Silencio de radio de los medios corporativos occidentales sobre Ucrania. Parece que las cosas no salen como se esperaba. Los ruskis no se dejan violar, saquear o asesinar así como así. Pero qué gente de porquería. Acá van tres notas que encontramos hoy en el portal de noticias Russia Insider. La primera es de Alexander Mercouris:
Título: Eastern Ukraine - A Frozen War
Subtítulos: While full-scale fighting has not returned, neither side accepts the status quo or wants to put the conflict aside / It’s rather the negotiated path to peace that has been put aside, particularly by Kiev
Texto: Contrary to my expectations — and those of most other observers — the situation in eastern Ukraine has not so far spiraled into renewed war. The reason for this is the deteriorating financial situation in Ukraine itself. Despite pressure from the IMF talks between Ukraine and its private creditors remain deadlocked. This has led some of the ratings agencies to predict that Ukraine will fall into formal default this month.
The IMF’s indication that it would maintain its support for Ukraine has simply triggered a demand from the Russians that the next $5 billion tranche of IMF funding Ukraine should be used to repay the $3 billion Ukraine owes Russia, which is due for repayment this year.
It seems that the IMF’s staff is now increasingly leaning to the Russian view that this debt is indeed public debt. If so, then unless the IMF Board is willing to overrule the opinion of its own staff – which would be extremely controversial and might have serious legal consequences, Ukraine might shortly find itself cut off from private lending and in receipt of only limited funding from the IMF.
As for other alternative sources of Western funding, the EU’s commitment to provide Greece with a third 86 billion euro bailout further reduces the funds available for Ukraine.
It is nonetheless likely that it has been the need to bring the negotiations with the IMF and with Ukraine’s private creditors to a successful conclusion that has been the key factor in deterring Ukraine from resuming the offensive in eastern Ukraine. Back in the winter the IMF warned that any program to support Ukraine would fail in case of a renewal of the war, which all but confirmed that the IMF would halt its programme if the war resumed. With Ukraine becoming increasingly dependent on the IMF as alternative sources of external funding are closed off, this has become a major obstacle to a renewal of the war.
None of this however is to be taken to mean that the situation in eastern Ukraine is stable.
As predicted, the Ukrainian government has reneged on the commitments it made in Minsk.
It refuses to negotiate with the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, whom it continues to call terrorists. It has maintained the economic blockade.
There has been no negotiated law granting special status, no elections held in accordance with such a law and no discussions for a new constitution. On all these questions Kiev has purported to legislate unilaterally, imposing on the Donbass its own conceptions, which continue to reflect its unitary ideology.
Though there has been no general offensive, there is also no peace. Shelling of the Donbass towns continues at various levels of intensity and fighting between the Ukrainian army and militia units repeatedly takes place.
Meanwhile, much as he did before the resumption of the fighting in January this year, Poroshenko has again been bragging about the revival of the Ukrainian army, with claims that the number of Ukrainian troops on the front line has once again been brought up to 60,000 – which was roughly their number at the start of the offensive on 30th June 2014.
These claims, understandably enough, cause great alarm and are scarcely compatible with a sincere desire for peace. They are in fact as likely to be untrue as were the identical claims Poroshenko made before the resumption of the fighting in January. The reported mutiny of an entire Ukrainian tank battalion is almost certain to be a better reflection of the true state of the Ukrainian army than Poroshenko’s boasts.
The current situation is best described therefore not as a frozen conflict but as a frozen war. A frozen conflict requires some degree of acceptance — however grudging — of the status quo. In Ukraine that acceptance does not exist – on either side.
In the absence of the negotiations envisaged by the deal done in Minsk the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics exist in limbo – under blockade, facing current shelling, without a proper legal status and without full control of the territory they claim.
The Ukrainian government for its part cannot bring itself to recognize or accept the separate identities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, but lacks the means to suppress them.
The situation is extremely unstable and very dangerous.
La segunda nota es de Robert Parry y apareció originalmente en Consortium News:
Título: MH17 Is the New Tonkin Gulf
Subtítulo: Would the US misrepresent truth to justify more war?
Epígrafe: It did so in the 1960s to justify escalation in Vietnam and is doing in the same in regard to MH17 to deepen the stand off versus Russia
Texto: One year ago, the world experienced what could become the Tonkin Gulf incident of World War III, the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. As with the dubious naval clash off the coast of North Vietnam in 1964, which helped launch the Vietnam War, U.S. officials quickly seized on the MH-17 crash for its emotional and propaganda appeal – and used it to ratchet up tensions against Russia.
Shocked at the thought of 298 innocent people plunging to their deaths from 33,000 feet last July 17, the world recoiled in horror, a fury that was then focused on Russian President Vladimir Putin. With Putin’s face emblazoned on magazine covers, the European Union got in line behind the U.S.-backed coup regime in Ukraine and endorsed economic sanctions to punish Russia.
In the year that has followed, the U.S. government has continued to escalate tensions with Russia, supporting the Ukrainian regime in its brutal “anti-terrorism operation” that has slaughtered thousands of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. The authorities in Kiev have even dispatched neo-Nazi and ultranationalist militias, supported by jihadists called “brothers” of the Islamic State, to act as the tip of the spear.
Raising world tensions even further, the Russians have made clear that they will not allow the ethnic Russian resistance to be annihilated, setting the stage for a potential escalation of hostilities and even a possible nuclear showdown between the United States and Russia.
But the propaganda linchpin to the West’s extreme anger toward Russia remains the MH-17 shoot-down, which the United States and the West continue to pin on the Russian rebels – and by extension – Russia and Putin. The latest examples are media reports about the Dutch crash investigation suggesting that an anti-aircraft missile, allegedly involved in destroying MH-17, was fired from rebel-controlled territory.
Yet, the U.S. mainstream media remains stunningly disinterested in the “dog-not-barking” question of why the U.S. intelligence community has been so quiet about its MH-17 analysis since it released a sketchy report relying mostly on “social media” on July 22, 2014, just five days after the shoot-down. A source briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts told me that the reason for the intelligence community’s silence is that more definitive analysis pointed to a rogue Ukrainian operation implicating one of the pro-regime oligarchs.
The source said that if this U.S. analysis were to see the light of day, the Ukrainian “narrative” that has supplied the international pressure on Russia would collapse. In other words, the Obama administration is giving a higher priority to keeping Putin on the defensive than to bringing the MH-17 killers to justice.
Like the Tonkin Gulf case, the evidence on the MH-17 case was shaky and contradictory from the start. But, in both cases, U.S. officials confidently pointed fingers at the “enemy.” President Lyndon Johnson blamed North Vietnam in 1964 and Secretary of State John Kerry implicated ethnic Russian rebels and their backers in Moscow in 2014. In both cases, analysts in the U.S. intelligence community were less certain and even reached contrary conclusions once more evidence was available.
In both cases, those divergent assessments appear to have been suppressed so as not to interfere with what was regarded as a national security priority – confronting “North Vietnamese aggression” in 1964 and “Russian aggression” in 2014. To put out the contrary information would have undermined the government’s policy and damaged “credibility.” So the facts – or at least the conflicting judgments – were hidden.
The Price of Silence
In the case of the Tonkin Gulf, it took years for the truth to finally emerge and – in the meantime – tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and millions of Vietnamese had lost their lives. Yet, much of the reality was known soon after the Tonkin Gulf incident on Aug. 4, 1964.
Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1964 was a young Defense Department official, recounts – in his 2002 book Secrets – how the Tonkin Gulf falsehoods took shape, first with the panicked cables from a U.S. Navy captain relaying confused sonar readings and then with that false storyline presented to the American people.
As Ellsberg describes, President Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara announced retaliatory airstrikes on Aug. 4, 1964, telling “the American public that the North Vietnamese, for the second time in two days, had attacked U.S. warships on ‘routine patrol in international waters’; that this was clearly a ‘deliberate’ pattern of ‘naked aggression’; that the evidence for the second attack, like the first, was ‘unequivocal’; that the attack had been ‘unprovoked’; and that the United States, by responding in order to deter any repetition, intended no wider war.”
Ellsberg wrote: “By midnight on the fourth, or within a day or two, I knew that each one of those assurances was false.” Yet, the White House made no effort to clarify the false or misleading statements. The falsehoods were left standing for several years while Johnson sharply escalated the war by dispatching a half million soldiers to Vietnam.
In the MH-17 case, we saw something similar. Within three days of the July 17, 2014 crash, Secretary Kerry rushed onto all five Sunday talk shows with his rush to judgment, citing evidence provided by the Ukrainian government through social media. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” David Gregory asked, “Are you bottom-lining here that Russia provided the weapon?”
Kerry: “There’s a story today confirming that, but we have not within the Administration made a determination. But it’s pretty clear when – there’s a build-up of extraordinary circumstantial evidence. I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve tried cases on circumstantial evidence; it’s powerful here.”
Two days later, on July 22, the Director of National Intelligence authorized the release of a brief report essentially repeating Kerry’s allegations. The DNI’s report also cited “social media” as implicating the ethnic Russian rebels, but the report stopped short of claiming that the Russians gave the rebels the sophisticated Buk (or SA-11) surface-to-air missile that the report indicated was used to bring down the plane.
Instead, the report cited “an increasing amount of heavy weaponry crossing the border from Russia to separatist fighters in Ukraine”; it claimed that Russia “continues to provide training – including on air defense systems to separatist fighters at a facility in southwest Russia”; and its noted the rebels “have demonstrated proficiency with surface-to-air missile systems, downing more than a dozen aircraft in the months prior to the MH17 tragedy, including two large transport aircraft.”
Yet, despite the insinuation of Russian guilt, what the public report didn’t say – which is often more significant than what is said in these white papers – was that the rebels had previously only used short-range shoulder-fired missiles to bring down low-flying military planes, whereas MH-17 was flying at around 33,000 feet, far beyond the range of those weapons.
The assessment also didn’t say that U.S. intelligence, which had been concentrating its attention on eastern Ukraine during those months, detected the delivery of a Buk missile battery from Russia, despite the fact that a battery consists of four 16-foot-long missiles that are hauled around by trucks or other large vehicles.
I was told that the absence of evidence of such a delivery injected the first doubts among U.S. analysts who also couldn’t say for certain that the missile battery that was suspected of firing the fateful missile was manned by rebels. An early glimpse of that doubt was revealed in the DNI briefing for several mainstream news organizations when the July 22 assessment was released.
The Los Angeles Times reported, “U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.”
The Russians also challenged the rush to judgment against them, although the U.S. mainstream media largely ignored – or ridiculed – their presentation. But the Russians at least provided what appeared to be substantive data, including alleged radar readings showing the presence of a Ukrainian jetfighter “gaining height” as it closed to within three to five kilometers of MH-17.
Russian Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov also called on the Ukrainian government to explain the movements of its Buk systems to sites in eastern Ukraine and why Kiev’s Kupol-M19S18 radars, which coordinate the flight of Buk missiles, showed increased activity leading up to the July 17 shoot-down.
The Ukrainian government countered by asserting that it had “evidence that the missile which struck the plane was fired by terrorists, who received arms and specialists from the Russian Federation,” according to Andrey Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council, using Kiev’s preferred term for the rebels.
On July 29, amid this escalating rhetoric, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group of mostly retired U.S. intelligence officials, called on President Barack Obama to release what evidence the U.S. government had, including satellite imagery.
“As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information,” the group wrote. “As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay. In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence.”
But the Obama administration failed to make public any intelligence information that would back up its earlier suppositions.
Then, in early August, I was told that some U.S. intelligence analysts had begun shifting away from the original scenario blaming the rebels and Russia to one focused more on the possibility that extremist elements of the Ukrainian government were responsible, funded by one of Ukraine’s rabidly anti-Russian oligarchs.
Last October, Der Spiegel reported that the German intelligence service, the BND, also had concluded that Russia was not the source of the missile battery – that it had been captured from a Ukrainian military base – but the BND still blamed the rebels for firing it. The BND also concluded that photos supplied by the Ukrainian government about the MH-17 tragedy “have been manipulated,” Der Spiegel reported.
And, the BND disputed Russian government claims that a Ukrainian fighter jet had been flying close to MH-17, the magazine said, reporting on the BND’s briefing to a parliamentary committee on Oct. 8, 2014. But none of the BND’s evidence was made public — and I was subsequently told by a European official that the evidence was not as conclusive as the magazine article depicted.
Dog Still Doesn’t Bark
When the Dutch Safety Board investigating the crash issued an interim report in mid-October, it answered few questions, beyond confirming that MH-17 apparently was destroyed by “high-velocity objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.” The 34-page Dutch report was silent on the “dog-not-barking” issue of whether the U.S. government had satellite surveillance that revealed exactly where the supposed ground-to-air missile was launched and who fired it.
In January, when I re-contacted the source who had been briefed by the U.S. analysts, the source said their thinking had not changed, except that they believed the missile may have been less sophisticated than a Buk, possibly an SA-6, and that the attack may have also involved a Ukrainian jetfighter firing on MH-17.
Since then there have been occasional news accounts about witnesses reporting that they did see a Ukrainian fighter plane in the sky and others saying they saw a missile possibly fired from territory then supposedly controlled by the rebels (although the borders of the conflict zone at that time were very fluid and the Ukrainian military was known to have mobile anti-aircraft missile batteries only a few miles away).
But the larger dog-not-barking question is why the U.S. intelligence community has clammed up for nearly one year, even after I reported that I was being told that U.S. analysts had veered off in a different direction – from the initial blame-the-Russians approach – toward one focusing on a rogue Ukrainian attack.
For its part, the DNI’s office has cited the need for secrecy even as it continues to refer to its July 22 report. But didn’t DNI James Clapper waive any secrecy privilege when he rushed out a report five days after the MH-17 shoot-down? Why was secrecy asserted only after the U.S. intelligence community had time to thoroughly review its photographic and electronic intelligence?
Over the past 11 months, the DNI’s office has offered no updates on the initial assessment, with a DNI spokeswoman even making the absurd claim that U.S. intelligence has made no refinements of its understanding about the tragedy since July 22, 2014.
If what I’ve been told is true, the reason for this silence would likely be that a reversal of the initial rush to judgment would be both embarrassing for the Obama administration and detrimental to an “information warfare” strategy designed to keep the Russians on the defensive.
But if that’s the case, President Barack Obama may be acting even more recklessly than President Johnson did in 1964. As horrific as the Vietnam War was, a nuclear showdown with Russia could be even worse.
La tercera noticia es un post del bloguero de origen ruso conocido como “Saker” y apareció ayer en su sitio web (http://thesaker.is):
Título: If Poroshenko Attacks His Days Are Numbered
Subtítulos: East Ukraine rebels are going out of their way to show their interest in peace even as they have never been militarily stronger / This is done so that when the inevitable Ukraine attack demanded by nationalists and the US comes it will be impossible to blame the rebels / After that the rebels stand a good chance of neutralizing Ukraine attack and moving on the counter-offensive / At which point it is unlikely Poroshenko will be able to maintain power / Question is, is he likely to be replaced by a pro-peace or an even more pro-war faction?
Texto: Top Novorussian officials from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (Zakharchenko, Deinego and Pushilin) have held a joint press conference and officially announced that they had taken the unilateral decision to withdraw at least 3km from the front line all their weapons up to a 100mm caliber (weapons of a heavier caliber were supposed to have already been withdrawn according to the Minsk-2 Agreement (M2A); the Novorussians complied, the junta in Kiev did not).
Before that, the Novorussians had already done a similar unilateral action by withdrawing all their forces by over 1km from the town of Shirokino. Predictably, the the government side did not follow suit and stayed on their positions (but did not dare enter Shirokino either, at least as far as I know).
This time around, the Ukraine sdie greeted the new “gesture of goodwill” of the Novorussians with an unprecedented barrage of artillery fire on the city of Donestsk which, again, was shelled all night long.
So what is going on here? Have the Novorussians suddenly gone crazy?
Far from it.
In fact, they have set a very elegant trap for Poroshenko and his western backers. Here is how it works.
On a political level the Novorussians are bending over backwards to prove to anybody willing to listen that they are truly complying with all the provisions of M2A.
The problem, of course, is that nobody in the West is willing to listen. In response, the Novorussians are multiplying the initiatives to make it harder and harder for western leaders to ignore the facts on the ground which are simple: the junta has not even begun complying with M2A while the Novorussians have complied.
As soon as Zakharchenko, Deinego and Pushilin made their announcement, Lavrov called Steinmeier to stress that the Novorussians were doing everything they could and that the pressure should now be put on Poroshenko to follow suit.
Now, of course Lavrov knows that Steinmeier is a US puppets and takes his orders from Uncle Sam and, more importantly, Lavrov also knows that Poroshenko cannot implement M2A, but since M2A was signed, the Russians are now pretending as if the Ukrainians could abide by its terms and they make sure that they, and their BRICS/SCO allies, mantrically repeat that “the Minsk 2 Agreements are the only way to solve this conflict“. In reality, of course, M2A is the best way to achieve regime change in the Ukraine. Why?
Because even though Poroshenko has not implemented any of the M2A points, he is already being openly attacked by the Right Sector and the various nationalist parties for not decisively fighting the oligarchs and the Novorussians.
The situation in the western Ukraine is now dead serious and Dmitri Yarosh has openly described the regime in Kiev “traitors” and called for the numerous Ukronazi deathsquads to rebel and disobey Poroshenko’s orders.
Poroshenko would love to prove his patriotism by triggering yet another large scale attack on Novorussia, but the problem here is that this already failed the last two times around and the Novorussians are now even stronger than they used to be.
Though only a full scale resumption of hostilities would actually test this hypothesis, there is very strong evidence that the Novorussians have successfully achieved their transition from a decentralized militia force to a unified regular army.
This means that they can potentially go from tactical victories to operational level counter-attacks posing a major risk for the regime in Kiev.
They clearly have enough men under arms and they openly admit that their equipment is “adequate”. Hopefully, so is their command and control (which used to be terrible).
Even more telling is the fact that the Novorussian leaders are all clearly very confident about their ability not only to push back any Ukraine government attack, but to counter-attack and inflict major losses. Zakharchenko has openly said so many times. Time was always on the Novorussian side and now this is finally paying off.
The Novorussian confidence is best illustrated by the fact that even though Novorussian intelligence services have established that there are currently 70,000 junta soldiers backed by heavy armor and artillery all along the line of contact they still went ahead with their unilateral withdrawal.
Besides, the Novorussians have had plenty of time to carefully prepare the terrain along the likely axis of attack of the junta forces which, if they attack, will be carefully channeled into carefully prepared fire pockets and destroyed.
I also suppose that the Novorussians have dramatically improved their mobility and fire coordination which will make it much easier for them to engage any attacking force.
So the reality is this: the Novorussians are really not taking much of a risk with their unilateral actions. In fact, they have very nicely combined good political PR and sound military tactics.
Poroshenko is in a terrible situation. Ukrainian economy is basically dead. There is nothing left to salvage, nevermind turn the tide and overcome the crushing economic crisis.
The Right Sector is up in arms and very, very angry. Folks in the western Ukraine are already seriously considering demanding their own special autonomy status. As for Odessa with Saakashvili in charge and the daughter of Egor Gaidar as Deputy Governor, it will inevitably explode, especially since the USA officially pays their salaries.
When Poroshenko goes to the Rada he has to look “tough”, i.e. say the exact opposite of what he committed to do according to M2A. But since even the White House has called the M2A the only solution, Poroshenko is put in the crazy situation of having to look like a peacemaker by day, and execute Nuland’s crazy orders by night.
By now Poroshenko has probably already figured out that he is being used like both a pawn and a fall guy by the USA: when he will be forced to order an attack on Novorussia and this attack inevitably fails, he will be blamed for it all.
Why would the USA order Poroshenko to attack even though such an attack is sure to result in yet another defeat? For two reasons: the (now rather hypothetical) hope that Russia might intervene and because that is the perfect way to get rid of Poroshenko.
Unsurprisingly, Poroshenko has no desire to lose power and, most likely, die, so he is doing his best to avoid taking that dramatic step while continuing to shell Donetsk and the rest of the cities of the Donbass just to prove his “patriotism” and military “prowess”.
The problem with that “solution” is that this kind of shelling does *nothing* to weaken the Novorussian armed forces but only serves to further enrage the people of Novorussia.
When the attack comes
So what will happen when the probably inevitable attack comes? My guess is that the Novorussians will rapidly and effectively counter it and mount an immediate counter offensive, probably towards Mariupol and/or Slaviansk.
At this point the junta will freak out again and beg its western patrons to stop the Novorussians (which is exactly what happened before Minsk 1 and 2).
Obama and Kerry will probably have the nerve to blame Russia for it all again, but in Europe the elites will be in full panic mode, not only because “their” guy clearly was the one to violate M2A and the one to have launched the attack, but also because they will be terrified of the possible depth of the Novorussian counter-attack (their biggest fear is a coastal corridor to the Crimean Peninsula).
Remember the Sarkozy trip to Moscow to beg the Russians not to enter Tbilissi in 2008? I would not be surprised if something similar happened again (with Merkel or Hollande in Sakozy’s role).
And, again, Putin will probably order the Novorussians to stop , but the terrain they would seize would remain in their hands, like in Debaltsevo. Everybody would have to accept that, however reluctantly. At which point I would expect a complete collapse of the regime in Kiev. Who could replace it then?
Regime change sure! But for what?
I only see two options here. Option one is a military coup to “save the Ukraine” and “restore peace”.
That would be a de-facto end of the entire Ukronazi experiment and a basic acceptance of the Putin plan: a de-centralized, unitary and neutral Ukraine with a right of self-determination guaranteed by the Constitution.
The other option is an openly Nazi regime of Bandera freaks à la Right Sector and the various death squads. The accession to power by bona fide Nazis will, of course, only re-start the process of breakup of the rump Ukraine which, form the Russian point of view, this is also a temporarily acceptable outcome.
Russia cannot accept having permanent and unitary russophobic “Banderastan” on her borders, but a breakup of the Ukraine into several “zones of control” by various Urkonazi gangs presents no danger to Russia at all.
I would argue that the worst regime for Russia (and Novorussia, of course) is what we have now: a unitary Ukraine ruled by a completely immoral and spineless oligarch in power, surrounded by Victoria Nuland’s minions in all key positions, with the official recognition and support of the EU/IMF/WB/etc. This configuration clearly has the greatest potential to threaten Russia and it already actually murders people in Novorussia every day. But if the Ukraine follows the Libyan or Iraqi “democracy model” then it will be a much bigger problem for the EU than for Russia.
Putin and Zakharchenko have all the time in the world
The “Ukronazi Ukraine” has by now already acquired enough self-destructive momentum for Putin and Zakharchenko to sit back and wait.
They don’t have to do anything right now other than to prepare for a very likely and desperate suicide-attack by the junta against Novorussia.
Should that happen, the Novorussian will be ready to counter-attack and fast and as deep as possible and then stop again and restart the mantra about “we support the territory integrity of the Ukraine” while thinking “but we can’t help it if the damn thing falls apart“.
Obama and Kerry will, of course, blame Russia for it all, but for who long can anybody blame somebody for doing absolutely *nothing*?
The people of Novorussia unfortunately don’t
The toughest situation so far has been for the people of Novorussia who could take little comfort in the nice theory that time is on “their” side while shells are landing on their houses, schools and hospitals. For them, every minute of this horror was was an emergency which had to be stopped now. Things are now starting to get really ugly in the Nazi-occuppied Ukraine too. Check out this video of a famous Ukrainian blogger (in exile in Russia irrc) in which he reports how the “Ukrop” party (of Kolmoiskii and Yarosh) is trying to get votes by distributing food:
https://youtu.be/SODBbBnICbU (please press ‘cc’ to see the English subtitles)
And it is only going to get worse, much worse. Politically, economically and socially the Ukraine is dead, even if the body is will warm.
Only a regime change followed by the inevitable de-Nazification, combined with a long term and major international stabilization and reconstruction program might, eventually and slowly, allow the Ukraine to return to some modicum of normalcy, and that only if Russia plays a major role in this effort.
Since such an outcome is absolutely unacceptable to the Empire, the Ukraine will continue to be a “black hole” like Kosovo, Libya or Somalia – a failed state with abject poverty ruled by thugs and Mafia dons. For this reason, a breakup of the country into several smaller entities is probably the least bad option for everybody, especially the Ukrainians themselves.
One big explosion or several smaller ones?
What if you were offered the choice to either be in the room A where 100g of TNT would be detonated at once, or in room B where 5 times 20g of TNT would be detonated sequentially, with some possibly not exploding at all? The choice is obvious, right? The same goes for the Ukraine.
There might be much less danger for the entire continent if the Ukraine was allowed to break up in several parts (Donbass, Central, Souther and Western for example) and this might be much better for the local population too.
For one thing some parts are far more viable than others. They are also very different. And since the Ukraine in its current borders is both a creation of Lenin and Stalin and has no basis in history anyway, a breakup might be a much safer and more natural process than desperate attempts to keep this artificial entity alive.
In ideological terms the Ukraine is a fantastic idea: a large virulently anti-Russian state ‘protecting’ the rest of Europe from the Russian hordes. Great! But as soon as one looks at the practicalities of such a project it becomes immediately clear that it is a crazy notion born in the sick minds of the rabidly russophobic western religious and political elites.
The only question is this: will the western plutocrats agree to give up on the monster they created? The future of Russian does not depend on the answer, but the future of Europe probably will.