Kiev strangles Minsk ceasefire deal

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by Jim Dean, Press TV.com

“War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong. It multiplies instead of indemnifying losses.” ~Thomas Jefferson


Some might describe what is happening to the Minsk agreement as a crib death, but that is an accident, and strangulation is not. It is exactly what Kiev has been doing as every indication shows it has no intention of living up to seeking the political settlement it agreed to do.

That is no surprise to anyone who has been following this sad saga. When it comes to pathological lying, the Poroshenko government currently holds the Olympic gold medal. But, it also has had a lot of encouragement, in that the EU and the US have never shown any disappointment with Kiev’s behavior, thus waiving the green flag for the Ukrainian tragedy to continue.

We saw problems begin when Poroshenko returned home after signing the agreement to what, in Kiev, seemed like a palace coup. Rumors abounded in Ukraine that Yatsenyuk and Kolomoisky were scheming to get rid of the Candy King by any means.

The anti-Russian radicals did not want peace as their future greed lies in the looting of the Russian area republics, with Kharkov unofficially on the list. With the country financially broke, the only dependable source of theft is the IMF funds coming in, along with neo-Viking style army raids on the East.

While at Minsk, Poroshenko could have negotiated the safe removal of his surrounded army at Debaltseve, but incredibly, he took the stance that they were not surrounded, even though the militias had the supply roads north blocked for several days, thus putting Kiev’s troops behind the front lines of the enemy.

Under the agreement, all illegally-armed groups were to be disarmed or neutralized. Some intelligent Kiev troops did surrender as the Minsk deal had agreed to an exchange of prisoners within 30 days. But troops abandoned in Debaltseve were left on their own to break out with ensuing huge casualties, showing that Kiev would use the lives of its soldiers to protect its lies with no mercy.

Porky began walking back on the agreement to shore up domestic political support, and trying to make up for the Donetsk airport and Debaltseve disasters by playing Mr. Tough Guy. He delayed pulling back his heavy weapons from the front. Shelling continued for days, even as the militias held to their side of the agreement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko (R), during a meeting on February 11, 2015 in Minsk, Belarus. © AFP


Then when Kiev began its pullback, the OSCE monitors reported that they were not allowed to see where these weapons were being staged so they could make sure they were not just being moved to another part of the line.

There was no outcry from the EU, nor the French and German guarantors for Kiev. As the shelling violations quieted down they announced the ceasefire was holding, and Russia seemed to be onboard the charade for some reason. Kiev had tested them, and now would take further steps to derail the Minsk agreement.

Poroshenko refused to begin negotiations, preferring instead to issue proclamations from Kiev that effectively interpreted the agreement however he saw fit. He played a cheap game, first announcing that legal changes would be made to give Donbas more autonomy as required, but later began adding stipulations.

This shockingly began two days after passing the Donbas autonomy legislation, when a list of amendments was submitted, which undid some of the things just passed. Again, there was not a word of disappointment or pressure from France, Germany or the US for subverting the agreement so blatantly.

To distract public attention from this open breach of Minsk, we began to see more silly charges from NATO that Russia would be held responsible for any breaches to Minsk, while we were already watching in real time Kiev breaching Minsk with full immunity from its Western backers.

When the EU met to discuss the extension on Russian sanctions, a big deal was made how there would be no sanctions relief until the Minsk agreement provisions were “fully implemented.” That verbiage showed me the Western trap. Russia would be held responsible for Kiev’s duplicity.

NATO General Breedlove cornered more media distraction by demanding that Russia pull back its 12,000 troops. But this was problematic as the head of the OSCE stated that he had never seen any Russian troops in Donbas, nor had the monitors on the border seen any troops or armor cross over — an easy thing to see.

We got some clues earlier as to the US thinking from the Munich conference, when Breedlove and Victoria Nuland were making one last big push to get the EU to go along with putting lethal military support into the coup government.

But most of the EU leaders were not budging as they saw the military conflict was just going to continue to destroy the country. This would assure the tens of billions of western loans needed over the next few years to keep Ukraine from defaulting on its loan portfolio would never be repaid and could trigger a new banking crisis.

Breedlove’s response in Munich to the “no military solution” objection had been to agree there probably could not be a military victory, but that it was important to keep the war going to give the Russian sanctions “time to work.”

This was an intensely immoral position to take when so much needless death and destruction has taken place, because the West actually did support Kiev in seeking a military solution, hoping that would force regular Russian troops to intervene and trigger a much larger Western military response. This would speed up the NATO expansion and integration of Ukraine — and that is what this whole Ukrainian coup has been about from day one.

So now we have Kiev saying that detailed negotiations cannot be held until after elections. And then a few days later, it was announced that elections would be hard to get done in 2015. We heard no anger or outrage from the “missing in inaction” Western governments, once again.

We are now getting reports of violent provocations against the Donbas civilians under Kiev control, which have triggered protests, and then the Right Sector thugs were sent in to crush any visible opposition. Beatings, random apprehensions and disappearances have begun — baiting the Republic governments to do something about it.

A resident is seen near a destroyed overpass in the Oktyabrsky district close to Donetsk’s international airport, eastern Ukraine, on March 14, 2015. © AFP


We did not have to wait long for their reply, which was that the killing of Donbas civilians under Ukrainian control would be considered a breach of Minsk by the Republics, who would feel obliged to protect them.

That such behavior would be condoned by allegedly free and Democratic Western governments is a disgrace. It is all being done while NATO and the US are parading new armored units in the Baltics under the silly pretext of protecting them from Russian invasion.

But the gangsters in Kiev have their hands full with domestic attacks, as we see Kolomoisky and his militia units seizing the offices of the main energy pipeline company and holding the building hostage to install his director. It was a circus hard to believe when I got the first reports.

But this evening, we learned that Kolomoisky was responding to a new law passed in the Rada that changed the voting quorum in the company to give the government 50% plus one share to have management control for the first time… a surprise in itself. Kiev authorities have not moved on this direct act of insurrection, and Western media is silent.

And to show Poroshenko that he means business, Kolomoisky’s bank, where Petro has $50 million on account, denied reports that Mr. K had seized Petro’s money as not true… that it was just a “technical glitch” that was blocking his access.

I am afraid things in Ukraine are going to get worse before they get better. It is beginning to look like Breedlove might have his way — that the war will go on and on to “give more time for the sanctions to work”. We have to hold those responsible for this accountable now, not five or ten years from now.

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