Ukraine, cronicle of a drift foretold

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Creato: 01 Luglio 2015 Ultima modifica: 13 Ottobre 2016
Scritto da Gianfranco Greco Visite: 1893

[IT]

“A revolution? No, a simple redistribution of papers…This government defends the same values of the previous one: economic liberalism and personal enrichment.” (Vladimir Ishschenko, sociologist and director of the Center of society research in Kiev)

 

Majdan

 

The composite Ukrainian puzzle, emerged from the month of February of this year and emblematized by Majdan events, has in effect a very older gestation, picking which meaning we can follow the train of thought, avoiding in this way a recurring ritualism of the mainstream press, but above all the eccentricity of the one who is playing with double standards or, more over, the soporific  speeches at Ceronetti’s manner, and who, ending by  feeding a still enduring demonology, resorts to vacuous litanies, taking inspiration from “La Russie éternelle”, even if – in an impulse of kindness– spare us the evocation of the mythic 7th Cavalrymen.

 

Of course, it is not using partisanship as a distinctive parameter, but  above all as an interpretation key, that we can completely understand what it is happening in Kiev or in Damascus and not even what  happened in Tunis, in Ankara or in Cairo.
Referring to the modern forms of Imperialism, in order to interpret Ukrainian current crisis, is not a blasphemous exercise which may make wrinkle our nose, where it is always clearer the feeling that the real main characters of this matter are not only the neo-Nazi maces or the Donbass Russian-speakers, as Barbara Spinelli, with her usual clarity, explains: “Russia strives for recaptures just like NATO and Washington. It makes expansive wars in Chechenia while the USA, passively followed by Europe, make illegal wars, beginning from Iraq” [1], completing what Marco D’Eramo has before stressed on “Pagina 99”, saying “Today Putin’s Russia and “West” share an equal vision, based on the search of profit and power: in everything, except that an argument, and that is who must have these profit and power.” [2]
Nobody denies that the Ukrainian situation has its peculiarities, showing also and mainly in a context marked by an immovable contraposition – between two fronts – coming from so far and that has been implemented in these difficult decades, following the Soviet Empire breaking up, an economic, social and demographic crisis, having as most significant secondary phenomena a vertical and generalized fall of incomes and a massive emigration towards foreign countries (in the last years almost two millions of people have left Ukraine). It starts, because of these reasons, the usual corollary of rebellions, born from a widespread discomfort and on which some never soothed resentment insert while leading men skillfully add fuel on their fuel, aiming manifestly to a “regime changé” to defend their temporary interests and, moreover, their goals to pursue.

 

Why a drift foretold?

 

Because of the fact that the warning signs have already shown themselves since 1991, when the USA and European allies move in order to capitalize at most the new political situation, caused by the Soviet Empire implosion, proposing again a revised version of Hitleran memory “Drang nach Osten” (Push towards East), realizing with the encapsulation in NATO – USA ‘longa manus’, with IMF – of the ex-Warsaw Pact countries, from the Baltic republics to Albania, included ex-Yugoslavian republics. Nonetheless, according the American geo-political analyst Peter Zeihan, Russia defeat in 2004 was not total, yet. Evidently, there was still one lacking piece to complete Russia encirclement in the post-Soviet space and this piece was represented by Ukraine, considered, already in 1994, by Zbigniew Brzezinski, an essential country in the new geo-strategic balances to be taken away from Russia in order to transfer it under NATO and USA protection, further specifying how from 2005 to 2010 Ukraine would have been ready for a serious debate with NATO, because – they said – the most important security unit in Europe would be set up by Germany, France, Poland and Ukraine. On the other hand, the Russian political analyst of extreme right Aleksandr Dugin affirmed, in 2001, how “Ukraine sovereignty represents for Russian geo-politics  such a  pernicious phenomenon that, in principle, it can easily activate an armed conflict. Ukraine, as an autonomous state and not without any territorial ambitions, represents a huge problem for the entire Eurasia. Under the strategic point of view, Ukraine has to be only a Moscow projection towards South and West.”
We wanted to consider these declarations just to highlight not only the respective positions incompatibility, but  above all to stress how a certain intense activity had already started since some time, aimed at obtaining a substantial region, seen as a sort of “Lebensraum” ( vital space), not to be left disregarded, having however full awareness of the oppositions to face and of the prices to pay.
Seeing that some remarkable difficulties to let Ukraine join NATO and EU and to install there American bases were enduring, the USA, in order to overturn Yanukovich pro-Russian government, did not scruple at all to lean on neo-Nazi groups, such as Pravy Sektor or Svodoba, that, operating in concert with American institutions and foundations such as CIA, Freedom House, Open Society Institute, have fulfilled that “regime change” for which they had worked on since a long time.
To this, a Russian answer/revenge has symmetrically corresponded, that, fomenting Russian-speaking Ukrainan nationalism, has led to Crimea secession and some Donbass region self-determination.

 

Eurasia

 

At his time, Zbigniew Brzezinski explained: “Soviet Union collapse  made the USA become the first and only really global power, with an unprecedented and uncontested world hegemony. But will it be the same also in the future? For the USA, the most important geo-political prize is represented by Eurasia, the biggest continent in the world, occupying – geo-politically speaking – an axial position, where about the 75% of world population live and a great part of world richness, both industrial and in the subsoil, is concentrated. This continent affects for about the 60% the world GNP and for the ¾ the known energetic resources. Eurasia is therefore the chessboard on which we keep on playing the game for global supremacy.” [3] And this is, in a nutshell, the strong thought innervating USA foreign politics, from the Soviet Union decline onwards, passing through ex-Yugoslavia decay to the current Ukrainian events.
But in operative terms, in what this philosophy is translated? Which are or which will become the contexts within which some geo-political games will be played? The Georgian sequence with Ossetia and Abkhazia backlashes together with what is happening in Ukraine, proves how this areas – Caucasus and Ukraine – are fundamentally important to monitor the entire Asiatic continent. In clearer words, it means to monitor the three great powers: China, that is becoming the first world economy, replacing exactly the USA, India and, indeed, Russia.
Evidently, Washington values particularly this geo-political prize, although the world context has deeply changed with the end of unipolarity and with the rising up of new actors in global geo-politics, actors more interested in temporary accords than in real alliances. This determines an extreme position and situation of  precariousness and instability, resulting in conflicts more or less hidden but exploding when certain “red lines” are overpassed.

 

This is the case of Ukraine

 

“Washington does not want to see stolen any of the conquered ‘prizes’ after the end of the Cold War. The booty is remarkable: all the Warsaw Pact countries are now firmly anchored to the Western world and part of NATO. The same is valid for Baltic republics. We have snatched up the 95% of what was put up for grabs after the end of Cold War. Ukraine is part of the remaining 5%. It is easy to understand Moscow determination to preserve the scraps.” This is asserted by an American expert of military and diplomatic history, Andrew Bacevich, who warns about the possibility of an escalation, all the more so  if we consider that it could be at stake: “the balkanization and the decay of the biggest State in the world, provided with a priceless mining treasure and with a more than remarkable nuclear arsenal.” [4]
If we add the simple consideration that, if Ukraine would concretely enter into the Western influenced zone, this would cause the failure of the Euro-Asiatic Union project, that is the reconstitution, according to Moscow intentions, of a geo-political force to which unite Byelorussia, center-Asiatic republics, Caucasus, able, therefore, to reconstitute the Soviet space and to counterbalance, in this way, the Occident, it is then explained how Moscow does not hesitate to resort to economic and military pressures in order to defend interests considered legitimate. Ukraine, like Caucasus, are its ‘backyard’, or  better saying: nothing different from what Occident has always made in its influence areas. Do you remember the Monroe’s doctrine?

 

Sanctions: Adelante, Pedro, con juicio

 

We hope Manzoni will not take offence if we have gleaned from his “The Betrothed” in order to represent, unfortunately, an obscene farce showing the several actors fluttering about, everyone concentrated on  measuring - pro its own domo and in no particular order – the economic sanctions to apply towards Russia after the annexation, manu militari, of Crimea.  We had no need of a crystal ball to foretell such a move. It was from the “Orange Revolution” in 2004 that Moscow, as a precaution, in the case the situation  unfavorably developed, took active steps for an intense Russification campaign of population. Not only. There was Sevastopol.  There was the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. It was necessary to take possession of the only gate of access in Mediterranean. From here the sanctions. Since the beginning, it was evident how they were wanted above all by the USA, because of the fact that, after all, the economic relations USA-Russia are modest: only 40 billion of interchange a year against the 460 billion between Russia and European Union. This explains in abundance European resistances, but not only. In fact, Germany is not the only one that does not agree, but also England, usually following the USA, shows a certain opposition, due to the fact that Russians are among the main investors of the City. Even the modest Belgium shows signs of irritability, because rough diamonds worked in Anvers come largely from the Urals. It is funny, to say the least, that even Manhattan estate market, in which the inevitable Russian oligarchs take part in these coral jeremiads, has enrolled.

 

Modern Imperialism and multinational

 

Of course, we cannot omit the effect that these sanctions would have on Russian gas export, destined to Europe for the 70%.  Friedbert Plueger, expert in energetic resources, launches a warning: “Russians need to sell us gas as we need to buy it. Dependency is reciprocal: we depend on Russian gas and  Russia depends on the resulting earnings. We all must be careful not to start a sanction escalation damaging both the factions and generating uncertainties that would weigh on European juncture.” [5]
Evidently, in Washington and Brussels different evaluations prevail, if professor Gabriel Felbermayer of the Munich Economic Studies Institute explains which is the weight of this dilemma for Berlin: “A commercial war against Russia would cause a big damage to German which is the world’s second largest exporter. Germany exports to Russia 3% of its export. If this export falls, in the worst case, Germany would lose the 1,2% of its GNP. In EU as a whole, the loss would be about the 1% of GNP.” [6]
The economies of exporter countries would mostly feel the effects of these sanctions, and, in the specific case of Germany, sectors such as machinery, automotive, chemical ones would be affected, determining a situation in which the federal government, on one hand, has to express solidarity with its allies, but, on the other hand, it has to face the hostility of industry, trade unions and civil society to launch measures that would throw back against Germany. Measures that, over a long time, would invalidate the albeit theoretical chances of recovery of the entire European Union.

 

But then: is this  war through a third person only against Russia or also, or first of all, against Europe?

 

If many evidences make a proof, well, in this case, it would only be spoilt for choice. We just mention  some of them, among the most significant ones: it has been always undersized the fact that USA – through the “Trojan horse” called NATO – have promptly inserted the USSR ex-satellite countries in the Atlantic Alliance, but, above all, the fact that the USA have always made efforts in order to take part in the EU, despite the terms advanced by this last. How could we explain all this interest?
For three orders of reasons:
- The EU expansion towards the East represented in itself a rampart compared to Russia.
- Moreover this expansion, with its own dilatation effect, according to a physic law, meant to dilute the EU specific weight.
-The EU advance towards East did a whole with the parallel NATO advance.
In few words: it  was about picking many birds with one stone! But there is also something more: the Ukrainian matter lends itself to an interpretation that shows some analogies with Kippur war, in 1973, and with the oil shock – not necessarily planned, but however supported by the iron pact between Washington and Riyadh [7] – derived from it. It was a matter, also by that time, to raise – by means of a war – the oil price.
And in which currency was this oil price denominated? In dollars. Today, by causing a war in Ukraine, it would be prevented, de facto, that Russia exports its gas in Europe, fact that would allow, on the one hand, to keep the price high– permitting in this way to reabsorb most of that “quantitative easing” (officially 80 billion of dollars a month), so as to remove the threat of an hyper-inflation – and, on the other hand, to induce Europe to fall back on the shale gas made in the USA.
Actually, these are a little hasty costs. American geologists, a bit more serious and much less servile than many of our opinion makers, affirm, indeed, how the main shale oil formations in the USA are destined to an “absolute” productive decline in less than seven years. From here, the acceleration that the USA are trying to impose on the shale gas exportation, passing casually on the fact that such an exportation cannot exclude the rebuilding in American coast harbors of appropriate and complex terminals and suitable regasification installations in Europe, among other things,  over a period of many years.
“They are only dreaming and this is happening with shale boom”, so an investment manager as Tim Gramatovich summarizes to the best.  But the misfortune is that behind these dreams, it is revealing, in always more peremptory terms, a vision of the world for which “It does not end the right of the USA to intervene, also militarily, in any places of the planet where American interests are threatened.” [8]
That is, everywhere, and this causes unavoidable collisions with other imperialistic power interests.
Ukraine is a plastic representation of this fact. The inserted  short circuit sees a feet apart of interests with Russia, that does not settle the rang of a continental power and it does not make mystery, therefore, to long for entering again in the game of big powers, with strong arguments such as a priceless mining estate and energetic resources, a nuclear arsenal added to armed forces by way of a speed modernization, considerable currency reserves tied to oil export, and an Occident at first glance marching united, even if the long term  aims tend to diverge. To go further into the content: if Germany (we use this “reduction ad unum”, given the remaining part of EU irrelevance) considers Ukraine a phase of its expansion towards East, interpreted as a market way out for its goods but also as an acquisition of low cost labor force for its preeminent productive industrial vocation, taken in the account its financial and military Nazism with respect to American power. The same Ukraine of which Brzezinski, in his mentioned book, stressed the importance, so much so he affirmed that “without Ukraine, Russia would cease to be an Empire in Eurasia”, and that, in the Russian strategic vision, would take part of that connector between Europe and Asia-Pacific region, that is the Euro-Asiatic corridor “Razvitie”.

 

Stuck at a crossroads

 

It is a difficult exercise to say towards what the situation is evolving, considering, particularly, the turn that events in Donbass are taking. It is clear, indeed, by now, that Crimea has taught its doctrine so that the South-East Russian speaking provinces - incidentally, the most rich – have embodied their radical positions, creating the self-proclaimed State of Malorossija (Little Russia). All this has perhaps become unavoidable after Kiev has never practically actualized the autonomy statute, from which, formally, Ukrainian provinces with a preeminent Russian connotation would have enjoyed its benefits. Moreover, the abolition of Russian – among the first new government acts – as official second language, in addition to the entry in the government of Pravy Sektor Nazi junks,  has set on fire the powders of a revolt sponsored by Moscow, very capable to tickle that Big-Russian feeling, of membership, that identity code typical of Russian minorities living in the ex-Soviet republics.
But it is the entire Ukraine that, on the verge of default for an economic situation at the limit of sustainability, released by the Russian energetic blackmail, could sink into a new blackmail: that of IMF artful solidarity, expressing in the measures on top with Neo-Liberalism: budget cuts of 15% with the annexed austerity, disappearance of many firms, wage freeze and resetting of social state. Enveloped in the net of the nationalist idiocy – both Ukrainian, Russian and Tartar –, Ukrainian proletariat is heading for the same slippery slope of Egyptian, Tunisian, Brazilian, Turkish, Syrian one: to be manipulated, to be used as a shock force by the several fringes of international bourgeoisie, which goal is the exclusive enrichment, passing also and first of all on entire countries destruction.
The conclusion of a document produced by the organization AWU (Autonomous Workers Union) in Kiev is its more than eloquent demonstration: “This is not our war, but the victory of government will mean the defeat of workers. The victory of opposition, furthermore, does not promise nothing good. We cannot ask proletariat to sacrifice itself for the good and the interests of opposition. We think that the involvement parameters in this conflict are a matter of personal choices.” [9]
In other words: we do not ask proletarians to sacrifice themselves for the opposition, but if the homeland calls…

 

Notes

 

[1] Barbara Spinelli – “Ritorno all’Ottocento” – La Repubblica, March 5th, 2014
[2] Marco D’Eramo – “Pagina 99” – February 25th, 2014
[3] Zbigniew Brzezinski – “La grande scacchiera”
[4] Lucio Caracciolo – “Il destino in gioco” –La Repubblica, February 8th, 2014
[5] Andrea Tarquini – “No all’escalation delle minacce, quel gas ci serve” – La Repubblica, March 16th, 2014
[6]A. Tarquini – “Se ci saranno sanzioni contro Mosca l’UE perderà l’1% del PIL” – La Repubblica, March 30th, 2014
[7] Paolo C. Conti , Elido Fazi – “Euroil”
[8] Alberto Flores D’Arcais: “Obama: ‘Nostra la guida del mondo’” – La Repubblica, May 29th, 2014
[9] Autonomous Workers Union, Kiev –“Dichiarazione sulla situazione in Ucraina” – February 21th, 2014.