US Air Force General Philip Breedlove strafed the renewed peace plan for Ukraine before it barely got off the ground at the weekend, thereby aiming to shoot down another political bid to end months of deadly violence in the country.
It’s not the first time that the NATO military chief has used high-flown rhetoric to preempt a diplomatic solution to end the fighting in war-torn eastern Ukraine. That conflict has claimed nearly 3,000 lives over the past six months, with up to one million civilians displaced and millions more trapped in a spiralling humanitarian crisis.
The irresponsible language of Four-Star General Breedlove in exacerbating the crisis makes one wonder if his name should not henceforth be known as General “Breedhate”.
Early on Saturday, in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, the Contact Group of representatives from the Kiev regime, east Ukrainian separatists and the Russian government came up with an implementation plan to underpin the earlier ceasefire agreed on September 5.
Former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, representing the Kiev side, explained that a 30-kilometre “buffer zone” had been defined, which would entail fighters withdrawing artillery from present conflict lines in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe are charged with monitoring the new corridor separating the warring sides.
That buffer-zone plan could provide the key to implementing the tentatively agreed ceasefire worked out by the Contact Group in Minsk two weeks ago. That truce has been dogged by ongoing violations over the past two weeks, mainly by Kiev’s military forces continuing to shell residential areas. The Kiev military, comprising regular forces and the paramilitary fascist National Guard, was sent into the eastern regions in April to quell the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Given the appalling humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, an observer would think that all reasonable parties should be striving to bolster the chances of success for any ceasefire initiative. Moscow has evidently demonstrated its political commitment. But not, it seems, Washington or its General Breedhate.
The American military commander was speaking at a NATO military conference in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on Saturday just hours after the latest peace plan was unveiled in Minsk. The General dismissed the ceasefire as being “there only in name” and he repeated unsubstantiated claims that Russian forces were operating in Ukraine. That’s hardly a constructive attitude.
As German newspaper Deutsche Welle reported, the Four-Star General “could not pinpoint how many” or where exactly these alleged Russian soldiers are operating in eastern Ukraine.
“The fluidity of movement of Russian forces and Russian-backed forces back and forth across [the Ukrainian] border makes it almost impossible to understand the numbers,”said the General with telling, and conveniently, vague assertion.
“The ceasefire is still there in name, but what is happening on the ground is quite a different story,”Breedlove added.
The NATO commander was merely piling on more bricks to the already teetering wall of lies that Washington and its European allies have been constructing ever since the crisis in Ukraine erupted last November. That wall is partly aimed at shielding any truth or facts intruding into an accurate understanding of the crisis.
Russia is the unquestioned aggressor and upon that fictitious foundation, the US and EU have built an edifice of escalating sanctions against Moscow and likewise provocative NATO military actions across Eastern Europe, from the Baltics to the Black Sea. NATO is currently carrying out “war games” in Ukraine despite the country not being a member of the alliance.
This week saw Kiev’s President Petro Poroshenko given the red-carpet treatment in the White House and Capitol Hill, where his claims of “Russian aggression” were met with resounding, unblinking applause and promises of more US military aid totalling now some $250 million.
General Breedlove also recently accused Russia of launching “hybrid war tactics” against Ukraine and its neighbours. He did not elaborate or substantiate what this sinister sounding concept meant, simply insinuating that Russia is covertly destabilising Ukraine and the wider region with “little green men”.
Speaking to the pro-American imperium Atlantic Council, the Daily Beast reports him as saying: “To the little green men thing, we’ve clearly seen the script play out in Crimea, we’ve seen the script play out in eastern Ukraine. We’re beginning to see some of the script in Moldova and Transnistra.”
It is truly disturbing that the man supposedly responsible for defending the entire Western hemisphere forms his views of geopolitical security risks on the basis of “little green men”.
Back in early May when Russian President Vladimir Putin worked out a previous peace plan for eastern Ukraine with OSCE chairman Didier Burkhalter, it was General Breedlove who again moved to sabotage that initiative with unfounded claims – once again – that Russian military forces were amassing on the border. The General referred to unverifiable satellite imagery purporting to show Russian mechanised columns.
Moscowhas consistently denied accusations that it is mobilising forces near or within Ukrainian territory. And Moscow’s repeated requests for NATO to present its “evidence” in a verifiable way have not been reciprocated.
Breedlove and his civilian NATO counterpart, secretary general Anders “the Fogh of war” Rasmussen, have acted as shameless propagandists to fuel the barrage of lies against Russia.
This NATO onslaught is integrated with crude warmongering from the Western-backed neo-Nazi regime in Kiev that seized power in an illegal coup on February 22 against the elected President Viktor Yanukovych. That coup was instrumented by the American CIA, involving mass murder of civilians and police from covert snipers firing on crowds in Kiev’s Maidan Square on February 20.
Even as delegates were about to meet in Minsk at the weekend to thrash out a workable ceasefire, the self-styled prime minister in Kiev, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was preparing for more war. “Russiawill not give us peace so I am asking the defense minister for full battle readiness,” said Yatsenyuk, despite the peace plan having been agreed to by his president, Poroshenko. “We can't believe anyone, especially the Russians,” added Yatsenyuk with his typical irrational belligerence.
The regime’s appointed defence minister, Valeriy Geletei, had excelled his usual unprofessionalism when he reiterated claims that Russia had deployed tactical nuclear weapons in eastern Ukraine. Geletei said that these weapons were used near Donetsk airport to drive out Kiev’s military forces.
Russia’s defence ministry swiftly condemned the Kiev regime’s attempts to escalate the conflict with such wild claims. “Geletei’s regular attempts to justify the failures of the punitive operation in the southeast of Ukraine by alleged actions of Russian army units look like paranoia. But no reasonable person will take them seriously,” Moscowsaid.
The trouble is Washington takes all such crazy ranting from Kiev very seriously because it is an integral part of the Western propaganda drive against Putin’s Russia. This is the kind of maniac company that Breedlove and his Washington seniors are consorting with: liars and paranoids.
But Breedlove is sort of half right in his mendacity. The ceasefire has not been respected since it was first signed on September 5. Not because of Russia’s covert involvement, but rather simply from continued shelling of civilian centres by Kiev’s forces. This week at least eight civilians were reportedly killed in Donetsk city from indiscriminate shelling. By definition, if the self-defence militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic hold the city then the side firing the deadly shells are the Kiev forces who are besieging. These are the forces that are openly being supported by Washington, Brussels and NATO.
This is why the buffer zone agreed this weekend in Minsk is a crucial mechanism for putting the agreed peace plan into practice.
But when you have people like “Breedhate" and his political masters in Washington strafing all attempts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, then the chances of success are right away shot to pieces.