The War in Ukraine and Western Cynicism

Whatsapp
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Telegram

By JACQUES BAUD*

What would make the conflict in Ukraine more objectionable than the war in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya?

On the way to war

For years, from Mali to Afghanistan, I worked for peace and risked my life for it. It is not a question, therefore, of justifying the war, but of understanding what led us to it. I notice that the “experts” who take turns on the television screens analyze the situation based on dubious information, most of the time hypotheses turned into facts, and that is why we are no longer able to understand what is happening. This is how panic is created.

The problem is not so much who is right in this conflict, but how our leaders make their decisions.

Let us try to examine the roots of the conflict. Let's start with those who over the past eight years have told us about “separatists” or “independence” of the Donbass. It's fake. The referendums held by the two self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in May 2014 were not referendums on “independence” (независисимость) as they claimed. some unscrupulous journalists, but about “self-determination” or “autonomy” (самостоятельность). The term “pro-Russian” suggests that Russia was part of the conflict, which it was not, and the term “Russian speakers” would have been more honest. Moreover, these referendums were held against the advice of Vladimir Putin.

In fact, these republics did not seek to separate from Ukraine, but rather to have a status of autonomy that would guarantee them the use of the Russian language as an official language. Because the first legislative act of the new government resulting from the overthrow of President Yanukovych was the abolition, on February 23, 2014, of the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko Act of 2012, which made Russian an official language. A bit like the scammers decided that French and Italian would no longer be the official languages ​​of Switzerland.

This decision caused unrest in the Russian-speaking population. This led to fierce repression in Russian-speaking regions (Odessa, Dniepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk and Donietsk), which began in February 2014, and which led to the militarization of the situation and to some massacres (in Odessa and Mariupol, the most important ). At the end of the summer of 2014, only the already self-proclaimed republics of Donietsk and Lugansk remained.

At that stage, too rigid and attached to a doctrinaire approach to operational art, the Ukrainian general staff punished those who were assumed to be “enemies”, without, however, managing to prevail. Examining the course of the 2014-2016 fighting in Donbass shows that the Ukrainian general staff systematically and mechanically applied the same operational plans. However, the war waged by the then autonomists was very similar to what we observed in the Sahel: highly mobile operations carried out with light means. With a more flexible and less doctrinaire approach, the rebels were able to exploit the inertia of the Ukrainian forces to repeatedly “catch” them.

In 2014, I was in NATO, responsible for the fight against the proliferation of small arms, and, with my team, I was trying to detect deliveries of Russian weapons to the rebels, to see if Moscow was involved. The information we received came almost entirely from Polish intelligence services and did not “correspond” to the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) information: despite the rather crass accusations, we did not observe no delivery of Russian weapons and military materials.

The rebels armed themselves thanks to the defections of Russian-speaking Ukrainian units that had crossed over to the rebel side. As the Ukrainian failures progressed, entire battalions of tanks, artillery or anti-aircraft swelled the ranks of the autonomists. It was just this that led Ukrainians to commit to the Minsk Accords.

However, shortly after the signing of the Minsk 1 Agreement, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko launched a major “anti-terrorist” operation (ATO: Антитерористична операція) against Donbass. Badly advised by NATO officials, the Ukrainians suffered a crushing defeat at Debaltsievo, which forced them to commit to the Minsk Agreement 2.

It is essential to remember here that the Minsk 1 (September 2014) and Minsk 2 (February 2015) Accords did not provide for the separation or independence of the republics, but their autonomy within Ukraine. Those who have read the texts of the Accords (there are very, very, very few of them) recognize that it is fully recorded that the status of the “republics” should be negotiated between Kiev and their representatives, in order to seek an internal solution in Ukraine.

That is why, since 2014, Russia has systematically demanded its implementation, refusing to participate in the negotiations, because it was an internal matter for Ukraine. On the other hand, the Westerners ― led by France ― systematically tried to replace the Minsk Accords with the “Normandy format”, which pitted the Russians against the Ukrainians. However, let us remember that there were never Russian troops in Donbass before February 24, 2022. Furthermore, OSCE monitors never observed the slightest trace of Russian units operating in Donbass. Thus, for example, the intelligence map of the United States published by The Washington Post on December 3, 2021 does not show Russian troops in Donbass.

In October 2015, Vasyl Hrytsak, director of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), confessed that only 56 fighters of Russian origin were observed in Donbass. That's comparable to the number of Swiss who went to fight in Bosnia on weekends in the 1990s, or the number of French people who go to fight in Ukraine today.

The Ukrainian army was then in a deplorable state. In October 2018, after four years of war, Ukraine's Chief Military Prosecutor, Anatoly Matios, stated that Ukraine had lost 2.700 men in Donbass: 891 to illness, 318 to traffic accidents, 177 to other accidents, 175 to poisoning (alcohol and drugs), 172 to careless handling of weapons, 101 to violation of safety regulations, 228 for homicide and 615 for suicide.

In fact, the army is undermined by the corruption of its cadres and no longer has the support of the population. according to a report of the UK Home Office, when reservists were called up in March-April 2014, 70% did not show up for the first session, 80% did not show up for the second, 90% for the third and 95% for the fourth. In October/November 2017, 70% of calls did not appear during the “Fall 2017” callback campaign. This does not include suicides e desertions (often to the benefit of autonomists), which reach up to 30% of the military workforce in the ATO zone. Young Ukrainians refused to go to Donbass to fight and preferred to emigrate, which also explains, at least in part, the country's demographic deficit.

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense then turned to NATO for help in making its armed forces more “attractive”. Having already worked on similar projects within the framework of the United Nations, NATO asked me to participate in a program aimed at restoring the image of the Ukrainian armed forces. But it's a long process, and the Ukrainians wanted to go fast.

So, to compensate for the lack of soldiers, the Ukrainian government turned to paramilitary militias. They are essentially made up of foreign mercenaries, often far-right activists. As of 2020, they make up about 40% of Ukraine's forces and are around 102.000 strong, according to the Reuters. They are armed, financed and trained by the United States, Great Britain, Canada and France. There are more than 19 nationalities, including Switzerland.

Therefore, Ukrainian far-right militias were clearly created and supported by western countries. In October 2021, the The Jerusalem Post the alarm sounded, when denouncing the centuria project. These militias have operated in Donbass since 2014, with Western support. While the term “Nazi” is debatable, the fact is that these militias are extremely violent, transmit a disgusting ideology and are virulently anti-Semitic. His anti-Semitism is "more cultural than political”, which is the only reason why the qualification “Nazi” would not be appropriate. His hatred of Jews stems from the periods of great famines in the 1920s-1930s in Ukraine, resulting from Stalin's confiscation of crops to finance the modernization of the Red Army. However, this genocide – known in Ukraine under the name of Holodomor – was perpetrated by the NKVD (ancestor of the KGB), whose upper echelons were mainly composed of Jews. That is why today, Ukrainian extremists are demanding an apology from Israel for the crimes of communism, as reported by the The Jerusalem Post. Thus, we are very far from the thesis of a “rewriting of history” by Vladimir Putin, as some claim.

Coming from the far-right groups that led the Euromaidan revolution in 2014, these militias are made up of fanatical and brutal individuals. The best known of these is the Azov regiment, whose emblem resembles that of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, which is truly revered in Ukraine for having liberated Kharkov from the Soviets in 1943, before committing the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre in 1944, in France.

Among the most celebrated figures of the Azov regiment is the Belarusian oppositionist Roman Protassevich, arrested in 2021 by the Belarusian authorities after the RyanAir flight FR4978 case. On May 23, 2021 spoke up of the alleged deliberate hijacking of a passenger plane by a MiG-29 – with Putin's agreement – to arrest Protassevich, although information then available did not in any way confirm such a scenario.

It was necessary, however, to show that President Lukashenko would be a delinquent and Protassevich a “journalist” in love with democracy. even if one very enlightening investigation of an American NGO in 2020 has demonstrated Protassevich's extreme right militancy, a careful western imposture then sets in motion, and the lack of scruples of the “clean” media, for all intents and purposes, his biography.

Finally, in January 2022, the ICAO report (International Civil Aviation Organization: International Civil Aviation Organization) which demonstrates that, despite some procedural errors, Belarus acted in accordance with the regulations in force and that the MiG-29 took off 15 minutes after the RyanAir pilot decided to land in Minsk. So no conspiracy from Belarus, much less involving Putin. And one more detail: Protassevich, allegedly tortured by the Belarusian police, is today free and accessible to the public for his Twitter.

The label "Nazi" or "neo-Nazi" given to Ukrainian paramilitaries is considered Russian propaganda. Could it be; but that's not the opinion of The Times of Israel. Simon Wiesenthal Center or even from Counter-Terrorism Center from West Point Academy (U.S. Army). It may be that all this is debatable, after all in 2014, the North American magazine Newsweek I preferred to associate them with… the Islamic State! It's everyone's choice.

And so, the West continues to support and arm militias guilty of countless crimes against the civilian population since 2014: rape, torture and massacres, all cleared by the OSCE [since the UN was obstructed by the Ukrainian government of trying to do it]. And while the Swiss government was very quick to impose sanctions against Russia, it adopted none against Ukraine, which has been slaughtering its own population since 2014. Indeed, those who defend human rights in Ukraine have long condemn the actions of these groups, but have not been heard by our governments. Because in reality we are not trying to help Ukraine, but to fight Russia.

The integration of these paramilitary forces into the Ukrainian National Guard was by no means accompanied by a “denazification”, as some still believe. seek to argue. Among the many examples, that of the Azov Regiment's insignia is very illustrative:

In 2022, very schematically, the Ukrainian armed forces fighting the Russian offensive are structured in two large groups:

– Army, dependent on the Ministry of Defense, divided into 3 army corps and made up of maneuver formations (tanks, heavy artillery, missiles, etc.).

– National Guard, dependent on the Ministry of the Interior and divided into 5 territorial commands.

Thus, the National Guard is a territorial defense force that is not part of the Ukrainian army. It includes paramilitary militias, called “volunteer battalions” (добровольчі батальйоні), also known by the evocative name of “reprisal battalions”, forming infantry troops. They are primarily trained for urban combat, and are now engaged in the defense of cities such as Kharkov, Mariupol, Odessa and Kiev.

 

To war

As former head of Warsaw Pact forces in the Swiss strategic intelligence service [N. from T.: despite not being part of NATO, Switzerland maintains cooperative relations with the Alliance], I note with sadness, but not with surprise, that our services are no longer in a position to understand the military situation in Ukraine. The self-proclaimed “experts”, parading our screens tirelessly, convey the same information modulated by the assertion that Russia ― and/or Vladimir Putin ― is irrational. You have to take a step back.

 

The outbreak of war

Since November 2021, the Americans have repeatedly triggered the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainians, however, did not seem to agree. Why?

We have to go back to March 24, 2021. On that day, Volodymyr Zelensky promulgated a decree for the reconquest of Crimea, and began to move its forces to the south of the country. Simultaneously, several NATO exercises are held between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, accompanied by a significant increase in reconnaissance flights along the Russian border. Russia then conducts some exercises to test the operational readiness of its troops and show that it is following the evolution of the situation.

Things calm down until October-November with the end of Russian exercises ZAPAD 21, whose troop movements are interpreted as reinforcement for an offensive against Ukraine. However, even Ukrainian officials refute the idea of ​​Russian preparations for war and Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine's defense minister, says there have been no major movements on their border since spring.

In violation of the Minsk Accords, Ukraine conducts air operations in Donbass using drones, including at least one attack on a fuel depot in Donetsk in October 2021. The US press notes this, but neither Europeans nor anyone else condemns the violations.

In February 2022 events precipitate. On the 7th, during his visit to Moscow, Emmanuel Macron reaffirms to Vladimir Putin his fidelity to the Minsk Accords, a commitment he will reiterate in his interview with Volodymyr Zelensky the following day. But on February 11th, in Berlin, after 9 hours of work, the meeting of the political advisers of the leaders of the “Normandy format” ends with no concrete result: Ukrainians still and always refuse to apply the Minsk Accords, apparently under pressure from the United States. Vladimir Putin then realizes that Macron has made him empty promises, and that the West is unwilling to abide by the Accords, as it has been doing for eight years.

Ukrainian preparations continue in the contact zone. The Russian Parliament is alarmed, and on February 15 asks Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the republics of Donbass, which he refuses.

On February 17, President Joe Biden announces that Russia will attack Ukraine in the coming days. How does he know? Mystery… But since the 16th, Ukrainian artillery shelling against the populations of Donbass has increased dramatically, as the daily reports of OSCE monitors show. Naturally, neither the media, nor the European Union, nor NATO, nor any western government reacts and intervenes. They would later say that this was nothing more than Russian disinformation. Indeed, it appears that the European Union and several other countries deliberately covered up the massacre of the people of Donbass, knowing that this would provoke Russian intervention.

Simultaneously, acts of sabotage are being recorded in Donbass. On January 18, fighters from Donietsk and Lugansk intercept saboteurs equipped with Western equipment and who speak Polish, trying to create chemical incidents in Gorlivka. It could be CIA mercenaries, in mixed groups of Europeans and Ukrainians, led or “advised” by North Americans, to carry out sabotage actions in the Republics of Donbass.

Ceasefire violations in the Donbass contact line on 19-20 February 2022.

In fact, already on February 16, Joe Biden knows that the Ukrainians have begun to bomb the civilian population of Donbass intensively, putting Vladimir Putin in front of a difficult choice: to help the Donbass militarily and create an international problem, or to stand idly by and to see the Russian-speaking Donbass annihilated.

If he decides to intervene, Vladimir Putin can invoke the international obligation of the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). But he knows that whatever its nature or scale, the intervention will trigger a barrage of sanctions. So whether its intervention is limited to Donbass or goes further to pressure Westerners over Ukraine's military status, the price to be paid will be the same. This is what he explains in his speech on February 21.

On that day he finally agrees to the request of the Russian Duma and recognizes the independence of the two republics of Donbass and, in the same vein, signs treaties of friendship and assistance with them.

The Ukrainian artillery bombardment continues and on February 23 the two republics request military assistance from Russia. On the 24th, Vladimir Putin invokes Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, which provides for mutual military assistance in the context of a defensive alliance.

However, in order to make the Russian intervention appear wholly illegal in the public eye, the fact that the war actually started on 16 February was deliberately obscured. The Ukrainian army was preparing to attack Donbass as early as 2021, as certain Russian and European intelligence services were well aware. In a word, jurists.

In his February 24 speech, Vladimir Putin announced the two objectives of his operation: “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine. Therefore, it is not about taking over Ukraine, or even, very likely, occupying or even destroying it.

From there, our visibility into the course of the operation is limited: the Russians have excellent operational security (OPSEC) and the details of their planning are not known. But fairly quickly, the course of operations makes it possible to understand how the strategic objectives were translated into the operational plan.

(1) “Demilitarization”: ground destruction of Ukrainian aviation, air defense systems and reconnaissance means; neutralization of command and intelligence structures (C3I), as well as the main logistical routes within the territory; siege of the bulk of the Ukrainian army concentrated in the southeast of the country.

(2) “Denazification”: destruction or neutralization of volunteer battalions operating in the cities of Odessa, Kharkov and Mariupol, as well as their various installations in the territory.

 

The “demilitarization”

The Russian offensive begins in a very “classical” way. At first – as the Israelis had done in 1967 – with the destruction of air forces on the ground in the first few hours. Thus, we see a simultaneous progression along several axes according to the principle of “flowing water”: advancing where resistance is weak and leaving the cities (which require a lot of troops) for later. To the north, the Chernobyl plant is immediately occupied to prevent acts of sabotage. Naturally, images of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers jointly patrolling the area are not shown by Western media.

The idea that Russia is trying to take Kiev, the capital, to eliminate Volodymyr Zelensky, is a typical Western idea: it's what they did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and what they wanted to do in Syria with the help of the state. Islamic. But Vladimir Putin never seems to have intended to shoot down or overthrow Zelensky. On the contrary, Russia seeks to keep him in power, pushing him to negotiate while besieging Kiev. Putin has so far refused to do so in hopes of implementing the Minsk Accords, and he now seeks Ukraine's neutrality.

Many Western commentators have been baffled by the fact that the Russians continue to seek a negotiated solution while carrying out military operations. The explanation lies in the Russian strategic conception, since the Soviet era. For Westerners, war begins when politics ends. However, the Russian approach follows a Clausewitzian inspiration: war is the continuity of politics and one can move fluidly from one to the other, even during combat. It allows you to create pressure on the opponent and push him to negotiate.

From an operational point of view, the Russian offensive was an example of this posture: in six days, the Russians took a territory as vast as the United Kingdom, with a speed of advance greater than the Wehrmacht (the German regular army) had done in 1940.

Most of the Ukrainian army was deployed to the south of the country for the big operation against Donbass. That is why Russian forces have been able to encircle it since the beginning of March in a pocket between Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Sievierodonietsk, with one attack coming from the east, crossing Kharkov, and another coming from the south, from Crimea. Troops from the Republics of Donietsk (DPR) and Lugansk (RPL) complete the action of Russian forces with pressure from the East.

At the current stage, Russian forces are slowly tightening the noose, but no longer under the pressure of time. Its goal of demilitarization has been largely achieved and the residual Ukrainian forces no longer have an operational and strategic command structure.

The “brake” that our “experts” television attribute to bad logistics is just a consequence of meeting the established objectives. Russia does not seem to want to engage in an occupation of the entire Ukrainian territory. In fact, it looks rather like Russia is trying to limit its advance to the country's language border.

Our media talks about indiscriminate bombings against the civilian population, particularly in Kharkov, and Dantesque images are broadcast to exhaustion. However, Gonzalo Lira, a Latin American who is there, presented us, on March 10 and March 11, with images of a calm city. It's true that it's a big city and we don't see everything that goes on, but that seems to indicate that we're not in the all-out war depicted on our screens.

As for the Republics of Donbass, they have “liberated” their own territories, and are fighting in the city of Mariupol.

 

The “denazification”

In cities such as Kharkov, Mariupol and Odessa, defense is carried out by paramilitary militias. They know that the goal of “denazification” is aimed at them first and foremost.

For anyone attacking an urbanized area, civilians are a problem. It is for this reason that Russia seeks to create humanitarian corridors to empty the cities of civilians and leave only the nationalist militias, in order to be able to fight them more easily.

On the contrary, these militias try to keep civilians in cities, in an attempt to dissuade Russian forces from fighting. That is why the nationalists are reluctant to implement the corridors and do everything so that Russian efforts are in vain. What they do is use the civilian population as “human shields”. Videos showing civilians trying to leave Mariupol and being beaten up by fighters from the Azov regiment are, of course, carefully censored in the West.

On Facebook, the Azov group was considered to be in the same category as the Islamic State and subject to the platform's "dangerous people and organizations policy". Thus, it was forbidden to glorify him and the posts that were favorable to him were systematically eliminated. However, on February 24, Facebook changed its policy and allowed posts favorable to the neo-Nazi militia. In the same spirit, in March, the platform started to authorize, in Eastern European countries, calls for the assassination of Russian soldiers and leaders. What will become of the values ​​that once presumably inspired our Western leaders?

Our media spreads a romantic image of popular resistance. It is this image that led the European Union to finance the distribution of weapons to the civilian population. It is a criminal act. In my role as lead doctrine for peacekeeping operations at the UN, I worked with the problem of protecting civilians. We found that violence against civilians took place under very precise conditions, especially when weapons are plentiful and there are no command structures.

Now, these command structures are the essence of armies: their function is to channel the use of force in accordance with an objective. By arming citizens in a disorderly manner, as is currently the case in Ukraine, the European Union turns them into combatants, with the ensuing consequences: they also become potential targets. Furthermore, without command and without operational objectives, the distribution of weapons inevitably leads to reckoning, banditry and actions that are more deadly than effective. War becomes a matter of emotions. Force becomes violence. This is what happened in Tawarga (Libya) from 11 to 13 August 2011, where 30.000 black Africans were massacred with weapons dropped (illegally) by parachute by France. Furthermore, the British Royal Institute of Strategic Studies (RUSI) does not see any added value in this type of arms delivery.

And as if all this were not enough, whoever delivers weapons to a country at war exposes himself to being considered a belligerent. The March 13, 2022 Russian attacks on the Mykolaiv airbase followed the warnings that the same Russians had made about the fact that arms carriers would be treated as hostile targets.

The European Union thus repeats the disastrous experience of the Third Reich in the final hours of the Battle of Berlin. War must be left to the military, and when one side loses, it must be admitted. And for there to be resistance, it is imperative that it be led and structured. However, Ukraine and the West are doing exactly the opposite: we are forcing citizens to fight while, simultaneously, Facebook is authorizing requests to assassinate Russian soldiers and leaders. Are these the values ​​that inspire us?

Within some intelligence services, this irresponsible decision is seen as a way to use the Ukrainian population as cannon fodder to fight Vladimir Putin's Russia. That kind of murderous decision should have been left to Ursula von der Leyen's grandfather's colleagues. It would have been wiser to enter into negotiations and thus obtain guarantees for the civilian population than to add fuel to the fire. It's easy to be combative when it comes to other people's blood.

 

The Mariupol Maternity

It is important to understand in advance that it is not the Ukrainian army that ensures the defense of Mariupol, but the Azov militia, consisting of foreign mercenaries.

In your summary of the situation On March 7, 2022, the Russian mission to the UN in New York states that “residents report that the Ukrainian armed forces have expelled staff from Natal Hospital No. On March 1, Russian independent media Slow published the testimony of civilians from Mariupol who said that the maternity hospital was taken over by militias from the Azov regiment, and that they chased the civilian occupants, threatening them with their weapons, which confirms the statements of the Russian ambassador a few hours earlier.

The Mariupol hospital occupies a commanding position on the land, ideally suited for the installation of anti-tank weapons and for observation. On March 9, Russian forces attacked the building. According to CNN, there were 17 injured, but the footage shows no casualties at the facility and there is no evidence that any of the reported casualties are related to this attack. There is talk of children, but in reality we see nothing. It might be true, but it might be false… That didn't stop European Union leaders from seeing it as a war crime. And that allowed Zelensky, shortly thereafter, to claim a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

In reality, we don't know exactly what happened. But the sequence of events tends to confirm that Russian forces reached an Azov regiment position and that the maternity ward was evacuated of all civilians.

The problem is that the paramilitary militias that presumably defend the cities are incited by the international community not to respect the conventions of war. It seems that the Ukrainians simply recreated the kuwait city maternity scene in 1990, entirely staged by the company Hill & Knowlton for a fee of 10,7 million dollars, to convince the United Nations Security Council to intervene in Iraq, paving the way for Operation Shield/Desert Storm carried out by the United States.

Western politicians also consented to attacks against civilians in Donbass for eight years without adopting any sanctions against the Ukrainian government. We thus enter a dynamic in which Western politicians have agreed to sacrifice international law to their goal of weakening Russia.

 

Conclusions

As a former intelligence professional, the first thing that strikes me is the complete abstention by Western intelligence services from describing the situation for a year. In Switzerland, the services were even criticized for not having provided a correct picture of the situation. In fact, it seems that across the western world, services have been overwhelmed by politicians. The problem is that it is the politicians who decide. The best intelligence service in the world is useless if decision-makers don't listen to it. That's what happened during this crisis.

That said, while some intelligence services had a very accurate and rational picture of the situation, others clearly had the same picture disseminated by our media. In this crisis, the services of the “new Europe” countries played an important role. The problem is that, from experience, I found them to be extremely bad analytically: doctrinaire, they lack the intellectual and political independence necessary to appreciate a situation with the proper military “quality”. It's better to have them as enemies than as friends.

So it appears that in some European countries, politicians deliberately ignored their services in order to respond ideologically to the situation. That's why this crisis was irrational from the start. Note that all documents that were presented to the public during this crisis were presented by politicians based on commercial sources.

Some Western politicians clearly wanted a conflict. In the United States, the attack scenarios presented by Anthony Blinken to the Security Council were just the figment of one's imagination. Tiger Team that works for him. He acts in the same way as Donald Rumsfeld in 2002, who “ignored” the CIA and other much less assertive intelligence services regarding alleged Iraqi chemical weapons.

The dramatic developments that we are witnessing today have causes that we already knew about, but refuse to see: on the strategic level, the expansion of NATO (which we do not deal with here); on the political level, the West's refusal to implement the Minsk Accords; at the operational level, the continuous and repeated attacks on the civilian population of Donbass for years and their dramatic increase at the end of February 2022.

In other words, we might naturally deplore and condemn the Russian attack if it were not for us (that is: the United States, France and the European Union in the lead) who created the conditions for a conflict to arise. We show compassion for the Ukrainian people and the two million refugees. He is well. But if we had a modicum of compassion for the same number of refugees of the Ukrainian populations of Donbass, slaughtered by their own government, and which have been huddled in Russia for eight years, none of this would likely have happened.

Whether or not the term “genocide” applies to the abuses suffered by the people of Donbass is still an open question. This term is generally reserved for cases of great magnitude (Holocaust, etc.). However, the definition given by Genocide Convention is perhaps broad enough to apply. May the jurists appreciate it.

This conflict has clearly led us to hysteria. Sanctions seem to have become the privileged tool of our foreign policy. If we had insisted that Ukraine respect the Minsk Accords, which we negotiated and supported, none of this would have happened. The condemnation of Vladimir Putin is also our thing. It's no use complaining after the fait accompli. We should have acted sooner. However, neither Emmanuel Macron (as guarantor and as a member of the UN Security Council), nor Olaf Scholz, nor Volodymyr Zelensky respected their commitments. Ultimately, the real defeat goes to those who have no voice.

The European Union was unable to promote the implementation of the Minsk agreements. On the contrary, it did not react when Ukraine bombed its own population in Donbass. If the EU had done its part, Vladimir Putin would not have needed to react. Absent from the diplomatic phase, the European Union stood out, in fact, for fueling the conflict. On February 27, the Ukrainian government agreed to start negotiations with Russia. A few hours later, however, the European Union votes on a budget of 450 million euros to supply Ukraine with weapons, adding fuel to the fire. From then on, the Ukrainians felt they didn't need to come to any agreement. The resistance of the Azov militia in Mariupol will even lead to an increase of 500 million euros for weapons.

In Ukraine, with the blessing of Western countries, those in favor of a negotiation are eliminated. This is the case of Denis Kireyev, one of the Ukrainian negotiators, assassinated on March 5 by the Ukrainian secret service (SBU) for being very favorable to Russia and thus being considered a traitor. The same fate was reserved for Dmitry Demyanenko, the former deputy head of the SBU's main leadership for Kiev and its region, who was assassinated on March 10 for being excessively favorable to an agreement with Russia. He was shot down by the Mirotvorets (“Peacemaker”) militia, associated with the site mirotvorets, responsible for listing theenemies of ukraine”, making your personal data, address and telephone numbers public, so that they can be harassed or even eliminated; a practice punishable in many countries, but not in Ukraine. The UN and some European countries even demanded its closure, but this was rejected by the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada.

Ultimately, the price may be high, but Vladimir Putin is likely to achieve the goals he has set for himself. His ties with Beijing solidified. China appears as a mediator in the conflict, while Switzerland enters the list of Russia's enemies. Americans are starting to ask for oil from Venezuela and Iran to get out of the energy impasse they have entered. Juan Guaidó leaves the scene for good and the United States must, with sadness, reverse the sanctions imposed on its enemies.

Western ministers who have tried to sink the Russian economy and make the Russian people suffer, even calling for Putin's assassination, show (even if they have partially reversed the form of their statements but not the substance) that our leaders are no better than those we hate. Simply because sanctioning Russian paralympic athletes or artists has absolutely nothing to do with fighting Putin.

Thus, we admit that Russia is a democracy, since we consider that the Russian people are responsible for the war. If not, why would we dedicate ourselves to punishing an entire population for the fault of just one? It is worth remembering that collective punishment is prohibited by the Geneva Convention.

The lesson to be drawn from this conflict is our variable-geometry sense of humanity: if we care so much about peace and about Ukraine, why don't we encourage it to respect the agreements it has signed and the members of the Ukraine Security Council? UN approved?

The integrity of the press can be measured by its willingness to work within the terms of the letter from munich. She managed to spread hatred of the Chinese during the Covid crisis, and her polarized message now leads to the same effects. as far as the Russians are concerned. Journalism is increasingly stripping itself of professionalism to become merely militant.

As Goethe said, “the greater the light, the darker the shadow”. The more massive the sanctions against Russia, the more our racism and servility become evident in cases where we did nothing. In short: why has no Western politician reacted to attacks against the civilian populations of Donbass for eight years?

After all, what would make the conflict in Ukraine more objectionable than the war in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya? What sanctions do we adopt against those who deliberately lied to the international community, to wage unjust, unjustified, unjustifiable and murderous wars? Did we try to “suffer” the American people who lied to us (because it's a democracy!) before the war in Iraq? Would we have adopted a single sanction against the countries, companies or politicians that fueled the conflict in Yemen, considered the “worst humanitarian disaster in the world”? Do we sanction the countries of the European Union that practice the most abject torture on their territory for the benefit of the United States?

To ask the question is to answer it. And there is no glory in that answer.

*Jacques Baud is a former colonel in the General Staff and a former member of Swiss Strategic Intelligence.

Translation: Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel.

Originally posted by Center Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement.

 

See this link for all articles

10 MOST READ IN THE LAST 7 DAYS

______________
  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Impasses and solutions for the political momentjose dirceu 12/06/2024 By JOSÉ DIRCEU: The development program must be the basis of a political commitment from the democratic front
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank

AUTHORS

TOPICS

NEW PUBLICATIONS