U.S. Absent from Ukraine Ceasefire Negotiations

Russian Paratrooper. Photo: Виталий Кузьмин

Russian Paratrooper. Photo: Виталий Кузьмин

February 12, 2015

Minsk, Belarus –  As of early this morning, after nearly 17 hours of deliberation in Belarus’ capital city, leaders from Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany have reportedly reached an agreement for the terms of a ceasefire in Ukraine.  The ceasefire will begin as of midnight February 15. Leaders from the United States were not part of these negotiations.

In a press conference held in Minsk, Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked on the outcome of the ceasefire negotiations by saying,

“The next thing that I believe is very important is the withdrawal of heavy weapons… and the withdrawal of Donbass militias…There is also the political settlement.  The first thing is constitutional reform that should take into consideration the legitimate rights of people who live in Donbass.  There are also [Ukraine-Russia] border issues.  Finally there are a whole range of economic and humanitarian issues.”

The world should share your concerns, President Putin.

Even as the ceasefire negotiations began, bloody reminders of the war outside could be heard. The Kiev regime reported 19 of its soldiers died in a confrontation with separatists near the strategic rail junction in Debaltseve the day negotiations began.  This ceasefire agreement was reached less than 2 months after two highly controversial pieces of legislation were passed by U.S. Congress.  The Russia Sanctions Bill and the Ukraine Freedom Support Act were both passed in mid-December.  These bills show how the U.S. plans to use USAID and World Bank funds to create a US-sponsored totalitarian regime in Ukraine while unilaterally sanctioning every aspect of Russia’s government infrastructure.

It is unclear whether the US, Russia, or the EU have any interest in the well-being of Ukraine’s citizens or its stability in the future.  Putin has called for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and a push for the civil rights of the Ukrainian people.  However, in August of last year, Putin reminded the world of Russia’s nuclear capacity by saying,

“Our partners should be well aware that attempts to put pressure on Russia with unilateral and illegitimate restrictive measures will not bring about a settlement, but rather impede the dialogue.”

Putin went on to say,

“We are hoping that our partners will understand the imprudence of attempts to blackmail Russia, [and] remember what discord between large nuclear powers can do to strategic stability.”

The US, however, plans to spend billions to aid in the militarization of the Ukrainian government and in the censorship of Ukrainian media.

US Army-Europe Commander Lt General Ben Hodges announced yesterday that the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy would deploy 600 paratroopers to Lviv, Ukraine to train the Neo-Nazi paramilitary groups that comprise the “volunteer battalions” of the Ukrainian National Guard.  “We’ll train them in security tasks, medical, how to operate in an environment where the Russians are jamming, and how to protect from Russian and rebel artillery,” Hodges Said.

The U.S. Air Force also announced yesterday it would deploy a dozen A-10 attack jets and 300 airmen to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor who helped broker this ceasefire, spoke at the Munich Security Conference and weighed in on the possibility of US weapons having a positive impact on Ukraine.  “I cannot imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily…I have to put it that bluntly.”  After negotiations had ceased, her tone was slightly more optimistic saying, “We now have a glimmer of hope.”

The sense of optimism is far from overwhelming, however.  Petro Poroshenko, the US-backed leader of the Neo-Nazi paramilitary regime in Ukraine, made it clear he was unaffected by news of a ceasefire.

“I, the government, and the parliament, are ready to take the decision to introduce martial law in all the territories of Ukraine.”

Poroshenko is just another example of the US-sponsored dictator being placed in a tactically beneficial geopolitical chess match.

It is important not to forget the ceasefire was arranged and subsequently breached when mortar shells fell in Mariopol and Donetsk in September of 2014.  Both Russian-backed rebels and anti-Russian paramilitaries blamed the breach on the other.  Following this incident, thousands of Russian troops began to pull out of Ukraine-Russia border cities and prompted a statement from Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Veleriy Heletey,

“The Russian side has threatened on several occasions across unofficial channels that, in the case of continued resistance they are ready to use a tactical nuclear weapon against us.”

From its inception, the Ukrainian Conflict has been a campaign of misdirection and half-truths. Who invaded when?  Who is threatening whom?  These questions are moot.  The world is embroiled in war.  Ukraine is the linchpin for western military strategy against Russian forces. More than 5300 Ukrainian lives have been lost since November of 2013 in what has been nothing more than a struggle for tactical military positioning by the US and Russia.  Following its recent US-imposed sanctions, Russia’s economy has taken a drastic downward spiral and appears to be playing it safe at the moment.  Meanwhile, yet another underdeveloped nation is entrenched in economic ruin and poised for decades of civil war and despair.

Iryna Vereshchulk, mayor of the small town of Rava-Rushka in western Ukraine, explains the economic disrepair and confusion in her country, “We still have diplomatic and financial links with Russia, and yet people are saying we have to go and fight their troops and die…if our region was coming under attack, people would take up arms, but they are not ready to go to the east and end up killing other Ukrainian citizens.”

Joblessness, homelessness, food shortage, senseless death, foreign occupation and civil war.  These are the key components of the “Ukraine Conflict.”  Ukraine was a sovereign nation with many problems in 2013.  Now it is an occupied nation being torn apart and manipulated by foreign interests.  Its people are being misled, murdered, and forgotten.  The rest of the world hopes the situation won’t devolve into nuclear war between Russia and the US.  Scaremongering and ceasefire aside, the situation in Ukraine unsettling.