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Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have had the chance personally to take the measure of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his client relationship with the U.S. At a very different kind of summit on Feb. 11-12 in Belorussia, with only puppet Poroshenko reflecting U.S. objectives, they worked out with him and Putin the so-called "Minsk II" package agreement that included a ceasefire that has pretty much held -- until just recently.
Merkel and Hollande are no political novices. And, if they know their history, they know what a Petain or a Quisling looks like. In any case, they cannot have failed to recognize what Poroshenko looks like, and how he continues to do the bidding of the neocons running U.S. policy on Ukraine, who remain hell-bent on demonizing Putin and ostracizing Russia -- all with little heed to the economic and the longer-term security interests of "junior partners" like Germany and France.
The German and French leaders -- and of course Putin -- are acutely aware of which side would see advantage in the current, pre-summit uptick in violations of the ceasefire in southeastern Ukraine. It is a safe bet they see the increased fighting as a transparently convenient cudgel in Washington's toolkit for use in its transparent effort to isolate Russia by blaming it for the violations and convincing U.S. "junior partners" of the need for continued economic sanctions.
The Roots of the Trouble in Ukraine
Europeans have a giant economic stake in what happens at the "G1-plus-six" summit in Bavaria. Trouble is, European press coverage of Ukraine is almost as poor as the thin gruel served up in U.S. media.
Odd as it strikes me, having analyzed Soviet propaganda for decades, the fawning corporate media in the U.S. have recently proven to be at least as adept at spreading half-truth and lies. Would you believe President Putin's account of what went down in Kiev since early 2014 is far more factually based? Well, you ought to believe that, because it is.
Here are excerpts from an interview Putin gave on June 6 to the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera:
"What sparked the [Ukraine] crisis? Former President Viktor Yanukovych said that he needed to think about signing Ukraine's Association Agreement with the EU, possibly make some changes and hold consultations with Russia, Ukraine's major trade and economic partner. In this connection and under this pretext riots broke out in Kiev. They were actively supported by both our European and American partners.
"Then a coup d'etat followed -- a totally anti-constitutional act. ... The question is: what was the coup d'etat for? Why did they need to escalate the situation to a civil war? ... The result that we have -- a coup d'etat, a civil war, hundreds of lives lost, a devastated economy and social sphere, a four-year $17.5 billion loan promised to Ukraine by the IMF and complete disintegration of economic ties with Russia...
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