATO, the UK and US.

An earlier ploy (Attempted violent assasination of Lukashenko and most of the Belarussian parliament), with Georgia and other close by countries getting involved too, is now unlikely. BUT the US is desperate to cut the Russian-Chinese access to Europe by any means. What's next? Plan ....F?

Someone_New , Apr 22 2021 18:18 utc | 3
The Western narrative was also very clearly visible in the latest printed "Der Spiegel" 16/2021 (News magazine in Germany). They had a 4 page article about Ukraine with the title "On the edge of war". They reported at length about russian troops near the border.

Explicitely they wrote about sabre rattling from russia and generally gave the impression that all action is solely on the russian side and must be seen negatively or with grave concerns.
But they failed completely to mention Ukrainian troop movements, bellicose rhetoric or even the Zelensky's decrete 117/2021 from march 23rd with the translated title "Strategy of de-occupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol".

james , Apr 22 2021 18:19 utc | 4
b... thanks.. yes - narrative and controlling the narrative is what so much of this is about.... people in the west are not told of ukraines role in any of this or how they are encouraged by the west... instead what they are told is how russia is building up along the ukraine border.... in other words only one side of the story is told, and not both..nor is the timing of all of it shared either... people are literally given a script or narrative tailor made for brainwashing.. and indeed it works on most...

for an example of this today - i was listening to cbc radio - national news show ''the currenct''.. the host matt galloway discusses the situation with Mark MacKinnon, senior international correspondent for the Globe and Mail; Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs at the New School in New York; and Michael Bociurkiw, global affairs analyst, formerly with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

listen from 22:48" for a good example of script writing and narrative control here... CBC The Current for April 22, 2021

Nev , Apr 22 2021 18:35 utc | 5
I am not so sure that this is over. The Belarus coup was intended to be around May 9. Zelensky has called up the reserves who ever they might be. He just floated the idea of banning Russia from the SWIFT so that it is on everyone's mind when Ukraine claims they were attacked. The NS2 will likely be initially complete in May. The USS Cook and Roosevelt are waiting for the British boats and will likely enter together. They have not yet given notice that I have seen. Two frigates are transiting the Suez to join their fellow yanks. I see a perfect storm yet coming. Shoigu is bright and knows that it looks good to announce the return to barracks, but he has access to my data plus a ton more. He knows that the situation is still fluid and volatile.
Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 22 2021 18:52 utc | 6
...
But for Gressel, who like others is stuck to the 'western' narrative, the sense is different. He really seems to believe that the U.S. deterred Russia from some nefarious plans which it never had. He ignores that Russia reacted to a Ukrainian provocation in a way that, in the end, has made NATO and the U.S. look weak.

This delusion reminded me of a retort, from an astute observer, to a dopey remark made by Bush II soon after the start if the Iraq Fake War. Bush said "We're gonna turn EyeRack into fly-paper for ter'rists! To which the observer responded...
"If Iraq was fly-paper then the only bug that got stuck to it was Bush."

vk , Apr 22 2021 19:14 utc | 7
I'm one of the most ardent proponents of the "imbecilization of the West" hypothesis, but this is clearly a diplomatic style face-saving plausible deniability exit by the West.

The West knows time is not on its side in the Ukrainian issue, and its puppet president threw a Hail Mary. Russia correctly didn't swallow the bait, and the West fell back as it knew it would have to, since this was a long shot.

NS-2 is now getting finished, and the Ukraine will consolidate itself more than ever as a black hole of American resources. The West, however, has one last ace in the hole: the German Green Party, which is well positioned to form the next government after the December national elections. The NS-2 certainly won't be finished by then, if the American diplomacy is to do its job properly, and the Greens will have all the tools at hand to implode the project, thus giving the Ukraine some more years to ride on American finance by its gas leverage (over which all its sovereign T-bonds rest at this point).

The key to Ukrainian success is in Germany, not in Russia.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 19:18 utc | 8
Thank you b.
More and more interesting links for a great nightshift!

Every body must read in UNZ an interview of Israel Shamir (posted it in the afternoon)

Who cares their narrative? Dummkopft
On the decision level a lot of people know the facts.
And Putin and al. ability to build fact is impressive. A lot more than "1962 Cuba missile crisis".
And Russia got good countermeasures with RT, VK...

And YOU'll be there

Piotr Berman , Apr 22 2021 19:20 utc | 9
One advantage that Ukraine has in military terms is the number of people who willingly and enthusiastically want to join the army for the sake of de-occupation (interesting why they invented a replacement of "liberation" that has at least two equivalents with Slavic roots, perhaps they do not like their current occupations). The best proof is that through their democratically elected representatives they voted for a huge increase of punishments for avoiding conscription.

The other proof is that, temporarily at least, Ukrainians abolished the system of rotation in which units were staying on the fortified lines literally dying of boredom and related risk (alcohol poisoning, explosions of stills making moonshine, drug overdoses, suicide, stepping over their own mines, to mention a few), instead the troops to be rotated stayed in place and the other units joined them nearby.

However, Russian conscripts without the advantage of Ukrainian enthusiasm have better weapons. Modernizing Ukrainian military is a tall order. The budget barely supports the troops without modernization, the domestic industry in its better years relied to selling parts to Russia and buying other parts, remnants of industrial integration of Soviet times. Supplying them with NATO weapons would require huge gifts that (a) could be unpopular in the West (b) raise risk of getting the best toys of NATO to Russian in exchange for non-toxic alcohol, fresh Afghan heroin etc. Did I mention mind-killing military service? And with not so best toys, like missile boats that are about to be de-commissioned, say, in Canada, they do not really change the strategic balance.

Thus Zelensky had to be saved from his own rhetoric and gestures -- the aforementioned change in "rotation". Kiev authorities have a good practice in "never mind". For example, they utilize fascist radicals to intimidate opposition, but they are what I call "pet cobras", biting the hand that feeds them is what is programmed into their reptilian minds that do not have circuits for "friends" and "gratitude". And because of some grievances they trashed the Presidential place of work, insulting graffiti, broken windows, a broken and burned door, so three ringleaders got arrested, Parliament spent a few hours being appalled (after thinking for a week what to say), and now one ringleader was let free, with the remainder probably joining him soon (one at the time, I think). See folks: nothing happened.

It is possible that Napoleonic rhetoric and gestures were planned to get a "street cred" with those hoodlums, or that they were discreetly encouraged by an embassy (some people think that UK is the leader here, USA having mental problems and distractions). Or some combination.

Eighthman , Apr 22 2021 19:21 utc | 10
I would like to see some reporting on liability for Germany if the Greens cancel NS2. It seems rather nebulous on Google searches.
Benedict Arnold Palm , Apr 22 2021 19:24 utc | 11
"What fools those morons be." - Bugs Bunny

Imagine a drunken red nosed music hall comedian having to be taken so seriously. It really grates that the West has been reduced to this; a Spam headed sham, so pilled up he rattles, as a President of the FSOA. This obvious, self professed clown, Zelensky as head of an SS Totenkopf militia. A tiny appendage of Russia called Europe being a colony of a country based on genocide and slavery, that is reputedly anti-colonial. and a parcel of rogues spanning three continents and two oceans that gobble up lies like dung beetles on excrement lean back on their laurels, ill gotten gains, genocide and lies, and feel themselves morally superior to the victims, actual and future.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 19:25 utc | 12
Too much narrative, kills the narrative

Https://www.foxnews.com/world/russia-orders-troop-pullback-keeps-weapons-near-ukraine

Even Fox don't buy it

vetinLA , Apr 22 2021 19:27 utc | 13
Our problem here in the U$A is still the same as always. Mr. Z's announcement on 3/24 about his nation's intentions to take back the Crimea, were NEVER mentioned on our MSM. It's always Russian aggression, or China's aggression. It's NEVER our fault.

Somehow, someway, that scenario MUST change.

Piotr Berman , Apr 22 2021 19:28 utc | 14
listen from 22:48" for a good example of script writing and narrative control here... CBC The Current for April 22, 2021

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2021 18:19 utc | 4

Do you care to take responsibility for our mental health? I did provide a summary of a "narrative control" article once, I can do it once in few months, should we also have some rotation here?

james , Apr 22 2021 19:39 utc | 15
@ 14 piotr.... for your mental health i recommend unplugging from all western news outlets especially with regard to topics like russia, china, venezuala, syria, ukraine and etc. etc... free! no charge for you piotr! and okay - you're on next shift!
robert , Apr 22 2021 20:00 utc | 16
Just a couple of notes:
-The Greens, if they "win" will not win with a majority. That means they will need coalition partners. Neither the CDU or the SPD is going to go along with their plan to stop NS2. The Greens, in order to form a govt. will cave in on NS2 and probably other things.

-The Ukies are still fleeing the country to avoid going to the front. The Ukie brass says as much. These are not soldiers. They are farm kids. At the 1st sign of serious war, they will all head for the russians with hands in the air.

-V. Putin handled the western MSM narrative quite well, imo, when he said "Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time." It can't be clearer than that. And that tells me that the ussa is in the crosshairs. This may be the 1st time in history that the oceans will offer no protection for the warmongers that have been at war for 222 years of 237 years of their existence

The comedian is still flaying about and now trying to play the SWIFT card (last week it was nuclear weapons, before that it was...). Which, of course, the west will not honor because it would cripple the west as much or more than RU. I would imagine he needs to change his undershorts on an hourly basis these days. He is literally caught between a rock and a hard spot. No more support from DE, FR, US, NATO, TR except good wishes. And demands from his brain-dead Banderites are only growing more shrill. What's a poor comic to do?

The west is basically done with him and with the show of force by the russians they are more done with him than before. For his sake, i hope his khazarian passport app has been approved.

Another failed state compliments of the khazarians in DC.
And the beat goes on.

jared , Apr 22 2021 20:23 utc | 17
Being seen as a victim of Russian aggression and presenting itself as a frontline state checking Russia's further advance toward Europe is a major asset of Kyiv's foreign policy.

Wait...what?

I think B takes the "administration" too literally -
We know they are lying, they know they are lying, everyone knows they are lying but they are creating a virtual world in which their behavior is rational and justified. I am not sure why exactly such an artificial construct is seen as helpful. I suppose you could blame it on the voting public in the democratic west but we all realize by this point that the west is in no way democratic in a literal, functional sense - they less than do not give a damn what the little people think in fact they could well do with a lot fewer of them and really without the need of actual vote counting.

Possibly to their dog at night under the covers and after many martinis to help them forget what they are, they admit something like their best attempt at the truth.

And anyway, what did really happen to Seth Rich?

passerby , Apr 22 2021 21:17 utc | 18
Eighthman @10 North Stream 2 will be the last mayor cooperation between Russia and Europe for the next 10, 20 years. If you had to choose where to put your money, would you put it in a gas pipeline to China (Power of Siberia) or a gas pipeline to Europe (North Stream2)?

Putin will be the last Russian president who looked west, to Europe; the next president will look east, to Asia. It's where the money is.

oldhippie , Apr 22 2021 21:29 utc | 19
The militias with their supposed morale -- These are the grandkids and great grandkids of WWII collaborators. Middle class and hipsters. In a country where there basically is no middle class. Ukraine's economy is at African level. Only source of funds for anything is the US embassy. There is no agenda but the agenda of 1945. Any from the 2014 crop who had anything on the ball whatsoever is now my neighbor. What is left in Uke is the dregs. Hipsters do not hang around in failed states.

Entire political landscape is now centered on US Embassy. Oligarchs might have some input still, their wealth is out of country and so are they most of time.

Pure political vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum. CIA and their hired actors will fill the stage, journalists will report their antics. They are playing to an empty house. Ukraine could exist in same zone as Libya or Iraq for a long time. In end nothing fills the vacuum but Russian Federation.

JohninMK , Apr 22 2021 21:33 utc | 20
Piotr Berman 9

The Russian military's policy is not to use conscripts on the front lines, that role is far too important to trust to what are partially trained soldiers, they are used in support functions. The frontline is manned by professional soldiers.

Zelenski has got $300M of 'stuff' out of Congress this week so that was a result for him.

Russia might be pulling back but the Ukrainians haven't got the message. My understanding is there are 50,000 Ukrainian army and 20,000 Ukrainian security forces normally in the Donbass on the frontlines against 30,000 or so NAF. This crisis came when another 30,000 troops plus heavy weapons were moved into the area. Two days ago OSCE reported that two artillery battalions of self propelled 122mm and 152 guns have been moved up to the front. Then apparently earlier this week, two battalions of the Azov were moved up from Mariupol (their normal area) to the front lines facing Donetsk City. Most of these 20,000 security forces would be your Nazi wannabe's with the Azov unit being the largest. For those of you not watching in 2014/5 Azov are the evil bastards that make the Red Army in WW2 Germany look like angels.

So Kiev is still building an overpowering strike force with a probable objective of a thrust through the center to the Russian border, splitting the two 'rebel' states. Both US and UK and no doubt other advisors are on site. The Global Hawk is sucking up data overhead most days. There is NATO pride on the line here planning and directing. We await a false flag.

I think b is being a bit too optimistic. Somehow they have to stop NS2, in many ways their futures depend on transit gas and, as before, they won't care how many have to die to save their skins and wallets.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 22:11 utc | 21
@ vk | Apr 22 2021 19:14 utc | 7
I agree
Once again Deutschland : أم كل المعارك

"The Mother of all Battles"

Germany, the biggest Tabaqui, surrounded by many petty tabaquies...
But
Germany, playing the two side...
Germany, so stark and so weak...
Germany, "So jung und doch so alt"

How long can Germany resist the narrative?
How long before the end of the show?

We must talk about Germania

Tom , Apr 22 2021 22:25 utc | 22
This tweet by circle jerker extraordinaire Anders Aslund, sums up todays essay by b.

"I tend to socialise with the elite in Kyiv (sic)" (not with the deplorables)

https://twitter.com/27khv/status/1385162324705783812

Oldhippie , Apr 22 2021 22:35 utc | 23
Tom @ 22

Scroll up on that to the original Aslund post. He is talking about his friends getting ready to flee to Western Ukraine (or further). Sounds likely enough. Maybe they know something. And if it is just a routine panic in a failed state amongst a nervous elite, it only repeats so many times before they all do get out of town.

Nick , Apr 22 2021 22:46 utc | 24
LOL The greens will not win in Germany. Wait to September and tons of pedophilia scandals to appear on the media about Robert Habeck, and they will be toast
Cesare , Apr 22 2021 22:47 utc | 25
There's no question that if and when push comes to shove, and the first hints of defeat waft from the frontlines despite all attempts to spin it otherwise, the Ukrainian people will drop any sense of unity, fold like a wet napkin, and demand peace. Only a small sector of the population is highly motivated to fight or turn out the vote for bellicose policy against Russia.
Nick , Apr 22 2021 23:00 utc | 26
Do the Greens have vote in Bavaria, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Eastern Germany? I don't think so. Greens are popular Baden-Württemberg due Kretschmann charisma. If they haven't vote in Bavaria, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Eastern Germany , so they aren't going to win..

I'm seeing a lot of anglo and america media trying to boost these guys. But I have a bad feeling that the child book writer Robert Habeck will get a 'Sebastian Edathy' treatament.

vk , Apr 22 2021 23:45 utc | 27
@ Posted by: Nick | Apr 22 2021 23:00 utc | 26

But:

1) Germany has a proportional representative system. You don't have to win it all to compose the government. The Greens are going to compose the next government; Germany, as a First World country, is socially stable enough so that we can already consider this a fait accompli .

2) Laschet's choice as Merkel's successor apparently backfired . The CSU-CDU will probably lose some 10% more on top of what they're already projected to lose in these next general elections, mostly to the Greens.

Nick , Apr 22 2021 23:52 utc | 28
I know how the German system works. Yet I am not seeing the Greens win or compose the next government if they threaten to cancel NS2. The NS2 is not about the CDU/CSU but about the German elite interest. No way they are going to give green light to the Greens. Speaking of someone which city is on the border.
arby , Apr 23 2021 0:07 utc | 29
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 22 2021 19:20 utc

"One advantage that Ukraine has in military terms is the number of people who willingly and enthusiastically want to join the army for the sake of de-occupation "

Not nearly as motivated as Russians who have dealt with Nazi Fascists once before. What happened last time is seared into their heads.

vk , Apr 23 2021 0:20 utc | 30
@ Posted by: Nick | Apr 22 2021 23:52 utc | 28

Yeah, but the American elite is stronger than the German elite.

Nick , Apr 23 2021 0:27 utc | 31
So Annalena Baerbock will be the next US chancellor beacuse the US wants.. haha. Not sure about that these days..
Sushi , Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32
Russia has closed the Kerch Strait.
It is reported that the two US destroyers which were to have transited the Bosphorus are awaiting a pair of Britsh destroyers intended to join them with the flotilla of 4 ships to enter the Black Sea.
What happens if the UK and US decide on a FONOP which involves a transit of the Kerch Strait to make a port visit to Ukraine on the Sea of Azov?
Does Putin keep the Kerch closed?
If he stops the flotilla does this become "interference with international right of navigation?"
Does this asserted interference then result in Ukraine attack? Or a combined NATO / Ukraine action?
PokeTheTruth , Apr 23 2021 0:45 utc | 33
President Putin consulted with Minster of Defense Shoigu and asks if the troops can be scaled back from the lines of contact without significantly reducing tactical capability. Shoigu runs the numbers and delivers the answer that Putin was looking for.

Putin is offering an olive branch to Zelensky knowing full well his military can roll over the eastern and southern borders of Ukraine with impunity.

Does Zelensky do the same? No, instead he calls up reserve boys to make himself look tough.

A Russian proverb that is most appropriate in this case is this: Дурна́я голова́ нога́м поко́я не даёт. Translation: The stupid head doesn't leave feet in rest or in other words, no rest for the wicked.

Stephen T Johnson , Apr 23 2021 1:02 utc | 34
Sushi @32
How does Putin close the Kerch strait?
The same way as last time, park a largish ship or two in it.
FONOPS don't work so well as battering rams, and the straight is very narrow.
Bernard F. , Apr 23 2021 1:15 utc | 35

Dans l'œil du cyclone

The only antiwar party in Germany is AfD. They don't buy at all the "narrative" Die Linke is only " pacifistes bêlants ".

The meeting of German parliament was interesting. Unfortunately, only found german SNA report
https://snanews.de/20210422/bundestagsdebatte-ostukraine-parteienvertreter-gespalten-1826965.html

About green leadership in west Germany, it was a fake election, no meeting, no campaign...just ridiculous posters in the streets. Massive abstention.

A post Covid-19 election, with young people back, could be surprised. East Germany is to be analyse.

Germany often surprises the world for the better , SS-20 and Pershing II missiles crisis 1978-87 and Mauerfall 1989.


bill , Apr 23 2021 1:47 utc | 36

this pesky little problem of mud is the cause for the delay/ Russian troops given some rest

Grieved , Apr 23 2021 1:48 utc | 37
If all of this sound and fury is just to cancel North Stream 2, then it strikes me as a demonstration of terrible impotence, using a lot of leverage to achieve a fairly small end. Maybe it is exactly this. But I prefer Rostislav Ischenko's outline of several actions in several neighboring theaters as a concerted attack on Russia - with the objective of levering EU away from Russia. And the note here is that this is not over yet, the game is still afoot.

This larger ploy seems like a far more desirable objective for the US, given the expenditure of resources, rather than simply the NS2. But it still reeks of impotence, given how decisively Russia has countered each move (of the ones that are visible - no telling about the ones beneath the surface).

I have read somewhere, probably here, that if Germany were to cancel NS2 she would owe Russian billions of dollars in penalties. This project is after all, a matter of contract. And Germany must abide by its contracts if it is to remain in the business world. Or so it seems to me. Is Germany going to flout contract obligations with Russia, which supplies it with fuel for its industry and to stay warm in winter? It seems unlikely.

So, while the US acts to try to split Europe away from Russia, Germany is actually taking the least divisive path if it finishes NS2. Because if it is forced to cancel, and then to pay the billions in penalties, surely this causes a far greater split from the US and toward Russia than otherwise? Simply a split that plays out over a longer time, but much more finally.

If the US were capable of thinking all this through, it might understand how it pushes away everything it attempts to grasp. But we have watched for years, with some gladness, to see that this is exactly the fatal weakness of the US now. It simply doesn't understand reality, and simply cannot learn from it. Which I guess is b's point. Agreed.

Grieved , Apr 23 2021 1:52 utc | 38
@38 bill

Agreed, that Russia is not "withdrawing" troops, simply rotating them away according to the timetable and conditions of the battlefield.

Joshua , Apr 23 2021 1:57 utc | 39
For whomever may be under any illusion whatsoever,
Please,
Do not decieve yourselves,
The truth and the fact of the matter is very readily apparent.
All one must do is look objectively upon the reality of the situation in an honest manner.
Please do so.
Thank you.
Victor , Apr 23 2021 1:59 utc | 40
@Sushi | Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32

The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world and has a maximum depth of 45 feet. An Arleigh Burke destroyer has a draft of 30 feet. Even if somehow NATO ships entered the Sea of Azov, there are not many places that they can go unless they are very small ships.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:05 utc | 41
Mr. B

The situation around these unplanned military drills reminded me of 8 unplanned military drills by Iran during the last few months of Mr. Trump's government.

A likely preemptive responses, in both cases, to planned acts of aggression, nullifying them. Someone might have alerted them too.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 2:10 utc | 42
b, thanks for this post and thanks for the link to the excellent Alister Crook SCF article. I am sick of being told what to think and what opinions I should hold by the corporate and public MSM.

Narrative control is even more pervasive these days and the disconnect with the actual reality is more obvious.

How can the Anglo/Zionist captive nations talk about 'our values' while the grotesque horror show and slow motion genocide continues in occupied Palestine?

How can the Anglo/Zionist captive nations politicians talk about 'free trade' and 'liberalised trade'
while enforcing illegal trade embargoes on sovereign nations?

We were told by President Nixon that trade with China was good. Now the BRI railroad is portrayed as a 'threat' and 'controversial.' Ditto the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.

What is threatened is the cushioned pashas position to dictate hegemonic power throughout the world.

Australia is among the worst offenders of this moronic groupthink as shown by distinguished veteran correspondent Hamish McDonald:

https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/ ">https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/">https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/

This from a former Australian diplomat:

https://johnmenadue.com/five-eyes-anglo-sphere-is-not-our-best-bet/

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:10 utc | 43
Mr. Bernard F

During the Siege War against Iran, as well as during the hard times of the pandemic, Germany established herself to be of no consequence in the political arena or in the humanitarian one.

I was not surprised.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:19 utc | 44
Mr. JohninMK

If Ukrainian government has indeed mobilized or otherwise has planned a war against Russia, then her life expectancy in her current format or within her current borders will be measured in years and not decades.

Russia will not tolerate an armed camp of enemy soldiers in Ukraine, she will be neutralized as an independent actor shortly.

The 3 Westernmost oblasts might survive as a rump Ukraine but she is finished now.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:21 utc | 45
Mr. Paul

Everyone knows Australians have been boot lickers of US.

Nothing new there.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 3:07 utc | 46
Sorry about the bad link at 42. Here is the link:

https://johnmenadue.com/media-in-the-asian-century-belting-victoria/

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 23 2021 2:21 utc | 45

Yes Fyi, it is shameful. What is not so well known is Australia and the US have a long history of bullying New Zealand with loud megaphone diplomacy on cherished policy issues. One example was when the Muldoon [NZ] government recognised the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people many decades ago. Muldoon told them to F off, diplomatically, of course.

The NZ superannuation fund recently decided to divest from Israeli banks citing 'repetitional damage.' among other relevant things. Another win for BDS but ignored by the MSM. How could they spin that together with the prevailing narrative? So they ignored it.

At least NZ has some self respect intact. In business it is a good idea to speak the language of the buyer. I prefer NZ white wine and Australian red wine, particularly Barossa Valley reds. Now Australia complains about coal fired power stations in China, forgetting it is Australia selling the coal. NZ can sell the wine.

jiri , Apr 23 2021 3:25 utc | 47
@Sushi | Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32

My guess is that the Russians will create the conditions whereby the US/UK flotilla will be forced to get stuck in the shallow waters of the Azov Sea. Thus they will achieve their objective without firing a shot. The Russians know the spots with shallow waters. US/UK not so much.

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 23 2021 3:52 utc | 48
I wrote a long response and it disappeared. Oh well.
Fyi , Apr 23 2021 4:05 utc | 49
Mr. Paul

I have known, during my life, one single individual from New Zealand. He was the only English-speaker who could pronounce my name at first try. Very fine chap.

I do not know much about that country except that it is populated by serious Anglicans and is currently being led by a real statesman, unlike so many other countries.

I wish that country well, they are trying to do the right thing where larger more powerful countries, such as Germany, UK, or Italy, sold themselves for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver.

uncle tungsten , Apr 23 2021 4:44 utc | 50
JohninMK #20

Agreed, your proposition for an immediate fast rush to the Russian border to split the region is just as likely as a stand down. I would never be trusting NATO or FUKUS.

See Libya.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 4:51 utc | 51
Hi Fyi,

I am actually an Australian living in New Zealand. Lucky me. The two countries used to have a deal. Now that deal is observed by NZ but not observed by Australia. I tell some Kiwis, sometimes young in cheek, 'I am an Australian refugee boat person, fleeing from an oppressive government.'

As for the population, someone told me years ago ' it doesn't matter which party is in power, the country is always governed by Scottish Presbyterians so it always has some money put away'.

Most people can pick my Australian accent.

Race relations is far better in NZ than Australia. Australia is dysfunctional and utterly corrupt at all three levels of government. My American friend says that is like America. He moved to NZ. Both countries have rotten bureaucracy, perhaps a British hangover.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 6:52 utc | 52
Posted by: Grieved | Apr 23 2021 1:48 utc | 37
(Germany will not walk away from NS 2)

Thanks for fleshing out the NS 2 'controversy' with additional "inconvenient truths". My confidence that NS 2 will proceed as planned is based 90% on Sarah Kelly's 2020 DW Conflict Zone interview with Niels Annen, Heiko Maas's 2IC. Annen pointed out to (deaf-in-one-ear, can't-hear-with-the-other) Sarah that Germany's trade relationship with Russia is "complicated" but works for both. By the end of the interview it looked as though he felt a bit sorry for Sarah being stuck in the awkward position of being obliged to argue that black is white.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 8:11 utc | 53
I thought Zelensky was the Real Deal, a kind of Trump echo. But he ran into the same problem as Trump - a painful collision with the reality that the President is just a figurehead with very little Leadership autonomy, if any.

There's a new post-Trump 3-part BBC documentary series called Trump Takes On The World. Last night, ABC.net.au broadcast the first 1-hour Episode. It begins with Theresa May's visit to Trump's Washington. There's a formal meeting to discuss UK-US attitude to NATO. Before the meeting gets into stride, someone in Team Trump mentions that Putin phoned the White House and Team Trump is working out a schedule for the conversation to take place. Trump hits the roof.

"What!!?? Are you telling me that Putin, the only man who can destroy the United States, phoned the White House and you didn't tell me about it!!??"
Trump let's it slide, in deference to the presence of Ms May, but as the implications sink in he can't leave it alone and delves deeper into this weird event, Ms May's presence notwithstanding...

I think Zelensky ran into exactly the same problem - believing that the Prez is in charge of something important but realising that's just theatrical window-dressing. 'Democratic' window-dressing.
And with the Biden family having influence in Regime-changed Ukraine, it's probably safe to assume that the same Swamp Creatures which keep POTUS in check also 'manage' Zelenski's Presidential daydreams.

John Gilberts , Apr 23 2021 8:15 utc | 54
An excellent analysis. 'Blinkered' is the word on Washington. John Helmer's latest:

"State Department War Party has Led US Forces into their Worst Defeat Since Saigon - Without Russia Firing a Shot..."

https://twitter.com/bears_with/status/1385484105928876037

snake , Apr 23 2021 8:20 utc | 55
.. why ..artificial construct ... Passerby @ 18 < deep state reprograms what people remember about events.
planting misinformation 30 year study
Reprogamming what you remember about an event is technology embedded deep in MSM propaganda.

Passerby goes on to say "we all realize ...the west is in no way democratic in a literal,
functional sense - they .. do not give a damn what the little people think .. ..fewer of them .." <=is desirable.

Not true, the west is ~2.6 billion people [+ .010 billion can understand what you posted], but
<1,000,000 people are in the group you classify as the West. The governed masses are victim to
Oligarch owned nation states. The nation states are 1) tools, Oligarch's use, to compete in the
national and international markets (Article II), 2) each nation states includes a political
system (basically a consumer complaint department) to control the behaviors of the domestic
flocks and to keep the flocks distributed into their respective pastures.

Basically, the legislative and law making nation states are open air prisons that oversee the
domestic masses, but in foreign affairs, the nation states are economic weapons used by Oligarch
to engage in national and international profit making competition.
In other words,the only benefactors of the nation state system are the Oligarchs.

The 21st Century problem humans must resolve: "How to impose democratic principles,
human rights, and self-determination on the nation state system?"
It does not matter if we are talking East or West.
The nation state is the structure that confines the sheep so Oligarch can shear the wool.

A comment elsewhere alleged Lukashenko, of Belarus revealed how the world bank coerced sovereign nations to engage Corona virus lock down and vaccine scenarios; the same comment alleged Lukashenko fined the Soros foundation in Belarus 3.0 million for currency violations, and that the foundation left Belarus?
I am not sure about those claims. Can anyone authenticate those facts or elaborate on them . ?

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 23 2021 9:13 utc | 56
Biswapriya Purkayast: if the comment isn't the recent one you wrote in the "Kipling" Russia thread it has probably been snagged by the link-checker and will appear later. It happens to everyone once in a while, a good idea to write and save any comment in a text editor before copying and posting it, unless it's short like this one :)
Renard , Apr 23 2021 9:37 utc | 57
Ukraine was not the target.

All this fuss around Crimea and Donbass was simply meant to distract attention from Belarus. (Did the Americans inform Zelensky or did they just manipulate him?)

The destabilization, collapse, invasion of Belarus failed (When did the Russians understand?), so the players disengage from this point of confrontation to find another one (Where?).

ftmntf , Apr 23 2021 9:58 utc | 58
A key aspect of propaganda is reversing the actual order of cause and effect to make the enemy falsely look like the aggressor. We see this in the recent case of Ukraine. The western pressitutes cynically ignored, and failed to report, the unprovoked Ukrainian military build up on the border, to which the Russian build was a defensive reaction. So that now, as far as the average western consumer of this propaganda is concerned, the Russian 'aggressor' 'bad guys' have been forced to back down. All BS of course.

The anti-imperialist movement needs to establish popular online hubs that aggregate/syndicate the writings of small blogs like this. It is beyond the abilities of any single blogger to keep up with news events to counter imperialist lies in real time but collectively they can do it if their work is made available at bigger hubs.

Paco , Apr 23 2021 10:28 utc | 59
Posted by: snake | Apr 23 2021 8:20 utc | 55

Searched for some info on that fine but that's an old story, the Soros Fund was fined and expelled from Belarus in '97. But recently there was a debate about the influence in education by the Soros foundations in the former soviet countries. Probably this has a lot to do with the comments made by Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly, he remarked that some history text books do not even mention the Stalingrad Battle while at the same time enhancing the second front influence in WWII outcome. In other words, the foundations might be out, there influence is not, money buys wills, and if anything else is missing in those influence institutions money is not one of them.

Do a machine translation for more info:

https://www.osnmedia.ru/politika/v-belorussii-rasskazali-o-neskonchaemom-vliyanii-fonda-sorosa/

jared , Apr 23 2021 13:59 utc | 60
UK was hoping to provoke an incident with its ships in Black Sea.
Russia has unilaterally withdrawn, leaving the British ships to cruise about at their leisure. Pardon me, but might you have any Grey Poupon?
m , Apr 23 2021 14:04 utc | 61
@43 Fyi
To my knowledge Germany has several times delivered medical equipment to Iran during the ongoing pandemic. I`m not familiar with the details, though. Germany is also heavily involved with COVAX which is one of the main sources of vaccines for Iran.
Tollef Ås اس طلف , Apr 23 2021 14:22 utc | 62
It bugs me how even well-informed critics of North Atlanticist regimes and their foreign policies write and talk of them as "western demoracies". The "Founding Fathers" of the USA feared nothing more than 'democracy' -- by which they thought of ancient Athens, or the ancient republic of San Marino or some Swiss Cantons. What they wanted was a republic in the mold of Ancient Rome, Venice, or like the Netherlands before Wilhelm of Orange, i.e. roled by rich men's clubs and throuh inherited wealth, be that from land ownership, slave-holding or from commercial gains and prate privatering -- plus of course exploiting colonies and controlled marketing opium and its derivats (plus cocaine).

None of the present-day Atlanticist nations call themselves "demomracies" in their name or constitutions. Only Greece does -- and only because they don't have the romance word "republic" in their language.

In observation of these linguistic and political facts, the governments of Central Europe east of Nato, China, Viet-Nâm and Chosôn ("North Korea") all called themselves "people's republics" -- as opposed the the states further west that were ruled by the elected representatives of Capital and Big Banking.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:42 utc | 63
Mr. m

That is news to me.

I will investigate.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:48 utc | 64
Mr. Tollef Ås اس طلف

There is a discernible fear of the common man permeating the works of the intellectuals of Islam as well as the Sufis.

One expression of that among Shia is the idea and practice of "Source of Emulation".

The framers of the American Constitution, I understand, were also suspicious of the plebian rule degenerating into mob rule.

So they created a representative republic - which has become the dominant form of governance all over the world.

I personally do not find anything wrong with the theory of such a government.

Any form of government can become corrupt over time since Man is in the State of Fall.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:54 utc | 65
Mr. m:

So far, I have found an announcement of 5 million Euros of medical aide to Iran from UK, France, and Germany in March of 2020.

Earlier, in April of 2019, Germany donated 4 boats and a number of tents for the victims of floods in Iran.

EU, at the same time, stated aide to Iran of 1.2 million Euros.

aquadraht , Apr 23 2021 14:55 utc | 66
@7 vk
I don't know how you come to that conclusion:
he West, however, has one last ace in the hole: the German Green Party, which is well positioned to form the next government after the December national elections. The NS-2 certainly won't be finished by then ..

In fact, the elections will take place Sep 26. The newly elected parliament will gather fist time ("constituting") 3-4 weeks after that date, so end of October. After that, coalition agreement has to be negotiated, usually taking 6 weeks or more (last time, it was nearly 5 months). If the outcome is as the polls indicate at the moment, with the Greens as the strongest faction, they will get the task to strike a coalition deal, negotioting probably with CDU, and SPD plus FDP, for a couple of weeks. A new government, elected by the Bundestag, is not to be expected before end of December.

Before anybody could act upon NS2, it will be 2022. If the project is not stopped at the last kilometres, it will be finished by May, 2021. Once operational, the government does not have much leverage to shut it down.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 15:01 utc | 67
Mr. Paul:

Yes, I can confirm reports of Australian racism against Indians, Iranians, Lebanese, Chinese, and Greeks.

One person told me that she was reluctant to travel to the United States because she had feared similar treatment there.

On the other hand, I know of a case of an abandoned Sikh mother & child (by her husband) in New Zealand - the social services stepped right in and helped stabilize their lives.

I think all of these evils start from the top.

The late General MacArthur tolerated racism and the African-Americans under his command suffered.

Some other Flag Rank officers did not tolerate racism and that made a huge difference to the experience of the African-American soldiers and sailors under their commands.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 17:26 utc | 68
Addenda to Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 23 2021 8:11 utc | 53
(BBC doco Trump takes On The World)

Episode 1 spans events from Ms May's Trump White House visit, to Helsinki and Trump's 'betrayal' of AmeriKKKa in his private meeting with Putin.
During the closing moments of the doco (minute 55 - no ads on ABC) a bloke who looks like Mitch McConnell (R) Kentucky/Tel Aviv, says "That'll be the lar-yest time we ever have a President meet a foreign leader in private."

MrLenin , Apr 23 2021 17:26 utc | 69
Russia has not been idle as the US and allies have been pumping plane loads of weaponry to the ukropa army, this 'training deployment' was an opportunity for Russia to check, train and equip the Donbass militia. I would assume that an operation room is already setup, with spetnaz remaining in place to monitor the lines.
Nato is stumped at both the heavy response and language used by Russia, they are a paper tiger, and many of their members, would have opted out. The 'Belarus attempted coup' is another Red line for Russia, thus VVP stressed that Russia has the resources to put a stop to it.
The Czech hyenas have started walking-back(US State department word) accusations about the 2014 explosions https://www.rt.com/russia/521514-czech-blast-not-state-terrorism/

@B could you look into the issue of the Damona explosion, I believe a poster somewhere mention a retaliatory attack by Iran on missile factories in Jerusalem, I also doubt it was a stray AA missile.

JohninMK , Apr 23 2021 19:43 utc | 70
MrLenin 69

All the open source evidence does indeed point to it being an S-200/SA-5 missile.

The Israeli Defense Minister Beni Gantz has officially acknowledged that the attempt to shoot down the S-200PMT missile failed. Saying that 4 US and 6 Israeli Patriot SAMs & 2 Israeli SAMs "David Sling" missed the S-200 at 17 km.

So, not just IAF but US operated systems as well by the look of it.

This is now a huge problem for the US. At least when the Yeminis hit Saudi the US can mutter about the quality of the Saudi AD crews but here, in Israel they will be skilled and well trained crews from both countries i.e. the 'best'. This is very embarrassing for the US MIC. Their SAMs couldn't even down a Soviet era errant SAM.

No doubt today many countries will be re-evaluating their Patriot AD systems. Indeed, should existing customers be demanding their money back as the system is clearly shown to be faulty (it has to be a fault, it can't possibly be a design error)? Turkey and India must be feeling pleased.

JohninMK , Apr 23 2021 19:54 utc | 71
I meant to say that for a while now the Syrian rules of engagement have changed and they are now able to 'chase the launcher aircraft' home. Before that they were only targeting the incoming munitions. Putin confirmed the change.

The radars attached to the Syrian S-300s, plus freestanding units, give them a very good view of where the IAF aircraft are. Even better if they are plugged into the Russians IAD.

In a way this was a very good warning shot. It did no real damage so no excuse for Israel to seek revenge yet it must be giving the IAF second thoughts about their current attack strategy.

Sometimes accidents can be really beneficial.

james , Apr 23 2021 20:11 utc | 72
@ JohnMK... thanks for your comments on these matters... i appreciate it..
Paul , Apr 23 2021 20:38 utc | 73
Update on the Ukraine situation:

https://popularresistance.org/president-zelensky-says-ukraine-ready-for-war-with-russia/

When will they ever learn?

Jo , Apr 23 2021 21:17 utc | 74
I think along with Pres Putin address credit is also due to Lavrov's statement that Ukraine would cease to exist....a real dose of blunt sober reality.
uncle tungsten , Apr 24 2021 10:11 utc | 75
Here come the englanders turn Zelensky into David the Goliath killer. He will be all fired up by the British Embassy squad. Black Sea battle next week.
Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 24 2021 14:52 utc | 76
...
https://popularresistance.org/president-zelensky-says-ukraine-ready-for-war-with-russia/

When will they ever learn?

Posted by: Paul | Apr 23 2021 20:38 utc | 73

The Mouse That Roared redux?

Steverino , Apr 24 2021 19:08 utc | 77
Speaking of dangerous narratives... this is what scares the hell out of me...

"the plan which had been first described publicly in America's two most prestigious international relations journals, as being a suitable replacement for "M.A.D.": "Nuclear Primacy". That's the goal for America to blitz-nuclear attack Russia so quickly that Russia won't have enough time to launch a retaliatory response."

... that there are people who are so deluded they actually believe a nuclear war can be "won."

[Apr 19, 2021] Mr. Zelensky now has the opportunity to forge a partnership with Mr. Biden that could decisively advance Ukraine's attempt to break free from Russia and join the democratic West

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Apr 18 2021 0:52 utc | 62

NEO has the 'strategy nailed'.

Now that we've established who the aggressor is, let's take a look at Tsereteli's and Carafano's next brilliant takeaway point. The dynamic duo of war strategies says cosmetic measures against Russia will not do! The "west" (meaning NATO), they say, needs a more clear strategy. Which certainly means a massive arms buildup west of the Siverskyi Donets River. The Zelensky government is being pushed from Washington to take even more drastic measures to force Russia into a war stance. The editorial board of the Washington Post recently advised Zelensky:

"Mr. Zelensky now has the opportunity to forge a partnership with Mr. Biden that could decisively advance Ukraine's attempt to break free from Russia and join the democratic West. He should seize on it."

So, now that we've shown who is doing the pushing here, let's turn to the final takeaway from Heritage Foundation master strategists. Tsereteli and Carafano come right out and say "countries left outside of NATO will remain targets of Russian aggression and manipulations." So, the purpose of all this supposed spread of militaristic-based democracy is to expand NATO to? I mean, seriously. Washington is not reaching out with the Peace Corps to shore up a budding Eastern European democracy. The United States is kidnapping another former Soviet republic on the way to the big score. My country has military bases in almost every country in the world, has had more wars than the Mongols, and spends more on weapons than everybody else combined – but Russia is being aggressive!

Who believes this bullshit?


[Apr 19, 2021] This would be my plan if I were Zelensky

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 18 2021 10:11 utc | 107

Norwegian at 98 says:


"I'd like to know how Zelensky and the Kiev authorities are supposed to get out of this situation without falling apart."

Well, if I were Zelensky I might imagine getting myself out of this mess by the following steps:

1. Keep raising the ante. Scream about an imminent Russian invasion, keep your population panicked (by concocting a list of "bomb shelters" in Kiev, for example). Keep actual violence against the Donbass republics at just low enough a level to not be enough provocation for a Russisn intervention, for now .

2. Keep acquiring missiles from NATO, and trainers in how to use them. Negotiate with Sultan Erdoğan for headchopper mercenaries (especially Chechens and other Russian speakers).

3. Arrange for NATO exercises in Ukranazistan this summer.

4. Under cover of those exercises, using the NATOstanis as human shields in fact, attack the Donbass Republics, and only the Donbass Republics. Use the headchoppers as shock troops to minimise own losses. Capture the Donetsk and Lugansk main urban areas, leave slices right on the Russian border. Do not touch Crimea.

5. Present this as a huge victory, like Ilham Aliyev did in Nagorno Karabakh.

As I said, this would be my plan if I were Zelensky. Whether it would work depends on how much "restraint " Putin is willing to give up on, and how much risk he's willing to take.


Bernard F. , Apr 18 2021 10:41 utc | 108

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

@ Norwegian | Apr 18 2021 7:43 utc | 95


The present stand-off cannot last forever, so it is a question of time before something falls apart.
Russia used the aggressive move by NATO/Ukraine to perform a judo-like move

The speed of execution of the manoeuvre also calls for admiration when NATO can't even move an armoured division in Poland (inadequate road infrastructure)

But Evil is in the details. And as the greatest french dialogue writer: "Les conneries c'est comme les impôts, on finit toujours par les payer."
[Bullshit is like taxes, you always end up paying them.]

S.O. , Apr 18 2021 10:43 utc | 109

All of the NATO ATGM's in the world won't make a pick of difference against russian artillery or their strategic rocket forces.

Zelensky get's out of it by turning his squeaky clean nato trained troops against his own domestic nazis and upholding his end of the minsk agreement.

Who knows.. he might even survive it too.

[Apr 19, 2021] The British training program, Operation Orbital, has trained over 17,500 Ukrainian service members since its inception in 2015. Last year British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that the training mission would be extended until 2023. It is explicitly designed to transform the Ukrainian military in order to meet NATO standards: to be a NATO proxy army on Russia's western border."

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 18 2021 8:14 utc | 97

Norwegian at 94 says:

"Time is working for Russia here."

Unfortunately, I strongly disagree. Rick Rozoff says here:

https://antibellum679354512.wordpress.com/2021/04/17/nato-nations-train-arm-ukrainian-military-for-war-with-russia/comment-page-1/

"The British training program, Operation Orbital, has trained over 17,500 Ukrainian service members since its inception in 2015. Last year British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that the training mission would be extended until 2023. It is explicitly designed to transform the Ukrainian military in order to meet NATO standards: to be a NATO proxy army on Russia's western border."

To which my own response was:

"I strongly agree with Igor Strelkov: war now is preferable for Russia than (inevitable) war later. I also completely agree with him that the Ukranazi cancer should have been eliminated in 2014, or, failing that, the Donbass armies should have been permitted by the Putinist regime to liberate Slovyansk and Mariupol, or, even better, liberate Odessa and advance to the Dneiper. If that had been done then, there would have been no problem now.

"No wonder the Putinist regime hates him."

[Apr 19, 2021] The Empire is trying to surround and castrate Russia. Russian interests are being hit every day. Sanctions for ever, more and more.

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

jared , Apr 17 2021 20:33 utc | 29

It is characteristic signature of bureaucracy that they behave in manner inconsistent, because
- balkaniztion
- incompetence

Putin has Biden deep in his backfield. Rare opportunity. I would suggest split Ukraine on the Dnieper - it would benefit everyone.

Is Blinken really wanting war on three fronts?
Somebody wake Joe.


Bernard F. , Apr 17 2021 21:05 utc | 35

USA needs to build a bridge to its future and to common sense.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 20:20 utc | 24


Is Jake Sullivan supposed to coordinate?
https://youtu.be/1qz60D0tZPI
Condorpuma , Apr 17 2021 20:11 utc | 22

The Empire is trying to surround and castrate Russia. Russian interests are being hit every day. Sanctions for ever, more and more.

Putin has to come up with something exceptionally crazy and unexpected. another level of asymmetry. Russian stockpile is "officially" of about 6.400 nuclear heads of which 1600 operational, probably more than that. This Nuclear Capital should be "invested ". Putin should convince Iran to change policy and accept donation or lease of 200-300 nuclear heads. Siria,Venezuela and maybe Korea should be given a number of tactical nuclear weapons for self defence. China,as well,with Russian help,should double the Nuclear Potential. A political Earthquake would shake the Empire. Russia survival
is the Stake.

uncle tungsten , Apr 17 2021 20:20 utc | 24

USA givesall its manufacturing to then moans about China carbon emissions. Chine is worlds largest solar panel manufacturer, us moans about China carbon. USA blocks Nord Stream 2 gas supply to Germany then moans about Russian carbon emissions. USA hasthe poorest house insulation regulationa and moans about others carbon emissions.

China achieves major reafforestation targets and reclaims huge tracts of desert and USA ignores it, continues to strip forests at home and everwhere else.

USA needs to build a bridge to its future and to common sense.

norecovery , Apr 17 2021 20:23 utc | 25

@ pnyx -- It's not only that USians are unaware of much of what's happening in other countries, it's the fact they are misinformed and misled about current events by propaganda. This is also the case in Europe because their MSM also have been co-opted by the coordinated Intelligence Apparatus (CIA - MI6 - FiveEyes) that controls the flow of information in the U.S. MSM. We are witnessing censorship/control of Social Media, Search Engines, and formerly independent websites as well.

This is an all-out effort of Class War. One aspect of this is to broadcast a hidden personal message that if I feel oppressed, "it must be my own fault" because "success" supposedly is within everyone's grasp (note the emphasis on celebrity 'culture').

powerandpeople , Apr 17 2021 21:24 utc | 39

Russia has shown an astonishing amount of 'strategic patience' in the face of racism, lies, insults, seizure of diplomatic property, obstruction of officials coming to the UN, possibly a hand in the murder of their high rank military landing in Syria, perhaps the downing of their choir, US silence of US radar data 'highly likely' showing Ukraine downing the Malaysian aircraft, fabrications everywhere, and so very much more.

Well, the cup of patience runneth over.

"These steps represent just a fraction of the capabilities at our disposal. Unfortunately, US statements threatening to introduce new forms of punishment show that Washington is not willing to listen and does not appreciate the restraint that we have displayed despite the tensions that have been purposefully fuelled since the presidency of Barack Obama.

Recall that after a large-scale expulsion of Russian diplomats in December 2016 and the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the US, we did not take any response measures for seven months. We responded only when Russia was declared a US adversary legislatively in August 2017.

In general, compared to the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, the US Embassy in Moscow operates in better conditions, enjoying a numerical advantage and actively benefitting from the work of Russian citizens hired in-country. This form of disparity frees up "titular" diplomats to interfere in our domestic affairs, which is one of the main tenets of Washington's foreign policy doctrine.

...the reality is that we hear one thing from Washington but see something completely different in practice... a proposed Russian-US summit. When this offer was made, it was received positively and is now being considered in the context of concrete developments. "/BLOCKQUOTE>

The last bit is deliberately ambiguous. Ha ha ha ha ha!

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4689067

Tom , Apr 17 2021 22:07 utc | 40

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 17 2021 21:21 utc | 38

I suspect Sullivan and Blinken's next gig will be something like that. "We came here to forget", but instead of the French Legion, it will be PMC Wagner.

Personally what I would do would be a Operation Bagration 2.0 at the slightest misstep by Ukraine. There is may too much on the table here. Bio labs, nests of NATO rats, nuclear power plants, NATO missiles on the Ukrainian and Belarus borders with Russia. Time to clear out the rats including Lviv. After disinfecting this part of eastern Europe (again) of that other far more dangerous virus, Nazism, life will be much more peaceful in that part of the world, and likely by the domino effect (yes I actually said that!) to other places in the world plagued by US exceptionalism.

[Apr 14, 2021] Kharkiv is culturally and economically as much Donbas, for a start. And Odessa is a major center of Russian population, too, even if not part of the Donbas.

Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

elephant , Apr 11 2021 11:00 utc | 113

"Why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

The apparent change in stance is unlikely a ruse because a ruse presumes that Russia would take the bait.

The change is unlikely due to a miscalculation on Ukraine's part because Ukraine was well aware of the strength of the juggernaut just to the east before Ukraine sent men and materiel that way.

The change is unlikely due to a miscalculation on Washington's part because a likely drubbing of Ukraine with Washington sitting on the sidelines would result in a loss of prestige vis a vis Russia and China.

I'd suggest the change -- if there really is such a change -- is more likely the result of Germany, and maybe France, exerting simultaneous pressure on Washington and Kiev, coupled with leading sectors of the bureaucracy in both Washington and Kiev agreeing with Merkel (Washington for its own reasons and Kiev because of Washington's instructions) that a war does not advance their interests.

Washington is in a position similar to that of Britain prior to the Suez Crisis: one loss away from losing its preeminence on the world stage. Losing that position over a conflict involving, essentially, a gas pipeline to Germany is not worth the risk.

It's likely that Washington's apparent stance is symptomatic of significant discord between the Neocons and the less belligerent of the foreign policy establishment. It appears that the Neocons may have lost this round. One can expect the schism to continue to play out over the coming years


steven t johnson , Apr 10 2021 19:21 utc | 41

vk@29 writes "[My comment@24] is nonsense: if Ukraine takes back the Donbas basin, it will have full control over Crimea. The option of
'trading' the Donbas for Crimea doesn't exist."

It's hard to know how seriously this is meant. Luhansk and Donetsk are not *the* Donbas. Kharkiv is culturally and economically as much Donbas, for a start. And Odessa is a major center of Russian population, too, even if not part of the Donbas. At any rate, insofar as the "Donbas" is essential to control Crimea, though, it is Kherson and Zaporizhye provinces that control the water supply. And it is Mariupol's port that contests the Sea of Azov. That's the part of Donbas that vk implies to be essential for full control of Crimea. But if Mariupol is essential for full control, then Putin neither has full control now, nor does he want it, because it is apparently Putin who pressured the rebels into leaving Mariupol in Ukrainian hands. By the criteria vk uses here, Putin doesn't have full control of Crimea now. This could be understood to show that in the long run Luhansk/Donetsk are untenable too, trapped in a race to collapse with Kyiv. And it would show too that Putin needs a genuine peace in Crimea, needs to do something, because in the long run, time is not on his/Russia's side. The thing is of course, is that either vk doesn't mean what is actually written, or vk won't draw the conclusions vk's own premises require.

SingingSam , Apr 10 2021 19:46 utc | 43

MarkU @26 got it right. It is a head fake.

Ukraine's leadership doesn't care about their civilians and soldiers. US and NATO leadership care even less for them. In the current context actions speak far louder than words.

Even the dimmest and most senile leaders can figure out some of the following:
• Russia is not bluffing. Bluffing is not their style.
• Neither the US nor NATO will put boots on the ground of Donbass or Crimea.
• Against Russia the US surface ships in the Black Sea are floating targets, as they are anywhere else in the world.
• There won't be a Minsk3 agreement.
• Nord Stream 2 will be completed no matter what. For the respect, Russia doesn't need the revenue so much.

If in fact Ukraine backs down, it will be a Biden continuation of Trump's off-repeated stunt of walking to the edge and then backing off. You can't expect innovation from senile players.

dh , Apr 10 2021 19:51 utc | 44

"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

A little too much vodka in the Galician contingent would be my guess.

Stonebird , Apr 10 2021 20:31 utc | 48

Water, water, in the air but not a drop to drink.

Crimea needs water badly with summer coming on.
Any Ukrainian or Russian advance cannot happen across bogs and mud. Wait until the rain stops, or sink.

I saw somewhere that Zelensky actually thought of opening the canal sometime ago but was "stopped". It was never made clear WHO ordered him not to, or who ordered him to start an anti-Russian drive, or.....etc.

b's post undelines that the previous lines of cultural/liguistic division have not gone away, and have probably hardened. The Nasty brigade are actually in lands that probably do not appreciate them being there. (ie, the Russian speaking areas under Ukie control are probably not overjoyed to become "permanent collateral damage")

*

Anyone else notice the large movement of Chinese ships in the South China Sea? Doubled trouble for the Empire? They hardly get the time to concentrate on claiming "rights of passage" through Indian territoral waters, or in the Black sea, or in the Artic, without someone stirring the pot. Whatever next?

A diversion or just taking advantage of the limited scope of the attention span of whoever is in command in the US ?

blues , Apr 10 2021 20:37 utc | 49

-// Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. //- -- Henry Kissinger

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy

Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 52

@vk "And that's the objective truth: if the Ukraine conquers the DPR and LPR, it will essentially cut off Crimea from Russia."

How so? It doesn't seem to me that a hypothetical merger of DPR, LPR, and Ukraine would have any effect on Crimea.

In fact, if DPR and LPR join according to the Minsk2 conditions, it could help, as they would (theoretically) become a significant political factor on the national level. Which is why Kiev is not interested in a peaceful unification.

And even a military conquest (which is what you're talking about) would create problems for Kiev, as disenfranchising (or expelling) most of the population there might be somewhat problematic.

William R Henry , Apr 10 2021 21:31 utc | 53

"One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse." --our host

Precisely. The US prefers to start its conflicts with a sucker punch, but that is only possible if the target is unprepared and looking the other way. Russia only needs to let its guard down and look away for a moment for the empire to take advantage of it. Notice how the ukrops are not moving their attack forces back? They will attack while the US ships are in the Black Sea to monitor the fighting and provide direction.

Donbass does not have strategic depth. The plan is to hit the republics with a suicide bum-rush. America doesn't care how many of the ukrop aggressors are exterminated in the attack so long as some units survive to take up positions in the city centers. The empire's strategists figure that with a sudden enough and massive enough assault, and given at least some element of surprise, this can be accomplished overnight. The ukrop cannon fodder will be given orders to not bother securing any areas they overrun and instead continue to charge forward.

Suicidal? Absolutely, because any Novorossiya troops that are overrun will regroup behind the ukrop aggressors and pull back, cutting off the units that penetrated into the cities. That's when those advance ukrop units will go all "Shock & Awe™" on the urban civilians to draw the Novorossiya units away from their established positions and demoralize them.

So long as the Russians are not caught with their pants down they should be able to easily repel the ukrop assault. If they are thinking this through clearly then the Novorossiya troops, with the Russians at their backs, should push for the Dniper in order to acquire that much needed strategic depth. At the same time the Black Sea should be completely cleared of any hostile vessels, and obviously that means the American ships.

aquadraht , Apr 10 2021 21:44 utc | 55

I disagree about DNR and LNR are of importance for Russia to keep hold on Crimea. Crimea secession was prior to the insurrection in eastern Ukraine, they tried to copy Crimean secession (even held referenda in 2014) To the frustration of DNR/LNR activists as well as many russian nationalists, the russian government has rejected all pleas to incorporate the breakaway regions or Ukraine into Russia. On contrary, it has repeatedly tried to broker a compromise, and the Minsk accords are part of. Putin even ostensibly bound his hands by forcing a Duma decree in 2015, revoking the "Medvedyev doctrine" from 2008 Georgian conflict which authorized use of force when ethnic Russians were threatened, Anyway, the russian government could not abandon the insurgency in Donbas without risking to be toppled by nationalists.

One should keep this in mind: Russia does not want the ethnically russian parts of Ukraine which would comprise of most of it. It was not Russia who escalated the inner ukrainian divide. And militarily, LNR and DNR are in no way helpful for Crimea. Normal relations between the RF and Ukraine would be in Russia's interest, would belp both countries. But that is what the West prevents at any cost, to the last Ukrainian. Only the dumb ukronazis don't realize that.

aquadraht , Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 56

@53 vk Ukraine will never get back DNR and LNR by military means, but, if at all, only via a compromise alongside the Minsk accords. And if you speak to realistic Ukrainians (there are not few, even in the nazi infested galicia and volyn), they all realize that Crimea is gone, and that it always only grudgingly agreed to be an autonomous republic inside Ukraine until 2014.

JohninMK , Apr 10 2021 22:43 utc | 59

fx @ 46

Its not just the Fortuna laying pipe now, the Akadamik Cherskiy has been on the job for about 10 day and she can lay pipe faster. According to the plans submitted to the Danes, in whose waters they are laying, Fortuna is expected to finish in May whilst the AC has permission until September but is expected to finish early.


As to the USN ships (Black sea regular USS Ross passed Gib inbound Med today) are not due in until the start of next week and will leave early May. What their role, apart from being a gesture of support for Ukraine, is is not clear. An obvious job of one, if not both, could be to be tied up at a berth in Odessa harbour as a poison pill to try to make sure that Russia does not attack that part of the coast. Were there to be an attack of course.

Seems to be a big mistake by the US to me. I can understand what they are trying to do but, given the option above, if they stay at sea it will be a clear statement that they don't want to get that involved. I'm sure it is not their intention to be so open in showing their true objective.

Another possible reason for a delay until May is that the Orthodox Church celebrates its Eater Sunday on the 2nd May.

William R Henry 52

There is no need to go to the Dneiper to gain sufficient strategic depth, not only would that be a political nightmare but just stopping at the oblast borders should be sufficient. Included in that would be Mariupol, the only Ukrainian port on the Sea of Azov. That would make Donbass economically viable.

No need to clear the Black Sea, Russia totally dominates over, on and under it.

jared , Apr 10 2021 22:52 utc | 61

@ Posted by: bevin | Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13

Wouldnt this be the second time that Zelinski used thread of conflict to help himself in election?

It seems an important point. Why would B over look it, I wonder.

Declaring war and then declaring peace. I guess one cannot chose ones neighbors.

I thought Russia stood to benefit from war. They should keep pressure on Zelinski - training, preparations and support of Donbass. Seems Russia is very measured with assistance.

Bernard F. , Apr 10 2021 22:58 utc | 63

b. :
"It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now."


The Postman Always Rings Twice


Bloomberg:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to return to Brussels next week for more meetings with NATO and European officials, according to people familiar with the matter, as the U.S. grows increasingly concerned about Russian troop movements near Ukraine.

The meetings will take up most of the week,[...]
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Brussels at the same time, for a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"Frank muses that just as the postman always rings a second time to make sure people receive their mail, fate has made sure that he and Cora have both finally paid the price for their crime.


"Schöne Wochenende".
Next week will be interesting as last 3 were.

Dr. George W Oprisko , Apr 10 2021 23:19 utc | 65

Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.

You misssed it....

Those elections were in 2019....

Zelenski has been compromised since then... most notably via loss of his plutocrat mentor...

The CIA/NSA/RightSector are firmly in charge, because Zelenski did not use his mandate to throttle them.

The best he could have done, was to invite Russia in for the purpose of "stabilizing" ukraine.

That, of course, did not happen.

INDY

Bernard F. , Apr 10 2021 23:48 utc | 70

"Europe" ask Russia to negociate


Western nations chided Russia for failing to turn up at talks in Vienna on Saturday aimed at defusing tension over Ukraine, where a Russian troop buildup close to the border between the two countries has sparked fears of renewed conflict.


Don't you remember?

https://youtu.be/VYM0oL6RPvg

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference Friday following talks with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

"Therefore, we organize our life coming from the premise that the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at this stage,"

"I hope that the strategic review which is coming will finally pay attention to vital interests of the European Union in its closest vicinity " Lavrov stressed.

"I hope that today's talks will help us reach a more constructive trajectory. We are ready for it."

Grieved , Apr 11 2021 0:45 utc | 75

@b - "...why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

J Swift offered a good clue in his comment in the previous thread:

"the Nuland crowd have played right into Russia's hands, because the Ukraine is definitely a place where Russia has escalation dominance. I suspect that when some of those famous military channels began chatting, the Russians were not so friendly, and made it clear that an offensive by the Ukies would not only free Russia's hand toward the Nazis and provide a perfect excuse to rid the East and South of them, but that Russia would be specifically targeting US/NATO "advisers," command centers, resupply aircraft or any aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace, and would be just waiting for any US ship in the Black Sea to do something remotely involving it in the conflict, such that it would be on the bottom in minutes."

We know from Pepe Escobar's latest article , presenting highlights from the recent important interview with Nikolai Patrushev (Secretary of the RF Security Council), that Patrushev, a very dangerous and serious man, enjoys undiminished communications with Washington, including a March phone discussion with Jake Sullivan, White House security advisor. If his interview is anything to go by, his candid discussions with US leadership could have scared them totally awake.

Once again, it could well be that the neocons talked up a blazing firestorm that the generals and security professionals ultimately had to pour water on.

Patrick Armstrong in his latest article gives us ample evidence that Victoria Nuland, back in power and riding high, is also vastly ignorant and imperceptive, incapable of learning or reflection, and mediocre in her intelligence. The neocons, as Armstrong points out, have always failed. And they have led the US down a path of loss.

If in fact this Ukraine adventure is over for the moment (if in fact it ever was real in the first place), then it bears total resemblance to every other neocon stupid idea, that goes as far down the path to ruin as it can, sometimes being stopped by wiser heads, sometimes simply charging over the edge, into the abyss.

If Russia gets to choose, one assumes Russia would prefer no military activity in Ukraine. And if Russia is forced into military action, one also assumes as best guess that Russia will reshape the map to a better end for all. It could just be that Russia managed to communicate this to the US, and that the US managed to hear.

dh , Apr 11 2021 1:14 utc | 77

@74 Yes but that doesn't really address b's question. Why was this allowed to happen in the first place? We know all about Nuland and her cookies and encouragement from Washington. But why was the Minsk agreement broken? Why do the Ukies keep lobbing shells into Donbass?

Those troops are bored. I'm sticking with my vodka theory.

vk , Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 78

@ Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 55

Just to clarify: Russia has already officially stated (many years ago) that it doesn't want any other piece of the Ukraine (i.e. any other piece beyond Crimea). It wants the Ukraine to survive in the form of a federalized State with the DPR and LPR enjoying high levels of autonomy (a la Spain).

Ukraine is not profitable to Russia. It would drain its coffers were it to have to conquer and absorb it entirely.

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, and they gave it some relief from its chronic negative population problem - all of that without having to advance one inch over continental Ukraine.

michaelj72 , Apr 11 2021 1:39 utc | 79

Germany vetoed any more provocations by the US or nato against the Donbass/Crimea that would clearly call in massive Russian support. Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation; an end of that part of the story - and there are several hundred thousand people in the Donbass that now have Russian passports. Russia won't stand for any of it. No matter how much the dumb Ukrainians or the lackey Poles or their US/nato masters huff and puff and bellow.....

it is also not in the slightest German interests for a war to break out right in the middle of Europe that might escalate into a nuclear confrontation, nor is it in their national interest to lose the Nord Stream 2 project... at all.

I don't know about France's position in all this but either France or Germany could/would exercise veto over any nato troops/intervention in the Ukraine.

time to return to the Minsk agreements. in spite of the incredible stupidity of the US foreign policy Establishment and those jackass war-mongers Blinken, Nuland and Austin et. al.

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 2:17 utc | 81

Do you really expect the Amerikastani Empire's puppet Ukranazi coup regime to say "we will attack"? Instead it will attack and then claim Russia attacked it. Just like Hitler's Gleiwitz radio station false flag attack that started WWII.

Lozion , Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 82

Zelensky in Istanbul. Erdogan to refuse to recognize Crimea as Russian territory..
Saw a tweet today saying something along the lines of Russia preventing flights to Turkey this summer for "Covid" reasons, read between the lines..

https://sputniknews.com/world/202104101082593169-erdogan-zelensky-confirm-strategic-partnership-between-turkey-and-ukraine-after-istanbul-meeting/

Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77

This is rather sketchily related to reality.

1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.

2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.

Cesare , Apr 11 2021 2:29 utc | 84

It's been made clear that a Ukrainian attack on the D & L republics would be met with a direct Russian intervention into the conflict and likely would result in the loss of the whole of the disputed oblasts to the separatist republics. Russia has no intention of eliminating Ukraine or occupying Kyiv, but that kind of defeat in the east would spell the end of what political stability remains in Ukraine and likely lead to a new Maidan against Zelensky and possibly further secessions. That's the real downside of this for Russia. Ukraine is threatening to immolate itself as a form of brinksmanship.

Failing that death wish, only if Moscow somehow agrees to stay out of the war does this have the remotest possibility of achieving what the Kyiv government needs. Otherwise it will not attack.

psychohistorian , Apr 11 2021 2:31 utc | 85
@ Lozion | Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 81 with the link about the Ukraine/Turkey meeting today..thanks

Interesting position by Erdogan and I would think it would effect Turkey's purchase of Russian defense equipment but who knows where the complexity balance resides in the ME.

Lots of tinder just waiting for a spark to point the blame at for world conflagration. I will believe this situation is cooling when I read about the US ships turning around and not going into the Black Sea.

Virgile , Apr 11 2021 2:56 utc | 86
Erdoğan has several goals in Ukraine. Show Russia that he is strong and important for Russia as he has influence on Ukraine. Show the USA that he is an active participant of NATo. Sell his military drones to whoever wants them as well as other turkish products.
He appears as a king maker and gets business and approval from russia,the EU and the Usa to avoid a war. A very successful move needed to rehabilitate Erdoğan seriously in trouble with both the usa and the EU...
jayc , Apr 11 2021 3:18 utc | 87

The western press is portraying the events of the past few weeks as representing an unmotivated unilateral Russian troop buildup.

Canada's Globe and Mail yet again deliberately deceives its readers with omission-plagued reporting which the author must know is wrong. This includes describing the Minsk agreements as "the Kremlin's version of how to make peace" which are being utilized in an "enforcement operation" featuring a "coercive use of force" meant to "induce Kyiv, Berlin and Paris" to accept "Moscow's terms." Awful reporting by any objective measure.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-ukrainian-commander-sees-parallels-with-2014-as-russian-military-build/

Meanwhile, a Heritage Foundation flunky describes "spontaneous" Russian deployments designed to "keep Ukraine out of organizations such as the EU or NATO".

Russia should be opposed because: "Modern Ukraine represents the idea in Europe that each country has the sovereign ability to determine its own path, to decide with whom it has relations, and how and by whom it is governed."
https://www.arabnews.com/node/1840341

Both reporters make the same observation in opening paragraphs, supporting the notion that these pieces are derived from a distributed script or collection of talking points:

1) "For weeks, Russian social media accounts have been flooded with videos showing long convoys of tanks, troop trucks and artillery pieces "

2) "Dozens of videos in social media posts show hundreds of Russian tanks and armored vehicles pouring into the region."

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 12:10 utc | 119

I have a feeling, it's only a feeling right now, that the looted black hole that's Ukranazistan after 7 years of "freedom " is such a drain that the EUNATO gangsters behind the Maidan would love to palm the ruins off to Russia. "Here, you broke it, you own it."

Lozion , Apr 12 2021 1:30 utc | 140

Saker's latest from Martyanov is a must-read. One can imagine Milley's reaction to Gerasimov's little reminder of what awaits any invading force..

psychohistorian , Apr 12 2021 4:49 utc | 143

Below is the latest I have read about Ukraine

"
MOSCOW, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Russia does not seek a war with Ukraine but is concerned for the Russian-speaking population in the country's eastern Donbass region, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday.

"No one is going to move towards a war, and no one at all accepts any possibility of such a war," Peskov told a Russian TV program.

"Russia has never been a party to this conflict (between Kiev and insurgents in Donbass). But Russia has always said that it will not remain indifferent to the fate of Russian speakers who live in the southeast of Ukraine," he added.

According to the spokesman, Kiev refuses to fulfill its responsibilities under the Minsk agreements on a Donbass settlement, with government forces intensifying "provocative actions" in the region.

Russia, Germany and France are "bewildered" by Kiev's recent claims that the Minsk agreements are useless, Peskov said, adding that there are no alternatives to the pacts for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Political advisers of the Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders are working towards holding a summit on eastern Ukraine, he said.
"

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 8:14 utc | 144

Skiffer #122

but I do see this situation more as having put the Maidan-coalition on the back-foot and having to disentangle themselves, rather than a carefully pre-planned and coordinated operation.

Thank you and I humourously appreciated your allusions to the asylum that has captured Ukraine. The Maidan Murder Coalition has discovered its karma that was always lying in wait. These villainous rsoles will seriously collapse under the weight of it all, particularly the sniper trick shooters on the Maidan crowds.

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 8:44 utc | 145

Lozion #140

Thank you. Martyanov is direct and unambiguous in the main. I take it that this was the item at the Vineyard of the Saker you cited?

I loved this line: "Everyone can recall a wide-spread (spread most likely by some overly zealous, but not very literate, Russian "patriots") rumor about DDG-75 USS Donald Cook having her electronics "burned" by a couple of intrepid Russian Su-24s in April of 2014, who allegedly forced this American ship to fast return to Constanta, where, allegedly some of her crew expressed a desire to abandon the ship. NYT and other US media, not without justification, called those rumors to be Russian "propaganda". They have a point."

Tuyzentfloot , Apr 12 2021 9:20 utc | 147

Which seems as good a moment as any to plug my new product (!!). Since that picture of Col. Brittany visiting Donbass in uniform of 72th mechanized division with a prominent skull badge reminded me so of the sketch 'Are we the Baddies' it is time to market my new velcro badges with rainbows and BLM logos. Stick them anywhere to show you're part of the right camp! If you shoulder badges may offend leftist softies, just stick these badges on top of them for the perfect photo op! HTS already ordered a large batch. Now 20% off and buy two get one free!

Tuyzentfloot , Apr 12 2021 9:41 utc | 148

Turkey wants to build on its successes in Nagorno Karabach to sell its weapon systems to Ukraine. Whether they also explicitly wish the conflict to explode is less clear.

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 10:11 utc | 149

Tuyzentfloot #148

Turkey was not alone in Azerbaijan. Its mate Israel was supplying toys and tricks as well as I recall.

Bemildred , Apr 12 2021 11:26 utc | 150

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 12 2021 9:41 utc | 148

Erdogan needs money, cash. The same seems to be true of most if not all Western politicians. But some, like Erdogan and Bibi, need lots of money.

Putin on the other hand, does not need cash. He has a healthy fiat currency at his disposal and sells a lot of food, oil, lumber, weapons etc. internationally.

I don't think Ukraine is going to be a good source of cash for Erdogan, or Bibi. They need a lot of cash too.

Stonebird , Apr 12 2021 12:47 utc | 151

So there is a massive build-up on both sides in Ukraine? ( The following comment was provoked by info from a tweet that the Ukrainians have "found" a secret plan by the Kremlin for a union with Donbas .. unconfirmed )

What if......?
... The Russians and the Dondbas/Luhansk actually DO declare a union with Russia? There is no "need" for the Russians to physically "invade" the area. They can just sit there and wait for the Ukrainians to do something. Then IF Zelensky decides, it is he who has to "start" the conflict. As a plan it is the perfect reversal of the usual Russian "aggression".

Zelensky's bluff called?

A "union" is just another way of saying "it is ours EVEN IF the title is nominally someone elses, stuff you".

The massive forces on the "frontlines" are there to remind the Ukes and their backers what "might" happen, IF they "invade" Donbas/Luhansk. What can they do about it? Make rude noises in the background?

The US, Israel and Turkey are all examples of one country simply "taking over" parts of another country - without any legality whatsoever. US in NE Syria, Turkey with it's advance of 32km all along a new frontline, with a wall between itself and Syria. Israel with the Golan. None of them have the slightest legal reason to be there. (Chinese claim the Spratleys, which is a legal fig-leaf).

Lateral thinking by Putin? Would he even need a legal fig-leaf?

Bemildred , Apr 12 2021 14:26 utc | 152

What if......?
... The Russians and the Dondbas/Luhansk actually DO declare a union with Russia?

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 12 2021 12:47 utc | 151

It is an interesting idea, and I would not want to say it will not happen, but it seems un-Putin-like to me based on past performance. He's been very comfortable with frozen conflicts in the past. And I think he probably still wants Ukraine as a buffer, friendly but not Russia, and to keep it whole minus Crimea.

Stonebird , Apr 12 2021 16:45 utc | 155

Bemildred | Apr 12 2021 14:26 utc | 152

This way he would still "keep" Ukraine on a tether, and avoid being accused of aggression.

OK, it may go that way but the silence (from Putin) and the refusal of the Russians to give more than vague reasons for their actions, does mean that the west's MSM have nothing to froth at the mouth about- Let Zelensky stew in his own juice.

As well as the regular Army and volunteers, He is going to end up with seven thousand ex-jihadists employees, multiple "mercenaries" from the US and the other parts of the world, orders for Drones, arms etc. BUT he is losing $3 billion revenue from gas (the transit of which has been "slowing down") since the 1st April. I don't know what he has contracted to supply to those futher along the pipeline. Plus the debts to the WB and IMF.

So how long can he keep up the expense of having a standing army of 105'000 or more at the ready?

The Russians can wait them out. If they just don't "talk" or give any PR leeway to the west, then with the attention span of the goldfish in the EU and US citizens, it will drop once again from view. (20 seconds for a goldfish otherwise they would get bored going round and round in a bowl ?)

karlof1 , Apr 12 2021 18:07 utc | 156

Diesen in his book, Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia , provides the rationale for the Outlaw US Empire's actions in Ukraine, that are actually aimed at NATO members, which it fears will be enticed by Russia and fracture the alliance:

"This susceptibility to outside sabotage of regional unity [NATO] can be mitigated by centralizing power by, for example, instigating more overt military tensions to strengthen alliance unity." [Pg. 22]

This also serves to provide additional energy to the Russophobic Narrative and the unfounded rationale for anti-Russian sanctions. The Empire must at all costs continue NATO's viability for that ensures the Empire's geoeconomic and geopolitical control of the EU. The same is true in East Asia where the anti-China narrative must be continued to keep Japan and South Korea under the Empire's thumb, although South Korea is slowly slipping away.

[Apr 14, 2021] Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget

Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77

This is rather sketchily related to reality.

1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.

2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.

[Apr 09, 2021] Can Ukrainian forces capture Donbass without heavy losses?

Apr 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

Aaron Hilel , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:58 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

@AH14 t turns tail (as usual).

NATO commissars chase Ukrainian conscripts into RU artillery and machinegun fire until they lose control over their units, which immediately flee the battlefield (as usual).
If V.V. Putin feels merciful, there's no Buratino rocket barrages on troop concentration points, as happened during Ilovaisk debacle.

Now, hopefully NATO will puff up and use their vaunted Israeli drones during the attack, so RU can study the remains.
You never, ever attack entrenched, prepared and boresighted Russians in tank country, without air superiority, because if you do you get Kursk.
In the best case.

In worst, and most probable case, NATO will get another Saur Mogila disaster.

Schuetze , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:16 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Rurik

Yes, Russia could have some aces hidden up their sleeve. So could the US. So could Nato. So could even Ukraine...

Alfred , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:39 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Zarathustra urriculum. The Russians must stop protecting the Jews who control the narrative everywhere. Jews must no longer control more than 10% of the media. They are only 1-2% of the population.

Like the Jews, Galician Ukrainians are always victims. What they did to the Poles during the German occupation is forgotten.

Ukrainians deported from Poland in 1944 recall mass killings, explain paths to historical reconciliation

Desert Fox , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:45 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

The zionists are in control in the Ukraine and if they start a war with Russia the Ukraine is going to be destroyed, Russia has warned Ukraine over and over but being the typical zionists that they are, they will accept nothing but destruction and bloodshed as long as it is someone elses blood and destruction.

The zionists have destroyed Iraq and Syria and Libya and Yemen and America.

Avery , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:31 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@alwayswrite ous Regions/Republics had the legal right to secede from the given SSR they were attached to. Furthermore, once USSR dissolved, any legal basis for a given (former) SSR to have sway on the given Autonomous Soviet Republic ended.

In fact most of original Ukraine was artificially "fattened up" by various Russian and Soviet leaders.
[Territories Annexed to Ukraine]
https://external-preview.redd.it/Ac69B2pvCGyFG9VcPAlyC-7dqI5V3h33vqf2URyOvGo.jpg?width=927&height=485.340314136&auto=webp&s=063b7385b544833a187844f9e198422

Herald , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:34 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@Miro23 Germans are surely going to become tired of all this CIA/Neo-con BS.

Merkel and Macron know just what the US is playing at. If the Ukraine does get the deserved thrashing, that it is literally begging for, then of course there will be German and French knee jerk condemnations along with the ritual imposition of token sanctions. However this dangerous episode, will likely harden the resolve of both countries to escape the grip of the flailing hegemon, which is now in its death throes. So perhaps in the slightly longer term, the whole episode will backfire on the US and big time at that.

Russia might feel that war in Ukraine is inevitable and perhaps it would be better now, rather than later.

Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:51 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@Levtraro ganovich, henchman to Stalin, but with an agenda of his own, had his troops and secret-police agents seize essentially ALL the food stocks from perhaps 2 million peasant families, resulting in death by starvation for multi-millions.

Thirdly, the heaviest battles in the Second World War were mostly fought in Ukraine. Again, the death totals of the civilian population were huge. The land was ravaged. Essentially the entire population were deeply traumatized.

Consequently one should not wonder that to the average Russian Ukrainians appear to be dazed and dumbed-down. So next time you see your Russian friends, kindly remind them that their brethren to the south and west should be regarded and treated with considerable compassion.

Ukraine Tiger , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:14 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Majority of One

Good comment. Basically what I have been saying since Maidan. I understand why it has not happened but the time has definitely come. I think the demarcation would be Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaev and then north along the Dnipro including Khortiskia and up to East Sumy. I know it sounds warmongerish but I hope this happens. Get this shit over with. There is so much happening in this country that discriminates against ethnic Russians more each day.

EugeneGur , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:15 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Quartermaster s military is nothing like they were in '14.

No, it isn't; it's worse. The Ukrainian army suffers huge non-combat losses every day: accidents from drinking or narcotics, desertion, suicides. Their commanders are incompetent and super-dumb as well as first-rate scumbags.

They well remember the Russian reconquest after the revolution and Holodomor.

That they do not remember, for that never happened, at least, not as described. What they do remember, however, are the caldrons in 2014-2015 and their horrendous losses.

Ukraine will not be easily swallowed again.

If anyone cared to swallow it, it would be. Alfred Muscaria , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:17 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago

@Quartermaster

"They well remember the Russian reconquest after the revolution and Holodomor. Ukraine will not be easily swallowed again."

Ummmmm . it would appear that the grandchildren of the architects of the Holodomor are the ones currently in power in Ukraine. Pretty amazing level of cucking and submission if you ask me.

canspeccy , says: Website April 8, 2021 at 4:18 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago

Did no one think of letting the people of each Ukrainian oblast decide for themselves to which country they wished to belong?

Oh, but wait a minute, that's what those Russian bastards did in Crimea.

So sure, WWIII, bring it on, if that's what it takes to restore Crimea to the rule of the legitimate kleptocrats in Kiev.

Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:46 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Levtraro vernment of Ukraine and that the current regime is nothing more than a puppet state which does NOT represent the best interests of the Ukrainian people and particularly of those particularly Russian speaking folks in Crimea and the Donbass region.

The illegitimate regime in Kiev is almost entirely Khazarian Talmudist dominated and in cahoots with the fascistic Uniates in Galicia. That group should be entirely divorced from any future Ukrainian state as their history has a long involvement with Western Roman Catholic cultures and consequently is an alien entity within the body politick of Ukraine, Belarus or Russia. Let them go their own way and not infect their neighbors to the south and east with their culturally indigestible attitudes.

[Apr 09, 2021] Turkey Confirms 2 US Warships To Enter Black Sea As Ukraine Posturing Grows - ZeroHedge

Apr 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Turkey Confirms 2 US Warships To Enter Black Sea As Ukraine Posturing Grows BY TYLER DURDEN FRIDAY, APR 09, 2021 - 10:29 AM

Turkey's foreign ministry on Friday confirmed that it's granted permission for US warships to use the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to enter the Black Sea at a moment tensions with Russia over Ukraine are spiraling higher with tit-for-tat threats. Given it revealed the initial notification was two weeks ago, a pair of American warships are expected imminently to enter the Black Sea .

The foreign ministry said in a statement while referencing the treaty that regulates passage through the straits: "A notice was sent to us 15 days ago via diplomatic channels that two U.S. warships would pass to the Black Sea in line with the Montreux Convention. The ships will remain in the Black Sea until May 4. "

Typically the US gives 14-days notice prior to sending warships into the Black Sea, according to the long established treaty with Turkey regarding use of the Bosporus to enter the waters.

And Reuters notes the significance of the timing as follows : "The United States has informed Turkey that two of its warships will pass through Turkish straits to be deployed in the Black Sea until May 4, Ankara said on Friday, as Russia has bulked up its military forces on Ukraine's eastern border."

Late Thursday an unnamed US defense official had told CNN the warships would be deployed "in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine ," and further the deployment would "send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching," according to the report .

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1380513089393680386&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fturkey-confirms-2-us-warships-enter-black-sea-ukraine-russia-posturing-grows&sessionId=c8517f7904d99c6821557864c562f8ab372026a0&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1ead0c7%3A1617660954974&width=550px

Importantly, all of this comes just days after Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky personally urged NATO to immediately expand its Black Sea presence. He had said in a phone call with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, "Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia , which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping," the president's press service indicated in a readout.

Zelensky had also traveled to the site of frontline renewed fighting in the Donbas region on Thursday in a show of support to Ukrainian national forces who are clashing with Russia-backed separatists.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1380409336212680705&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fturkey-confirms-2-us-warships-enter-black-sea-ukraine-russia-posturing-grows&sessionId=c8517f7904d99c6821557864c562f8ab372026a0&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1ead0c7%3A1617660954974&width=550px

While American vessels have long operated in the Black Sea, even semi-regularly conducting drills there, this time the US ships are being sent there specifically as a "warning" to Moscow .

But Russia's Defense Ministry on Thursday announced naval maneuvers of its own, confirming that it's moving more than 10 navy vessels from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea in order to conduct naval exercises.

With the rival naval build-up on the Kremlin and Ukraine's doorstep, and with the mutual amassing of troops on either side of the border... what could go wrong?


Bdubs 49 minutes ago

And Trump was the bloodthirsty war monger?

Is there ANYTHING the left disparages the right for that is not a psychological projection?

These f-ers need therapy.

Misesmissesme 1 hour ago (Edited)

Man, we're doing everything we can to turn Ukraine into Poland circa 1939.

Maybe we can find an Archduke to assassinate so we can turn the clock all the way back to 1914.

USAllDay 1 hour ago remove link

Joe sent his kid to Ukraine to blow lines. He'll send yours to blow up.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 1 hour ago

No nato troops will ever set foot in Ukraine. They're trying to pressure Russia into doing something so they can force the Germans to stop nordstream. The Ukrainians can't win here and they're being used. Not good.

BeePee 1 hour ago

There were NATO advisors in Ukraine. Even that should be stopped.

Selling arms to Ukraine, most likely will continue. That's what companies do.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 58 minutes ago

The Ukrainians are being pushed to make a move against Donbass and even Crimea. It is a poor country buying expensive weapons, doesn't end well.

[Apr 07, 2021] Escalation in Donbass might well be about blocking North Stream 2

Highly recommended!
Apr 07, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

LIKBEZ 04/03/2021 at 3:04 pm

> Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine, much as their leaders and press seem to lose sleep endlessly over it.

This is about blocking North Stream 2. Ukrainian government is a puppet in a bigger geopolitical game and will do what they are told to do.

If they were ordered to invade Donbass Russia might intervene. I think Russia movement of troupes was a pre-preemptive move to block a joint plan of the USA and some Eastern(Poland) and Western European states to create a crisis and bury North Stream 2 by the attempt to retake the territory by force (Georgian scenario).

While writing resolutions in which they essentially declare war on Russia (retaking Crimea by force as a new Ukrainian government policy) Ukrainian government clearly understands that any significant military move in Donbass might be the end of Ukraine as we know it. So they are afraid to do anything without strong Western support, including military. That's why Biden administration made a statement about the support of Ukrainian sovereignty and, at the same time, probably pushing Ukrainians to make a move in Donbass.

There are two parts of Ukraine with different history and affiliations: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.

The regime in Kiev represents Western Ukrainian nationalism and it is/was to a certain degree resented in Eastern Ukraine (where manufacturing is concentrated) as provincial, incompetent and corrupt. It is controlled by a handful of oligarchs -- a classic neoliberal oligarchic republic so to speak.

That does not mean that Eastern Ukraine would welcome Russians now (after seven years of anti-Russian propaganda by the government), but please do not write about things you have no clue: in 2014 the situation was different with several uprisings against Provisional government in Eastern Ukraine.

IMHO it was Putin's decision to limit Russia role that led to the current situation. As far as I know the only large city which supported Provisional government in the East in 2014 was Dnepropetrovsk ( the home town of oligarch Kolomoyskyi, and nationalistic politicians Kuchma and Tymoshenko.)

IMHO Putin has the ability to occupy all Eastern Ukraine without a single shot and establish separate "Eastern Ukrainian republic" government. But he decided not to do as the it would result in crushing Western sanctions (which was Washington's policy from the very beginning (google Nulangate); and that's why 2014 EuroMaidan putsch was organized and financed by the USA with Poland, Germany and Sweden in supporting roles).

Add to this the necessary to feed pensioners (mentioned above) and the amount of money necessary to resurrect the manufacturing which would compete with Russian's own. Which Russia probably could not afford at the time. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 4:44 am

Putin just went shit scared into his basement with a bottle of vodka on seeing this photo of defense ministers of some NATO members . 🙂
https://media.gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/070/421/209/original/be1c4bc547657d60.jpeg REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED LIKBEZ IGNORED 04/03/2021 at 3:04 pm

> Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine, much as their leaders and press seem to lose sleep endlessly over it.

This is about blocking North Stream 2. Ukrainian government is a puppet in a bigger geopolitical game and will do what they are told to do.

If they were ordered to invade Donbass Russia might intervene. I think Russia movement of troupes was a pre-preemptive move to block a joint plan of the USA and some Eastern(Poland) and Western European states to create a crisis and bury North Stream 2 by the attempt to retake the territory by force (Georgian scenario).

While writing resolutions in which they essentially declare war on Russia (retaking Crimea by force as a new Ukrainian government policy) Ukrainian government clearly understands that any significant military move in Donbass might be the end of Ukraine as we know it. So they are afraid to do anything without strong Western support, including military. That's why Biden administration made a statement about the support of Ukrainian sovereignty and, at the same time, probably pushing Ukrainians to make a move in Donbass.

There are two parts of Ukraine with different history and affiliations: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.

The regime in Kiev represents Western Ukrainian nationalism and it is/was to a certain degree resented in Eastern Ukraine (where manufacturing is concentrated) as provincial, incompetent and corrupt. It is controlled by a handful of oligarchs -- a classic neoliberal oligarchic republic so to speak.

That does not mean that Eastern Ukraine would welcome Russians now (after seven years of anti-Russian propaganda by the government), but please do not write about things you have no clue: in 2014 the situation was different with several uprisings against Provisional government in Eastern Ukraine.

IMHO it was Putin's decision to limit Russia role that led to the current situation. As far as I know the only large city which supported Provisional government in the East in 2014 was Dnepropetrovsk ( the home town of oligarch Kolomoyskyi, and nationalistic politicians Kuchma and Tymoshenko.)

IMHO Putin has the ability to occupy all Eastern Ukraine without a single shot and establish separate "Eastern Ukrainian republic" government. But he decided not to do as the it would result in crushing Western sanctions (which was Washington's policy from the very beginning (google Nulangate); and that's why 2014 EuroMaidan putsch was organized and financed by the USA with Poland, Germany and Sweden in supporting roles).

Add to this the necessary to feed pensioners (mentioned above) and the amount of money necessary to resurrect the manufacturing which would compete with Russian's own. Which Russia probably could not afford at the time. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 4:44 am

Putin just went shit scared into his basement with a bottle of vodka on seeing this photo of defense ministers of some NATO members . 🙂
https://media.gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/070/421/209/original/be1c4bc547657d60.jpeg REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 2:15 pm

I would run scared too ;-). They probably have a deep sense of inferiority and as such are extremely dangerous.

04/04/2021 at 2:15 pm

I would run scared too ;-). They probably have a deep sense of inferiority and as such are extremely dangerous.

[Apr 07, 2021] Paris-Berlin Oppose Ukrainian Offensive, Call on Kiev to De-Escalate

Apr 07, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Norwegian , Apr 5 2021 17:12 utc | 30

Alexander Mercouris
Paris-Berlin Oppose Ukrainian Offensive, Call on Kiev to De-Escalate

[Apr 02, 2021] The US wants to stop Nordstream 2 and roping NATO into a war situation with NATO would make it almost impossible to continue

Military actions might be suicidal for Ukraine. But this exactly what the USA wants in order to achieve its geopolitical objectives.
The danger for Ukraine in Georgia war scenario.
Notable quotes:
"... Yesterday (Ist April) the Russians stopped sending Gas via Ukraine. ..."
"... A hot war in eastern Ukraine/Crimea appears unlikely. Ukraine no doubt perceives that such a conflict means almost certain defeat. Military defeat would likely raise existential issues for Ukraine and its leadership, given the present adverse economic conditions. The Ukrainian leadership has very little to gain by waging a war and has much to lose. ..."
"... Assuming the truth of reports of a Russian military buildup along its relevant borders, such a buildup appears to be more of a warning to Kiev - and to the U.S. - not to make any rash moves. ..."
Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Skuppers , Apr 2 2021 7:44 utc | 1

Cute /funny, but for me this points to the script that the "west" has laid out before hand: Washington has dialed up an attack by Ukraine, has been concentrating ukrop forces along the line of contact, and has kept its media muzzled, total media blackout, until the Russians respond. Then let loose with the media to make it appear that the Russians are threatening Ukraine. And per the 08/08/08 Georgia attack, if they push the button and attack donbass, and the Russians respond, blame it on Russian aggression. Russia attacks!! Russian aggression!! Who's to know it isn't so? They'll all be singing from the same hymn sheet. Not like in '08 when the EU was still semi autonomous. If Washington doesn't order an attack, then they can still point to Russia massing troops and score a propaganda victory as Russia is intimidating poor Ukraine. Russian aggression!! And "sell" more weapons to Ukraine and move more "advisors" in. The cost? Who cares? They'll just keep the printing press rolling.


powerandpeople , Apr 2 2021 7:58 utc | 2

April 1, 2021

"Vyacheslav Nikonov: ...How dangerous is the situation in Ukraine in light of the ongoing US arms deliveries, the decisions adopted in the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, and the statements made by the Ukrainian military, who are openly speaking about a war? Where do we stand on the Ukrainian front?

Sergey Lavrov: There is much speculation about the documents that the Rada passed and that President Zelensky signed. To what extent does this reflect real politics? Is it consistent with the objective of resolving President Zelensky's domestic problem of declining ratings?

I'm not sure what this is: a bluff or concrete plans.

According to the information published in the media, the military, for the most part, is aware of the damage that any action to unleash a hot conflict might bring.

I very much hope this will not be fomented by the politicians, who, in turn, will be fomented by the US-led West. ...

Like President Vladimir Putin said not long ago; but these words are still relevant, – those who try to unleash a new war in Donbass will destroy Ukraine. "

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4662534

Not much more to be said.

Stonebird , Apr 2 2021 8:19 utc | 3

Yesterday (Ist April) the Russians stopped sending Gas via Ukraine.

The day before Zelensky "invited" NATO into Ukraine for military exercises.
In the face of the amassing of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders, setting up joint exercises involving Ukraine Army and Allied forces, including joint air patrols with NATO aviation in Ukraine's airspace, will help stabilize the security situation in the region, Mashovets has told his counterpart.
UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/donbas-kyiv-invites-nato-to-hold-joint-military-drills-11374195.html
(Disclaimer; I don't know much about this site)

(The day before that there was a top level meeting of NATO "to discuss the situation in Ukraine, which might have provoked/told Zelnsky to do the former).

Talking of provocation; here is a "twit" showing a Polish, it looks like fishing vessel, ramming a supply ship to NordStream II pipe layers. Gangster warfare?
https://twitter.com/I30mki/status/1377821400325480451

Although b says that the "Russian threat" is overdone, this buildup is certainly part of the problem as the US wants NATO in Ukraine. Therefore the more the threat is hyped the more they can use it to "justify" changing the facts on the ground.

One side observation is that Biden is totally absent. This situation is being run by the US High Command (Milley et al) and others who always want moar war for the cash it brings in.
The US Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Chairman of the JCS, and National Security Advisor have all had phone calls with their Ukrainian counterparts over the past three days, and General Milley spoke with General Gerasimov.

powerandpeople , Apr 2 2021 8:30 utc | 4

Ukraine - and the West's - main problem with Russia over the Donbass is that Russia is NOT a party to the Minsk agreement. With both France and Germany, it is a guarantor.

The signatures on the Minsk document are that of Ukraine and the so-called republics.

Ukraine can create as many laws stating it is in an 'International armed conflict' with Russia as it likes, it does not alter the fact that no such conflict exists, nor has it been brought to the Security Council.

But the Minsk accord HAS been approved by the Security Council.

"On March 29, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) adopted a draft of so-called resolution on the situation in Donbass. It seems that there is noting new in such a document, however, it puts at stake Kiev's obligation on implementation of the Minsk Agreement...

Such a document is not the first to be adopted in Ukraine in the last years. However, this draft has a specific feature. It is for the first time that Ukrainian Rada adopted the draft statement, which says that the war in Eastern Ukraine is a Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

Previously, the phrase "aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine" was used in Kiev's official documents. Today, the war in Donbass was designated as an international armed conflict, that is, war.

Such a definition has significant juridical impact. This statement completely blocks Kiev's implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Paragraph 2 of the Package of Measures clearly defines that the parties to the conflict are Kiev on the one hand, Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic (LDPR) on the other.

Today the Ukrainian Parliament officially declared, at the highest level, that the parties to the conflict are Ukraine and Russia.

The resolution ensures the immediate forwarding of the text of this statement to the national governments and parliaments of foreign states, international organizations and their parliamentary assemblies."

https://southfront.org/kiev-builds-up-legal-conditions-to-justify-its-upcoming-aggression-in-donbass/

Dogon Priest , Apr 2 2021 9:39 utc | 5
A few more...
US general calls Ukrainian, Russian counterparts over reported Russian troop movements
https://americanmilitarynews.com/2021/03/us-general-calls-ukrainian-russian-counterparts-over-reported-russian-troop-movements/

Russian Armor Floods Toward Border With Ukraine Amid Fears Of An "Imminent Crisis"
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40016/russian-armor-floods-toward-border-with-ukraine-amid-fears-of-an-imminent-crisis

PJB , Apr 2 2021 9:41 utc | 6
The propaganda may never change but that doesn't mean the events can't be different this time. There's video of large amounts of heavy weapons heading to the border.

A few weeks ago the US sent 350 tonnes of armoured humvees etc to Odessa. Then On 23rd March video shows Ukraine sending trainloads of tanks etc. On 24th March Kiev passed a decree claiming a right to retake Crimea. It's always said so but this seemed to really ratchet up the rhetoric as it virtually commits the government to trying to retake Crimea by force.

Several videos from 29th March show different Russian trains with scores of tanks etc heading across the Kerch bridge to Crimea, and to the Donbas border. Plus other videos of numerous helicopters & endlessly long lines of tanks & armoured vehicles on roads as well.

This is a buildup not seen since the hit war days of 2014.

Meanwhile a NATO Fleet enters the Black Sea for exercises with Ukraine.

elephant , Apr 2 2021 9:44 utc | 7

A hot war in eastern Ukraine/Crimea appears unlikely. Ukraine no doubt perceives that such a conflict means almost certain defeat. Military defeat would likely raise existential issues for Ukraine and its leadership, given the present adverse economic conditions. The Ukrainian leadership has very little to gain by waging a war and has much to lose.

Assuming the truth of reports of a Russian military buildup along its relevant borders, such a buildup appears to be more of a warning to Kiev - and to the U.S. - not to make any rash moves.

True, there is a possibility of war. Hot heads in Kiev and Washington appear always to want war. But insofar as Washington is concerned, its domestic agenda presently appears to hold far greater sway than does a failing outpost on the periphery of Washington's influence.

At this juncture, then, the possibility of a significant conflict seems low by comparison.

MarkU , Apr 2 2021 10:14 utc | 9

@ elephant (7)

You are completely ignoring the overall picture. The US wants to stop Nordstream 2 and roping NATO into a war situation with NATO would make it almost impossible to continue. Already physical provocation is being used against the pipe-laying ships (see Stonebird's post (2))

Ghost Ship , Apr 2 2021 10:27 utc | 10
Personally I blame all this shit on the Nazi scum moved to the United States by Washington after World War 2 and "weaponised". Desperate to destroy Russia and no doubt keen to acquire Lebensraum, these Hitler fanboys and their handlers in Washington are doing everything they can to apply Hitler's racial beliefs to Russia and make them seem like others when Russians are as European as Hungarians, the British and the Irish and certainly more European than Americans, Canadians and Australians. This is to make war with Russia more acceptable among Europeans. Perhaps the Hitler fanboys in Washington need to work to improve their understand of the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2 .
As Field Marshall Montgomery (a decent but fallible and somewhat egotistical British general) said in 1959:
Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: "Do not march on Moscow". Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: "Do not go fighting with your land armies in China". It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives.

A few years later he repeated his Rules of War and even claimed ownership for himself:
The United States has broken the second rule of war. That is: don't go fighting with your land army on the mainland in Asia. Rule One is, don't march on Moscow. I developed those two rules myself.

They are rules that the Hitler Fanboys and "Lost China" morons in Washington should have tattooed on their foreheads along with a free prefrontal lobotomy.
BTW, who are the more civilised:
The use of the procedure increased dramatically from the early 1940s and into the 1950s; by 1951, almost 20,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States and proportionally more in the United Kingdom. The majority of lobotomies were performed on women; a 1951 study of American hospitals found nearly 60% of lobotomy patients were women; limited data shows 74% of lobotomies in Ontario from 1948–1952 were performed on women. From the 1950s onward, lobotomy began to be abandoned, first in the Soviet Union and Europe.
.
The idea of "weaponized immigration" in the sense of bringing in immigrant hostile to their source state and using them to overthrow their source state was applied by Washington and largely publicized by Yasha Levine.
johnf , Apr 2 2021 10:56 utc | 11
Ghostship

I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.

Piotr Berman , Apr 2 2021 11:12 utc | 12
As some of us are superannuated, it is good to know the views of younger generation . Top general of Ukraine addressed the deputies of Verkhovna Rada (parliament), declared readiness of Ukrainian army to attack with the aim of "re-integrating the temporarily not-under-control territories", but then he somberly added the perspective of huge civilian casualties, and then started to described Russian forces currently to the north, east and the south of Ukraine. That was taking some time, so Anna Kolesnik, at 26 one of the youngest deputies of the ruling party, texted "We are listening to Khomchak. We need to get out from this country."
Fran , Apr 2 2021 11:41 utc | 13

Looks like Zelensky signed a document or Decree No. 117/2021 the other day, to recapture the Donbas and Crimea which could also be seen as a declaration of war towards Russia, more in the link below:

As Russian Tanks Move Toward Ukraine, The Globe Braces For World War 3

I expected for something to happen in the Ukraine once Biden become President, but I am surprised by the speed.

PJB , Apr 2 2021 11:43 utc | 14

Look at the videos of massive troop build ups. Also the conscription in both the Donbas republics & Ukraine Donetsk & Lugansk militia veterans of 2014/15 returning from Russia to region.

To say nothing is going to happen this time seems wishful thinking.

https://mobile.twitter.com/colonelhomsi

https://mobile.twitter.com/ASBMilitary

Jen , Apr 2 2021 12:25 utc | 15

Of course US and European concern about Russian military build-up along Russia's borders with European nations serves a purpose: justifying even more NATO military build-up along the other side of the Russian border which in turn generates profit for US, British and EU arms corporations and their shareholders in the banking and finance industries (and politics as well), and helps NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg to think he is important.

Several nations that have borders with Russia probably need the money that NATO soldiers might spend (mostly on entertainment like watching pole-dancing performers) while stationed on their territories. Latvia and Lithuania among others haven't done too well since joining the EU with something like 18 - 20% of their people living in poverty and many families dependent on remittances sent by their relatives working overseas. Instead of their resident Russian-speaking population being a bridge between their economies and the Russian economy, these countries prefer to deny their Russian-speaking minorities social welfare benefits and the right to vote, unless they can speak and read their host nations' languages at postgraduate level, and to harass them in various petty ways.

As for Ukraine, the Zelensky govt has its work cut out trying to get Crimea back so the US military can take over the base at Sevastopol and turn the Black Sea into a US lake, and to clear out the Donbass region of those pesky Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and make it secure for oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation. The Bidens depend on Zelensky to get those oil and natural gas resources so they can get their cut.

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 12:29 utc | 16

Anna Kolesnik, cited by Piotr Berman @ 12 has it exactly. The emigres are already arriving. Ukraine is and has been entirely a failed state. The Uke army is a joke. So they have a new boatload of Humvees. Probably already sold. Humvees were going to stop T72 and up. Right. High probability Ukraine simply vanishes, local residents invite stability and the Russian army.

The normalcy bias expressed by host and commenters is extreme. Start believing in defeat. Defeat is going to change your outlook.

imo , Apr 2 2021 12:40 utc | 17

Decree No. 117/2021


Translation etc here as-russian-tanks-move-toward-ukraine --

Also on ZH


"So what made the Russians suddenly move a massive invasion force toward Ukraine?
Well, it turns out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky essentially signed a declaration of war against Russia on March 24th. The document that he signed is known as Decree No. 117/2021, and you won't read anything about it in the corporate media.

I really had to dig to find Decree No. 117/2021, but eventually I found it. I took several of the paragraphs at the beginning of the document and I ran them through Google translate

In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:
1. To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 "On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" (attached).

2. To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).

3. Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

4. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication
.
President of Ukraine V.ZELENSKY
March 24, 2021


Basically, this decree makes it the official policy of the government of Ukraine to retake Crimea from Russia. Of course the Russians will never hand over Crimea willingly because they consider it to be Russian territory, and so Ukraine would have to take it by force."
abee , Apr 2 2021 13:29 utc | 19

Russia, France & Germany had a call on Tuesday 3/30 & they asked Putin to address the situation in Ukraine - Russia is doing them a favor....

"Russia to act resolutely to secure a cease-fire in the east that has been routinely violated."

https://apnews.com/article/europe-ukraine-angela-merkel-moscow-coronavirus-pandemic-665012871c56b339ebc262d1140c9d57

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

Librul @ 18

That was more than a week ago. See how much Ukraine has done about it so far? That is as much as they are able to do. Also quoted in #17 by imo, Mike Whitney/ZH "I really had to dig to find Decree 117"... That would be because you have been trained to look away. That decree was well reported, just not in the house organs of the idiots.

Martyanov has a new post up. Worth reading. He cites Michael Hudson on the overwhelming influence Russian Jews have had on US policy. I would add Polish Jews. Zbig Brezinski gets mentioned. Ever taken a look at his pamphlet, The Grand Chessboard? It has been required reading for all students at Thomas Pickering School (State Department) for a generation. Theme is Ukraine is center of universe. And this is because Zbig is a Polish aristocrat with lost family estate on outskirts of Lvov. Any fool knows emigre info is useless and emigre aristocrat most useless of all. Any in US policy establishment who should have known better were blinded by Russophobia. (Just a note, spellcheck on this box changed my spelling to 'Lviv' multiple times before allowing old spelling. The thought control is total.)

The deployed Russian forces are not about overwhelming the Uke army. It is an occupation force. They will be taking territory.

Don Harder , Apr 2 2021 13:46 utc | 21
I don't see mention of Ukrainian build up and increased aggression on the border of Donbass. That's why Russian troops are building up. They are posturing defensively. It's US-backed Zelensky that is taking the aggressive position here.
librul , Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22
@Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

Are you one of the fucks that voted for Biden?

And what does your last sentence mean? "They will be taking territory."

Piotr Berman , Apr 2 2021 14:13 utc | 23

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22

77 millions that voted for Biden are not all "f....s". Everyone has some priorities, imperfect choices etc.

That of course applies to countries, something that "responsible media" never considers, but this is not a good role model for us.

Russia has to rely on her resources, so defending them from military and/or financial takeover or even nuclear blackmail is a vital interest. While there are no perfect choices, they try to choose the better ones. And not leaving people who speak Russian to repressions and even massacres is another vital interest.

In the current situation, Russia clearly needs a deterrence for any possible blitzkrieg type of plan by Ukraine. But pre-emption would not be the best choice.

In turn, Ukrainian government/elite has to bet on a patron and at least make some appearance of diligently following what the patron wants. And for that, they need to raise/maintain tensions with Russia (and China? hard is our fate now that we are underlings).

J Swift , Apr 2 2021 15:03 utc | 27

I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.

Roger , Apr 2 2021 15:07 utc | 28

@22

The Dems and Republicans are two heads of the same hydra, voting for one or the other is a charade played on the American people and is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The US is a state run for the benefit of the economic elite that owns the media and from which the political elite is chosen/sponsored and which is aligned with the military elite. Presidents will come and go, policy pretty much stays the same, its the same as CEOs of corporations - if they don't follow profit maximization they will be booted out.

The US elites all went to the same schools (or military academy) where they were inculcated with "American Exceptionalism" and the need for "America to be the Global Policeman", ending up with mediocrities such as Blinken and Pompeo that thrash around as the world moves to multipolarity and the US becomes just another important nation. It will take at least decades for the US elite to get their heads around this, the British still haven't as seen by their wasting of resources on showy projects such as the two useless aircraft carriers (know as "targets" by submariners and missile batteries) to assuage its "size" envy.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 15:13 utc | 29
Granted I am just an armchair observer but I have been watching since before the Maidan coup. Something feels different this time, as if the positions of the players involved have changed somehow. I realize that the multipolar world has been incubating for some time now and that Russia, China et.al. have been waiting patiently for USA to collapse from exhaustion, but I rather doubt that it will do so with a wimper. There may come a time when the RF armed forces may opt to use a quick bone crushing response to say 'enough'. While this is never an great option to have to take due to potential reprecussions, it can sometimes be better than being slowly swallowed by the serpeant of Mission Creep.....
vk , Apr 2 2021 15:19 utc | 30
Russia's official position, as of today morning:

Kremlin says situation along engagement line in Donbass frightening

"Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive," Peskov said in reply to a question. "We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them."

Ukraine's economy is collapsing. Even the IMF (USA) is getting tired of giving it free money:

The IMF is in a panic: Ukraine has been doing without its money for ten months

Prospects for Ukraine this year to receive even the second tranche of the IMF under the $ 5 billion credit line, which Kiev agreed with the Fund last June, remain vague. Although according to the schedule, Ukraine should have already mastered the second and third tranches for a total of $ 1.35 billion and is about to receive the fourth tranche in the amount of $ 0.55 billion, in fact, the first June tranche of 2.1 billion is still the only one.

Commenting on this situation on television, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko said this week: "The IMF does not give money, because, unfortunately, as a country, we have crumpled up some obligations and must renew them."

[...]

So far, budget holes have been bridged by historically record borrowings in December last year (over $ 6 billion) and an increase in interest rates on domestic borrowings this year. But last year's reserves and domestic borrowing are insufficient either to cover the $ 9 billion budget deficit or to service the external public debt, which will cost at least $ 8.1 billion this year (excluding the cost of securing new loans).

The IMF, by the way, is not interested in getting its money back - they already knew the black hole they were entering into when the coup happened in 2014 - but in social engineering: the American Empire wants a brand new province:

According to the aforementioned Sergei Marchenko, the IMF puts forward five main conditions for returning to consideration of the issue of allocating the second tranche of the loan.

First , the Fund requires the restoration of liability, including criminal liability, for the declaration of false information by officials and other persons for whom such is provided in the framework of anti-corruption procedures. This type of responsibility was actually abolished by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) in October last year as part of the recognition of a number of provisions of the anti-corruption law as unconstitutional. Although almost the entire so-called anti-corruption infrastructure in a format imposed by the West contradicts the Constitution, the judges are concerned about this problem mainly because of the infringement of their rights. Since then, Zelenskiy has effectively blocked the work of the KSU, making a number of decisions that clearly go beyond his constitutional powers. And last December, the Verkhovna Radaeven restored responsibility for declaring inaccurate data. But within the framework of the struggle for control over the anti-corruption infrastructure, the "seven-embassy" (the ambassadors of the G7 countries) did not even think that responsibility had been restored.

Secondly , we are talking about the restoration of the so-called independence of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), that is, the accountability of the body to Western curators, their actual appointment and accountability of the head of NABU, etc. and imply the legal consolidation of the full control of the West over the entire anti-corruption infrastructure, which in its essence is a parallel structure of government in the state. After amending the law on NABU and recognizing as unconstitutional the appointment of Artem Sytnik, a protege of the West, by the head of NABU Zelenskiy never dared to fire him. But even such a manifestation of loyalty to the "seven-embassy" seemed not enough.

Thirdly , the Fund demands urgently to "reform" the High Council of Justice, that is, to transfer the judicial branch of power under the control of the West - by analogy with anti-corruption bodies. In this issue, Ukraine is showing the greatest resistance so far. Moreover, it comes both from the judges themselves and from representatives of other branches of government. For obvious reasons: the surrender of the judicial system will destroy even the miserable remnants of sovereignty, and most importantly, it will carry serious risks both for judges and for various top-level officials.

Fourth and fifth - issues of the gas market and the electricity market. In the context of these markets, the Fund is interested in the abolition of tariffs [n.t. - probably it means here "subsidies"] for the population with a corresponding increase in prices. The Ukrainian, let's say, elites just do not care about the problems of the population - that is why the refusal to regulate gas prices for the population last year became one of the first fulfilled requirements of the IMF. However, when winter came, gas prices skyrocketed and social protests broke out across the country , and gas price regulation had to be urgently returned. Of course, only for a while - first until April, now until May. But the Fund did not like this either: just the other day, the head of the IMF office in Ukraine, Jost Lyngman, called a return to gas price control in an ineffective way of subsidizing households. Exactly the same applies to electricity prices - the tariff for the population was raised in winter, but the Fund wants the regulated tariff to disappear altogether. The Ukrainian authorities are, of course, ready to meet the IMF halfway on these issues. But so that social protests do not completely reset her ratings.

The article also mentions that Ukraine effectively cannot borrow elsewhere in the "free market" because its bonds are rated "junk" (this we already knew, since it's been so for some years now) and that its "borrowing rates" (interest rates) are at 12% (bonds) and 6.5% (central bank's). In other words, Ukraine will disappear as a sovereign country, one way (outright loss of the Eastern regions, reduction to a impoverished para-Polish rump state) or the other (become a proto-colony of the USA a la Puerto Rico). My guess is Zelensky is calculating an all-out war to reconquer the richer eastern regions, followed by a triumphal accession to NATO, to be the only way out for Ukraine as a nation-state.

Prof , Apr 2 2021 15:27 utc | 31
If Ukraine attacks the eastern provinces, there will be a repeat of Georgia 2008. The Russian counter will be ferocious.

But Ukraine is just a puppet for America, which will use, abuse and even lose Ukraine for *other purposes*.

Those other purposes are fortifying European subordination to NATO, cancelling Nord Stream 2 and breaking any German and French rapprochement with Moscow. US hegemony is in fact conditional on a climate of hostility between Europe and Russia in general, and between Germany and Moscow in particular. Hence the need to provoke Germany to cancel NS2. The Navalny operation didn't work, and the sanctions didn't work either. So it's on to Plan C, which might sacrifice Ukraine for the greater project of US empire.

In the bigger picture, the strategy is to globalize NATO against China. This is the Biden regime's specific strategy of provoking minor conflicts to fortify alliances and bloc politics for taking on China and Russia. Ukraine is just disposable trash in this game.

elephant , Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

That Merkel and Macron just met with Putin is further evidence of the unlikeliness of war. Frau Merkel in particular has an interest in preventing a war because it is Germany who needs the Nordstream pipeline (to Washington's displeasure); the Russians can just as easily sell their natural gas to China if Nordstream falters. Thus the Germans are more likely to exert pressure on Ukraine to forebear than they are to let Ukraine loose the dogs of war.

juliania , Apr 2 2021 15:34 utc | 35

I agree with you, oldhippie @ 20. And thanks to b and other posters here who have kept us well apprised of the events in Ukraine as the buildup commenced on the Ukrainian side, supported by US munitions.

Actually, as far as I can understand it, if the Russians do enter Ukraine it will be at the behest of the Ukrainians themselves, just as it was in Crimea. They will be as supportive as possible of the Donbass, which is already back in the Russian Federation in every way except the formal declaration.

But Russia wants the country of Ukraine to remain whole. That's a big ask, but it surely must include all areas like Odessa in order to be viable as a member of the Federation. I don't know if that is possible yet, but rule by force has existed for so long under such duress there, that I do believe the entire civilian population would be happy to have this happen. And in will come the Russian aid, pouring in on tanks if need be, to a population weary of hardship.

Russia certainly doesn't want to be on a war footing with Ukraine, since it considers the citizenry to be its own people historically speaking, as Putin has said many times. It will not force the issue; it can be patient. But if its troops do enter, they will only do so if they are welcome; and I think that welcome mat is fast being woven, as fast as Penelopes in the Donbass can weave it. And as for the rest of Ukraine, plenty of Penelopes there as well.

It may not be Ukraine will enter the Federation immediately - there will have to be talks and so much restructuring politically speaking before that can happen. But if the hand of Russia is still extended in friendship to places like the US, it most certainly would be to a sane and peaceful Ukrainian government.

Let it be!

Petri Krohn , Apr 2 2021 15:35 utc | 36

This time the buildup is very real. But NATO has no reason to be "concerned", as it is they who have the initiative. Russia will only move in response to a Ukrainian attack on Donbass. Ukraine will only attack after it gets approval or direct orders from Washington.

Work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is progressing fast. I estimate that pipelaying may be finished by the end of May. To prevent it from happening, Ukraine has to attack in April. Rumors claim that the planned date of the attack is April 15, 2021. The problem on the Ukrainian side is that there is no sensible war plan, apart from attacking Donbass and then immediately withdrawing to defensive position on the western shore of the Dnieper River.

Christelle Néant from Donetsk published this on March 16th, citing Ukrainian sources.

IF RUSSIA INTERVENES, THE UKRAINIAN ARMY WILL HAVE TO ABANDON ITS OFFENSIVE IN THE DONBASS

In an enlightening article, the Ukrainian media outlet Strana revealed that not only is the Ukrainian army preparing for an offensive in the Donbass, but that there is an emergency plan to stop the attack if Russia were to send its own army in. This information is nothing less than a debunking of seven years of Ukrainian propaganda, which claims that Ukraine is fighting Russia in the Donbass.

The article is based on sources in the Ukrainian army and the Defence Ministry, and begins by questioning the reality of Kiev's preparation for an offensive against the Donbass.

Strana's sources on the front line confirm that there is no longer a ceasefire, nor a withdrawal of troops and equipment. The source even makes it clear that it was Ukraine that first violated this provision of the Minsk package of measures, and that the DPR and LPR (Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics) did so only afterwards, in response to the violation by the Ukrainian army.

...

BUT, because there is a but in this kind of rather too pretty plan, if Russia sends its army to intervene then the Ukrainian army will have to give up its offensive against the Donbass and withdraw.

"In this case, the AFU offensive will be stopped. With a high degree of probability, the troops will then have to withdraw, so as not to fall again into cauldrons," says the Strana source in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.

In other words, for the Ukrainian army's offensive in the Donbass to work, Russia must not intervene. The problem for Kiev is that Russia has no intention of letting several hundred thousand of its citizens die on its border without reacting. A problem that Strana's source is well aware of.

Duncan Idaho , Apr 2 2021 15:56 utc | 41

I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.

If it isn't, it should be.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 16:18 utc | 45

J.Swift#38
Nice riff on 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'!
Excellent take on the situation as it has unfolded. I agree with your observations re: a change in tone coming Russia and China in regard to their criticizms of the USA. It's likely that they have indeed run the numbers on both how much damage they can absorb and what their counter move would be as compare to the long drawn out decline that seems to be atking forever.

The line (or really one of the several) is when the USA get more directly involved and sustains losses at the hands of Russian forces. Nobody really wants to find out what happens when the The Darkness behind the might of the Pentagram has a hissy fit. The yapping dog might just beable to run the numbers itself and see the outcome as being very disadventageous to itself and it's minions. Who am I kidding, the USA doesn't care a whit about it's minions....

Norwegian , Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 55

@elephant | Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

I believe you are right. A war is unlikely, but with madmen in Washington you never know. Some of them would like to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

ADKC , Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 57

But, Russia is moving substantial troops and equipment to the Ukrainian border to deter the Kiev authorities from invading the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) - so this is real not a made-up story (it is not what 'normal' troop movements as the b's article implies). Russia is drawing a red line and it should be seen as such!

Russia's actions will probably be enough to dissuade Kiev but what have they got to lose? The Kiev regime is failing, its economy is in freefall, disaster beckons - a glorious military defeat might be considered preferable to inevitable social and economic collapse.

Kiev may also have well-founded belief that the US/West will be forced to support them militarily to keep the secrets of western involvement in the downng of MH17 out of Russian hands.

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 17:15 utc | 58

Thank you for all the compliments. I am not and will not be angry with librul for more than one moment, in the past. Same Biden/Trump barbs are tossed daily on a face to face basis. It has become how Americans are.

Ghostship does make some good points. Not theoretical to me. Here in Chicago FuhrerTag is still celebrated at many bars. Large group sings of Horst Wessex song occur for a variety of occasions. When at University of Illinois (70s) there was a sizable contingent of OUN children in the History Department. They freely Indulged in Sieg Heil and Slava Ukraina to greet each other publicly. There was also an Ustache contingent who did return to Croatia, not to fight but to govern. Shall we say that these groups were insane. Some did go to military careers.Some did go to State Department. Some did go to think tanks. If the subject is Russia clinical insanity is not a career impediment in America.

For two days I owned the Rainbow, Bugsy Siegel's old joint 1900 N. Damen. . That was Ukrainian Village. My money was refunded. The alternative was death. Yes, they put guns in my face. Yes, they could do that. No, I do not like these people.

None of us predicts future with any accuracy. Will keep pointing out that downsides for Russia will vanish with victory. They have a lot of choices in how they could construct that victory. Every choice US/NATO has available is nothing but a defeat.

Thomas Minnehan , Apr 2 2021 17:17 utc | 59

Oldhippie@20:

Thanks for that note.

It is a very important reminder as to how insane and mindless the neo con hatred is of Russia and Putin. It is indeed alarming that this rabid hatred controls the neo cons and what passes for us foreign policy. How can on expect rational policy when the people in charge are completely irrational.

Link to the article:
http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/04/they-neocons-may-have-anger-issues.html#disqus_thread

If nothing else, just note the quote in the article from Hudson-it is beyond alarming as to the description by hudson of the mindless and controlling irrationality of the neo cons in the dimo biden admin!

Copeland , Apr 2 2021 17:25 utc | 62

I watched a video by Alexander Mercouris China Warns Ukraine on Crimea Ties which shows how coordinated this present crisis may be, as Washington may be maneuvering its Ukrainian proxy into nationalizing a corporation there that manufactures a variety of turbine engines, built to power both warships and aircraft. Zelensky is applying pressure on both China and Russia at once. The Russians have overcome some manufacturing problems and have had to build up their own stocks of turbines for military use. Responding to Zelensky's seizure of their assets and investments in Ukraine, the Chinese have sent an economic mission that involves serious investments in Crimea .

A coordinated threat to the culturally Russian Donbas and Lugansk region and the nationalizing of Chinese assets will place China and Russia again on the same path in their diplomatic response. It would not be a surprise if China officially recognizes Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

ptb , Apr 2 2021 17:35 utc | 63

@59 etc

To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone - they embrace the role of paranoid imperialist because that's a relatively accessible way to get funded in the DC policy world. The striking thing is the hubris - they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them.

ADKC , Apr 2 2021 17:51 utc | 66

Just to add to my post @57.

Russia doesn't need "troops" to defend Donetz and Luhansk; Russian can destroy Ukrainian forces using stand-off weapons and then DNR and LNR forces can easily cope with what remains. Russian doesn't need forces to "occupy" Donetz and Luhansk because these areas will remain under the control of the republics. What Russia needs "troops" for is to advance and capture Kiev and this is what Russia's troop deployments threaten. If the conflict starts in Ukraine then Russia will demonstrate its ability to do whatever it wants in all areas of Ukraine; then Russia will withdraw and leave what is left for the West/EU and US to deal with.

Rationally, nothing will happen because Kiev will be deterred. But, many elements in the Kiev regime may desire war because they believe the West will (because they "have to") support them (or, as I already said, glorious defeat may seem preferable to the slow-burn collapse of their regime). The US/West may encourage Kiev because they are posturing for war and the plandemic is envisaged as the best time for such an event (I feel the likelihood of this is underestimated), or compelling a demonstration of Russian "aggression" may have overriding propaganda value (regardless of the outcome for the Kiev regime) for their own populations (everyone can really hate on Russia for the next 10 years - hate is a great unifier).

Kapusta , Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 74

All of this is to be expected after weeks and weeks of UAF buildup along the Donbass border. In fact, they've been shelling villages in the Donbass for some time now since they re-instigated aggression in February. Even today they were shelling the infamous Donetsk airport. On top of that you've got US aerial vehicles flying around the Black Sea right underneath Crimea and next to Krasnodar. Kiev's posturing has signaled their supposed willingness to attack the Donbass and attempt to retake Crimea, so Russia's reaction to protect Russian citizens would be entirely reasonable.

The defense ministers of Ukraine and the United States held their second conversation in a month and a half on the situation in Donbass. According to Andriy Taran, the Americans promised Kiev "support measures" in the event of a direct military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

The US will not come to the aid of Ukraine. That is a pipe dream, pun intended.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 75

@JohninMK et al:
On the surface this seems to be a continuation of the provocation game, which has been the tactic since the beginning. The Ukies are definitely upping the ante by threatening Crimea. I can only assume that they are deep into thinking wishfully that the USA will "come to rescue" when they poke the bear. But in both their cases I have to wonder: with WHAT? The Ukies dont have an effective army as demonstrated by mass defection and surrender last bout. Other than "punishment battallions" there do not seem to be many troops willing to fight. As for the USA, they are not shock troops, they are an occupation force. So then is it to be some sort aerial ballet of stand-off weapons over the skies of the Donbass??

As stated above, the Western MSM is going to shriek like flock of terrified Karens no matter what Russia does so they may as well earn it. My mind wanders over the demonstration of the Iskander in Syria most recently. Ten or so of those simultaneously in the right places would bring a Ukrops offensive to sudden halt if there were the will to do so.....

Per/Norway , Apr 2 2021 19:24 utc | 80

"Zelensky recent declaration of intent to interdict in Crimea"


doc

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 20:08 utc | 89

Zelensky is making de-escalation noises. Bit late for that. Should this all ratchet down it will be the end of Zelensky. Bear in mind he is there only because there is no one else. As an actor and a comedian he has been impersonating a President. He did that for the sitcom cameras and then he did it in real life.

It will also be the last time Ukraine ever pretends to field an army. Conscripts will make their way home somehow, they won't be played again. Heavy equipment and ammo will be auctioned off cheap to any who can arrange transport. Transport will be questionable, arms will be sold very cheap.

Ukraine army is heavily larded with mercs and Wahabi jihadis from all over the planet. Idiots could still start something big even if the "leadership" calls it off. Shelling has been happening all day up and down the line. Artillery is mostly mercs. Russia is holding fire so far, one shell chances to fall on a concentration of Russian troops and it is on.

Poles and other idiots could also blow this up. Way too many moving pieces and no one in charge, either in Kiev or Washington.

If this excitement just ends Ukraine will go from a comic opera government to no government at all. Russia will move in for humanitarian reasons. Western Ukraine will die or flood to Europe.

Stonebird , Apr 2 2021 20:16 utc | 90

I see we are back to the "fog of war".
There has been artillery/mortar fire around Horlivka and elsewhere. (50 shells) These mortar attacks were conducted by the 58th motorised rifle brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the areas of Avdeevka and Pervomaisky.
A Global Hawk is presumed to have flown over both Donetsk and Luhansk - various altitudes to test the Russian radars. This is the same type that was shot down by Iran. Maybe the US wants to order a few more replacements?
One vid that is supposed to show a train full of Tor systems of the 56 airborne has already been debunked as filmed a long way away on the other side of Russia, (The 56th do not have Tors)

It is clear that there is a definite push to provoke a Russian reaction. The threats about Crimea mean that any movement in that area will be taken seriously, as "several" high ranking Russian Generals have arrived there. Russian Generals lead from the front, not the back as do the UK or US versions. (see Syria)

It is the details that are showing that this will escalate (Burning houses and villages) and civilians in bunkers. I was going to show you the picture of an old man still in the firing area, because he has nowhere else to go . Someday the human cost must be counted.

***

Interesting tie ups with the BRI and Afghanistan from Karlof1's post @70. One mention of a canal between the Sea of Azof and the Caspian, via Russsia. The "anything but Suez" canal?

More than that, I realised that the Saudi Arabian NOEM (Straight Line road) across the Gulf of Aqaba to Sharm el-Sheik, will eventually give it access to the Med via Egypt and Africa, without going through Israel. (Or Lebanon, Syria or Turkey)

Syria is in a mess because of lack of fuel. Their stolen fuel is/was bought by Israel cheaply. Are you sure that the EverGiven WAS an accident?

*****

Biden has Zelenskys back - if he is thinking of his back pocket there is nothing left in it.

Dr. George W Oprisko , Apr 2 2021 20:26 utc | 94

I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.

A fair and balanced analysis, as far as it goes.

We must remember the Stavka is in charge....

What makes the most sense to them??? Where should the cease fire line be??? The best place to put it is the midline of the Denieper River. It is a natural boundary. It is wide enough so anything less than 155 mm artillery can't reach across. It resolves permanently water supply to Crimea.

NATO will use this action to censure, villify, and sanction Russia. She might as well get something for that.

Will this happen?? Last year, I'd say no.... but now.... anything goes...

INDY

Erelis , Apr 2 2021 21:07 utc | 97
I thought Biden would not start a war until next year to save the 2022 mid-term elections. My speculation is that Merkel is standing firm on Nord Stream 2 so the Biden administration is going to use the Ukrainians to start up a war against Russia to physically shut down the construction of the pipeline and introduce sanctions like against SWIFT, Aeroflot, etc.
Lozion , Apr 2 2021 21:20 utc | 98
Reports of use of Bayraktars TB2 in Donbass:

https://twitter.com/theragex/status/1378091551671398406?s=21

Jo , Apr 2 2021 22:07 utc | 111

Today


During a meeting with Defense Minister of Ukraine Andriy Taran and the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the defense attaches of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom assured Ukraine of the support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity. "US, Canada's, and UK Defense Attaches met with Minister of Defense [of Ukraine] Taran, Deputy Minister Petrenko, Deputy Minister Polishchuk, Joint Forces Commander Lieutenant General Naiev, and Colonel Budanov," the U.S. Embassy posted on Twitter. The Embassy assured Ukraine of support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity: "We stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity and are watching the situation in Ukraine closely."

librul , Apr 2 2021 22:08 utc | 112

@Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 21:49 utc | 106

Could be.

The story is number one or two all over the place (The Hill, Politico, Reuters, The Washington Times,...).

No mention of Ukraine except perhaps in minor side stories.

"Biden holds first call with Ukrainian president amid Russian buildup"

By NATASHA BERTRAND and LARA SELIGMAN

04/02/2021 09:39 AM EDT

Updated: 04/02/2021 11:24 AM EDT

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on Friday morning for the first time since Biden took office, amid reports of a Russian military buildup in eastern Ukraine that has alarmed U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

The leaders spoke for 30 to 40 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of the call. A White House readout of the conversation said Biden "reaffirmed the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea."


[Mar 28, 2021] The Brewing Conflict In Ukraine - ZeroHedge

Mar 28, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

Enter The Putinator

When Biden called Russian President a soulless "killer" on ABC News, Putin responded with the most deft bit of diplomacy I've seen in quite a while, openly challenging Fungal Joe to a publicly broadcast debate of substantive issues, which Biden, of course, declined.

For those that don't remember the context, here's the article from Zerohedge on the subject .

There can be no question now that all the disparate interests within The Davos Crowd are aligned at this point (see this month's Newsletter for more discussion on this). All guns point at Russia.

Putin tried to defuse the situation with an offer that was at once an epic troll of Biden, who is clearly no match for his Russian counterpart cognitively, and a warning to Americans that this situation has gotten far more dangerous than they are being told.

And sometimes you win simply by taking the high road. Make no mistake the fact that Putin went here this early in Biden's presidency is a bad sign. It tells us things are horrific between the world's most prominent nuclear powers and that there's been zero diplomatic effort put forth by the Biden administration since the election.

The problem is rapidly becoming that indiscriminate use of all weapons all the time -- diplomatic, economic, military, propaganda -- creates a kind of dopamine addiction. In order to keep the public interest in the threat they have to keep raising the stakes and the rhetoric to eventually absurd levels.

As I like to say all the time, it's the first rule of screenwriting : Be forever raising the stakes lest the audience gets bored.

But there comes a point where people begin to realize that they are being asked to back a war where the existential threat to the elite's power is transferred onto them. Remember folks, government's fight and spend billions propagandizing you into believing their wars are for your own good.

It's rarely the case, if ever. More often than not the war being ginned up in the media and by government officials is one that either feathers their own nest directly, supports the goals of other powerful folks indirectly, or covers up past corruption.

The brewing conflict in Ukraine is all of these and more. The project to add Ukraine to NATO and the EU is a long-held dream of neocons like Victoria Nuland and neoliberals like Biden. It's an important cog in the World Economic Forum's desire to expand the EU to both encircle Russia thereby disrupting any dreams of Eurasian integration which could form a bulwark against their brave new world.

What's got Biden's Depends in a bunch is that he's neck-deep in the corruption in Ukraine. In Obama's own words, Ukraine is Joe's project. And Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky is not fully subsumed into the morass of Biden's (and the rest of the usual suspects') problems.

Putin's deft and cordial handling of Biden's indiscriminate use of language was masterful here. Biden's initial remarks are, at best, him trying to hold onto the Amy Poehler demographic (see reruns of Parks and Recreation for her slavish obsession with him as Vice-President) as a vibrant, macho man, while he implements every bad idea that that same demographic rejected from all the other Democrats during primary season.

But we can all see he's nothing of the sort. He's a barely coherent, rapidly fading bully with no discernible achievements in life other than being available to be a placeholder for someone else's plans.

So, it was never a question as to whether Biden would ever talk to Putin under those conditions. They can't even get him to talk with reporters for real, having to green screen him into backgrounds to make it look like he's out in the world, doing stuff.

And don't get me started on that embarrassment of a press conference held the other day. Running for re-election in 2024? This guy's not going to be alive in 2024. Then again, since he didn't run in 2020, what does it actually matter?

Elections are just Hollywood productions anymore anyway.

Biden's counter is to now invite Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping the big Climate Summit in late April where the WEF controls the agenda and Biden's anti-diplomatic corps led by the completely over-matched Secretary of State Antony Blinken can further embarrass the U.S. on the world stage.

Since both Putin and Xi told the WEF to go scratch on both Climate Change, Agenda 2030 and, most notably from Putin, the Fourth Industrial Revolution , I don't see how this summit ends any better than virtual Davos did earlier this year.

In fact, with Biden's approach to both China and Russia so far, this summit is shaping up to be a colossal waste of time while also threatening everyone the world over with what they can expect policy-wise from the West until someone finally puts these insane people out of our misery.

With each day that passes the U.K., for example, under tyrant Boris Johnson sinks further into a complete totalitarian nightmare (see here , here , here , and here from the last 24 hours) thanks to COVID-19, while ramping up the anti-Russian rhetoric to eleven.

But, back to Ukraine, because it's tied directly to all this climate change nonsense. Putin understands as well that Biden will allow every escalation in Ukraine because he's shackled by it and they need to complete the job started with the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.

That means we'll see something far worse than Victoria Nuland's latest Cookie Campaign for freedom. We're going to see a war for the Donbass soon, likely right after Orthodox Easter and the end of the snow melt.

Putin tried to go directly to the people to end this destructive spiral to the bottom, because he knows where this ends.

It will be a confrontation that one side will have to commit to completely or allow it's bluff to be called. The game Biden's handlers have played to this point has been a massive escalation of rhetoric while continually moving real pieces into position for a real conflict. I just don't see cooler heads prevailing here because there is no upside for the U.S., the EU and the WEF if China and Russia stand their ground and Biden et.al. back down.

Russia has to be destroyed or subjugated if the Great Reset is to happen and Europe is to remain a relevant global player. That means control of the Black Sea, which means taking back Crimea. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently reiterated publicly that Russia has had zero diplomatic contact with the European Union since the 2014 vote by Crimea to rejoin Russia.

Diplomacy is nearly over between the major powers. Biden's simple refusal to talk to Putin publicly is a major event.

In the end everything we've lived through since COVID-19 began boils down to the need to destroy the global economy built on oil and coal, otherwise all major energy production stays under Eurasian control as it strengthens not Atlanticist as it peaks in global power and their grand dreams wither.

Time is getting short for this to happen. Public opposition to this program is rising. It happens now or not at all.

If there is a war in the Donbass this spring it won't be a happy ending which extends U.S. primacy into the future but the moment when we realized its acceleration into irrelevancy.

* * *

Join my Patreon to access the notebook.


Alice-the-dog 3 hours ago

In both the current major conflicts between Russia and the US Psychopaths In Charge, Russia holds the moral high ground. In Ukraine the US promoted, financed, helped organize, and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically elected government. When the citizens of Crimea exercised their natural right of self determination and voted to return to being a part of Russia, the US called it a coup. In Syria, the US has illegally invaded a sovereign nation without that nation's sovereign government's permission or request. Russia got both. Not only does Russia hold the moral high ground, but the legal high ground as well.

vic and blood PREMIUM 3 hours ago

Well stated.

The role reversal is complete. We are now the Evil Empire.

gmrpeabody 1 hour ago

" . In Ukraine the US promoted, financed, helped organize, and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically elected government. "

They did the very same thing here...

Clint Liquor 1 hour ago

Putin understands the Hegemon's Achilles Heel.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-china-usa-idUSKBN2BE0XH

muldoon55 2 hours ago

Have been for quite some time.

Marine General Smedley Butler knew his forces were being used back in the thirties to enforce American bankster interests in central and South America.

eyewillcomply 1 hour ago (Edited)

"We are now the Evil Empire."

As soon as we allowed the cousins of the same Bolsheviks who made Russia into a communist basket case to control our currency and thus, government, we became an "Evil Empire". It has been a slow process and hard to recognize early on. The founding principles of the United States are moral and admirable. What we have morphed into at the behest of this satanic cabal is the exact opposite of that ethos.

chunga 3 hours ago

Many people hate the US and have many very valid reasons to fight and kill all of us.

BlindMonkey 2 hours ago (Edited)

A large swath of Americans just want to live life as a people. They harbor no ill will to other people's, we just want our space in the world respected. Of these, they also have a beef with the insane people that have got us to this point.

jeff montanye 2 hours ago

the u.s. government has not been mine since vietnam.

dead hobo 1 hour ago (Edited)

Funny, but look at the big picture. How could all these foreign horrors be contemplated if only a few people voted for Biden? Agree the election was stolen, but it still took a massive number of Libtards and Woketards to provide enough actual votes to make the fake votes count.

We are seeing what happens when a massive amount of Accumulated Stupid runs daily life in the US. No amount of talk will make a difference and most people don't read. Combined, this makes them impervious to common sense. Things will get worse, then much worse, before they get better. This is a big deal. Democrats are going all in at 110% effort because they know they will fail and and never get another chance if they don't take over now. Expect outrageous takeovers followed by more outrageous takeovers. We haven't seen anything yet. Expect to be Amazed.

chunga 2 hours ago

I'm afraid those people will not be exempt from the harmful, malicious actions of the US govt and do not deserve to be. I put myself in this category.

Sandmann 23 minutes ago

Most Americans are great and generous people but so were most people in the Soviet Union

Lordflin 2 hours ago

You don't seriously believe we would sit on the sidelines of such a conflict...

When was the last time that happened...?

Deep State wants war... and they are now firmly in charge in a capital protected by armed troops and razor wire...

JPHR 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

This article seems mistaken in treating Biden as somehow being in charge nor is this Harris.

The most concerning aspect of this fake presidency is that non-elected and not accountable people behind the scenes are running this farce.

The US always selects weak corrupt leaders as front men for their color revolutions abroad and it should not be a surprise that the color revolution at home now follows exactly that very same pattern.

Carlin was RIGHT 2 hours ago (Edited)

It is not just the author of this article that is mistaken, it is also 95% of the murican public. What you see on your tee veee and read in media is 100% pure theatre - all agenda driven, of course.

Dumfknation will begrudgingly go along with ANYTHING tptb dictates - that has been proven beyond any doubt over the last year. So expect nothing but misery and quite possibly death for the foreseeable future, because (((they))) most certainly have NO CONCERN WHATSOEVER for you happiness and prosperity, and only seek to make the world a better place for (((them))).

Sandmann 4 hours ago

Much of the Hitler-Stalin War was fought in Ukraine. Ukraine was always the centre for Soviet weapons production to ensure The West stayed away.

Brzezinski set up a cat's paw which he hoped would ensnare Russia but it will destroy USA. The West kept Bandera groups funded and armed in Ukraine into 1950s. Poland wants to seize Gailicia. The simple fact is Ukrainians are emigrating for work to Poland and Turkey and Western Europe if they can get forged papers. Ukraine is dead - US wants to force West Europeans to pay transport levies to Ukraine for Russian gas instead of North Stream so Europeans fund Ukraine corruption and backfunding to US Democrats.

Russia will fight when it is ready as will China. Seems stupid to risk Atlanta or Dallas or LA or Chicago for Kiev

Craven Moorehead 3 hours ago

The Soviet Union economically collapsed trying to match NATO military strength, too much of their resources and productivity were directed to military, the West effectively outspent them.

Now the tables have turned, The US may be on the road to the same fate, and the current government of morons may just bring it about

BlindMonkey 2 hours ago remove link

The Ukraine war might be kept under wraps solely because Russia has clearly signaled they will enter it. An attack is a suicide play for Ukraine. I don't expect this to stop the warhawks from trying but Zelensky must know this is a death trap for him. If this kicks off, expect Poland to be sacrificed to try to take Kaliningrad in retribution.

SwmngwShrks 1 hour ago remove link

I remember being in school in 2014, in a UN class specifically, learning about how the US backed coup in the Ukraine led to them wanting to join the EU. However, as part of the treaty during the dissolution of the USSR, if any of the barrier states went to join the EU, Russia would annex Crimea, as its only warm-water port.

This is what happened, and what was executed, however it was propagandized here in the US that Russia had "invaded" Crimea. It explains why reporters on scene found the locals welcoming the Russians.

The thing is, I remember so explicitly finding this on the web, because I was surprised it was true. I read the actual treaty, and can no longer find it online, anywhere. Sigh, down the memory hole, thanks Brave New World.

Savvy 24 minutes ago

It's hard to believe the Americans could be so short sighted, but Ukraine was 'liberated' to control Russia's access to the EU market. Pretty stupid if so because that's when construction on NS2 began and Ukraine is a US quagmire now. Another shining example of US intervenyionism.

SoDamnMad 2 hours ago remove link

Search for the "March of the Immortal Regiment" on Youtube and understand that if you attack either the Crimea or the Donbass you will fight seasoned soldiers as well as civilians ready to smash your face in with a shovel. Unlike the US woke crowd those that chose Russia are not willing to lay down for the corrupt private Nazi militias of Ukraine. The shipment of up-armored humvess are worthless in this fight. Half the stuff will be stolen and wind up on the black market. No more mister nice guy. "Remember, you asked for it."

deep-state-retired 3 hours ago remove link

With the successful Biden Coup and full media / tech blackout of election fraud the Globalists are ready to take on one of the last few nation states. They think like Napoleon and Hitler just kick in the door and the house will collapse. We will see.

de tocqueville's ghost 1 hour ago (Edited)

the industrialized military complex and deep state stole our vote and election...they need war to survive. Biden was always their "boy"...he voted yay for every war in the last 42 years. They had to get rid of Trump...he wasn't starting any wars.
We knew Biden would start beating the war drums soon after being in the WH, and he is.

JackOliver5 3 hours ago (Edited)

Luongo is not too sharp - THIS is about the energy future - NATURAL GAS !

So was the deal between Iran and China today !

Russia already has over over 1000 CNG service stations - Iran will provide CNG pipelines to China - the Rothschilds will have NO place in this NEW world !

THAT is why we are seeing what we are seeing NOW !

Time will prove that I am right !

Five_Black_Eyes_Intel_Agency 4 hours ago (Edited)

The psychopathic cabal loves creating frozen conflicts that they can "switch on" - such as the one in Ukraine. The only problem is that they always keep choosing losers as their friends.

The CIA and MI6 are working hard on "switching on" the Ukraine conflict, because peddling conflict is all they know. Russia will wipe the floor with them.

The world is waking up fast to the US-UK-israeli racket of depravity. The world except those pitiful vassals still stuck in the honeymoon phase with their oppressors like the EU.

Propaganda Ripper 2 hours ago (Edited)

At this point, if you are politically correct, you cheer for World War 3. What could be more normal in a world gone mad ?

US Banana Republic 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Russia AND China need to make sure the US has skin in this game.

When I was IN Ukraine recently for three months a friend asked when the continental US was last involved in a real war. It was, of course, the US Civil War and that ended in 1865. The US is far removed from the people it disturbs and massacres. We have no problem singing how proud we are to be Americans because we are situated in a place that we can do anything to anybody and they can't touch us. That needs to end.

I don't know exactly how but Russia and China need to make the US pay some consequences for this ******** aggression.

Oldwood 2 hours ago

When you say "US", exactly WHO are you referring?

When you say "Chinese" who are you referring.

Most people of this planet are dominated by their leadership.

otschelnik 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Donbass is another example of a successful 'frozen conflict' tactic which the Russians use in ethnicly charged border conflicts or strategically important territories. North Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdnestr are some of the other ones. There's one big chanage in that now a lot of the residents of the Donbass region have obtained Russian passports under an expedited system, about 400,000 reportedly by the beginning of the year. Unlike US politicians Putin is not limited by time. This can go on for decades.

Russia is keeping their options open, and they're willing to withdrawl from Donbass if the region is given autonomy in Ukraine if they can keep Crimea. This is their favorite option but that's not acceptable for the Ukraine government. If that doesn't work they can go all the way and annex Donbass too and have the forces to go all the way to the Dnepr river. Ukraine can't do anything, they're too weak.

The neocon's running the Biden administration would definitely like to push Ukraine into a hot war with Russia but our NATO allies are not going to support it.

vasilievich 2 hours ago

If I may ask, how do you know what Russia is willing to do?

otschelnik 22 minutes ago

Listen to Lavrov and read between the lines.

SoDamnMad 2 hours ago

"if they can keep Crimea". I stopped reading after that. The road and railway links over the Kerch Strait told me they were there for good.

BinAnunnaki 1 hour ago remove link

Can Putin annex Donestsk and not expect full western sanctions, esp. on energy or is that a bluff?

Will Merkel let her people freeze for Eastern Ukraine?

indus creed 30 minutes ago (Edited)

At the minimum Russia will take the eastern portion and the entire southern region, thus cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea.

El_Puerco 1 hour ago

https://southfront.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/28march2021_Eastern_Uk_Ukraine_War_Map-1363x1536.jpg

MILITARY SITUATION IN EASTERN UKRAINE ON MARCH 28, 2021 (MAP UPDATE)

European Monarchist 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link

Biden is just like Obama, an unsophisticated and blundering WARMONGER.

El_Puerco 1 hour ago

Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Biden's War?

European Monarchist 59 minutes ago (Edited)

Who knows, but here is my list of likely suspects: the military industrial complex, the CIA, the deep state, Mossad, hubris, dementia, and demons.

The Vel 1 hour ago

I like this article. Some wonderful quotes:

' They can't even get him to talk with reporters for real, having to green screen him into backgrounds to make it look like he's out in the world, doing stuff.' - Check

In the end everything we've lived through since COVID-19 began boils down to the need to destroy the global economy built on oil and coal, otherwise all major energy production - Check

If there is a war in the Donbass this spring it won't be a happy ending which extends U.S. primacy into the future but the moment when we realized its acceleration into irrelevancy. - Check Mate

That's the key point of covid - it will take the US Federal Government into irrelevancy along with Dementia Joe. And all you good folks and me will get to witness this transition to irrelevance (if you don't die off from the vaxx sooner).

BubbaBanjo 1 hour ago remove link

Ukraine would be very wise to find a diplomatic way to be a neutral nation and not be a pawn. Russia will take the pawn if it is played. Nothing will stop that. A pawn needs to know its role in the game.

Aquamaster 10 minutes ago

Always remember, Biden did not put anyone into his administration based on qualifications. Most were picked for either their racial, sexual, or LBGTQ... bonafides. The rest were picked as paybacks for financial, and media/tech support during the campaign. Also, many are Obama retreads, and we know how poorly they performed in those eight years of the Obama reign of error.

This is going to be a horrible four years and I have no doubt that OBidens ideologues will blunder us into at least one war. Hopefully it won't be WW3.

flyonmywall 23 minutes ago

The idiot-in-chief is being told by his handlers that they can win this without American boots on the ground, with cannon fodder provided by conscript Ukrainians.

When the Russians finally unleash their armor divisions, they will cut through their opposition like a hot knife through butter, while being covered by the Russian aerospace forces.

If these idiots unleash long range misiles, World War 3 will be just around the corner.

Aquamaster 7 minutes ago

Indeed. We saw this exact thing happen in the ill fated Georgia conflict during the Bush presidency.

QABubba 2 hours ago remove link

Putin is, and has been, playing a waiting game. With each year that passes the West gets weaker and Eurasia gets stronger. The goal is with deft diplomacy to stretch this period out long enough for the balance of power to become obvious.

Again, whoever thought that Russia would pay billions in transit fees to Poland and Ukraine for them to turn around and spend with Lockheed, Ratheon. etc., to buy weapons to point at Russia was an idiot. A first class idiot. The kind of idiot that will be the death of us.

Tom Green Swedish 2 hours ago

WIth each year Putin becomes older and weaker. He will age out, and they will fall. I don't like Russia. Who would?

Victor999 1 hour ago

Lots of people like Russia - all over the world. And lots of people absolutely hate America - all over the world. How do you explain that? And if you knew anything about Russia, you would understand why you should fear the day that Putin finally steps down.

blumenthal 2 hours ago (Edited)

In contrast to the attempted coup in Turkey, in which Erdogan acted decisively, it was a serious mistake on Yanukovich's part not to deploy the military in Ukraine. The Russians made a subsequent mistake by not marching straight into the capital Kiew. Now it will be much more difficult to control the situation in Ukraine. A further conflict will escalate very quickly, because the Russians have a lot at stake and China will not hesitate for long.......

Propaganda Ripper 2 hours ago (Edited)

Yanukovich did not deploy the military in Ukraine because he was threatened with sanctions... The result is that he almost got himself (and his family) killed. It was a very narrow escape from Kyiv.

BinAnunnaki 2 hours ago remove link

Remember this all happened while Putin was concluding a successful Olympics

morefunthanrum 2 minutes ago

Zerohedge and the Republicans are awful sympathetic to trumps buddy putin....why is that?

TRUMP WON 2 minutes ago

Putin loves his country...

Biden does not.

Only a few years difference in their ages... Jesus, what a contrast.

One, sharp as a tack... the other, a urine-soaked imbecilic pedo clown

rtb61 1 hour ago

The Ukraine no longer seems willing to self destruct being part of Europe a lie, they should never have shot down the passenger jet, they will never be forgiven for that.

Right now the worst thing the USA could do to Russia, dump the Ukraine back on them and force Russia to pay to fix and and create chaos with regard to the Crimea.

The Ukraine is a mess and getting worse, it is a booby prize for whom ever gets stuck with it. The Ukraine even managed to say the stupidest thing they could, when they said the Crimea returned to Russia, really stuck their foot in there. Should never have said that because yes, it was stolen by a Ukrainian leader of the Soviet Union and logically at the end of the Soviet Union should have demanded it's return to Russia because soviet union evil.

The Ukraine government should have never said, the Crimea returned to Russia because they immediately lost their case in doing so.

Global Hunter 1 hour ago remove link

The pro-Soros, pro NATO Ukrainians (baby Russians) who are rebelling against their Russian brethren shot the plane down ya stooge.

fosfor 37 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Many thanks to Biden and Nuland for the Russian Crimea!

Vladymyr Zhirinovsky - The division of Ukraine will take place in the near future

The flight of Viktor Yanukovych from Kiev turned out to be the most profitable option for Russia. Otherwise, one would have to spend a lot of money and be left without Crimea.

"Why didn't Yanukovych stay in Kiev? How would we take Crimea if Yanukovych stayed in Kiev? We would have thrown an army into Kiev, we would have given a lot of money, Yanukovych would have sat there and continued to rule Ukraine, and Crimea would have remained Ukrainian and died. Yanukovych played along with us. Now Biden is playing along with us. Let him continue to help the allegedly Ukrainian army. "

Zhirinovsky presented the ongoing actions as a multi-step combination for the creation of Novorossiya.

"It is beneficial for us that Biden gave the command through his Ukrainian accomplices to launch an attack on Donbass. Yes, we will crush this entire army completely, and a movement will begin towards the creation of Novorossia, the entire South-East of Ukraine, and the North - we will see. Maybe we'll come to an agreement with the Germans and the Poles, maybe we'll do a little differently there. "

Let it Go 3 hours ago remove link

Biden putting more weapons into the hands of those unmotivated to fight for their corrupt state is merely adding fuel to this fire and doing more harm than good. Remember Ukraine is a financially failed state and while we can point to its potential, its massive oil and gas reserves by all rights should belong to the Ukrainian people. These reserves do not belong to people like Joe and hunter Biden. More on this subject in the article below.

https://Ukraine War Is About Money Energy And Power.html

J J Pettigrew 3 hours ago remove link

Recall all the "concern" that Trump might be blackmailed by those who had dirt on him...(Russia)

never happened

So what of Biden and Burisma, Ukraine, Hunter, China deals, money wired, ...??

Any stories that might be told, or withheld, on the Bidens?

Southern_Boy 21 minutes ago

I believe living anywhere near the DC Swamp will become rather dangerous (it's probably dangerous now because of BLM/Antifa and the "woke" mobs) once the nuclear ballistic missile exchange starts. Even the big blue cities and state capitals are probably going to be targets.

The globalist elites of the Medical-Military Industrial Complex really believe the homeland is invulnerable to and will never be subjected to a real damaging attack.

Don't forget the historical wild card is Pakistan, India and Iran with nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction.

gzorp 24 minutes ago (Edited)

After the nazis bounced Kennedy's brains (and your democracy) off the trunk of his limo on 11/22/63, the Right of Return side as opposed to Containment side won the argument. There would be no cooperation with the Soviet Union... Nixon (Dulles/nazi protege) used the ukrainian (Bandera faction) Romainian Iron Guard, Croation Ustashi etc . to get the ethnic vote for the Republipigs promosing right of return to their countries for the nazi collaborators given refuge here in the US. Brought into the Republipig party as an official wing of the party by HW Bush when he was chairman of the Republipig party as the "Ethnic Outreach" wing of the party. Seen the USSA returning any former nazis to Croatia or Ukraine?...

Kat Daddy 49 minutes ago (Edited)

If a plebiscite is called in the Donbass, the people will vote to join the Russian Federation. Any actions taken by NATO and the Atlanticist interests will appear illegal under international law. So much for promoting democracy and humanitarian interests. There need not be a war, but I know you're secretly hoping for one.

[Mar 14, 2021] Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume

Mar 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume

Several Russia watchers - Patrick Armstrong , Andrei Martyanov and Andrei Raevsky - are musing about a renewed attack by the government of Ukraine on its eastern Donbass region. The Donbass separated in 2014 after the U.S. driven coup in Kiev installed an anti-Russian government which then waged a war on its ethnic Russian east.

There have been a number of reports about heavy Ukrainian equipment moving east and other hints of military preparations . Russia has seen enough such signs to issue a strong warning :

"I would like to warn the Kiev regime and the hotheads that are serving it or manipulating it against further de-escalation and attempts to implement a forceful scenario in Donbass," [Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova] said, commenting on the statement of head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group for settlement in Donbass Leonid Kravchuk on some "radical steps" of Kiev if Russia refuses to recognize itself as a conflict side in eastern Ukraine.
...
Zakharova recalled that the Minsk Agreements clearly outline the conflict sides in Donbass as Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. "The unwillingness of Ukrainian negotiators to recognize this fact and their refusal to find agreements with Donbass is the reason that hinders the establishment of long-lasting peace in the region," the diplomat noted.

The main catalyst for such a war is the sorry state of the government in Kiev. The country is in in the midst of a constitutional crisis :

[T]he Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) recently plunged the country into one of its deepest crises in its 30-year history. Specifically, on October 27, 2020, the Court declared that the main elements of Ukraine's anti-corruption legislation, adopted between 2014 and 2020, were unconstitutional. In response, President Zelensky introduced legislation calling for the early termination of all Constitutional Court judges. Later, in December, he suspended the chairman of the Court for two months.

The result was widespread chaos in Ukraine's political system. Zelensky's actions were of questionable legality and provoked harsh criticism from all political sides. The ramifications of the Court's decision include the cancellation of over 100 pending corruption investigations, a development that potentially could endanger future EU-Ukraine trade and economic cooperation Ukraine under the 2014 Association Agreement.

After the 2014 Euromaidan coup an 'independent' National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) was created to oversee the investigation and prosecution of corrupt state officials. The NABU has since been used by the U.S. embassy to bring criminal cases against those oligarchs it dislikes and to cover for those it likes. The constitutional court found that NABU is a criminal investigation agency outside the control of the executive branch which is a contradiction to the Ukrainian constitution.

The crisis has since escalated:

President Zelensky has now taken several provocative steps, including proposing legislation that voids the Constitutional Court's anti-corruption rulings and begins the process of dismissing and replacing those justices who supported that decision. None of these actions are supported under present-day Ukrainian law. The rhetoric between the president and the Constitutional Court is also escalating, with Constitutional Court Chairman Tupitskyi warning that the president's actions threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Calls for impeachment proceedings are being raised in the Rada, and Zelensky yet again escalated the crisis on February 3, 2021 by blocking pro-Russian TV channels controlled by Victor Medvedchuk. The legality of the latter action was even questioned by the EU, who told Zelensky that while Ukraine possessed the right to protect itself from disinformation, it still had to comply with international standards and "fundamental rights and freedoms."

The pressure on Zelensky is growing as he tries to navigate the fine line of obeying the law as written while simultaneously claiming that the very integrity of the country is at stake. And Zelensky's problems are only mounting, with the Cabinet of Ministers recently calling for the dismissal of the head of NABU and the IMF delaying the next tranche of financial support, in part because of Ukraine's failure to implement a comprehensive anti-corruption program.

Polling numbers for Zelensky have sharply declined . Right wing city councils call on Zelensky to outlaw the largest opposition party . Meanwhile the pandemic puts a record number of people into hospitals while a meager vaccination campaign is failing .

A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support.

But nothing will happen on the frontline without the consent or even encouragement from Washington DC. The Biden administration is filled with the same delusional people who managed the 2014 coup in Kiev. They may believe that the NATO training the Ukrainian army received and the weapons the U.S. delivered are sufficient to defeat the separatist. But the state of the Ukrainian military is worse than one might think and the separatist will have Russia's full backing. There is no question who would win in such a fight.

As a commentator at Turcopolier remarked :

If the US is not careful it is going to give the Russians another opportunity to show to the World their military prowess, the flexibility of their Military District system allowing multi front operation and their unfailing support for an ally. As well as potentially letting the Russians show to Europe that they have nothing to fear, if they stop at 30 miles or so and basically go back home. All whilst the US demonstrates the opposite, but then reinforcing DC may trump the World.

Posted by b on March 13, 2021 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink


Mar man , Mar 13 2021 17:49 utc | 1

If Ukraine is not careful, they could easily lose all their territory up to the Dnieper River. With Russian support the separatists could launch offensives and gain massive territory west. If pro-Russian separatists managed to capture that much territory, that would solve alot of problems for Russia.

1. A land bridge to Crimea.
2. No more water/power distribution problems to Crimea.
3. Less chances for the ongoing sabotage efforts against Crimea from the northern border.
4. Permanent exclusion of Ukraine from NATO unless Ukraine simply gives up and recognizes all the lost as sovereign independent republics. A win/win for Russia.

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 17:57 utc | 2
"A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support." It would be an odd way to 'regain national support', as he was elected on precisely the opposite platform, the peace platform.

Meh. Whatever the calculations - to suppress pro-peace opponents and compete against the pro-war parties for their electorate? - it seems unlikely to succeed. A case of totally fucked up attempt at populism, methinks.

Bluedotterel , Mar 13 2021 18:07 utc | 3
The Saker also has an interesting article on this: https://thesaker.is/is-the-ukraine-on-the-brink-of-war-again/

"Just a few weeks ago I wrote a column entitled "The Ukraine's Many Ticking Time Bombs" in which I listed a number of developments presenting a major threat to the Ukraine and, in fact, to all the countries of the region. In this short time the situation has deteriorated rather dramatically. I will therefore begin with a short recap of what is happening.

First, the Ukrainian government and parliament have, for all practical purposes, declared the Minsk Agreements as dead. Truth be told, these agreements were stillborn, but as long as everybody pretended that there was still a chance for some kind of negotiated solution, they served as a "war retardant". Now that this retardant has been removed, the situation becomes far more explosive than before.

Second, it is pretty obvious that the "Biden" administration is a who's who of all the worst russophobes of the Obama era: Nuland, Psaki, and the rest of them are openly saying that they want to increase the confrontation with Russia. Even the newcomers, say like Ned Price, are clearly rabid russophobes. The folks in Kiev immediately understood that their bad old masters were back in the White House and they are now also adapting their language to this new (well, not really) reality.

Finally, and most ominously, there are clear signs that the Ukrainian military is moving heavy forces towards the line of contact. Here is an example of a video taken in the city of Mariupol:

Besides tanks, there are many reports of other heavy military equipment, including MLRS and tactical ballistic missiles, being moved east towards the line of contact. Needless to say, the Russian General Staff is tracking all these movements very carefully, as are the intelligence services of the LDNR."

William Gruff , Mar 13 2021 18:12 utc | 6
"Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume" ?

Because the establishment was successful at installing one of their own into the White House. In fact, the empire's need to secure total victory in Ukraine was part and parcel of why Biden had to "win" regardless of how blatant the scamming of the election ended up being.

Not only will the wars in Ukraine and Syria heat up to a boil again, but we will begin to see terrorist attacks in western China start up once more after several year hiatus. We all knew that this is what would come of a Biden win.

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 18:16 utc | 7
"Otherwise, good article on the dangerous build up that is motivated in the US."

Incidentally, I hear that Ukrainian officials are getting their orders from the UK embassy these days; the US has distanced itself.

Whether this is happening because it's still the transitional period, or this is a deliberate new M.O., god only knows.

oldhippie , Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 11
Ukraine still has a flotilla of functioning nuclear power plants. The Zaporozhye complex is the largest in Europe by far. Anything goes wrong and Chernobyl comes back, in spades. So what if we have a little war and Russia stops at Donbass, the rump of Ukraine is in chaos?

An atomic bomb requires 3 kilos of fissile material. A reactor will have tons. Hundreds of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel. There is a lot to be said for stability. Lots of trouble with high stakes poker.

John Gilberts , Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 12

Canada's Banderite lobby prepares... https://twitter.com/HMcPhersonMP/status/1370417322687565826
Oldhippie , Mar 13 2021 18:51 utc | 15
#14
Right. What could possibly go wrong?

When history repeats itself there are never any annoying transcription errors.

ptb , Mar 13 2021 19:03 utc | 16
Ukraine's relations with China might be about to deteriorate as well... Ukraine Plans To Nationalize Jet Engine Producer Motor Sich From Chinese Investors
Fyi , Mar 13 2021 19:21 utc | 17
Mr. Mar man

I agree, and further to your points, I suspect Russians are engaged in a long term project of re-absorbing Ukraine minus the Catholic oblasts. The tactic is intermittent episodes of limited war, in response to a Ukrainian provocation, real or manufactured, or imagined - followed by the loss of more territory by Ukraine.

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 13 2021 19:30 utc | 18
The most interesting thing about this story is ... Myanmar.

Since the coup in that country began the Fake News (most MSM news) has given Myanmar saturation coverage. EVERY "news" broadcast in Oz AND the so-called International News has led with some tosh about Myanmar. It's an effing rowdy riot for Christ's sake. Guess how surprised I wouldn't be to hear that MI6 & CIA are behind Myanmar? It's a Boring, same every day, story and it's going nowhere.

Imo, Myanmar was always cover for prep for something more nefarious elsewhere. And anything with shooting involved would be MORE nefarious than Myanmar. Now the real stories are seeping out.
I hope they start with Ukraine. Putin is an asshole. But he's my kind of asshole and certain people, who don't listen, are going to wish they hadn't been born. And when VVP has finished with Ukraine, some of them may as well not have been born.

James2 , Mar 13 2021 19:43 utc | 19
What ever I read I never hear the views of the people of Ukraine - the country is at risk of being broken up by the actions of all governments since independence. I bet the Hungarians and Poland are watching closely as they also have interests in Ukraine.
steven t johnson , Mar 13 2021 19:59 utc | 20
You people need to get your stories straight. If Biden is so senile, then manipulating him slows down the full-court press and makes all policies erratic, the product of the last person to whisper in the ear. (Which is why Dr. Jill would be Edith Wilson and Nancy Reagan.) Plus, saving the zombie corps are higher on his agenda. Most of all of course, the theory that Biden has already ordered the MSM to bury the bodies in Ukraine means he has zero need to do favors for anyone there. (There is zero evidence Hunter was selling real favors, instead of scamming crooked Ukrainians who thought they could buy influence. But it is an article of faith, a tenet of Trumpian theology, that Ukraine was something, something, something and therefore Biden is a traitor.)

It is in fact the transitional period that is apt to allow all unresolved disasters to boil over while no one (not literally) is watching. Only a fool ever thought Ukraine and Syria could continue indefinitely. (Putin may be that big of a fool, if he ever had an endgame he's never showed any sign of it.) The economic crisis and the epidemic and the US elections I think have tended to put people into a holding pattern to see how things develop. But now, the epidemic is starting to shake out---the end of the beginning is in sight!---and the world depression is entering a new phase with threatened mass bankruptcies and now is the time to present the new US administration with a fait accompli.

In Syria, Trump had four years to end things but deliberately committed to stealing the oil. Putin never had a plan I think to lever out the US and Turkey or even the Kurds, so he never had a hope of ending the war in Syria. It can't go on forever.

Kharkov province came within a hair of joining Lugansk and Donetsk in rebelling. But it is the only contiguous territory that can plausibly be joined. Odessa is majority Russian but it is isolated. Artificially dividing the westernmost provinces from the rest of Ukraine will not resolve the problem, not even if they were sacrificed to Poland. Poland's appetites include western Belarus and Kaliningrad and probably parts of Lithuania too. One problem with re-drawing borders in Europe is German revanchism for Silesia and Prussia. It may not be loud now, but it's astonishing how fast these ideas come back.

Stonebird , Mar 13 2021 20:09 utc | 22
Some updates.
There is a battle in the area of #​​Donetsk airport. The #Ukrainian Armed Forces
are shelling DPR positions with heavy weapons.
Around 19.30 local time, a series of kicks took place in the direction of the DAP.

I would expect a False Flag to start thing off. (The shelling has been going on for months, but seems to be more serious this time round.)

The Russians are ready. 6 Divisions said to be on high alert. Structural subdivisions of electronic warfare (EW) of special forces of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have been redeployed to the territory of the #DPR & #LPR

Electronic suppression & electronic protection goes to all points of contact with #Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The Ukranians started flying Bayraktar TB2 drones (As used against Armenia) (Two drones "Rece" downed (?unconfirmed) and a US drone seen in the vicinity.)

An Inhabitant of Donbas thinks that this time the Ukrainians will go for city centers. (Thinking about the mess they made by going through the rural areas and finishing in "cauldrons")
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iixZn9r8z8
(26 minutes)

Turkey's deputy foreign minister [annexation of Crimea]: "The situation in Crimea continues to threaten regional security." "We adopt a clear, coherent policy. We strongly support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We don't recognize illegal annexation."

The Ukes have slightly more then 100'000 men and the Donbas has about 30'000.

There are three (?) Nato force ships in Odessa. (Minesweepers, if my memory is correct - older report) The US destroyers have left. But. The US has a carrier in the Med, and the Charles de Gaulle (carrier) is also around.

Jen , Mar 13 2021 20:22 utc | 23
I wonder who is pulling Ukrainian President Zelensky's strings as his actions as described by B in his post don't match what the fellow has been doing (basically faffing about and trying to please everybody since he was elected in 2019) up to now. There must be several puppetmasters pulling him this way and that: the CIA and SBU certainly, the US State Dept certainly, and Zelensky must also be feeling some heat now Uncle Creepy Joe and son Hunter over Hunters past involvement with Burisma Holdings.
NemesisCalling , Mar 13 2021 20:40 utc | 24
Re: Biden's "policies"

Biden does not have any policies. At this point, it should be clear that the term "Biden" be used to designate the consortium of neocon and neoliberal technocrats, both veterans from the Obama-admin and neophytes who are operating in place of a failing POTUS.

Biden is a whimpering, pathetic character who should be left alone to handle his fleeting mind in dignity. But we all know this is not what he truly deserves.

They would not allow him to do this, however, and he was instrumental in being the most milktoast and boilerplate candidate where only pure hatred of the other (deplorables) would suffice to win 2020.

Biden was essential to win. Now he is the equivalent of a 6' ft+ doorstop or paperweight.

james , Mar 13 2021 20:45 utc | 25
thanks b... and many good insights from the posters starting @ 1 and moving down, excepting little stevies comment on putin.. can't have everything...

@ Gerhard | Mar 13 2021 18:22 utc | 9.. uranus is on an 84 year cycle... thanks for the data..

@ 23 jen... i was wondering about that myself... who is pulling zelenskys strings?? if biden can get rid of the chief prosecutor as vp to help his son out, i suspect he can do a wee bit more now as president... i don't think he is that bright though, and others behind the scene are pulling the strings here...

Jackrabbit , Mar 13 2021 20:58 utc | 26
24 comments and no mention of Nord Stream II

Isn't that the likely target of any Russian-Ukraine conflict? The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline But it's a race between slow construction and slower sanctions.

!!

Jackrabbit , Mar 13 2021 20:58 utc | 27
24 comments and no mention of Nord Stream II

Isn't that the likely target of any Russian-Ukraine conflict?

The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
But it's a race between slow construction and slower sanctions.

!!

passerby , Mar 13 2021 21:14 utc | 29
Gerhardt @9:
"The Ukraine 2021 is the same as Poland 1938."
You're going to invade Czechia?
lex talionis , Mar 13 2021 21:22 utc | 30
@22 stonebird - I watched the linked video. The Texan said that the Ukrainians bought winter fuel from Belarus. Is Lukashenko still playing both sides? How sad. I wouldn't want to be on a commercial jet flying over Ukrainian territory right now. Especially one manufactured by Boeing.
Boeing...Boeing...gone.
God help the fine people of the DNR LNR.

RIP Givi, Motorola, Zharakansheko and all the patriots.

Piotr Berman , Mar 13 2021 21:27 utc | 31
I am not sure if "the state of Ukrainian army" is properly illustrated by the link. The military is almost 300,000 strong and 60,000 is deployed on the Donbass frontline. They suffer quite a bit of losses, almost all "non-combat". For example, food poisoning, stepping or driving over mines laid by their colleagues, poisoning with improperly made samogon (moonshine), few killed when a samogon still exploded (strong alcohol has to be separated from propane flames, or it explodes, "still" as a noun is a device to distill alcohol), one soldier was so stoned that walked over the other side -- somehow not stepping on the mines, other stoned soldiers fight with each other etc. etc.

Somehow this war machine survives on 500 million dollars per month (a half what Polish military consumes).

karlof1 , Mar 13 2021 21:30 utc | 33
I see no reference to this yet, "'How Dare They!' How 'Pro-Russia' Report Shattered Pillars of US Old Atlanticist Think Tank'" :

"The row was triggered by a 5 March report written by the think tank's two senior members, Dr. Mathew Burrows and Dr. Emma Ashford, urging the Biden administration to 'avoid a human-rights-first approach' towards Moscow and warning that new anti-Russia sanctions would only 'further damage productive relations for the sake of an effort that is unlikely to succeed.'

"On 9 March, 22 think tank's staffers and fellows issued a tough statement distancing themselves from Burrows and Ashford and arguing that the report in question "misses the mark." The statement was signed by individuals known for their longstanding criticism against Moscow, including Swedish economist Anders Aslund and former US ambassadors John E. Herbst, Alexander Vershbow, and Daniel Fried."

Each paper is linked at the original. There's much to chew on as the Pragmatists/Realists make their move. I'll be back later to stick my oar in, although it ought to be clear who're the sane and insane.

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 21:38 utc | 34
@Jen: "and Zelensky must also be feeling some heat now Uncle Creepy Joe and son Hunter over Hunters past involvement with Burisma Holdings."

About a year ago (February 6, 2020) the investigating judge of the Pecherskyi district court of Kyiv city I.V. Lytvynova ordered to open a criminal investigation of "the big guy" Joe. Case number 62020000000000236.

The authorities tried to stall it for a while (see here: https://justthenews.com/sites/default/files/2020-05/UkraineCourtRulingEngTranslation4-21-20ShokinCase.pdf ), and when they figured out which way the wind blows, they came to their senses and closed the case.

But as far as I know, Mr Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general removed by "the big guy" Joe (Burisma's krysha ), is still there, hasn't had a car accident or anything like that. So, for "the big guy" Joe (and The Family) Ukraine is still somewhat dangerous. To be handled with care.

vetinLA , Mar 13 2021 21:43 utc | 35
I suspect Zelensky is owned and directed by the same forces and people that own and directed DJT, Clinton, Obama, and now Biden.

What happens next, will be up to them. Probably something, anything, that will keep the $ flow directed to the "right" class of people.

Pass the popcorn...

Passer by , Mar 13 2021 22:02 utc | 36
There will be no war between Ukraine and Russia. Russia is playing for time, knowing that the West is getting weaker and will be in worse position later. NS 2 is also not yet completed. Why would one want to start a war now if they will be in better position later?

What may happen though, in the case of provocation, is that the rebels may get newer, fancy weapons, inflicting heavy casualties on the Ukrainian Army.

Same with Taiwan. No one is going to attack it right now. It could still happen, but around 2050, when China is at peak power, and not today.

MarkU , Mar 13 2021 22:13 utc | 37
@ Jackrabbit (26) Re: Nordstream 2

I agree but I also believe its going to be bigger than that.

@ Nemesis (24) & William Gruff (28)

Both right.

@ Stonebird (22)

The information is much appreciated.

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 22:19 utc | 38
@Passer by,
that NS2 is not operational only means that Europe can't afford a long, serious crisis there.

Russia still could: being able to pump gas to Europe non-stop is hardly a critical factor. But of course the Putin administration repeated many times that it will not fight Ukraine. So, yes, it's unlikely.

The approach there appears to be 'wait and see'. "If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by."

[Nov 07, 2020] The Ukros smelling victory by their satrap Biden last night heavily attacked Donetsk, a taste of things to come.

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paco , Nov 6 2020 17:41 utc | 92

@ 66 arby

Yes, the earth keeps spinning no matter who "wins" the election.
Armenia, apparently the skies are clear of turkish drones with a little help from Russian EW, so the Artsakh army is deploying armor again to defend Shusha, they almost lost control of the road to their capital Stepanakert.

Another relevant piece of information, the Ukros smelling victory by their satrap Biden last night heavily attacked Donetsk, a taste of things to come.

Posted by: vk | Nov 6 2020 16:33 utc | 76

That's a good one, Evo calling for Almagro, the OAS will take care of Georgia and Pensilvania.

[Oct 25, 2020] The Ukrainians fired severl Tochka-M misshles into cities in Donbass. Kiev's Apologists Don't Think it Did Anything Wrong

How Donbass conflict started in 2014 ...
Dec 30, 2014 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Kiev's Apologists Don't Think it Did Anything Wrong. Posted on December 30, 2014 by marknesop Uncle Volodya says, "Just because evil liars stand between us and the gods and block our view of them does not mean that the bright halo that surrounds each liar is not the outer edges of a god, waiting for us to find our way around the lie.

Uncle Volodya says, "Just because evil liars
stand between us and the gods
and block our view of them
does not mean that the bright halo
that surrounds each liar
is not the outer edges of a god, waiting
for us to find our way around the lie."

The Kyiv Post has always been pretty nationalistic, and never had too much time for Russia. It has an inconsistent record on the Ukrainian oligarchy, showing occasional flashes of frankness in which it castigates the idle rich, and depressing runs of puff pieces in which it canonizes Petro Poroshenko and gnashes its teeth with righteous anger at his detractors. Several of its regular writers are activists, and their material shows it. Overall, it is the newspaper of record for Kiev's apologists, and draws a reliable audience of Russophobic Maidanites hoarsely crying "Yurrup!!!", as if it were some sort of magic answer to all their problems. But if the paper's material is often delusional, the comments section takes rollie-eyed psychosis to a whole new level. This is where you get to interact with the low-information voter, likely from a Ukrainian diaspora in North America, who buys the western propaganda line wholly and eagerly. Making any remark which appears defensive of Russia is like a red rag to a bull.

Here, every once in awhile, you run across a different kind of commenter – not just the usual "Shut your mouth, you Putin troll asswipe!!" who assumes the right to proselytize his own opinions to his heart's contentment, but will entertain no notion of a dissenting opinion without shouting that it must have been paid for by Putin and anyone who expresses such opinions is an employee of the FSB. Get it? Everyone who argues for a free and undivided Ukraine delivered whole and breathing to Yurrup and its austerity agenda is a patriot who sounds off because it's the right thing to do; everyone else is paid to lie. Occasionally, you run across a true apologist; one who is apparently not ignorant, but one who applies his/her intellect to running interference for the Kiev junta and doing battle on its behalf through insults, fabrications and assumption of a certain mantle of authority, while devising excuses for those actions by Kiev that he/she cannot explain away.

I recently did run across just such a person. Attracted to the article " Ukraine Overturns its Non-Bloc Status. What Next With NATO? " by the sheer zaniness of the Ukrainian leadership – which keeps bulling ahead with trying to referendum itself into NATO despite its ongoing border disputes so that it can immediately pull NATO into an Article 5 war with Russia – I read it, and then perused the comments.

I was moved to get involved in the discussion by a comment from Michael Caine – not the British actor, I'm pretty sure; this individual is not particularly literate but compensates with stubbornness – who seemed sincere enough, but is fixated on the idea that Russia (personified, of course, by Putin, as it is whenever it does anything the western world does not like) has broken international law by acceding to Crimea's request to join the Russian Federation. This process is invariably described in the Anglospheric press as "annexation", and we can hardly blame Michael, because high-profile chowderheads all the way up to and including President Obama have expressed the same opinion, which is completely unsubstantiated. As we have often discussed, the lifeblood of law is precedent, and a precedent was established on unilateral declarations of independence with the acceptance of that premise for the independence of Kosovo. Poland's opinion just happened to be the first I came across, written by then-Foreign-Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, and it announced smugly that a unilateral declaration of independence is outside international law and therefore unregulated by that authority. A state-in-being, saith Radek, is a matter of reality rather than law, and if you have a population which is distinct by virtue of its language, customs and cultural attributes, which has its own government, civil institutions and financial institutions, you are – or you can be – a state by way of a unilateral declaration of independence.

The Polish opinion was pivotal to the broad recognition of Kosovo, because Poland was the first East European and the first Slavic nation to recognize it. However – and this is important – not one other world opinion which supported the recognition of Kosovo challenged Poland's contention that a unilateral declaration of independence is not an instrument regulated by international law. Even The Economist , no friend of Russia and Putin, declared in advance of the vote that if Crimea chose to detach itself from Ukraine's rule, no court would be likely to challenge it, while RFE/RL – still less a friend of Russia and Putin – opined that the Budapest Memorandum (the document in which all the thunderers that Putin has broken international law vest their hopes) is a diplomatic document rather than a treaty, and while it is international law, is not enforceable . Even, if you can imagine, The Hague weighed in, expressing the legal opinion ,

"Therefore, is the Crimean Parliament vote to join the Russian Federation illegal? The answer here is no, albeit with the above clarifications and observations. Can the Crimean population legally exercise its right to external self-determination? The author is of the opinion that − on the basis of existing international case law − this question can neither be answered affirmatively or negatively."

All this went about four feet above Mr. Caine's head, because my polite request that he elaborate on specifically which international law Mr. Putin (who apparently managed the "annexation" of Crimea singlehandedly) broke received the response that Putin had violated the law that says Thou Shalt Not Steal, not to mention that other bad one, Thou Shalt Not Kill.

These are ummm not international laws. Although they apply to all observers of the Christian faith, these are Commandments, and I have yet to see a lawyer hold forth in an international court on a case in which the Book Of Authorities and Precedents is a stone tablet, although I should not speak too soon. You never know.

At about this point, The Apologist entered the fray. Under the banner of Swift69, and plainly one of the protagonists for The Budapest Memorandum, he announced that there was no unilateral declaration of independence because it was all engineered in Moscow, which allegedly is a fact that everyone admits.

In point of fact, the Crimean Parliament and City Council of Sevastopol did declare Crimea's independence, in writing ( here's the English translation ), and specifically citing the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo as precedent. That was actually in advance of the referendum, which asked respondents if they did or did not favour Crimea applying to join the Russian Federation. So far as I am aware nobody has admitted or otherwise affirmed in any way that Crimea's declaration of independence originated in Moscow. Russia admitted in April 2014 that it had conducted advance polling in Crimea to determine the level of support for independence, an issue which had been raised on and off since the 90's. Kind of hard to interpret that as unacceptable interference in a reality that seems to see nothing wrong with political-activist NGO's operated in Moscow and paid by American think tanks attempting to amass support for overthrowing and replacing the Russian government, what?

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Up to this point it was just an amusing academic tussle – Clash Of The References, if you will, although Swift69 actually didn't supply any. But it turned ugly from there.

I wrote, " Meanwhile Ukraine has no room at all to be preaching about international law, nor do any of its defenders. Indiscriminate attack such as firing short-range ballistic missiles into civilian population centers is a war crime. "

Swift69 replied, " Ballistic Missies"( sic ) – the word "ballistic" simply means that it is "on a ballistic trajectory." Every bullet ever fired and every grad ever launched is a "ballistic missile." While you're clearly trying to use the term to elicit sympathy based on people's association of the word n the phrase "intercontinental ballistic missile" or somesuch, it's nonsense. Use of ballistic weapons is no more a "war crime" than use of gravity is "into civilian centers." what nonsense. "Many of the shocking cases, particularly those published by the Russian media are greatly exaggerated There's no convincing evidence of mass killings or graves." – Amnesty International report."

Let's just ponder that for a moment. Swift69 is implying an equivalency between a bullet which might kill two or three people if it ricochets and hits more than its intended target, and a fucking ballistic missile which has a warhead that weighs more than half a ton (1,058 pounds). CNN reported live that U.S. officials had confirmed Ukrainian forces fired "several" Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) missiles "into areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists". The same source reported it could kill "dozens". The Tochka-U has a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of 160 meters. That means even in the unlikely event that you were aiming it at a cluster of 20 armed combatants – from as much as 70 km away – you could only count on the weapon landing somewhere within 160 meters of them. The Ukrainians fired them into cities in Donbass. And this shitbag is saying I merely tacked on the word "ballistic" to make it sound scary, and to win sympathy for those it was fired at which they did not really deserve. Take a look at the crater – that look like a bullet hole to you?

So, let's review. In fact, Indiscriminate Attack is a war crime, in accordance with Customary International Humanitarian Law, Rule 12. Indiscriminate Attack is defined as attack which is (a) not directed at a specific military objective, (b) employs a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective, or (c) employs a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

Explain to me, if you can, how you can fire a ballistic missile with a circular error probability of 160 meters (524 feet) into a city which contains both civilians and paramilitaries, and be reasonably confident you will not kill or injure any civilians, or even that you know from as far away as 70 km from the city that is your target, what you are shooting at? How are you going to limit the effects of your attack with a 1000 lb+ warhead so that it only kills military combatants?

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Even the bullet Captain Sarcastic implied was also a "ballistic missile" could get you in front of a war crimes tribunal, if you just loosed off some of them into a crowd which was a composite of civilians and combatants without attempting to differentiate between the two. The weapon is not the concern – aimed shots in a scenario in which you are attempting to confine your fire to military targets is. Love of God, how hard is that to grasp?

Swift69 goes on to accuse me of sensationalizing further with the implication that the Ukrainian army is firing into civilian population centers, and proceeds to conflate that with an Amnesty International report which accused Russia of propagandizing mass graves, saying there was no credible evidence of that. The two issues have nothing to do with one another. I said the Ukrainian army is firing heavy weapons into Donbass cities at a range beyond which it can discriminate between civilian and military targets, and that considerable loss of life and tremendous damage has resulted. That is absolutely an accurate portrayal of the state of affairs .

For a grand finale, Swift69 proceeds to attack the source of an article which reports that Ukrainian forces or agents of the Ukrainian government have cut off the civilian populations of cities in eastern Ukraine from water and food and medicines in an attempt to force their surrender, and that this is also a war crime. That's a good tactic, and I use it sometimes myself – if you're not comfortable that you can refute what was said, imply the person who reported it is a lunatic. In this instance, I think there is plenty of corroborating evidence that forces acting on Kiev's direction did just what I accuse them of doing .

Kiev is committing war crimes against Ukrainian citizens with the vociferous approval of the Kyiv Post , the tacit approval of the leadership of NATO countries and the slobbering whitewash of Kiev's loony-fringe supporters. Shamelessly, right under your nose, and in the clear presence of condemnatory evidence that should have the lot of them swinging from the gibbet.

[Oct 21, 2020] Col. Brittany Stewart, Military Attach to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and Donbass reconciliation

Such a diplomat.
Oct 21, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOW EXILE October 20, 2020 at 11:16 pm

Did you not see this little gem from the US Embassy in Kiev last week?

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-13&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1316258685916573697&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fthenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F09%2F18%2Fthe-near-global-collapse-of-critical-thinking%2F&siteScreenName=wordpressdotcom&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The woman speaking above is a certain Col. Brittany Stewart, Military Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Yet another American woman doing a man's job! The Russian Ministry of Defence was none too pleased with Colonel Stewart's little performance:

16.10.2020 (14:30)
Defence Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has been informed about the position of the Russian Ministry of Defence

On October 16, the Defence Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was invited to the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation.

The US Department of Defence representative was informed about the position of the Russian Ministry of Defence with regards to a recent statement made by the Military Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Air Force Col. Brittany Stewart, on the joint efforts of the US and Ukrainian Armed Forces in countering so-called "Russian aggression".

The American side was briefed on the false claims of the statement and its provocative nature, which compels the Ukrainian side to a military resolution of the internal conflict in the Donbass.

The above mentioned statement is contradictory to previous declarations made by Pentagon officials on a settlement of the situation in the Ukraine by peaceful means only.

[Edited by Moscow Exile because of grammatical and punctuation errors in the above-linked Russian -English statement, although the Russian Ministry of Defence did spell "defence" correctly! :-)]

"We congratulate the defenders of the Ukraine. Thank them for their self-sacrifice and for taking risks every day", she says in an East Slav dialect, noting that during their visit to the Ukraine, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo had visited memorials to fallen soldiers, "because it was these soldiers who had sacrificed themselves to help protect the democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukraine".

"The USA is and will be your indestructible partner", emphasized the Colonel Stewart.


Have a nice day, suckers!

[Oct 10, 2020] President Zelensky must speak Ukrainian, but only while conducting his 'constitutional' duties, Kiev's Supreme Court rules -- RT Russia Former Soviet Union

Oct 10, 2020 | www.rt.com

President Zelensky must speak Ukrainian, but only while conducting his 'constitutional' duties, Kiev's Supreme Court rules 10 Oct, 2020 10:55 / Updated 5 hours ago Get short URL President Zelensky must speak Ukrainian, but only while conducting his 'constitutional' duties, Kiev's Supreme Court rules Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a press conference at the end of an EU-Ukraine Summit at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, October 6, 2020. © Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq 21 Follow RT on RT Ukraine's top court has ruled that Volodymyr Zelensky must only use the country's state language when exercising his official duties as president, after a citizen claimed he broke the law by speaking Russian at a public event.

The legal case was set in motion after a citizen filed a complaint against Zelensky for delivering a speech in Russian at an IT-themed forum in Kiev in May 2019. The person asked the Supreme Court to rule that Zelensky had broken the law by not using Ukrainian – the country's sole official language, according to the constitution – while exercising his presidential duties.

Zelensky is a native Russian-speaker, from the industrial city of Krivoy Rog, and like most Ukrainians of his generation, outside of the West of the country, he would have had little exposure to the native tongue as a child.

The court initially dismissed the claim, but an appeal was then launched. On Friday, the Supreme Court's Grand Chamber ruled that "the president of Ukraine must use the state language [Ukrainian] when carrying out his official duties."

However, the court clarified that the president is only subject to legal liability for actions undertaken "when carrying out his constitutional duties." In other cases, it only constitutes a "political" responsibility. The case was therefore closed, as "the plaintiff's claims are not subject to consideration in the administrative procedure."

In 2019, the parliament adopted a bill that made the use of Ukrainian mandatory by state officials and in the public sphere. The bill was signed into law by the outgoing president, Petro Poroshenko, when Zelensky was still president-elect. At the time, many observers felt Poroshenko made the move to make life difficult for the incoming leader, given his preference for the use of Russian.

ALSO ON RT.COM EU says ruling Ukrainian party 'knee-deep' in corruption: MEPs threaten Kiev with cuts to financial aid & visa-free travel

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[Sep 26, 2020] What is predatory capitalism

Highly recommended!
Sep 26, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Extracted from: From Conflict to Crisis- The Danger of U.S. Actions by Jeanne M. Haskin

CHAPTER TWO: INSTILLING THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE

Selfishness may be exalted as the root and branch of capitalism, but it doesn't make you look good to the party on the receiving end or those whose sympathy he earns. For that, you need a government prepared to do four things, which each have separate dictums based on study, theorization, and experience. Coercion: Force is illegitimate only if you can't sell it. Persuasion: How do I market thee? Let me count the ways. Bargaining: If you won't scratch my back, then how about a piece of the pie? Indoctrination: Because I said so. (And paid for the semantics.)

Predatory capitalism is the control and expropriation of land, labor, and natural resources by a foreign government via coercion, persuasion, bargaining, and indoctrination.

At the coercive stage, we can expect military and/or police intervention to repress the subject populace. The persuasive stage will be marked by clientelism, in which a small percentage of the populace will be rewarded for loyalty, often serving as the capitalists' administrators, tax collectors, and enforcers. At the bargaining stage, efforts will be made to include the populace, or a certain percentage of it, in the country's ruling system, and this is usually marked by steps toward democratic (or, more often, autocratic) governance.

At the fourth stage, the populace is educated by capitalists, such that they continue to maintain a relationship of dependency.

The Predatory Debt Link

In many cases, post-colonial states were forced to assume the debts of their colonizers. And where they did not, they were encouraged to become in debt to the West via loans that were issued through international institutions to ensure they did not fall prey to communism or pursue other economic policies that were inimical to the West. Debt is the tie that binds nation states to the geostrategic and economic interests of the West.

As such, the Cold War era was a time of easy credit, luring postcolonial states to undertake the construction of useless monoliths and monuments, and to even expropriate such loans through corruption and despotism, thereby making these independent rulers as predatory as colonizers. While some countries were wiser than others and did use the funds for infrastructural improvements, these were also things that benefited the West and particularly Western contractors. In his controversial work Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins reveals that he was a consultant for an American firm (MAIN), whose job was to ensure that states became indebted beyond their means so they would remain loyal to their creditors, buying them votes within United Nations organizations, among other things.

Predatory capitalists demand export-orientations as the means to generate foreign currency with which to pay back debt. In the process, the state must privatize and drastically slash or eliminate any domestic subsidies which are aimed at helping native industry compete in the marketplace. Domestic consumption and imports must be radically contained, as shown by the exchange rate policies recommended by the IMF. The costs of obtaining domestic capital will be pushed beyond the reach of most native producers, while wages must be depressed to an absolute bare minimum. In short, the country's land, labor, and natural resources must be sold at bargain basement prices in order to make these goods competitive, in what one author has called "a spiraling race to the bottom," as countries producing predominantly the same goods engage in cutthroat competition whose benefactor is the West.

Under these circumstances, foreign investment is encouraged, but this, too, represents a loaded situation for countries that open their markets to financial liberalization.

[Sep 19, 2020] The Russian Embassy has demanded clarification from the United States about an NBC report

Sep 19, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOW EXILE September 17, 2020 at 9:46 pm

18 сентября 2020 07:55
Посольство РФ потребовало от США разъяснений по поводу репортажа NBC

18 September 2020 07:55
The Russian Embassy has demanded clarification from the United States about an NBC report

The Russian Embassy in Washington has demanded an explanation from the US authorities about an NBC TV report, which mentions US support for "Ukrainian units" in the Crimea.

This has been reported in social networks on the official page of the diplomatic mission.

In American journalists' material, it was said that the United States was arming certain groups that were acting against Russian forces in the Crimea.

The point that the embassy is emphasizing is that Washington is supporting the activities of terrorists in Russia. Diplomats admit that the channel may be wrong, but demand that the United States clarify whether they are involved in organizing terrorist attacks against the residents of Crimea.

Ukrainian units fighting Russian occupying forces in the Crimea?

For the liberation of Crimeans living under the yoke of post-Soviet Russian imperialism?

Where?

When?

ET AL September 18, 2020 at 12:12 am

Liberation and subsequent return as a khanate where it can pick up where it left off, carrying out slave raids in to Russia for profit.* Good times!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_Khanate#Slave_trade

[Sep 18, 2020] Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's on Minsk agreements in his September 17, 2020 interview

Notable quotes:
"... This fully contradicts the sequence of events outlined in the Minsk agreements whereby restoring Ukrainian armed forces' control on the border with Russia is possible only after an amnesty, agreeing on the special status of these territories, making this status part of the Ukrainian Constitution and holding elections there. Now they propose giving back the part of Donbass that "rebelled" against the anti-constitutional coup to those who declared these people terrorists and launched an "anti-terrorist operation" against them, ..."
"... On the contrary, Alexander Turchinov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and others like them attacked these areas. The guilt of the people living there was solely in them saying, "You committed a crime against the state, we do not want to follow your rules, let us figure out our own future and see what you will do next." There's not a single example that would corroborate the fact that they engaged in terrorism. It was the Ukrainian state that engaged in terrorism on their territory, in particular, when they killed [Head of the Donetsk People's Republic] Alexander Zakharchenko and a number of field commanders in Donbass. So, I am not optimistic about this. ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | thesaker.is

Question: Here I am listening to you and wondering how many people care about this? Why is it that no one understands this? Is this politics that is too far away from ordinary people who are nevertheless behind it? Take Georgia or Ukraine. People are worse off now than before, and despite this, this policy continues.

Will the Minsk agreements ever be implemented? Will the situation in southeastern Ukraine ever be settled?

Returning to what we talked about. How independent is Ukraine in its foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: I don't think that under the current Ukrainian government, just like under the previous president, we will see any progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, if only because President Zelensky himself is saying so publicly, as does Deputy Prime Minister Reznikov who is in charge of the Ukrainian settlement in the Contact Group. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kuleba is also saying this. They say there's a need for the Minsk agreements and they cannot be broken, because these agreements (and accusing Russia of non-compliance) are the foundation of the EU and the US policy in seeking to maintain the sanctions on Russia. Nevertheless, such a distorted interpretation of the essence of the Minsk agreements, or rather an attempt to blame everything on Russia, although Russia is never mentioned there, has stuck in the minds of our European colleagues, including France and Germany, who, being co-sponsors of the Minsk agreements along with us, the Ukrainians and Donbass, cannot but realise that the Ukrainians are simply distorting their responsibilities, trying to distance themselves from them and impose a different interpretation of the Minsk agreements. But even in this scenario, the above individuals and former Ukrainian President Kravchuk, who now heads the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group as part of the Minsk process, claim that the Minsk agreements in their present form are impracticable and must be revised, turned upside down. Also, Donbass must submit to the Ukrainian government and army before even thinking about conducting reforms in this part of Ukraine.

This fully contradicts the sequence of events outlined in the Minsk agreements whereby restoring Ukrainian armed forces' control on the border with Russia is possible only after an amnesty, agreeing on the special status of these territories, making this status part of the Ukrainian Constitution and holding elections there. Now they propose giving back the part of Donbass that "rebelled" against the anti-constitutional coup to those who declared these people terrorists and launched an "anti-terrorist operation" against them, which they later renamed a Joint Forces Operation (but this does not change the idea behind it), and whom they still consider terrorists. Although everyone remembers perfectly well that in 2014 no one from Donbass or other parts of Ukraine that rejected the anti-constitutional coup attacked the putschists and the areas that immediately fell under the control of the politicians behind the coup. On the contrary, Alexander Turchinov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and others like them attacked these areas. The guilt of the people living there was solely in them saying, "You committed a crime against the state, we do not want to follow your rules, let us figure out our own future and see what you will do next." There's not a single example that would corroborate the fact that they engaged in terrorism. It was the Ukrainian state that engaged in terrorism on their territory, in particular, when they killed [Head of the Donetsk People's Republic] Alexander Zakharchenko and a number of field commanders in Donbass. So, I am not optimistic about this.

Question: So, we are looking at a dead end?

Sergey Lavrov: You know, we still have an undeniable argument which is the text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council.

Question: But they tried to revise it?

Sergey Lavrov: No, they are just making statements to that effect. When they gather for a Contact Group meeting in Minsk, they do their best to look constructive. The most recent meeting ran into the Ukrainian delegation's attempts to pretend that nothing had happened. They recently passed a law on local elections which will be held in a couple of months. It says that elections in what are now called the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics will be held only after the Ukrainian army takes control of the entire border and those who "committed criminal offenses" are arrested and brought to justice even though the Minsk agreements provide for amnesty without exemptions.

Question: When I'm asked about Crimea I recall the referendum. I was there at a closed meeting in Davos that was attended by fairly well respected analysts from the US. They claimed with absolute confidence that Crimea was being occupied. I reminded them about the referendum. I was under the impression that these people either didn't want to see or didn't know how people lived there, that they have made their choice. Returning to the previous question, I think that nobody is interested in the opinion of the people.

Sergey Lavrov: No, honest politicians still exist. Many politicians, including European ones, were in Crimea during the referendum. They were there not under the umbrella of some international organisation but on their own because the OSCE and other international agencies were controlled by our Western colleagues. Even if we had addressed them, the procedure for coordinating the monitoring would have never ended.

[Sep 17, 2020] A General of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Admitted That Poroshenko Executes America's Orders

Notable quotes:
"... The former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the UAF Yury Dumansky stated on the air of the " NewsOne " TV channel that Kiev is guided by the decisions of the US concerning the question of resolving the conflict in Donbass ..."
Apr 11, 2018 | www.stalkerzone.org
Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard 21:40:32 11/04/2018 ria.ru

The former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the UAF Yury Dumansky stated on the air of the " NewsOne " TV channel that Kiev is guided by the decisions of the US concerning the question of resolving the conflict in Donbass.

The demands of the President Petro Poroshenko concerning the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the east of the country will directly be agreed with the special representative of the US State Department for Ukraine Kurt Volker , stressed Dumansky.

"We are in the conditions of the negotiation process. Not we, Ukraine, but a third external player who presents America – Volker – decides for us. And he solves the problem with the Russian Federation at the level of negotiations," noted the Lieutenant-General.

And it is only after, according to the military, that Poroshenko undertakes measures coordinated with the US for the solving of the conflict in Donbass.

"And then the corresponding processes are launched -- what we observe directly -- the president's trips to Turkey, Germany where one of the questions concerning solving this conflict are being raised," noted Dumansky.

Kiev in April, 2014, started a military operation against the self-proclaimed LPR and the DPR, which declared their independence after a coup d'etat in Ukraine.

The issue of solving the situation in Donbass is discussed also during contact group meetings in Minsk, which since September, 2014, adopted already three documents regulating steps to de-escalate the conflict. However, firefights between the parties of the conflict still continue.

Now the Ukrainian authorities try to obtain the introduction of UN peacekeepers in the East of Ukraine. According to Kiev, "blue helmets" should be deployed on all the territory of Donbass up to the border with Russia.

Vladimir Putin supported the idea of sending a peacekeeping mission to the East of Ukraine. However, according to him, their task includes only ensuring the security of OSCE staff, and they have to be based on the contact line.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/w_3ntz01TDc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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[Aug 27, 2020] A couple of lessons for Belarus, if it has a government capable of learning from the mistakes of others rather than insisting upon making them itself before learning

Aug 27, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MARK CHAPMAN August 25, 2020 at 5:27 pm

A couple of lessons for Belarus, if it has a government capable of learning from the mistakes of others rather than insisting upon making them itself before learning; the first – Ukraine.

The Biggest Little Country In Yurrup has just voted, in an extraordinary meeting of the Verkhovna Rada, to beg the EU for a further loan of $1.2 Billion. For that mess of pottage, it will accept enhanced external governance.

"With this memorandum, Ukraine undertakes to increase the role of international structures in the judicial system, law enforcement agencies, and state-owned enterprises' executive boards (with the restoration of their cosmic salaries)."

Of course, that's the selfish Russian perspective; it comes from Stalker Zone. The 'reality' as Ukrainians see it might be a lot more lighthearted, like going on an adventure with some foreign friends! And it might not even happen, considering the Ukrainian plan to get half the money up front, without having to satisfy any of the conditions, although even the full $1.2 Billion seems to me a bargain price to gain control of Ukrainian state institutions. If I had $1.2 Billion lying around doing nothing, I might buy them myself.

https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-verkhovna-rada-sold-the-remnants-of-ukraines-sovereignty/

The second is the collapse of Latvian industry under capitalism and foreign investment. There but for the grace of God go you, Belarus.

https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-same-awaits-maz-and-belaz-how-latvias-no-1-plant-was-killed/

When you think about it, it is amazing how willing eastern Europeans are to believe the siren song of western capital investment, since as soon as they control the company, they break it up and sell it, and the locals are left with nothing but western newspapers to keep their bums from freezing. But it happens over and over.

PATIENT OBSERVER August 25, 2020 at 5:48 pm

It's the lottery mentality, most of the poor saps will only get poorer but the chance of winning big (especially if you have a few connections) overwhelms logic and common sense. It what makes capitalism so attractive – dreams of big wealth and leaving your poor slum behind make the most miserable life somehow tolerable.

And it what makes socialism so boring – you may be, on average, better off but little prospect for that life-changing jackpot.

There is more to it than that but the dreams of a big payday explains much of why so many Eastern Europeans put up with, if not embrace, capitalism BS.

PATIENT OBSERVER August 26, 2020 at 5:41 pm

The carrot always seemingly just out of reach works for most until the day you die. And if you do reach the carrot, you will soon realize that it is rotten.

Trying to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die.
– Bittersweet Symphony

[Jul 26, 2020] Former Poroshenko Ally Admits Euromaidan In 2014 Was Entirely Funded By "Organized Criminal Group" - Defend Democracy Press

Highly recommended!
Jul 26, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Former Poroshenko Ally Admits Euromaidan In 2014 Was Entirely Funded By "Organized Criminal Group" 25/07/2020

24.07.2020

On July 21 st , Ukrainian businessman and politician David Zhvania revealed some open secrets of the Ukrainian politics, including crimes that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had carried out. The irony of the situation is that Zhvania was, at one point, the leader of Poroshenko's campaign headquarters.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/JChtKpaulOs

He said that Euromaidan was ruled by criminal groups led by the people who were leading the parties that came into power following the coup – the BPP (Bloc of Petro Poroshenko) and the National Front.

He also said that he had participated in giving multimillion-dollar bribes to European officials in exchange for their support to Poroshenko's election as president.

The former member of Ukrainian parliament, in his video message, said that Ukraine is threatened with a new coming to power of Poroshenko.

"A creeping revenge is taking place in the country – Zelensky's rating falls, and Poroshenko and his entourage are again striving for power. I cannot look at it calmly, so I decided to give this press conference. Warn the citizens of Ukraine not to make a mistake. Tell everyone. who is Poroshenko and his entourage.

This is a criminal group that from the very beginning participated in the Maidan solely for the sake of seizing power and personal enrichment," Zhvania said.

He said that following the 2014 Maidan, an organized criminal group took power in Ukraine, and he admitted that he was part of it.

According to Zhvania, it was this criminal group that financed the protests and thwarted any options for agreements with the authorities (the Yanukovich government), which were designed to avoid escalation.

Read also: Les gilets jaunes lancent un ultimatum au Président

"I was also a member of the organized criminal group, which seized power in 2014 on the wave of popular protests. We financed the Maidan, we fueled protest moods in the media, thwarted the government's peace initiatives, conducted separate negotiations with deputies of the Party of Regions, and negotiated with foreign embassies.

The organized criminal group included Martynenko, Poroshenko, Turchynov, Yatsenyuk, Klitschko. Each of whom has attached its own group. Turchinov, for example, brought Pashinsky and Parubiy," Zhvania said and added that he was ready to testify on this matter.

After the coup victory, Zhvania's group engaged in political corruption to secure the presidency for Poroshenko.

"I and Klimkin (note: Klimkin later became the foreign minister) directly participated in the transfer of 5 million euros through the Ukrainian Embassy in Germany for one high-ranking European official at that time in order to ensure support for Poroshenko as a candidate for the presidency of Ukraine from the EU. I am ready to provide the circumstances of this to the investigating authorities," Zhvania claimed.

In his opinion, Poroshenko became president as a result of the consensus of the oligarchs. And he took on certain obligations to them, which in most cases he carried out.

According to Zhvania, during his tenure as president, Poroshenko acquired approximately $3.4 billion in bribes.

The former politician hoped that President Zelensky "will have enough political will to bring the case of Poroshenko and his entourage to an end."

"Poroshenko today, on the eve of local elections, may try to run for mayor. Before Maidan, it was his dream – he humiliatingly begged Yanukovych for the right to run for mayor of Kiev, was ready to give a bribe for this. Yanukovych did not allow, and Poroshenko did not dare to disobey," Zhvania said and promised to reveal more in the following weeks.

Read also: Brazil's Neo-Liberal Fascist Road to Power | By James Petras

In brief, he said:

  1. The Euromaidan in 2014 was not a spontaneous protest, but was financed by political circles to overthrow Yanukovych.
  2. Any peace initiatives were thwarted by a group that included Martynenko, Poroshenko, Turchynov, Yatsenyuk and Klitschko.
  3. Zhvania and Klimkin gave 5 million euros in bribes to a European official to lobby for Poroshenko's interests as a presidential candidate in 2014.

David Zhvania is a well-known Ukrainian businessman from Georgia. Long-term business partner of the deputy of several iterations of Parliament Nikolay Martynenko.

Zhvania was also a member in four different Ukrainian parliament configurations. In 2004, he was an ally of Yushchenko, was a member of the Our Ukraine bloc, and took part in the Orange Revolution. In 2005, he served as Minister of Emergency Situations in the government of Yulia Tymoshenko.

In 2006 he went to the Verkhovna Rada from "Our Ukraine" and Yushchenko, but he had a falling out with him.

In 2010, he became friends with the Yanukovych team.

In the 2012 elections, he entered parliament as a self-nominated and non-partisan candidate in 140 constituencies. He was a member of the Party of Regions faction, but left it in 2013 when the Revolution of Dignity began.

In the 2014 elections, he was one of the heads of the electoral headquarters of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. People's Deputy Aleksandr Onishchenko stated that he transferred money to Zhvania for a seat in the parliament of the 8th convocation.

[Jul 05, 2020] western chapter of looking the other way for their 'son of a bitches.'

Jul 05, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 3, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Euractiv: MEPs alarmed by 'politically motivated persecution' in Ukraine
https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/meps-alarmed-by-politically-motivated-persecution-in-ukraine/

"We are alarmed by continuous attempts to misuse the Ukrainian justice system for politically motivated persecution of political opponents," said lawmakers from the informal Friends of European Ukraine group in a statement on Friday (3 July).

After the peaceful power transition of 2019 election in the post-Soviet country, "current attempts to prosecute political opponents pose a risk of democratic backsliding," the group of MEPs added.

Ukraine's former president, Petro Poroshenko, is suspected of abuse of office by illegally pressuring the then-chief of Ukraine's Foreign Intelligence Service, Yehor Bozhok, into appointing Serhiy Semоchko as his deputy.

Poroshenko is involved in 24 investigations, with three others recently closed, and denies any wrongdoing, calling the probes selective justice 'at the orders of [Volodymyr] Zelensky', the current president .

The 50-member group, which does not have formal standing, was created in September last year with the goal of providing political support and to promote Ukraine's economic integration with the EU
####

Unfortunately there is more at the link except the names of MEPs.

A Ukrainian oligarch has his own MEP lobby group! Why should we be surprised? I can't find a list of members (this is not the old 2014-19 group and this European Parliament page has not been updated with the new group of the same name) but Auštrevičius is the chaiman. There's also the Friends of Ukraine with the like of Fogh Rasmussen, Versbow, Rifkind, Cox, Bildt etc. on the Rasmussen site.

No matter how corrupt, murderous or just plain nasty, it is more important to keep the u-Kraine close to the EU, close to NATO etc. for strategic purposes. It's just another western chapter of looking the other way for their 'son of a bitches.'

[Jul 05, 2020] Support for the Ukrainian SOB from usual cicles : BBC casts a sympathetic eye on Porky's alleged persecution:

Jul 05, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 4, 2020 at 5:54 pm

Poor old Poroshenko!

BBC casts a sympathetic eye on Porky's alleged persecution:

Ukraine's Zelensky accused by ex-leader of hosting Russian 'fifth column'
55 minutes ago

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53281086 .

Accompanied by "several thousand of supporters" was Porky, according to the BBC

That a fact?

[Jun 24, 2020] Russia heavily subsidised Ukrainian energy imports for decades gas and oil; the USA converted Ukraine into a debt slave, sells Ukraine expensive weapons and cornered their energy industry; The level of fleecing Ukraine by the USA after Euromaidan can be compared only with fleecing of Libya.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Russia heavily subsidised Ukrainian energy imports for decades – gas and oil. In a similar fashion, Russia is doing this with Belarus until the present time. Russia is the only possible consumer of what Ukraine used to manufacture – a market that has disappeared. Gas turbines used to be made in Ukraine. Now, this has moved to Russia. Of course, the skilled Ukrainians went to Russia with their know-how. ..."
"... To the best of my knowledge the USSR was the only empire that actually subsidized its colonies – Poland, East Germany, Ukraine etc. Russia is far better off without them. ..."
"... Ukrainian supermarkets are overflowing with French/German/Italian products. European supermarkets are devoid of Ukrainian products. ..."
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Likbez, June 24, 2020 at 4:02 am GMT

@Mr. Hack

Only a complete and utter incompetent (or a rabid Ukrainian nationalist) can call Ukraine an independent state. It is de-facto a colony of the West. A debt slave.

I applaud the US response of supporting Ukraine's aspirations for a freer, more Western-oriented country and that it continues to support Ukraine's territorial interests over those of Russia's.

This was not about supporting Ukrainian aspirations for a freer, more Western-oriented country. It is about kicking out Russia from Ukrainian markets and plundering Ukraine all by themselves. Mainly by Germany and the USA -- to major players of Euromaydan color revolution. For Germans this is return to "Drang nach Osten" on a new level, on the level of neoliberal neocolonialism.

They used Western nationalists as their fifth column, but Western Ukrainian suffered from the results no less then people in Eastern Ukraine. Many now try to move to Kiev, Kiev region and further East in order to escape poverty and unemployment. Seasonal labor to Russia (mainly builders) diminished rapidly. Train communication now is blocked, and for Western Ukraine only Poland now represents a chance to earn money for the family to survive the winter.

For the USA this is first of all about selling Ukraine expensive weaponry, wasting precious Ukrainian resources on permanent hostility with Russia (with Donbas conflict as a real win to further the USA geopolitical ambitions -- in line with the "Full spectrum dominance" doctrine) , cornering Ukrainian energy market (uranium supplies for power stations, etc.), destruction, or buy-out of a few competing industries other than extracting industries and maquiladoras, getting better conditions for the EU exports and multinationals operating in Ukraine (and initially with plans for re-export products to Russia tax free) and increasing the country debt to "debt slave" level.

In other words this is a powerful kick in a chin by Obama to Putin. Not a knockdown, but very close.

For Ukraine first of all that means rapid accumulation of a huge external debt -- conditions of economic slavery, out of which there is no escape. Ukrainian people paid a very dear price for their Euromaydan illusions. They became mass slave labor in Poland. Prostitutes in Germany. Seasonal picker of fruits in some other EU countries (GB, France). A new European blacks, so to speak.

The level of fleecing Ukraine by the USA after Euromaidan can be compared only with fleecing of Libya. The currency dropped 300%, and 80% Ukrainians now live in abysmal poverty, while neoliberal oligarchs allied with the West continue to plunder the country. Gold reserves were moved to the USA.

If I had to choose between two colonizers, I probably would prefer Russians. They are still colonizers, but they are less ruthless and brutal colonizers.

Alfred , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2020 at 7:45 am GMT

@likbez If I had to choose between two colonizers, I probably would prefer Russians. They are still colonizers, but they are less ruthless and brutal colonizers.

I agree with 90% of what you wrote, but I would like to correct the above.

Russia heavily subsidised Ukrainian energy imports for decades – gas and oil. In a similar fashion, Russia is doing this with Belarus until the present time. Russia is the only possible consumer of what Ukraine used to manufacture – a market that has disappeared. Gas turbines used to be made in Ukraine. Now, this has moved to Russia. Of course, the skilled Ukrainians went to Russia with their know-how.

To the best of my knowledge the USSR was the only empire that actually subsidized its colonies – Poland, East Germany, Ukraine etc. Russia is far better off without them.

Ukrainian supermarkets are overflowing with French/German/Italian products. European supermarkets are devoid of Ukrainian products.

[Jun 24, 2020] Only a complete and utter incompetent (or a rabid Ukrainian nationalist) can call Ukraine an independent state. It is de-facto a colony of the West. A debt slave

Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

likbez , says: Show Comment June 24, 2020 at 4:02 am GMT

@Mr. Hack Only a complete and utter incompetent (or a rabid Ukrainian nationalist) can call Ukraine an independent state. It is de-facto a colony of the West. A debt slave.

I applaud the US response of supporting Ukraine's aspirations for a freer, more Western-oriented country and that it continues to support Ukraine's territorial interests over those of Russia's.

This was not about supporting Ukrainian aspirations for a freer, more Western-oriented country. It is about kicking out Russia from Ukrainian markets and plundering Ukraine all by themselves. Mainly by Germany and the USA -- to major players of Euromaydan color revolution. For Germans this is return to "Drang nach Osten" on a new level, on the level of neoliberal neocolonialism.

They used Western nationalists as their fifth column, but Western Ukrainian suffered from the results no less then people in Eastern Ukraine. Many now try to move to Kiev, Kiev region and further East in order to escape poverty and unemployment. Seasonal labor to Russia (mainly builders) diminished rapidly. Train communication now is blocked, and for Western Ukraine only Poland now represents a chance to earn money for the family to survive the winter.

For the USA this is first of all about selling Ukraine expensive weaponry, wasting precious Ukrainian resources on permanent hostility with Russia (with Donbas conflict as a real win to further the USA geopolitical ambitions -- in line with the "Full spectrum dominance" doctrine) , cornering Ukrainian energy market (uranium supplies for power stations, etc.), destruction, or buy-out of a few competing industries other than extracting industries and maquiladoras, getting better conditions for the EU exports and multinationals operating in Ukraine (and initially with plans for re-export products to Russia tax free) and increasing the country debt to "debt slave" level.

In other words this is a powerful kick in a chin by Obama to Putin. Not a knockdown, but very close.

For Ukraine first of all that means rapid accumulation of a huge external debt -- conditions of economic slavery, out of which there is no escape. Ukrainian people paid a very dear price for their Euromaydan illusions. They became mass slave labor in Poland. Prostitutes in Germany. Seasonal picker of fruits in some other EU countries (GB, France). A new European blacks, so to speak.

The level of fleecing Ukraine by the USA after Euromaidan can be compared only with fleecing of Libya. The currency dropped 300%, and 80% Ukrainians now live in abysmal poverty, while neoliberal oligarchs allied with the West continue to plunder the country. Gold reserves were moved to the USA.

If I had to choose between two colonizers, I probably would prefer Russians. They are still colonizers, but they are less ruthless and brutal colonizers.

[May 02, 2020] EU should consider 'flexible' Russia sanctions

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al April 28, 2020 at 10:18 am

I'm posting this for entertainment purposes:

Euractiv: EU should consider 'flexible' Russia sanctions over Ukraine: report
https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/eu-should-consider-flexible-russia-sanctions-over-ukraine-report/

The EU should reconsider its 'all or nothing' approach on sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as its annexation of Crimea, a new report from the International Crisis Group suggests. The Brussels-based think tank calls for the easing of certain sanctions in exchange for Russian progress towards peace in Ukraine.

"Inflexible sanctions are less likely to change behaviour," said Olga Oliker, Europe and Central Asia programme director. "Because of that, we urge considering an approach that would allow for the lifting of some sanctions in exchange for some progress, with a clear intent to reverse that rollback of sanctions if the progress itself is reversed."

.A major roadblock in the implementation of the Minsk deal has been the sequence of events supposed to bring an end to the conflict that has so far claimed more than 13,000 lives.

Kyiv wants to first regain control over its border with Russia before local elections in the war-torn region can be held, while Moscow believes that elections must come first
####

Door. Horse. Barn. Bolted.

The Intentional Critics Grope is yet again a $/€ short in the reality department.

You would think the Editor Gotev (the last two paras by him) would mention that the Minsk agreement clearly states elections come first and that Kiev has singularly refuse the other conditions of the agreement, but that really would be asking too much. From a professional journalist.

It's the same shit we got with the US-North Korea 4 point nuclear agreement where de-nuclearization of the region is the final stage yet it didn't take Washington and ball-licking corporate media to parrot 'denuclearization' as the first point as suddently decided by the Ovum Orifice.*

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreed_Framework

Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 1:24 pm
They try it on again about every six months, just to see if the Russian negotiators have changed and if the new ones are dimwitted. I'm sure it is crystal clear to the Kremlin that if it gave Ukraine back exclusive control of the border, it would (a) call up troops and set up a cordon to make it impossible for eastern Ukraine to be reinforced, and (b) launch an all-out military push to re-take the breakaway regions. The west would then shout "Safe!!!", and the game would be over – Ukraine is (almost) whole again, praise Jeebus. There would be a propaganda storm that Russia was 'trying to meddle in the peace process' while Kuh-yiv rooted out and either imprisoned or executed all the 'rebel' leaders, and the west – probably the USA – would provide 'peacekeepers' to give Ukraine time to restore its complete control over the DNR and LPR. Then, presto! no elections required, we are all happy Ukrainians!

They knew 'inflexible sanctions were less likely to change behaviors' when they first agreed to impose them – but they were showing their belly to Washington, and don't know how to stop now. Serves them right if they are losing revenue and market share.

Mark Chapman April 29, 2020 at 8:42 am
I don't think Russia is very interested, beyond polite diplomatic raising of the eyebrows, in relaxing of sanctions under conditions the EU is careful to highlight could be reapplied in a trice, as soon as anyone was upset with Russia's performance. Because that moment would be literally only a moment away. The UK can be counted on to register blistering outrage at the drop of a hat, and while its influence on the EU will soon be limited, dogs-in-the-manger like Poland can always be relied upon to throw themselves about in an ecstasy of victimhood. It would be impossible to set up any sort of dependable supply chain, as the interval between orders would never be known with any degree of certainty. Fuck the EU. Russia is better off to press on as it has been doing. The EU has to buy oil and gas from Russia because the logistics and price of American supplies make them economically non-competitive, and best to just leave it there. The EU will bitch, but it will continue to buy, whereas any other commerce would be subject to theatrical hissy fits.

[Feb 23, 2020] Sick trash by PaulR

Notable quotes:
"... In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're trying to build a completely new society.' ..."
"... And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their 'minimum level of human development'. ..."
Feb 18, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

I'd never heard of the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG) until today, even though it turns out that one of its members has the office next door to mine. Its website says that it seeks to respond to the challenge of East-West tensions by convening 'former and current officials and experts from a group of Euro-Atlantic states and the European union to test ideas and develop proposals for improving security in areas of existential common interest'. It hopes thereby to 'generate trust through dialogue.'

It's hard to object to any of this, but its latest statement , entitled 'Twelve Steps Toward Greater Security in Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Region', doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. The 'twelve steps' the EASLG proposes to improve security in Eastern Ukraine are generally pretty uninspiring, being largely of the 'set up a working group to explore' variety, or of such a vaguely aspirational nature as to be almost worthless (e.g. 'Advance reconstruction of Donbas An essential first step is to conduct a credible needs assessment for the Donbas region to inform a strategy for its social-economic recovery.' Sounds nice, but in reality doesn't amount to a hill of beans).

For the most part, these proposals attempt to treat the symptoms of the war in Ukraine without addressing the root causes. In a sense, that's fine, as symptoms need treating, but it's sticking plaster when the patient needs some invasive surgery. At the end of its statement, though, the EASLG does go one step further with 'Step 12: Launch a new national dialogue about identity', saying:

A new, inclusive national dialogue across Ukraine is desirable and could be launched as soon as possible. Efforts should be made to engage with perspectives from Ukraine's neighbors, especially Poland, Hungary, and Russia. This dialogue should address themes of history and national memory, language, identity, and minority experience. It should include tolerance and respect for ethnic and religious minorities in order to increase engagement, inclusiveness, and social cohesion.

This is admirably trendy and woke, but in the Ukrainian context somewhat explosive, as it implicitly challenges the identity politics of the post-Maidan regime. Unsurprisingly, it's gone down like a lead balloon in Kiev. The notorious website Mirotvorets even went so far as to add former German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger to its blacklist of enemies of Ukraine for having had the temerity to sign the EASLG statement and thus 'taking part in Russia's propaganda events aimed against Ukraine.' Katherine Quinn-Judge of the International Crisis Group commented on Twitter, 'As the idea of dialogue becomes more mainstream, backlash to the concept grows fiercer.' 'In Ukraine, prominent pro-Western politicians, civic activists, and media, have called Step 12 "a provocation" and "dangerous",' she added

Quinn-Judge comes across as generally sympathetic to the Ukrainian narrative about the war in Donbass, endorsing the idea that it's largely a product of 'Russian aggression'. But she also recognizes that the war has an internal, social dimension which the Ukrainian government and its elite-level supporters refuse to acknowledge. Consequently, they also reject any sort of dialogue, either with Russia or with the rebels in Donbass. As Quinn-Judge notes in another Tweet:

An advisor to one of Ukraine's most powerful pol[itician]s told us recently of his concern about talk of dialogue in international and domestic circles. 'We have all long ago agreed among ourselves. We need to return our territory, and then work with that sick – sick – population.'

This isn't an isolated example. Quinn-Judge follows up with a couple more similar statements:

Social resentments underpin some opposition to disengagement, for example. An activist in [government-controlled] Shchastye told me recently that she feared disengagement and the reopening of the bridge linking the isolated town to [rebel-held] Luhansk: 'I don't want all that trash coming over here.'

In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're trying to build a completely new society.'

And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their 'minimum level of human development'. You can fiddle with treating Donbass' symptoms as much as you like, à la EASLG, but unless you tackle this fundamental problem, the disease will keep on ravaging the subject for a long time to come. In due course, I suggest, the only realistic cure will be to remove the patient entirely from the cause of infection.

Mao Cheng Ji says: February 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm Yeah, but that's just their standard narrative.

See here, for example:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uNupUPjLdUI?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

And it's been there, either officially or beneath the surface, since forever. Since the Habsburgs, probably, when it was first introduced in Ruthenia.

Guest says: February 21, 2020 at 5:27 am

This person speaks so casually of genocide!!!

It's disgusting that such people have been empowered and such ideas are mainstream.
Calling people sick trash is the start on the road to genocide

Mao Cheng Ji says: February 22, 2020 at 1:46 pm

He's still there, working. Popular journalist and blogger.

dewittbourchier says: February 18, 2020 at 6:01 pm
All that you have described above is very sad, but not very surprising – which is itself very sad. I think Patrick Armstrong is right that a lot of the reason Ukraine is not and has never been a functional polity is because much if not most of the population cannot accept that the right side won WWII.
Mikhail says: February 18, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Hypocritically denounces the USSR, while seeking that entity's Communist created/inherited boundaries

akarlin says: February 18, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Contempt and loathing towards the Donbass is a pretty popular feeling amongst Ukrainian svidomy. E.g., one of the two regular pro-Ukrainian commenters on my blog.

To his credit, he supports severing the Donbass from Ukraine (as one would a gangrenous limb – his metaphor) as opposed to trying to claw it back. Which is an internally consistent position.

Mikhail says: February 18, 2020 at 10:13 pm

Same guy who doesn't consider Yanukovych as having been overthrown under coup like circumstances, while downplaying Poland's past subjugation of Rus territory.

Lyttenburgh says: February 19, 2020 at 8:18 pm

In Part I and II we saw how much truth is there in Herr Karlin's claim of being a model of the rrrracially purrrre Rrrrrrrussian plus some personal views.

Part III (this one) gives a peek into his cultural and upbringing limits, which "qualify" him as an expert of all things Russian, who speaks on behalf of the People and the Country.

Exhibit "A"

" I left when I was six, in 1994 , so I'm not really the best person to ask this question of – it should probably be directed to my parents, or even better, the Russian government at the time which had for all intents and purposes ceased paying academics their salaries.

I went to California for higher education and because its beaches and mountains made for a nice change from the bleakness of Lancashire.

I returned to Russia because if I like Putler so much, why don't I go back there? Okay, less flippancy. I am Russian, I do not feel like a foreigner here, I like living in Moscow, added bonus is that I get much higher quality of life for the buck than in California ."

Exhibit "B"

"I never went to school, don't have any experience with writing in Russian, and have been overexposed to Anglo culture , so yes, it's no surprise that my texts will sound strange."

Vladimir says: February 20, 2020 at 8:46 am

The Russian branch of Carnegie Endowment did a piece on this issue. It mostly fits your ideas, but the author suggests it was a compromise, short-term solution – what steps can be taken right now, without crossing red lines of either side – but compromise is unwelcome among both parties. The official Russian reaction was quite cold too.

"Удаленные 12 шагов. Почему в Мюнхене испугались собственных предложений по Донбассу"
https://carnegie.ru/commentary/81093

Mikhail says: February 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm

Upon a quick perusal of the website of the org at issue, Alexey Arbatov and Susan Eisenhower have some kind of affiliation with it, thus maybe explaining the compromise approach you mention.

This matter brings to mind Trump saying one thing during his presidential bid – only to then bring in people in key positions who don't agree with what he campaigned on.

In terms of credentials and name status, the likes of Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Stephen Cohen and Jim Jatras, are needed in Trump's admin for the purpose of having a more balanced foreign policy approach that conforms with US interests (not to be necessarily confused with what neocons and neolibs favor).

Instead, Trump has been top heavy with geopolitical thinking opposites. He possibly thought that having them in would take some of the criticism away from him.

The arguably ideal admin has both sides of an issue well represented, with the president intelligently deciding what's best.

Guest says: February 21, 2020 at 5:23 am

On the BBC and on other media there are films of Ukrainians attacking a bus with people evacuated from China. These people even wanted to burn down the hospital where the peoplew were taken (along with other unrelated patients)

This is a sign of a degraded society – attacking people who may or may not be ill!!!

Ukraine will eventually break up
The nationalist agenda is just degrading the society.

-The economy is failing
-People who can, are leaving
-The elected government has no control over the violent people who take to the streets

It's clear Zelensky is a puppet no different to Poroshenko – this destroys the idea that democracy is a good thing.

It's very sad that the EU and the Americans under Obama – empowered these decisive elements and then blame Russia.

Crimea did the right thing leaving Ukraine – Donbass hopefully will follow.

Lyttenburgh says: February 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

"And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass"

[ ]

Only them?

[ ]

Yesterday marks yet another milestone on the Ukrainian glorious шлях перемог and long and arduous return to the Family of the European Nations. The Civil Society ™ of the Ukraine rose as one in the mighty CoronavirusMaidan, against the jackbooted goons of the crypto-Napoleon (and agent of Putin) Zelensky. Best people from Poltava oblast' (whose ancestors without doubt, welcomed Swedish Euro-integrators in 1709) and, most important of all, from the Best (Western) Ukrajina, who 6 years ago made the Revolution of Dignity in Kiev the reality and whom pan Poroshenko called the best part of the Nation, said their firm "Геть вiд Москви!"

to their fellow Ukrainian citizens, evacuated from Wuhan province in China

The Net is choke full of vivid, memorable videos, showing that 6 years after Maidan, the Ukraine now constitute a unified, эдiна та соборна country. You all, no doubt, already watched these clips, where a brave middle-aged gentleman from the Western Ukraine, racially pure Ukr, proves his mental acuity by deducing, that crypto-tyrant (and "не лох") Zelensky wants to settle evacuees in his pristine oblast out of vengeance, because the Best Ukrajina didn't vote for him during the election. Or a clip about a brave woman from Poltava oblast, suggesting to relocate the Trojan-horse "fellow countrymen" to Chernobol's Zone. Or even the witty comments and suggestions by the paragons of the Ukrainian Civil Society, " волонтэры ":


Shy and conscientious members of the Ukrainian (national!) intelligentsia had their instincts aligned rrrrrright. When they learned about that their hospital will be the one receiving the evacuees from Wuhan, the entire medical personell of that Poltava oblast medical facility rose to their feet and sang "Shenya vmerla". Democracy and localism proved once again the strongest suit of the pro-European Ukraine, with Ternopol's oblast regional council voting to accept the official statement to the crypto-tyrant Zelensky, which calls attempts to place evacuees on their Holy land "an act of Genocide of the Ukrainian People" (c)

Just the headlines .

[ ]

That's absolutely "normal", predictable reaction of the "racially pure Ukrainians" to their own fellow citizens. Now, Professor, are you insisting on seeking or even expecting "compromise" with them ? What to do, if after all these years, there is no such thing as the united Ukrainian political nation?

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Lyttenburgh says: February 21, 2020 at 2:12 pm

"Ukraine's democracy is flourishing like never before due to the tireless efforts of grassroots, pro-democracy, civil-society groups. Many Ukrainians say their country is now firmly set on an irreversible, pro-Western trajectory. Moreover, the country has also undertaken a top-to-bottom cultural, economic, and political divorce from its former Soviet overlord.

Today, Ukraine is a democratic success story in the making, despite Russia's best efforts to the contrary."
– Nolan Peterson, a former special operations pilot and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is The Daily Signal's foreign correspondent based in Ukraine

International recognition of the fact:

[Feb 22, 2020] Was anyone aware that in 1991 in the Ukraine almost 100% of the population had indoor running water, but as of 2014 that was down to 87%?

That's typical deterioration of the standard of living for the country that was converted into the debt slave and de facto US colony
Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Feb 22 2020 11:56 utc | 9
Was anyone aware that in 1991 in the Ukraine almost 100% of the population had indoor running water, but as of 2014 that was down to 87%? I'm talking of the western portion of the Ukraine here and not the part being attacked by neo-Nazis where it is unsurprising that infrastructure is being destroyed.

I was curious what happened to the Ukraine's infrastructure since the Soviet Union was dissolved so I asked some Ukrops what was up. Apparently Putin himself has been sneaking into the Ukraine at night and stealing the plumbing right out of people's houses. I kid thee not! Putin did it! Ukrops wouldn't lie about that, would they?

If you think what Putin is doing to America is bad, then just be thankful you are not in Ukropistan! Over there Putin causes people to stub their toes on the furniture when they get out of bed to take a leak at night. He tricks people into not bringing their umbrellas on days that it rains. He even causes babies to foul their diapers right after they were changed. Putin's evil knows no bounds!

[Feb 16, 2020] Understanding the Ukraine Story by Joe Lauria

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Imagine if we substitute the U.S. for Russia and the country "invaded" was Canada, rather than Ukraine, the government overthrown was in Ottawa and not Kiev, and the provinces embroiled in a foreign-backed civil war have been Nova Scotia and New Brunswick rather the provinces of Eastern Ukraine? This report, written in 2016, may make it easier to understand what has been really going on in Ukraine. Clicking on the links is key to understanding the real story. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Versions of this article first appeared on ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

The impeachment hearings and trial of Donald Trump were filled with talk of Russian aggression against Ukraine and threats to the United States. But what would it be like if we switched the roles of Russia and the U.S.?

Imagine if we substitute the U.S. for Russia and the country "invaded" was Canada, rather than Ukraine, the government overthrown was in Ottawa and not Kiev, and the provinces embroiled in a foreign-backed civil war have been Nova Scotia and New Brunswick rather the provinces of Eastern Ukraine? This report, written in 2016, may make it easier to understand what has been really going on in Ukraine. Clicking on the links is key to understanding the real story.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

T he United States has "invaded" Canada to support the breakaway Maritime provinces that are resisting a Moscow-engineered violent coup d'etat against the democratically elected government in Ottawa.

The U.S. move is to protect separatists in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia after Washington annexed Prince Edwards Island in a quickly arranged referendum .

The Islanders voted over 90 percent in favor of joining the United States following the Russian-backed coup. Moscow has condemned the referendum as illega l.

Hard-liners in the U.S. want Washington to annex all three Maritime provinces, whose fighters are defying the coup in Ottawa after Moscow installed an unelected prime minister.

Russian-backed Canadian federal troops have launched so-called "anti-terrorist" operations in the breakaway region to crush the rebellion, shelling residential areas and killing hundreds of civilians.

The violent coup.

The Canadian army are joined by Russian-supported neofascist battalions that played a crucial role in the overthrow of the Canadian government. In Halifax, the extremists have burned alive at least 40 pro-U.S. civilians who had taken refugee in a trade union building.

Proof that Russia was behind the overthrow of the elected Canadian prime minister is contained in a leaked conversation between Georgiy Yevgenevich Borisenko, foreign ministry chief of Moscow's North America department, and Alexander Darchiev, the Russian ambassador to Canada.

According to a transcript of the leaked conversation, Borisenko discussed who the new Canadian leaders should be six weeks before the coup took place.

Russia moved to launch the coup when Canada decided to take a loan package from the IMF that had fewer strings attached than a loan from Russia.

Russia's Beijing ally was reluctant to back the coup. But this seemed of little concern to Borisenko who is heard on the tape saying, "Fuck China."

Minister handing out cookies in the square.

Weeks before the coup Borisenko was filmed visiting protestors who had camped out in Parliament Square in Ottawa demanding the ouster of the prime minister. Borisenko is seen giving out cakes to the demonstrators.

The foreign ministers of Russian-allied Belarus and Cuba also marched with the protestors through the streets of Ottawa against the government. Russian media has portrayed the unconstitutional change of government an act of "democracy." Russian senators have met in public with extreme right-wing Canadian coup leaders, praising their rebellion.

Borisenko said in a speech that Russia had spent $5 billion over the past decade to "bring democracy" to Canada.

Senator meeting far-right coup leaders.

The money was spent on training "civil society." The use of non-governmental organizations to overthrow foreign governments that stand in the way of Russia's economic and geo-strategic interests is well documented, especially in a 1991 Washington Post column, "Innocence Abroad: The New World of Spyless Coups ."

The United States has thus moved to ban Russian NGOs from operating in the country.

The coup took place as protestors violently clashed with police, breaking through barricades and killing a number of officers. Snipers fired on the police and the crowd from a nearby building in Parliament Square in which the Russian embassy had set up offices just a few floors above, according to Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

Son Gets Job After Coup

Russian lawmakers compared President Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler for allegedly sending U.S. troops into the breakaway provinces and for annexing Prince Edward Island in an act of "American aggression." The Maritimes have had long ties to the U.S. dating back to the American Revolution.

Russia says it has intelligence proving that U.S. tanks have crossed the Maine border into New Brunswick, but have failed to make the evidence public. They have revealed no satellite imagery. Russian news media only reports American-backed rebels fighting in the Maritimes, not American troops.

Washington denies it has invaded but says some American volunteers have entered the Canadian province to join the fight.

Russia's puppet prime minister now in charge in Ottawa has only offered as proof six American passports of U.S. soldiers found in New Brunswick.

Son gets job on energy company board after his father's government backs violent coup.

The Maritime Canadian rebels have secured anti-aircraft weapons enabling them to shoot down a number of Royal Canadian Air Force transport planes.

A Malaysian airlines passenger jet was also shot down over Nova Scotia killing all on board. Russia has accused President Obama of being behind the incident, charging that the U.S. provided the anti-aircraft weapon.

Moscow has refused to release any intelligence to support its claim, other than statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Canada's economy is near collapse and is dependent on infusions of Russian aid. This comes despite a former Russian foreign ministry official being installed as Canada's finance minister, only receiving Canadian citizenship on her first day on the job.

Despite installing a Russian to run Canada's economy, President Putin told the U.N. General Assembly that Russia had "few economic interests" in the country. But Russian agribusiness companies have already taken stakes in Albertan wheat fields. And Ilya Medvedev, son of Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, as well as a Lavrov family friend joined the board of Canada's largest oil company just weeks after the coup.

Russia's ultimate aim, beginning with the imposition of sanctions on the U.S., appears to be a color revolution in Washington to overthrow Obama and install a Russian-friendly American president.

This is clear from numerous statements by Russian officials and academics. A former Russian national security advisor whom Putin consults on foreign policy said the United States should be broken into three countries.

He has also written that Canada is the stepping stone to the United States and that if the U.S. loses Canada it will fail to control North America.

Versions of this article first appeared on The Duran and Consortium News in 2016.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


mary floyd , February 15, 2020 at 13:20

The most important takeaway in this article for me was that the US should be broken into three separate entities!
That would work well for most Americans. All in all, this is a great piece, Mr. Lauria!

Dao Gen , February 15, 2020 at 02:28

Joe, you are The Truth. The only thing you left out, no doubt for reasons of space and time, was the immortal statement made by a leading member of the Russian Duma, who said during a stirring and well-received speech that, “Canada is our crucial first line of defense against the US. If Canada weren’t there to stop the Americans, we’d have to fight them right here on our own doorstep.”

Herman , February 14, 2020 at 18:52

A very creative way of making the point. Still do not understand the depth of what often appears to be heart felt hate for Russia by very powerful and smart people. Remember reading a comment by Phil Girardi early in the Trump tour when he remarked at the depth of dislike of Russia within the spook community. He wrote he was surprised and had, I think, been part of that community.

Eddie S , February 15, 2020 at 14:51

RE: “…depth of dislike of Russia within the spook community”.
While I have no ‘special knowledge’ of the so-called ‘intelligence community’, there’s a few reasons for this that come to-mind:
— Job preservation. The most obvious. The US wouldn’t need ~80% of those spooks if there
weren’t big scary Russians/Chinese/Iranians/N.Koreans constantly plotting against the
peaceful, benevolent US.

— Spooks believe in what is mainly a distractionary ploy by US oligarchs/plutocrats. These
wealthy interests don’t want to lose some of their wealth to social reforms, so they constantly
financially support scare-mongering, which some spooks unquestioningly accept.

— The profession tends to attract some of the more paranoid elements in our society, so
they’re inclined that way by nature/personality.

robert e williamson jr , February 14, 2020 at 17:51

Well one thing for sure we would not be seeing a female anchor on CNN bemoaning the fact the because of the coronavirus many popular kids toys might not be available here in the U.S. for the up coming holidays (?).

Yes it did happen, hell I couldn’t make that up.

DARYL , February 14, 2020 at 15:45

…or better yet, substitute Central America for Ukraine, and Panama(canal) for Crimea, then you have the makings of an even more salient parallel.

Realist , February 14, 2020 at 15:42

The difference is that under your scenario the world would be a smoking heap of radioactive ashes already as the exceptional nation, unlike the ever cautious Russians, would have immediately made bombastic threats and then launched military attacks to protect its “security interests.” (Warring to “protect” security interests has replaced invasion and occupation to save souls.) Things would have escalated from there to its predestined thermonuclear climax, as they will in the real world if Uncle Sam doesn’t get a grip on his uncontrolled aggression, demanding whatever he wants whenever he wants it at the point of a gun. The world seems to be circling the drain whether or not Washington is allowed to micromanage the affairs of Russia, China, Iran and every last duchy, principality and people’s republic in addition to its own monumental mess it calls domestic affairs. We’ve only got two political parties in this madhouse and they are both equally bent on destroying civilisation if they can’t rule it all, which seems to be the only point they agree on. Each party thinks it preferable to allow an obscenely rich oligarch (what else should we call Trump or Bloomberg?) from the other side to rule rather than a “communist” like Bernie Sanders or a “naive peacenik” like Tulsi Gabbard to be elected president. If the space aliens land tomorrow and start recruiting colonists to populate newly terraformed planets in other solar systems, sign me up. Yeah, it’s become that absurd down here.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , February 14, 2020 at 15:22

Simply imperial rot and corruption of power on all sides.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have an exclusive on those qualities.

Mark Thomason , February 14, 2020 at 12:37

This is a useful approach. It needs added to it the language and culture element: as if the part that wants out of the Moscow coup shares our own language and culture, while the rest of Canada does not, and the rest of Canada had gone on a spree to suppress that language and culture. It is hard to find a parallel in Canada to those facts, but it is what happened in Ukraine.

It is important to understanding to put oneself in the shoes of the other guys. It was once called walking a mile in the other guy’s moccasins, and given a Native wisdom attribution.

David G Horsman , February 14, 2020 at 12:01

I do this exercise mentally fairly often. This is the first time I saw it done in print. I would like to do an automated process.

[Feb 07, 2020] Poroshenko asked the USA help in fighting criminal cases against him in Ukraine

Feb 07, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com


Moscow Exile

July 31, 2019 at 9:08 pm
Порошенко попросил у США помощи с уголовными делами на Украине, пишут СМИ

Poroshenko has asked the US for help with criminal cases in the Ukraine, writes media
05:31
MOSCOW, 1 Jul – RIA Novosti.
The former President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is in Istanbul, where he has turned to American companies to lobby for protection from criminal cases, reports " Ukraine News " with reference to sources.

It has been noted that in the Ukraine changes have been made as regards the criminal cases against Poroshenko. In particular, in May 2019, the former-president's lawyer Igor Golovan stated that these criminal cases would not entail any legal consequences, but now Poroshenko's entourage realizes that the criminal prosecution of the former president has noticeably intensified and may have consequences.

Therefore, according to the newspaper, in Turkey Poroshenko has started to lobbying U.S. companies, in particular, the BGR group, for assistance in resolving these cases.

"He is well aware that everything that happens in the RRG (State Bureau of investigation – trans. ed.) is taken very seriously, and he intends to defend himself against attacks. He can, for example, be expecting public support in Washington if there is an attempt made to arrest him", said the source.

In addition, the publication cites the words of Ukrainian political scientist Alexei Yakubin, who has noted that Poroshenko could repeat the "Saakashvili scenario".

"For example, he'll leave for treatment in London, where part of his entourage has entrenched itself. But this model complicates the public protection of his business assets within the country, which assets might be seized", he said.

The case against Poroshenko
Poroshenko has previously been involved in eleven criminal cases, in particular, as regards his abuse of power and his official position in the distribution of posts in "Tsentrenergo", his treason in connection with the incident in the Kerch Strait, his usurpation of judicial power and his misappropriation of the TV channel "Direct", his falsification of documents in the formation of Deputy factions in 2016, and his illegal appointment of a government, and the seizure of power.

In addition, as a witness, he was questioned about civilian deaths during the Euromaidan protests in 2014.

Poroshenko himself, speaking at the party congress of "European Business", said that he is responsible only before the Ukrainian people and is not afraid of persecution.

Mark Chapman August 1, 2019 at 2:44 am
Quite right, old man; keep your chin up. I daresay they're staying in quite prestigious digs in Istanbul, as befits visiting royalty. He seems to be labouring under a misapprehension that he is valuable somehow to Washington, whereas that would only be true if Washington were unwilling to work with Zelenskiy, and wanted him out of the way. So far as I can see, Washington is quite satisfied with Zelenskiy so far, while the people would not countenance a Poroshenko return. So he's not really much use, is he? Especially if the USA wishes to publicly support Zelenskiy's supposed battle with official corruption.

I could see them having a quiet word with Zelenskiy, maybe leave the old man out of it, what do you say? But Washington is already accused – with substantial justification, I would say – of running the show in Ukraine, and there are limits to how much obvious interfering it can do; especially after Biden's bragging about getting the state prosecutor fired.

Mark Chapman August 1, 2019 at 5:34 pm
Yes, I was sort of getting at the probability that Clan Poroshenko is just installed in a very nice hotel. I doubt he will want to be plunking down money for an actual property so long as the status of his assets still in Ukraine is still up in the air. I should imagine the Ukrainian government will take steps, if it has not already, to prevent his simply withdrawing their cash value.
Moscow Exile August 1, 2019 at 8:52 am
Same story from TASS [Eng]:

1 AUG, 14:07
In Saakashvili's shoes? Poroshenko asks US lobbyists to shield him from criminal charges
According to Vesti Ukraine, the ex-president sought help from the BGR Group, whose senior adviser is US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker


Trust me!

yalensis August 1, 2019 at 4:24 pm
The thing about the pindosi, though, is that they always hedge their bets .
I vangize that they will pressure Zel to pardon Porky. So that they have a spare.
I hope I am wrong, but I don't think I am.
Mark Chapman August 1, 2019 at 5:45 pm
I doubt it, simply because it would kick the timbers right out from under Zelenskiy's anti-corruption platform, which is the issue on which he was voted in, and there would be no way to do it under the radar. The Ukrainian people must be following Porky's flight with great interest, and inferring that it means he has something to hide. Therefore an abrupt discontinuing of the pursuit, and a refocusing elsewhere, would tell them accountability is not attributed to the powerful and wealthy. Which is uhhh exactly the opposite of Zelenskiy's message.

[Jan 30, 2020] Impeachment's Biggest Absurdity Our Toxic Fixation On Useless And Corrupting Ukraine Aid

They are not helping Ukraine citizen of which after 2014 live in abject poverty. So in now way this an aid. They are arming Ukraine to kill Russians and maintain a hot spot on Russian border.
The USA, specifically Brennan, Nuland and Biden create civil war out of nothing pushing far right nationalist to suppress eastern population by brute forces (they burned alive 200 hundred or more people on Odessa and killed people in Mariupol before Donbass flared up)
They are despicable MIC bottomfeeders. Neocon calculation is that Russia will not respond to this provocation, because it is too weak after the economic rape of 1991-2000. While Putin is a very patient politician they might be wrong.
Notable quotes:
"... Authored by James Bovard via JimBovard.com, ..."
"... "corruption is positively correlated with aid received from the United States." ..."
"... "I think it makes no sense to give aid money to countries that are corrupt." ..."
"... " remains skeptical after a history of broken promises [from the Ukraine govt]. Kiev hasn't successfully completed any of a series of IMF bailout packages over the past two decades, with systemic corruption at the heart of much of that failure." ..."
"... "Most foreign aid winds up with outside consultants, the local military, corrupt bureaucrats, the new NGO [nongovernmental organizations] administrators, and Mercedes dealers." ..."
"... James Bovard is the author of " ..."
"... Attention Deficit Democracy ..."
"... The Bush Betrayal ..."
"... Terrorism and Tyranny ..."
"... ," and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at ..."
"... www.jimbovard.com ..."
Jan 30, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by James Bovard via JimBovard.com,

The campaign to convict and remove President Donald Trump in the Senate hinges on delays in disbursing U.S. aid to Ukraine. Ukraine was supposedly on the verge of great progress until Trump pulled the rug out from under the heroic salvation effort by U.S. government bureaucrats. Unfortunately, Congress has devoted a hundred times more attention to the timing of aid to Ukraine than to its effectiveness. And most of the media coverage has ignored the biggest absurdity of the impeachment fight.

The temporary postponement of the Ukrainian aid was practically irrelevant considering that U.S. assistance efforts have long fueled the poxes they promised to eradicate – especially kleptocracy, or government by thieves .

A 2002 American Economic Review analysis concluded that "increases in [foreign] aid are associated with contemporaneous increases in corruption" and that "corruption is positively correlated with aid received from the United States."

Then-President George W. Bush promised to reform foreign aid that year, declaring , "I think it makes no sense to give aid money to countries that are corrupt." Regardless, the Bush administration continued delivering billions of dollars in handouts to many of the world's most corrupt regimes .

Then-President Barack Obama, recognizing the failure of past U.S. aid efforts, proclaimed at the United Nations in 2010 that the U.S. government is " leading a global effort to combat corruption ." The following year, congressional Republicans sought to restrict foreign aid to fraud-ridden foreign regimes. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wailed that restricting handouts to nations that fail anti-corruption tests "has the potential to affect a staggering number of needy aid recipients."

The Obama administration continued pouring tens of billions of U.S. tax dollars into sinkholes such as Afghanistan, which even its president, Ashraf Ghani, admitted in 2016 was "one of the most corrupt countries on earth ." John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), declared that "U.S. policies and practices unintentionally aided and abetted corruption" in Afghanistan.

Since the end of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has provided more than $6 billion in aid to Ukraine. At the House impeachment hearings, a key anti-Trump witness was acting U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr. The Washington Post hailed Taylor as someone who " spent much of the 1990s telling Ukrainian politicians that nothing was more critical to their long-term prosperity than rooting out corruption and bolstering the rule of law, in his role as the head of U.S. development assistance for post-Soviet countries." A New York Times editorial lauded Taylor and State Department deputy assistant secretary George Kent as witnesses who "came across not as angry Democrats or Deep State conspirators, but as men who have devoted their lives to serving their country."

After their testimony spurred criticism, a Washington Post headline captured the capital city's reaction: "The diplomatic corps has been wounded. The State Department needs to heal." But not nearly as much as the foreigners supposedly rescued by U.S. bureaucrats.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 31 that the International Monetary Fund, which has provided more than $20 billion in loans to Ukraine, " remains skeptical after a history of broken promises [from the Ukraine govt]. Kiev hasn't successfully completed any of a series of IMF bailout packages over the past two decades, with systemic corruption at the heart of much of that failure."

The IMF concluded that Ukraine continued to be vexed by " shortcomings in the legal framework, pervasive corruption, and large parts of the economy dominated by inefficient state-owned enterprises or by oligarchs." That last item is damning for the U.S. benevolent pretensions. If a former Soviet republic cannot even terminate its government-owned boondoggles, then why in hell was the U.S. government bankrolling them?

Transparency International, which publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, shows that corruption surged in Ukraine in the late 1990s (after the U.S. decided to rescue them) and remains at abysmal levels. Ukraine is now ranked as the 120th most corrupt nation in the world -- a lower ranking than received by Egypt and Pakistan, two other major U.S. aid recipients also notorious for corruption.

Actually, the best gauge of Ukrainian corruption is the near-total collapse of its citizens' trust in government or in their own future. Since 1991, the nation has lost almost 20% of its population as citizens flee abroad like passengers leaping off a sinking ship.

And yet, the House impeachment hearings and much of the media gushed over career U.S. government officials despite their strikeouts. It was akin to a congressional committee resurrecting Col. George S. Custer in 1877 and fawning as he offered personal insights in dealing with uprisings by Sioux Indians (while carefully avoiding awkward questions about the previous year at the Little Big Horn ).

Foreign aid is virtue signaling with other people's money. As long the aid spawns press releases and photo opportunities for presidents and members of Congress and campaign donations from corporate and other beneficiaries, little else matters. Congress almost never conducts thorough investigations into the failure of aid programs despite their legendary pratfalls. The Agency for International Development ludicrously evaluated its programs in Afghanistan based on their "burn rate" – whether they were spending money as quickly as possible, almost regardless of the results. SIGAR's John Sopko "found a USAID lessons-learned report from 1980s on Afghan reconstruction but nobody at AID had read it ."

After driving around the world, investment guru Jim Rogers declared: "Most foreign aid winds up with outside consultants, the local military, corrupt bureaucrats, the new NGO [nongovernmental organizations] administrators, and Mercedes dealers." After the Obama administration promised massive aid to Ukraine in 2014, Hunter Biden jumped on the gravy train – as did legions of well-connected Washingtonians and other hustlers around the nation. Similar largesse assures that there will never be a shortage of overpaid individuals and hired think tanks ready to write op-eds or letters to the editor of the Washington Post whooping up the moral greatness of foreign aid or some such hokum.

When it comes to the failure of U.S. aid to Ukraine, almost all of Trump's congressional critics are like the " dog that didn't bark " in the Sherlock Holmes story. The real outrage is that Trump and prior presidents, with Congress cheering all the way, delivered so many U.S. tax dollars to Kiev that any reasonable person knew would be wasted. If Washington truly wants to curtail foreign corruption, ending U.S. foreign aid is the best first step.

* * *

James Bovard is the author of " Attention Deficit Democracy ," " The Bush Betrayal ," " Terrorism and Tyranny ," and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at www.jimbovard.com Tags Politics


Pair Of Dimes Shift , 12 minutes ago link

ALL foreign aid is a kickback scheme.

End it!

Savyindallas , 27 minutes ago link

paying billions to corrupt Jewish Ukranians is just another way to support Israel. Christian Zionists understand and approve of this. So what's the big deal? It's free money. Money that grows on trees. What does it cost to print billions of free money by a few electronic entries? Nothing. We should print more. Free **** is a beautiful thing.

We can postpone judgment day for at least another decade or so. By then, all the smart Harvard educated guys and gals at Goldman Sachs and Wall Street will figure out how to kick the can down the road for another decade or so.

When it all collapses, half of India and Africa and central America will already have replaced what used to be the American population. The few remaining Americans aside from the immigrants will be unrecognizable anyway. many will have left. Many more will have been reduced by failure to procreate and replace themselves. Christians will be a despised,(even the idiotic Zio-Christians who looked the other way on important issues as long as we were bombing and killing for their beloved Israel) We will have a dying population as many will have chosen the gay LGBTQ lifestyle and we are replaced by subservient obedient, uneducated immigrants who are happy to work for $8 an hour and live in a single room apartment they share with other immigrant families.

NosferatuZodd , 27 minutes ago link

Ukraine was a failed state since day one and it got much worse since US/EU instigated coup. I don't see any light at the end of tunnel. Zielensky is a more friendly face, but that's it. He obviously doesn't have power to change the course. He can promise anything while abroad, but he has to appease the nazis at home or they will get rid of him. In other words Ukraine is doomed.

SadhakaPadma , 19 minutes ago link

Zielensky is more than friendly face...he signed many deals with Putin and behave as responsible politician who wanna bring normalization and peace. Same forces overthrow Yanukovitch will try it with Zielensky, because they not wanna peace, but their interest is war....so Zielensky is in danger.

various1 , 31 minutes ago link

TF are you talking about, idiot!

Ukraine has biggest potential of all countries. Has richest on a planet soil, educated European population, is poor so money go long way. And of course bridge to forcing Russia being our ally, and adhere to nationalism, vs being corrupted by globalists.

chunga , 45 minutes ago link

No ****, it's absurd. The Wretched City was practically unanimous in the screeching about sending weapons to Ukraine because Crimea voted to join Russia, something they describe up there as being "annexed". Especially so now because since then Iraq voted to kick the US out of their country and has been ignored, themselves being "annexed".

This is something that is accepted to a certain degree as a result of Bob Mueller.

wehadtopullit , 5 minutes ago link

3 words: Victoria J. Nuland

John Hansen , 49 minutes ago link

Certainly makes you wonder if there was a reason the Russians only took Crimea.

Corruption ridden Ukraine certainly is a "gift" that keeps on giving.

SadhakaPadma , 47 minutes ago link

Crimea is military important for their security...that why they had naval base there..they cant afford lose this point and Black Sea....

Soviets were not willing to colonize these satelites like Poland, Czechoslovakia etc. they were relevant after ww2 and Russians were scared of another war...day they become irrelevant thanks of new weapons they abandon these states.

Russians are not hurry up into wars.

John Hansen , 45 minutes ago link

You are missing the point.

Ukraine is a corrupt, corrupting mess, now it is the West's mess.

SadhakaPadma , 43 minutes ago link

I know they are corrupted one...but USA is careless toward Ukraine fortunes...they use them to provoke conditions to create cold war two...military industry need big enemies for sake of hundreds bilions usd profits...how would you explain your citizens you pay one third of budget and no enemies??? so Deep state want cold war two.

More than milion Ukrainians left to Russia...while EU has closed Ukrainian borders...so who care more of Ukrainian people?

John Hansen , 37 minutes ago link

They could have had their cold war for MIC without absorbing the Ukraine. The whole cold war thing is obvious and academic.

The Russians wanted the West to have Ukraine. It is like the Americans giving the aboriginals the Small Pox blankets.

The corruption in the Ukraine is like a virus and it has spread West, just look at how it has infected the US political process.

SadhakaPadma , 29 minutes ago link

Russians were victims of all of this...red line was Crimea...and Putin did right...otherwise Russian nuclear security would be doomed if you allow NATO troops to Crimea.

US politicians not do it first time...did you know most wealthy Kosovian is Magdalene All Bright?? i live in postcommunist state and whole my life witness western proxies stealing all valuable stakes here....Communism created state ownership of big industries...domestic politicians alongside western snakes steal it very ugly way.IN SO CALLED PRIVATIZATION..wheather it is Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania etc. even information networks are owed by westeners....we are absolutely blackmailed.

Russians and partly Ukrainians did not allow foreigers to entry ...they tried it..here and there something got, whole 90s was going on this big fight among Russians and plus western snakes for stakes....Putin created order in it alongside Russian oligarchy and normalization....that why Russians like him.

bismillah , 51 minutes ago link

Are these idiotic Democrats and Russia haters crazy?

Russia has a population and GDP roughly the same as Mexico and they're on the other side of the planet (unless you're in Alaska). There is exactly zero chance Russia will invade or attack Western Europe or the USA.

The USA should be concerned with the USA, and not whether Russia will act to safeguard its border.

SadhakaPadma , 53 minutes ago link

When Soviet Union left...military industry for sake of their profits needed to create big enemy....they created terrorism and islamic wars......now as it failing apart they need new enemies..big one to explain you why is necessary to give one third of your taxes into military toys...so they create conflicts around China and Russia with hope to dig in into cold war two.

Russians and Chinese have not big corporate bussines behind their military...their spending is tiny compared to US military industry profits....so they have no interest in wars...while US seek them.

Be aware Americans...your military is not only milking you, but risking of whole humanity throwing into military disasters even as an accidents . Putin explained it many times...computer supersystems can be activated so easily if some misteps happen...

MushroomCloud2020 , 56 minutes ago link

If Quid Pro Que is legal, then the swamp is drained. The swamp isn't doing anything wrong. They have been following the law all this time. Ask the president.

[Jan 27, 2020] The Dangers of Conflating and Inflating Interests

Notable quotes:
"... Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this? ..."
"... The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them ..."
"... To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do. ..."
"... These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem. ..."
"... Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security. ..."
Jan 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

ormer ambassador William Taylor wrote an op-ed on Ukraine in an attempt to answer Pompeo's question about whether Americans care about Ukraine. It is not very persuasive. For one thing, he starts off by exaggerating the importance of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to make it seem as if the U.S. has a major stake in the outcome:

Here's why the answer should be yes: Ukraine is defending itself and the West against Russian attack. If Ukraine succeeds, we succeed. The relationship between the United States and Ukraine is key to our national security, and Americans should care about Ukraine.

Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this?

The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them. The danger of exaggerating U.S. interests and conflating them with Ukraine's is that we fool ourselves into thinking that we are acting out of necessity and in our own defense when we are really choosing to take sides in a conflict that does not affect our security. This is the kind of thinking that encourages people to spout nonsense about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here." If we view Ukraine as "the front line" of a larger struggle, that will also make it more difficult to resolve the conflict. When a local conflict is turned into a proxy fight between great powers, the local people will be the ones made to suffer to serve the ambitions of the patrons. Once the U.S. insists that its own security is bound up with the outcome of this conflict, there is an incentive to be considered the "winner," but the reality is that Ukraine will always matter less to the U.S. than it does to Russia.

If this relationship were so important to U.S. security, how is it that the U.S. managed to get along just fine for decades after the end of the Cold War when that relationship was not particularly strong? As recently as the Obama administration, our government did not consider Ukraine to be important enough to supply with weapons. Ukraine was viewed correctly as being of peripheral interest to the U.S., and nothing has changed in the years since then to make it more important.

Taylor keeps repeating that "Ukraine is the front line" in a larger conflict between Russia and the West, but that becomes true only if Western governments choose to treat it as one. He concludes his op-ed with a series of ideological assertions:

To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do.

These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem.

Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security.

[Jan 18, 2020] Eastern Ukrainians, who were the biggest losers in the post-Soviet deindustrilization, have harmed you by existing and dying of diseases of poverty and despair.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

AP says: January 15, 2020 at 9:59 pm GMT 100 Words @Thulean Friend

That too. Ukraine is a split country on pro/anti-Russian attitudes

Rather strong and somewhat anachronistic statement. Ukraine was split prior to 2014.

There are still pro-Russian areas but being free of Crimea and Donbas means Ukraine can no longer be characterized as "split." Probably 1/4 of the population can be considered to be politically friendly to Russia. Given, say, Latvia's ethnic Russian population, that country is nowadays probably more "split" than Ukraine.

JPM , says: January 15, 2020 at 10:59 pm GMT

@AP d in a frozen conflict zone. After they were fucked by industrial collapse and job loss. Before that they were fucked by wars, famines and the Bolsheviks. They really can't seem to catch a break.

Europeans seem to be on the precipice of disaster everywhere. It would be nice to band together, rather than die while getting hung up on the narcissism of small differences. Probably just wishful thinking on my part though. I guess Americans can't understand how important it is for Ukrainians on one side of the Dniepr to show how different they are from Ukrainians on the other or how different they are from Russians for that matter.

[Jan 17, 2020] Ukraine is a deeply sick patient. The destiny of ordinary Ukrainians is deeply tragic. Diaspora is greedy and want a piece of cake immediately

Highly recommended!
Edited for clarity
Notable quotes:
"... The infrastructure they inherited from the USSR mostly is now fully amortized. For example railway park in in complete ruin. Central heating pipeline communications in cities like Kiev are in ruins too. In the USSR they tried to reuse the heat from electric stations and have elaborate hot water delivery networks from each, which provided heat to a large city blocks. Now pipes are completely rusted (which in 30 years is no surprise) and are in the state of constant repair. ..."
"... But when the standard of living dropped to such extent as it dropped after 2014 sentiments toward even slightly different ethnic groups turn hostile too. This is the case in Ukraine. In this sense you are wrong. There is no more unity now then existed before 2014. I would say there is less unity now. ..."
"... Sentiments turned against both Donbass dwellers and Ukrainians from Western Ukraine. In Kiev the derogatory term for both categories is "ponaekhali" ("come to overcrowd the place and displace us", or something along those lines; it's difficult to translate, but the term carries strong derogatory meaning) ..."
"... The nationalistic hysteria of 2014-2017 now mostly changed into deep depression: how a tiny group of far right nationalist and football hooligan gangs managed to get to power against the will of the majority of the country and destroy its economy. That's why Zelensky was elected and most far right parliamentarians lost their seats. Most of Western Ukraine voted for him, which is telling you something. ..."
"... The problem for Ukraine is that with the cut of economic ties with Russia the natural path for economics is probably down. De-industrialization, Baltic style, is raining supreme. Many enterprises survived the period from 1991 to 2014 only due to orders from Russia. Especially remnants of military industrial complex and manufacturing industry. Now what? Selling land (like Zelensky is trying to do) ? ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

likbez says:January 17, 2020 at 8:35 am GMT • 1,500 Words @AP AP,

I agree with JPM:

I feel like robber barons in Kyiv have harmed you more through their looting of the country than impoverished Eastern Ukrainians, who were the biggest losers in the post-Soviet deindustrilization, have harmed you by existing and dying of diseases of poverty and despair.

It reminds me of how coastal shit-libs in America talk about "fly-over" country and want all the poor whites in Appalachia to die. I'm living in a country whose soul is totally poisoned. A country that is dying. While all this is happening, whites have split themselves into little factions focused on political point scoring.

I doubt people like Zelensky, Kolomoisky, Poroshenko and all the rest are going to turn Ukraine into an earthly paradise. They're more likely to be Neros playing harps, while Ukraine burns.

Looks like your understanding of Ukraine is mostly based of a short trip to Lvov and reading neoliberal MSM and forums. That's not enough, unless you want to be the next Max Boot.

Ukraine is a deeply sick patient, which surprisingly still stands despite all hardships (Ukrainians demonstrated amazing, superhuman resilience in the crisis that hit them, which greatly surprised all experts).

The infrastructure they inherited from the USSR mostly is now fully amortized. For example railway park in in complete ruin. Central heating pipeline communications in cities like Kiev are in ruins too. In the USSR they tried to reuse the heat from electric stations and have elaborate hot water delivery networks from each, which provided heat to a large city blocks. Now pipes are completely rusted (which in 30 years is no surprise) and are in the state of constant repair.

And, what is really tragic Ukraine now it is a debt state. Usually the latter is the capital sentence for the county. Few managed to escape even in more favorable conditions (South Korea is one.) So chances of economic recovery are slim: with such level of parasitic rent to the West the natural path is down and down. Don't cry for me Argentina.

And there is no money to replace already destroyed due to bad maintenance infrastructure, but surprisingly large parts of Soviets era infrastructure still somehow hold. For example, electrical networks, subway cars. But other part are already crumbling.

For example, in Kiev that means in some buildings you have winter without central heating, you have elevators in 16-storey buildings that work one or two weeks in month, you have no hot water, sometimes you have no water at all for a week or more, etc). Pensioners have problem with paying heating bills, so some of them are forced to live in non-heated apartments.

And that's in Kiev/Kyiv (Western Ukrainians love to change established names, much like communists) . In provincial cities it is a real horror show when even electricity supply became a problem. The countryside dwellers at least has its own food, but the situation for them is also very very difficult.

Other big problem -- few jobs and almost no well paid job, unless you are young, know English and have a university education (and are lucky). Before 2014 approximately 70% of Ukrainian labor migrants (in total a couple of million) came from the western part of the country, in which migration had become a widespread method of coping with poverty, the absence of jobs and low salaries.

Now this practice spread to the whole county. That destroyed many families.

The USA plays its usual games selling vassals crap at inflated prices (arms, uranium rods, coal, locomotives, cars, etc) , which Ukrainians can't refuse. Trump is simply a typical gangster in this respect, running a protection racket.

The rate of emigration and shrinking population is another fundamental problem. Mass emigration ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ukraine ) is continuing even after Zelensky election. Looting by the West also continues unabated. This is disaster capitalism in action.

Add to those problems inflated military expenses to fight the civil war in Donbass which deprives other sectors of necessary funds (with the main affect of completely alienating Russia) and "Huston, we have a problem."

May be this is a natural path for xUSSR countries after the dissolution of the USSR, I don't know.

But the destiny of ordinary Ukrainians is deeply tragic: they wanted better life and got a really harsh one. Especially pensioners (typical pension is something like $60-$70) a month in Kiev, much less outside of Kiev. How they physically survive I do not fully understand.

There are still pro-Russian areas but being free of Crimea and Donbass means Ukraine can no longer be characterized as "split."

I agree that there is a substantial growth of anti-Russian sentiments. It is really noticeable. As well as growth of the usage of the Ukrainian language (previously Kiev, unlike Lvov was completely Russian-language city).

And in Western Ukraine Russiphobia was actually always a part of "national identity". The negative definition of national identity, if you wish. See popular slogan "Hto ne skache toi moskal" ("those who do not jump are Moskal" -- where Moskal is the derogatory name for a Russian). Here is this slogan in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6rfqr9afMc ;-)

But when the standard of living dropped to such extent as it dropped after 2014 sentiments toward even slightly different ethnic groups turn hostile too. This is the case in Ukraine. In this sense you are wrong. There is no more unity now then existed before 2014. I would say there is less unity now.

Sentiments turned against both Donbass dwellers and Ukrainians from Western Ukraine. In Kiev the derogatory term for both categories is "ponaekhali" ("come to overcrowd the place and displace us", or something along those lines; it's difficult to translate, but the term carries strong derogatory meaning) .

"Donetskie" (former Donbass dwellers, often displaced by the war) are generally strongly resented and luxury cars, villas, etc and other excesses of neoliberal elite are attributed mostly to them (Donbass neoliberal elite did moved to Kiev, not Moscow) , while "zapadentsi" are also, albeit less strongly, resented because they often use clan politics within institutions, and often do not put enough effort (or are outright incompetent), as they rely on its own clan ties for survival.

This sentiment is stronger to the south of Kiev where the resentment is directed mainly against Western Ukrainians, not against "Donetskie" like in Kiev. And I am talking not only about Odessa. Western Ukrainians are now strongly associated with corrupt ways of getting lucrative positions (via family, clan or political connections), being incompetent and doing nothing useful.

What surprise me is that this resentment against "zapadentsi" and "Poloshenko clan" is shared by many people from Western Ukraine. The target is often slightly more narrow, for example Hutsuls in Lviv ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutsuls )

The nationalistic hysteria of 2014-2017 now mostly changed into deep depression: how a tiny group of far right nationalist and football hooligan gangs managed to get to power against the will of the majority of the country and destroy its economy. That's why Zelensky was elected and most far right parliamentarians lost their seats. Most of Western Ukraine voted for him, which is telling you something.

The problem for Ukraine is that with the cut of economic ties with Russia the natural path for economics is probably down. De-industrialization, Baltic style, is raining supreme. Many enterprises survived the period from 1991 to 2014 only due to orders from Russia. Especially remnants of military industrial complex and manufacturing industry. Now what? Selling land (like Zelensky is trying to do) ?

Ukraine will probably eventually lose a large part of its chemical industry because without subsidies for gas it just can't complete even taking into account low labor costs. And manufacturing because without Russian market it is difficult to find a place for their production in already established markets, competing only in price and suffering in quality (I remember something about Iraq returning Ukrainians all ordered armored carriers due to defect is the the armor https://sputniknews.com/military/201705221053859853-armored-vehicles-defects-extent /). Although at least for the Ukrainian arm industry there is place on the market in countries which are used to old Soviet armaments, because those are rehashed Soviet products.

Add to this corrupt and greedy diaspora (all those Jaresko, Chalupas, Freelands, Vindmans, etc ) from the USA and Canada (and not only diaspora -- look at Biden, Kerry, etc) who want their piece of the pie after 2014 "Revolution of dignity" (what a sad joke) and you will see the problems more clearly. Not that much changed from the period 1991-2014 where Ukraine was also royally fleeced by own oligarchs allied with Western banksers, simply now this leads to quicker deterioration of the standard of living.

None of Eastern European countries benefited from a color revolution staged by the USA. This is about opening the country not only to multinationals (while they loot the county they at least behave within a certain legal bounds, demonstrating at least decency of gangsters like in Godfather), but to petty foreign criminals from diaspora and outside of it who allies with the local oligarchs and smaller nouveau riche and are siphoning all the county wealth to western banks as soon as possible. Greed of the disapora is simply unbounded. https://neweasterneurope.eu/2016/08/26/the-ukrainian-diaspora-as-a-recipient-of-oligarchic-cash/

Of course, Ukrainian diaspora is not uniform. Still, outside well-know types from the tiny Mid-Eastern country, the most dangerous people for Ukraine are probably Ukrainians from diaspora with dual citizenship

[Jan 17, 2020] Ukraine demographic problem

Of course the USA do not care, but the trend ofter 2014 color revolution financed and organized by the USA (with Germany Poland and Sweden in supporting roles) is devastating...
Jan 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:12 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin Donbass people ran with the territories. In addition, half a million Ukrainian citizens got Russian citizenship in 2019. Optimists put Ukrainian population at 35 million, pessimists at 22-24 million, but half a million in a single year is a huge number in either case.

Finally, my interest in the opinions of me (or anything else, for that matter) of various "svidomy" and "svyadomy" personages is about the same as my interest in the opinions of cockroaches or ants. In one case, what they fought for has already befallen them, in the other – the same thing is likely to happen. In both cases Russia should not burden itself with unnecessary dead weight.

[Jan 17, 2020] German Parliament Office Reports No Russian Invasion of Eastern Ukraine, Rejects Media and Government Propaganda

Jan 17, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Takes a look and finds no reliable information to support the claim John Helmer 1 day ago 1064 2

A report by a research unit of the German Bundestag, just released in Berlin, has defied the narrative of the European Union, NATO and the US, with the conclusion that since the Ukraine civil war began in early 2014, there has been no reliable evidence of Russian troop invasion or intervention by regular Russian military forces in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

After a review of the press, official public releases and reports, as well as European court rulings, the Bundestag's experts have described the outcome with the German phrase, ohne belastbares Faktenmaterial – "without reliable fact material."

The Bundestag report, which runs to 17 pages and was completed on December 9, has been noted in the German-language media. To date, however, it has been ignored by the Anglo-American press, including the alt-media.

The new German report is entitled "Intervention in civil war zones: The role of Russia during the east Ukraine conflict". It was prepared by the foreign, international law and defence department (WD-2) of the Scientific Services Bureau of the Bundestag.

In a preface to the report, the authors say they "support the members of the German Bundestag with mandate-related activity. Their works do not express the view of the German Bundestag, its individual organs, or the management of the Bundestag." Responsibility for the research reporting is "the technical responsibility of the authors as well as the department management." No authors have been identified by name.

The full German report can be read at the official website link. No official English translation is available.

For five years Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian separatists have been fighting against each other in the Donbass/Donets Basin," the report says. " The territorial conflict shows classical identifiers of a non-international (internal) armed conflict. About the extent, quality and magnitude of the military involvement of Russia during the Ukraine conflict, there are few reliable facts and analyses aside from the numerous speculations, part-contradictory reports and press announcements, and denials from different sources. Altogether, however, the picture of the situation is not unequivocal."

"Also, the Federal [German] Government holds no reliable knowledge, according to its own information apparently, on how much influence today Russia actually exercises on the separatists in the East Ukraine that can be described as credible."

The report summarizes western media reports, social media posts, as well as NATO press releases in order to cast doubt on their veracity. "Reliable information about the parts of the region of the Ukrainian-Russian border not controlled by Kiev is rare." The German researchers are also sceptical of claims published by the monitoring mission of the area from the Organization for Security and Economic Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which "has, in spite of its comprehensive mandate, only limited access to this area."

For background details of the anti-Russian leadership of the OSCE's special monitoring mission (SMM) in Ukraine, read this .

"The question of whether pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region are currently under control and directed from Moscow, or whether regular Russian troops still remain on Ukrainian territory cannot be answered without reliable factual material, in particular without the appropriate and reliable secret service intelligence."

Source: Dances With Bears

Mychal Arnold a day ago The West are liars! 3 ReplyShare › Avatar CHUCKMAN a day ago Well, it's a small good thing, but where were they for all these years?

Four years of Poroshenko's destructive nonsense went unchallenged.

And why is Germany still supporting American sanctions against Russia?

I might add, too, wouldn't it be a sound idea to investigate first before supporting any hostile policies of America abroad, as in Syria or Iran?

Is it really too much to expect that one understands the facts before supporting hostilities?

But that's dreaming in Technicolor.

It's just not the world America has constructed for us all, by brute force.

[Jan 04, 2020] The role of Germany in the Ukrainian disaster

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I have the feeling , just the suspicion , that they contributed to the Ukrainian disaster out of their genetic Drang nach Osten Nordic greed , is that right ? ..."
"... Anyway since the Ukrainian disaster the cohesion of the EU is going going down . Germany which was gifted with the German reunification , is less and less trusted specially in south Europe , and even less in the EU far west , in England which is going out of the EU . ..."
"... As a curiosity in 1945 the Zionists asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused . https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/164673/crimea-as-jewish-homeland ..."
"... is 2019 and life in Ukraine is barely better than it was 25-50 years ago, population has actually dropped from its peak in early 1990's. Millions of Ukrainians live abroad (I know some of them) and have – to be polite – at best an ambivalent attitude towards their homeland. Almost all of them prefer to be somewhere else, even to become someone else. ..."
"... I don't agree with the facile name-calling that sees Nazis everywhere and exaggerates throw-away symbolism. But Ukraine has not been functioning and it can't go like this much longer. Not because it will collapse, it won't, but because during an era of general prosperity Ukraine can't be a unstable exception (oh, I get it, they are better than Moldova, good for them.) ..."
"... Rebellions against geography are doomed. Projecting one's personal frustrations on external enemies (Kremlin!) has never worked. Ukraine needs rationality – accepting that they will not be in EU, that attempting to join Nato would destroy Ukraine, and that they can't beat Russia in a war. And following advise of half-mad and half-ignorant well-wishers from Washington or Brussels is a road to ruin. Nulands, Bidens and Tusks will never live in Ukraine, they really deeply don't care about it. They have no skin in that game, it is just entertainment for them. ..."
"... During WWII, Germany actually established settlements in Crimea. Think about it: there is a massive war, you have like 1-2 years, short on transport and resources, and you start sending settlers to Crimea – that's how much drang-nach-osten types wanted it. And the Turks, etc This must be driving them absolutely nuts. ..."
"... The mexicans say : when God created Mexico He gave Mexico everything ; land , mountains , plains , tropical forests , deserts , two oceans , agriculture , gold , silver , oil . then God saw how beautiful and perfect Mexico was and He though that He should also give something bad to the country to prevent the sin of pride , and then he populated Mexico with pure pendejos ,( idiots ) . ..."
"... If you want a decent analysis of current events in the Ukraine, which is what The Saker provides, I guess you'll just have to put up with his terminology. ..."
"... My experience is that Ukrainians individually are far from being pendejos . But they are unable to act as a group or as a nation. (Well, they 'act', but it mostly somehow fails.) ..."
"... Maybe it is the relative shallow and heterogenous history of Ukraine. Or – and this is what I have observed – a fundamental inner disloyalty to the Ukraine as a homeland. When one observes the assorted Porkys, Timoshenkas, Yanuks, the oligarchs, but also the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving. Societies can't be built with one foot always at the airport, or in an old car in a 5-km column waiting on the border of Poland. Or Russia. ..."
Nov 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Evj_qduJY7U?feature=oembed Read More


Antares , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT

@Alfred I had the same thoughts. Zelenskii should show a similar coffin with the text "This one is still empty" and then start rounding up the terrorists. He finally has a good excuse.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
Thank you Saker and Unz for the very interesting article .

I wonder what has been the role of Germany in the Ukrainian disaster . ...I have the feeling , just the suspicion , that they contributed to the Ukrainian disaster out of their genetic Drang nach Osten Nordic greed , is that right ?

Anyway since the Ukrainian disaster the cohesion of the EU is going going down . Germany which was gifted with the German reunification , is less and less trusted specially in south Europe , and even less in the EU far west , in England which is going out of the EU .

Most of the people in the EU would like to keep collaborating with the US , of course , but also with Russia and with the rest of the world . Most of the people in the UE are scared of the dark forces operating in Ukraine trying to provoke a war with Russia .

As a curiosity in 1945 the Zionists asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused .
https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/164673/crimea-as-jewish-homeland

awry , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT
The stupid name-calling like the term "ukronazi" makes this article look like a rant like North Korean communiques or the ravings of some Arab despot's propagandist. It is not better than calling "The Saker" a "Moskal", "Sovok" or "Putler's stooge" etc. He should keep this lingo to directly "debating" "Ukronazis" on twitter or youtube commentst etc. not for an article that is supposed to be a serious analysis.

I understand that it is hard for a Russian nationalist to accept that the majority of Ukrainians don't want to belong to their dream Russkiy Mir, they were seduced by the West, which is more attractive with all its failings, because mostly of simple materialistic reasons.

Ukrainians happily go to EU countries that now allow them in as guest workers. The fact, like it or not that majority of them chose the West over Russkiy Mir despite being very close to Russians in culture, language, history etc. He is still in the first stage of grief it seems.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack Touching. (Really, no sarcasm implied.)

All in all, Ukrainians are probably way above average in most human characteristics. The area of Ukraine is by planetary standards one of the best available: arable land, great rivers, Black see, pleasant and liveable.

But it is 2019 and life in Ukraine is barely better than it was 25-50 years ago, population has actually dropped from its peak in early 1990's. Millions of Ukrainians live abroad (I know some of them) and have – to be polite – at best an ambivalent attitude towards their homeland. Almost all of them prefer to be somewhere else, even to become someone else.

Now why is that? A normal society would have enough introspection to discuss this, to look for answers. Throwing a temper-tantrum on a big square in Kiev every few years is not looking for a solution. That is escapism, Orange-this, Maidan-that, 'Russians bad', 'we are going West', 'golden toilets', and always 'Stalin did it'.

I don't agree with the facile name-calling that sees Nazis everywhere and exaggerates throw-away symbolism. But Ukraine has not been functioning and it can't go like this much longer. Not because it will collapse, it won't, but because during an era of general prosperity Ukraine can't be a unstable exception (oh, I get it, they are better than Moldova, good for them.)

Rebellions against geography are doomed. Projecting one's personal frustrations on external enemies (Kremlin!) has never worked. Ukraine needs rationality – accepting that they will not be in EU, that attempting to join Nato would destroy Ukraine, and that they can't beat Russia in a war. And following advise of half-mad and half-ignorant well-wishers from Washington or Brussels is a road to ruin. Nulands, Bidens and Tusks will never live in Ukraine, they really deeply don't care about it. They have no skin in that game, it is just entertainment for them.

Or alternatively you can pray that Russia collapses – good luck waiting for that.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT
@Anon

.genetic drang nach osten nordic greed

There is not much 'drang' left in Germany, so I think this is mostly fingers on the map post dinner empty talk.

in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused

Crimea is a jewel, but has one big problem: not enough water. But that's also true about Israel, maybe there is a deep genetic memory of coming out of a desert environment.

During WWII, Germany actually established settlements in Crimea. Think about it: there is a massive war, you have like 1-2 years, short on transport and resources, and you start sending settlers to Crimea – that's how much drang-nach-osten types wanted it. And the Turks, etc This must be driving them absolutely nuts.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
The mexicans are able to make fun of themselves , that`s a good thing . They have a joke which aplies also to Ukraina ( and other countries )

The mexicans say : when God created Mexico He gave Mexico everything ; land , mountains , plains , tropical forests , deserts , two oceans , agriculture , gold , silver , oil . then God saw how beautiful and perfect Mexico was and He though that He should also give something bad to the country to prevent the sin of pride , and then he populated Mexico with pure pendejos ,( idiots ) .

The same aplies to Ukraina . pure pendejos .

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm GMT
@AWM "Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references?

If you want a decent analysis of current events in the Ukraine, which is what The Saker provides, I guess you'll just have to put up with his terminology.

The world won't miss a thing if Curmudgeon or AWM goes off in a huff, to sit on his toilet and read the "one joke per dump" volume lodged on the tank and stops reading The Saker's very thorough analysis as a protest action!

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Anon My experience is that Ukrainians individually are far from being pendejos . But they are unable to act as a group or as a nation. (Well, they 'act', but it mostly somehow fails.)

Maybe it is the relative shallow and heterogenous history of Ukraine. Or – and this is what I have observed – a fundamental inner disloyalty to the Ukraine as a homeland. When one observes the assorted Porkys, Timoshenkas, Yanuks, the oligarchs, but also the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving. Societies can't be built with one foot always at the airport, or in an old car in a 5-km column waiting on the border of Poland. Or Russia.

GMC , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
Another good article – thanks – Yep, the US/EU NWO is not going to let their "West Ukraine Isis" battalions and intel gang lose their funding , arms trafficking ops, or terrorist reputation. This is a no win situation in Ukraine and the West knows it – Even if NovoRossiya gets some independence, the Ukraine Isis will/can reek havoc and murder for a long time along the border. The modern Cheka { Ukraine Isis } has been modified for the security of the new Farmland owners – Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont and the rest of the Globalist Corporations and their ports close to Odessa.
Hapalong Cassidy , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
One point of contention since it wasn't made clear in this article – Novorussia consists of Luhansk and Donetsk, but not Kharkov. While Kharkov has more Russians than most other provinces of Ukraine do, it does not have a plurality like Donetsk and Luhansk.
Epigon , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

All of Ukraine's doomsayers have been crying about Ukraine's demise for the lat 25 years, yet the fact is that it' s getting stronger and stronger every year,

USA diaspora keeps on delivering.

Shoutout to quarter/half Poles USA citizens LARPing as Ukrainian patriots in the comments.

[Jan 04, 2020] American Meddling in the Ukraine by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Ukraine is now a pawn in a big geopolitical game against Russia. Which somehow survived 90th when everybody including myself has written it off.
That's why the USA, EU (Germany) and Russia pulling the country in different directions. But the victory of Ukrainian nationalists is not surprising and is not solely based on the US interferences (although the USA did lot in this direction) pursuit its geopolitical game against Russia. Distancing themselves from Russa is a universal trend in Post-Soviet space. And it often takes ugly forms.
So Ukraine in not an exception here. It is part of the "rule". Essentially the dissolution of the USSR revised the result on WWII. And while the author correctly calls Ukrainian leader US stooges, they moved in this direction because they feel that it is necessary for maintaining the independence. In other words anti-Russian stance is considered by the Ukrainian elite as a a pre-condition for mainlining independence. Otherwise people like Parubiy would be in jail very soon. They are tolerated and even promoted because they are useful.
It repeats the story of Baltic Republics, albeit with a significant time delay. There should be some social group that secure independence of the country and Ukrainian nationalists happen to be such a group. That's why Yanukovich supported them and Svoboda party (with predictable results).
Notable quotes:
"... The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations. ..."
"... Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort? ..."
"... The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine. ..."
"... US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts. ..."
"... US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS. ..."
"... This is : ..."
"... Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11. ..."
"... There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom. ..."
"... A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list. ..."
"... An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west. ..."
"... The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them. ..."
"... I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties. ..."
"... "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". ..."
"... But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy? ..."
"... A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression. ..."
"... I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption. ..."
"... What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base. ..."
"... Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis. ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations.

Who is the United States government and media supporting? The Nazis . You think I'm joking. Here are the facts, but we must go back to World War II :

When World War II began a large part of western Ukraine welcomed the German soldiers as liberators from the recently enforced Soviet rule and openly collaborated with the Germans. The Soviet leader, Stalin, imposed policies that caused the deaths of almost 7 million Ukrainians in the 1930s--an era known as the Holomodor).

Ukrainian divisions, regiments and battalions were formed, such as SS Galizien, Nachtigal and Roland, and served under German leadership. In the first few weeks of the war, more than 80 thousand people from the Galizien region volunteered for the SS Galizien, which later known for its extreme cruelty towards Polish, Jewish and Russian people on the territory of Ukraine.

Members of these military groups came mostly from the organization of Ukrainian nationalists aka the OUN, which was founded in 1929. It's leader was Stepan Bandera, known then and today for his extreme anti-semitic and anti-communist views.

CIA documents just recently declassified show strong ties between US intelligence and Ukrainian nationalists since 1946.

Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort?

Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council is Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler's Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians.

The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok was one of the three most high profile leaders of the Euromaidan protests. . . .

Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh , the leader of the Right Sector – a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine.

The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine.

US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts.

But Viktor Yushchenko is not an American who speaks a foreign language. He is very much a Ukrainian nationalist and steeped in the anti-Semitism that dominates the ideology of western Ukraine. During the final months of his Presidency, Yushchenko made the following declaration:

In conclusion I would like to say something that is long awaited by the Ukrainian patriots for many years I have signed a decree for the unbroken spirit and standing for the idea of fighting for independent Ukraine. I declare Stepan Bandera a national hero of Ukraine.

Without hesitation or shame, Yushchenko endorsed the legacy of Bandera, who had happily aligned with the Nazis in pursuit of his own nationalist goals. Those goals, however, did not include Jews. And here is the ultimate irony--Bandera was born in Austria, not the Ukraine. So much for ideological consistency.

US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS.

This is : a USAID program with other National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated groups: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. In 2010, the reported disbursement for CEPPS in Ukraine was nearly $5 million.

The program's efforts are described on the USAID website as providing "training for political party activists and locally elected officials to improve communication with civic groups and citizens, and the development of NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues."

Anyone prepared to argue that it would be okay for Russia, through its Foreign Ministry, to contribute several million dollars for training party activists in the United States?

What we do not know is how much money was being spent on covert activities directed and managed by the CIA. During the political upheaval in April 2014 (Maidan 2), there was this news item:

Over the weekend, CIA director John Brennan travelled to Kiev, nobody knows exactly why, but some speculate that he intends to open US intelligence resources to Ukrainian leaders about real-time Russian military maneuvers. The US has, thus far, refrained from sharing such knowledge because Moscow is believed to have penetrated much of Ukraine's communications systems – and Washington isn't about to hand over its surveillance secrets to the Russians.

Do you think Americans would be outraged if the head of Russia's version of the CIA, the SVR or FSB, traveled quietly to the United States to meet with Donald Trump prior to his election? I think that would qualify as meddling.

Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11.

There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom.

Posted at 01:24 PM in Publius Tacitus , Russiagate | Permalink


james , 23 February 2018 at 02:11 PM

Good post pt.. thanks... i never knew ''the wife of former President Viktor Yushchenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department.'' That is informative.. i recall following this closely back in 2014.. the hypocrisy on display in the usa at present is truly amazing and frightening at the same time.. it appears that the public can be cowed very easily..
Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , 23 February 2018 at 02:29 PM
good points well made.

On the twitters, you would be accused of "whatabouttism" - which is the crime of excusing Putin's diabolism by pointing out American interference with the internal politics an elections of other nations. A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list.

An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west.

Adrestia , 23 February 2018 at 02:39 PM
It's not only the US. The EU borg are also meddling. In my country we had a referendum about Ukraine. The population voted "Against" on the question: "Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Ukraine%E2%80%93European_Union_Association_Agreement_referendum,_2016

This was the only referendum that was done since it was implemented in 2015. A second one is being organized on the Intelligence and Security Services which has controversial parts with regard to access to internet traffic.

This referendum will take place on March 21, 2018 and will probably be voted against because of the controversial elements (in part because there is still living memory of our Eastern neighbors in the second world war)

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_op_de_inlichtingen-_en_veiligheidsdiensten_2017

These 2 will probably be the last. Our house of representatives have voted yesterday to end the referendum law (with a majority vote of 76 out of 150 representatives!)

So much for democracy. The reason stated that the referendum was controversial (probably because they voted against the EU borg). Interesting is that the proposal was done by the party that wanted the referendum as a principal point. This will almost certainly ensure that the little respect left for traditional parties is gone and they will not be able to get a majority next elections.

The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIL1FWCIlu8

Tom , 23 February 2018 at 03:22 PM

I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties.

Even in the nineties anybody who travelled in Ukraine could feel the tension between East and West. The Russians were certainly aware of it and mindful not to rip the country apart they cut the Ukrainians an enormous amount of slack. Of course they supported "their" candidates and shoveled money into their insatiable throats. Only to be disappointed time and again. "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". Really the West should have been content with things as they were.

But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy?

Really the West (not only the US -the Eu is also guilty) is to blame. It is long past time to get down from the high horse and stop spreading chaos and mayhem in the name of democracy,

Jony Kanuck , 23 February 2018 at 03:27 PM
Publius,

An informative column. The coup & later developments soured me on the MSMedia. I'm an initiate into modern Russian history: NATO in the Ukraine = WW3!

Some additional history:

A Ukrainian nation did not exist until after WW1; one piece was Russian, another Polish and another Austrian. The Holodomor is exaggerated for political purposes; the actual number dead from famine appears to be 'only' 2M. It wasn't Soviet bloody mindedness, it was Soviet agricultural mismanagement; collectivizing agriculture drops production.

They did this right before the great drought of the 1930s - remember the dustbowl. There was a famine in Kazakestan at the same time; 1.5M died.

The Nazis raised 5 SS divisions out of the Ukraine. As the Germans were pushed back they ran night drops of ordnance into the Ukraine as long as they could. The Soviets had to carry on divisional level counter insurgency until 1956. After the war, Gehlen, Nazi intelligence czar, kept himself out of jail by turning over his files, routes & agents to the US. He also stoked anti Soviet paranoia.

The Brits ended up with a whole Ukr SS division that they didn't want, so they gave it to Canada. Which is why Canada has such cranky policy around the Ukraine!

bluetonga , 23 February 2018 at 03:28 PM
A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression.
Publius Tacitus -> Tom... , 23 February 2018 at 03:31 PM
Tom,

I'm sure you'd like us to ignore Bandera. I bet he liked children and dogs. Just like Hitler. Bandera was a genuine bad guy. There is no rehabilitating that scourge on society. Nice try though.

Publius Tacitus -> bluetonga... , 23 February 2018 at 03:36 PM
I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that your final comment is sarcasm. When you have two senior US Government officials who will and will not constitute a foreign government, you have gone beyond meddling. It is worse.
VietnamVet , 23 February 2018 at 03:57 PM
PT

The media is hysterical. Today, Putin's Facebook Bot Collaborator contacted the Kremlin before his mercenaries attacked Americans in Syria.

I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption.

A World War is near. The realists are gone. The Moguls are pushing Donald Trump pull the trigger. Either in Syria with an assault to destroy Hezbollah (Iran) for good or American trainers going over the top of trenches in Donbass in a centennial attack of the dead.

The Twisted Genius , 23 February 2018 at 03:59 PM
Publius Tacitus,

Hallelujah and jubilation! We're in full agreement on this subject. What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base.

I would definitely want to see a full account of what support we provided to the nazi thugs of Svoboda and Pravy Sektor. We have a long history of meddling, at least twice as long as the Soviet Union/Russia. But that does not mean we should stop investigating the Russian interference in our 2016 election. Just stop hyperventilating over it. It no more deserves risking a war than our continuing mutual espionage.

TimmyB , 23 February 2018 at 04:08 PM
Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis.

As a result of this rebellion, the Russian majority in Crimea overwhelming voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which they had been part of for over 150-years. While our government continues to provide military aid to Israel, which used force of arms take over the West Bank, it imposed sanctions against Russia when the people of Crimea voted to join their former countrymen. Mind boggling.

[Dec 21, 2019] America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil.

Notable quotes:
"... Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy. ..."
"... America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla. ..."
"... Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Idealistic Realist , Apr 27, 2019 1:24:45 PM | link

Best analysis by a candidate for POTUS ever:

American foreign policy is not a failure. To comfort themselves, observers often say that our leaders -- presidents, advisors, generals -- don't know what they're doing. They do know. Their agenda just isn't what we like to imagine it is.

To quote Michael Parenti: "US policy is not filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. It has performed brilliantly and steadily in the service of those who own most of the world and who want to own all of it."

The vision of our leaders as bunglers, while more accurate than the image of them as valiant public servants, is less accurate and more rose-tinted than the closest approximation of the truth, which is that they are servants of their class interest. That is why we go to war.

Those who buy the elite class's foreign policy BS, about the Emmanuel Goldsteins they conjure up every three years, are fools. Obviously Hussein and Milošević were bad; but "government bad" does not mean we must invade. Wars occur for economic, not humanitarian, reasons.

  • Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, is a kleptocrat, murderer, and alleged cannibal. This is him and his wife with Barack and Michelle Obama.
  • Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, was said to have boiled political prisoners to death, massacred hundreds of prisoners, and made torture an institution. This is him with John Kerry.
  • Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, has been involved in the assassination of political opponents, perpetrated obvious election fraud, and had his term extended until 2034. This is him with Barack and Michelle Obama.

Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy.

America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla.

Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never.

Mike Gravel

[Dec 21, 2019] The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives

Highly recommended!
The USA state of continuous war has been a bipartisan phenomenon starting with Truman in Korea and proceeding with Vietnam, Lebanon,Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and now Syria. It doesn't take a genius to realize that these limited, never ending wars are expensive was to enrich MIC and Wall Street banksters
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

KC February 15, 2019 at 11:16 pm

The one thing your accurate analysis leaves out is that the goal of US wars is never what the media spouts for its Wall Street masters. The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives, create more enemies to be fought in future wars, and to provide a rationalization for the continued primacy of the military class in US politics and culture.

Occasionally a country may be sitting on a bunch of oil, and also be threatening to move away from the petrodollar or talking about allowing an "adversary" to build a pipeline across their land.

Otherwise war is a racket unto itself. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. "
― George Orwell

Also we've always been at war with Oceania .or whatever that quote said.

[Dec 19, 2019] A joint French-Ukrainian journalistic investigation into a huge money laundering scheme using various shadow banking organizations in Austria and Switzerland, benefiting Clinton friendly Ukrainian oligarchs and of course the Clinton Foundation.

Highly recommended!
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lurker in the Dark , Dec 19 2019 1:49 utc | 56

My apologies if this has been posted before, but here is a news conference broadcast by Interfax a few days ago detailing a joint French-Ukrainian journalistic investigation into a huge money laundering scheme using various shadow banking organizations in Austria and Switzerland, benefiting Clinton friendly Ukrainian oligarchs and of course the Clinton Foundation.

The link is short enough to not require re-formatting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4309z--JcGk&feature=

Lurker in the Dark , Dec 19 2019 2:00 utc | 59

Forgive me for the somewhat redundant post, and again I hope this is not a waste of anyone's time, but this is the source of the Interfax report I posted just above currently at #56. It is relevant to the Ukrainegate impeachment fiasco.

https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/press-conference/631034.html (again, link brief enough not to require re-format).

The U.S. and lapdog EU/UK media will not touch this with a 10 foot pole.

KYIV. Dec 17 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine and the United States should investigate the transfer of $29 million by businessman Victor Pinchuk from Ukraine to the Clinton Foundation, Ukrainian Member of Parliament (independent) Andriy Derkach has said. According to him, the investigation should check and establish how the Pinchuk Foundation's activities were funded; it, among other projects, made a contribution of $29 million to the Clinton Foundation. "Yesterday, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies registered criminal proceeding number 12019000000001138. As part of this proceeding, I provided facts that should be verified and established by the investigation. Establishing these facts will also help the American side to conduct its own investigation and establish the origin of the money received by [Hillary] Clinton," Derkach said at a press conferences at Interfax-Ukraine in Kyiv on Tuesday, December 17.

According to him, it was the independent French online publication Mediapart that first drew attention to the money withdrawal scheme from Ukraine and Pinchuk's financing of the Clinton Foundation.

"The general scheme is as follows. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lent money to Ukraine in 2015. The same year, Victor Pinchuk's Credit Dnepr [Bank] received UAH 357 million in a National Bank stabilization loan from the IMF's disbursement. Delta Bank was given a total of UAH 5.110 billion in loans. The banks siphoned the money through Austria's Meinl Bank into offshore accounts, and further into [the accounts of] the Pinchuk Foundation. The money siphoning scam was confirmed by a May 2016 ruling by [Kyiv's] Pechersky court. The total damage from this scam involving other banks is estimated at $800 million. The Pinchuk Foundation transferred $29 million to the Foundation of Clinton, a future U.S. presidential candidate from the Democratic Party," Derkach said.

[Nov 30, 2019] Ukraine Land Privatization Demanded by IMF, Links to Biden Graft Scandal. Engineered Bankruptcy of National Economy by Dmitriy Kovalevich

Notable quotes:
"... November in Ukraine has been marked by the adoption of the so called 'land reform', in accordance of the demands made by the IMF amongst other international financial organizations. The reform opens the way for the mass privatization of Ukraine's agricultural lands. The IMF has been making these demands for many years but assorted Ukrainian presidents have tried to postpone such an unpopular decision. Recent polls show that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians of all political persuasions are opposed to land privatization, from far-right to far-left. ..."
"... After an intensive period of deindustrialization, which has taken place in recent years, agricultural land remain the only asset with any value in Ukraine but even so, it may be bought for very little. A remarkable fact is that one of the deputies from the ruling party 'Servant of the people,' Nikita Poturayev , while pressing his colleagues at the Parliament to vote for the bill on land reform, claimed [1] that this would be 'settling scores with maniac V. Lenin', i.e. the purpose of the bill was to abolish the land nationalization carried out following the October revolution. ..."
"... Ukrainian political expert Ruslan Bortnik says that the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and his team came to power under an obligation to sell out the agricultural land of Ukraine to foreign companies. Those who buy these lands, according to Bortnik, will only be thinking about making the quickest possible buck. "Foreign companies are already operating on Ukrainian soil [renting land]," said Bortnik, ..."
"... "But they are competing with large Ukrainian agricultural holdings. They do not dominate. If the adopted land market model is launched, then only large foreign companies will remain in our market Let's be honest – we are not a sovereign country. At least our government is under external control. And this is a part of the obligations of this government. This is the condition under which they came to power. They are paying the debts through privatization." [2] ..."
"... Ukrainian farmers who still are landowners, formally at least – they just can't sell it – are the same people who are unable to pay their gas and electricity bills, especially after the recent raising of energy prices – another IMF demand. ..."
"... For the most part, it was in the region of $7.4 billion of stolen Ukraine's public money, from which only a "small share" was used to bribe Western politicians, like Hunter Biden. The deputies have stressed that, according to the investigation of Ukraine's general prosecution, the withdrawn and laundered money was then invested back into Ukraine. In particular through the Franklin Templeton Investments, the money was used to buy domestic government bonds (DGB), issued by Kiev at high interest rate. ..."
"... Ukrainian prosecutor Konstantin Kulik recently stated [4] in an interview that Ukraine takes IMF loans to pay out on these debt obligations (DGB). As deputy Aleksandr Dubinsky stressed at the press conference, 40% of the current public budget goes towards the payment of the public debt of Ukraine, including the repayment of DGB at inflated interest rates. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

New Cold War 28 November 2019 Region: Europe , Russia and FSU , USA Theme: Global Economy In-depth Report: UKRAINE REPORT

November in Ukraine has been marked by the adoption of the so called 'land reform', in accordance of the demands made by the IMF amongst other international financial organizations. The reform opens the way for the mass privatization of Ukraine's agricultural lands. The IMF has been making these demands for many years but assorted Ukrainian presidents have tried to postpone such an unpopular decision. Recent polls show that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians of all political persuasions are opposed to land privatization, from far-right to far-left.

After an intensive period of deindustrialization, which has taken place in recent years, agricultural land remain the only asset with any value in Ukraine but even so, it may be bought for very little. A remarkable fact is that one of the deputies from the ruling party 'Servant of the people,' Nikita Poturayev , while pressing his colleagues at the Parliament to vote for the bill on land reform, claimed [1] that this would be 'settling scores with maniac V. Lenin', i.e. the purpose of the bill was to abolish the land nationalization carried out following the October revolution.

Ukraine's fertile soil up for grabs

It has long been known that Ukraine's soil is very fertile. Indeed, during WW2 the invading Nazis made a point of appropriating quantities of it; forcing POWs to collect the top soil and load it onto trains en route to Germany. Now these same lands could fall into the hands of international agro-holdings.

Ukrainian political expert Ruslan Bortnik says that the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and his team came to power under an obligation to sell out the agricultural land of Ukraine to foreign companies. Those who buy these lands, according to Bortnik, will only be thinking about making the quickest possible buck. "Foreign companies are already operating on Ukrainian soil [renting land]," said Bortnik,

"But they are competing with large Ukrainian agricultural holdings. They do not dominate. If the adopted land market model is launched, then only large foreign companies will remain in our market Let's be honest – we are not a sovereign country. At least our government is under external control. And this is a part of the obligations of this government. This is the condition under which they came to power. They are paying the debts through privatization." [2]

Ukrainian farmers who still are landowners, formally at least – they just can't sell it – are the same people who are unable to pay their gas and electricity bills, especially after the recent raising of energy prices – another IMF demand. Obviously, their financial desperation will mean that many will have to sell their land at a low price, certainly well below the market value. Meanwhile, Ukraine remains the poorest country on the continent of Europe and Ukrainian agricultural land remains the cheapest. Moreover, the lands may be bought up as repaying large loans collected by the Kiev government following the Euromaidan coup in 2014.

This scheme of buying up Ukraine's land is connected with the ongoing corruption scandal in the US: the one related to Joe Biden and the gas company 'Burisma'. At the end of November, Ukrainian MPs (non-factional people's deputy Andrey Derkach; a deputy from the Batkivshchyna Party Aleksey Kucherenko; and a deputy from the ruling Servant of the People party, Aleksandr Dubinsky) revealed it at the press-conference [3].

The point here is that the former Minister of Ecology of Ukraine Nikolay Zlochevsky , an owner of "Burisma" gas company, in 2014 introduced a number of Western politicians to the board of directors of his company, which helped him to avoid accusations of corruption. Hunter Biden , son of former US Vice President Joe Biden , received monthly large payments for his "consultancy services". As a result Ukraine's General prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the corruption schemes of the company, was forced – under pressure – to resign by Joe Biden, who even boasted about it in the US media.

GMO Crops for Ukraine: The West's Agri-Business Conglomerates Snap up Ukraine's Bread Basket

Ukrainian MPs have now claimed at a press-conference that the money used to bribe the son of the former Vice President of the United States was in fact stolen. "Biden received money, the source of which is not the successful activity of Burisma, brilliant business moves, or recommendations. It is the money of the citizens of Ukraine. It was obtained by criminal means," said the MP Andrey Derkach. The ultimate goal of all this fraud, in which the Bidens were deeply involved, will be the bankruptcy of Ukraine in 2020-2021, through the formation of a pyramid of public debt.

Laundering scheme to withdraw money from Ukraine

According to Ukrainian deputies, this was a part of a bigger laundering scheme to withdraw money from Ukraine via Latvian banks and the fund 'Franklin Templeton Investments,' which is close to the United States Democratic Party. The founder of the foundation, John Templeton Jr., was one of the main sponsors of the campaign of former US President Barack Obama.

For the most part, it was in the region of $7.4 billion of stolen Ukraine's public money, from which only a "small share" was used to bribe Western politicians, like Hunter Biden. The deputies have stressed that, according to the investigation of Ukraine's general prosecution, the withdrawn and laundered money was then invested back into Ukraine. In particular through the Franklin Templeton Investments, the money was used to buy domestic government bonds (DGB), issued by Kiev at high interest rate.

The principle of this scheme is that with the assistance of American funds, the laundered money was legalised and invested in government bonds at 6-8% in dollars and 15-17% in Ukrainian currency (hryvnia). This is leading to enormous growth in the Ukrainian public debt and eventually the bankruptcy of the country's economy.

Eventual bankruptcy of the economy

Ukrainian prosecutor Konstantin Kulik recently stated [4] in an interview that Ukraine takes IMF loans to pay out on these debt obligations (DGB). As deputy Aleksandr Dubinsky stressed at the press conference, 40% of the current public budget goes towards the payment of the public debt of Ukraine, including the repayment of DGB at inflated interest rates.

According to him, bankruptcy on the debts could happen by the end of 2020 or 2021.

And this scheme is connected with land privatization, as adopted by Kiev in November in accordance with the IMF demand. "DGBs are a financial instrument by which the state owes all its property when paying off the DGB. And if the land market is opened, the state will have no other valuable property, with the exception of land," said Dubinsky, demanding the suspension of debt payments to international creditors.

As a result of this unpopular land reform and the widespread violations of labour rights, Ukraine's trade-unions called a general strike [5] for November 14 and began preparations. For the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, a strike committee was formed at the all-national level. This committee was joined by trade unions, individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, agricultural producers and farmers.

Management fires workers, pays themselves millions in bonuses

On November 14, Ukrainian railroad workers protested [6] in front of the Presidential office in Kiev against the announced plans to fire some 50% of railroad personnel. The workers demanded the railroad management should resign instead. The deputy head of the railroad trade-union, Alexander Mushenok, recently said [7] that currently "only 20 workers are employed where 60 workers are needed." At the same time the workers claim that the top-level management of the company are paying themselves millions in bonuses. One of the IMF demands requires that the Kiev authorities privatize the railroad system as well. In practice, this means that the few profitable routes will be privatized by western companies, while the majority of non-profitable routes – to poorly developed provinces – will remain state-owned, making the railway transport even less profitable.

The entire course of privatization, as promoted by the IMF, can be summarized by the principle 'privatization of profits, nationalization of losses." And the new Kiev government is far too dependent to protest against the imposition of this policy; however, this will effectively mean that this government will lose its credibility and trustworthiness among the people.

*

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Notes

The original source of this article is New Cold War Copyright © Dmitriy Kovalevich , New Cold War , 2019

[Nov 28, 2019] Fiona Hill links to Soros by Julian Borger

Looks like both Yovanovich and Hill are connected to Soros and did his bidding instead of pursuing Trump policies as for Ukraine. Yovanovich was clearly dismiied due to her role in channeling damaging to Trump information during 2016 elections, the fact that she denies (as she denied the exostance of "do not procecute list"). And nothing can be taken serious from a government official until she denied it.
Notable quotes:
"... Fiona Hill, who was the senior director for Europe and Russia in the National Security Council (NSC) said other NSC staff had been "hounded out" by threats against them, including antisemitic smears linking them to the liberal financier and philanthropist, George Soros, a hate figure on the far right. ..."
"... This was a mishmash of conspiracy theories that I believe firmly to be baseless, an idea of an association between her and George Soros." ..."
"... "My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again, frankly, as it's been announced that I've been giving this deposition, accusing me of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president, and of various improprieties." ..."
"... "When I saw this happening to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I was furious," she said, pointing to "this whipping up of what is frankly an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros to basically target nonpartisan career officials, and also some political appointees as well." ..."
"... Hill dismissed the suggestion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election was a "conspiracy theory" intended to distract attention from Russia's well-documented role. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.international

Trump's ex-Russia adviser received death threats after testifying in impeachment hearings, - The Guardian

Fiona Hill has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation 16:22, 9 November 2019 Open source

The former top Russia expert at the White House has said she has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation, including death threats, which reached a new peak after she agreed to testify in congressional impeachment hearings, The Guardian reports.

Fiona Hill, who was the senior director for Europe and Russia in the National Security Council (NSC) said other NSC staff had been "hounded out" by threats against them, including antisemitic smears linking them to the liberal financier and philanthropist, George Soros, a hate figure on the far right.

In her testimony to Congress, Hill described a climate of fear among administration staff.

The UK-born academic and biographer of Vladimir Putin said that the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was the target of a hate campaign, with the aim of driving her from her post in Kyiv, where she was seen as an obstacle to some corrupt business interests.

Yovanovitch was recalled from Ukraine in May on Trump's orders. In a 25 July conversation with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump described Yovanovitch as "bad news" and predicted she was "going to go through some things". The former ambassador has testified she felt threatened by the remarks.

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, led calls for Yovanovitch's dismissal, as did two of Giuliani business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. All three are under scrutiny in hearings being held by House committees looking at Trump's use of his office to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents.

"There was no basis for her removal," Hill testified. "The accusations against her had no merit whatsoever. This was a mishmash of conspiracy theories that I believe firmly to be baseless, an idea of an association between her and George Soros."

"I had had accusations similar to this being made against me as well," Hill testified. "My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again, frankly, as it's been announced that I've been giving this deposition, accusing me of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president, and of various improprieties."

She added that the former national security adviser, HR McMaster "and many other members of staff were targeted as well, and many people were hounded out of the National Security Council because they became frightened about their own security."

"I received, I just have to tell you, death threats, calls at my home. My neighbours reported somebody coming and hammering on my door," Hill said, adding that she had also been targeted by obscene phone calls. "Now, I'm not easily intimidated, but that made me mad."

"When I saw this happening to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I was furious," she said, pointing to "this whipping up of what is frankly an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros to basically target nonpartisan career officials, and also some political appointees as well."

In Yovanovitch's case, Hill said: "the most obvious explanation [for the smear campaign] seemed to be business dealings of individuals who wanted to improve their investment positions inside of Ukraine itself, and also to deflect away from the findings of not just the Mueller report on Russian interference but what's also been confirmed by your own Senate report, and what I know myself to be true as a former intelligence analyst and somebody who has been working on Russia for more than 30 years."

Hill dismissed the suggestion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election was a "conspiracy theory" intended to distract attention from Russia's well-documented role.

... ... ...

[Nov 28, 2019] List of non-prosecuted Ukrainians made by America was published

The list contains some (but not all) of the key participants of the 2014 coup d'état against President Yanukovich. There are 13 names in the list: MPs Serhiy Leshchenko, Mustafa Nayem, Svitlana Zalishchuk, Serhiy Berezenko, Serhiy Pashynsky; ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk; ex-Head of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Hontareva; ex-First Deputy of the National Security and Defense Council Oleg Hladkovsky; judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Makar Pasenyuk; candidate for presidency Anatoly Hrytsenko; singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk; journalist Dmytro Hordon and ex-Head of the Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin.
Pashynsky was involved in Snipergate. Yatsenyuk was the marionette chosen by Nuland to head the Provisional government after Yanukovich will be overthrown.
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.international
Related: Atlantic Council representative withdrew his statement about Lutsenko and Yovanovitch

Almost all of these people from the list were involved in various sort of scandals during the last five years. Particularly, Oleg Hladkovsky was recently dismissed from his post due to the corruption scandal in the defense sphere. Serhiy Leshchenko became known for the purchase of the flat for $275,253 and the number of information attacks at well-known politicians and businessmen. Serhy Pashynsky was tied to the hostile takeover of a confectionary factory in Zhytomyr.

Earlier, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko stated that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch passed him a do not prosecute list . Lutsenko's Press Secretary Larysa Sarhan in a commentary for BBC Ukraine specified that this list contained names of the Ukrainian MPs.

Related: Anti-Corruption Bureau to open probe against Ukraine's Prosecutor General Lutsenko

In its turn, the U.S. Department of State stated that the words of Lutsenko are not true and aims to tarnish the reputation of Ambassador Yovanovitch. Thus, there are certain concerns that the actual list might be fake.

[Nov 28, 2019] Ex-US Ambassador Denies Giving Ukraine 'Do Not Prosecute List' in Impeachment Inquiry

Nov 28, 2019 | sputniknews.com

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The House is holding its second public hearing with former US envoy to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch centring around her ouster which, according to her, is pertinent to the impeachment probe against Trump. Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch flatly denied allegations that she circulated a list of potential corruption targets in Ukraine that the United States did not want prosecuted, according to testimony at the opening of hearings in the House impeachment probe of President Donald Trump on Friday.

"I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a do not prosecute list was a fabrication", Yovanovitch said. "Mr Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute. Instead I advocated the US position that rule of law should prevail."

US President Donald Trump in a series of tweets on Friday criticised former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's performance while she was testifying in the impeachment hearing against him. He defended his decision to replace Yovanovitch - appointed by his predecessor Barak Obama - as the US ambassador to Ukraine, where she served from August 2016 until May 2019.

....They call it "serving at the pleasure of the President." The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019

[Nov 28, 2019] Glenn Beck Marie Yovanovitch committed 'perjury' when she LIED under oath about 'do not prosecute list'

Nov 28, 2019 | www.theblaze.com

During Friday's Democrat-led impeachment inquiry hearing, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified under oath that she did not give former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko a "do not prosecute list" in 2017. Yovanovitch also doubled-down on left-wing disinformation saying that Lutsenko "acknowledged that the list never existed" in April.

Ditch the fake news ==> Click here to get news you can trust sent right to your inbox. It's free!

"I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a "Do Not Prosecute" list was a fabrication," Yovanovitch told the House Intelligence Committee . "Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr. Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute."

"That is such a lie," Glenn Beck said on Friday's show. "She should be held for perjury."

During a three-part BlazeTV exposé on the Democrats' corruption in Ukraine, Glenn debunked what he called "the most misleading fabrication I've ever seen by the mainstream media."

Earlier this year, award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon reported Lutsenko's claim that then-Ambassador Yovanovitch gave him a list of "people whom we should not prosecute" during a meeting in 2016. Shortly after Solomon's article was released, several news sources, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, reported that Lutsenko retracted his statement.

But Glenn's research revealed that the mainstream media got their erroneous information from a Ukrainian news site called Unian, which misleadingly headlined a story " Ukraine Prosecutor General Lutsenko admits U.S. ambassador didn't give him a do not prosecute list ," based on a misinterpretation of what Lutsenko told another Ukrainian publication, TheBabel .

When Lutsenko said Yovanovitch "gave" him a list, he did not mean she actually handed him anything in writing, but verbally conveyed the names of people he shouldn't prosecute.

"They never mentioned the fact that it was verbally dictated and he wrote the list down himself -- are you kidding me?" Glenn exclaimed. "This is how the media is fact-checking and debunking. They are playing with our republic and Ukraine's republic. They are planting dynamite all around everything that we hold dear. How do they sleep at night? Everyone that reads their stories actually thinks that there was a retraction of one of the most damning parts of this entire case."

Watch the video below to get the details:

https://www.facebook.com/v2.5/plugins/video.php?allowfullscreen=true&app_id=1446069888755293&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter.php%3Fversion%3D44%23cb%3Dfc6a4d6bf34ec3%26domain%3Dwww.theblaze.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.theblaze.com%252Ff1202de92fa5ac%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=575&href=https%3A%2F%2Ffacebook.com%2FTheBlaze%2Fvideos%2F365169550954458%2F&locale=en_US&sdk=joey

You can find Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 of the Ukraine scandal series on BlazeTV or YouTube .

If you like what you see, use promo code GB20OFF to get $20 off a full year of BlazeTV . With a BlazeTV subscription, you're not just paying to watch great pro-free speech, pro-America TV. Your subscription funds the intensive investigations that let BlazeTV tell the stories the liberal media wants to keep in the dark, giving you the unvarnished truth, showing you what the media doesn't want you to see. Read More

[Nov 28, 2019] Ambassador Yovanovitch "do not prosecute" list

Nov 28, 2019 | truthout.org

‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2019

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV's John Solomon in an interview that aired Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a do not prosecute list during their first meeting.

"Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute," Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

"My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime," he continued.

The State Department called Lutsenko's claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, "an outright fabrication."

"We have seen reports of the allegations," a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. "The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects."

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that "the situation was actually rather strange" and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but "never received."

"At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue," he said. " At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy."

"Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts," he said. "The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general's office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem."

"The portion of the funds namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General's office. But we have never received it," he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

[Nov 22, 2019] The Independent Ukraine s painful journey through the five stages of grief by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references? Might have been a non-biased article, but many of us will never know... ..."
"... They certainly aren't National Socialists, and arguably not nationalists. Nationalists are open to what is best for "the nation" regardless of where it lies on the political spectrum. Since they don't consider the people in Donbas to be part of "the nation", that means, if anything, they are useful idiots of Zionism. ..."
Nov 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

In my July 25th article " Zelenskii's dilemma " I pointed out the fundamental asymmetry of the Ukrainian power configuration following Zelenskii's crushing victory over Poroshenko: while a vast majority of the Ukrainian people clearly voted to stop the war and restore some kind of peace to the Ukraine, the real levers of power in the post-Maidan Banderastan are all held by all sorts of very powerful, if also small, minority groups including:

The various "oligarchs" (Kolomoiskii, Akhmetov, etc.) and/or mobsters Arsen Avakov's internal security forces including some "legalized" Nazi death squads The various non-official Nazi deathsquads (Parubii) The various western intelligence agencies who run various groups inside the Ukraine The various western financial/political sponsors who run various groups inside the Ukraine The so-called "Sorosites" (соросята) i.e. Soros and Soros-like sponsored political figures The many folks who want to milk the Ukraine down to the last drop of Ukrainian blood and then run

These various groups all acted in unison, at least originally, during and after the Euromaidan. This has now dramatically changed and these groups are now all fighting each other. This is what always happens when things begin to turn south and the remaining loot shrinks with every passing day,

Whether Zelenskii ever had a chance to use the strong mandate he received from the people to take the real power back from these groups or not is now a moot point: It did not happen and the first weeks of Zelenskii's presidency clearly showed that Zelenskii was, indeed, in " free fall ": instead of becoming a "Ukrainian Putin" Zelenskii became a "Ukrainian Trump" – a weak and, frankly, clueless leader, completely outside his normal element, whose only "policy" towards all the various extremist minorities was to try to appease them, then appease them some more, and then even more than that. As a result, a lot of Ukrainians are already speaking about "Ze" being little more than a "Poroshenko 2.0". More importantly, pretty much everybody is frustrated and even angry at Zelenskii whose popularity is steadily declining.

... ... ...

Another major problem for Zelenskii are two competing narratives: the Ukronazi one and, shall we say, the "Russian" one. I have outlined the Ukronazi one just above and now I will mention the competing Russian one which goes something like this:

The Euromaidan was a completely illegal violent coup against the democratically elected President of the Ukraine, whose legitimacy nobody contested, least of all the countries which served as mediators between Poroshenko and the rioters and who betrayed their word in less than 24 hours (a kind of a record for western politicians and promises of support!).

... ... ...

Some of the threats made by these Ukronazis are dead serious and the only person who, as of now, kinda can keep the Ukrainian version of the Rwandan " Interahamwe " under control would probably be Arsen Avakov, but since he himself is a hardcore Nazi nutcase, his attitude is ambiguous and unpredictable. He probably has more firepower than anybody else, but he was a pure " Porokhobot " (Poroshenko-robot) who, in many ways, controlled Poroshenko more than Poroshenko controlled him. The best move for Zelenskii would be to arrest the whole lot of them overnight (Poroshenko himself, but also Avakov, Parubii, Iarosh, Farion, Liashko, Tiagnibok, etc.) and place a man he totally trusts as Minister of the Interior. Next, Zelenskii should either travel to Donetsk or, at least, meet with the leaders of the LDNR and work with them to implement the Minsk Agreements. That would alienate the Ukronazis for sure, but it would give Zelenskii a lot of popular support.

Needless to say, that is not going to happen. While Zelenskii's puppet master Kolomoiskii would love to stick this entire gang in jail and replace them with his own men, it is an open secret that powerful interest groups in the US have told Zelenskii "don't you dare touch them". Which is fine, except that this also means "don't you dare change their political course either".

...are going through the famous Kübler-Ross stages of griefs: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: currently, most of them are zig-zagging between bargaining and depression; acceptance is still far beyond their – very near – horizon. Except that Zelenskii has nothing left to bargain with.


Alfred , says: November 14, 2019 at 9:51 am GMT

Thank you for a rational article about Ukraine. The sad thing is that it might take years to reach the "acceptance" phase.

It would take someone like Hitler to clean out the stables. Arrest is not a viable option as they will bribe their way out. These people need to be put down like rabid dogs. That is the only way to put an end to their mischief and it would be a deterrent to their replacements.

Personally, I suspect that the Ukraine is being deliberately depopulated to make way for waves of "refugees" from Israel. Another country that is still in the "denial" phase. Its military and political leaders know full-well that their strategic aims have all failed. The boot is now firmly on the other foot.

I suspect that Crimea was their preferred destination and hence the massive non-stop propaganda against Russia on that score. To give you an idea of how ridiculous it has all become, the UK no longer accepts medical degrees awarded by universities in Crimea.

AWM , says: November 14, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references? Might have been a non-biased article, but many of us will never know...
Kateryna , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:18 pm GMT
It's "Ukraine", not "the Ukraine".
Spycimir Mendoza , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:30 pm GMT
Roman Dmowski, one of the creators of independent Poland, wrote in 1931 about Ukraine:
http://www.mysl-polska.pl/node/164
Commentator Mike , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT
@Alfred

I suspect that the Ukraine is being deliberately depopulated to make way for waves of "refugees" from Israel.

You got that right – what it's all about is building a New Khazaria. But they're neither giving up on their Greater Israel project between the two rivers, and hence more wars, conflict and chaos to drive out the native Arabs from the Middle East.

I suspect that Crimea was their preferred destination and hence the massive non-stop propaganda against Russia on that score.

SeekerofthePresence , says: November 14, 2019 at 7:31 pm GMT
'Murka in boundless greed seizes Ukraine,
"Vital US national interest."
US now run by the likes of Strain,
'Nother hide to post in Pinterest.
Curmudgeon , says: November 14, 2019 at 9:47 pm GMT
@AWM They certainly aren't National Socialists, and arguably not nationalists. Nationalists are open to what is best for "the nation" regardless of where it lies on the political spectrum. Since they don't consider the people in Donbas to be part of "the nation", that means, if anything, they are useful idiots of Zionism.
tolemo , says: November 15, 2019 at 12:06 am GMT
@Curmudgeon They may not be real n@zis but they sure do look like it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhw4IdIO6Lg&feature=youtu.be
Alfred , says: November 15, 2019 at 10:14 am GMT
@bob sykes Kolomoiskii is the real hidden owner/controller of the company that bribed the Bidens. He has a finger in lots of pies. His pretense to leaning towards Russia is his way to try to get the Americans to stop attempts to get at the many millions that he stole from his own Ukrainians bank – fake loans to his companies.

Of course, the Russians understand all of that. This theater is aimed at the Americans – not at the Russians.

Igor Kolomoisky Makes A Mistake, And The New York Times Does What It Always Does

Felix Keverich , says: November 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm GMT
For the Ukrainian state to break up, there need to be some forces interested in a break-up. You won't find such forces inside the Ukraine.

What is Ukrainian South-East? In pure political terms, "South-East" is a bunch of oligarchs, who are all integrated into Ukrainian system, and have no reason to seek independence from Kiev, especially if it means getting slapped with Western sanctions.

Even the Kremlin doesn't show much interest in breaking up the Ukraine, so why the hell would it break up?

It's worth pointing out that the so-called "Novorossia movement" started out as Akhmetov's project to win concessions from new Kiev regime. It was then quickly hijacked by Strelkov, a man who actually wanted to break up the Ukraine, and it is because of Strelkov, that Donetsk and Lugansk are now de-facto independent. Without similar figures to lead secessionist movements elsewhere in the Ukraine, this break-up that Saker keeps talking about will never happen.

Marshall Lentini , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:28 am GMT
Twenty-one occurrences of "Nazi".
Marshall Lentini , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:30 am GMT
@Nodwink Do you doubt it'll come to that? Krakow is on its way to becoming Little Bombay. Gotta have that "tech".
Carlton Meyer , says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT
How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Evj_qduJY7U?feature=oembed

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Tucker nails it -- with humor, to boot.

His ratings must be sky-high, because otherwise I cannot imagine why Fox would allow him to continue to use their network as a medium to broadcast common sense.

Of course the Dems are making it so easy.
Schiff, Kent, Taylor, Yanovitch -- what a pathetic, nauseating crew.

[Nov 22, 2019] How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS

Tucker is definitely an interesting commentator.
Nov 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer , says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT

How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

Tucker Democrats have no actual plan for impeachment - YouTube

Antares , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
@Alfred I had the same thoughts. Zelenskii should show a similar coffin with the text "This one is still empty" and then start rounding up the terrorists. He finally has a good excuse.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
Thank you Saker and Unz for the very interesting article .

I wonder what has been the role of Germany in the Ukrainian disaster . ...I have the feeling , just the suspicion , that they contributed to the ucranian disaster out of their genetic Drang nach Osten Nordic greed , is that right ?

Anyway since the Ukrainian disaster the cohesion of the EU is going going down . Germany which was gifted with the german reunification , is less and less trusted spetially in south Europe , and even less in the EU far west , in England which is going out of the EU .

Most of the people in the EU would like to keep collaborating with the US , of course , but also with Russia and with the rest of the world . Most of the people in the UE are scared of the dark forces operating in Ukraine trying to provoke a war with Russia .

As a curiosity in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused .
https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/164673/crimea-as-jewish-homeland

Z-man , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Mr. Hack Do you work for Victoria Nudleman?
awry , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT
The stupid name-calling like the term "ukronazi" makes this article look like a rant like North Korean communiques or the ravings of some Arab despot's propagandist. It is not better than calling "The Saker" a "Moskal", "Sovok" or "Putler's stooge" etc. He should keep this lingo to directly "debating" "Ukronazis" on twitter or youtube commentst etc. not for an article that is supposed to be a serious analysis.
I understand that it is hard for a Russian nationalist to accept that the majority of Ukrainians don't want to belong to their dream Russkiy Mir, they were seduced by the West, which is more attractive with all its failings, because mostly of simple materialistic reasons. Ukrainians happily go to EU countries that now allow them in as guest workers. The fact, like it or not that majority of them chose the West over Russkiy Mir despite being very close to Russians in culture, language, history etc. He is still in the first stage of grief it seems.
Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack Touching. (Really, no sarcasm implied.)

All in all, Ukrainians are probably way above average in most human characteristics. The area of Ukraine is by planetary standards one of the best available: arable land, great rivers, Black see, pleasant and liveable.

But it is 2019 and life in Ukraine is barely better than it was 25-50 years ago, population has actually dropped from its peak in early 1990's. Millions of Ukrainians live abroad (I know some of them) and have – to be polite – at best an ambivalent attitude towards their homeland. Almost all of them prefer to be somewhere else, even to become someone else.

Now why is that? A normal society would have enough introspection to discuss this, to look for answers. Throwing a temper-tantrum on a big square in Kiev every few years is not looking for a solution. That is escapism, Orange-this, Maidan-that, 'Russians bad', 'we are going West', 'golden toilets', and always 'Stalin did it'.

I don't agree with the facile name-calling that sees Nazis everywhere and exaggerates throw-away symbolism. But Ukraine has not been functioning and it can't go like this much longer. Not because it will collapse, it won't, but because during an era of general prosperity Ukraine can't be a unstable exception (oh, I get it, they are better than Moldova, good for them.)

Rebellions against geography are doomed. Projecting one's personal frustrations on external enemies (Kremlin!) has never worked. Ukraine needs rationality – accepting that they will not be in EU, that attempting to join Nato would destroy Ukraine, and that they can't beat Russia in a war. And following advise of half-mad and half-ignorant well-wishers from Washington or Brussels is a road to ruin. Nulands, Bidens and Tusks will never live in Ukraine, they really deeply don't care about it. They have no skin in that game, it is just entertainment for them.

Or alternatively you can pray that Russia collapses – good luck waiting for that.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT
@Anon

.genetic drang nach osten nordic greed

There is not much 'drang' left in Germany, so I think this is mostly fingers on the map post dinner empty talk.

in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused

Crimea is a jewel, but has one big problem: not enough water. But that's also true about Izrael, maybe there is a deep genetic memory of coming out of a desert environment.

During WWII, Germany actually established settlements in Crimea. Think about it: there is a massive war, you have like 1-2 years, short on transport and resources, and you start sending settlers to Crimea – that's how much drang-nach-osten types wanted it. And the Turks, etc This must be driving them absolutely nuts.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
The mexicans are able to make fun of themselves , that`s a good thing . They have a joke which aplies also to Ukraina ( and other countries )

The mexicans say : when God created Mexico He gave Mexico everything ; land , mountains , plains , tropical forests , deserts , two oceans , agriculture , gold , silver , oil . then God saw how beautiful and perfect Mexico was and He though that He should also give something bad to the country to prevent the sin of pride , and then he populated Mexico with pure pendejos ,( idiots ) .

The same aplies to Ukraina . pure pendejos .

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm GMT
@AWM "Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references?

If you want a decent analysis of current events in the Ukraine, which is what The Saker provides, I guess you'll just have to put up with his terminology.

The world won't miss a thing if Curmudgeon or AWM goes off in a huff, to sit on his toilet and read the "one joke per dump" volume lodged on the tank and stops reading The Saker's very thorough analysis as a protest action!

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Anon My experience is that Ukrainians individually are far from being pendejos . But they are unable to act as a group or as a nation. (Well, they 'act', but it mostly somehow fails.)

Maybe it is the relative shallow and heterogenous history of Ukraine. Or – and this is what I have observed – a fundamental inner disloyalty to the Ukraine as a homeland. When one observes the assorted Porkys, Timoshenkas, Yanuks, the oligarchs, but also the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving. Societies can't be built with one foot always at the airport, or in an old car in a 5-km column waiting on the border of Poland. Or Russia.

GMC , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
Another good article – thanks – Yep, the US/EU NWO is not going to let their "West Ukraine Isis" battalions and intel gang lose their funding , arms trafficking ops, or terrorist reputation. This is a no win situation in Ukraine and the West knows it – Even if NovoRossiya gets some independence, the Ukraine Isis will/can reek havoc and murder for a long time along the border. The modern Cheka { Ukraine Isis } has been modified for the security of the new Farmland owners – Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont and the rest of the Globalist Corporations and their ports close to Odessa.
Hapalong Cassidy , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
One point of contention since it wasn't made clear in this article – Novorussia consists of Luhansk and Donetsk, but not Kharkov. While Kharkov has more Russians than most other provinces of Ukraine do, it does not have a plurality like Donetsk and Luhansk.
Epigon , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

All of Ukraine's doomsayers have been crying about Ukraine's demise for the lat 25 years, yet the fact is that it' s getting stronger and stronger every year,

USA diaspora keeps on delivering.

Shoutout to quarter/half Poles USA citizens LARPing as Ukrainian patriots in the comments.

Alfred , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Even the Kremlin doesn't show much interest in breaking up the Ukraine, so why the hell would it break up?

Follow the money my friend!

Some provinces send much more money to Kiev then they get back in "services". So long as more loans from the EU, The USA and the IMF were forthcoming, that situation was not too bad. Now, the spigot is being closed. Hence the sad face of Mr Z when he met Trump in Washington.

This means that the provinces that are losing most from this internal transfer are going to be strongly motivated to stop sending money to Kiev. Kiev will lose control and that will fragment the country.

The Donbass was a big contributor to Kiev and got little in return – that was a major reason for their dissatisfaction. Everyone there could see that Kiev sent the money west and kept much for itself.

If the French provinces were to stop sending money to Paris, the Yellow movement would be totally unnecessary.

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm GMT
@awry About 2.5 million Ukrainians have "emigrated" (you could also say "fled") to the RF since 2014.
Per Bloomberg most of the outflow not to Russia has been to countries of Eastern Europe, esp. Poland.
Alfred , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:34 pm GMT
@AP "Ukraine was historically a marsh of Poland for centuries before it was a historical marsh of Russia"

That was mostly Galicia and Volhynia. It is a tiny part of today's the Ukraine. In these areas, the Poles were landowners, the Jews their rent/tax collectors and the peasants were Ukrainian-speaking Slavs. Now, they are planning to sell the best farmland to "foreigners" (i.e. Jews) and the Slavs will become serfs once again.

Ukraine's plan to sell farmland raises fears of foreigners

It did not include many important cities – Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov and a great many smaller ones. There was no access to the sea.

If you go further back in time, you can also claim that Smolensk and Moscow belonged to Poland.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack The problem with your argument is that the 'war' in the east was entirely predicable. So was Crimea leaving and joining Russia. The people in charge in Kiev – presumably with 3-digit IQ – would think about it, plan for it, etc They obviously didn't. Instead they provided a needed catalyst to make it worse by voting in February 2014 to ban Russian language in official use, and the idiotic attacks on Russian speakers like in Odessa, that were neither prevented nor punished. The other side – in this case Russia and Russian speakers living in Donbas and Crimea – rationally took care of their own interests. Post-Maidan Kiev handed them all they could on a silver platter while busying themselves with silly slogans and videos of golden saunas.

Russia is actually one of the least susceptible countries to an economic collapse in the world – it is largely self-sufficient, has enormous resources that others will always buy, and has a very minimal percentage of its economy that deals with foreign trade. What they are susceptible to is the loss of value for their currency – and that has already largely happened since 2014. When it comes to energy, the countries that are low-cost producers are least impacted – who you should worry about are the numerous higher-cost producers like US shale, coal miners, or LNG gas that have huge upfront fixed costs and built-in high transportation costs. Russia and Saudis will be fine.

Back to the drawing board, what exactly is the plan in Kiev? If they know that having a war costs them investments, how do they end that war? It is highly unlikely that it would end with a victorious Kiev army conquering Donetsk (or Crimea). So what's the plan?

chris , says: November 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm GMT
It's amazing how spectacularly inept all these interventions over the last decades have been. Iraq, Lybia, Syria, Yemen, the coup in Turkey but also Ukraine.

And I know that in the ME, the Isrseli policy, as iterated by Michael Orin is to let all sides bleed each other to death, and that part has been relatively successful until recently.

But in Ukraine, they were going to consolidate their control over the country from Kiev and force-march the Russians out of Sevastopol. And that part didn't work at all, except as leverage to impose sanctions on Russia; but the long term goal of using Ukraine to overthrow Putin is now stuck in the Donbas.

My point being that it is the great fortune of the world that these criminal nitwits and fools in the State (War) Department and their helpers in the "intelligence" community are so arrogant and incompetent.

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT