The SAKER (1) , MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2014: Sharp rise in tensions in Eastern Ukraine
It is hard to get a good picture of what is happening in the eastern Ukraine, but looking at various sources it appears to me that large protests have occurred in the cities of Lugansk, Kharkov and Donetsk. From the video footage some rather large crowds, including a lot of women, have assembled in the city centers. In Donetsk and Lugansk the demonstrators have seized the governmental buildings including the local HQs of the Ukrainian SBU (security service). In Donetsk the demonstrators have gathered into something like a popular assembly and have declared the creation of a “People’s Republic of Donetsk” and have announced that they plan to hold a referendum on the future of the region on April 11th. The best sign, however, that things are becoming very serious in, that the entire top ruling elite of the revolutionary government in Kiev – including Yulia Timoshenko – has relocated to the eastern Ukraine to try to get the situation under control.
My sense is that the crowds in the east seem very angry and very determined and that it might be very hard to get them out, at least without bloodshed (which could trigger a sudden appearance of “Polite Armed Men in Green”). The big weakness of the Russian-speakers in the eastern Ukraine is that their leaders are either already in SBU dungeons or rather tepid and weak. Nobody seems to be really in control.
In the meantime, RT is reporting that Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev have stormed the Supreme Court. Previously, they also attempted to storm the Ukrainian Parliament (but the western press “did not notice” that).
Civil wars are far more likely to occur, when there is a vacuum of power than against a strong regime and this is exactly what we see in the Ukraine. For all the desperate attempts of the western elites and corporate media to try to pretend like there is a government in Kiev, the reality is clearly, that there is no authority in power anywhere in the Ukraine. Not in the West, not in the Center and not in the East. All we have is complete chaos and many different factions and groups trying to take control.
Again, it is clear to me, that unless the USA and Russia strike some kind of deal together, the rump-Ukraine is headed straight for a civil war. I am not saying that I like the notion of the USA and Russia deciding the future of the Ukraine instead of the Ukrainian people, but I am saying, that the conditions are simply not here for the Ukrainian people to express their will.
Besides, the Ukraine being a completely artificial state, there is no way that the hopes and desires of the people in the western Ukraine and the eastern Ukraine can be reconciled. From this flows a simple fact: the more de-centralized a unitary Ukraine would be the more chances of survival it would have. (2)
In other words, when the Banderites and the West are insisting on one centralized unitary Ukraine they are actually contributing to the breakup of the country. In these conditions – why should Russia intervene. All it has to do, is wait for the final collapse and then pick up whatever piece it will deem worthy of interest.
Stay tuned, the next couple of weeks will be crucial.
(1) The SAKER is a Blogger (Adress: The Saker, 41 rue de la Synagogue, CH-1204 Genève, Switzerland), His sources and knowledge of the internal Russian affairs are extraordinary; his political concept – from my point of view – is partly embarrassing. His (Blog-) contributions are occasionally published on AsiaTimes online (http://atimes.com).
He disclosed his origins, his points of view (the latest variation inclusive) on April 4, 2014, as follows:
… Let me begin by a little disclaimer and say that while I am ethnically and culturally Russian, I was born in the heart of Western Europe from in a family of refugees. I spent most of my life in Europe, and I have become especially close to what I call my “2nd homeland” – the northern Mediterranean from Spain to Greece (which I consider as one coherent – if diverse – cultural zone). So for all my criticisms of Europe, part of me is most definitely European. Furthermore, and regular readers of this blog know that, I have spent a good part of my life in an absolute opposition to the Soviet regime and then the Anglo … colonial regime of Eltsin which followed it. So while I am ethnically and culturally Russian, I am hardly an automatic supporter of everything “Russian”. In fact, I repeatedly have to pinch myself to check if I am dreaming every time I say something positive about the Kremlin or Putin (who is, after all, an ex-KGB officer). I am so used to be disgusted, outraged and even ashamed by everything which comes out of the Kremlin that, if anything, I have to struggle with my kneejerk suspicion, if not hostility, towards anything “Kremlin”. And yet, here I am, in 2014, a longtime Cold War participant (on many levels – private, corporate and even professional) catching myself in the undeniable fact that I am becoming a “Putin groupie”. I can hardly convey how weird this still feels to me. …
(2) See: http://atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-310314.html The Kerry-Lavrov chess match, AsiaTimes online, March 31, 2014, By Pepe Escobar:
“… Lavrov has explained over and over again, a loose federation is the only possible solution for Ukraine, as part of a “deep constitutional reform”. That would imply ethnic – and even sentimentally – Russian eastern and southern Ukraine would be largely autonomous. … The Russian solution is the same plan proposed by Moscow already a few weeks ago, and again discussed on the phone by Obama and President Vladimir Putin on Friday – which prompted Kerry to redirect his flight to Paris. Each Ukrainian region, according to Lavrov, would be able to control its economy, taxes, culture, language, education and “external economic and cultural connections with neighboring countries or regions”. That’s such a sound plan that even former – or perennial, depending on spin – cold warriors such as Henry Kissinger and Zbig Brzezinski reasonably agree. …”