A War in Ukraine?- Again?

Kiev officials continue to describe the Donbass separatists as “terrorists’ even while the Kiev administration has signed up to negotiating with separatists as part of the Normandy and Minsk agreements – but has never actioned that agreement . Defining the separatists as ‘terrorists’ makes it virtually impossible for Kiev to negotiate anything with them. Kiev is supported in this position (at least officially) by Poland, the U.K and U.S.)

The new government in Berlin however appears to be currently more reticent in supporting Kiev in its aggressive stance and has declined Kiev’s request for more weapons. There are real risks to Ukraine’s neighbours of neo-nazi military brigades like the Azov battalion and other extremist groups supported by the Right Sector, that those groups would not only continue to fight against the Donbass separatists , kill Russian speaking Ukrainians in other parts of Ukraine, and, as in the past, Poles and Jews as well as Russian speakers elsewhere, but also foment trouble in disaffected youth in their own countries…

The U.K. and the U.S. continue to support these extremist groups with arms and training , as they have done since the end of the Second World War (using the extremist OUN-B group led by Stepan Bandera ( now an official hero of the Kiev government ), in an effort to destabilize first the Soviet Union, and now the Russian Federation and the Donbass.

Despite the 9/11 blowback that occurred with the U.S. and U.K support of Saudi and Turkish backed wahhabist extremists in Afghanistan against the Soviets, the strategy of using local extremists continues to be a key item in the U.S. destabilisation playbook. Extensive Ukraine government and Right Sector media has portrayed Western Ukrainian as ‘true slavs’, unlike the Russians in the north and east who are deemed to be lesser beings with eastern mongol genes; a strategy that gives permission for extremist groups like the Azov battalions to exterminate Russian speaking eastern Ukrainians with impunity.

Berlin’s current reticence to fully support the NATO and U.K./U.S. agenda in Ukraine appears to come from a sudden realization that they are hugely reliant on Russian gas. The Nordstream 2 gas pipeline from Russian to Germany was initiated at the insistence of Germany with the understanding that Russian gas would not only be much cheaper than U.S. gas shipped across the Atlantic to Germany, but was also both more reliable and able to be delivered in greater volumes than the Americans could ever provide. Germany’s economy therefore relies on cheap Russian gas, particularly now that its coal fired electricity producers have been largely shut down in response to climate change concerns . The German government therefore walks a tightrope between supporting its NATO allies, and getting the energy it needs for its economy .

The Russians have insisted that the expansion of NATO up to its borders be reversed ( an outcome of the negotiations that led to East Germany and the other Easter European countries becoming independent from Russia in the 1990s, on the verbal understanding that NATO would not expand beyond its 1990s borders). U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken and NATO’s Stoltenberg have insisted that that agreement never existed ( despite multiple citings of evidence of its existence) and that NATO will continue to expand its membership and site weapons wherever it wishes to, regardless of the resultant explicit threat to Russia’s existence..

Exactly what NATOs current purpose is now that communist Soviet Russia has gone, is never explicitly stated, but it is clear that its purpose is to stop Russian ‘aggression’ and intimidate Russia through ongoing military threats. U.S. think tanks have also intimated their wish that Russia be balkanised, so that the carve-up of Russia’s economy can continue from the Yeltsin years, and so that Russia does not have the capacity to militarily oppose any Western military plans (as it has done in Syria).

While Western media and the U.S. continue to hype up the threat of a Russian land invasion of the Ukraine ( with extensive videos of Russian tanks conducting military exercises in Russia), the reality is that it would simply not be worth-while for Russia to invade Ukraine with tanks and troops.

It is possible however, that if the Kiev government or its extremist wings were to launch a large scale attack on the Russian speaking Donbass ( emboldened by Western weapons supplies and bombacity) that Russia would feel obliged to protect its Russian speaking neighbours and respond militarily. Sending columns of Russian tanks into Eastern Ukraine, let alone across the Dnieper River into Western Ukraine, where Ukrainian nationalism is most fierce, would however be a suicidal endeavour; not least because the Ukrainian economy is devastated after years of corruption and mismanagement, and Russia would have to take responsibility for economically supporting 37 million Ukrainians, whilst countering an Eastern Ukrainian insurgency (supported and trained by the U.S. and U.K)

Russian not only wants a NATO pullback, but also the Kiev government to officially adhere to and implement the Minsk agreements they signed up to-i.e. negotiate with the Donbass separatists and agree to their self-government within a Ukrainian federal structure. However the level of Kiev propaganda against the ‘terrorists’ in the East and against Russian speaking people generally, seems to indicate that such a compromise is currently not possible; particularly while the extremist right wing groups hold such sway in Kiev. Those groups would also be fearful that a re-integration of the Donbass population into a federal Ukrainian democratic framework, would tip the balance towards a national government that once again would be more favorable to Russia, and likely result in many of the underhand deals that have occurred since 2014 between the Kiev government and Ukrainian oligarchs, being re-aligned once more towards Russian interests.

Ukraine is in crisis; its young people drifting in the multitudes to more favourable economic conditions in Western Europe, and an accelerating drift towards a centralized autocracy in Kiev driven largely by extremist groups like the Right Sector, with corruption widespread throughout the economy. The loss of revenues from Russia from the Russian gas pipeline which passes through Ukraine to Europe (and the siphoning of some of that gas for Ukraine’s use) with the inevitable advent of the opening of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and beyond, via the Baltic Sea , will only exacerbate this crisis. The Ukrainian ex-comedian President Zelensky’s position is extremely fragile- torn between the demands of the ever-increasing power of the right wing extremists in Kiev and Western Ukraine, and the demands of the U.S and U.K., while his popularity with the majority of Ukrainians plummets. Zelensky has tried to eliminate some of his key political rivals like Petro Poroshenko and Viktor Medvedchuk, with legal challenges of ‘treason’, but the opposition forces are gathering against him.

What options does someone like Zelensky now have in the face of such challenges ? War can so often improve a leader’s political chances..

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Links

CIA: Undermining and Nazifying Ukraine since 1953

Demonic Russia

Over the last few years we have seen an increasing crescendo  of Western  media implicating Russia in wars of aggression,  threats to  its neighbours  and more recently involvement in  gas attacks in  both  Syria and now the U.K.

Russia as one of the major  international  suppliers of natural  gas and  oil , is like Iran ( and previously Iraq and Libya) , one of the few states not aligned to  Western corporate  interests. And  like China, (a major oil  importer)  operates a defence arsenal -both  conventional  and nuclear,  which is  largely independent of Western  suppliers.

After the breakup  of the Soviet bloc in the 1990s, and the resultant Yeltsin  years of asset stripping by  newly emergent  Russian “oligarchs” and Western companies, Russia under Putin  has slowly regained some of  the strengths it had acquired as a communist nation. But this time with  a much  stronger ethnic Russian  flavour, as the Baltic states and many of the Eastern  ‘Stans’  of Soviet times, devolved from  the newly formed  Russian  Federation .

Western  interests had intended that  any Russian  resurgence would be minimal  and closely aligned to  Western  corporates. However President Putin’s presidency has had a strong focus on  Russian  nationalism, independence and self-reliance-all anathema to  Western  ‘think-tank” and government foreign  policy planners..

With  NATO pushing hard against Russian  borders in  the West, and the Polish  and Baltic states electing ever more nationalist  governments, Russia  has responded with  increasing its defence arsenal –  both  nuclear and conventional. The capabilities of many of these new weapons , like the Kalibr cruise missile and the newly announced Russian hyperspeed missiles have come as a surprise to  Western  defence analysts. Russia’s military  successes in  supporting the government of Syria against  the Western  and Gulf State supported jihadists attempting to overthrow the Syrian regime have also  confounded Western military  analysts.  Russia’s  brief war on its borders in Ossetia and in Georgia  and its seizure of the Crimea  and its centuries old Russian naval  base there, after Western intervention in the Ukraine , also  came as a surprise to  those in  the West  who  expected easy  victories there.

However what  is much more of a threat  to  Western interests than  all  of the above, is Russia’s capacity to be an overland ( and thus secure) conduit for China’s vast consumer production  to  Europe and beyond . Bizarrely though, it is the military  and economic  pressure by  the West  which  has cemented  the alliance between  China and Russia and further enabled the “One Belt One Road” project . In addition, this reinvigorated Russo/Chinese alliance will  ensure China’s access in  the long-term  to  essential  oil  for its factories which is not  at  risk from  maritime attack or blockade by  the U.S.  or its allies.

While Russian capacity to  understand or even work as an  equal  partner  with its ever-more-powerful  eastern  neighbour is  currently limited- this China/Russia  alliance has enormous future consequences for global  trade and dominance ( should global  warming and environmental  destruction not impede or destroy world capacity for  human ‘progress” in the meantime!)

While the U.S. remains the largest  economic, and by  far the largest  military  power in  the world;  that power is indisputably waning. Endless fruitless wars have drained its coffers, as well  as inflicting enormous suffering on  so  many of the world’s populations. Rampant corruption at  all  levels of American  society,  but particularly in  Washington, has left government and strategic vision entirely in  the hands of greedy  corporates,  whose only ‘vision’  is more power and money for themselves. It’s strongest  ally,  the U.K.  has long suffered from  the loss of income from the colonial  states it is now largely unable  to ravage, but its moneyed classes hold still  to  a vision of a truly “Great” Britain. The “City of London” , the mercantile capital  of the world in  many respects,  has reaped,  and continues to  reap, enormous profits from  the largely illegal  siphoning of capital  from  what  were once the state enterprises of the Soviet Union into London’s coffers,  via Russian  ‘oligarchs‘ .  The British press  and politicians like to portray  these  “oligarchs’  as “Putin’s men” ,  whereas in  most instances they  are extremely anti-Putin because of Putin’s  nationalist  views and his desire for Russian money to  stay inside Russia .

The recent Kemerovo mall  fire tragedy in Siberia, with  its obvious implications of corruption and negligence at  the Siberian   governorship level, will  both require and assist  Putin  to  further crack  down on corruption in Russia.

Now, entrance the ‘Novichok’  affair…Moon of Alabama and  Craig Murray,  among many others,  have effectively destroyed any  argument by London’s   ‘ruling classes’ ,  that this was indisputably a Russian  government initiated nerve agent attempted murder of a   Russian  ex double agent and his Russian daughter.  However what  seems often missed in  these accounts of the counter-arguments to  the British  Government’s spin  on  the attempted murders is the extraordinarily implausible likelihood that  such  nerve agent deaths would not only occur within  a few kilometers of Britain’s only Chemical Weapons facility at  Porton  Down near  Salisbury, (where disgusting and inhumane  activities are carried out in  the name of the Western  world, and in direct  contravention of the U.K.s obligations as a signatory  to  the UN Conventions on the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons),  but that  a few weeks before, the BCC had aired a  British  /American  spy drama called “Strike Back” in  which Novichok   was used  by  a disgruntled ex-Russian  spy.  The laws of probability say  that  those two  events, and the actual  attempted murders,  cannot be coincidence.  Now add in  into  the mix the current controversy  over Facebook personal details being leaked to  benefit Trump’s presidential  campaign  by  SCL subsidiary , Cambridge Analytica.    As Bella Caledonia notes: SCL is a very  British  company dedicated (and funded by  the British  Ministry of Defence) to  manipulate public opinion  in  a multitude of foreign  and domestic environments.  There in Bella Caledonia’s post you will  note that  in  2005 SCL ” went public with a glitzy exhibit at the DSEI conference, the UK’s largest showcase for military technology.  It’s ‘hard sell’ was a demonstration of how the UK government could use a sophisticated media campaign of mass deception to fool the British people into the thinking an accident at a chemical plant had occurred and threatened central London.” And the Novichok affair gets rather messier for  Western  ‘intelligence’   here..

As SCL notes on its website: ‘SCL is experienced in using data driven communication to achieve behavioral change in civilian groups. National programs across the spectrum from social programs, health campaigns, and educational initiatives can all be designed using advanced data analytics informed by our behavioral tools. SCL combines the micro-segmentation data from the target audience and combines it with behavioural profiles to increase the effectiveness of information campaigns.’

Hmmm- might a display of ‘novichok” in  some quiet little British  city be helpful in  pushing the case that Russia ( and instrumentally  Vladimir Putin)  is indeed the demon  we have always thought her to  be? And here is the ‘proof’  in 5 slides  that  Her Majesty’s Government was able to  persuade its NATO allies that  Russia  did indeed  do  the deed. Demonstrably we are indeed talking about totally incompetent UK politicians , defence planners and easily bought NATO allies  here…

And finally,  with  the appointment of  the psychopath John Bolton as the new  U.S.  National  Security Advisor,  whose only known diplomatic strategy  is to  kill  people he doesn’t like in  vast  quantities,  we have the capacity for those with  very  limited intellectual  capacity to  destroy  the earth (in a nuclear armageddon)  much earlier than planned….

And Country Joe’s song is just  as relevant now as it was then in 1969…

 

Postscript

Gareth  Porter provides a possible alternative explanation as to  why  the purported Novichok nerve agent did not immediately kill the Skripal’s, as it should have done.


Links

Strategic Communications Laboratory (SCL Group)        https://sclgroup.cc/home

SCL – a Very British Coup

Shadow Democracy

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dispatches/2005/09/you_cant_handle_the_truth.html

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/422502-west-russia-diplomats-skripal/

Will America accept its defeat or will it challenge the Russian Bear and the Chinese Dragon? (1/3)

Will America accept its defeat or challenge the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon 3/3?

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/03/the-geo-political-poker-game-wheres-the-off-ramp-by-.html#more%22%22

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/with-expulsions-of-russians-the-westen-masseconfronts-putin

Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program At Porton Down

http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/865-no-spirit-of-liberty-the-salisbury-case-corbyn-and-the-need-for-dissent.html

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/doubts-about-novichoks

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/clinton-state-department-discouraged-novichok-discussion.html#more

https://www.rt.com/news/422871-russia-questions-uk-skripal-case/

An Alternative Explanation to the Skripal Mystery