Ukraine and Geoeconomics: Problem, Reaction, Solution
Problem, Reaction, Solution
[The image is annotated when reused below.]
Publication date: 2022-06-06
Update 2022-06-07: Robert Parry’s old article republished at Consortium News was added as a source for the 2014 Odessa massacre. Ryan Christian’s excellent interview with Garland Nixon was added as a video source.
Update 2022-06-07: Two articles from MoonOfAlabama are appended as interesting sources. Patrick Lancaster interviewing the captain of Turkish commercial ship M/V Fernahnaz is also included to provide a first hand account of why commercial shipping it trapped in the main commercial port of Kherson. A small “Update” narrative is added to place the first hand reporting in context. A Gonzalo Lira video on the aftermath is also added to video sources.
The Culture section was added … and then changed. “There’s a lot going on here”.
Update 2022-06-10: Another Pepe Escobar (with Michael Hudson) source is added.
Update 2022-06-11: A video piece by Alexander Christoforou is added as a source and referenced in some additional material regarding the “resupply” argument. Additionally, an editorial note explains a move away from YouTube as a video source.
Now that western media are admitting to the likely outcome of the war in Ukraine and the EU has issued its sixth sanctions package one can examine both of the military and economic results of the conflict. An overview of some military engagements, and geoeconomic changes are examined.
The war in Ukraine started in 2014 following the USA sponsored coup.
Preceding the conflict was the ejection of Ukrainian security forces from Crimea by the local population with Russia filling the security vacuum. The Crimean people voted overwhelmingly to re-join Russia, or in this case the Russian Federation. Russia's primary warm water port at Sevastopol, Crimea, was under threat. Her second warm water port is on the northern coast of Syria at Tartus on the other side of the Black, Marmara and Aegean Seas.
[Image: an annotation of the eastern Mediterranean Sea.]
The burning alive of protesters in the Trades Union building in Odessa on May 2nd 2014 showed how the new Ukrainian regime would treat dissent. Resistance to the removal of Russian as one of the two national languages was understandably widely present in the dominantly Russian speaking provinces of the east, south and north east of Ukraine. Some industrial cities in the Donbas regions of eastern Ukraine declared a refusal to comply. In response, a civil war was launched by the unelected, selected Ukrainian government, targeting its own people.
That the new regime, chosen by the USA's Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland, chose to wage war against its own people is a long forgotten fact.
[Video: “Nuland-Pyatt leaked phone conversation _COMPLETE with SUBTITLES”, Diddley Squat, youtube channel, uploaded 2014-04. This video has been removed and re-instated on Youtube.]
For those unfamiliar with the European theatre of WWII, Russia defeated 80% of Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht and in so doing lost at least 25 million people, or one person in seven. Eastern Ukraine and Crimea were heavily involved in this conflict due to Ukraine's resources and Crimea's strategic positioning. The Red Army was defeated rapidly in Ukraine. Following an heroic defense of Sevastopol, Crimea was overrun by the Wehrmacht. During the period of Nazi occupation before the Red Army recaptured the territory the peoples of Crimea and Ukraine experienced life under Nazi rule. Today's peoples of southern, eastern and north eastern Ukraine will have learned from their grandparents what occurred. This threat loomed large as they looked upon Ukrainian paramilitary units festooned with Nazi symbology and tattooed with Nazi iconography advancing upon them.
It was the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on July 17th 2014 which brought the Donbas conflict into focus for western audiences. By February 17th 2015 the UN Security Council had unanimously approved a revision of the Minsk Agreement negotiated in the Belorussian capital some months earlier. A political solution to the conflict had been constructed. It required dialogue and agreement to implement. This would never come due to repeated Ukrainian refusals to speak with the locally elected political leadership in the Donetsk and Lugansk Ukrainian oblasts.
During the lead up to the Russian "Special Military Operation" in Ukraine most considered western analysts saw the likelihood of a Russian military response to the increased shelling in mid February 2022 as slim at most. I speak not of pundits on USA cable "news" shows but serious international analysts like Ray McGovern. This author saw their analyses as sound and agreed with their position. There were two dissenting opinions known to this author, those of Russel "Texas" Bentley and Scott Ritter who saw a Russian military response as definite or likely, respectively.
[Image: Russel “Texas” Bentley in the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic at a war memorial. In front of him are the names of militia members beside some of which he fought. Behind him is the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic’s flag. Source.]
An item of supreme importance was known only by Russian and Ukrainian military intelligence; that Ukraine would launch a mass offensive against the two "separatist" oblasts. This would likely have at least trebled the already 14 000 persons who had died during the civil war. Though well trained, the militias of the two peoples' republics in Lugansk and Donetsk (LPR and DPR) were ill equipped to resist the imminent attack.
It is worth recalling that there were two bills before the Russian Duma (parliament) requesting that Russia send aid to the two new republics. Both bills received overwhelming support. Based on this legislative request Russia’s executive recognizes the two republics, establishes diplomatic relations and signs already received treaties of support. This laid the basis for the "Special Military Operation" which was grounded in international law under Article 51 of the UN Charter. Whether this justifies Russian military activity in Ukraine outside of these two newly recognized republics is for international jurists to debate.
A War Against the “East”
This impending attack against the two separatist oblasts (Ukrainian perspective) or newly declared independent republics (Russian perspective) would have been against peoples dominantly Russian speaking (native language) and dominantly ethnically Russian, many of whom possessed Russian citizenship. The forces to conduct the attack were NATO trained and partially NATO armed, some sections of which hold a Nazi ideology. Historians will need to debate the accuracy of the term "proxy war" for this USA/NATO sponsored attack against what amounts to Russian people. Now that it has been acknowledged that some units have been composed of foreign fighters, lead by NATO military and that Ukraine’s military was provided targeting "intelligence" by NATO nations, the term "proxy" seems loose.
Whatever the results of those discussions, it is known that launching a "land war in Asia" against Russia is folly. Twice she has defeated the most powerful European armies of the time, lead by Bonaparte of France and then Hitler of Germany. Today Russia has the most well trained and technically advanced army in Eurasia, though China or India could certainly field a larger number of infantry. Neither China nor India are directly militarily involved in this conflict. This is a USA/NATO sponsored Ukrainian/NATO attack on Russian people on Russia's border. The military outcome of this insanity was eminently predictable.
The early blitzkrieg type tactics to partially surround Kiev and Kharkov, and more serious efforts to destroy Ukraine's command and control systems, airforce, and munitions depots were to hold Ukraine's forces in place and disable her military. The more strategic military objectives seem to have been to reinforce the Donbas, take the Kherson oblast and the coast of Zaporizhia providing an overland link between Crimea and Donetsk and thus Lugansk. With this accomplished the port city of Mariupol was encircled. With secure logistic supply lines established, troops around Kiev could be withdrawn, and those around Kharkov could be lightened. Troops in Kherson, Zaporizhia and the Donbas were reinforced.
We now enter "Phase 2" along the long front from close to Kharkov via the fronts to the east of Donbas, and north west or south west of Zaporizhia and Kherson, respectively, as the battle for Mariupol is completed. In the Donbas, excluding Mariupol, lines are held roughly static during probes and feints while some gains are made in the two more southerly oblasts. Once Mariupol is captured we enter the most horrifying of the conflict.
Russia has been rotating her military units across all fronts. This will provide extended combat experience to some large percentage of her armed forces. The advantages provided to her military from this are not to be underestimated. Following Russia’s assistance to Syria in the earlier USA funded and supplied “proxy” war there, this is a second occasion on which Russia’s military are afforded experience in deadly combat.
Russia has a military doctrine for land war. It is artillery. If only one could still ask German infantrymen of the terrifying scream of Russia’s use of Katyusha rocket batteries in late WWII.
On today's morning RT news, video footage was shown from Russian UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly mislabeled as "drones") with high resolution imagery of Ukrainian positions. The coordinates of the trenches, dugouts, foxholes, trucks or other "items of interest" are fed to the artillery regiments in the rear with devastating results. Reports of Ukrainian units being abandoned by their officers or fleeing or surrendering make absolute sense. There is only so much artillery bombardment which a human mind can endure.
[Image: a cropped screen capture from a section of RT’s news broadcast of the morning of 2022-06-06. The “cloud” is not smoke, it is dirt ejected after an incoming artillery round. Branches of trees can be seen, showing the magnitude of the UAV’s resolution.]
Warnings from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the USA's Federal Reserve against seizing Russian foreign currency reserves were ignored. Initial reports of the volume being 300 billion USD were not countered by Russia. The actual amount seems to be 130 billion USD which is still mountainous. This action placed fear in the minds of central banks in the "south" and has lead, amongst other actions by USA/EU, to a shifting of global trade alliances. Additionally, various Eurasian groups like the EurAsian Economic Union (EAEU), a Russian initiative, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a Chinese and Russian initiative, are planning new international trade currencies based upon commodities. Discussions are also underway in South America for another non-USD based trade currency, in this case the “Sur”.
The EU's sanctions packages targeting Russian energy supply will further raise prices for EU's energy needs. Rises in energy costs affect most of an economy. The burden of these increased costs is to be born both by industry and the consumer. This will bankrupt industries, small businesses and households. They will also be impacted by rising food costs. The origins of these price increases are the "lockdowns" in the west's response to the COVID pandemic which disrupted supply chains and shipping, a topic to which we shall return.
[Image: the Nordstream II pipeline. Source.]
Problem, Reaction, Solution
“PRS” is a mechanism for instituting change and from that accruing influence or control, often in the form of money. A problem is either created or emerges. Next a strong public reaction to the problem needs to be engineered in a way which lends itself to a set of solutions. The solution or solutions create the change and thus accumulation of influence or monies. The solution is sold as benefiting people but closer examination reveals that the solution usually benefits the wealthy. This constant, incremental approach further concentrates funds in fewer hands exacerbating wealth inequality.
Consider the case of USA's financial support for Ukraine. Approximately 53 billion USD have been allocated by Congress. In the last round of 40 billion USD only 6 odd billion is for military aid to Ukraine. The rest is for USA military contractors to resupply armaments already sent or to various NGO's for other purposes. At first this seems surprising. There is a more subtle process occurring.
Recently, Poland requested from Germany the supply of a collection of tanks. Germany's response was that, yes that would be fine, but it will take a year or two to produce them. What has occurred in Europe is the supply to Ukraine of their most outdated heavy equipment. Depleted reserves are to be refilled with newer equipment, and this is where the military contractors make their money. Some will be German, but many more are likely to be USA arms manufacturers. The profits for arms manufacturers are not from supplying Ukraine but resupplying NATO members who have delivered their most ancient weaponry to Ukraine. This thesis is further supported by a video report from Alexander Christoforou in which he identifies that Bulgaria, Greece and Germany are finished with supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine. The USA is also out of extra reserves for Stinger and Javelin missiles. Christoforou sees a point of irony. Western media in April had been claiming that Russia would run out of missiles and various other types of ammunition, when in the end Russia has depleted the inventories of these three European nations, and two types of weapons of the USA!
The problem is "Russia's War on Ukraine", the reaction is "Defend Democracy" and the solution collection is to throw money are various NGO's and send Europe and the USA's outdated military inventory to Ukraine to thus create demand for more modern resupply. To quote USA Marine Major General Smedley Butler:
[Image: USA Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler delivering a speech. The image is extracted from a follow up to the audio linked with “War is a Racket”. Mr. Corbett received a question from a community member which resolved to Butler in “Questions for Corbett” episode 052. The image is extracted from this video.]
Examining the EU's changes in energy policy show a different but related picture. The problem is "Russia's War on Ukraine", the reaction is "Defund Russia's War Chest" and the solution is buy more expensive energy from elsewhere. Elsewhere means the USA in the form of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) as opposed to just Natural Gas from Russia. The strangest thing is that this cannot be effectively done for years. Europe does not possess sufficient LNG terminals or storage to transfer LNG from ships. LNG is also much more expensive. The sales strategy is "Invest in Green Energy" which is equally crazy. How is building LNG port terminals and storage infrastructure investing in green anything? Investing in renewable energies is a wise plan and should have been begun decades ago. Some European countries, like Denmark (wind) and Norway (hydro-electric), have done this and are continuing. However, many countries have not. It takes years to negotiate, plan and transform a nation’s energy supply, storage and grid infrastructure.
What this solution amounts to is a degradation of European industry, a burden on consumers and nice profits for the USA's LNG (read also "Shale Gas") industries.
[Image: USD to RUB (Russian Rubles) trading, 5 years, from Google.]
Returning to the inflation problem largely created by both the "lockdown" response to the COVID pandemic and more than a decade of "Quantitative Easing" (printing money), we can ask what purpose is attempting to be achieved?
Not having access to the inner thoughts of the “Chatham House” rules Bilderberg or World Economic Forum type gatherings for the monied elites makes scrying the tea leaves of their intentions problematic. One can, however, see the impending outcomes of recent macro-economic policy. The working poor will be more suppressed and the middle class further diminished. A continued escalation of the economic divide is under way.
An impoverished underclass is easy to control if they are unaware of the causes of their suffering. Censorship, or information manipulation in combination with lower quality education are the key strategies to achieve this. The hugely profitable USA social media platforms have been brought before the Congress and threatened with regulation if they do not implement information control mechanisms of which the political establishment approves. Bizare organizations like the Disinformation Governance Board are created under the USA’s
Stasi Department of Homeland Security. (I always thought that this was the job of the military, but aparently they don’t have the resources.) Then we have “fact checkers” and Orwellian organizations like NewsGuard whose board is composed of an array of liars and ex-spies. Board membership of NewsGuard is a way of paying for disinformation services “not wittingly”, previously performed.
Barricades or Bonfires?
Given the level of imbecilic "leadership" present in the "west" it seems unlikely they are aware of the dangers posed by the matches with which they play.
Some wiser leaderships in the "south" understand the importance of food and energy security. They are forming trade relationships outside of the risk of western asset seizure or trade embargoes to trade the resources which they possess to guarantee these essential securities.
What happens when families do not have access to energy for their home or cannot feed their children was recently demonstrated in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
[Image: a cropped frame from a report by WION, an Indian international news network in English.]
There has been discussion in western media of Russia’s invasion creating a global food crisis because Ukrainian wheat is not able to be exported. The situation is more complex. Russia has cleared mines from a lane to provide safe passage in international waters for commercial shipping. The problem is the mines in Ukrainian territorial waters which prevent commercial shipping from leaving ports.
Patrick Lancaster has been reporting from Donbas and is now in Kherson. In the video below he speaks with the Captain of Turkish commercial shipping vessal M/V Ferahnaz which is trapped in a port in Kherson. I recommend the video, and especially the conversation with the Turkish captain. See video sources below.
Readers of this newsletter may have noticed a shift in the hosting of video sources from YouTube towards Rumble. If one examines early articles several of them are now missing the YouTube video sources as the host has deleted them. Thus, YouTube is an unreliable source, and preference will be given to other hosting platforms like Rumble, and others.
As was referenced above, YouTube must be placed in a position of embassment before deleted videos are reinstated.
The use of YouTube for the Culture section will remain as no removal of artistic material has yet been observed. The embedding by Substack provides a convenience to the reader.
The unpalatable truth in Ukraine, Andrew Latham, The Hill, 2022-06 early (no accurate date of publication provided)
It’s not Russia that's pushed Ukraine to the brink of war, Seumas Milne, The Guardian, 2014-04-30
Return to Russia: Crimeans Tell the Real Story of the 2014 Referendum and Their Lives Since, Eva Bartlett, Mint Press News, 2019-10-09
ROBERT PARRY: When Western Media Saw Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis, Robert Parry (RIP), Consortium News, republished 2022-03-06
Episode 123 - Meet Smedley Butler, James Corbett, Corbett Report, 2010-03-28
Economist Michael Hudson on decline of dollar, sanctions war, imperialism, financial parasitism, Ben Norton interviews Prof. Michael Hudson, Multipolarista, 2022-05-09
US State-Affiliated NewsGuard Targets Consortium News, Joe Lauria, Consortium News, 2022-06-02
Silicon Valley Corporations Are Taking Control Of History, Caitlin Johnstone, her newsletter, 2022-06-06
How Russia Can (And Will?) De-NATO-size Europe, b., MoonOfAlabama, 2022-06-06
Some Other People's Thoughts On The U.S. Role In The Ukraine And Europe, b., MoonOfAlabama, 2022-06-07
Will the Global South Break Free from Dollarized Debt?, Pepe Escobar, Unz Review, 2022-06-09
CrossTalk | ‘Sanctions, more sanctions’, CrossTalking with Charles Ortel, Tom Luongo, and Pepe Escobar, RT on Rumble, 2022-06-03
Pentagon-Backed “Newsguard” Threatening YouTube’s Anti-War Voices, Jimmy Dore interviews Max Blumenthal, Jimmy Dore Show, 2022-04-28
Garland Nixon Interview - Rise Of New Media & The Fight For Objective Journalism, Ryan Christian interviews Garland Nixon, The Last American Vagabond (on Rumble), 2022-04-29
Ships Held Captive In Kherson Ukraine Port. See How, Patrick Lancaster aboard M/V Ferahnaz, Patrick Lancaster, 2022-06-03
2022.06.05 What Happens To Europe When Russia Wins, Gonzalo Lira II (in Kharkov under house arrest), his youtube channel, 2022-06-05
'Lviv is packed full of Nazis, Fascists and Mercenaries' - interview with Steve Sweeney, Vanessa Beeley interviews Steve Sweeney, Vanessa’s youtube channel, 2022-06-08
100-200 troop losses daily. Russia rejects prisoner of war claim. Germany pressures Serbia. Update 2, Alexander Christoforou (in Aristotle Square, Thessaloniki, Greece), his channel (Rumble), 2022-06-10
What Makes This Song Great? Ep.107 QUEEN (Feat. Brian May), Rick Beato, his youtube channel, 2021-09-09
“There’s a lot of stuff going on here”
If you like what you read here, you can please the author by sharing it.
Do Not Subscribe: This blog does not issue "notifications" via Substack. Use RSS. The URL is the obvious: https://yesxorno.substack.com/feed .
Following @YesXorNo1 on Twitter is the next best alert mechanism.
Copyright and Licensing
This work is copyright to the blog's author with CC BY-SA 4.0 licensing. Have fun, reuse, remix etc. but give credit and place no further restrictions. Lets build culture.