The war in the Ukraine goes on, seemingly with no end in sight. It is not just a civil war, by the way, but a proxy war of aggression waged by the United States and its European and Anglo-Saxon satellites against the Russian Federation. Why the US government should pursue such a dangerous policy may be a mystery to some people, and so it is good to remember the origins of the present war.
In 1990 promises were made to the Soviet government that the NATO alliance would not seek to expand eastward into the power vacuum left by the USSR as it withdrew from Eastern Europe. The US denies it made such commitments, but the weight of evidence suggests that Washington did indeed break promises made to Soviet leader Michail Gorbachev.
In 1991 the USSR fell apart and the former Soviet republics became independent. US triumphalists declared victory in the cold war, as the Russian economy collapsed, thanks to so-called Russian liberals following western cues for economic «shock» treatment and the privatisation, actually the looting, of Russian national resources. The Russian Federation was then governed by Boris Eltsin, who played court jester to then President Bill Clinton. Eltsin invited his cronies to enrich themselves which they did at everyone else’s expense. They went around Moscow in big cars guarded by expensive «suits» packing ill-concealed pistols. Most other people lost their savings when the ruble collapsed twice during the 1990s. Wrinkled grandmas sold carrots and potatoes in the streets while others stood before Metro exits peddling zippers and bits of ribbon. Except for Eltsin’s cronies and oligarchs, Russia was on its knees. Its people despaired while fundamentalist American preachers hired TV time in Moscow in the early morning.
The United States became the sole superpower; no other state could act as a restraint against it in the way the USSR had done. Between 1999 and 2009 twelve East European states joined NATO including parts of Yugoslavia, which was dismembered and destroyed by the US and its NATO «allies» under the pretext of «Responsibility to Protect» (R2P). A reasonably intelligent person, not to speak of any myopic Russian, looking at a map, could see that the US was pursuing an aggressive policy of encirclement of Russia.
NATO and ironically the European Union became docile instruments of a US anti-Russian policy even though most of Europe had no interest whatsoever in being dragged into a belligerent relationship with the Russian Federation. Business was booming and Russia became the main supplier of natural gas in European markets. Under Vladimir Putin’s presidency, the economic situation in the Russian Federation greatly improved.
Vladimir Putin effectively became president of the Russian Federation after Eltsin had to resign at the end of 1999. Putin wanted nothing more than to integrate Russia into the European community, politically and economically. He made a show of getting along with then US President George W. Bush; sent condolences after 9/11 in 2001; and offered solidarity and support. The story is well enough known. The opening was there from Moscow if the Americans had wanted to take it. Unfortunately, they did not and continued to operate under the principle that «what is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine too.» In 2003 the United States and some of its NATO satellites attacked Iraq in a blatant war of aggression, sowing havoc and bloodshed, which continues to this day. In the meantime NATO eastward expansion continued apace. Finally, becoming alarmed, Putin called US and NATO policy «airstrike democracy», to impose «democracy» by force on other states. The force was real of course but the democracy was bogus.
Putin was right to be concerned because there were so-called «colour» revolutions in Georgia (2003) and the Ukraine (2004), engineered and bankrolled by the United States and its satellites. In 2008 Georgia launched an offensive to seize the independent territory of South Ossetia, provoking Russian intervention and destruction of the Georgian army. The Ukraine colour revolution did not last either; Viktor Yanukovich was elected president of the Ukraine in 2010. Setbacks did not discourage the US government, which intensified its subversive activities close to Russian borderlands. These activities led to a violent coup d’état against the Yanukovich government in February 2014, bankrolled and directed by the United States and its EU satellites. It looked for a moment as though the US had succeeded in fastening the Ukrainian buckle on the encirclement of Russia.
The vanguard of the putschist junta in Kiev is the fascist paramilitary organisation, Pravy sektor, and the fascist political party, Svoboda. It was soon rumoured that the CIA and other US agencies had taken over a floor of the Security Service of the Ukraine (SBU) building in Kiev. The Ukrainian and US flags flew symbolically outside. That of course was only the beginning. Fascist flags, banners, symbols soon appeared in torchlight parades, and the World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera was elevated to the status of father of the new Ukrainian state. Now of course there are US, Canadian, and Polish military «advisors» in the Ukraine. Who knows who else?
The finance minister is a US citizen; the governor of Odessa, Mikhail Saakashvili, is a cowardly fugitive from a Georgian arrest warrant. The American ambassador in Kiev acts as proconsul; US directives are sent to the present so-called president, chocolate mogul Petro Poroshenko. US and western military supplies are reported to be flowing into the Ukraine in exchange for a garage sale of Ukrainian economic resources. Is it not ironic that a Ukrainian «nationalist» movement should so readily abase itself to foreign powers? Foreign control in Kiev, Putin recently commented, insults the peoples of the Ukraine. This is true, but it will also impoverish them.
Not all people in the Ukraine greeted the fascist junta with open arms. In the Crimea resistance was immediate and got Russian backing from «polite people». A referendum ensued and the Crimea returned to Russia. The West accused Putin of aggression forgetting that the US and its satellites had precipitated the crisis by backing the Kiev putsch. It was Pot calling Kettle black. It’s an old trick by the way: the aggressor accuses his intended victim of aggression.
Popular resistance was not limited to the Crimea. In Odessa, Mariupol, Kharkov, Donetsk, Lugansk, for example, opposition began to manifest itself. Violence and repression ensued. Kiev ordered its armed forces to put down the dissidents, who in self-defence took up arms. An anti-fascist resistance began, redolent of the Spanish civil war in 1936. Putin warned the Kiev junta that it would be madness to send tanks against one’s own people. He turned out to be right.
In July 2014 Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the Donbass. Without a shred of evidence, the US and EU immediately accused Putin and the Donbass militias of having been responsible. The western press was outrageous, spewing out black propaganda, bourrage de crâne, against the Russian Federation and Putin. To this day the US government and Kiev junta have hidden essential parts of the evidentiary record, one must assume, in order to cover up the fascist junta’s guilt in shooting down MH17.
The black propaganda worked however in that it led to the implementation of US and EU economic sanctions against the Russian Federation which are still in place. These sanctions and Russian counter-measures have cost EU member states billions of euros, though not a penny to the US which is reported to be doing increased business with Russia. Europeans have begun to ask why they should pay the price for US aggressive conduct toward Russia. To no avail, Washington still holds the whip hand over its EU satellites, which until now have followed their master’s orders. The US/NATO juggernaut just rolls on.
The Donbass proved the nut the Kiev junta could not crack. In remarkable feats of arms, the outgunned and outnumbered Donbass militias inflicted grievous losses upon the junta’s forces which pleaded for and got two ceasefires, arranged under the so-called Minsk agreements, never respected by the Kiev junta. It was easy to guess that the junta would use the Minsk agreements to refit its beaten armies and attack again. The militias won on the battlefield, but lost in Minsk. One wonders why anyone would think that peace and reconciliation were possible between fascist and anti-fascist forces, or put more simply, why victims of Kiev’s massacres, if they can resist, would agree to submit to Kiev’s authority. One hears that Minsk is the only way forward, but for whom exactly? Does Moscow think the United States will respect any agreement it makes, when experience suggests that it will not?
The Ukraine remains the battlefield where the United States, a relentless adversary, tries to buckle its encirclement of Russia. Washington blames Russia for the war and accuses it of aggression. It expects the Russian government to accept a fascist regime in Kiev under US tutelage, which is a permanent threat to Russian security. Washington accuses Russia of not respecting the Minsk Protocol, when it is the Kiev junta, under US direction, which has never respected these agreements. The US and EU studiously ignore the fascists in Kiev, though it’s hard not to miss them. As in Orwell’s 1984, reality is turned inside out.
The US government operates under false assumptions, magnified by hubris, forgetting perhaps that war is full of the unexpected. In the Ukrainian tinderbox, the US buckle of Russian encirclement may not be so easy to close unless Moscow capitulates under the guise of «peace». The separation of the Ukraine from Russia, breaking bonds of history, culture, religion, and kinship more than a thousand years old, has met with opposition. The rat-like Kiev «prime minister» Arsenii Yatsenyuk can build a Chinese wall against Russia, if he finds the money, but he and his brownshirts can only maintain the separation of the Ukraine from Russia by force and internal repression. That should be something for Europeans at least to ponder before they travel further along the dangerous path set out for them by the United States.