The Geopolitics of Ukraine Part 3 (of a 3 Part Series)

Euromaiden and 2014 Revolution

Pro-EU demonstration in Kiev, 27 November 2013, during Euromaidan

The Euromaidan protests started in November 2013 after the president, Viktor Yanukovych, began moving away from an association agreement that had been in the works with the European Union and instead chose to establish closer ties with the Russian Federation. Some Ukrainians took to the streets to show their support for closer ties with Europe. Meanwhile, in the predominantly Russian-speaking east, a large portion of the population opposed the Euromaidan protests, instead supporting the Yanukovych government. Over time; Euromaidan came to describe a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine the scope of which evolved to include calls for the resignation of President Yanukovych and his government.

Violence escalated after 16 January 2014 when anti-government demonstrators occupied buildings in the centre of Kiev, including the Justice Ministry building, and riots left 98 dead with approximately fifteen thousand injured and 100 considered missing from 18 to 20 February. 

Members of Parliament voted on 22 February to remove the president and set an election for 25 May to select his replacement.

Petro Poroshenko, running on a pro-European Union platform, won with over fifty percent of the vote, and was inaugurated as president on 7 June 2014.

Russian intervention

Image result for maps of war in ukraine
Image result for maps of war in ukraine
Image result for maps of us military encircling russia and china

The ousting of Yanukovych prompted Vladimir Putin to begin preparations to annex Crimea on 23 February 2014. Using the Russian naval base at Sevastopol as cover, Putin directed Russian troops and intelligence agents to disarm Ukrainian forces and take control of Crimea.

 After the troops entered Crimea, a controversial referendum was held on 16 March 2014 and the official result was that 97 percent wished to join with Russia.

 On 18 March 2014, Russia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea signed a treaty of accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in the Russian Federation. The UN general assembly responded by passing resolution 68/262 that the referendum was invalid and supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The importance of Ukraine to Russia cannot be overstated. Here are some of the reasons why Putin intervened boldly, and took the Crimea back.

  1. Crimea hosts the only all-year-round warm water port that was vital for Russia’s power-projection capabilities, as it hosts the Russian Black sea fleet.  Furthermore, were Russia to lose the Crimea, it would have lost the Black Sea, and as well as its ability to protect its interests in the Mediterranean and Syria. The loss of Crimea would not have enabled Russia to come to Syria’s aid in September 2015;
  2. The loss of Crimea would have made the Black Sea into a “NATO-controlled” sea;
  3. The loss of Crimea would have brought NATO troops even closer to Russia’s borders, and closer to Moscow;
  4. Russia would cease to be a Eurasian power, and instead, be an Asian power, and finally;
  5. It would give Washington greater leverage over EU imports of Russian oil and gas, thus controlling Russian and the EU’s future economic destiny. For all these reasons and more, Putin acted to defend Russia by taking Crimea back into Russia.

Separately, in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, armed men declaring themselves as local militia supported with pro-Russian protesters seized government buildings; the recent protests in Ukraine have the stench of a foreign-orchestrated attempt to destabilize the government of Viktor Yanukovych.

 Now Ukrainians have found evidence of direct involvement of the Belgrade US-financed training group, CANVAS behind the carefully-orchestrated Kiev protests.

A copy of the pamphlet that was given out to opposition protesters in Kiev has been obtained. It is a word-for-word and picture-for-picture translation of the pamphlet used by US-financed Canvas organizers in the 2011 Cairo Tahrir Square protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak and opened the door to the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood.

The photo below is a side-by-side comparison:

The photo left is from Tahrir Square; the right from Kiev and used by the Belgrade CANVAS NGO:

Canvas, formerly Otpor, received significant money from the US State Department in 2000 to stage the first successful Color Revolution against Slobodan Milosovic in then-Yugoslavia. Since then they have been transformed into a full-time “revolution consultancy” for the US, posing as a Serbian grass-root group backing “democracy.”  Who would ever think a Serbian-based NGO would be a front for US-backed regime change?

More evidence that a darker agenda lies behind the “democracy” opposition is the fact that the demands of the protesters went from demanding accession to the EU to demanding the immediate resignation of the Yanukovich government. It got so bad for Ukrainian leader Victor Yanukovych that he had to flee Kiev for his life. An urgent call to Putin resulted in Russian Special Forces rushing to the aid of the beleaguered Ukraine leader, and just in time. Had the Russian Special Forces arrived an hour later, Yanukovych would have been assassinated!

In February 2015, after a summit hosted in Belarus, Poroshenko negotiated a ceasefire with the separatist troops. This included conditions such as the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the front line and decentralisation of rebel regions by the end of 2015. It also included conditions such as Ukrainian control of the border with Russia in 2015 and the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Ukrainian territory. The ceasefire began at midnight on 15 February 2015. Participants in this ceasefire also agreed to attend regular meetings to ensure that the agreement is respected.

On 1 January 2016, Ukraine joined the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with European Union, which aims to modernize and develop Ukraine’s economy, governance and rule of law to EU standards and gradually increase integration with the EU Internal market.

The 2014 Ukraine Coup was as Much About China

It is widely known that the US and the EU were in favour of the EU Association Agreement proposed for Ukraine. Ukraine’s President at the time and the last legitimate leader of the country, Viktor Yanukovych decided against the association agreement with Europe, preferring to leave options open which would allow Kiev to continue to do commerce with its traditional partner, Russia.

But beyond Russia, Yanukovych’s Ukraine was also cultivating other partners even further away from the EU. Could this be part of the reason he was illegally overthrown?

The following timeline of events is crucial in understanding how anti-Chinese sentiments among the EU, US and Ukraine’s fascists could have played as much of a role in fomenting the 2014 Ukrainian coup as did those of anti-Russian actors.

October 2013

The plans for China’s One Belt–One Road initiative, also called Belt & Road or The New Silk Road initiative were officially announced by Chinese officials in September and October of 2013. The announcements were made in part by Chinese Premier Li Kegjang, including during his international visits.

December 2013

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych visits China where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. During the meetings which were uniquely successful for Ukraine, China agreed to invest $8 billion into the Ukrainian economy.

RT reported the following on 5 December 2013,

Ukrainian President Yanukovych left Kiev in search of foreign cash for his country’s near bankrupt economy, and now he says he’s secured $8 billion in investment from China.

The money has made a timely arrival in cash-strapped Ukraine’s hands, as the economy teeters on default and faces debts over $15 billion. Yanukovych is on a three-day planned working trip to China.

“The documents signed today expand our economic cooperation. We have not yet calculated how much this will make up in terms of money, but we made some calculations earlier and saw that the matter is about some $8 billion in investments coming to the Ukrainian economy,” Yanukovych said after signing a number of bilateral documents in Beijing on Thursday, quoted by Interfax.

More investment documents are in their final stages of preparation, and are expected to be signed soon’, he said “China has already given Ukraine $10 billion in loans. “

While Yanukovych signed papers in Beijing, a Ukrainian delegation met with Russian government officials in Moscow, including Prime Minister Medvedev to discuss trade issues such as customs clearance, Ukrainian chocolate, meat and dairy products, and railways.

Protests broke out in Kiev over Yanukovych’s last minute rejection of an EU trade deal in favor of restoring economic talks with Russia, Ukraine’s top trading partner and energy supplier.

Ukraine has not made a decisive step East or West, and for now seems to be shopping around for the best economic deal to bring calm to markets, bond prices, and opposition movements, before committing to either the EU or Russia.

During the meeting in Beijing, it was reported that Yanukovych and Chinese officials were in talks to construct a deep water port in Crimea, which at the time was under the sovereignty of Yanukovych’s government. The port project said to be worth $10 million, was reported shortly after the Ukrainian coup of February 2014.

 If the debt crisis was resolved through Chinese investment, western creditors and the IMF would not have been able to wield power over Kiev.

The routes of China’s New Silk Road still plan on partly travelling through Ukraine, but the current regime in Ukraine will doubtlessly make such matters more difficult for China vis-a-vis the last legitimate government of Ukraine, that of Viktor Yanukovych.

Far from being discarded, Mackinder’s theories continue to prove to be a guiding force behind the west’s policies of war, occupation and provocation against the countries which occupy his ‘pivot area’. Indeed, Britain and France’s continued opposition to Russia in its wars with Turkey throughout the 19th century go a long ways in explaining that far from being original, Mackinder simply wrote a theory which largely conformed to late modern western military and geo-political practice.

Drawing Ukraine away from its historical fraternal Eurasian partners in Moscow and into a western bloc of nations, the EU, was clearly an attempt to draw a portion of Mackinder’s pivot area into the western sphere of political sovereignty.

When understood from this perspective, the proximate timing of Viktor Yanukovych’s visit to China in late 2013, China’s unveiling of the New Silk Road in autumn of 2013 and the pro-EU coup in Kiev in February of 2014, seems more than coincidental.

China is attempting to build a New Silk Road from east to west based on cooperation and a respect of the sovereignty of the nations along the road. Meanwhile, the west is using modern slogans to justify its old policies that never went away.

Under the post-coup regime, Ukraine has signed up to the deal with the EU in spite of fading enthusiasm from Europe. The western powers nevertheless successfully cut Ukraine off from its historic Russian homeland and its eastern partners.

February 2014

Viktor Yanukovych and his country never got to see the fruits of his deals with China from December of 2014 because on 20 February of that year, Yanukovych was overthrown in a coup.

It was on the 20th of February 2014 that the Foreign Ministers of EU member states France, Germany and Poland convened in Kiev to broker a deal that was supposed to bring stability. Instead, it brought about a genocidal war on the people of Donbass who shortly after the coup declared their independence from the young fascist regime in Kiev. The deal also brought wide scale corruption in an already deeply corrupt place as well as total economic collapse that continues to get worse by the day.

Most ominously, the then Polish Foreign Minister who helped broker the deal which the insurgents had no intention of keeping, told representatives of the radicals that if they did not sign the agreement “you’ll all be dead”.

The truth is that the death came and continues to come not from those who opposed the coup but from those who came to power as a result of the coup.

The deal was supposed to insure orderly early elections and constitutional reforms which ironically reversed those made by Viktor Yanukovych. Instead, the agreement merely caused the total collapse of the state as the mob eventually forced Yanukovych to flee to Russia after a temporary and in hindsight, eerie pause in the violence.

The hours in the evening of the 20th of February 2014 in which violence temporarily abated have been made up for by three and a half years of violence, turmoil and a humanitarian disaster which has seen the lawless regime in Kiev drop chemical weapons on the people of Donbass, all while the west remains silent”.

Subsequent to the coup, the new regime broke off economic relations with Russia and scrapped the deals with China.

Energy Hari-Kiri

Following the armed conflict in the Donbass, Ukraine was cut off from half of coal and all of its anthracite extraction, dropping Ukrainian coal production by 22 percent in 2014. Russia was Ukraine’s largest coal supplier, and in 2014 Russia blocked its coal supplies, forcing 22 Ukrainian power plants to shut down temporarily.

After that, Ukraine started to lower imports from Russia.

The decision by Nuland’s Washington gang to push Kiev to go to war over protests in eastern Ukraine’s energy-rich Donbas in March 2014 rather than creative diplomacy succeeded in severing the heart of Ukraine’s industrial economy from Kiev. The war cost untold billions the government doesn’t have.

Now IMF’s ice-cold Managing Director, former JP MorganChase banker Christine Lagarde, announced on February 12, 2005, Ukraine’s new, $17.5 billion bailout package, claiming it would be a “turning point for Ukraine.” She knew. Like the Sicilian Mafia, the IMF gives a kind of “protection.” Its loans have strings, called the Washington Consensus or IMF conditionalities. They never vary. That’s because the US Treasury in fact controls IMF policy. The conditions are invariably that a country getting “loans” must open its economy, privatize state assets, slash health and education and public jobs and balance the state budget, something the USA has failed to do for decades. Foreign multinationals are then free to rape what is left. It’s a modern version of “outsourced imperialism” made to look technocratic and politically neutral. It isn’t.

In terms of its economic geography, the western parts of Ukraine are traditionally agricultural with some of the finest top soils in the world thanks to a relative lack of chemical spraying during the austere Cold War times in the Soviet Union. In 2011 western Ukraine was the world’s third largest grain exporter. Here in the west is the power base–if any at this point–of the Kiev government of President Petro Poroschenko and his Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The population, which in past history was a part of the Polish Empire, is overwhelming Roman Catholic and sometimes anti-Russian. Western Ukraine is surrounded by NATO states while the historically ethnic Russian east with the energy resources borders Russia.                                     

The eastern parts of Ukraine—Donbas, Donetsk, Crimea (when it was still Ukraine), Luhansk—these parts are, historically, majority Russian-speaking Ukrainians, most of whom who are nominally Russian Orthodox. Eastern Ukraine, which was the main electoral base of ousted-President Viktor Yanukovich, is the heart of Ukraine’s coal and domestic gas and oil industry, as well of the Soviet-era nuclear power plants. Coal supplies some 40% of Ukraine’s power plants.

The critical chokepoint is the coal-rich Donbas region in the east were Kiev’s and Washington’s war “against terrorists” in the east has brought coal mine supplies to a halt. No coal for the power plants, no electricity to light homes or power industry or provide heat. Then, because of rationing of natural gas by Kiev because of their break with Russia, her main gas supplier, homes are using energy-intensive electric heaters to avoid freezing, making the electricity crisis worse. Many cities in western Ukraine have turned off their street lighting to save electricity.

Had the elected Yanukovich regime remained, Ukraine instead would have joined what on January 1, 2015 came to be officially be called the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), together with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and now Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and potentially Uzbekistan. Ukraine would have made a clear decision for the first time since the declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 to accept its destiny along with Russia and the east.

However that would threaten Washington’s role as Sole Superpower and some like David Rockefeller’s old pal, Zbigniew Brzezinski, would not be happy with that. In his 1997 geopolitical book, The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski wrote,

Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

The Jesuit-trained Brzezinski, who today is a virulent proponent of arming the NATO-Ukraine war against Russia, went on in his book to define pivot states in the lexicon of geopolitics: “Geopolitical pivots are the states whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location…which in some cases gives them a special role in either defining access to important areas or in denying resources to a significant player.”

Ukraine is not at all about spreading peace and modern Washington democracy. It’s about pivots and geopolitical power calculus.

And now, as a result of those Brzezinski power chess games, Ukraine is in a living hell economically. Instead of imagined billions of Euros in Brussels aid that some of its citizens fantasized about when they protested against Yanukovich in February 2005 on Maidan Square and in favor of joining the EU, Ukraine gets literally raped with IMF austerity and conditionalities that open up its resources to plundering by western banks and multinationals like Monsanto.

Economically, most of the Ukraine economic infrastructure and trade flows existed since the days of the Soviet era when all were part of one USSR. Had that joining with Russia and turning east taken place in November 2013–which Washington’s warhawks around Brzezinski and Nuland were determined to prevent at all costs–Ukraine would have had no civil war. Ukraine would have been receiving Russian gas supplies at a 33% discounted price and billions of Euros of Ukraine state debt would be purchased by Russia, easing her economic plight.

Now, with a new parliament that is controlled by the Petro Poroshenko bloc as largest party and the boyish-looking former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is also new Prime Minister as head of the second largest party, the way was clear to get on with the rape of Ukraine. What shocked some is the blatant foreign takeover that followed, like a Wall Street vulture fund raid on a distressed debtor country of the Third World.

Rape of an entire country, just as rape of a small child, is murder. It is a form of murder of the soul and ultimately of the child. Forty five million Ukrainians do not deserve such treatment any more than an innocent four-year-old child does. The Battle for Ukraine is still ongoing at the time of writing this article.

The next article deals with Russia’s ability to improve its defense posture and the upgrading of its military arsenal, especially its nuclear missile capabilities.

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