While the official media supports the views of Washington, Ukraine this week shocked by the outbreak of violence
The somewhat odd-smelling “strange war” in Ukraine — the alarming calm that has developed in these parts a month ago — has undoubtedly ended. Suddenly began moving on several fronts, and some of them inspire hope. But in all of this there is a certain danger, mainly due to the fact that the position of Washington, which made a bet on the Kiev post-satellite government, was initially unsuccessful, may soon turn into events so terrible and ugly that their consequences look - now it is impossible to foresee.
I have in mind the very real possibility (starting on Monday) of a coup d'etat, planned and carried out by eager right-wing ultra-righteous forces - those neo-Nazis who were embellished and retouched in releases News, even though they are now outraging in the Ukrainian capital with almost impunity. “Now the ultra-right will not take serious action against the Poroshenko government,” one Ukrainian emigrant told me by telephone on Tuesday. “I think we will witness this kind of action in a couple of months.”
Sounds comforting, right?
In essence, we are now witnessing a contest between those who are trying to move forward in the implementation of the agreement reached through negotiations (and the prospects for this again seem very real) and the collapse of the Kiev authorities due to the fact that the European powers are now forcing them to accept this settlement. . Guess who will win in this match.
Before I continue, one thing should immediately be noted connected with this new stage of the crisis in Ukraine. The version of events that has been offered over the past year and a half by the Western media - and without exception, the corporate American media - is crumbling literally before our eyes. Therefore, to understand the essence of the events in the presentation of our newspapers and broadcasters will now be much more difficult than before.
We are already seeing that distorted account of events that our media always resort to when they want to cover their tracks after long activities related to lies and corruption. Usually the most serious violations occur in a government-controlled publication, The New York Times.
Here is an example: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is now in conflict with the “Ukrainian nationalists” in connection with plans to decentralize power because Vladimir Putin forced him to do this, “putting a symbolic pistol to his head”. This is what we read in the newspaper, published on Tuesday. This is where we should warn the faint of heart, because for this message, which was written, carefully choosing words, I have a strong expression of two words.
Frank lie. Now we mean not a lie by mistake. It's about real lies.
First, they are not “nationalists.” Nationalists are the French “National Front”. Nationalists are the United Kingdom Independence Party. Nationalists are the majority on Capitol Hill. Here - “ultras” - black-shirts, who vote with the help of explosives and deadly bullets. You deserve to know about it, and nothing will change here only because Washington indirectly supports them, and John McCain (John McCain) - you can ask him yourself - posing with a smile in front of the press in the company of Oleg Tyagnibok - their frankly fascist leader.
Secondly, the passage about the “gun attached to the head,” is generally a complete fiction. And Putin’s opinion that federalization is a rational solution to the crisis in Ukraine is (1) a rational way to unite the country and at the same time take into account all the differences and differences in it, and besides (2) this opinion is strongly supported by the authorities of France and Germany . German Chancellor Merkel (Angela Merkel), without any pistol to her head, made it clear on Tuesday, when she insisted that the law on autonomy, which is now under consideration in Kiev, should suit the leadership of the rebel territories in eastern Ukraine. You deserve to know about it too.
The chronology is the most important thing if we want to understand the essence of the events that have occurred over the past week. But you did not see this chronology, since, according to the authorities and the media, now is the wrong time for you to understand these events. A brief and not quite accurate chronological sequence of events, which so far will be sufficient, is as follows:
- The leaders of Germany and France Angela Merkel and François Hollande invited Poroshenko to Berlin last week and forced him to be present when they resolutely reiterated their desire to adhere to the terms of the agreement based on the agreement signed in Minsk in February . “We are here just to discuss how to implement the Minsk agreements, and not to question them,” Merkel said with her usual straightforwardness.
- At the end of last week, when Poroshenko returned to Kiev, Germany, France and Russia - the parties that, along with Ukraine, signed the Minsk agreements - said that the new truce would enter into force on Tuesday 1 of September. At the time of this writing, the first barely noticeable signs appeared that the chances of observing this truce were greater than ever, given that previous attempts had been in vain.
- On Monday, the Kremlin announced that the participants in the Minsk talks would meet in the Normandy format until mid-September. This means that the four foreign ministers will probably come together for telephone talks (as they did for the first time last year, staying in northern France on the occasion of the anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy). From here two conclusions follow: first, it is a question of a working meeting which will be devoted to the coordination of terms and conditions. Secondly, Paris, Berlin and Moscow want to achieve concrete progress in the settlement within two weeks. In other words, time has gone.
“The same Monday, the Verkhovna Rada, the legislative body of Ukraine, held a preliminary vote on constitutional amendments, which should provide the eastern regions with more autonomy. Despite the fact that these amendments are the main point of the Minsk agreements, Poroshenko’s government for the seven months that have passed since the Minsk-2 protocol was signed, did nothing to fulfill this condition.
- And finally, in anticipation of the results of the vote, ultra-right protesters gathered outside the Verkhovna Rada building. As soon as the draft was adopted - with a small margin of votes - the protest action turned into riots and violence with the use of explosives, checkers and grenades. Three policemen were killed, and more than 100 people were injured. The instigator of the riots was the same party, which last year contributed to the fact that the demonstrations turned into a coup d'état. We are talking about the Svoboda party, the leader of which is Oleg Tyagnibok and who hates Russians, Jews, and extols those who collaborated with the Nazis during the war. Poroshenko called organized "Freedom" riots "stab in the back." As you know, until recently, the deputy prime minister in his government and the prosecutor general were members of Freedom. And he is not a stranger to these people.
That was the past week. How should these events be regarded? What do they mean to us?
* * *
In the extremely dynamic situation that has now developed in Ukraine and around it, I see several important factors - the gears that ensure the movement of the entire political mechanism. And in some cases they are intricately interconnected.
To begin, consider the position of Europe. The Germans and the French simply accelerated the pace of their joint diplomatic efforts. Why and why right now? It should be noted that Paris and Berlin preferred to work under the Minsk Protocol-2 with the Russians, not allowing the Americans to participate in the negotiations (they in fact were defiantly not allowed to participate in the Minsk-2 negotiations, when the hawks from Capitol Hill and Pentagon probed the ground in order to arm Kiev).
Apparently, there are two problems that cause concern in these two European capitals. First, Washington retreated, but did not completely abandon attempts to impose a military solution to Ukraine on Ukraine. Remember: judging by the events that took place this summer, the Pentagon, in fact, effectively manages the armed forces of Ukraine. Notice that Joe Biden, the main expert in the White House and the “traffic controller” in matters of war, had little to say to the French and the Germans last week. But he called Poroshenko in Kiev to support the wayward president in his fight against rebel forces in the eastern regions of the country (by the way, the idea of nominating Biden for the presidency is terrible).
The second and more urgent problem is that the Europeans are well aware that Poroshenko’s government is extremely unstable, and in fact even shaky. According to public opinion polls, his support level dropped significantly to single digits. Even before the street riots that took place this week, virtually everyone in Berlin saw the threat of a coup d'état coming from the fascist Ultras from Freedom and the Right Sector — a relatively recent follower of the ideas of the Social-National Party, as it usually called itself " Freedom".
Remember the series of murders committed in Kiev in April? One of the victims was the journalist-historian Oles Buzin, who opposed the complete breakdown of relations with Russia for many reasons. It seems that many Ukrainians respected the elder because some of them hung a memorial sign on his house. Last week, members of the "Right Sector" took it off, and in its place hung another - in memory of the journalist's murderers. “In the middle of the day. And the police are not visible, ”the Moscow news portal Russia Insider, founded by a citizen of a western country, reported.
A few days later, Freedom and the Right Sector organized mass riots near the Rada building. In both cases, some people were arrested, but we are waiting for actions that look more like punishment.
I called Lev Golinkin, a young Ukrainian writer from the eastern city of Kharkiv (the emigrant, whose words I quoted at the beginning of the article) to ask him about it. Here is some of what he told me during our long telephone conversation on Tuesday:
“The far right has not enough support to get at least some number of seats in parliament. But they do not need support. They need unrest and instability. They only need people to see that Poroshenko’s government is as corrupt and ineffective as the one in which they came. And this is actually the case.
Svoboda considers Poroshenko a traitor that allows Europeans to deceive Ukraine. They are not interested in equality or the decentralization of power in the country, nor the world with Russia. There is no room for compromise in their political program .... The war is advantageous for Poroshenko, because it distracts the far right. They are supporters of the war. But otherwise, they have nothing in common with this president. ”
“Lev, why do you think that the campaign against the government will most likely begin in a couple of months?” I asked. To which Golinkin replied:
"It historical reality. If they begin to act, they will not stop until they collapse completely or until they seize power. After World War I, they were brutally oppressed by Poland. After World War II, they were brutally suppressed by the Soviet Union. And now there is no one to oppress them .... It is possible that the army will not side with Poroshenko. Now I am most interested in whether the army will fight against the ultra-right.
“Just now Poroshenko is torn like a squirrel. In Kiev, he states that “There are no plans for decentralization. There will be no special status for the east. " And then he, along with Merkel and Hollande, is developing plans for decentralization and granting special status to the east. ”
Let me explain it this way: if I reason about this actual chaos, sitting in a village with a population of 1,6, thousands of people among the hills of New England, then they talk about the same thing, sitting in Berlin and Paris. It seems that Merkel and Hollande are to some extent - and perhaps to a large extent - guided by the thought that they need to act now to take advantage of their last and most favorable opportunity to resolve the conflict in Ukraine through negotiations.
* * *
The other day I received a note from a reader (a person known and having great connections), who recorded the reasoning of an American colonel who now serves in Germany. (I will not give names - neither my reader, nor the officer whose words I am going to quote). The colonel wrote about the “change in behavior towards cooperation,” which he noticed among the Americans. He meant that Washington is gradually moving away from the tactics of unilateral actions and persistent statements about the superiority of the United States all over the world - at sea and on land.
I also see signs of this in the actions of the Obama administration, but these are only signs, and they are barely noticeable. All this is rarely manifested - here and there - and the pattern is not yet visible. In my opinion, such a change in behavior partly reflects a new understanding of the role of America, but mostly it occurs due to circumstances. It is this force of circumstances that the colonel sees, working in Europe, when he speaks of "the almost complete collapse of the latest" regime change "organized in Ukraine."
This note brought me to the idea (and the events of the last few days have confirmed this idea) that it is not too late to assess the unsuccessful US policy in Ukraine. This failure is indeed “almost complete”, and right now it has almost completely manifested itself. In this regard, there is nothing surprising: as they constantly assert here, this collapse was almost inevitable from the very beginning of the Ukrainian adventure in the first post-Soviet years - and certainly after the coup d'état organized by Washington in Kiev last year.
It seems that I am not so alone in my opinion as it was a few months ago. “It is better to achieve the most favorable contractual terms,” says the author of an article about Ukraine, published in The National Interest, “than to prepare ourselves and set NATO on a serious defeat.”
So argues a specialist in matters of "real" foreign policy. This is a signal indicating a tactical retreat in the face of defeat. I would say more - this failure was not only inevitable from the very beginning, for the Americans this is the best way out of the situation.
This can be explained in different ways. First, these are practical considerations. Poroshenko’s haunting and muddled government is simply too weak to create a reliable satellite state — even if you think it’s good to have a dependent regime on the border with Russia. This government has long squandered its political capital. It loses support in the Verkhovna Rada. The IMF has just settled all the formalities necessary for the provision of urgent financial assistance, but with this he took responsibility for the economy, which has practically ceased to exist.
New data on the number of victims in the conflict zone, constantly changing in the media, “are approaching the 7 thousands mark”. Very sad. But as honorary connoisseur of Russia Stephen Cohen noted a long time ago, this is just the number of corpses counted in morgues. According to German intelligence, the death toll is 50 thousand, or even more, and this was about six months ago.
And now the most real threat of mass demonstrations by ultra-right forces has arisen that no one can hold back or stop. Even if Petro Poroshenko and will be able to maintain balance, this problem will haunt him constantly. At the same time, imagine how much damage will be inflicted on transatlantic relations, already damaged by the crisis in Ukraine, if a neo-fascist regime comes to power. And after all the efforts that Washington has made over the years with 20 (trying to wrest Ukraine from its past and transplant it to a new soil, by adding a new western flower garden with this new copy).
These are practical reasons for which Washington simply does not want to get involved in this mess anymore. Perhaps the one who “realistically” assesses such issues will agree with this. So let us wait, dear reader: all the blame will now have to be blamed on Russia, which is always and in everything wrong, and which puts guns to people's heads. It will take a long and long time to lie.
But there is another reason why the failure of Washington in Ukraine should be welcomed. And I consider this reason to be more weighty and valuable.
Good people in Washington and in other parts of the country can lead any sublime and highly moral reasoning, but no one will change the foreign policy of all these politicians completely and in the way that should be changed if we want to avoid some upheavals and tragedies in the 21st century. It is quite obvious that it is important to wage intellectual wars, but we also need defeats. To achieve our goals, we need more and more new losses and failures. In other words, our success lies in defeats and failures.
And it's not just about countering such eternal interests as the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, intelligence or security services. I also came to the conclusion that before we again want to determine our place in the world, the self-consciousness of Americans must experience a certain kind of insult. It seems to me that the colonel was thinking about it: we suffered “almost complete collapse” in Ukraine and thanks to this we can learn to think in a new way.
And in this matter, I immediately see two errors. The first of these is the neoliberal approach. It is actually based on the ideology of the free market proposed by the School of Chicago, econometrics, the theory of rational choice, and is also associated with a sharp turn towards mathematics and computer modeling, which was noted in the postwar years in the social sciences. This deprives us of discussions about history, culture, traditions and human preferences, which we can apply to Ukraine and then expect to win.
Excluded. This is the irrationality of hyper rationality. This is a sure way to fail. Let the failures accumulate.
The second misconception is, of course, the pursuit of American exclusivity, and it is closely related to neoliberal thinking. I don’t really believe that we, the Americans, will give up our claims to the righteousness that has been sent to us from above - this ideological figure that hides our eternal desire for markets - unless, after the world has repeatedly repeated, that we keep this benefactor with me. It is only necessary to reset this mythical mask - and we, the Americans, will be able to quite normally discuss the question of whether we want to destabilize countries such as Ukraine for the sake of corporations like Chevron.
The only weak point of this statement, as far as I understand, is excessive optimism - yes, yes, this is not a mistake, you understood correctly. Perhaps I overestimate the ability of a country to learn from its mistakes. It is not excluded that I ascribe to our people much more exalted aspirations than what our politicians are capable of. And in a rapidly changing political environment, I see the possibility that they will rise - to the level at which they may have been before 50 years ago, the three political assassinations that changed everything.
Wait and see. Let's see what will lead our failure in Ukraine. In the meantime, I have two wishes.
First, this terrible belief in one’s superiority that emerged in the 1990s — in the opinion of others, vile and indecent — ultimately leads us straight to hell. I think it's disgusting.
Second: the tremendously ugly work of our media - and not only the state-controlled New York Times - can be the turning point after which alternative media will appear. They understood and reflected the events in Ukraine properly, highlighting them much brighter and more accurate than those news editions that have much more opportunities. With this in mind, they should not be considered an alternative to something. I would like to think that this is only a new growth at the roots of an old tree.