With the conflict in Ukraine now into its 2nd month and with media saturation of the events on the ground there, just what are the ultimate goals of all the parties involved? At the moment the main parties in the conflict are the US, Canada, and virtually all of Europe, including Russia. This conflict was forecast years ago by foreign policy experts in the US and Europe, yet the war itself is cast in the media as an isolated event, solely an act of Russian aggression, with no historical context. What are we to expect at the end of the fighting? Well, a lot of that depends upon who reaches their goals first.
Some of what follows has been covered in previous posts here on the Russian intervention, so we will not go over old ground. However, there are some unstated objectives that are becoming clearer as the battle unfolds. We begin with the US objective in Ukraine, which is followed in kind by Canada and much of Europe. Consider the following from Bloomberg News:
“…the Biden administration “seeks to help Ukraine lock Russia in a quagmire without inciting a broader conflict with a nuclear-armed adversary or cutting off potential paths to de-escalation … CIA officers are helping to ensure that crates of weapons are delivered into the hands of vetted Ukrainian military units, according to American officials. But as of now, Mr. Biden and his staff do not see the utility of an expansive covert effort to use the spy agency to ferry in arms as the United States did in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union during the 1980s.”
Emphases added. There are several things to parse from the quote above. Firstly, the US has no intention of seeking a quick and diplomatic end of the Russian intervention. It is also clear the US cares not one bit about the lives of Ukrainians, except as they can be used to destabilize Russia. The ultimate aim of the US is to destabilize and weaken Russia, perhaps even to the point of regime change, and then to go after China. Russia is the linchpin in the anti-China strategy of the US and Ukraine is being used as the lever to effect changes in Russia. That effort is already failing.
America likes to fight its wars via proxies when it can. The proxy can be either another NATO member, like we saw in Libya and Iraq, or it can be an extremist group or groups, like we saw in Syria. From the Vietnam era, visions of American coffins streaming home on military transports via American televisions did more to end the Vietnam war than negotiations or bombings, hence the use of proxies since then when The US seeks to overthrow a government.
The US will fight Russia to the last Ukrainian if it can, and if need be, the last European. It might sound harsh, but then question why, if we are seeking to support Ukraine, there is not a large NATO contingent being organized to do so, and why is there not a large American mobilization to defend European interests? Instead, the US, UK and EU simply pay lip service to the defense of Ukraine and send arms to Ukraine instead. Where is the vaunted doctrine of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P)?
Secondly, American support for Ukraine has nothing to do with fighting for democracy or relieving the plight of Ukrainians. Ukraine’s best troops were amassed on the line of contact in the Donbas regions and in the far eastern provinces of Ukraine. If we look at a map of the conflict (later), the battle is being fought precisely in those areas, giving credence to Russian claims they are fighting this war to ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine. We have to pause the analysis here and address the issue of Nazis in Ukraine.
Much is made in the Western press of that fact Zelenskyy is Jewish, therefore Ukrainian troops cannot be populated with Nazis. It is a misrepresentation of Nazi ideology, as well as an attempt to whitewash Western involvement and funding of those groups in Ukraine. The CIA has been encouraging the growth of Nazism in Ukraine since 1953 as a means of destabilizing the Soviets, and now Russia.
The common perception across the West and especially in America is that the Nazis were primarily anti-Semitic. Instead, what is well known to the peoples of Eastern Europe is that Nazis were also anti-Slavic, and vehemently so, along with Nazi hatred of Roma and Jewish populations in Europe. Eastern Europe and Russia were seen as being populated with untermensch, to be exterminated and used as slave labor. Russia is a Slavic nation. But then, so is Ukraine, in what is a true irony. But the fact is these Nazi groups in Ukraine want to see Ukraine purged of any Russian influence. This was the reason Russian was banned as a language in Ukraine.
These Nazi and affiliated groups in Ukraine are a small minority, true, but they wield undue influence in Ukrainian society at large, in the halls of power and in the military and security forces of Ukraine. It is estimated there were at least 7,000 and up to 20,000 of these extremists based in Mariupol alone.
So, what about Zelenskyy, Judaism and these Nazi battalions? Firstly, Zelenskyy is under the protection of Igor Kolomoisky, one of the most powerful oligarchs in Ukraine, and himself Jewish. Secondly, given the intense nationalism of the groups, Nazi and otherwise, who have infested Ukrainian politics and the military, Zelenskyy knows that if he sues for peace in the conflict, his days are short indeed.
And thirdly – perhaps most importantly – Zelenskyy takes his orders from Washington, who have used these extremist groups in Ukraine in the same manner as they funded Islamic extremists in West Asia to destabilize the region. Chaos is the aim, not peace. This is why we see no progress in any sort of negotiations to end this conflict, as well as the reason behind why the Minsk accords were never seriously engaged.
It should be noted, too, that there are connections between extremist nationalist factions in Ukraine and the Canadian and US governments. Christia Freeland of Canada and Victoria Nuland of the US are both of Ukrainian descent, both actively support the present government in Ukraine and both were fully supportive of the Maidan coup in 2014, with Nuland famous for her cookies and statements at the time. There are also close ties between Ukraine and Zionism, another extremist nationalist movement and faction, with powerful lobby groups in Washington and other Western nations.
Adding to what was outlined previously, there is the ultimate goal of the neocon faction in the US – who are somewhat analogous to the Nazi factions in Ukraine – the removal of Vladimir Putin from power. This was enshrined as policy (a document since removed, but maintained and morphed into other policies) in the Wolfowitz doctrine just after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The sentiment was recently publicly voiced by Joe Biden himself at his closing speech at the NATO summit, where he called for Putin to be removed from power. He has since walked it back, but the statement was made.
As much as the White House has tried to walk Biden’s gaffes back, it has been US policy to destabilize and keep Russia in check for a very long time. Foreign reaction to Biden’s statement regarding Putin was quick and alarmed especially to Europeans. US policy will have blowback from Europe into the future.
As much as the US wanted Putin in power in the early days of Putin’s presidency as a continuation of Yeltsin, they created the present conflict in Ukraine. This brings us to a bit of synastry, between the US and Ukraine. The chart is below (bigger):
The main factor that stands out is the US Saturn square to the Horizon axis of Ukraine. In any relationship, the Saturn person will try to wield a heavy hand on the Horizon person. Unless the Horizon person has great inner strength and resolve, the Saturn person will control the relationship. This is what we see with the US and Ukraine. Ukraine since independence has always been weak and increasingly under the control of its oligarch clans, mixed with the meddling of Western nations.
The US Saturn sits elevated in the 8th house of Ukraine (death, transformation, and most especially banking). Ukraine depends for its very survival on IMF loans, which it will never be able to pay off. And all those weapons pouring into Ukraine come at a cost, too. They are not donations, and they are expensive.
There are other close relations between the US and Ukraine, like the US Sun sitting on the Ukrainian Descendant from the 6th house (military and services). The US Sun trines Ukraine’s Pluto, supporting the oligarch elements in Ukraine. And then, there is the close relation of the US to the Ukrainian Mars, the latter representing Ukraine’s military. American oligarchs (Pluto) support Ukraine’s military (US Pluto trine Ukraine Mars) and the more militaristic idealism of the US (natal Mars/Neptune square in the US chart) is tied to Ukraine’s Mars, with the US Neptune there and square the US Mars. Ukraine over the years had become a NATO base by virtue of ‘mission creep’. One of the main NATO staging areas was recently destroyed by a Russian missile strike.
Returning to the quote, above, we see the US influence in Ukraine very strongly. But as it stands the US cannot supply weapons to the vetted military units because those units are all cut off and are not being resupplied. This is basically admitted in the quote. Instead, those weapons are possibly ending up in the hands of extremist groups and various paramilitary groups. Then, there is the information war waged by the US.
The US is undergoing its Pluto return. We examined this before in posts on this site. The natal Mercury of the US is opposite the natal Pluto, showing control of the narrative via the news feeds and the often subversive nature of US media, noting Pluto rules the US 12th house (hidden enemies of the state and self-undoing). The fact that any view opposing the official narrative is silenced and the public has little access to alternative views point to what the propaganda war is really all about – the placement of a wide gulf between the West and Russia for the purpose of pulling Europe firmly under the American thumb and ensuring the West does not make overtures to Russia any time soon. That also applies to China.
The other side of the sanctions regime is beginning to be felt by China and increasing pressure will be placed on European states to abandon Belt and Road projects and cooperation with China. We also see pressure on states that have refused to sanction Russia, especially India and China. And the most extreme expression of the propaganda war is to ensure our current form of capitalism stays in place. All this places Europe in a very difficult predicament, subject to vulture financial capitalism and sharply rising costs of living. Something will have to give and soon, because once it gets to the point where people cannot even pay for food, then the scene is set for revolutions across the US and Europe. Food prices and food scarcity are one of the major causes of revolutions anywhere.
But what about Ukraine once the conflict is over? Referring back to the first post on the Russian intervention and looking at voter preferences, Ukraine looks to be disintegrating once the fighting stops. The Russians have no desire to draw western Ukraine into their orbit. Western Ukraine is intensely Russo-phobic and lost to the Russians. Most informed comment I have seen is that eastern Ukraine would likely consolidate into the old Novorussia, which would serve as an independent buffer state between Central Europe and Russia, as below:
The map above may take years to realize, but word coming out from people fleeing the regions coming under Russian and Donbas republics control is that they are happy to be rid of the nationalist Ukrainian forces, citing mistreatment, repression and atrocities committed by those forces, especially the Azov battalion in Mariupol. We in the West will not hear about that, but once one logs on to English-language Telegram channels (like this one) the other side of the conflict begins to filter through. One can also follow Patrick Lancaster on YouTube, an American in the Donbas, while his channel remains up.
There is also speculation now about Poland possibly moving ‘peacekeeping troops’ into western Ukraine after the fighting has ceased. That could be a ruse, or even a leak. However, it seems to be gaining some momentum. That will be interesting to watch, as it may just mean the partitioning of Ukraine in the long term. It would also mean moving NATO troops into western Ukraine, to which the Russians have said a flat “Nyet!” as of now. We might see statements to that effect as a sort of trial balloon.
But historically much of western Ukraine used to be Polish territory. It was ceded to Ukraine after WWII. And even Poland itself ceased to be a state several times in its history, absorbed and partitioned by neighboring states. Hungary also lays historical claims to parts of present-day Ukraine, as in what is now known as Carpatho-Ukraine.
Of course, all the talk of Novorussia could end tomorrow if the trajectory of current negotiations continues, with Ukraine now talking of internationally guaranteed neutrality, abandonment of nuclear weapons, abandonment of military action against the Donbas republics and Crimea, and no foreign military forces on Ukrainian soil, including Russian and American. Ukraine would be free to join the EU.
There is another wrinkle to the thought of Ukrainian dismemberment, though. We heard of the recent summit meeting between Zelenskyy and the PMs of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, supposedly in Kiev (it was held in Poland and was a PR stunt, on the surface) that took place on 15 March. Very soon after that the following map appeared on Polish television:
We note the only portion of the present state that would remain as Ukraine is the center of the present borders. It would be a landlocked rump state. Eastern Ukraine, in what would be Novorussia, consists of fertile plains and steppe, but it is where most of Ukraine’s heavy industry was located. The rest of Ukraine is temperate forest. When we see that Novorussia reconstituted would deprive what is left of Ukraine of its ports and much of its heavy industry and mineral wealth, then it may perhaps be clear the war will not be ending immediately. The remaining rump area of Ukraine would be a relatively poor area.
Apparently, the trip of the PMs mentioned above was sanctioned by the US and the map was called “the updated map of Ukraine”. So, the thought is there, whether or not it is a reality, to partition Ukraine – perhaps dreams of old territories lost. That would involve ‘peacekeeping troops’ from neighboring states to western Ukraine inside Ukraine as a first step. This is all speculation now.
Putin had stated recently that if Ukraine had carried on with its trajectory at the time it would cease to be a state. If the US succeeds in prolonging the conflict then Novorussia may well turn out to be an end result. The Lugansk Republic is already talking about holding a referendum soon about joining the Russian Federation, as we saw with Crimea. Mariupol will be a part of that republic once the joint Lugansk-Russian operation is finished there. The Russians have stated they will rebuild the city of 500,000 people, now destroyed because of the fighting (translated from Russian):
“After the completion of the special operation, Russia will be engaged in the restoration of Mariupol . Such plans were announced by the vice-speaker of the Federation Council Andrey Turchak , his words are reported by the press service of United Russia in his Telegram channel.”
Mariupol was at the heart of the special operation because it was the largest base of the extremist nationalist factions (Azov, largely) of Ukraine, closest to Donetsk, who had been shelling the remaining Russian-speaking regions of the Donbas for the past 8 years. Azov refused to surrender the city and had to be cleared block by block by Russian Special Forces, with Azov forces choosing to die instead of being captured, hence the destruction of the city. Many atrocities and war crimes committed by the Azov battalion have been reported there. Those are all being documented and will come out once the fighting is finished.
Mariupol, once the dust settles, faces a bright future as a leading steel center once the Russians restore the city. It has one of the largest steel plants in Europe, parked right on the shoreline of the Azov Sea and will no doubt be a part of the Greater Eurasian Integration movement as well as China’s BRI. This alone is probably one of the main reasons the Ukrainians fought so hard to keep the city, because now it is lost to them, along with a significant loss of a manufacturing base.
A quick word needs to be stated as to the nature of the Russian special operation, because it basically defines the outcome of the Russian intervention and it is cast in the Western press as a losing battle for Russia. Actually, it is going according to Russian plans and has thus far been successful, if slow. The only major city Russian and LDNR (Donbas republics) forces moved into was Mariupol, for reasons just stated. The other major cities in the eastern half of Ukraine have been surrounded, but there have been no efforts to invade them. Why?
The main interests of the Russian forces in eastern Ukraine are twofold: to surround the 60,000 remaining Ukrainian forces that had built up along the line of contact in the Donbas and to clear Mariupol and the entire Donbas region of any Ukrainian forces who refuse to cooperate. The latter would include local police forces, for example. The map below (bigger) shows the situation clearly:
The blue area on the map shows where the 60,000 Ukrainian troops are concentrated. The movement of Russian forces shows the pincer movement to surround them. The pink dashed lines show the areas of Russian fire control. The white circle at the Azov Sea is Mariupol. We see also that Ukraine has lost access to the Azov Sea. The white circle at the north of Ukraine is Kharkov. Both of the white circles represent Azov battalion strongholds which must eventually be subdued. Mariupol will fall in the next couple of days (end of March). Nikolaev is next (ca. 500,000 pop.) while Kharkov will probably take most of April. The intervention will probably last for the better part of this quarter.
The green circles are the nuclear power plants under Russian control, Chernobyl to the north and Zaporizhzhia in the south, the latter being the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Both of those plants were prime military objectives for the Russian army, in order to secure them from sabotage. Kiev is just to the south of Chernobyl. This brings us back to the question of why the other major cities have not been invaded.
The simple answer to the preceding question is twofold: Firstly, the Russians do not want to occupy those cities, because to do so would mean the destruction of those cities, as we saw in Mariupol. The Russians want to avoid civilian casualties and destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure as much as possible. Lights, water, internet, and phone services all still function in Kharkov, for instance. Secondly, in surrounding those cities it draws Ukrainian troops away from the cauldroned (blue) area on the map, who would otherwise go to reinforce those trapped units. Surrounding the other cities was a feint and a game of cat-and-mouse to keep Ukrainian reinforcing troops occupied and away from the Donbas.
The situation of the trapped forces now is hopeless, as they cannot be resupplied, are running out of food, water and gasoline and either must eventually surrender or be wiped out. The hope is they will see the writing on the wall and surrender, because most of those troops are regular Ukrainian troops, albeit still infiltrated by extremist troops. And all this begs the question – why do the Russians not simply wipe out those troops and bring Ukraine under submission?
The American/NATO way of war is to bomb nations into submission, destroying infrastructure and weakening resistance before troops move in. The Russians saw the results of that practice in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq. Once a nation’s military is destroyed it becomes a lawless region, spawning all sorts of outlaw and terrorist groups. Because the US destroyed and dispersed the Iraqi military, those ex-soldiers went on to form the core of ISIS and other terrorist groups. If the military is left intact after a nation surrenders, those troops go to form the local security forces, restoring order. This is what the Russians would like to see – but in a neutral Ukraine, freed of extremist elements.
To ensure surrender instead of the destruction of the Ukrainian armed forces, the Russians have destroyed their military infrastructure and oil depots, while avoiding civilian areas where possible. In western Ukraine the Russians affect this by use of air power and stand-off weaponry. For all the preceding reasons, the Russians are taking their time in Ukraine, adhering to the directive of avoiding civilian areas where possible and as much as possible cajoling the surrender of Ukrainian forces. After all, there are often family members on both sides of this conflict.
The Western media sees the strategy of the Russians and their slow movement as a sign of weakness and inadequacies, thereby claiming the Russians are losing and demoralized. Such reporting is inaccurate to say the least. The Western public is being fed misinformation or outright lies about the Russian progress in the conflict. Cell phone videos and journalists on the Russian side of the conflict show a very different reality. The Russians appear upbeat, are interacting in a good manner with the locals, who often express their outrage at the Azov people and are thankful for the Russian support. Call it Russian propaganda if you like, but the conversations with the locals appear to be unscripted, spontaneous and pretty consistent no matter the region.
Ultimately, once Mariupol and Nikolaev are cleared the Russians will move onward to Odessa in the south and Kharkov in the north. Shoigu has just stated the 2nd phase of the special operation has started, which is to complete the clearing of the entirety of the Donbas region. That is already about 75% complete. The troops in the blue are on the map above will be driven back into the pincers, which will likely now be quickly completely closed, as there are no major cities there. After those are subdued the war for Ukraine will basically be over. There would be little to hold the Russians back from further objectives.
As it stands, knowing The Ukrainians had planned on overrunning the Donbas early this month, what did they hope to gain? The objective was simple – to drive every Russian speaker and sympathizer out of the Donbas, dead or alive, and to recapture Crimea. The war actually started on the Ukrainian side in mid-February, when they began heavy shelling of the Donbas, as one would see a NATO army do to a country it was getting ready to invade. This had full American backing. But even if the Ukrainians had managed to deliver a blitzkrieg-style first strike, the end result would still have been a Russian intervention. The Ukrainian plan was doomed from the start. The Russians were ready for it and decided in the last days of February to preempt it.
There is to be a 3rd phase to this operation, but what that is we are not told. Speculation is that third phase would be to cover all the old territory of Novorussia and to finally move into Kiev. Who can say? But as with any war, there are always surprises and unintended consequences. One thing is fairly certain, and that is the Russians will move on at least to Odessa. There is an old score to settle there.
As for western Ukraine, the Russians would have to occupy it and it would be another Russian Afghanistan in practice. That scenario is one the United States would hope for, referring to the Bloomberg quote earlier. The Russian do not want a repeat performance. But they will see all of Ukraine become neutral. It is one of the core aims of their special operation. As to how that finally happens is anyone’s guess. But we are probably watching the region of Novorussia being reborn, if not immediately, then in the intervening years ahead. So, we have yet to address the ultimate aim of Russia in the conflict.
Aside from protecting and reintegrating the Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine back under Russia’s wing, if not as a part of Russia, there is a much wider purpose at work here with the Russian operation: To restore the world order to the rule of international law as stated in the UN Charter, the sovereignty of every nation and the equality of nations, including the United States. The Russian intervention in Ukraine can be seen also as an intervention to upend the American rules-based order and the hegemony of the US dollar. But that is a thought to hold in mind for a future post…
Update: But in regard to Ukraine, something else is emerging, which is worth noting and which follows on from the preceding points.
Recent analysis had predicted the international order would be changed by the end of April this year, which would coincide with the general defeat of the cauldroned Ukrainian forces in the Donbas. That may be, but a plan is also rumoured for the future of Ukraine. Inside sources have the following scenario, which would make sense and would be along the lines of the desires of the Russians:
“The Russian plan, according to the Donbass leadership, is to reform the Ukraine into “a loose confederation in which the controlling regions will be the eastern Russian-speaking, Orthodox regions of Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolaev, Mariupol, and Odessa [largely, Novorussia]. They will be run by newly installed administrations and locally recruited security forces, both controlled by Russia. Dniepropetrovsk, Poltava and Kremenchuk are likely to be part of this federal alliance, which will be strong enough to win the next Ukrainian presidential election, replacing Vladimir Zelensky.” Zelensky’s term is scheduled to end in March 2024. It is likely to end sooner.”
The article goes on to say,
“According to the Donbass leadership, the future of Galicia in the west is to become “a mini-federation of competing ethnic national groups – Catholic Ukrainians, Hungarians, Slovakians, Poles, Romanians, and others. Landlocked, without exportable resources…this is not a plan for the breakup of the old Ukraine, nor is it a plan for the accession of Novorussia. It is a plan “to keep the Ukraine broken”, in which the big fracture lines will be moved to the west — and kept there.”
It is an interesting theory, but the best-laid plans in times of war have a way of changing. However, it is one scenario that would suit Russia very well, and probably the neighboring states, though it would not at all be to Washington and NATO’s liking. That said, it would also divide Ukraine along cultural lines, which would not on the whole be such a terrible thing. In a piece of irony, it is also the exact sort of thing Washington would seek to do to Russia, which it has currently done to Syria and which it did do in the Balkans. Time will tell…
Ukraine would retain its territorial integrity, minus Crimea, but would be politically completely reorganized, be neutral and largely de-Nazified. It is something to contemplate.
Yet another plan is beginning to take shape now, as of the end of April. Polish military exercises are planned for the whole of May, with rumors floating around that the Poles are looking at taking the western part of Ukraine (Galicia) for itself. It would be outside of the UN mandate, but the forces involved would be comprised of a ‘coalition of the willing’. This would lead to the breakup of Ukraine. And now we hear the Russians saying that if the situation continues to escalate, Ukraine would probably break up into several independent states. It is all conjecture at this point, so we just have to wait and see.
Featured pic from Travel Weekly