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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Conservative factions in Ukraine increasing pressure on Poroshenko.

Link: Violence between right-wing protesters and police outside Kiev Parliament.

The announcement by Ukrainian officials of a ceasefire with separatists has resulted in angry demonstrations from conservative and right-wing protesters outside of Parliament in the capital city of Kiev.  The conservative political groups in Ukraine have traditionally been strong, and the crisis in the east of the country has only added to their influence.  Ukrainians living in the west of the country are particularly incensed with the lack of progress in combatting the separatists, and the shaky coalition that President Petro Poroshenko requires to stay in power is under great pressure.  Conservative Ukrainians were not satisfied with the provisions of the "Minsk II" agreement, which really never got off the ground, because the separatists began violating the agreement almost as soon as it was announced.  Some of the more controversial provisions of "Minsk II" never saw the light if day, until now, when they were repeated as part of the new ceasefire agreement, scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 1.  The Ukrainian right-wing objects to the agreement for declaring a "special status" for the disputed areas, and also for introducing the idea of autonomy to the negotiations.  On the other hand, the government claims that the ceasefire agreement only calls for the decentralization of authority, designed to give more power to local government.  In reality, the demonstrations in Kiev were coming, sooner or later, as Conservative Ukrainians grow more dissatisfied everyday with the current situation in the east.  The number of Ukrainian troops in the east is almost matched by the number of volunteers, who have picked up weapons and transported themselves to the front line, "to fight for the freedom and integrity of Ukraine", as one protester explained.  Poroshenko and his EU puppet masters must understand that this outpouring of rejection is not only in response to this latest ceasefire agreement, but also a message that the people of Ukraine do not believe in any more treaties with the separatists.

Since the genesis of this crisis, every agreement with the Russian-backed separatists has been violated by the rebels.  Actually, the modus operandi of this movement mirrors typical fascist behavior.  Violate every agreement, but continue to sign them, as long as the enemy is stupid enough to continue negotiating under the pretense of "good faith".  While the separatists continually violate agreements, the Russians keep lying about the involvement of the Russian military and use of Russian equipment.  The obscene fact that even after the overwhelming amount of evidence, the Russian government and the separatists still refuse to admit that a Russian "Buk" missile destroyed Malaysian Airlines flight 17 (MH17), killing all 298 on board.  in July 2015, a draft resolution to set up an international tribunal into the MH17 air disaster was put before the United Nations Security Council.  Malaysia had requested a tribunal to take place, but the proposal was blocked by a Russian veto.  It was the only nation on the 15-member UN Security Council to oppose the request.  There can be only one reason why the Russian government would oppose an investigation by the world's leading experts on the subject: to hide its complicity.  We don't believe the Russians themselves fired at the airliner.  We are convinced that the basically untrained separatist volunteers who were manning the Buk missile launcher, mistook the airliner for a large Ukrainian Air Force cargo plane, a hypothesis which is supported by evidence, including recorded cell phone conversations from one separatist unit to another.

The citizens of Ukraine who are opposed to the current agreement stood by Poroshenko for some time.  He was a sympathetic figure, attempting to do his best to appease the European and U.S. governments, and also continuing to look strong in the face of Russian aggression first in Crimea, and then in Donbas.  Poroshenko was forced to walk a tricky tight rope.  From his perspective, Ukraine would be lost without the steadfast support of Europe and the United States; therefore, if France, Germany and the Obama Administration advised compromise, then Poroshenko would compromise.  Hollande, Merkel and Obama told Poroshenko that the Russians would eventually be obliged to back down, because the sanctions regime was going to cripple the Russian economy.  As we predicted last year on this blog, Putin never had any intention of backing down because of the sanctions.  He understood as we did; that the Russian people take particular offense at that type of punishment.  The Russians are made of tougher stuff than that.  They won't be made to compromise because a few items disappear off the shelves and everyone has to tighten their belt a bit.  So the sanctions have failed, and Poroshenko has authorized negotiators in Minsk to compromise with the separatists and Russians, as directed by the Europeans and Americans.  What was the result?  Two agreements that were violated by the separatists before the paint was dry.  In the last year, the separatists have expanded the territory under their control, to include the strategic town of Debaltseve.  There has been no offensive activity on the part of the Ukrainian Army, not really.

So its clear why most Ukrainians have lost faith in Poroshenko and why demonstrators were protesting in Kiev.  Its not just for this terrible agreement, but for the previous two which were violated, and for the failed sanctions regime, which was supposed to force Russia to compromise.  Putin is winning this chess game hands down, because Europe and the United States are too frightened to allow Ukraine to take any Russian pieces.  Earlier this year, we called for the United States to begin providing weapons to the Ukrainian Army, including F16s and Abrams tanks if necessary.  The Ukrainian people have no love-lost for the Russians, and they have already watched Putin steal the Crimea right from under their nose.  They are anxious to settle this issue on the battlefield, but the Obama Administration has hamstrung the Ukrainian Armed Forces by refusing to sell them weapons and equipment.  Why don't the Ukrainians just go to someone else to get weapons?  Because everyone else who is not in Russia's orbit, is following the lead of the United States.  Its a tremendously depressing situation.  Poroshenko would probably like to be more militarily aggressive, but to be so would probably cost him the support of France, Germany and the United States.  We expect the Ukrainian people to bring about another change in government, which may result in full deployment of the Ukrainian military to eastern Ukraine for the purpose of ending the illegal separatist movement.  But if the Russian military becomes directly involved, the Ukrainians will be hard-pressed to keep up, without an influx of new equipment and supplies.  The end of this drama will probably result in a new Ukraine, minus the industrial southwest.  And Putin will be man of the year in Sevastopol and Donetsk.

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