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Zakharchenko, Deinego and Pushilin Have Set a Trap for Poroshenko
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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 by no less than 3km from the line of contact all their weapons up to a 100mm caliber (weapons of a heavier caliber were supposed to have already been withdrawn according to the Minsk-2 Agreement (M2A); the Novorussians complied, the junta in Kiev did not).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 Ukronazis did not follow suit and stayed on their positions (but did not dare enter Shirokino either, at least as far as I know).

Novorussian withdrawal from Shirokino

Novorussian withdrawal from Shirokino

This time around, the Ukronazis 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.

Political level:

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 Ukronazi parties for not decisively fighting the oligarchs and the Novorussians. The situation in the western Ukraine is now dead serious and Dmitri Iarosh 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 that the Novorussians are now even much stronger than they used to be.

Military aspect:

Though only an actually full scale resumption of hostilities would 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 Ukronazi 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’s dilemma

Poroshenko is in a terrible situation. The 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 temporarilyacceptable 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 Iarosh) is trying to get votes by distributing food:

(please press ‘cc’ to see the English subtitles)

Scary no?

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 for the AngloZionist 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 100gr of TNT would be detonated at once, or in room B where 5 times 20gr 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.

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Ukraine 
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  1. 5371 says:

    I doubt whether this trap is worth the energy expended on it or the irritation which it produces on Russia’s own side. It is a basic error in international relations to believe in the existence of an impartial world opinion which judges affairs on their own merit. The western media will always say what Nudleman etc. want them to say, and euro-governments will not regain independence by accident.

  2. 5371 says:

    By the way, if anyone from management is here, the blog title is currently disfigured in the sidebar. It should read, “The Saker in his Vineyard”, not “The Saker in his Vinyard”.

  3. schmenz says:

    “…the rabidly russophobic western religious and political elites.”

    I would be curious to know what Mr Saker means by russophobc religious elites. What religion(s) is he referring to?

    If he means the Christian-Zionist types, typically some sort of Protestant denomination, like those who hail any military activities of the USA, I might possibly understand. But I know of no serious religious body angling for the overthrow of Russia.

    • Replies: @kat
  4. For a while I thought Transdneistria would become a second front, when the tie-biter cut off or threatened to, the supply corridor. I believe I saw a map on your home site that showed a direct path straight through the middle of Ukraine that looked like the perfect path to cut-off the entire southern half and the Black Sea coast.

    Do you think that both sides may have considered this possibility? A part of me wants to see it happen, but I am putting my faith in Vlad’s knowledge of fifth-generation warefare; winning without actually fighting, e.g. Crimea. Patience!

  5. Kiza says:

    Another excellent analysis by Saker. The point dearest to me is that it appears that Novorussians understand that Minsk2 is only a pause. Having observed the strategy of the West in another part of Europe I have absolute zero doubt that the war will continue. The question is when not if. Poroshenko or someone else, it does not matter, the was will continue, even if no strategic goals are achieved. The neocons will never give up.

    But, this analysis also suffers from a dose of wishful thinking. As 5371 says, there is only one truth in the West and it is the Nudleman’s (cookie woman’s) truth. Before M1 and M2, most of EU has accepted US approach to Ukraine even without much pressure. Can you try to imagine if the US really leaned on its EU puppets and aligned them all like ducks in a row? Or in other words, maybe the Russians never learn if they still hope that the EU countries will refuse to help US light-up the continent! Is it not crystal clear that US permitted M2 to those puppets to arrest the Novorussian advance – there was nothing to lose by signing a temporary M2 peace agreement?

    This is a war for the war’s sake.

    Finally, I am glad if Putin organized and armed the rebels to ensure that he does not have to intervene. As long as Russia refuses to directly intervene, the Euro-puppets will experience a lot of counter pressure from the domestics and the US win will be unlikely. I know I am stating the obvious – but the only chance Russia ever had in this fight is that the Europeans get sick and tired of the US-only interests being pursued in Ukraine and they throw the US yoke off by kicking the US puppets out. This may be the only price the US is not willing to pay – losing EU to regime-change Russia.

    But, the second front, to Ukraine’s first front, is the oil price front. There is a much better chance for regime change in Russia through oil-price manipulation than the war for the war’s sake in Ukraine and this moment is just perfect. For a holistic understanding, one must look at both Ukraine and the oil price.

    • Replies: @Jeff Albertson
  6. @Kiza

    I would add third front, economics; Russian banking is Frankenstein monster held together with banana strings and spit, outer republics are already broke and headed toward meltdown (sorry I can’t find link, ZH I think), currency is mix of dollars, euros, rubles and barter. China is having its own problems and may not be in position to help if trends continue. Some state banks are actively hostile and invested heavily in Ukraine and doing mischief in Crimea.

    West is stupid to be causing any trouble for Putin, who is really very liberal in classic sense. I’m coming around to PCR neo-Soviet position; at some point no choice but surrender or nationalize everything. When goods can’t pass borders, missiles will.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  7. kat says:

    Than you need to see this, which will INFORM YOU about WHO IS REALLY IN CHARGE, and HIDING behind “religion”, meanwhile they are an old military order!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  8. Kiza says:
    @Jeff Albertson

    Yeah, excellent insight about the Russian banks, they are run buy the neoliberals of the Yeltsin’s era and they are just waiting for the right moment to pounce on Putin. In the mean time they are mudding the water in Ukraine. Recently, many Russian banks jumped at the opportunity to damage the Russian economy when the Ruble slide started. They could not depose Putin, but under a favorable set of circumstances (country already shaken by sanctions and oil price slide), they could inflict the deciding coup that does the regime-change. So yes, the Russian banks are the third arrow in the Western quiver.

    One could call this “a race to the bottom” – there is no country which looks really healthy. China is in a bad shape. The US itself could collapse any moment.

    Every morning I wake up, I go first to ZH to check if the world ended overnight (lol). I know that one morning it will say: all banks are shut, a state of emergency has been declared.

  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s the Jesuits!

    Russian propaganda gets more surreal every day. This is coming from someone who actually looked to Russia once as a genuine alternative to the Western madness.

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