This article was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-donbass-is-breaking-away-from-an-agonizing-ukraine/
Tectonic shifts are continuing to occur in the political landscape of the Ukraine. Last week, following the imposition of a total blockade against Novorussia by the Ukronazis, Russia declared that she will from now on recognize the official documents emitted by the DNR and LNR authorities. This week, the Novorussian authorities have nationalized all the key factories of the Donbass. Furthermore, the Novorussians have now declared that since the Ukrainian authorities are not willing to purchase their coal and anthracite they will from now on export them to Russia. And just to make sure that they cover all their bases, the Novorussians have also declared that from now on only the Russian Ruble will be circulating in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.
Not to be undone, the Ukronazis have also taken a highly significant step: the Ukrainian Prime Minister has declared that he thinks that the irregular forces currently enforcing the blockade should be considered official border guards (as for these soon to be “border guards”, they have explained that for their main border post shall be called “nightingale” in honor of the Nachtigall battalion of the Nazi Abwehr).
Let’s sum all this up:
- The Urkonazis completely close down the unofficial border with Novorussia
- Russia recognizes Novorussian documents
- The DNR and LNR nationalize all the Ukrainian industry in the Donbass
- The Ukronazis declare that the line of contact is now to be considered a border
- The Novorussians declare that the Russian Ruble is the only legal currency in Novorussia
- The Novorussians will now export their entire production of coal/anthracite to Russia
- All the factories in Novorussia will no longer pay taxes to Kiev
I don’t know about you – but to me this sure looks like the DNR and LNR are cutting off their last ties to the Ukraine and the the junta in Kiev appears to go along with this plan.
In reality, this is all much more complicated. There is a covert war going on between the Ukrainian oligarchs Rinat Akhmetov, Igor Kolomoiskii and President Poroshensko and there is also a not so covert war taking place between the Ukronazi opposition and Poroshenko. There are also many unanswered questions left, including how and if the Novorussians will sell their production of coal and anthracite either to Russia (which Russia really doesn’t need) or through Russia (possibly concealing its real origin). This situation also begs the question of what the Russian banks will be able and willing to do to help the Novorussians. The sums of money involved are huge and there are many, often mutually exclusive, interests competing against each other. But I don’t dwell into that level right now – what is most important to me is the big picture and that big picture says “good-bye Ukraine”.
One can judge of the seriousness of these developments by the truly Herculean efforts made by the western corporate media not to notice them. Even the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Boris Johnson, who was in Kiev yesterday, was focusing exclusively on the upcoming Eurovision competition, and not on the dramatic developments taking place in the southeast.
In the Ukrainian context, the expression “never say never” is probably even more important than usual, but I will say that if what I think is happening is really happening, that is, if the Donbass is now de-facto cutting its last ties with the Ukraine and integrating Russia politically and economically, and if the junta in Kiev appears to have been unable to prevent the Nazi volunteers from triggering this crisis with their blockade, then this potentially means to very important things:
- The Ukronazis have given up on the concept of reconquering Novorussia.
- The breakup of the rump-Ukraine has begun.
The blockade of the Donbass was decided by a rather small group of nationalist leaders who never asked for, or received, any authorization for their actions from the junta in Kiev. Furthermore, the junta in Kiev never officially endorsed or even supported that move. But most amazingly, the junta never sent any kind of official police/military/security force to regain control of the situation. There was a group of men who, armed with sticks and baseball bats, tried to remove the Ukronazi crazies from the tracks, but they were quickly beaten back. Keep in mind that there are tens of thousands of soldiers and policemen deployed in the immediate vicinity of these volunteer units, but nobody, absolutely nobody has made a move to restore law and order.
Of course, the very notion of “law and order” is largely meaningless in a country occupied by a regime which itself is totally illegal. Furthermore, “law and order” are also meaningless in a country where might – usually in the form of a gang of thugs with Kalashnikovs – makes right. Forget “central Europe” – think “Somalia” and you will be much closer to the truth.
The Ukraine is a failed state, politically and economically. And, as a failed state, the Ukraine has plenty of armed gangs and even official armed forces, but nothing like the kind of modern and civilized military you need to take on the Novorussians who, far from being a failed state, are a young state which has just completed the modernization of its armed forces. The difference between the Ukrainian and the Novorussian armed forces is not just the result of Russian help, although they clearly played a major role, but the fact for the Novorussians having a capable fighting force has been a matter or survival from day 1, whereas for the junta this has never been a priority simply because there never was a military threat to the junta’s power. Bean-counters will tell me that the Ukrainian forces are about 2x to 3x larger, which is quite true. It is also irrelevant. What matters is whether they can mount modern, combined arms, operations and that is something that the Ukrainian military does not seem to be capable of.
What we are seeing today is not just a Ukrainian military which seems to have given up on the notion of reconquering Novorussia, it is also one which appears to be giving up on the notion of holding the country together. Right now, this is only affecting the Donbass, but pretty soon other regions are likely to follow suit, especially the south (Odessa, Nikolaev, Mariupol) which, by itself, could be wealthy and prosperous and which has no need whatsoever for Neo-Nazi rulers. There are even some separatist movements in the western Ukraine who want to get rid of all the pseudo-Ukrainian “ballast” and build a “pure” Ukrainian state in the only place where such a state has real historical roots: on the border with Poland.
This all begs the question of the future of Poroshenko and here your guess is as good as mine. The only thing which kept him in power so long is the support from the USA and EU, but with the crises (plural) surrounding the Trump administration and the political uncertainty in Europe, there is only that long which Poroshenko can use his western mentors as the base for his power. Sooner or later, somebody somewhere in the Ukraine (my guess is in Odessa) will figure out that the local power configuration is far more important to him/her than what the western politicians have to say. Again, Somalia is the example to keep in mind: for a while the western powers also had a great deal of influence there, but only until that power was successfully challenged and then everybody declared victory and fled.
Needless to say, the Minsk Agreements are as far from being implemented as ever. For the AngloZionists that enough of a justification to continue to blame Russia for it all. That will continue until the Ukraine finally implodes at which point the real negotiation will be “who will pays for the mess?” at which point Russia will probably declare that she is primarily responsible for the Donbass leaving the rest of the mess for the Europeans who, unlike the Americans, will have no choice but to pay. But that is still far in the future. Right now the question is how long can the agony of the Nazi Ukrainian regime last?
Alexander Zakharchenko predicted yesterday that the Ukrainian state would collapse within 60 days. Maybe. My personal gut feeling is that this might take quite a bit longer, especially considering the momentum of such a large country. We should also never discount a possible large-scale Ukronazi attack on Novorussia for no other reason than an expression of blind and dumb hatred. Should that happen the goal of the Novorussians will be to free the parts of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions which are still under Nazi occupation. This might be difficult – the Ukrainians have been fortifying their defenses for many months now – but I expect them to eventually succeed. At which point the West will blame Russia again (what else is new?).
Irrespective of how long this agony will last, there is no doubt in my mind that it has begun and that it is irreversible. It is actually quite remarkable that it took so long to bring about this last phase. For many months already we had many minor indicators and signs that thing were not going well, but with the de-facto separation of the Donbass and its gradual integration into the Russian economy we are witnessing a qualitatively new phase in the disintegration process of the Ukraine.
PS: Today Alexander Zakharchenko has announced a total blockade of the Ukraine by the Donbass. The practical result from that will be that Novorussia will completely cease to pay taxes to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine.