Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 26, 2014

Ukraine: What Might Be The Outcome?

Noirette comments at the end of the last Ukraine thread:

I’m less optimistic than b.
Actually running that election was vicious provocation.
It spells, from the coupists - we control the “State” (such as it is) and we do as we like, you people are of no account and we will vanquish. I think, before the election there might have been a small chance of “pacification” and it is possible that time might have helped. But after the election, no.
Of course, officially or ostensibly the election was carried out to legitimize the Kiev-koupists with a democratic masquerade, as well as to provide a new interlocutor for Putin and the West, which is how most people seem to see it.
Poroshenko’s problem is not that he is Jewish but that he is the worst kind of criminal oligarch. Candy Tycoon, ha ha, according to the western press. In short, exactly what the people of the Ukraine do not want and have been fighting against.
Imho, any hopes of a ‘united’ or ‘unitary’ Ukraine are now slim. Remember, Yanukovitch tried to keep the status quo and it fell apart (1). The ‘federalization’ proposal (Putin and others), with a weak central state plus high independence for “Regions” (the oblasts are too small imho) is moot.
Right now, there isn’t a legitimate Gvmt. but a void, which sucks in all kinds of actors. That will continue and degenerate, despite an ‘elected’ President, creating more fault lines. The difficulty as I see it is not so much language, culture, or politics (political parties in the Ukraine are mostly arrangements between oligarchs) but the idea of ‘finlandization’ or what the French call a ‘tampon’ (buffer) state.
How can that status quo ante be restored, after so much interference? How many of the different parties actually wish this? The Kievcoupist find themselves in the position of creating this state of affairs and refusing any proposition other than ‘a united Ukraine’, really this can only be deliberate, and Poroshenko appears on board with it, and has western support. (Moreover, not that anyone at all seems to care what Ukrainians want, my guess is they don’t like this idea.)
(1) Just one illustrative detail from history. Yats, Yulia and Yushenko requested to join NATO in Jan 2008. The request was supported by Bush, Obama and McCain. Subsequently, because of internal opposition, the Ukr. parliament was blocked and non-acting from 25 Jan to Mar 4. At the NATO summit in April the request was turned down, the British and the French nixed it.

My view: That is all well and right by then there is reality, economic reality which the Brookings Institute tried to explain.

Ukraine has already been pressed out like a citrus and the latest IMF and World Bank loans will only last so long. Neither the U.S. nor the EU are willing to pick up the bill for some 40 million Ukrainians. There is therefore in the end no other way for Kiev, whoever rules there, than to make nice with Russia and accept its conditions. Ukraine needs Russian gas and oil and it needs the defense cooperation with Russia. I have yet to find an argument that contradicts this and would support a different conclusion.

The neocons will of course try to get to some different outcome and will push this or that lunatic stand. But they, as we all know and have seen elsewhere, have no sense for realities on the ground and those are the ones that will win out.

Posted by b on May 26, 2014 at 16:30 UTC | Permalink


It does not work this way. Economic desaster for people, destruction of all they have, has never stopped a war.

This is a war economy now, run by people who command the guns.

Also, it is not the US that has to pick up the bill. I suppose, they command the guns on Kyiv's side.

Posted by: somebody | May 26 2014 16:56 utc | 1

Sorry - Russia doesn't want or need Ukraine. If forced it will take back Crimea through a legal referendum. As to the rest of Ukraine, Russia preferred option is a neutral country.

EU/IMF/USA/UK caused the coup in Kiev in Feb 2014 and it is up to UK/IMF/USA/EU to fund the rebuild of Ukraine.

I think Poland was given $250bn (not loan) given and because Ukraine is in a worst state/more corruption/larger land mass the bill has been quoted as $500bn for the 1st 10 years

Neither Russia or China are interested in supporting or financing this task

Ukraine has made its choice to go to the West - the West need to fund, fund and fund some more for many, many years.

Further the West should expect 20 million Ukrainians refugees either legally through EU membership / asylum seekers over the next few years - the Ukrainian people were "promised riches" of large pensions, high paid jobs, a better life ... the West need to honor those promises

Posted by: Demii | May 26 2014 17:00 utc | 2

It'll be interesting to see whether economic reality or neocon fantasy prevails. The US, both parties, is all in for the latter. UK, same. And at times the pervasive not-letting-any-light-in media propaganda makes it seem 'the allies' are right there with the US. But that can't be so for Germany: the economic reality of Russian gas being what it is.

Posted by: fairleft | May 26 2014 17:06 utc | 3

i guess it depends on the south stream, which depends on the EU government, which depends on "democracy" in the EU...

will the government respond to the elections, or will they continue to hassle russia about south stream?

if south stream is built, ukraine will become irrelevant in the neocon scheme of things

if the neocons are successful in stirring up another big war in europe, then ...what?

looks to me like the US neocons would benefit from the destruction of europe and russia in another big war... a war that would wreck two bigt centers of resistance toUS neocons' hegemony... which point they'd be free to concentrate on china, their biggest rival for access to the remaining oil

my problem is... it always turns out to be worse than my worst imaginings

Posted by: flickervertigo | May 26 2014 17:11 utc | 4

More killings by the army just reported, 2 civilians/woman killed.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 26 2014 17:34 utc | 5

Obama wants war; Obama wants another Europe War; Obama doesn't care if Europe is destroyed or if Nukes in Europe are used.

Obama doesn't want war in America; Obama doesn't want death and destruction in America

However, this time if there is a World War it will be total (nukes) in both the southern and northern hemispheres, death and destruction in every corner of the world including private pacific island "bolt holes" of the wealthy

It is either World War 3 for the whole world (more likely before the year is out) or No World War

If No World War then the West need to sort out Ukraine, sort the neo Nazi's and put an end to their world domination ambitions

I am already hearing that the Ukrainian people are on the move - in Poland taking the jobs of the locals and causing trouble

The clock is ticking as they say - sitting on the fence and doing nothing is not an option. The West need to resolve the Ukraine situation before the whole of Europe and USA erupt in total violence

Posted by: Demii | May 26 2014 17:38 utc | 6

b - thanks for your blog.

i have to agree with some others who are more pessimistic here - war is the outcome and the end goal.. the criminals who are responsible for this are having their way.. mayhem and disorder are what they seek. they are winning.. the ordinary people like us are the ones losing..

Posted by: james | May 26 2014 17:45 utc | 7

I heard over the BBC last night that Chechen fighters have shown up in eastern Ukraine on the side of the ethnic Russians. Anyone here that or know something about it? There's so much disinformation in the west that it's hard to sort out, which, of course, is the purpose of disinformation.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | May 26 2014 17:47 utc | 8

Ukraine could be a success every bit as much as South Korea is a success if it was wise and learned to play the West against Russia. In order to do that, it must put the Oligarchs in their place and not allow the West to fully dictate policy and terms. The East, namely Russia, should be kicked out altogether and the West should be invited in to help set up a parallel the Russians cannot cross without severe consequences. Russians living in Ukraine and all Baltic and Balkan states should be deported to Russia immediately. They have proven they can't live any place beside Russia so send them home where they belong and Putin can no longer use Russians living abroad as an excuse to invade and annex. The West should do this as well. All Russians must go. Crime in the mid-Atlantic cities of America will easily drop by half Russian criminals are deported to the criminal state of Russia where they belong. South Korea did it masterfully after a few starts, stops and stutters before they got it right. Does Ukraine have the stuff? Or will it be factionalized into obscure, easily controlled mafia-statelets?

What's Your Emergency?

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | May 26 2014 18:01 utc | 9

In the Brookings piece 'B' link, it mentioned three option for Ukraine, Ukraine as Poland, Finland or small Russia. However, there is another option. That is Korean option, the partition of Ukraine in a bloody civil war. I strongly suspect that that was their plan all along. And if it is the case, things are still working according to their plan.

I wrote this about 2 weeks ago.

In spite of everything else, Luke Harding did one great service by revealing the real plan of the Kiev regime when he reported this.

Todorov – a supporter of Ukrainian statehood – said he was deeply pessimistic about his country's future. He said he doubted presidential elections due to be held on 25 May would take place, at least not in the east. And in Kiev, he suggested, there was a growing feeling that Ukraine would be better off dumping its troublesome eastern provinces and creating a modern European country without them.

I don't think dumping the eastern provinces is an ad hoc reaction to the present crisis. It could be their plan from the beginning.

They learned their lesson from the Orange revolution. They cannot secure their power and move Ukraine to the west with the Russian speaking parts within Ukraine. Therefore they are going to lose them this time.

So, how would they achieve this goal?

Starting a civil war which will force the Russian speaking parts to leave Ukraine.

From the moment they took power, the Kiev regime has been systematically weakening and dismantling the state institutions of power, and replacing them with right wing militias. This is a sure recipe for a civil war. It all reminds me of the disbandment of the Iraqi army after the US invasion.

One Wurmser, a neocon staff of the vice president Cheney's office, was kind enough to explain the true nature of Iraqi plan.

Wurmser argued that toppling Saddam was likely to lead directly to civil war and the breakup of Iraq, but he supported the policy anyway... Yet Wurmser explicitly urged the United States and Israel to “expedite” such a collapse. “The issue here is whether the West and Israel can construct a strategy for limiting and expediting the chaotic collapse that will ensue in order to move on to the task of creating a better circumstance.”

The Kiev regime is following the same plan. They disbanded the riot police, Berkut. This created a power vacuum which was filled by the right wing militia. Also without riot police, any confrontation with mass protest will be quickly militarized. Not to mention that the members of disbanded Berkut went to Crimea and joined the pro-Russian militia.

Then they repeated the same feat again with the 25th airborne brigade. The unit which refused to shoot unarmed civilians and made a nice gift of 6 armored vehicles was disbanded. I guess their equipment was given to right wing militias. I am sure many of the released personnel of the paratroopers will join the rank of the southeastern rebels.

In their place, they created the National guard, and various other militia formations, and gave them the status of nationally sanctioned armed force.

These militia formations are useless against the much hyped Russian invasion, but very good at committing atrocities against civilians.

If you want to maintain the unity of a country, you maintain the institutional cohesion of its armed force. However maintaining the institutional cohesion of the armed force also imposes certain limits on your action.

Yanukovych understood this. That is the reason why he refused to use the army to put down the Maidan protest. Once army is used against civil unrest, you cannot guarantee its loyalty and its institutional cohesion could be destroyed.

The Kiev regime also understand this. That is the reason why they are replacing the police and the army with right wing militias.

The job of these militia formations is not winning the civil war. If they win, they will end up with the unwanted Russian speaking parts again. Their job is committing enough atrocities against the Russian speaking population so that they will want to leave Ukraine.

They want bloody destruction of Ukraine and rebirth of a new pure Ukraine nation from the ashes shorn of the impure eastern parts. And they will blame it on Russia whether Russia directly intervenes or not.

Also they count on the full support from Europe and the US, once Ukraine explodes in blood and becomes the frontline garrison state in the new cold war with Russia.

It is the same deal they had with Nazi Germany. It is also the same deal South Korea got, another garrison state on the frontline of the old cold war. Because of the status as a frontline garrison state, South Korea could escape the worst of neo-colonial exploitation and could achieve impressive economic development. The Kiev regime may be expecting the same deal. At least, that is their calculation.

Therefore the Kiev regime will never participate in any negotiation which will preserve the unified Ukraine.

They can be stopped only by Europe saying in no uncertain terms that they will not get any support from Europe for their plan for divided and nationally pure Ukraine.

Therefore, Putin's move is not aimed at the Kiev regime which is not interested in negotiation anyway. It is aimed at Europe. If Europe denies any hope for a special deal as a frontline garrison state, the Kiev regime will collapse on itself.

However European leaders are still meekly following the US leads, hoping that the procession to the slaughter house will stop at the gate. They behave like a deer caught on headlights. When will they wake up? We need their action now, before it is too late.


Those neocons may look stupid, but they are not. They appear stupide because they are doing something unthinkable, and people don't understand what they are doing. They are not stupid. But they are not smart, either.

There are reasons why certain things remain unthinkable.

But they think by doing something unthinkable, they can outsmart people. For this, they think they are smart. But any fool can do that and think himself smart. That is fool's smartness.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26 2014 18:04 utc | 10

Alastair Crooke thinks that the US wants war with Russia, too. But a different kind of war.

"What Treasury officials are talking about is their financial ‘neutron’ bomb.

As a leading British economics commentator, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, notes: “for the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot. The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century”.
- See more at:

Washington seems as convinced that they brought Iran to its knees via sanctions as their conviction that "US resoluteness making the Soviet Union collapse." Correct or not, it's the new mantra.

Of course, Russia is not without ways to response, including cyber tools.

What Crooke foresees is the threat of instability, particularly in financial markets. Instability in frothy markets could do a lot of economic damage, particularly in Europe.

Posted by: JohnH | May 26 2014 18:05 utc | 11

Ha ha .... If USA think Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Egypt and the other 20+ countries that they have invaded, plus all the countries that they constantly attack with drones are sorted and now peaceful - they are in for a rude awakening.

Those countries are looking for revenge and if they can't get that revenge locally they will wage war by whatever means on USA until the sun sets

And if USA attempts a financial attack on Russia, Russia will treat that action as Act of War and will Russia will nuke America

Posted by: Demii | May 26 2014 18:24 utc | 12

Oh how funny - Russia does not want Ukraine .... the fighting in Ukraine is going West to Europe and USA

You will see the collapse of Kiev, Berlin, Paris, London and then spread to New York etc ... It will end with the break up of USA

Posted by: Demii | May 26 2014 18:30 utc | 13

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26, 2014 2:04:14 PM | 10

Wow, that was brilliant. Explains the National Guard as a deliberate provocation machine. Explains the regime classifying the federalists as 'terrorists', refusing to talk with them, ridiculing their real grievances as b.s., describing them as Russia puppets.

All through the problems in the East the Kiev regime has displayed that familiar neocon bellicosity in spades (but of course without the slightest reaction or recognition in the 'respectable' Western media). And now Poroshenko issues just more bellicose 'terrorist this terrorist that' crap, and has the National Guard kill more of his country's own citizens.

But if the goal is separation and not unity, all the preceding is explained. On the other hand, the Kiev leadership may be (1) just doing what their US neocon masters are ordering them to do, and/or (2) so stupid and macho/bellicose by nature that they think being assholes, not giving an inch, and killing people and wrecking stuff will force the east to fall into line.

Posted by: fairleft | May 26 2014 18:35 utc | 14

The sponsors of the bloody coup on Maydan want low-intensity war in Ukraine, Israeli-against-Palestine style, to cripple and bleed Russia. Instead of tank divisions special ops and mercenaries will be used, not only in Ukraine, as described so eloquently and professionally by an insider Gordon Duff: NEO – Odessa: A Model of Warfare On the Cheap and an ME expert Manlio Dinucci The Globalization of Special Forces.
Western ruling class does not care about the people in Ukraine, who in majority are still politically unaware what's been going on, just plain stupid to be participating in the sham elections and choosing another western-controlled oligarch/puppet.

The "masters" believe they can continue to destabilize Ukraine while harvesting/plundering her resources at the same time. There is still a LOT to squeeze out of that country.

The goal of Russia and her supporters in Ukraine is to resists this constant pressure of "strategy of tension" and increase dramatically the awareness among the populace about the nature of the game and showcase the Crimea as the example of what good life could look like.

There are some other observations I could post, but I won't so as not to alarm the enemy.

BTW the number of Russia's supporters in EP has just increased significantly.

I 100% agree with a commenter here that the evil cabal (neocons/judaist supremacist and other satanic breed) have been preparing something really BIG, most probably aimed at Western (US/EU) populations. Some 9/11 "shock and awe" redux.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 26 2014 18:37 utc | 15

I disagree with Noirette: the coup forces lost any credibility they might have had in this election. The openly fascist candidates were clearly rejected (in so far as anything in this faux electoral exercise can be said to have been clear). And the right of the Maidan insurrectionists to speak as the de facto power has dissolved.

As to the oligarchs, my reading of the Maidan events is that, willy nilly, they spelled the end of oligarchical dictatorship. The coup and its aftermath has woken up a population which is not going to be soothed down again by the restoration of stability or prosperity. Things are going to get worse for millions of Ukrainians, so much worse that they are going to be forced to start taking decisions about their own future.

That, after all is what is happening in the southeast: there is little enthusiasm for war but the alternatives are making it inevitable. Shelling peoples houses makes them angry, as do pogroms and death squad raids. Gradually, unless they are very careful, these oligarchs who are spectacularly unsophisticated, crude gangsters advised by their State equivalents, the crime syndicate based in DC, are going to awaken the people.
There sure isn't any candy left to hand out to them: even the safety valve of emigration westwards is closing rapidly as the EU's voters turn against immigration at a time when the jobs are disappearing rapidly. Ukrainians are going to have to stay home and sort matters out for themselves.
This must include the ultimate answer people make when their families are starving and there is no alternative but to call property rights into question and seize what they need.
I'd go further than Noirette and say that not only is the west in favour of a restoration of the status quo ante, so is Russia. But it still won't be enough: the status quo was unsustainable. Long before the barricades went up in Maidan and the fascists crawled out from their tombs to help Nuland and out cookies, the game was up: the economy is wrecked. And so are the economies of the EU.
The EU and the US are powerless. They can make propaganda but they cannot feed the starving, if only because they prefer to eat them.
"b" is right. It doesn't matter what the west wants. There is certainly a real danger that, frustrated by its impotence, the US will resort to war (and the madness of dying imperialism should never be discounted) but war against Russia and China is impossible, as the General Staff will tell the politicians.
The Ukrainian government must turn east but the east has nothing much to offer it: Russia and China are both poor in terms of living standards. What it can offer is the perspective of self development after the foetid fantasies of achieving western European living standards have been laid aside.
The world has changed. A corner has been turned. The imperial system is breaking up. The question of whether to join the coffles and stumble down into slavery under Barbarian rule or, however reluctantly and unenthusiastically, to emancipate ourselves cannot be evaded much longer.
In the Ukraine it is urgent and necessary.
And nothing proves it more than the actuality of the alternative: an elected President who is a thieving chocolate salesman, surrounded by knuckle dragging thugs, without a brain cell in his head capable of dealing with anything less crude than the 'bizness' of armed robbery.

Posted by: bevin | May 26 2014 18:38 utc | 16

Insanity rules the world. When the western plutocrats got a get out jail free card there were no more restraints on the risks they will take. Combined with the true believers who hate Russia, Ukraine is going to blow up. Since there is no one to negotiate with, Ukraine is heading down the same path as Yugoslavia with ethnic cleansing. Ukraine will partition into East and West if the ethnic Russians can stalemate Western Ukraine’s pacification program.

Anyone with a gun for hire, an addiction to combat, or a belief they are fighting for the true god are headed to Ukraine.

We already have a taste of our future here in MoA’s comments. Racial and religious hatreds have been ignited once again. Similar to the 1930's Depression, today the only outlet for the people to protest against establishment rule is ultra-right wing parties.

If Eastern Ukraine is on the verge of being destroyed, Russia has to intervene or the current government will be overthrown by Russia's ultra-nationalists. The longer the Ukraine civil war lasts the more likely it will end in a nuclear holocaust.

This was all started because a few rich plutocrats and the neo-conservatives want more people and resources to rule over.

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 26 2014 18:45 utc | 17

Recognizing legitimacy of that Ukraine elections automatically does so for the coming elections in Syria w.r.t to conducting them in a war-torn country. Therefore another brutal terror campaign (Volcano II ?) has been in preparations to prevent Assad from winning Syrian popular vote.

BTW how do you like Obama's move to out the CIA station chief in Afghanistan?

Posted by: ProPeace | May 26 2014 18:47 utc | 18

You have seriously miss understood the situation.

There will be only 2 choices:

1) Unconditional surrender of Nato (countries) to the NWO in the East (China, Russia etc)

2) Nuclear World War 3

Obama will go down in history as the man who Lost or Started WW3

Posted by: Demii | May 26 2014 18:47 utc | 19

What % of the Ukrainian eligible population voted? OT anyone heard what accords the Papal signed with the Zionist entity?

Posted by: papa | May 26 2014 18:49 utc | 20

@VV If it weren't for neutral, passive, corrupt, dumb, cynical, selfish commoners who let said plutocrats do whatever they wanted we would live in a much better world.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 26 2014 18:51 utc | 21

John @11
The US was wrong about Iran. The sanctions regime could not succeed, all it was doing was driving Iran, Russia and China closer together.

US financial power is entirely based upon the dollar's reserve position. And this, despite the overwhelming interest of the world oligarchy in maintaining the currency in which they have sunk their savings, is going to end soon.
How soon?

That is up to the US. Suffice it to say that nothing is more likely to bring about the destruction of the current system than US attempts to exercise a power-the financial neutron bomb- which is entirely illusory.
The Emperor is naked.

The US dollar will survive only so long as it serves those who use it. If pushed, alternatives-precious metals, baskets of currency, barter arrangements-are not only available but ready to be employed.
And yes, the transition from one system to another or others would cause disruption and suffering but nowhere would that disruption be greater than in the imperial metropolis.
Ambrose Pritchard's is a neutron bomb that explodes on its own launch pad. And the City of London knows it.

Posted by: bevin | May 26 2014 18:54 utc | 22

ZIP: IN Donetsk battles, the battalion "East" hit from the air (live)

Hour by hour reporting on the fighting that is going on at the airport in Donetsk. There are many videos, several "live" streaming. Many photos. The above link is a Yandex translation. The original article is below.

МОЛНИЯ: В Донецке бои, по батальону «Восток» бьют с воздуха (трансляция)

Posted by: scalawag | May 26 2014 19:04 utc | 23

@scalawag #23:

Do you think it is too early for RF to provide air support to the rebels? The way things are going, I think it will have to, sooner or later. An anglo-style "no fly zone" for Novorossia? Or first warn the junta that this will be done unless it stops its military operations? By this point, I think Russia can easily invoke R2P.

By the way, judging from this new post by the Saker's local military expert, the rebels have an advantage in that they have combat experience, whereas Right Sector/National Guard mostly have no military experience, and do "not have a professional NCO corp" (sergeants).

Posted by: Demian | May 26 2014 19:23 utc | 24

Important accord russo-syrien

- In 2015, the Eurasian Economic Commission will create a free trade with the Customs Union (Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan) which will be part of Syria.
- The Russian Federation continues to provide arms authorized by the Security Council of the UN. The Syrian Defense Minister, General Fahd al-Freij, will travel to Moscow in August to sign a detailed cooperation between the two states Treaty. It should include the extension of Russian military port of Tartus Syria as well as access to the images of Russian satellites.
-Russia should finance the reconstruction widely Syria, so that it is not forced to sell passage on its soil of Saudi and Qatari gas pipelines.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 26 2014 19:26 utc | 25

Leaving the US behind ... Russia's potential real politik allies starts with Germany but doesn't end there. Don't forget Japan's energy needs, or India's. The first blockquote below summarizes the significance of the China-Russia gas deal, with China projecting to be a European size gas market in 20 years. Also, big deals in the immediate future with gas hungry Japan and India. The latter blockquotes are from articles discussing how the pipeline will give Russia more leverage with customers, and on Japan's interest in being on Russia's good and gassy side. ...

Russia likely is looking well beyond China for customers. Rumors are circulating that a transaction similar to the one with China is being negotiated with India.

Russia is building new facilities and expanding other LNG export plants on its Pacific coast, near Sakhalin Island, where ExxonMobil Corp. and others are partnering. ExxonMobil struck an alliance with Russia's OAO Rosneft in 2011 (see Daily GPI, Aug. 31, 2011).

The pipeline to China would position Gazprom with leading Asia Pacific gas buyers, putting it at an advantage geographically over exports from North America and elsewhere.

Japan's government is a partner with OAO Rosneft in an energy venture called Sakhalin-1 in the Russian Far East. U.S. sanctions have targeted Rosneft's chief, Igor Sechin, although not the company itself. Japan also relies on the nearby Sakhalin-2 field in Russian waters for about 10% of its supplies of natural gas, putting Tokyo at risk should the U.S. ratchet up pressure on Moscow.

Energy specialists say Japan's commitments to the Russian projects--and its strong demand for fossil fuels in the wake of its 2011 nuclear accident--make it hard to pull back now.

"Russia is looking even more to Asia than before. If Japanese companies hesitate to do business, it would be China that picks up the windfall gains," said Nobuo Tanaka, a former executive director of the International Energy Agency who is now a professor at Tokyo University.

“Although most Japanese don’t know it, Russia can rescue Japan from its energy quagmire. Russia has huge resources and her oil and gas prospects in Sakhalin and other parts of eastern Russia are geographically close to Japan,” said Kazuhiko Fuji, chief research fellow at the Institute for International Policy Studies.

Posted by: fairleft | May 26 2014 19:30 utc | 26

There's no turning back now..It's a full blown war now... The tragedy of this is that, it might very well become an European wide war given the discontent existing in many EU countries with the EU establishment itself.

You gotta thank the geniuses running the show at the US state department. Europe can thank the Americans for liberating them into disaster.

Posted by: Zico | May 26 2014 19:34 utc | 27

Posted by: JohnH | May 26, 2014 2:05:00 PM | 11

Thanks for the link.

Of course, that's what they meant in this article.

Mr. Obama helped Russia gain admission to the World Trade Organization; now he is working to limit its access to external financial markets.

Also it is that dreadful sec. 311 of the US Patriot Act, again.

The stealth weapon is a ‘scarlet letter’, devised under Section 311 of the US Patriot Act. Once a bank is tainted in this way – accused of money-laundering or underwriting terrorist activities, a suitably loose offence – it becomes radioactive, caught in the “boa constrictor’s lethal embrace”, as Mr Zarate puts it.

“This can be a death sentence even if the lender has no operations in the US. European banks do not dare [to] defy US regulators — they sever all dealings with the victim. Mr Zarate [said] that the US can “go it alone” with sanctions if necessary. It therefore hardly matters whether or not the EU drags its feet over Ukraine … Washington has the power to dictate the pace for them”, notes Evans-Pritchard.

This the same weapon they honed against North Korea and forced North Korea to do their first nuclear bomb test in 2006.

The Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (OTFI), with Levey as its chief, was set up after 9/11 in an effort to track, impede and prevent the movement of funds used by terrorists.

OTFI derived its power and utility from a provision, Section 311, inserted into the Patriot Act by John Kerry. Section 311 empowered the Treasury Department to sever banks deemed insufficient in financial reporting transparency (and therefore potentially obscuring the movement of terrorist funding) from the US financial system.
In a classic case of mission creep, OTFI was repurposed to serve as an instrument of the unilateral foreign policy of the George W Bush administration in its efforts to isolate, pressure and possibly destabilize Iran and North Korea.
OTFI systematically and energetically contacted foreign banks to convince them to sever ties with Tehran and Pyongyang on the grounds that Iranian and North Korean duplicity and lack of transparency put the banks at risk of unwittingly abetting proliferation, terrorist and criminal activities - and severance from the US financial system by Treasury fiat.
In 2006, the Bush administration's Working Group on North Korea decided to take stronger measures to dissuade China from providing North Korea access to the world financial system.

The chosen target was Banco Delta Asia (BDA), a small bank headquartered in Macau that transacted business with North Korea.
In fact, the whole BDA designation looks less like a negotiating strategy than a means of torpedoing the six-party talks, which were puttering along with their usual combination of duplicity, venality, futility and sunny optimism a mere two months before Levey dropped his bombshell.

And it is doing the same thing against Iran.

Shell-shocked by the ambiguity of US financial sanctions combined with astronomical fines and reputational concerns, banks have fully disengaged from all financial transactions with Iran. Even when certain trade transactions are permitted, banks do not have sufficient guarantees they won't be penalised if they facilitate the transfer of funds to Tehran.

This is not a new problem. Over the years, the financial sanctions have evolved into a Frankenstein's monster that the US government appears unable to fully control. For instance, even though medicine is exempted from US sanctions, the fear of dealing with Iranian banks has helped precipitate the ongoing medicine crisis in Iran. The inclusion of a channel to enable the sale of medicine to Iran in the interim deal was a tacit acknowledgment by the US that its sanctions constituted a key factor behind the shortages.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26 2014 19:44 utc | 28

Putin Stymies Globalists

Posted by: ProPeace | May 26 2014 19:44 utc | 29

@1 john. thanks also for the link. this idea of financial war is what many @ moa have been speaking about. the article was interesting as it gave more substance to this idea. ultimately i don't know that the usa/europe can win a war against russia/china this way only and as the article points out the cyber war capabilities of russia are very strong according to this same article. thanks again for the article which gives a lot of 'meat' to the argument of those who have been suggesting this all along.. i will leave others with one quote from the article below.

"The stealth weapon is a ‘scarlet letter’, devised under Section 311 of the US Patriot Act. Once a bank is tainted in this way – accused of money-laundering or underwriting terrorist activities, a suitably loose offence – it becomes radioactive, caught in the “boa constrictor’s lethal embrace”, as Mr Zarate puts it.

“This can be a death sentence even if the lender has no operations in the US. European banks do not dare [to] defy US regulators — they sever all dealings with the victim. Mr Zarate [said] that the US can “go it alone” with sanctions if necessary. It therefore hardly matters whether or not the EU drags its feet over Ukraine … Washington has the power to dictate the pace for them”, notes Evans-Pritchard."

Posted by: james | May 26 2014 19:56 utc | 30

Posted by: Demian | May 26, 2014 3:23:24 PM | 24

"Do you think it is too early for RF to provide air support to the rebels?"

I would think so. Operable Ukrainian air assets are scarce. They only have a handful of working aircraft, and I imagine experienced, and willing, pilots for these are not in great number, either. Arranging for the self-defense forces to get more man pack surface to air missiles should be enough to fend of Ukrainian air attacks. The SD forces were very successful earlier at downing the attackers, and they already claimed one helicopter down at the Donetsk airport. They probably don't have a lot of these missiles, if they did, the way those Ukrainian helicopters were flying low around the airport, would have seen all of them downed. The two fighters overflying (looked like Su-27s) repeatedly fired off flares to defend themselves from infrared homing missiles, so the Ukrainians are clearly worried about the threat.

According to this report, Donetsk airport is now in DND hands, so the Ukrainian counterattack seems to have failed to regain it.

Supporters DND declared the restoration of control over the Donetsk airport

Yandex translation. The article contains many links to other articles along with a video from RT of one of the ANNA news live streams. Original below.

Сторонники ДНР объявили о восстановлении контроля над аэропортом Донецка

Posted by: scalawag | May 26 2014 20:01 utc | 31

Cod Handjob @9

I'm not really sure what this guy is smoking, but if he doesn't offer to share I think he needs to leave.

Posted by: Jim T | May 26 2014 20:03 utc | 32

Posted by: fairleft | May 26, 2014 2:35:16 PM | 14


I think not all, but many powerful movers and shakers in Kiev understand what they are doing. That Todorov guy is the proof of that. If you understand all the ramifications of what he is saying, you understand that it can't be a spur of the moment decision. Though I suspected as much, I was surprised by his frankness.

Left alone, Ukraine cannot escape the gravitational pull of the immense mass of Russia. However, a bloody civil war and partition will magnify existing differences and hostilities many times over. Once a line of immense hostility is established, it will keep the western half of Ukraine from the gravity of Russia, and will serve as a powerful geopolitical wedge between Europe and Russia.

Of course, the western Ukraine will be impoverished by this. Therefore they are banking on a real economic support form Europe and the US, not the usual IMF and EU economic plunder. They may think that they will deserve it, once they served the imperial master by destroying their own country in blood.

Therefore I think if you can destroy that hope of real economic support, they will collapse on their own. And I think Europe can do it. But there is no sign of it yet.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26 2014 20:04 utc | 33

This a comment that I just put up at the Gaurdian on this same topic that was inspired by the debate going on here at MoA:

The fighting at the Donetz airport is not a favorable sign. However, we should know that Poroshenko is not yet the president. The fighting in the east is a continuation of decisions made by the current coup government. The new president will not be inaugurated for another 10 days. This will give the neoNazi elements that are part of the current coup regime opportunity to cause considerable mayhem in the meantime.

Poroshenko has to act very cautiously in his early days. It would be difficult for him to simply announce that he is going to withdraw the army and national guard troops from the east. Should he act too quickly to trying to reverse current Kiev policy (especially with Svodba Party and Right Sector thugs occupying defense and internal security portfolios he would be risking assassination.

I think he should be given a chance to assume the presidency and begin efforts to bring about a ceasefire and negotiate a deal that would be acceptable to the eastern oblasts. Passions on the ground, in both the west and east, are very high right now so this will be a difficult process. Hell, maybe at this point even an impossible one. However, the alternative would be a civil war that no one in their right mind wants to see.
Some good can fresult from this election yet. Certainly Putin and Lavrov and most European countries support a negotiated settlement. What is unclear to me is Obama and Kerry's position on this. Do they support the neocon faction that has been stirring the civil war option from the very beginning or are they willing to consider realistic negotiations? They just might signal their intentions by firing Victoria Nuland to let the world know that peace is our goal.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 26 2014 20:16 utc | 34>Tight knot Poroshenko

This is a very informative piece on the current predicament Poroshenko and what his very limited options are due to his puppetmasters, his own nature and the fact time is not on his side, nor that of his western handlers. Above Yandex translation, below is the original.

Тугой узел Порошенко

Posted by: scalawag | May 26 2014 20:21 utc | 35

Let's try that again:

Tight knot Poroshenko

Posted by: scalawag | May 26 2014 20:24 utc | 36


You are naive, as always, poroshenko is as warmongering as the kiev facists in power now. Yu dont seems to understand that the western ukraine ELECTED poroshenko.

35 killed, 15 injured in Donetsk as grenade hits truck carrying wounded - reports

Posted by: Anonymous | May 26 2014 20:49 utc | 37

Puppet Master @ 10,

a very interesting analysis, but if the neocons really play that game they would loose. Any look at the map will show that the very best parts of Ukraine will end up in Russian hands. From Kharkov down to Odessa. The "pure Ukraine" will be a land locked dependency that will cost billions to support. And for what? so NATO can move some missiles a couple of jundred kilometers closer to Moscow? There isn't much they can do with west Ukraine that they couldn't already do with Poland and Romania.

Russia seems to have been very hands off so far, both overtly and covertly. But once it's game on, I suspect they can surreptitiously take whatever parts of Ukraine they want without rolling a single tank across the border. It is true Russia does not NEED Ukraine, but if they can get the western half of it, they will gain a large population of loyal citizens, a decent industrial base, and control of half of the Black Sea...well, why not? If the neocons really want to force that "problem," then perhaps Russia should just roll with it.

Granted, Russia will be blamed, but that's the case no matter what it does and no matter how far backwards it bends to accommodate the "West." So might as well get something out of it. And of course, secession and reunification with east Ukraine can be done slowly so as to avoid the worst of the blow back.

Posted by: Lysander | May 26 2014 20:52 utc | 38

Anonymous | May 26, 2014 4:49:41 PM | 37

What I do understand is that the Svodba Party and Right Sector candidates together received only about 2% of the vote. That was a crushing defeat for them. Svodba Party pulled in about 10% in the last parliamentary elections. And this was without the vote of the Donbas region. This vote can be interpreted as a rejection of civil war as ugly as it initially appears.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 26 2014 20:55 utc | 39

What's absolutely NOT getting out of Ukraine is a clear picture of what a representative majority of Ukrainian people want, what they need and what they hope will be. The public dissemination of that kind of information is being suppressed, largely by the Kiev Junta, their US patrons and by the large corporate media - retailers, who are really the only ones in a position to publish it. We can be sure the CIA and the state department as well as the Governments of Germany France and Britain have a fairly good, if ideologically biased, picture of the real political situation. Russia almost certainly understands the Ukrainian people. To the rest of the world Ukrainians have disappeared behind a wall lies and a vacuum of information. Now that the fraud elections have gone forward the vicious ambitions of the losers, which have certainly not gone away will be expressed in outbursts of bitter infighting and throat cutting. The actual people of Ukraine cannot be disappeared forever.

Posted by: Marc | May 26 2014 20:59 utc | 40


Who said that poroshenko is less warmongering than the current leaders?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 26 2014 21:03 utc | 41

This was a delightful read from that same newspaper

Posted by: Marc | May 26 2014 21:05 utc | 42

If Russia had not accepted the election in Ukraine it would not be able to defend its support for the presidential election in Syria that is happening while the opponents are still fighting.
Russia also thought that the Chocolate King would be as corruptible as anyone else, once he will get the power he aimed for.
Russia has also avoided the West promised sanctions. Putin did a very good move. The ball is now on the West to provide the money to pay Ukraine's debts to Russia to ensure the flow of the gas.

The election is an important but yet a minor step in forecasting Ukraine's future. The political and economical fights will be starting soonw.

Posted by: Virgile | May 26 2014 21:18 utc | 43

Posted by: Marc | May 26, 2014 5:05:51 PM | 42

"This was a delightful read from that same newspaper"

Very delightful. :)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 26, 2014 4:49:41 PM | 37

Info confusing about that attack on the truck carrying wounded.

In Donetsk from an RPG hit the ambulance, militia carrying the wounded

"In Donetsk on Tochmash of the RPG hit a truck battalion "East", which transported the wounded from the airport under the flag of medical care. According to preliminary data, about 30 dead and 15 wounded, according to other data the lost only 5 and the car shot Ukrainian helicopter. So act Nazi dogs."

That short report includes several photos of the truck. Translation from Yandex. Original:

В Донецке из РПГ подбита санитарная машина ополченцев, перевозившая раненых

Posted by: scalawag | May 26 2014 21:25 utc | 44

Posted by: Lysander | May 26, 2014 4:52:26 PM | 38

I think this game is not about who will get how much of Ukraine.

I think this game is about creating a dividing line of immense hostility which will destroy any prospect of economic integration between Europe and Russia.

It is Mackinder's game who feared the emergence of land empire from the heartland of Eurasia. In this game, connection is more important than how much land you control.

If they get smaller chunk of Ukraine and still succeed in creating a geopolitical wedge, they may welcome it, because it would be cheaper to support.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26 2014 21:26 utc | 45

@39 toivos. that is a positive conclusion to take off the election. thanks for a breathe of fresh air..

@45 puppetmaster. that is what many have been saying here @ moa as well. thanks for this and your earlier comment.

Posted by: james | May 26 2014 22:11 utc | 46

While it has been stated in different ways, sometimes harshly, I still want to make it clear. Obama, Kerry and anyone in the future who manages to become president or secretary of state is fully on board with the pursuit of "Full Spectrum Dominance." The US will not give up this goal unless it becomes bankrupt (possible, even likely over the long term, but not today) or until it is thoroughly defeated in some other way. Militarily is not possible because they will nuke the who world to maintain credibility. However, an uprising of their European underlings, Japanese satraps, etc. could happen and leave them without any of the forward bases they need. But again, that isn't going to happen in the near term. What might happen, and indeed is happening, is the start of a counter west system with Russia and China at the core that will create alternative opportunities systems for countries forced out of the western market, or threatened by US sanctions or military invasion.

The goal of Russia/China should be to attract as many other states as possible to favor them over the west. Iran is an obvious candidate, and possibly India. The west will do whatever it can to counter this. This struggle seems to be what will define the post US hegemony period between 1990-2013.

Make no mistake that the US will do ***ANYTHING*** to win this conflict. It will ***NEVER*** seek any kind of equitable peace deal with anyone. Unfortunate, but true.

Lastly, while I use the term myself, there really is no difference in objectives between "neocons" and the rest of the US establishment. There are some superficial differences in methods of pursuit. Zbigniew Brzyzinski was opposed to the Iraq war and not considered a neocon, yet he is a hawk's hawk on Ukraine.

Posted by: Lysander | May 26 2014 22:25 utc | 47

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26, 2014 2:04:14 PM | 10
Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26, 2014 5:26:08 PM | 45

I, too, am impressed by the logic of your argument.

A question, though: Mackinder's game was formulated at a time when geography was indeed destiny — hence "geopolitical". How critical today is land-based contiguity of the sort you describe @45 ("… connection is more important than how much land you control")? Germany/Russia are close trading partners, notwithstanding the resentments and other historical baggage of the intervening Baltics & Poland. Perhaps there are other, more compelling, games to play?

Posted by: Pegasus | May 26 2014 22:38 utc | 48

Posted by: Marc | May 26, 2014 4:59:31 PM | 40

The actual people of Ukraine cannot be disappeared forever.

True, but if full scale civil war breaks out they will be "disappeared" while the shooting goes on. I suspect that most Yugoslavs did not support the civil war but while it was going on they didn't have any choice in the matter. It might be that the current fighting cannot be stopped but there is a sliver of hope that a negotiated settlement is still possible. As distasteful as Poroshenko may be, that sliver of hope rests on what he does over the next few weeks.

Perhaps b and I are being too optimistic, but it is still unclear what the US will do. There is no central guiding authority dictating what Obama and Kerry will do. There are a number of power centers that influence US foreign policy. Those that lean against escalation of the conflict would include the US military, realists in the state department, big oil and gas, some power players in finance and I am guessing even many in national intelligence. Those supporting escalation are, of course, the neocons with their tentacles throughout government and finance. I have no idea how the CIA (at least at the top) is going to move. There is no doubt in my mind that Obama and Kerry did not want this Ukrainian crisis. They let it happen by not paying attention. However, what constrains them from doing the right thing now, is that the only negotiated settlement that has a chance of working would be perceived as a major victory for Putin. Obama and Kerry may be unable to accept that. War or peace, we are on the edge.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 26 2014 22:53 utc | 49

@ToivoS #39:

What I do understand is that the Svodba Party and Right Sector candidates together received only about 2% of the vote. … This vote can be interpreted as a rejection of civil war as ugly as it initially appears.

Oleh Lyashko, who is a fascist, received 8.5% of the vote.

TOREZ, Ukraine -- Paramilitaries from a group organized by presidential candidate Oleh Lyashko stormed a local government building in a sleepy eastern Ukrainian mining city and killed a pro-Russian separatist while maiming another in a gangland-style shooting on May 23.

The deceased man was shot in the head and abdomen, while the second man sustained three gunshot wounds to his neck and abdomen and was fighting for his life in a nearby hospital after the attack.

The surprise attack by the Lyashko-backed militia came around 3 p.m., when five armed men stormed the Torez City Hall in Donetsk Oblast. The gunmen immediately headed towards an office on the first floor, where they opened fire on the two men. Both were active supporters of the Kremlin-backed, breakaway Donetsk People's Republic.

In any case, Poroshenko backs the junta and the invasion of Novorossia, so he is himself a fascist in all but name:

on Monday [Poroshenko] said he saw no reason for the removal of Prime Minister Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk and other leaders of the interim government, which has been running Ukraine since the toppling of President Viktor F. Yanukovych in February. …

Regarding the crackdown on the eastern rebels, Mr. Poroshenko said: “It has to take a shorter period of time. It has to be more effective. Subdivisions and units have to be better equipped. They must have modern weaponry, the best ammunition.”

Using the abbreviation for “anti-terror operation,” the Kiev government’s term for the crackdown, he also said: “The A.T.O. cannot and will not last two or three months. It must and will last hours.”

Ukrainians elected as their president someone who calls people who resist fascism "terrorists". Can such a country continue to exist? I don't think so.

Posted by: Demian | May 26 2014 23:00 utc | 50

Posted by: ToivoS | May 26, 2014 6:53:02 PM | 51

I think Putin also shares your hope.

"This is what I think: the people who are in power in Kiev and the principal candidates for president are, after all, different people, and it may not be in the interests of those who are in control today that the newly elected president should be completely legitimate," Putin said at a meeting with the chiefs of major world news agencies, Interfax reports.

I seems that Putin thinks anyone is better than the bunch in power right now.

A new constitution may be adopted [after the election]. If this is how it turns out to be, then the new president could become intermediary. Or on the contrary, he would be accumulating maximum of authoritative powers. Both scenarios will be tied to the escalation of the domestic political fight," Putin said, TASS reports.

However, not necessarily. The real test will be if he will dismiss Parubiy and Avakov, and what he is going to do with the right wing militias.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26 2014 23:26 utc | 51

@PuppetMaster #53:

The real test will be if he will dismiss Parubiy and Avakov

Did you even look at my comment, directly preceding yours?

on Monday [Poroshenko] said he saw no reason for the removal of Prime Minister Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk and other leaders of the interim government

Poroshenko isn't going to dismiss Parubiy or Avakov. I don't think he even has the power to do so, since the junta reimposed an older constitution, in which parliament has more power than the president.

The only change I can see Poroshenko making to the "policies" of the Kiev regime is that he might look into some way of Banderastan paying its utility bills before its gas gets shut off.

Posted by: Demian | May 26 2014 23:41 utc | 52


<A HREF="">Link to ACLU</A> → Link to ACLU

Posted by: guest77 | May 26 2014 23:42 utc | 53

Posted by: Pegasus | May 26, 2014 6:38:51 PM | 50

If geography is overcome, how is it overcome?

By transportation.

I think the vast majority of world trade is still seaborne, and the US navy rules the sea. Therefore the US navy can re-impose the destiny of geography any time they want.

Mackinder's fear was based on the potential of railroad which will match and eclipse the traditional advantage seaborne transportation enjoyed.

The vast Eurasian heartland crisscrossed by railroad which is immune from interdiction from sea powers will have its vast manpower and economic potential fully developed and mobilized, and challenge the sea powers.

However political division have prevented this potential from being realized. Any attempt to overcome this by military means brought about horrible wars and defeats, not in small part aided by the intervention sea powers.

Hitler's war against Russia and Imperial Japan's attempt to conquer China were such failed attempts.

Also cold war served the same function of containing the land power.

With the end of cold war, what has been attempted militarily and failed has another chance with mutual cooperation. There is no longer fundamental ideological or political divides, and nuclear weapons put the war of conquest out of the question.

This Eurasian integration may still fail, and there is still long way to go. However, it seems that the US is not going to wait and wants to make sure it fail.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26 2014 23:43 utc | 54

It is a pity, isn't it?

Then what will dissolving the parliament do?

KIEV, May 22. /ITAR-TASS/. When elected, Ukraine’s new president will have to dissolve parliament, presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko said Thursday.

“The new president will have to dissolve parliament and announce early presidential elections,” Poroshenko, who is also a parliament deputy and businessman, told journalists in the city of Lviv in western Ukraine.

In any case, real change should come from outside.

If Russia’s actions are not the root cause of Ukraine’s problem, then chastising it cannot possibly resolve the current crisis. In fact, it compounds the crisis in three reinforcing the notion, popular among some in the interim government in Kiev, that Western backing means there is no need to negotiate with the discontented eastern regions
The next is to apply meaningful pressure on the interim government to do what it has thus far refused to do—establish a government of national unity.

Since any move toward a true government of national unity will have to be taken against the wishes of one of the interim government’s core constituencies, it will require political cover, and this can only be provided by its major supporters—the United States and the EU.

It all depends on whether Putin can entice Europe away from the US.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26 2014 23:58 utc | 55


The above was an answer to Demian @ 54

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 26 2014 23:59 utc | 56

@PuppetMaster #57:

It all depends on whether Putin can entice Europe away from the US.

Yes, that is how I have seen the Ukraine crisis, until recently.

But now there is a civil war, and once that happens, outside powers have only limited influence. Whether or not Putin can entice Europe away from the US, I think a breakup of the Ukraine is inevitable at this point. A people simply can't forgive a government for using its military against them, not to mention terrorism (the Odessa massacre).

It's already clear that the presidential election hasn't changed anything, save perhaps that Kiev might stop being a deadbeat when it comes to its utility bills. What I'm most interested about now is whether other southeastern regions will follow Donetsk and Lugansk in declaring independence. For that to happen, they need to hold independence referenda first.

At this point, allowing Ukraine to exist within its present borders amounts to passively supporting fascism.

Posted by: Demian | May 27 2014 0:23 utc | 57

“I have yet to find an argument that contradicts this and would support a different conclusion.”

Um...this might be the case in an ideal world.

I've noticed, by posting under different nick-names you love to put emphasis on “economy”. An economy is quite recent invention of liberals in the West. Through millenia it never existed as separate entity. If there is such thing than there is Political Economy.

Who needs who, is determined by an interest groups (ruling party/ies or oligarchy) of Ukraine, regardless in which way they have come to the throne! Violence is perfectly legitimate (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya) way to conquest of the presidential palace, or new frontiers. Oligarchy in Kiev obviously deemed that relation with the West is of utmost importance. Political violence never ceased to exist, it was disguised as a democracy, human rights, various cooperation, etc. In case of Ukraine both side grossly have violate all norms of so-called International Law.

If, let's call it: rational approach or economic reasons were of primary importance no war would've ever been waged. Appropriating somebody else resources (economy) is ultimate form of dominance (imposing its will) over the other. And for the sake of argument Putin recently mentioned that Russian military must be self-sufficient, i.e. all armament and equipment must be made in Russia.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 27 2014 1:04 utc | 58

US State Department documents on Poroshenko

Posted by: guest77 | May 27 2014 1:15 utc | 59

Link Russian Spring

Donetsk. Pushilin: In the aftermath of Donetsk’s airport battle, the airport is still retained - at least partially. Two helicopters were shot down. People Republic of Donetsk petitions (for help?) Russian Federation and Putin, and aspire assume jurisdiction of Russian Federation

Slaviansk. Strelkov: Things are not good in Donetsk. Can not tell details, however. There was somewhat botched attack, which was not concluded by timely retreat. If did not know it was a heavy battle and normal people died, I would think of provocation.
Here the adversary continues hone accuracy. Toward the evening the fire was directed to suburb “Artem”. Four civilians were killed some maimed. What is ugly their artillery officers are 100% Russians, which are most professional of entire Ukrainian army....
Expect the fight tomorrow's morning.

P.S. Strelkov’s friends implore pray for him and people of Slaviansk.

Posted by: Fete | May 27 2014 1:48 utc | 60

PuppetMaster | May 26, 2014 7:43:23 PM | 56

Good answer to pegasus. Geopolitics is alive and well in the world today. As you point out so clearly, with respect to the strategic (mostly economic not yet military) alliance involving Russia, China and Iran (plus all of Central Asian Republics in between). The linkage that brings these different countries together are oil and gas pipelines and railroads. The US is fully cognizant of this reality. That is why the US worked hard to build military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan (though it seems those efforts are being mysteriously (not!) reversed. Our war against Afghanistan was justified at one point so the US could build an oil pipeline through that country to transport Central Asian oil into western markets. That did not turn out well but that was one of the reasons given why Afghan was of strategic importance to the US. It should also be noted for those of geopolitical bents that Kyrgystan shares a long border (ca 300 miles) with China. I know for a fact, that the Chinese saw those bases being built in the 'stans' as a direct threat to their national security.

There is absolutely no doubt that a firm strategic alliance between China, Russia, Iran, the central Asian countries and other that want to join (Pakistan? India? Afghanistan?) would be a major threat to western imperialism. It is all geopolitics. Indeed, the big reason that China is so willing to not only join, but to build, such an alliance is Americas big pivot to Asia. If any one consults a map the pivot to Asia consists of bringing the Island nations of Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia (along with Vietnam and other South East Asian nations) into a military alliance. Another geopolitical formation. The US without any doubt has the most powerful navy on earth and that navy, with bases in western Pacific in the above mentioned countries could (and would) completely tie up China's ability to trade with the rest of the world. China is being forced to build a counter alliance.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 27 2014 1:52 utc | 61

I really like this comment by Les at the Saker's Sitrep by "Juan" today.

Is Kadyrov the beginning of the "Friends of Novorussia"?

The following comment by anonymous strikes me as very perceptive:

"Putin is playing good cop and Kadyrov clan leader is playing bad cop. Poroshenko is a puppet and Nudleman (Kagan) is the puppet master. Everyone knows their role. Europe has been cut at the knees they have other priorities. Poroshenko is getting ready to sue the RF for Krimea. RF is getting ready for that. In the meantime expect more regions of the Ukraine to leave the Ukraine and join Novorossya and expect more Chechen young soldiers of fortune to come and fight the empire's mercenaries.

However, I have one nagging thought I cannot reconcile with the above scenario. English Russian news has all but dropped coverage of the ongoing battles - this from the time that Putin said he would recognize the May 25 elections. RT's cheering his markedly subdued."

It strikes me as obvious that Putin made a deal - Ukraine for Syria. From the day Putin said he would recognize the election results, western propaganda about an attack on Syria, use of Chlorine gas, and the 'illegitimate election' has all but disappeared. When Russia pulled back its' troops, the western jihadists in Homs surrendered and got safe passage out of Homs enabling the Syrian government to hold elections in all provinces of the Country.

For those on the ground in Novorussia, and for those in Kiev, it should be obvious that Putin will not send in the Polite men in green to come to the rescue.

For the health/sake of those of Russian culture and language I do hope that Putin, while letting the West have its way in western Ukraine and while not directly intervening, will instead follow the strategy that Obama used in Syria. I hope that Putin will encourage "Friends of Novorussia" to take up a cause that he himself cannot at this point confront.

The trap has been set for a Russian -Nato confrontation. The US wants this now, not in 5 years. China and Russia appear to be working on a time line that points to 2020 or shortly after.

Novorussia may need to sit in an uncomfortable no-man's-land until a few more pieces are in place. "Friends of Novorussia" could enable this.

Which may indeed be the case. If the west grudgingly accepts the Syrian presidential election and the insurgency dies down, we will know the reason. It is possible that Russia has gotten what it really needed from Ukraine (Crimea) and has given up on the rest of it in exchange for a western back-down on Syria. This is not optimal but it may be the best that Russia can do at the moment. A full scale financial war may be painful for Russia and Putin may have decided he needs some time to prepare. As in set up a national payment system to replace Visa/Mastercard, insulate Russia's banking system, continue economic integration with China, perhaps make another gas deal with India, etc.

As for Ukraine, this will not be the last round. The "Orange Revolution" did not last forever and neither will the current Brown Revolution. In the meantime, Russia can unburden itself of subsidizing Ukraine's energy needs and continue work on south stream. When the next Ukraine crisis hits, Russia will be ready.

This leaves us with the very sad situation for East Ukraine. If Putin has no intention of supporting them, and if they cannot win on their own, then he should inform the Pro-Russian forces of this and try to negotiate a ceasefire before more of them are killed. But perhaps he is keeping a slow boil until he is sure the west will keep its word on Syria.

Posted by: Lysander | May 27 2014 1:57 utc | 62

@Fete #62:

What is ugly their artillery officers are 100% Russians

Really? Where does Strelkov say that? That statement does not appear in the interview with Strelkov which is currently at the top at Russian Spring.

Can you provide a direct quote to the link containing that statement and give us the direct quote of Strelkov in Russian?

Posted by: Demian | May 27 2014 2:05 utc | 63

@Lysander #64:

I think that this statement from the Saker comment you quote tells us all we need to know about how seriously that comment should be taken:

I … hope that Putin will … follow the strategy that Obama used in Syria.

Since when does Putin need to take lessons on strategy from Obama?

Posted by: Demian | May 27 2014 2:28 utc | 64

100% Russians

Самое поганое, что все артиллерийские офицеры на карачуне — 100-процентно русские… И именно они наиболее профессионально из всей укрской армии сражаются за то, чтобы их дети и внуки не говорили на русском языке…

Posted by: Fete | May 27 2014 2:55 utc | 65

Posted by: Lysander | May 26, 2014 9:57:00 PM | 64

I think Putin does not support Ukrainian oligarchs - which "the West" foolishly does.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 26, 2014 9:04:20 PM | 60

is correct. That is how it works in Ukraine and USA foreign policy. It is not how it works for Russia or Europe.

The people invested in the Donetsk Republic are oligarchs - they fund this. And reports are that different groups do different things. All Russia is doing overtly is not closing their border, giving refuge to Yanukovich - and calling for a stop of the anti terrorist operation. And somehow leading from behind letting Kadyrov do negotiations and threats.

The area has some history. If Western Ukraine can lay claim to a fight for independence, so can the "free territory".

There seems to be agreement on payment for Ukrainian gas debts by the way (payed by EU).

The problem for Russia Today, Lavrov and Putin - they have no moral high ground in Ukraine. All the shelling the "Kyiv government" does now has been done by Assad. Russia, this time around, is covertly on the side of the rebels.

Posted by: somebody | May 27 2014 3:02 utc | 66

@Fete #67:

Thanks for your reply. I wonder how Strelkov knows that.

Posted by: Demian | May 27 2014 3:05 utc | 67


Truck transport accounts for about 70% of TOTAL freight transport world wide. In EurAsia Ocean transport is much less relevant than in the Americas where its always been very important. Inland sea transport on the Black Sea and the Sea of Asov is important in Eurasia, but manageable for Russia, I think. The US navy seems to be trying to pump up its limpening "big stick" in the Black Sea, sending another old VN era rust bucket destroyer there every week, but every single point on the Black Sea grid can be hit with an Iskander Missile. Also, Russia has a (nuclear) Navy.

Posted by: Marc | May 27 2014 3:53 utc | 68

This here is the outcome the Ukrainian ambassador thinks likely

Mr. Deshchytsia said Moscow, having failed in an effort to encourage a mass uprising across the Russian-speaking areas of eastern and southern Ukraine, was now intent on creating a “zone of instability” around the oblasts, or provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk.

He said Mr. Putin seemed intent on creating a pro-Russian mini-state in eastern Ukraine, along the lines of Trans-Dniester, a breakaway region of neighbouring Moldova that has hosted Russian peacekeeping troops since the early 1990s.

“The only scenario Putin can implement is to create a zone of instability, which will have an effect on the Ukrainian internal and foreign policy,” he said. “Having something like Trans-Dniester in eastern Ukraine will demand from Ukrainian government a lot of effort, time, money to cope with this problem. And it will also be an extra argument for the European Union not to have closer ties with Ukraine until this is settled.”

Posted by: Fete | May 26, 2014 9:48:14 PM | 62

Strelkov is psyops. He also suggested that the taking of the airport was a provocation.

Posted by: somebody | May 27 2014 4:02 utc | 69

LOL!!! Looking at my own comment at 70 I just realized how absurd the US threats in the Black Sea are...laughable really.. Imagine your "the jets" and your cruising for a "rumble" with you old enemies "the sharks"..Being a clever geopolitical chess master genius as well as a teenaged gang leader, you decide to challenge the Sharks on their own home turf (that will surely intimidate them) choose for your battleground a public swimming pool in the middle of the sharks home neighborhood.. You and the jets climb into the water, then challenge the Sharks to a fight to the death while all of you bob around in the middle of the doesn't work out too well for the jets

Posted by: Marc | May 27 2014 4:13 utc | 70

Posted by: somebody | May 26, 2014 11:02:20 PM | 68

"The problem for Russia Today, Lavrov and Putin - they have no moral high ground in Ukraine. All the shelling the "Kyiv government" does now has been done by Assad."

He's always got to slip in some talking points shilling. Back to the real world: update on the self-defense forces truck destroyed by a bandera nazi attack.

Ukrainian army grenade hits truck carrying wounded in Donetsk – reports

"A rocket-propelled grenade fired by the Ukrainian army has hit a truck carrying wounded self-defense fighters near the Donetsk airport, killing a driver, People’s Republic of Donetsk (DNR) source told RIA Novosti.

“Only the driver was killed in the shelling. A few wounded were taken to the hospitals of Donetsk. But we don’t know if they received fresh wounds in the attack," the representative of the DNR said.

There are conflicting reports on the number of casualties from the latest attack. Earlier people’s governor of Donestk Region, Pavel Gubarev, said in a post on Facebook that 35 people were killed and 15 were wounded in the strike. The truck carrying the wounded was marked as an ambulance, he added.

According to Itar-Tass citing a correspondent of St. Petersburg's Fifth Channel, at least 24 people were killed."

Another self-defense forces ambulance was also attacked monday, which may have contributed to the confusion also.

Few hours later self-defense forces reported that Ukrainian military opened fire at an ambulance transporting two injured from the Donetsk airport. The doctors inside the ambulance were unharmed, deputy of Donbass’ self-defense forces, Sergey Tsypakov, told RIA Novosti. The two wounded remain in the ambulance and it is not possible to evacuate them at this point, he added.

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 4:17 utc | 71

From everything I gain from all comments here and at Saker I get the dominant impression that Russia has always supported eastern Ukraine, and continues to do so at a level that precisely matches the threat from the west. Russia must back away to create deniability and to pay out the lengths of rope for adversaries to hang themselves. The new president may be useful purely to create "jaw jaw not war war" - and Putin has said that all conflict resolves through negotiation (in other words, in terms of the fight, Russia can really start punching at the table, but prefers not to on the ground). Meanwhile a guerrilla war is being fought, supported on a lean yet adequate leash by Russia as the people learn their lessons about the true enemy and prove themselves.

Several weeks ago for a brief time I was hearing the thought that the west would try to bog Russia down in a Vietnam or Afghanistan type of situation - in other words that chaos on her border would work to the detriment of Russia. I wonder, has the west understood yet that eastern Ukraine can fight a fierce guerrilla war against western Ukraine for years to come and the balance sheet will show nothing but losses for the west, while Russia at a nominal cost can work daily damage against her enemy, the US? After all, who is master of this terrain here?

Every theory has its prediction of test I suppose, so mine would be that every escalation by the west meets appropriate response (and defeat) from the east, every supply need is filled, even if it always seems at the last minute. And Russia never appears in the spotlight. Yet over time, perhaps years, things change and forces continue their maneuvering in the shadows, until at some moment in a blink almost too fast to see, the decisive end to this fight will occur. And Mother Russia and whatever of Ukraine that cleaves to her will mysteriously - somehow - have prevailed.

You could call this optimistic or fantastic or a lot of other dismissive things. But if you were in combat to the death and you had all the skills that Russia has, isn't this how you would think, and maneuver?

Posted by: Grieved | May 27 2014 4:19 utc | 72

Posted by: Grieved | May 27, 2014 12:19:30 AM | 74

"while Russia at a nominal cost can work daily damage against her enemy, the US?"

Not really. The US got no border there, it is virtually no cost to the US. They are on a new sales campaign for their weapons' systems and a new system of NATO alliances.

For Ukrainians it is lose, lose. This here is a Kyiv Post op ed on Poroshenko's impossible politics. Guerilla warfare and "counter terrorism" is the worst that can happen to a country.

For Russia it is win (Crimea, South Stream, infrastructure with China, New Silk Road) / lose, as they regain their image of the bully in the European neighborhood, and a new arms race could start if US fearmongering is successful.

For Europe/Russia it is one more conflict that prevents them to integrate.
And European/Russia integration would be the solution for Ukraine, too.

It really is lose/lose for Europe.

But conflicts forum quoted here several times obviously is right - this is a banking war, too.

And that will be lose/lose to the US.

Posted by: somebody | May 27 2014 4:52 utc | 73

@somebody #71:

Strelkov is psyops.

I wonder what "100% Russians" even means. It appears that our Mr. Strelkov is somewhat of a rhetorician.

Posted by: Demian | May 27 2014 5:05 utc | 74

Posted by: Demian | May 27, 2014 1:05:15 AM | 76

It is difficult to justify a civil war by language preference.

Posted by: somebody | May 27 2014 5:14 utc | 75

Germans slam Berlin for supporting Nazi Ukrainians

"German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier lost his temper at an election rally of the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) on the Alexanderplatz in Berlin.

The Minister was defending his policy in Ukraine when he was interrupted by hecklers for his support for Ukrainian Nazis. He snapped back saying that they were the instigators of war, while the European Union and the social democrats stood for peace.

This is not the first time that the German government is criticized for its backing of Ukrainian extremists against Russia. The three former chancellors Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schröder expressed their misgivings and even opposition vis-à-vis this policy. Last week Chancellor Angela Merkel was also booed at a campaign rally by voters chanting "No support for Nazis in Ukraine!".

Former chief of the intelligence service, Steinmeier has played a central role in Germany’s support for the KLA terrorists during the NATO war in Kosovo. This time around, he is credited with being the main architect of German support for Ukrainian Nazis.

Exports from Germany to Russia fell by 16% in January-February 2014."

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 7:29 utc | 76

English translation from Yandex:

"The present President of Ukraine will be the American Ambassador"

Russian original:

«Настоящим президентом Украины будет американский посол»

I'll summarize: essentially, Poroshenko will be America's prison bitch.

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 7:43 utc | 77

English translation from Yandex:

"The present President of Ukraine will be the American Ambassador"

Russian original:

«Настоящим президентом Украины будет американский посол»

I'll summarize: essentially, Poroshenko will be America's boy.

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 7:45 utc | 78

Sorry for the double posting. The 1st version didn't show up and I thought it was due to swearing. So I "cleaned" it up and tried again.

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 7:48 utc | 79

@scalawag #81:

No problem. But if you think that your post didn't go through, you can always reload the page, just to make sure.

By the way, do you agree that the final sequence of Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, which I linked to before, provides an accurate representation of what Russian's think of Atlanticist "freedom"?

Posted by: Demian | May 27 2014 8:11 utc | 80

Posted by: Demian | May 27, 2014 4:11:22 AM | 82

"By the way, do you agree that the final sequence of Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, which I linked to before, provides an accurate representation of what Russian's think of Atlanticist "freedom"?"

I have no idea. But this popular music video might be, especially what happens in the very last seconds of it. ;)

Нюша - Не Перебивай

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 8:58 utc | 81


What is a Fed and what is a Nat, and what is Hatyn XXI Century? And why is round steak $10 a pound and only the worst chickens parts that McNuggets doesn't want crowd the display case now? Is it true China is hoovering up all remaining US food grains that Obama isn't burning for biofuels, and the US in on a permanent path towards meatless workdays?

I believe it was Kissinger who first pointed out the uncanny similarities between Gorbachev and Obama. Gorbachev promoted transparency and liberalization of the Soviet politico-economy, and so did Obama for the USA. Gorbachev ended the war in Afghanistan, and so did Obama. Gorbachev was shelled out of office, the Soviet Union was splintered by Gangsters and Globalists. The exact same thing is happening in the United States right now, if you look closely and read between the MSM propaganda. The Hard Right is going to shell Obama out of office, then it will be a free-for-all, every-man-for-himself as the walls crumble.

Figuring that QEn has created a 'tampon' state of The Chosen between the Oiligarchs and the American Plebians, it seems likely that The Chosen will enact Immigration Reform and create a two-class "Blue Visa" immigrants work population with sub-minimum wages and no benefits (read Rubio's Bill) together with $1B for a Federal SS Secret Police, UNLIMITED funding for Homeland Security NO-BID contracts (read Rubio's Bill), some 10,000s of new 'special court' judges, prosecutors and dozens of new SuperMax high-security prisons (read Rubio's Bill).

Combined with Obama's NO-SUNSET Biofuels Initiative MANDATE, which is already burning 60 BILLION bushels of human food at the Altar of Biofuels Billionaires and set by schedule to DOUBLE by 2018, the idea that the American population will be weaned over to Soylent Green is not too far fetched after all, since the oil pipelines and the cold-chain are Corporate. But will the Republic still stand if tailgate parties are outlawed in favor of grilled tofu?

Then are there any lessons from Ukraine? For I have always believed that the Universe gives us small doses of reality as a tonic against any coming pandemic contagion, and if we take that broader view of global geopolitics, we can apply the same anti-fascist strategies to toppling WADC-NYC, since it should be clear to everyone that by now, the Mil.Gov.Sci.Edu are the Four Horsemen of our Slow-Motion American Apocalypse.

Posted by: chip nikh | May 27 2014 12:04 utc | 82

I didn’t mention the economics, and have been saying all along that neither the EU nor Putin,
nor Obama, want anything really to do with Ukraine, this has been very evident in the past 10 years.

The chief meddler - the US - doesn’t have much of an economic interest there at all, gas deals etc.

were perfectly possible and highly lucrative,

now, of course with more clout, they may expand, etc. (Lost the deals with Crimea, though..)

and also sell some stuff.

Dealing with oligarchs instead of a proper Gvmt. suited everyone fine, and note, that has not changed.

It is called profit sharing.

Nobody had any appetite for the kind of nation-building Ukraine requires, which partly explains that those

who are visible in the media sway between the fantasized Open Arms of Mother Russia and joining the EU

à la Polonaise (sounds like something from a cook-book),

which is another pipe dream, and cannot happen. The EU cannot afford it and doesn’t want it,

and the newly elected Parliament will do its best to make dire difficulties.

Still, there are resources to be grabbed (or so it is felt.)

The other reason for the appeal to the outside is that Ukraine did not, does not,

have a ‘unity’ or ‘majority’ Gvmt. so ppl turn to some supra-ordinal entity.

Which exacerbates the internal conflict(s) and muddies or obscures the important issues.

(Note, places like Scotland, Catalonia, Flanders can take a ‘break-away’ stance because

they assume they will still somehow belong to the larger club, the EU.)

sidebar> The economic ties are very important, as they also map onto what might be called ‘a security block’ (> Russia vs. the W.)

They augment the polarization, and will continue to do so, as the economy contracts sharply

(austerity, cancelled contracts, transport difficulties, rebel control, oligarchs re-grouping, unemployed in the streets, etc.)

PuppetMaster at 10 argues that the Kiev Gvmt. wants shot of part of the SE (basically ‘Russian’ and now ‘separatists’)

and I think that is more or less correct.

Posted by: Noirette | May 27 2014 14:34 utc | 83

Demian (and Somebody):

I wonder what "100% Russians" even means.

Ukraine is divided between Russian speakers, Ukrainian speakers, and Surzhyk speakers. Russian is the normative language except in Galacia and Volyn, while many others speak Surzhyk, which is a mix of Russian vocabulary and Ukrainian grammar. Ukrainian is essentially Russian Ebonics or Pidgin Russian, and is spoken by rural peasants and uneducated workers but is the normative language in Galacia and Volyn due to the influence of Poland and Austria in their history and partly accounts for their low level of development as compared to the entirety of the country east of Kiev and Odessa

The Ukrainian state enshrines Ukrainian as the national language and enforces education in Ukrainian, which is like white children in America being taught in Ebonics.

When Strelkov mentions 100% Russian speakers he means either Russians, or educated Ukrainians who use Russian as their everday speech. They are fighting to ensure their children are raised to be Galacians.

Posted by: Andrew | May 27 2014 15:09 utc | 84

@chip So USA becomes like Israel. But that was one of the goals of 9/11. Mission Accomplished.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 27 2014 16:34 utc | 85

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