Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Risk of a Ukraine Bloodbath

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko – by thumbing his nose at the leaders of Russia, Germany and France as they repeatedly appealed to him to renew the fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine – has left himself and his U.S. patrons isolated, though that’s not the version of the story that you’ll read in the mainstream U.S. press.
But the reality is that an unusual flurry of high-level conference calls last weekend from key European capitals failed to dissuade Poroshenko from launching major attacks on opposition forces in eastern Ukraine. Washington was alone in voicing support for Poroshenko’s decision, with a State Department spokeswoman saying “he has a right to defend his country.”
As Ukrainian air and artillery strikes increased on Tuesday, so did diplomatic activity among the Europeans with the U.S. playing no discernible role in the peace efforts. There was no sign, for example, that Secretary of State John Kerry was invited to a hastily called meeting in Berlin on Wednesday involving the foreign ministers of Germany (Frank-Walter Steinmeier), France (Laurent Fabius), Russia (Sergey Lavrov), and newly appointed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
This marginalization of the U.S. is a consequence of a well-founded suspicion that Poroshenko’s fateful decision to “attack” came with Washington’s encouragement. The continued provocative behavior of Secretary Kerry, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and other U.S. hardliners comes despite the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin still holds the high cards in this regional standoff.
Putin has at his disposal a range of alternatives short of sending in tanks to protect the ethnic Russians of eastern Ukraine, many of whom had voted for President Viktor Yanukovych who was ousted in February by violent protests. The uprising was led by western Ukrainians demanding closer ties to Europe but was turned into a “regime change” on Feb. 22 through a putsch spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias contemptuous of the ethnic Russians living in the east and south.
Yanukovych’s ouster was strongly encouraged by Nuland, who handpicked Arseniy Yatsenyuk to be the leader of the interim government, while at least four ministries were awarded to the neo-Nazis, including the office of national security, in recognition of their key role in the final attacks that forced Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives.
Though hailed as “legitimate” by the U.S. State Department, the coup regime was rejected by many ethnic Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine. In Crimea, the population voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a development that U.S. officials and the dutiful mainstream media characterized as a Russian “invasion.”
Similarly, in the east, in the so-called Donbass region, ethnic Russians rose up and asserted their independence from the Kiev regime, which then deemed them “terrorists” and launched an “antiterrorist” campaign that incorporated some of the neo-Nazi militias as National Guard units deployed as shock troops to crush the uprising. Several bloody massacres of ethnic Russians followed in Odessa and other cities.
In May, the election of Poroshenko – in balloting mostly conducted in western and central Ukraine – held out some hope for a negotiated settlement with guarantees to respect the ethnic Russian population and greater autonomy granted to the eastern regions. However, Poroshenko had trouble getting control of his hardliners and he refused to negotiate directly with the rebels, leading to the failure of a shaky ceasefire.
A Fateful Decision
While the focus over recent days has been on Poroshenko’s decision to end the ceasefire and go on the offensive, Putin has continued to rely on diplomacy as his primary tool, especially with European officials fearful of the economic consequences of a full-scale confrontation between Russia and the West. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has made considerable headway in getting at least Berlin and Paris to join Moscow in trying to restrain Washington in its apparent eagerness to stoke the fires in Ukraine.
Speaking on Russian TV on Saturday, Lavrov said, “Peace within the warring country [Ukraine] would be more likely if negotiations were left to Russia and Europe,” adding, “Our American colleagues … according to a lot of evidence, still favor pushing the Ukrainian leadership towards the path of confrontation.”
That evidence is increasingly evident to Europeans. What is new is their apparent willingness to slip softly out of their accustomed lockstep subservience to the U.S. in such matters.
Washington is losing support elsewhere in Europe as well. Last Thursday, Kerry declared it “critical for Russia to show in the next hours, literally, that it is moving to help disarm the separatists,” and on Friday the European Union leaders set a Monday deadline for Russia to take a series of steps to avoid further sanctions.
Alas, Monday showed the Europeans putting off any action for at least another week. This delay has driven the editors of the neocon flagship Washington Post to distraction; in Wednesday’s edition they pouted that such lack of resolve amounts to “craven surrender” to “Russian aggression.”
Putin, meanwhile, is maintaining a determined coolness in his public remarks. In a major speech on Tuesday, he noted, in a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone:
“Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has resolved to resume military action, and we failed – when I say ‘we,’ I mean my colleagues in Europe and myself – we failed to convince him that the road to a secure, stable, and inviolable peace cannot lie through war. … Mr. Poroshenko had not been directly linked to the orders to begin military action, and only now did he take full responsibility, and not only military, but political as well, which is much more important.
“We also failed to agree to make public a statement approved by the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine on the need to maintain peace and search for mutually acceptable solutions.”
Focus on Europe
Putin reminded his audience of Russian ambassadors that “Europe is our natural and most significant trade and economic partner.” Adding a gentle reminder about Europe’s dependence on natural gas from Russia, Putin noted that Moscow had developed a reputation as a “reliable supplier of energy resources.” He also explained why Russia has put Ukraine on a pre-payment system for the delivery of natural gas, noting that Kiev had not paid its bill for several months.
Putin also took a dig at economic “blackmail” in referring to “the pressure our American partners are putting on France to force it not to supply Mistrals [helicopter carrier ships] to Russia.”  Russia bought two Mistral-class ships from France for $1.6 billion in what was Moscow’s first major foreign arms purchase since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Appearing on French TV last month, Putin said, “We expect our French partners to fulfill their contractual obligations” and held out the prospect of future orders, an important enticement given France’s struggling economy.
Toward the end of his speech Putin also drew attention to the spread of “radical, neo-Nazi” elements not only in the fledgling states of the former USSR, “but also in Europe as a whole.”  He warned that “social contradictions … can be a breeding ground for … the growth of extremism.”
Putin added that even in seemingly stable countries ethnic and social contradictions can suddenly escalate and become ripe for external players “to seek illegitimate, non-democratic regime change, with all the ensuing negative consequences.”
Putin seems to be challenging the Germans and French, in particular, who have had direct experience living under fascism (and who now have their own home-bred fascists to deal with), to decide whether they really wish to acquiesce in the brutal suppression of southeastern Ukrainians with the help of admirers of the late Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and other Ukrainian fascists who helped Hitler cleanse Ukraine of Jewish and Russian “vermin.”
There is serious question as to whether Poroshenko can now rein in these Frankenstein extremists even if he seriously tried to do so. The ultra-nationalists and other hardliners in western Ukraine have made it clear to Poroshenko that they expect him to fulfill his promises about rapidly crushing the eastern Ukrainian uprising.
Meanwhile, the neocon-dominated Western mainstream media has consistently downplayed the role of fascists and neo-Nazis in the Putsch of Feb. 22, in the subsequent violence in other key cities like Odessa, and now in southeastern Ukraine. Mentioning Ukraine’s “brown shirts” destroys the U.S. media’s preferred narrative of Washington-backed “white hats” vs. Moscow-backed “black hats.”
The Russians, of course, have their own violent history with fascists and seem intent on waking other Europeans to the dangers – with the coup in Kiev a very recent reminder. Professor Stephen F. Cohen of New York University provides an excellent wrap-up of the evidence on this issue in a new article, “The Silence of American Hawks About Kiev’s Atrocities.”
Taking the Ukrainian Army Seriously
Nastupat is a strong word in Ukrainian and Russian. It means “attack” – and Poroshenko hit the word hard in announcing he had ordered his forces to “attack and free our lands.” He seemed intent not only on snubbing his peace-seeking telephone partners from last weekend, but also on channeling John Kerry’s hawkish buddy John McCain.
There were even hints of Bandera’s old attitude about ethnically purifying Ukraine in Poroshenko’s warning that Kiev’s new attack would rid Ukraine of “parasites.” The Ukrainian defense ministry quickly announced the launching of attacks “from the air and land,” and the violence has escalated sharply.
It struck me, though, as I watched the short clip from Reuters that the Washington Post and Huffington Post ran before the footage of Poroshenko’s solemn “nastupat’” announcement, that the segment did nothing to burnish the image of the Ukrainian troops he is sending off to battle.
The clip shows a ragged line of soldiers applauding two comrades as each approaches the corpulent, fatigue-clad, Poroshenko for an award that looks like a small box of chocolates – presumably from Poroshenko’s own candy factory.
The choreography was not the best. Nor has been the performance of Ukrainian troops sent to the east so far. But it would be far too easy to underestimate the kinds of casualties that elite Ukrainian units are capable of inflicting on lightly armed opponents – not to mention the highly trained Right Sektor and other fascists. A bloodbath may be in the offing.
Will Good Sense Prevail?
In his speech on Tuesday, Putin expressed the hope that “pragmatism will eventually prevail.” He tucked in one short paragraph relating directly to Russia’s relations with the U.S., stating merely, “We are not going to shut down our relationship with the United States,” while conceding that relations “are not in good shape” and blaming Washington for ignoring Russia’s “legitimate interests.”
And there is some reason to hope that, as the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine gather in Berlin, they will be able to reinstate the ceasefire and move the conflict off the battlefield and onto the negotiating table.
If Poroshenko chooses the path of bloodshed, however, Putin will react strongly. Russia can be counted on to supply arms to those under air and artillery attack from the Ukrainian military. If this proves to be not enough support, Moscow may decide to do even more, possibly adopting a favorite American strategy of declaring a “no-fly zone” and shooting down attacking aircraft.
But any overt or even covert Russian government assistance to the rebels would, in turn, be sure to add fuel to the fiery hysteria in Official Washington about “Russian aggression.” There would be demands on President Barack Obama to retaliate. Who knows where this madness would end?
In the first part of his Tuesday speech, Putin was upfront about the possibility of a Russian intervention to stop any Ukrainian military slaughter of ethnic Russians. He said he “would like to make clear” to all that Moscow might feel compelled to protect “Russians and Russian-speaking citizens of the Ukraine. … I am referring to those people who consider themselves part of the broad Russian community; they may not necessarily be ethnic Russians, but they consider themselves Russian people.”
Putin said, “This country will continue to actively defend the rights of Russians, our compatriots abroad, using the entire range of available means – from political and economic to the right to self-defense envisaged by international humanitarian law.”
Putin’s reference to “international humanitarian law” sounds very much like the “Responsibility to Protect” so favored by some of President Obama’s foreign policy advisers, though apparently not when the people doing the killing are being supported by the U.S. government.
If an even more dangerous crisis is to be averted, the Russian leader’s words need to be taken seriously. To stanch bloodletting in eastern Ukraine and to protect those on the receiving end of Poroshenko-authorized attacks, I would not expect Putin to let himself be mouse-trapped into invading Ukraine – at least not until he had exhausted all other alternatives.
More likely, he would impose a no-fly zone in an attempt to shield the opposition in the east and save it from being decimated. But that itself could represent a dangerous escalation. Poroshenko and his supporters should realize that such matters can get quickly out of hand. Putin has his own tough-guy John McCains to deal with.
Someone might remind Poroshenko of the embarrassingly bloody nose that the Russians gave Georgia’s then-President Mikheil Saakashvili in August 2008 when he sent Georgian forces to attack the city of Tskhinvali in South Ossetia. Moscow justified its military retaliation as necessary to prevent the killing of Russians as well as the Ossetians in the area.
Ultimately, President George W. Bush and then-Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who had encouraged Saakashvili’s adventurism, were powerless to protect him.

"Für einen Wandel der NATO" Darmstädter Signal Positionspapier

Für einen Wandel der NATO
Die NATO, deren ursprünglicher Zweck die kollektive Selbstverteidigung ihrer Bündnispartner gegen potentielle militärische Aggressionen durch Drittstaaten, insbesondere die Mitgliedsländer der Warschauer Vertragsorganisation (WVO) war, hat sich in den mehr als 60 Jahren seit ihrer Gründung im Jahre 1949 grundlegend gewandelt. Nach dem Ende des Kalten Krieges, der Auflösung der WVO und dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion hat sich die NATO durch die vereinbarungswidrige Einbeziehung ehemaliger Ostblockstaaten weiter in Richtung Russland vorgeschoben sowie mehr und mehr zu einem global agierenden Instrument westlicher Außenpolitik entwickelt. Die im Artikel 1 des Nordatlantikvertrages eingegangene Verpflichtung, "in Übereinstimmung mit der Satzung der Vereinten Nationen jeden internationalen Streitfall ... auf friedlichem Wege .. zu regeln", wandelte sich zu einer Praxis wachsender Einmischung in die inneren Angelegenheiten anderer Staaten bis hin zur militärischen Intervention. Die NATO erweist sich damit womöglich weniger als Garant denn als Störer des Weltfriedens.
Als aktive und ehemalige Soldaten der Bundeswehr sind wir über diese Entwicklung äußerst besorgt und halten einen grundsätzlichen Wandel der NATO für dringend erforderlich. Insbesondere setzen wir uns für folgende Veränderungen ein:
  1. Die NATO kann nur dann friedensstiftende Qualität besitzen, wenn sie sich im Sinne des Nordatlantikvertrags von 1949 konsequent als regionale Verteidigungsorganisation verhält und eine enge Kooperation mit anderen regionalen und weltweiten Sicherheitsorgani- sationen zur Gewährleistung von Frieden und Sicherheit in Europa und der Welt entwickelt.
  2. Das erfordert seitens der NATO in erster Linie die bedingungslose Anerkennung des Sicherheitsrates der Vereinten Nationen als höchster sicherheitspolitischen Autorität und damit zugleich die vorbehaltlose Akzeptanz der UN-Charta mit dem in ihr verbrieften Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Völker und dem Prinzip der Nichteinmischung in die inneren Angelegenheiten. Es darf nicht zugelassen werden, dass die Vereinten Nationen bzw. der Sicherheitsrat durch eine Instrumentalisierung der Menschenrechte und des Grundsatzes der Schutzverantwortung als Organ zur Durchsetzung der Globalisierung mit militärischen Gewaltmitteln missbraucht werden. Das Völkerrecht darf nicht durch eine Selbstmandatierung der NATO oder einzelner NATO-Mächte ausgehebelt werden.
  3. Die offizielle Funktion der NATO besteht nach wie vor und unverändert in der Friedenssicherung durch Abschreckung, Entspannung und Abrüstung. Die historischen Erfahrungen und die gewachsene internationale Verantwortung Deutschlands erfordern, dass die Bundesregierung innerhalb der NATO im Sinne der Prävention, Deeskalation und Demilitarisierung von Konflikten wirkt. Ausgehend von den Erfolgen des Entspannungsprozesses in den 80er Jahren gilt es, auch in die NATO die bewährte Kultur der Zurückhaltung bei der Anwendung militärischer Mittel hineinzutragen. Letzteres schließt die Mitwirkung an friedenssichernden Aktionen nach Kapitel VI (sogenannte „Blauhelm"- Einsätze) sowie im extremen Einzelfall die Mitwirkung deutscher Streitkräfte an friedenserzwingenden Militäreinsätzen auf Grundlage des Kapitels VII der Charta der Vereinten Nationen in Verbindung mit einem zwingend erforderlichen völkerrechtlichen Mandat des UN-Sicherheitsrats nicht aus.
  4. Als aktive und ehemalige Soldaten, die mit der Wirkung moderner Massenvernichtungswaffen vertraut sind, lehnen wir die noch aus den Zeiten des Kalten
Arbeitskreis Darmstädter Signal Positionspapier vom 23.03.2014
Arbeitskreis Darmstädter Signal
Krieges stammende Nukleardoktrin der NATO strikt ab. Kernwaffen sind nach wie vor die Hauptbedrohung für die Existenz der menschlichen Zivilisation. Insofern sind nukleare Abrüstung durch die NATO-Kernwaffenmächte (incl. einseitiger Vorleistungen), der offizielle Verzicht der NATO auf einen nuklearen Ersteinsatz sowie der Abzug der taktischen Kernwaffen der USA von deutschem Boden dringend geboten. Priorität für Deutschland haben dabei besonders die unverzügliche Beendigung der Ausbildung deutscher Soldaten an Kernwaffen und der Ausstieg aus der nuklearen Teilhabe nach dem Vorbild von Kanada und Griechenland.
  1. Angesichts der gegenwärtigen geopolitischen Auseinandersetzungen um die Zukunft der Ukraine erweist sich das Verhältnis der NATO zu Russland mehr denn je als Schlüsselproblem für die europäische Sicherheit. Wir fordern daher die Bundesregierung auf, alles zu unternehmen, um die zunehmende Konfrontation zwischen der NATO und Russland abzubauen und alle Kanäle der NATO und der Bundesregierung zu nutzen, um auf die im Lissaboner NATO-Konzept vom November 2010 aufgezeigten und z.T. schon begangenen Wege einer partnerschaftlichen Zusammenarbeit zurückzufinden. Sicherheit in Europa kann nach wie vor nicht gegen sondern nur mit Russland gewährleistet werden. Deutsche Verantwortung muss sich gegenwärtig vor allem darin beweisen, einen friedlichen und stabilen Ausweg aus der Krise zu ermöglichen.
  2. Bei der Umorientierung der USA auf den pazifischen Raum ist es angemessen, dass die Europäer ihre Verteidigung in die eigenen Hände nehmen und die Europäische Union als autonom handlungsfähige "Europäische Verteidigungs-Union" ausbauen, in die gleichberechtigt alle EU-Staaten eingebunden werden. In der weiteren Perspektive sollte diese Verteidigungs-Union für alle europäischen Staaten offen sein. Das schließt durchaus ein, auch über eine europäische Armee nachzudenken und sie als Emanzipation von der amerikanischen Vorherrschaft wie auch als Chance zur Abrüstung nationaler Streitkräfte- Kontingente zu begreifen.
  3. Im Interesse der europäischen Sicherheit setzen wir uns insbesondere für die Aktivierung und Stärkung der OSZE ein. Das könnte ein wichtiger Schritt zu einem neuen umfassenden europäischen und transatlantischen Sicherheitssystem mit Russlands sein. Die OSZE verfügt als reale und größte Sicherheitsorganisation Europas mit ihren 57 Mitgliedstaaten über alle konzeptionellen und institutionellen Voraussetzungen; sie wurde jedoch von den Hauptmächten der NATO bei der Entfaltung dieser Voraussetzungen nicht unterstützt. Eine Aktivierung und Stärkung der OSZE erfordert insbesondere eine Ausschöpfung der Prinzipien und Instrumente der OSZE zur nichtmilitärischen Streitbeilegung, die Initiierung vertrauensbildender Maßnahmen auf der Grundlage des Wiener Dokuments von 1999 - insbesondere zur Lösung der sogenannten „frozen conflicts“ in Europa -, die Wiederbelebung des Prozesses der Begrenzung konventioneller Streitkräfte in Europa (adaptierter KSE- Vertrag), eine gesamteuropäische Lösung für die Raketenabwehr bzw. gänzlicher Verzicht auf dieses Projekt im OSZE-Bereich.
Im Prozess eines solchen Wandels wird sich erweisen, ob die NATO tatsächlich Element der europäischen und globalen Sicherheit und damit Garant des Weltfriedens sein kann oder sich endgültig überlebt hat und von einem umfassenden System der gemeinsamen europäischen Sicherheit ersetzt werden kann.
Als aktive und ehemalige Soldaten der Bundeswehr und Mitglieder des kritischen Arbeitskreises Darmstädter Signal verstehen wir uns zugleich als Teil der europäischen und weltweiten Friedenskräfte, die aktiv auf einen solchen Veränderungsprozess einwirken wollen.

Ukraine and the Rise of Euro-Fascism

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 25.06.2014 | 11:29  

Current events in Ukraine are guided by the evil spirit of fascism and Nazism, though it seemed to have dissipated long ago, after World War II. Seventy years after the war, the genie has escaped from the bottle once again, posing a threat not merely in the form of the insignia and rhetoric of Hitler’s henchmen, but also through an obsessive Drang nach Osten policy.
The bottle has been uncorked, this time, by the Americans. Just as 76 years ago at Munich, when the British and the French gave Hitler their blessing for his eastward march, so in Kiev today, Washington, London and Brussels are inciting Yarosh, Tyahnybok, and other Ukrainian Nazis to war with Russia. One is forced to ask, why do this in the 21st century? And why is Europe, now united in the European Union, taking part in kindling a new war, as if suffering from a total lapse of historical memory?
Answering these questions requires, first of all, an accurate definition of what is happening. This, in turn, must start with identifying the key components of the events, based on facts. The facts are generally known: Yanukovych refused to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, which Ukraine had been under pressure to accept. After that, the United States and its NATO allies physically removed him from power by organizing a violent coup d’état in Kiev and bringing to power a government that was illegitimate, but fully obedient to them. In this article, it will be called “the junta.”
The goal of this aggression was to gain acceptance of the Association Agreement, as is evidenced by the fact it was indeed, prematurely, signed by the EU leaders and the junta only a month after the latter had seized power. They reported (the document bearing their signatures has not yet been made public!) that only the political part of the agreement has been signed, the part that obligates Ukraine to follow the foreign and defense policy of the EU and to participate, under EU direction, in settling regional civil and military conflicts. With this step, adoption of the Agreement as a whole has become a mere technicality.
In essence, the events in Ukraine mark the country’s forcible subordination to the European Union — what may be called “Euro-occupation.” The EU leaders, who insistently lecture us on obedience to the law and the principles of a law-based state, have themselves flouted the rule of law in this case, by signing an illegitimate treaty with an illegitimate government. Yanukovych was ousted because he refused to sign it. This refusal, moreover, needs to be understood in terms not only of the Agreement’s content, but also the fact that he had no legal right to accept it, because the Association Agreement violates the Ukrainian Constitution, which makes no provision for the transfer of state sovereignty to another party.
According to the Ukrainian Constitution, an international agreement that conflicts with the Constitution may be signed only if the Constitution is amended beforehand. The U.S.- and EU-installed junta ignored this requirement. It follows that the U.S. and EU organized the overthrow of Ukraine’s legitimate government, in order to deprive the country of its political independence. The next step will be to impose their preferred economic and trade policies on Ukraine, through its accession to the economic part of the Agreement. Furthermore, although the current Euro-occupation differs from the occupation of Ukraine in 1941 in that, so far, it has occurred without an invasion by foreign armies, its coercive nature is beyond any doubt. Just as the fascists stripped the population of occupied Ukraine of all civil rights, the modern junta and its American and European backers treat the opponents of Euro-integration as criminals, groundlessly accusing them of separatism and terrorism, imprisoning them, or even deploying Nazi guerrillas to shoot them.
As long as President Yanukovych was on track to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, he was the recipient of all kinds of praise and coaxing from high-ranking EU officials and politicians. The minute he refused, however, American agents of influence (as well as official U.S. representatives, such as the Ambassador to Ukraine, the Assistant Secretary of State, and representatives of the intelligence agencies), together with European politicians, began to castigate him and extol his political opponents. They provided massive informational, political, and financial aid to the Euromaidan protests, turning them into the staging ground for the coup d’état. Many of the protest actions, including criminal attacks against law enforcement personnel and government building seizures, accompanied by murders and beatings of a large number of people, were supported, organized, and planned with the participation of the American Embassy and European officials and politicians, who not only “interfered” in Ukraine’s domestic affairs, but carried out aggression against the country via the Nazi guerrillas they had cultivated.
The use of Nazis and religious fanatics to undermine political stability in various regions of the world is a favorite method of the American intelligence agencies. It has been employed against Russia in the Caucasus, in Central Asia, and now even in Eastern Europe. The Eastern Partnership program, which the U.S. encouraged the Poles and EU officials to initiate, was aimed against Russia from the outset, with the objective of breaking the former Soviet republics’ relations with Russia. This break was supposed to be finalized by contracting legal Association Agreements between each of these countries and the EU. In order to provide political grounds for these agreements, a campaign was launched to fan Russophobia and spread a myth called “the European choice.” This mythical “European choice” was then artificially counterposed to the Eurasian integration process, with Western politicians and the media falsely depicting the latter as an attempt to restore the USSR.
The Eastern Partnership program has failed in every single former Soviet republic. Belarus had already made its own choice, creating a Union State with Russia. Kazakhstan, another key Eurasian country (though not formally an Eastern Partnership target) likewise chose its own path, forming the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have decided to join this process. The province of Gagauzia has spurned the adoption of Russophobia as a cornerstone of Moldovan policy; the Gagauz referendum, rejecting European integration in favor of the Customs Union, challenged the legitimacy of Chişinău’s “European choice.” Georgia, the only republic to have made a relatively legitimate decision in favor of Association with the EU, paid for its “European choice” with the loss of control over a part of its territory, where people did not want to live under Euro-occupation. The same scenario is now being imposed on Ukraine — loss of a part of its territory, where the citizens do not accept the leadership’s “European choice.”
The coercion of Ukraine to sign the EU Association Agreement became entangled with Russophobia, as a reaction of the Ukrainian public conscience, wounded by the decision of the people of Crimea to join the Russian Federation. Since the majority of Ukrainians still do not automatically think of themselves as divided from Russia, there has been a strong push to inculcate a perception of this episode as Russian aggression and the annexation of part of their territory. This is why Brzezinski talks about the “Finlandization” of Ukraine, as a way to anesthetize the brains of our political elite during the American operation to sever Ukraine’s ties with historical Russia. While under anesthesia, we Russians are supposed to accept a feeling of guilt for our mythical oppression of the Ukrainian people, while the latter are force-fed loathing for Russia, with which they have allegedly battled for ages over Little Russia and Novorossiya.[1]
Only a superficial observer, however, would see the current anti-Russian hysteria in the Ukrainian media, so striking in its frenzied Russophobia, as a spontaneous reaction to the Crimean drama. In reality, it is a piece of evidence that the war being waged against Russia is now entering an overt phase. For two decades, we were fairly tolerant of the manifestations of Nazi ideology in Ukraine, not taking it too seriously, in view of the apparent absence of clear preconditions for Nazism. The lack of such preconditions, however, was completely compensated by the persistent sowing of Russophobia through support for numerous nationalist organizations. The discrepancy between their ideology and historical accuracy does not bother the fuehrers of these organizations. In return for a pittance from NATO member countries, they are completely unrestrained in painting Russia as the enemy image. The result is unconvincing, because of our common history, language and culture: Kiev is the mother of all Russian cities, the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is a major holy site of the Orthodox world, and it was at the Kiev-Mohyla Academy that the modern Russian language took shape). Therefore wild lies are employed, playing on tragic episodes in our common history, such as the Revolution and the Civil War, as well as the Holodomor famine of the 1930s, which are falsely attributed solely to Russian tyranny. Russophobia, based on Nazism, is being made the cornerstone of Ukraine’s national identity.
This article is not concerned with exposing the objective absurdity of the Ukrainian Nazis’ hysterical Russophobia, but rather with establishing the reasons for its re-emergence in the 21st century. This requires an awareness that such “Ukrainian Nazism” is an artificial construct, created by the age-old enemies of the Russian world. Ukrainian exclusionary nationalism and fascism, cultivated from abroad, has always been aimed at Moscow. At first it was promoted by Poland, which viewed Ukraine as its own borderland, and established its own vertical power structure to administer it. Then came Austria-Hungary, which invested large amounts of money over a long period of time, to encourage Ukrainian separatism. During the German fascist occupation, these separatist tendencies were the ground in which the Bandera movement and the Polizei sprang up, aiding the German fascists in establishing their order in Ukraine, including though punitive operations and enslavement of the population. Their modern followers are now doing likewise: under the guidance of their American instructors, guerrillas of the Banderite Right Sector are conducting punitive operations against the population in the Donbass, helping the U.S.-installed junta “cleanse” cities of supporters of greater integration with Russia, and assuming police functions for the establishment of a pro-American, anti-Russian order.
It is obvious that without steady American and European support, neither the coup d’état nor the existence of the Kiev junta would have been possible. Unfortunately, as the famous dictum goes, “history teaches us, that history teaches us nothing.” This is a catastrophe for Europe, which has more than once had to deal with instances of the proto-fascist model of government that has now taken shape in Ukraine. It involves, essentially, a symbiotic relationship between the fascists and big capital. A symbiosis of this type gave rise to Hitler, who was supported by major German capitalists, seduced by the opportunity, under the cover of national-socialist rhetoric, to make money from government orders and the militarization of the economy. This applied not only to German capitalists, but also Europeans and Americans. There were collaborators with the Hitler regime in practically all the European countries and the United States.
Few people realized that the torch marches would be followed by the ovens at Auschwitz, and that tens of millions of people would die in the fires of World War II. The same dynamic is playing out in Kiev now, except that the shout of “Heil Hitler!” has been replaced by “Glory to the heroes!” — heroes whose great feat was to execute defenseless Jews at Babi Yar. Moreover, the Ukrainian oligarchy — including the leaders of some Jewish organizations — is financing the anti-Semites and Nazis of Right Sector, who are the armed bulwark of the current regime in Ukraine. The Maidan sponsors have forgotten that, in the symbiotic relationship between Nazis and big capital, the Nazis always get the upper hand over the liberal businessmen. The latter are forced either to become Nazis themselves, or to leave the country. This is already happening in Ukraine: the oligarchs who remain in the country are competing with the petty fuehrers of Right Sector in the domain of Russophobic and anti-“Muscovite” rhetoric, as well as in grabbing the property of those former Nazi-sponsors who have fled to Moscow.
The current rulers in Kiev count on protection from their American and European patrons, pledging to them daily that they will fight the “Russian occupation” to the last standing “Muscovite.”[2] They obviously underestimate how dangerous Nazis are, because Nazis truly believe they are a “superior race,” while all others, including the businessmen who sponsor them, are viewed as “sub-human” creatures, against whom violence of all sorts is permissible. That is why Nazis always prevail, within their symbiotic relationship with the bourgeoisie, who are then forced either to submit, or flee the country. There is no doubt that if the Bandera followers are not forcibly stopped, the Nazi regime in Ukraine will develop, expand, and penetrate more deeply. The only thing still in doubt will be Ukraine’s “European choice,” as the country reeks more and more of the fascism of 80 years ago.
Of course, Eurofascism today is very different from its 20th-century German, Italian, and Spanish versions. European national states have receded into the past, entering the European Union and submitting to the Eurobureaucracy. The latter has become the leading political power in Europe, easily quashing any bids for sovereignty by individual European countries. The bureaucracy’s power is based not on an army, but on its monopoly over the issuance of currency, over the mass media, and over the regulation of trade, all of which are managed by the bureaucracy in the interests of European big capital. In every conflict with national governments during the past decade, the Eurobureaucracy has invariably prevailed, forcing European nations to accept its technocrat governments and its policies. Those policies are based on the consistent rejection of all national traditions, from Christian moral standards to how sausages are produced.
The cookie-cutter, gender-neutral, and idea-free Europoliticians little resemble the raving fuehrers of the Third Reich. What they have in common is a maniacal confidence that they are in the right, and readiness to force people to obey. Although the Eurofascists’ forms of compulsion are far softer, it is still a harsh approach. Dissent is not tolerated, and violence is allowed, up to and including the physical extermination of those who disagree with Brussels’ policies. Of course, the thousands who have died during the drive to instill “European values” in Yugoslavia, Georgia, Moldova, and now Ukraine, do not compare with the millions of victims of the German fascist invaders during World War II. But who has tallied up the indirect human casualties from the promotion of homosexuality and drugs, the ruin of national manufacturing sectors, or the degradation of culture? Entire European nations are disappearing in the crucible of European integration.
The Italian word fascio, from which “fascism” derives, denotes a union, or something bound together. In its current understanding, it refers to unification without preservation of the identity of what is integrated — whether people, social groups, or countries. Today’s Eurofascists are trying to erase not only national economic and cultural differences, but also the diversity of human individuals, including differentiation by sex and age. What’s more, the aggressiveness with which the Eurofascists are fighting to expand their area of influence sometimes reminds us of the paranoia of Hitler’s supporters, who were preoccupied with the conquest of Lebensraum for the superior Aryan race. Suffice it to recall the hysteria of the European politicians who appeared at the Maidan and in the Ukrainian media. They justified the crimes of the proponents of Eurointegration and groundlessly denounced those who disagreed with Ukraine’s “European choice,” taking the Goebbels approach that the more monstrous a lie is, the more it resembles the truth.
Today the driver of Eurofascism is the Eurobureaucracy, which gets its directions from Washington. The United States supports the eastward expansion of the EU and NATO in every way possible, viewing these organizations as important components of its global empire. The U.S. exercises control over the EU through supranational institutions, which have crushed the nation-states that joined the EU. Deprived of economic, financial, foreign-policy and military sovereignty, they submit to the directives of the European Commission, which are adopted under intense pressure from the U.S.
In essence, the EU is a bureaucratic empire that arranges things within its economic space in the interests of European and American capital, under U.S. control. Like any empire, it strives to expand, and does so by drawing neighboring countries into Association Agreements, under which they hand their sovereignty over to the European Commission. In order to make these countries accept becoming EU colonies, fear-mongering about an external threat is employed, with the U.S.-guided media portraying Russia as aggressive and bellicose, for this purpose. Under this pretext, the EU and NATO moved quickly to occupy the countries of Eastern Europe after the Soviet Union collapsed; the war in the Balkans was organized for this purpose. The next victims of Eurofascism were the Baltic republics, which Russophobic Nazis forced to join the EU and NATO. Then Eurofascism reached Georgia, where Nazis under American guidance unleashed civil war. Today, the Eurofascists are using the Georgian model in Ukraine, in order to force it sign the Association Agreement with the EU, as a subservient territory and a bridgehead for attacking Russia.
The U.S. sees the principal threat to its plans for putting the Eurobureaucracy in charge of the post-Soviet area, as being the Eurasian integration process, which is developing successfully around the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union. The EU and the U.S. have invested at least $10 billion in building up anti-Russian networks, in order to prevent Ukraine from taking part in that process. In parallel, using the support of Polish and Baltic Russophobes, as well as media under the control of American media moguls, the United States is inciting European officials against Russia, with the goal of isolating the former Soviet republics from the Eurasian integration process. The Eastern Partnership program, which they inspired, is a cover for aggression against Russia in the former Soviet area. This aggression takes the form of forcing former Soviet republics to enter EU Association Agreements, under which they transfer their sovereign economic, trade, foreign-policy and defense functions to the European Commission.
For Ukraine, the Association Agreement with the European Union means transferring to Brussels its sovereign functions of regulating trade and other foreign economic relations, technical standards, and veterinary, sanitary, and pest inspections, as well as opening its market to European goods. The agreement contains a thousand pages of EU directives that Ukraine would be required to follow. Every section mandates that Ukrainian legislation be brought into compliance with the requirements of Brussels. Moreover, Ukraine would assume the obligation to comply not only with current Brussels directives, but also future ones, in the drafting of which Ukraine will have no part.
Plainly put, after signing the Agreement, Ukraine is to become a colony of the European Union, blindly obeying its demands. These include requirements which Ukrainian industry is unable to carry out, and which will harm the Ukrainian economy. Ukraine is to completely open its market to European goods, which will lead to a $4 billion increase in Ukraine’s imports and drive uncompetitive Ukrainian industrial products out of the market. Ukraine will be obliged to meet European standards, which would take 150 billion euro of investment in economic modernization. There are no sources for such amounts of money. According to estimates by Ukrainian and Russian economists, Ukraine, after signing the Agreement, can look forward to a deterioration of its already negative balance of trade and balance of payments, and, as a consequence, default.
Thus, signing the Association Agreement would mean an economic catastrophe for Ukraine. The EU would achieve certain advantages, by way of an expanded market for its products and the opportunity to acquire devalued Ukrainian assets. U.S. corporations, for their part, would gain access to shale gas deposits, which they would like to supplement with pipeline infrastructure and a market for nuclear fuel elements for power plants. The main goal, however, is geopolitical: after signing the Association Agreement, Ukraine would not be able to participate in the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It is for this outcome that the U.S. and the EU resorted to aggression against Ukraine, organizing an armed seizure of power by their protégés. While they accuse Russia of annexing Crimea, they themselves have taken over Ukraine as a whole, by installing a junta under their control. The junta’s mission is to strip Ukraine of its sovereignty and put it under the EU, through signing the Association Agreement.
The disaster in Ukraine may be termed aggression against Russia by the U.S. and its NATO allies. This is a contemporary version of Euro-fascism, which differs from the previous face of fascism during World War II in that it employs “soft” power with just some elements of armed action in cases of extreme necessity, as well as the use of Nazi ideology as a supplementary rather than an absolute ideology. One of the main defining elements of Eurofascism has been preserved, however, and that is the division of citizens into superior ones (those who support the “European choice”) and inferior ones, who have no right to their own opinions and toward whom all is permitted. Another feature is the readiness to use violence and commit crimes in dealing with political opponents. The final aspect that needs to be understood, is what drives the rebirth of fascism in Europe; without grasping this, it is impossible to develop a resistance plan and save the Russian world from this latest threat of Euro-occupation.
The theory of long-term economic development recognizes an interrelationship between long waves of economic activity and long waves of military and political tension. Periodic shifts from one dominant technological mode to the next alternate with economic depressions, wherein increased government spending is used as an incentive for overcoming the crisis. The spending is concentrated in the military-industrial complex, because the liberal economic ideology allows enhancement of the role of the state only for national security objectives. Therefore, military and political tension is promoted and international conflicts provoked, to justify increased defense spending. This is what is happening at present: the U.S. is attempting to resolve its accumulated economic, financial, and industrial imbalances at other countries’ expense, by escalating international conflicts that will allow it to write off debts, appropriate assets belonging to others, and weaken its geopolitical rivals. When this was done during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the result was World War II. The American aggression against Ukraine pursues all of the above-mentioned goals. First, economic sanctions against Russia are intended to wipe out billions of dollars of U.S. debt to Russia. A second objective is to take over Ukrainian state assets, including the natural gas transport system, mineral deposits, the country’s gold reserves, and valuable art and cultural objects. Third, to capture Ukrainian markets of importance to American companies, such as nuclear fuel, aircraft, energy sources, and others. Fourth, to weaken not only Russia, but also the European Union, whose economy will sustain an estimated trillion-dollar loss from economic sanctions against Russia. Fifth, to attract capital flight from instability in Europe, to the USA.
Thus, war in Ukraine is just business for the United States. Judging by reports in the media, the U.S. has already recouped its spending on the Orange Revolution and the Maidan by carrying off treasures from the ransacked National Museum of Russian Art and National Historical Museum, taking over potential gas fields, and forcing the Ukrainian government to switch from Russian to American nuclear fuel supplies for its power plants. In addition, the Americans have moved ahead on their long-term objective of splitting Ukraine from Russia, turning what used to be “Little Russia” into a state hostile to Russia, in order to prevent it from joining the Eurasian integration process.
This analysis leaves no room for doubt about the long-term and consistent nature of the American aggression against Russia in Ukraine. Washington is directing its Kiev puppets to escalate the conflict, rather than the reverse. They are also inciting the Ukrainian military against Russia, aiming to drag Russian ground forces into a war against Ukraine. They are encouraging the Nazis there to initiate new combat operations. This is a real war, organized by the United States and its NATO allies. Just like 75 years ago, it is being waged by Eurofascists against Russia, with the use of Ukrainian Nazis cultivated for this purpose.
What is surprising is the position of the European countries, which are tailing the U.S. and doing nothing to prevent a further escalation of the crisis. They should understand better than anybody, that Nazis can only be stopped with force. The sooner this is done, the fewer victims and less destruction there will be in Europe. The avalanche of wars across North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, and now Ukraine, incited by the U.S. in its own interests, threatens Europe most of all; and it was the devastation of Europe in two world wars that gave rise to the American economic miracle in the 20th century.
But the Old World will not survive a Third World War. To prevent such a war means that there must be international acknowledgement that the actions of the U.S. constitute aggression, and that the EU and U.S. officials carrying them out are war criminals. It is important to accord this aggression the legal definition of “Eurofascism” and to condemn the actions of the European politicians and officials who are party to the revival of Nazism under cover of the Eastern Partnership.
Sergei Glazyev is Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation      
[1] Malorossiya (“Little Russia” or “Lesser Russia”) is a term dating back to Greek place-names for the areas populated by eastern Slavs, nearer (“Lesser Russia”) and farther north (“Greater Russia”) of the Black Sea. It has been used at various times to denote all of modern Ukraine or, chiefly, northeastern Ukraine or the left bank of the Dnieper River. Novorossiya (“New Russia”) was introduced in the 18th century for lands acquired by the Russian Empire under Catherine II in wars with the Ottoman Empire. These included the Black Sea littoral from the Dniester River to Crimea, the Sea of Azov littoral eastward nearly to the mouth of the Don River, and lands along the lower Dnieper.
[2] Moskal, or “Muscovite,” is a derogatory Ukrainian term for a Russian.