Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 10, 2014

Alastair Crooke On Ukraine

Nothing by me but Alastair Crooke, a former MI-6 honcho and diplomat, is just back from Moscow and has some interesting thoughts on the bigger historic issues which express themselves in the current events in Ukraine. As for current expectations in Moscow he elaborates:

In gist, the dynamics towards some sort of secession of East Ukraine (either in part, or in successive increments) is thought [in Moscow] to be the almost inevitable outcome. The question most informed commentators in Moscow ask themselves is whether this will occur with relatively less orrelatively more violence – and whether that violence will reach such a level (massacres of ethnic Russians or of the pro-Russian community) that President Putin will feel that he has no option but to intervene.
And this the point, most of those with whom we spoke suspect that it is the interest of certain components of the American foreign policy establishment (but not necessarily that of the US President) to provoke just such a situation: a forced Russian intervention in East Ukraine (in order to protect its nationals there from violence or disorder or both). It is also thought that Russian intervention could be seen to hold political advantage to the beleaguered and fading acting government in Kiev. And further, it is believed that some former Soviet Republics, now lying at the frontline of the EU’s interface with Russia, will see poking Moscow in the eye as a settling of past scores, as well as underscoring their standing in Brussels and Washington for having brought ‘democracy’ to eastern Europe.

There seems absolutely no appetite in Moscow to intervene in Ukraine (and this is common to all shades of political opinion).

More, including some deeper history, at the link.

Posted by b on May 10, 2014 at 15:49 UTC | Permalink

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The Cold war should better be called the war on Russia, which has taken, can take, many forms, from cold standoffishness to meddling to warmer to hot.

We had the ‘only one power left’ and the end of history stuff, thus a supposed end of the Cold War, because Russia pretty much collapsed. But Putin managed to bring it back from the brink into some kind of shape. (And boy are the E Ukranians aware of that.) One of the main reasons the Anglos (USuk principally, or some factions, etc.) hate him so much. That is just outrageous - when ppl are knocked down they are supposed to crumble and beg, or best just perish.

I was talking to a crusty Brit today (reads FT, the Economist, the International NY Times, and watches TF1) and he went apoplectic when I said Russia was stronger today than 20 years ago. It took him some time to come up with a response: so Putin now could flex his muscles and invade Ukr. At the same time he said that Ukr. was ‘a basket case’ and ‘hopeless’, them Slavs, nobody wants it anyway (etc.) Wasting space..stop.

Did make me think what we see in Ukr. is a new form of ‘war’ on the people, these are expendable to all the parties. Ukr. was not branded as a color revolution, because the color revols. presented a simulacrum of ppl’s rebellion (which I still claim was quite genuine from many in Kiev..) - it is a step up. (And NOT an invasion.)

Colors be damned, let’s out all this, and those who have any kind of power or leverage (street power, arms, finance, big corps, oligarchs who are the pols at the same time, outside interests and interference, Int’l orgs like the IMF, etc.) try to coordinate and meld, or at least negotiate and present a united front, or *in fine*, let some of them fight it out amongst themselves. Crash and burn..

Very difficult to preserve a ‘democratic face’

see this for ex. May 10.

Welcome to Nulandistan (subs in Eng)

Of course all this is not thought out, most actors on the ground or above it are just running ‘their’ script.

Posted by: Noirette | May 11 2014 15:09 utc | 101

It cannot be any denial that the goal is to get Russia to invade by nato/us/eu now due the provocations by the kiev army.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11 2014 15:28 utc | 102

It cannot be any denial that the goal is to get Russia to invade by nato/us/eu now due the provocations by the kiev army.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2014 11:28:07 AM | 101

Welcome to Last Week - If ya hurry you might just catch this week :)

Posted by: lol | May 11 2014 15:41 utc | 103

It appears the provocations are mainly by the National Guard, which by design is made up mostly of Right Sector and Svoboda thugs. A reality completely overlooked by Western mainstream media, so your confusion is understandable.

Posted by: fairleft | May 11 2014 15:41 utc | 104

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2014 11:28:07 AM | 101

My comment 103 was a response to comment 101.

Posted by: fairleft | May 11 2014 15:42 utc | 105

Ukr. was not branded as a color revolution, because the color revols. presented a simulacrum of ppl’s rebellion (which I still claim was quite genuine from many in Kiev..)

Posted by: Noirette | May 11, 2014 11:09:22 AM | 100

But but but . . . surely some mistake, Noirette. We have after all been repeatedly and vociferously assured, by the Gnomes of North America, those fine upstanding honorable gents that constitute MOA's Clueless Ass-Clown Left posse, those absolute experts on all things "Eastern European" (or "absolute experts on all things 'Prague-ian'" if you prefer), that all those Maidan-ers are just Nasty Nazis, who hate anything russian-related (such as Authoritarian Soviet-ism) cos, well "they're just F'n Nazis, innit?"

And now here you are telling us otherwise?

Damn, what are the Clueless Ass Clown Left gonna do now?

Posted by: lol | May 11 2014 15:52 utc | 106

My response at MyFDL to 'Knut', who thinks Russian military 'polite men in green' might be on the ground in eastern Ukraine:

The ‘polite men in green’ line was the West’s attempt without any evidence to make the Crimean rebellion into a Russian invasion. In Crimea and eastern Ukraine, there are plenty of experienced former Ukraine military who, if decently equipped, can handle the Right Sector ‘National Guard’ thugs. I _definitely_ don’t think Russia would risk inserting Russian soldiers. They _might_ be helping with intelligence. Unofficially or semi-officially, I hope Russia or Russians are supplying weapons and food and so on to the pro-federalist regions.

But my guess is that Russia is not doing much, because it knows, more or less, that Ukraine is less important than maintaining excellent relations with ‘Middle Europe’ and especially Germany. Russia wants to give the U.S. no excuse to impose sanctions on Russia’s energy industry and thereby break the strong link between the German and Russian economies. That link is the basis of a future ‘Eurasia’, the main thing U.S. strategic and military and IMF and financial globalization planners are trying to prevent.

Posted by: fairleft | May 11 2014 15:53 utc | 107

In the Apocalyptic vision seen by the prophet Dan 7:3-7

The first beast is a Lion. The Lion is the heraldic figure for Britain. The Eagle's wing is America. So the Lion with Eagle's wings is the Anglo-American empire. The Eagle's wings are plucked off and the now wingless Lion is made to stand up as a man and receives a human heart. The Anglo-American empire is set up for a humbling. This is good because there is hope for mercy in humility. The Lion the king of the beasts becomes only human and not all powerful.

The Bear is Russia. It has three ribs in the mouth. These are three occasions in which the will of the Most High will be for the Bear to win. Every time the number three is repeated in scripture it represents the will of the Most High. Who knows whether it could be that Georgia war win was first, then Syria's war win second rib and then Crimea's return to the Russian sphere the third rib. It is hard to say. But the Bear is told to eat much flesh in the vision.

Note how the Operation "Eagle" Guardian was organized in 2010 within NATO (to overcome resistance by other NATO members) and defined to defend the three Baltic Nations plus Poland from a hypothetical Russian attack. The "Eagle" name for this Operation is not chosen by chance.

The Leopard is the heraldic figure for France. Note how France is continuing on with the military ship building contract on behalf of Russia. Note also that France has a $50 billion exposure to the Russian economy.

The fourth beast is actually a composite of the first three beasts. Let's look at it from Revelation:

John's vision in Revelation 13:1-4

Once more, the beast described is a composite beast. It looks like a leopard (France), feet of the bear (Russia), mouth of a lion (anglo-american empire), the dragon (China) gave him his power.

Here is a pic of the flags of the composite beast described in Daniel and in Revelation....with an Eagle winged Lion (Anglo-American), Leopard (France), Bear (Russia), Red dragon (China)
Note how Revelation 17:12-13 records the vision of the ten horns while Daniel 2:41-42 records the vision of the ten toes. Look here at the ten non-permanent members of the UN-SC

Posted by: Sun Tzu | May 11 2014 16:00 utc | 108

This is this week

Tymchuk: Akhmetov’s demand to stop anti-terrorist operation is provocation

starting last month

also - another #Yanoukovich press conference.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2014 16:00 utc | 109

Fairleft @106

I don't think we are in disagreement here. I was obviously speculating that it would be in Russia's interest to have a few discrete men (or women) in place to impede major atrocities by providing the resistance with small but timely help. Given the military inexperience and incompetence of the Kievan thugs, it would not take many persons to achieve that goal. I take it as a given that Russia's tactical goal is to prevent an outrage that might make it difficult for the Russians not to intervene. It's the homeopathic remedy. But as noted above, this is all pure speculation (it would be irresponsible not to).

Posted by: Knut | May 11 2014 16:26 utc | 110

Roman Lyagin, 'Donetsk People's Republic' central election committee head, says the status of Donetsk Oblast will remain unchanged after the referendum, Interfax news agency reports. "We just want to declare our right on self-determination. This means status of Donetsk oblast will not be changed after the referendum results are released - we will not stop being a part of Ukraine, we will not become a part of Russia, we will just tell the world that want changes," Lyagin emphasized.

"Maybe, we will remain a part of Ukrainian state, unitarian or federative; maybe, we will become a part of Russia. Maybe, we will become an independent state or a state within a confederative model," he added.

Meanwhile, Boris Litvinov, one of the DNR leaders, said separatists are not going to keep people from participating in the presidential elections, reports Ukrinform news agency. "We will not stop those who will come to the presidential elections on May 25," Litvinov mentioned. - Ivan Verstyuk

In contrast to:

6:05 p.m. - Separatist leader and self-appointed Donetsk People's Republic governor Denis Pushilin greeted warmly today by the crowd.

He said that Ukraine's eastern Donetsk Oblast would form its own state bodies and consider government soldiers there as "occupiers" once results were announced from Sunday's self-rule referendum, Interfax news agency said.

"All military troops on our territory after the official announcement of referendum results will be considered illegal and declared occupiers," Denis Pushilin, a leader of the self-styled Donetsk republic said, according to the agency.

"It is necessary to form state bodies and military authorities as soon as possible," Interfax said he added. - Christopher J. Miller


So, what is the real plan after the results are tallied and released?
(I know this is the Kiev Post but it has sourced Interfax so I am using this link.)

Posted by: Tea | May 11 2014 16:37 utc | 111

Anyone want to take a guess why Putin is against referendum? - 17.

Because votes for ‘independence’ or to ‘join Russia’ (Crimea, which could only work that one time) or any variants are embarrassing and difficult to deal with.

No matter the precise or vague proposition in E Ukr, the crux is leaving, not being part of the Ukr. with Kiev Gvmt as stands, the ‘fascists’, etc. A purely oppositional, break-away position.

The underground appeal to Mother Russia is strong in all cases. If unwitting or muddled.

An independent region in the E Ukr. would be heavily dependent on Moscow, would affirm its Russian Roots, etc.

Annexation referenda.

In world history, about between 400-600. (potted history so ??)

Late 1700s on, some 30 or so annexation referenda.

It was the French (?) who first decreed that nobody could be annexed without the agreement of the population.

.... Lead to the multiplication of referenda, e.g. Nice and Savoy (1792), region of Porrentruy (1793), etc. who requested join France, be annnexed.

Most of the ‘joining’ referenda in the near past were implemented to make official a plan that was agreed upon before - attested, public, popular support was needed to go ahead, legitimize.

Italy also melded together via this type of referenda.

‘Sovereign’ potential referenda today (e.g. Catalonia, Scotland ...) for independence, splitting off, are different, because they don’t want to join anyone. Yet remain in the EU! So there is that..!

Putin and the “W” apparently accept as a fait accompli a Crimea (fiddled) vote that is simultaneously breakaway and joining a larger stronger entity, somewhat curious in recent times.

> > The legal snarl right now is clash between ‘inviolate borders’ and ‘the right to auto-determination’, as in Int. law, UN statutes, etc. Both are invoked to support whatever position turn by turn.

Vote manipulation coming up, see e.g. No idea if true:

> lol @ 106, well so it is.

Posted by: Noirette | May 11 2014 17:17 utc | 112

Posted by: Knut | May 11, 2014 12:26:34 PM | 110

I was reacting to the "men in green" reference, which implies the Russians would be dressed in military uniforms. That's a good insight that the main purpose would be to prevent large-scale incidents that increase pressure in Russia for military intervention. I think we agree it would make sense for Russia to have a few military and intelligence experts and 'liaisons' on the ground in eastern Ukraine (in civilian dress).

Posted by: fairleft | May 11 2014 20:20 utc | 113

Posted by: Tea | May 11, 2014 12:37:03 PM | 111

So, what is the real plan after the results are tallied and released?

"Mr. Rudenko described as unlikely the Crimea scenario--where Russia quickly followed up a popular referendum with annexation--and said the Donetsk People's Republic therefore would take steps to develop as a sovereign state. Those include "integration steps" such as joining a Kremlin-run customs union with former Soviet republics and building relations with the neighboring Luhansk People's Republic, he said. Rebels in the neighboring region of Luhansk also held a referendum on independence Sunday."

Post-Referendum Plans for Donestsk

Posted by: Tea | May 12 2014 14:09 utc | 114

Anyone want to take a guess why Putin is against referendum?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2014 4:18:28 PM | 17

Well I don't see how it is possible to say he was "against" it.
He probably thought it was not purposeful.

However I would imagine that the RF had conducted some level of polling, maybe by its secret service, and found that there was some significant support in the east for post poning it. Here is a recent Poll to give an idea.

I think it did no harm either. Through the refusal to postpone, Putin could step sideways and present the movement in the East and South as something that he could not dictate or control. It possesses a force, and was gaining some legitamcy in the context of the decisive violence executed on the behalf of Kiev.

The RF continues to be at odds with the USG but not Germany or the OSCE.

Posted by: Tea | May 12 2014 18:23 utc | 115

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