Washington and Kiev Want War, not Peace
by Stephen Lendman
Donbass is Obama's war. He didn't launch it to quit. Minsk II won't work any better than previous failed peace efforts.
Expect full-scale conflict to resume at Obama's discretion. Meanwhile, Kiev is aggressively rearming.
It's mobilizing its military for more war. It's spending money desperately needed internally for armaments and paying bankers first.
Its forces commit multiple daily ceasefire violations. Western media ignore them.
They blame Russia and rebels for their high crimes. They've done so irresponsibly throughout months of conflict.
On March 16, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) reported 34 truce violations in the last 24 hours.
According to DPR Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin:
"Over the past day, there were 34 shellings, including 15 violations last night."
"The attacks were mounted on the villages of Spartak, Shirokino, Gorlovka, Peski and the Donetsk airport."
"Anti-aircraft weapons, mortars and automatic grenade launchers were used in the attacks."
On Sunday, Poroshenko blustered one Big Lie after another. In a German Bild newspaper interview, he blamed rebels and Russia for Kiev high crimes, saying:
"Ukraine has fulfilled every single point of the Minsk agreement."
"The ceasefire has been implemented immediately on our part, but the Russian fighters have done the exact opposite."
"Every day, there is shooting from the Russian side, often more than 60 times a day."
"In total, the ceasefire has been broken 1,100 times. The truth is that the agreement is not working."
"The truth is" Poroshenko is a serial liar, an imperial stooge. In league with Washington and rogue EU partners, he wants war, not peace.
Last April, junta forces launched naked aggression on Donbass. Kiev violates Minsk ceasefire terms multiple times daily. Blaming Russia and rebels for its crimes doesn't wash.
Poroshenko urged more sanctions on Moscow. On March 19 and 20, EU leaders will discuss earlier ones imposed in Brussels.
Germany and other EU states want them maintained. They irresponsibly blame Russia for Kiev junta ceasefire violations. Their commitment to peace remains suspect.
German political expert Ulrich Kuhn fears longterm Donbass conflict. Settling things won't happen easily or soon, he believes.
"I would not speak of a mere 'crisis' anymore because that would be blurring the facts in Ukraine on the ground," he said. "We have a full-fledged war."
Low intensity conflict remains ongoing. Ceasefire is pure fantasy. Anything ahead is possible.
Kiev could surprise, says Kuhn. It could change policy and pursue peace. Continued low intensity conflict is more likely, he believes.
Western countries will tighten sanctions. East/West relations will deteriorate further.
Things may head toward resuming full-scale war. Washington and EU nations support Kiev's war machine.
Poroshenko repeatedly accuses Russia and rebels of Kiev Donbass ceasefire violations.
If they continue, he said, "we will immediately receive both lethal weaponry and new wave of sanctions against the aggressor. We will act firmly and in a coordinated manner."
Kuhn sees no easy end to conflict. Deteriorated East/West relations won't be repaired smoothly, he believes - "even if war in Ukraine comes to an end."
A decade or longer may be needed to restore stability, he argues. If nuclear war erupts, all bets are off.
A Final Comment
On Sunday, Rossiya 1 news channel aired a documentary titled "Crimea - The Way Home." Interviewed for the film, Putin was blunt accusing Washington for Ukraine's February 2014 coup.
"The trick of the situation was that outwardly the (Ukrainian) opposition was supported mostly by the Europeans," he said.
"But we knew for sure that the real masterminds were our American friends."
“They helped train the nationalists, their armed groups, in Western Ukraine, in Poland and to some extent in Lithuania. They facilitated the armed coup."
US-led Western nations went all-out to prevent Crimean reunification with Russia, he explained - "by any means, in any format and under any scheme."
US/Kiev coup plotters ignored rule of law principles, Putin explained. "And the consequences were grave indeed."
"Part of the country agreed to (what happened), while another part wouldn't accept it. (Ukraine) was shattered."
Putin directed Russian special services and Defense Ministry to protect ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.
"Otherwise he would have been killed," Putin explained. Russian intelligence learned his motorcade route would be ambushed.
He wanted to stay, not leave. After spending several days in Crimea, he realized "there was no one he could negotiate with in Kiev." said Putin.
He asked for safe haven in Russia. Putin personally ordered Crimean special operations preparation after Yanukovych fled.
"(W)e cannot let (Crimeans) be pushed under the steamroller of the nationalists," he said.
He assigned "tasks," directed operatives involved, told them "what to do and how (to) do it…"
He stressed acting "only…if we were absolutely sure that this is what the people living in Crimea want us to do."
Overwhelming Crimean sentiment favored rejoining Russia. Putin accommodated popular wishes.
"Our goal was not to take Crimea by annexing it," he said. "(It was) to allow the people to express their wishes on how they want to live."
"I decided for myself: what the people want will happen. If they want greater autonomy with some extra rights within Ukraine, so be it."
"If they decide otherwise, we cannot fail them. You know the results of the referendum. We did what we had to do."
Putin's personal involvement expedited things. He ordered K-300P Bastion coastal defense missiles deployed to show his willingness to protect Crimea from attack.
"We deployed them in a way that made them seen clearly from space," he said.
He didn't know if US-led NATO would act aggressively or not. He was ready to respond as necessary - including by deploying nuclear weapons.
Crimean based Russian forces never exceeded numbers authorized under agreement on basing its Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.
"(N)othing was violated," Putin stressed. He sent allowable additional Russian forces to prevent possible bloodshed during Crimea's legitimate referendum.
He believed he had to act to prevent tragedies like Odessa's May 2014 massacre.
Crimea's decision to rejoin Russia was entirely legal. Self-determination is a universal right.
Putin acted responsibly. Ukrainians are entitled to democratic governance, he believes.
He's gone all-out to resolve Donbass' conflict diplomatically. He's unfairly blamed for US/Kiev high crimes.
They continue daily. Conflict didn't end. It could erupt into full-scale war any time at Obama's discretion. Sustained, durable peace remains pure fantasy.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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