What is Really Happening in Ukraine? Part 3: Ukraine’s Future
“Every country deserves its government” is a quote attributed to Frederich Nietzsche. How true it is looking at today’s Ukraine.
And here is another thought: “A lot of what is currently happening is not a part of the initial script intended for Ukraine. When you play with fire, be prepared for it to get out of control.” Lada Ray
This is part 3 of my “What’s Really Happening in Ukraine?” article with updates related to the fast changing situation in Ukraine, including additional analysis and predictions.
Just added: situation in Ukraine develops so quickly that new surprises keep popping up. Several hours after the post was published, I received breaking news from Ukraine’s East/ South. I added a video and a few words in the end of this post.
Latest from Ukraine
The latest from Ukraine is that Yulia Tymoshenko has been released from jail and is already busy taking over the country. Yanukovich has been impeached by the Rada (parliament), which is now predominantly opposition(! lol) after a number of deputies defected from Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions to opposition parties. The rats always leave a sinking ship.
According to reports, Yanukovich is presently in Eastern Ukraine, trying to gather support and denying allegations against him.
Yulia is not wasting time, telling people to keep fighting until all their demands are met. Kiev is in the hands of “protesters,” and it appears the militarized “right sector’ = Nazis will be playing an important role in the security and power structures of Ukraine.
The premature Ukrainian presidential elections have been scheduled for May 2014.
As I said in Part 2 of this post, “since Yanukovich didn’t sign the EU paper – Plan B it is! Plan B was ‘euromaidan’ and violent removal of Yanukovich, while Russia couldn’t do anything so not to trigger second Olympic boycott and disrupt the Olympics in which they invested so much.”
“That’s why this revolt in Ukraine was timed precisely a couple of months before Sochi Olympics. It was done with full knowledge of what was at stake. Because Russia’s involvement on any level would have triggered calls for the Sochi Olympics boycott, it was pretty much clear that Russia wouldn’t respond. That’s why riots in Ukraine are intensifying again now; they have to hurry and try to unseat Yanukovich while the Olympics are still in progress and Russia’s hands are tied. Because once they are over, Russia will be able to respond accordingly.”
So, one of my predictions has already come true as it appears the goal has been achieved: violent removal of Yanukovich before Sochi Olympics are over (and they are nearing conclusion).
New facts and developments
So, Russia can’t respond – or can she? Let’s look at some of the facts:
1. In Part 1 I posted the leaked Nuland conversation in which she was discussing, like pieces on a chessboard, who US would put in the next Ukrainian government. That leaked tape was very damaging for the US. There are rumors that there is a second tape, with an even more damning information on it, which is not being released, but the US has been informed of its existence. How true this is know only a few people. However, this would make sense, considering circumstances.
2. The truce between Yanukovich and armed opposition was brokered by the EU. There was an interesting phrase in the report about the truce. It said that the EU thanks Russia for its help in brokering the deal.
3. It is a startling development of Tymoshenko being released from jail and of the new elections being scheduled for May, 2014. Tymoshenko is very likely to win, riding on the wave of irate protests and victim sympathy factor.
4. As I also said in Part 1, “Yanukovich’s situation is greatly complicated by the fact that he personally isn’t especially loved either in Russia or in the West, nor in his own country, and by the fact that he and his government are extremely corrupt. Corruption is pretty much a way of life in Ukraine, so Yanukovich isn’t unique.”
Yanukovich doesn’t have much sympathy from either side of the conflict and that is his tragedy. He tried to sit on two chairs with one ass for too long and as a result, he managed to alienate everyone. Some compare him to Gaddafi of Libya, predicting him Gaddafi’s fate. I personally don’t think it will go that far (and I hope it doesn’t), however, there has been so much violence in Ukraine and personal vendetta by Tymoshenko could become unpredictable, so I would just sound a serious note of caution on this. Read full analysis of Yanukovich’s situation in Parts 1 and 2.
Based on all the above facts, these are my conclusions:
1. Russia is not sitting idle, but doing exactly what I predicted in Part 2: “today’s Russian leadership is too smart to get themselves dragged into a full-fledged war. They have lots of diplomatic and other quiet means of dealing with this, and they will use those means.”
It appears to me that the behind-the-scenes deal was brokered between the EU and Russia, with or without US participation. The deal was that since Yanukovich couldn’t stay in power, the least damaging solution would be to release Tymoshenko from jail and let her run for president – the elections that she is most likely to win.
US may or may not be a part of the brokered deal. First, the leaked Nuland call with f*** EU comment has infuriated Merkel and EU. It is possible that the EU finally decided to show that they are an independent power and brokered the deal with Russia’s help, sidestepping US, who’ve been compromised as a result of the leak. Russia would greatly prefer to work with EU, rather than US, as these are European affairs. This has nothing to do with the US, who insists on constantly meddling in someone else’s backyard. Consequently, if US is even a part of this deal, they are a minor player – and this is very good news! It appears the leaked Nuland call has made the trick. Also, remember another alleged tape with more stuff on it. Hopefully, US will be much less of a factor going forward, but it’s too early to tell.
2. Tymoshenko is a darling of the EU, but not what Russia would consider ideal. However, she is the least harmful of other alternatives. Short of surrendering the country to Western Ukraine Nazis, or continuing deadly clashes and destruction of Kiev, Tymoshenko seems the only force that might at least be a little less violent and radical. It is clearly the lesser of various evils in this no-win situation.
As said above, the US/EU have achieved their goal in the country too well, managing to unseat the democratically elected president, while Russia was busy with Sochi Olympics. Russia’s only recourse was to work with them somehow in order to at least calm down the situation.
3. It has to be noted that many ethnic Russians and Jews, as well as other non-Ukrainians residing in Ukraine have been sending distress messages and calls to Russia for help. Russians and other ethnicities rightly fear that should Nazis come to power, they would be purged, harassed and their rights would be impinged.
These are very legitimate concerns as there already has been systematic Ukrainization of non-Ukrainian minorities since 2004 Orange Revolution, the process that slowed down under Yanukovich. It is believed that forced Ukrainization will start again, this time with the added Nazi element.
Of course, you will never hear about this from Western governments, media or human rights organizations. You will never see them protesting the abuse of rights of the Russian, and other minorities, in Ukraine. Russia’s helping to broker the truce agreement to stop violence and release Tymoshenko was also a humanitarian gesture to help Ukraine’s minorities. Should Tymoshenko come to power, it is hoped that she would be a moderating factor in respect to the Nazis.
4. Russia had already worked with Tymoshenko when she was Ukraine’s PM under Yushenko. She proved to be a corrupt and inept PM, to be sure. The gas deal she signed with Russia was a bad deal for her people as Ukraine was unable to pay the price for gas Russia had asked, however, Tymoshenko herself reportedly made a fortune on that deal (she is co-incidentally an oligarch controlling oil interests). While still below what EU pays for Russian gas, the price she had negotiated was very significantly above what Yanukovich negotiated recently, in addition to $15bln in loans from Russia.
At this time, I’m sure both the Russian deep discount gas deal and the loan will be off, unless Ukraine agrees to the same condition: not signing the EU association agreement. It would be very interesting to see how Tymoshenko will get out of this one; and if she signs the EU deal, how will Ukraine pay its bills going forward. If Russian deal is off, then will EU pick up the slack? That will be even more interesting to see…
5. There is a very popular view-point in Russia to let Ukraine join the EU and let them see what it’s really like. The crisis- and debt-ridden EU is not in a position to take in new members with pre-bankruptcy economy like Ukraine’s. Look at what’s happening in Greece, Bulgaria, Latvia, etc.
In a few years, say some Russians, Ukraine will understand the error of its ways and “will ask Russia to take them back.” This may be true; however, as I said in my previous posts, Ukraine is very far from joining the EU, as association agreement with EU merely means they will open their markets for the EU products, without getting anything in return. Ukraine will also pay by destroying its economy – what’s left of it. Association agreements with EU exist in Tunisia, Morocco and Turkey. Where did it get them with the EU? Turkey has been knocking on the EU door for 50 years with no result. Incidentally, Turkey now wants to join Customs Union with Russia. Chances are, after signing the EU agreement and in a few years time, Ukraine’s economy will be in a much worse shape than it is today.
In case Ukraine signs the EU agreement, Russia will cancel its own free trade deal with Ukraine and will stop importing machinery and other products from Eastern Ukraine. This will destroy Eastern Ukraine’s economy as Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk steel, aviation, space and military factories (all built there by Russia during Soviet and Russian Empire days) will close down, having lost their main client. Obviously, EU will never allow Ukrainian products to compete with German and French tech in Europe. Ukraine’s agriculture will never be able to compete with more developed European agriculture. This has catastrophe written all over.
Eastern Ukraine pays most of Ukraine’s bills. As a result of Eastern Ukraine’s demise, Ukraine will be bankrupt, or it will have to become a managed protectorate of the EU and US, just like Georgia (another former Soviet republic). Georgian bills are covered by the US taxpayer money, plus they took out astronomical Western loans they would never be able to repay. Georgia is living well beyond its means and the chickens will eventually come to roost. This may also be Ukraine’s future, only this time, it won’t be a mere several million people and a small territory like in Georgia; US/EU would have to feed an maintain territorially the largest country in Europe (not counting Russia) whose population is 45 million. Good luck with that!
I stand by my predictions in Part 2:
1. Ukraine will never join the EU.
2. It will eventually join Customs Union with Russia.
3. Russia will use peaceful means to slowly re-mold the situation in Ukraine more in its favor.
4. In Parts 1 and 2 I discussed different points of view on the bitter division of Ukraine’s 4 main parts. I personally think the country should split up according to where each part wants to belong. This, in my view, would have been a humane way of solving the problem. Nothing in this world is eternal. Parts that split up today may re-join tomorrow. To me, when differences reach a boiling point, a peaceful and quick divorce is preferred. It does not appear there is any possibility of different parts of Ukraine working together at this point thanks to the violent position of Western Ukrainians and thanks to the US/EU doing everything to ignite animosities and encourage regime change.
However, as I said before, I do not see forces either inside, or outside the country that would be ready and able to accomplish the peaceful divorce task. Besides, US and NATO will never leave Ukraine alone, should a split occur – there will be NATO military bases next to the Russian border in no time. Russia cannot allow that to happen. Therefore, I do not see Ukraine being split up.
5. However, as contradictions between east and west are unresolvable for the moment, I do not see real peace in Ukraine any time soon either. The unresolved issues will keep flaring up until they are resolved one way or the other.
I am adding three new predictions based on the quickly changing situation:
1. If the”right sector” Nazis keep pushing too hard, if Yulia Tymoshenko proves to be unreasonable, then Ukraine’s South and East may secede from Ukraine, the same way as Pridnestrovie seceded from Moldova. In that case, these parts of Ukraine, as well as Pridnestrovie will join Russia. If such thing happens (and it is a 50-50 chance at this point as most players right now want to keep Ukraine intact), it is most likely some time away as only the worst of conditions will make Russians forget their complacency and start acting. Another factor here is that US has to weaken sufficiently for that to happen.
2. Russia had worked with Tymoshenko before. Frankly I think they really don’t care for her any less or more than for Yanukovich – both are difficult and unpredictable. If Russia has to work with the lesser of all evils, so they will. However, Tymoshenko and her PM will have to start renegotiating all deals on less favorable conditions, depending on their policy relative to Russia. So, Tymoshenko or not, Ukraine will NOT be able to change its policies very dramatically.
3. Russia will use its soft power in Ukraine until the situation changes again. And in Ukraine it always does.
Refer to Parts 1 and 2 for background, sources and links.
Read additional, very interesting discussion in Comments, where I expand further on the most important and tricky questions discussed in this article. Of particular interst are: 1. Debate whether it’s better or not to split up Ukraine; 2. The discussion about Russia’s uncanny ability to rise from the ashes, akin to a phoenix, and the Russian character. How does all this relate to the situation in Ukraine? Have a read!
Breaking News: Huge Split: Eastern Ukraine rises against Kiev! Watch video report below.
In Part 1: Analysis, I said: Southern and Estern Ukraine “together FEED the poor, unemployed, agricultural Northern and Western Ukraine, plus, the bureaucratic Kiev. This is typical ‘taxation without representation.’ And we all know how that usually ends… In short, South and East will NEVER agree to be part of the EU and all they want is to be a part of Russia again.”
I have to say, I am personally very happy they are finally starting to act! Although understanding Russian government preference of not splitting up Ukraine, I personally am rooting for the nice parts of Ukraine, like East, Crimea and Odessa to re-establish their heritage that has been denied to them through forced ukrainization and taxation without representation.
The situation in Ukraine is developing very fast and news are coming in all the time.
I will do another post with updated info and analysis in a few days. Stay tuned!
Posted on February 23, 2014, in Geopolitical Trends, Predictions 2014 & Long-Term, Russia, Ukraine and tagged banderovtsi, Customs Union, Donbass, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, EU, events in Ukraine, Geopolitical Trends, geopolitics, imperialism, Kerry, Kiev, Klichko, Leaked conversation by Victoria Nuland, leaked f*** EU comment by Nuland, Merkel, NATO, neocon, neocon policies, NGOs, Nikolay Starikov, Obama, Odessa, prediction by Lada Ray, Predictions 2014 and Beyond and tagged analysis of events in Ukraine, Predictions 2014 and Beyond and tagged Bandera, predictions about Ukraine, presidential elections in Ukraine, riots in Kiev, riots in Ukraine, RT, Russia, Russia Today, Ukraine, US and EU interference in Ukraine, US plotting regime change in Ukraine, USA, Victoria Nuland, Western Ukraine, William Engdahl, Yanukovich, Yanukovich impeachment, Yatseniuk, Yulia Tymoshenko. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.