By Russell Bentley – November 1, 2021
RUSSIA’S RESPONSE – PEACEKEEPER OR LIBERATOR? “R2P” OR “HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION”?
Recent developments on both sides of the Donbass War illustrate the obvious – the war in Donbass will continue and escalate until Russia finishes it by force. There is no diplomatic solution, the Russians now (finally) accept this fact, and they must now prepare to defend the Donbass region which is inhabited by almost a million Russian citizens, and to liberate the part of Ukraine populated primarily by ethnic and Russian-speaking Russians. The US/EU/NATO and Ukraine have all been pretending since 2014 that ” Russia invaded Ukraine”. Of course, it never did. But now, it’s finally time to give them all a taste of what that will really be like. And so,…
The provocations by the Ukrainian military for almost 8 years now, but especially in recent weeks, amount to de facto war crimes – the kidnapping and torture of a Russian ceasefire monitor in Lugansk, an attack on, and “filtration” of, Staromaryevka, a settlement of 180 civilians in the de-militarized “Grey Zone”, which included the kidnapping of 8 more unarmed civilians (who were also Russian citizens) by neo-nazi terrorists, and the use of a Turkish Bayrakter attack drone against Donbass defense forces. All this in addition to the usual shelling of civilian areas and infrastructure, which are also war crimes, along with a hardening of war rhetoric by the Kiev regime. This has all been instigated and spurred on by the Biden regime, by the continuing supply of lethal weapons and a recent visit to Kiev by the US Secretary of War, Lloyd “Uncle Tomahawk” Austin.
Russia now understands and has publicly stated that there is no further use in direct talks with the Kiev regime, as it is under the complete control of Washington, and all decisions are made there. These public statements therefore correctly put the blame for the entire war and its every atrocity right where it belongs, at the feet of three successive US regimes. Thus proving what I have said since 2015 – that this war is not a Ukrainian civil war, nor is it a war between Russians and Ukrainians. It is a war by resurgent international neo-nazism, led by the USA against all decent human beings, a genuine war between good and evil that can only end with the complete defeat of one side or the other. The ignition points of this war have been Donbass and Syria for many years now, and have now expanded to include Taiwan as well.
Taiwan is the most recent, and so far, the least “kinetic” of these flash points, and US and Western provocations there have not (yet) reached the intensity they have in Donbass or Syria, but that can change very quickly, and understand, there is a direct connection between them all. If the West forces a military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine, it can be sure it will face one with China over Taiwan simultaneously, neither of which it has any chance of winning. The Russians and Chinese have forged a partnership against Western (primarily US) aggression in the political, economic and military spheres, which is, in fact, invincible to any Western aggression, other than all-out nuclear war.
In Syria, the Turks (a NATO member) have in recent days directly threatened Russian military installations and troops, and should they actually carry out attacks on Russians in Syria, Russia has made clear it will fire back. Turkish troops are now also on the ground in Ukraine, involved in combat operations against Donbass Defense Forces. This too, is a major and recent escalation. 
But it is in Donbass that the situation is the most incendiary. In response to recent Ukrainian provocations, war crimes and acts of terrorism, Russia is again sending a military task force to its border with Ukraine, as it did in the spring of this year, which stopped the planned US/Ukrainian offensive in its tracks. After the offensive was scrubbed and the situation de-escalated, the Russian troops withdrew from the border, but now are again forced to return. This time, indications are that the Russian formations are preparing to, at minimum, come into Donbass as Peacekeepers, and perhaps go as far as Kharkov and Odessa as Liberators. Maybe even to Kiev.
As the recent words of Putin, Lavrov, Medvedev and others have made clear to all competent and intelligent people, the Russians have now decided that the time for talking is over. There is an old saying about Russians that applies perfectly well to the current situation – “The Russians are slow to saddle their horses, but when they do, they ride very, very fast.” Those horses have now been saddled.
The Russians have a moral right and an existential imperative to take matters into their own hands at this point, and by doing so, they would not be doing anything the US and NATO have not done themselves on more than one occasion. Russia has not only the right to protect its citizens, it has the responsibility to do so, under international law –
The “R2P” or “Responsibility to Protect” concept is based on three “pillars” 
Pillar I – “Each individual state has the responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.
Pillar II – ” States pledge to assist each other in their protection responsibilities.”
Pillar III – ” If any state is “manifestly failing” in its protection responsibilities, then states should take collective action to protect the population”, in a “timely and decisive response”.
The UN Security Council has recognized and reaffirmed its commitment to the R2P in more than 80 resolutions. R2P does have the force of international law. And while one of the requirements of R2P is a UN Security Council resolution approving its implementation, (which will never happen in the case of Ukraine), there can be no doubt that Ukraine is, in fact, guilty of all the crimes that R2P was created to prevent. Namely, genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity, all of which have been, and continue to be, committed by the Kiev regime and its criminal military on a daily basis. Therefore, Ukraine, as a state, has proven itself “manifestly failing” in its protection responsibilities for Ukrainian citizens living in the Donbass Republics.
Does not Russia have the right under both R2P and Humanitarian Intervention to protect its own citizens as well as other innocent civilians being terrorized and massacred by the forces of the Kiev regime? Both the UK and Belgium (NATO HQ) have defended the legality of military force for humanitarian intervention, and while 77 UN member nations (plus China) have rejected the legality of humanitarian intervention, neither the USA nor a single EU member state is among them. While it is not actually international law, per se, it certainly seems to fall under what western regimes like to call “the precepts and norms” of (actual) international law. , 
That the actions of the Kiev regime, (controlled by the USA) the Ukrainian military and the neo-nazi volunteer battalions constitute war crimes is beyond any reasonable doubt, and these actions actually include virtually every single war crime listed under international law – from denial of water to almost 2.5 million civilians in Crimea, to the intentional targeting of civilians, journalists and medical personnel by artillery and snipers, as well as random terror attacks on civilian areas, to kidnapping, rape, torture and murder, the US-backed Kiev regime has committed literally every war crime in the book, and continues to do so after 7 years of war. The Russians have over 2,000 specific war crimes cases open against the Kiev regime and its minions, and more are being opened daily. Even the USA has opened war crimes investigations into at least seven US citizens who fought on the Kiev side in the war. These investigations into kidnapping, torture, rape and murder are based on eyewitness, video and forensic evidence, and would clearly not be happening unless there was irrefutable and compelling proof. In fact, it will be the first time the US has prosecuted anyone under the War Crimes Act since its passage into law in 1996, a quarter century ago. 
What else can you call the Ukrainian military’s massacre of at least 10,000 ethnic Russian civilians, besides “genocide”. What else can you call house to house searches of civilian homes by heavily armed ukrop soldiers wearing nazi insignia on their uniforms, searching for DPR and Russian passports and the kidnapping of those who have them, other than “ethnic cleansing”? And when you combine war crimes, genocide and ethnic cleansing together in an ongoing and systemic manner, what else can you call all of that, other than what it actually is – “crimes against humanity.” And more specifically, crimes against the almost 1 million residents of Donbass who now hold Russian passports and who are now, de facto and de jure, Russian citizens. And war crimes against a million Russian citizens require a harsh response. After all, we have been down this road before. And everyone on both sides of this conflict should never forget how it ended. Because history repeats itself. Our cause is just, victory will be ours. Again.
I was recently asked to read an essay by a self-styled “expert” who proposed a “no fly zone” and Russian “political recognition” of the Donbass Republics, as a way to fend off further Ukrainian aggression. Both these ideas are both truly laughable and absolutely useless. There has, in fact, been a “no fly zone” in effect in the airspace over the Donbass Republics since July 17th, 2014. On that day, after two Ukrainian Air Force jets shot down the civilian MH-17 jet liner, the Russian Air Force shot down both Ukrainian jets and delivered an ultimatum to Ukraine against any further use of military aircraft in the Donbass region. And that decree has been enforced to this day. (Which is exactly why there has not been a single manned airstrike by Ukraine ever since, and why the recent attack by the Bayraktir drone is such a serious provocation.) But the decree against the use of combat aircraft has not stopped Ukrainian terrorism and war crimes by every other method available, so the time has come for Russia to lay down the law and stop all Ukrainian attacks by force, just as they stopped the airstrikes. 
As for “political recognition” of the Republics, it takes a special kind of genius to come up with an absolute 100% “Lose/Lose” situation, but this would certainly qualify as one, which would guarantee further economic sanctions and political isolation against Russia, with exactly zero benefit to Russia or the Donbass Republics, none whatsoever, being absolutely useless in stopping Ukrainian military aggression against the people of Donbass.
As I write this, in late October 2021, all military units of the DPR are on full combat alert. Ukraine continues to reinforce its troops along the Front, and heated rhetoric continues to spew from Kiev. Provocations continue and escalate. Ukrop shellings intensify by the week. When my Mom was dying of cancer, I asked her nurse how much time we had. The nurse’s answer also applies to the upcoming war – “When the changes come over months, you have months left, when the changes come over weeks, you have weeks left. When the changes come over days…” It seems, in Ukraine, once again, the changes are coming over weeks, and increasing in frequency and intensity. “Early winter” is coming. Soon, we will have days left.
Meanwhile, news reports and videos have appeared of Russian armor, including “hundreds” of heavy combat vehicles, and 80,000 to 90,000 troops, moving towards the Ukrainian border from the Bryansk, Voronezh and Rostov military districts. , , 
This covers the entire Russia/Ukraine border. Bryansk is much closer to Kiev than it is to Donetsk, and the troops from that region are not coming to Donbass. However, it is a 4 hour (250 Km) drive along a main highway from the Russian border at Novy Yerkovich to Kiev, and Novy Yerkovich is where the Bryansk troops will be. (A Kaliber cruise missile can deliver 1,100 lbs of TNT over that distance in about 5 minutes.) The Voronezh Task Force will no doubt be set up along the border near Kharkov, a major city with a large Russian population, which lies a scant 30 Km from Russia’s border. The soldiers of the Rostov Southern District (the second most powerful Russian military district after only the Moscow District) will again be deployed along the Russian border with the LPR and DPR. Then, if provocations continue, (or even if they don’t) Russia has multiple options – real, possible, and actually effective strategic military options – here are three:
The first option, the Donbass Plan – The Russian Army can roll into Donbass as Peacekeepers, along the current contact line from North of Lugansk to Mariupol, after publicly announcing it to the world a few hours ahead of time, in order to warn the Ukrainian military against resistance, and to explain and justify its Humanitarian Intervention to the “international community”, and that they come in peace to stop the war crimes and the war, but that any military resistance from any source will be instantly eliminated, with the warning, “If you shoot at us, you die.” This ultimatum would be non-negotiable and backed up by Russia’s full military power, including air and missile forces, and applied not only to Ukrainian military units, but to US and NATO troops in Ukraine and US and NATO ships in the Black Sea, as well as anywhere else. It can and should also include a reminder of Putin’s previous quote that “Russia will respond to any attack by the destruction not only of the source of the attack, but also the source of the orders for the attack.”
This option would stop all terrorist attacks against Donbass, permanently and completely, and would hopefully give time for a diplomatic solution based on new political realities to be found. It would also not entail the taking of any territory under Ukraine control, only that which has long been alleged to already be under “Russian occupation”. Once it is seen that the Russians really are coming, and they really do mean business, it is unlikely that the Americans, NATO or the Ukrainians will fire a shot. This is the least confrontational and least risky approach, as it could be accomplished in a matter of 24 hours, with minimal bloodshed. This may seem to be a pragmatic solution, but it has the least chance of finding a political compromise or permanent solution, in either the short or long terms. And while it would stop war crimes and protect Russian citizens, it would fail to resolve the overriding geopolitical problems Russia faces in Ukraine – belligerent war criminals on Russia’s borders, the critical Crimean water security issue, foreign enemies in control of a neighboring state, etc. One advantage to this plan, however, is that could be used as a first phase of the Novorussia Plan.
The second option, the Novorussia Plan – the Russians can liberate the area known as Novorussia, about one third of current Ukraine, with majority ethnic Russian populations, running along a line from Kharkov to Odessa (inclusive). This not only protects the vast majority of ethnic Russians (not just those in Donbass) from Ukrainian depredations, it solves the critical humanitarian water crisis in Crimea, and cuts Ukraine completely off from the Black Sea, which will eviscerate all that is left of the Ukrainian economy and begin the process of the dismantling of Ukraine along ethnic lines, and eliminate it as a state and as a threat to Russia once and for all. It will also serve as an example to the world of the new political reality that Russia reserves the right to defend itself, unilaterally, if need be, and that the nation with the most powerful military in the world also has the political will to use it, if it has no other choice and if it is forced to defend itself. This scenario has the best hope of long term stability for the region, and even the possibility of a future re-integration of some parts of central Ukraine with Novorussia. Unfortunately, the vast majority of war criminals would probably escape to the west, at least for a while.
The third plan, the Kiev Plan, would be to go to Kiev, which may or may not involve engaging in a major war. Indeed, it is already clear that in the face of a real fight, the US and NATO would immediately desert Ukraine and leave them on their own. And even if Ukraine did not capitulate in the first few hours, any actual conflict would be finished in a few days, and the process of de-nazification and war crime trials could begin. The outcome of the open combat phase of the war would be along the lines of the First Iraq War, (with 80% – 90% of Ukrainian soldiers surrendering without firing a shot) but the subsequent “occupation” would actually be a real liberation. With the removal of neo-nazis and corrupt oligarchs from positions of power, and the improvement of life quality and life chances for a vast majority of the population, most Ukrainians (with the exception of the rabid fascists in Galicia, who can all go to hell or Poland) will see the Russian Army as their grandparents saw the Red Army, as heroes and liberators from foreign occupation. Which is exactly what they would be. This may be the least viable and least attractive of the three scenarios, but it is an option, and it would have the required effect of stopping the war crimes against Russian citizens and eliminating Ukraine as an existential threat right on Russia’s doorstep. It would also have the benefit of the capture a large percentage of war criminals (Ukrainian and otherwise) as well as documents and evidence that might be of great interest to history, Russia and the world. Which makes it an option worthy of serious consideration.
Of all three of these plans, the second, the Novorussia Plan has the most benefit at the least cost. Only going to the contact line in Donbass is not sufficient to resolve the festering Ukrainian problem, and going all the way to Kiev may well cost more than it is worth. The Novorussia Plan resolves all critical issues at an acceptable cost, and can be implemented, if need be, as a second phase of the Donbass Plan.
With the Voronezh troops coming in through (or around) Kharkov, Airborne and amphibious troops landing in (or around) Odessa, the Rostov Army coming up through Donbass, and the Crimean Army and Black Sea Fleet working along the coast, along with the Bryansk Army waiting in reserve and ready to take Kiev if required, the 700 Km Front, running from Kharkov to Odessa could be formed and held in a matter of days. Once Russian fuel and human aid start to flow to liberated Novorussia, grateful citizens will not only not oppose Russian “occupation”, they will support it as genuine liberation, and even be ready to defend it themselves from the cold and hungry Ukrainians who will be begging to be allowed to immigrate to Novorussia. Incorrigible nazis and war criminals will be rounded up, tried, and sentenced to work battalions in Donbass, to repair every single thing destroyed or damaged in the war, including the monument at Saur Mogila and all monuments to the Red Army Liberators in the newly liberated lands of Novorussia. The majority of Russian soldiers will quickly be free to return to Russia, and leave the administration and protection of the newly liberated lands to their inhabitants. A true “WIN/WIN” situation!
The key to all these plans is to prepare the troops, and then make a public announcement about the move into Ukraine by Russian Peacekeepers or Liberators to the UNSC and to the world, with just a few hours advance notice. To not ask for permission or a UNSC resolution, just simply inform that it will be done. And then, of course, to actually do it. A few hours is a long time in combat and war, but not enough time for Ukraine or NATO to make any moves that would change the strategic balance, or the inevitable outcome. And it should be clear that the EU will refuse to become involved in a war with Russia, in or over Ukraine. The US will (or should) know that a full scale war with Russia means a full scale war with China too, one that even the most deluded neocons can have no illusions about winning or even surviving. All that is needed is for Russia to have the political will to use its military power to defend itself against an existential threat on its own doorstep, and to defend its citizens against ongoing and increasing war crimes.
Whatever political fallout from a unilateral move by Russia can easily be dealt with. Anti-Russian propaganda is already at a fever pitch. Western politicians have been saying for years that Russia “invaded” Ukraine, and acting and sanctioning as if this was actually true. How will they act differently once it really is? Russia has insulated itself from the impact of further sanctions – Russia has the economic, energy and food resources, as well as enough allies to weather whatever political storm may follow. When the rulers of the EU have to choose between siding with a defeated Ukrainian regime and the declining US empire or energy from an ascendant Russia that will keep their economies alive and their people from literally freezing, if they do not choose the latter, their people, cold, broke and hungry, will certainly rise up and force them to, which will only further decrease the US’ political reputation and credibility. Of course, these political considerations will apply now or at any given time in the future, but there will never be a better time than now to take the decisive step that must be taken. Any delay will only postpone the inevitable at a greater cost of treasure, infrastructure and blood.
All diplomatic avenues are now closed. Closed by Ukrainian puppets and their US masters, and by their crimes. There is only the language of force now, as the final and only option, and Russia’s victory is a foregone conclusion. It is only left up to our adversaries to decide how painful their defeat will be. The war is inevitable, and so is our victory, so the sooner we get it over with, the better. Vladimir Putin has more than once recounted a lesson that he learned as a youth on the tough streets of Leningrad, a lesson that I hope he remembers today – “If the fight is inevitable, it is best to strike first.”
The fight IS inevitable, and the time to strike is now. The EU will be paralyzed by fuel shortages this winter, and Russia is their only resource to avoid a genuine humanitarian crisis. They will not, they can not, take sides in a conflict against Russia this winter. The USA may have enough fuel for itself, but they face a food and supply crisis of epic proportions, and will need the bulk of their military to deal with their own domestic uprisings at home. But with each passing week, the Ukrainian war criminals are becoming better armed, better trained, and more emboldened. The longer the delay, the harder and more dangerous it will be to do what must be done.
The liberation of Ukraine by Russia will mean the opening of fuel supplies and pipelines, (under Russian control, of course) and humanitarian food aid for hungry Ukrainians who will literally freeze and starve without it. A quick decapitation fait accompli will prevent needless destruction, suffering and loss of life on all sides, but especially for the Ukrainian people. The Europeans will not fight, they cannot afford it. The Americans will not fight, they cannot risk it, and they never intended to anyway. For the Ukrainians, a Russian “occupation”, which in reality will be a liberation, is the best deal they could possibly hope for.
For all decent humans, the use of force is an abhorrent task, but when there are no other options, it simply must be done. Ukraine will remain a deadly enemy of the Russian Federation and the Russian People for as long as it is under US/NATO occupation and control. The threat will remain and only continue to increase, until it is neutralized, and there is now only one way left to do that. There is no dealing with those who are “agreement incapable”, their words are meaningless and their promises are lies. There is no negotiating with terrorists, and Ukraine is a terrorist state. It should be dealt with as such, and dealt with now, for the good of Russia, and for the good of the good people of Donbass and Novorussia, and the good people of Ukraine, and for the good of all Humanity.