by Saker, November 30, 2018, via the Unz Review
Petro Poroshenko is in deep trouble. His ratings have been in the single-digit range in spite of a vast propaganda effort, and his latest attempt to create a salvific crisis involving the usual “Russian aggression” has not only failed but appears to be backfiring.
It is now becoming abundantly clear that the Ukronazi provocation was not only breathtakingly stupid and irresponsible, but also breathtakingly poorly planned and executed. The documents seized by the FSB on the Ukrainian ships show that the Ukrainian captains were given the order to “covertly” sneak under the Kerch bridge. I have no idea what the Ukronazi junta leaders were thinking, maybe they were drunk or terrified to tell Poroshenko that this was a suicidal mission (most likely he was too drunk to care anyway), but the fact that they could even imagine that three old boats could somehow sneak around the Crimean Peninsula and then covertly pass under the Kerch bridge is just amazing (as is the fact that the crews failed to destroy this damning evidence!). One of the most heavily monitored sections of our planet, right next to a war zone, which has been the object of innumerable threats, and yet they thought that they could somehow avoid being detected and intercepted. Wow, just wow!
As for the crews of these three tiny ships, they all owe their lives to the FSB Coastguard officers who could have merely blown all three ships away in seconds, but who clearly did their utmost to avoid killing any of the Ukrainians. Only after many hours of absolutely ridiculous slow speed maneuvering (if you speak Russian, you can listen to the entire radio exchange between the two sides right here), did the Russians eventually fire a few shots and ram the Ukrainian tug. Frankly, these Coastguard officers deserve some kind of humanitarian award.
[Sidebar: (Soviet and now) Russian Border Guards should in no case be assumed to be some kind of Russian version of the sort of border guards you see in the West. The truth is that the Russian border guards are an elite force whose level of training can be compared with the famous Airborne Forces. Their role is not only to check visas and look for contraband, but also to be a real fighting force which, in case of war, would be tasked with resisting the enemy until the regular armed forces take over. They are subordinated to the FSB (in the past to the KGB) because they do conduct intelligence operations and because they are a key element in the Russian counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency capabilities. This is why such elite special forces as the KGB Vympel Spetsnaz unit so often recruited border guards. A good friend of mine who used to be a Vympel commander with the rank of Colonel told me how in Afghanistan they recruited as many border guards as paratroopers because in his opinion “they were at least as tough and disciplined” as the airborne soldiers. The Russian border guards are also equipped with modern and powerful weapons and can conduct sub-unit level combat operations. The Ukrainian officers must have known this, and thus must have realized that regardless of the number of weapons they had onboard (quite a lot, actually, see here), they had no chance whatsoever to prevail. Besides, the Ukrainian ships are tiny and old while the Russian border guards could count on Black Sea Fleet and Aerospace and Ground Forces support – hence the Ka-52s and Su-25’s scrambled to meet the Ukrainian reinforcements coming from Odessa. Frankly, I don’t think that even a full US Marine Expeditionary Unit could cross the Kerch Strait, let alone the Ukrainians 🙂 the geography just favors the defending side too much]
There is a broad consensus in both Russia and the Ukraine that the primary goal of Poroshenko was to create a pretext to introduce martial law and cancel the elections. Once introduced, such a martial law can easily be prolonged for as long as needed; see what the French did. He planned to introduce martial law over the entire Nazi-occupied Ukraine, and then prolong it for as long as needed; enough to cancel the elections and then harshly deal with any protests. The plan completely failed.
First, all the opposition parties immediately understood what this was all about, and they all vehemently protested. When the text came to a vote in the Rada, it was massively watered-down and, as a result, the martial law will only be introduced for one month and only in the following regions of the Ukraine:
Martial law areas marked in red (Note: this is a *Ukie* map, *they* put Crimea in blue, not me!)
This is bad, very bad news for Petro.
First, these areas are where the regime suspects the locals of pro-Russian sympathies (they are right, by the way). But the risk for Petro does not come at all from the pro-Russian folks; the real danger for him comes from the various nationalist legal opposition movements who have their power base in the blue areas which will not be covered by this law.
Second, since the law was introduced for only one month and since it includes an obligation not to cancel the upcoming elections, it will be hard for Petro to crack down on the propaganda capabilities of his opponents (lead by Yulia Timoshenko).
Third, Petro probably hoped that the Russians would simply use a few missiles or blow the Ukrainian three ship armada into smithereens. Alas, the evil Moskals did nothing of the sort, and they captured all three vessels and their crews. So as panic-generating incidents go, this one was a terrible flop. In fact, the Russians are now using these ships and crews for their own propaganda, which ridicules Petro and (correctly) states that the regime in Kiev sent these sailors to certain death in total, abject indifference. None of that will increase Poroshenko’s ratings…
Fourth, it appears that Poroshenko is really going “full-Saakashvili” and might even become the Empire’s worst Uber-loser which, by the way, can get him into real trouble with his bosses in Washington and Langley (who ditched Saakashvili when he proved to be a worthless loser). Frankly, the Empire would be much better off with Timoshenko in charge rather than this Yeltsin-like alcoholic imbecile.
So the big question #1 is: is there a viable alternative to Poroshenko for the Empire?
To answer that, we first need to answer another basic question: is there a public, official, opposition in Nazi-controlled Ukraine or not?
The answer is: both yes and no.
Latest EuroUkros rating according to a Ukrainian source
First, no, not in the sense of some more or less decent, real, opposition.
But yes, in the sense that the junta which seized power [in 2014] is composed of many different factions, including oligarch/mobsters à la Kolomoskii, neo-Nazis à la Farion, bona fide Nazis à la Tiagnibok and assorted nutcases like Liashko. There is also Yulia Timoshenko, a very sharp and therefore potentially dangerous foe who has powerful backers in the USA.
Take a look at these latest ratings, and you will see that in spite of a huge “administrative resource” (Russian euphemism for abuse of government power), Petro barely makes it to 9.9% which means that his real rating must be somewhere in the 3-5% range.
And, remember, time is running out. On December 27th the martial law will be lifted (barring yet another Ukro-provocation to prove to the world that Russia has attacked the Ukraine yet again). Well, that is the official plan. In reality, it will most likely be prolonged with some more excuses about the mythical “Russian aggression”.
Also, consider this: if Poroshenko gets the boot, so will his criminally psychopathic thugs like Parubiy, the “bloody pastor” and war criminal Turchinov and the rest of the gang. Klimkin, since he appears to be in the CIA’s payroll, might make it out in time, but for the rest of them the risk is real and ranges from long jail sentences to being shot. Don’t expect Yulia Timoshenko to show any mercy either.
True, while these folks all hate each other, they all feed from the same two mangers: rabid Russophobia and total dependence on the Empire. And while they are united in their hatred for everything Russian, they hate each other just only a tiny little bit less (some probably even more). Think of how the SS butchered the SA, how the Stalinists purged the Party from Trotskyists or how the Democrats are trying to overthrow Trump by hook or by crook, and you will see how the factions inside the same gang always struggle for power and gun for each other.
Finally, there are many signs that at least Trump himself does not care very much about the Ukraine, albeit there are enough rabid Russophobes amongst his puppeteers to compensate for Trump’s lack of interest and alleged dislike for Poroshenko. From Poroshenko’s point of view, the Americans either don’t care enough or have simply lost control of the situation, a time-honored US tradition with their “sons of bitches” like Saddam, Noriega and many, many others.
By the way, various Ukrainian sources also report that both Merkel and Stoltenberg told Poroshenko that the election cannot be cancelled. Considering that Poroshenko is almost sure to lose these elections, this might indicate that Germany and NATO are ditching Petro.
Add to this that Timoshenko would be a much better agent for the Empire, and you can see why the regime is freaking out.
So the bottom line is this: no, by the standards of a normal civilized country, there is no real opposition in the Ukraine (except the powerless, destitute and terrified population of course). But, far more importantly, by the standards of Petro Poroshenko, there is a real and very dangerous opposition indeed; one which will most definitely oust him in any semi-credible elections.
The Nazi-occupied Ukraine is rapidly coming to a watershed moment. Unless the elections are stolen and the opposition crushed, the current gang in power will be ousted. If the Ukraine attacks the Donbass, this will end up with a military disaster, either at the hands of the Novorussians, or at the hands of the Russian military. If the Ukraine attacks Russia directly, or Russian forces in the Black Sea, then the Ukrainian military will simply vanish in 24-48 hours max. But in spite of that, Poroshenko desperately needs a victory lest his status as “Saakashvili-like Uber-loser” is publicly confirmed for all to see and for the Ukrainian opposition to blame it all on his incompetence and corruption (which is his real specialty: this is also why, since he came to power, the Ukraine has become a failed state while his personal net worth has increased many times over).
Finally, the fact that Poroshenko is a sinking ship means that, far from taking any risks on his behalf, Ukrainian politicians and military commanders must ask themselves every time they take a decision who will protect them if things go south. In fact, I bet you that there are a lot of discrete contacts between various high ranking Ukrainian officials and Yulia Timoshenko, something which the SBU probably reports to Poroshenko (or, worse, not!) and which further creates a sense of panic in him and his minions. This sense of panic might explain why, in the official journal the text of the new law mistakenly had 60, and not 30, days.
Putin is quite correct when he says that “Kiev would get away even with eating babies“: the collective hypocrisy of the West is truly limitless. That, however, does not mean that Poroshenko personally could get away with anything and everything. While the Empire’s leaders have to pretend to back the Ukraine no matter what, even against basic common sense, they are probably getting mighty fed up to have to scream “white!” every time Poroshenko does something black. Still, until the Empire puts somebody else in power, Poroshenko will remain “their son of a bitch in Kiev”. And Poroshenko knows that, which begs the next big question:
Big question #2: could Poroshenko really start a large scale war?
“Eating babies” is all fine and dandy, but a full-scale war with either Novorussia or Russia is a very different and far more dangerous proposition. The Empire might not care about Ukrainian babies, but it will most definitely care about a big war in the Ukraine. So, let’s not just look at what the Ukronazis are saying but also looking at what they are doing:
- There is martial law in all the Ukronazi occupied areas of Novorussia.
- All the Novorussian cities are now surrounded by military checkpoints.
- 300 hospitals have been ordered to prepare for a massive influx of casualties by stocking up on blood, beds and meds.
- The Ukrainian first-line reserves have now been mobilized, as have the Nazi death-squads (aka “volunteer battalions”).
- Petro is now claiming that the Russians have tripled their forces along the Ukrainian border: “the number of tanks in the bases, which are located along our border, has tripled. The number of units relocated has increased dramatically covering the entire length of our border”; in plain English that means that the Ukronazis are probably doing exactly that – surging their numbers along the line of contact.
- Petro also said that his intelligence agencies “have clear evidence that an attack on Ukrainian ships is just the beginning“; in plain English this means that the Ukronazis are probably doing exactly that – preparing further attacks.
- The border with Crimea has been closed to all non-Ukrainians.
- The Ukrainians are now asking Turkey to close the Bosporus strait (which won’t happen for two reasons: the 1936 Montreux Convention forbids this and, besides, that would be a suicidal act of war for Turkey).
- The Ukrainian war-propaganda induced hysteria has reached new levels: they are now showing how kids from an orphanage (!) in Mariupol are digging trenches to help the Ukrainian army for the upcoming “Russian invasion”. See for yourself this Ukrainian the report:
The art of surprise attack is one of the most fascinating aspects of warfare (those interested in this topic should read Richard Bett’s superb study “Surprise Attack: Lessons for Defense Planning“). One of its well established strategies is to pretend to go to war and then back down at the last moment over and over again: this wears down the opponent and lures him into complacency until one day you actually strike. Think of it as a variation on the “crying wolf” strategy, if you like: one in which the wolf does the crying. The Ukrainians have been doing that for years now (how many times have we all heard that a Ukrainian attack was “imminent”?). The problem here is that this time around the war preparations are larger (and far more costly). However, you can be certain that the Russians have also been on full alert for years and that they now permanently have more than enough forces available to deal with any Ukie attack, ranging from cross-border small arms fire to a full scale war.
So we can all hope that, once again, the Ukronazis are playing their “crying wolf” strategy only to back down at the last second. But hope should always remain separate from expectations and to make the assumption that this time around they won’t actually attack would be extremely foolish.
There are those who say that Poroshenko is not dumb enough to start a war against Russia. My question to them would be: do you really think that Poroshenko is smarter than, say, the various Latin Popes, Napoleon or Hitler? To me, he looks about as stupid and clueless (not to mention evil and absolutely immoral) as Saakashvili. Now just remember what happened in 08.08.08.
First the Popes tried, then Napoleon, then Hitler and now these two geniuses…
You might wonder whether the USA would be interested in a major war in the Ukraine. I have been saying for years now that the Neocon wet dream is to force Russia to openly intervene and, that in order to achieve this result, all the Ukronazis need to do is to seriously threaten the DNR and LNR. Will the Novorussians be strong enough to beat back a Ukronazi attack without overt Russian intervention? Maybe. Probably. But that is also not an assumption which we can make because the Novorussians have no strategic depth, which places them in the very vulnerable position to have to stop the attackers without trading space for time. In plain English, that means that the Novorussians have to be more or less on constant alert and that their forces must be forward deployed, which is very hard to sustain over time and simply dangerous, especially against an enemy with numerically much larger forces.
Crucially, the Neocons have nothing to lose if their plan fails and the Novorussians succeed in, once again, stopping the Ukronazi forces without a Russian intervention (it’s not like the Neocons care about Ukrainian or Novorussian lives since they don’t even care about the lives of US citizens).
It might well be that Trump is personally not interested in such a war. But, let’s face it, Trump is the worst overcooked noodle to sit in the White House (he makes Carter look like a roaring lion!). Just hours after he declared that it was “a very good time to have the meeting” with Putin he then “changed his mind” and now has canceled the meeting. Trump is all about narcissistic hot air, but he never delivers anything and he has bowed down to his Neocon masters on everything since he made it into the White House. The sad truth is that Trump has become simply irrelevant, at least to the Russians (and to those who might still believe that Trump is playing some 4D chess, I would say that systematically caving in to all the demands of the Neocons (and thereby making them increasingly more influential) is hardly a chess strategy, not even a 2D one).
[Sidebar: Trumps latest zig-zags about meeting with Putin is yet another example of the glaring ignorance the current US leaders suffer from. They simply have no idea what the function and purpose of diplomacy is. Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, was absolutely correct when he tweeted today that “Meeting a US President is not a reward for a RUS leader. Canceling a mtg is no punishment. It is all a matter of necessity. RUS-US relationship today is solely about preventing the confrontation from turning into a collision, and escalating to war. This is all“. But the Americans are simply too illiterate to understand that. Besides, the Russians have long given up on any notion of being able to get anything done with this Neocon-doormat President. He wants to meet? Sure. He don’t. Who cares? This is the sorry state to which a nuclear superpower has slouched.]
Ditto for his moronic VP who tried to scare Putin by “staring him down” with his rendition of what he hopes was a “steel glare” in Singapore. Putin just kept smiling, of course.
I am sure that Putin was terrified
The frightening reality is that the Neocons are the most rabid Russophobes on the planet and that the clowns in the White House will do whatever the US deep state tells them to do. Don’t count on them for decency or even minimal common sense.
Furthermore, as I have already said many times, Trump is an “expendable President” for the Neocons: should anything he does end in disaster, they will blame it all on him, and put their own trusted person in power to replace him.
For all these reasons, the answer to our question is obvious: yes, Poroshenko most definitely is capable of ordering some kind of a crazy attack, including a full scale war.
But “could” does not mean “will”, thank God! Maybe, just like this past summer, the junta will get cold feet and back down (Putin’s threat that any attack will have most serious consequences for the Ukrainian statehood is still very much valid). In theory, the spineless Europeans (who will suffer the economic and social consequences of any major conflict) might also tell the crazies in Kiev to cool it. But I am not holding my breath here.
So let’s hope for the best, but keep in mind that the worst is a very real possibility.
Right now the situation is extremely dangerous and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Philosophers say that love is the greatest force in the universe, and I very much agree with that. But the next two most powerful forces are evil and stupidity, and there is plenty of both in Kiev and Washington DC. The incident with the “covert operation” of the “Ukrainian armada” might look funny until you recall all the wars which were stared over other such equally minor incidents. This time around, the superb restraint of the Russian border guards prevented Kiev from getting the bloody clash it was obviously hoping for, but ask any policeman and he will tell you that it is almost impossible to prevent what is known as “suicide by cop”. The Empire badly needs the Russian cop to (finally!) shoot, and so does the Ukronazi junta (all this propaganda, including from Russian pseudo-patriots, about Putin being weak or indecisive or even in cahoots with the Empire is a direct PSYOP product of that imperial agenda, whether those who parrot that nonsense realize it or not).
At this point in time, there is no way to predict whether the Ukronazi junta will attack for real or not.