15.09.2014 Author: Jim Dean

Could Kiev fail before the New Republics?

23423423All is semi-quiet on the Ukraine front. Despite the OSCE spokesman who said on the first day that he did not think that the ceasefire could last, another OSCE guy with a fully working brain said there was a night and day difference from a week ago. That is how you build a peace… in steps.

Sure, Kiev does not have tight command control over the Right Sector and the Oligarch brigades, both of whom are fighting for their own reasons. Both are not really on board the whole Kiev train at all, but their own adapted warlord version of it. They serve Kiev to carve out a future stake in the spoils of their country, just like the Kiev coup-meisters are… and that is what made them pliable puppets for the West.

As the “anti-terror campaign progressed, it quickly became evident that Kiev never could have launched its punitive campaign without the help of both groups. But that was a recipe for division and disaster. The Ukrainian army condition was rundown, due to the poor economic state of the country. A pecking order developed right away over the competition for the best weapons (like in working order) and having dependable operational resupplies.

When the initial engagements were checkpoint battles, no real strain was being put on the fighting capabilities, or supply chain. But military units had been put into the field quickly to beat the rebels to the punch, and whatever needed supplies were missing, they got the famous age old lie, “we will send that along soon.” When unit A never got theirs, and then saw unit B did, the morale problems began to appear.

Kiev’s morale got worse after the rebels were able to raid and acquire the armor and heavier weapons from the regional armories. The days of the Ukraine troops in APCs punching through lightly-armed checkpoints were over. The rebel checkpoints evolved into being bait for several APC-size Kiev units, where they began to experience being ambushed from both sides of the road and their vehicles taking hits from a half dozen APGs. The war was really on.

With the first ceasefire, that was a rerun of the Geneva meeting where Poroshenko agreed to begin a dialogue and used the extra time gained to prepare his offensive. The US and EU were onboard this strategy all the way, as they were paying for it all. Poroshenko offered a “peace plan” that he and his Western partners knew would be unacceptable to the New Republics. When the ceasefire ended, the Ukraine Army launched their new offensive and began taking land, their plan being to surround and cut off Strelkov’s front line units and turn the tide on the conflict.

But Strelkov read the tea leaves and retreated in good order, breaking through the Kiev encirclement and taking 90% of his equipment and troops out of Slavyansk. Kiev was stunned. A victory was turned into a defeat. And we old warriors saw right away, the rebels were doing a fighting retreat to have interior lines of defense for defending the main cities.

We also suspected that also meant bringing all their forces under their own artillery guns, which is exactly what they did. After the Strelkov retreat, when the Ukraine Army made their next big push, they came under heavy and well-coordinated artillery fire and took heavy losses in the armor, troops, and morale. We knew that SU-25’s would be sent in to bomb the rebel armor positions, but then the next surprise card was played.

The rebels exposed bait positions for air attacks (broken down armor) and ringed them with MANPAD circles to have two shots at attacking planes… while making their attack runs and then exiting. Plane losses became regular, and rebel morale went even higher with each falling plane. And we know now that trained European veterans were coming into the Republics in growing numbers, as anti-fascist freedom fighters. In their TV interviews, they openly stated they were fighting for a better cause than the Kiev troops, and both sides knew it.

The next clue on the changing situation came after the continued military reverses and complaints of poor support from Kiev. Dmitri Yarosh, one of the key Euro-Maidan nationalists who put the current government into power, threatened them. He said that if the support system for the E. Ukraine war did not get straightened out quickly that he would pull his Right Sector units out of the front lines and take them to Kiev to ‘fix the mess there”…a rather overt threat of a coup. Thus began Yarosh and the Interior minister exchanging taunts and barbs. I began to see signs of another coup in the making.

So here we are today with a ceasefire in place, however imperfect as they all are. The New Republic leaders surprised us all by quickly stating while the ink was still damp on the ceasefire agreement that the offer of a federated status was no longer acceptable to them. They want full independence only, which even Putin has stated he does not support, as that would be opening a whole new can of problems.

But then I rethought a few things. Poroshenko dismissed Parliament because the opposition was blocking getting a budget passed, and he called for new elections this fall. But last week another big card was played when the national polls showed that the support numbers for the War Party group, who had been behind the “anti-terrorist operations” in the East, had taken a dive.

Western media swept that news under the rug, but the bad poll numbers obviously were a key factor in the US’ and EU’s quick attitude improvement over getting some peace talks started. That was the best way to salvage the Poroshenko government — by taking the wind out of the growing anti-war feelings in a Ukraine that wants to see more effort on fixing the dire economic situation before the cold season.

Frankly, who will be controlling the government after the fall parliamentary elections could be anyone’s guess. The Republic leaders seem to feel that time is on their side now, and if a new government wants to get rid of a troublesome East, it would derail the West’s plans for Ukraine.

And as proof that I was not making up today’s theme out of thin air, I will share Dmitri Yarosh’s amazing letter to his nationalist followers on the EuroMaidan Press website that was the trigger. Here are a few of his gems.

a) It is futile to expect decisive action from the government. We hold our fate in our own hands;

b) The Kremlin’s aggression will neither stop with Donetsk nor with Luhansk. It is only a matter of time before it gets worse; while we occupy ourselves with painting and picketing, they will be busy infiltrating our country with their agents. Slowly but surely they will liquidate our soldiers and annex our territory. Time is running out.

c) We are convinced that the world community has shown the extent of its willingness to act, an indecisive position that stops at economic sanctions. Our own response must be to mobilize the entire society so as to be prepared to make a military defence by ourselves.

Yarosh is stuck in his time machine of WWII, with the Soviet Army rolling eastwards toward Berlin to enslave Eastern Europe. I debated retired Marine Colonel Frederick Peterson on a TV show last week where he was shilling for the NeoCon war party here, that Russia wants to “retake” its former Soviet territories and that NATO was only trying to block this threat to Europe. I was astounded to hear an officer say something so ridiculous, and we had quite a verbal battle for 30 minutes. Facts and logic won.

The anti-sanction movement in the EU is growing fast. The business community trade groups were quick to respond, and the unions are following suit. The NATO meeting was not as fire and brimstone as many had expected. And even though the EU is making a lot of theater about their new sanctions package, we already know they don’t have all 28 countries onboard, and the leadership is telegraphing twice a day that they are very flexible on the sanctions, depending on progress in Ukraine. They are openly using them as an extortion lever to have Putin lean on the New Republic leaders to accept a deal agreeable to the West.

The Euros are trying to maintain the pretense that they are running the show, but wise people know they are not. Moscow said weeks ago they would end all vehicle imports if attacked with new sanctions, and Medvedev has now added closing off Russian airspace to Western airlines.

That would quickly add to the growing numbers of anti-sanction supporters in Europe, where we also need to see some change of leaderships. Dear Santa, please take some of them back to the North Pole with you, as that will be gifts enough for this season.

Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.