INFORMATION BATTLESPACE. Just as in the Ossetia War, Western governments and media are in full propaganda mode. And, again, their citizens and news consumers will eventually find out they are being lied to. But this time it will be sooner because the New Media is stronger and alternative views are available. The discovery of neo-Nazis and the sniper story will accelerate the collapse. Washington will soon be talking to itself.
SNIPERS. On 21 February an agreement was cobbled together by representatives of the EU-Russia-Yanukovych-opposition (text here). Very soon snipers started killing people on Maidan Square – both police and protesters and the agreement collapsed. We have an intercepted conversation from 26 February in which an Estonian diplomat tells Ashton that his information is that the snipers were from the “new coalition” (ie the people now in power in Kiev). It is genuine. Easy deductions: the sigint part of the former Ukrainian security service bugged the call. Ergo it has defected from Kiev; ergo what’s the next revelation going to be? It now would seem to be a good bet that these guys bugged the Nuland phonecall too and maybe the Crimea communication too (see below). It took a day but the story has crossed the Atlantic and arrived on Fox.
ZEN JUDO. Russia wins if it does nothing; USA/EU lose if they do anything.
WHO’S IN CHARGE? These guys have the street power: “talking” to prosecutors; no one will take my weapons away; a town council gets the word. Why do you suppose these things are proudly filmed and put out on You Tube? Pour encourager les autres? The BBC interviews some of these people; go to 2:48 – a little bit like Hitler… in our own way. The Guardian finally reports; the comments are fun to read – that’s not what you told us! “I had thought that Russian propaganda about ‘Nazis’ was just that, propaganda, nothing more. Now I read this article describing the composition of the new cabinet, and I’m floored. It’s dominated by neo-nazis and palaeo-nazis, with only token representation of moderates.” More on the Pravy Sektor and Svoboda presence. Another media outlet wakes up. A Swedish paper. There’s a report from Russian media (tomorrow’s news today in many cases – the sniper story first appeared on RT and spread from there) that Yatsenyuk is trying to regularise these people as an accepted militia. When will this information cross the Atlantic? Floored indeed.
IT’S OVER. Ukraine is a space on the map combining bits of the Russian Empire, Poland and Romania bounded by lines drawn by Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev. Inside that space are indeed people who regard themselves as “Ukrainians” but there are lots of other national identities too. It is a country split on “east-west” issues. The “Ukraine concept” could rub along so long as no one tried to make all Ukraine obey the desires of half Ukraine. To insist on alliance with Russia alienates the west just as NATO membership alienates the south and east. The stable option is neutrality. To insist on EU association and cutting Russia off is as bad as a Russia trade connection that cut the EU off. The stable option is an arrangement with each (“tripartite” – here rejected by the EU). But Western arrogance and ignorance keeps trying to split it (blaming Russia as it does). The so-called “Orange Revolution” ten years ago soon forgot “democracy” and “reform” in its desire for NATO membership. This time the “Ukraine concept” has been blown apart thanks to the West’s insistence on EU and not Russia and the neo-Nazi seizure of power. Ukraine is slowly separating along the tear line. Not “secession” yet, let alone joining Russia, but “dissociation”. This would be happening if Putin had never existed; it was implicit in the “Ukraine concept”. The Armed Forces, security structure, police services have probably split. The Ukrainian state has ceased to exist and I don’t see how it can be put back together.
STEPAN BANDERA. Learn about him, he’s a hero in the west of Ukraine and the people in power in Kiev but in the south and east he’s a “fascist” or “Nazi”. This disagreement is the precise aim-point of the destruction of the “Ukraine concept”. Here’s Wikipedia to start with.
COUP IN CRIMEA THWARTED? Some people have pieced together a story of a coup attempt in Crimea on 27/28 February that was thwarted by Russian special forces. Here are the arguments and information; read them for yourself. One, Two Three. Videos, intercepted communications, aircraft movements.
REALITY BITES. US supply routes to Afghanistan depend very heavily on Russia. Crimeans are perfectly happy with the situation. Russia by treaty is entitled to have 25,000 troops in Crimea; it has not exceeded that number. Russian gas supplies to Europe. China is not amused. Turkey is calm. Abandon US dollar? And the nature of the people Washington and Brussels have put into power. And polling data.