Escalation of the Ukraine crisis will be a windfall for the IS
Ukraine plays an important role in Russia's energy trade. Ukraine's pipeline provide transit to 80 percent of the natural gas Russia sends to European markets, and Ukraine itself is a major market for Russian gas. Militarily, Ukraine is also important to Russia as a buffer state, and was home to Russia's Black Sea fleet, based in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol under a bilateral agreement between the two states.
Central European countries were being assimilated into EU influence, and by proxy, NATO. Putin, alarmed by this, conceived a strong Eurasian Customs Union as a buffer. US and EU knew from the beginning that Putin's vision of a strong Eurasian Union balance heavily on participation of Ukraine and wresting Ukraine from Russian sphere would deal a hard blow to Putin's dream and also disrupt Russian gas supply to Europe through Ukraine.
So how does the current situation in Ukraine come to be against the backdrop of US/NATO and Russian geopolitical influence in Ukraine? Contrary to popular belief, US intervention in Ukraine to form a pro-western Government is decade or more old. Before the 2004 election US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), granted millions of dollars to the Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative (PAUCI), which is administered by the US-based Freedom House. PAUCI then sent US Government funds to numerous Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). These NGO’s were squarely in favour of one candidate – Viktor Yushchenko of the Independence Party. Some of these so called NGOs included International Center for Policy Studies on whose board Yushchenko was an advisor, then The Western Ukraine Regional Training Center which was allegedly supported by USAID.
In 2004 election, Yushchnko got 39.90% vote to Yanukovich's 39.26%. As per Ukrainian system a second round vote was conducted since no one got 50%. In the second round, Yushchnko got 46.61% vote to Yanukovich's 49.46%. Several foreign and domestic observers declared the run-off as unfair and massive protests, so-called “Orange revolution” followed. Subsequent court ruling annulled the second round and a third round was held where Yushchnko got 51.99% vote to Yanukovich's 44.20% and Yushchnko was declared winner. The voting pattern indicated clear geographical divide, with pro-Europe Western and Central Ukraine voting Yushchnko and Eastern Ukraine voting Yanukovich, western and central Ukraine being mostly Ukrainian speaking and Eastern Ukraine with traditional ties with Russia and the Russian language.
Yushchnko, perhaps in a bid to strengthen his pro-Europe base further (among other obvious reasons), increased his anti-Russian rhetoric. At one point in 2009, Russian President Medvedev directed an open letter to Yushchnko raising concerns on his anti-Russian policies and rhetoric. The Russians were worried they were going to have a NATO state at their border with 80% of Russian gas supply control. Many believe at this point of time the Russians realized they need to do something in Ukraine to protect their interests. 2010 elections happened, and after the costly election, Yanukovich won the election. Despite his main opponent Tymoshenko's claim that second round was unfair, Yanukovich came to power and that was supported by NATO, EU, Russia and all major countries. Note that at this point of time Yanukovich started to promote a more balanced view of Ukraine’s involvement with EU and Russia including promoting a “neutral” approach to EU and Russia.
Yanukovich declared that Ukraine would never be part of NATO but NATO would be a strategic partner. He passed a law where it would accept Russian as the second state language where Russian speaking citizens are 10% or more. He also renewed Russian lease of Sevastopol naval base in exchange of cheaper gas, amid protests. On the other hand, he also promised to push forward a Ukraine EU free trade zone and visa-free travel. So far good with the balancing act.
But it was when Yanukovich dismissed association agreement with EU and accepted deeper integration with Russia, that protests erupted in November 2013. As per New York times “Protest leaders said they intended to make Mr. Yanukovich a prisoner in his own capital on Monday, with streets blocked, government buildings surrounded or occupied and possibly a general strike by workers and students. A map was posted on Facebook showing supporters where to put their vehicles to obstruct traffic.”
Viktor Yanukovych, who was following a middle path of integration with Europe and mending relationship with Russia suddenly suspended Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement. Something happened that made Yanukovych flip. Ukraine had asked for US$27 billion in loans and aid. The EU was willing to offer $838 million in loans. Russia was willing to offer $15 billion in debt relief and gas prices at 1/3rd rate. In addition to the money, the EU required major changes to the regulations and laws in Ukraine. Russia, however, did not. In short, Yanukovych was offered a better deal by Putin that was not only good for Ukraine in the short term, but for Yanukovich also.
Violence continued with many rounds of failed peace deals in between. Yanukovych absconded in February 2014 and Crimean uprising began. On March 1st Russian parliament approved President Vladimir Putin's request to use force in Ukraine to protect Russian interests. President Putin also signed a bill to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation. By May, pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence after unrecognised referendums. In June 2014, primary objective of securing safety of Russian speaking region being largely realised, Russia's parliament cancelled the previous parliamentary resolution authorising the use of Russian forces in Ukraine. Peter (or Petro) Poroshenko of Party of Regions (PoR) was sworn in as President of Ukraine in the same month. In July, the EU signed the landmark association agreement with Ukraine. MH17 also got shot down in July, allegedly by Russian backed separatists in a criminal act.
Sporadic violence continues to this date with death toll exceeding 5000. Sanctions and counter-sanctions have hurt Russia and Europe, while US, due to its insignificant dependency on Russian trade so far escaped unhurt by pushing the clueless Europeans against Russia.
Both sides (Russian and Ukraine/EU) have been guilty of misadventure that led to escalation.
In a leaked phone conversation with Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, Nuland boasted that the US had invested $5 billion to "build democratic skills and institutions" in Ukraine.
Sergey Kaplin, a (Petro) Poroshenko Block Rada Deputy recently declared on Ukrainian TV on the Donbass war: “Let’s get to the truth. Who caused the situation in the East? When they say ‘only Putin’, that’s a very convenient answer. But it's not so! It was caused by Yatsenyuk (Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk) and the current head of SDC (Security and Defence Committee chief Aleksandr Turchinov)”.
Western agencies for 2 decades were so much used to deal with dysfunctional dictatorship that they failed to sum up to Putin. Overstretched by a phoney war in Iraq, followed by a pipe-dream of pro-western democracy in the Middle East, the US led NATO already was inadequate to deal with Putin before the Ukraine crisis. Putin is not Saddam, neither Assad and Russia is not Iraq or Syria. In fact, in Putin, the current world order led by US faces the greatest challenge ahead of the calculative Chinese who seem to prefer to wait till the enemy (US) is weakest. In many ways Putin's handling of the Ukrainian situation have been several times effective than handling by US and West. Putin has been trumping overconfident West in the very game they are champions – feeding counter-information, misinformation and disinformation to wrest world opinion in favour. With repeated lying exposed, nobody trust western media now. The media manipulation card have been overplayed. Putin is exploiting this to create confusion around Russian involvement in Ukraine.
In contact 593 from August 2014 we read:
Billy In der Ost-Ukraine gibt es immer noch keine Ruhe mit den Separatisten, wie auch nicht im Nord-Irak mit der ISIS-Verbrecherbande. Du hast gesagt, dass in bezug auf die Ost-Ukraine in Russland Freiwilligen-Trupps aufgestellt werden, die sich den Separatisten anschliessen und gegen die reguläre ukrainische Armee kämpfen, wobei natürlich auch Zivilisten getötet werden. Im Nord-Irak wüten die ISIS-Mörder, ermorden massenweise Zivilisten und Andersgläubige und wollen einen Gottesstaat erschaffen, wobei auch Neu-Islamisten aus diversen nichtislamischen Staaten mitmischen.
Ptaah Richtig. In der Ost-Ukraine üben nicht nur die Separatisten Terror aus, sondern auch russische Militäreinheiten, wie das auch schon in der Krim der Fall war. Zwar wird das, wie in der Krim, von Putin bestritten, doch wird es nicht mehr lange dauern, bis die Wahrheit ans Licht kommt...(snip)
Billy In the East-Ukraine there is still no rest with the separatists, as is not in North-Iraq with the ISIS gang of felons . The ISIS murderers cause havoc in North-Iraq, murder civilians and believers of other religions on a huge scale and want to create a god-state, whereby also New-Islamists from various non-Islamic states get involved.
Ptaah Right. In the Eastern Ukraine not only the separatists exert terror, but also Russian military units, as was already the case in the Crimea. Indeed, like in Crimea, this is contested by Putin, but it will not be long until the truth comes out...(snip)
Putin has also successfully exposed the ultra-right wing Neo-Nazi nexus of the coalition that led the Euromaidan protests. A decade back, such Russian claims would have being totally ignored.
Let's look at the three main parties that supported Euromaidan protests: i) Fatherland Party – Centre-right, Pro Europe, pro-NATO ii) UDAR or Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform – Pro Europe, in favor of a less powerful Government and strong anti-corruption law. iii) Svoboda – Ultra right wing, anti-minority, anti-Russian, anti-communists and alleged pro-Nazi.
Apart from these other ultra-right wing anti-Russian groups supported the protests: People's Will formerly Sovereign European Ukraine – Formed out of former member of fatherland party. Pro-Europe, incorporates a large paramilitary arm in the party. Right sector – a collection of paramilitary groups like Trident, UNA–UNSO, Patriot of Ukraine, Social-National Assembly and White Hammer being principal.
Much of the violent protests were coordinated by the People's Wing and Right Sector.
The First Yatsenyuk Government formed after the 2014 revolution had substantial support from these neo-Nazi groups and ultra-right wing paramilitaries.
The second Yatsenyuk Government formed after 2014 parliamentary election, is led by Petro Poroshenko block of social democrat background (143 seats), non-partisan support from UDAR, People's Front – formed out of Fatherland Party (83 seats), newly formed Christian belief based Self Reliance Party (32 seats), with continued support from right wing paramilitary groups Radical Party (22 seats), People's Will (20 seats) and Economic Development (19 seats). Svoboda lost support in the second election, Right Sector shrinked largely, and also the fascist group White Hammer was expelled from the Right Sector. But even then, the ultra-right wing components like People's Will and Economic Development continue to be significant in the ruling coalition in bed with once centre-left Petro Poroshenko block and moderate UDAR.
Putin continue to have a firm grip on world opinion in his favour and over-achieved his goal of criminally painting the Ukrainian Government as an “entirely” Neo-Nazi group, while the truth is more complex, with only a minority of the current regime having Neo-Nazi link.
No doubt the West called for this trouble and this loss. How would a hypothetical situation played out, if say Russia supported a pro-Russian Government in Mexico? Being provoked, Putin is behaving as his image is – of an “iron-man”. What the West is undermining - is that Putin is highly unpredictable. His sophisticated method will not remain so sophisticated if provoked, and NATO is ill prepared to defend Europe.
Moreover, the EU effort trying to surround Russia by assimilating countries like Georgia must stop to allow for Russia-Europe trust to grow.
From Contact 573 from March 2014:
Billy Das aber, denke ich, wird noch lange dauern, denn wenn ich daran denke, was Jmmanuel gesagt hat, dass in der heutigen Zeit und auch noch zukünftig die Völker gegen ihre Obrigkeiten aufstehen werden, wie es eben erst auch in der Ukraine und auf der Krim geschehen ist und weiter geschieht, dann ist noch viel Böses zu erwarten. Meinerseits denke ich aber dazu, dass das ganze Unerfreuliche in bezug auf die Ukraine die Schuld der EU-Diktatur ist, die damit liebäugelt, auch diesen Staat ihrer Diktatur-Union einzuverleiben.
Ptaah Das sehe auch ich so.
Billy Da habe ich gesagt, dass die EU-Diktatur-Union die Schuld daran trägt, dass in der Ukraine die blutigen Unruhen und die umstürzlerischen Machenschaften ausgebrochen sind.
Ptaah Das ist richtig, und auch meinerseits muss ich sagen, dass deine Darlegung richtig ist, denn die EU will sich gewaltsam in den Osten ausbreiten, wie sie sich aber auch bemüht, die Schweiz in ihre Diktatur einzubringen, wobei sie auf die Unvernunft der heimatverratenden Elemente hofft, die grosse Anstrengungen unternehmen, ihre Freiheit und Heimat an die EU-Diktatur gegen Lügen und Macht verkaufen zu können.
Billy Wir sind nicht die einzigen, die dies wissen. Sieh hier, dieser Artikel – wenn du ihn bitte lesen willst. Der ehemalige deutsche Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt spricht darin Klartext, den ich voll und ganz befürworten kann, denn er spricht genau das aus, was wir beide privaterweise auch schon erörtert haben.
Billy But I think it will be a long time because when I think of what Jmmanuel said that at the present time and also in the future the people will rise up against their authorities, as it first has happened in Ukraine and Crimea and continue to happen, then still much evil is to be expected. For my part, I think, that the whole unpleasant happening with respect to Ukraine, is the fault of the EU dictatorship toying with it, which is also fancying to incorporate the State in its dictatorship Union.
Ptaah I also see it that way.
Billy As I have said that the EU dictatorship Union is to blame, that in Ukraine the bloody unrest and subversive machinations have broken out.
Ptaah That's right, and for my part I must say that your statement is correct, because the EU wants to forcibly spread in the East, as well as also it is trying to incorporate Switzerland in its dictatorship, whereby it wishes for the unreasonableness of the home/nation betraying elements, who make great efforts to sell their freedom and home, to the EU dictatorship for lies and power.
Billy We are not the only ones who know. See here, this article – if you want to read it please. Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt speaks in plain language, I can accept fully, for he says is exactly as what we both private already discussed.
This is happening at a time when the IS presents a true challenge to “modernity” and so-called “free-thinking” that is universally cherished by the West. Even the democratic Façade of Russia, the totalitarian capitalist (by name Communist) regime of China and the corrupt chaotic dysfunctional democracy of India, that constitute the 3 pillars of BRICS, give their citizen freedom which is aeon separated from the fanatical IS ideology. If Putin and US/NATO allow Ukraine to be truly devoid of interference, and promote its neutrality, there will be an opportunity for US/NATO and Russia/China to unite against a common and real threat and battle against the fanatic IS where use of force has become unavoidable.
As per new information from January 2015, Meier revealed that Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi is the third “Pied-Piper” in the turn of the new Millennium, first being George W. Bush, second being Bin Laden, the enemy of George W. Bush.
By trying to install democracies in countries not ready for it, especially in Iraq and Syria and by supporting hard lined bigot countries that provide tactic support to extremism, the US and EU shares the most responsibility in ridding the world of this menace, but nevertheless a solution involving Sunni nations in Arab world, Russia, and China will be smoother, more legitimate, balanced and usher in a new era of cooperation. Participation of Russia and China would open up further participation of other nations using Russian and Chinese weapons in a truly representative coalition. Furthermore no single nation can now really be expected to contribute thrice the number of IS combatants, roughly 300,000 personnel (now maybe more) for a full blown attack. The three multiplier is commonly used for an attacking army against strong defence, the more the better.
It is to be noted that current US and European intervention failed to cause any significant impact on IS fighter strength. The IS is not a classical nation state that when faced with the death of a few thousand of it's own, will surrender fearing humiliation and destruction. IS will fight to death.
It is very easy to sit in comfort zone thinking that the current IS barely can outgrow Iraq and Syria and is in no match to the might of West and NATO, but then many other factors are to be taken into account. Firstly, Inaction by countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia is making the situation complicated every day. Secondly, and more devastating contributing factor could be the the Ukraine crisis. if left uncontrolled, the Ukraine situation in itself presents a great danger that can consume the world. It can lit a matchbox that can in turn consume the US/NATO and Russia. A tired Europe will then find it 100 times difficult to contain IS.
The actors in charge of the Ukraine situation at least have the capability to “think” and which was sadly missing so far. If the “thinking” beyond ego is not done promptly, it will be much easier for truly “thoughtless” Baghdadi to become “Super Pied-Piper” and consume what will be left of a depleted and tired civilization in Europe with millions of armed and criminalised youth who will see then Baghdadi as a provider and fanatical Islam as a justification for their psychopathic murderous deeds. Southern and Eastern Europe will then be in an impossible position to defend against the zombie army of Baghdadi.