Critical view of House of Lords report on SOA between EU and Russia over Ukraine

European Committee of House of Lords issued new report

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldselect/ldeucom/115/115.pdf

titled “The EU and Russia: before and beyond the crisis in Ukraine”

 

At first glance report seem to be exhaustive and despite varied mix of experts invited or interviewed by HL committee it has many inherent flaws which render it’s useless and impractical in formulating EU and UK policy towards Russia overall and Russian involvement in Ukraine in particular.

 

Wrong content:

 

Omissions and commissions in HL report

 

1 House of Lords rightfully noted broken Western promises not to enlarge NATO and presented facts indicating imperial nature of EU project when it failed to recognize both trading blocks led by Russia: Commonwealth of Independent States (under which Ukraine enjoys wide range of privileges) and Eurasian Union which is going to replace CIS.

 

Imagine Western reaction if Russia would poach European member-states inviting them to join Eurasian Union and would say to Brussels: “It’s none of your business”.

 

However HL report don’t go in details of Ukraine privileges and obligations as member of CIS – it’s major omission and thus Russian trading interests in Ukraine not covered sufficiently.

 

2 House of Lords report totally omit Nazi nature of Ukraine regime installed by the West in coup, numerous war crimes committed by Kiev regime forces in Donbas as well as human rights violations from mass murders (as in Odessa) to systematic torture in Kiev regime Gestapo’s secret jails around the country.

 

No word on widespread totalitarian censorship in media and persecution of political dissidents by new regime.

 

Without open discussions and honest assessments about nature of Kiev regime and its despicable actions full-fledged dialogue between Russia and the West won’t happen, the sides in new Cold War are bound to have limited interactions on ceasefires and unilaterally imposed sanctions and counter-sanctions. There will be no dialogue between Western societies and Russian society as well.

 

House of Lords also wrongly assume in passing (in remarks of biased so-called experts) benevolent view Russians have of the West in general and European Union in particular.

 

EU maybe seeing itself as community of democratic, well-governed, corrupt-less and peace-loving states but in Russian point of view such claim not corroborated by hard facts which show long history of disastrous wars and invasions in different parts of the world from Mali and Libya in Africa to Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq in Asia as well as giant corruption and plutocracy which prosper and often institutionalized in EU member states.

 

Hard facts also show new EU member states like Bulgaria essentially lost their sovereignty, all important decisions taken in Brussels and Washington, the country host US military base (while never hosted Russian military base in past) and US envoys behave in overbearing manner of Hitler’s ambassadors to Sofia.

 

3 War in Donbas, its origins as rebellion against Kiev tyranny, executed by Kiev regime genocide of Donbas people and destruction of the region infrastructure, as well as implication for Crimea validating claim that Crimeans faced imminent threat from ultranationalist and illegal government in Kiev and Ukrainian neoNazi groups patronized by new regime, totally omitted from HL report.

 

Wrong experts:

 

Liliya Shevtsova bound her fate to Ukraine regime regularly posting in all-Ukrainian newspaper Den (The Day) ridiculous articles comparing ussia to Nazi Germany and Putin to Hitler. She was wrong in so many assessments that it’s difficult to list them all here.

 

Sergey Guriev disguises himself as economist but worked as investment banker who fled Russia for greener pastures. He holds grudge against Russia and tries to talk down Russian economy at every opportunity using manipulation tricks usual for Western press.

 

Mikhail Kasyanov is one of the leaders of discredited pro-Western marginal opposition in Russia, regarded as Western stooge. Has corrupt reputation since early 1990s and was nicknamed Misha 2% (his usual rate of bribe from contracts value).

 

Vladimir Kara-Murza has image in Russia of dishonest journalist since his work on oligarch Gusinsky controlled NTV when he was part of defamation campaigns against Gusinsky’s rivals. Later he re-emerged on various pro-Western media outlets but could not distinguish himself even on field on rabid anti-Putinism.

 

 

My verdict:

 

Without discussing what happened and happening in Ukraine since Western coup and disastrous war in Donbas House of Lords report is at best useless and impractical piece of paper.

 

 

Strategies of predators and their prey in geopolitics

When reading Eskov’s book “Wonderful paleontology” I often thought whether basic principles of evolution can be applied to behavior of modern states and civilizations? I am not a proponent of discredited social Darwinism but some ideas imho can be worthy to ponder about.

If we take Huntigton/Danilevsky axiom of civilizations as main actors on world scene undoubtedly

The West could be main predator in modern world, a sort of Tyrannousauros, ultimate fighting machine of the day.

Russia could be Allosauros, another predator jealously guarding largest land estate in the world.

There are 3-5 more civilizations in the world, Indian, Chinese and Muslim (plus African and Latin American in some sources) which are not developed enough to challenge first two predatory civilizations.

Every predator has optimum favorite prey size thus lion feeds mostly on antelopes though can kill and eat buffaloes and rabbits. Victims of predators develop strategies for survival:

A increasing speed of reproduction

B adopting protective color

C developing poisonous protecting attributes

D changing size to become either too big or too small for rapacious predator.

If we apply these strategies to policies of weaker civilizations we’ll see

1 India use mix of A (big population) and B (mimicking Western-style democracy)  strategies,

2 China A (big population), C (economy) and D (too big to fail),

3 World of Islam also A but different (immigrating to the West trying to embrace it and change it from inside), C (Islamist terrorism) and D (Muslim states keep disintegrating becoming too small a prey for the West).

4 Russian strategy almost exclusively concentrated now on C (baring teeth capable to inflict on the West deadly cuts) after dropping pretence of B (recognizing different ancestry and unsuitability for marriage with Western regimes).

Not to make you despair let’s think about mission of biolife on Earth – Nature created us to keep geochemical balance.

We should not fail our planet and if crazy fascist Obama tries to start nuclear war he must be removed from power and face Nuremberg 2 for his crimes against humanity.

Why Minsk 2 is partial victory of Putin, Russia & Donbas but not the West

Minsk 2 ceasefire agreement in raging proxy Cold war between Russia and the West is signed.

RT gives full breakdown of points here.

Important notice: points of agreement not supposed to be implemented all at once and immediately but one by one, 1st ceasefire on Feb 15, 2d pullout of heavy weaponry from frontline, and so on. Sides won’t go to fulfill next point before they agree previous point of pact was implemented in full and verified by OSCE.

If all points of Minsk 2 agreement are fullfilled in good faith then Ukraine will be another state and controversial question of Kiev control border will be setlled mutually without any hussle.

However it’s a long way from where we are now, and plenty of critics, some irrationally (usually hawks on all sides), other rationally (because Kiev reneged on all past words and next to impossible to change its ultranationalist nature) think Minsk 2 agreement bound to failure.

Think Minsk 2 is failure like Minsk 1 is one thing, another is who won this round in Cold War 2 – West or Russia, Ukraine or Donbas.

Arguments used almost repeat what was said in last September about Minsk 1. Read prominent “hawk” on pro-Donbas side Paul Craig Roberts:

The Russian government might want to carefully consider whether Moscow is helping Washington to achieve another victory in Ukraine.

Why I disagree with idea that Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 are Russian (and Donbas) failures? Minsk 1 was concluded after heavy defeat of Ukraine army in Ilovaysk and several other cauldrons which were located on the border with Russia. US policy after successfull Feb 2014 coup and seizure of Crimea by Russia was to provoke Russian-Ukrainian war in order to declare Moscow “aggressor” like Soviet Union in 1979 and acquire new anti-Russian allies in the third world. It didn’t happen, Putin didn’t bite the bullet and let trapped Ukrainian soldiers to return home. Instead he got Minsk 1 – tactical pause in conflict which was used by both sides to regroup, rearm and and train. Unlike summer situation Donbas effectively became not-recognized independent state with its own armed forces. When ceasefire collapsed in middle of January Novorossiya armed forces (NAF) defeated Kiev regime in Donetsk airport and managed to trap another huge army group of 6-8K Ukrainian soldiers in Debaltsevo. This time cauldron is for real, no Russian border escape route. Ukraine war start resembling Syria more and more and here the West start fracturing, German and French leaders broke ranks with US and launched diplomatic offensive which was welcomed by Kremlin.

Mr Roberts whom I respect not far off the mark when he points US efforts to escalate Ukraine conflict further not cut short by Minsk 2. But Minsk 2 achieved what Minsk 1 could not – stall new anti-Russian sanctions and Western alliance start disintegrating again between Old Europe led by France and Germany and United States with satellites in New Europe.

I hope Minsk 2 ceasefire is slowly but surely will be implemented and I am sure Donbas and Russia will use another break from war wisely, preparing to respond to US-plotted reinvasion of Donbas in April-May as proposed by US neocons in recently published Brookings report.

Minsk 2 is just a step in long chess party between Putin & Obama and I believe Russia & Donbas won this round. But West still leads score in new Cold War over Ukraine and victory is far away.

On picture: Merkel and Hollande who from Minsk 2 have their own game different from Washington neocons.

Score in Cold War 2.0 on eve of Minsk 2.0

The best war is the one which didn’t start said Sun-Tzu. A war is last argument of rulers when compromise in bitter dispute not possible and destruction of lives and properties can bring about another situation when compromise becomes possible or one of the sides of war had disappeared in the process (was defeated, annihilated, genocided etc).

My focus is on big picture, Cold War 2.0 between the West led by US against Russia in Ukraine. Big stages in this undeclared war are well known:

1 Euromaidan stage where the West supported and instigated overthrow of president Yanukovich. It ended successfully for the West in coup on Feb 22 2014. 1:0 West leads score.

2 Kiev junta immediately tried to assert authority but failed in mainly populated by ethnic Russians Crimea where local government asked local militia led by Aksyonov to defend from pro-Kiev elements, on March 1 peninsula was effectively annexed by Russian and pro-Russian forces. On March 15 overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted in favor of independence from Ukraine & to join Russian Federation as its subject. Wild celebrations erupt across country. Score became 1:1.

3 In April unrest is growing in other pro-Russian regions of Donbas where many destabilizing elements from Russia arrive. They find receptive population angry with illegal Kiev government stuffed by Western stooges. Talks in Geneva ended inconclusively. Russian political class discusses possibility of direct intervention in Ukraine to quickly overthrow Kiev junta & install sort of interim regime which can restore balance in Ukraine between pro-Russian & pro-Western regions. The West of course will declare the step illegal like Soviet Union help to its puppet government in Afghanistan in 1979 but many lives could be saved.

4 United States emissaries urge Kiev junta for tough action against so far peaceful pro-Russian separatists who organized campaign for federalization and decentralization of Ukraine. On May 2 Kiev junta organized one of the most disgusting and macabre mass murders in modern history – pro-Kiev Nazi thugs killed, slashed, chopped, beat to death and burned upto 100 pro-federalization supporters in Odessa. US and Western governments and press openly lying about Odessa Massacre blaming victims they burn themselves. Putin keeps silence for 3 long days apparently was so shocked by US-sponsored action.  Score 2:1 West leads.

5 Such heinous crime radicalized situation in Donbas where overwhelming majority vote in favor of independence in local referendums. Kiev junta response was vicious, launching military operation against rebels. First victims of civil war appear. In the end of May Kiev junta organized sham election, by simple mathematical trick (by removing 6 mln Donbas voters from list) elect oligarch Poroshenko as new president in 1st round (in fact he gathered less than 50% of votes). Russia is forced to recognize Poroshenko as well as refrain from authorizing Donbas referendums. Score 3:1 West leads.

6 Poroshenko’s reign of terror in Donbas started with June 2 air raid on Lugansk downtown killing many civilians. Raid blamed by Kiev propaganda on exploded air-conditioner in building later to rebels using RPGs despite the war crime was accidentally recorded on mobile cameras. Hastily organized local Donbas militia not match for well equipped invading Kiev forces and suffer heavy losses. Western media and governments continue to lie relentlessly, West leads score 4:1.

7 Russia by intrigues tries to remove Russian elements from separatist leadership and in the end Moscow succeeds, Strelkov and Borodai resigned and went back to Russia. In Lugansk initial leader Bolotov replaced by his aide Plotnitsky. New leaders of Donetsk belong to Oplot, pro-Russian group from Kharkov, its leader Zakharchenko becomes PM. In exchange for replacing leaders on locals Moscow, it is alleged by Kiev and the West, had provided military help to Donbas rebels in form of better trained volunteers and some armory and guns. Russian government still denies its involvement while Donbas rebels say weapons they got from Ukraine army bases. Presence of volunteers from Russia is not denied by Moscow and Donetsk. Mismanaged Ukrainian forces trying to secure border with Russia had suffered heavy defeats in several cauldrons (pockets). Kiev had to go for Minsk ceasefire 1.0 on Sept 15, obviously for regrouping and rearming. West still leads the score but lost this round 4:2.

8 In autumn while many volunteers from Russia went back local Donbas rebels after Minsk agreement gaining relative break in war start intensive training. Local elections held in November, participation still strong. Kiev also held election of parliament Rada; rearming (with Western help) and regrouping as well as both sides continue artillery duels along the frontline. Kiev’s losses in armymen not known due to secrecy and lies but civilian victims of Kiev shelling cities test patience of rebels. As Kiev reneges on its Minsk promises all understand ceasefire is temporary and fighting can resume at any moment. The West (still united but without new allies) imposed new round of anti-Russian sanctions but result not yet seen. However anemic economic recovery of Eurozone & oil fracking boom led to oversupply of 1mln barrel of oil a day on world markets and oil prices had crashed which led to devaluation of ruble by 100% from 33 to 66 per $1. Obama takes credit for that as usual. The score increases to 5:2.

9 In the middle of January Putin sent letter to Poroshenko, got no reply but on January 18 Kiev forces launched aborted storm of old terminal of Donetsk airport breaking ceasefire. In resumed fighting Donbas rebels using lent from Lugansk rebels heavy artillery managed to destroy airport tower and stormed new terminal of airport which was controlled by Kiev cyborgs. Big victory apparent. In early February rebels managed to trap big Ukraine army group in Debaltsevo, another huge military victory. It became clear Sept-Jan ceasefire was used by Donbas rebels better than by Kiev. Alarmed by Kiev defeats the West fractures, Germany and France broke ranks with US and embark on peace mission to Kiev and Moscow essentially agreeing on Putin’s terms. This stage should end today February 11 by signing Minsk 2.0 agreement. Score in US-Russia war became 5:3.

Crash of Ideology

We live in times when old ideological cliches not working anymore. It’s time for reassessing ideologies we inherited from the past & construct new ones to describe XXI century phenomenae better.

(4) Twitter 2015-01-01 22-52-27Ukraine disintegrating before our eyes due to Western meddling

Recently I re-read Huntingdon’s Clash of Civilizations where he was routinely describing The West as “Liberal & Democratic”. However in this century such description seem not fitting well: Liberal & Democratic countries invaded many countries, organized coups, genocides, killed hundreds of thousands & left millions destitutes to die, whole countries disintegrated & in ruins, all in the name of Liberty & Democracy. I even don’t count old-fashioned imperialist grab of resources of weaker countries.

(2) Twitter 2015-01-01 22-51-54West-sponsored Arab Spring brought disastrous results

Some think old ideologies as fascism and totalitarianism can be used to describe present Western regimes at least partially. They maintain democratic facade hiding oligarchic capitalism, however from century-old Lenin’s description of imperialism as highest form of capitalism they differ fundamentally adopting many of the tools & characteristics of fascist, totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany & Soviet Union.

Favorite Tweets by Andrey Davydov (@FarEasterner) - Twitter 2015-01-01 23-45-51Western media spewing lies in one voice

From Nazi Germany The West inherited wars & propaganda machine. From Soviet Union The West took mass surveillance (adapted to modern age of internet) & economic means to control population via cheap credits, expensive medical insurance & subprime mortgages. Fall in line or else, express your views and lose you job. When you have to pay back education loan, medical bills, mortgage for home, raise your children, your opinion of plutocracy at the helm will be necessarily moderated.

BRICS - Twitter Search 2015-01-01 23-48-58BRICS are very different from each other however share one thing: They are not The West in outlook & internal, external policy

Non-Western regimes difficult to describe in few words because Russia, China, India, Brazil etc differ not only from The West but from each other as well. Big countries outside The West constitute distinct civilizations on their own right. Nevertherless they share one important characteristic: they are not homogenous & systems of governance, nature of regimes, press & civil freedoms vary considerably even within their sovereign territories.

For example Chinese people of Heilongjian, neighboring to Russia province do not feel any big difference in freedoms and opportunities from Russians of Far East, however not aware of many restrictions in place in distant Tibet & Uyghuria.

Picture 010This guy in Heihe told me he worked in Russian Far East but sees no big difference between China & Russia

Russia generally more free than China include regions like Chechnya or Dagestan in North Caucasus where not only blood revenge & kidnapping of brides happen regularly but also have apparently authoritarian governments.

India where I lived best part of my life is different from The West, Russia & China and cannot be compared even slightly to any other states by sheer inner diversity, from paleolithic Andaman tribes to sophisticated Mumbai urbanites aping foreign examples in lifestyle and thought.

Изображение 035Seller of beads on Puri beach

Of course all these states have totalitarian features: elements of police state, dissidents, surveillance and state-sponsored propaganda but I think they are far cry from Western levels. Only China perhaps not tolerating dissidents questioning leading role of Communist party, however compensating political restrictions by decentralization & economic freedoms. In Russia and India political dissidents often sponsored by The West not only tolerated but have larger than they deserve media tribunes to propagate their views.

оппозиция - Twitter Photos Search 2015-01-01 21-47-36Russian radical pro-Western opposition groups enjoy support of less than 1% of population but at least half of big newspapers, TV Rain news channel & Echo of Moscow national radio broadcast their propaganda non-stop

Overall regimes in Russia, India and China I’d describe as Eurasian, Hindu & Confucian because they have different from The West systems of political coordinates & abstain from applying mechanically Western concepts of Liberalism, Socialism & Fascism. They have their own conservatives & liberals, democrats & fascists but these labels shouldn’t be distributed from Western point of view which tend to label all Western agents in these countries as “pro-democracy activists”, “liberals”, etc. More often than not in local system of coordinates these dissidents are viewed as pure fascists, racists & mentally sick trouble makers.

оппозиция - Twitter Photos Search 2015-01-01 21-48-33Late Soviet dissident turned into russophobic Kremlin critic Novodvorskaya was patient of mental asylums

#MH17 final evidence?

Komsomolskaya Pravda, largest circulation daily in Russia, published interview with Ukrainian man, who claimed to have worked as ground staff in military airfield of Dnipropetrovks. Link to the interview

He said to newspaper on day when Malaysian Boeing #MH17 crashed near Donetsk he was working on the field, serving Ukrainian jet fighters and one SU-25 returned on base without munition – air-to-air missiles. SU-25 pilot Vladislav Voloshin was looking very scared, kept mumbling about “not that plane”.

Recently Dnipropetrovsk governor & oligarch, funder of several Ukrainian volunteer battalions like Azov & Dnipr, was tricked by one pranker to talk over skype & in one of their conversations when subject came to #MH17 oligarch said mysteriously: “They got different plane, hahaha” but didn’t reveal who were “they” and why it was “different”.

Ukraine immediately after #MH17 crash claimed Donbas rebels were responsible, backed up this claim by intercepted talks between Cossaks on remote & humble checkpoints. How Cossaks could down airliner flying above 10K m wasn’t clear.

Ukraine claimed rebels used captured BUK in downing #MH17 but didn’t release radar data. Russia said on day of #MH17 crash at least 9 Ukrainian BUKs radars were working as well as American spy satellite passed Eastern Ukraine at the time of catastrophe.

Rebel BUK theory was usually backed by Western officials & media by blurry pictures of BUKs found on social networks like Twitter. One of most commonly used had number 312 & recently one of its staff members gave interview where he rebutted rumors of BUK’s capture by rebels – BUK 312 was and is under Ukrainian control.

Few days ago Victoria Nuland informed us that US gave “secret files” on #MH17 to Netherlands which investigating air crash.

So these are the facts concerning #MH17 investigation. 2 immediate questions arise from these data –

1 if SU-25 was used, is it technically possible or not? Acc to wikipedia entry SU-25 can fly upto 7K m but its weaponry R-60, air-to-air missiles, can hit targets in 7-10 km distance.

2 if BUK missile was used specialists say missile should be detected by any radars working in area as well as leave white trace visible from Earth but neither radar data was released nor any eyewitnesses saw white trace from missile.

Though interviewed by KP ground staffer’s testimony is not bullet proof evidence backing 1st theory of Ukrainian SU-25 jet fighter, it’s very close to that stage if his evidence will be backed by independent commission.

In other words – if his claims are true, it’s indeed becomes clear that Ukraine air force jet fighter Su-25 downed Malaysian Boeing 777 #MH17 on July 17, 2014.

Golden ruble

Full blown Russian currency crisis was entirely predictable. Russian companies & banks must pay back $30 bln to Western banks in this month but crisis still caught Kremlin off the guard. Ruble is in free fall, desperate midnight hikes of key interest rate by Central Bank chief Nabiullina didn’t help.

So what to do & who’s responsible – two eternal questions hotly debated in Russia.

In my view Putin must understand RUSSIA IN the state of undeclared WAR with Ukraine and the West so his government (stuffed by Liberals of old Washington Consensus school) piece-meal approach will escalate financial crisis which will spill over into real sector and jeopardize his regime.

Whenever I listen to economists debating necessary measures they skirt over stand-off with the West by citing “geopolitical risks”. But nobody tell what will happen if the West or crazy Kiev junta will declare real war on Russia? What will Putin do?

I think Kremlin must sack Nabiullina and Ulyukaev (and Medvedev if necessary) & appoint Glazyev’s team into economic ministries & Central Bank. Some Glazyev’s ideas were quite radical, but he sensed coming geopolitical risks long before the current crisis which Nabiullina, Ulyukaev prove to be incapable of dealing with.

But changing personalities won’t calm markets – ONLY PEGGING RUBLE TO GOLD WILL HELP to bring about much needed macroeconomic stability, tame inflation & restore economic growth.

I know gold price is manipulated by US, but unlike oil gold cannot cost cheaper than certain level otherwise Indians will consume all gold of the world. Besides size of US Fed golden reserves many questioned. I don’t believe in a moment US Fed will dump its gold reserves to make damage to Russian currency. If that will be the case Russia, India and China should buy all American gold on the market.

Pegging currency to gold has its disadvantages, first of all regarding emission of money, but advantages of gold pegging in present circumstances seem to be prevailing.

Anyway Russian ruble since 1990s unofficially pegged exchange rate of ruble to another commodity – oil so I see no big moral problems switching to golden ruble, if Nabiullina think pegging to oil is “free floating” while to gold is not, let her to prove first how is that oil different from gold as commodity?

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