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Ukraine Civil War Sitrep: Protests, Disorder, Far Right Antics

In other news:

  • US says it won't train the likes of Ukraine's Azov battalion
  • Negotiations on Ukraine economy deadlocked
  • Russia sanctions won't come down, but neither will Russia capitulate

This article originally appeared at The Unz Review


With things relatively quiet, the Right Sector, Azov, and sundry “activists” and other freaks tend to run amok, and this is pretty much what’s been happening this past week.

Kiev gay pride march violently dispersed by Right Sector after 30 mins (the Guardian feigns ignorance on the identities of the assailants). As Alexander Mercouris explains, following their betrayal by Yanukovych and the Maidan cooup, the Ukrainian security services are terminally demoralized and can no longer be relied upon to maintain regime stability. But far right hoodlums are more reliable. So their criminality and thuggishness has to be tolerated, even when it goes against the regime’s cargo cult efforts to ingratiate itself with the Western white men (e.g. by allowing an LGBT parade). Only in the most extreme cases, like that of Alexander “What bitch will take the gun from my hands” Muzychko and Vita Zaverukha, does the regime dare crack down on them.

A mob of 40 masked thugs carried out a series of knife attacks in Kharkov that landed three people in hospital in serious condition. The Russian consulate in Kharkov was pelted with paint and eggs. Some more Lenin statues went down, but that’s not really news since it happens near every week. (If Ukrainians so greatly want to purge the man who did more than any other to create Ukraine as we know it, Russians should not complain). Euromaidan and Right Sector activists occupied the Communist Party office in Odessa. In Kiev, activists set up tents and demanded the overthrow of Poroshenko. Right Sector marched in Lvov against Poroshenko, yelling traditional classics such as “Glory to the Nation,” “Glory to Ukraine,” “Putin khuylo” (“Putin is a dickhead”) interspersed with newer creations like “Poroshenko khuylo” and “Yatsenyuk khuylo.” Here is what one activist had to say about it:

Poroshenko’s regime is no better than Yanykovych’s. It’s the absolute same! Patriots are sitting in prison. At the same time, Poroshenko and his team gave the LGBT community the go ahead to have a gay parade in Kiev. Sane people, with traditional values and normal morals, decided to protest this degeneracy. They were made into criminals and terrorists, and locked up. Did the Heavenly Hundred fight so that Ukrainian patriots ended up in prison? People, prepare for the worst, tighten your belts, for nothing good will come from this regime. We have to unite. Only the people can take everything in their own hands, and not some oligarchs of non-Ukrainian lineage.”

While we wish them the best in their glorious struggle, unfortunately at least up till now they have been all bark and no bite when it came to confrontations with the Poroshenko regime. Because… see above. Birds of a feather flock together.

US Won’t Train Azov

azov-emblem

Because they are Neo-Nazis. Here is what its head Andrey Biletsky has to say about its ideology:

The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.

Its emblem features not one, not two, but THREE, Nazi-associated symbols.

Although it goes against the traditional no-fascists-in-Ukraine line generally adopted in Western rhetoric, I suppose that doing anything otherwise is just a tad too much in the way of hypocrisy overload.

But politics aside, this is rather fortunate, since enthusiasm for fighting in the ATO is much lower amongst typical Ukrainians who are not far right nutters. And not only lower enthusiasm, but probably lower competence too: According to those same American instructors, Ukrainian soldiers don’t know even the most elementary things, such as turning up for training without their helmets and putting unexploded grenades in their pockets.

ATO Chronicles

A deserter from the ATO was arrested for raping his one year old daughter. This is far from the first case of Ukrainian soldiers losing their minds once they get back from the war, inflicting a continuing toll on society, and it will not be the last. No wonder that even according to the commander of the pro-Kiev batallion Tornado, some 99% of the people he knows in Donbass hate Ukraine by now.

An advisor to Poroshenko confirms that junta casualties are systemically underestimated (see the last sitrep for background).

LNR/DNR, Crimea, Federalism

The story – seized upon by the Ukrainian media – about the DNR/LNR refusing to recognize Crimea as Russian, unsurprisingly and predictably, turned out to be complete BS.

As seasoned Russia expert Paul Robinson points out, insofar as all this reintegration with Ukraine talk is concerned, the “DNR is merely going through the motions,” almost certainly doing so under Russian pressure, which in turn is connected with Minsk 2 and the hope of reversing Western sanctions.

Ukraine Economy

Negotiations deadlocked. IMF says it will continue support Ukraine regardless, because it is implementing reforms. But creditors can sue because in the case of a default (or a “moratorium” on repaying debt, but that’s really the same thing), which is looking ever more imminent, they can make the case that they should be compensated first.

Sanctions

If Putin was counting on Minsk 2 to make the EU ease up on sanctions when they are up for review this July, the chances of that are slipping, with Obama maintaining that sanctions will be maintained after the G7 meeting and the EU Parliament Vice President Richard Charnetsky even touting the possibility of Russia being cut off from SWIFT (the economic “nuclear” option).

One of the main criticisms of Putin from the patriotic/nationalist right (e.g. Sputnik i Pogrom, El Murid) has been that if you are going to rob a bank, you might as well take $1 billion (Novorossiya) instead of $1 million (Crimea). Either way, the bank and the feds (the US/West) will be out hard for your ass. It’s a pretty simple-minded argument, all things considered, but if the sanctions continue or especially if they are stepped up even further, then it will be only further fuel for their wrath, and that is something Putin would wish to avoid. So at a minimum we can be sure that tightening sanctions will be unlikely to have the effects that the US wants, i.e. Russia’s capitulation in Ukraine.


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