This week the head of Ukrainian armed forces Viktor Muzhenko claimed that Russia was prepping a massive invasion of his country with up to 80,000 troops. Such incendiary claims have been made before by Kiev, only to be proven false over and over.
How is that such a reckless regime is not hauled before an international court for incitement against peace owing to its crazed claims? Of course, because it is patronized by Washington and European allies who are not exactly averse to incitement against peace as can be seen with regard to Venezuela, Syria and countless other countries.
Another twist this week in the tortuous “Russians are coming” scaremongering fable were Ukrainian media claims that eight Russian submarines were spotted in the Azov Sea. Presumably that lurid vignette was intended to amplify public fears of a naval offensive in conjunction with the alleged mass troop invasion from “north, east and south”.
However, by way of illustrating the absurdity of the submarine armada story, several observers pointed out that the Azov Sea only has a maximum depth of 13 meters. How such a shallow body of water is supposed to accommodate eight subs would be a feat that defies physics. The only realm that could contain such a number is that of a fevered imagination.
All the latest warmongering hysteria comes as presidential elections loom in Ukraine where the incumbent Petro Poroshenko is staring at the prospect of a drubbing defeat. Poroshenko, who came to power following the 2014 CIA-backed coup d’état in Kiev, is trailing in the polls behind two other candidates.
Significantly, those candidates, TV personality Vladimir Zelensky and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, are indicating that they are open to negotiations with Russia to resolve the ongoing crisis that Ukraine was plunged into following the 2014 coup.
Neither Zelensky nor Tymoshenko are friendly towards Russia. They both espouse continuing a political direction of closer association with the European Union and NATO. Nevertheless, both candidates seem savvy enough to realize that the policy of irrational hostility towards Russia must be at least tamped down for the sake of Ukrainian national well-being.
By contrast, Poroshenko, an oligarchic figure who gained his wealth from chocolate manufacture, has shored up his presidency by shamelessly playing up Russophobia and baseless fears of military invasion of Ukraine by Russia. But during his office, Ukraine has descended into economic chaos as well as being racked by a frozen conflict with breakaway self-declared republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Poroshenko has also become tainted with the stench of financial corruption. It is claimed that some of his close associates made huge monetary fortunes through illegal graft and smuggling of weapons parts – ironically, from Russia – a country which Poroshenko has relentlessly sought to demonize as an enemy of Ukraine.
All in all, the hard-pressed Ukrainian populace seems to have grown extremely weary and contemptuous of President Poroshenko.
It is this context that would account for the latest scaremongering by the Kiev regime. In a bid to rally people around the flag in the “defense of the fatherland”, the wild claims about a Russian invasion obviously serve to bolster Poroshenko’s tarnished image and faltering re-election chances.
The truly shameful thing is that this warmongering hysteria has been going on for the past five years. Time and again, Poroshenko and the Kiev regime have sounded sensational alarms to the EU and the US over an alleged imminent Russian invasion.
In November, following the Kerch Incident in which three Ukrainian naval vessels were apprehended by Russia for a provocative incursion, Poroshenko was demanding that NATO forces should be deployed immediately because his country was coming under attack from Russia. If he had been heeded, the result could have been World War III erupting.
Petro and his ilk in Kiev are like the little boy in Aesop’s fable who continually cried wolf. They have told so many lies concerning Russia and alleged aggression, no-one can possibly find any credence in anything they utter.
This week’s unhinged warmongering towards Russia was more classic ropey routine from the bankrupt Kiev regime and its futile president.
The mess that Ukraine finds itself in will not be easily fixed even if its citizens vote for a new face. That’s because Russophobia has become a staple of Kiev politics under the patronage of Washington and the EU. Billions of dollars of IMF loans and military support from NATO have recklessly encouraged a reactionary, rightwing, anti-Russia political mindset.
Instead of continually indulging the Kiev regime, the EU and NATO should be censuring its provocations against peace and stability in Europe – if, that is, those Atlanticist organizations were genuinely concerned to uphold peace and security.
Poroshenko’s political downfall may bring some respite in relations between Ukraine and Russia. But there is little sign for a full-fledged normalization under the present Western-indulged politics of that blighted country. That is a matter of poignant regret for most ordinary Russians and Ukrainians who share so much common historical and cultural heritage.