What the heck is happening in Ukraine (and why you should care)

A building damaged in fighting in Kurakhove, in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. (Photo by VO Svodboda via Picasa)
A building damaged in fighting in Kurakhove, in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. (Photo by VO Svodboda via Picasa)

When the war in eastern Ukraine broke out last year, I suddenly became something of a gatekeeper for untarnished information about what’s really happening in my country of origin.

Upon learning that I’m Ukrainian, strangers pelted me with inquiries about the war, curious about my sentiments towards Russians and separatists. They wanted to know what Russian-language publications were saying, and what the latest news was from family and friends back home.

In recent months, however, that curiosity here in the U.S. has tapered off. Replacing questions about Ukrainian-Russian relations are quick wishes for my family’s safety.

But with an estimated 5.2 million people living in the war-zone, our eyes should focus on eastern Ukraine more than ever.

The Minsk Peace Summit

President Vladimir Putin (left), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (center left), French President François Hollande (center right), and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko met in Minsk on February 11 for peace negotiations. (Photo credit: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann)

After 16 hours of negotiations last Wednesday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko reached a ceasefire agreement in Minsk, Belarus with the help of French and German mediation.

The ceasefire, which began on Sunday, calls for both sides to release all hostages, withdraw heavy weapons, and increase the range of the buffer zone. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will supervise the removal of all foreign soldiers and weapons from Ukraine. The agreement gives way for Ukraine to regain full control of its eastern border so long as Donetsk and Luhansk can hold local elections. Constitutional reform, with a strong emphasis on decentralization, must take place before the end of 2015.

A similar ceasefire agreement from September 2014 held for little over a day.

On Sunday, it became clear that pro-Russian rebels did not and would not observe the ceasefire in Debaltseve, where they’ve encircled the Ukrainian army. With five Ukrainian troops dead and another 25 wounded, the new truce already seems to be on the brink of collapse.

Brothers in Arms

Brothers in Arms Filmmaker, writer, producer, and radio host Constantin Mohilnik always wears his vyshyvanka, a traditional shirt with elements of Ukrainian ethnic embroidery, for screenings of his documentary, Brothers in Arms. (Photo by Kirill Nechmonya)
Filmmaker, writer, producer, and radio host Constantin Mohilnik always wears his vyshyvanka, a traditional shirt with elements of Ukrainian ethnic embroidery, for screenings of his documentary, Brothers in Arms. (Photo by Kirill Nechmonya)

At 6:30 p.m. last Wednesday, a group of 30 gathered in a building on the Microsoft Campus to watch several episodes from a documentary titled Brothers in Arms: Stories from the Russian-Ukrainian War. A collection of interviews from soldiers, residents, and volunteers, the documentary was filmed at the front lines between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces in 2014.

“The initial idea was to make a film that did not have any political or ideological agenda,” said filmmaker Constantin Mohilnik. “But this appeared to be impossible.”

Mohilnik was joined by producer and translator Yaroslav Ovsiienko; the two men are traveling across the U.S. to spread the word about their film, having already shown it at the Kennan Institute and Columbia University.

“Ukraine was a totally peaceful country, and Russia seemed this way too,” said Mohilnik. “Then suddenly, in only a couple of months, hundreds of thousands of people raised and volunteered to kill each other from both sides — and this is a big mystery to me.”

On Mortar Shells

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5,486 — that’s the number of people killed in the war since April 2014, according to the U.N. On January 15, the separatists seized Donetsk airport, a symbolic stronghold. Over the span of six days, from January 31 to February 5, 263 civilians lost their lives due to fighting in populated areas. Another 674 were wounded.

Since the beginning of the conflict, both separatists and Ukrainian forces have been accused of shelling civilian areas. In one scene from Brothers in Arms, a man from a small town near Donetsk brings the remains of a shell from his apartment — it was manufactured in Russia, said Mohilnik. Others who were captured on video winced at the sound of shells landing in the distance and explained that they had no choice but to spend every night in their basements.

“I’m not going to tell you anything for television on camera, because what’s going on here is not for television,” a woman from the town told filmmakers.

Though Russian leaders consistently deny supplying weapons to separatist regimes, the rebels have more advanced weapons and higher-quality tanks than the Ukrainian government. PKP machine guns, VSS sniper rifles, and ASVK recoilless rifles — all weapons used by separatists in Donbass — have never been available to the Ukrainian army, which many describe as being under-supplied for modern warfare. On the other hand, these weapons are widely used by the Russian army.

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The Two Kinds of Russian Soldiers

According to Mohilnik’s experience, the Donbass front is populated by at least two types of Russian combatants. The first, whom he calls “vocational” soldiers, receive a small sum of money to fight in the region for a few months. The second, highly-trained military specialists from Russia, reportedly began appearing in Donetsk in mid-August of last year. Based on his communications with prisoners of war from the Donetsk People’s Republic, Mohilnik says these individuals are not only training rebels, but running the separatist armies.

Though he cannot attest to the exact chains-of-commands, Mohilnik says it’s clear these soldiers are being controlled from the Russian side. When captured, many of them disclose their Russian nationality, and a number of circulating videos capture these confessions.

PTSD and the Equites Fund

In addition to filming Brothers in Arms, Mohilnik and Ovisenko have helped establish the Equites Fund, a humanitarian and cultural fund which provides food, housing, and medical assistance to people displaced by the war. According to figures from a recent U.N. report, there are 978,482 registered internally displaced people in Ukraine. Many more are unable to leave their war-torn villages and towns from fear and lack of financial resources.

For their upcoming project, Mohilnik and Ovisenko are working alongside psychologists and psychiatrists to build Ukraine’s first center for the rehabilitation and socialization of PTSD victims. Having avoided warfare since World War II, Ukraine lacks the resources to treat soldiers with psychological trauma.

“Many of the people who come back from war are unable to return to a normal, peaceful life” said Mohilnik. “Some people join gangs, other turn to drugs, and for the majority this story does not end well.”

Russian Media and the “Tsunami of Hate”

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Despite a withering economy and world criticism, Putin’s approval rating has increased to 73 percent from 46 percent just last year. With 70 percent of Russians watching national television on a daily basis, propaganda seems to propel much of this state approval.

According to Ivan Zhillin, a journalist for Novaya Gazeta, the Kremlin uses media to send messages of exceptionality, vilify Ukraine, and shape ideological agendas through the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. He recalled a story about a female refugee who claimed her three-year-old son was crucified by Ukrainian soldiers in Slovyansk because the father was a separatist. The story, which ran on Russian media Channel 1, quickly fell apart, though broadcasters never retracted it.

But despite the climate of war and increasing feelings of ethnic distinction, many still consider Russia and Ukraine to be blood nations.

“The tsunami of hate between our nations was raised by oligarchs and politicians,” said Gennadiy Mokhenko, a pastor from Mariupol and head of the Pilgrim charity fund, in a segment of Brothers in Arms. “I love both Russians and Ukrainians.”

Regardless of where the blame lies, one thing is clear to me: these countries are at war. While the media skirts around the “w” word, emphasizing terms like “conflict” and “crisis” in its place, Russians and Ukrainians are dying.

For Americans, media fatigue and geographic distance cannot justify disinterest when the loss of real human lives are concerned. The outcome of this fight will have implications for the entire world.

Right now, it’s a time bomb.

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21 Comments

  1. Kseniya – thanks for the article, we need more like this! My only concern is that you are talking about “separatists’, “rebels” but it is really a Russia-Ukraine war. And just one more: before-war population on the occupuied territory was about 4 – 4.5 mln; and now – probably 2.5 – 3 mln. Don’t forget – the Russians occupied about 1/3 of Donbas’ territory

  2. I don’t agree with a lot of what Kseniya states; I have family living in Donetsk and scattered over the Donbass region; the people that live there tend to blame Kiev a bit more. And as for Russians in Ukraine, I continue to scour the internet for indisputable, or at least somewhat indisputable proof of that.
    And while some people in Russia vilify Ukraine; they do not vilify the people. In general, the attitude I seem to get is “we should be united, we should be brothers, stop fighting” and the like. The current government in Ukraine is seen as evil, true, but Russians wish it all to end and Ukraine and the people of Donbass to stop fighting.
    I wouldn’t be too surprised to see lies in the Russian media. But look at the Ukrainian media; they lie just as much! I could bring up examples, but honestly, I don’t think it will help.
    Time will tell who is right. I’m of the opinion that there should be a second maidan, to get the far-right elements out of power. Make no mistake, the initial maidan protests were fine, non-extreme; but then people started shouting “Moskaliaku na gilyaku” and the cry became “Україна понад усе” and posters with the faces of Stepan Bandera, Dmytro Dontsov, Andriy Melnyk and others were carried in torchlight processions; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ux4W5tU87U
    These aren’t just “national heroes,” as some may claim. Bandera may be excused, ok; he eventually turned against the Nazis. But the others? They led the armies of the OUN and UPA; Bandera was eventually released by the Nazis to lead the extreme right UPA. These armies killed tens of thousands of Poles.
    And they aren’t even really Ukrainian! They are from Galicia, which was added to Ukraine by Stalin. That’s why Russians still respect Ukraine; they just don’t like the far right that hijacked the protests.
    The Ukrainian government now tries to muzzle these groups, but… to no avail. So they have to go along with it, blame Russia, deny the existence of Nazi battalions, etc. But it’s obvious that they exist! Take a look: http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ukraine-nazi-emblems1.jpg
    Russia loves Ukraine. Russians, on the vast majority, love Ukrainians. Even in Donbass, Ukrainian men fight alongside Russians against Nazi battalions like the Azov Battalion; remind you of anything? Throughout history, Ukrainians and Russians have always been brother nations. I don’t think that’s accurate, even; it’s more like a Slavic three headed bear; Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. Or conjoined triplets.
    If Russia planned to take over Ukraine, why not start with Belarus, which has been sanctioned by the EU anyways? It would have been easier. No, it’s not so much Russian aggression at fault here. And not Ukraine either. It’s Praviy Sektor, the Svoboda party, Azov battalion, Aidar battalion, etc.
    I’ve always considered myself Russian; but one of my Grandma’s is Ukrainian. So am I a quarter Ukrainian? NO! I am fully Ukrainian, fully Russian, and fully Partisan! (Slavs will get that joke; hint, Belarus)
    So enough fighting. How about Russia and Ukraine stop yelling at each other, remember their true roots, and sell Gazprom gas and Roshen candies to each other? And meanwhile the partisans will be eating semechkii.

    1. The far right in Ukraine didn’t hijack the protests on Maidan; if anything they were the ones most willing to die to oust Yanukovych. I would generally agree that Russians have no antipathy towards Ukrainians and vice versa. However, in the decade that I lived and worked in Ukraine I met many Russians who came to live and work in Ukraine who at first were really scared to speak Russian openly in Kyiv. Why? Because the media in Russia for more than a decade already has been creating this notion that ultra-nationalists in Ukraine run the country and beat or kill people who dare to speak “like Moskaly”. These people I speak of – from Moscow mainly, but also from Tver, Sverdlovsk and Peter – were surprised to learn that Ukrainians were speaking Russian openly in Kyiv and that this was the regular language in the country (other than in the far west). What made them even more surprised was that when they learned some Ukrainian and spoke it among colleagues and strangers they would be given an even warmer welcome. Sadly, many of them, including my friend Iryna who is from Moscow, can no longer speak to her parents and family in Ukraine because they reject outright that she is living in a “fascist” country; they don’t for a second believe that Russian state media would lie and in fact believe that these people have been brainwashed. This whole conflict is just a way to create an artificial divide between Ukrainians and Russians: people on both sides of the border who are as poor as dirt, who have nothing (like the people in these videos) and yet the media and the oligarchs and the rest of their ilk are trying to make this seem as if it’s a civil war, that it’s Ukrainian speakers against Russian speakers. There have been atrocities committed by both sides in the name of “Ukraine” and “Donbass” but ultimately no one wants war and the idiots who think that this will be solved militarily are dead wrong. It’s not the fault of Praviy Sektor or Azov Battalion or anyone but the people who ultimately will benefit: the bankers who will buy up cheap Ukrainian land when the country is finally bankrupt; the oligarchs who make millions off of contracts to the Russian military for RPGs, for bullets, for tanks, etc. It is a PR war in the worst sense, made to inflame passions and create distrust between people who should be focussing their anger and energies towards ousting all these corrupt douche bags instead of picking up guns and figuring this is the way to solve all this fighting.
      And just for the record, Globalresearch.ca is for shit; it’s fully funded Russian propaganda, so using it here does no good whatsoever if your true aim is to encourage dialogue and spread peace.

      1. Codswalllop! If the neo-nazi right wasn’t a power in Ukraine before, it certainly is to-day. Three leaders of the rabid right are in charge of government ministries, ‘Security’ and ‘Justice’ being two very important ones. This isn’t a tale from Moscow, it’s a fact.

        Iryna may have recieved a warm welcome from her EUkrainian friends, but that’s at some odds with the greetings they afford to their fellow citizens, the bad (misguided?) ‘Russians who actually ARE Ukrainians. They have been shelled and killed, their homes destroyed, thousands ‘detained’ and the army directed at them. Again no fairy tale. fact.

        Didn’t somebody in ‘friendly Kyiv’ actually declare a ‘war’? The western farmers aren’t the problem.

        As far as Global research is concerned, they are a Canadian organization, unfunded by any other than public donations. By investigation of the bilgewater coming out of Kyiv, and the stories posted in the Russian media, Global research presents an objective view of what’s happening in Ukraine.

        Sadly that isn’t what Kyiv wants us to see or think. But they are proven liars, the heroes of Debaltsevo – including some of those non-existent nazis, – are telling the world that to-day.

    2. I like your point of view , and i have to say it’s very difficult finding an objective comment similar to yours about the situation in ukraine . I am searching for months now about some descent facts , but the only i am recieving over the internet is mostly propaganda both sides . What about nowdays situation over ukraine on the same issue ?? I have heard some rumors that there is a mobility again from the far right teams . Is it true ? And what is your guess about the result of the situation , if there is one .

      Thank you in advance fro any responce !

      Alexander
      Greetings from Greece .

  3. I really hate that “We will never be brothers” video on youtube. Honestly, it serves no good; instead of trying to make peace, the poet just pisses on a whole culture.
    And we will always be brothers.
    Or the three Slavic sisters; Belarus, Ukraine, Russia.
    Peace? I’ll drink to that.

  4. the this is the War , not just a conflict with a tiny group of “rebels” which suddenly took place in Ukranian land without any prior negotiation .It not true that it’s come out of blue. The absolute control over the Ukraine was carried out for whole time since Yanukovich was set in Kiev as a President.
    and it seems the author trying to be not bias with both sides which make profound effect as a result: do not worries as it’s probably no one clean there and will be sort out as usually. But the reality is that it’s deep sence of fundamental human values on the sheer base of this fighting: between democratic human civilization and “the law of jungle”. (look at Litvinenko case in London). Than it’s mean each of us personally will be pushed into the necessity to define which side you are on sooner or later. For instance read this and say us what do you choose after. and try be emotionally involved not be indifferent as staying in between required if you are a Normal human being:

    This is 9 years old girl Dasha. : no worries it will be sorted out as he has been taking out from village Sheerokino recently (12 Feb.Mariupol?)
    Her Mum, Dad and Granny were killed in front of her . Dasha simply was walked between shells and picked up in one pile bits of her mother, father…-their arms, legs…
    Today Dasha only telling that her Mummy and Daddy will be back tomorrow.
    She is not eating anything at all. The girl is staring on space in front of her.

    Angela Timchenko is busy with her case. The child hasn’t any documents as she’s been brought by Ukranuan military personnel carrier.

    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=832574740136324&id=100001514163179&set=a.229381163789021.56249.100001514163179

  5. Glad I found this blog, it’s really interesting. There is some really good discussion going on (as well as a lot of trolling) in some other forums I read. The problem I see is that people like Mark D are very much partially right when they say the Ukrainian army is made up of Nazis, and that the Maidan was a US backed coup as punishment for Ukr gov’t choosing the Russian deal. People who really think this was about Ukraine wanting to be ‘more western than Russian’ are in my humble opinion, misinformed. I believe this is almost exclusively a battle between Russia and the west over Ukraine’s rich farmland, and shale deposits of gas in Donetsk and northern Ukr. However my other point would be to say that the’volunteer’ groups fighting on the D&R side actually have far-right leanings as well. It truly is remarkable that Russia has right wing extremists fighting in a conflict while accusing their opponents of being Nazis. Honestly, those are just the types of people attracted to this style of conflict. Young, angry, nationalistic, ethnocentric. It should almost be a given.

    I’ll give websites to cite this stuff, but better to do a few searches for words like ‘agriculture development in Ukraine’ ‘shale deposits ukraine’ ‘monsanto in ukraine’ etc on your own.

    The IMF loan was not a handout. It was a deal backed by agri-giant Monsanto, as well as Exxon Mobil and other massive corporations. Ukraine was going to change it’s laws regarding genetically modified crops, and Monsanto would be developing on all of that beautiful farmland that is sadly being destroyed as we speak. The oil companies were to develop shale deposits in Donetsk and northern Ukraine. Whenever a conflict arises, we always must ask ourselves “who has something to gain and what is it?” In this case there were some extremely powerful entities that had a lot to gain/lose from Ukraine’s decision. Russia was protecting it’s natural gas industry. Western development of Ukrainian shale deposits would have decreased Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. Cutting off Europe’s gas is Russia’s ace in the hole when it comes to economic sanctions and incentives, and losing that would be a significant blow to Russia’s influence in Europe. Not to mention that it would damage the Russian Oligarchs’ businesses, who obviously hold strong influence over the country.

    This deal was far more important than most of the world realized at the time, and I do not think Russia is necessarily desperate, as Putin plays the game very well, but the IMF deal would have seemingly dealt a heavy blow economically to Rus. Although, at the outset I thought it was a given Crimea was going to go to Russia, because Ukraine wanted to join NATO, and as long as a non-NATO country (Russia) had a military base on Ukrainian soil they would have been barred membership to NATO.
    It is this second round of conflict that really surprised me, and I honestly think it might have been caused by the fact that neither the United States nor the EU really did anything of significance in response to Crimea. There were a few sanctions, some posturing, but nobody really put their foot down.

    Read this article and check out really how much oil and natural gas are available. Do you think it’s coincidence that the largest deposits are in Donetsk and off the coast of Crimea?? I truly say with a heavy heart that things are looking very grim economically for Ukraine right now.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/76b41d9c-847e-11e4-ba4f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3SAkOreXe

    Citations for Monsanto involvement: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/22/70838/
    Exxon development plans:
    http://www.advfn.com/nyse/StockNews.asp?stocknews=CVX&article=48185312
    There were other articles on the IMF deal back when it was just decided, but I can’t find all that right now.

    So my question, well first off I’m always open to criticism, other opinions, and information that I haven’t considered. But the question is where will they stop? It seems almost inevitable that D&L will get independent status at leas for a time, but is Russia trying to get a land bridge to Crimea? Do they want to take all that land up to Kharkiv as well? If anyone has ideas or input on what the next move is for the conflict I would be deeply interested.
    As for my personal stance on the matter. I’m American, and honestly quite critical of my own government and the influence big business holds over our government and foreign policy. It starts conflicts like this. However, I don’t really see any good from Russia owning the territory either, so I essentially support the Ukrainians in their efforts to keep their country whole. I would probably be fighting too in their shoes.

  6. “Normal, that’s not normal.”

    Questionable glory. too many guns. too much death.

    “:It’s all about money.”

    “Think about what you’re doing.”

  7. I think the West in general does not understand the Russian and Putin’s mentality and decision-making strategies (rational or irrational, this is a different topic). In Putin’s zero-sum game world view – it’s either black or white, win or lose, etc… where compromise is a sign of weakness. With left wing governments of EU and Barack Obama’s impotent foreign policies + ISIS pressure on the world leaders, left for Putin an awesome opportunity to take chunk of land and claim as own. Instead of fury, the issue of Crimea has fallen to the deaf ears of the Western leaders at large (EO and Obama). Crimea was not even mentioned in the Minsk v2.0 cease-fire agreement. So what we get from this deal? Violations and potential of more warfare and bloodshed to take on Mauripol, to open up a corridor and connect Crimea to Russia and be able to supply by land everything: weapons, tanks, munitions, food, etc… 3-0 win for Vladimer Putler as of start of 2015! If the Americans and the EU do not wake up now and keep turning a blind eye on the Russian aggression and Russia-Ukraine war and does not provide lethal (defensive and offensive) weapons to Poroshenko, then the EU and USA have successfully undermined and destroyed the post-WW2 international order by simply ignoring the broken rules and let the Kremlin bully run the show.

    P.S. I think the EU (Merkel-Hollande) will wake up only after the Russian tanks will roll in and stop in Berlin, Paris and Brussels…And with current pace, this is not an unimaginable situation.

    1. Dear David it sounds like your comment is solely motivated by your anger over the Georgian conflict, where Georgian agression was stopped dead in its tracks. You forgot to mention that after the Russian occupation of Berlin, the next victory parade will be in Paris. I feel sorry for the poor naive and gullible fools who actually believe this load of crap, and take it at face value.

  8. Yes, it does feel that David is calling for war that no one can win. He probably has deep seated hate towards Russia.
    It's bad as it is – the fact that NATO building up bases on every Russian border. It is extremely dangerous, since the hysteria can lead to an accidental nuclear war.
    If we are talking about propaganda, then it exists everywhere.
    US government spent 5 billion dollars in a past decade to poison minds of young Ukrainians through anti Russian media.
    And yes, Russian government should had done much much more to stop that and to find a way to bring both nations together as a brotherly nations.
    Also, huge corruption existed in both Russian government and (previous) Ukrainian government.
    Yes, Yanukovitch was legitimately elected president of Ukraine (unlike the current myrderous sadistic NAZI government installed by Washington)- but he was a thief.
    By raising the taxes and robing people of money- he made it very difficult and almost impossible for ordinary people to survive.

    No wonder they came out to protest..

    But here is the thing: Russia is slow at tackling it's own corruption at home, even though Russia did give Ukraine heavy discounts on fuel (Ukraine still owes billions to Russia).

    But the US government (that as we all know it, controlled by military – industrial complex)- they have been waiting for that situation of unrest and they ve been heavily preparing for it.
    If they truly wanted to help Ukrainians and install democracy values, etc- they would go to straight to the issues and help Ukrainians in a completely different way, but US has never been interested in people's welfare.

    US financial elite are ONLY interested in their own financial gains, even if it costs millions of lives worldwide.

    "In order to understand how, when and under what conditions the fighting can be ended, we need to know what exactly the politicians want and how they see the conditions of the postwar compromise. At the same time, the reasons why the fighting took just such a character—low intensity civil war with occasional truces—will become clear, not only in Ukraine but also in Syria.

    We obviously cannot be interested in the opinion of Kiev politicians—they do not decide anything. External control of Ukraine is not even hidden and no matter whether Estonian or Georgian ministers are over there—they are still American ones.

    It would be a big mistake to be also interested in the views of the leaders of the DPR and the LPR on the future. The republics exist because of Russian support and as long as Russia supports them; therefore, the interests of Russia must be guaranteed (including against making independent decisions and initiatives). Too much is at stake for Zakharchenko, Plotnitskiy or someone else, no matter who, to be able to make independent decisions.

    We are also not interested in the EU’s position. Much depended on the EU until the end of last summer, when the war could have been prevented or stopped at the very beginning.

    At that moment, a tough, principled anti-war position of the European Union was required and actually might have blocked US actions aimed at inciting a war; it would have made the EU an independent and important geopolitical actor.

    The EU missed that opportunity and acted as a faithful vassal of the US.

    As a result, Europe now stands on the brink of frightful internal upheavals, it has every chance in the coming years of repeating the fate of Ukraine, except with a greater roar, with great loss of blood and with fewer prospects that, in the foreseeable future, everything will calm down (someone will come and establish order).

    In fact, today, the EU can choose whether it stays under the American yoke or tilts towards Russia.

    Depending on the choice, Europe can get away with only a slight shock (in the form of losing part of its periphery and fragmentation of some countries), or it may fall into collapse. Judging by the unwillingness of the European elites to openly break with America, collapse, as mentioned above, is almost inevitable.

    In fact, we should be interested in the opinion of the two major players who define the configuration of the global front-line and who, in fact, ?r? fighting for victory in the new generation of warfare (Third World Network-centric war). These players are the US and Russia.

    The US position is clear and transparent. In the second half of the ’90s of the twentieth century, Washington finally missed an opportunity to quietly reform the Cold War economy and thereby avoid the inevitable crisis of the system, the development of which was limited by the finiteness of the planet Earth and all its resources, including human one, which was in conflict with the need to indefinitely increase printing and the circulation of dollars.

    After that, the US could only prolong the agony by plundering the rest of the world—the Third World countries to start with, then potential competitors, then allies and then close friends. That robbery could last only as long as the US remained the world hegemon and this hegemony was unquestioned.

    That is why, as soon as Russia claimed the right to make its own political decisions (even if not of global but only of regional significance), its clash with the US was inevitable. And this clash cannot result in a compromise peace.

    For the US, a compromise with Russia means a voluntary renunciation of hegemony; it will entail a rapid systemic catastrophe (not only economic and political crisis, but also the paralysis of state institutions and the inability of the state to perform its functions, i.e. its inevitable collapse).

    If the US wins, a systemic crash awaits Russia. Aftersuch a “rebellion” its ruling class will be punished withliquidation, imprisonment and confiscation; the state will be fragmented, substantial territory annexed,military power destroyed."

    "The level of confrontation that Russia allowed herself in relation to the United States, grew very slowly, not to some point noticeable. Russia did not react to the first attempt at a the colour revolution in Ukraine in 2000-2002 (“cassette scandal”, “Gongadze case” and the action “Ukraine without Kuchma”).

    Russia outlined an alternative position, but did not actively intervene in the coup of November 2003?January 2004 in Georgia and of November 2004?January 2005 in Ukraine. In 2008, in Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia involved its troops against a US ally (Georgia). In 2012, Russian ships in Syria demonstrated a willingness to confront the US Navy and its NATO allies.

    In 2013, Russia began preventive economic action against the regime of Yanukovich having contributed to his realisation of the harmfulness of signing the Association Agreement."

    "Moscow could not save Ukraine from the coup d’état—because of the meanness, cowardice and stupidity of Ukraine’s leaders (not only Yanukovych but all of them, without exception), but after the armed coup in Kiev in February 2014, Russia entered into an open confrontation with Washington. Before this, conflicts alternated with periods of improved relations whereas, since the beginning of 2014, Russian?American relations have been deteriorating rapidly, and almost immediately reached the point at which a pre-nuclear era a war could be automatically declared.

    Thus, in any given period of time, Putin allowed himself such a level of confrontation with the US which Russia was able to withstand. If, now, Russia does not limit the level of confrontation, then Putin believes that Russia can win the war of sanctions, the war of nerves, the information war, the civil war in Ukraine, the economic war."

    Every year the US has weakened whereas Russia has become stronger. These processes were objective, it was impossible to stop them. One could confidently calculate that by 2020-2025, without any confrontation, US hegemony would be finished in an evolutionary way; the US will not be thinking about how to rule the world but about how to be rescued from internal catastrophe."

    "It is obvious that no fools are working in Washington, whatever has been said in Russian talk-shows or written by bloggers. In the US, they clearly understand the situation in which they have ended up. Furthermore, they understand that Russia has no plans to eliminate them and is really ready to cooperate on an equal footing. But the socio-economic situation in the US is such that any cooperation is not acceptable for them—economic collapse and social explosion will occur before Washington (even with the support of Moscow and Beijing) is able to make the necessary reforms (especially considering that at the same time it will be necessary to reform the EU). In addition, the political elite that grew in the US in the last twenty-five years is accustomed to the status of the world owners. They truly do not understand how anyone can argue with them.

    For representatives of the US ruling class (not so much for business as for bureaucracy) to suddenly have to go from arbiters of the destinies of wild natives to equal contracting parties is unbearable. It is like asking Gladstone or Disraeli to work as the Prime Minister of Cetshwayo in Zululand [Cetshwayo kaMpanda, King of the Zulu Kingdom, 1872-79 -ed.]. That is to say, unlike Russia, for whom peace is advantageous, for the US, war is an inevitability.

    In principle, any war is a fight of resources. Typically, the winner is the one who has more resources, who can commonly mobilise more soldiers, build more tanks, ships, planes. However, sometimes a strategically lost war has been won tactically, directly on the battlefield. Such were the wars of Alexander the Great, Frederick the Great, as well as Hitler’s campaign of 1939-1940."

    Nuclear powers cannot face each other on the battlefield. Therefore, the question of the resource base is of paramount importance.

    "In this regard, the United States had the option of two tactical decisions. The first one gave a hope of success and was adopted by the US since the early days of the Ukrainian crisis.

    This was an attempt to force Russia to choose between bad and worse. She was asked to either accept the existence of a Nazi state on her borders (and in this case a dramatic downgrading of her international prestige and the trust and support of her allies) and after a short time to be at risk of attack by internal and external pro-American forces, with no chance of survival, or to send the army into Ukraine, quickly sweep away the junta which had not had time to settle, to restore the legitimate government of Yanukovych, but to be accused of aggression against an independent state and the suppression of the people’s revolution, and to suffer smouldering discontent in the Ukraine and the need to constantly expend significant resources (military, political, economic, diplomatic) to maintain the puppet regime in Kiev (as any other in such conditions would not have been possible there).

    Russia has bypassed this decision. Direct invasion never happened. The Donbass is at war with Kiev. The Americans must now pointlessly pump scarce resources into the doomed puppet regime in Kiev, while Russia can calmly offer peace."

    "In this regard, the US employed a second variant. It is as old as the hills. If you cannot hold some ground which will inevitably be taken by the enemy, it should be destroyed as much as possible, so that victory for the enemy would be worse than defeat, and all its resources would be spent on the support of existence and attempts to restore the site destroyed by you. Thus the United States ceased any assistance to Ukraine other than political rhetoric, but encourages Kiev to spread civil war throughout the country.

    The Ukrainian arena shall burn not only in Donetsk and Lugansk, but also in Kiev and Lvov. The task is to destroy as much as possible the life support system and push the population to the brink of survival. Then, there will be millions of very hungry, very bad and heavily armed men on the territory of Ukraine, conducting an internecine slaughter for food. And this massacre could only be stopped by placing an excessive foreign military presence on the territory of Ukraine (the Militia alone will not be enough) and by massive injections of funds to feed the population and to aid economic recovery (up to the point where Ukraine would be able to start to feed herself).

    Clearly, all of these costs will fall on Russia. Putin rightly believes that not only the budget, but all public resources—including the military—will, in this case, be overstretched and unable to bear the burden. Therefore, the task is not to allow Ukraine to catch fire before the Militia is able to quickly bring the situation under control. It is necessary to minimize casualties, destruction, to preserve at least some economy and the life support systems of large cities so that the population would at the very least survive and not die; then the Nazi thugs will be hauled in by the Ukrainians themselves.

    Herein, the EU appears as Putin’s ally. Since the US has always tried to use European resources in dealing with Russia, the EU, that was the weakest link even without it, is finally exhausted; long overdue centrifugal processes have commenced within it.

    Europe cannot resist the US, but it is mortally afraid of burning Ukraine

    If now on its eastern border Europe also inherits a completely destroyed Ukraine, whence shall pour—not only to Russia, which will be insulated by the buffer of the People’s Republics—but also to the EU, millions of armed men (not to mention such delights as drug trafficking, arms shipments to whoever wants them, export of terrorism, etc.); the European Union simply will not be able to withstand all this.

    Europe cannot confront the US, but it is mortally afraid of burning Ukraine. Therefore, for the first time during the conflict Hollande and Merkel are not just trying to sabotage the US demands (introducing sanctions but trying not to implement them), but are also venturing a minimum of independent action, trying to achieve at least some compromise; if not peace, then at least a truce in the Ukraine.

    If the Ukrainian arena flares up, it will burn out quickly, and the EU will become an unreliable partner; if it is not ready to go over to the camp of Russia, then at least it should take a neutral position. Washington, as part of its strategy, will be forced to incinerate Europe as well."

    http://williambowles.info/2015/03/13/what-does-putin-want-by-rostislav-ishchenko/

    1. Very nice article of analysis . What about nowdays situation ?? I have heard some rumors that there is a mobility again from the far right teams . Is it true ? And what is your guess about the result of the situation , if there is one .

      Thank you in advance fro any responce !

      Alexander
      Greetings from Greece .

  9. The is no Russian army there. Ukranian army is killing its own people living in two Ukrainian eastern provinces who were not happy with the rise of neo-fascism that swept the country as a result of the american puppet government established in power in Ukraine following Maidan that was designed and sponsored by US. I’m sure the are decent lads on both sides fighting this war, but the Ukrainian cause is evil, while the so-called separatists are defending their homes and lands they have been living in since birth, until Ukrainian arty started shelling entire towns with 152 mm guns destroying infrastructure of entire towns and killing women and children. Ukraine has been divided culturally for centuries, with most of its present-day territories being either Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Romanian with some people as the history shows have been helping Nazis doing ethic cleansing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacres_of_Poles_in_Volhynia_and_Eastern_Galicia), with names of some “heroes” and participants of these massacres such as Stephan Bandera (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepan_Bandera) being glorified today.

    1. You’re not right. It’s too much evidence of Russion army and Russion volunteers presents in the East of Ukraine.

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