The Ukraine crisis has not yielded the desired anti-Russian results for Washington and is unlikely to in the future. Meanwhile the dysfunctional country is a liability to any sponsor.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Two small news items have not received much attention recently, and yet they might be the signs of something big happening:
Poroshenko has fired the notorious head of the equally notorious Security Service of Ukraine or SBU: Valentin Nalivaichenko.
Sergei Ivanov, the powerful Deputy Prime Minister of Russia has stated that the U.S. and Russia have created a bilateral communications channel on the Ukraine run by Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, for the U.S. and Grigorii Karasin, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, for Russia. The official reason for that was "not to complicate" the already delicate “Normandy-format”.
So on one hand, we have Kerry and Nuland who came to Russia and who, by all accounts, got nothing of what they asked for but who are now getting a “communications channel”, while at the same time, the 100% U.S.-controlled Nalivaichenko, who is rumored to be an actual CIA agent recruited many years ago, is booted out by Poroshenko. Rumor also has it that Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs, will be next to be kicked out.
These two will now communicate?
There might be no connection here, but my guess is that there is.
The reason why Nalivaichenko was fired is not so much because of the various corruptions scandals he --- and all other junta members --- were involved in as much as it is Poroshenko’s attempt to place “his” men in all key (power) positions. That, in turn, shows that his regime is getting weaker, not stronger -- hence the need to strengthen and consolidate.
I also believe that the Americans are fully aware of this process and this is why they now want a direct channel of communication with Russia: because they fully realize that the only two powers that matter in reality are the U.S. and Russia, especially now that events are getting out of control in Kiev.
One of the best Ukraine specialists out there, Ishchenko, is now saying that the U.S. has concluded that the Ukraine is a total mess and that it is now trying to get out at the least possible cost. I tend to agree with this explanation, though I am not as confident as Ishchenko that we will see this political pullout play out this year.
Because make no mistake: the $300 million allocated by Congress to arm the Ukraine is a joke. A drop of water into a desert. It will change nothing. Most of it will be stolen and the rest will be wasted.
The expected Ukrainian attack on Novorussia has not happened either, and while the rhetoric in Kiev is more bellicose than ever, and while the Ukrainian forces along the line of contact are constantly shelling Novorussia, no real, full scale, attack has happened. Could it be that the Ukrainians are truly afraid of the consequences of an always possible Novorussian counterattack?
It is also becoming increasingly obvious that the U.S. has failed to isolate Russia and that the Russia economy is doing way better than anybody, including the Kremlin, had expected.
So if the Ukraine cannot be used to mount a military attack on Novorussia with the goal of force Russia to intervene, and if the civil war in the Ukraine has failed to produce the kind of isolation and sanctions against Russia which Washington wanted -- then what is the use of the Ukraine to Uncle Sam?
Yes, sure, there is the port of Odessa, and some industrial and natural resources that Western corporations will be able to acquire for a fraction of its value, but these benefits pale in comparison with the immense costs of somehow tackling the huge economic, social and political problems of the Ukraine.
It will come to that sooner or later anyway. The U.S. made an unholy mess of Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and it always ended up getting out, at least politically. Why should it be different for the Ukraine?
I submit that if the U.S. analysts came to the conclusion that there is no hope of forcing Russia to sent her forces into the Donbass then the Ukraine becomes useless. The chances of Russia doing so appear to be very close to zero right now. True, there is the very dangerous situation in Transnistria which might, really, force Russia to intervene, but for some reason the U.S. does not seem to be eager to trigger an immediate crisis. Could it be that the U.S. is holding Transnistria as a bargaining chip against Russia in a “you don’t make things too bad for us or else…” kind of strategy? Maybe. I honestly don’t know.
It will be interesting to see of Avakov get’s booted out next and how the various Ukrainian nazi death-squads will react to the firing of their patrons in Kiev.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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