Sergey Lavrov is correct to blast the EU's role in fomenting instability and violence in Ukraine. That being said, the Minsk agreements were dead on arrival and nothing will resuscitate them. Only legal regime change in Kiev can provide a solution.
The EU was supposed to be the last minute saviour of Ukraine as fascist street-fighters and foreign mercenaries with fresh injections of American money readied a violent coup.
It was on the 20th of February 2014 that the Foreign Ministers of EU member states France, Germany and Poland convened in Kiev to broker a deal that was supposed to bring stability. Instead, it brought about a genocidal war on the people of Donbass who shortly after the coup declared their independence from the young fascist regime in Kiev. The deal also brought wide scale corruption in an already deeply corrupt place as well as total economic collapse that continues to get worse by the day.
Most ominously, the then Polish Foreign Minister who helped broker the deal which the insurgents had no intention of keeping, told representatives of the radicals that if they did not sign the agreement “you’ll all be dead”.
The truth is that the death came and continues to come not from those who opposed the coup but from those who came to power as a result of the coup.
The deal was supposed to insure orderly early elections and constitutional reforms which ironically reversed those made by Viktor Yanukovych. Instead, the agreement merely caused the total collapse of the state as the mob eventually forced Yanukovych to flee to Russia after a temporary and in hindsight eerie pause in the violence.
The hours in the evening of the 20th of February 2014 in which violence temporarily abated have been made up for by three and a half years of violence, turmoil and a humanitarian disaster which has seen the lawless regime in Kiev drop chemical weapons on the people of Donbass, all while the west remains silent.
Today, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted the EU for its role in bringing about the violent coup in Kiev.
“The largely-provoked-from-the-outside Ukrainian crisis has become the direct consequence of such shortsighted policy of Washington and Brussels”.
“We hope that Germany and France, as partners within the Normandy format, as well as the US who have a special influence on the Kiev establishment, will use their means to change the situation”.
Lavrov went on to define his hopes for Ukraine stating,
“We want to see Ukraine a stable country, where all minorities, including linguistic, religious and ethnic, live freely and exercise rights provided by international convention”.
Alas, while Lavrov articulates the official Russian position clearly, it is a position that is impossible. Ukraine as presently comprised was always a powder keg waiting to explode. The fact that it was the US and EU which ultimately threw the match that caused the explosion is almost inconsequential at this point.
The fact is that Ukraine is an artificial state based on the Bolshevik nationalities policy which itself was based on the mythical idea of a stateless ‘Ukrainian people’, is the more overarching cause of the current crisis.
This reality was explained by The Duran last year in the following piece reproduced in full below:
“Of the many sad peculiarities surrounding 2014’s coup d’état in Kiev, one of the oddest is that it shows that it is possible to have nationalism without a nation.
As a city and region Kiev has long been at the heart of Russian civilisation. It was there in the 9th century that the first Russian state was declared, and where the spiritual journey for Russian unity began.
This makes recent events all the more sad, and makes the fascist coup which happened in Kiev in 2014 more like a 21stcentury version of the Mongol invasion which in 1240 led to the sack of Kiev, which forced many Russians to move north-east, so that the capital of the Russian people became Moscow.
Thus begins the tale of the Three Russia’s: Great, Little and White.
Whilst Moscow formally established itself as a Tsardom in the 16th century, the western Russian lands were occupied by the then mighty Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. An official policy of Polonisation saw the imposition of Roman Catholicism over Orthodox people.
The infusion of Polish culture led to the development of a dialect which combined elements of the Russian and Polish languages. This dialect was the linguistic precursor to what is now referred to as Ukrainian.
Not all the Russians in the region took this well. One distinct Russian subculture developed partly in reaction.
The Cossacks were people who initially rebelled against Polish-Lithuanian rule, and who gained an increasingly autonomous status known as the Cossack Hetmanate.
Acting as mercenary fighters for (at various times) the rulers of Poland, Russia and Ottoman Turkey, they were not an easy group to control.
Ultimately in 1654 the Cossacks committed themselves to Russia and against the Poles, beginning the process of reuniting what came to be known as Little Russia to Great Russia.
The new accord between the Cossacks and the Tsardom of Russia was known as the Treaty of Pereyaslav. The full evolution of the former Polish-Lithuanian territories into Little Russia was confirmed by a treaty between Moscow and the Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Truce of Andrusovo, signed in 1667.
This re-united eastern Slav people brought together with Moscow the territories of Little Russia, corresponding to modern day central Ukraine, and White Russia, corresponding to much of modern Belarus.
Parts of what is today western Ukraine eventually passed to Austria, as Poland lost its empire. In Austria the Slavs speaking a language in part Russian and in part Polish came to be called Ruthenians.
In the later days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire this however changed. The intelligentsia of the Austro-Hungarian Empire actively encouraged – some would say invented – the idea of a distinct national identity for the Ruthenian peasants. So began the concept of ‘Ukrainianism’.
Linguistically, Ukraine is a term which when etymologically analysed, does not directly imply an ethnic group. It merely means ‘on the border’ or ‘borderland’, which is where these people were, the border in question being the one between the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian empires (previously the border between Russia and Poland, and the border of Russia and Poland again during most of the 20th century).
Austria encouraged this movement as part of its long standing policy of keeping the Slavs divided. A pan-Slavic Congress held in Prague (then part of the Austrian empire) in 1848 threatened the integrity of Austria’s empire, and the Hapsburg rulers responded accordingly.
If Vienna behaved predictably, the true originator of today’s conflict, and the man who turned a fraternal and united people into a nationalistic and divided people, was Lenin.
Lenin’s strange sense of geography and his perverse relationship with nationalism have done more to sow the seeds of today’s conflict than the works and deeds of any living politician.
When drawing the internal map of the Soviet Union, The Bolsheviks erased the lines of Tsarist regional units – the gubernias – and replaced them with a vastly more complex system of Soviet republics.
Where the gubernias generally accurately reflected the vast swaths of regional identities across Russia, the Soviet Republics did not, and nowhere was this truer than in the case of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Lenin took the territories of Little Russia and lumped them together with an area called Novorossiya, territory initially captured by Russia from the Ottomans during the Russo-Turkish Wars of 18th century, before becoming the Russian Guberniya of Novorossiya 1764.
This area was never part of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, and far more ethnically diverse. Not only were Russian and Turkic peoples there but so were Romanians, Germans, Serbs, European and Eastern Jews, Albanians, Greeks, Ruthenians, Armenians and others.
Interestingly, the ethnic diversity of Novorossiya made integration into the Russian state easier as Russian became the lingua-franca.
These areas correspond to what is today Eastern Ukraine, including not only Donbass but also the regions around Mariupol and Odessa.
Lenin’s geographical error was one of his biggest mistakes, and there was no reason for it. A map after all does not know whether it is communist or tsarist.
But if Lenin’s poor sense of geography was an error, what happened next was tantamount to treason.
Whilst communism is generally seen as antithetical to nationalism, in many ways it was Bolshevism in its early days, which actively encouraged regional nationalisms throughout Russia in order to demonstrate that the Bolsheviks stood up not only for the economically oppressed but for the ethnically disenfranchised as well.
The result was that where defined ethnicities did not exist the communists simply invented them.
Lenin filled the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic with propaganda turning brother against brother. Calling Russia a ‘prison of nations’, filling textbooks with made up history about divisions between Russians and Ukrainians, and forcing a foreign dialect upon people, were all part of Lenin’s plan to weaken the structures of the old Tsarist Russia.
Even though policies after Lenin’s death sought to control the damage, much of it became engrained.
The Soviet famine of the 1930s was a consequence of Stalin’s policy of forcibly establishing kolkhozy (collective farming). It affected many Soviet republics and the majority of the victims were ethnic Russians. If Lenin’s Soviet map was his lowest ebb, Stalin’s forced collectivisation was his. But in modern Ukrainian textbooks, it is blamed on the Russians and made into a conspiracy by the Russians to starve Ukrainians even though Ukrainians, Russians and others suffered equally. The fact that Stalin was not actually Russian is an irony left unmentioned.
The bitter seeds which Lenin sowed have allowed a narrative of Ukrainian nationalism to spread, and the results are poverty, war, terrorism and suffering in today’s Ukraine.
The fact that many fascists in Ukraine are destroying Lenin monuments is a testament to how poor education can result in devastating consequences.
The truth is that the violence in Ukraine is a product of nationalism without a nation. This adds an element of tragedy to what is actually a deeply unnecessary situation.
Ultimately the only solution is for referenda to be held throughout every region of modern Ukraine, where by people can decide which country best represents their identity and interests.
After all the people of Odessa and Rostov have far more in common with each other than the people of Milan do with those in Palermo.
This would be the only democratic solution. Let the people determine their destiny, not an outdated Bolshevik map which has perversely been co-opted by outright fascists.
The fact that the results of the referenda might surprise many in the West is another matter entirely”.
The feeble Minsk agreements which aim to create a ceasefire in Donbass and pave the way for reconciliation have not only failed but they were almost designed to fail.
States comprised of historically un-complimentary regions torn from various large powers, filled with people who clearly have no ability to live together any longer cannot long be artificially sustained.
This is the very reason why the regime in Kiev is trying so desperately to beg for salvation from the EU and the US. This salvation will doubtless not be forthcoming.
The EU wanted to provoke Russia on its borders and it largely failed. It merely created an unstable fascist state on Europe and Russia’s borderlands that the EU cannot deal with and which Russia refuses to deal with until the regime collapses under its own weight. Russian President Vladimir Putin said as much during the G20 summit in Hamburg.
The US will likely not help the situation under President Trump either. Trump has shown little to no interest in the matter from day one and with new revelations about how the Ukrainian regime actively tried to aid Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Trump will if anything begin to dislike the regime deeply in the coming months.
The EU’s experiment has failed. The US has lost interest in the Frankenstein monster it created under Obama. The only debate now worth having is as follows:
1. Is Russia wise to wait for the regime to collapse under its own weight or
2. Should Russia engage in legal regime change in Kiev.
The justifications for and ways of legally implementing regime change are as follows:
“The regime in Kiev came to power illegally and governs in a manner that is totally unacceptable.The regime is guilty of mass murder, mass starvation and deprivation and multiple human rights violations.
If there was ever a regime in need of change, this is the one.
Here are the options.
1. The Security Council of the United Nations
The Russian Federation could and should table a UNSC resolution calling for the immediate withdraw of all troops, mercenaries and terrorists loyal to the Kiev regime from the Donbass region.
Additionally, such a resolution must demand the total restoration of the Russian language to its official position and the end to all ethnic, linguistic, religious and racial discrimination.
Finally, the resolution must demand that all property of the Russian Orthodox Church which has been seized by the Ukrainian regime, must be reinstated with monetary compensation given to the Church.
The Ukrainian regime should be given a maxim of two weeks to comply with these demands or else face a corrective military response which will put an interim government in power.
The only problem with this plan is that the US and its allies would almost certainly use their veto to stop it. This is why other options must be considered.
2. Recognition of the statehood of Donetsk and Lugansk
If Russia were to recognise the statehood of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, it would then be perfectly possible and legal for Russia to come to the military aid of these countries in helping them to end the fascist Ukrainian war of aggression against them.
If Russia recognised the sovereignty of the Donbass Republics and came to their aid, it is likely that the regime in Kiev would soon collapse without a shot and the freedom and peace of Donbass would be insured for the foreseeable future.
3. Grant Russian Citizenship to all Donbass people and Russians living under the Ukrainian regime
This should be done anyway. The majority of the people in the historic Novorossiya and Little Russia regions consider themselves to be Russian and by all objective accounts they most certainly are Russian. Thousands have families in the Russian Federation and could be a productive part of the Russian Federation’s workforce.
There is no reason not to give Russian people who speak Russian and have family in Russia instant citizenship. Many other European countries give citizenship to their brethren outside of their borders without any fuss. Some states do this even to people who haven’t lived near Europe for generations. Likewise, Israel gives citizenship to anyone who is Jewish.
There should be zero hurdles for instant citizenship for all Russians outside of Russia, starting with those in historic Russian lands on Russia’s borders.
If hundreds of thousands of Russian passport holders living under the oppressive criminal regime in Kiev are in danger, then it would be within Russia’s remit to militarily intervene to secure their protection and restore their peaceful existence. This happened in 2008 in South Ossetia and Abkhazia when Russian citizens and peacekeepers were threatened with genocide by the regime in Tbilisi. The result was peace and freedom for the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. No one there has been hurt since.
4. The American example
For those who think that these measures too easily disregard caution, one needs only to look at America. The United States changes regimes in countries on the other side of the world with impunity. They do so in countries that have no cultural, linguistic let alone ethnic connection to the vast majority of US citizens and they do so in countries where not even a small amount of Americans reside.
America has broken apart the integrity of Serbia by facilitating the unilateral separatism of the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, a place where not a single American was in any danger for the simple reason that no Americans where there. This was all done without the approval of the United Nations.
The United States invaded Iraq and toppled its government on the basis that it had weapons of mass destruction which it did not have. By contrast Ukraine has used weapons of mass destruction, particularly chemical weapons on the civilians of Donbass and maintains large stocks of chemical weapons as well as nuclear power facilities which are in such poor repair it could cause a massive disaster. Must the world really wait till the flippancy and inadequacy of the Kiev regime causes a nuclear meltdown before a responsible party is put in charge?
Each of the aforementioned plans for Russia to bring an end to the regime in Kiev are less than what America has done in countries with no human rights disaster, no war, no use of weapons of mass destruction and no overriding conflict.
If there was ever a case for 21st century regime change it is in Kiev. The Kiev regime has violated all the acceptable norms of the most rogue failed state and no amount of America or EU money can change this fact.f
What’s more is that unlike in the countries where America militarily intervened, in Ukraine, millions of people would actually welcome Russia as a force of liberation. The people of the region were all living in one state until very recently and many still lament the creation of artificial borders between fraternal peoples.
If put to a referendum, the majority of Ukrainian regions would almost certainly prefer association with Russia than with neo-Nazi elements from the only non-Russian part of the region, Galacia in the west of the current Ukrainian borders.
Why is it that America can destroy nations at will, but Russia cannot help a fraternal Russian people on Russia’s current borders?
The only logical answer is timidity. It is a timidity that shames Russia and hurts millions of Russian people both inside and out of Russia’s current borders”