Ukraine: Waging War During Economic Crisis Conditions
by Stephen Lendman
Ukraine is an economic basket case and then some. Illegitimate US installed putschists wage naked aggression while effectively bankrupt. More on this below.
On November 28, Russia's OSCE representative Andrei Kelin stressed resolving Ukrainian crisis conditions diplomatically.
Observing Geneva and Minsk terms. Noting Ukraine's national security and defense council spokesman Andriy Lysenko calling ceasefire one of the most important Minsk protocol requirements.
While Kiev wages war without mercy on Donbas. Violating what it swore to uphold.
Ukrainian security forces are concentrating in conflict zone areas. "(M)ilitary forces are ungently being called back from their leave," said Kelin.
Egregious Ukrainian human rights abuses go unnoticed. Kelin stressed "devastation in Donbass…"
"(D)estruction of the manufacturing industry and vital infrastructure. These were not accidental hits, but premeditated destruction of facilities that are key to the survival of the region."
"We've seen elements of such tactics carried out by NATO in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya."
"We consider this a violation of the Minsk agreements and the humanitarian legal norms in general."
War crimes by any standard. Kiev lay siege to Donbas. Stopped paying employees of government-run enterprises.
Seized pensions. Suspended social benefits for war veterans, retirees, disabled people. As well as allowances for children.
"People have been working and paying taxes to the Ukrainian state all their lives, and they are now left with nothing," said Kelin.
"This is nothing short of plundering. Kiev imposed a ban on supplying medicines there and is not allowing food lorries in Donbass."
"The president ordered public institutions to be closed. Banks are closed."
"The right to social security, regardless of race, nationality, gender, language, place of residence, or type of activity is part of our common international obligations."
"How does Kiev's proclaimed interest in preserving the territorial integrity of Ukraine stack up to the actual expulsion of Donbass from its political, economic and cultural space?"
"The central authorities are deliberately exacerbating the already disastrous situation of Donbass residents."
Illegitimate prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk calls them "subhumans." Kiev destroyed their homes. Their electric power, water and heating.
Their livelihoods. "Clearly, this state of affairs requires urgent humanitarian intervention," said Kelin.
Russia alone supplies aid. "Kiev sends nothing. We cannot allow another military blockade of the population of Donbass."
Evidence shows systematic Ukrainian security force torture. Affecting mostly noncombatants. "(A)rrested on absurd charges," said Kelin.
"The scope and the systemic nature of the torture indicate that this a deliberate policy sanctioned by the Ukrainian leadership."
"The Prosecutor General of Ukraine is talking about 3,000 cases opened against the Ukrainian security forces, including on charges of murder, robbery and theft."
Mariupol atrocities include robbery, kidnappings and rape.
"We are deeply concerned about the increase in the displays of aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine," said Kelin.
"With tolerance and occasionally support from authorities, monuments to the Nazis are being open."
"Those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition or collaborated with the Nazis are raised to the rank of national heroes or national liberation movement heroes."
Some OSCE member states support "revisionist" extremism.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Western-imposed sanctions have nothing to do with deescalating Ukrainian crisis conditions.
Everything to do with weakening Russia economically. Instigating public protests. Undermining global stability. Threatening world peace.
Challenging Russia is foolhardy, he said. Otto von Bismark believed it, he added. Vladimir Putin stressed it.
Saying no one in history subjugated Russia. Or its influence. "This is not an assessment, but a statement of fact," said Lavrov.
"Yet such an attempt has been made to quench the thirst for expanding the geopolitical space under Western control, out of a mercantile fear to lose the spoils of what they across the Atlantic had persuaded themselves was the victory in the Cold War."
US-led Western nations "unequivocally…seek…not merely (to subvert) Russian policy…but…to change the regime."
"(A)nd practically nobody denies this." Washington pressures other nations to "follow its line in connection with anti-Russian sanctions and principles."
"(W)e have ample proof…that American ambassadors and envoys across the world seek meetings at the highest level to argue that the corresponding countries are obliged to punish Russia together with them or else face the consequences."
All countries are pressured. Obey or face reprisals. "The world is changing," Lavrov stressed. At some point hegemonic influence peaks. Then declines an fades.
"The seven developing economies headed by BRICS already have a bigger GDP than the Western G7," Lavrov explained.
"One should proceed from the facts of life, and not from a misconceived sense of one's own grandeur."
Washington and EU partners elevated Kiev fascists to power. "(T)hereby giving up their own principles of democratic regime change."
"What came out of it was an attempt to play chicken with Russia, to see who blinks first."
"As bullies say, they wanted to Russia to "chicken out" (I can't find a better word for it), to force us to swallow the humiliation of Russians and native speakers of Russian in Ukraine."
Launching conflict was misguiided. Challenging Russia is a huge mistake.
So is attempting subjugation. It bears repeating. Putin stressed no one in history achieved it. According to Lavrov, it's "a statement of fact."
Ukraine putschists partnered with Washington at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. When their economy is in disarray. Cratering. Collapsing. Effectively bankrupt.
Especially after accepting an IMF two-year $17.1 billion standby loan. Demanding economically destructive restructuring. Typical IMF poison.
Prioritizing servicing Western banker debts. Selling off state enterprises at fire sale prices. Mass layoffs. Lower wages. Gutted social programs. Cracking down hard on nonbelievers.
Some funds used to prop up Ukraine's failing currency. Finance trade.
Replenish fast disappearing foreign reserves.
At the same time, Ukraine's faltering economy worsens. Steps to stimulate growth ignored. Create jobs. Alleviate human suffering. Obeying IMF diktats matters most.
In 2014 Q I and II, industrial production fell 5.8%. Another 12.1% and 20.1% in July and August respectively. Other key economic indicators are dismal. With no signs of relief.
From January through August, business investment down 25.6%. Construction down 15.6%. Trade down 13.8%. Exports down 14.4%. Imports down 21.2%.
Inflation up 20%. Ukraine's currency (the hryvnia) down 36%. Central bank foreign currency reserves down to around $12 billion. A nine-year low. And falling.
Collapsing. Exacerbated by capital flight. Expect worse Q III and Q IV numbers. Ukraine's sole growth industry is military spending.
Helped by US and other foreign infusions. For war. Not defense or peace. Economic crisis conditions are dire. The worst appears yet to come.
Not enough to stop Kiev's war machine. Madness in Europe's heartland. At a time its economy is in free-fall.
Perhaps headed for collapse without greater financial aid than already received. The fullness of time will tell.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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