Ukraine will be coerced into making peace in Donbass

June 17, 2019

By Petr Akopov
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
Source
https://vz.ru/world/2019/6/15/982529.html

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Ukraine is important for the US only in the context of their relationship with Russia, and blocks the path to their improvement. The latest statement of the national security adviser to the US President John Bolton became yet more proof of this. On the eve of Putin and Trump’s meeting in Osaka, Kiev ought to prepare for the US playing the Ukrainian card without paying attention to the interests of the Kiev authorities.

Washington tries to defreeze American-Russian relations – but in such a way that it does not look a concession made by the US. Donald Trump is not constrained by the case of “Russian ties” any more, however the Ukrainian crisis remains the main problem for his dialogue with Putin.

It arose during Barack Obama’s reign and is in many respects connected with the objective process of returning to Russia the status of a major world power. The events of 2014 became the most convenient reason for the US to transition to an active phase of “deterring Russia”. The policy of sanctions and attempts to isolate Russia on the world scene not only failed – their results were opposite to American expectations.

Having sustained pressure and not having changed course, Russia strengthened its reputation in the world. Everyone perceives it as the main geopolitical opponent to America’s attempts to hold onto world hegemony.

Trump’s election gave a chance to revise America’s tactics and even strategy. The new president was inclined to reorienting the US from the useless and losing policy of global domination to a policy of strengthening the US via strengthening the economic power of the superpower. The resistance that was shown to Trump by American globalists showed how the fate of the US as a national state is not important for them. But they managed to block the possibility of forming relations between Trump and Putin.

The “Russian case” regularly served this for more than two years. But now Trump received the opportunity to act much more freely. Now, in order to establish cooperation with Putin (and this is necessary for the American president in order to create a new configuration of US foreign policy), Trump “only” needs to deal with the Ukrainian crisis. I.e., remove the Ukrainian stone from the road of American-Russian relations. How can he do this?

Of course, the US is not going to “give” Ukraine back to Russia: the tearing of Ukraine off the Russian world remains the important aim of any American strategist. But the question of the speed and price of this process has principal importance. If the “hawks” consider that Ukraine must be Europeanised and Atlanticised as fast as possible – i.e., included not only in the sphere of influence, but also in the structure of the “western zone of responsibility”, then the “realists” point out that Russia will never agree with the “kidnapping of Ukraine”, and that the haste of the West will only provoke Moscow into solving the problem by force – a campaign to Kiev.

That’s why they consider the neutralisation of Ukraine as the optimum scheme, transferring it into a condition of a no man’s zone, a buffer state that is not used to put pressure on Russia. And after all, it is precisely this that is considered to be favourable by those “hawks” who, without trusting in the possibility of the Atlanticisation of Ukraine, support its use as a constant irritant against Moscow.

Such a neutral Ukraine would be more in the zone of influence of the West than in Russia’s. And although everyone understands that it is a temporary and suspended option, for the US it would be an undoubted success (even to suspend the situation for 20-30 years – it is all the same to deprive Russia of its historical cradle, to stop the reintegration of the Russian world, the Russian revanche). And the most important thing – this option would remove the Ukrainian topic from the agenda of relations between the US and Russia, allowing the US to count on searching for mutual understanding with Moscow in other international problems.

How to achieve this? To portray peace and progress in the Ukrainian settlement. Because in reality it is currently impossible to solve the Ukrainian crisis.

Implementing the Minsk Agreements, i.e., to return Donbass to the structure of Ukraine, is impossible as long as the Ukrainian elite continues to not realise that the road to Europe is closed and does not start to restore relations with Russia. This is a process for the next decade. And even in the event of its acceleration, returning Donbass to Ukraine is possible only after a full turn of Kiev towards Moscow and the inclusion of Ukraine in the structure of the Eurasian Union.

That’s why all that’s left to do is to give the illusion that there is a settlement process. Kiev will opt to really stop firefights on the border and to withdraw troops under the pressure of the West; to really adopt laws on amnesty in Ukraine as one more point of the implementation of the Agreements. And the most important thing – to really do it so that the topic of repulsing “Russian aggression”, as well as the topic of “returning Donbass”, in fact, leaves Ukrainian domestic politics, remaining a prerogative of the opposition.

Zelensky’s election is a step in precisely this direction. The cynical and cunning Ukrainian elite best of all understands that there won’t be any return. And all the game of Poroshenko on the topic “Ukraine is an outpost of the West in deterring Russian Aggression” was built on the conviction that the West waits for precisely this from Ukraine.

But the matter is that the West hasn’t wanted anything as such from Kiev for a long time. Europe very much groans from the need to play the “Ukrainian game”, which prevents it from doing business with Russia. And the US under Trump also does not want to raise the stakes in the “Ukrainian game”, or to in general pay much attention to it. The West needs Ukraine to know its place, i.e., to become imperceptible and silent, giving the illusion of a “road to peace”; to not get in the way of the big boys; to not go back to Russia, but also to not sit at the table with the real players.

It is precisely for this reason that Kiev will be shown its place. This will happen during the next month when Zelensky will go to see Trump in Washington. It will be done tenderly, but insistently: through coercion to negotiations with Russia and with Donbass, to reduce aggressive rhetoric (it has already subsided). But the most important thing – through an explanation of the expectations: “progress in the peace process”, allowing the US to remove the Ukrainian topic to a place more fitting for it – a place that does not prevent the establishment of American-Russian dialogue.

As a matter of fact, the national security adviser to the US President John Bolton wrote about precisely this on Thursday:

“[US] Ambassador [Kurt] Volker and I met today to discuss Ukraine negotiations and agreed that President Zelensky’s election creates new opportunity to push for peace in Donbass – a key step to improving US-Russia relations – but it’s critical that Russia do its part and engage seriously”.

Peace in Donbass is a key step for the improvement of relations between the US and Russia. Simply put, they want to hear from Ukraine that its relations with Donbass are if not very good, then they at least gradually improve. And there is no doubt that they will hear this – Kiev has nowhere to disappear to, simply.

 

Explaining Russia’s Position on Idlib

June 04, 2019

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

Explaining Russia’s Position on Idlib

Over the past five years my work in the information space has been consciously aimed at explaining why the Russian military does and doesn’t do certain things, whether it be in relation to Ukraine, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, etc, and why demanding that Putin bombs everything in sight is exactly what the CIA wants so-called “pro-Russians” to say. Yet I haven’t exhausted (maybe I never will exhaust it?) this topic because it is so vast and, ultimately, complex. And it is because of this seemingly insurmountable complexity that questions like “Why doesn’t Russia liberate all of Ukraine”“Why doesn’t Russia save Donetsk and Lugansk in the same way it saved Crimea?”“Why doesn’t Russia boot America out of Syria?”, etc are asked on social media.

But one statement that I haven’t really addressed (until now) is “Why doesn’t Russia liberate all of Idlib in one fell swoop?”. Many “geniuses” like to say that Putin is in bed with the “Ottoman butcher” Erdogan and has thus “betrayed Syria”, similar to how shaking hands with Netanyahu means that Putin is a Zionist and has “betrayed Syria”, or even that a visit of the Saudi King to Moscow means that Putin has the blood of Yemen on his hands.

So, those “pro-Russian” readers who fear that they may be one step ahead of the Kremlin and can see an iceberg on the horizon needn’t worry – another Putin-esque zugswang is in progress!

When Russia sent its aviation to Hmeymim airbase in Syria in 2015 the primary mission was simple: remove Turkey – the main belligerent – from the game. Ankara benefited from ISIS’ theft of Syrian oil and controlled many jihadist groups on the ground (Ahrar al-Sham being the main one). Then in November 2015 the CIA (via the PM at the time Ahmet Davutoğlu) decided to float a test balloon and see how Russia would react to a carefully designed scenario. A Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24. It didn’t matter if the Turkish jet was in Syrian airspace or not, as Moscow knew exactly what had happened, and all the other players knew that Moscow knew. The actual murder of one of the ejecting Russian pilots was carried out by a proxy (a Grey Wolf), and not by a Turkish soldier. But in any case, this test miserably failed, because Russia did not react in a way that would contravene international law (the immediate response happened hours after the shootdown – Russian “advisors” and Syrian troops went to Latakia with MLRS and wiped out the “terrorists who were responsible”, who just happened to be Turkmen). Since military operations generally take place within the framework of economic conflicts (securing assets), the manner in which Russia responded to Turkey in the format état-à-état was the equivalent of what the lunatic Zhirinovsky suggested to do, just without the war crimes.

The sanctions on Turkey (aimed at the CIA-Gulen bloc in reality) negated what Ankara was gaining from stealing Syrian oil, and so the Syrian theater became a zero-sum game for Erdogan. In May 2016 Davutoğlu was removed from the picture. Erdogan was forced to take part in the Astana Agreement and start the process of throwing his proxies in Syria under the bus (or onto green buses!) within the framework of what was given the reputation-saving name of “de-escalation zones”.

This was Moscow’s way of countering the game orchestrated by John Kerry, where a pocket in Eastern Syria would magically open (ISIS would go on an offensive) at a time when al-Nusra was on the ropes in Western Syria. This tactic hoped to tire out the Syrian Army and Russian “advisors” and maximise their casualties. Whilst never admitted in public by Moscow (naturally), “de-escalation zones” actually meant “we will liberate Aleppo and thus recapture all of the ‘useful’ (where most people live, in the West) part of Syria, after which the pace of the theater will have been slowed down enough to start work on eliminating the other players”.

After Aleppo was liberated (the Turkish-controlled groups magically withdrew), Russia continued, via the “de-escalation zones”, to whittle down the large list of terrorist groups into two categories: terrorists no longer supported by Turkey (loyal to al-Nusra leader Jolani) and tame terrorists still supported by Turkey. The former category would be shipped to Idlib via green buses, and the latter category would be used to keep the trecherous Kurds and the CIA-Mossad “Rojava” plan at bay.

In parallel to this, the Astana group managed to smash the Gulf bloc into fragments, liquidating their pet terrorist proxies in Syria and forcing them one by one to normalise relations with Assad, since the dollar is becoming a suitcase without a handle.

The question of the S-400 is more complex and isn’t just about defending Turkish skies. It symbolises more a commitment to play by the rules of the newly emerging world order (based on self-defence and international law) and to no longer indulge in the casino known as “Responsibility to Protect” (or in simpler terms – multipolarity vs unipolarity). Similarly, Turkish Stream is another example of Moscow thrusting a lance through the rotting corpse of NATO. In general, Turkey is geographically positioned almost in the center of the battle of superpowers. For Ankara, bearing in mind that the US tried to stage a coup there in 2016 and had a hand in the assasination of Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, it is more profitable to look East than it is to look West, and this was why Turkey wasn’t in a hurry to join the EU, since it saw the geopolitical storm brewing on the horizon and wasn’t prepared to kiss the ass of the IMF anymore.

So, returning back to the Syrian timeline, whilst al-Nusra was being herded into Idlib, and since Trump cut aid to US-backed terrorists, Turkey was able to monopolise the “Free Syrian Army” aesthetics (abandoned by the US) and occupy areas of Northern Syria whilst making it look like they are “Syrian rebels” and not Turkish proxies, all for the purpose of preventing the Kurds from travelling any more Westward than they already have. And here is where the array of interests becomes interesting:

  • Russia and Iran have basic diplomatic relations with the YPG/SDF (they are Syrian citizens after all) and want them to abandon the US/Tel Aviv/Riyadh;
  • The Syrian State wants the YPG/SDF to return to the bosom of the state and hand over the territories they occupy back to the Syrian Army;
  • Turkey wants the YPG/SDF removed from the picture/disbanded entirely, but has developed ties with Russia and Iran;
  • The YPG/SDF will not negotiate with Turkey unless it can hide behind America’s skirt;
  • Formally, Syria views Turkey as an aggressor, although behind the curtain Damascus has a pragmatic consensus with Moscow, which gave Turkey the green light to enter Syria in order to quell Rojava, and which is trying to stabilise the region and include all regional players in the Eurasian bloc;

Yes, it’s complicated. But here is a simple fact that helps the layperson to understand the situation: America has nuclear weapons. This is why Russia cannot stop the US from occupying Northeast Syria (which was plan B, plan A being a replica of Gaddafi’s removal, which failed after Russia cemented the Minsk Agreements in Ukraine). It can squash its proxies that are West of the Euphrates, yes, but it cannot touch US (non-proxy) assets, in the same way that Washington cannot touch Russian (non-proxy) assets. Or rather – they can directly touch each other’s assets, but any “victory” will be completely pyrrhic. From Russia’s perspective, the aim is to make friends with everyone, since the fewer enemies one has, the better.

While the core of the Turkish proxies is busy caging in (so-called “outposts”) al-Nusra militants in Idlib governorate, repelling the Kurds, and occasionally killing US soldiers, a kind of negotiation game between Turkey and Russia is ongoing:

  • Turkey needs a terroristified Idlib as leverage against all players but is happy to hand the governorate over to Assad piece by piece in exchange for pieces of the S-400/Turk Stream/general Eurasian bloc project;
  • Russia occasionally bombs Idlib in order to exercise its superior leverage over Turkey (the media presents this as “there were talks, but Russia continues to bomb Idlib”), the interim “ceasefire deals” are simply checkpoints in these grand negotiations;
  • Turkey turns a blind eye to al-Nusra’s oil operations (which feed their occupation of the governorate);
  • As an act of “hybrid war”, Russia and friends assist in the process of assassinating the commanders of al-Nusra in Idlib, since the less leverage Turkey has, the quicker the Idlib circus can end;
  • The West broadcasts propaganda about hospitals being bombed simply to cover up the fact that they have been arming and funding Al Qaeda for decades.

The “x-factor” in this conundrum is Trump’s “pull-out”. If US troops pull out of Northeast Syria completely, it would be in Russia’s interests if Turkey filled the void and proverbially herded the Kurds back towards Assad. For America, the sooner this war ends the quicker US troops can return home, but Trump won’t exit without getting something in return. However, there is a big problem – Zionism. Tel Aviv tries to keep America in Syria. Netanyahu didn’t spend all that time begging Uncle Sam to invade Iraq just for him to leave when the going got tough. Moreover, Iraq is already falling into the hands of Iran, and sooner or later the S-400 will be sat in Mesopotamia. Not to mention the fact that Russia is entrenching itself in Lebanon. Did I mention that Trump’s (purposeful?) decisions (and failed “deals of the century”) are strengthening the Palestinian resistance (example)? So what in all honesty does Israel hope to do?

Well, since everything that happened in the Middle East since 2001 (and arguably even earlier) is mainly in Israel’s interests, especially the Syrian war, it’s not a surprise that 8 years of full-scale local proxy warfare has reduced to… Israel taking aerial pot shots at a limited slice of Syrian territory. I have already explained why Russia doesn’t react to these airstrikes in the way that social media guerrillas would like, and all that has happened since is Netanyahu’s election victory. I would only add that bombing Syria became even riskier for Tel Aviv, since the SAA air defence units gain more experience with each new raid. Moscow managed to make a nice gesture to Israel, recovering from Syria the remains of an Israeli soldier missing since the 1982 war in Lebanon, but it wasn’t done for the purpose of stopping the airstrikes. It was simply a typical Russian diplomatic move based on the concept of “violence doesn’t beget violence”. Deflecting Israel’s airstrikes is the job of the Syrian air defences. The Israeli media presents this as “Russia has friendly relations with Israel and knows that Jerusalem considers Iran its leading existential threat, so does not block Israeli strikes at Iranian targets and those of its proxies, but on one condition: Stay out of Russia’s way and give ample warning so there won’t be a repeat of incidents like the one in which Syria shot down a Russian spy plane, possibly because of confusing signals by Israel”. However, in reality Russia wants Syria to become an independent adult, capable of defending itself without requiring Russia’s help, and it is only in this way that Syria will be able to successfully integrate itself into the Eurasian bloc. Of course, logically speaking, if Israel just left Syria alone and minded its own business, then Iranian forces wouldn’t even be in Syria. But I think that most know by now that Israel wanted (and maybe still wants) to carve Syria into 3 pieces along sectarian lines.

Another layer of the Israel problem is the fact that America is standing behind it (and thus the diplomatic support of many banana republics) and an illegal nuclear program, so it’s leverage when compared to Syria’s is superior, hence why the airstrikes happen in the first place. The incident with the downing of the Russian surveillance plane didn’t really change much, because Moscow knows that apartheid Israel is the main troublemaker in the Middle East (and even more so in Ukraine – those who truly understand Ukrainian history will understand why I say this), and the Syrian war coming to an end (whilst strengthening Israel’s neighbours in parallel) is in itself a blow to Tel Aviv.

What is very common to see now is countries seemingly sat on two chairs – the West and Eurasia. For example: Serbia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia show signs of looking both West and East. What is going on in reality is many tugs of war between superpowers, and the stronger Russia’s military and China’s economy become, the more it tips the scales in their favour, and the more “multipolar” the world becomes. It’s not that the US’ influence in a “converted” country disappears (the creation of NGOs is not illegal, and liberalism as an ideology cannot be physically destroyed), but more that the influence becomes less as the country adjusts to the new global economic reality. Although if Trump is indeed playing 4D chess with the “deep state” and is deliberately de-globalising the planet, then this shrinking of influence may be more fluid and less volatile than it seems.

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In summary: Turkey – the driving force behind the Anglo-Israeli proxies in Syria – was forced to abandon its plans in Syria after NATO’s Su-24 shootdown gambit failed; Ankara and Moscow now mutually exchange a piece of Idlib for a piece of S-400; the Syrian war is now at the “exit negotiations” stage, but Israel doesn’t want to be left alone with a stronger Syrian Army, Hezbollah, and Palestinian resistance at its border; Russia isn’t in a hurry to liberate Idlib, since an alternative plan is to let the jihadists kill each other like spiders in a jar, thus the lives of SAA soldiers are not put in danger unnecessarily.

PS I am well aware that Turkey creates local councilsmilitary adminstrations, and civilian infrastructure in North Syria, and I am not an advocate of such behavior but I don’t pretend to be more qualified than the Kremlin when it comes to solving such problems. I doubt that the Kurds would have behaved any different had they succeeded to create “rojava” in the summer of 2016. As for America, just look at what it has done to Raqqa and Mosul. Out of these options, I would prefer a temporary Turkish occupation, knowing that in the near future the situation would improve.

A week in the life of the Empire (UPDATED)

THE SAKER • MAY 9, 

Introduction

It is sometimes helpful not to look at any one specific issue in detail, but rather make a survey of ongoing processes instead. The resulting picture is neither better nor worse, it is simply different. This is what I want to do today: to take a bird’s eye view of our suffering planet.

Putin trolls the Empire

It is all really simple: if the Ukrainians will give passports to Russian citizens, and we in Russia will be handing out passports to the Ukrainians, then sooner or later will will reach the expected result: everybody will have the same citizenship. This is something which we have to welcome.

Vladimir Putin

It appears that the Kremlin is very slowly changing its approach to the Ukrainian issue and is now relying more on unilateral actions. The first two measures taken by the Russians are maybe not “too little too late”, but certainly “just the bare minimum and at that, rather late”. Still, I can only salute the Kremlin’s newly found determination. Specifically, the Kremlin has banned the export of energy products to the Ukraine (special exemptions can still be granted on a case by case basis) and the Russians have decided to distribute Russian passports to the people of Novorussia. Good.

Zelenskii’s reaction to this decision came as the first clear sign that the poor man has no idea what he is doing and no plan as to how to deal with the Russians. He decided to crack a joke, (which he is reportedly good at), and declare that the Ukrainian passport was much better than the Russian one and that the Ukraine will start delivering Ukrainian passports to Russian citizens. Putin immediately replied with one of his typical comebacks declaring that he supports Zelenskii and that he looks forward to the day when Russians and Ukrainians will have the same citizenship again. Zelenskii had nothing to say to that 🙂

Zelenskii finally finds something common to Russia and the Ukraine

I have been thinking long about this “a lot in common” between Ukraine and Russia. The reality is that today, after the annexation of the Crimea and the aggression in the Donbas, of the “common” things we have only one thing left – this is the state border. And control of every inch on the Ukrainian side, must be returned by Russia. Only then will we be able to continue the search for [things in] “common”

Vladimir Zelenskii

Well, almost. He did eventually make a Facebook post in which he declared that all that Russia and the Ukraine had in common was a border. This instantly made him the object of jokes and memes, since all Russians or Ukrainians know that Russia and the Ukraine have many old bonds which even 5 years of a vicious civil war and 5 years of hysterically anti-Russian propaganda could not sever. They range from having close relatives in the other country, to numerous trade and commercial transactions, to a common language. The closest thing to a real Ukrainian language would be the Surzhik which is roughly 50/50 in terms of vocabulary and whose pronunciation is closer to the south Russian one than to the Zapadenskii regional dialect spoken in the western Ukraine and which is used (and currently imposed) by the Ukronazi junta in Kiev.

The malignant manatee threatens the planet with fire and brimstone

We have Pompeo, a malignant manatee looking to start wars in which he will not risk his flabby amorphous ass also parading his Christianity. Bolton, a mean sonofabitch who belongs in a strait jacket, at least doesn’t pose as someone having a soul. And the Golden Tufted Cockatoo, too weak to control those around him, preening and tweeting. God save us.

Fred Reed

The term “malignant manatee” is not from me, the brilliant Fred Reed came up with this one, but I can only fully endorse it because it fits. Perfectly. And our malignant manatee sure is on a roll! Just this week he managed to threaten VenezuelaIran, and even Russia and China together. I think that it is high time to declare that Pompeo is a bona fide nutcase, a dangerous, arrogant and ignorant psychopath whose crazy statements represent a direct threat to the entire planet. Not to say that his pal Bolton is any less crazy. Now combine these two rabid thugs with the spineless “Golden Tufted Cockatoo” (to use Fred Reed’s equally hilarious but accurate characterization) and you see that the planet is in big, big trouble.

Turns out that Putin is a crypto-Zionist and an Israeli puppet.

Here I won’t even bother with any quotes. The alternative Internet/blogosphere has, again, been hit by a wave of articles declaring that Putin is Netanyahu’s puppet and a crypto-Zionist. I have debunked that nonsense in the past (see here and here) and I won’t repeat it all here. Besides, what this surge in “Putin the Zionist” propaganda is, is not so much the result of a gradual realization about the true agenda or Putin himself as much as it is, yet again, a desperate scramble for clicks. I already discussed that recently too (see here). I will just reiterate my conclusion here: clickbaiters are never experts and experts are never clickbaiters.

Frankly, to all those who email me and ask “Is it really true? Putin is an Israeli puppet? He helps Netanyahu in Syria, does he not?!” I would suggest simply looking at what the Israelis and Zionists write about Putin (for starters, you can click herehere or here). Even better, ask the defenders of Putin the crytpo-Zionist to explain the hysterically anti-Putin campaign the US legacy Ziomedia has been engaged in for the past years! But don’t hold your breath for an answer – since Russia has comprehensively foiled all Israel’s many plans for Syria, it takes a remarkable determination not to see that Putin is hated by Neocons and Zionists alike, and for good cause, I would add.

Oh, and Putin is a crypto-Muslim too!

Yes, besides being a crypto-Zionist, Putin is also a crypto-Muslim. This latest nonsense usually comes from Alt-Right circles who can forgive Putin his friendliness to Israel, but not to Islam. These are the folks who believe that Putin is not a real defender of the “White Race”. They are opposed by those who believe that Putin and the Moscow Patriarchate will somehow jump-start the “Christian West”. We are talking about some hardcore “single-issue” folks here whose main disagreement is whether Jews or Muslims are to be hated (and feared!) most.

[Having had to deal with both groups myself – I have been accused of being a Jew, a Jew lover and a Muslim and a Muslim lover many times! – I know that reasoning with these folks is a total waste of time. Their paranoid hatred is completely incompatible with any fact-based and logical discussion. Besides, by arguing with them you threaten their income and livelihood – which due to their lack of expertise depends entirely on their ability to generate clickbait revenue. If you do engage with them, they will call you a Jew-lover or an Islam-lover and that’s it. Not worth your time IMHO].

The quasi-comical truth is that the Alt-Righters don’t get Russia *at all*. They keep transposing their narrow horizons on a nation with which they have absolutely nothing in common, not even religiously or racially (even if they think otherwise). Hence their love-hate relationship with Putin: on one hand, they would love to have a champion like Putin (Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulos do not qualify), but on the other, they hate Putin for not endorsing their racist and fascist agenda. Truth be told: Russia has no use for these intellectual midgets.

Russia is “selling out” to the Taliban?

Well, since we are making a (tongue-in-cheek) “inventory” of all of Putin’s (and even Russia’s) sins, let’s include cozying up to the Taliban (who even agreed to put on Saint George’s Ribbons!) and… … and what exactly is happening here?

How about trying to bring peace back to Afghanistan? You know – the same thing Russia is doing in Venezuela, in Syria and elsewhere. This implies talking to the other side, and even striking smiling poses when asked by the press.

Needless to say, the thugs running the AngloZionst Empire have accused Russia or aiding and even arming the Taliban. And why not? This is no more ridiculous than saying that Saddam and Iran are helping al-Qaeda, or than saying that Russia “hacked” DNC computers, or told Maduro not to run for his life. Hey! We are living in “Skripal times” and the rules of evidence have changed to “highly likely” – so why not claim that Russia is also selling out to the Taliban (maybe even on Netanyahu’s orders?).

In the meantime, Russian soldiers are busy ducking missiles…

Yep, apparently unaware that their Commander-in-Chief is a puppet of both Israel and the worldwide Islamic Ummah, Russian servicemen are ducking missiles in Syria. The latest attack saw them shoot 36 missiles (and one targeting drone) out of the sky. This is good news, of course, but this just goes to show that these (US and Israel backed) Islamists shooting these missiles have not been informed that the Russian military in Syria is here to help Netanyahu and Trump. Somebody should probably tell them 😉

Conclusion: just one more crazy and terrifying week, with many more to come

I tried to be a little tongue-in-cheek here, but the reality is that what is taking place before our eyes is both absolutely insane and most terrifying. Why? Because the world is now ruled by a most dangerous gang of ignorant thugs who are very rapidly losing their grip on our planet and who is simply neither intellectually equipped to understand, nor deal with this very complex and rapidly changing situation.

What we are seeing is a full-spectrum collapse of the unipolar world and its gradual, but also inexorable, replacement with a multi-polar world in which things like “speaking with your adversaries or even enemies” becomes the norm rather than the exception. Even more importantly, this is a world in which US threats always fall on deaf ears simply because nobody takes the US seriously anymore. While the US military probably has the capability to re-invade Grenada or “bring democracy” to the inhabitants of the North Sentinel Island – no adults in the room will be impressed (least of all the Iranians!).

It is this quiet indifference which enrages the likes of Pompeo, Bolton or Trump – for all their narcissistic chest-thumping – they are, and will forever remain, the ultimate losers – folks who simply couldn’t get *anything* done. Even more terrifying is their sense of total impunity. If Obama was “democracy with a human face” then Trump is “democracy with a simian face” – not much better.

When I think that a “Golden Tufted Cockatoo” (to use Fred Reeds wonderful image) has the authority to press the nuclear button I feel terrified. I also realize that the survival of the human species will depend on Putin and Xi and their ability to gradually disarm or neutralize the US threat without triggering a nuclear war.

These are truly terrifying times. If you are not terrified, then you are delusional.

But if being terrified is a natural and absolutely normal reaction, we need to overcome it and fearlessly resist. Like Maduro does, surrounded by his men.

This refusal to be afraid, even while being terrified, is how we will eventually defeat the Empire!

Venezuela is, by far, the weakest link in the chain of resistance to the Empire. But look at these faces! All I can say is this: may the courage of the kids protecting not only Maduro, but also the sovereignty of their country, be an inspiration to us all, no matter how terrified we are.

UPDATE: turns out that it was not Russia or Cuba which are responsible for the failed coup. According to Neocon US Senator from Florida, Venezuela regime change crusader Marco Rubio, it’s the Chinese! I wonder whom the US leaders are going to blame next? Any guesses?

Victory Day 2019 in Lugansk People’s Republic (updated)

May 15, 2019

by George Eliason, Special Correspondent for the Saker Blog in Novorussia

Victory Day 2019 in Lugansk People’s Republic

For the last five years, I was given the opportunity to break a lot of news and human interest stories from Donbass. More specifically, I’ve lived in what became Lugansk People’s Republic since 2012 and I’ve been writing from there since the trouble started before the Ukrainian coup happened.

The video from Victory day offers a unique perspective on Russian affairs in that the interviews are with boots to ground leadership and the topic is Russian integration. Along with the day’s events and the meaning behind them is an interview with a Russian regional Deputy and the Victory Day speech by the mayor of Novoborvitsyi , LNR.

Russian Deputy Valentine Vasilchenko discusses how people on both sides of the border have a long integrated history.

I asked Russia’ Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dimitry Polanskiy to comment on LNR’s Novoborovitsyi Mayor Desatnikov and Rovstov Raion Deputy Vasilichenko’s statements.

DP –I find such cross-border contacts natural and indispensable for people living side by side for many years and being one ethnical group. We never prevented our citizens to contact their Ukrainian counterparts, we are not doing it now.

I am sure that our recent initiative on expedient passportization of inhabitants of Donetsk and Lugansk will contribute to this natural process. We are glad that it was warmly welcomed by the concerned people – the queues to the issuing centers are very long and people are very grateful to Russia for such a step.

The ambassador’s comments clearly show a top to bottom commitment of the part of Russia to ease the burden placed on the people of LNR and DNR by Ukraine’s war on them.

Although I’ve written a lot about the village I live in, this is the first occasion I’ve had to spend Victory Day locally. So, what’s Victory Day in LNR DNR look like without all the machines of war and soldiers that go along with military parades?

The story goes back to the reality Donbass faced during the Great War (WWII) from 1941 to 1943. There was no army here fighting for the people.

There were no war machines. No tanks. No planes. No soldiers.

The men that were fighting age were long gone and Nazi Germany occupied the region. They tortured and murdered the citizenry with the help of their most willing, brutish, and bloody ally; the OUN UPA.

During these years, a group of children with the help of a few Soviet soldiers that got caught behind the lines sabotaged the Nazi war effort.

They were called the Young Guards. They are famous because of the sacrifice they made for their neighbors and countrymen who couldn’t defend themselves. They were Donbass famous child partisans.

From 1941 until February 1943 Donbass was under occupation. In January 1943, only one month before the region was liberated, most of the Young Guard was caught. Some were flayed alive (skinned) in Rovenki. Most were thrown down a mine shaft and some of those were still living when they were thrown in.

These young heroes exemplify the absolute best qualities youth anywhere could possess.

In Novoborovitsyi, Victory Day 2019 centered around the story of one such 14 year old named Petr Skreptsov who ran messages from the local partisans to the Soviet army in that time frame. He was eventually caught. He and his family were tortured and stabbed with bayonets by the nationalists.

The video tries to capture the essential commemoration of all these events.

While our journalism effort transitions into video, I hope you’ll overlook some of the technical flaws.

How could a serious war effort be mounted against the Nazis and Bandera’s OUN UPA without technical support? Or how about without any of the material or weaponry you would expect in a war zone against an overwhelmingly superior force that was completely armed?

Once you grasp that story, it’s only a small step to understanding how Donbass did it again in 2014 against a standing army. The Ukrainian army may have been inadequate but the logistics chain was in place.

Lugansk People’s Republic’s Victory Day is a commemoration of the drive and spirit that made the Donbass region famous from the days of the Tsars through to 2019.

While this isn’t a war of child partisans, the children, mothers with babes, and the elderly that suffer the most.

Poroshenko, while claiming to be the leader of the country LDNR citizens reside in, made it clear that the children could sit in root cellars under the threat of artillery instead of going to school. Zelenskiy is embracing the same philosophy.

The reason is both are in debt to the OUN for their respective position as presidents. Under Zelenskiy, no change is possible.

The Victory Day celebration is supposed to remind people about the dangers of nationalism and fascism. Worldwide it is celebrated by every country that was allied in WWII. The problem in the west is remembering the importance of those sacrifices lost meaning.

In Donbass, we are living daily watching local people making those sacrifices again.

Victory Day 2019 in LNR commemorates a commitment to a real future which means leaving Ukraine behind. LNR’s direction is clear. It’s Russia. Victory! Победа!

Lugansk People’s Republic May 2019 AntiNationalist Roundtable

May 06, 2019

Lugansk People’s Republic May 2019 AntiNationalist Roundtable

by George Eliason, Special Correspondent for the Saker Blog in Novorussia

Antinationalist roundtable headline.JPG

On May 2nd, the civic organization “Memorial” and the Federation of Trade Unions in Lugansk People’s Republic held an international roundtable at the Russian World Hall in Lugansk. It commemorated the 2014 tragedy at the Trade Union building in Odessa in which Kiev reported 48 people killed and over 200 injured and the genocide in Donbass that followed it that Kiev is reporting 13000 casualties.

The expert panel discussed the reasons why such criminal events happened as well as steps that need to be taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The one point all the participating experts agreed on is without Ukrainian nationalism, none of this would have transpired. They discussed the grossly apparent parallels between Nazi ideology in the 1930s and Ukraine in the twenty-first century and how this is ignored in Europe and the west.

The roundtable was titled Ordinary Nationalism.

Before getting into the roundtable, the need for it has to be addressed. The possibility of finding a fascist elephant in the room depends on whether or not LNR is holding the roundtable as a PR move and an exercise in self-indulgence or this is a legitimate attempt to call the world’s attention to a problem that could go worldwide.

I had a running interview with retired Ukrainian Congressional Committee of America, Arizona State President, George Masni aka Taras Masnij in 2014-2016 about how the Ukrainian Diaspora raises their children to idolize Stepan Bandera and to be like him. Masni denies the existence of the OUN even though he’s part of it. He’s part of the reason Nazism could go worldwide.

The following comments follow my last Ukraine election article stating Zelenskiy’s administration was already sold out to OUN fascist ideology. This is because his spokesman Sviatoslav Yurash is a fascist and has been a spokesman for fascist Ukraine since 2014. He is also a Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) deputy director in Kiev. Because the UWC is an OUN Nazi/nationalist governance and lobbying vehicle; they were already in the driver’s seat with Zelenskiy.

George Masni -The article’s premise, that Ukrainian Nationalists are pulling all the strings and will control Zelensky’s presidency is probably wrong. For a moment put aside all the ancient history and obvious anti-Ukrainian propaganda. Look at Zelensky’s campaign staff. You will immediately notice that most of them have Russian surnames and most come from eastern Ukraine. Several of them even worked for Yanukovych. All of the staff seem to have impressive credentials. It is hard to believe such an impressive group of people would support a candidate that was being controlled by Ukrainian nationalists or even agree to work with a rabid Ukrainian nationalist.

Yurash is a nationalist but he is also a legitimate journalist with journalistic connections. Obviously, the campaign staff knew who Yurash was. If they believed he was a political threat they would have insisted that Zelensky fire him. Instead, they continued to work together. click here

Keep in mind that campaign staff is volunteers whose work ends when the campaign ends. Zelensky’s real staff will be announced shortly before or soon after the president assumes his office. Only then will it be possible to know if Zelensky is controlled by nationalists (or anyone else) or if he is his own man.

GE -How do you explain Yurash’s role as a top advisor to Zelenskiy. George(Masni), the last time we did this, I gave you an entire year to open up a real discussion on Ukraine and nationalism. You lied and lied.

You say these things and then the Diaspora acts like the banderites they really are.

George(Masni), explain how in one breath your fascist Diaspora can say they are a positive influence and in the next explain Ukrainization is banderization?

The Ukraine Weekly on the 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence– The Ukrainianization process and work with youth, families and the general population by many formations and organisations that worked on the premise of understanding Ukrainian nationalism as a positive tool to re-engage people, to think about who we are, have started to take effect. No longer do they believe the propaganda that nationalism was fascist and an enemy of the people.

As time moves on, we see that things take a natural course. We see that two wings of the OUN Banderivtsi and Melnykivtsi are working actively on the international level, working in partnership and currently are in strong negotiations about becoming a single entity again- The Ukraine Weekly

GE-You do realize when I mention rabid nationalists I’m only considering the UCCA and UWC? You are part of that group or were as a state level Ukrainian nationalist leader dear Taras(George Masni).

For the past 5 years, you and your groups have made it clear that unless forced, you will never allow Ukraine to be self-governing. Shame. But many thanks for keeping it obvious.

It takes a certain kind of gall to be a radical nationalist who corrupts countries and then says the president-elect doesn’t have anything to do with radical nationalists.

The quote from the Ukraine Weekly was made by an OUN leader about both Nazi groups while at the 25th-anniversary celebration in Ukraine. These nationalists are American, Canadian, Brit, and Aussie. Most have only been to Ukraine on vacation. They don’t think Ukrainians are Ukrainian enough to be Ukrainian (nationalists) like them (the Diaspora). Because of this, they have to de-Sovietize, sanitize, and remove the Moskal curse. This is exactly how their fathers and mothers thought about it in World War II.

So tell me, do we need to deal with Ordinary Nationalism?

Lugansk 2019 Anti-Nationalist Roundtable

The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of LPR, Oleg Akimov who hosted the roundtable opened by giving an update on how much the work of the trade union in Lugansk was growing. The Federation represents the LNR’s trade unions at the World Federation of Trade Unions. They are also continually sharing information about the effect nationalism is having on Ukraine and the civil war in Donbass.

Sergey Belov opened for the host NGO Memorial where he serves as a member of the board. The Memorial group is part of the special commission collecting evidence of war crimes Ukraine has committed against the general public in Lugansk People’s Republic. The discovery part of the work is complete and can bring it to the international courts for justice.

LNR Foreign Minister Vladislav Danego spoke about the need to develop mechanisms to reduce the traction fascism has in Ukraine. Currently, about 13% of the Ukrainian population is fascist in political orientation. This is after the big uptick in ultra-nationalism following the Maidan coup in 2014. For the last 5 years, Ukrainians are barraged with nationalist state propaganda.

FM Danego went further to say the information his office has is important to fighting fascism globally and the people who can do so have a responsibility to get it into the hands of people who are capable of fighting back. He opined that all people should use every means at their disposal to get this information up front and central in today’s international conversation.

Deputy Director General of the State Television and Radio Company (GTRK) of the LPR, Leonid Svidovskov prepared a video documentary that captured the heartbreak of the last 5 years. The 2014 Odessa massacre and the Lugansk Administration Building missile strike will remain two of the most poignant examples of atrocities Ukrainian nationalists have committed.  The crimes are documented and the criminals must justify themselves before a court at some point in time. The volume of uninvestigated evidence in just videos shows the events from beginning to end from multiple angles and perspectives.

The discussion then turned to the legalities of the nationalist coup in 2014. The results of the coup in Ukraine are prohibited by the first and second chapters of the Ukrainian Constitution. This has to be looked at and weighed against international law. This means that evidence must be presented in courts with jurisdiction in these matters. –Yuri Medvedev– Associate Professor of the Department of International Legal Disciplines, Ph.D. in Law at the Institute of Law and International Law, Lugansk National University (LNU) named after Vladimir Dahl.

professors antinationalist roundtable.JPG

Alexander Levchenkov, the Head of the Theory and History of State and Law Department of the Luhansk Academy of Internal Affairs opined that Ukraine had already certified Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR)as a state according to their treatment of LNR and DNR.

He pointed out that today’s Ukraine would not exist without the war. Like its WWII predecessors, post- 2014 Ukraine is an integral nationalist state. Integral nationalism thrives only when there is turmoil and enemies can be made to fight.

I first reported on the formation of this investigative commission in November 2018 when Deputy Foreign Minister Anna Soroka described its formation and the scope of the investigation it would conduct at the “We will not forget! We will not forgive! memorial where hundreds of unknown civilians and military were buried in a mass grave. At the time she made it clear LNR was committed to identifying every person killed and injured by Ukraine’s army and volunteer punishing battalions. They were going to identify and catalog every object in LNR that was damaged by Ukraine.

The investigation went forward and Deputy Foreign Minister Anna Soroka working with the investigative group “Memorial.” They put the mechanisms in place to find proofs of Ukraine’s responsibility for crimes against humanity against LNR citizens. Human rights violations were also cataloged.

Over the course of 5 months, Memorial cataloged all the information about the number of people injured and killed by Ukraine as well as the number of objects (buildings, bridges, infrastructure) damaged or destroyed by the war. On top of that, the ecological damage has been documented. The forest replanting and waterway restorations are going to be very costly.

All this information will be brought to the international courts.

Today, the main thing is sharing this information. The need to resolve these crimes against humanity has to remain high in international news. The people of LNR and DNR are not statistics. Until nationalist militias destroyed their world, they lived very normal lives. Protecting their rights to do that again certifies the rights of people around the globe and sets a precedent that people’s lives do matter.

No Ukronazis amongst the Ukronazis? Look again!

 

No Ukronazis amongst the Ukronazis?  Look again!

May 03, 2019

Translated and subtitled  by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard, cross posted with The Stalker Zone:

Military officers of the press service of the DPR people’s militia managed to film a Nazi flag flying over the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donetsk.
DPR militia correspondent Dmitry Astrakhan said that the Kiev junta transferred the “Azov” regiment to the position of the 24th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Maryinka.

Of course, Kiev and its western masters will say that it is “fake news” or that the DPR militia planted it there themselves. But this is okay, because on the Internet (including here on Stalker Zone!) there is a whole plethora of evidence that testifies to the Ukrainian Army’s love for Uncle Adolf and his loyal servants like Stepan Bandera.

 

How was it possible for a Jewish candidate to win the 2019 Ukrainian presidential bid if Ukraine is a rigidly nationalist country?

by George Eliason, Special Correspondent for the Saker Blog in Novorussia

How was it possible for a Jewish candidate to win the 2019 Ukrainian presidential bid if Ukraine is a rigidly nationalist country?

How was it possible for a Jewish candidate to win the 2019 Ukrainian presidential bid if Ukraine is a rigidly nationalist country?

Although the investigation isn’t complete, I have uncovered all the working parts that make an impossible story not only plausible but show the election results as the only logical conclusion.

As I was sorting through all the information about the election, I came across the one person whose presence on Zelensky’s team as a spokesman told me worlds about what was really going on with the election.

He represented groups responsible for millions of Holocaust deaths in WWII. These groups also killed millions of their own people who were fellow Ukrainians with abandon. According to their own words, they have been waiting to do this again since 2003 when they figured out they cannot convert most families that suffered torture under nationalists to become part of them.

The Russian perspective on passports

Giving foreign passports to Ukrainians isn’t a new or controversial thing. It’s been going on since 2015 when Hungary decided to protect the rights of ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine. According to EA DAILY, Poland handed out Polish Cards which simplifies immigration by identifying the holder as a Pole. And Romania is offering the same easy passports for Ukrainians.

For the last 4 years, indignation has been in short supply though. The same can be said about secession talk from the same ethnic groups in those regions. Even Galicia, the birthplace of Ukrainian nationalism wants to get away from Kiev these days. Once again, western indignation is on vacation for the holidays.

On April 25th, 2019 Russia offered passports to the people of Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) and DNR. I contacted Dmitry Polanskiy, the Russian Federation’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN about the passports and who can possess one.

Ambassador Polanskiy, without getting too far ahead, is the passport separate from Russian citizenship? I don’t understand how but it would make sense.

Ambassador Polanskiy– In a nutshell – the process lasted some time and ended with President signing this document. No specific timing. And they don’t have to denounce their UA citizenship, so in principle, it changes nothing for UA. If they chose additional RU passport they will get things that they didn’t have for five yrs – social payments, medical service, etc.

As for Zelenskiy – we need to see. There have been so many conflicting signals during the election campaign. He (Zelensky) will be judged by his actions.

The passport is the same. But in other cases applicants have to denounce their citizenship if they apply for a Russian one.

Ambassador, how do you plan on dealing with the foreigners in the region that have LDNR passports? Are they exclusion from this?

Ambassador Polanskiy– It is stipulated that the decree applies only to Ukrainian citizens living in LDNR.

Following this is the RF’s decision to possibly expand the offer of Russian passports to every Ukrainian that wants one. As you’ll soon see, the implied protections may go beyond what anyone is thinking right now.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy winning the 2019 Ukrainian election is equivalent to a Jew whose family was marked for death becoming Fuehrer in a Nazi Germany within 100 years of Adolf Hitler, providing Hitler won the Great War, of course.

When you consider the unlikelihood of this, Barrack Obama comes to mind. He became the US president within 143 years of African Americans being bought and sold and killed almost at will.

In Zelenskiy’s case, the real Ukrainian nationalist Politik has finally kicked in and the neo-nationalists are about to get an abject lesson in the stark realities of OUN politics.

What’s really interesting is that any Jewish leader that takes issue with these statements is in danger of being rightfully labeled a Holocaust denier. From 2014 on, Jewish leaders have been enamored with Waffen SS Galizien and deny the significance the OUN, UPA, police, and citizen battalions have in the Holocaust.

The only fair thing to say is the Ukrainians have been open about all of this since 1918. Remember that date. It was when the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR) was declared by the revolutionary Rada located in the Teacher’s House, in Kyiv. The importance of the Teacher’s House is that it is where Ukrainian and Diaspora nationalist leaders go to renew and celebrate their commitments to Fascist Chauvinistic Nationalist politic.

Since that’s the case, going forward Ukraine’s Nazi political parties will clearly explain why Ukraine has always been a fascist chauvinistic nationalism in their own words. Many of the proof documents are in Ukrainian. The pages can be translated here.

The short summary is in 1991 Ukraine declared independence. The last president of the Ukrainian Government in Exile (UNR), Mykola Plavyuk, decided the form of government the modern state of Ukraine would have. He transferred the UNR powers and symbols of state to the new Ukrainian government.

When Ukraine failed to live up to its end of the bargain, in August 2004, Plavyuk and the other OUN nationalist Diaspora leaders expressed their dissatisfaction by creating the Orange revolution in November 2004.

The problem with it was it wasn’t violent and earthshaking. No real changes were made and within a few months, no one cared.

Plavyuk, who founded the Ukrainian World Congress and was the current OUNm world leader moved to Ukraine. He was the leader of CYM Ukrainian scouting. Both CYM and PLAST were used to develop children into nationalist terrorist operatives from the time of the 1918 failed government all the way through the Cold War. PLAST was opened in W. Ukraine and CYM in Central and East Ukraine to develop the operatives that would eventually pull off a violent revolutionary coup against the same elected president they prevented from sitting in 2004- Victor Yanukovych ten years later.

In 2018, the current Ukrainian nationalist Diaspora leaders declared the Orange Revolutionaries failed again. This time it was after the violent and earthshaking coup that was supposed to bring in the OUN’s government. After the coup, all the current leaders under Poroshenko’s watch did was enrich themselves and take half measures. The verdict from the OUN was in long before the 2019 election happened.

“These people have had a chance to become Ukrainian George Washingtons and they’ve wasted it”

The 2019 Ukrainian election highlights the danger when an overt chauvinistic nationalism that fails to destroy local opposition is never dealt with decisively. Because the overt part was soundly rejected by the majority population, Ukraine needed a new rapprochement with OUNb, OUNm, and OUNz nationalist groups and signatory groups like the UCCA (Ukrainian Congressional Committee of America) or UWC (Ukrainian World Congress).

In 1991, if given an option, the rabidly nationalist Ukrainian Diaspora would have opted to support the Soviet Union for a few more years because they were totally unprepared to set up the government they preserved in the Diaspora for over 70 years on Ukrainian soil. In all that time, the Diaspora had next to no impact on the lives of people in Ukraine who only knew them as Hitler’s thugs and murderers.

Understood in this light, the civil war in Ukraine can only make sense. In 2019, the average Ukrainian voter wasn’t voting for Zelenskiy who never bothered to make a campaign appearance or voice a position on anything indicating he was running. It was a vote against overt nationalism and Poroshenko’s EuroMaidan inaugurated government that brought in the beginning of the Ukrainian Diaspora’s trademark nationalism.

Regardless of who won the election, it was to the people of Ukraine that were lied to in 1991, 2004, 2014, and yet again given hope only to watch it smashed.

Why do Ukrainian Diaspora nationalists hold this much weight?

The government of Ukraine belongs to the UNR and politicians in Ukraine live and die at its discretion. Below, both the Diaspora and current Ukrainian leaders tell that story in their own words.

There were terms and conditions attached to receiving the symbols of the UNR in 1991. One of them was the type of government would conform to the model Simon Petliura’s government left the UNR. This is the model the Diaspora carried from 1919-1992. This is the only model for Ukraine and the combined OUN delivered this.

If the government stepped away or signaled it might go against the UNR, labeling the leadership pro-Soviet or post 1991, pro-Russian is a death sentence for the traitor who fails on nationalist chauvinist grounds.

Volodomyr Zelenskiy -Ukrainian Nationalism’s 1st Jewish Nazi Leader?

This is the year of Stepan Bandera OUNb leader and the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) in Ukraine. Monuments are going up all over to commemorate Waffen SS soldiers and death camp lever pullers as well as mass murder events the OUN and UPA committed across Ukraine.

This is the Ukraine Zelenskiy is in charge of and he sees Stepan Bandera as a cool hero for Ukrainians.

The Jerusalem section (Jewish quarter) of Vinnitsya, one of Ukraine’s larger cities, is where Ukrainian leaders decided to commemorate Simon Petliura. He was the leader of the failed 1918 UNR government. Petliura murdered about 100,000 Jews in one year during continuous pogroms in Ukraine while failing to establish his government.

It isn’t known how many more Christian Ukrainians the nationalists murdered. Will Zelenskiy follow this example?

With a civil war Zelenskiy has no intention of stopping ready to flare up, the idea that rabid Diaspora nationalists in the OUN groups UCCA and UWC have this much control over a Ukraine where they consider the people to be waste or worse, as ex-Soviets; should have the world in an uproar.

These groups have no natural ties to the Ukrainian people. In fact, the Lvov region is as close as most of their leaders ever got and it was in Poland at the time. Most WWII and Cold War Ukrainian nationalist leaders and people are Polish. Ukrainian was a political membership at the time, not a nationality.

What makes Volodomyr Zelensky dangerous is that no one is willing to see a Jewish president acting on behalf of a Stepan Bandera, Simon Petliura, or Roman Shukehvych coming. Poroshenko reeks of corruption and it’s obvious he doesn’t care about his country or people. It’s easy to see that disaster coming.

The people behind the Zelenskiy government see all non-nationalist Ukrainians as people that tortured their own parents. The Ukrainians that want power were told to look at all non-OUN families this way.

If you had the chance for revenge on someone that you were told tortured or murdered your family and you didn’t have to worry about any legal or social fallout, what would you do?

These WWII Nazi leftovers live to see every person related to the Allies of WWII that isn’t a nationalist tortured, murdered, or relocated.

This is why Russia’s offer of passports in Donbass and Ukraine is important to protect civilians. The following proofs are given in list form from different major sources that shaped the policies described above.

Ukraine- All OUN Nationalist Groups Agree on that Ukraine Started In 1918

The first few accounts show precise agreement describing what Ukraine is. Ukraine is the continuation of Simon Petliura’s fascist chauvinist regime. The last account which contains parts of an interview with the last UNR president about the transfer of state and how Ukrainian leaders disappointed the OUN and Diaspora is chilling. He’s angry the cleansing hasn’t started in Ukraine yet and then threatens them if they don’t make things right.

Bogdan Chervak is the world leader of OUNm or Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Melnyk).

“The UNR had its own army, currency, public administration bodies, flag, emblem, and was recognized internationally. It was a full-fledged state which we, unfortunately, failed to preserve. And our enemies know this. This is why the propaganda of the so-called ‘Russian World’ is aimed at convincing the world that Ukraine has never been a state and what is going on today is temporary. But the history of the Ukrainian Revolution, particularly of the UNR, shatters these stereotypes. It shows that Ukrainians had a state of their own as far back as the early 20th century. We proclaimed and took up arms for it, but we lost it due to Russian aggression. In 1991, we in fact restored Ukraine’s independence that dates back to the UNR times.

The events in Russia aimed to preserve the empire by modernizing it a little. At the same time, the goal of the Ukrainian Revolution was to establish a Ukrainian state. While in the 1st Universal the Central Rada declared its political goal to gain autonomy for Ukraine as part of a democratic federative Russian republic, it proclaimed the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) in the 3rd Universal.”

Ukrainian presidential continuity through the Diaspora 1917-2005

But after the Bolsheviks strangled Ukrainian independence, the struggle for its restoration extended beyond the borders of Ukraine by the State Center of the UPR in the exile, which for 72 years (!) Continuously represented the Ukrainian Republic at the international level. State independence of Ukraine was restored on August 24, 1991. Solemnly constituting its powers on August 22, 1992, the State Center of the UPR in exile led by the last President of the UPR, Mykola Plavyuk, made a historic statement that “proclaimed on August 24 and approved by the people of Ukraine on December 1, 1991, the Ukrainian state continues to state national traditions of the UNR and is the successor of the Ukrainian People’s Republic “. Democratic traditions and state symbols of the UPR have inherited modern Ukraine.

Therefore our flag is blue and yellow, the coat of arms – Tryzub, the anthem – “Ukraine has not died yet …” Even the name of the Ukrainian hryvnia currency is inherited from the time of the UPR.”

This shows clearly all the symbols of the Ukrainian state were given by the UPR in 1992.

August 22, 2002, UKRAINIAN WORLD COORDINATION BOARD UKRAINIAN WORLD COORDINATING COUNCIL– In 1918, an independent sovereign Ukrainian People’s Republic was proclaimed by the fourth session of the Central Rada (at the historic Teacher’s House in Kiev). After the struggle and defeat, the UNR government continued to work in exile. This is an unprecedented phenomenon in history, when non-stateless people retained their own State Center, Government, President. They carried out a major mission of uniting all Ukrainian emigrants in the world so that they did not assimilate, not disappear, support Ukrainians in their great Ukraine, tortured and destroyed repressions and the famine of the brutal Soviet system. 

And here – a remarkable day on August 24, 1992, when in the Mariinsky Palace, the President of the UPR, Mykola Plavyuk transfers the authority of the National Center of the Ukrainian People’s Republic to the nation-elected President of Ukraine and signs of state power – a flag and a seal. This important act testified to the continuity of the Ukrainian statehood … The Great Citizen of Ukraine Mykola Plavyuk lives for Ukraine. He believes in Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and his faith is effective, active. He holds high the flag of Ukrainian nationalism, the highest manifestation of patriotism, great sacrificial love for his native land. He is a real hero of Ukraine.”

The transfer of power, legitimacy, and state by Plavyuk has conferred on the basis that it is the 1918 UNR that is transferred to its rightful place as the government of Ukraine.

WW II mass murderer Stetsko lay in state at Teacher’s Building in Kyiv which was home to 1918 government

When WWII OUNb Bandera leader Slava Stetsko died in 2003, OUNm world leader and former president of the UNR president Mykola Plawiuk (Plavyuk) was there to honor his colleague.

“The next day, prior to the funeral procession to Baikove Cemetery, Mrs. Stetsko’s body lay in state at the Teachers Building in Kyiv, which had served as the session hall for Ukraine’s Central Rada during Ukraine’s short-lived independence beginning in 1918.

Representatives of local OUN groupings from Volyn, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, and Ternopil attended in large numbers. Mykola Plawiuk, leader of the OUN-Melnyk faction paid his respects at the Teachers Building.”

This Interview with last UNR president Mykola Plavyuk ties everything together.

Ukraine, being an integral part of the empire under the name of the USSR, nevertheless had its own President. But he was abroad. When August 24 was proclaimed, and on December 1, 1991, a nationwide referendum confirmed the restoration of the Ukrainian state, the last President of the exile was obliged to act in accordance with a historical document signed by Simon Petliura. Why did he transfer his powers to Leonid Kravchuk, how he perceives the present realities, which sees the prospect of our state … These and other questions on the eve of Independence Day are answered by Mykola Plavyuk, the last President of Ukraine in the exile. 

2004 Interview with Mykola Plavyuk, OUNm leader, founder of the Ukrainian World Congress, and last UNR Diaspora president

– Mr. Mykola, twelve years ago, on behalf of the Government of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, you passed the attributes of power to the first publicly elected President of Ukraine. What induced you to take such a step?

Plavyuk- It is true: in August 1992, the State Center of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in exile ended its activities. The relevant statement was signed by me as the President of the UPR, Michael Voskoboinik as chairman of the Ukrainian National Council and Ivan Samilenko, the head of the UNR government in the exile. We made our credentials to the hands of the President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk. Our move is due to the decision of the Labor Congress of the Ukrainian People’s Republic of 1919 and the decision of the Head of the Directorate of the UNR Simon Petliura, which obliged the President and the Government of the UNR to end its activities since the restoration of Ukraine’s state independence and the election of its people in a manner. As you know, this happened on December 1, 1991. We could not continue the activities of the DPU of the UPR abroad, because it would harm independent Ukraine. Is not it clear? How would the world perceive our ruling? if we did not recognize an independent Ukrainian state? USA, Canada, and others would recognize, and we – no?”

 According to the best available Ukrainian sources, just like everyone else, the OUN Diaspora was caught with their pants down when Ukraine declared independence. They had no mechanisms in place to jump in and build their state on top of Soviet society. 

Plavyuk- But this state, let’s face it, is rather the continuation of the Ukrainian SSR, and not the UNR? Those who fought for the Ukrainian state are not honored. And vice versa: those who fought against it, tortured the Patriots – in the rank of heroes. 

Today, we see this sentiment played out in Ukraine. WWII heroes that fought against Nazi Germany and the OUN or UPA are criminalized. Their pensions are taken. Nazi SS, UPA, the police battalions that were so eager to engage in mass murder are being rehabilitated and given pensions and hero status.

Plavyuk – The then President Leonid Kravchuk publicly stated that modern Ukraine is the successor to the national traditions of the UPR, documented January 22, 1918 and 1918.

We have executed the decisions of the Labor Congress and the Directory of the UNR. On the contrary, I am happy that it was enough to work in 70 years worthy political activity aimed at restoring Ukraine’s state independence …
The authorities and the people of Ukraine, who chose it, are responsible for the current state of Ukraine.

Plavyuk– I am glad that for thirteen years state traditions have been consolidated in Ukraine, and a new generation of qualified personnel who is able to manage the new Ukrainian state has grown. The growth of understanding among our people is comforting, that the Ukrainian state should be national, and the Ukrainian nation – its owner. 

Mykola Plavyuk moved to Ukraine after transferring the government and helped nationalist scouting groups to get off the ground.
Plavyuk– I worry that the modern Ukrainian government does not fulfill its obligations to the Ukrainian people and cares about its personal or clan interests. And its policy is not consistent and does not always correspond to the interests of the Ukrainian people.
But today, quite often, our Ukraine is called non-Ukrainian …
Therefore, my work is realized in accordance with the slogan “OUN – for national and social justice in an independent national Ukrainian state”.

Plavyuk- It is unlikely that the current generation of compatriots(political leaders) will survive when this slogan is embodied in the concrete actions … 

Plavyuk was clearly calling for a nationalist revolution in August 2004. He threatened Ukrainian leaders to get in line with UNR politics or else. The Orange Revolution started 3 months later in November 2004. It was supposed to deSovietize and clean up corruption. All it did was make Nazi rhetoric politically popular in Kiev.

Because Plavyuk was a leader in the CYM children’s scout movement (it developed political nationalists) he was able to help develop a robust politic based scouting culture. CYM was brought into Eastern Ukraine where it had no record. PLAST, which is CYMs counterpart was kept in the west where it was developed in the 1920s. Both groups taught children sabotage, bomb building, and murder during WWII and after. Until the 1980s both groups were considered terrorist organizations worldwide.

For another 10 years, a lot of focus and NGO money went into developing both scouting groups in Ukraine to prepare leaders for the next revolution. This was called EuroMaidan.

The link from OUN Nazi murderers to President-elect Volodomyr Zelenskiy

Across the history of Ukraine, we see the Diaspora nationalists considering only themselves and only their nationalism worthy of Ukraine. From WWII through the 2014 coup every other political leanings have been met with violence.

These people have had a chance to become Ukrainian George Washingtons,” says Yurash. “And they’ve wasted it.”

Sviatoslav Yurash is a name I’ve kept an eye out for since the near the beginning of January 2014 when he walked onto EuroMaidan and demanded to be the international spokesman. And they let him.

After that, if you wanted to interview or speak to Aresniy Yatsenyuk, Petr Poroshenko, Oleh Tianhybok, or Vlad Klitchko; you went through Yurash.

Within days he was also the spokesman for Pravy Sektor and Dimitro Yarosh. Following the coup, he became the spokesman for Assistant Defense Minister Yarosh, Defense Minister Parubiy, and the Ukrainian Army.

I did mention he was a 17-year-old college student who dropped out to go to the protest, didn’t I?
Yurash made it clear that he was never paid for his trouble. He also started the website Euromaidanpr which pumps out a lot of Ukraine’s propaganda. He coordinates with 3 Chalupa sisters through the site and its sister website InformNapalm.com which they use to provide propaganda to western outlets.

As a thank you for volunteering, Sviatoslav Yurash was given a job as the Deputy Director of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC)Kiev office.

The UWC was founded in 1967 by an OUNm leader Andriy Melnyk supporter named Mykola Plavyuk who later became its president as well as the last Diaspora UNR president. The UWC was recognized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization with special consultative status. Today it has ties with 61 countries and represents a Diaspora of 20 million Ukrainians.

The Atlantic Council has a contract with the UWC to promote its interest which it does in spades. When the article “Why Poroshenko Doesn’t Deserve a Second Term” came out, it meant it was already over. The fat lady sang. The cows came home. The song was over.

Sviatoslav Yurash is Volodomyr Zelenskiy’s spokesman and is one of his top advisors. What does that tell you about the election?

Russia chose the perfect time to introduce RF passports in Donbass and Ukrainian expansion of the passport program will help to stabilize the region. If people don’t start paying closer attention to the back story with this election, we are in for one hell of a ride.

The Ukrainian elections – a short preview of the coming attraction

The Ukrainian elections – a short preview of the coming attraction

The Saker

April 19, 2019

Mommy! Daddy!  Look at the circus that came to town! 🙂

Well, it sure looks like the Ukrainian elections will be very interesting after all.  No, they probably won’t change anything truly important, but what is taking place is most interesting indeed.  I just want to mention a few things bullet-point style, not a real analysis (that will be for after the election), but maybe somewhat of a preview.  So, here’s what’s on my list:

Gone with the wind…

The total collapse of Poroshenko:  I just don’t have the time to go into all the (admittedly sexy) details, but I can tell you that Poroshenko’s campaign is in total disarray, every move he has made so far has been stupid and even counter-productive and after each one of this moves, his popularity score went even further down, without Zelenskii having to say a single word.  At this point, the supporters of Poro (they are called the “Porokhobots” in Russian) are desperate and most of them are switching sides as fast as they can (betraying just at the right moment, not too early and not too late, is a Ukrainian specialty and a skillset which Ukie political leaders have honed to perfection over the centuries!). Another very worrying development for Poro is that his political opponents (including the quite charismatic, if rather brutish, Nadezhna Savchenko) are being let go free from the jails they were being held in.  Furthermore, there are rumors (unconfirmed so far) that the Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigations is prosecuting pretty much the entire Urkonazi regime for various crimes, which is also a pretty good indicator that the ship is sinking and the rats running for their lives…

Frankly, at this point I don’t even think that Poro has the resources to pull off something significant as even his allies and aides are now abandoning him and refusing to carry out this orders.  He had a chance to try to pull-off some false flag or provocation, and he missed it.  Now it appears to be too late even for that.

A very merry puppet indeed!

Zelenskii sitting very pretty: amazing, Zelenskii is both 1) doing great and 2) doing nothing.  How is that for a winning strategy?!  Really, I am not kidding, Poro’s Ukronazis are so busy committing political seppuku that all Zelenskii has to do is watch, laugh and wait.  It is quite an amazing sight to hear Zelenskii limit himself to short telephone calls, short video messages and a few off the cuff comments.  The guy is not even really campaigning at all!  Yet, barring the unthinkable, he will win with a huge margin on Sunday.  You can credit Kolomoiskii’s money and advisors if you want, but the truth is that Zelenskii’s “non-campaign” has been a devastatingly effective (not to mention cheap and easy) way to campaign.

Considering how clueless and non-presidential Zelenskii looks (and sounds every time he opens his mouth), I think that keeping him basically silent was not only the most effective technique, it was the only possible one.

The hotly debated question: which outcome is better for Russia? Well, Poroshenko is not only an Ukronazi, alcoholic and war criminal, he is also the Uber-loser guy who  literally FUBARed everything he ever did, at least since he is in politics (Roshen chocolates are actually pretty good!).  If Poro steals the election, which is the ONLY way he is going to stay in power, then Russia will have a perfect pretext to 1) not recognize the outcome of this election and 2) the opportunity to have the Ukies further destroy what is left of their sorry Banderastan without Russia having to do anything at all.  Zelenskii is far more intelligent (not to mention sober) and he is much less likely to be an easy opponent.  Furthermore, Zelenskii is Kolomoiskii’s puppet, and the latter is both VERY evil and VERY smart.  A most dangerous opponent for Russia.  And then, we can be sure the the Zelenskii-Kolomoiskii duo will have the full support of the Zionists (thanks to Kolomoiskii’s very close ties to Israel).

So while many in the Ukraine and Russia understandably hate Poroshenko with all their souls, I am not at all so sure that Zelenskii will be better for the Ukraine or for Russia.  Somewhere, Poro would definitely be easier to handle.

This being said, I also understand that for the people of the Ukraine there is only one way to express their hatred and contempt for that Uber-loser Poroshenko.  Voting Zelenskii in the presidential election followed by a vote for pro-Zelenskii parties in the Rada might be just what is needed to begin jailing various Nazis and other nutcases (I don’t expect either Zelenskii or Kolomoiskii to have any patience with the Ukronazis, especially now that they have become a much bigger problem for the Ukraine than they have ever been for Russia).

As I said before, choosing between Zelenskii and Poro is about as meaningful as choosing between Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.  Having said that, Poro is the weaker, dumber, more isolated and more inept of the two, so he is probably a lesser evil for Russia.

What about the Donbass and the DNR/LNR People’s Republics – what outcome is better for them? For the same reasons, I think that Poroshenko is probably the lesser evil for the Novorussians.  Again, Poro and Zelenskii are both equally bad and even evil (Zelenskii has openly supported the Nazi death-squads and called the Novorussians “scum” – so have NO illusions on this account!) but Zelenskii and his backers are the more dangerous and sophisticated actors.  The truth is that the Novorussians must first and foremost count on their own courage and military acumen, then they can count on Russia not only to stop any (theoretically possible) Ukronazi offensive, but also to keep these two republics alive economically and politically.  Russia has done a lot, but not nearly enough and much more aid (both military and civilian) is needed by the suffering people of the Donbass.

The show *will* go on, and the “Ukie Queen” Oleg Liashko will be part of it

So could *anything* good come from the election of Zelenskii? Yes, but it is not very likely.  First, history is full of puppets who have broken away from their puppet masters.  Don’t necessarily think Obama or Trump here – these were both weak and cowardly people!  Think Putin, for example.  The US has a long and distinguished experience is losing control of its own puppets (Bin Laden, Saddam, Noriega, etc. etc. etc).  So I would never say never.  Especially since Zelenskii is young, clearly smart, and possibly courageous (dunno, too early to tell). In theory, Zelenskii could begin purging the most notorious Ukronazis.  He could also pardon the thousands of Ukrainian political prisoners who are kept incommunicado and who are held in secret jails all over the country.  By freeing them he could even make space for a lot of armed and dangerous Ukronazis nutcases who are roaming around the country freely and who represent a very real danger to Zelenskii (a group of west Ukrainian terrorists was recently caught near one of Zelenskii’s residences; they had guns and even a DShK heavy machine gun mounted inside a car!).  Again, in theory, Zelenskii might agree to some form of decentralization/federation which, by now, even the western Ukrainians want in increasing numbers.  Finally, he might decide to cut his losses and make some kind of deal with Putin directly.  Obviously, this would not be “Zelenskii’s deal” with Putin, but the entire AngloZionist Hegemony telling Kolomoiskii what he can allow Zelenskii to say or do.  How likely is that to produce any meaningful results?

After all, any Ukrainian politician in touch with reality will understand that making the Ukraine a monolithic state is a dead end, especially after many years of bloody civil war.  As for any discussions about the future of Crimea – they are a total waste of time.  Finally, I bet you that deep inside themselves the Ukrainian politicians understand that the Donbass, the LDNR, Novorussia – call it what you want – is gone forever and will never return under the control of Kiev (unless the regime in power in Kiev is one put into power by the Novorussians themselves).

Conclusion: it will be pretty easy to tell what will happen next

How long will it take until they all get it?!

If Poro steals the election, Russia will not recognize this election and the Ukraine will sink further into chaos, misery and violence.

Furthermore, Russia has (finally!) introduced some meaningful economic sanctions against the Ukraine, including a ban on the export of Russian oil and oil derivatives (a special government authorization can be requested for specific, special, cases).

If Zelenskii gets elected, one of two things will happen:

Option A: Zelenskii will rapidly and energetically resume all the rabid russophobic policies of his predecessor.  The topics of the Donbass and Crimea will be front and center of Ukie propaganda.  At this point, Russia might as well recognize the outcome of the election (I don’t see a point in pretending that Zelenskii did not “kinda” get a popular mandate) and, in the same breath, recognize the two Novorussian Republics and let them conduct a referendum on their future.

Option B: Zelenskii will rapidly and energetically try to stop (or, at least, “freeze”) the conflict with Russia and with the Donbass.  If he does that, the Kremlin will see that Zelenskii is trying to cut  his losses and gain political credibility by stopping the war in the Donbass and the (utterly stupid and self-defeating) confrontation with Russia.  At this point, Russia is likely not only to recognize the outcome of the election, but also serve as a mediator between the Novorussians and the Zelenskii government in Kiev to offer some kind of compromise centered around a de factoindependence of the two republics combined with some kind of de jure (only!) Ukrainian sovereignty over these republics, even if only symbolical.

At least so far, all the signs are that Zelenskii will go with Option A and resume Poro’s antirussian policies which, considering that Zelenskii is a puppet of Kolomoiskii, who himself is a puppet of the AngloZionist Empire (with, in his case, the stress of the “Zionist” part of the name) certainly makes sense.

Last minute updates:

Thursday April 18th: Poroshenko recorded an address to the Ukrainian people in which he 1) apologizes for this mistakes and 2) blames all his mistakes on Putin.  Go figure Ukronazi “logic”….

Projection by the latest (semi-credible) poll

Thursday April 18th: Zelenskii did end up giving one real interview, in which he said that Putin was an enemy and that the Donbass should not have any special status. He also said that the fact that Stepan Bandera is a hero for many Ukrainians is “awesome/cool” (класно).  Having a Russian-speaking Jew say this about a guy who pledged allegiance to Hitler and who massacred scores of Jews is rather amazing, especially on the eve of the Jewish Passover is quite a sight.  But then again, the Nazi-occupied Ukraine is the kind of Banderastan were you find Nazis and Jews happily joining forces against their common foe: Russia in general and Orthodox Russia especially.  So forget the (comparatively nicer looking) Zelenskii and think Kolomoiskii.  In other words, lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate…

Friday April 19th:  (1300 UTC) a debate between Poroshenko and Zelenskii is supposed to take place in a soccer stadium in Kiev.  There will be two stages, one for each candidate – this makes it easier to kill one and not the other; that, at least, is the explanations given by many in Kiev.  Rumors about some kind of bomb, or sniper attack, or riots are circulating in the Ukrainian social media and tensions are very high.  One of the main Ukronazi journalists has even begged Zelenskii not to go to this debate and asked him “do you want to be killed”?  These rumors are all helping Zelenskii who is presenting himself like the young, innocent and sincere candidate facing the evil and corrupt state machine controlled by Poroshenko.

The separate “for TV kneeling” of the candidates

Friday April 19th: (1600 UTC) the much expected debate has begun.  First surprise, Poro walked over to the Zelenskii stage.  First Zelenskii spoke pretty poorly.  Then Poro took the floor and immediately jumped on his favorite horse: Putin and Russia.  He also pointed out that he is experienced whereas Zelenskii is a noob.  After that, the debate became outright boring and of very low quality: the two candidates did not answer each other’s question, Zelenskii offered Poro to together stand on their knees before all the suffering Ukrainians, which Zelenskii himself proceeded to immediately do; Poro instead turned his back and kissed the Ukie flag (see screenshot of that bizarre moment on the right)

Friday April 19th: (1700 UTC) the debate is over.  Frankly, both Poroshenko and Zelenskii did very poorly.  Both tried a few cheap tricks, which mostly failed to elicit any major reaction, and now the “democratic charade” is over.

Barring something truly major and earth-shattering, Zelenskii will win.  After that, we can expect Kolomoiskii to take control of most of the government within 30 days or less.  Thus the AngloZionist Empire will re-take control of a FUBARed country the control of which it has been slowly but inexorably losing.  I don’t expect the elections to the Rada to change much to the new power configuration in the Ukraine.

Political debate Ukronazi style: in a stadium with folks in battle fatigues on the stage

It is high time now for Russia to pull the plug on this Ukronazi experiment in “russophobic independence”.  That does not necessarily mean rejecting the outcome of the election, but it does mean that it is high time for Russia to recognize the two republics.  I don’t hold much hope for negotiations with Zelenskii because such negotiations are essentially negotiations with the Zelenskii’s AngloZionist puppet masters with whom negotiations have been made impossible since early 2014.  Simply put: there is no point in negotiating anything with anybody for Russia as long as there are no halfway “agreement capable” partners to negotiate with.  As of now, I see no such partners.  Hence, Russia must embark on policy of unilateral actions.  If the 5th columnists don’t prevail, I expect that that is exactly what Russia will do from now on.

So who will win on Sunday?  Will it be the Big Crook or the Little Crook?

Nobody know, but I can give a a firm prediction: it will be a crook.

The Saker

The Saker interviews Dmitry Orlov

April 16, 2019

The Saker interviews Dmitry Orlov

[This interview was originally made for the Unz Review]

“I think that the American empire is very much over already, but it hasn’t been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case”

If I had to characterize the current international situation using only one word, the word “chaos” would be a pretty decent choice (albeit not the only one).  Chaos in the Ukraine, chaos in Venezuela, chaos everywhere the Empire is involved in any capacity and, of course, chaos inside the USA.  But you wouldn’t know that listening to the talking heads and other “experts” who serve roughly the same function for the Empire as the orchestra did on the Titanic: to distract from the developing disaster(s) for a long as possible.

I decided to turn to the undisputed expert on social and political collapse, Dmitry Orlov whom I have always admired for his very logical, non-ideological, comparative analyses of the collapse of the USSR and the USA.  The fact that his detractors have to resort to crude and, frankly, stupid ad hominems further convinces me that Dmitry’s views need to be widely shared.  Dmitry very kindly agreed to reply to my questions in some detail, for which I am most grateful.  I hope that you will find this interview as interesting as I did.

The Saker
——-

The Saker: How would you assess the current situation in the Ukraine in terms of social, economic and political collapse?

Dmitry Orlov: The Ukraine has never been viable as an independent, sovereign state and so its ongoing disintegration is to be expected. The applicability of the concept of collapse is predicated on the existence of an intact, stand-alone entity capable of collapse, and with the Ukraine this is definitely not the case. Never in its history has it been able to stand alone as a stable, self-sufficient, sovereign entity. As soon as it gained independence, it just fell over. Just as the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), it had reached its peak of economic and social development just as the USSR was about to collapse, and it has been degenerating and losing population ever since. Thus, the right model for discussing it is not one of sudden collapse but of steady degeneration and decay.

The Ukraine’s territory was stuck together by the Bolsheviks—first by Lenin, then by Stalin, then by Khrushchev. It was Lenin who lumped in its eastern regions (Donetsk and Lugansk specifically) who previously were part of Russia proper. Stalin then added eastern lands, which were at various times Polish, Austro-Hungarian or Romanian. Finally, Khrushchev tossed in Russian Crimea in a move that was unconstitutional at the time, since no public referendum had been held in Crimea to decide this question as was required by the Soviet constitution.

Prior to this Bolshevik effort, “Ukraina” was not used as a proper political or geographic designation. The territory was considered part of Russia, distinguished from the rest by a prefix “Malo-” (small) and called “Malorossiya. The word “ukraina” is simply an archaic form of the Russian word “okraina” (outskirts, border land). This is why the definite article “the” is required: the Ukraine is literally “the outskirts of Russia.” The Soviets endowed this border land with a make-believe identity and forced many of its inhabitants to officially deckare their ethnicity as “Ukrainian” in a successful bid to gain an additional seat a the UN.

This political concoction was supposedly held together by a Ukrainian ethnic identity, which is itself a concoction. The Ukrainian language is some combination of southern Russian village dialects with a bit of Polish thrown in as flavoring. It has a lilt to it that Russians find enchanting, making it well suited for folk songs. But it never had much practical merit, and the working language of the Ukrainians was always Russian. Even today Ukrainian nationalists switch to Russian if the subject matter is demanding enough. Religiously, most of the population has been for many centuries and still is Russian Orthodox.

In my conversations about the Ukraine with many Ukrainians over the years I discovered a shocking truth: unlike the Russians, the Ukrainians seem to have exactly zero ethnic solidarity. What binds them together is their commonality of historical experience as part of the Russian Empire, then the USSR, but this historical legacy is being actively erased. After the Soviet collapse and Ukrainian independence there followed a campaign to de-Sovietize and de-Russianize the Ukraine, deprecating this common historical legacy and replacing it with a synthetic Ukrainian identity based on a falsified history that is alien to most of the population. This fake history lionizes Nazi collaborators and attempts to rub out entirely all memory of the Ukraine’s once very active role in the larger Russian world.

Thus we have a mostly Russian-speaking, historically mostly Russian territory where most of the people speak either Russian (some of them with an accent) or a sort of Ukrainian patois called Surzhik, which is Ukrainian-sounding but with mostly Russian words (the overlap between the two languages is so great that it is difficult to draw the line between them). Supposedly proper Ukrainian is spoken in the west of the country, which had never been part of the Russian Empire, but it’s a dialect that is mostly unintelligible in the rest of the country.

In spite of this confused linguistic situation, Ukrainian was imposed as the language of instruction throughout the country. Lack of textbooks in Ukrainian and lack of teachers qualified to teach in Ukrainian caused the quality of public education to plummet, giving rise to several generations of Ukrainians who don’t really know Ukrainian, have had little formal instruction in Russian, and speak a sort of informal half-language. More recently, laws have been passed that severely restrict the use of Russian. For example, people who have never spoken a word of Ukrainian are now forced to use it in order to shop or to obtain government services.

The artificial, synthetic Ukrainian identity is too thin to give the country a sense of self or a sense of direction. It is a purely negative identity: Ukraine is that which is not Russia. The resulting hole in public consciousness was plugged by making a cargo cult of European integration: it was announced that the Ukraine was leaving the Russian world behind and joining the European Union and NATO. Most recently the intent to join the EU and NATO was written directly into the Ukrainian constitution. In the meantime, it has become abundantly clear that neither EU nor NATO membership is the least bit likely, or necessary: the EU got everything it wanted from the Ukraine by forcing it to sign the Association Agreement while giving nothing of value in return; and Ukrainian territory already serves as a playground for NATO training exercises.

Thus, with regard to social collapse, there really isn’t much to discuss, because the term “Ukrainian society” has very little basis in reality. If we drop the conceit that the Ukraine is a country that can be viable if separated from Russia, what can we say about its chances as part of a Greater Russia?

Here I have to digress to explain the difference between a proper empire and the USSR. A proper empire functions as a wealth pump that sucks wealth out of its imperial possessions, be they overseas, as in the case of the British Empire, or part of the periphery, as in the case of the Russian Empire. The latter inherited the traditions of the Mongol Empire that predated it. The Mongol term “tamga” was often used to indicate the annual tribute to be collected from newly conquered tribes as the Russian Empire expanded east. (Many of these tribes were previously Mongol subjects who understood the meaning of the term.)

Here is the key point: the USSR was not a normal empire at all. Instead of functioning as a wealth pump that pumped wealth from the periphery to the imperial center, it functioned as a revolutionary incubator, exploiting the resources of the core (Russia) and exporting them to the periphery to build socialism, with the further goal of fomenting global communist revolution. The various ethnic groups that were grossly over represented among the Bolsheviks were all from the periphery—the Jewish Pale, Byelorussia, the Ukraine, the Caucasus and the Baltics—and they thought nothing of sacrificing Mother Russia on the altar of world revolution.

Their revolutionary zeal was hindered by its utter lack of practical merit. As this came to be recognized, Leon Trotsky—the great exponent of world revolution—was first exiled, then assassinated. Later, when it became clear that without appealing to Russian patriotic sentiments the task of prevailing against Nazi Germany was unlikely to succeed, Stalin brought back the Russian Orthodox Church and made other efforts toward the restoration of Russian ethnic identity that were previously decried as retrograde and chauvinistic. There were significant setbacks to this process as well: in the 1940s a group of communist leaders from Leningrad attempted to promote Russian interests through regional cooperation. They were purged and suffered political repression in what became known as the “Leningrad affair.”

Luckily, the idea of Russia as a disposable staging ground for world communist revolution was never fully implemented. However, the tendency to exploit Russia for the benefit of its Soviet periphery remained intact. The USSR’s most significant leaders—Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev—were not Russian; Stalin was a Georgian while the latter two were Ukrainian. All the other Soviet republics had their own communist party organizations that developed cadres to send to Moscow, while Russia itself lacked such an organization. The inevitable result was that most of the other Soviet republics were able to suck resources out of Russia, making them far more prosperous than Russia itself.

Thus, the image of the USSR as a typical empire is simply wrong. The right mental image of the USSR is that of a prostrate, emaciated sow (Russia) being suckled by 14 fat, greedy piglets (the other Soviet Socialist Republics). For all his numerous failings, Boris Yeltsin did one thing right: he dismantled the USSR (although the way he went about it was beyond incompetent and verged on treason).

If you are in need of an explanation for why Russia is now resurgent, increasingly prosperous and able to invest vast sums in hypersonic weapons systems and in modernized infrastructure for its people, this is it: the 14 piglets had been sent off to root for themselves. This bit of perspective, by the way, puts paid to the rank idiocy of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “Grand Chessboard”: his theory that Russia wants to be an empire but cannot do so without the Ukraine shatters on contact with the realization that Russia hasn’t been an empire for over a century now and has no need or desire to become one again.

In any case, these days empires are a bit retro, you know, and not at all useful except as a way for silly Americans to finish bankrupting themselves. Russia needs reliable trading partners who can pay their own way, not ungrateful dependents clamoring for handouts. Just bringing Crimea up to Russia’s contemporary standards after 30 years of Ukrainian neglect has turned out to be a monumental task; as far as doing that for the rest of the Ukraine—forget it!

So, armed with this perspective, what can we say about the Ukraine from the contemporary Russian perspective?

First and foremost, it is a freak show, as attested by the content of Russian talk shows on which Ukrainian experts appear as clownish, indestructible cartoon characters: whenever their risible arguments on behalf of the Ukraine blow up in their faces, for a moment they stand there charred and furious, then brush themselves off and appear in the next segment fresh as daisies. This freak show has certain didactic merit: it helps the Russian body politic develop powerful antibodies against Western hypocrisy, because it was Western meddling that has made contemporary Ukraine into the horrible mess it is. But this was, in a sense, inevitable: deprived of the Soviet teat, the Ukraine has been attempting to suckle up to the US and EU for 30 years now and, failing that, has been carving up and roasting its own loins.

Second, the Ukraine is a rich source of immigrants, having lost around a third of its population since independence. Much of its population qualifies as Russian: linguistically, culturally and religiously they are perfectly compatible with the Russian population. Ukrainians are already the third most populous ethnic group within Russia (after Russians and Tatars) and Russia has been able to absorb the Ukrainians that have been fleeing to Russia in recent years. As the Ukraine’s population dwindles, a natural sorting-out is taking place. Those who are most compatible with the Russian world tend to move to Russia while the rest go to Poland and other EU countries.

Lastly, there is a significant amount of fatigue in Russia with the Ukrainian subject. It is currently a major topic of discussion because of the farcical presidential elections currently taking place there, but more and more one hears the question: “Must we continue talking about this?” There just isn’t anything positive to say about the Ukraine, and people tend to just shake their heads and switch to another channel. Thus, the final element of the Russian perspective on the Ukraine is that it’s painful to look at and they would rather go look at something else.

However, this is not to be. For ample historical reasons, Russia remains the Ukraine’s largest trade partner. Russian and Ukrainian economies were conceived of as a unit, based on the same set of plans, standards and regulations. In spite of concerted politically motivated efforts by Ukrainian leaders to sever these links, many of them have stubbornly remained in place, for lack of alternatives. Meanwhile, the Ukraine makes very little that the European Union or the rest of the world would want, and very little of it complies with EU’s voluminous standards and regulations. Specifically, the EU has no use at all for Ukrainian manufactured goods, and primarily sees the Ukraine as a source of cheap raw materials and labor.

It is Russia that supplies the nuclear fuel for the Ukraine’s aging nuclear power plants which provide well over half of all the electricity there, while Russian coal (anthracite, specifically) supplies much of the rest. But, for political reasons, Ukrainian officials are loath to admit the fact that the umbilical cord that connects the Ukraine to Russia cannot be severed. For example, they do not buy Russian natural gas directly but through intermediaries in the EU and at a mark-up (part of which they pocket). On paper, the Ukraine imports gas from the EU; physically, the methane molecules piped in from Russia never leave Ukrainian territory; they are simply diverted for local use.

By the time the USSR collapsed, the Ukraine was its most highly developed and possibly its richest part, and some people expected that, having thrown off the Soviet yoke, its future would be too bright to look at without goggles. It had abundant natural resources (fertile land, coal) and an educated labor force. It manufactured numerous high-tech products such as jet aircraft, marine diesels, helicopter engines, rocket engines and much else that was the best in the world. Instead, what has occurred is several decades of thievery, stagnation and decay. By now the Ukraine has lost most of its industry and the Soviet-era infrastructure has decayed to the point where much of it is worn out and on the verge of collapse. Industry has shut down and the specialists it once employed have either retired or have gone off to work in Russia, in the EU or in the US. (Some Ukrainian rocket scientists have apparently gone off to work in North Korea, and this explains the DPRK’s recent stunning successes in rocketry as well as its unlikely, exotic choice of rocket fuel: unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine.)

The Saker: What about the Donbas republics? How would you compare the situation in Novorussia with what is taking place in the Ukraine?

Dmitry Orlov: The term “Novorossiya” (New Russia) goes back several centuries, to the time Catherine the Great expanded the Russian Empire to include Crimea and other southern possessions. What Lenin reassigned to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic were Russian lands, Donetsk and Lugansk regions among them.

There are several other Ukrainian regions that are almost entirely Russian—Kharkov and Odessa specifically—but Donetsk and Lugansk are not Ukrainian in the least. This is why, after the government overthrow of 2014, when it became clear that the intentions of the Ukrainian nationalists who seized power in Kiev were to oppress the Russian part of the population, these two regions decided to strike out on their own. The Ukrainian nationalists reacted by launching a civil war, which started exactly five years ago, and which they have lost. To save face, they have declared their defeat the result of a “Russian invasion” but have been unable to present any evidence of it. Had the Russians invaded, the result would have been a replay of Russia’s action in Georgia in August of 2008, which lasted about a week.

The Ukrainians are continuing to lob missiles into the territories of Donetsk and Lugansk, causing sporadic civilian casualties. Once in a while they stage minor skirmishes, suffer casualties and pull back. But mostly their “Anti-Terrorist Operation,” which is what they are calling this civil war, has turned into a propaganda initiative, with the mythical “Russian invaders” invoked at every turn to explain their otherwise inexplicable string of defeats.

After some amount of effort by NATO instructors to train the Ukrainians, the instructors gave up. The Ukrainians simply laughed in their faces because it was clear to them that the instructors did not know how to fight at all. It was then decided that the “road map” for Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO should be set aside because the Ukrainians are just too crazy for sedate and sedentary NATO. The trainers were then replaced with CIA types who simply collected intelligence on how to fight a high-intensity ground war without air support—something that no NATO force would ever consider doing. Under such conditions NATO forces would automatically retreat or, failing that, surrender.

Meanwhile, the two eastern regions, which are highly developed economically and have a lot of industry, have been integrating ever more closely into the Russian economy. Their universities and institutes are now fully accredited within the Russian system of higher education, their currency is the ruble, and although in terms of international recognition they remain part of the Ukraine, it is very important to note that the Ukraine does not treat them as such.

The Ukrainian government does not treat the citizens of Donetsk and Lugansk as its citizens: it does not pay their pensions, it does not recognize their right to vote and it does not provide them with passports. It lays claim to the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk but not to the people who reside there. Now, genocide and ethnic cleansing are generally frowned upon by the international community, but an exception is being made in this case because of Russophobia: the Russian people living in Donetsk and Lugansk have been labeled as “pro-Russian” and are therefore legitimate targets.

Russia has been resisting calls to grant official recognition to these two People’s Republics or to provide overt military support (weapons and volunteers do filter through from the Russian side without any hindrance, although the flow of volunteers has been slowing down of late). From a purely cynical perspective, this little war is useful for Russia. If in the future the Ukraine fails completely and fractures into pieces, as appears likely, and if some of these pieces (which might theoretically include not just Donetsk and Lugansk regions but also Kharkov, Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk) clamor to join Russia, then Russia would face a serious problem.

You see, over the past 30 years most Ukrainians have been content to sit around drinking beer and watching television as their country got looted. They saw no problem with going out to demonstrate and protest provided they were paid to do it. They voted the way they were paid to vote. They didn’t take an issue with Ukrainian industry shutting down as long as they could work abroad and send money back. They aren’t enraged or even embarrassed by the fact that their country is pretty much run from the US embassy in Kiev. About the only ones with any passion among them are the Nazis who march around with torches and sport Nazi insignia. In short, these aren’t the sort of people that any self-respecting country would want to have anything to do with, never mind absorb them into its population en masse, because the effect would be to demoralize its entire population.

But the people of Donetsk and Lugansk are not like that at all. These coal miners, factory workers and cab drivers have been spending days and nights in the trenches for years now, holding back one of Europe’s larger militaries, and fighting for every square meter of their soil. If the Ukraine is ever to be reborn as something that Russia would find acceptable, it is these people who can provide the starter culture. They have to win, and they have to win without any help from the Russian military, which can squash the Ukrainian military like a bug, but what would be the point of doing that? Thus, Russia provides humanitarian aid, business opportunities, some weapons and some volunteers, and bides its time, because creating a viable new Ukraine out of a defunct one is a process that will take considerable time.

The Saker: What is your take on the first round of Presidential elections in the Ukraine?

Dmitry Orlov: The first round of the elections was an outright fraud. The object of the exercise was to somehow allow president Poroshenko to make it into the second round. This was done by falsifying as many votes as was necessary. In a significant number of precincts the turnout was exactly 100% instead of the usual 60% or so and counted votes from people who had moved, died or emigrated. All of these fake votes went to Poroshenko, allowing him to slither through to the second round.

Now the fight is between Poroshenko and a comedian named Vladimir Zelensky. The only difference between Poroshenko and Zelensky, or any of the other 30+ people who appeared on the ballot, is that Poroshenko has already stolen his billions while his contestants have not had a chance to do so yet, the only reason to run for president, or any elected office, in the Ukraine, being to put oneself in a position to do some major thieving.

Thus, there is an objective reason to prefer Zelensky over Poroshenko, which is that Poroshenko is a major thief while Zelensky isn’t one yet, but it must be understood that this difference will begin to equalize the moment after Zelensky’s inauguration. In fact, the elites in Kiev are currently all aquiver over their ingenious plan to sell off all of Ukraine’s land to foreign investors (no doubt pocketing a hefty “fee”).

The platforms of all the 30+ candidates were identical, but this makes no difference in a country that has surrendered its sovereignty. In terms of foreign relations and strategic considerations, the Ukraine is run from the US embassy in Kiev. In terms of its internal functioning, the main prerogative of everyone in power, the president included, is thievery. Their idea is to get their cut and flee the country before the whole thing blows up.

It remains to be seen whether the second round of elections will also be an outright fraud and what happens as a result. There are many alternatives, but none of them resemble any sort of exercise in democracy. To be sure, what is meant by “democracy” in this case is simply the ability to execute orders issued from Washington; inability to do so would make Ukraine an “authoritarian regime” or a “dictatorship” and subject to “regime change.” But short of that, nothing matters.

The machinations of Ukraine’s “democrats” are about as interesting to me as the sex lives of sewer rats, but for the sake of completeness, let me flowchart it out for you. Poroshenko got into second round by outright fraud, because the loss of this election would, within the Ukrainian political food chain, instantly convert him from predator to prey. However, he was none too subtle about it, there is ample proof of his cheating, and the contender he squeezed out—Yulia Timoshenko—could theoretically contest the result in court and win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Another option would be for Poroshenko to cheat his way past the second round (in an even more heavy-handed manner, since this time he is behind by over 30%), in which case Zelensky could theoretically contest the result in court in win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat. Are you excited yet?

None of this matters, because we don’t know which of the two is the US State Department’s pick. Depending on which one it is, and regardless of the results of any elections or lawsuits, a giant foot will come out of the sky and stomp on the head of the other one. Of course, it will all be made to look highly democratic for the sake of appearances. The leadership of the EU will oblige with some golf claps while choking back vomit and the world will move on.

The Saker: Where is, in your opinion, the Ukraine heading?  What is your best “guesstimate” of what will happen in the short-to-medium term future?

Dmitry Orlov: I believe that we will be subjected to more of the same, although some things can’t go on forever, and therefore won’t. Most worryingly, the Soviet-era nuclear power plants that currently provide most of the electricity in the Ukraine are nearing the end of their service life and there is no money to replace them. Therefore, we should expect most of the country to go dark over time. Likewise, the natural gas pipeline that currently supplies Russian gas to both the Ukraine and much of the EU is worn out and ready to be decommissioned, while new pipelines being laid across the Baltic and the Black Sea are about to replace it. After that point the Ukraine will lose access to Russian natural gas as well.

If the Ukrainians continue to surrender unconditionally while placating themselves with pipe dreams of EU/NATO membership, the country will depopulate, the land will be sold off to Western agribusiness, and it will become a sort of agricultural no man’s land guarded by NATO troops. But that sort of smooth transition may be hard for the EU and the Americans to orchestrate. The Ukraine is rather highly militarized, is awash with weapons, full of people who have been circulated through the frontlines in Donbas and know how to fight, and they may decide to put up a fight at some point. It must be remembered that the Ukrainians, in spite of the decay of the last 30 years, still have something of the Russian fighting spirit in them, and will fight like Russians—until victory or until death. NATO’s gender-ambivalent military technicians would not want to get in their way at all.

Also the dream of a depopulated Ukraine to be turned into a playground for Western agribusiness may be hindered somewhat by the fact that the Russians take a very dim view of Western GMOs and wouldn’t like to see GMO-contaminated pollen blowing across their border from the West. They would no doubt find some least-effort way to make the attempt at Western agribusiness in the Ukraine unprofitable. Orchestrating a smallish but highly publicized radiation leak from one of the ancient Ukrainian nuke plants would probably work. Rather weirdly, Westerners think nothing of poisoning themselves with glyphosphate but are deathly afraid of even a little bit of ionizing radiation.

The Saker: What about the EU and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe? Where is the EU heading in your opinion?

Dmitry Orlov: The EU has a number of major problems. It isn’t fiscally or monetarily healthy. As a whole, or as its constituent nations, it is no longer capable of the exercise of its full sovereignty, having surrendered it to the US. But the US is no longer able to maintain control, because it is internally conflicted to the point of becoming incoherent in its pronouncements. Overall, the structure looks like a matryoshka doll. You have the US, as a sort of cracked outer shell. Inside of it is NATO, which is an occupying force across most of Europe right up to the Russian border. It would be useless against Russia, but it can pose a credible threat of violence against the occupied populations. Inside of NATO is the EU—a political talking shop plus a sprawling bureaucracy that spews forth reams upon reams of rules and regulations.

Since none of this military/political superstructure is actually structural without the key ingredient of US hegemony, we shouldn’t expect it to perform particularly well. It will continue as a talking shop while various national governments attempt to reclaim their sovereignty. British referendum voters have certainly tried to prod their government in that direction, and in response their government has been experimenting with various methods of rolling over and playing dead, but a different government might actually try to execute the will of the people. On the other hand, the governments of Hungary and Italy have made some headway in the direction of reasserting their sovereignty, with public support.

But nothing has really happened yet. Once the political elite of any nation has been thoroughly emasculated by the surrender of its national sovereignty, it takes a while for it to grow back its chest hair and to start posing a credible threat to transnational interests. Even in Russia it took close to a decade to thwart the political power and influence of the oligarchy. We can see that the empire is weakening and that some countries are starting to balk at being vassals, but nothing definitive has happened yet.

What may speed things up is that Europe, along with the US, appear to be heading into a recession/depression. One effect of that will be that all the East European guest workers working in the west will be forced to head back home. Another will be that EU’s subsidies to its recent eastern acquisitions—Poland and the Baltics especially—are likely to be reduced substantially or to go away altogether. The influx of returning economic migrants combined with the lack of financial support are likely to spell the demise of certain national elites which have been feasting on Western largesse in return for a bit of Russophobia.

We can imagine that this swirling tide of humanity, ejected from Western Europe, will head east, slosh against the Great Wall of Russia, and flood back into the west, but now armed with Ukrainian weapons and knowhow and entertaining thoughts of plunder rather than employment. There they will fight it out with newcomers from Middle East and Africa while the natives take to their beds, hope for the best and think good thoughts about gender neutrality and other such worthy causes.

These old European nations are all aging out, not just in terms of demographics but in terms of the maximum age allotted by nature to any given ethnos. Ethnoi (plural of “ethnos”) generally only last about a thousand years, and at the end of their lifecycle they tend to exhibit certain telltale trends: they stop breeding well and they become sexually depraved and generally decadent in their tastes. These trends are on full display already. Here’s a particularly absurd example: French birth certificates no longer contain entries for father and mother but for parent1 and parent2. Perhaps the invading barbarians will see this and die laughing; but what if they don’t?

No longer able to put up much of a fight, such depleted ethnoi tend to be easily overrun by barbarians, at which point they beg for mercy. In turn, based on the example of the late Roman Empire as well as similar ones from Chinese and Persian history, granting them mercy is one of the worst mistakes a barbarian can make: the result is a bunch of sexually depraved and generally decadent barbarians… to be easily overrun and slaughtered by the next bunch of barbarians to happen along.

What will spark the next round of Western European ethnogenesis is impossible to predict, but we can be sure that at some point a mutant strain of zealots will arrive on the scene, with a dampened instinct for self-preservation but an unslakable thirst for mayhem, glory and death, and then it will be off to the races again.

The Saker: What will happen once Nord Stream II is finished? Where is Europe heading next, especially in its relationship with the USA and Russia?

Dmitry Orlov: The new pipelines under the Baltic and the Black Sea will be completed, along with the second LNG installation at Sabetta, and Russia will go on supplying natural gas to Europe and Asia. I suspect that the fracking extravaganza in the US is entering its end game and that the dream of large-scale LNG exports to Europe will never materialize.

The nations of Europe will gradually realize that its relationship with Russia is mostly beneficial while its relationship with the US is mostly harmful, and will make certain adjustments. The Ukraine, its natural gas pipeline system decrepit and beyond repair, will continue to import natural gas from Europe, only now the methane molecules will actually flow to it from the west rather from the east.

The Saker: How do you see the political climate in Russia? I hear very often that while Putin personally and the Kremlin’s foreign policy enjoy a great deal of support, the pension reform really hurt Putin and that there is now an internal “patriotic opposition” (as opposed to paid and purchased for by the CIA & Co,. which is becoming more vocal. Is that true?

It is true that there isn’t much debate within Russia about foreign policy. Putin’s popularity has waned somewhat, although he is still far more popular than any national leader in the West. The pension reform did hurt him somewhat, but he recovered by pushing through a raft of measures designed to ease the transition. In particular, all the benefits currently enjoyed by retirees, such as reduced public transit fees and reduced property taxes, will be extended to those nearing retirement age.

It is becoming clear that Putin, although he is still very active in both domestic and international politics, is coasting toward retirement. His major thrust in domestic politics seems to be in maintaining very strict discipline within the government in pushing through his list of priorities. How he intends to effect the transition to the post-Putin era remains a mystery, but what recently took place in Kazakhstan may offer some clues. If so, we should expect a strong emphasis on continuity, with Putin maintaining some measure of control over national politics as a senior statesman.

But by far the most significant change in Russian politics is that a new generation of regional leaders has been put into place. A great many governorships have been granted to ambitious young managers with potential for national office. They are of a new breed of thoroughly professional career politicians with up-to-date managerial skills. Meanwhile, a thorough cleaning out of the ranks has taken place, with some high-ranking officials doing jail time for corruption. What’s particularly notable is that some of these new regional leaders are now as popular or more popular than Putin. The curse of gerontocracy, which doomed the Soviet experiment, and which now afflicts the establishment in the US, no longer threatens Russia.

The Saker: You recently wrote an article titled “Is the USS Ship of Fools Taking on Water?” in which you discuss the high level of stupidity in modern US politics?  I have a simple question for you: do you think the Empire can survive Trump and, if so, for how long?

Dmitry Orlov: I think that the American empire is very much over already, but it hasn’t been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case. Some event will come along which will leave the power center utterly humiliated and unable to countenance this humiliation and make adjustments. Things will go downhill from there as everyone in government in media does their best to pretend that the problem doesn’t exist. My hope is that the US military personnel currently scattered throughout the planet will not be simply abandoned once the money runs out, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if that is what happens.

The Saker: Lastly, a similar but fundamentally different question: can the USA (as opposed to the Empire) survive Trump and, if so, how? Will there be a civil war? A military coup? Insurrection? Strikes? A US version of the Yellow Vests?

Dmitry Orlov: The USA, as some set of institutions that serves the interests of some dwindling number of people, is likely to continue functioning for quite some time. The question is: who is going to be included and who isn’t? There is little doubt that retirees, as a category, have nothing to look forward to from the USA: their retirements, whether public or private, have already been spent. There is little doubt that young people, who have already been bled dry by poor job prospects and ridiculous student loans, have nothing to look forward to either.

But, as I’ve said before, the USA isn’t so much a country as a country club. Membership has its privileges, and members don’t care at all what life is like for those who are in the country but aren’t members of the club. The recent initiatives to let everyone in and to let non-citizens vote amply demonstrates that US citizenship, by itself, counts for absolutely nothing. The only birthright of a US citizen is to live as a bum on the street, surrounded by other bums, many of them foreigners from what Trump has termed “shithole countries.”

It will be interesting to see how public and government workers, as a group, react to the realization that the retirements they have been promised no longer exist; perhaps that will tip the entire system into a defunct state. And once the fracking bubble is over and another third of the population finds that it can no longer afford to drive, that might force through some sort of reset as well. But then the entire system of militarized police is designed to crush any sort of rebellion, and most people know that. Given the choice between certain death and just sitting on the sidewalk doing drugs, most people will choose the latter.

And so, Trump or no Trump, we are going to have more of the same: shiny young IT specialists skipping and whistling on the way to work past piles of human near-corpses and their excrement; Botoxed housewives shopping for fake organic produce while hungry people in the back of the store are digging around in dumpsters; concerned citizens demanding that migrants be allowed in, then calling the cops as soon as these migrants set up tents on their front lawn or ring their doorbell and ask to use the bathroom; well-to-do older couples dreaming of bugging out to some tropical gringo compound in a mangrove swamp where they would be chopped up with machetes and fed to the fish; and all of them believing that things are great because the stock market is doing so well.

At this rate, when the end of the USA finally arrives, most of the people won’t be in a position to notice while the rest won’t be capable of absorbing that sort of upsetting information and will choose to ignore it. Everybody wants to know how the story ends, but that sort of information probably isn’t good for anyone’s sanity. The mental climate in the US is already sick enough; why should we want to make it even sicker?

The Saker: Dmitry, thank you so much for your time and for a most interesting interview!

Will Poroshenko Decide to Cancel the Second Round of Elections?

 

Will Poroshenko Decide to Cancel the Second Round of Elections?

by Ruslan Ostashko 

Translated and captioned by Leo.

Don’t forget to press CC for English captions.

 

An unpleasant surprise was presented to the chocolate führer by Ukrainian voters. Of course, Petro Poroshenko understood that in the first round of elections, the most votes will be gathered by Vladimir Zelensky. But he did not expect that the gap between the candidate-comedian will be so big.

The presidential elections appeared before the still functioning European hetman as a set of highly non-trivial tasks.

The first one was that it was necessary not only to draw a victory over Yulia Tymoshenko with the help of the thoughtful gigantic electoral list, and to also not be too far behind Zelensky. Because without the second of these conditions, drawing a victory for a showman candidate in the final round will not work.

Poroshenko managed to wrest out a small difference with the help of various frauds, which allows him to go to the second round. Although Tymoshenko’s team, of course, ruffles around.

“The headquarters of presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko stated that their leader should be in the second round of elections. In particular, staff representatives counted 63.51% of the votes and concluded that Zelensky was gaining 28.1%, Tymoshenko – 16.1%, and Poroshenko – 15.2%. Together, they think that Poroshenko will falsify the vote count.”

In reality, it’s unlikely that Tymoshenko’s results will be affected. So she’ll have to accept defeat. However, this does not mean that she dropped out of the game. The obvious move will be to make a deal with Zelensky, calling on his supporters to vote for the showman in the second round. And after the victory, get such a gift, for example, the post of prime minister.

Poroshenko cannot do anything to oppose this move. Zelensky and co leads with a twofold superiority, and having received the votes of those who were in favor of Tymoshenko, he will easily beat the chocolate führer. The gap of this magnitude can not be compensated by any “dead souls” and postscripts. Poroshenko understands this, so I would not be surprised if he goes to the weekly hard drinking starting today.

Anatoly Shariy (Ukrainian anti-government journalist) suggested that the chocolate führer would try to reduce voter turnout in the second round, since a high turnout was playing against Poroshenko, narrowing the space for postscripts.

I assume that the cornered hetman of national-conscious may think about how to cancel the second round of elections altogether. To do this, he needs to either reintroduce martial law, or arrange some kind of provocation that would make it possible to exclude Zelensky from the race.

If we go with the first option, the odds are near zero, because it is impossible to push the decision on martial law through the Verkhovna Rada, then the second option is more realistic. For example, the SBU will initiate a criminal case against Zelensky by fabricating “evidence” about the showman’s contacts with the Kremlin. The scheme was tested in the United States. But if the Democrats, for whom they stoked the Euro-Ukros, could not push Donald Trump, then Poroshenko could succeed quite well.

Of course, in the West they will be unhappy with this turn of the plot. But for the true owners of Ukraine, the personalities of the local clerks are irrelevant. For them, the main thing is for the new hetman not to go to reconciliation with Russia. Did you see what journalist Frederick Pleitgen said on CNN about the candidates in the Ukrainian elections?

“They all declare that they want closer ties with the West and the European Union. I would say that Zelensky is probably the least anti-Russian in some way, a person who seems to be in the lead now. At some events he even spoke both Russian and Ukrainian. But the language in Ukraine is, of course, also a serious topic. Petro Poroshenko is a person who declares that he will act very hard against Russia. He has very close ties with the army. Obviously, he has been very active in supporting the army. As president, he has been telling voters for the last couple of years: ‘You know, you have to understand that whoever you elect as president, this person will represent Ukraine in international organizations, and also, of course, in confrontation with Russia.’”

This is a frank ad for the chocolate führer. Nothing different in essence from the ones that numerous “gunpowders” publish in social networks. Here is one of them, which, by the way, even lives in Moscow.

Twitter of Ivan Simochkin @IvanSim.

Post from 29 March 2019, 19:41:

“We will rearrange the points in this many month long hysteria. It’s an extremely vital priority for Ukraine right now – to not die in the war against the Russian aggressors, but to crush the enemy. The present commander-in-chief showed us after 5 years of war that he handled the tasks. The gunpowder should stay in its post.”

Post from 31 March 2019, 02:54 in response to @niukin:

“Defeatism, panic, spreading of demogogy and propaganda of the enemy – this is a crime in war time. Ban. [Ed – We need to introduce Internet censorship.]”

That is, the chocolate führer, who is fed up with the West, is still being promoted as the most anti-Russian candidate. And for this reason, the removal of Zelensky from the elections under any pretext may well be a ride.

And they will not have to look for a pretext for a long time. Here is a thick info-reason for example:

“The Kremlin’s completely mindless Dozhd (liberal news station) has already chosen a president for Ukraine. This is a direct intervention in the election. I urge the Central Election Committee, the SBU, the State Border Service and the National Council to take adequate measures. To deprive accreditation and expel Russian propagandists from Ukraine.”

Everyone understands that Dozhd is not owned by the Kremlin at all. But to pretend that Moscow has already appointed Zelensky to be the hetman of “Ukraine is Europe” – it will not be difficult. Then you can throw him out of the race before the second round, by designating the third round, where Poroshenko will fight Tymoshenko and draw a victory for himself.

I would not dismiss the described scenario of events entirely. After all, it is Ukraine…

Donbass – Military-Political Aspects

Source

February 19, 2019

Donbass – Military-Political Aspects

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with 
https://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-donbass-military-political-aspects/ 
source:
 http://alternatio.org/articles/articles/item/67719-donbass-voenno-politicheskie-aspekty

 

Donbass, like any frontline territory with a non-determined status, is periodically covered by waves of rumours – the most improbable and the most absurd rumours, which nevertheless are spread with the speed of a virus. Despite their regular repetitiveness and regular falsifiability, they, appearing again and again, invoke trust again and again. The number of people living in Donbass who have a “friend who personally heard from Putin” the latest “artful Russian plans” concerning the fates of the People’s Republics concedes only to the number of those who “heard personally from Pushilin” the same thing.

Recently, in connection with the Ukrainian elections, rumours (which have periodically appeared over five years) became more active again that right now there is the desire to return the DPR/LPR into the structure of Ukraine. This rumour is absurd, since right now (before elections) it’s not only politically unprofitable (Russia doesn’t support Poroshenko) to return Donbass to Ukraine, but it is also technically impossible (there isn’t enough time to implement the necessary procedures).

It is obvious that the activisation of this rumour is partially connected to the recent statement of Medvedchuk, who proposed to Kiev, for the sake of ending the war and preserving Donbass as a part of Ukraine, to change the Constitution for the purpose of creating wide autonomy in Donbass. However, since Medvedchuk plays up to Tymoshenko against Poroshenko, it is clear that Kiev could start the implementation of these ideas no earlier than the elections will conclude if Tymoshenko becomes the president.

At the same time, it is necessary to consider that Yuliya Tymoshenko angrily condemned Viktor Medvedchuk’s proposal, because now she acts from a more radical nationalist position than Poroshenko in order to win the favour and support of nationalist radicals, who will indeed decide the outcome of elections. Therefore, nobody will be able to integrate Donbass anywhere either before presidential elections or immediately after them. And after this parliamentary elections will start. Thus, if there were indeed such plans, then starting their implementation earlier than a year and a half later would be practically unrealistic. For this, as a minimum, the position of Kiev must cardinally exchange. And what will happen to Donbass, Ukraine, and the world in a year’s time only God knows, and even this is with a known amount of conditionality, because he granted every person the right to make a free choice between good and evil, and the fates of countries and civilisations consist of millions of these free choices.

However, the constant sense of danger accompanying the inhabitants of Donbass is based not only on such inadequate interpretations of the bright speeches of Kiev or Moscow politicians. The main irritating factor is the non-determined status. People can’t understand why Russia didn’t take them following the example of Crimea, why the Kiev authorities were recognised in 2014, and for what purpose were the Minsk Agreements reached? Hence the wavering when the rumour about handing over Donbass “already tomorrow” is replaced by the rumour that right now Russia will not recognise the 2019 elections, will capture Kiev, and Donbass will at last enter the structure of the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, the military-political situation that predetermined the fate of Donbass for the nearest years developed in 2014 and hasn’t yet changed. In 2014 a window of opportunities was indeed opened and was far from being exhausted by the return of Crimea to the structure of Russia and the declaration of DPR/LPR.

Before the February coup of 2014 the possibility of the entry of all of Ukraine into the Customs Union was quite real. For this purpose Yanukovych needed to only disperse Maidan and jail all prominent politicians who supported the coup attempt. This decision completely depended on a subjective factor – the personal will of Yanukovych, the level of his intelligence, and his adequacy in his job.

After the coup, during February-April a campaign to Kiev of the uprising Southeast was possible, with the informal support of Russia. In such a variant, Western Ukraine, most likely, would’ve already been lost, Crimea would’ve left for Russia (as it already happened), and the other territories, with a new pro-Russian government, would’ve joined the process of Eurasian integration. A key role in the failure of this opportunity was played by both a subjective factor (the absolute lack of readiness of new, put forward by a popular uprising, leaders of the Southeast to think not in the scale of their region {Kharkov, Donetsk, Odessa}, but in the scale of the country), and an objective factor – the idealistic idea of the masses of a revolt based on the thought that it “will be like it was in Crimea” (we will stand two days, and then “polite tanks”will come and we will go home to go about our own business).

None of the representatives of the uprising mass of the Southeast and their new elites understood that the victory of any revolt is in Kiev (in the capital). Nationalists, by the way, understood well that until they take the capital, they are just rebels, but as soon as they capture government buildings – they are already the authorities, and the mutineers – their opponents. Every region of the Southeast hoped, having marked the revolt and having hid behind Russia, to solve the issue independently and let the neighbour decide for themselves.

Here, of course, a question arises that is often asked not only in Donbass, but also in all of Ukraine: and what, Russia couldn’t liberate Russian lands with Russian people from nominally Banderists, but in reality an American occupation? Evidently, it could. But Russia can “liberate” all of Europe up to the Atlantic (which, by the way, is also under American occupation).

Does this mean that Russia must urgently start “a liberating campaign” in Europe? The question seems to be absurd, but the topic of “a liberating campaign” in Ukraine, which according to its status differs little from Serbia, is constantly discussed by the Russian and the pro-Russia Ukrainian public. Yes, in Ukraine there was a coup. But international law doesn’t provide the possibility of an incursion into an independent state only because of a violent change of power. Yes, our western “partners” often carry out coups and/or interfere in independent states under the pretext of eliminating the consequences of the coup. Nevertheless, even now, when not only the spirit, but also the letter of international law is consciously ignored in most cases by the majority of countries, such invasions/interventions are outwardly given shape in accordance with international law. For example, some local oppositionist is found (or brought, like how the USSR brought Babrak Karmal from Czechoslovakia to Afghanistan), a real or fake resistance movement is formed around them, it then establishes control over some territories, provides the transition of some officials and military personnel to its side, and only after this do foreign troops appear in the country “for the purpose of stopping bloodshed”. The appearance of “polite people” in Crimea was given shape precisely like this. Civil standoff, the threat of mass bloodshed, the non-recognition of the Kiev coup by local parliament – only after this did Russia appear there officially. And everything that was unofficial was already in play.

The corresponding conditions didn’t develop anywhere else across the entire territory of Ukraine. Yes, there were rallies that gathered 1,000/2,000 people. Yes, the regional state administrations were taken by storm. Yes, “people’s governors” were proclaimed. But at the same time, except in Crimea, in no region did the official authorities refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the coup in Kiev. Thus, Russia found itself in front of the formally monolithic unity of a 45-million state, all the authorities of which, including regional ones in the Southeast, refused to recognise Yanukovych as legitimate. But counteraction was demonstrated by several tens of thousands of people over all the country. This counteraction was unorganised, they weren’t able to either reach an agreement among themselves or formulate their aims clearly.

So from the point of view of international law, in 2014 Russia had nobody to stand up for. Those abstract “we were waiting [for Russia to liberate us]” – who indeed were in the millions – couldn’t be considered, counted, and their non-publicly expressed will presented as a justification of a right to intervene by anyone.

Of course, there was an option to spit on the legal justification of actions and to act by the right of might. But for the sake of what? An overland corridor to Crimea? This issue was solved with the help of the Crimean Bridge. Meanwhile it was clear that it won’t be possible to capture all of Ukraine in 2014. In the West (and even in the center) most of the population would be against it. And an appeal to the US, EU, and NATO with a request for help will surely be expressed. And it will be heard.

I.e., the partition of Ukraine was possible, and it’s not a fact that it would be succeeded to take all of Novorossiya and to punch a corridor up to Transnistria. It is rather on the contrary – neither Kiev, nor western “partners” were obviously going to hand over Odessa, the strangling of Transnistria in a situation of military-political chaos was quite real, and it was possible to do it quickly, during a couple of days (so that Russia has no time to react). The most sad thing in this chapter is that a part of the gas pipelines + gas storages would all the same remain under the control of the Banderist government. Only it would speak rightfully about Russian aggression, and for our friends in the EU it would be almost impossible to defend the idea of “Nord Stream-2”.

Russia would thus receive a small territorial accretion with a population that is far from being ready to fit into the Russian political system (this is seen even in the example of the small and most Russian in Ukraine Crimea), but its economic partnership with the EU would be interrupted and political relations would reach a level close to a military confrontation. Those same US bases that so far have appeared in Europe in a very moderate quantity only because most Europeans are against the deployment of new American forces would appear there without problem.

It would be necessary to manyfold strengthen the Western grouping of troops, including in the attached territories. And besides this, for the creation of an effective system of management and control it would be necessary to send a large number of administrative staff from Russia to the attached territories, and also forces of the police and FSB (Ukrainian statehood was almost destroyed, the remaining officials in their majority are incompetent, and the system of management has been destroyed).

It would be a question of the need to resettle in Ukraine hundreds of thousands of people (1-2 million, if to count them with their families) for the long term. These people would be perceived there as “Varangians” who were sent to govern (but after all, we can do it ourselves) and who “prevents us from living” in the way that “we got used to”. Since this moment any problem would be a problem “caused by Russia”, which didn’t give, do, or provide something. After all, the governors are Russian. Soon the era of “European integration” would start being remembered with nostalgia, especially since sharply increasing the standard of living of 20 million people is almost impossible, but forcing everyone to pay taxes (only the lazy in Ukraine didn’t avoid paying them) is actually very easy. Besides this, the freezing in the Ukrainian (and in general in the Western) direction of a considerable (from a third to a half) of the entire military capacity of Russia would block the possibility of pursuing an active foreign policy (including in Syria). There wouldn’t be simply anything left that could offer support.

A hypothetical Ukrainian campaign didn’t correspond to the principle, according to Liddel Hart, requirement of a successful war: “Victory is such a post-war peace that is better than the pre-war one, at least for you”.

But maybe it was possible to integrate at least Donbass into Russia following the Crimean example? No, it wasn’t. As was already said, legitimate regional authorities didn’t support the revolt. Only about a third of the total area of two regions and a half of that territory on which an independence referendum was held appeared in the hands of the revolters. To recognise and integrate them into Russia (and they can’t survive independently) is possible only within the framework of the territory under its control today. Supporting an offensive of the DPR/LPR up to the borders of regions means to start a war that leads to the partition of Ukraine, but Russia will receive even less than the biggest part of Novorossiya – it will be just two regions. The other consequences, perhaps, are a little more soft, but in general they are the same. Besides this, it is necessary to understand that by making peace on the condition of the integration of Donbass, Russia would practically reconcile with the loss of the rest of Ukraine forever (or as far as it is possible to speak about “forever” in politics in principle). I.e., the losses are the same, and the profit is even less, if we avoid saying that there isn’t any in general.

In fact, this situation of a military-political stalemate that developed in the Ukrainian direction by the summer of 2014 forced Russia to opt to freeze the situation in this direction, having transferred the center of gravity of its efforts to more promising, from the point of view of the global standoff with the US, regions – in order to return to the Ukrainian question in general, and to Donbass in particular, in more favourable conditions.

Russia, Ukraine and the Minsk agreement fiction (Exclusive!)

Russia, Ukraine and the Minsk agreement fiction (Exclusive!)

December 18, 2018

by Pepe Escobar exclusive for The Saker Blog

Rostislav Ishchenko is arguably the leading international analyst focused on the extraordinarily turbulent Russia-Ukraine relations. He posts regularly on Ukraina.ru, with frequent English translations here.

In contrast to the 24/7 “Russian aggression” demonization campaign effective on all corners of the Beltway and spreading towards selected European capitals, Ishchenko’s analysis, for instance of the information war deployed on all fronts of the Russia-Ukraine saga comes as a breath of fresh air.

Although we were not able to meet in person during my recent visit to Moscow, due to conflicting schedules (the meeting will take place later in the winter), Ishchenko graciously accepted to answer my most pressing questions regarding what could happen next on the Russia-Ukraine front, with translation by Scott Humor.

Ishchenko’s answers on the situation in Donbass should also be expanded to Crimea, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed he had information about Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko planning an armed provocation on the border with Crimea in the last ten days of December.

Considering the terrain in winter is usually propitious for tank advance, would Poroshenko, in desperation, go for a major provocation in the Donbass, perhaps between Christmas and New Year’s Eve? 

First of all, this winter is too warm and the area is not yet favorable for an offensive. Second, even if frost strikes and an attack becomes possible, it is too big of a risk for Poroshenko. He does not have enough military power to defeat the DPR/LPR forces, without even mentioning that surprises are still possible as it happened in August 2008 in South Ossetia. After all, the Minsk peace agreement has not been canceled yet, and it is unlikely that the West will be able to stand against Russia in a consolidated manner at the moment when Russia is conducting a peace coercion of the confectioner, who is out of his mind with fear, and whom the West has already written off. The West requires a mandatory holding of elections, and any war would mean a cancellation of elections. If the war is facilitated by Poroshenko, he will be blamed for the cancellation of the elections and there will be no need to protect him.

Is there any possibility of the Minsk agreements being fulfilled in case of a slightly less anti-Russian government in place in Kiev after the next elections? 

No, it’s not possible. Kiev is unable to implement the Minsk agreements because this would imply the federalization of Ukraine, while the Kiev elites are able to rule only within the rigid vertical of the unitary state. They basically do not imagine a different system of relationships. Since 2014, the internal resources which could satisfy appetites of oligarchic groups were exhausted, and there is no material basis for compromise. Therefore, they are doomed to fight among themselves for the dominance. Even if Russia, Crimea, Donbass and the whole world would suddenly vanish, the civil war in Ukraine, no longer restrained from the outside, would only intensify.

Is Kiev aware that in case of a military attack on Donbass, the Russian response would be devastating? And that in Brussels, as I confirmed with many diplomatic sources, nobody really cares about Poroshenko’s fate anymore? 

I think that he knows this very well. That’s exactly why he organized his provocations in the Kerch Strait and also in Kiev (attacking the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate), but not in Donbass.

 

MEDIA IGNORES THE PLIGHT OF KIRILL VYSHINSKY: A RUSSIAN JOURNALIST IMPRISONED WITHOUT TRIAL IN UKRAINE

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The 2018 Person of the Year issue features four covers depicting Philippines-based editor Maria Ressa, jailed Burmese journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, the staff of the Capital Gazette, and the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But jailed Ukrainian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky wasn’t included. Share this with those whom are unaware of Kirill’s plight. http://bit.ly/2UCZ0nb
Sign the petition to help release imprisoned journalist Kirill Vyshinsky 👉👉👉http://bit.ly/FreeKirill

Eva Bartlett speaks with journalist Vladimir Rodzianko on the detention of Kirill Vyshinsky by Ukraine since May 2018. Ukrainian authorities accuse Vyshinsky of “treason” and have delayed his trials twice.

Nov 12, 2018, Mint Press News
The case of Russian-Ukranian journalist, Kirill Vyshinsky, imprisoned without fair trail in Ukraine since mid-May is yet another in a long list of attacks on journalists by NATO-aligned countries that never make the headlines.

petition for Vyshinsky’s release reads:

On May 15, 2018, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) carried out a massive operation against journalists, having forcefully searched the Ukrainian-based RIA Novosti’s central office in Kiev, including its correspondents’ homes, and arrest of it’s editor-in-chief, Kirill Vyshinsky.

On July 11, the court in Kherson, Ukraine extended Kirill’s imprisonment by 60 days without bail, and is currently being held captive, as his health is rapidly deteriorating.

As of November 1, the Kherson city court has extended the arrest of Kirill until December 28, without a legitimate trial and without right to bail.”

The journalist, if finally tried, could face up to 15 years in prison, although he was fulfilling his role as a journalist. While in prison, his health has deteriorated to the point that his lawyer had to request urgent medical treatment, Sputnik reported.

Yet, aside from the rather bland entry on the Reporters Without Borders (RWB) website, expressing “worry” for Vyshinsky, only Russian media seem to be reporting on the prolonged and illegal detention of a journalist. Just imagine the selective outrage corporate media would express in chorus were the journalist imprisoned in Russia. The RWB entry did, at least, note:

“The authorities must either precisely explain how the alleged actions constituted high treason or release Kirill Vyshinsky without delay.”

Supporters of Vyshinsky are asking for a fair trial and fair media coverage.

To learn more, I spoke with American journalist Vladimir Rodzianko, the author of the petition and co-administrator of a Facebook group in support of Kirill Vyshinsky.

Top Photo | Kirill Vyshinsky, surrounded by Ukrainian officials and security in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo | Reuters

…and yet:

Screenshot from 2018-12-13 15-17-40

Emergency briefing of the head of Donetsk People’s Republic Militia Basurin on the situation on 10.12.2018

South Front

December 11, 2018

I would like to make the following statement. Our intelligence obtained irrefutable evidence about the Armed Forces of Ukraine AFU preparation to attack us at the direction of Mariupol. The information obtained from reliable sources fully reveals the plans of the Ukrainian security forces.

The purpose of this planned attack is to seize the territory of Novoazovsky and Telmanovsky districts and establish control over the section of the border between the DPR and Russia in the area of villages Konkovo and Kholodnoye.

The enemy offensive strike group has been already formed in total of more than 12 thousand people. It’s concentrated along the line of contact near the village of Novotroitskoe, Shirokino, and Rovnopol.

The strike group consists of more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple launch rocket systems, 180 guns and mortars, all are concentrated here at this location.

The first echelon consists of the 128th Mountain Assault and 79th Assault brigades. The second echelon includes the 56th Infantry Brigade and the 36th Marine Brigade.

The basis of the artillery group consists of two divisions of The 27th Rocket Artillery Brigade “Sumy” and a rocket division of the 15th artillery regiment. In addition, 12 units of MLRS “Smerch” of the 40th Artillery Brigade had been urgently transferred to the area of the village Volodarskoye.

In the reserve of this strike group tactical group “Mariupol” is deployed consisting of the 73rd Naval Special Purpose Center from Ochakiv (the US Navy base)  of about 500 troops, in addition to two self-propelled howitzer battalions of the 1st and 406th Artillery Brigades.

The functions of a detachments assigned to the bandits of the Azov regiment.

According to the plan of the Ukrainian command, on the morning of December 14th, after artillery preparation, the advance elements of the 128th  and 79th  brigades will to go on the offensive from the line of Granite — Shirokino in the direction of village Klinkino with the task to get to the state border of the DPR near villages Konkovo and Holodnoe, by the end of December 15th.

For further development of this offensive operation and to cover the advancing units of the 79th  Brigade, the second echelon of this strike group consisting the 56th  infantry brigade is planed to enter the battle at the direction of Primorskoe — Shevchenko in the direction of the village Klinkino.

To disrupt the command  and operational control of our troops possible subversive actions will be carried out by the forces of the “Mariupol” tactical group.

After completion of the operation on the occupied territory, the forces of the Nazi regiment ” Azov” and also raid units of the 36th brigade of the Marine corps, it is planned to conduct ethnic cleansing of the occupied villages from “undesirable,” in their opinion,” elements ” and those  opponents of the Ukrainian occupation.

The command of this criminal enterprise assigned to a war criminal Moisuk, who has been bestowed upon a rank of general on December 6th for his dedication to Poroshenko.

As an excuse for this armed aggression, (the Kiev regime) will use a terror attack committed by the Ukrainian special services in Mariupol. This will take place a few days before the planned invasion and will carried out against one of the industrial production facilities by explosion of a chemical storage.

It is possible that (this will be done) with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles adapted for dumping mines and hand grenades.

As a result, there expected to be a release of toxic substances. According to the information available to us, which is now being checked, the sabotage is planned at the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works Metallurgical Plant of Mariupol. The large stocks of ammonia stored there for an industrial production. In the case of a terror attack, the area of possible contamination can be up to 15 square kilometers.

The area of contamination will cover a part of Mariupol with a population of about 50 thousand people.

In the future, Poroshenko’s regime plans to lay on the Donetsk Republic all responsibility for this terror act. These actions will be accompanied by hysteria in the Ukrainian media, designed to convince the Ukrainians and the international community that the unleashing aggression against us is “just and justifiable.”

Obviously, Kiev expects that in these circumstances the issue of gross violation of the Minsk agreements by the OSCE will not be raised and the international community will once again close its eyes to the bloody crimes of Poroshenko’s regime.

It is no coincidence that the date of completion of the operation of the Ukrainian military is December 15th. Apparently, Poroshenko cannot wait for his schismatic meeting, which he announced to take place on the same day, to report to the schismatics, in fact, to the traitors of Ukrainian people, which he himself is, about his military “victories.”

Actually, this is the main reason for the provocation conceived by the Kiev authorities, in spite of everything to demonstrate PEREMOGA. Because Naev and Moisuk, seeking to curry favor, don’t feel sorry for soldiers to carry out criminal orders of his president.

The DPR calls on the OSCE observers to pay attention to the military preparations of the AFU and stop the aggression.

I appeal to the residents of Mariupol. Brothers and sisters, be vigilant. In case we fail to prevent the SBU diversion, do not panic. Stay calm.

Try in the period from December 11th to 14th not to be near industrial facilities that store chemicals like chlorine, ammonia and others. Take care of your children. They are the least protected in these conditions.

Strangely enough as it will sound, I urge the Ukrainian police to increase vigilance and try to prevent the terrorist acts planned by SBU. Remember, you do not serve the criminals who came to power as a result of a coup, you serve the people of Ukraine.

In conclusion I will add that the People’s Militia of the DPR is ready to meet uninvited guests. We will protect our citizens! The enemy will not pass!

POROSHENKO GOVERNMENT MAY STAGE CHEMICAL ATTACK TO PROVOKE NEW ROUND OF HOSTILITIES IN EASTERN UKRAINE

South Front

05.12.2018

Poroshenko Government May Stage Chemical Attack To Provoke New Round Of Hostilities In Eastern Ukraine

ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGE: AFP 2018 / YURIY DYACHYSHYN

The military command of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) received information regarding several scenarios of a Ukrainian offensive in Donbass. The details of the alleged Kiev plan were announced by the deputy chief of the People’s Militia of the DPR Eduard Basurin on December 4.

“Our intelligence obtained reliable data on the training of Western curators, together with the Ukrainian command of several options for the offensive,” Basurin said in a statement.

Most notably, there is allegedly a chemical attack being planned in the Kiev-controlled settlements in the Gorlovka area in eastern Ukraine. Prior to this, intelligence suggested that the preparation of such a scenario was being prepared by British experts.

The DPR Militia stated that in Mariupol bloody provocations are being prepared on land and sea. Both scenarios are designed for numerous casualties among the civilian population and the armed forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the subsequent accusation in this of the forces of the People’s Militia.

“This occasion will immediately be used to deliver a massive missile and air strike on the critical objects of the Republics. In particular, artillery and aviation will hit the places that store military equipment, established by the Minsk agreements, weapons and fuel warehouses,  civilian infrastructure,” Basurin said.

The People’s Militia didn’t rule out that these scenarios can be implemented consecutively, “to guarantee the image of the tyrant in the face of the Republic’s leadership in the eyes of the international community and justify the total mobilization of Ukrainian citizens into the ranks of Ukrainian military.”

On December 5, concerns about a possible staged chemical attack in eastern Ukraine were repeated by a spokesperson for the Russian Foriegn Ministry Mariya Zakharova.

“We are calling on the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] monitoring mission to intensify their activities in Donbas. What is needed is a comprehensive picture on the military preparations by Ukraine, not some fragmented pieces of information,” she said.

On December 1st, Basurin warned that Kiev is preparing for a large-scale offensive against the DPR.

“Training of the shock group is underway. This is evidenced by the concentration on the Mariupol tactical direction of three brigades – 79 separate assault and assault brigades, 36 separate brigades of marines and 128 separate mountain assault brigades, who received the task of conducting offensive operations in the Novoazovsk region in early December with access to the border with Russia,” he said.

According to him, breaking through the first line of defense was entrusted to elite formations of paratroopers and marines. Basurin considers this a tactical mistake of Kiev and the “incompetence of the Commander of the Combined Forces Sergey Naev, who for the sake of devotion to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is ready to sacrifice personnel for the sake of achieving dubious goals.”

On November 21st, the head of the press services of the People’s Militia Daniil Bezsonov quoted intelligence that suggested a group of British military expertshad  arrived in Artyomovsk under control of Kiev to participate in a chemical attack in the north of the republic.

“The Ukrainian side does not leave intentions to conduct chemical sabotage in the north of the DPR. Our intelligence obtained data on the arrival at the headquarters of the 72nd brigade in Artyomovsk a group of military specialists from the UK,” he was cited as saying.

According to the provided information, some of the arrivals are part of the units of the special operations forces of the armed forces of the United Kingdom. Also, according to DPR intelligence reports, in the populated areas of Dacha and Dzerzhinsk, 2 and 5 km from the contact line, there was an arrival of special units with personal equipment for chemical protection and boxes with chemical hazard warning.

Furthermore, following the incident between a Ukrainian naval group and Russian coastal guards on November 25th, Ukraine decided to impose martial law in 10 regions, primarily along the Russian border. On November 27thTASS cited the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov who warned that the imposition of martial law could lead to an escalation in the Donbass.

“This is Ukraine’s domestic affair, but amid the elections, certainly, such a step as imposing martial law has a special undisguised undertone. Potentially, the imposition of martial law in some regions may pose a risk of escalating tensions in the conflict-hit region, namely the southeast,” Peskov said.

So far, if the reports by the DPR are accurate it does appear that there are plans for an escalation in the Donbass.

Related News

A Watchdog Media video SITREP about the Kerch incident

November 26, 2018

All U.S. Gov’t. Accusations Against Russia’s Gov’t. Are Lies

All U.S. Gov’t. Accusations Against Russia’s Gov’t. Are Lies

by Eric Zuesse  for The Saker Blog

THE FIRST ACCUSATION, which is the source of the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, was in 2012 under U.S. President Barack Obama, and it alleged that Sergei Magnitsky had been a whistleblower in Russia who was a lawyer who uncovered corruption in Russia’s Government and was imprisoned for that and beaten to death there for that. Magnitsky was, in fact, no whistleblower, and no lawyer, but the accountant of American billionaire Bill Browder, who had been charged by the Russian Government (and who then fled Russia) as having tax-defrauded the Russian Government of $230 million. And, Magnitsky’s death in prison was due to inadequate medical care of his pancreatitis by the medical personnel there, not (as Browder alleged) to any “beating.”

THE SECOND ACCUSATION, in 2014, is that “Russia stole Crimea.” This charge is the source of additional (and more severe) sanctions against Russis, and also of NATO’s massing of troops and weapons on and near Russia’s border, which are massed there allegedly to ‘protect’ European nations against ‘Russian aggression’ (such as ‘seizing Crimea’). It’s all founded on basic lies regarding Crimea and Ukraine. A fuller presentation of that case is here. But what constitutes the most remarkable evidence of all in this entire matter are two crucial phone-conversations. The first is the 27 January 2014 phone-conversation whereby the chief agent, Victoria Nuland, whom Obama had assigned to organize the coup to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected President Victor Yanukovych, gave the order as to whom Yanukovych’s replacement would be. This call is grossly misrepresented if not entirely ignored by the U.S. regime’s ‘journalists’ and ‘historians’. Nuland famously said there “Fuck the EU” (for the EU’s wanting a more moderate and less-nazi alternative to be selected). That much of the call was reported in the Western press (though with virtually no context as to what it meant and why she had said it), but the rest — the historically crucial part of it — wasn’t. This historically mega-important phone-call, which was posted to the internet a week later, on February 4th — three weeks before the man whom she named there received (just as she had instructed) the appointment to lead the post-coup Ukraine — isn’t even being denied by Washington. Instead, it’s either ignored by them, or else totally misrepresented, in the ‘historical’ accounts by the agents of the U.S. regime.

Especially remarkable about this phone-conversation, to select Ukraine’s new leader, is that it wasn’t between Ukrainians, but was instead between two Americans, selecting the person who would soon be appointed by the U.S. regime to rule Ukrainians; it actually obliterated Ukrainian national sovereignty. Nuland told Pyatt not to appoint the moderate Vitally Klitschko, the EU’s favorite, to become Ukraine’s new leader, but instead to appoint the rabidly anti-Russian Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Here, then, is the most crucial part of this historically crucial phone-conversation, the instruction she gave there that set “the New Cold War” — the movement toward World War III — overtly into motion (after its covert start on the night of 24 February 1990):

Nuland: … Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience the governing experience; he’s the… what he needs is Klitsch [the leading moderate] and Tiahnybok [an admirer of Hitler] on the outside; he [Yats] needs to be talking to them four times a week you know. I just think Klitch going in, he’s going to be, at that level, working for Yatsenyuk; it’s just not going to work.

Pyatt: Yeah [you’re right], no [I was wrong to think that Klitschko should become the new ruler], I think that’s right. Ok. Good.

Then, she referred, in the call, to her agent (just like she was Obama’s agent), Jeff Feltman, who had been assigned to persuade the U.N.’s Ban ki-Moon and his envoy handling Ukraine — who was Holland’s former Ambassador to Ukraine, the anti-Russian and pro-American Robert Serry — to go along with the U.S., in this context:

I talked to Jeff Feltman this morning; he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry; did I write you that this morning?

Pyatt: Yeah I saw that.

Nuland: Ok. He’s now gotten both Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. That would be great, I think, to help glue this thing, and to have the UN help glue it, and, you know, fuck the EU.

Feltman chose Serry to become officially appointed on 5 March 2014 by Ban ki-Moon to “mediate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.” (Whether Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ever knew that the U.N.’s  ‘mediator’ had been chosen by Obama’s people, is unknown; presumably, he knew of the Nuland-Pyatt phone-conversation; but certainly Russia’s U.N. Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, wasn’t comfortable about Serry’s representing the U.N. on this matter; and Crimeans also were outright hostile toward Serry.)

In other words: this was a set-up deal, set up in Washington, to create — and with the U.N.’s acceptance — a rabidly anti-Russian government, right on Russia’s doorstep, in adjoining Ukraine. Would the U.N. have accepted Russia’s replacing Mexico’s Government in a bloody coup and installing a rabidly anti-U.S. regime there? Did the U.S. in 1962 accept Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, which is 100 miles away from the U.S.? Of course not. Why should Russia do that, in 2014 — or ever?

Then, in a phone-call on February 26th, occurred the second important item of evidence. The foreign-affairs chief of the European Union, Catherine Ashton, was confidentially informed by her investigator, Urmas Paet, that the new Government in Ukraine was not actually the result of what the democratically elected Government had done, but was instead a coup by “the new coalition” government that had just succeeded at overthrowing the elected Government. This is from the transcript:

What was quite disturbing, the same oligarch [Poroshenko — and so when he then became Ukraine’s President three months later, he already knew this] told that well, all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers, from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, [this will shock Ashton, who thought that Yanukovych had masterminded the killings] that they were the same snipers, killing people from both sides [so, Poroshenko himself knows that his regime is based on a false-flag U.S.-controlled coup d’etat against his predecessor, Yanukovych — and he even said as much]

Well, that’s yes, …

So that and then she [Dr. Olga Bolgomets] also showed me some photos, she said that as medical doctor, she can, you know, say that it’s the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition that they don’t want to investigate, what exactly happened; so that now there is stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition. 

Notice here that Paet had tactfully avoided saying that Ashton’s assumption that it had been Yanukovych was false; instead, he totally ignored her having suggested that, and he here simply said that the evidence went totally in the opposite direction, the direction that Poroshenko himself knew to be true, that the guilty party was “the new coalition,” which Paet said nothing about, and Ashton asked him no questions about it or about what country had actually organized it. Ashton responded:

I think that we do want to investigate. 

That sentiment on her part lasted, however, only about one second.

I mean I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh? 

Ashton here seemed to have felt outright embarrassed, and she thus ended in a “Gosh” that was almost inaudible, as if a question, and then she immediately proceeded simply to ignore this crucial matter entirely. All of the evidence suggests that she was exceedingly reluctant to believe that in the overthrow, the bad guys had actually been on the anti-Yanukovych side. The overthrow of Yanukovych has since been called “the most blatant coup in history”.

On the day when the coup peaked, 20 February 2014, there was an event which turned the residents of Crimea even more against the overthrow-Yanukovych demonstrators than Crimeans already were (and Crimea had voted over 75% for Yanukovych, so they were strongly against this overthrow): it was “The Anti-Crimean Pogrom that Sparked Crimea’s Breakaway”.

Almost immediately after Yatsenyuk became the leader of Ukraine, he sacked the existing three Deputy Defense Ministers, on March 5th, and replaced them with three rabidly anti-Russian neo-Nazis, who were committed to his bombing-policy, to eliminate enough Yanukovych-voters so that the new Government, in future elections, would be able to be a continuation of Yatsenyuk’s instead of a restoration of the one that had preceded Yatsenyuk’s. The person who was made the Minister of Defense, Mikhail Koval, announced his intention to ethnically cleanse from southeastern Ukraine the “subhumans” who voted for Yanukovych, who will “be resettled in other regions,” meaning either Russia (if Russia accepts these Ukrainian refugees) or else concentration-camps inside Ukraine (and then perhaps death). “There will be a thorough filtration of people.” (That English translation has since been taken down; so, instead, try this and this.) Their property will be confiscated, and “Land parcels will be given out for free to the servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military formations, as well as to the employees of Interior Ministry and the Security Service of Ukraine that are defending territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country in eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine.” That’s the euphemism for the ethnic cleansing, and mass-theft, which followed. And here is more of that, and more, and more, of this U.S.-imposed nazism. In other words, Obama’s rulers of Ukraine were rewarding ethnic-cleansing, and were offering their soldiers the opportunity to grab legally the property of their victims.

On 15 November 2017, two of the foreign mercenaries who had served as snipers in the Ukrainian coup confessed on Italian television and described how they had come to be hired for the job, by Mikheil Saakashvili (who is a U.S. Deep State asset).

The result of the U.S. regime’s takeover of Ukraine’s Government is this. And a generation of young Ukrainians are now being taught nazism, right on the border of Russia — Russia being the one country that in World War II had done the most to conquer the Nazis. The U.S. Government has flipped to pro-nazi. And time after time after time, the U.S. leads the three-or-fewer nations that vote at the U.N. against condemning nazism. That’s right: America, which under President FDR had fought against the Nazis and the other fascist regimes, now was and is itself the world’s leading racist-fascist, or ideologically nazi (but this time mainly against Russians, instead of mainly against Jews), regime, itself. (In fact, today’s America is allied with the ideologically racist-fascist, or nazi, anti-Palestinian, Israeli regime. And, it’s allied also with the nazi — but anti-Shiite — Saud regime, which was founded in 1744 on the basis of hating Shiites.)

Ukraine’s economy was destroyed by the U.S.-imposed Ukrainian regime. Until around 2013, Ukraine’s economy was fairly stable, but then the coup-operation, which had begun in Washington in 2011, for regime-change in both Ukraine and Syria, culminated successfully in Ukraine in February 2014. Ukraine’s national debt then nearly quadrupled, between 2013 and 2017, while Ukraine’s GDP simultaneously declined 39%:

https://www.statista.com/

Ukraine: National debt from 2012 to 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars)

2012=20.14

2013=22.67

2014=42.61

2015=60.24

2016=73.94

2017=83.96

https://www.statista.com/

Ukraine: GDP from 2012 to 2017

2012=175.71

2013=179.57

2014=132.34

2015=90.94

2016=93.26

2017=109.32

Because of what the U.S. regime did to Ukraine, Ukraine now has vastly higher debt, and also significantly reduced GDP from which to pay it. Nothing about this operation was at all democratic. The opposition to this operation was democratic. That’s not to say the crowd who had campaigned at the Maidan Square against Ukraine’s endemic corruption were anti-democratic, but that their leaders were — and so Ukraine is even more corrupt now than it was under Yanukovych. Four days before the Nuland-anointed Yatsenyuk left Ukraine’s Government, he tweeted on 10 April 2016, “I thank the colleagues who’ve acted honestly and selflessly. The last 2 Govs [his and Poroshenkos] were unique. They were the first manifestations of New Ukraine.” Look at the heap of contempt which his former followers heaped there upon that tweet. The pro-U.S.-regime site Euractive noted on that same day, that “his party’s approval rating has slumped to just two percent” and blamed it not on his ethnic-cleansing campaign and his sinking his country into hock to foreign investors in order to fund that war against the regions that had voted 90% for Yanukovych, but instead mainly “because of the painful transition away from a state-sustained economy” — not enough privatization, not enough graft for insider-investors to have been able to suck Ukrainians even drier than they’ve done.

All indications are that, right after the February 2014 coup, over 90% of Crimeans wanted to become Russians again, and that over 90% are happy today to be Russians again (which Crimea had been until 1954 when the Soviet dictator arbitrarily transferred Crimea from Russia to Ukraine). But the U.S. regime and its allies demand that Crimeans be taken over by the nazi racist anti-Russian and anti-Crimean regime the U.S. installed in Ukraine. The right of self-determination of peoples is honored (at least verbally) in The West for Spain’s Catalonians and for UK’s Scotts, but not at all for Crimeans, whom The West is instead determined to, essentially, destroy, by diktat (which is what the U.S.-imposed Ukrainian regime wants to do to Crimeans).

Instead of “Putin seized Crimea,” the reality is: Obama seized Ukraine. Crimeans rejected his seizure. “Putin seized Crimea” is lie #2.

THE THIRD ACCUSATION is that Russia’s Government, if not Putin himself, surreptitiously disclosed through “hacks” supplied to Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton’s and her campaign’s emails, and that Russia otherwise also campaigned, via Facebook ads, to make Donald Trump win against Hillary Clinton. Wikileaks said that the emails actually arrived via leaks not hacks, and that the leaks were from inside the Democratic Party, not from anyone outside the United States. Regarding the Facebook ads, the New York Times on 20 September 2018, bannered a 9,700-word article, “The Plot to Subvert an Election: Unraveling the Russia Story So Far”, and buried 92% of the way through it, as merely a clause in a sentence, the crucial fact that “no public evidence has emerged showing that his [Trump’s] campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.”  This startlingly anomalous declaration by their reporters was publicly noted to be anomalous, on the very same day as the article was published, when the “Moon of Alabama” blogger headlined “NYT Admits That Its ‘Mountain of Evidence’ For Russian Collusion Is Smaller Than A Molehill”. Then, on October 1st appeared, from the “Alternative Insight” blogger, “The New York Times Plots the 2016 Election”, opening:

The article starts with

ON AN OCTOBER AFTERNOON BEFORE THE 2016 ELECTION, a huge banner was unfurled from the Manhattan Bridge in New York City: Vladimir V. Putin against a Russian-flag background…”

The paragraph ends with

In November, shortly after Donald J. Trump eked out a victory that Moscow had worked to assist, an even bigger banner appeared.”

Note that before any facts are presented, the reader is confronted with a conclusion “Moscow had worked to assist” in Trump’s victory.

Police never identified who had hung the banners, but there were clues. The earliest promoters of the images on Twitter were American-sounding accounts, including @LeroyLovesUSA, later exposed as Russian fakes operated from St. Petersburg to influence American voters.”

Although described “as Russian fakes operated from St. Petersburg to influence American voters,” the banners had nothing to do with the election, and the second banner was unfurled after the election. Why conclude they are Russian fakes? Could not these individuals be operating similar to many persons who have Facebook accounts, hiding their real names when commenting on controversial issues?
These lines are followed by leaps into fantasy.
“The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history.”

How do a few unknown persons, supposedly living in St. Petersburg, suddenly morph into “The Kremlin?” How could, “The banners be intended as visual victory laps?” How is this, “the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history?” A succeeding paragraph proves the article is a bundle of unproven statements. Before presenting any facts, and using conjecture, other conclusions are impressed into the readers’ minds.

But to travel back to 2016 and trace the major plotlines of the Russian attack is to underscore what we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign.”

What are “the major plotlines,” of what “Russian attack,” that makes it certain that “The Russians carried out a landmark (ED: Why landmark?) intervention?”
Where has there been any evidence of “Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin?”

And, then, on November 2nd, appeared, from Gareth Porter, at Consortium News, a total mathematical disproof of the Times’s central allegation — of “The Timesclaim last month that Russian Facebook posts reached nearly as many Americans as actually voted in the 2016 election.” He headlined “33 Trillion More Reasons Why The New York Times Gets it Wrong on Russia-gate” and displayed the mathematical impossibility of what the Facebook-ads hypothesis (which was accepted unquestioningly by the Times) asserts. He also exposed that the Facebook-ads hypothesis is based on misrepresenting what Facebook had actually asserted:

The newspaper said: “Even by the vertiginous standards of social media, the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone.” The paper argued that 126 million was “not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential election.” …

The newspaper failed to tell their readers that Facebook account holders in the United States had been “served” 33 trillion Facebook posts during that same period — 413 million times more than the 80,000 posts from the Russian company.

What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 31, 2017 is a far cry from what the Times claims. “Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [private Russian company, Internet Research Agency, ‘IRA’-generated] stories at some time during the two year period,” Stretch said.

Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established fact. He said an estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period, but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017—including a full year after the election.

That means only an estimated 29 million FB users may have gotten at least one story in their feed in two years. The 126 million figure is based only on an assumption that they shared it with others, according to Stretch.

Facebook didn’t even claim most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people were.

In addition, Facebook’s Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016 that FB subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber’s news feed on any given day are actually read.

And now, according to the further research, the odds that Americans saw any of these IRA ads—let alone were influenced by them—are even more astronomical. In his Oct. 2017 testimony, Stretch said that from 2015 to 2017, “Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or ‘served,’ a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds.”

To put the 33 trillion figure over two years in perspective, the 80,000 Russian-origin Facebook posts represented just .0000000024 of total Facebook content in that time.

Shane and Mazzetti did not report the 33 trillion number even though The New York Times’ own coverage of that 2017 Stretch testimony explicitly stated, “Facebook cautioned that the Russia-linked posts represented a minuscule amount of content compared with the billions of posts that flow through users’ News Feeds everyday.”

The Times‘ touting of the bogus 126 million out 137 million voters, while not reporting the 33 trillion figure, should vie in the annals of journalism as one of the most spectacularly misleading uses of statistics of all time.

The U.S. Government routinely interferes in elections all over the world, but builds mountains out of molehills of ‘evidence’ to charge that Russia’s Government is the global threat to democracy, and especially to America’s (fake) ‘democracy’. And that’s lie #3.

And, of course, the U.S. regime also had lied its way into invading Iraq in 2003, and lies today to allege that “Iran is the top state-sponsor of terrorism” and so much else; so that anyone who still trusts what the U.S. regime says, would have to be a fool. The New York Times (which participated so prominently in stenographically spreading the U.S. regime’s lies about Iraq in 2002 and 2003) is, no less now than it was then, an ongoing insult to the intelligence of its subscribers, but this time spreading lies especially against Russia. The newspaper’s subscribers didn’t cancel their subscriptions in revolt; that newspaper remains very successful, as if routinely lying to ‘justify’ invasion is okay.

The U.S. public believe the same ‘news’-media which had lied America into earlier invasions and mass-murders — wars and coups. it’s all of the U.S. major ‘news’-media, and most even of the ‘alternative’ ones (but certainly not the one you’re reading here). That’s why, when Trump’s U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley, on 5 April 2018, addressed students at Duke University, and said (at 46:50 in the video) “Russia’s never going to be our friend,” she wasn’t booed by anybody. And she continued, “You haven’t seen the end of what this administration will do to Russia.” In other words: she preached that hostility toward “Russia” is ‘good’. The students and the faculty seemed totally supportive of her nationalistic holier-than-thou lying pontifications. All of the questions, which were asked of her, presumed to be true all of the lies that she had stated against Russia, and against Bashar al-Assad and so much else. She easily fooled these people, because all of the major media already had fooled them, just like had been done about Iraq in 2002 and 2003. Fools never really learn, because they always already ‘know’ (the lies).

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Important for DPR & LPR People – Their Determination by Coming to the Elections by Ruslan Ostashko

November 10, 2018

Translated and captioned by Leo. Make sure to press CC for English captions.

The closer we get to the planned elections in the Republics of Donbass, the louder Ukraine and its Western sponsors are screaming. Like, the declaration of will is illegal, because it is not provided by the Minsk agreements. For this, Russia is pressuring its own line, from which it is not going to back up on.

Diplomatic picks between the West and Russia are growing as they approach November 11. Here is from a recent article:

“OSCE Special Representative, Martin Saidik, believes that the elections scheduled for November 11 in the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass do not correspond to the ‘spirit nor letter of the Minsk agreements.’”

Let me remind you, the OSCE is the very organization whose deaf-blind and silent observers that are still unable to notice that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are constantly violating the truce. In response to attacks from this organization and other Western structures, the Russian representative stressed that the elections are legitimate.

“The election of the heads of the self-proclaimed republics in the Donbass does not contradict the Minsk agreements, as they deal only with local government bodies,” said Russia’s permanent representative of the Minsk agreement, Boris Gryzlov.

He noted that “this is not the election of local governments, written in the Minsk agreements, it is the election of heads and people’s councils in the republics of Donbass, necessary for the management of territories, ensuring the daily lives of people in this situation.”

Gryzlov did not miss the opportunity to kick the “Ukraine is Europe” supporters. He recalled that it was Kiev that for more than three years has been delaying a political settlement of the conflict.

In general, there’s nothing new. It is worth noting here that in order to confirm the position of the Republics of Donbass, which Russia shares, we need a high voter turnout. Actually, we have absolutely no difference for whom the inhabitants of the DPR and the LPR will vote for, the main thing is for them to come. It is no secret how much the people of Donbass are tired of this sluggish war and the general situation of uncertainty. The elections will be a step towards resolving this situation – making changes.

You can, of course, criticize the authorities of the Republics, which did not allow some candidates to be elected before, but, by and large, doesn’t have a big impact. It is important that the residents of both Republics confirm their determination to build their lives according to their own project, which is radically different from the Ukrainian “Svidomo” (national conscious).

The activity of people on tragic occasions like the funeral of the murdered head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, shows that this determination has not gone away. Remember how many people were parting with the leader of the Republic? [Estimates of 200,000 – ed]

Now it is time to show the same unity for a much more positive reason. If the residents of Donbass appear in large numbers at the voting stations, they will again hit the “Ukraine is Europe” tales about the “Russian occupation”. And our diplomats will receive another argument that can be beat on the tinsel of “partners”, pointing to the high involvement of the residents of the DPR and the LPR in democratic procedures.

By the way, whoever is shoved as president of Ukraine, the transparency and the number of irregularities in the elections in Donbass can later be later compared with similar parameters of the expression of will of Ukrainians “who have not yet escaped from Sumeria”. I believe that the comparison will be in favor of Donetsk and Lugansk, and not Kiev.

In short, elections are necessary for the Donbass, these elections are important, and I hope that the people are aware of this, and therefore will appear at the voting stations. Ukrainian Nazis will not gain power over the DPR and LPR by force under any circumstances – this is already clear. But in the modern world, it would be nice to back up strength with support of the will of the citizens. It is never bad to have this kind of extra support.

The Non-Existent Sea of Azov Crisis

Via The Saker

The Non-Existent Sea of Azov Crisis

November 02, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-the-non-existent-sea-of-azov-crisis/
source: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20181101/1021618870.html

After the resolution of the European parliament that, contrary to international law and common sense, condemned the actions of Russia in the Sea of Azov, Ukraine cheered up and achieved the bringing of the question concerning elections in the DPR/LPR to the consideration of the UN Security Council.

Russia couldn’t block the introduction of this issue into the agenda both for moral and long-term political reasons.

The fact is that Moscow in 2015 also tried to obtain, and actually did obtain, the approval of the Minsk Agreements via the decision of the UN Security Council. This allowed to put Ukraine on the hook of international legitimacy. Kiev, which desired to jump away from the topic, couldn’t state any more that it doesn’t consider itself to be bound to any agreement with “terrorist-separatists” and that it isn’t obligated to them at all. The decision of the Security Council also enshrined that Russia isn’t a party to the conflict. Kiev after this shouted a lot, caused a fuss, sabotaged the implementation of all without exception points of the Minsk Agreements, but didn’t at all dare to officially withdraw from them.

But every coin has two sides, it is possible to find something bad in any good situation, and in any bad situation – something good. The same thing applies here: cementing its position via the decision of the Security Council, Russia couldn’t, without suffering serious reputation losses, deny the Security Council its right to consider the implementation of the decisions approved by its resolution.

Of course, the Security Council couldn’t adopt an anti-Russian or anti-Donbass resolution in connection with the existence of Russia’s veto. But the 5 member countries of the Security Council (France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Great Britain) made a statement of non-recognition of the elections being prepared in Donbass and urged Russia to cancel them. The statement was supported by Germany, Italy, and Belgium. It is strange that there was no America among the declarants. However, this allows to present the statement as the collective position of the European Union, while Washington receives the opportunity to later express itself in support of its allies, but in the meantime to make one more attempt to carry out behind-closed-doors bargaining with Moscow.

Both parties are formally right. Ukraine and its Euro-American intercessors specify that elections in Donbass, according to the Minsk Agreements, have to take place under Ukrainian laws, but Minsk will be violated if they take place now. The People’s Republics, whose position Russia supports, state that this may of course be true, but Ukraine long ago had to adopt a whole complex of acts and carry out other measures, including disengaging troops and ceasing shelling before the turn of the People’s Republics to observe the Ukrainian electoral laws comes.

Judging by separate passages of the speech of the Russian envoy in the UN Security Council, Moscow suggests to consider these elections as the simple legitimation of the heads of the republics, who, unlike their predecessors, weren’t elected by anybody. The West is proposed to look at these elections as the solution to a purely technical problem. Moscow has a trump card on its side  – the fact that the head of the DPR Zakharchenko was killed and charges of organising murder were brought to official Kiev structures.

Europe, however, didn’t want to accept the arguments of Russia, which is demonstrated by the statement of 8 EU states. This, of course, can be the usual diplomatic demarche without consequences — occupying an advantageous position for bargaining in the great global game. But there can also be more serious undertakings that as a result will lead to the realisation of Kiev’s dream of disavowing Minsk, but for reasons that are not at all joyful for Ukraine.

We remember that Germany and France weren’t at all afflicted when Russia froze meetings in the Normandy Format until Ukraine took a more constructive position. They sighed freely, because Kiev bothered them worse than a bitter radish, and sat down in the first row of the parterre to see how Volker will get out of the situation. But they remain guarantors of the Minsk Agreements. It is clear to all that Minsk will never be fulfilled. Kiev doesn’t hide from the West that it is afraid of a domino effect if Donbass is given special status. But Paris and Berlin can’t just say “we changed our mind, Minsk doesn’t work any more”. It is for this same reason that Russia can’t deny the UN Security Council its right to periodically consider the question of implementing the Minsk Agreements. France and Germany themselves insisted on these agreements, they participated in their development, they declared that this is their big victory. The political losses that both countries and their leaders will incur if they change their position will be too great.

France and Germany need to have a pretext to free themselves from the obligation of solving the Ukrainian crisis. If it is impossible to withdraw from the agreements at their own will, and if it is impossible to allow it to be disrupted by a Kiev supported by the West, then it is necessary to shift the blame onto Russia and the People’s Republics.

The West perfectly understands that the refusal under obvious pressure to hold elections in the People’s Republics will cause essential damage to Russia’s international authority. That’s why it acts maximally publicly, up to the level of collective statements following the results of the UN Security Council meeting, closing for Moscow the option of changing its mind and once again “postponing” elections. After the elections have taken place, the West can refuse to recognise Pushilin and Pasechnik as negotiators in connection with the non-recognition of the elections that they were elected in. Also the powers of other delegates signed by them during negotiations can also not be recognised. This is enough to bury the Minsk process under an absolutely plausible excuse.

But if indeed the West does this, then it won’t be done to start a new round of negotiations and reach compromises that are more acceptable for Kiev. If there was the desire to save Ukraine, then it would be enough for Germany to stop the construction of “Nord Stream-2” and not prevent Poland from paralysing the work of “Nord Stream-1”. The geopolitical situation surrounding Kiev would immediately significantly change, and the chances – albeit tiny – of lasting at least 5 years while Russia searches for new markets and delivery routes for its gas would sharply grow for the regime. But Germany initially didn’t plan to opt for such sacrifices, which indeed granted us [Russians – ed] the right to affirm that the destiny of Ukraine, in principle, has been decided, therefore it is better for the Kiev regime to immediately die because long agony only increases the torture.

The West in general, and Europe in particular, needs to jump away from the toxic topic, because it is already clear that Russia will soon raise the question of who will pay for the restoration of Ukraine, like how it already raised such a question concerning Syria. By the time that such a question will be asked by Moscow, it is necessary not to have any formal connections with the Ukrainian crisis. The destruction of the Minsk and Normandy Formats — formally not due to their own fault — allows France and Germany to distance themselves from the problem, while at the same time keeping their finger on the pulse. After all, Poland, Hungary, and Romania won’t be able to avoid border problems connected with their minorities in the West of Ukraine. This means that the EU will anyway be involved in a settlement. But Germany and France will be free from obligations and will be able to dictate to their younger partners in the EU the conditions of support for their position, threatening to leave them alone with their problem in the event of obstinacy.

The Azov crisis should be considered from the same point of view. The West didn’t notice this problem during a year, and then suddenly the European Parliament started to care about it, while even Ukraine recognises that although the economic losses from Russia’s actions in the Sea of Azov and big, Moscow acts in full accordance with international standards – no violations of protocols by Russian customs groups were documented.

There is nothing extraordinary about Russia’s actions. The US examined the vessels going to Cuba not only in the days of the Caribbean Crisis. Israel examined the vessels going to Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, which even caused a diplomatic incident and the cooling of earlier excellent relations with Turkey. It is possible to give a plethora of examples: a warship’s right to examine a trade vessel in the high sea is the ABC of international law.

Nevertheless, the European Parliament started talking about a possible aggravation in the Sea of Azov and began to threaten with sanctions.

Who will aggravate? Russia has no need to do this, Ukraine can’t, and there isn’t anyone else there. Sofa “experts” already started talking about the entrance of the “NATO fleet” in the Sea of Azov. Those who are cleverer speak about its entrance in the Black Sea, understanding that a warship can only pass in the Sea of Azov with the permission of Russia, and a breakthrough – moreover, by a whole “NATO fleet” – equals war. In addition, large ships anyway can’t breakthrough there, but small cutter boats and dinghies can be brought to the Sea of Azov by Ukraine via land routes without any NATO. But this won’t change anything since Russia can sink everything that floats on this sea. This water area is completely exposed to barrelled artillery fire from the coast, not to mention missile systems. If someone wants to launch a war against Russia, then they will find a more convenient place than the Sea of Azov.

NATO ships, for the purpose of flying the flag, entered, enter, and will continue to enter the Black Sea. The Sea Breeze exercises are staged there annually, but, having an unsinkable “aircraft carrier” named Crimea, Moscow reliably dominates in its water area so much so that a hypothetical attack of Russia using the forces of a really large squadron or shock aircraft carrier grouping is possible no closer than from the region of the Aegean Sea. In the Black Sea a fleet hostile to Russia becomes too vulnerable. Because of Crimea it has nowhere to manoeuvre, and it can’t quickly leave in case of danger – a large grouping of ships can’t overcome the Turkish straits overnight.

So all of this is a fairy tale in favour of idle chatter. The non-existent Azov crisis is invented, on the one hand, for the purpose of mobilising Russophobic voters in the EU for the European Parliament elections in May, 2019, and on the other hand — this noise masks the real actions of the West, and allows it to drift away from Ukraine, imitating its comprehensive support.

Otherwise it is difficult to explain why the West didn’t see the danger of the situation being aggravated during a whole year (when it really existed), but saw it precisely now when the problem was solved. The fishermen of “Nord” were exchanged for the Ukrainian poachers lassoed by Russia. It is only left to exchange captains, then vessels, and then the crisis will fizzle out. Especially if Kiev doesn’t forget to return “Mekhanik Pogodin” after “Nord”.

By the way, apparently Kiev started to suspect that something was amiss, because the comments of Ukrainian officials concerning the Azov crisis were wonderfully weighted, especially against the background of the West’s hysterics. The Kiev regime doesn’t even want to denounce the agreement on the status of the Sea of Azov, contrary to its habit of disrupting all agreements with Russia. However, the regime is now concentrated on destroying the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and creating a pocket “local church”. It is too busy for the Sea of Azov.

War 4 Years On – the Outlook for Lugansk People’s Republic

October 29, 2018

by GH Eliason for The Saker Blog

Leonid Pasechnik, the acting Head of Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR)has been in office for almost one year. With the state of his reforms in LNR, you want to judge him against leaders of countries at peace, not as one that just formed in the middle of a war four years ago.

For the last thirty years, Donbass was neglected in Ukraine. The infrastructure across Ukraine was bad, but in Donbass it was notorious. Key infrastructure like the water supply has been neglected since 1983.

Political Leaders and oligarchs from what would become LNR historically were only interested in what they could take out of the region. Donbass coal and industry historically provided the basis of Ukrainian wealth. No other region contributed as much and no one including Victor Yanukovych had any interest in investing any of that money back in the region to build it up.

Pasechnik is providing a marked difference. During what is still considered nation building, his interim administration is taking the economic and social problems in the newly formed republic head-on.

In the spring of 2018, his administration introduced their five-year socio-economic development plan called “Our Choice.” His administration included input from 70,000 LNR residents to make sure people’s concerns about the future are addressed as reforms go forward.

LNR’s Current Outlook

For the last four years, LNR has worked to build a lasting peace. Fulfilling their side of the Minsk Agreements LDNR (Lugansk &Donetsk People’s Republics) negotiated with Poroshenko’s regime has been a key part deciding what direction the republic is taking. Kiev hasn’t attempted to fulfill any point agreed to and tries to use the agreement to beat Russia over the head within the US and the EU.

The often overlooked part of the Minsk agreement in the west is Ukraine is not negotiating with Russia. Russia is a guarantor for the agreement the same as the EU is, nothing more. If Poroshenko had any intention of reintegrating Donbass, Ukraine would negotiate in good faith and keep its word. This hasn’t happened.

Because of this, Pasechnik’s government recognizes the fact that until the government in Ukraine changes, real negotiation and progress remain impossible. For Ukraine to be taken seriously, decentralization in the form of federalization will have to take place. Ukraine will also have to start creating the conditions for building an economy in all its regions.

Even in view of this LNR has consistently fulfilled its part of the Minsk agreements.

The West’s Shortsighted Spectacle

Unfortunately, even recent history shows there is no reason to take any offer Ukrainian nationalists make or are part of negotiating seriously. Poroshenko is only after sound bites and not substance. Pravy Sektor nationalist leader Dimka Yarosh has announced he is pulling his troops away from the front line to monitor Ukrainian elections. Ultra-nationalists monitoring elections? Yeah, this should go well.

In a recent interview with Ukrainian “Novoye Vremya,” Condoleezza Rice commented it was “bad” that the world was starting to believe Russia’s version of what was going on in Donbass.

At the end of the day, world leaders still have to believe somebody. After four years of looking at the diplomatic and economic train wreck, Ukraine has evolved into, they have no reason to believe Ukraine.

Instead of becoming the promised European model they could all look to, Ukraine has taken away every safety net even marginal civilizations provide for their people. Manufacturing is gone and instead of working through internal issues, the new government attacked its powerhouse region in Donbass. LNR and DNR provided a lion’s share of wealth because of the coal industry and manufacturing. The nation’s most important engineering universities are ensconced in the capitals because of this.

That isn’t something the EU or the rest of the world can take lightly. With no possibility of recovery in the near to mid future, Ukraine’s only hope is to find work in Europe. Ukrainians making it to Europe are finding low paying bottom tier work as well as the illegal sex trade.

Under Donald Trump, there is no reason to believe the US would be willing to take in violent nationalists from a country that tried to destroy his candidacy and his presidency.

All of this is the result of Poroshenko’s Ukraine destroying every possible growth industry it had including rocket engines, weapons, and technologies, and traded that for giant corporate farms. Agribusiness giants and agro-holdings companies are the big growth areas but provide no jobs.

The outlook for Ukraine is very poor for the foreseeable future unless drastic policy changes are implemented.

When you contrast this to what LNR is accomplishing under Leonid Pasechnik, it’s easy to see why Condi Rice is so upset.

Lugansk People’s Republic’s Reform Renaissance

It’s easy to argue renaissance is too strong a term to use for the reforms going on in LNR because there is a war going on. The infrastructure and economy have taken serious hits over the past four years. Nineteen bridges have taken extensive damage or collapsed in LNR hampering transportation. Roads were also shelled and in many areas need to be rebuilt.

On top of this, starting at day one, Pasechnik’s government had to fight the civil war as well as the systemic corruption that had not been touched by his predecessor. It’s very difficult to imagine a government starting out with a weaker hand.

In the short time Pasechnik has been in office, his government not only formulated a five-year plan, but they also started implementing it in a grand way. It started with building an energy bridge to power the steel mill in Alchevsk. High voltage transmission lines were installed that not only allowed the plants to go into production, but they are also increasing production and hiring plant workers. Business is opening in other manufacturing sectors because the government has been able to negotiate its way around sanctions to a small degree. In the garment industry, this is creating jobs.

Large-scale road work and bridge work has commenced and the bridge connecting Lugansk to Donetsk is complete. Part of the 5-year plan is to restore the railways for large-scale transportation to service commerce and commuters. Pasechnik just announced fuel prices in LNR will be dropping to Russian levels. This is while a war is being fought.

Water has been an issue for the last four years and part of LNR’s water supply is purchased from Ukraine. Pasechnik has ordered pipelines from LNR’s own aquifers be rebuilt to solve this problem. Redundancy is a consideration for the design of the project. If one water main is down for repair or maintenance, a second water main will be put in use according to the building specifications.

The farming industry was in tatters because of the war. The current government is working to increase yields of high-quality grains like wheat. LNR has achieved food security for the republic. This by itself is an incredible feat given the fluidity of the situation with the civil war.

As part of the reforms, Pasechnik ordered the customs borders be taken down between LNR and DNR on April 1, 2018. DNR still needs to reciprocate but it is only logical considering how closely both republics need to cooperate.

Along with all these concrete reforms, LNR is also writing new equitable laws to replace the old corpus. More importantly, reformation of the judicial system is underway. Currently, the family courts are complete and work has begun on Supreme Court reform.

It is easy to see why Condoleezza Rice would be a little upset when little tiny upstart countries believe in federalized representative governance and can build a society even with all the stumbling blocks and chaff the US and Europe throw at it. While Ukraine, Rice’s model of what a European country should be, looks anemic by comparison.

It’s easy to have the support of the EU and the USA and make these reforms when they give you billions of dollars to do so. It’s certainly easier to jumpstart an economy when the economic zones are in safe areas.

Pashichnik and his political party Peace for Lugansk (Мир Луганщине) have shown the world they can do it on their own. This is what former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is concerned Russia will tell the world.

We’re going to start exploring the reforms listed above as well as others going on in depth. We’ll also get to know his party and the other political parties in LNR. I like looking at concrete results and Pasechnik is providing that in a substantial way.

After being here from before the beginning of Kiev’s Euromaidan coup, you get a little-jaded writing about politics and political leaders. From my perspective, it’s a shame he and his party wasn’t elected in the first place. I believe both republics would be in a better place.

After taking a real look at this overview, how do political leaders where you live measure up?

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