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Offline RE

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🌍 Meanwhile in Ukraine…
« Reply #660 on: July 17, 2018, 01:02:02 AM »

Meanwhile in Ukraine…
July 16, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt


By Frank Lee } OffGuardian

Protesters in Independence Square: Anti government protests in Kiev, Ukraine – 19 Feb 2014 [Mandatory Credit: Photo by East News/REX (3588505c) ]

In one of the largest, if not the largest, Neo-Nazi demonstration in Europe since WW2, 20,000 fascists and their supporters marched through the streets of the Ukrainian capital celebrating the birth of Stepan Bandera 01.01.1909 founder and leader of the ultra-nationalist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) commanded by Roman Shukhevych. This organization which along with the equally collaborationist outfit, the 14th Waffen SS Grenadier Division Galicia 1, were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Poles, Jews and Russians during the ethnic cleansing which began in Lviv with a pogrom of the city’s Jews a week after the German invasion in 1941, and in the western Ukraine between 1943-45.

Russian state media RT and Sputnik News featuring fascists throwing Nazi salutes and parading in their tens of thousands in a European capital apparently didn’t concern any of the major western news outlets, however, nor the EU for that matter, which is to be expected. Nothing reported on BBC, France24, CNN, New York Times, The Guardian…the silence of the media lambs when it comes to a growing fascist movement in Ukraine is deafening. Although it should be said The Times of Israel did report on 28th April 2018 on this event with the headline: 50 US Congress members call out Ukraine government for glorifying Nazis. Credit where it’s due perhaps.

But for the western MSM in general this reaction to a blatant display of out-and-out fascism is par for the course. It would not be stretching credulity to say that nearly 100% of the MSM reporting on the Ukraine is frankly, ignorant, made-up, fake and mendacious, and this applies particularly to the liberal media; to be even more specific to The Guardian team, of Luhn, Harding and Walker who seem to have made a career of Russophobia and fake news. Their ‘journalism’ of the courtesan in its essence is quite simple: What are my principles? What would you like them to be?

Searching for a more honest and objective appraisal outside of the usual suspects takes some effort and perseverance, but occasionally this yields dividends. One such gold nugget is the recent publication of the book Ukraine in the Crossfire (Clarity Press, Atlanta, 2017) by Chris Kaspar De Ploeg, a Dutch gentleman, freelance journalist and political analyst. The author doesn’t take sides overtly but tries to sift out the facts of the present conflict – a conflict buried under a sea of lies, and insinuations. For example: “Whilst remaining critical of Russia and the Donbass rebellion he demonstrates that many of the recent disasters can be traced to the Ukrainian ultranationalists” (neo-Nazis), “pro-western political elites” (Poroshenko, Kolomoisky, Tymoshenko) “and their European and North-American backers.” (Cover blurb)

Much of the book is devoted to a re-telling of the events leading up to the Maidan coup of February 2014 which brought the present regime to power. All of these events have been extensively covered elsewhere and I don’t want to go over old ground here. But other events and developments which were not apparent at the time – e.g., the unstable relationship between the oligarchs and the neo-Nazis as well as the intra-oligarch struggles for prestige and power, and, perhaps even more importantly, the calamitous economic and social descent of Ukraine into almost third world status; all have been carefully brought to light by the author.

In political terms De Ploeg argues that Ukraine is not a classical neo-Nazi state, but one where the neo-Nazis and the oligarchs rule, if this is the right word, in a forced symbiotic relationship. The oligarchs control the government and state institutions whereas the ultranationalist stormtroopers control the streets.

(This is eerily comparable to Weimar Germany in the 1930s. At that time The Nazi stormtroopers – the SA – were running amok and clamouring for a national socialist revolution. Hitler was soon made to understand that the Junker class which officered the Wehrmacht, Navy, Civil Service as well as the Eastern agrarians were less than enamoured with the SA and its national socialism; they wanted order restored – pronto. Thus, after having been appointed to Chancellor by Hindenburg, Hitler lost no time in appropriating state power, passed the enabling acts, and arranged the disbanding of the SA which was duly enacted during the bloody Night of the Long Knives in 1934. This intra-Nazi coup was carried out by Hitler’s Pretorian Guard, the SS, involving the mass murder of the SA leadership, Ernst Roehm, Gregor and Otto Strasser et al. The SA had done their job and were now dispensable. One should never underestimate the radical opportunism of fascism.)

In political terms De Ploeg argues that Ukraine is not a classical neo-Nazi state, but one where the neo-Nazis and the oligarchs rule, if this is the right word, in a forced symbiotic relationship. The oligarchs control the government and state institutions whereas the ultranationalist stormtroopers control the streets.
Historical comparisons aside, it remains an open question as to whether or not Ukraine’s delicate balance of parliamentary, semi-parliamentary and anti-parliamentary forces can continue to co-exist, and for how long. For one thing the armed ultra-nationalist militias – The Tornado Battalion, the Aidar Battalion, The Azov Battalion, Right Sector and Svoboda militias, all volunteers – are more reliable and politically motivated than the regular Ukrainian army and police force and have their own political objectives. This is one problem which confronts the Kiev oligarchy. However, in addition to keeping the ultra-nationalists on a tight lead, Poroshenko and his government also have to deal with the internal intra-oligarch struggles involving other political actors jockeying for position and preferment and seeking their own share of the spoils. Consequently, this unlikely coalition is very brittle and might easily fracture in any future political/military crisis, which means that the ‘government’ has to tread very carefully when trying to assert its authority.

“Acceptance of the far-right and other dubious figures has not been universal. The commander of the Tornado Battalion for example was eventually arrested and is now facing prosecution. But such cases are rare and highly selective. In fact, is not clear that the state can control the ultranationalist militias at this point, multiple cases against far-right activists have been dismissed after there organizations threatened the concerned judges in court…there have also been a number of clashes between police including a shoot-out between Right-Sector and law enforcement officers in the west of the country leaving 7 wounded.[1]

The ultra-nationalists, therefore, although a significant force are not necessarily the dominant political power in Ukraine; per contra this does not preclude their considerable presence and influence on the policies of the Kiev Junta. The regime has to a significant degree trimmed its sails to the demands of the ultra-nationalists and allowed them to openly flaunt their guns on the streets; these same ultra-nationalists for their part have to accept that they can’t always have their own way. One of the ploys by the Kiev regime for dealing with the situation has been to assimilate some of the neo-Nazi militias into the regular army and police forces. But being part of the Ukrainian National Guard has not prevented the Azov Regiment threatening the state either.

Making common cause with the ultra-nationalists the Junta coalition has successfully blocked the implementation of the Minsk accords. From the outset the ultra-nationalists made it clear that the war in Donbass was going to go on. Furthermore, and contrary to the conventional wisdom, the regime never had any serious interest in ending the hostilities; rather they were brought to the bargaining table by the heavy defeats of the Ukrainian military during the battles of Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo in 2014/2015. Poroshenko was desperate to stop his army disintegrating and his presence in the peace process was merely a gambit to buy time for his battered army, he later admitted as much.

Regarding the war in the Eastern oblasts, De Ploeg makes two subsidiary points: firstly, that this is not an ordinary war but is a war of extermination, (ethnic cleansing if we are being polite), and this is not a view peculiar to the ultra-nationalists, it also permeates the whole of Ukraine west of the Dnieper. Secondly, it was also certainly the view of the Junta and is common fare among the educated middle class.

Yulia Tymoshenko, beautiful but utterly corrupt,
not to mention sociopathically fascist.

Descriptions of the ethnic Russian minority are endowed with such charming little epithets such as ‘filth’ ‘pests’ or a ‘plague.’ Donbass civilians had become the new Untermensch inhabiting the east and south of the country, which, according to Yulia Tymoshenko, our braided heroine, answers: On a question of what to do with the 8 million Russians left inside the Ukraine she says:

    “They must be killed with nuclear weapons.”

(She later stated that what she said had been taken out of context – naturally!)

To repeat, such views were not the simply held by ultra-nationalists, they have become the received wisdom of the centre-right and right-wing politicians and journalists.

    …Keith Gessen writing for the London Review of Books that even moderate liberals were anxious to get rid of the Donbass residents who had thwarted their European aspirations for decades with their voting behaviour, he quoted an insightful source thus,”

    All the enemies of progress in one place, all the losers and has beens; wouldn’t it be better just to solve the problem once and for all? Wouldn’t it just be a better long-term solution just to kill as many as you could and scare the shit out of the rest of them forever?’’ ‘This is what I heard from respectable people in Kiev. Not from the nationalists, but from liberals, professionals and journalists. All the bad people were in one place, why not just kill them all.’ [2]

No South African type reconciliation here then? Quite simply unabashed, naked genocide comparable with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Wow! With moderates like these who needs fascists!
Within the Ukrainian body politic the complete acceptance of ultra-nationalist ideas and personnel within the mainstream institutions has become a test of loyalty to the regime. There is a roll call of ultra-nationalists in Parliament, and in state institutions, as well as in the militias. The most prominent being such as Andriy Parubiy. Mr. Parubiy, MP now the speaker in the Ukrainian Parliament, has a biography littered with overt activity as one of the leading figures at the nexus of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and outright neo-Nazi movements. Then comes Andriy Yevhenovych Biletsky MP, Lieutenant Colonel of police, former political prisoner and university instructor. He is a co-founder and former leader of the multi-organizational ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi movement “Social-National Assembly”.

The head of the Patriots of Ukraine group, whose statements could easily be mistaken for the rabid polemics of Nazis during WWII: Founder of the Azov Battalion:

    Our National body should start with a racial cleansing of the Nation […] a healthy racial body will revive […] culture, language and everything else.”

    We must pay attention to the question of the value of race. Ukrainians are a part (and one of the largest and the highest in quality) of the European White Race.”

    The historical mission […] is to head and lead the White Peoples of the whole world in the last crusade for their existence. A crusade against Semite-led sub-humanity.”

This could have been straight out of Mein Kampf.

Turning to the economic and social ramifications of the 2014 coup it will be observed that the full weight of the neo-liberal economic policies has been foisted on the Ukraine, courtesy of the IMF. This was already apparent in the early 80s but the trend accelerated after the coup. The standard IMF/WTO Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) a package of ‘reforms’ and ‘fiscal consolidation’ (I just love these IMF euphemisms) consisted of cuts in government expenditure, accompanied by extensive liberalisation of product and labour markets, together with abandonment of exchange rate control and capital flows. These policies along with political instability have had, among other things, a disastrous effect on population growth. Ukraine’s population was 52 million in 1992 and the decline started in that year. By 2016, this figure had fallen to 42.5 million, its 1960 figure, and was accelerated since the coup of 2014. The current Fertility rate stands at 1.3. Any figure less than 2 will mean a shrinking population. The death rate has also increased, along with mass migration with some 2 million Ukrainian guest workers decamping to Russia and Poland in search of work. This is a slow-motion demographic calamity.

Although a certain Mr Anatoly Karlin writing in the Unz Review has a rather different, rose-tinted view of the Ukrainian economic recovery, the bald fact is that none of the indicators carry any hope of a long-term revival. The fact of economic disaster as measured in various statistics is, however, unmistakable: Debt-to-GDP ratio has climbed steadily to 85%, per capita income languishes at US$2,200 (compared to El Salvador US$4,200). Unemployment stands at (officially at least) 10%, and in terms of external trade the current account has not been positive since 2003, those glorious days which gave rise to the ‘Orange revolution’. Finally, there are the rating agencies who provide the following ratings for Ukraine’s sovereign bonds– S&P, B-minus, Moody’s, Caa, and Fitch, B-minus, which means below investment grade if we are being polite, junk bonds if we are not.[3] The currency – the hryvnia, exchange rate against the British pound is £1 = 35, hyrvinia. When I was last in Ukraine (2012) you would get only between 8 and 12 hyrvnia for a £. Welcome to the Sunflower Republic.

All of this in spite of the IMF’s loan and its unilateral debt forgiveness of the Ukraine’s outstanding debt to Russia which had become due. In doing this the IMF infringed its own constitution. As Michael Hudson explains:

    The IMF broke four of its rules by lending to Ukraine:
    (i) Not to lend to a country that has no visible means to pay back the loan (the “No More Argentinas” rule, adopted after the IMF’s disastrous 2001 loan to that country).
    (ii) Not to lend to a country that repudiates its debt to official creditors (the rule originally intended to enforce payment to U.S.-based institutions).
    (iii) Not to lend to a country at war – and indeed, destroying its export capacity and hence its balance-of-payments ability to pay back the loan.
    Finally (iv), not to lend to a country unlikely to impose the IMF’s austerity “conditionalities.” Ukraine did agree to override democratic opposition and cut back pensions, but its junta proved too unstable to impose the austerity terms on which the IMF insisted.

This was obviously a political decision made by an organization which is supposed to be politically neutral.

The monumental stupidity of a nation which subordinates economic common-sense to anti-Russian gestures and rhetorical bluster was visibly illustrated in the trade deal involving the import of European gas and South African coal to the exclusion of Russian gas and Donbass coal.

    In both cases, however, Ukraine was simply buying the same goods from Donbass and Russia but resold at a significantly higher price by South Africa and Europe simply acting as middle-men at a huge cost to the Ukrainian tax-payer. [4]

All of which illustrates the intractable political and economic debacle unfolding and goes some way to explaining the present impasse of a backward movement into under-development. Ukraine is becoming deindustrialised – not unlike the fate of many post-soviet nations – its trade with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan severed. This was formerly a very large and important export-import market, imports consisting of energy commodities coming from the EEU, and exports to the EEU consisting of Ukraine’s advanced industries in the east situated in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zhaporizyha and Nikolayev oblasts. These exports consisting of machinery, equipment, aircraft, vessels, nuclear reactors and boilers, railway, tramway rolling stocks and inorganic chemicals.

    …The machinery industry alone had an annual revenue of nearly US$20 billion and is responsible for employing 600,000 people in the southern and eastern oblasts. Not only would trade disruptions in the EEU devastate the southern and eastern economies, they would also lead to the deindustrialisation of the Ukraine, and this process has already started.” [5]

Apart from Moldova, Ukraine is now the poorest country in Europe. And once the process of deindustrialisation starts, charting a way back will be very difficult, even with the best will in the world and with the necessary manpower, skills and expertise to carry out such a transformation. Moreover, this imbecility is compounded by military expenditures including the costs of an army of 250,000 that is doing nothing other than getting drunk and occasionally shelling towns and villages – against International Law it might be added – on the front line in the Donbass. Ukraine’s defence expenditure stands at 3.7% of GDP compared with NATO’s 2% and most NATO countries don’t even reach 2%. For the pen-ultimate poorest country in Europe this is frankly bizarre. If you wanted to run a country and its economy into the ground this is the way to do it.

De Ploeg does not spare the EU which has a great deal to answer for this situation. In making promises which it had no intention of keeping Brussels, particularly in the shape the Eastern Partnership – brainchild of the unprepossessing Swedish/Polish neo-con axis of Carl Bildt and Radislow Sikorski – has served basically as an instrument of EU/US foreign policy aimed at detaching ex-soviet republics from Russia’s borders to weaken Russia. This along more directly with the US involvement as exemplified by the antics of Nuland and Pyatt, together with CIA-front outfits such as the National Endowment for Democracy, lavishly equipped with a mandate to wrest Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence. But there was never going to be a full economic integration of Ukraine into the EU, because, apart from sunflower seeds, Ukraine has little to offer Europe in return; and it has also been subject to import penetration by EU products to the extent that it runs what has become a permanent deficit on current account. What export industry existed in the Ukraine prior to the coup was fatally damaged by the 2014 split. According to the Vienna Institute of International Studies,

    Rather than austerity Ukraine will need a huge ‘Marshall Plan’ to reconfigure Ukraine’s economic composition, requiring massive investment if it is to replace its post-Soviet industry – which seems especially now that the industry heartlands of the Donbass have been severed from the Ukraine. Currently, however, it seems that such financing would only come in the form of loans with conditions attached, which ensures a lack of investment for modern industries and rather optimize the continued export of unprocessed Ukrainian resources.”[6]

Unsurprisingly no-one is rushing to pick up the tab for this new ‘Marshall Plan’ Certainly not the EU, and even less so the Americans, who simply wanted yet another east European state (qua protectorate) to serve as a military base aimed at confronting Russia. It seems generally agreed that the current financial aid on offer will be totally insufficient for the massive reconstruction costs of Ukraine, and moreover, there will be additional ‘strings’ or ‘conditionalities’ in IMF-speak attached. This would almost certainly incur long-term debt peonage for Ukraine. So, this option would seem to be ruled out. However, such monies which have been forthcoming through loans to the Kiev regime, both private and public, have been sufficient to keep the war going and the regime afloat.

    Therefore, these institutions are essentially financing a proxy war with Russia as well as severing Ukraine economically from its neighbour.”[7]

Ukraine also carries a great deal of political/ideological baggage considered to be incommensurate with the EUs putative democratic values. Those neo-Nazi torch-lit processions in Kiev – pure 1930s Nazi pastiche, redolent and worthy of Leni Riefenstahl – are a little difficult to square with the EUs professed liberal-democratic idealism.

In the final sections of the book the author moves on to discuss the broader geopolitical aspects and the degree which they impinged on the Ukrainian imbroglio. The coup itself was a long time in the making, and in a sense was a continuation of the Yuschenko/Tymoshenko Orange revolution of 2004 which soon became unpopular with its electorate. The collapse in living standards led to public resentment against reform and the beneficiaries of privati- sation. National opinion polls conducted in 2005, after the Orange evolution, revealed widespread social and political disillusionment: only 23 per cent of the population believed that they had the ‘ability to live under the new social conditions’, 51 per cent felt that their health care was ‘insufficient’ and 44 per cent were absolutely or somewhat dissatisfied with life in general. The Orange ‘revolution’ was to fizzle out in an acrimonious spat between Yuschenko and Tymoshenko; but this was just the trial run. From this point on Yanukovych, elected President in 2010 and his government, a coalition of the Party of the Regions and the Communists became the target of a colour revolution.

Nobody should be in any doubt about both the overt and covert role played by both US and EU officials in the formation of the future interim government. Throughout this period EU and high-ranking US officials openly engaged in Ukraine’s internal affairs. The US Ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland (wife of neo-con theorist Robert Kagan) were, during the disturbances, strolling around Independence square reassuring the protestors that America stood behind them. This action could never have taken place without being sanctioned at the highest level. Nuland was to later give a talk at the Washington Press Club in which she mentioned the 5 billion US$s funded by the various US/EU organizations and affiliates. Presumably five billion dollars is the going rate for colour revolutions, please apply to G. Soros, the Open Bitcoin will be accepted. Moreover, CIA front organizations including the aforementioned National Endowment for Democracy, as well as USAID, and Human Rights Watch, were deeply involved in this process.

Somebody (I don’t know who) once said ‘Wars are a racket’. De Ploeg mentions this in a cursory reference. The bald fact is that the whole episode was in macro terms the expansion and enlargement of EU/NATO to the east and the military/political encirclement of Russia. The operation in Ukraine was engineered to move it out of its geo-strategic position and at the same time to embed it firmly into the EU-NATO bloc; this was part of this larger US grand strategy. It is still very much a Work in Progress, however, but things haven’t turned out in quite the way as the architects of the original plan envisaged.

EU status beyond the Association Agreement was never on the cards for the foreseeable future, but a possible de facto NATO membership is a possibility. ‘The US Assistant Secretary of Defense for National Security Affairs, Elissa Slotkin, stated that the Ukrainian Army will be interoperable with NATO forces by 2020.’ [8]

Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. US geopolitical strategy is predicated upon a hegemonic project to establish a system of dominance over the entire world. This desired outcome was nothing if not ambitious and is a common feature of all historically crackpot utopian schemes. This explains the US’s concurrent wars in the middle-east, the South China Sea, and in Europe – EUROCOM – with Ukraine as the spearhead. The object was initially to occupy western Europe through NATO and the EU, then spread this to eastern Europe, resulting in a de facto occupation and vassalisation of the European continent.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was supposed to end this east-west military confrontation. Surprisingly Gorbachov fell for this superficial patter and involuntarily gave the green light for the US and its allies to carry out their expansionist plans; the EU/NATO monolith was set in motion. The Warsaw Pact was disbanded but NATO grew bigger and moved eastwards. An excuse was needed to explain this apparent contradiction. It came with the Ukrainian crisis and the corollary of supposed ‘Russian aggression’.

    …the war in Ukraine serves to keep the EU in line with the wider US agenda. We have seen since the Ukraine crisis, the existence and expansion the NATO alliance has found new legitimation – which remains a pivotal organization for US influence over the EU … In addition, Germany and France have allowed NATO to deploy troops in the Baltic states and to continue EU membership invitations to post-soviet countries.”

The comment has been made that NATO’s continued existence serves to solve the problems it created [9]. When we look at the big picture everything drops into place. The Uni-polar moment hasn’t yet passed into history, but it is passing. A multi-front, multi-theatre war against a huge bloc of countries straddling Eurasia is becoming impossible, and as a matter of fact it always was. Internal, possibly intractable problems within the EU and USA are weakening both the capability and will of the empire to pursue what should now be considered a utopian aim. In his own stupid way, Trump, realises this, because he is not ideological. His opponents – the war party coalition, of Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, the entire media, both houses of Congress, the Neo-Cons ensconced if their various think-tanks, and institutions, the Democrat and Republican parties, clearly are solidly against any detente and will fight any movement towards it, however minimal.

So, this is where we are at the present time. Ukraine has become the catspaw in a wider struggle involving outside actors and in the short run is condemned to inexorable decline – according to the Bloomberg misery index Ukraine comes 7th on the list of miserable countries – and in the longer run to a possible break-up. Ukraine isn’t collapsing, it has simply collapsed – collapsed into a long-term economic depression (An economic depression is usually defined as a severe downturn followed by a weak recovery then a long period of sub-optimal growth) but Ukraine’s depression is also both cultural, social, economic and political. It is not merely the most concentrated areas of the Russian-speaking east – the Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk – where secession has become a virtual fait accompli, and large areas of these latter two oblasts are subject to a virtual occupation by the Ukrainian Army, and viewed as much, but there are also areas of the east – Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhe and Nikolayev, which whilst they did not secede are not the most enthusiastic supporters of the Kiev regime. Additionally, Hungarian and Romanian national minorities in Transcarpathia and Bessarabia may well become restive – of which there are signs already – given the majority monist view, from Kiev to Lviv, that Ukraine should have one language, one culture, one identity – a utopian nonsense forming the twisted idealism of Bandera and his latter-day followers. Such an undertaking was bound to fail in such a multi-cultural and multi-linguistic environment.

In the words of Edmund Burke:

    A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.”[10]


    [1] The German publication Der Spiegel reported on the Tornado Battalion ‘’who had prisoners tutored by means of an object similar to a power generator. The prisoners were held in a basement, stripped naked, place on a concrete wall and doused with water. They were touched with live wires, such as at the temple, genitals and testicles … According to a statement of a former prisoner, ‘prisoners were force under the threat of death to rape another prisoner.’’ (Hahn, G.M. – 05 October 2015 – America’s Ukraine Policy and Maidan Ukraine’s War Crimes. http:/’s-ukraine-policy-and-maidan-ukraine’s-war-crimes/#_finref3
    [2] Gessen, K: Why not kill them all?
    [4] G. Landesmann, and L.Podkaminer (2015) How to stabilise the Economy of the Ukraine – wiiw and United Europe, April, p.33
    [6] Landesmann and Podkaminer, Ibid p20)
    [7] De Ploeg – (ibid.p.111)
    [8] De Ploeg –US to provide aid to Ukrainian armed forces to ensure NATO interoperability (06-11-2015)
    [9] See Richard Sakwa – Frontline Ukraine – passim. And before him by J.A.Schumpeter: He contended that in ancient Egypt ‘a class of professional soldiers’ formed in a war against a foreign tribe ‘the Hyksos’ persisted even when those wars were over. This military caste ‘created by wars that required it, now the organization created the wars it required.’ A pithy summary of NATO and the MIC perhaps.
    [10] Edmund Burke – Reflections on the Revolution in France.
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🌍 Aleksandr Zakharchenko has been murdered today
« Reply #661 on: September 07, 2018, 12:01:52 AM »

Aleksandr Zakharchenko has been murdered today
September 1, 2018 shorty


1976 ~ 2018

On the Greanville Post we publish many articles that are terrible and depressing. That’s because we focus on the most urgent problems afflicting humanity, from the capitalogenic climate implosion to barbaric wars, invasions, and the constant threat of a final nuclear war.  Since the US empire—the instrument of the ruling clique representing 0.00001 of the American population— is the main source of this global suffering and mayhem, many articles document their crimes, and the reading can never be as easy as perusing a sports column or swallowing some ephemeral celebrity gossip. Reading about tragedies—especially those man-made—is always hard (and infuriating) for those who still maintan a measure of empathy in their hearts. I say this because the death of this man —Aleksandr Zakharchenko—has hit me very hard and I am heartbroken. Aleksandr Zakharchenko was the president of the young republic of Donetsk. He embodied all the traits by which we distinguish a real hero, an inspiring, exceptional human being. In his relatively short life he set examples of unusual courage, intelligence and compassion. Now he’s gone, the victim of a sordid, treacherous ambush by those who make the wounds everywhere, from Syria, to Africa, Latin America, and Russia itself. I don’t believe they will prevail, but before they go down to their well deserved hell, they will take many good people like Zakharchenko, plus countless innocent victims regarded as dispensable in the secret rooms where they plan these miserable acts. By birth, Aleksandr Zakharchenko was technically an Ukrainian living in the Eastern part of that nation, the Donbass, but he was, like many of his compatriots a Russian by blood and deed. He will be terribly missed, but he will not be forgotten. My friend and colleague The Saker has penned an insightful, sensitive account of his passing and he’s sharing that with us. —PG

It has now been confirmed that Aleksandr Zakharchenko has been murdered today.  You can read some of the details in this RT article here:

This murder really breaks my heart, but also worries and sickens me.  Just like the murders of Morotola or Givi, this murder proves that there is a major, massive, problem with the DNR/LNR security services.  Whether this is pure incompetence or treason I don’t know, but what is sure is that while murders of charismatic leaders happen in all conflicts this is the exception, not the rule (how many leaders were killed during, say, the Bosnian civil war?).  It *is* possible to protect commanders and officials (there are special forces and services which can do that very well).  When it is the rule, then most certainly something is very wrong.

Two years ago I wrote an article entitled “The Murder of Motorola – questions which must be answered” for which I was hysterically criticized by some ignorant amateurs, but the questions which I asked then remain unanswered today.  Frankly, I very much doubt that they will be answered this time around either.

In my 2016 I asked the question cui bono in reference to the murders of so many DNR/LNR leaders.

Now I ask the same cui bono about the systematic denial that there is a major problem with the DNR/LRN security services.

Two years after the murder of Motorola the Novorussians have clearly not solved their security problem.  This is why I can only offer the same conclusion as I did two years ago:

    Ideally, the Russians should send some smart and ruthless patriot, like General Shamanov, to go to Lugansk and Donesk and read the locals the riot act (Russians generals are very good at that kind of stuff) and if they offer any resistance, just toss them out of their office (Russian generals are also good at that kind of stuff).

By now pretty much all the key Novorussian leaders and heroes have been murdered and it is too late to do anything about this.  But somebody will have to take their place and it is them that the Russians need to protect now.

Living in deep denial, cheerleading and flag waving are all very good, but not when people get murdered as a result.

“With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the soul of Your servant Aleksandr where there is no pain, nor sorrow, nor suffering, but life everlasting.”

—The Saker

The Saker is the nom de guerre of a geopolitical and strategic analyst who created the Vineyard of the Saker network of sites, focusing on the global tensions and struggle between Russia and her allies and the US and its vassal states. The Saker covers a wide variety of cultural, political and military topics of pressing interest to people concerned with the prospects of peace and war in today’s world. 
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💣 Ukraine’s Pending Disaster- Escalating in Lugansk and Donetsk
« Reply #662 on: September 22, 2018, 12:05:57 AM »

Ukraine’s Pending Disaster- Escalating in Lugansk and Donetsk
September 20, 2018 branford perry

Ukie armor: not anyhwere as serious a threat as it might appear.

The tragic murder of Alexandr Zakharchenko solidified Ukraine’s intent to retake the Donbass region by force. We know the attack on the Donetsk Republic leadership was meant to throw the fledgling nation into an emotional and political turmoil and cause a crisis in succession for the Republic.

Ukraine gravely miscalculated the response Poroshenko received which was both deliberate and dignified by the Donetsk Republic leadership and LNR’s interim president Leonid Pasechnik.

The murder was possibly to set up the conditions for a September 14th  assault.

The Donetsk People’s Republic Operations Command spokesman Daniil Bezsonov notes Ukraine is making a lot of noise but doesn’t have the fuel or munitions on hand. To make an assault from Mariupol possible they need to resupply. Donetsk Intel says Ukraine was trying to remedy this for the 14th and Ukraine has over 12,000 troops ready.

It’s common knowledge US and NATO trainers have been hard at work training Ukraine’s new and improved army. The problem with the army is that even with new and improved weaponry, tactics, and equipment, it still remains essentially what it was in 2014-2015.

In reality, it fits right into the outlook of Ukraine’s civil and military leadership to mount an attack without the supplies for the tanks to make it to the battle lines.

At Ilovaisk, Ukraine hoped to celebrate their victory in the civil war in August 2014. Instead, Ukrainian leadership got a lesson in how deeply layered ineptness was ingrained across Ukraine’s military leadership.

Not being able to deny this, even the Kiev Post laments the fact that Ukraine’s officer corps was so poor, its inherent strength lay in its ability to snatch victory out of Kiev’s hands and deliver it to Donbass militia forces it was fighting time and again.

In a crushing article by Andrew Higgins for the New York Times, Petr Poroshenko is described as the perfect kind of partner NATO should be seeking right now. Even though Ukraine’s military budget has jumped from 2.5 % to 5% of the national budget, Ukraine’s corruption is using the extra bonanza money to set up plush accounts for Poroshenko’s friends and business associates.

In Jan 2018, Ukraine announced it was purchasing 100 new ambulances for use on the front lines of the conflict which was music to the ears of Ukrainians on the front lines. The no-bid contract went to Poroshenko’s good friend Oleg Gladkovsky and the ambulances came pre-broken down. Ukrainians on the front lines will be stuck using wheelbarrows for the casualties again because corruption is so rabid in Ukraine. They will be lucky not to get paintball body armor like they did in 2014.

According to the Times article, “There is no proof that he influenced purchasing decisions, and there never will be. It is all secret,” said Victor Chumak, an independent member of the Ukrainian Parliament and deputy chairman of its anticorruption committee. “The merging of politics and business is our biggest problem.”

What Chumak describes is called Corporatism or Fascism. It is going on in real time in 2018 Ukraine. Are reforms possible under this type of government? They never have been anywhere else it’s been tried.

So, with all the new training and all the new weapons the Ukrainian military in 2018 must be much better prepared than in 2014, right? Wrong.

If that was the case, Ukrainian soldiers and officers would not be suffering a moral and morale crisis so great, they are voting with their feet and retreating from Ukrainian armed services.

According to Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, 11,000 servicemen and officers left service because they were demoralized by the conditions. The soldiers were paid less than low-paid citizens. Another 18,000 are leaving this year.

This type of officer corps attrition alone precludes any sane government from mounting an armed campaign. Replacement officers don’t have the training, experience, or temperament for the command positions they will be tasked with.

According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the same top brass that is responsible for Ukraine’s military degeneration is not capable of making many of the reforms that are necessary. Remember, before 2014, if you joined the Ukrainian military, there was no guarantee you would ever touch a rifle or receive hands-on training for equipment.

While some may have excelled under foreign trainers, leadership from the field to the Defense Ministry remains inadequate. Compounding this, they have even changed the language of the military from Russian to Ukrainian. Ukrainian as a language didn’t modernize and lacks basic terms for modern technology, social, and political expression.

This means either inventing new words on the fly which will take time to spread and learn or borrow terms from other languages. All of this leaves the command effectiveness wanting.

When Ukraine starts the assault on LDNR, I expect it will be conducted in a similar fashion to 2014. The reason for this is simple. Unless they bought an air force or large scale surface to surface missiles, the terrain and layout hasn’t changed. Trying to blitz in will only go so far before your troops are decimated. The Ukrainians started pounding Donetsk and Lugansk in 2014 to get the republics to defend the cities and then tried to roll in around them.

The first targets to take are the two main roads connecting the cities. Next, Ukraine will probably try to roll in overland and avoid contact as much as possible on the way to the border. In 2014, they had guides taking them across the open land.

The 12000 troops and equipment in Mariupol are there for two reasons. One is to serve Ukrainian propaganda with possibly a feint to draw DPR resources away from where Ukraine wants to be. The other reason is to roll up the entire border while the contact line troops engage DNR and LNR defenses. In 2014, Ukraine did not allocate near enough resources to do this even though other than key border areas the borders were relatively unprotected. This led to Ukrainian Diaspora volunteers sniping locals that were trying to flee the conflict.

Ukraine’s strategy now is probably similar, for the same reasons. There is no reason to get caught up fighting in the cities with a strong opponent. If they cut off both republics from access to supplies from Russia, they will be able to starve the cities out. The two governments ability to reinforce each other is a large multiplier when it comes to defense they need the connector roads clear to do so. The opposite is also true and losing control of the connector roads will be difficult, especially to Donetsk.

There are some large and glaring differences today that didn’t confront the Ukrainians in 2014. The majority of Ukrainians know exactly what’s going on inside their country today. They’ve had to suffer under the post-coup leadership and decaying conditions throughout the peaceful regions of Ukraine.

Most don’t see differences between themselves and the people of Donbass that didn’t exist before 2014 and like the people in Donbass, they want the war to end.

The inadequacies Ukraine faced in 2014 and display today show how quickly inept, bumbling leadership can turn to vile criminality. The Ukrainian Diaspora volunteer battalions like Donbass, Kiev1, Dniepr, Azov, etc, almost immediately turned to rob, raping, murder, and torture in the towns and villages they came across. They weren’t fighting forces but they had military weapons and hardware with no real leadership and a very cultivated drunk and drugged up nationalist perspective.

With the combined inherent conditions, it is doubtful the Ukrainian army will be able to survive its lack of command very long. Nationalist aggression in war might be helpful in remote situations but more often helps Donbass unintentionally. Just ask every nationalist volunteer punisher battalion commander that got shot in the ass or other soft tissue in 2014. Oh wait, that was nationalist volunteer punisher battalion commander that saw combat like Dimitry Yarosh.

GH Eliason Mr. Eliason lives in Ukraine. He writes content and optimizes web based businesses across the globe for organic search results, technical issues, and design strategies. He is also a large project construction specialist. When Fukushima happened it became known that he was a locked high rad specialist with a penchant for climbing. He was paid to climb a reactor at a sister plant to Fukushima 3 because of a “million dollar mistake”. His now works in  project safety.
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🌍 The Secret Story Behind Assassination of Donetsk Leader Alexander Zakhar
« Reply #663 on: October 04, 2018, 01:52:06 AM »
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🌍 Despite The Citizenship Stunt Donbass Won’t Unite With Russia
« Reply #664 on: April 26, 2019, 04:00:09 AM »

Despite The Citizenship Stunt Donbass Won’t Unite With Russia
Written by Andrew Korybko on 2019-04-25

President Putin’s decree simplifying the granting of Russian citizenship to the people of Donbass won’t result in the region’s unification with Russia but is one of several tactics designed to put pressure on Ukraine’s new president to peacefully implement the Minsk Accords.

A Proactive Infowar With Substance

The whole world is talking about President Putin’s recent decree simplifying the granting of Russian citizenship to the people of Donbass, which both the Mainstream and Alt-Medias are convinced for different reasons will result in the region’s inevitable unification with Russia. That’s probably not in the cards, though, since it’s more likely that this is but one of several tactics designed to put pressure on Ukraine’s new president to peacefully implement the Minsk Accords, which has always been Moscow’s main goal since their signing. President-elect Zelensky promised to “launch a very powerful information war to end the war in Donbass”, but it looks like President Putin just beat him to it by making a major soft power move that now has the whole world talking, to say nothing of reinforcing Moscow’s years-long victory for the hearts and minds of the region’s people.

Donbass ≠ Abkhazia & South Ossetia

Even so, observers shouldn’t over-exaggerate the impact of this decision despite it admittedly having very similar optics to the inter-war situations in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia prior to Russia’s recognition of them as independent countries after its 2008 peacemaking operations there. Actually, that’s entirely the whole point — to make the people of Donbass, the Ukrainian government, and the international community expect this eventuality — because Russia can then “surprise” the world by not doing what everyone anticipates it’s about to do (recognize Donbass as an independent country possibly prior to its de-facto integration into Russia along the lines of the South Ossetian model) and then make a big deal out of its “gesture of peace” as a superficial quid-pro-quo “concession” in exchange for post-Poroshenko Ukraine’s peaceful implementation of the Minsk Accords.

Playing “Hard To Get”

This isn’t mere speculation either since Reuters reported last week that one of Russia’s political allies in Ukraine and a close friend of Vladimir Putin’s, Viktor Medvedchuk, was sending strong signals that a possible deal could be in the works whereby Russia would facilitate Donbass’ political reintegration into Ukraine if Kiev enters into talks with Moscow and takes tangible steps to restore their lost strategic partnership. Evidently, Russia wants Ukraine to come to it — or rather, Putin wants Zelensky to come to him — instead of the reverse, which explains why Moscow is playing “hard to get” and putting on a very tough front with moves such as the recent citizenship decree. Other pressure tactics include Prime Minister Medvedev announcing that Russia will ban crude oil, petroleum, and coal exports to Ukraine beginning in June and President Putin refusing to congratulate his Ukraine counterpart on his landslide victory.

An Anti-Fascist Exit Strategy For “Replacement Migration”

It might therefore look like the Kremlin’s patience has all but run out with Kiev and that it’s finally preparing to de-facto integrate Donbass into Russia, but appearances can be very misleading sometimes, especially when it comes to Russia. While it’s true that the citizenship decree could grant Russia the right to conventionally intervene in Ukraine in defense of its nationals, it’s much more likely that this will just result in many of Donbass’ people migrating from their war-torn region to Russia in search of a better life, something that they’d be more inclined to do in the event that Moscow actively facilitates Donbass’ reintegration into Ukraine per a possibly forthcoming deal between Presidents Putin and Zelensky. That would satisfy Russia’s humanitarian interests by giving the locals the chance to flee if they fear an impending fascist takeover while simultaneously functioning as civilizationally similar “replacement migration” for the host state’s dwindling population.

Breadcrumbs And Loafs

Furthermore, the possible Russian-backed reintegration of Donbass into Ukraine could also set the basis for the much-sought-after “New Detente” between Moscow and Washington whereby the East Ukrainian region becomes just one of several pieces on the “19th-Centuy Great Power Chessboard” that could be “traded” as part of a much larger deal between these two Great Powers in the New Cold War. For instance, “Putinyahu’s Rusrael” already created the on-the-ground conditions that made Trump’s recognition of “Israel’s” Golan Heights annexation possible, the same as Moscow’s recognition of “North Macedonia” goes along with the West’s plan for a “New Balkans“. In other words, President Putin is giving the people of Donbass breadcrumbs such as access to measly Russian pensions of approximately $200 a month and the right to vote in elections while simultaneously trading full geopolitical loafs with Trump.

Concluding Thoughts

Nobody should get their hopes up about Donbass uniting with Russia in the territorial sense after President Putin’s simplified citizenship decree because that much-publicized move is more about a tactical retreat than a strategic expansion. Instead of being used to enlarge Russia’s borders like both its supporters and detractors alike are anticipating, it’s actually much more likely to be utilized as an exit strategy for the Donbass people following their region’s Kremlin-facilitated reintegration with Kiev as part of a larger deal between the two fraternal Slavic Orthodox people and as the basis for a much grander “New Detente” between Moscow and Washington. President Putin simply wants his Ukrainian counterpart to come to him first in this “game of chicken” instead of the reverse, so his government is doing all that it came to bring him to the table on their own terms. Had Russia really wanted to integrate Donbass, it would have done so half a decade ago.
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