Ukraine War! What Is It Good For? – Transformation – Part 6

Ukraine War: Transformation

By Iain DavisIn This Together, June 3, 2022.

In Part 5, we discussed the true nature of sovereignty and considered how, when sovereignty is stolen from its only rightful possessor, the individual, the resultant hierarchical structure eventually and inevitably forms a worldwide system of power. That network of power, based upon highly centralized political authority, acts as a population control mechanism.

Today we can call that global structure a Global Public-Private Partnership (G3P). The G3P claims for itself sovereignty — that is, complete power and authority — over all monetary, financial, economic, political, judicial and military/policing institutions in the world.

We previously made the case that any claim of sovereignty over the individual by any entity has no moral or lawful legitimacy. Yet the sophistry of nation-states’ written constitutions has convinced the citizens that they have devolved their individual sovereignty to their governments. Though this devolution is impossible under Natural Law, it is the common trick that has been performed by governments throughout history.

The worldwide network of illegitimate sovereigns—composed of national governments and of intergovernmental and supranational institutions — enables certain people who have sufficient means and the right connections to enforce the policies they desire upon the masses. They are often referred to as “globalists” or “oligarchs.”

The G3P distributes its claimed authority through so-called “partnerships.” These partnerships afford private investors and businesses access to governments — and thus to the power and authority that citizens are either coerced or conned into giving to their governments. Clearly, this is a system designed to benefit a select few at the expense of all others.

In order to fully understand why NATO, the EU and all governments aligned with the West created the conditions for the conflict in Ukraine, and why Russia has seemingly complied by meeting the West’s expectations in full, we first need to consider who benefits from Russia’s “special military operation.” It certainly isn’t the people of Ukraine or of Russia, nor is it the wider global population.

The Inexorable Path To War

Russia can cite military considerations in the face of a national security crisis as justification for its actions. However, it seems that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine may have been motivated by more than just a response to a national security threat.

In March 2021, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine approved Defense Council Decree no. 117/2021, which declared the Ukrainian government’s “Strategy for De-occupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.”

The Ukrainian state information news agency — Ukrinform — stated that the strategy focused upon:

[D]iplomatic, military, economic, informational, humanitarian and other measures aimed at restoring the territorial integrity, state sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders through the de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea.

In the months that followed, Ukrainian forces steadily increased their presence in the Donbas and southern oblasts. The Ukrainian Defence minister insisted that this reinforcement was purely defensive.

Ukraine’s stated intention to use all possible means to regain Crimea and to defeat the DPR and the LPR, combined with its build-up of forces, created a reasonable cause for concern on the part of the Russian government. For example, Russia’s access to the vital strategic port of Sevastopol appeared to be under imminent threat.

Ukraine’s efforts to regain its claimed territory were financed by the IMF, World Bank, EU member states, the UK and the US. IMF loans of $700 million were part of a $5 billion total package. Money and Ukraine’s resultant national debt appeared to be no object to this funding cartel.

Purely Defensive Tanks

NATO simultaneously undertook a series of provocative exercises. DEFENDER-Europe 21, Locked Shields 21 (cyber), CAPABLE DEPLOYER 2021, Ramstein Ambition 21 (electronic warfare), Spring Storm, Breeze 21, Iron Wolf II 21 and Atlantic Resolve 21 all took place in the spring and summer of 2021. Every one of these exercises focused on defending Eastern Europe as NATO markedly increased its surveillance over Ukraine and the Black Sea.

Among the most provocative, from a Russian perspective, was Exercise Cossack Mace, which ran throughout May and June 2021. NATO and Ukrainian forces war-gamed an attack from a “fictitious” Eastern adversary. Another one, Exercise Sea Breeze, saw the US and Ukrainian navies cooperate.

While it is perfectly normal for countries to run joint military exercises, given the nature of the political standoff and the ongoing war in the Donbas, to imagine that these exercises weren’t openly provocative to Russia is ludicrous. The calculation, at the very least, was that Russia’s national security concerns were irrelevant to NATO and Ukraine.

Russia responded with manoeuvres of its own. Russia already had troops permanently stationed on its side of the border with Ukraine, including in Crimea. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that the 58th Army of the Southern Military District, the 41st Army of the Central Military District, the 7th and 76th Airborne Assault and 98th Airborne Divisions were sent to areas where combat training missions were underway. He was transparent about the reason for this counter show of strength, saying:

In response to the alliance’s [NATO] military activity threatening Russia, we took appropriate measures[.] [. . .] At present, these formations are involved in exercise.

The series of Russian exercises included extensive land, sea, air, cyber and information warfare drills. Among them were exercises carried out in Crimea by the 58th Army. The training culminated in the annual Zapad joint military exercises. In 2021, these joint exercises were conducted with Belarusian forces.

There was an immediate monetary impact as a result of the obvious increase in tensions between NATO and Moscow. Russia’s redeployment of forces, designed to strengthen its positions on the border with Ukraine, caused the dollar and the euro to fall sharply against the rouble.

Military conflict and the threat of international confrontation always have an impact on global markets. Many “sovereign entities,” and those people who are able to influence them, understand that global events, especially war, can be manipulated to achieve a range of monetary, financial, economic and political objectives. Geopolitical history is peppered with examples.

In the spring of 2021, NATO’s military pressure was combined with threats to expel Russia from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) network. This is the international financial communication system that enables banks and financial institutions to notify each other of international fund transfers using a standardised set of codes.

The transfer of currency, securities, treasury transactions, payments for trade and other financial system transactions occurs via interbank settlement, using the central banking network, not through SWIFT itself. Though it is an important component of the current global financial system, SWIFT is merely a communication and notification tool.

During a question-and-answer session after his January 2021 press conference, US President Joe Biden was asked how a new tranche of economic sanctions would work to dissuade Vladimir Putin from attacking Ukraine. The question itself was loaded with the inference that Russia wanted to attack Ukraine, despite there being no reason to suspect this was true.

Russia’s desire was to do business with the EU, sell its oil and gas to Brussels and prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. As we have discussed, none of these objectives were in US or NATO interests.

Biden’s response to this question was revealing:

Well, because he’s [Putin] never seen sanctions like the ones I promised will be imposed if he moves[.] [. . .] I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. [. . .] if they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine [. . .] our allies and partners are ready to impose severe costs and significant harm on Russia and the Russian economy. [. . .] I’ve already shipped over $600 million worth of sophisticated equipment, defensive equipment to the Ukrainians. The cost of going into Ukraine, in terms of physical loss of life, for the Russians, they’ll — they’ll be able to prevail over time, but it’s going to be heavy, it’s going to be real, and it’s going to be consequential. [. . .] [E]everybody talks about how Russia has control over the energy supply that Europe absorbs.  Well, guess what?  That — that money that they earn from that makes about 45 percent of the economy.  I don’t see that as a one-way street.  They go ahead and cut it off — it’s like my mother used to say: “You bite your nose off to spite your face.” [. . .] I believe you will see that there’ll be severe economic consequences.  For example, anything that involves dollar denominations, if they make — if they invade, they’re going to pay; they’re not going — their banks will not be able to deal in dollars. [. . .] Militarily, they have overwhelming superiority.

Biden was making it clear that, as far as the US was concerned, from a military perspective there was no chance at all that Ukraine could ever win a war against Russia, regardless of whatever military support Ukraine received—short of a full-scale confrontation between NATO and Russia. The US knew, and accepted, that Russia would “prevail.”

The only possible result of arming Ukraine, then, would be to prolong the conflict and increase the body count, primarily among the Ukrainians.

Equally, Russia also knew that Ukraine could not win. Therefore, unless Russia’s military strategists decided to commit their forces to suicidal folly, their overriding military concern, should the occasion arise, would be to achieve operational objectives while minimising Russian casualties. As we will soon discuss, Russia has a global advantage in military technology that has thus far enabled it to wage war in Ukraine on its own terms.

Most telling was the US acknowledgement that the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies, should Russia act, would mean that Russia would have no choice but to sell its energy and other commodities in a currency other than the dollar. The implications of this cannot be overstated, especially in light of Russia’s position in the global energy market.

The US was signalling a likely shift in the global reserve currency — a shift effectively hardwired into the inevitable sanctions that would ensue if Russia went into Ukraine. Sanctions were practically a precondition of Russia’s “special military operation.” It almost seemed as if sanctions were a Western policy objective.

Why would the West — the US, in particular — not only pursue a self-defeating monetary policy but also make that policy dependent upon the tactical military decisions of Russia? As we will discuss, Russia had been trying to unseat the dollar as the world’s reserve currency for decades.

Both Russia and China had been consistently pushing their monetary and economic policies towards dedollarisation. Now here was the West “threatening” to hand fulfilment of those policies on a plate to both Russia and China if Russia launched a military attack on Ukraine! Hardly a disincentive to Russia.

Moscow interpreted the moves to isolate it from the financial system as a precursor to war. Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that such moves would serve to embolden Ukrainian hardliners.

Russia found itself in a bizarre situation. From a national security perspective, it needed to stop NATO expansionism in Ukraine and avoid facing the horror of Nazis with itchy trigger fingers on weapons of mass destruction.

Russia knew that the inevitable consequence of taking military action would be further sanctions. But this was nothing new; Russia had been dealing with sanctions for years.

What’s more, Russia had already taken significant steps to circumvent any further sanctions. And, while the suggested sanction regime would initially be tough on the Russian economy, sanctions by the West would, according to the President of the United States, also deliver on a silver plate one of Russia’s most sought-after monetary policy objectives.

For years the war drums had been beating in NATO-aligned nations but not necessarily in Ukraine itself. In November 2021, NATO defence ministers, gathered in Riga Latvia, issued warnings about an impending Russian “invasion.” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said:

Any future Russian aggression against Ukraine would come at a high price and have serious political and economic consequences for Russia. [. . .] We see a significant and unusual concentration of forces, which is unjustified and unexplained.

Jens Stoltenberg Speaks

As we’ve just discussed, this kind of statement from NATO was intentionally provocative. NATO knew full well that Russian deployments were a fairly standard response to NATO’s own multiple exercises on Russia’s western border and to Ukrainian troop movements.

While Russian troop movements certainly didn’t reduce tensions, nonetheless there was nothing unusual, unjustified or unexplained about them. Yet the Western mainstream media propagandists simply parroted NATO’s claims and persistently tried to convince populations in the West that Russia wanted war with Ukraine.

Following the conclusion of the Zapad exercises in January 2022, the analysis from the Ukraine Defence Ministry was that little had changed since the spring of 2021—that Russia was not building forces, merely rotating them, as usual. Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov suggested that the Western warnings of an imminent Russian invasion were overstated:

The number [of Russian troops] then and now are similar, but the (Western) reactions are disproportionate[.]

In January 2021 President Zelenskyy, speaking in a national TV address, questioned why some NATO members were apparently insistent that war was imminent when this did not appear to be the case.

What’s new? Isn’t this the reality we’ve been living in for eight years? [. . .] Didn’t the invasion start in 2014? These risks have long existed. They didn’t increase. What increased is the craze [in the news]. Our land is not being under attack now — but your nerves are. They’re trying to make you feel anxiety all the time.

Zelenskyy was right to highlight the incessant forecasts of war made by the West. Russia’s military exercises, within its own borders, were frequently being reported as a prelude for war, and yet readying for a potential conflict is, of course, the whole point of preparatory exercises. Besides, if Russia’s manoeuvres were a precursor to it launching an attack, then equally so were NATO’s and Ukraine’s military deployments.

On the 11th of February 2022, Russia/Ukraine talks brokered by French and German officials in Berlin broke down without any resolution. Russia insisted that Ukraine engage in dialogue with the representatives from the DPR and LPR. And it once again stressed the importance of Ukraine refraining from joining NATO.

However, it was practically impossible, and potentially very dangerous, for Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People (SN) government representatives to hold talks with the DPR and the LPR officials. Neither republic was seeking to secede from Ukraine. Rather, they sought constitutional reform to enable their autonomy. Obviously, if the Kyiv government was incapable of even talking to them, the prospect of this happening was remote to nonexistent.

On the 15th of February, the Russian State Duma passed a resolution calling upon the Russian government to officially recognise the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the DPR and the LPR. The speaker, Vyacheslav Volodin, commented:

Kyiv is not observing the Minsk agreements. Our citizens and compatriots who live in Donbass need our help and support.

This appeared to be a tactical move by the ruling United Russia Party to establish possible legal legitimacy for the military operation in Ukraine.

The Donbas War had rumbled on for eight years, yet Ukraine had failed to make any of the constitutional reforms needed to meet the Minsk agreement and, in the meantime, had been reinforcing its military stance. NATO and the EU states, for their part, had done nothing to encourage Ukraine to deescalate the situation. And, having operated an expansionist policy for decades, NATO continued to rebuff all of Russia’s national security concerns and persistently mobilised its forces on Russia’s border.

The same day that the Russian Duma started the process of recognizing the independence of the DPR and the LPR, the Organization for Security & Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) recorded that ceasefire breaches were lower than the 21day average. Three days later, however, the OSCE recorded ceasefire breaches that were orders of magnitude higher than the 21day average.

With the latter recording the OSCE issued an accompanying statement, noting that it had “observed a dramatic increase in kinetic activity along the contact line in eastern Ukraine.” There was nothing in the reports, however, to indicate who had initiated the conflagration.

On February 21st, President Putin announced the Russian decision “to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic.” The DPR and the LPR requested assistance on the 23rd, thus enabling Russia to cite Article 51 of the UN Charter as claimed justification for launching its special military operation on the 24th.

Why Didn’t Russia Leverage Energy?

It is worth reminding ourselves of the reasons Putin gave for the operation. He sought, in his words, “to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine” and to prosecute those whom Russia accused of war-crimes. Putin added:

Any further expansion of the North Atlantic alliance’s infrastructure or the ongoing efforts to gain a military foothold of the Ukrainian territory are unacceptable for us. [. . .] [T]he forces that staged the coup in Ukraine in 2014 have seized power[.] [. . .] Focused on their own goals, the leading NATO countries are supporting the far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis in Ukraine, those who will never forgive the people of Crimea and Sevastopol for freely making a choice to reunite with Russia. [. . .] They will undoubtedly try to bring war to Crimea just as they have done in Donbass[.] [. . .] [T]he showdown between Russia and these forces cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.

Circumstances had certainly coalesced to create the situation described by Putin. Russia could legitimately make a case that the need to take military action was pressing.

However, during the previous eight years, and most acutely since Kyiv passed Decree no. 117/2021, as Putin alluded to, a military confrontation appeared to be inevitable. So why didn’t Moscow use the other tools at its disposal to at least attempt to achieve its objectives without having to resort to armed conflict?

It was a foregone conclusion that any incursion into Ukrainian territory would result in severe economic sanctions. Yet, as noted by Biden, Russia had “control over the energy supply that Europe absorbs.”

While the Russian economy would suffer a massive shock with the loss of this trade, that shock was guaranteed if it invaded Ukraine. In the meantime Russia had leverage that it could have exploited to heap immense pressure on the EU and thereby NATO and Ukraine.

Chalous – Gamechanger?

Already the thirdlargest oil-producing nation after the US and Saudi Arabia and the secondlargest producer of natural gas after the US, Russia strengthened its energy production position even further in November 2021, when it secured a 40% 20-year stake in the newly discovered Iranian Chalous field.

Initial reserve estimates were on the low side. Chalous has 7.1 trillion cubic meters, equivalent to half of remaining reserves in the South Pars field—the largest gas field on Earth — which Iran shares with Qatar. Chalous, by contrast, is entirely under Iranian waters.

Russia’s stake in Chalous has been described by some as a geopolitical game-changer. Since Chalous is capable of supplying Europe with 20% of its gas requirements, Russia’s deal with Iran further consolidated its position as Europe’s energy lifeline.

US domestic energy consumption far exceeds Russia’s, thus making Russia the second largest oil exporter and the largest gas exporter in the world. Russia also possesses the largest gas reserves on Earth.

Despite Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, NATO has continued its expansionist agenda. Following Russia’s attack, both Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO. Also, the alliance continues to encourage South Korea and Japan to do the same. This is a NATO strategy that China opposes in the Pacific region just as vehemently as Russia does in Eastern Europe.

In response to Finland’s application to NATO, Russia cut off its gas supply. That reaction was also in response to Finland’s refusal to pay for Russian gas in roubles (more on this shortly). Russia also cut off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to make payments in roubles.

All the tough sanction talk from NATO and EU member states appears to have been aimed more at European electorates than Russian policymakers. In reality, the Russian energy giant Gazprom had established a mechanism to exchange payments, made in dollars and euros, into roubles and thus sidestep the sanctions.

Supposedly the Russian central bank (CBR) had been excommunicated from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) because it had been sanctioned by the EU. But how could this have been true? After all, Gazprom’s currency exchange wasn’t possible without interbank settlement.

The sanction-busting strategy required the settlement bank—called the acquirer—to coordinate the transaction via the Swiss based Gazprombank, but ultimately the trading banks “reserves” were settled via central banks and the BIS. This means the CBR was still operating as a functioning central bank within the global central banking system, overseen by the BIS.

According to the Hungarian Chief of Staff Gergely Gulyas, at least 10 European countries were engaged in the sanction avoidance scheme. He said:

There are nine other countries using the same payment scheme, [. . .] today the idea of being a good European also means that the leaders of those countries are not honest when speaking either in the international arena or to their own people, the other nine countries won’t say that they are doing the same thing[.] [. . .] There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that countries importing raw materials from Russia use exactly the same method to pay for Russian gas.

In March 2022 the Kremlin issued Decree 172 banning the dollar or euro sale of Russian oil and gas to nations deemed to be “unfriendly.” As Russia was effectively barred from doing business using the global (US dollar) reserve currency, this was such an obvious move by Moscow it is hard to imagine that Western planners weren’t expecting it.

The sanction workaround involved Gazprombank transferring funds paid in dollars or euros to another internal account denominated in roubles. As Gazprombank is based in Switzerland, its financial activities were not subject to EU sanction—Switzerland not being an EU member state. Payments to the supplier, which was Gazprom, could then comply with both the Kremlin demand for rouble payments and EU sanctions. It was a fudge, in other words.

While the Hungarians didn’t name the European sanction-dodging countries, it seems Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Italy were among them. Having heavily sanctioned Russia — and supposedly the CBR — for its Ukrainian military operation, EU President Ursula Von Der Leyen said, without a shred of irony, that the Russian insistence upon payment in roubles was tantamount to blackmail.

This was a preposterous allegation. The intention of sanctioning the CBR was to bar Russia both from using the global reserve currency and trading in the global energy market. We will cover sanctions in more depth shortly but, suffice to say, this guaranteed that Russia and its international partners would have to use alternative currencies.

This was the EU Commission President blaming Russia for resorting to “blackmail,” yet that is, of course, the precise purpose of sanctions. Russia’s monetary response was assured. In point of fact, the EU commission issued guidance to trading companies approving the sanction-dodging.

When considering if the Gazprombank strategy would enable private EU-based companies to import Russian gas and continue trading with Russian gas providers, regardless of sanctions, the EU Commission advised:

Yes, this appears possible. EU companies can ask their Russian counterparts to fulfil their contractual obligations in the same manner as before the adoption of the Decree, i.e. by depositing the due amount in Euros or Dollars. The Decree of 31 March does not preclude a payment process which is in line with the EU restrictive measures.

Gazprombank took European payments in Euros from energy firms such as Germany’s Uniper, Austria’s OMV and Italy’s Eni and converted them into roubles. As pointed out by the UK Financial Times:

The measure was seen as a way of neutralising EU sanctions against Russia’s central bank over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Although the sanctions were set to have a devastating impact on European’s cost of living, multinational corporations continued to do business as usual. One has to wonder who the sanctions were aimed at. As we shall see, it is the people of Europe who are suffering as a result. Was this self-destruction an intended policy objective?

Ursula Von Der Leyen – EU Commission President

Finland adopted a different approach and sought to protect itself against the gas cut off by agreeing to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the US. It also committed to expand its nuclear energy program.

In terms of energy exports, Finland represents only a tiny proportion of Russia’s business, and the move by the Kremlin was largely symbolic. But many other European countries are far more exposed and are heavily reliant upon Russian energy.

European industry, not to mention households, simply cannot function without it. For example, Germany receives 55% of its gas supply from Russia. The chief executive of the German petrochemical giant BASF, Martin Brudermüller, warned that an actual EU embargo on Russian energy imports would cause the “worse crisis since the Second World War.”

While the EU and other European nations have recognised the Russian stranglehold on the European energy market for some time, it isn’t at all clear how they can replace their Russian supply.

In 2021, for the first time ever, US gas exports in the form of LNG via tanker exceeded its pipeline exports to Mexico and Canada. However, despite the war rhetoric from the EU, that it will “phase out” its reliance on Russian energy, the hurdles it needs to overcome first are considerable. US LNG alone isn’t currently a viable solution.

According to analysis by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, EU claims that it can replace its reliance upon Russian energy are currently “impossible.” A number of other factors, far beyond EU control, such as global supply and demand, have to perfectly align and even then a percentage reduction is all the EU can hope to achieve in the first year:

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the European Commission (EC) devised plans to rapidly reduce the EU’s imports of Russian natural gas. Russian pipeline gas supplies to the European Union amounted to approximately 155 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2021, including 14 bcm of liquified natural gas (LNG). Replacing this volume entirely within one year would be impossible. However, the IEA and the EC estimate that a reduction of one- to two-thirds is achievable by the end of 2022 based on lowering gas demand and finding alternative gas supplies. This wide range is indicative of just how challenging this effort will be.

Even if the EU could “lower demand,” acquire more LNG, mainly from the US, and increase alternative pipeline flows, it lacks both the terminal and storage capacity to import it in sufficient quantities and contain it. In the meantime, while Europe makes the massive infrastructure investment it requires, Russia could simply cut it off and throw it back into the Stone Age in a matter of weeks.

So we have to ask why Moscow would allow the EU to “phase out” its business with Russia? The Kremlin could switch off supply straightaway and force the EU to engage in some very high-pressure renegotiation while it holds all the cards. Russia needs its European energy export market, but, as we shall see, it had already made significant progress towards mitigating any losses long before it launched its military operation.

In other words, the EU can only make this transition with Russia’s support. Why on Earth is Russia maintaining it?

Not only is Russia enabling the EU to move towards a new continental energy system, intended to cut Russia out of its market, Russia is supposedly suffering crippling sanctions for its act of kindness. Something is definitely amiss.

The whole issue of sanctions, and indeed the conflict itself, becomes even more unfathomable when we consider how Western powers intend to benefit from it. Again, none of this would be possible without Russian complicity.

Equally, thanks to the West’s generous reserve currency offer, by going to war in Ukraine, Russia’s monetary ambitions have received a massive boost. This has come at significant short-term cost, but the monetary, economic and financial payoff for Russia could be staggering. There appears to be far more to Russia’s military action than publicly admitted by either side.

A Captured Ukrainian Regime

Under the aforementioned decree in March 2021 (Decree no. 117/2021), the Kyiv government, led by the SN Party of President Zelenskyy, was determined to restore “the territorial integrity” of Ukraine. This ended any lingering hope that the Ukrainian government had any intention of pursuing the Minsk agreements or similar negotiations. The threat to the DPR and the LPR was implicit.

The likelihood of Ukrainian using military force to assert its claim increased notably in April 2021. Russian diplomats, including Vladimir Putin, had urged Ukrainian officials to hold direct discussions with the elected leaders of the DPR and the LPR. While talking about gaining US support for a brokered peace deal, President Zelenskyy stated:

There is a persistent threat, of course, because we are having a war, especially in the Donbas area[.] [. . .] I have no intention of talking to terrorists and it is just impossible for me in my position.

One of the reasons that it was “just impossible” for Zelenskyy to acknowledge the democratic mandate of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Councils became evident during his 2019 visit to Zolote. He needed to be very careful to appease the Nazis. Not only did they have a firm hold of Ukrainian national security, they posed a significant threat to the Kyiv government as well as to Zelenskyy and other government officials personally.

This point was spelled out by Dmytro Yarosh just a week after Zelenskyy’s May 2019 election victory. Speaking to the online news outlet Obozrevatel about the possible implementation of the Minsk agreement via the Normandy format Yarosh said:

Zelenskyy said in his inaugural speech that he was ready to lose ratings, popularity, position[.] [. . .] No, he would lose his life. He will hang on some tree on Khreshchatyk [a Kyiv thoroughfare] – if he betrays Ukraine and those people who died in the Revolution and the War.

Yarosh’s comment wasn’t an idle threat. The Nazis had already demonstrated during “the Revolution,” during their subsequent occupation of Kyiv, and with the massacres in Odessa and in Mariupol and throughout the Donbas War, their willingness to commit atrocities against anyone. As C14 leader Yevhen Karas pointed out, they enjoy killing.

Dmytro Yarosh

When Serhiy Sternenko, one of the leaders of the Odessa massacre, was sentenced to seven years for the kidnapping and false imprisonment of Odessa politician Serhiy Shcherbych, the Nazis protested by fighting Kyiv police and trashing the offices of the President. The Ukrainian courts freed Sternenko shortly thereafter.

Yarosh said that, as far as the Nazis were concerned, the Minsk agreements and Normandy format were simply an opportunity “to play for time, arm the Armed Forces, switch to the best world standards in the system of national security and defense.” NATO member states appeared to agree. They had seized the opportunity to arm, train and equip the Nazis to the fullest possible extent.

When German Chancellor Olaf Sholtz reportedly suggested to Zelenskyy that Russia and the US were willing to consider a deal to avert the potential Russian military operation — if Zelenskyy agreed to work to put a stop to Ukraine’s moves to join NATO — Zelenskyy wasn’t really in any position to agree. Not if he valued his life.

In November 2021, a couple of years after Yarosh threatened to hang the then-new President of Ukraine from a tree in the centre of the nation’s capital, Zelenskyy appointed Yarosh as his advisor to Chief of General Staff. Welcoming the role the Nazis played in Ukrainian national defence, the Chief of General Staff Colonel General Viktor Muzhenko made a formal agreement with Yarosh to coordinate the activities of the “Pravy Sector” (Right Sector) with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Venerating their willingness to fight and announcing the strengthening ties between the Ukrainian military and “volunteer battalions” (including the Nazis), General Muzhenko outlined how he and Yarosh envisioned the relationship going forward:

We understand the needs of changes and increase of efficiency at all the army levels. [. . .] We are developing the reforms and will implement them. We gathered all the patriots and defenders of Ukraine under single leadership. [. . .] We have one goal and the united Ukraine. The Army becomes stronger each week[.]

That “single leadership” of the Ukrainian army was a collaborative command structure headed by Colonel General Muzhenko in partnership with the Nazi leader who threatened to kill the president, Dmytro Yarosh. Were it not for the unwavering support of NATO, Yarosh would never have possessed sufficient political capital to grab joint command of Ukrainian ground forces.

To put the Ukrainian approach to national security into context, we can consider the December 2020 appointment of Oliksiy Arestovych as Advisor to the Office of the President. The former actor is an intelligence officer and psychological warfare specialist and served as part of Ukraine’s Minsk delegation.

Speaking to the Washington Post in March 2022 about the Ukrainian tactic of placing its military assets in civilian neighbourhoods, Arestovych referred to the Verkhovna Rada’s approved policy of “Total Defense.” This is a policy commitment to create long-term resistance efforts against an “occupying army.” It assumes Russian victory on the battlefiled and subsequent occupation.

Passed into Ukrainian law in June 2021, its primary objective is to allow the Ukrainian government to continue operating via covert means. First and foremost, it protects the “line of succession” for the regime itself. This is referred to as the continuity of government program, and it places a duty upon the occupied population to die in the defence of a government which, in order for it to stay safe, may well be in exile overseas.

It is a long-term plan for prolonged guerrilla warfare. Total Defense aims to embroil the entire Ukrainian population—and all sectors of its economy and institutions — in a life-or-death struggle as they fight to maintain the claimed sovereignty of a defeated political hierarchy.

Arestovych suggested that Total Defense meant that Ukrainian forces didn’t need to bother with annoying humanitarian principles, such as those outlined in the Geneva Conventions, and that the war with Russia was not “a competition of European armies according to established rules.”

Arestovych is an admirer of Islamist extremist terrorist organisations and is particularly impressed by Islamic State (also called ISIS or ISIL). Speaking on Ukrainian TV, which under his close friend Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become a single, cohesive propaganda operation, he has praised ISIS’ use of terror on a number of occasions. For example:

The commanders of ISIL are considered some of the more wise and successful commanders that there are currently. Everything is thought through in detail, even the degree of cruelty. Cruelty for show – it is inhumane, but it is of a very high level, a wise strategy, taking their particular interests into account.


They are acting very correctly, I even have a notebook where I analyse ISIL in great detail, the best practices of running their business, the way they govern. Those methods, the world needs them, even though this means terrorism, medieval levels of cruelty, burning people alive, shooting them or cutting off their heads, etc. This is absolutely the way of the future.

Fighters from Islamic State, al Qaeda and other “former” Islamist terrorists have been fighting alongside the Nazis in Ukraine since at least 2014. The Sheikh Mansur battalion, led by Muslim Cheberloevsky and the Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion, apparently commanded by Adam Osmayev, are the most well-known. The Right Sector, under Yarosh, was tasked with overseeing and coordinating joint operations with the Islamists throughout the Donbas War.

When Zelenskyy announced that 16,000 foreign fighters were to form a Ukrainian foreign legion, it was widely acknowledged that many of them were Islamist extremists. Combat veterans from Chechya, Ingushetia, Daghestan and South Ossetia occupied the Ukrainian frontlines alongside the Azov, Dnepr and Aydar regiments, all subsequently rebranded as Ukrainian national guards.

Oliksiy Arestovych

The Total Defense Deception

Arestovych’s ideas have apparently become popular with the Ukrainian forces, and certainly among the “volunteer battalions.” They have filmed themselves torturing and murdering captured Russian troops, Ukrainian Jews and others on many occasions. Condemnation from the Western powers has been notable solely for its absence.

For Russian-speaking Ukrainians, ethnic Russian Ukrainians, Poles, Tartars, Armenians, Roma and Jewish Ukrainians, especially those living in the eastern and southern oblasts, the militarisation of the Nazis by NATO and the Kyiv regime presented an existential threat. The idea that Total Defense is intended to protect all Ukrainians against foreign “occupation” is a deception. It is a policy enabling some Ukrainians to continue to wage war against other Ukrainians.

In 2014, during a national televised broadcast on Hromadske TV, alleged journalist Bogdan Butkevich openly advocated killing million of Ukrainians because they didn’t subscribe to the ultranationalist’s agenda:

Donbass, in general, is not simply a region in a very depressed condition, it has a whole bunch of problems, biggest of which is it is severely overpopulated with people nobody has any use for. [. . .] If we take, for example, just Donetsk oblast, there are approximately 4 million inhabitants at least 1.5 million of them are superfluous. [. . .] We don’t need to “understand” Donbass, we need to understand Ukrainian national interests. Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. [. . .] The most important thing that must be done, there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated.

When the Donbas War began, Nazi military leaders and politicians, like Dmytro Yarosh, Andriy Biletsky, Oleh Lyachenko and Vadym Troyan, set about that extermination. Russian officials correctly assessed Ukraine’s military operation, and the corresponding likelihood of further NATO enlargement, as more than just a threat to Russian strategic interests and its national security. It was also a dire threat to the lives of people living in Crimea, Odessa, the DPR and the LPR.

In June 2021 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov highlighted that a diplomatic solution would only be possible if the US — the foremost NATO state — were behind the initiative. Otherwise there seemed to be little hope of a peaceful resolution to the eight-year-long Donbas War.

However, the July 2021 response from the US State Department and the German Foreign Ministry left no doubt about the policy trajectory. While the US administration spoke of supporting the Normandy format, they made it clear that the US would not facilitate negotiations in any practical sense.

Both countries were solely intent upon “restoring the territorial integrity” of Ukraine. They continued to unreservedly back the Nazi agenda and the Zelenskyy regime that was clearly captured by it:

The United States and Germany are steadfast in their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, and chosen European path. [. . .] The United States and Germany are united in their determination to hold Russia to account for its aggression and malign activities by imposing costs via sanctions and other tools.

Up to this point Russia had not “officially” been directly involved in the Donbas War. The DPR and the LPR could project their own military force, thanks largely to defections from the Ukrainian army.

In 2015 Ukrainian Interior Ministry officials admitted that an estimated 16,000 Ukrainian troops had defected to the Donbas People’s Militias (PMs), taking their arms and equipment with them. Given the nature of such “estimates,” it is likely that the figure was considerably higher.

These troops were in addition to those that had initially formed the PMs in November 2014 under the Donetsk governorship of Pavel Gubarev. He estimated the original size of the combined force to be somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 troops. Taking the usual overestimation into account, it is likely to have been closer to 10,000 than to 20,000.

Major-General Aleksandr Kolomiyets

The defections have continued, including some high-profile military officers. For example, Major-General Aleksandr Kolomiyets, the former assistant Ukrainian Defence Minister, defected in 2015. Further military defections were admitted in 2017 by the Ukrainian military. These defections included troops from mechanised brigades, who also took their military hardware with them.

In 2017 then-Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said the PMs consisted of approximately 40,000 troops. Based upon previous admissions and estimates, this appears to have been a plausible number. He added that there were also an additional 4,000 Russian troops. That claim is somewhat dubious, but it all depends upon how you define Russian troops.

Prior to the start of the Russian “special military operation,” the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) had persistently alleged Russian troop involvement in the Donbas War. However, these claims were based upon “information received” rather than direct observation. As a result, the OSCE added that it “could not draw conclusions” from this information.

In 2018 Foreign Policy (FP) magazine published an interview with Alexander Hug, the deputy head of the OSCE SMM. When asked what evidence the OSCE had of Russian direct involvement in the Donbas, Hug replied:

If the question is what we have seen on the ground, we would not see direct evidence. But we have seen convoys leaving and entering Ukraine on dirt roads in the middle of the night, in areas where there is no official crossing. [. . .] We have seen specific types of weapons that we have described in detail, including electronic warfare equipment. We have spoken to prisoners taken by the Ukrainian forces who claim to be members of the Russian armed forces fighting on rotation in Ukraine. We have seen men with the insignia of the Russian Federation, but you can buy this jacket anywhere. We have also seen the insignia of Germany, Spain, and others—but also of the Russians.

The OSCE SMM, tasked with monitoring the Donbas War since it began in 2014, had no evidence of any Russian troop deployment in Ukraine prior to the 24th of February 2022. They had heard claims, seen some suspicious activity and received allegations, but could not substantiate them. Later FP decided that it didn’t like what Hug had to say, so added a “clarification”:

Clarification, October 25, 2018: In an earlier version, Hug stated that OSCE had not seen direct evidence of Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine. We have removed this remark, as it did not convey his intended view. He goes on to cite facts and observations that his monitors have recorded.

The “facts and observations” were the claims, suspicions and allegations Hug referred to. He did not change his statement, FP just chose to reinterpret and spin it to suit its propaganda objectives.

This is not to say that Russia didn’t have forces in the Donbas. It just didn’t have “official” forces engaged in the conflict. Something else we’ll discuss in due course.

A War Built Upon Lies

Ben Wallace, the UK Defence Secretary, gave a speech on the 9th of May 2022 at the UK National Army Museum on the subject of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. He said:

While in Moscow in February, I accepted the honour of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, beneath the vast red walls of the Kremlin itself. It stands in memory of those Russians who lost their lives fighting the invading Nazis. [. . .] Through their invasion of Ukraine, Putin, his inner circle and generals are now mirroring the fascism and tyranny of 77 years ago. [. . .] They are showing the same disregard for human life, national sovereignty, and the rules-based international system. [. . .] Their unprovoked, illegal, senseless, and self-defeating invasion of Ukraine; their attacks against innocent civilians and their homes. Their widespread atrocities, including the deliberate targeting of women and children; they all corrupt the memory of past sacrifices and Russia’s once-proud global reputation.

This is the sanctimonious rhetoric of the West. It is Rapid Response Mechanism hypocrisy and disinformation spread by the wholly compliant Western mainstream media propagandists, led by the farcically named “Trusted News Initiative.” The purpose is to convince an unsuspecting Western public to believe in the Ukrainian cause and support the war. Trust what your government tells you!

There is nothing to indicate any commitment to democratic ideals in developed nation-states—and certainly not in Ukraine. Following the Euromaidan coup in February 2018, the Verkhovna Rada passed its package of so-called “decommunisation” laws. A program of brutal oppression, political purges, media censorship and state-sanctioned murder followed. The Ukrainian secret service (SBU) worked with the Nazis to kidnap, torture and assassinate the regime’s political opponents.

In 2016 the United Nations Office of the High Commission (UN OHCR) issued a report that stated:

From April 2014 to 30 April 2021, OHCHR documented the detention of 767 individuals (655 men and 112 women), 68.8 percent of whom (528, including 456 men and 72 women) were subjected to torture. [. . .] [T]orture and ill-treatment were used to extract confessions or information, or to otherwise make detainees cooperate, as well as for punitive purposes, to humiliate and intimidate, and to extort money and property. Methods of torture and ill-treatment included beatings, dry and wet asphyxiation, electrocution, sexual violence on men and women, positional torture, water, food, sleep or toilet deprivation, isolation, mock executions, prolonged use of handcuffs, hooding, and threats of death or further torture or sexual violence, or harm to family members.

In the report the OHCR noted that the DPR and the LPR had dished out precisely the same inhuman treatment:

OHCHR documented the conflict-related detention of 532 individuals (447 men and 85 women) from 2014 to 30 April 2021, 281 of whom (249 men and 32 women) were subjected to torture. [. . .] 82.2 per cent of documented cases of arbitrary detention in territory controlled by ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ and 85.7 percent in territory controlled by the ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ involved torture and/or ill-treatment.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukraine is a bloody mess. No one embroiled in the conflict is in any position to grandstand. Claims of moral superiority on either side are vacuous. Ukraine has become the stage upon which the harsh reality of global realpolitik is being played out.

While it is true that the Nazis’ ardent desire to exterminate their “untermenschen” targets is particularly vile, no side is above reproach. The whole region has devolved into a sorry quagmire of repression and barbarism.

Democracy is more than just universal suffrage. Voting means nothing if the state refuses to accept the “wrong” political choice. Democracy promises to guarantee free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of political, religious and ideological choice. None of those principles are upheld in Ukraine.

In a 2017 interview, the loquacious Yevhen Karas spoke about the C14 Nazis’ cosy relationship with the SBU, saying, “They inform not only us, but also Azov, the Right Sector, and so on.” The presidencies of Turchynov, Poroshenko and Zelenskyy have all overseen the ongoing dictatorship.

For example, Zelenskyy issued an order in March 2022 banning 11 legitimate Ukrainian political parties while leaving Nazi parties, such as Biletsky’s National Corps, untouched. His regime has followed the example set by the US, the UK, the EU and Russia by censoring media outlets it doesn’t approve of and constructing a Rapid Response Mechanism propaganda machine of its own.

Prior to Russia’s military action, Zelenskyy shut down the offices and seized the assets of the media outlets his government wished to silence. The US embassy in Kyiv welcomed the despotism, claiming it was essential “to counter Russia’s malign influence, in line with Ukrainian law, in defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

With Order 152/2022, Zelenskyy’s SN regime added:

[A] unified information policy is a priority issue of national security, which is achieved by combining all national TV channels, the program content of which consists mainly of information and / or information-analytical programs on a single information platform of strategic communication – round-the-clock information marathon[.]

Exploiting this all-pervasive Ukrainian “Ministry of Truth,” Zelenskyy was then free to make chilling threats unchallenged, such as:

The activities of politicians aimed at splitting or collaborating will not succeed, but will receive a tough response.

The mayor of Kreminna, Vlodymyr Struk, was tortured and shot dead after urging negotiation with Russia; the mayor of Gostomel, Yuri Prylipko, was murdered after negotiating humanitarian corridors with Russian forces; Gennady Matsegora, the mayor of Kupyansk in northeastern Ukraine, made a desperate video appeal to the Kyiv regime to release his daughter from SBU detention; a Ukrainian delegate to the Minsk Trilateral Contact Group, Denys Kireev, was shot dead in broad daylight by the SBU on the streets of Kyiv.

No matter where or when such murder, repression and censorship occurs, regardless of who orders it or the justification they claim, while it persists there is no possible basis for any democratic pretensions. If the same oppression leaves those who advocate violence free to spread their murderous vitriol and assassinate anyone they choose, then the state has become a full-blown dictatorship. These orders are the political decrees of tyrants, not democrats.

Disgusting Propaganda

This is the Ukrainian state that the Western political establishment venerates as a shining beacon of democracy. Ukraine is and has long been a deeply troubled nation. Its people deserve better.

The Ukrainian electorate put Zelenskyy’s regime in power because he promised to deescalate the Donbas War and deliver economic and social reforms on the heels of what most Ukrainians had come to perceive as the far-right, corrupt oligarchy of Petro Poroshenko.

They were not expecting to live under a violent kakistocracy, yet that is what their “democratic” electoral process delivered. The results do not differ much from the outcome of the “democratic” electoral process that exists nearly everywhere else.

Electorates never get what they vote for. No one in the UK voted to empower policymakers to assist in the creation of new forms of global governance or to exploit war as part of their efforts to transform the global economy. Yet once elected and invested with fake sovereign power, politicians implement whatever policy best suits the global agenda. They never mention this when they campaign for a seat. And once in office, they deny it.

In the 2022 annual Mansion House speech, where the Foreign Secretary traditionally outlines the UK foreign policy objectives for the coming year, Liz Truss said:

Faced with appalling [Russian] barbarism and war crimes, which we’d hoped had been consigned to history, the free world has united behind Ukraine in its brave fight for freedom and self-determination. [. . .] [W]e must be prepared for the long haul. We’ve got to double down on our support for Ukraine. [. . .] We must reboot, recast and remodel our approach. My vision is a world where free nations are assertive and in the ascendant. Where freedom and democracy are strengthened through a network of economic and security partnerships. Let’s be honest. The architecture that was designed to guarantee peace and prosperity has failed Ukraine [. . .] they have enabled rather than contained aggression. [. . .] We are dealing with a desperate rogue operator [Putin] with no interest in international norms. [Putin] took the money from oil and gas and used it to consolidate power and gain leverage abroad. The war in Ukraine is our war – it is everyone’s war because Ukraine’s victory is a strategic imperative for all of us. Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes – digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this. [. . .] [O]ur prosperity and security must be built on a network of strong partnerships. This is what I have described as the Network of Liberty. [. . .] The G7 should act as an economic NATO, collectively defending our prosperity. [. . .] We want to see a network of partnerships stretching around the world.

Much like the pandemic that immediately preceded it, this war is not seen by the Western powers as a problem but rather an opportunity to build a global network of partnerships. They are prepared for the long haul and envisage a lengthy war of attrition. They view it as a form of economic stimulus that allows them to ramp up production of heavy weaponry and technology to be exported to war zones, wherever they are created.

The conflict in Ukraine is a war for the transformation of the post-WWII international architecture, which will be rebooted, recast and remodelled. It provides the alleged justification for the G7 states to become an economic NATO.

Russian energy exports will no longer be allowed to flow to the West. This shutdown will force a total transformation of the West’s energy sector, which will have to be resilient and sustainable to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Liz Truss – UK Foreign Secretary

The cost of this war will initially be to the Ukrainians. Those who survive will be faced with unprecedented levels of national debt that they will have to work to repay.

The Western powers, especially the military industrial complex, are more than willing to convert to a war economy. They will endlessly finance and pump weapons into the conflict and will fight the Russians down to the last drop of Ukrainian blood, if they deem it necessary.

The global monetary and economic impact of the war, as a result of the allegedly unavoidable sanctions, will necessitate the complete transformation of the International Monetary and Financial System (IMFS). The end of the US dollar as the world’s global reserve currency is a key objective, not an unplanned consequence.

In short, for those who wish to extend and consolidate their supranational sovereignty over the planet, the conflict in Ukraine is absolutely perfect. Russia’s “special military operation” was necessary to move their agenda forward.

We might ask if Russia has been forced into enabling the West’s plan for transformation. What can be said is that Russia’s military operation and its subsequent response to the imposed sanctions are meeting all of the West’s objectives.

This transformation of everything, to be blamed upon Russia and China, is predicated upon Western public acceptance of a set of absurd lies. First among them is that Russia’s military response was unprovoked and an act of naked aggression.

As we shall see, this war has been meticulously planned for decades. It is a key step toward establishing global governance—an objective that has been relentlessly pursued for generations. No matter how the war develops, its ramifications are already global.

Its purpose is to propel a technocratic transformation that began with the pseudopandemic. Change will foster the further establishment of a global biosecurity state. The worldwide system, founded upon illegitimate claims of sovereignty, abolishing individual autonomy and rights and freedoms, is destined to promote the interests of a global “parasite class.”

Hitherto Russia’s “sovereign entities” enthusiastically embraced this model. There was no aspect of the globalist plan that the Russian hierarchy and its institutions and minions weren’t invested in. But with the war in Ukraine, that former accord seems to have collapsed into disunity and conflict.

The only question is: Why?

Throughout its history, Russia has been shaped by the same globalist power struggle that exists in and between every developed nation. And the evidence suggests that the Russian leadership is acutely aware of that fact. Was Russia’s former conformity merely a ruse to keep its enemies close?

Do the Russian oligarchs intend to oppose the West’s threatened takeover of the world’s resources and population? Are they offering an authentic alternative to the West’s global governance model? Are they useful dupes, exploited by their Western counterparts? Or is the Kremlin placing itself at the centre of its own partnership network in a bid to seize control of global governance itself?

These superficially conflicting goals need not be mutually exclusive. That is to say, Russia’s apparent rejection of the West’s global governance agenda doesn’t necessarily exclude its own ambitions.

The conflict in Ukraine is a proxy war for supranational sovereignty and ultimately global control. Now we must ask: What are the protagonists motives and how do they envisage the future of humanity?


Iain Davis

I’m an author, journalist, blogger and video maker (contributing to 21stCenturyWire, UKColumn, the OffGuardian and other leading news sites,) I am able to leap small footstools in a single bound, haven’t been kicked out lately and am occasionally reliable. I really enjoy a jolly good rant. Though many have expressed their wish that I didn’t

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