This week the Kiev regime went into rogue overdrive when it cut off electricity supplies to some three million people in the self-declared Lugansk republic of eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian energy ministry under the control of the Kiev regime said it was because the breakaway province was in arrears over bill payments. That’s rich coming from a cabal that has continually dragged its feet over unpaid bills for billions of dollars-worth in gas supplies from Russia.
From where does Kiev learn its rogue conduct? From its masters, of course, in Washington and the European Union. The present unravelling of international law and order is their lamentable legacy.
Donetsk, the other separatist self-declared Ukrainian republic, would also likewise be subjected to power-cuts, according to reported comments from Kiev. But, apparently, such a move would not be easy as areas under the control of Kiev would also be impacted. Also, the Donetsk People’s Republic, unlike the LPR, is said to be fairly self-sufficient in electricity supplies owing to its own local thermal power plants.
Kiev’s hollow claims about financial rectitude are risible. The move is nothing but a blatant attempt to intensify its blockade on the Donbas. Already, the neofascist cabal, which seized government power in a violent, illegal coup in February 2014, has imposed a blackout of bank services and social welfare payments to the breakaway region. It has also cut off water supplies to the LPR since last month.
The blockade on civilian populations is just another weapon alongside the military offensive that the Kiev regime launched against the Donbas three years ago. That offensive was a response to the ethnic Russian population of Donbas refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the coup. The latter was orchestrated by western Ukrainian factions who historically pledge allegiance to Nazi collaborators during the Second World War. The so-called Anti-Terror Operation (ATO) launched by Kiev has resulted in over 10,000 deaths since April 2014.
This week’s electricity power-cuts to the Donbas are thus part of a criminal policy of aggression by a regime that usurped political power unlawfully, with covert support from Washington and the European Union. But, rather aptly, it was the people of Donbas who made the first «power-cut» – when they defiantly refused to supply a popular mandate for the Kiev putsch.
The Kiev regime is thus using a policy of collective punishment to wage its war on the breakaway region. Collective punishment of civilians is a war crime under international law. Rather fittingly, it was a policy notoriously used by Nazi Germany in its extermination campaigns in occupied Soviet territories during the Second World War. Today, the regime in Kiev, which adulates Ukrainian henchmen of the Nazi Third Reich, is carrying out the very same barbarism on people of eastern Ukraine who suffered it seven decades ago.
Russia this week stepped in promptly to resume electricity supply to the LPR within hours of the power-cuts. In what was said to be a humanitarian gesture. Interestingly, the Western view of the developments in eastern Ukraine took a fatuous perspective. The New York Times cynically noted that Russia’s voluntary energy supply to the stricken populations «would give it more control over the region».
Meanwhile, the European Union, whose foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini was in Moscow this week, said next to nothing about the Kiev’s flagrant violation of international law and in particular its use of collective punishment. Indeed, Mogherini during her visit tried to lecture Russia about implementing the so-called Minsk peace accord, saying that EU sanctions would remain in place.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed out that the electricity and water cuts to Donbas were clear evidence that Kiev was once again repudiating the Minsk accord to which it is a signatory. Moscow, like Germany and France, is a guarantor of the Minsk pact signed in 2015. The guarantors are only obliged to advocate the signatories – Kiev, LPR, DPR – to implement. Where is the EU’s advocacy to Kiev? In a week when the Kiev regime is escalating its criminal blockade on Donbas, the EU has nothing to say, except warning Russia of continuing economic sanctions over non-existent obligations.
Indeed, as Russia’s Chief of General Staff General Valery Gerasimov pointed out this week, the EU’s financial and military support for the Kiev regime – without any pause over the latter’s gross violations – is a blank check for «provoking it to continue the war» and avoid seeking a political solution.
The reported arrival of US military trainers this week to assist the Ukrainian Armed Forces on their side of the contact line in Donbas is a further reward for bad behavior. Ominously, the DPR’s defense minister Eduard Basurin said the American military presence «was to inspect the readiness of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for combat operations». In the context of Kiev’s increasing blockade on the civilian population in the region, the military development takes on even greater sinister significance. Is it an attritional prelude to weaken the enemy?
More broadly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week lamented the «breakdown of international order». Lavrov said the world was degenerating from the lawlessness of having «no more rules». The corollary of this unravelling global situation is that nations are more and more acting as if they are above the law, routinely committing violations and fueling conflicts, without restraint, shame or even thin disguise. Ultimately, this chronic degeneration is leading to world war. Comparisons with the 1930s and early 1900s are palpable. The breakdown in capitalism is again the disorder of the day.
What is happening in Ukraine is case in point. An irresponsible regime of bankrupt legitimacy is brazenly inflicting a policy of blockade and collective punishment, in conjunction with military assault. And yet the supposed sponsors of the regime, Washington and the European Union, are mute on the matter.
The United Nations made a mealymouthed statement of ambiguity, rather than a forthright condemnation. A spokesman for UN chief Antonio Guterres said of the blockade in eastern Ukraine: «It is important that the civilian population trapped in the fighting is not made to suffer more.» That is pathetic cowardice and passive complicity in war crimes – by the UN.
State-sponsored crimes in Ukraine are part of a despicable general pattern. Washington and its allies are moving to blockade North Korea with an armada of cruise-missile-bearing submarines and warships. The US, Britain and their Saudi client regime are already blockading and starving millions of people in Yemen. The same goes for Syria where that nation is blockaded by the US and EU while it is trying to defeat a terrorist proxy army sponsored by the US and EU.
Forget about the declared rationale and objectives that these Western powers claim. The fact is that blockading any country and inflicting collective punishment on civilians is a war crime.
It is a final, barbaric resort by powers that have lost any legitimacy. Cutting off finances, food, water, power. By what power? By what authority?
Russia, China and Iran are already subject, to lesser degrees, to blockade by Washington and its European vassals. The Western economic sanctions on Russia over the Western-induced Ukrainian conflict testify to that. Also US President Trump is issuing warnings that if China does not comply with tighter embargoes on North Korea, then Beijing will also find itself sanctioned. Iran is also threatened this week by the US White House with facing tougher sanctions over alleged misdemeanors.
The US-led policy of blockade is being wielded like a weapon across the globe like never before. Russia, China and others cannot afford to let this criminality go unchallenged. Some tactical response is needed, like dropping the US dollar, before arrogant Western lawlessness takes the world over an abyss.