Ukraine–Day 63

“Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.” Carl von Clausewitz

“In every war zone that I’ve been in, there has been a reality and then there has been the public perception of why the war was being fought. In every crisis, the issues have been far more complex than the public has been allowed to know.” John le Carre

“For governments at war, the media is an instrument of war or an element in war that is to be controlled.” Bruce Jackson

The fighting continues….the refugees suffer…..and the equipment pours in……death and destruction prevails…..

Today let us take a look at the so-called Russian offensive…..

This is a report compiled by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW)……

Russian forces have adopted a sounder pattern of operational movement in eastern Ukraine, at least along the line from Izyum to Rubizhne. Russian troops are pushing down multiple roughly parallel roads within supporting distance of one another, allowing them to bring more combat power to bear than their previous practice had supported. Russian troops on this line are making better progress than any other Russian advances in this phase of the war. They are pushing from Izyum southwest toward Barvinkove and southeast toward Slovyansk. They are also pushing several columns west and south of Rubizhne, likely intending to encircle it and complete its capture. The Russian advances even in this area are proceeding methodically rather than rapidly, however, and it is not clear how far they will be able to drive or whether they will be able to encircle Ukrainian forces in large numbers.

Russian forces on the Izyum axis likely benefit from the absence of prepared Ukrainian defensive positions against attacks from the Kharkiv direction toward Donbas. Ukraine has prepared to defend the line of contact with Russian-occupied Donbas since 2014, and Russian troops continue to struggle to penetrate those prepared defenses—as shown by repeated Russian efforts to take Avdiivka, just north of Donetsk City, or to advance through Popasna, just beyond the original line of contact.

Russian troops continued to attack Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol, including in the Azovstal Plant, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that there is no more fighting in the city. Ukrainian forces likely still hold important positions beyond the plant itself, and Russian forces continue to fight outside the plant, bomb the plant, and assault positions near the plant. Putin’s order not to chase Ukrainian defenders into the tunnels and catacombs of the facility evidently did not preclude continued efforts to secure at least the entire perimeter of the plant and likely also the important M14 highway that runs along it to the north and northwest.

Russia is staging false-flag attacks in Transnistria, Moldova, likely setting conditions for further actions on that front. The two motorized rifle battalions Russia has illegally maintained in Transnistria since the end of the Cold War are not likely sufficient to mount a credible attack on Odesa by themselves, nor are the Russians likely to be able to reinforce them enough to allow them to do so. They could support more limited attacks to the northwest of Odesa, possibly causing panic and creating psychological effects to benefit Russian operations in the south of Ukraine.

Russia may also seek to destabilize Moldova itself, however. Comments by the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic and other Russian officials and proxies raise the possibility that Putin might recognize the self-styled Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) in Transnistria as he recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The PMR could then ask for additional Russian protection, and Putin could attempt to send some additional forces or capabilities to Transnistria. Any such activities would greatly raise tensions and fears in Moldova and neighboring Romania, putting additional pressure on NATO, possibly giving Putin a cheap “win,” and distracting from Russia’s slog in eastern Ukraine.

Continued indications that Russian forces intend to hold referenda to establish “people’s republics” in occupied areas of southern Ukraine raise the possibility that Putin intends to unveil an array of new “independent” “people’s republics” as part of a Victory Day celebration. The forecast cone is wide, and there is as yet no solid basis to assess one path as much more likely than another. But the false-flag attacks and Russian and Russian proxy reactions to them are alarming, and it behooves NATO and the West to consider the most dangerous courses of action and prepare to meet them.

Keep in mind that this group has major defense funding so their analysis maybe a bit skewed.

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UN Security Council Veto

While the conflict rages in Ukraine….and the idiots here in the US like MTG and Trump and Gaetz mouth their lunacies there is a big story on the international stage…..the UN.

There are 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and all it takes to kill any legislation is one member to veto the action.

How moronic is that?

First we should ask why 5 permanent members?

The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (also known as the Permanent Five, Big Five, or P5) are the five sovereign states to whom the UN Charter of 1945 grants a permanent seat on the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

According to Oppenheim’s International Law : United Nations, “Permanent membership in the Security Council was granted to five states based on their importance in the aftermath of World War II.”

It is the 21st century and those dark days of WW2 are gone….time to re-think the Security Council.

The UN is doing just that…..

The United Nations is on Tuesday set to debate a provision that would require the five permanent members of the body’s Security Council – the United States, United Kingdom, France, China and Russia – to justify invoking their veto powers.

The reform to the Security Council has been floated for years at the UN but has regained new traction following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Currently, the five permanent members can veto any resolutions put forth by the Security Council. Meanwhile, the rotating 10 other members have no such power.

The latest proposal, put forth by Liechtenstein, is co-sponsored by 50 countries including the US. No other permanent members are currently co-sponsors, although France has indicated it will support the move, according to the AFP news agency.

The text of the proposal, obtained by the AFP, calls for the 193 members of the General Assembly to gather “within 10 working days of the casting of a veto by one or more permanent members of the Security Council, to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto was cast”.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/19/un-to-debate-security-council-permanent-member-veto-power

This is a major item for accountability….but most people will ignore this simply because they hate the UN for whatever reason….but I think that hatred is misplaced and I have let my thoughts on it be known…..

Why Hate The United Nations (UN)?

After WW2 and the founding of the UN much has happened……

World War II demonstrated this ugliness in the Holocaust and in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From Hiroshima and the Holocaust rose two mighty movements, one for peace and against the perils of further nuclear attacks, and the other for an end to the divisions of humanity and for a nonalignment from these divisions. The Stockholm Appeal of 1950, signed by 300 million people, called for an absolute ban on nuclear weapons. Five years later, 29 countries from Africa and Asia, representing 54 percent of the world’s population, gathered in Bandung, Indonesia, to sign a 10-point pledge against war and for the “promotion of mutual interests and cooperation.” The Bandung Spirit was for peace and for nonalignment, for the peoples of the world to put their efforts into building a process to eradicate history’s burdens (illiteracy, ill health, hunger) by using their social wealth. Why spend money on nuclear weapons when money should be spent on classrooms and hospitals?

Despite the major gains of many of the new nations that had emerged out of colonialism, the overwhelming force of the older colonial powers prevented the Bandung Spirit from defining human history. Instead, the civilization of war prevailed. This civilization of war is revealed in the massive waste of human wealth in the production of armed forces—sufficient to destroy hundreds of planets—and the use of these armed forces as the first instinct to settle disputes. Since the 1950s, the battlefield of these ambitions has not been in Europe or in North America, but rather it has been in Africa, Asia, and Latin America—areas of the world where old colonial sensibilities believe that human life is less important. This international division of humanity—which says that a war in Yemen is normal, whereas a war in Ukraine is horrific—defines our time. There are 40 wars taking place across the globe; there needs to be political will to fight to end each of these, not just those that are taking place within Europe. The Ukrainian flag is ubiquitous in the West; what are the colors of the Yemeni flag, of the Sahrawi flag, and of the Somali flag?

Now is the Time for Nonalignment and Peace

I believe that the world would be better off without these powers of veto in the hands of a single nation.

All nations need to be held to the same standard and the elimination of this silly veto power would be a great step forward.

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Minsk II

What started this most recent conflict?

The tensions between the two combatants go back to the early days of the post-Soviet era…..

Relations between Kyiv and Moscow often were marked by a chill even during the years immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Similarly, Ukraine’s internal political, economic, and ideological tensions were evident early on. Indeed, openly secessionist sentiments in both Crimea and the Donbas surfaced in the 1990s. Populations in both regions chafed at being ruled by nationalist, anti-Russia elements based in western Ukraine. Instead, they sought greater respect for Russian as an official second language in Ukraine and wanted closer overall cultural and economic ties with Russia. The current armed conflict has deep and tangled roots, ones that bear elucidation.

UKRAINE’S SUDDEN independence in late 1991 left both Moscow and Kyiv unprepared to deal with each other. That sudden shift in the conditions governing their relations led to an often icy and contentious bilateral relationship during the 1990s. While the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States did prevent a total split between Kyiv and Moscow, Ukraine’s newfound independence occurred against the background of persistent attitudes among both Russian elites and ordinary citizens that Ukraine, like Belarus, is part of one “Greater Russia.” That perspective later became a very prominent and persistent theme in Putin’s speeches and policies, but it was visible much earlier. Even Russian president Boris Yeltsin asserted Russia’s right to raise border issues with the other states emerging from the carcass of the USSR—especially with those countries that had significant Russian minorities, such as Ukraine with its heavily Russified eastern regions. As such, disputes arose quickly between the two newly independent countries.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia-ukraine-tensions-flared-early-post-soviet-era-201919

There are many reasons but some are pointing to the Minsk II agreement as the start of this most recent thing.

The year is 2015 and Minsk II was an agreement that was reached between warring factions in Ukraine…..

But what is it?

It was an agreement reached by Ukraine, Russia France and Germany……points were signed….

13 points of agreement….

  • Immediate, comprehensive ceasefire.
  • Withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides.
  • OSCE monitoring.
  • Dialogue on interim self-government for Donetsk and Luhansk, in accordance with Ukrainian law, and acknowledgement of special status by parliament.
  • Pardon, amnesty for fighters.
  • Exchange of hostages, prisoners.
  • Humanitarian assistance.
  • Resumption of socioeconomic ties, including pensions.
  • Ukraine to restore control of state border.
  • Withdrawal of foreign armed formations, military equipment, mercenaries.
  • Constitutional reform in Ukraine including decentralisation, with specific mention of Donetsk and Luhansk.
  • Elections in Donetsk and Luhansk.
  • Intensify Trilateral Contact Group’s work including representatives of Russia, Ukraine and OSCE.

For those interested in this agreement……

https://www.chathamhouse.org/2020/05/minsk-conundrum-western-policy-and-russias-war-eastern-ukraine-0/minsk-2-agreement

I think the media ought to analyze this agreement to see if there is something there that provoked this current conflict.

Why a civil war in Ukraine? Historically, Ukraine was cobbled together first by the Russian Empire, then the Soviet Union over 4 centuries, containing disparate peoples. The main ones were the Western leaning, Ukrainian speaking people in the north and west, and the Russian speaking in the east and south.

Their relationship was always toxic, but under Soviet rule relative peace prevailed. Once freed from Soviet rule in 1999, the tension between the two disparate groups resurfaced. Fifteen years on the U.S. essentially blew up whatever chance for peaceful resolution by aiding a coup which violently removed Russian leaning President Yanukovych, replacing him with an ultra nationalist government under Petro Poroshenko.

Thus began the civil war in the Donbas that has killed over 14,000 Ukrainians in Kiev’s effort to subjugate and marginalize the hated Russian leaning Ukrainians. And leading the carnage for the past 3 years is current president Volodymyr Zelensky. Calling him the new Churchill doesn’t quite fit.

Minsk II: Two Words You’ll Never Hear on Mainstream News

The agreement was open to interpretation and thusly open to violations…..

Under the agreements, Ukraine wants Russia and its proxy forces to withdraw and allow Ukraine to take back control of the border before the proposed local elections under international standards take place. Then, instead of granting the territories the special status that Russia has argued for, Kyiv would give the territories some extra powers but essentially incorporate them into its existing decentralisation programme.

Ukraine’s interpretation of the agreement envisions alterations to some of the prickliest political elements, but in doing so, it negates what Russia has shown it wants from Minsk – the ability to continue to control the territories and through them have a say in Ukraine’s national affairs on an ongoing basis.

If Ukraine fulfilled Russia’s interpretation of the agreements, it would give the occupied region special status. In Russia’s eyes, this would include its own police force, described as a ‘people’s militia’; the right to choose judges and prosecutors; support from Kyiv of the region’s transnational cooperation with Russia; amnesty for anyone involved in the fighting on the Russian side; and elections. All of this would happen before the Russian-controlled and Russian forces withdrew.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/russia-ukraine-what-are-the-minsk-agreements/

And 7 years later we have the dire situation that is tearing Ukraine at the seams.

For more information and opinion on the Minsk agreements….

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/what-are-minsk-agreements-ukraine-conflict-2022-02-21/

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