Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ukraine: Central European Powder Keg

Ukraine: Central European Powder Keg

by Stephen Lendman

Kiev's so-called day of silence remains shaky at best. Reports indicate casualties after its announcement. Peace is a convenient illusion.

Illegitimate oligarch president Petro Poroshenko wants Donbas democrats crushed. Large troop contingents and heavy weapons are positioned east.

Despite dire economic conditions, weapons production continues. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Ukraine ranks 8th among world arms suppliers. 

Almost 97% of output heads east. Readying for all-out war. At a time Ukraine is effectively bankrupt. Needing billions of dollars in aid to run government. Pay bills. Prevent defaulting on debt.

Illegitimate putschist prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk saying:

"To receive financial aid in order to survive in this difficult time, not to allow default, we need an international donor conference, the approval of Ukraine's program, and to get support from our western partners."

Ukraine needs billions of dollars within weeks, he says. To avoid default and rebuild, he claims.

Blaming Russia for Kiev's economic woes. Saying "(t)wenty percent of Ukraine's economy is concentrated in Lugansk and Donetsk."

"Due to Russian military aggression, we lost 20 per cent of our revenues, 20 per cent of our hard currency inflows, 20 per cent of our country's economic potential.

Fact: Ukraine has itself to blame. Along with puppet-masters controlling things in Washington.

Fact: In April, Kiev launched premeditated aggression on Donbas.

Fact: Russia remains scrupulously neutral.

Fact: Supplying only vitally needed humanitarian aid.

Fact: Not troops, weapons or munitions.

Fact: Polar opposite Washington and rogue partners.

Fact: Covertly supplying Kiev with heavy weapons. Lying claiming otherwise.

Fact: Kiev admits getting weapons from allied countries. Stopping short of naming names.

Waging war any time is madness. During dire economic conditions assures making hard times worse. Peterson Institute for International Economics senior fellow Anders Aslun wrote:

"Ukraine is on the brink of a financial meltdown. (Its) government is rushing to avoid the precipice, but time is running out."

International reserves are nearly exhausted. Billions of dollars of aid are needed to stay afloat.

Its bond rating plunged to a record low. Short-term ones trading at about 75 cents on the dollar. 

With an annualized 50% yield. Suggesting buyers may end up with worthless junk.

Bonds due in July 2017 trading at a record low 67.4 cents on the dollar. Yielding 27%. 

According to World Health Organization (WHO) officials, lack of doctors and medicines put Donbas lives at risk.

"No child has been vaccinated in the areas affected by conflict since September 2014, sending polio vaccine coverage down to less than 30-40 percent."

Vulnerability to preventable diseases is increasing. About 40% of patients in a mental health institution reportedly died from hunger, cold and/or lack of care.

Government funds go for war-making. Vital needs go begging. Nationwide. Healthcare one of many.

Dozens of Donbas area villages have no medical personnel at all. Lugansk has about one-third the number of doctors and nurses it needs.

Universal healthcare exists on paper only, according to Ukrainian WHO representative Dorit Nitzan.

"People have to pay for a large portion of health services, procure their own medicines and there are no set prices for these essentials."

WHO tries helping with emergency mobil units. Consisting of one doctor. Two nurses. One Logistician.

Dealing mainly with internally displaced people. Assessing their needs. Referring them to whatever medical services remain.

Russian charity Fair Aid is helping. Run by philanthropist Elizaveta Glinka. Transporting children with serious health problems to Moscow hospitals.

Around 36 so far this year. "All the children I bring to Moscow are seriously ill. Some of them have epilepsy with frequent seizures. Some have congenital heart disorders," said Glinka.

Safety the main challenge. In transporting children from Donbas to Russia.

"There are checkpoints, and the road is completely ruined by tanks," Glinka explained. 

"We have to hold our children tight as you can see. We don't have the prams we need." 

"So we just have to draw them close to us and hold them with our hands." Especially hard during conflict.

Destroying 20% of Ukraine's economic potential, according to Yatsenyuk.

The Hryvnia national currency is worth around half its January 2014 value. Depreciating monthly to lower valuations. 

Heading perhaps to becoming worthless. As conflict continues. Threatens to escalate. 

Cause greater death and destruction. At a time peace, stability and rebuilding are needed.

Finance minister Natalie Jaresko said ministries are being asked to cut 2015 spending by 25%.

Conditions nationwide are catastrophic. Economic decline, debt, corruption, inflation, war, as well as high unemployment and poverty cause enormous hardships for ordinary Ukrainians.

Next year things look worse. Kiev has itself to blame. Getting in bed with IMF predators. Waging war when peace and stability are urgently needed.

Stoking confrontation with Russia instead of responsible cooperation. Tinder box conditions remain. Peace a convenient illusion. Expect rull-scale war any time.

Washington wants Donbas democrats crushed. Unchallenged nationwide hardline rule instituted. Full control over its newest colony. Over the bodies of thousands of Ukrainians.

Economic crisis conditions getting worse. Out-of-control corruption exacerbating things. Ukraine one of the world's worst places to live.

Unsafe. Impoverished. Bankrupt. Ruthless. With no hope for near or intermediate term improvement. Little longer-term.

Media scoundrels ignore hard truths. Report Big Lies. Portray fascism as democracy. Disregard human misery. 

According to Russian Presidential Administration head Sergey Ivanov:

"The illegal takeover of power that happened in Ukraine in February this year led to a very serious outburst of radicalism and caused mass violations of law, religious hatred and violence against believers."

Retired Russian military intelligence General Nikolay Pusharyov believes Washington and Britain use Islamic extremists to destabilize Russian Federation territory.

Kiev is readying for more conflict. Full-scale war could erupt any time. Legislation designating Donetsk an Lugansk People's Republics terrorist organizations makes it more likely. 

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich called kiev policy "legal nonsense and absurdity." 

(Revealing) the determination (of its) war-mongers to swerve off the path of political settlement and deescalation toward a military operation."

A pretext for involving Russia. Risking the unthinkable. Regional war going global.

Lunatics in Washington make the inconceivable likely. Humanity may not survive their madness.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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