The withdrawal of heavy weapons and M2A:
The situation on the line of contact is generally calm. The Novorussian forces are withdrawing their heavy weapons according to schedule while the junta forces are, by most reports, not or, not much. The excuse for these delays is that “the necessary conditions have not been created”. In reality, the problem is that Poroshenko has very little control over the various armed forces. Apparently, the regular armed forces do more or less obey him, and since these are the most heavily armed, there is some hope that they will eventually withdraw. The various death-squads (volunteer battalions, internal forces, etc.) will probably resist as much as possible, but since they don’t have much heavy firepower, that is probably not a major obstacle right now.
There is also a very real possibility that Poroshenko himself might be preventing that withdrawal. The problem is not in the withdrawal of heavy guns by itself (the junta knows that the Novorussians will not attack) but that after completing this point of the Minsk 2 Agreement (M2A) the junta will have to go down the list and that is simply something the Nazis in Kiev cannot do. My guess is that all this talk about sending in peacekeepers has exactly the same rationale: to stop the implementation of M2A in a way that could not be blamed on Kiev. Clearly, M2A has delivered a crushing blow to the stance of the junta by forcing it to do something it cannot do: negotiate and work with the Novorussian resistance. I have no doubt that Poroshenko wants to break out of M2A, but his problem is how to do it without taking the blame for it. Hence the foot-dragging with an otherwise rather straightforward withdrawal and all that talk about peacekeepers.
US weapons to the Ukraine or Russian weapons to Iran?
The US is still determined to send more weapons to the Ukraine, even in direct violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of M2A. Russia is getting increasingly fed-up with that kind of attitude and Russian officials are now discussing selling the top-of-the-line Antey-2500 missile to Iran. This missile is arguable the most advanced air defense system on the planet and if the Russians really sell that to Iran the US and Israel will be absolutely sick with rage and frustration.
By the way, I was informed that there is a petition on the Internet trying to stop US weapons deliveries to the junta. If you can, please sign it here:
Signs of destabilization in Baderastan
The regime of Poroshenko is clearly in a very difficult situation. Roughly speaking, Poroshenko & Co represent the interests of oligarchs masquerading as Nazis while his opposition is the real thing – bona fide Nazi crackpots who feel that their “revolution of dignity” was stolen from them, that the new regime is every bit as corrupt as the old one, and far more incompetent. They are right, of course. So now more and more of these “grassroots Nazis” are threatening Poroshenko with a Third Maidan or even a revolution.
Check out this Right Sector site: http://pravyysektor.info/slider/25-02-2015-marsh-pravdy-marsh-pravyh/
Here is my translation of this text:
A year ago, they came to power in our blood. The blood of patriots. During this year they gave up the interests of Ukraine and betrayed the idea of the Ukrainian nation. They promised to fight corruption. They promised lustration. They made us poor. They destroyed belief in justice. They killed the truth. We remember the never investigated murders of hundreds of Maidan. We remember the murder of Sasha Belyi. We remember the shameful surrender Crimea. We remember Saur-Mogila, Ilovaiisk, the Donetsk airport, Debaltsevo. The perpetrators have not been punished. It’s time to hold them to account!
And just to make sure that the message gets through, here is the poster illustrating it:
March of the Truth
March of the Right
The Maidan did not fight for a regime of traitors
It is time to hold them to account
And it is signed by the Right Sector and the organization Trezub of S. Bandera (even crazier crazies than the regular crazies).
Now, it is true that by most accounts the USA has a tight control over the hardcore Nazi crazies in the Ukraine (via leaders like Iarosh) but I am beginning to detect this very old pattern of the puppet breaking lose from the puppeteer which we have all seen in Afghanistan, in Libya and Syria. I would argue that the neo-Nazis crazies in the Ukraine are very similar to the Takfiri freaks of ISIS or the so-called “Syrian opposition”. The chances of that kind of hate-filled ideology slipping out of the control of those who fostered it (the USA) is very high.
What about our NATO friends?
NATO has been keeping busy. In fact, according to “British Commander Land Forces Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Bradshaw” NATO is preparing to repel a Russian invasion. In his own wordsRussian expansionist ambitions could quickly become “an obvious existential threat to our whole being”.
Apparently, the British feel that the Baltic States and Poland have greatly surpassed the UK in hysterical russophobia and fear-mongering and that now is the time to catch up with them with even more terrifying statements. What is sure is that Sir Adrian sure look extremely worried on his official picture…
Last but not least – the OSCE
The OSCE has taken notice with grave concern at the de-accreditation of over 100 Russian media sources in the Ukraine. But not because this might be a violation of free speech or journalism, no, but because, I kid you not, the OSCE is concerned that as a result of this de-accreditation “the Russian audience might be deprived from balanced reporting form the Ukraine”!!! The OSCE also added that the organization “understands that national security reasons” behind the Ukrainian decision.
Yet again, all I can say is that I fully agree with V. Nuland.