It is interesting to note that Avakov is the Interior Minister of an unelected junta that came to power as a result of 2 months of violent campaigns against an elected government. This included repeated violent assaults on the police, with the use of firearms and petrol bombs, and an extensive campaign of occupations and attacks on public buildings. How ironic that he should now be stating that 'the only position towards terrorists is to shoot to kill'. It is as well that Yanukovych, at least in this regard, showed a more adroit grasp of democratic political culture than the 'pro-west' Avakov.
Despite the repeated and desperate attempts of the Yatsenyuk regime to portray the civil unrest in the Donbas as the exclusive work of 'terrorists' and 'Russian agents', it is absolutely clear that the unrest enjoys significant levels of public support within the Donbas. In truth, the 'EuroMaidan' revolution has become a political disaster. The regime has handed out arms and uniforms to fascist thugs, presided over mass murder in Odessa and the Donbas, and is at war with its core industrial region. The USA, EU and NATO played a critical role in bringing this regime to power and they continue to sustain it. The ultimate goal may have been the pacification of Russia but the consequence for Ukraine may be Balkanisation.
The regime and its Atlanticist sponsors will not publically admit that they are on the cusp of a full blown civil war.
Initially, they adopted the simplistic ploy of simply claiming outright that the armed risings and occupations in the Donbas were the work of 'Russian agents'. This particular canard has been toned down in recent days. Immediately following the Odessa mass murders, the Ukrainian media speculated that many of the dead were Russians or, even better, Russian 'special forces' from Trans-Dniester. No evidence has ever been provided to back up this claim, despite the fact that 37 of the victims have now been identified. The simple truth, as the pro-regime Kiev Post admitted this week, is that they were Odessans. For all the bluster from Ukrainian nationalists about 'Russian agents', not a shred of evidence has been provided to back up these claims. In the meantime, there is a growing body count of Ukrainian victims of the regime.
The latest ploy is to adopt neo-conservative jargon and refer to 'terrorists'. It's so easy when the enemy is 'terror' itself - there are no complexities - no self-doubts. There is no need to look at the historical causes, the economic, cultural and political complexities. The enemy is simply pure 'terror'. There is no dialogue with 'terror'. And the Ukrainian regime has stated as much. This week it refused point blank to allow for any dialogue with the 'terrorists'. As Avakov stated: 'The only position towards terrorists is shoot to kill'.
Despite the copious amounts of hot air, Avakov knows very well that the Donbas rebellion enjoys significant levels of public support in the Donbas area. And the levels of support grow every time he sends in APC's manned by West Ukrainian soldiers. This not a war against 'terrorists'. It is what happens when state power in a historically recent nation state that straddles cultural, linguistic, political and religious differences is seized by nationalists with an agenda that exacerbates those differences and provokes conflict. There were no 'armed separatists' in the Donbas before the nationalist coup.
The unelected Yatsenyuk regime abandoned any pretence of speaking for the entire nation state of Ukraine when it decided to throw in its lot with the Pravy Sektor/Svoboda Fascists. It is a perversion of historical responsibility to blame the Putin regime for 'talking up' the fascist threat. The guilty party that bears full historical responsibility for what might happen in the Ukraine is the opportunistic 'Orange' party which has collaborated with fascists and deployed them against the Donbas region in the form of the new National Guard. The Obama regime, the EU and NATO have also directly collaborated with a movement, and subsequently a regime, that contains significant fascist elements and has used fascist violence to secure and preserve power.
If the Ukrainian regime is not 'denazified' - starting with the expulsion of all Svoboda elements from the political leadership and a purge of all fascist groups from the security apparatus - and if the regime continues to refuse to negotiate with the Donbas rebels and continues to pursue a military option - then there is a strong possibility of full blown civil war, in which Russia would inevitably become involved in some form. The outcome will be the Balkanisation of Ukraine, with at the very least the Donbas region either joining the Russian federation or becoming a Russian protectorate.
For that outcome, the historical responsibility will be shared by those craven and opportunistic collaborators with fascism - the Yatsenyuk regime, Washington, NATO and the EU.
Lionel Reynolds published the Dispatches from the Empire blog.
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