Well, admittedly, Kiev’s president Petro Poroshenko, the former Candy King, is carrying a bit of excess bodyweight, but nevertheless his swivelling statements and actions of late show that his ability for pirouetting is as agile as the finest ballet dancer.
It’s a talent that the entire Western-backed coup regime in Kiev shares too. This troupe of demagogues and rogues is more than capable of executing the most outlandish claims and swirling contradictions, plus explosive spontaneous movements that can take the observer’s breath away.
The regime, together with its chief patron in Washington, claims to be committed to a full ceasefire in the eastern Donbass regions, yet this week again saw more civilian deaths from the indiscriminate shelling of residential areas in the city of Donetsk. One of the targets was a shopping centre.
On Monday, a self-defence militia spokesman for the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic said: «The situation has not seen a substantial change and continues to remain intense. The ceasefire has been violated 17 times by the Ukrainian side [in one 24-hour period]. The neighbourhoods of Zaichenko and Oktyabr came under fire. Four residential buildings and a shop have been destroyed. Three people have died, with seven civilians being injured».
There were other reports of up to eight civilians killed from Kiev military shelling over the past weekend. That amounts to war crimes by the Western-backed regime, but neither Western governments or their media seem to have trouble on their consciences over those crimes.
The pirouetting Poroshenko doesn’t seem to have made his mind up on whether his military forces are at peace or at war, with Donbass separatists or with Moscow. Last weekend he made a televised national address in which he declared that he expected a full ceasefire «within days». This was after telling lawmakers in Washington last month that his country was fending off «Russian aggression» and needed more military equipment.
Recall, too, that Poroshenko promised to end the violence in eastern Ukraine «within a week» in his inauguration speech in June this year after his dubious presidential election.
His erratic behaviour and words raise questions about his integrity, if not his sanity. It was after all Poroshenko who personally appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to help broker a ceasefire at the beginning of last month. That truce officially came into effect on September 5 in a deal cut in Minsk, Belarus, under the auspices of the Contact Group and the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Apart from Kiev’s ragtag military forces of regular troops and fascist paramilitary battalions not implementing the ceasefire, it also does not bode well that Poroshenko appeared to snub a top-level meeting last weekend of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Minsk. Nine heads of states were present at the summit, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin. It would have been an opportune occasion to shake hands in order to bolster the ceasefire in Ukraine, and even to give gratitude to Putin for his peace efforts, but Poroshenko declined.
Meanwhile, the Kiev regime is this week seeking a replacement for its retiring defence minister Valeriy Heletei. Heletei is the third such defence minister to have lost his job since the Western-backed coup took place in Kiev on February 22. Last month, Heletei made the outlandish and reckless claim that Russia was planning to strike Ukraine with tactical nuclear weapons. Heletei’s abrupt departure no doubt marks the level of confusion among senior members in the Kiev regime about how to proceed with its Orwellian-named «anti-terror operation» in the Donbass regions, which it launched in April and which has since caused more than 3,700 deaths, mainly among civilians.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has filed charges of war crimes against Heletei, among other regime figures, for his role in overseeing indiscriminate violence against the Russian ethnic populations of Donetsk and Luhansk. Maybe he is hoping that his retirement will dissuade future prosecution.
Speaking of pirouettes, the CIA-installed Prime Minister in Kiev Arseniy Yatsenyuk is also a dab-hand at spinning with dizzying speed in tight circles. The former investment banker, whose pro-capitalist ideology is driving Ukraine towards IMF indenture, this week says that he expects his country to be salvaged by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Thanks to the Kiev regime’s relentless, criminal warmongering against the civilians of Donbass, Ukraine is teetering on bankruptcy and default. But that’s no problem for Yatsenyuk, whose supposed market principles, don’t prevent him from subsidising his country’s war-making with EBRD loans.
One of the outstanding problems with Kiev’s bankruptcy, caused in part by its belligerence towards Russia, is the impasse over its long overdue payment of gas bills to Russia. Talk about spinning on your toes.
In another pirouetting movement, this week Kiev’s energy minister Yuriy Prodan announced that his regime is not going to make any prepayments for gas deliveries. On September 26, the trilateral group of Russia, European Union and Kiev appeared to strike an agreement that Russia would resume supplies of natural gas to Ukraine on condition that the latter paid up $3.1 billion of its total $5.3 billion gas debt to Russia’s state-owned Gazprom by the end of this year.
Russia and the EU also agreed a payment rate of $385 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas, which is the European average price. All would seem reasonable to any neutral observer.
However, ahead of the next round of trilateral talks scheduled for October 21, the Kiev regime is suddenly saying that no prepayments will be made after all. «Prepayment contradicts the contract,» asserted Kiev minister Prodan. To which somebody should remind him that chronic nonpayment of $5.3 billion for already delivered gas is an even greater and more urgent contradiction of the contract.
Alexei Pushkov, chairman of Russia’s lower parliamentary house’s foreign affairs committee, described Kiev’s latest twist over the gas debacle as «absurd». He said: «Kiev is setting absurd conditions on gas [debt repayment] to us by demanding deliveries without advanced payment. No advanced payment means no payment. We’ve learned it well».
Which makes one wonder where is this arrogant, delusional regime getting its lead from? As Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov noted this week, the European Union has continually indulged «the war party» in Kiev with diplomatic and economic pandering ever since it seized power illegally against the elected Ukrainian government in February.
And, of course, Washington is arguably the main indulgent patron encouraging the worst in Kiev’s irrationality and fecklessness.
Last week, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was visiting Kiev, in effect reassuring the regime of Washington’s protection no matter what provocative conduct it embarks on.
According to the US State Department, Nuland discussed «the economic prosperity of Ukraine, and issues like their access to gas, and their need to be well-supplied for the winter».
Note that the US is not reminding Kiev of its legal obligation to settle its outrageous gas debts with Russia. Oh no, the emphasis is on «access to gas» and the need «to be well-supplied for winter».
With this kind of fawning, the reactionary Kiev regime can only but continue to be more and more truculent in defiance of international norms and Russian diplomacy.
A rude awakening is indeed needed for pirouetting Poroshenko and his regime troupe of Nutcracker Suite.