Those Russians have done it again. Amidst the best-laid plans of Kiev to bring the rebellious regions of the Donbas back into the Ukrainian fold, the Russians have instead recognized the independence of the two republics – Donetsk and Lugansk. They now fall under the umbrella of Russian protection. The Western media, especially the American and British media, are heaping scorn on the decision, as well as many Europeans, with all the usual talk about international law, abandonment of the Minsk II accords, Russia ready to invade Ukraine and sanctimony about sanctions, with Biden already having signed an executive order slapping sanctions on the miscreant republics. But as always, the story is not cut and dried when it comes to international affairs and there is always more than one side of any story – especially when it comes to the US and Russia. We will have a look at the two new republics here and the how and why of what has brought us to this state of affairs.
This post is the first of several on the Ukraine-Russia story and will approach analysis of what has just happened from the angle of common sense, political realities (ideals aside) and putting the reader in the shoes of the Russians and the people of Donbas. To do so we need historical context and a very basic understanding of a culture that stretches back at least a millennium. And both the Russians and the Ukrainians share a common root, a factor that is almost never voiced in the mainstream. All this is necessary to understand why the peoples of the two Donbas regions have requested the recognition of Russia as independent republics and why Russia has obliged. Instead, most people throughout the West have only a very one-sided view of the matter.
So, before we start, we in the collective West – the nations of North America, Western and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand – have been kept in the dark about Russia and have been indoctrinated about Russia and the West over many decades. I grew up in that indoctrination. We are told Russia is a dark and foreboding place, barbaric, where the people are oppressed and drunk all the time, with poor infrastructure, a collapsing economy, a ‘gas station with nukes’, deeply corrupt and out to rule the world. And Putin is a consummate liar and evil incarnate. So we are constantly reminded. For anyone who holds such beliefs about Russia, what follows will be branded as ‘Russian disinformation’, this author as being a ‘Putin puppet’ and ‘anti-American’. If such is the case, arguments are futile. It takes a while to change beliefs, and sometimes people never get past them in the present life.
What we have seen in the Western press even in the past 24 hours since the recognition of the republics is something along the lines of ‘bad Russia’, ‘illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory’ and the like, and wide condemnation of the move. Hypocrisy on the part of some Western leaders abounds and is on full display. We will address the latter in a following post, as this post will be one of several.
If one really wants to understand why Russia has recognized these republics, a theoretical, rhetorical example will perhaps illustrate it better than pages of facts and history. So, here we go:
Let’s say, for laughs, Cuba has decided it has had enough of American sanctions for the past 60 years and turns sharply toward China, even to the point of military cooperation. Cuba and China conduct war games together in Cuba. Russia and Venezuela take part and are invited to do so. Tens of thousands of troops take part in those exercises, a mere 90 miles from Florida. Chinese military personnel are stationed in Cuba. Russian weaponry appears there, as in missile systems, some of which can reach far into the US. Oh, but there are no nukes in those missiles and they are purely for defensive purposes. The Russians and Chinese give every assurance – verbal of course – that nukes will never be deployed there. Then, Cuba suddenly announces it will be developing its nuclear industry, with the possibility in the future of even producing a nuclear weapon – purely for defensive purposes, of course. And China’s military presence there is benign, so they say. If you are an American reading this, what are you going to think?
Well, what was just described is the very situation that Russia faces with NATO and Ukraine, but with NATO forces and Ukraine substituted for China and Cuba. In less than 24 hours after Zelensky started talking about nukes on the 21st, Russia recognized the republics. Oh, but NATO is a peaceful alliance. Russia has nothing to fear from NATO. Sure.
Then, the day after the republics were recognized, the UK rushed to slap sanctions on Russian banks and individuals. Not to be outdone, China slapped sanctions on Lockheed Martin and Raytheon for supplying weapons to Taiwan, What’s good for the goose, we might suppose. Russia and China are clearly coordinating their efforts and have each other’s backs. Germany has shot its economy in the foot by cancelling the certification fo Nordstream 2. The German public is not amused. We’ll see how long that lasts. Meanwhile, the people of the Donbas are celebrating their recognition by Russia, whether or not the world at large recognizes it.
What we have just seen with recognition of these republics is Russia protecting its borders and Russian citizens living in those republics, and the Donbas republics protecting their homeland and families, as the US did for itself during the Cuban missile crisis. We don’t have to like it or agree with it. We can talk all we like about international law, human rights, freedom and democracy and so forth. But if we put the shoe on the other foot, it is easy to understand why Russia and the two republics responded to the threats on their borders the way they did. It is human nature, and geopolitical reality. What are the main reasons for the recognition then? The main points would be as follows:
- Over 700,000 people in the Donbas have Russian citizenship, with many more having made application for the same (Russian bureaucracy is not the fastest in the world). That is about half of the population still living in the region. The recognition was the Russian equivalent of the NATO R2P doctrine (Responsibility to Protect).
- The great majority of the people in the region had declared their independence from Ukraine (addressed in a post to follow) in 2014 (11 May of that year) after the coup in Kiev, fearing for their lives. Due to the heavy shelling by Ukrainian forces in recent days the people of the Donbas requested urgent recognition of the republics by the Russians. The Russian Duma (equivalent to the US Congress or British Parliament) had passed a resolution to recognize the republics in the days preceding recognition.
- There had been a mass exodus of people from the Donbas due to the shelling, at this point upwards of 100,000 people, who were taken into the Rostov region of Russia, which borders the Donbas. Most of them hope to return home.
- The Russians saw that the Minsk accords were never going to be implemented by Kiev. The authorities in Kiev routinely gave lip service to Minsk and instead threatened to take the region by military force instead of negotiations via Minsk, to which they had agreed. Washington never pushed Kiev to comply. Russia is not even mentioned in the Minsk agreements and has no obligation to force the issue. The current bombardment of the Donbas (addressed in the next post) by Kiev was evidence that Kiev had no intention of abiding by the Minsk accords.
- And finally, Russia had been threatened with more NATO on its borders in wanting NATO to withdraw, with Ukraine potentially becoming a nuclear power or a base for nukes and then the German Chancellor dismissing the Russian charges of genocide in the Donbas as mere silliness. These statements. Along with the dangers presented by Ukrainian forces, were the final straw for the Russians.
We might ask, then, why Russia had waited so long to recognize the republics. There again, realities had prevented them from doing so:
“The answer as to why Russia waited for so long to take this step is that it hadn’t been ready: the Russian economy hadn’t yet been bullet-proofed against all possible sanctions; not all diplomatic methods of resolving the problem had been tried; and the military wasn’t quite ready to deal with the situation swiftly and efficiently.”
In the preceding paragraphs, then, we have the practical reasons why Russia has taken this step. It was not a unilateral decision by Putin. It was a decision that had the wide support of the Russian public (represented by the Russian Duma) and the people of the republics. Putin just rubber stamped it, and in doing so spoke to the people of Ukraine, Russia and the West, giving everyone a history lesson in the process – context as to why. That will be covered in the next post, too.
The recent events took place rapidly following the full moon of Aquarius on the 16th. A brief analysis of that full moon figure showed that a turning point in world affairs was in evidence, and ‘immanent’, since that word has been foremost in the news reporting lately. Coincident with the full moon period, as in on the day, the military action by Ukraine started against the Donbas. What was cast by the Western media as an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russia was instead a Ukrainian offensive against the Donbas.
And still the West goes on about an immanent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, even going so far as calling Russian troops going into the Donbas now as an invasion. Clearly, what constitutes an invasion depends upon one’s perspective. But perhaps we have a better picture of what is taking place in that area of Ukraine and Russia given the preceding points. With those points in mind, what do we see in the astrology of the recognition charts?
In a recent article, Pepe Escobar called the recognition of the two republics as the ‘birth of the baby twins’. The two charts do reflect the birth of twins. The recognition treaties were signed starting at 22:38 Donbas time on the 21st of February in Moscow. They had immediate effect in the two republics. The Donetsk Republic was recognized first, with the Lugansk Republic following two minutes later, like we would see with the birth of twins. The only difference in the two charts is the advance of the angles by a degree in the Lugansk chart. The Donetsk chart is below (bigger):
The immediate standout is the placement of Saturn at the IC of the chart, showing the stress of the moment, the threat to the land, the fears of the people (Saturn rules fear) restriction of freedoms and so forth. But the Sun is in a wide conjunction with Jupiter and is trine the Moon, the latter in Scorpio and conjunct the Ascendant in the first house, showing a fortunate turn of events and what will amount to quite a lucky republic.
That the republic was recognized at a time of war is shown in the midpoints to the Scorpio ascendant, especially the Mars/Saturn and Saturn/Pluto midpoints:
- Asc=Mars/Sat: “Endurance, the power of resistance, indefatigableness. – The necessity to overcome a lot of difficulties in life, the ability to bear the suffering of the soul (with dignity and without complaint). Mourning and bereavement (death).”
- Asc=Sat/Plu: “Being placed in cumbersome and difficult circumstances. – Separation, mourning and bereavement.” Further, the midpoint has the following emphasis in general, relevant to the current situation: “Tenacity and toughness, endurance, the capability to make record efforts of the highest possible order, the ability to perform the most difficult work with extreme self-discipline, self-denial and renunciation… a fanatical adherence to one’s principles once they have been adopted. A martyr.”
Mars and Venus are conjunct in the 3rd house and sextile to Neptune, showing a ‘dream come true’. The midpoints to the MC are no less revealing, and we have the following string: Sat/MC=Sun/Plu=Mars/Jup=Ven/Jup, all of which point to the overcoming of obstacles, an act of Providence (force majeure), intervention by a ‘Higher Power’ (Russia in this case), the difficulties of the present circumstances, the suffering involved and separations, as in the refugees. There is much more we could point out, of course, but this brief look gives us the general trend of events and the qualities of the republics.
Looking forward, none of what has happened is what we might call a ‘done deal’. The peoples of the Donbas, Russians and Ukrainians in general all share common heritage, especially in the eastern half of Ukraine. And it is worth noting the Minsk accords, or some form of them, are not completely ruled out. Given the common history and heritage of all these people, nothing can be definitively ruled out. An open book, is the future, and the only thing we know for certain now is that the people of the Donbas region will receive the protection they need and have asked for, Western opinions aside. Relations between Ukraine and Russia are a family matter on the whole, or should be.
With this post in mind, we move on to a consideration and closer look at Ukraine itself in the next post and hold the thought that the present violence will stop, that dialog – meaningful dialog instead of grandstanding and lip service – will take the place of militarism. Despite what we hear in the Western press, Russia is trying to avoid a war. Before closing, I will add a personal note and observation.
Here in northern Italy there is a significant number of Ukrainian expats, most of who have come here for work. They are here and work legally. A great many of them are women and are engaged as badanti – personal care assistants – largely looking after the infirmed and elderly, forming a hidden health care system in Italy. We know and have friendships with several of them, men and women. The question is, why have they come to Italy? Are conditions bad enough in Ukraine that they have to come to Italy and work, often in poor conditions of pay and with no benefits? (We have heard many stories.) That is a question that will be answered in the next post. But there is more.
One of the Ukrainian women we know served as a badante to my father-in-law before he passed, and she came from the Lviv area of Ukraine, in the west. She is like family to us. Her story was harrowing, and she has been in Italy since before 2014. Her stories of what life is like now in Ukraine are quite sad, and are oft-repeated amongst the community of Ukrainians we have here. But there is still more.
Another family friend, also a badante along with her husband, has a son who has just been called up for service in the Ukrainian military. I have seen several young Ukrainian men waiting to go back to Ukraine with only spare belongings, presumably for the same purpose. Our friends are justifiably worried. We hope these young men return safely to their families when all this has subsided.
All this talk of war needs to stop, followed by an enforced de-escalation of tensions on all sides. The best result for Ukraine would be to become a neutral country (without EU or NATO membership) and as a crossover state between the EU and Russia, cooperating and trading with both. It will take time. The path of militarism, instead, will lead to the end of Ukraine in its present form. That path has had a tentative start in 2014 and has been reinforced in these last days. The Western powers have quite a lot to answer for in the present escalation, as we will see. Meditate for peace, pray for the innocents.
To be continued…
Featured pic from Breaking Latest News