Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Merkel's Explosive Interview Die Zeit

by Oui Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 10:50:05 AM EST

"Hatten Sie gedacht, ich komme mit Pferdeschwanz?" -- Die Zeit

Angela  Merkel über ihren neuen Lebensabschnitt, mögliche Fehler ihrer Russlandpolitik, ihre Rolle in der Flüchtlingskrise und die Frage, ob mit deutschen Kanzlern ungnädig umgegangen wird.

When I first learned of the content, I could not believe to have been deceived by the Germans and Angela Merkel ... I had much trust in Merkel's leadership. If her statement about the intent of the Minsk Agreement is her attempt to revise history for her biography, she handed  the Kremlin an argument for starting the military operation and propaganda never to sign any peace or security treaty with the West or NATO allies again.

Frontpaged with minor edit - Frank Schnittger

Is former Chancellor Merkel reacting to accusations in Der Spiegel?

Article Zeit-Online is behind a paywall ...

Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal

Merkel reveals the Minsk Agreement was a stalling tactic that allowed the West to militarize Ukraine as an anti-Russian proxy and fortify it for an inevitable war. I'm struggling to find any coverage or analysis of this remarkable confession in English language mainstream media.

Merkel admits failures in Russia policy -- Sächsische Zeitung

Berlin/Hamburg. Former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has acknowledged shortcomings in the policy of deterrence towards Russia. "We should have reacted more quickly to Russia's aggressiveness," Merkel told the weekly Die Zeit, referring to the occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014. At that time, the NATO countries agreed to spend two percent of their gross domestic product on defense . "Germany has not reached the two percent target despite the increase," regretted Merkel. "And I didn't give a passionate speech about it every day either."

In retrospect, the then Chancellor did not consider the approval for the construction of the German-Russian natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 to be a mistake. A ban on the project would have "dangerously worsened the climate with Russia," Merkel said. In addition, the dependency on Russian gas is not solely a result of the joint pipeline project. It was primarily due to the fact that less gas had been delivered from Norway, Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Merkel considers the commitment of the citizens for the functioning of democracy to be essential. The democratic system must "be lived by each individual, otherwise it can quickly collapse," said Merkel of Die Zeit. She has no distrust of her own people, but "a general distrust of us humans because people are capable of the incomprehensible. Germany took this to extremes in a terrible way under National Socialism," Merkel said in the interview.

Interview picked up by Kremlin news media ...

Merkel's remarks on Minsk Accords cast events in Ukraine in new light -- Serbian President | TASS |

We all witnessed the historically important statement by Angela Merkel, I am surprised, Aleksandar Vucic said

BELGRADE, December 11. TASS. Ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statement on the Minsk Agreements is historic and changes the attitude to what has been happening in Ukraine since 2014, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in his address to the nation on Saturday.

"We all witnessed the historically important statement by Angela Merkel, I am surprised. <...> For me, this idea is practically unfathomable but it is confirmed by what [former Ukrainian President] Pyotr Poroshenko said that they'd never intended to implement the Minsk Accords, this casts the situation in an absolutely new light. This does not change the fact who attacked whom but it does change the approach to what has been going on [in Ukraine] since 2014," the Serbian leader said adding that this seriously affects Serbia's stance on Kosovo.

"This tells you about Serbia's position and [Western] evil intentions. This statement by Merkel cardinally changes the situation in all senses, above all, in the political one, and for me it is a clear signal whom not to trust," Vucic stressed.

The truth of war, according to Merkel | Corriere.it |

To politically explain the genesis of the war in Ukraine, the commonly shared narrative of attacked and aggressor, which gives an ethical understanding of the conflict, is not enough. To help us in the analysis an exceptional witness: the former German chancellor Angela Merkel.

The commonly shared narrative of the assaulted and the aggressor, the victim and the perpetrator, serves one purpose ethical understanding of the war in Ukraine, but not to politically explain the genesis of the conflict, which could have been at least contained. For future reference, an exceptional witness lends us a hand, Angela Merkel, however intellectually disinterested, having left the political scene and dedicated to writing her own memoirs. The former chancellor is not about to pass for Putin's hostage or worse for a naive visionary who had not perceived the danger, according to an ungenerous narration in the German political world which thus clears its conscience for mistakes of the past, however shared by grand coalition governments. But you don't shy away from a self-criticism that the Kremlin media immediately used for internal use.

Angela Merkel gives a reading of the 2014 Minsk agreements which were supposed to start a peace process and which instead only served to prepare for war, giving Ukraine time to arm and defend itself. The Minsk agreements served to give Ukraine time. [...] Time it used to get stronger, as we can see today. The Ukraine of 2014-2015 was not the Ukraine of today. As we saw in early 2015 during the fighting around Debaltsevo [una citt del Donbass, Oblast' di Donetsk], Putin could easily have won. And I very much doubt that NATO at the time would have been able to help Ukraine like it does today... It was obvious to all of us that the conflict would be frozen, that the problem was not solved, but this only gave precious time to Ukraine. a passage from the interview with the weekly Zeit.

The Russian press has given an interpretation of it for their own use: Merkel: yes, we deceived Putin about the Minsk agreements to buy time. Putin also expressed disappointment, as reported by Gazeta.ru: I am disappointed. Frankly, I didn't expect to hear such things from the ex-chancellor. I always thought the German leadership was sincere with us. How can Moscow and Western countries reach an agreement now? What guarantees will there be? wonder some media, while emphasizing that the head of the Kremlin has reiterated his belief that an agreement with Western countries is inevitable and that Russia is ready to face it.

Real intention behind Minsk agreements further destroys credibility of the West | Global Times |

From pushing for the Minsk agreements to inciting the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, the West is attempting to exhaust and contain a country which they deem as a rival through protraction efforts, be they explicit or inexplicit.

It has never really genuinely regarded Russia as a dialogue partner. In an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit last week, former German chancellor Angela Merkel revealed the West's real intention behind its negotiation with Russia and Ukraine to promote a ceasefire in 2014. She admitted the Minsk agreements were an "attempt to give Ukraine time" and that Kiev had used it "to become stronger."

In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Merkel's remarks were "completely unexpected and disappointing."As the US media New York Post pointed out, Putin felt betrayed by the West following the Minsk agreements. "It has turned out that no one was going to implement the agreements," the Russian leader pointed out.

The Minsk agreements intended to manage the Ukraine crisis and avoid escalating the conflict. Merkel actually confessed something Western politicians do not want to admit about the Minsk agreements: They were just a stopgap to buy time for Ukraine and the West, and Western countries have never put real effort into resolving the differences with Russia over the Ukraine crisis.


Western censorship of Merkel’s explosive interview will never succeed …. from Asian source Amit Sengupta:

Link YouTube video

14K likes and >3,333 comments


EU won't lift sanctions on Russia until Minsk conditions met - Merkel | Reuters - March 19, 2015 |

BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe will not lift sanctions on Russia imposed over the Ukraine crisis until the conditions of the Minsk ceasefire deal have been met, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday before EU leaders discuss the issue at a summit in Brussels.

“We cannot and will not lift the sanctions that expire in July or September until the demands of the Minsk agreement have been fulfilled. That would be wrong,” she told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

She also said that the goal of the EU’s eastern partnership is to improve the standard of living for people there, it is not about EU or NATO membership for those countries.

Merkel says all must be done to implement Minsk peace deal | Reuters - Aug. 24, 2015 |

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine was not being respected and everything must be done to fully implement the broader peace deal reached in Minsk in February.

"The ceasefire agreement hasn't been fully implemented and that's meant that there have been more and more victims," Merkel said in a news conference in Berlin with French President Francois Hollande and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko.

"The first and foremost condition is that everything is done to make the ceasefire agreement a reality. The task at hand means that what we agreed in Minsk has to be respected."

Merkel added: "We are here to implement the Minsk deal, not to call it into question."

Unfortunately, the original Die Zeit interview is blocked for third countries.

"There will be no more talks": the destructive meaning of Merkel's revelations about the Minsk agreements has reached Europe

Austrian politician criticizes Merkel's words on Minsk agreements

Former Vice Chancellor of Austria Heinz-Christian Strache frightened by the former chancellor Germany Angela Merkel. So he said, speaking at a round table on the topic of Ukrainian events in Vienna: "It is frightening with what frankness Frau Merkel speaks about this ... Thus, we destroy any basis for trust." Frau ex-Chancellor's frankness, which horrified Strache, is on everyone's lips: in a recent interview, she admitted that the Minsk agreements were not serious, but just a trick for Russia to give Ukraine time prepare the conflict.

According to her, it was clear to everyone that the conflict remained frozen and the problem had not been resolved, but this is what gave Ukraine invaluable time. Merkel expressed doubts that NATO member countries could provide support to Kiev at the time to the extent that they do now.

During the signing of the agreement in the city of Minsk, Belarus, the Ukrainian authorities promised to amend their Constitution to grant autonomy to Lugansk and Donetsk, as well as to hold local elections in both regions.

President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Minsk agreements were killed by the current Kiev authorities, long before the recognition of Lugansk and Donetsk people's republics, so Merkel's statements only justify the start of the special military operation.

A PR show with no substance to meet in Normandy Four format in January 2022?

Normandy Four and Minsk Agreements: Betting Sunday

Diaries on #poroshenko @EuroTrib

Prolonging the charade …

Charles Michel @eucopresident

The full implementation of the Minsk Agreements is the only way forward. Until full implementation is a reality, EU sanctions against Russia will remain in place.

Together w/ @ZelenskyyUa at contact line in Luhansk oblast, encourage full opening of all entry/exit crossing points.

Lindsey Graham On US Benefits War In Ukraine

Related writing ...

Comedian frontrunner in Ukrainian presidential election | by fjallstrom on Nov 26th, 2018 |


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 01:37:45 PM EST

Interesting analysis by Bernhard ...

I however think that such an interpretation is wrong. Merkel is under very harsh critique not only in the U.S. but also in her own conservative party. She is now out to justify her previous decisions as well as the current bad outcome in Ukraine. My hunch is that she is making things up. Unfortunately she also creates serious damage.

    The relevant passage of the interview is longer than the one paragraph Helmholtz Smith and other cite. The context is important. Here is my translation of it:
    ZEIT: Do you ask yourself if the years of relative calm were also years of omissions and if you were not only a crisis manager, but also partly the cause of crises?

    Merkel: I would not be a political person if I did not deal with that. [...some stuff about climate action ...] Let us look at my policy towards Russia and Ukraine. I come to the conclusion that I made the decisions I made back then in a way that I can understand today. It was an attempt to prevent just such a war. The fact that this was not successful does not mean that the attempts were wrong.

I think the above is genuine. The Minsk agreements were a serious attempt to prevent war by reintegrating Donbas into a federalized Ukraine.

See my earlier diary ...

Merkel Defends Her Legacy and Russia Policy | June 8, 2022 |

"I don't see that I have to say that was wrong,
so I won't apologize either."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 05:45:06 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 06:00:39 PM EST

From the diaries ...

Confirmed: Omidyar's NGOs Clearly Partner in Regime Change | by Oui Sat Mar 1st, 2014 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 06:02:05 PM EST
Posts @EuroTrib ...

Government hastily grants citizenship to Lithuanian, Georgian and American to enable them assume key cabinet positions | Al Jazeera - Dec. 2, 2014 |

Ukrainian parliament has approved the formation of a new government that includes three foreigners who had received Ukrainian nationality on the same day specially for the job.

Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's president, granted citizenship to Georgia-born Aleksandr Kvitashvili, US-national Natalie Jaresko and Lithuanian Aivaras Abromavicius, just hours before the vote.

h/t gk

Meet and Greet Natalie Jaresko, US Government Employee, Ukraine Finance Minister

The new finance minister of Ukraine, Natalie Jaresko, may have replaced her US citizenship with Ukrainian at the start of this week, but her employer continued to be the US Government, long after she claims she left the State Department. US court and other records reveal that Jaresko has been the co-owner of a management company and Ukrainian investment funds registered in the state of Delaware, dependent for her salary and for investment funds on a $150 million grant from the US Agency for International Development [USAID]. The US records reveal that according to Jaresko's former husband, she is culpable in financial misconduct.

At the State Department, spokesman Marie Harf was asked: "apparently a U.S. national has been appointed finance minister. Has Washington something to do with this appointment?" Harf replied: "No, this is a choice for the Ukrainian people and their elect [sic] representatives. This is their decision. Certainly, I don't think we had anything to do with it at all... the Ukrainian people and their representatives are able to pick whoever they want to be part of their government. That's the beauty of how this process works."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 07:29:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A New Dangerous Stage of the Colonial Plunder of Puerto Rico

On May 3, in what certainly was a coordinated effort with the infamous Junta, the government declared bankruptcy under Title 3 of the PROMESA Act. Puerto Rico Oversight and Management Economic Stability Act ("PROMESA") [a cruel joke since in Spanish it means promise] is a law enacted last year as a joint effort between the Republican Congress and the Obama administration. The law mandated a Financial Oversight Board (known by Puerto Ricans as "la Junta") with absolute powers over every aspect of governance within the Island. It makes a mockery of the claims that Puerto Rico is not a colony, for the Junta can override any law, regulation and government action, to the extent that it can prosecute and imprison any government official that refuses to follow its dictates.

Not content with the glaring conflict of interests personified by the Junta, at the end of March it appointed as its executive director the former Finance Minister of Ukraine, Natalie Jaresko--who is receiving a base compensation of $625,000 per year over four years, in addition to a personal chauffeur, paid tickets between Kiev and San Juan once per month, and other conventional perks awarded to financial assassins.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 07:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Two thousand twenty two years later ... searching for a dwelling and ready for flight to Egypt ... Abraham Accords 🎄

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 09:05:46 PM EST
Pope Francis laments the 'icy winds of war' buffeting humanity at Christmas

Did Pope Francis refer to North ... or Latin America: He did not mention the United States by name

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 09:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:00:59 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:02:01 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:02:49 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:05:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

On the festival of Purim in 1994, Israeli-American doctor Baruch Goldstein opened fire in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, killing 29 Muslim worshippers.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:06:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:09:11 AM EST

... both sides agree ... only possible after full military victory [XX ☮️ XX]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:10:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:10:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:13:54 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:14:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden too is an idiot ... and a war criminal too!

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:15:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:16:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:19:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:25:13 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:25:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Progressive? Perhaps  ... on the Left? Not even close to being a centrist. For Europeans too far to the right and establishment. Youth have our hopes for the future, hope they will find a new path forward.

I don't like that he purchased Twitter and I don't like the way he's been running Twitter. But it's his friendliness with the Kremlin that crosses my red line. If you can't take a stand against fascism, then I am definitely not giving you any of my money.

His generally right-wing attitudes are turning off people on the left in a major way, and the left is more of a natural market for his cars than the right, so it's not surprising that Tesla's stock is dropping like a stone.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 12:41:31 PM EST
Of course in an attempt to fool everybody of the Kremlin watchers ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 01:00:24 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 01:02:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The 2021 Rainbow Europe Map reveals widespread and almost complete stagnation on human rights of LGBTI people

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 02:50:55 PM EST
Our Empire and Future Trade Deals

After Brexit the United Kingdom will be open for global trade deals. Their favorite partnership will be with the nations united in the Five Eyes as security is imperative. The UK will exert its forces across the globe to protect [?] trade routes and alliances.

Revamping the Empire starting with military missions, campaigns and new forward bases (FOBs) ... potentials ...

And deepen British alliance with soul mate Bibi Netanyahu who has no leftists or socialist parties to worry about in the April elections ...

Excellent writing by Frank ...

MEGA: Make Europe Great Again

US administrations have been been competing with the EU to establish Pax Americana since the turn of the century ... Rumsfeld dividing Old and New Europe, favoritism continued under Obama with the Afghan campaign and exacerbated under Trump ... Biden cut ally Brussels as an economic power. Today's policy of trade wars and deglobalization under a military alliance through NATO under US Command.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 02:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Setting conditions the other party will never accept is a non-starter ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:14:10 PM EST
Ukraine's foreign minister said the country wanted a UN peace summit by February, but it's unlikely Russia will join | Al Jazeera |

Kuleba said Russia must face a war crimes tribunallbefore his country talks with Moscow directy. He said, however, that other nations should feel free to engage with Russians, as happened before a grain agreement between Turkey and Russia.

Kuleba also said he was "absolutely satisfied" with the results of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the US last week. He revealed that Washington had made a special plan to get the Patriot missile battery ready to be operational in the country in less than six months. Usually, the training takes up to a year.

Kuleba said during the interview at the foreign ministry that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win the war in 2023. "Every war ends in a diplomatic way," he said. "Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table."
Commenting on Kuleba's proposal, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the state RIA Novosti news agency that Russia "never followed conditions set by others. Only our own and common sense."

Demography Institute forecasts 'catastrophic' birth rate drop in Ukraine in 2023 and there are risks that by 2030 the country's population will decrease to less than 35 million, a drop of 8 million

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:15:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A normal path of a conversation impossible due to the confrontational course assumed by US President Joe Biden

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mon Feb 28th, 2022

to which I will add, LPR and DPR 1991 oblast perimeter is the obvious Minsk border of the RF's eastern front. I expect, the "special operation" to wind down to political resolution, when RF is confident that the annexed interior is "de-militarized", ie. UAF regulars withdraw. I do not expect change in combat scope or weapon deployment to penetrate the urheimat (Odessa to the south, Lviv to the north—ports of last resort) that some of more aggressive, ambitious spectators foresee. Neither can I agree with atavistic cartographers trolling "prisoner dilemmas" that a DMZ spanning UA is at all feasible or practicable. I am reasonably confident that both Kremlin and K*v are resigned to a generation of unrequited "terrorist" activity—funded by UA "diaspora" masquerading as the First World vanguard of liberal democracies. So this condition is where they will meet by year-end to begin to resolve superficial differences in guaranteed income permiting EU "association" transfers to UA. IOW, tie up jurisdictional loose ends.

by Cat on Tue Jan 3rd, 2023 at 08:37:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Usually, in post-war treaty settlements, the winner confiscates territory from the loser. In the case of an inconclusive war, can you cite any precedent for one party gifting territories which the opponent did not manage to conquer and hold?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jan 4th, 2023 at 11:33:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Usually" is an unknown known ... a bit of due diligence would provide the answers ...

Search Armistice lines or negotiations

That is why a stalemate at the present new boundaries would because likely outcome. For now it has become a tit-for-tat bombing campaign fed be hate and revenge. The bloodshed stops when there is no more blood to give. For now the sponsors in the Kremlin and Washington go for the win which from both sides is a fantasy. A shame Z for Zelenskyy and Kyiv are in a hard place with no power to negotiate for peace ... he never had that space.

The United States has most to gain and least to lose ... the only nation in a win-win position. Look at the economies and forecasts of growth and inflation. The US is sitting on plenty of fossil fuel ... thank you.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 4th, 2023 at 01:08:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Jan 4th, 2023 at 02:43:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My apologies for employing a common USA usage. I am a recovering pedant myself.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jan 4th, 2023 at 03:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Jan 4th, 2023 at 04:36:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the peace of Utrecht, after the war of Spanish succession, France gave of Ypres though it still held it. Spain gave of Sicily though it still held it.

In the treaty of Paris, after the Crimean war, Russia gave up southern Bessarabia, which it had held since the treaty of Bucharest in 1812 and still held at the end of the Crimean war.

I am sure I can come up with more examples. The tricky part is verifying who held it when peace was negotiated.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jan 5th, 2023 at 10:33:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, the Treaty of Paris.
When Alexander II took the crown of Russia in 1855, he inherited a potential crisis that threatened the collapse of the empire. There were problems throughout the empire, stretching from parts of Finland to Poland and Crimea and many tribal conflicts, and the Russian economy was on the brink of collapse. Russia knew that within a few months, a total defeat in the war was imminent, which would mean the complete humiliation of Russia on an international scale, and further loss of territory. Peace talks were pursued by Alexander II with Britain and France in Paris in 1856 as a means of attempting to keep some imperial possession, but also of stopping the deaths of thousands of its army reserves as well as preventing an economic crisis.[5] Similarly, Russia wanted to maintain at least a pretence of military power, which had posed a formidable threat to the west European allies. It attempted "to turn defeat into victory ... through ... peacetime [internal] reforms and diplomatic initiatives."
Russia was forced to withdraw from the Danubian Principalities, where it had started a period of common tutelage for the Ottomans and the Congress of Great Powers.[14]

Russia had to return to Moldavia part of its territory it had annexed in 1812 (to the mouth of the Danube, in southern Bessarabia). The Romanian principalities and the Principality of Serbia, were given greater independence, resulting in the Russian Empire having a diminished influence over them.

A useful precedent perhaps. But it took a new Russian Tsar to sue for peace, after the war launched by his predecessor didn't work out well.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 6th, 2023 at 03:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Treaty of Paris also included Britain handing back the Åland Islands that Britain had occupied during the war after destroying the large fortress Russia had built there, but with the provision that they remained demilitarised. They still do.

In general a reason I knew to look at European wars in the 18th and 19th centuries is that wars then was often fought and then conculded with a compromise peace. Either because it had become obvious who would win if they continued, or because it had become obvious that no party would win, in which case a peace could also be negotiated, because otherwise the parties invoved just weakened themselves more.

This was the mental framework for war within Europe until the first world war. This was why people expected the boys to be home for Christmas. Mass mobilistation plus propaganda (necessary for continued mass mobilisation) plus the belief in in several ruling circles that this was the war for world domination - the winner would take over the losers colonies and go on ruling the world for centuries - meant that they got a war until states and empires collapsed.

These days we better find someway back to the negotiation table, or risk nuclear war.

In a 19th century solution, you would have a peace conference where the Great powers are at the table wheter they were in the conflict or not. So at least Ukraine, Russia, USA, Nato countries, China. Possibly India too. And the outcome could very well include something apparently unrelated, like Huawei getting to build 5G networks in Europe to get China's buy in. It would be promised as eternal peace and ripped up in 20 to 30 years time.

If I would instead apply some League of Nations logic to a peace proposal, it would go like this:

  • We have four disputed oblasts, that are militarily fought over
  • Both parties back out of the oblasts (first heavy weapons, then troops). Neutral troops under UN flag move in.
  • Referendums are held in the disputed oblasts, with lots of international inspectors, and UN troops keeping order.
  • Results are hopefully clear and can be respected.

Then again post world war two logic would instead be to split the country like Korea and have a heavily militarised DMZ.

I am not saying that these are good solutions, but they sure beats escalating the war to nuclear war. Or for that matter continuing the war now, and then end up with one a compromise anyway, more deaths and destruction later.

In Benjamin Franklin's words about peace, in the run up to signing another Treaty of Paris, that of 1783 that ended the war between the US rebels and Britain:

"I hope it will be lasting, and that Mankind will at length, as they call themselves reasonable Creatures, have Reason and Sense enough to settle their Differences without cutting Throats; for, in my opinion, there was never a good War, or a bad Peace."

by fjallstrom on Fri Jan 6th, 2023 at 11:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Before the outbreak of that great all consuming First World War, there was a women led peace movement by America and Europe to end all wars. Women made themselves heard because wars were initiated and led by men, the movement coincided with the women suffrage for voting rights. A start of emancipation after the men lifted from slavery had hitting the right to vote decades earlier.

Similarly, the second WW was a push for women to participate in the work force, to do the jobs of men who were fighting at the front. Another step towards emancipation and later on feminism.

Women's Suffrage Archive Film Clip 1915

I have written about this movement and several of the leading women. There were peace movements because if too many stupid wars started by the ego of men in power.

#Carnegie #TheHague #PeacePalace #HouseofICJ

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 7th, 2023 at 03:43:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Peace Movement and Peace Conferences - The Hague Peace Palace |

In 1899, at the initiative of the Russian Czar Nicholas II, 26 countries gathered to discuss disarmament, international jurisdiction and arbitration. A result of this "First Hague Peace Conference" was the establishment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the Peace Palace. In 1907, the "Second Hague Peace Conference" was organized in which 44 countries participated.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 7th, 2023 at 03:46:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US Foreign Policy from Crisis to Crisis | Posted @BooMan on Jun 1, 2018 |


ON March 26, 1969, eleven places were set for lunch at the oval table in the Council on Foreign Relations' stately meeting room overlooking Park Avenue. The guest list was not quite so distin guished as some from the past, judging by the photographs hanging on the black walnut paneling: Harold Macmillan chatting with Henry Wriston; John Foster Dulles wedged stiffly between John J. McCloy and Averell Harriman; John W. Davis towering over the King of Siam. But for a weekday working lunch, it was an impressive assemblage.

There was Cyrus Vance, recently returned deputy negotiator at the Paris peace talks ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 7th, 2023 at 03:48:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then again post world war two logic would instead be to split the country like Korea and have a heavily militarised DMZ.

I think this is the most likely outcome.

But you can't get there from the current status quo.

Remember (though I suspect we're both too young... I remember Vietnam but not Korea) : the DMZ in Korea runs fairly close to the 38th parallel... that is to say, the original, arbitrary border between the US and Soviet occupation zones of the former Japanese colony.
In other words, a negotiated peace became possible after a military stalemate became apparent, along the original border.

But to get to that stage, the RFA would need to be pushed back to their border.
(No, no war is comparable to another.)

Was there a 20th century war where the aggressor was rewarded with territory in the peace treaty?
(Secession-type insurgency wars don't count, obviously. Wars between nation states.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 12th, 2023 at 03:13:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then we need war in the 20th century between nation states with a clear aggressor that also wins (and the winner writes the history so has every chance of getting their perspective in).

Turkey's war with Armenia in 1920 did end with a peace treaty where Armenia gave up western Armenia (today north-eastern Turkey). But it was a bit of fluid situation where Armenia had got the previous borders a month before the war began, and Armenia didn't get to ratify the treaty before they became part of the Soviet Union.

You also have Poland's expansion eastwards in the Peace of Riga in 1921. Poland sent its armies eastwards, then got defeated, retreated back to Warsaw, then defeated Russia and expanded again. Borders set in the Peace of Riga. A bit muddy from the break up of Tsarist Russia, one can argue about where the Polish eastern border was before they sent armies east. The Curzon line? The borders of Congress Poland (that Tsarist Russia got in 1815 and later annexed into Russia proper)? Some other border that has existed between Poland and Russia (and there are many)?

Soviet's attack on Poland in 1939 is clearer. Even though in 1939 Poland seized to function as a state, after the war the reconstitutioned Poland accepted by treaty that Soviet (today Lithuanian, Belarus and Ukriane) got the eastern part of Poland (same that Poland got in 1921).

And then we have what I think is the clearest case: Soviet's attack on Finland in 1939, where the Winter War ended in the treaty of Moscow and Soviet Russia annexing Karelia as well as some other border areas. Renewed after the Continuation war (as it is known in Finland), with Finland also losing the Petsamo corridor, giving Russia a land border with Norway and cutting of Finland from the Arctic sea.

Going back to the DMZ, yes it was pretty close to where the war began (I think the equivalent would be February 2022 line), but I think the futility of continued fighting was the most important thing. I think it should be noted that both North and South Korea wanted to continue the war until full victory had been achieved, but the Soviet union and USA still got their seize fire, because without their aid and participation the parties could not fight on. South Korea still hasn't signed the seize fire agreement (according to Wikipedia).

Question is if that means that war ends when US and Russia decides that it ends? Or is that - in a reversal to the Korean war - US and China?

by fjallstrom on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 12:33:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Korean Armistice Agreement is somewhat exceptional in that it is purely a military document--no nation is a signatory to the agreement.

Signatories of military document ...


The undersigned, the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers, on the other hand, in the interest of stopping the Korean conflict, with its great toll of suffering and bloodshed on both sides, and with the objective of establishing an armistice which will insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved.

The war effort by the western allied forces had the approval of the Security Council of the United Nations. The military were UN Forces under US Command. Communist China was not a UN member nor represented at the UNSC meeting when the decision was made.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 07:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
United Nations Command - History of the Korean War

United Nations Command (UNC) was established on July 7, 1950 following the United Nations' recognition of North Korean aggression against South Korea.  UNC signifies the world's first attempt at collective security under the United Nations system. United Nations Security Council Resolutions 83 and 84 provided the international legal authority for member states to restore peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Security Council resolution 82 (1950) [Complaint of aggression upon the Republic of Korea] -- June 25, 1950

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 07:27:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Soviets boycott United Nations Security Council | Jan. 13, 1950 |

For the second time in a week, Jacob Malik, the Soviet representative to the United Nations, storms out of a meeting of the Security Council, this time in reaction to the defeat of his proposal to expel the Nationalist Chinese representative. At the same time, he announced the Soviet Union's intention to boycott further Security Council meetings.

Several days before the January 13 meeting, Malik walked out to show his displeasure over the United Nations' refusal to unseat the Nationalist Chinese delegation. The Soviet Union had recognized the communist People's Republic of China (PRC) as the true Chinese government, and wanted the PRC to replace the Nationalist Chinese delegation at the United Nations.

Malik returned on January 13, however, to vote on the Soviet resolution to expel Nationalist China. Six countries-the United States, Nationalist China, Cuba, Ecuador, Cuba, and Egypt-voted against the resolution, and three-the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and India-voted in favor of it.

Malik immediately left the meeting, declaring that the United States was "encouraging lawlessness" by refusing to recognize the "illegal presence" of the Nationalist Chinese representatives. He concluded that "even the most convinced reactionaries" had to recognize the justness of the Soviet resolution, and he vowed that the Soviet Union would not be bound by any decisions made by the Security Council if the Nationalist Chinese representative remained.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 07:28:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Representation of Red China in the United Nations

In his book, War or Peace, published in April 1950, John Foster Dulles likewise supported the principle of "effective authority" as a test for U.N. representation. He said: "If the Communist government of China in fact proves its ability to govern China without serious domestic resistance, then it ... should be admitted to the United Nations." Dulles preceded that statement by saying in behalf of universal U.N. membership:

    I have now come to believe that the "United Nations will best serve the cause of peace if its Assembly is representative of what the world actually is, and not merely representative of the parts which we like. Therefore, we ought to be willing that all the nations should be members without attempting to appraise closely those which are "good" and those which are "bad."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 07:29:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Utter nonsense ... 38th parallel has no basis for a border, sovereignty of a nation. It's closer to the temporary and arbitrary division of Germany and Berlin between the three allied powers. Just like Vietnam, Korea aims to be reunited. Talks leading to reconciliation were futile, the peoples are one.

The United States was close to dropping the atom bomb on North Korea. The risk of a Third World War was never closer. Rightfully, the Commander-in-Chief relieved General MacArthur of his duties.

No lessons to be taken from Korea for the cultural division of West and East Ukraine and the historic ties with the Russian federation. Somewhat reminds me of the division in Belgium, two languages and.cultural division between the Flemish and Walloons, the East of heavy industry and coal mining.

As the Germans surrendered in 1945, even the Netherlands received as war reparation a piece of German territory. Not so long ago, the local population agreed to be returned to German territory, no weapons were required and no fatalities or wounded resulted from the decision.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 12th, 2023 at 09:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Armistice Agreement for the Restoration of the South Korean State (1953)

It was the end of the longest negotiated armistice in history: 158 meetings spread over two years and 17 days. That evening at 10 p.m. the truce went into effect. The Korean Armistice Agreement is somewhat exceptional in that it is purely a military document--no nation is a signatory to the agreement.

President Eisenhower, who was keenly aware of the 1.8 million American men and women who had served in Korea and the 36,576 Americans who had died there, played a key role in bringing about a cease-fire. In announcing the agreement to the American people in a television address shortly after the signing, he said, in part,

    Soldiers, sailors and airmen of sixteen different countries have stood as partners beside us throughout these long and bitter months. In this struggle we have seen the United Nations meet the challenge of aggression--not with pathetic words of protest, but with deeds of decisive purpose. And so at long last the carnage of war is to cease and the negotiation of the conference table is to begin....[We hope that] all nations may come to see the wisdom of composing differences in this fashion before, rather than after, there is resort to brutal and futile battle.

    Now as we strive to bring about that wisdom, there is, in this moment of sober satisfaction, one thought that must discipline our emotions and steady our resolution. It is this: We have won an armistice on a single battleground--not peace in the world. We may not now relax our guard nor cease our quest.

Lessons of Dwight Eisenhower have long been forgotten. See also how he resolved the Suez crisis in 1956. In comparison to the 21st century of Pax Americana, his greatness only increases above any of the last seven US Presidents. Lack of war experience and courage.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 12th, 2023 at 09:22:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
International Order in East Asia and Opening of Ports in the Joseon dynasty -- with video

In the mid-19th century, Asia was amidst a turmoil of change, resulting from European powers fighting over trade rights in the region. 

Since the 16th century, European nations mapped out sea ways to Asia in search of new trade routes. They expanded inroads into Asia especially past the mid-18th century during the industrial revolution period in order to secure raw material supply and markets to sell their products. 

Countries like India which actively traded with the West from the early days as well as Myanmar and nations on the Malay Peninsula were all colonized by Britain. Vietnam and Cambodia were occupied by France, and Indonesia by the Netherlands. European powers ruled over Asian nations and monopolized their trade using brute force and without signing any kind of trade treaty. 

The Hermit or Secluded Nations

Then what was the situation like in East Asia where Korea, Japan and China were situated? 

The 3 countries basically maintained a closed door policy of seclusion but this began to change in the early 19th century as Europe aggressively demanded trade relations.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 12th, 2023 at 09:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deeply, deeply tragic

I have no words and will refrain from accusations as ML so easily does. I spend a majority of years from 2005 till 2018 blogging @BooMan and made many dear friends in the blogging community. The run for presidency by HRC with all dirty tricks and lack of vision put me off. I would never in my life vote for a Republican for Congress or the White House.

All I will say when the Bush intelligence community backs the candidacy of Hillary and Rupert Murdoch throws her a fundraising party.

As Secretary of State, Hillary screwed up by calling for a military intervention in Libya and Syria in 2011.

Her loss to idiot Trump was her own doing, not Russia but Israel, Emirates and the Saudi's bear responsibility and implementation of Facebook data with Cambridge Analytica run by Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon in Austin Tx., were the true culprits to nudge Trump into the White House to his own surprise.

RussiaGate was truly US/UK IntelliGate.

Yes I opposed the Vietnam War with a firm conviction in 1967. The war propaganda from General Westmoreland and Robert McNamara and daily briefing from Vietnam covered by some outstanding journalists made the errors in miliary and political judgement quite clear.

Robert S. McNamara published an extraordinary book in 1995 a quarter of a century following his departure from the Johnson administration as Secretary of Defense. In Retrospect : The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, was clearly a painful exercise in retrospection. Most executives dislike reviewing the past and pointing to errors of judgment, individual and collective, that determine bad policy and faulty implementation. Fewer still are engaged in measuring failure in human lives lost and in suffering. But for McNamara, he had a noble purpose : to learn from experience and possibly to prevent the recurrence of tragedy in human affairs. In this sense, McNamara might have been excessively optimistic about what his treatise would accomplish. He was probably surprised, and undoubtedly saddened that his book would receive the scorn and criticism it encountered from reviewers and editorial writers.

The defeat of the American Forces and tragic end with the fall of Saigon, has left America with a deep trauma. Blame was strewn over the boys and young men returning home. The role of Nixon and Kissinger never got the attention for lengthening the war and slaughter. Unheard of war crimes and use of Agent Orange, a chemical used in warfare causing generational wounds. Obliteration of Viet Cong fighters and civilians using napalm was horrific.

ML should stick to US Congress and domestic issues of which he has vast knowledge and great analysis. On foreign policy he proves to us the fallacy of over half a century of American failures, including the War in Ukraine. Utter disgust and shame. With such a poor knowledge of international issues, don't ever judge others.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 12th, 2023 at 11:30:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
McNamara added an Appendix on the Risk of the Use of Nuclear Weapons, not just Cuban missile crisis, but also in the Vietnam War!!

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 12:10:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Criticism Shamed by Name Calling

Glenn Greenwald: Democrats Need to 'Stop Calling Everybody a Putin Stooge' | Mediate - Dec. 21, 2016 |

Name calling followed the recent release of the PropOrNot disinformation website and the British Dodgy dossier by Chris Steele.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 12:13:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great ... beyond summary execution of Russian POWs and civilian collaborators, the use of cluster munitions should land Zelensky next to Putin in the ICC docket in The Hague.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:57:47 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 09:59:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a page from an amazing new book called "Kyiv Rysing". It was created by Kyiv Consulting at the start and middle of the war and published in...  This is a page from an amazing new book called "Kyiv Rysing". It was created by Kyiv Consulting at the start and middle of the war and published in... Gedeeld door Dan Rice 🇺🇸 🇺🇦

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 27th, 2022 at 10:00:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"inconclusive" victories, democratic republics, de-militarized zones, and Princess Diana charities...

Sputnik | Russian Sappers Land in Laos to Clean Up Mess Made by US During Indochina Wars, 4 Jan

According to an MoD press statementreleased Wednesday, the current mission, which will run until March, will see the clearance of some 56 hectares of land (over 138 acres), plus the training of Laotian sappers.

The current mission is the Russian sappers' fifth, with previous operations seeing Russian forces clear and destroy over 2,200 explosive objects across an area of over 140 hectares (346 acres) in the central Laotian provinces of Bolikhamsai, Khammuan[,] and Xiangkhousang. Russian troops have also already trained about 100 Laotian troops in mine-clearance.

The sappers' mission in Laos is complicated by a range of environmental factors, including tropical, heavily overgrown forests, large number of insects and poisonous snakes, as well as unexploded ordinance - ranging from cluster munitions to human being-sized bombs, buried at depths up to 170 centimeters (five-and-a-half feet).

Russia and the Soviet Union before it have dispatched sappers to hot spots across the world over the course of many decades, deploying to countries ranging from Algeria and Angola to Syria. The Laos mission began in 2018....

ASEAN (1967 FTA): BN, KH, ID, LA, MY, MM, PH, SG, TH, VN, TL*
LMC (2016 FTA): CN, CM, LA, TH, VN, MM

by Cat on Wed Jan 4th, 2023 at 03:16:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's oddly moving.

I hope that Ukraine won't have to wait 30 years to clear  unexploded bombs, cluster munitions AND LANDMINES left behind by retreating RF troops.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 4th, 2023 at 03:31:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
🤣 in the footsteps of FM Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Dominic Raab and Liz Truss. How to make a fool of yourself.

A sputtering colonial power under the wings of an all powerful America.

Fortunately Russia is depleted on missiles and weaponry for months now according to US and UK military office of war intelligence.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 08:47:46 AM EST
Indeed. Obviously, the destruction of Ukraine's electricity production and distribution facilities is an entirely legitimate war special military operation aim. It's a shame they have so few missiles.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 09:37:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there is an element of Pearl Clutching going on here. Agreements are often used to buy time and your opinion of this instance will be determined by whether or not you consider Ukraine has a legitimate right to protect its national territory and sovereignty from Russian aggression.

Obviously if you consider Russia has a legitimate claim to Crimea and or the Donbass, you will oppose Ukrainian attempts to restore its sovereignty there. If not, then everything that can strengthen Ukraine to resist Russian aggression is good diplomacy.

However the Russian invasion, and the manner of it has put an end to that discussion. Whatever the history, Russia will never again be allowed to exercise  control within Ukrainian territory, even if the Crimea is ultimately conceded as part of a peace settlement.

Why Serbia would seek to capitalise on the interview to support its claims on Kosovo is beyond me. Any prospect of Serbia joining the EU must now be gone.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 12:58:03 PM EST
Selling out to Western capitalism is not truly exerting sovereignty ... the Maidan dignity violence to overthrow a democratically elected government was a capital blunder.

#blackrock #agriculture #hugedebt #redvs.blue #eastvs.west

Political power rests by oligarchs who are split between pro-West and pro-East.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 02:30:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
erm... Getting elected on a program of closer relations with the EU, and then flip-flopping and selling out to Putin and his oligarchs in order to continue business as usual... In fact, very often, a revolution is democratic accountability in action.

I know you're a centrist, Oui, so for you, I suppose, no revolution can ever be justified (not the French, not the American...) because the status quo is sacred for any good centrist...

But I disagree.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 03:24:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what makes the US backed Maidan revolution legitimate and the Russia backed Donbas revolt illegitimate?
by generic on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 04:04:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Russian invasion and attempted takeover of Ukraine against fierce popular resistance.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 08:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Both those events precede the invasion by 8 years.
by generic on Fri Dec 30th, 2022 at 03:00:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's my point. US interference in Kiev and Russian interference in Donbass are both of dubious legitimacy. But the invasion has changed all that retrospectively. That's all prehistory now. History now begins with Ukraine's heroic resistance to a brutal Russian invasion which has forged a new nation (from a previously very divided one).

Ukraine has earned the right to sit at the international table and make whatever alliances it chooses. I hope it joins the EU and that the EU assists its reconstruction but that is now Ukraine's choice to make regardless of Russian sensitivities and prior claims. It may lose Crimea in the post war negotiations but I doubt it will give a centimetre elsewhere.

And it needs to be given the means to secure its future borders against any further aggression. It should treat its ethnic Russian population sensitively and generously and permit migration for any who want to leave.

And Russia should be treated as a pariah until all its troops leave and prisoners are exchanged. Sanctions should be maintained until it has formally recognised Ukraine's sovereignty and independence. Ideally Russia should be punished for its war crimes against civilians but that is unlikely to be possible absent a complete regime change in Russia which is their business.

And America should stop interfering in the internal affairs of other sovereign nations - they never seem to learn...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 31st, 2022 at 03:27:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leaving aside the question of foreign powers backing one side or the other, it's an interesting philosophical question : the legitimacy of revolution, the legitimacy of secession.

A possible analogy is the American civil war : certain regions reject the democratically-decided changes (political association with the EU / abolition of slavery, respectively).

The unrest in Donbas was triggered by the Maidan revolution; many people there, and in other cities in the south and east, were pro-Russian, and rejected a change to the status quo (i.e. de facto Russian domination of Ukraine). It is interesting to note that the military revolt in the Donbas was preceded by the seizing of Crimea by the Russian military (which was, in itself, an explicit reaction to the loss of Russian hegemony over Ukraine).

I don't know whether the Donbas militias were waiting for this implicit proof of Russian backing before starting their war of secession, or whether they were awaiting orders from Russia. Do you?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 30th, 2022 at 07:42:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are quite a few points I'll have to disagree with. The matter of the EU association was not "democratically settled". Yes, there was an offer, but among the EU demands was the acceptance of an IMF program that would among other things have stopped gas subsidies. Together with a loss of their primary market - you remember the Brexit primary color slides about being part of exactly one trade block? - it would have led to a massive jump in poverty and the end of eastern Ukraine's heavy industry. Yanukovich's electoral base would have suffered grievously. Of course the country was split about that, you can see the East - West divide on all election maps but the Russian offer was just objectively better at that point.

You claim Ukraine was de-facto under Russian control, but I really don't see how that is a fair characterization. After the fall of the USSR you have the successor regimes that are more or less run as extraction colonies by Western institutions, Russia certainly wasn't in any position to impose anything on its neighbors. Even after Russia stabilized the big change in the political system in Ukraine was the orange boys and girls taking over, that's hardly Russia running the country, is it? Of course after they didn't deliver and fell out among themselves the Eastern based Yanukovich came to lead the country. What's the timeline of "de-facto" Russian control you propose? Between the election of Yanukovich and Maidan? The mythical 300 years of oppression the sons of Bandera in Canada like to imagine?

Of course we have no proof whether the Donbas militias were cooked up in some Kremlin plot, but the material basis was there and the Russians hardly were expecting Maidan. Why would the people of Donbas accept the new government that replaced the one they voted inoverwhelmingly? The one that very publicly wanted to clean Ukraine of their language? That banned the communist party that still had a decent presence in the East?
You bring up the American civil war, though what is it supposed to tell me with the moral content stripped out? The Donbas militias aren't fighting for chattel slavery.

by generic on Fri Dec 30th, 2022 at 12:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been going over election results in Ukraine since the end of the last century, and they are characterised by stability in the east (support for the Communist Party, then to the pro-Russian parties), and extreme volatility in the rest of the country. The Ukrainian national-fascists (Svoboda) peaked at 10% in 2012, and participated in government during 2014, then disappeared into insignificance; the Orangists also rose and fell. The Macronist Zelenskiy appeared out of nowhere and gained an absolute majority.

In 2014, the pro-Russian parties controlled both the presidency and the Parliament. It was they who were negotiating with the European Union and had agreed to sign the association agreement, before suddenly balking and signing a deal with Russia.

It is quite surprising that they should have negotiated such a bad deal with the EU (we agree on the fact that it was a lousy deal); my retrospective suspicion that they did not negotiate in good faith, but had prepared the alternative deal with Putin.

It does not surprise me that the Russians did not expect Maidan. As the events of this year make clear, their intelligence is not as good as they think.

Why would the people of Donbas accept the new government that replaced the one they voted in overwhelmingly?

Why would anyone accept an election they didn't win? In fact, (setting aside the parts that couldn't vote : Crimea and the occupied Donbas), the pro-Russians were disenfranchised by the voluntary withdrawal of the Party of the Regions from the parliamentary elections of 2014 : ostensibly because they claimed that the elections lacked legitimacy because the people in the seceding regions couldn't vote! A bit circular.

As for the status of the Russian language, I can't find any political parties which called for eliminating Russian from Ukraine. In fact, Ukrainian is the only official language since the 1996 constitution (which explicitly protects the use of Russian and other national minority languages). The language issue in the context of 2014 appears to be something of a beat-up; but clearly, over the last eight years, with a low-level, then high-level war with Russia, the position of  a lot of people has no doubt evolved.

I brought up the American civil war because you posed the question of moral equivalence between the Maidan revolution and the Donbas secession. The US civil war was the first example of secession that came to mind. But the analogy is quite weak; the US case was endogenous, whereas the Donbas rebellion was always about transferring the region from Ukraine to Russia (or perhaps you disagree?)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 30th, 2022 at 04:09:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As the events of this year make clear, their intelligence is not as good as they think.

I've been saying that for years. We've spent about a decade in a soulless rerun of the Reagan era Russia panic and the idea that the USSR had vast infiltration networks in the West was completely laughable even then.

whereas the Donbas rebellion was always about transferring the region from Ukraine to Russia (or perhaps you disagree?)

I do indeed. If the aim was to integrate the Donbas into Russia the time to do so was in 2014 when the Ukrainian army was in no position to fight and not ideologically hardened. Mostly the Donbas militias were not getting the logistical support you'd assume they would get if they were supposed to form an integral part of the Russian state. The people of Donbas found themselves in a similar unhappy situation as the KPP in Syria. They had to accept Russia's/the US' help and effectively become proxies since there was nowhere else to turn.
As far as I can tell the Russians wanted exactly what was on the tin: Minsk2. They grabbed the part of Ukraine they really cared about in 2014 and would have been happy enough to keep the rest in a state of neutrality while raking in euros hand over fist. Of course once the Ukrainian electorate voted the supposedly more pro-Russian Zelensky in, yet the renunciations of the peace treaty got if anything more pronounced all to applause from the guarantors in France and Germany they were left with the option of slinking home in humiliation or flip over the table in rage.

by generic on Fri Dec 30th, 2022 at 10:35:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I appreciate your insightful posts.

I added my comments and review of earlier writings in a new diary covering censorship, disinformation and engineering a colour revolution. Decades of shameful acts and atrocities by the United States of America. Referenced also astute writings by Jerome a Paris ...

Censorship a Characteristic of Advanced Fascism

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 30th, 2022 at 11:07:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So let me see : In your opinion, Putin's invasion of last year was not a continuation of his 2014 policy of annexing the parts of Ukraine that he imagined were Russian? So what motivated it?

If the aim was to integrate the Donbas into Russia the time to do so was in 2014 when the Ukrainian army was in no position to fight and not ideologically hardened.

Indeed. Retrospecively, they could have accomplished the goals of the 2022 intervention much more easily in 2014. 2017 would have been a good time to do it too, because it's hard to see the Trump administration enthusiastically arming Poroshenko's army... am I wrong?

But I think we agree that Putin is a piss-poor strategist. In 2014, he was probably wary of provoking a strong US reaction if he attempted what he tried last year. So, the only unanswered question is why he thought it was a good idea in 2022.

The people of Donbas found themselves in a similar unhappy situation as the KPP in Syria. They had to accept Russia's/the US' help and effectively become proxies since there was nowhere else to turn.

Do you have documentation on this? I haven't seen any reporting of dissent by autonomists in the Donbas with respect to the annexation by Russia, but I haven't been paying attention.  As far as I knew, it was their refusal to be ruled by Ukrainians, tied to their Russianness, that triggered their revolt. So the Syrian analogy is a bit weak, I think.

To come back to the subject of this diary : I hardly think Merkel's explanations about Minsk are explosive. It should have been obvious to any observer that the western guarantors of the Minsk accords had no illusions about the accords being fully implemented; the military situation was highly favourable to the secessionists and their Russian backers, and the main thing was to stop the fighting. The separatists visibly had no intention of implementing the accords anyway, as evidenced by the fact that they organised their own elections in November 2018 in contradiction of the accord; likewise, the Ukrainian parliament was not enthusiastic about federalist constitutional changes. If Putin was really not interested in annexing further chunks of Ukraine at that time, he could certainly have pressured his protégés into keeping their side of the bargain; but he didn't.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 2nd, 2023 at 03:56:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Minsk Protocol, 2014 full text
Participant of the Trilateral Contact Group:
  • OSCE Ambassador Heidi Talyavini (signed)
  • Second President of Ukraine, L.D. Kuchma (signed)
  • Ambassador of    the Russian Federation in Ukraine, M.Y. Zurabov (signed)
  • A.V. Zakharchenko (signed)
  • I.V. Plotnitskiy (signed)

Minsk Agreement, 2015 full text
#11, #12
Participants of the Trilateral Contact Group:
  • OSCE Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini
  • Second President of Ukraine, L.D. Kuchma
  • Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Ukraine, M.Y. Zurabov
  • A.V. Zakharchenko
  • I.V. Plotnitskiy

Neither EU, DE, FR, or USA were parties to the agreement or Trilateral Contact Group in any way other than its sabotage.
by Cat on Mon Jan 2nd, 2023 at 07:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Based on the Law of Ukraine "On interim local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions", questions related to local elections will be discussed and agreed upon with representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the
framework of the Trilateral Contact Group. Elections will be held in accordance with relevant OSCE standards and monitored by OSCE/ODIHR.

Didn't happen. (At the risk of repeating myself,) the Donetsk and Lugansk juntas held elections outside this agreed process.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 3rd, 2023 at 04:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was there ever a Law of Ukraine "On interim local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions", to base the dialogue on?
by fjallstrom on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 01:11:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, passed in 2014.
It was even extended for a year by Kyiv in 2019, for what that's worth... trying to keep the Minsk agreements alive.
While the 2015 Ukrainian local elections had been scheduled for 25 October, DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko issued a decree on 2 July that ordered local DPR elections to be held on 18 October.[77] He said that this action was "in accordance with the Minsk agreements".[78] According to Zakharchenko, this move meant that the DPR had "independently started to implement the Minsk agreements".[78] Zakharchenko said that the elections would "take place 'on the basis of Ukraine's law on temporary self-rule status of individual districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions', in so far as they are not at variance with the constitution and laws of the DPR".[78]

On the same day, President Petro Poroshenko responded that if DPR elections went forward in this unilateral manner, it would be "extremely irresponsible and will have devastating consequences for the process of deescalation of tension in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions".[78] In addition, the OSCE said that it would only send observers to elections in the conflict zone if Ukraine invited it to do so.[79] As specified in Minsk II, local elections in DPR and LPR-held territories must be observed by the OSCE to be deemed legitimate.[39] LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky followed the DPR by scheduling elections in the territory that he controlled for 1 November 2015.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 03:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict | Oakland Inst. - July 2014 |

This fact sheet provides details on the transnational agribusinesses that are increasingly investing in Ukraine, including Monsanto, Cargill, and DuPont, and how corporations are taking over all aspects of Ukraine's agricultural system. This includes circumventing land moratoriums, investing in seed and input production facilities, and acquiring commodity production, processing, and transportation facilities.

Globalisation: not a plague nor a panacea | Posted by Colman @BooMan on Jun 26, 2006 |

The truth about corporations taking over Ukrainian agricultural lands | Il Manifesto - June 3, 2022 |

The war now seems likely to disrupt the current grand neoliberal project in the short term, mainly because of disruptions in the export supply chain. Another unknown concerns how Ukraine's limitations in its current condition might affect Chinese distribution routes to Europe under China's Belt & Road plan, to which the country had signed on.

Deglobalization: US Attack On Europe's Heart

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 02:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

... and the global community looked away.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 01:45:14 PM EST

As I have written within days after the start of hostilities last 24 Februari. US fossil fuel  lobbyists and API were filled with optimism ... "we are still needed in a green energy bastion of Europe."

Revenge of Old World Economy as Big Oil's Cash Flow Rivals Tech

  • Exxon's free cash overtakes Alphabet for first time since 2015
  • US supermajors enjoy the benefits of sticking with oil and gas

Big Oil's Profits and Inflation: Winners and Losers | Dec. 22, 2022 |

We have witnessed a profit and price explosion in the fossil fuel industry that started in 2021 and has increased in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Excess profits have unleashed a redistribution of incomes. This raises the question of who is reaping the benefits and who is paying the bill. In short: Among the winners are fossil fuel companies; high wealth households holding shares in fossil fuel companies, Wall Street and Asset Managers; and companies that can use rising costs as a pretext to increase prices and profits.

Among the losers are poor households, Black and Brown and Latinx communities who are also the main victims of climate change in the United States; governments that have seen their budgets burdened by high energy prices; and firms that depend on fossil fuels as inputs and have seen their costs rise sharply and their profits fall. Fossil fuel profit explosions can have implications for macroeconomic stability due to the systemic significance of oil and gas and can harm efforts to mitigate climate change. New policy tools like windfall profits and price stabilization measures are necessary to address fossil fuel profit shocks.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 06:23:27 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 06:46:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Energy titan ExxonMobil sues the European Union to block an energy windfall tax

ExxonMobil is suing the EU in a bid to force it to scrap the bloc's new windfall tax on oil groups, arguing Brussels exceeded its legal authority by imposing the levy.

The lawsuit is the most significant response yet against the tax from the oil industry, which has been targeted by western governments amid a surge in energy prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The action threatens the viability of a levy the European Commission said would raise €25bn "to help bring down energy bills".

Exxon said the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by its German and Dutch subsidiaries at the European General Court in Luxembourg City. It challenges the Council of the EU's legal authority to impose the new tax -- a power historically reserved for sovereign countries -- and its use of emergency powers to secure member states' approval for the measure.

Casey Norton, a spokesperson for Exxon, said the US supermajor recognised high energy costs were "weighing heavily on families and businesses" but argued the levy was "counterproductive" and would "undermine investor confidence, discourage investment and increase reliance on imported energy".

Exxon had spent $3bn on European refining projects in the past 10 years, increasing output "at a time when Europe struggles to reduce its energy imports from Russia", Norton said.

Lawsuit claims EU executive lacks authority to impose taxes and contests use of emergency procedure|

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 06:47:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 06:48:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 31st, 2022 at 05:50:16 PM EST

Zelensky failed in his campaign promise to bring peace in the Donbas ... and he did not advocate a military victory ... the Minsk agreements were in place ❗️

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 31st, 2022 at 05:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensky was soon corralled by the neo-Nazi nationalists to abandon implementing the option of a federal Union with autonomy in East Ukraine ... the Kyiv government initiated divisive policies to estrange the large Russian speaking population, the Kyiv Orthodox Church played a supporting role ... the Biden administration intended to finish once and for all any opposition to VP Biden's coordinated coup d'état of February 2014. Diplomacy was off the table and still is. Sputtering by Berlin and Paris to no avail.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 31st, 2022 at 05:53:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 31st, 2022 at 07:50:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Jan 1st, 2023 at 01:10:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
case 1: 'Chilling': US Emboldened by Russia-Ukraine War to Confront China
should be titled "humane war", because that's the novel proposition for "multipolar" new world order brought to the interview by this miscast professor on behalf of "great powers" grappling with traditional homicidal mania.

case 2: "The Russia War Party Can't Speak German, trampels Chancellor Merkel's Meaning"
decrypting Steinmeier, November 26th, 2014

by Cat on Sun Jan 1st, 2023 at 12:44:49 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 2nd, 2023 at 08:12:38 PM EST
US Government using complot theories to hide facts of covert action and crimes against human rights ... "piggy-back" strategy.

Circumvent Justice, watchdogs and whistleblowers by false argument of "National Security", ripping up regulations of FOIA, slow-walking release documents and worst-case outright falsification. Obama administration attack on whistleblowers using the Espionage Act of 1917.

Dark Side: Secret Origins of Evidence in US Criminal Cases | HRW - Jan. 9, 2018 |

Taken to its worst logical conclusion, parallel construction risks creating a country in which people and communities are perpetually vulnerable to investigations based on prejudice, vast illegal operations, or official misconduct, but have no means of learning about these problems and holding agents to account.

Of particular concern is the potential use of parallel construction to hide intelligence surveillance programs. Modern US intelligence surveillance is as sweeping as it is secretive, and a lack of disclosure of the use of such surveillance in criminal investigations means wide-ranging or acute civil liberties violations may go unnoticed.

Parallel construction also means judges may never evaluate whether government uses of constantly evolving surveillance techniques adhere to the US Constitution and laws adopted by Congress, as is their role in the US system.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 2nd, 2023 at 08:17:07 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 6th, 2023 at 10:24:06 PM EST

2019 caption:... But following the anthems, Merkel seemed better, walking quickly along the red carpet with Zelenskiy into the building, pausing to greet the military band and take a salute. About an hour later, following their meeting, Merkel told reporters at a joint news conference that they had discussed bilateral issues and the Minsk peace process during Zelenskiy's first visit to the German capital as president....
by Cat on Tue Jan 10th, 2023 at 01:02:30 AM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries