by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog
News has only gradually seeped out that the Minsk II agreement, to find a peaceful way to end the war between Ukraine and its breakaway far eastern Donbass region, collapsed on March 26th. It was an agreement which Francois Hollande of France and Angela Merkel of Germany had established with Vladimir Putin of Russia, on 11 February 2015, in Minsk, Belarus. U.S. President Barack Obama, the founder of today’s Ukraine, had opposed that Agreement, because he was encouraging the then-President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, militarily to retake both Donbass and Crimea by force — or at least to attempt to do so. The “Minsk Protocol” had set up a “contact group” of representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE (a peace-maintenance organization consisting of virtually all countries in the northern hemisphere). The agreement’s purpose was to establish direct talks between representatives of Ukraine and representatives of Donbass. Whereas Donbass was reluctantly willing to have such talks, Ukraine never was willing, at all, and signed the original document only in order to be able to qualify for more loans from The West (so as to be able to continue bombing Donbass). Ukraine bombed and has continued virtually ceaselessly to shell Donbass to conquer it, and the far-right in Ukraine control the country and have consistently threatened to assassinate Ukraine’s President if he signs any agreement to establish peace-talks with Donbass. So, the President of Ukraine has been trapped between, on the one hand, the U.S. President and Ukraine’s rabidly anti-Russian nazis — both of whom want the war to continue — and, on the other, Ukraine’s public (who overwhelmingly want the war to end).
The collapse of the Minsk process has been hidden from the publics in The West, but Russia’s Government provided a description of it on April 2nd:
The first written protocol with clear-cut tasks for the future was signed by Donetsk, Lugansk, Kiev and the OSCE on March 11 with the personal participation of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Executive Office Dmitry Kozak and Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office Andrei Yermak.
Regrettably, strange things began to happen after the initial breakthrough. During telephone conversations, Berlin and Paris offered different excuses to hedge its support for the Kiev-Donbass agreements. Kiev also renounced these agreements at the Contact Group meeting on March 26. One gets the impression that the Ukrainian negotiators were put up to it. This rollback destroys the initial positive momentum.
Four days later, on March 30, the foreign ministers of German and France made an extensive statement with yet another helping of unfounded accusations against Donbass. They blamed it.
On March 23rd, Belarus’s Belta News headlined that the “Next meeting of trilateral contact group on Ukraine [is] to be replaced with video conference” (because of the coronavirus). The video conference was scheduled for March 23-25, but was held on March 26th, and promptly produced only mutual recriminations.
The United States Government, and especially its Deep State, are very opposed to any such peace-process. Jeff Bezos, a key person in the Deep State, owns the Washington Post, which reliably propagandizes for America’s takeover of any country that isn’t already a U.S. vassal-nation — especially Russia — and therefore for sanctions and other aggressions in order to attain such expansions of the U.S. empire. On March 19th it headlined “Ukraine’s Zelensky wants to end a war in the east. His problem: No one agrees how to do it.” Of course, it reported only from the U.S. side, and clearly against the Russian side. It opened: “KYIV, Ukraine — Oleg Sugorey’s first arrest in eastern Ukraine by Russian-backed separatist agents was terrifying,” and the newspaper blamed Russia for that “terror,” without even saying why it was supposed to be Russia’s fault. The reality was the opposite: the terrorism had always been by Obama’s Ukrainian regime against the residents in the area of Ukraine that had voted 90+% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama had overthrown. Propaganda like this (and the credulous Western publics trusting it) makes extremely difficult any Ukrainian President’s attempt to end peacefully Ukraine’s war against Donbass (the region of Ukraine that had voted more than 90% for President Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian neutralist, whom Obama overthrew in a coup). That propaganda is politically crushing. The recently elected President of Ukraine, Volodmyr Zelensky, who (unlike his predecessor, who had promised to retake both Donbass and Crimea by force) was seeking to end the war by compromise. Whereas Zelensky’s predecessor had championed the war publicly, and was enthusiastically cheered in the U.S. Congress for doing so, Zelensky was mocked in this ‘news’-report, as being “President Volodymyr Zelensky, a political dilettante and former TV comedian.” The prospect of a peace-agreement was described there as constituting a concession to an evil Moscow: “No deal can happen without agreement on some kind of special self-governing status for the regions, but some fear that is just what Moscow wants — an opportunity to retain influence and try to destabilize Ukraine.” To establish peace on Russia’s border was treated as being aggression by Moscow against Kiev. Only a fool could consider that as “news reporting,” but, after all, the public who read such reports trust them, and this is the real problem.
That Jeff Bezos “report” went on:
Bohdan Bondarenko, an analyst with the Center of Policy and Legal Reform in Ukraine, said there was no consensus in the country on what status the separatist regions would have and how to reintegrate them.
“Zelensky has a real desire to solve the problem. Let’s imagine that Zelensky gets agreement with Putin. Ukrainian society will not accept it. Our society will not agree. Society is very divided,” Bondarenko said.
But he said Russia is losing its appetite to support Donbas and would prefer to see it returned.
“They don’t need this Donbas. It’s costing them a lot of money. At this point, Donbas is more negative for Putin then [than] positive. For Russia, the best thing would be if Donbas was inside Ukraine but with a special status. It would be an instrument for destabilization.”
Not reported by the Washington Post there, was who funded the Center of Policy and Legal Reform in Ukraine — whom it actually represented. Its main funders included not only the U.S. Government’s USAID (CIA-affiliated), but George Soros’s Open Society Institute, and International Renaissance Foundation, and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and other agencies of U.S. imperialism, such as the European Commission. All of it is anti-Russia. That ‘news’-report was propaganda.
And it’s not just the ‘news’-media that want the war to continue; so too do the well-funded academics and other ‘experts’.
The Warsaw Institute has an office in anti-Russian Poland but is actually based in the United States, as a shell nonprofit in Richmond Virginia and bank-account in Winston-Salem North Carolina, and no publicly available financials other than “0,” so that supposedly they don’t pay anybody for anything. On March 31st, they headlined “Kozak-Yermak Plan on Donbas: A Trap for Ukraine”, and reported that
At the Contact Group’s meeting, on March 11, in Minsk, Belarus, Russia’s presidential envoy, Dmitry Kozak, and the Ukrainian presidential envoy, Andriy Yermak, agreed to establish what they named the Consultative Council, or a platform that would officially cast the Ukrainian side and Russia’s proxies in Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia is positioned officially as an impartial observer, and so are Germany and France, while the OSCE would mediate in talks. Once it takes effect, the solution will mean a great deal for the Kremlin. Namely, Kyiv will pull out of its current rule of not holding direct talks with the separatists. …
Though agreed back on March 11, the documents were kept secret, pending the final approval that was expected on March 25 but did not emerge. However, the documents’ full text leaked to the Ukrainian media, sparking general turmoil. Ukraine’s opposition parties have accused Zelensky and Yermak of betrayal, while some presidential officials are against holding talks with separatists. While Yermak defended the plan, Zelensky remained silent. Another factor is the fast-moving coronavirus crisis, with the entire case having been put aside amid concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The March 25 did not take place, while, during a videoconference, the Ukrainian negotiating team said it would not confirm the deal, at least for the time being. Although Zelensky bought some time, it is not sure whether he will pull out of the controversial agreement. With the crisis and plummeting prices, the Ukrainian leader is setting eyes on tremendous success, and he is still dreaming of bringing peace back to Donbas. This is also what most Ukrainians still want to materialize. But in order to push constitutional amendments, the president’s party needs to find a credible ally. What may seem obvious choice is Medvedchuk’s Opposition Platform-For Life, whose leader is Putin’s top key ally in Ukraine. On the eve of the Yermak-Kozak meeting in Minsk, a delegation of Ukrainian opposition deputies, headed by Medvedchuk, paid a visit to Russia’s State Duma and the Kremlin. While in Moscow, the pro-Russian politician put forward some ideas on behalf of his country’s parliament that yet go far beyond his powers. But Ukraine’s president seems to have turned a blind eye on Medvedchuk’s proposals as it needs to side with pro-Kremlin deputies to gain a majority in the Verkhovna Rada. And yet there is no doubt that this will be a costly business for the president.
Zelensky had won 73% of the vote in Ukraine’s 21 April 2019 Presidential election because he was promising to end peacefully the war between Ukraine and Donbass. Back until 19 September 2014, all of the propaganda in the U.S. and its vassal nations had alleged that the problem in Donbass was that Russia was trying to ‘seize’ that land, in order to expand Russia (already the world’s largest country), and on that day I headlined “Russia’s Leader Putin Rejects Ukrainian Separatists’ Aim to Become Part of Russia” and submitted this news-report to all news-media in The West, but it was published by only a few non-mainstream or ‘alternative news’ ones, because such truth was prohibited by all of The West’s mainstream ‘news’-media. It disproved the ‘news’-reports that had been issued by all of The West’s mainstream ‘news’-media, so they refused to publish it. This truth — that on 19 September 2014 Putin declined Donbass’s request to become part of Russia — has never yet been published in the mainstream Western media, and therefore new lies needed to be created by Western Governments and media in order to continue to ‘justify’ Ukraine’s ongoing war against Donbass.
When Obama seized Ukraine in February 2014 so that ultimately U.S. missiles will be stationed all along the 1,625-mile Russian-Ukrainian border (not 94 miles away from America, on just an island — Cuba — like the Soviet Union had planned against the United States in 1962, but instead actually on Russia’s longest European border), the ultimate target was actually Russia, not Ukraine. That’s why Obama had grabbed, and Trump keeps, Ukraine. Russia remained the target even after Putin said no to Donbass. In fact, by no later than June 2013, Obama was even planning to oust Russia from Russia’s largest naval base, which is in Crimea, and to establish a U.S. naval base there. (That part of his coup-scheme failed.) So, all of this is really just preparation to conquer Russia. And all mainstream ‘news’-media in The West ban this fact, too, from publication, and present Russia as being the aggressor: “Russia is moving too close to NATO.” The absurdity is blatant, but the public are stupid. That fact is blatant. But the press ignore it. They ignore it because they keep the public stupid. It’s essential to their function in a dictatorship. For example: U.S. ‘news’-media hide truths so that the U.S. public will support invasions and sanctions against a country — stupidity.
What “collapsed” was Contact Group talks which always collapse, for six years.
The key talks now are between Ermak and Kozak. These replace the Surkov-Volker talks.
Talks will go on and on, just like the bombardment of villages and towns will continue.
Zelenskii is doomed, but the US doesn’t see fit to deal more closely with Ukraine at this time.
Just keep in mind that Ukraine is a launch pad against Russia. The US likes this condition.
Ukraine as a country is dying. But as a launch pad it has a long life ahead.
Someday, things will change. The East and South (Novorossiya) will break off, and the West Ukraine will be the new Ukraine. It is unsustainable now, but its fracture is long coming. Could easily be another six years.
The bombardment, mortars, snipers and assassinations will continue against the Donbass.
Maybe Avakov will get the Presidency. Certainly, the US knows him very well.
Biletsky waits in the wings. He wants it, but knows the US doesn’t want him–now.
Nothing much will change in Ukraine. It is being allowed to slide slowly into a dystopia. The US likes the idea. It will be a dystopia on Russia’s border.
Can you imagine what the US reaction would have been if an adversary would have moved to seize not one, but two, of its most important overseas naval bases?
Anyone with the cognizance above that of an amoeba knows Minsk was a poison pill shoved down Mutti’s and Golland’s throats to humiliate them and show them who was boss. Neither of them, or orcland, had the slightest intention of honoring that agreement and Putin knew this very well, and so did Novorossiya, the only purpose of both Minsk agreements was to have Novorossiya stop their total destruction of the summer cauldrons along the Russian border and the obliteration of the orcs trapped in the Debaltsyevo cauldron and salient. Both scraps of paper were signed only after the total destruction of the orc units involved in both operations was complete and the battlefields were a smoking morass of dead orcs.
The tragedy is the west and far too many ‘expurts’ continuously pontificate about these worthless yet priceless pieces of paper. It’s a given that the war will continue until Putin decides the time is ripe for Novorossiya to advance to the limits, and only the limits, of both oblasti and the entire south and east coast of orcland rises up and frees themselves from the shackles of Kiev. Until that time comes, the steady stream of dead and wounded on both sides will continue, and the host of ‘expurts’ who have never set foot in Novorossiya will continue to spout their foolishness.
An Incident On Simonka, ebook edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU March 2014. NATO Is invited to leave Sevastopol, one way or the other.
Never The Last One, ebook edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK A deep look in to Russia, her culture and her Armed Forces, in essence a look at the emergence of Russian Federation.
Thanks for your insight. What I can’t understand is why stop the total destruction of the coup/fascists when they could have been totally defeated, leaving the Kiev coup regime very vulnerable to collapse. At the least, the people in Odessa, Mariupol and Kharkov, who had no love for the Orcs, with the help of Donbass troops, freed themselves from Kiev’s grip.
Why would Putin have interrupted that process?
”In fact, by no later than June 2013, Obama was even planning to oust Russia from Russia’s largest naval base, which is in Crimea, and to establish a U.S. naval base there.”
This was, strictly speaking, not Obama’s plan in any other sense than that the opportunity presented itself under his watch. To grab Crimea and hand it over to NATO was the long-term goal of the West’s plans for ”The Ukraine” at least since 2004, probably even earlier. Having cultivated Nazi fanatics for more than 10 years, the time was ripe when Yanukovich — weak and vacillating — saw the light and refused to sign a.colonial treaty with the EU. The putsch succeeded in the sense that Russophobic Nazi animals on the West’s payroll did seize power in ”The Ukraine”, but it failed abysnally where it really mattered. The Ukronazis, for all their splendid ideological ”dependability”, are a spent force.
We were fully aware of their plans for some years before the coup in Kiev. This plan never stood a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding for the simple reason being the citizens of Sevastopol and Krimea are not ‘Ukrainian’ or ‘Ukrainians of Russian heritage’, they were, are and always will be Russian.
The Crimeans are people of excellent courage, fighting spirit, and revolutionary patriotism. Ukronazi lowlives are their exact opposites, literally. Still, the Maidan Nazis and Western imperialism could have succeeded if Russia had been subdued by her liberal filth, even though Crimea in that case would have been taken by NATO only after horrendous bloodshed.
When Auslander speaks, he can be as blunt as a tanker or as oblique as a poet. On the subject of the people of Krim during those historic days, he was on the front lines. He and his wife, like many others in Sevastopol and the Peninsula, were armed, and politely accountable.
The reason there was no shooting by the Green Men was because the people were an echelon taking action. A small force of Russian troops, 25,000 were part of the day-to-day reality. Many were rotated out to allow the polite Green Men to stay within the legal limits.
But like a Reserve Army, there were many hundreds of thousands of Russians that would have added to the historic glory of Crimea. The Ukies would have been utterly destroyed if they came South. As for the Nazi battalions, they never showed the courage in the flatlands of Donbass. Azov and Pravy Sektor were rapists and torturers, not soldiers. Urban warfare is beyond them completely. Killing old ladies, children and raping young girls is their specialty.
If Putin sent the Russians into Georgia in 2008, he certainly would have sent much more than the polite Green Men to save Crimea and Sevastopol in 2014. Much more.
I trust Auslander’s history.
”Azov and Pravy Sektor were rapists and torturers, not soldiers. Urban warfare is beyond them completely. Killing old ladies, children and raping young girls is their specialty.”
Exactly. These are the kind of people Western Democracy keeps cultivating everywhere. Takfiri head-choppers a.k.a. ”Moderate rebels” are another beautiful case in point. Moreover, what passes for the West’s ”leadership” today is a sick joke. Like their Azov and Pravy Sektor cohorts in ”The Ukraine”, they are outwitted effortlessly by their adversaries in Russia, China, Syria, and Iran.
Not strictly correct – from someone, who was born in Krym. Yes, the population was not really Ukrainian – it was all mixed, Russians, Ukrainians (even Tatars, who were allowed slowly to trickle back in). Both languages were spoken, though Russian dominated. But during the USSR’s time, such nationalistic distinctions did not matter. In fact, they were discouraged. So most people did not think in those terms. It became a bigger issue once the USSR was dissolved. (And, from what I understand, Khrushchev did not “give” Krym to Ukraina, he only transferred its administration to Kiev.)
In all the years I’ve lived in Sevastopol and been to Krimu, I’ve never heard a single work in Ukrainian.
In the light of some recent nasty evil intensifying attacks on Donbass….options?
Better to leave Minsk as some kind of 10 ton weight ready to fall on Z or his successors head.. it is a UN resolution……or due to Ukraines illegal armed actions ….describe it as postponed or null and void which means Donbass and or Russia could take more of a stand against Ukrops under ” humanitarian grounds ?” as self defence? Might wake them up a bit…what would there be left to lose….the appetite for sanctions is weakening, Russia is more self sufficient…..UN is getting divided west v east what is the point of it…..etc etc..Merkel is on her way out and EU Macron not exactly at their best at the moment and actually proving useless at taking Minsk further….time these all had a big opportunist decisive wake up call by Russia..?
I am so tired of those cursed nazi scum and their owners, i hope they end up as charred corpses no one bothers to bury and their bones picked clean by rats. Even that is to good of a fate for them. May God forgive me, i am but human and my heart is filled with red glowing anger and helplessness bc of their crimes and stupidity.
The Maidan demonstrations in early 2014, which led to the overthrow of the legally elected Ukrainian government witnessed an estimated 15,000 people marching in celebration of Stepan Bandera’s 105th birthday. The neo-Nazi Svoboda Party along with the Fatherland Party of Yulia Tymoshenko both supported this commemoration of the former Nazi ally and war criminal. In the late 1930s Stepan Bandera became the leader of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) was the name of the Ukrainian partisan paramilitary force that arose from the OUN and fought Soviet armies in the 1940s. During World War II the OUN worked with the German occupation and participated in the massacre of Jews, Poles, and Russians.
In 1943 Bandera’s followers massacred 70,000 Poles the majority of whom were unarmed men, women, and children. This mass killing took place in Volyn, Western Ukraine. In the spring and summer of 1943 peasants of Volyn under the leadership of the Galician intelligentsia using bullets, axes and other improvised means assassinated tens of thousands of Poles living in the villages and towns of the region. The political leadership of the OUN had suddenly realised that the Germans might lose the war. So because of the presence of the Polish population the political leadership had simply decided to get rid of that population to prevent Poland’s claim to Volyn. By 1945 the OUN had, in Eastern Galicia, killed 130,000. Many people had their eyes gouged out and were then hacked to death. After WWII the OUN kept fighting against the forces of the USSR and People’s Poland until 1949.
“To initiate a war of aggression,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” From the historical reference in Volyn we can clearly see that Obama in Ukraine was using the supreme international crime as a means of preventing Russia’s claims to the Donbass.
So because of the presence of the Russian population the US/EU political leadership had simply decided to get rid of that population to prevent Russia’s claim to Donbass.
Its totally Ironic that the Supporters of Stepan Bandera in both cases were attempting Genocide of an entire ethnic population.
But we are the good guys right?
The Ukraine imbroglio was never about Ukraine and always about Russia. How can Russia tolerate short and medium range nuclear tipped missiles right on its border only 110 miles from the large Russian city of Rostov-On-Don? It is a gross provocation. Russia’s intervention in 2015 was – shall we say ‘measured’ – but together with the skills and bravery of the Don Bass militias Kiev’s military incursions ended in complete routs at Ilovaisk and the Debaltsevo salient in 2015. There have been no further attempts to recapture the rebel strongholds since, this given the low morale of the Ukrainian armed forces, and the tenacity of the Don Bass defenders. Moreover, Putin has repeated on a number of occasions that he will not allow the Don Bass to fall into the hands of the Kiev regime; he cannot abandon the Don Bass since that would bring NATO right up to the Russian/Ukrainian border. Looked at from another angle the Don Bass population will never, and I mean never, be forced back into the rump Ukraine, any attempt to do so would be putting the ball into Putin’ court. The situation is, therefore, one of stalemate since a move by either side would instantly scale up the risks of a complete military and political fiasco. So the stalemate continues.