Paul Craig Roberts | 30 June 2022
Russia’s Ukraine miscalculation dates to 2014 when the Kremlin refused the request of the Donbass Russians in Eastern Ukraine to be reunited with Russia. Historically part of Russia, the Donbass region was attached to the Ukrainian province of the Soviet Union by Soviet leaders as was Crimea. These Russian populated territories, historically part of Russia, rejected the anti-Russian rule installed in Kiev when Washington overthrew the Ukrainian government and installed a puppet regime. Had the Kremlin accepted the request of the Donbass Russians, there would have been no necessity for a Russian intervention in Donbass.
Ukraine sent forces to subdue the two declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Ukrainian military and Nazi militias were unequal to the task of subduing the hastily raised militias of the two republics, but did succeed in occupying some of the Donbass territory from which they shelled the civilian populations of the Donbass for 8 years.
The Kremlin attempted to stop the conflict with the Minsk agreement. Ukraine and the republics signed it, and Europe was supposed to enforce it, but Ukraine did not keep the agreement, and Europe did not enforce it. Indeed, Washington encouraged Ukraine to ignore it as Washington saw the opportunity to initiate a conflict that could be used to demonize and isolate Russia.
Internally in Russia, Russians objected to the killing of Russians by Ukrainians. Pressure mounted on the Kremlin to cease appeasing the West by accepting Russian civilian casualties. In February of this year, the Kremlin finally gave up on the 8-year old death of the Minsk Agreement and recognized the two republics.
If the West had not intended a conflict, Russian recognition would have stopped the shelling, and ended the conflict. Instead a 150,000 Ukrainian army and Nazi militias, trained and equipped by Washington and the UK, were sent to invade and reconquer the Donbass Russians. For the Kremlin, this would have been a political disaster. Washington, of course, knew this and was banking on yet another Russian toleration of an enormous provocation, that having been the Kremlin’s record of response to Washington’s provocations: accept, forgive, and put faith in negotiations.
However, the Kremlin realized that it could not politically survive the slaughter of the Donbass Russians.
The Kremlin designated its military intervention in Ukraine as a limited operation to prevent Ukraine from invading Donbass and to drive out the Ukrainian forces that occupied part of Donbass and were shelling civilian populations. Donbass, not Ukraine was the target.
Western politicians and whore media pretends that Russia invaded Ukraine, not merely intervened in Donbass, and attacked Kiev but was defeated. This is an obvious lie. The Russians left Kiev alone. They put troops around the city to prevent reinforcements from being sent to Donbass. Once they had Ukraine’s forces in Donbass surrounded, such that reinforcements could not reach them in any meaningful numbers, they withdrew from the Kiev area.
The Western politicians and the whore Western media have lied when they say Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia did not invade Ukraine, and this was their blunder. The Russians intervened in Eastern Ukraine, in Donbass, to prevent a Ukrainian invasion for the reconquest of the two Donbass republics.
What the facts reveal is not Russian aggression, but Western aggression. The Minsk Agreement that Russia sponsored would have ended the conflict by keeping the Donbass as part of Ukraine, but giving Donbass some autonomy, such as its own police force, to minimize Donbass’ oppression under the anti-Russian regime installed by Washington. The agreement was unenforceable because Washington wanted conflict.
The war that is coming upon us is a consequence of Washington’s insistence on hegemony and the Kremlin’s inability to comprehend the situation and to understand how the Kremlin’s endless toleration of insults and provocations encourages the West to push harder and ever harder until Russia is cornered and finally has to fight.