Ukraine And The Maidan – One Year Later

by the Saker, via The News Doctors

Today is the first anniversary of the deal made between Yanukovich and the “opposition” and guaranteed by foreign ministers Radosław Sikorski of Poland, Laurent Fabius of France and Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany.  As we all know, the deal resulted in a withdrawal of the security forces from the Kiev city center immediately followed by an armed insurrection which overthrew the government.  Predictably, Poland, France and Germany did not object.  I won’t recount all of the events which happened since this infamous day, but I think that it is important to look at what has changed in a year.  I think that it also makes sense to compare what I had predicted might happen with what actually happened simply to see if a person if a person with no access to any classified data and who is using only “open sources” for his analysis could have predicted what happened or if this was all a huge and totally unpredictable surprise.

So let’s look at my predictions in a chronological order.

November 30th, 2013: in “The Gates of Hell are Opening for the Ukraine

The supposedly “pro-Russian” Eastern Ukrainians

They have no vision, no ideology, no identifiable future goal.  All they can offer is a message which, in essence, says “we have no other choice than sell out to the rich Russians rather than to the poor European” or “all we can get from the EU is words, the Russians are offering money”.  True.  But still extremely uninspiring, to say the least.

The future of Yanukovich 

I am beginning to fear that this will all explode into a real and very dangerous crisis for Russia.  First, I am assuming that the the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists will eventually prevail, and that Yanukovich will either fully complete his apparent “zag” and reverse his decision, or lose power.  One way or another the the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists will, I think, prevail.  There will be more joyful demonstrations, fireworks and celebrations in Kiev, along with lots of self-righteous back-slapping and high-fiving in Brussels, and then the gates of Hell will truly open for the Ukraine. 

The real risks for Russia

Being drawn into the inevitable chaos and violence with will flare up all over the Ukraine (including the Crimean Peninsula), stopping or, at least, safely managing a likely flow of refugees seeking physical and economic safety in Russia and protecting the Russian economy from the consequences of the collapse of Ukrainian economy.  Russia will have to do all that while keeping its hands off the developing crisis inside the Ukraine as it is absolutely certain that the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists will blame Russia for it all.  The best thing Russia could do in such a situation would be to leave the Ukrainians to their private slugfest and wait for one side or the other to prevail before trying to very carefully send out a few low-key political “feelers” to see if there is somebody across the border who has finally come to his/her senses and is capable and ready to seriously begin to rebuilt the Ukraine and its inevitable partnership with Russia and the rest of the Eurasian Union.  As long as that does not happen Russia should stay out, as much as is possible.

Sarajevo on the Dniepr

Right now, all the signs are that the Ukraine is going down the “Bosnian road” and that things are going to get really ugly.

It is hard to tell, but my sense is that when the local authorities in the southeastern Ukraine threaten not to accept any regime change in Kiev they probably do really mean it.  This very much reminds me of the repeated warnings of the Bosnian-Serbs that they would not accept to live in an Islamic state run by an rabid fanatic like Itzebegovich.  At the time, and just like today, nobody took these warnings seriously and we all know how that ended.  The big difference between Bosnia and the Ukraine is first and foremost one of dimensions: Bosnia has an area of 19,741 square miles and a population of 3,791,622 while the Ukraine has an area of 233,090 square miles and a population of 44,854,065.  That is a huge difference which make a direct foreign intervention a much more complicated endeavor. 

And Russia in all that?

I can only repeat that Russia should stay out of whatever happens in the Ukraine.  The Russian government should prepare for an influx of refugees and the Russian military should be placed on high alert to avoid any provocations or cross-border violence.  A special goal for Russia should be to use all the means possible to avoid any violence on the Crimean Peninsula because of the presence of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol which can find itself in the position of the 14th Army in Transdniestria when it simply had not other choice than to get involved due to the high number of officers with relatives living in the republic.  If, God forbid, the nationalist try to militarily take over the Crimean Peninsula or Sevastopol I don’t see how the Black Sea Fleet could stay uninvolved – that is simply impossible and this is why that situation needs to be avoided at all costs.

January 26th, 2014:  Yanukovich’s latest move might make a partition of the Ukraine unavoidable:

The partition of the Ukraine is inevitable

This has, of course, not been reported in the western Ziomedia, but the eastern Ukraine is now also bubbling with political actions.  To make a long story short, the folks in the southeastern Ukraine have no desire whatsoever to let folks like Iatseniuk, Klichko or Tiagnibok rule over them.  In fact, several local assembles – including the Parliament of Crimea – have adopted resolution calling on the President to restore law and order and warning that they would never accept a “regime change” in Kiev.

March 1st, 2014: Obama just made things much, much worse in the Ukraine – now Russia is ready for war 

Russia is ready for war

Something absolutely huge has just happened in Russia: the Russian Council of the Federation, the equivalent of the US Senate, has just UNANIMOUSLY passed a resolution allowing Putin to use Russian armed forces in the Ukraine, something the Duma had requested earlier.  Before the vote took place, Russian senators said that Obama had threatened Russia, insulted the Russian people and that they demanded that Putin recall the Russian ambassador to the USA.  I have never seen such a level of outrage and even rage in Russia as right now.   I hope and pray that Obama, and his advisers, stop and think carefully about their next step because make no mistake about that RUSSIA IS READY FOR WAR.

April 23rd, 2014: The US plan for the Ukraine – a hypothesis 

The US will try to force Russia to intervene in the Donbass

The eastern Ukraine is lost no matter what. So the junta in Kiev have to pick on of the following options:

a) Let the eastern Ukraine leave by means of referendum and do nothing about it.
b) Let the eastern Ukraine leave but only after some violence.
c) Let the eastern Ukraine leave following a Russian military intervention.

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