Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ukraine: An Apprehensive Bird’s View | Johnson's Russia List

The world’s political, military, and media antennae are now mostly catching signals from the Middle East, specifically from the area around ISIS. Briefly, my take on the current situation is this: ISIS is important, but Ukraine is more important than that. The former cannot lead to a world war; the latter can. It may appear a sheer impossibility in the present climate, but a responsible analyst is duty bound to weigh the chances of that impossibility morphing into a probability. Below are some thoughts along these lines.

Economically and financially, Ukraine is a basket case; it is only kept this side of bankruptcy by Western sops (quite niggardly ones, it ought to be noted); by refusing to pay for Russian gas; by reneging on its social obligations; and similar antics. Politically, it is a feudal-like agglomeration of oligarchies, with, say, Kolomoyskiy, governor of Dnepropetrovsk, openly challenging the authority of President Poroshenko – and why not? He has billions enough, he has a private army, he has power enough to install a confederate in, say, Odessa as governor. And Mr K. is just one example: 16 other oligarchs were given governorships in the wake of the February coup.

Does the EU want that kind of country among its rightful members? Surely not; Ukraine will stay “associated” for an indefinite period of time, that’s one of the few certainties in a highly uncertain context.

Now, what do the EU, NATO, and primarily the US want with Ukraine such as it is? This “association” gimmick simply makes a country aspiring to EU membership a colony or semi-colony of the strong EU economies. There is abundant evidence of that: Bulgaria, Romania, the Baltics – they are, by and large, mere markets for European producers, while Europe has no need at all for the products of the newly incorporated countries’ industries – which simply die out. Will anyone in Europe buy Zaporozhye cars? They are the butt of jokes, vicious or good-natured, in Russia even. No one wants them.

The US, now. Its plans to replace cheap Russian gas for Europe with its own more expensive gas are a fact widely discussed both in Russia and in Europe[i]. In pursuance of those plans the gas pipelines leading from Russia to Europe through Ukraine must be taken possession of or destroyed; does not much matter which, provided Russia is squeezed out of the equation. Hence the “color” revolutions in Kiev, one after another, which someone called textbook CIA operations.

All this is quite obvious, but it is only part of the bigger, geopolitical picture. The EU and – let me say it again – primarily the US, see Ukraine’s main role as that of a battering ram against Russia, a weapon to hit not only at its economy but its very existence.

Complete story at - Ukraine: An Apprehensive Bird’s View | Johnson's Russia List

CC Photo Google Image Search Source is pbs twimg com  Subject is Porky Poroshenko

1 comment:

  1. Who did the cartoon? It's brilliant!

    What a gift cartoonists have to capture the faces of people like Poroshenko as a pig, Yatsenyuk as a rabbit (should have been a weasel), and Tymoshenko as another pig. And the satire - her carrying a nuclear bomb to nuke Russia. Thanks for that.


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