Ukrainian history of farce

Derek Monroe is a writer/reporter and consultant based in Illinois, USA. He has reported on international and US foreign policy issues from Latin America, Poland, Japan, Iraq, Ukraine, Sri Lanka and India. His work appeared in Foreign Policy in Focus, Alternet, Truthout and Ohmynews, and has been published in over 20 countries.

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Injured police officers scream in pain as they fall, shortly after an explosion outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31, 2015. © Stringer Injured police officers scream in pain as they fall, shortly after an explosion outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31, 2015. © Stringer / Reuters

 

This week’s events in the ongoing saga of the EuroMaidan “revolution” has cooked up another old cliché coined in Karl Marx’s 1851 letter that: “first time history enacted presents itself as grand tragedy, and the second time as rotten farce.”

Any observer can make assumption of the kind looking at the turn of events, for instance, in Syria which is on the way to an even more hardcore apocalypse than ever thought possible. But in the case of Ukraine and its national statehood, the self-inflicted wounds of the 2004 Orange Revolution, 2014 EuroMaidan and the current 2015 Maidan (EuroMaidan 2.0) are a farce of needlessly spilled blood of almost 7000 Ukrainians with no end in sight to the chaos.

While President Poroshenko denounced the riot at the Verkhovna Rada, calling out yesterday’s “freedom fighters” as today’s out of control “terrorists”, it is amazing to see the sudden change of colors and political labeling du jour in the US and its friendly international media. AP, AFP, ThomsonReuters, Bloomberg and others are now selling the message of “courageous and law enforcing” Poroshenko administration standing up to terrorists appearing out of nowhere, ultra-nationalists and even anarchists hell bent on bringing destruction to Ukraine as a state.

It is all served cold and calorie free in a historical version of Diet Coke sans any retrospect or context that could result in indigestion caused by memory. Never mind the political “night of the long knives” that is currently taking place at the highest echelons of the political elite in Kiev while many factions and personalities are now feeding themselves on the corpse of the country. The real and always available “culprit” in Ukrainian narrative bordering on delusion: Putin is now presented as instigator of fascist violence in Kiev in which three policemen lost their lives.

Unfortunately for the Ukrainians, they are now exposed, and are slowly waking up to the nightmare of government that came about as a result of the February coup and the historical truth of “chickens coming home to roost” is now visited upon them. Despite seeing the same old movie of the Orange Revolution that was supposed to bring the break with the past in 2004, they are seeing the re-run of the same production. This time around with the US and EU subtitles enforced by political sign language open for any interpretation and manipulation possible, thus yesterday’s friends and allies are today’s foes and vice versa .

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Demonstrators, who are against a constitutional amendment on decentralization, clash with police outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31, 2015. © Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters

While the economy is being effectively decimated, the oligarch class is holding all the cards on and off the table in the same time while securing its own interests in the Rada and abroad. The failed state that is a de-facto new Ukraine has reported cases of children paralyzed in Ukraine in a polio outbreak while the Kiev government is going to European capitals hat in hand asking for a military and political support. In this spirit Poroshenko just announced his new military doctrine that will redeploy and invest money the country doesn’t have in the south and east as bulwarks against perceived “Russian imperialism”.

 

In other words the government will be defending itself against its own population in the east, its own ex-allies in Kiev while continuing its own propaganda war against Putin and the “evil” empire supported by the “good” empire in conjunction with austerity program imposed on whatever is left of the Ukrainian economy.

This will in turn create a fantastic investment landscape for the foreign vulture investor class coming in and getting everything for pennies on the dollar. If the “coupon” privatization was ever a rip-off, wait to see this scheme playing out in free money environment cooked up by Western central banks and the US “private” Federal Reserve. If this is the recipe for success then I would hate to see the recipe for failure as in the parallel universe of Ukrainian political reality, the chocolate cake prepared by the chocolate king can obviously eat itself and be intact in the same time. In the “real” reality the joke might actually be on the EU when looking at the current waves of refugees coming out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Ukraine is actually not that far behind and the resulting exodus will be the unpaid bill for the adventurism it chose to partake in.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Unruly Hearts.

BREAKING: Over 1,000 ISIS and Al Nusra Militants Surrender To Syrian Army In Last 24 Hours

 

 

The development came after President Bashar al-Assad in a televised address in July pardoned all soldiers who have fled the army, saying that his words served as a general decree to relevant officials.

Hundreds of gunmen have been laying down their weapons and turning themselves in to authorities in areas across the country.

This number seems to be on the rise as the army has been making steady gains in the battlefield against the terrorist groups, recapturing an increasing number of regions, including strategic sites, which helped cut off many of the militants’ supply routes and forced them to surrender or run away.

Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian air raids destroyed concentration centers of the ISIL, al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in Hama and Idlib.

The Syrian warplanes conducted airstrikes against positions of ISIL and the so-called Jeish al-Fath terrorists in the countryside of Hama and Idlib.

The airstrikes hit positions of the ISIL terrorists in al-Rahjan village, 50 km to the Northeast of Hama City, destroying a number of terrorists’ vehicles with all arms, ammunition and equipment on board.

The airstrikes also hit positions of al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in Aqrab village in the Southwestern countryside of Hama, killing scores of terrorists.

A number of vehicles belonging to Jeish al-Fath terrorists were also destroyed in airstrikes in Abdin village in the countryside of Ma’aret al-Nu’aman in Idlib countryside.

Meantime, the Syrian fighter jets pounded hideouts of the Takfiri militants in the countryside of Homs.

The Syrian air raids destroyed Takfiri terrorists’ hideouts and vehicles in al-Qaryatain, al-Sa’an, and in the vicinity of al-Sha’er field in Homs countryside.

The Russian air group in Syria is using Kh-29L air-to-surface missiles to conduct airstrikes against the ISIL militants, the Russian military said Sunday.

“A Kh-29L surface-to-air missile is equipped with a semi-active laser guidance system. When the launch is conducted, a pilot illuminates a target with a laser sight. At the same time an aircraft can continue the flight,” Aerospace Forces Spokesman Colonel Igor Klimov said.

Also, the Syrian army conducted military operations against the foreign-backed Takfiri militants in Aleppo province, leaving hundreds of them killed and injured.

Hundreds of terrorists were killed or wounded in Aleppo City and its countryside in the past 24 hours, a military source said.

Elsewhere, at least 28 militant fighters of the ISIL terrorist group were killed during clashes with the Kurdish forces in the Northeastern Syrian province of Hasaka.

“The YPG forces besieged the ISIL militants near Mount Abdulaziz and killed dozens of terrorists and destroyed several vehicles,” a spokesman for the YPG Media Center told ARA News.

Also, gunmen from the Jeish al-Fath coalition of extremist groups are pulling out their forces from Idlib and other towns in Northwestern Syria.

The radical group started moving towards the Turkish border on Saturday after having experienced “the efficiency of the Russian aerospace forces’ strikes,” the As-Safir Arabic-language daily reported.

The coalition is led by al-Nusra terrorist group, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, which is sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. The group seized the Idlib province this spring.

The report said field commanders fear at any moment the attack of Syrian forces supported by Russian warplanes on the key town of Jisr al-Shugour, on the Lattakia-Aleppo highway.

Donors Conference on Ukraine – Stretching Out Hand for Miserable Pittance

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Donors Conference on Ukraine – Stretching Out Hand for Miserable Pittance

The Europe-Ukraine summit was a frustration for the Kiev’s regime. The donors’ conference that followed on April 28 ended up in total failure. Suffice it to say that the very word “donors” lost any meaning…Those who gathered at the meeting called it a conference on Ukraine’s reforms, the changes to be supported in words with no financial obligations to follow… No serious creditors appeared. The Ukrainian government had assured that China, India and Saudi Arabia were willing to invest. But they ignored the event. True, Beijing really had said before that it set eyes on big investment opportunities in Ukraine but now it reacts to the recently adopted law on “decommunisation”…
Dmitry MININ 07.05.2015

Act of Surrender Signed in Reims. “Not to Be Cancelled or Recognized”

More and more countries refuse to mark the Victory Day on May 9 as they used to do. Poland was the last to cancel the Day of Victory and Freedom on May 9 in favor of the national Victory Day to be celebrated on May 8. It is done to diminish the role of the Soviet Union in achieving the victory and forming the world system after the war… Even the countries and politicians friendly to Russia seek explanations to justify their decision to cancel the historic date for the sake of Euro-Atlantic solidarity. For this purpose they use the event that took place in Reims before the Act of unconditional capitulation of Germans was signed in Karlhorst on May 9.
Yuriy RUBTSOV 07.05.2015

Breslau and Dresden to Be Liberated After Berlin

Germany was losing one line of defense after another; the government led by Karl Dönitz replaced the government of Hitler who committed suicide. Berlin fell. But the forces concentrated in Breslau continued to resist. There were different reasons. The Goebbels propaganda promised a “miracle weapon” to change the tide of war. There were hopes the anti-Germany alliance would split apart leading to the start of separate talks between Germany and Anglo-Americans – Yuriy RUBTSOV 06.05.2015

The Economic Price of the Soviet Victory in the Great Patriotic War

The West continues to disavow the USSR’s momentous contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany and her satellites. But there is documentary proof that can refute any speculation on this subject. Suffice it to point to the economic price of the victory won by the people of the Soviet Union…The USSR bore the burden of 53% of all the military expenditures and direct economic damages to the four victorious countries (USSR, USA, Great Britain, and France). Stalin was exactly right when he suggested at the Yalta Conference that half of all the German reparations should be paid to the Soviet Union…
Valentin KATASONOV 06.05.2015

Berlin Fell!
The seizure of Reichstag started by the early morning of the 30th, 1945. The 150th and 171st rifle divisions of the 3d Army led by Army General V. Kuznetsov were advancing to the building of German parliament – Reichstag. A fierce battle raged on during the whole day. A group led by Lieutenant A. Berest was ordered to clean the building and install the banner of Army’s military council at the top. The sergeants from this unit Meliton Kantaria and Mikhail Yegorov raised the Soviet flag over the Reichstag late at night on May 1…The Berlin garrison capitulated on May 2. But he war continued…
Yuriy RUBTSOV 02.05.2015

 

Modern Nazism as the Driving Force of Euro-Atlantic Integration

The growth of Nazism that has taken place in Europe over the last few years, the increased activities of fascist groups, the cultivation of fascist ideology at the level of individual state leaders, and the repeated attempts to revise the outcome of the Second World War all have deep-rooted causes. At the heart of this phenomenon is the desire of the Western architects of a ‘new world order’ to use modern Nazism as an instrument of European integration, which has already more or less merged with Euro-Atlantic integration…

Pyotr ISKENDEROV 01.05.2015

Kiev Starts to Get Frustrated With Europe

 The April 27 Ukraine-EU summit in Kiev frustrated the hosts. The joint declaration was turgid enough praising bold plans for reforms and condemning Russia’s «aggressive actions» on Ukrainian soil. It is clear that Brussels has no real intention to shoulder any serious responsibility. So Ukraine got nothing but promises, no matter the whole political philosophy and strategy of Kiev regime is centered on «European prospects»…
Dmitry MININ 30.04.2015

America Refuses to Face up to Its «Death Squads» in Blue

Media pundits and politicians are calling the violence that broke out in Baltimore after the spinal cord severance death, while in police custody, of African-American Freddie Gray a «wake up call». However, these self-appointed «experts» on the social collapse of poor, mostly African-American working class neighborhoods across the United States, are avoiding talking about the real reason cities and towns across America are erupting in protest and resorting to rioting every time a young African-American is murdered by the police…
Wayne MADSEN 30.04.2015

More to be added.  Our thanks to the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Ukraine’s Poison Pill for Peace Talks

 

Ukraine-USA-drapeaux-400x270By adding a poison pill to legislation implementing the latest Minsk agreement, the Ukrainian government has effectively guaranteed a resumption of the civil war, which U.S. hardliners and the mainstream U.S. media will no doubt blame on ethnic Russian rebels and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

The U.S. media has focused on the so-called Minsk-2 agreement’s cease-fire component, first claiming it was being sabotaged by the rebels and Russia but now acknowledging that it is shaky but relatively successful. But the larger point of Minsk-2 was that it would provide for a political settlement of the civil war by arranging talks between Kiev and authorities in the east that would lead to giving those areas extensive self-rule by the end of 2015.

But the implementing law that emerged this week from the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev inserted a clause requiring the rebels to first surrender to the Ukrainian government and then letting Kiev organize elections before a federalized structure is determined.

The Minsk-2 agreement had called for dialogue with the representatives of these territories en route to elections and establishment of broad autonomy for the region, but Kiev’s curveball was to refuse any talks with rebel leaders and insist on establishing control over these territories before the process can move forward, in effect requiring a rebel capitulation.

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Reflecting that view, Vadim Karasyov, director of the independent Institute of Global Strategies in Kiev, said: “Ukraine isn’t going to go along with any legalization of those so-called people’s republics. We need them to be dismantled,” according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” have protested this bait-and-switch tactic, declaring in a statement that the change was unacceptable: “We agreed to a special status for the Donbass within a renewed Ukraine, although our people wanted total independence. We agreed to this to avoid the spilling of fraternal blood.”

Kiev’s maneuver – reflecting the bellicose position of neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and other U.S. hardliners – puts pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to either get Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko to return to the original understanding of Minsk-2 or watch the fighting resume leading to a potential showdown between nuclear-armed Russia and the United States on Russia’s border.

The surrender-first-negotiate-later stipulation also raises questions about the strength of Merkel and President Barack Obama to overcome resistance from America’s powerful neoconservatives who have exploited the Ukraine crisis to isolate Russia and drive a wedge between Obama and Putin. The two leaders had cooperated to reduce tensions with Syria and Iran in 2013 when the neocons were hoping for more “regime change.”

Following those Obama-Putin collaborations, Nuland and other neocons both inside the Obama administration and in Congress took aim at Ukraine, egging on public disruptions in Kiev to destabilize the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych during the winter of 2013-14. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Neocons — Masters of Chaos.“]

To a great extent, the Ukraine crisis became Nuland’s baby as she rallied Ukraine’s business leaders and political activists to challenge Yanukovych and discussed with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in early February 2014 how, in his words, to “midwife this thing.”

In that same conversation, Nuland expressed her disgust at the European Union’s less aggressive approach to the crisis with the pithy expression, “F**k the EU.” She also handpicked new leaders, ruling out some politicians and declaring that “Yats is the guy,” a reference to Arseniy Yatsenyuk who became the post-coup prime minister. (This past week, it was Yatsenyuk who oversaw the insertion of the poison pill into the legislation for implementing the Minsk-2 agreement.)

Cue in the Neo-Nazis

The uprising in Kiev reached its peak on Feb. 22, 2014, when a violent coup – spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias from western Ukraine – drove elected Yanukovych from office, with the U.S. State Department immediately declaring the new regime “legitimate.” The coup government then sought to impose its control over the ethnic Russian east and south, which had been Yanukovych’s base of support.

Protected by Russian troops who were already based in Crimea on a base-lease agreement, the people of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, an annexation that took place one year ago. Uprisings also occurred in the eastern Donbass region with hastily arranged referenda also seeking independence from Kiev.

The coup regime responded by declaring those resisting in the east to be “terrorists” and mounting a punitive “anti-terrorist operation” that relied on army artillery to bombard cities and neo-Nazi and other right-wing militias to go in for the brutal street-to-street fighting.

Thousands of ethnic Russians were killed in these offensives as the rebels were pushed back into their strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk. However, receiving supplies and other assistance from Russia, the rebels turned the tide of the conflict and began driving the Ukrainian military back, inflicting heavy losses.

To stop the rout of government forces last September, the first Minsk ceasefire established a tentative frontline around the rebel strongholds. But Kiev continued to squeeze the rebel-held cities by cutting off access to banking and other services while neo-Nazi and other militias undertook “death squad” operations to kill rebel sympathizers in government-controlled zones.

When that first cease-fire broke down, the rebels made new gains against the Ukrainian military, prompting Merkel and Hollande to broker a second ceasefire, which included a structure for resolving the crisis with a political settlement to grant eastern Ukraine substantial autonomy.

But Nuland and other U.S. hard-liners objected to the concessions and trade-offs arranged by Merkel and Holland and accepted by Poroshenko and Putin. The U.S. hard-liners began plotting how to reverse what they claimed was “appeasement” of “Russian aggression.”

The German press has reported on some of this U.S. strategy after the Bild newspaper obtained details of conversations that Nuland and other U.S. officials held behind closed doors last month at a security conference in Munich. Nuland was overheard disparaging the German chancellor’s initiative, calling it “Merkel’s Moscow thing,” according to Bild, citing unnamed sources.

Another U.S. official went even further, the report said, calling it the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.”

Talking Themselves into a Frenzy

The tough talk behind the closed doors at a conference room in the luxurious Bayerischer Hof hotel seemed to be contagious as the American officials, both diplomats and members of Congress, kept escalating their rhetoric, according to the Bild account.

Nuland suggested that Merkel and Hollande cared only about the practical impact of the Ukraine war on Europe: “They’re afraid of damage to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia.”

Another U.S. politician was heard adding: “It’s painful to see that our NATO partners are getting cold feet” – with particular vitriol directed toward German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as “defeatist” because she supposedly no longer believed in a Kiev victory.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, got himself worked up into such a lather that he started making comparisons to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain going to Munich to “appease” Adolf Hitler, likening Merkel to Chamberlain and Putin to Hitler: “History shows us that dictators always take more, whenever you let them. They can’t be brought back from their brutal behavior when you fly to Moscow to them, just like someone once flew to this city.”

According to the Bild story, Nuland laid out a strategy for countering Merkel’s diplomacy by using strident language to frame the Ukraine crisis in a way that stops the Europeans from backing down. “We can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them,” Nuland reportedly said.

NATO Commander Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove was quoted as saying that sending more weapons would “raise the battlefield cost for Putin.” Nuland interjected to the U.S. politicians present that “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase ‘defensive systems’ that we would deliver to oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’”

Yet, through all of the past year’s scheming and maneuvering by Nuland and other U.S. officials, the mainstream U.S. media has studiously ignored the coup side of the story, insisting that there was no coup and adopting an “I-see-nothing” response to the presence of neo-Nazi militias leading the fight against the ethnic Russian east.

For the New York Times, the Washington Post and the rest of major U.S. press, everything has been explained as “Russian aggression” with Putin supposedly having plotted the entire series of events as a way to conquer much of Europe as the new Hitler. Even though the evidence reveals that Putin was caught off-guard by the coup next door, the U.S. media has insisted on simply passing along Nuland’s propaganda themes.

Thus, it is a safe bet that when the current ceasefire breaks down and the killing resumes, all the American people will hear is that it was Putin’s fault, that he conspired to destroy the peace as part of his grand scheme of “aggression.” And, the Nuland-Yatsenyuk sabotage of Minsk-2 will be the next part of this troubling story to disappear into the memory hole.

 

Madame Merkel – Between Munich, Moscow, Washington and Minsk — Jet-setting for Peace or Propaganda?

Region:
In-depth Report:

 

Angela-MerkelMadame Merkel attended on 6 February the 6-7 February NATO security Conference in Munich. Then, not listening to what Mr. Lavrov had to say to the conference on 7 February, she jetted with ‘General’ (as in Napoleon) Hollande of France to Moscow to meet ‘urgently’ with Mr. Putin on 7 February to initiate new peace / truce talks on Ukraine. Keeping the results largely under wraps, not to divulge to her own people or the rest of Europe, she stopped briefly over in Germany where she finally talked to Sergei Lavrov, before jetting on to emperor Obama for reporting and consulting.

What does the master say? We don’t know yet – eagerly awaiting the mainstream media spin. It should be hitting us shortly. – Next stop Minsk. Merkel with Holland in tow, for talks with Putin and Poroshenko. What else is new? Poroshenko can’t budge without a nod from Washington – which he will not get, of course. Peace is not part of Obama’s and his henchmen’s game plan. He needs war, and he wants Ukraine.

Does this look like a serious attempt by Europe to reach peace in Ukraine or sheer propaganda? – Taking hapless Hollande along to Moscow and Minsk, makes it look graver, more serious, but is likely just another propaganda stunt, replaying the odd, old German- French tandem; of course, as a new lie campaign, eventually serving to vilify Vladimir Putin. If it all fails. And fail it will, since Washington has no intention to reach an agreement.

The Kremlin will not give in handing over Ukraine on a silver platter to the emperor and his European vassals, nor on any platter for that matter. And rightly so. Everybody knows that, except for the msm-enslaved populace; a vast majority. Unfortunately.

Almost certainly, Mr. Putin stressed again, what he said since the beginning of the conflict, that there are no Russian troops fighting in Ukraine, humanitarian aid is all that Russia delivers to the cruelly bombed and massacred people of Neorussia, the Donbass area. This was recently confirmed by Chief of Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, General Viktor Muzhenkohttp://www.globalresearch.ca/ukrainian-government-no-russian-troops-are-fighting-against-us-sanctions-against-russia-based-on-falshoods/5428523.

Of course, no msm has picked up this little detail. How could they? It would throw out all justification for western sanctions – and it would lay bare the western, Washington-driven lies about Russian military intervention in Ukraine. People may start wondering, who if not Russia, is responsible for the bloody civil war in Ukraine, that has already left more than 5,400 people dead, hundreds of thousands without shelter and heating in the midst of winter – and millions of refugees? – And for downing the Malaysian airliner MH17? – Could we have been hoodwinked by the Empire of Chaos and its European vassals?

Mr. Putin may also have laid out to the odd couple, Merkel-Hollande, what he did since the beginning of the conflict as a condition of peace, or at least a truce – a relative large autonomy for eastern Ukraine, with Russian as an official language – and NO NATO base in Ukraine.

That sounds very reasonable, given the fact that the war was entirely instigated and the Nazi putsch government (sic) put in place by Washington. Madame Nuland, Kerry’s sidekick, testified to this in a telephone conversation on January 28, 2014, about three weeks before the coup, with US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. The conversation was published on YouTube. She knew whom she wanted to replace the democratically elected Victor Yanukovitsch with, namely with “Yats”, as she calls him endearingly, the ultra-right wing, fascist Arseniy Yatsenuik, today’s PM of the Kiev junta of thugs and murderers. She later bragged about it at the Washington Press Club.

Again, the msm-lie and deceit machine is as of this day silent about it, lest Mr. Putin could no longer be demonized and his country ‘sanctioned’ – sanctions, which badly backfire especially on Europe – who has built up close and friendly business and trade relationships with Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was a logical step, not only from a geographic point of view; but also seen from an economic development ‘growth’ perspective.

Now – is Ms. Merkel seriously brokering for peace, because the German economy and the Euro may be at stake if Germany is shut out of Russia and the rest of the Eastern markets – all of Central Asia and China?

Keep in mind, there is already the Eurasian Customs Union, to become the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as of 2015, with the member states including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. In addition, there is the overlapping Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, with potentially new members of Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan.

Turkey and India are also SCO contenders, but with India betraying the BRICS and seemingly rapidly defecting into the lush neoliberal Obama camp, and Turkey being torn apart, on the one hand as Europe’s key NATO base, and on the other, disgusted by Europe and increasingly leaning towards Russia and China – their SCO membership remains in suspense for now.

The SCO, created in 2001, is a politico-economic and military association. Together the EEC and the SCO account for about 25% of the world population and close to 30% of the world’s economic output. The eastern alliance under Russian-Chinese leadership is well on course of establishing its own monetary system, detached from the fraudulent dollar scheme.

Then there are the remaining BRICS, plus Argentina, Venezuela and possibly others that would gladly be migrating out of Washington’s oppressive fangs into a friendly economic environment, where national sovereignty still counts and is respected.

Given all these facts, is it too farfetched to assume that Madame Merkel may have seen the light after all, racing to Obama, telling him the obvious? That without a change of Washington’s policy towards Russia not only the European economy may collapse, but that the US economy may not survive either? – That with WWIII or even a new Cold War over Ukraine, the world as we know it may eclipse? – That he, Mr. Obama, the emperor of the exceptional nation, should put his bets on other horses than conflict and eternal war, and instead start thinking of peace and cooperation?

It would be fair to assume that Washington knows all that. There has been a pattern for the last 35 years, the hegemonic implementation of a neoliberal dogma; controlling energy, food, money and people under a one world order, be it as it may, through financial and economic subjugation as with Greece and other southern European states, or with endless outright military aggression directly or by proxy (as in bought (mis)leaders and mercenaries), à la Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Thailand, Yemen, and-so-on – and Ukraine. They, the master and his cronies, will not let go, no matter what concessions Putin would be willing to make. Pursuit of the PNAC’s (Plan for a New American Century) objective, Full Spectrum Dominance, knows no mercy. Obama himself is a mere marionette of corporate empire, led by the military industrial complex and the Zionist-Anglo-Saxon banking system.

Madame Merkel, regardless of the tenor and contents of your discussion in Washington, it is up to you, whether you want to lead Europe out of her conundrum – of her wavering between prosperity and submission – between war and peace.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik News, the Voice of Russia / Ria Novosti, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

The War in Ukraine: Editorial in The New York Times Suggests US Is Looking for a Face-Saving Way Out

The New York Times recommends a diplomatic settlement of the Ukrainian conflict based on the Russian proposal of a year ago for Ukraine’s federalisation.

In-depth Report:

putin-nato-russia-ukraine_si-400x224The editorial in the New York Times we attach below is the first belated acknowledgement that the only way of saving Ukraine and ending the war is by conceding federalisation to Ukraine’s eastern regions.

We do not know for sure  whether this editorial reflects official US thinking. However, the probability is that it does.

Firstly, it is not unheard of for the US government to float ideas in this way through editorials in the New York Times. The New York Times is regularly chosen to do this because of its reputation and because it is widely read abroad.  The British government used to use the Times of London in the same way.

We have previously reported the concerns of some officials within the US government at the way in which the Ukrainian crisis is leading US relations with Russia into an impasse.

It is at least possible that with the war going disastrously wrong for Kiev and with the US administration looking increasingly short of options, the US administration is now trying to find a face-saving way out by finally embracing the federalisation solution that the Russians proposed last spring.  If so then this editorial, which will surely be read in Moscow, is intended as as an olive-branch.

The following words give the clear impression that a concrete offer has been made to Moscow through diplomatic back-channels. The carefully chosen words clearly convey the sense that the authority of the US government lies behind them:

“Russian officials have suggested that Moscow has no interest in annexing eastern Ukraine, the way it grabbed Crimea, but rather seeks a Ukrainian federation in which the pro-Russian provinces would have relative autonomy, along with assurances that Ukraine will not move to join NATO.

There is definitely potential for negotiations there……..

Tempting as it is to focus on punishing Mr. Putin, the greater objective must be to end the fighting so that Ukraine can finally undertake the arduous task of reforming and reviving its economy. Toward that end, the West must make clear to Mr. Putin that if a federation is his goal, the United States and its allies will actively use their good offices with Kiev to seek a workable arrangement.”

Poroshenko has just issued another statement ruling out federalisation.  This also suggests we are looking at an actual behind-the-scenes offer.  We have already explained why for Maidan talk of federalisation is anathema.  Poroshenko’s words suggest he knows of the US initiative and is trying to scotch it and to make his opposition to the idea clear before Secretary Kerry flies to Kiev as he is due shortly to do.

Moscow and the rebels are however unlikely to take up the offer.

The Russians pushed strongly for federalisation of Ukraine’s eastern regions following the February coup.  On 17th April 2014 a Statement was agreed by the US and Russian foreign ministers, John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov, in Geneva, and was signed by the EU and the Ukrainian government, that called for constitutional negotiations between the various Ukrainian parties. These were obviously intended to lead to a constitutional settlement that would have led to federalisation. Many people in the Donbass at the time of the independence referendum of 11th May 2014 appeared to support the idea.

What was offered (and declined) in Spring 2014 may however no longer be on the table in Winter 2015.

Since the federalisation idea was floated last Spring there has been a murderous war in the Donbass causing massive devastation and loss of life. Russia has been subjected to two rounds of sectoral sanctions. There has been a relentless propaganda campaign against Russia, the rebels and Putin himself. It is difficult to believe that all of this has not caused views to harden since the spring.

Promises of constitutional negotiations like the ones made in Geneva on 17th April 2014 and in Minsk on 5th September 2014 have come and gone. No negotiations have however taken place. Given that Kiev is dead against them, after all that has happened it is very doubrtful the rebels or the Russians now believe they ever will. Nor are the Russians likely to be in any sort of mood to believe in US assurances that “if federation is the goal, the United States and its allies will actively use their good offices with Kiev to seek a workable arrangement”.

What made sense in the Spring, when it was proposed to prevent a war, may anyway no longer make sense in the Winter, after the war has already happened. After so much violence it is barely conceivable that the rebels or the people of the Donbass who support them would now agree to be part of a federation that left them within Ukraine, especially now when they are on the brink of victory.

If this is correct, then it looks like the US and its allies have missed the bus.


The text of the editorial that appeared in The New York Times on February 2nd, 2015:

The fighting in eastern Ukraine has flared up again, putting an end to any myth about the cease-fire that was supposed to be in force since September.

Though the Russian economy is staggering under the twinned onslaught of low oil prices and sanctions — or, conceivably, as a result of that onslaught — President Vladimir Putin has sharply cranked up his direct support for the rebels in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, while continuing to baldly deny it and to blame all the violence on the United States.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is broke, and without the military means to move against the Russian-backed rebels. Most of the victims are civilians who struggle with hunger and dislocation in the rubble of the combat zones and die in the constant exchanges of shells and rockets.

The eruption of fighting in recent weeks, which was not supposed to happen until spring, has given new force to pleas to the Obama administration to give Ukraine the means to resist Mr. Putin — in money and in arms.

Certainly the United States and Europe should increase their aid to Ukraine and explore ways to expand existing sanctions against Russia. NATO’s commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, is said to support providing weapons and equipment to Kiev. And Secretary of State John Kerry is said to be open to discussing the idea. But lethal assistance could open a dangerous new chapter in the struggle — a chapter Mr. Putin would quite possibly welcome, as it would “confirm” his propaganda claims of Western aggression.

So far, President Obama has cautiously pledged to help Ukraine in every way “short of military confrontation.” Yet with sanctions and diplomacy making no headway against Russian aggression, it is imperative that the United States and its allies take a new look at what would bring Russia to a serious negotiation.

The first question is, to negotiate what? Along with denying the direct involvement of his troops in eastern Ukraine, Mr. Putin has not made clear what he is trying to achieve. Russian officials have suggested that Moscow has no interest in annexing eastern Ukraine, the way it grabbed Crimea, but rather seeks a Ukrainian federation in which the pro-Russian provinces would have relative autonomy, along with assurances that Ukraine will not move to join NATO.

There is definitely potential for negotiations there. Yet the latest rebel attacks have focused on Mariupol, an important port on the Black Sea, and on expanding the rebels’ control to areas that would give their self-proclaimed “republics” greater military and economic cohesion. And that speaks to long-term rebel occupation.

Tempting as it is to focus on punishing Mr. Putin, the greater objective must be to end the fighting so that Ukraine can finally undertake the arduous task of reforming and reviving its economy. Toward that end, the West must make clear to Mr. Putin that if a federation is his goal, the United States and its allies will actively use their good offices with Kiev to seek a workable arrangement.

But if the evidence continues to accumulate that Mr. Putin and the rebels are carving out a permanent rebel-held enclave in eastern Ukraine, à la Transdniestria, Abkhazia or South Ossetia, he must know that the United States and Europe will be compelled to increase the cost.