Thursday, February 12, 2015

What's Next in Donbas?

What's Next in Donbas?

by Stephen Lendman

The familiar scent of betrayal clouds just concluded Minsk ceasefire talks. Like previous times when hope exceeded reality.

Donbas is Obama's war. Washington controls what's ongoing. It arms, funds, trains and directs Kiev's military. 

Neocons making policy want war, not peace. Chances for ending conflict are virtually nil. Obama didn't wage war to quit.

Kiev violated last April's four-party agreement before the ink was dry. Hoped for peace was fantasy. A joint April 17 US/EU/Russia/Ukraine statement proved meaningless.

Saying "(t)he Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens."

"All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism."

"All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated."

"Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes."

It was agreed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of these de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most, beginning in the coming days." 

"The US, EU and Russia commit to support this mission, including by providing monitors. The announced constitutional process will be inclusive, transparent and accountable." 

"It will include the immediate establishment of a broad national dialogue, with outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies, and allow for the consideration of public comments and proposed amendments."

"The participants underlined the importance of economic and financial stability in Ukraine and would be ready to discuss additional support as the above steps are implemented."

A White House statement said Obama "commended the government of Ukraine's approach to today's discussions in Geneva, where it put forward constructive proposals to expand local governance and ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are protected." 

"…Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including by using its influence over the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine to get them to lay down their arms and leave the buildings they have seized."

"(T)he United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures if this de-escalation does not occur in short order."

Donbas self-defense forces honored agreed on terms. Fighting never stopped. Kiev forces bore full responsibility.

Washington colluded with Kiev to continue conflict. Donbas freedom fighters and Russia were irresponsibly blamed for their crimes.

On September 5, both sides again agreed on ceasefire terms. At the time, illegitimate oligarch president Poroshenko said:

"I give the order to the chief of the General staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to cease fire, starting from 18.00 (local time) on September 5.

A statement on his web site said:

"We must do everything possible and impossible to stop bloodshed and put an end to people's suffering."

Donbas forces ceased fire. Kiev continued conflict. Violated agreed on terms straightaway. Including after accepting September 19 follow-up memorandum provisions.

Imposed economic blockade conditions on Donbas. Rescinded its special status after granting it.

Expect nothing different this time. Washington won't tolerate part of Ukraine run democratically - free from Kiev fascist rule.

Following agreement in Minsk, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Prime Minster Alexander Zakharchenko said:

"According to the memorandum points, all responsibility for any violation of non-implementation of some agreements lies on Poroshenko."

If Kiev violates terms, no new memorandum will follow, he added. He hopes for peace. Based on past betrayals, he's justifiably leery for good reason.

Some things remain unresolved, he explained. The devil is in all the details. 

Mostly what Washington plans behind the scenes. Unipolar pax Americana remains official US policy.

It bears repeating. Obama wants war, not peace. It's not hard imagining what's coming.

Arming, training, funding and directing Ukraine's military will continue more intensively than ever. Supplying more heavy weapons assures escalated conflict.

Especially with hundreds of US combat forces training Kiev's military. For war, not self-defense. Ukraine's only enemies are ones it invents.

Donbas residents want peace. They want democratic rights everyone deserves. They want regional autonomy assuring them. They reject fascist rule.

In September, Kiev agreed to end fighting, withdraw its forces, continue national dialogue, improve Donbas humanitarian conditions, allow autonomous local elections, and pursue economic recovery and reconstruction, among other promises made.

It systematically breached them all. What's known about Thursday's agreement leaves wiggle room enough to drive Kiev armored columns through.

Autonomy is ill-defined. So is the autonomous area covered by ceasefire provisions. Self-rule to be granted looks more fantasy-like than real.

Nothing is agreed without Washington's OK. Nothing less than total US control over Ukraine nationwide is acceptable. 

No Independent governance in Donbas will be tolerated. Washington either wants Ukraine in one piece under Kiev rule or balkanized like Yugoslavia for easier control.

Either way, autonomous regions won't be tolerated. For sure, not independent democratic ones.

Expect more US/Kiev instigated false flags ahead. Like downing MH17, Volnovakha and Donetsk bus attacks, as well as late January Mariupol shelling and others targeting hospitals, schools, residential neighborhoods and city streets.

Maybe something more major is planned. Perhaps a Ukraine 9/11. Blaming Donbas freedom fighters and Russia like before. Expect  similar future  attacks to be used as pretexts to reignite conflict.

Year ago Maidan sniper killings were false flags blamed on former President Yanukovych's government.

Former Ukrainian Security Service chief Aleksander Yakimenko later admitted it. Saying shots killing police and civilians were fired from Kiev's Philharmonic Hall controlled by opposition forces at the time.

So-called Maidan self-defense commandant Andrey Parubiy ordered the killings. Controlled events. Later was appointed national security and defense council head.

According to Yakimenko, he worked with US special forces at the time. On Russian television Yakimenko said:

"Shots came from the Philharmonic Hall. Maidan commandant Parubiy was responsible for this building." 

"Snipers and people with automatic weapons were 'working' from this building on February 20." 

"They supported the assault on the Interior Ministry forces on the ground who were already demoralized and…fled."

"When the first wave of shootings ended, many witnessed 20 people leaving the building." They were seen carrying military-style bags used for assault weapons and optical sights.

Parubiy and others worked with US special forces. The same ones "carry(ing) out everything they were told by their leadership - the United States."

Expect new US-instigated false flags ahead. Expect renewed fighting. Perhaps heavier than before. Peace going forward is pure fantasy. 

German media said Obama threatened Putin ahead of Minsk talks with serious consequences unless he yielded to US demands on Ukraine.

It's unknown how Putin responded. Likely more diplomatically than Obama but firm.

It's clear how rotten the Minsk agreement is by a White House statement endorsing it. 

Ludicrously saying it "represents a potentially significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty consistent with the Minsk agreements from last September."

Impossible when Obama wants war. Instigated conflict in the first place. Intends escalating it ahead. May be foolish enough to confront Russia belligerently.

Will surely be remembered as America's worst ever president unless or until a successor exceeds his ruthlessness at home and abroad.

In the meantime, conflict in Donbas rages. More civilian deaths and injuries were reported.

What's ahead shorter term remains to be seen. Longer term things look bleak. 

February 12, 2015 may be remembered as a new millennium Munich agreement. 

Eleven months after British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain proclaimed "peace in our time," Hitler invaded Poland. WW II began.

Will Putin, Merkel and Hollande be responsible for the unthinkable ahead? Potentially cataclysmic East/West nuclear confrontation? The fullness of time will tell.

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 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.