Tony Cartalucci: Odessa Massacre Pushes Ukraine to the Edge. Towards a Larger Destructive Conflict? Global Research, May 03, 2014
New Eastern Outlook
Western headlines have attempted to spin into ambiguity the death of over 30 anti-fascist Ukrainian protesters cornered and burned to death in the Trade Unions House in the southern port city of Odessa. The arson was carried out by Neo-Nazi mobs loyal to the unelected regime now occupying Kiev.
Both the London Guardian and the BBC attempted in their coverage to make the perpetrators and circumstances as ambiguous as possible before revealing paragraphs down that pro-regime mobs had indeed torched the building. And even still, the Western press has attempted to omit the presence of Right Sector, the militant wing of the current regime charged with carrying out political intimidation and violence against Kiev’s opponents.
Odessa, north of pro-Russian Crimea, and far west of where clashes are now taking place in eastern Ukraine, has also been a point of contention between Kiev and Ukrainians who refuse to recognize the unelected regime’s authority.
Right Sector, a Neo-Nazi militant group who spearheaded the so-called “Euromaidan” protests, has been visibly operating in Odessa in recent weeks. It’s primary role has been to attack and intimidate political opponents planning to run in upcoming elections. It was therefore already present an well established in Odessa ahead of the attack on the Trade Unions House resulting in dozens of deaths in a single day, and as part of a wider campaign to put down multiplying unrest erupting across the country.
Right Sector can be identified by its members openly wearing Nazi insignia, as well as carrying crimson and black banners. Mobs supporting the Svoboda party are also present among recent clashes, wearing yellow armbands with the Nazi wolfangel symbol upon them.
For NATO – War or Nothing?
The clashes in Odessa in the south and Slavyansk in the east, appear to some to be part of an escalating conflict meant to lure neighboring Russia into a direct conflict with the NATO-backed regime in Kiev. While this is possible, a repeat of the 2008 Georgia-South Ossetia War would most likely take place, with superior Russian forces quickly overwhelming Ukrainian troops and leaving Kiev vulnerable to inevitable regime change.
Immensely unpopular and wholly illegitimate, the regime in Kiev stands little chance in any upcoming election. It is also faced with the self-imposed economic ruination of Ukraine, after willfully accepting IMF conditions which include crippling austerity measures that will only further diminish the regime’s support and stability.
With a socioeconomically hobbled Ukraine still reeling from the loss of Crimea, the “Ukraine” the US and EU had invested in through their “Euromaidan” putsch, no longer exists. With anti-fascist, pro-Russian sentiment running high across what remains of Ukraine (and around the world), and an unpopular regime teetering precariously in Kiev, the West appears instead, intent on burning the country rather than leave it a stable and beneficial neighbor for Russia.
World Affairs Journal has recently lamented in an article titled, “Beyond Crimea: What Vladimir Putin Really Wants,” that:
Ukraine is lost. At least lost as many of us had once imagined it—as a potential member of the European Union and, perhaps one day, of NATO.
This sentiment has been repeated across NATO’s corporate-funded think-tank, the Atlantic Council which recently hosted its “Europe Whole and Free” forum – where the expansion of both the European Union and NATO were the focus. The disruption of this expansion, and perhaps even the threat of its reversal appears to weigh foremost on the minds of Western policy makers.
Creating a disaster along Russia’s borders in Ukraine, while attempting to make progress elsewhere, and thus alleviating itself from the promises it made the regime in Kiev upon its accession to power to “rebuild” Ukraine’s troubled economy, appears to be the current agenda.
Responsibility to Protect?
The United States had used the “responsibility to protect” doctrine as cover for regime change in Libya, and attempted regime change in Syria. All the while it was fabricating atrocities to sway public opinion, it was in reality fueling sectarian extremists who were in reality carrying out the crimes against humanity the West was accusing Libya and Syria of perpetrating in fiction. This formula has been spun around in Ukraine.
Now the West is expending resources to cover up atrocities to prevent the “responsibility to protect” from being invoked against them. The massacre in Odessa would have been marked as a turning point by the West for military intervention had it not been their own proxies who carried it out. Instead, the US has claimed, according to the BBC, that ongoing violence carried out by the regime in Kiev is “proportionate and reasonable.”
With the West not only covering up the atrocities being carried out by the regime in Kiev, but in fact aiding and abetting them, the violence will only escalate further. Beyond Odessa, helicopter gunships, armored columns, and special forces have been sent by Kiev into eastern Ukraine and are attempting to overrun and occupy towns and cities that refuse to recognize the unelected regime. This includes the city of Slavyansk where deaths have been reported on both sides and military aircraft have been shot down.
Ukraine is being pushed to the edge of a much larger and destructive conflict that if started, may be difficult to stop. If the West commits to a proxy war and has been able to mobilize enough militants to carry it out, it can leave Ukraine a destabilized failed state Russia may spend years managing. Russia’s attempts to deescalate the conflict have been met only by belligerence from the West. Its patience, and the patience of pro-Russian factions in Ukraine may be the only factor that helps push Ukraine back from that edge.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.