Steigan.no - By Knut Erik Aagaard -23. February 2022
By Dr. Philos. Knut Erik Aagaard. March 7, 2014, previously unpublished.
In connection with Russia recognizing the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Donbas, and Russia sending military forces into the republics, we have asked our Russia expert Knut Erik Aagaard for a comment. He has produced an unpublished article from March 7, 2014, ie immediately after the US-led coup in Ukraine, and it is suitable to provide a background for the latest developments in the area. - Red.
A few days after the armed coup in Kyiv on February 22, 2014, exactly eight years ago, I sat on the Valkyrie and drank beer. At the regular café of Willy Brandt and Leon Trotsky.
I sat down with some lively and slightly animated Finn Marxists from the sixties, whose circle I praise myself for belonging to. Confusion reigned: What is really going on in Ukraine? I followed the call, got up, and improvised the following lecture on one exhale. The Finn Marxists were happy. They asked me to go home and write down what I had said. I did so, circulating the only discreetly retouched product in narrower circles, as a basis for discussion.
This was before the fire massacre in Odesa on May 2, 2014, before the Ukrainian Civil War, before the catastrophic defeat of Kyiv, before Putin using Minsk 1 and 2 forced Donbas to stop the advance on Kyiv before Putin gave Poroshenko and Zelensky the opportunity to become presidents. in a failed state.
I did not publish it, in accordance with my stated desire not to write for Norwegians. But when I heard Putin speak the day before yesterday, and registered that he said about the same thing as I write here, I thought: maybe steigan.no can use this for something, on the day eight years later.
On the wrong side
The Information War
Let me close a hole. We have heard that Putin is a vulgar little dictator. We know what the EU and NATO think about Russia's brutal, unlawful, military aggression against the independent European state of Ukraine. We know Putin's blatant breach of the Helsinki Accords' guarantee of the sacred inviolability of the borders after the war. We have - as judges - heard one party. But we have not heard the other party.
The Russian view
Let me, therefore, if only for the sake of order, tell what the Russians think about the development of our neighboring country Ukraine. If you go straight north from Odessa, you end up in Vardø. The whole of Western Ukraine is located between Bodø and Vardø, raining west/east.
Russia's motherland is the Kyiv state, Christianized in Crimea by Olav Trygvason's cousin, a powerful empire that was eventually taken over by the smaller principality of Moscow. The state was created by Scandinavians in the eighth century, Vikings whose unbroken dynasty ruled Russia even Ivan the Fourth Cruel, until the beginning of the 17th century. Kyiv is Russia's mother.
Excluding Tatars (11% in Crimea), Jews, Greeks, Armenians, and minorities, we can divide Ukraine's population into three.
South and east, ie the entire Black Sea coast, is dominated by Russians. They were Russians under the tsar, under communism, and they are today, but in 1991 they got - unexpectedly and undesirably - a border between themselves and the fatherland. Until 1918, the Black Sea coast had nothing to do with Ukraine at all. This whole part of Russia, from Odesa in the west, almost to Rostov in the east, and Donbas in the north, was administratively attributed to the communist-created Ukrainian Soviet Republic in the 1920s, as a kind of county boundary adjustment.
The central parts, north of the coastal districts, west of the Dnieper, are Ukrainian-speaking. The sparsely populated steppe area was constantly threatened by Poland and asked the tsar to become part of Russia around 1650. The area was part of Russia from 1650 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Central Ukraine is Russia's brother nation, and the experience is mutual. The two languages are like Bokmål and Nynorsk, slightly different, but mutually understandable. Ukraine received its Ivar Aasen on the initiative of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, explicitly to oppose Russian interests.
Western Ukraine, the size of northern Norway, is the square between Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, and Russian Ukraine. The population, approx. 11 million, speak Ukrainian, and were for centuries ignored by the lords of Prussia, Poland, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. Radically-minded Western Ukrainians see Ukraine as the rightful heir to the entire Russian Empire and want to spread the Maidan movement to Moscow and Vladivostok. The Russians do not like that idea. We in the West should ask ourselves whether we ourselves have benefited from the Maidan spreading and threatening Russian stability.
Modern national Ukrainian self-awareness awoke in the eighteenth century, inspired especially by Vienna and Budapest, but the people never managed to form a state. Scattered, confused, and vain, but very tragic attempts drowned from 1918 in the maelstrom after the revolution and the first world war. In the interwar period, the people of western Ukraine were divided between the newly formed states of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania, constantly threatened by Russia. The mood was hateful towards these countries. The people were again thrown to the dogs.
Ukrainian fascism and pogroms
The Western Ukrainian spring first came with Hitler's invasion of Poland. The organization of Ukrainian nationalists OUN-B, with the Ukrainian Rebel Army UPA as a military wing, was formed by the legendary fascist Stepan Bandera. The movement fought for the establishment of an independent nationalist and ethnically pure Ukrainian state and enjoyed German support during the first years of the war. The movement was an explicit supporter and practitioner of pogroms and ethnic cleansing. The Germans had no interest in an independent Ukraine but used Bandera as long as he was useful. And he was helpful.
Pogroms and genocide
The Lviv pogroms in the summer of 1941, a joint operation by UPA, local Ukrainian militia, and German Einsatz groups, killed approx. 10,000 Jews in a few days. The naked truth is present in pictures and movies on any search engine. In the western Ukrainian areas of Volhynia and Eastern Galicia, from March 1943 to January 1945, approx. 120,000 Poles. It peaked in July-August 1943, when the western Ukrainian, Bandera-led UPA ordered and attempted the extermination of all Polish men between the ages of 16 and 60. However, the majority of the victims were women and children. The Bandera-inspired Ukrainian "Auxiliary Police" actively participated in, or carried out, the Babi-Jar massacres outside Kyiv, in which 33,000 Jews were killed by hand in one day in September 1941, killing at least 150,000 Jews, gypsies, Russians, Poles and others, including Ukrainians,
In Russian words
To put it in Russian words, a little rougher: During the war, 150,000 Poles, Russians, Jews, and other dubious women and children, men, young and old, were hanged, shot, drowned, coarsely chopped and finely chopped by Western Ukrainians, burned, boiled, fried or put alive on a stake in an orgy of violence that even German Nazis thought was too much, and put an end to.
This part of present-day Ukraine had never been part of Russia or of any Ukrainian state. The final humiliation of the Western Ukrainians came with the incorporation into the Soviet Union after World War II. They were left to the enemy. They fought guerrilla warfare against Stalin until the 1950s, using heinous methods. They did not have a good time under Stalin, and Russophobia is alive and well today. In January 2010, the fascist Stepan Bandera was honored with the title of Official National Hero for his defense of the National Idea and the Struggle for an Independent Ukraine of the then outgoing President Yushchenko. His heroic statue reigns symbolically precisely in Lviv, now the most important city in western Ukraine, in former eastern Poland. Incumbent President Yanukovych responded with a law banning the glorification of fascism in Ukraine. Then we are already between the first and second Maidan.
The enemy is in the west
Now let the author of the article add at his own expense: Russians have reason to defend themselves against the West. Since the Mongol yoke, the enemy has come from the west. Poland stood in Moscow in the early sixteenth century and could sit in Vladivostok today. Charles the Twelfth tried to conquer Russia and came to Poltava in Ukraine, almost to Crimea. It's always fun to ask Russians: - and who really killed Charles the Twelfth?
Napoleon stood in Moscow and could have stood, had he planned better. The European powers (England, France, and the Kingdom of Sardinia - including the main countries Savoy, Piedmont, and Nice) attacked Russia during the Crimean War of 1854-56. The most important battles took place in the Russian Crimea near Sevastopol, immortalized in the west through Tennyson's poem about the Light Brigade in Balaklava ( Theirs not to reason why; Theirs but to do and die, into the valley of Death rode the six hundred ). Minor battles were fought east of Kirkenes, in the White Sea.
The pretext for the war of aggression was slim: the Western powers wanted to help the weakened Turkish sultan in his defense of Catholics along the Danube and in the Holy Land! Let it be said: the Crimean War was not fought for, against, over, over, on, or in Ukraine. It was fought in Russia against Russia.
Wilhelm the Second came from the west during the First World War. Hitler came from the West during World War II. The Cold War came from the west, contrary to the agreements from Yalta in ... well, in the Crimea. When the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, a power vacuum emerged in world politics. Empty rooms are unstable. NATO and the EU quickly moved towards the Russian core area and are approaching the Kremlin's own walls, the Russian heart. For us and for the United States, Ukraine is a long way off. For the Russians, Ukraine is a symbol-heavy matter of the heart, a knife in its own flesh, and Crimea a blow under the belt.
The pearl of the Black Sea
A word about Crimea. The pearl of the Black Sea, the working-class collective resort, the tsar's summer residence, Russia's pride, the symbol of Peter the Great's dream of access to four seas, the scene of so much Russian literature, so many Russians killed in so many battles, the last bastion between red and white guards the Civil War, the Yalta Agreement on the division of Europe between East and West (offered to Stalin by the United States and England), Gorbachev's place of exile during the coup. Crimea is the epitome of Russia's humiliation after the fall of communism.
1953: Stalin dies, Beria shot. Around the table sit Khrushchev, Bulganin, Malenkov, Kaganovich, Molotov, and Voroshilov, Stalin's few surviving proselytes. They scold each other, for everyone knows: If I do not take you, you will take me. Krustsjov gets a bright idea. He goes home to Ukraine, where he as party leader actively participated in mass murder and starvation in his thirties. Ukraine has the country's strongest party organization. To soften the memory of his own bloody hands, and to secure the support of local secretaries in the inevitable central power struggle, he promises to donate Crimea to Ukraine. A low price to pay, because the county boundaries were flexible in the Soviet Union, and the gift would not have any practical consequences. The party leader in Crimea admittedly protested vehemently and was deposed.
A successful trip to the south
The tactic succeeded and Khrushchev became both party leader, prime minister, and leader of the Supreme Soviet per. 1957. High-level high treason, it is said in Russia today about Khrushchev's generosity. Crimea has been an autonomous republic of the Ukrainian state since 1991 and houses the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Sevastopol enclave, directly controlled from Kyiv and leased to Russia until 2042. The population is predominantly Russian with a significant minority of Tatars, descendants of the Crimean Khanate (Ottoman vassals) which dominated the north side of the Black Sea in periods before the 18th century.
The post-Soviet vacuum
In secluded Ukraine, the same thing happened as in Russia from 1991. The entire state property was sold at auction for safety pins and glossy pictures to factory directors and party functionaries, to those who saw their cut and seized the day. This is how the oligarchs arose - quite a few, but very rich, very vulgar, and also rich in highly self-serving political ambitions. They ruled Russia through the nineties and they still rule Ukraine. In Russia, they were parked by Putin, they can eventually also be in Ukraine. The result was, among other things, an adventurous corruption in both places. Respectively in the World's largest and Europe's largest country. Note that Russia's richest were communists in the eighties, the mafia in the nineties, and are businessmen today.
The development is well known in both places. In Russia, hit by a state bankruptcy in 1998, Putin was elected in 2000 and gradually brought the situation under control. The West would be little served by Ukrainian conditions in the nuclear power Russia (total collapse and anarchy). Ukraine is today a picture of Russia as it would have been from 1999 if the ship had been allowed to drift for wind and weather. I'll bring my ship home, thought the newly elected captain Putin in the shipwrecked Kremlin, and he has kept that promise. Russia is flourishing, and the Russians have regained their confidence. The Russians lost their self-confidence in 1991, and it was an ominous loss for world peace.
It is said of Yanukovych that he sought power to enrich himself. He did it because he allegedly recently sent his son abroad with 4 billion dollars in his pocket. On the other hand, it is said of Timoshenko that she enriched herself to seize power. She managed it because she was - high-heeled, short-sleeved, dark-haired, and quite flirty - Ukraine's richest woman in the nineties, with control over the energy sector. Had the first not put the second in prison, the second would have imprisoned the first. Same wool. Timoshenko has since acquired power through the discontent of the people.
For the people were dissatisfied. When everyone gets rich, there will be little in the treasury. The Ukrainian economy is an almost continuous recession and debt accumulation over 22 years. Ukraine has the world's most productive food soil. The thoroughly industrialized Ukraine is a ruin, a fabled ruin. No penny has been invested in Ukraine's armed forces. Soldiers with broken rifles, fighter jets stationed and rusting, a fleet that barely floats, 6,000 combat-ready soldiers against Russia, fighting morale at the absolute zero point, minus 273 degrees. Comparable to the country's wage level, social benefits, and administrative efficiency. In winter, Ukraine as a whole is heated and illuminated by Russia for borrowed money at reduced prices. The country is bottomless bankrupt. The oligarchs have milked Ukraine.
Maidan corresponds to the urban space between the Storting, the Palace, the City Hall, and the Courthouse. The dissatisfied people rallied to the Orange Revolution on the Maidan in 2004 and snatched the then newly elected provincial president and oligarch Yanukovych from power. He resigned, as is his custom, and handed over the board to a new set of oligarchs. The oligarchs who have today taken over the government and power in Kyiv, to cheers and horn music in the West, are exactly the same oligarchs who ruled from 2004 to 2010. It is believed that they have deserved a second chance. The Maidan was and is still today, a fully justified and legitimate popular demonstration against corruption, abuse of power, and misrule. In other words: The Maidan is justified, Putin said, most recently during the press conference following the decision to reserve the possibility of military intervention.
The Maidan movement did not reach its goal in 2004, because nothing improved, especially not the economy. The protest was overthrown by competing oligarchs. The Maidan movement will not reach its goal in 2014 either, because neither parliament, the government nor the president has real power. Moreover, they are not representative, neither for the Maidan nor the people nor legitimate. The new government sits, very uncomfortably, on needles, on the bayonets, sledgehammers, hammers, petrol bottles, and bats of the western Ukrainian Right Sector, an umbrella organization of about 20 fully and semi-fascist groups with well-trained, well-equipped, well-calculated, and well-coordinated stormtroopers. black shirts terrorize most parts of the country with arson, suicide, torture, lynching, and reprisals - and they want more. In the country is misgrowth and distress - the street reigns.
Latter-day Saints: Right Sector, EU and NATO
Let's recapitulate: Maidan II was established in the autumn of 2013. A highly justified protest against misrule, but with a couple of new elements, namely moral support and funding. Maidan II is funded by the West and by Timoshenko-loyal oligarchs. Some of these have been thanked this week as governors of the eastern Russian regions, apparently for buying their way out of the popular opposition to Kyiv.
US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, one of many US representatives on the ground, has reportedly spent $ 5 billion on the Maidan. Retired CIA employees say the number is significantly higher. It's hard to spend so much money in such a short time, so she's probably been holding on for a while. She has also handed out bowls to peaceful protesters who froze in the winter cold. It costs both money and buns, material and moral support, to keep thousands of protesters in place through the winter because they do not have work.
Moral support takes the form of foreign interference in Ukraine's internal affairs. NATO and the EU have had a permanent presence on Maidan II, with ambassadors, ministers, and MEPs shamelessly demanding the resignation and capitulation of the elected president. The European country that has not intervened in Russia - to the great sorrow of the Russian third of Ukraine, which does not want to know anything about either the EU or NATO. Maidan II is populated by ordinary protesters but controlled by the Conservatives. The operation is well planned, with efficient logistics and coordination - and Maidan II is not disbanded. The task is not completed.
The mountain has given birth to a mouse
In parliament, there was a majority and a minority, both wings bought and paid for by the oligarchs, of course. The majority, the Regional Party and the Communist Party, supported the legally elected President Yanukovych and his Prime Minister Azarov. The minority supported the Maidan. The Fatherland Party is now led by the new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former Foreign Minister under Timoshenko, and Acting President Alexander Turchinov, number two and three in Timoshenko's hierarchy. The Freedom Party is led by Oleg Tiagnibok, for years a notorious ultranationalist and anti-Semite. Heavyweight boxer Vitaly Klitschko leads the party with the apt name Slag (Udar). Klichko and Yatsenyuk are favorites in the West (because of their relatively spotless past - that's the future which is stained). The minority is elected as such and has no right to remove presidents, amend constitutions, remove constitutional courts, close TV channels, or pass laws.
The minority has long seen its chance, and the representatives have for months appealed to the Maidan and declared themselves the leaders of the movement. But they are not. The Maidan is ruled by completely different forces, namely the Nazis. The new government in Kyiv lacks its own power base.
Yanukovych turns on EU affairs
Then it gets worse, after Yanukovych's reversal in the EU case. He had discovered that an accelerated EU membership would lead to tariffs on Russian goods and that the demand for Ukrainian goods is minimal in Europe. You can not have it both ways. Administrative buildings and arsenals are occupied by masked stormtroopers, first in western Ukraine, then in central Ukraine, and in Kyiv. Local mayors are torn out of their offices, hauled out to the howling hordes, forced to their knees, beaten, chained to the nearest lamppost, showered with ice water and green paint, advised to sign their resignation under threat of reprisals against the family; they then disappear without a trace. But everything rolls and goes on the Russian daily revue because now people have internet and camera in the same pocket. In the eastern and southern regions, in the Donbas, the Russian people surround the public buildings and defend their elected representatives against bats, but are currently fighting on a receding front.
In Kyiv, very spectacular barricades are organized by burning car wheels, equipped with bats, sledgehammers, catapults with cobblestones, and petrol bottles thrown at the unarmed defenders of parliament, government officials, and presidential administration. The defenders go up in flames for the open stage. Then the weapons appear. Snipers from the Conservative Party are starting to fire from the roofs, both on their own and on the unarmed security forces guarding the most central buildings. The Russians have deployed ballistic expertise to prove it. The tactic is clear: Create the illusion that Yanukovych is shooting at peaceful protesters.
Yanukovych had sent the army and police out into the country. Even though he is a bad president, he does not want to be accused of shooting at the people. They are defending themselves for a couple of tragic days against armed rebellion. Russian media reported all the way that the shots were provocations from rebels who shoot both ways to raise the temperature. This was also known to the EU's Foreign Minister Baroness Catherine Ashton, who was confirmed by the Estonian Foreign Minister in an intercepted conversation she concealed. Noblesse oblige.
The many burned and shot or tortured to death (Berkut - eagles ) are today martyrs with saint status throughout Russia and in the Russian regions of Ukraine. The question is not who fired first because it is clear. The question is why the West conceals or downplays information that the rebels fired both ways.
A cunning meeting and a coup
We are writing on February 20th. At this moment, literally, the whole of Russia, the public and the popular, is in moral armor. What is it with this elected president who is unable to defend his country, his people, and his office? Why does he not introduce a state of emergency, why does he not bring in the police, the army, the air force, and the navy? What will happen to the Russian third of the population? In what other country will the legitimate power allow armed gangs to occupy public buildings under cordial foreign acclamation? It boils down to all the mass media. But Yanukovych chooses a different course, perhaps after being whispered in Putin's words.
He convenes or is summoned, to a meeting with three EU foreign ministers, three minority representatives from parliament, and the Russian human rights ombudsman, Aleksandr Lugin. They negotiate all night and the next day, and on the morning of February 22, the agreement is signed by the president, three minority representatives, and three European foreign ministers. But not by the Russian human rights representative. It's been a hard day's night, he commented, loosely translated. Yanukovych has given up. New elections are to be called, a return is made to an earlier, parliamentary constitution and the opposition commits to demobilize armed gangs, investigate violence, abandon occupied buildings and dismantle the Maidan. The basis has been laid for a settlement of the conflict, the power slips over to the opposition in almost legal forms. An internationally guaranteed, binding, and legal basis has been laid for the opposition to take power.
But then no. Many want more. Nothing succeeds like success. The participants noticed that there is a thinning out among the defenders of the building they are sitting in. The stormtroopers put a decisive blow to the presidential administration's buildings. Then Yanukovych flees in shame, to avoid Gaddafi's bloody fate, but without firing, without relinquishing his prerogatives, and without leaving the country. Three European foreign ministers have no objection to throwing the paper in the bin that they have just signed. Three gentlemen in the new world, have forgotten their father and the school trip.
New laws on the assembly line
Then it goes fast. Parliament minority appoints a majority and deposes the president. It also abolishes the Constitutional Court and prosecutes members. The minority elects a prime minister and constitutes a national president. The two majority parties are in practice banned and gagged. Many majority representatives have to flee, many are insulted. The party offices are burned (with the current technical staff, who go up in smoke). The home of the chairman of the Communist Party is burned. The police are not to be seen.
A number of new laws are adopted. The first says that it is forbidden to speak Russian in Ukraine. If you speak Russian with your aunt on the tram, you can be convicted. The second law repeals the not-so-old 2010 ban on glorifying fascist organizations. Naturally enough, since the new government is at the mercy of these organizations. The third law calls for new elections and a referendum on the new regime.
Mobilization is printed. About one percent of the attendees attend the session, the rest are absent. When you call home to them, you get the lady talking, who answers that the man is looking for beer. It imports 300 mercenaries from Blackwater (now renamed Academi LLC ), heroically famous from Iraq, armed to the teeth. Russian journalists are denied entry. One closes critical TV channels and all Russian. Pro-Russian web portals are being closed. One does not liquidate the Maidan. No violent gangs are disarmed. State bankruptcy is declared, as in Denmark-Norway in 1813 after the war and the years of distress. One simply puts aside the agreement between the president, the opposition, and three European foreign ministers. You tour Europe and the USA with an extensive begging rod. A new day threatens.
Crimea, Kyiv, and Moscow
And when a new day threatens, people often find an answer themselves. Crime cooked by resentment and triumph. The Crimean parliament has been pro-Russian for 23 years, but the government is directly appointed from Kyiv. The now autonomous parliament overthrows the government and goes to the polls to elect a new prime minister, Sergei Aksionov, who enjoys strong support in Crimea, an election organized by President Vladimir Konstantinov. Parliament has almost unanimously declared Crimea an independent republic, broken all binding relations with Kyiv, and called a referendum on the republic's affiliation. Crimea now (for the first time) has a popularly elected government based on and supported by the people.
A referendum and independence should otherwise have been coordinated with the Ukrainian parliament, but because Ukraine has no legal government, it can not be questioned either.
Self-organized citizens took control of the land connection between Crimea and the mainland after threats of busloads and train sets with sledgehammers from the Conservatives and the Maidan (so-called friendship trains). A majority of Crimea's military installations voluntarily transfer to the Crimean new authorities, a small minority are loyal to Kyiv and are kept peacefully in check by locally armed militias. According to Russian TV, a couple of tense episodes were staged by Western TV, but everything goes peacefully, no one is shot. Kyiv declares the new regime in Crimea illegal. Crimea responds with an elected appeal for military support from Russia, addressed to President Putin.
With the right to kill
Following the ordinary constitutional process, Putin was given the mandate that now riots the seven seas, a mandate to use the Russian military in Ukraine if necessary to defend Russian life and security or other vital Russian interests. Putin's decision puts all of Russia in national ecstasy and his rating is approaching one hundred.
Russia's view is that a legitimate government has been overthrown in an armed uprising with Western support, that the state has ceased to exist and at least is illegitimate, that millions of compatriots are in immediate danger, that civil war is threatening, between fascists and democrats, and that Russia has a moral, popularly supported and legitimate duty under international law to intervene if necessary to ensure life, health, nuclear installations, and military objects.
Putin recently predicted that there would be no war, but if that were to happen, he reckoned that Russia's and Ukraine's own armed forces would be on the same side of the front. Russia's view is that the Western media are apparently being edited in Washington and Brussels and that in an overarching perspective we see the West's attempts to fill another void after the fall of the Soviet Union, a geopolitical continuation of the Cold War that never really ended. Russia will be fenced in and forced to its knees.
The West deliberately ignores or underestimates the following factors:
- The enormity of Russian social change from 1985 to 2014.
- The humiliation of the great power in the nineties - wounded national pride. Russia has brought the enemy close to life
- The West's four-hundred-year-old and pre-international efforts to weaken Russia.
- The suspicious unanimity of the Western media (reminiscent of almost unanimous Norwegian press support for the United States in Vietnam in the 1960s).
- Lack of Western understanding of Russian processes (to the extent that Kissinger must be taken as a witness to the demonization of Putin!).
If international relations are to be based on international law and mutual respect, and not on the law of the strongest (such as Russia's position), there is no basis for disagreements between East and West. It is Russia that has weakened positions over the past 25 years, not the West. But Russia is reluctant to give up even more - which is the West's goal. Therefore, it is a discrepancy. Human rights and the free press are pretexts, not causes of the conflict. The press is less free in China. Everyone knows that, but almost no one talks about it. Human rights are weaker in the United States than in Russia, with only two identical and ultra-conservative parties, 40 million poor without a health guarantee, with the death penalty, Guantánamo, warfare on several continents, a spiritless media image, and a hegemonic perspective. Everyone knows that, but no weight is given to it. The United States celebrates on all fronts,
A word about the Right Sector
The right sector has the real power on the ground in two third parties of Ukraine. The leader, Dmitry Jarosh, is a hard nut to crack surrounded by strong guys. At the time of writing, he is declaring that the Conservative Party will become a political party, he will launch himself as a presidential candidate, he will take back Crimea and he will declare war on Moscow. He will crush the resistance in the Russian regions and he demands that all arms depots be opened to the Conservative Party. Three deputy defense ministers became anxious and thought it could be difficult. But when Prime Minister Yatsenyuk returned from Brussels, it was the three who were fired, not Jarosh, who according to Russian TV has rejected an offer to lead the country's internal security (sic).
The latest news is that his stormtroopers will be legalized and equipped with weapons and uniforms such as the National Guard, a paramilitary force alongside the army and police, which are demoralized and powerless. The Russian press is (almost) as anti-Western as the West is anti-Russian. In my opinion, there is at least as much press freedom in Russia as in the West, perhaps because Putin was able to stop the arrangement whereby each oligarch should have his own TV channel, as they still have in Ukraine. And in Ukraine, there is full press censorship. I can be wrong, and that's not the point here and now. The point is that the Prime Minister has neither the ability nor the will to secure the weapons stockpiles. Maybe that's why he's got American mercenaries.
A word about international law
The post-Soviet Russian opposition to regime change through foreign interference has always been argued under international law. Russia does not recognize the state of Kosovo on the grounds that the state is considered a product of external military intervention by NATO. Nevertheless, the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2010 declared that Kosovo's secession from Serbia is not contrary to international law. The reason was that no article in general international law prohibits a part of a state from establishing itself as its own state. The NATO states that forced Kosovo's secession are the same ones that today recognize the illegal regime in Kyiv, and under the guise of international law, Crimea denies the possibility of secession, autonomy, and unification with Russia.
Russia believes that the government in Kyiv is illegal, that the coup or revolution was carried out with Western support, that the new government has no control over the territory, and no power to protect its citizens, a very large part of whom are Russians. Russia recognizes Crimea's independence, welcomes Crimea's reunification with Russia, and ultimately reserves the right to defend Ukrainian citizens threatened by the Kyiv government. The argument is partly historical, partly humanitarian, partly under international law.
International law obviously applies to both sides of a front and is applied differently in parallel cases. Therefore, the author has a comment at his own expense:
International law is a consensus jurisdiction based on a minimum common multiple of possible agreements between very different countries and regimes. Because we do not have a world parliament, we also do not have a legally binding world law. We have agreements. They can be entered into and broken, with the consequences of breaking agreements, which are highly varied and cyclical. International law is a double-edged sword. Heads of state have equipped themselves with internal elbow room in relative external security through a set of agreements.
A majority of the countries that international law binds are even to a limited extent democratic, so international law does not spring from the people in that way either. The only means of international law are decisions in the Security Council on the use of military force and sanctions. The power of the UN is limited by the veto states. International law is ultimately attributable to the right of the strongest, not to the right of the people.
A state act does not become good or evil by being outside or within international law. International law has no moral categories, only legal ones, to the extent that negotiated power can be called legal.
A state can do a great deal of harm under the guise of international law - that is one of the reasons why it could be united. Saddam Hussein's treatment of his own people is an example because the war against him was contrary to international law.
A state can do a great deal of good that is never recognized by international law. The defense of South Ossetia and Abkhazia against Georgian aggression in 2008 is an example.
Because international law is the right of the strongest, and not, for example, the right of the just, international law comes into a practical application only in minor cases, where the great powers have peripheral, mixed, or divided interests. Typically in "African" conflicts.
China's annexation of Tibet and the US ravages in South America is contrary to international law, but who will use force against such strong states?
International law has many intricate sections and a much-disputed precedent. All warring parties will, if possible, have international law on their side because it gives a semblance of legitimacy. The problem is that the amoral concept of international law is used morally by politicians and by the press, also by professors who are asked and should certainly be better. The subject of international law is abused in politics. To a colossal degree. The people, the press, and politicians believe or pretend to believe, that state acts compatible with international law are automatically morally high. This unconscious misconception - or deliberate misinterpretation - can stir up entire continents in a new cold war that few will benefit from. And it is misinterpreted every day in Norway. One notices the intention and is dissatisfied.
It is forbidden to occupy Crimea. Ergo, the West must claim that Russia has occupied Crimea. It is also forbidden to make a revolution against legally elected authorities in Kyiv. Ergo, Russia must claim that Crimea is the only remaining legitimate part of a Ukraine that has ceased to exist as a subject of international law.
East and West invoke international law and the reader can safely be guided by highly personal preferences in his or her position under international law for or against the EU, NATO, and Russia.
Jeppe on the mountain.
(Norwegian saying for ignorance)
And in Norway, journalists close their eyes, stick their fingers in their ears, open their mouths and say immensely stupid, meaningless, politically correct, kind, and humane that they are very proud of and that they have heard on CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera English and in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And then the journalists ask kind young Ukrainian ladies from northern Norway if it is not true that this Putin is very naughty. Yes, yes. Quite correct. He's very naughty. Tragedy comedy is a respected genre, but one should not be invited to laugh at tragedies, and not at all in the middle of the fifth act. We do not yet know whether there will be war, civil war or peace in Ukraine, the cold war for another thirty years, or a third world war.
The foregoing is, with the exception of a few marked author comments, in its entirety a concentrate of the Russian point of view, as I experience it in various Russian mass media, a view that is hardly reproduced, and hardly demanded, here in the giants' fatherland. One could hear the same as I have written, if one had asked ordinary Russians in Russia, in Ukrainian Donbas or Kharkiv, or in Crimea. So if you had asked to get an answer, not to get the wrong conclusion confirmed. I have not seen the coverage on CNN, BBC, NRK, or Al-Jazeera, but I understand it to mean that Kyiv is considered a legal and perfectly decent government.
I challenge our dominant neo-traditional Cold War intoxication phobias to challenge my rendition. And to dispute the validity of the point of view. We are on the wrong side.