June 22, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
USSR broke up at the end of 1991. The organizers of that geopolitical mega-catastrophe planned to consolidate their success so that the Eurasian empire which resisted the predatory West would never be reborn. Therefore it was necessary to divide the peoples of the former state, make them quarrel, and force them to regard one another as enemies. One of the main tasks was to transform the former allies and parts of the great country into their own vassals. The simplest way to do this was through expanding NATO eastward.
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the Soviet leadership gave its assent to redraw the map of Europe. The West promised in return that it will not include the former Warsaw Pact countries in NATO. But, as usual, the West deceived. The process of accepting new members into NATO began by the late 1990s. Then the countries of Eastern Europe were followed by former Soviet republics: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
But let’s go back a little and see what transformations occurred in the former Soviet republics. I’m talking about the now-forgotten but very “promising” GUAM (and, between 1999 and 2005 GUUAM, due to Uzbekistan’s membership). It was formed in 1997 on the initiative of four presidents: Ukraine’s, Georgia’s, Moldavia’s, and Azerbaijan’s. If one looks closely, the members have one thing in common. Each of those countries had a Russian military base which was a big burden to them. In Azerbaijan’s case, the base was in Armenia, and it prevented Azerbaijan from resolving the Karabakh conflict in its favor.
For Russia that was an era of chaos and the collapse of statehood. The defeat in the First Chechen War, the extremely difficult economic situation (the country defaulted only a year later), the fear of disintegration–that was Russia, the 1997 model. The West felt that it would take little effort to finish it off, therefore it would be sufficient to create an alternative political center for Russian-speaking lands. And Kiev was designated as that center.
That might seem laughable today, but Ukraine’s economy at that time was more competitive by an order of magnitude. Less than 6 years passed since the Soviet collapse, its armed forces and defense industry were strong (Ukraine sold Pakistan its biggest delivery of tanks ever–400 total). Ukraine survived the late 1990s crisis without great difficulty and without major conflicts. It was designated as a guarantor of peace in Transistria, and in the event of Russia’s break-up…anything was possible. By the West’s intent, Russia was to be destroyed by internal forces, in other words, the forces of former Union republics and Russia’s then still-liberal government.
That’s why nobody talked seriously of eurointegration. Why accept such an obligation? The most that could be offered was a promise to think about…NATO. But later. Meaning, after victory over Russia’s remnants..
But it didn’t come out that way. May the puppet-masters figure out who’s guilty. The opportunity was lost when Vladimir Putin came to power. It was clear after the Second Chechen War that GUUAM’s time had passed. Russia began to quickly catch up and then surpass Ukraine in its level of development, which was supposed to be an alternative center of attraction according to the puppet-masters. Ukraine’s predatory oligarchy was devouring the inheritance from the USSR without sparing anything–not the infrastructure, not the enterprises, not the…army.
I remember perfectly well the years of Vladimir Shcherban’s rule in the Sumy district. That “plague of locusts” scoured the entire district. He is the reason why my “small Motherland” was deprived of its food processing industry and livestock agriculture.
By the end of Kuchma’s rule nobody could speak of Ukraine playing a leading role on any scale, even regional. Uzbekistan was the first to realize GUUAM’s lack of future and started to “make peace” with Moscow. Yushchenko’s presidency saw the last effort to save GUAM as an anti-Russian alliance of “offended” states.
Everyone knows how Saakashvili prepared for war. But few realize that a similar scenario was being prepared in Ukraine. Ukraine not only helped Georgia arm between 2005 and 2007, but it also attempted to rearm itself. There was an ambitious program of upgrading the tank fleet (Bulat, T-84). BTR-3 entered production. New types of guided weapons (Bastion, Sapsan) were being successfully developed. Ukraine held field exercises for the first time in many years.
But something prevented Yushchenko to escalate the conflict. That the US wanted their designate to engage in a conflict with Russia was clear already then, and the recent discoveries only confirmed it. Saakashvili struck. Yushchenko did not support. Saakashvili lost. Yushchenko did too.
An escalation similar to what we’re seeing right now should have started in 2008. When Russia was much weaker and less prepared. Maybe the rapid defeat of Saakashvili had a sobering effect, or maybe there was something else…We won’t play guessing games. It’s enough to note that the current war could have started six years earlier, when the West had more chances to win. But it didn’t start.
The US did not forgive Yushchenko’s undermining of their plans–Washington support vanished after the 2008 war. He became practically a pariah who ended his political career in ignominy, winning fewer votes that the statistical margin of error (so far a record for Ukraine).
The main outcome of the failure of the first wave of “color revolutions” was the change of the strategy for destroying Russia. It was clear that it can’t be done on the jump. The opportunity was lost. GUAM quietly died. Uzbekistan already left, Moldavia had communists back in power who did not share the alliance’s ideas (the last summit ended on July 1, 2008, just before the war), and Europe got the idea to get former USSR republics into its orbit through Eastern Partnership.
It’s especially telling that the Eastern Partnership discussion started just before the 2008 war, possibly as a Plan B. It was discussed as an idea, but it officially began on May 7, 2009 in Prague.
It’s equally telling that the composition was about the same as in GUAM, except for Belarus and Armenia. Incidentally, those two countries never really got on board with that idea. But it was obvious that Eastern Partnership was the logical continuation of GUAM.
That’s when Ukraine saw active agitation in favor of eurointegration and of joining NATO. The number of NATO and EU supporters grew from year to year. Agitation, open lies, all created a “European future” for Ukraine. Here’s the data from the Razumkov Center. The question was: What is the foreign policy priority for Ukraine?
[The leftmost column indicates percentage mentioning the EU, the second is the US, Russia is the third column…]
The support for the eurointegration idea grew until the overthrow. It increased from 23.8% in November 2009 to 52.5% in April 2014 (already without Crimea, but with Donbass). And then…it began to fall. In March 2015 (already without LPR/DPR) “only” 47.7% oriented themselves toward Europe. Considering that nearly all DPR/LPR inhabitants are against eurointegration (and they represent 10% of Ukraine’s population), it’s a pathetic result.
The pendulum swings back
A recent poll conducted by the Kiev International Sociology Institute on the joining of NATO showed an identical trend.
It was conducted at the end of May 2015.
37.4% in favor of joining NATO.
35.5% against joining NATO
10.9% refused to vote
16.2% had no answer.
Here too the result is worse than the April 2014 poll, when 44% were in favor of joining NATO.
The Razumkov Center has the following data for March 2015.
43.3% in favor of joining NATO.
31.6% against joining NATO.
13.5% would refuse to vote
11.6% couldn’t answer.
The poll was conducted only on junta-controlled territory.
Therefore the disappointment in NATO and the EU had already begun, and now the process is only accelerating.
Communicating with nationalists through intermediaries (especially with Right Sector activists who are fighting on the Donbass), I noted one peculiarity. Behind the scenes they are full of praise for Russia’s president. They don’t hate him, but those mediocrities who govern them. It’s only one step from love to hatred. And back. If the situation in Ukraine is to be resolved more or less peacefully (without large-scale deaths), then that very same hated Vladimir Putin could become their buddy…And then the stupid European war instigators may get a “New Galician Army” on their own Eastern borders. Something like that already happened in the history of Ukraine’s civil wars.
Historical background. The Galician Army 1918-1920.
1. November 1918–July 1919–fights against Poland for the independence of Western Ukrainian National Republic. Then crosses the Zbruch river and becomes part of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) army.
2. July-September 1919. Fights against the Red Army on the right-bank Ukraine.
3. September-November 1919–fights against the forces of the Novorossia District of the VSYuR (how symbolic).
4. November-December 1919. Fights together with the VSYuR against the Red Army (puppet-masters take note).
5. January-April 1920–fights together with the Red Army against Poland (puppet-masters take another note).
The Ukrainian pendulum, having reached its final point, has started to move in the direction against NATO and EU. And the speed of that movement is only increasing.
J.Hawk’s Comment: As usual, my main problem with Yurasumy’s otherwise fine analysis is the “puppet-masters” part. It’s not all that simple. Not everyone in the West has the same idea as to how to build the relationship with Russia. It’s not even about differences among these countries, it’s also a matter of differences among political parties, and even among factions within major parties.
For example, it’s George H.W. Bush who made the commitment not to expand NATO, and Bill Clinton who broke it. It’s George W. Bush who did not escalate the 2008 conflict, and Barack Obama who did. So to say they are all pursuing the same strategy is a gross oversimplification. Of course, that’s a subject for a separate article.
But of the pendulum swinging there can be no doubt. It makes one wonder whether all this recent business of “freezing” the Donbass conflict, of restoring Yanukovych’s presidential title, of even firing Nalivaichenko, is all a reflection of that swing, with Poroshenko attempting to catch a ride on that pendulum rather than be clobbered by it.