Poroshenko Prepares for More War

 

Poroshenko Prepares for More War

 

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

 

Sustainable, durable peace in Donbass is pure fantasy. Obama won’t tolerate it. Poroshenko is a convenient US stooge.

 

His power depends on remembering who’s boss. Given his colossal failures to please the power installing him, his days perhaps are numbered.

 

He admitted Minsk terms won’t hold. They won’t “be strictly implemented,” he said.

 

In less than so many words he intends more war once his military regroups and rearms from the battering it took.

 

it suffered one major defeat after another – especially in Devaltseve. He introduced legislation authorizing a 250,000-strength force.

 

“The size of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in emergencies shall grow by the number of servicemen recruited for military service consistent with the mobilization decrees of the Ukrainian president,” he said.

 

In January, Ukraine’s illegitimate defense minister Stepan Poltorak said military budgeting will be 3.6 times greater than last year.

 

It’s when its only enemies are ones it invents at a time it’s bankrupt teetering toward economic collapse.

 

IMF and other Western funding alone maintain short-term solvency. For how long remains to be seen.

 

Ukraine is a black hole of fascist extremism, extreme repression, out-of-control militantly, scandalous corruption, and rage for more war against its own citizens.

 

An anti-populist budget passed without parliamentarians given a chance to read it.

 

It drastically cuts pensions. Retirees will get 15% less. Payments to tax, customs and regulatory body personnel are suspended.

 

Ukrainians already experience the world’s highest hyperinflation at over 270%. Since February 2014, the hryvnia currency lost around 70% of its value perhaps heading toward worthlessness.

 

Energy prices are skyrocketing. Henceforth, gas for heating will increase 230% to about $132 per 1,000 cubic meters. 

 

Gas for cooking will skyrocket from $43 to $263 per 1,000 cubic meters. Economic crisis conditions are worsening. 

 

Devastating austerity was imposed on millions of deeply impoverished Ukrainians to qualify for $17.5 billion in loan-shark-of-last-resort IMF funding.

 

Despite economic disaster, Poroshenko is preparing for more war. On March 4, RT International headlined “Ukraine replenishes Donbass tank supplies amid ceasefire.”

 

On the one hand, its military continues violating Minsk terms. So far, it refused to withdraw heavy weapons as stipulated. It’s repositioning them instead.

 

It’s adding reinforcements. It’s preparing for more war. Sporadic shelling continues. Colonel Cassad reports it’s targeting Donetsk’s airport and “sometimes tries to attack” it.

 

It perpetuates the myth of a strong military. Reality is a battered one desperately trying to regroup and rearm for more combat. 

 

Fascist lunatics operate this way – especially with encouragement from Washington.

 

RT reported Ukraine’s state-owned Ukroboronprom defense corporation saying it shipped T64B tanks to the defense ministry and national guard better able to withstand attacks than previous models.

 

A statement claimed they’re “ready to carry out missions in the anti-terrorist operation (AT) zone” – referring to Donbass.

 

Numbers of tanks supplied aren’t known – or payment terms. Ukroboronprom said new ones are equipped with better protective armor. According to a Latvian military source:

 

“In Ukraine, hulls of T-64 tanks are often severely damaged, with entire pieces of armor plucked out, and you can see that the damage is done along welding seams of the hull, while the rest of the armor plates left out bent.” 

 

“The most obvious explanation to the damages of Ukrainian armored vehicles is the poor quality of manufacturing.”

 

Donbass freedom fighters know ceasefire remains shaky at best. They’re ready to repel any future Kiev attacks. Overnight Tuesday, they reported eight Ukrainian military shelling incidents.

 

On March 4, Sergey Lavrov wasn’t encouraging. On the one hand, Kiev Minsk violations continue.

 

On the other, Lavrov said Contact Group members Russia, the OSCE and Ukraine were “urged to create working groups for reviewing all aspects of the Minsk agreements…as soon as possible.”

 

So far, Kiev hasn’t complied. It “refuse(s) the proposals of Donetsk and Luhansk, of the Russian side, to create such groups and announce their composition, trying to drag out the process. It is troubling,” said Lavrov.

 

“There should be no doubt that the documents from February 12 must be implemented fully.” 

 

“This includes immediately establishing working groups, starting work on a constitutional reform, restoring social and economic ties and so on.”

 

Kiev obstructionism shows it wants war, not peace. It’s just a matter of time before it resumes – with full US support and encouragement.

 

Expect Minsk II to accomplish no more than previous Russian initiated conflict resolution efforts.

 

War and peace decisions are made in Washington, not Moscow. Obama wants Donbass freedom fighters crushed. 

 

Expect renewed conflict at his discretion. Maybe this time with shock and awe Pentagon support.
In the meantime, Ukraine prepares for more war. It’s taking part in ongoing NATO Annual Crisis Management Exercises. 

 

They’re “designed to test (North Atlantic Council) procedures at the strategic political-military level,” according to NATO.

 

“The exercise rehearses decision-making processes using an entirely fictitious scenario” likely to be very real during US-led NATO’s next war.

 

Maybe targeting Donbass. Acting as Kiev’s air force. Destroying Novorossia the way Obama ravaged Libya.

 

Given Washington’s rage for permanent wars without end, expect the worst ahead.

 

Expect more mass slaughter and destruction – perhaps genocide before Washington’s Ukraine campaign ends.

 

Separately, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich blasted US policy, saying:

 

“We have noticed a remarkable fact. As soon as signs of a peaceful settlement of the severe Ukrainian crisis appear, Washington, that had a hand in last year’s coup in Kiev, starts to exacerbate the situation.”

 

“So this time, when the ceasefire regime agreed upon in Minsk on February 12 with assistance of Russian President Vladimir Putin is being implemented, Barack Obama’s administration is again issuing threats, announcing extension of the previously imposed sanctions and promising new ones – both against our country and against the DPR and LPR.”

 

“What is this if not an attempt to destroy the tenuous budding of trust between them and Ukrainian authorities, to undermine or even derail the peace process.”  

 

“The same applies to promises of massive American weapons supplies to Ukraine, indulging revanchist plans of Kiev’s ‘party of war.’ “

 

“We would really appreciate if the United States would finally start thinking about the consequences of its decisions and actions.” 

 

“Moreover, no sanctions will change Russia’s principal position. It is high time for Washington to realise it.”

 

According to Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, Moscow will do whatever is necessary to counter possible threats from Alliance involvement in Ukraine.

 

Mostly blaming Washington, he said some “NATO countries are adding fuel to the fire of this conflict.”

 

Deploying combat troops masquerading as instructors directly aids Kiev’s “party of war” intention to resolve crisis conditions “by military means.”

 

“It runs counter to NATO leadership statements (claiming) Ukrain(e’s) crisis has no military solutions,” Grushko stressed.

 

It bears repeating. Ukraine’s conflict is far from settled. It’ll resume at Obama’s discretion. 

 

Odds favor sometime this spring – perhaps Libya-style war using Kiev ground forces as US shock troops the way Washington uses ISIS in Syria.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

 

 

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

 

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 
 

 

 

Russia at the gates? US State Dept, Pentagon grilled over NATO expansion

‘You’re moving closer to Russia and blame Russians for being close to NATO’

 

 

 

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki and Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby have been challenged over the Department of Defense’s claims that the US must “deal” with “modern and capable” Russian armed forces on NATO’s doorstep.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu expressed “grave concern” and “surprise” at a Wednesday speech made by US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference. Hagel declared that US armed forces “must deal with a revisionist Russia – with its modern and capable army – on NATO’s doorstep.”

Kirby was confronted by AP journalist Matt Lee over NATO expansion closer to the Russian borders at the State Department’s daily press briefing on Thursday. Here is their exchange:

Matt Lee, AP journalist: What did he [Chuck Hagel] mean by “revisionist Russia?”

John Kirby: Pentagon Press Secretary: I think what he was referring to there is that there appears to be in their intentions and their motives, a calling back to the “glory days of the Soviet Union”.

L: He also used the phrase that its army – he means Russian army is on NATO’s doorstep. Why is that? Is it not logical to look at this and say – the reason why Russia’s army is at NATO’s doorstep, is because NATO has expanded, rather than Russian expanding? In other words, NATO has moved closer to Russia rather than Russia moving closer to NATO.

K: I think that’s the way President [Vladimir] Putin probably looks at it – it is certainly not the way we look at it.

L: You don’t think that NATO has expanded eastward towards Russia?

K: NATO has expanded…

L: So the reason that the Russian army is at NATO’s doorstep is not the fault of the Russian army, not the Russian army that’s done it, it’s NATO that moved closer east.
K: It wasn’t NATO that was ordering tons of tactical battalions and army to the Ukraine border…

L: I am pretty sure that Ukraine is not a member of NATO, unless that’s changed…?

K: NATO is not an anti-Russia alliance; it is a security alliance….

L: For 50 years it was an anti-Soviet alliance. How can you not even see how the Russians perceive it as a threat, the fact that it keeps getting closer to their border.

K: I can tell that NATO is a defense alliance…

L: But it moved east. Correct?

K: It expanded but there is no reason to believe that the expansion is a hostile and threatening move.

L: You are moving closer to Russia and you’re blaming the Russians for being close to NATO.

K: We are blaming the Russians for violating the integral territory of Ukraine and destabilizing the security situation inside Europe.

L: Which is NOT in NATO…

Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the US Department of State: Other countries feel threatened, let’s move on!

 In terms of new threats at NATO’s borders, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday that it is the US which has been “stubbornly approaching…closer to our doors.”

Relations between Russia and NATO have been tense since the alliance accused Russia of becoming involved in the Ukrainian conflict – a claim Russia has continuously and consistently denied.

Following Crimea’s accession to Russia in March, the US and Europe bombarded Moscow with sanctions. NATO also significantly increased its military presence near Russia’s borders, especially in Poland and the former Soviet Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which have expressed concern at the potential for Russian incursions into their territories.

Russia Negotiates Ceasefire In Ukraine: NATO Responds With Troops, Warships, and Sanctions

By Brandon Turbeville
Global Research, September 05, 2014
Activist Post
Region: Russia and FSU
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: UKRAINE REPORT

ukraine.n-400x224Only hours after Russian President Vladmir Putin managed to secure a fragile ceasefire between the Western-backed fascist regime in Kiev and the Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine, NATO has rewarded Russia’s efforts by shipping NATO soldiers into Western Ukraine, increasing the number of NATO navy vessels in the Black Sea, and leveling new sanctions against Moscow.

According to Reuters, Western Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and one of the main separatist leaders of Eastern Ukraine have agreed to order ceasefires on Friday, pending that an agreement is made on a new peace plan.

Reuters states:

Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Wales, Poroshenko said the ceasefire would be conditional on a planned meeting going ahead in Minsk on Friday of envoys from Ukraine, Russia and Europe’s OSCE security watchdog.

“At 1400 local time (0700 ET on Friday), provided the (Minsk) meeting takes place, I will call on the General Staff to set up a bilateral ceasefire and we hope that the implementation of the peace plan will begin tomorrow,” he told reporters.

Alexander Zakharchenko, head of the main rebel Donetsk People’s Republic, said in a statement his men would also order a ceasefire, from one hour later, provided that Kiev’s representatives signed up to a peace plan at the Minsk meeting.

Still, the ceasefire is hanging by a thread.

For instance, some rebel leaders view the ceasefire with extreme suspicion since other ceasefires allegedly initiated by Kiev have fallen apart or never actually taken place. Reuters reports,

Rebels still expressed scepticism. Oleg Tsaryov, a senior rebel official, told Reuters the separatist truce would depend on the government providing guarantees, “because in the past we had some ceasefire agreements Poroshenko didn’t honor”.

A source close to Zakharchenko said government forces bombarded Donetsk within 15 minutes of Poroshenko’s announcement of the ceasefire plan: “We’ll see how the talks go tomorrow, but it won’t be easy. All this talk of truce amid more and more shelling.”

Former central banker and current Prime Minister of Western Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, flatly dismissed the ceasefire plan, calling it a trap.

In addition, Western media outlets claim that the fighting on the ground continues in Ukraine. However, one would be justified in questioning the veracity of these reports given the track record of these operations and the obvious desire of Western media to discredit any Russian success in terms of ending the violence. On the other hand, given the track record of Kiev, ceasefire agreements do not have a great life expectancy.

There are wild cards, of course. Most notably, whether or not the Western fascists such as Right Sector will abide by the terms of the ceasefire deal. Indeed, this is one of the major concerns of the Donetsk Republic Prime Minister Zakharchenko.

Putin’s seven point peace plan outline is as follows:

First, end active offensive operations by armed forces, armed units and militia groups in southeast Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas.

Second, withdraw Ukrainian armed forces units to a distance that would make it impossible to fire on populated areas using artillery and all types of multiple launch rocket systems.

Third, allow for full and objective international monitoring of compliance with the ceasefire and monitoring of the situation in the safe zone created by the ceasefire.

Fourth, exclude all use of military aircraft against civilians and populated areas in the conflict zone.

Fifth, organise the exchange of individuals detained by force on an ‘all for all’ basis without any preconditions.

Sixth, open humanitarian corridors for refugees and for delivering humanitarian cargoes to towns and populated areas in Donbass – Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.

Seventh, make it possible for repair brigades to come to damaged settlements in the Donbass region in order to repair and rebuild social facilities and life-supporting infrastructure and help the region to prepare for the winter.

In response to the Russian-brokered peace deal, NATO has responded in a typical confrontational fashion. Only hours after the ceasefire was announced, NATO and the United States announced that dynamic duo of destabilization was going ahead with planned military exercises in Western Ukraine that will see approximately 1,000 troops posted on Ukrainian soil.

Shortly ahead of the NATO meeting, Barack Obama stated from Estonia “that the U.S. and NATO would not allow a foreign country to encroach on its friends. He said this after blaming Moscow for the political turmoil in Ukraine. He was a hair away from saying that the U.S. would protect Ukraine from a Russian military attack.

If the NATO exercises were not enough to inflame tensions in the fragile country, four NATO warships are also set to enter the Black Sea this week. USS Ross, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, French Commandant Birot, Canadian HMCS Toronto, a Halifax-class frigate, and Spanish frigate Almirante Juan de Borbon are all set to enter the Black Sea before September 7.

As RT reports,

The Montreux Convention of 1936 states that warships of non-Black Sea states can stay in the Black Sea for no more than 21 days. It adds that the maximum deadweight of a non-regional warship in the area should not exceed 45,000 tons.

[…]

Despite the convention limits, NATO has managed to increase its presence in the region in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis by constantly rotating warships there. Russia does not approve of what it sees as muscle-flexing by the military alliance in its backyard.

In July this year, the grouping of NATO ships in the Black Sea reached nine vessels, setting a record for the post-Soviet period.

Rounding out the provocative stance of Western leaders, the results of the NATO summit reveal the intention to impose yet more sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. According to the New York times,

The extended European package, which was agreed to in principle by leaders, at a European Union summit meeting last week, would cover state energy and defense companies, said one British official who requested anonymity under government rules.

Restrictions on Russian banks would be extended, and there would be more measures against so-called dual-use equipment, particularly in the communications and aerospace sectors. The access of Russian banks to the European debt market would be further restricted and limited to shorter-term debt.

Clearly, the United States and NATO are not seeking a peaceful solution in Ukraine. If they were, they would be applauding the ability of Putin to secure a ceasefire and a reasonable roadmap to a sustained halt of hostilities. If the US and NATO were seeking peace in Ukraine, they never would have orchestrated the Euromaidan color revolution to begin with.

Still, as the American people buy Western propaganda hook, line, and sinker, those of us who have a grasp of current events seem doomed to be dragged ever closer to a direct confrontation with a nuclear world power. We can continue to ignore the facts and the political process now but, if such a confrontation ever happens, we will not be able to ignore it any longer.