As the fascist forces escalate their aggression against the Donbass Republics, many are questioning what the future of the Republic of Ukraine will look like in the medium and long term. The state as presently compromised will not survive but a few more years at the very most.
History is full of states coming and going/changing their borders. The idea that this state will evaporate into the annals of history is not novel. It will be one of many.
–There is no historical precedent for such a state
The majority of the territory that is currently Ukraine has at various times been ruled by Russia, The Golden Horde (Mongolia), The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ottoman Turkey, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Second Polish Republic and the Soviet Union.
The regions corresponding to post-1991 Ukraine had never been unified as a legitimate state. This is one of the reasons that current state has no cohesive identity, it is merely a mishmash of regions that for most of modern history were Russian. This poor political geography is owed in great part to the foolish Bolshevik map of Soviet Republics which replaced the Tsarist guberniyas, which as regional units, were far more reflective of the realities of local identities.
Because of Russia’s vastness, throughout history, regional identities have often been vastly more important than nation ones.
It is for this reason that many people in the cobbled together, geographically manic Republic of Ukraine, are far more comfortable calling themselves Odessa people, or Kharkov people or even Lvov people than Ukrainian.
The myth of Ukrainianism is a modern invention of an intelligentsia from the Galician region which during the 19thand early 20th century was part of the Austrian/Austro-Hungarian Empire and after the First World War, part of the Second Polish Republic. The development of the idea of Ukrainianism was an attempt to emancipate peasants who were neither Polish nor Austria and give them an identity during the ‘age of European nationalism’.
This was the basis of the rump-state that emerged from the ashes of both the First World War and the Russian Civil War known as the West Ukrainian People’s Republic. Another Ukrainian People’s Republic later formed in Kiev. Both places had limited international recognition and are best understood as an outgrowth of the territorial and sectarian wars fought in the region after the October Revolution.
Such conflicts include the Polish-Ukrainian War and the Polish–Soviet War, when both powers were competing for influence in the area known as Little Russia.
A state with such shaky foundations is difficult to unite. No such unity has yet to be achieved as the political infighting in Kiev, the coup of 2014 and the war in Donbass demonstrate.
–Since 1991 Ukraine has always been divided
Ever since the former Soviet Republic became an independent state, Ukraine’s political map has always been evenly divided between eastern and southern regions which vote for parties that are broadly pluralistic and at times Russophone. Such a party was the Party of Regions from which Viktor Yanukovych derived his support.
Western regions, including those which were only incorporated into the USSR after 1945, always tended to vote for parties that were Russophobic and intended to build a young state on a sectarian basis, in spite of the lack of historical precedence.
This political conflict was the proximate cause of the coup of 2014. The country was split down the middle and the opposition to President Yanukovych was more violent and better funded from abroad than his political allies.
A similar political upheaval took place in the so-called Orange Revolution of 2004/5. A country prepared to split at any moment on political lines, cannot long call itself a country.
–Russian regions outside of the two Donbass republics will go their own way.
On the 2nd of May 2014, peaceful protesters gathered at Odessa’s Trade Union Hall. They were voicing their opposition to the fascist government which took power in Kiev.
They were met by a combination of mostly non-local members of the neo-Nazi party ‘Right Sector’ as well as far right football hooligans, also not supporters of a local team.
The fascists came to provoke violence and with the authorities doing nothing to help, they achieved their goal.
Many of the peaceful demonstrators, most of whom were very young men and women, were burned alive as the fascists throw firebombs at the Trade Union Hall in which the protesters found themselves barricaded.
Some leapt to an instant death, whilst others who survived were mutilated and beaten to death by the fascist gangs below.
This has not been forgotten. Odessa is a traditionally multi-cultural city, but unmistakeably Russian in character and language.
Odessa along with Mariupol and Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov in the north will not be so easily reconciled to the idea of Ukraine. As it stands, violence has been commonplace in such places ever since the coup of 2014. Just because unlike in the Donbass republics, there is not out and out war, does not mean things are peaceful.
The regions may well go their own way and sooner than many suspect.
–It’s the economy, stupid!
Somalia has long been called a failed state due to the weak Mogadishu government’s inability to maintain a functional state.
Likewise, post-Gaddafi Libya is now several states in one, with two factions in two cities (Tripoli and Benghazi) competing for legitimacy. Compounding this are a plethora of tribal factions and terrorist groups including ISIS, who control parts of the country. There is no central economy and resources are constantly being plundered and sold on the black market, often with the help of the Sicilian mafia.
Ukraine too is a mafia state. Corruption in state-owned corporations, lack of any accountability among offices, one of the most corrupt and violent business cultures in the world, difficulty in the government collecting revenue and a thriving black market, has depressed the economy of a state which was since 1991 has never been a picture of economic health.
Unable to pay for its own necessities let alone its war of aggression, the Kiev government is almost entirely reliant on foreign aid.
With the EU states having their own economic and political crises and Donald Trump appearing less and less interested in paying for states like Ukraine, the fascist regime is more than just an aggressive state, it is a failed state.
The combination of regions uncomfortable with ethno-centric and linguistically discriminatory laws with central bankruptcy is a recipe for civil strife. Many of the Russian regions of the country would be more economically healthy if they formed their own federation or indeed returned to Russia.
Many would jump at such an opportunity. They soon will.
–The EU Problem
Whereas the fascist regime in Kiev is keen to create an identity based on the myth of Ukrainian ultra-nationalism, many of her would be colleagues in a future EU arrangement do not share such views.
Many Poles feel that Lvov (Lwow as they call it), ought to be restored as a Polish centre of culture, which it was even during Austrian rule. Although the city largely lost her Polish population, if what is left of Ukraine, the western rump, were to join the EU, the possibility of Polish repatriation could be a very real possibility due to the EU’s open border policy.
As it stands, I believe in the next few years, all Russophone regions of the country will legally separate from the centre leaving mostly Western Ukraine and maybe some small areas of left-bank Ukraine (possibly not).
This rump state, would have little choice but to beg the EU for membership. Brussels may not be able to stomach the burden of even a small Ukraine. But if it did, that would be the end of Bandarastan. It would essentially mean a state perpetually reliant on the good will of Brussels on the physical periphery of Europe. Good luck with that!
Why Ukraine’s Military Can’t Kill Donbass Civilians With Impunity Forever
The Russian Investigative Committee says it has “irrefutable evidence” that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are deliberately using weapons of mass destruction against civilians in east Ukraine. Commenting on the dire situation, RIA Novosti journalist Alexander Khrolenko explains why Ukraine’s army can’t continue to kill civilians with impunity forever.
On Monday, the Russian Investigative Committee released a statement saying that it had “discovered and procedurally documented evidence that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been using weapons of mass destruction, namely the Tochka-U tactical missile system, against civilians in the armed conflict in southeastern Ukraine.”
Investigators emphasized that the use of such weapons, which have a very high destructive power and are intended to cause mass casualties and damage over large areas, violates international law, since it leaves virtually “no chance of survival for both belligerents and civilians during armed clashes or armed conflicts.”The Investigative Committee said that it has evidence that the Ukrainian military has used Tochka-U in several settlements in breakaway Lugansk People’s Republic territory, including the city of Lugansk, as well as several cities, towns and villages throughout the region. Investigators added that the use of such weapons indicates that Kiev’s goal seems to simply be to annihilate the local population and infrastructure in the country’s southeast. The Committee stressed that the Tochka-U’s use constitutes a violation of both the 2015 Minsk agreements on Ukrainian peace and the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces inherited the Tochka-U from the Soviet Armed Forces after the USSR’s collapse. According to military analysts, the system is perhaps the most powerful weapon in possession of the Ukrainian military today. Developed by the Kolomna Designed Bureau in the 1970s, the system can carry a warhead weighing up to 482 kg. The warhead itself comes in several variants, including cluster and chemical munitions. The weapon has a range of between 15 and 120 km.
Stressing the seriousness of the weapon’s use in the Donbass, RIA Novosti journalist Alexander Khrolenko pointed out that “the effectiveness of the Tochka-U missile system with a conventional, cassette or chemical round is comparable to that of a tactical nuclear weapon.” In this light, he noted, “it’s no coincidence” that investigators used the language about Kiev seeking the annihilation of the local population and infrastructure.
It’s likely, Khrolenko added, that the investigation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ crimes will be followed up with practical measures from the Investigative Committee, and from other Russian authorities.On Sunday, authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic revealed the names of the Ukrainian officers suspected of being responsible for the shelling of Donetsk over the last two weeks, including one Colonel Andrei Sokolov, commander of the 72nd Mechanized Brigade, and Alexander Samarsky, his deputy.
DPR Operational Command reported that it had evidence that it was Sokolov who gave the order to shell Donetsk using 122mm and 152mm caliber artillery, which resulted in the deaths of six civilians and injured 34 more between January 30 and February 5. Samarsky was said to have actively assisted the commander in carrying out the order. The artillery fire was reported to have come from the Ukrainian military-occupied town of Avdiivka, north of the city of Donetsk.
Citing the Operational Command’s report, DPR media said that “the actions of the Ukrainian officers may be qualified…as the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of an aggressive war, as a violation of the laws and customs of war, and as genocide and violence against the civilian population in the area of military operations.”
In his piece, Khrolenko pointed out that the Russian Investigative Committee had already indicted Sokolov, as well as several other senior Ukrainian officers, for similar crimes. They include Lieutenant-Colonel Vasily Zubanich, commander of the 10th Separate Mountain-Assault Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Mikhail Prokopiv, commander of the 1st Battalion of the 14th Mechanized Brigade, Colonel Viktor Nikolyuk, commander of the 92nd Mechanized Brigade, Colonel Oleg Lisov, commander of the 44th Separate Artillery Brigade, and Colonel Andrei Grishchenko, currently the commander of Operational Command ‘South’ of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.In other words, the journalist noted, as far as Russia is concerned, no one has been forgotten, nor have their crimes against the civilian population in the war-torn Donbass region.
Khrolenko recalled that last year, during a lengthy interview for Ukrainian media, (unusual in and of itself for professional military officers) “Sokolov took note of the special value of the ‘experience’ gained by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donbass, where he said that ‘over the course of combat operations, we have acquired considerable combat experience, and developed new and improved tactics for combat. Now, NATO instructors come to Ukraine not only to train us, but to willingly learn from our experience, which is new for the world, of fighting in hybrid wars.'”
In the same interview, Sokolov predicted that “the situation for Putin is such that soon he will offer to give Donbass and Crimea back to Ukraine himself, and even offer compensation for damages.”
In fact, Khrolenko noted, Sokolov’s activities in the Donbass fall under Ukraine’s own Criminal Code, and he can be charged with a) the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of an aggressive war (Article 437, sections 1 and 2), b) war propaganda (Article 436), c) violation of the laws of war (Article 438, sections 1 and 2), the use of weapons of mass destruction (Article 439, sections 1 and 2), genocide (Article 442, section 1), and violence against the civilian population in an area of military operations (Article 433, sections 1 and 2).
In other words, the journalist wrote, “sooner or later, Sokolov and his colleagues from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, together with the ‘volunteers’, will be made to answer before a court for the use of weapons of mass destruction and the shedding of the blood of civilians in the Donbass. Local residents abhor the Ukrainian military fighters, and now know their tormenters by name.”
Ultimately, Khrolenko stressed, a great number of grisly and horrific things are happening in the war-torn region at the moment, all due to impunity for would-be war criminals and a sense of lawlessness. “But there is a limit to this impunity.” Months, years, or even decades from now, those responsible for the death and destruction in the Donbass will face justice.
These 8 neocons are gearing up to destroy President Trump and “Make America Bomb Again”
US Senator Rand Paul recently urged President Trump not to choose neoconservative Elliott Abrams to serve in the No. 2 spot at the US State Department.
In an op-ed published in the libertarian website Rare, Paul argues…
“Elliott Abrams is a neoconservative too long in the tooth to change his spots, and the president should have no reason to trust that he would carry out a Trump agenda rather than a neocon agenda.”
“Congress has good reason not to trust him — he was convicted of lying to Congress in his previous job.”
Paul added that Abrams’s “neocon agenda trumps his fidelity to the rule of law.”
“He is a loud voice for nation building and when asked about the president’s opposition to nation building, Abrams said that Trump was absolutely wrong; and during the election he was unequivocal in his opposition to Donald Trump, going so far as to say, ‘the chair in which Washington and Lincoln sat, he is not fit to sit.’”
1: a former liberal espousing political conservatism
2: a conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and U.S. national interest in international affairs including through military means
Here are 8 neocons that are gunning to take Trump down, and force America into more illegal wars and regime change operations.
1. Max Boot – Pushing to create a Syria “no-fly” zone…
- Max Boot is an American author, consultant, editorialist, lecturer, and military historian.
- He once described his ideas as “American might to promote American ideals.”
- Worked as a writer and editor for Christian Science Monitor and then for The Wall Street Journal in the 1990s.
- He is now Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
- He has written for numerous publications such as The Weekly Standard, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and he has also authored books of military history.
- In September 2012, Boot co-wrote with Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael Doran a New York Times op-ed titled “5 Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now”, advocating U.S military force to create a countrywide no-fly zone reminiscent of NATO’s role in the Kosovo War.
2. Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland – The family of neocons…
- Victoria Nuland was Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, married to the top imperial Neocon Robert Kagan.
- Run a neocon family business that had Vicky Nuland engineer a hot war in Ukraine, and ramp up Cold War 2.0 with Russia.
- Robert Kagan works outside of government lobbying Congress into jacking up military spending so America can meet “Nuland created” security threats.
- An inside-outside team that creates the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think tanks.
- The Kagan clan includes Robert’s brother Frederick at the American Enterprise Institute and his wife Kimberly, who runs her own shop called the Institute for the Study of War.
- Kagan openly supported Hillary Clinton during the US elections.
3. John McCain and Lindsey Olin Graham – Congressional war hawks…
- McCain and Graham are lifetime US Senators who sponsor American aggression and interventionism at every turn.
- A ‘husband and wife’ team that were leaders in pushing the Iraq WMD invasion on George W. Bush.
- Supported the dismemberment and destruction of Libya.
- McCain has been photographed meeting with various ISIS and Al Qaeda leaders in the run up to the destabilization of Syria.
- Both men worked closely with neo-nazi elements in Ukraine to overthrow the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych, and place in power a far-right oligarch puppet regime in Ukraine.
- Both men are never shy to voice their disdain for Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Highly critical of President Trump and his desire to build bridges with Russia.
4. Bill Kristol – Started the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)
- Bill Kristol recently said: “Decadent, lazy, spoiled, white working class” Americans should be replaced by immigrants.
- He is the founder and editor at large of the political magazine The Weekly Standard and a political commentator on several TV networks.
- He was chairman of the New Citizenship Project from 1997 to 2005.
- He co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with Robert Kagan.
- He is a member of the board of trustees for the free-market Manhattan Institute for Policy Research,
- He is also one of the three board members of Keep America Safe, a think tank co-founded by Liz Cheney and Debra Burlingame, and serves on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel and the Susan B. Anthony List.
- Kristol supported the Bush administration’s decision to go to war with Iraq.
- In 2003, he and Lawrence Kaplan wrote The War Over Iraq, in which he described reasons for removing Saddam.
- Kristol predicted a “two month war, not an eight year war” during a March 28 CSPAN appearance.
- In the 2010 affair surrounding the disclosure of U.S. diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, Kristol spoke strongly against the organization and suggested using “our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are.”
- In March 2011, he wrote an editorial in The Weekly Standard arguing that the United States’ military interventions in Muslim countries (including the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War) should not be classified as “invasions”, but rather as “liberations”.
- Kristol backed Obama’s decision to intervene in the 2011 Libyan civil war and urged fellow conservatives to support the action.
- Kristol recently said that President Trump treats Putin ‘with more respect’ than John Lewis.
5. Elliot Abrams – The neocon’s Trump insider…
- Elliott Abrams is reportedly under consideration to be deputy secretary of state.
- Politico’s reports that Abrams is meeting with President Trump on Tuesday, and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson supports him for the job.
- His first big job came in the Reagan administration, where he was assistant secretary of state.
- The independent counsel investigating the the Iran-Contra affair considered charging Abrams with several felonies, but Abrams agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor cases of withholding evidence. He was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.
- When Bush’s son became president eight years later, he appointed Abrams deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, supervising U.S. policy in the Middle East.
- Abrams was a supporter of the Iraq war and took a lead on Israeli-Palestinian issues.
- He’s now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for a variety of outlets, including items posted on The Atlantic.
6. Michael Weiss – The next generation, hipster, neocon…
- Weiss has served as co-chair of the Russia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society (HJS).
- Weiss currently serves as the editor-in-chief for the online magazine Interpreter, which translates and analyzes Russian news.
- He is also senior editor of The Daily Beast, a regular columnist for Foreign Policy magazine.
- In 2015, he co-wrote the book ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror with Hassan Hassan.
- In November 2014, Weiss published a special report in his online magazine the Interpreter that accused Russia of waging “propaganda and disinformation” campaigns.
- Went on CNN and proclaimed that Trump a fascist; like Stalin.
- Advocates placing “small but effective U.S. garrisons indefinitely in eastern and northeastern Syria and western Iraq.”
7. Eliot Cohen – First neocon to advocate for war against Iran and Iraq…
- Eliot Asher Cohen was a counselor in the United States Department of State under Condoleezza Rice from 2007 to 2009.
- Cohen is the Director of the Strategic Studies Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University.
- He is a specialist in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Iraq, arms control, and NATO.
- Cohen was one of the first neoconservatives to publicly advocate war against Iran and Iraq.
- Cohen wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post on 3 March 2014, between the ousting of Viktor Yanukovich on 22 February and the Crimean referendum on 16 March. In it, he maintains that “Putin is indeed a brutal Great Russian nationalist who understands that Russia without a belt of subservient client states is not merely a very weak power but also vulnerable to the kind of upheaval that toppled Yanukovych’s corrupt and oppressive regime.”
- Fiercely critical of President Trump and Steve Bannon.
8. Hillary Clinton – A top neocon dressed in liberal left clothing…
- Several neoconservatives have spent years admiring Hillary Clinton’s penchant for supporting every foreign war or military escalation in the last decade.
- Kagan said in 2014: “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy…If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue, it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.”
- Hillary’s neocon résumé includes Serbia where she urged an initially reluctant Bill Clinton to launch what became a two-and-a-half month bombing campaign that killed many thousands of Serb civilians. In urging this carnage on the president, she used the false claim that lethal military force was required to stop Hitler-like “genocide” in Yugoslavia.
- Hillary’s neocon résumé includes a YES vote for an Iraq invasion as a U.S. Senator.
- Hillary’s neocon résumé a coup in Honduras with bogus claims that, then President Zelaya, had been trying to establish a dictatorship and that Hondurans had after the coup experienced “free and fair elections” that restored “democratic and constitutional government” in Honduras.
- Hillary’s neocon résumé includes the removal of Momar Gadaffi – “a hero to black Africa” because of his efforts to create a progressive pan-African Union and his decent treatment of Black Libyans – through U.S.-led Western force turned Libya into a jihadist nightmare zone.
- Hillary’s neocon résumé includes her staunch support for the removal of Syrian President Assad and the destabilization of Syria.
- Hillary Clinton has consistently sought to demonize and isolate Russia, blaming the Ukraine crisis on “Putin’s imperialism” and endlessly justifying Washington’s relentless provocation of Russia.
- Hillary’s close ally is top neocon insider and Ukraine coup architect, Victoria Nuland.