The results are in. The official tally is complete and the winner announced.
According to an opinion piece in in Bloomberg News (9/26), Russian President Vladimir Putin is the victor in the conflict in Ukraine (Bloomberg News, Ukraine Can't Hide Putin's Victory, Leonid Barshefky, 9/26),.
Clearly, Putin comes out ahead in this conflict but the real winners are the people of the eastern Ukraine and their resistance militia. Resistance forces fought brilliantly against much larger, better-equipped troops dispatched by the Kiev junta to assault people in cities and towns it declared terrorists. The terrorist acts consisted of political opposition to Ukraine's ruling neo Nazis and oligarchs along with an expressed desire for self-rule. The United States puppets in Kiev started the violence. The people of the east finished it, decisively.
The military tide turned at the end of August when the western politicians and media could no longer hide a string of stunning defeats suffered by Kiev forces. All of a sudden, Kiev's holy crusade against the east was replaced with a Russian brokered ceasefire, the Minsk protocol (9/5). This slowed the intensity of hostilities. The agreement also legitimized the resistance governments of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Their representatives signed the protocol along with the Ukraine government, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
In an attempt to mask the extent of his nation's defeat, Ukraine oligarch and President Petro Poroshenko spoke to the United States Congress in mid September. The bought and sold politicians gave Poroshenko a dozen or so standing ovations for his warnings about the new Cold War. But, when he pleaded for weapons, he left empty handed. Congress sent Poroshenko off with a consolation prize of a few million dollars when he needs billions to avoid an economic meltdown.
The real action took place behind the scenes between Ukraine's leaders and Russia. Unlike the very public chest thumping defiance, Ukraine's rulers offered a three-year period of autonomy for the regions it sought to crush plus other concessions that reflect the nation's diminished support by the U.S. financial elite.
The Bloomberg piece is of special interest since it comes from the homeland of the U.S. financial elite. Aside from one factual lapse, the author sums things up clearly. The piece may become the epitaph for the failed conflict.
Here are the high points from the article.
The Magic Show
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is running a magic show. By pretending his country has a chance of joining the European Union or NATO, he is hoping to obscure Kiev's, and Europe's, gradual capitulation to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukraine Can't Hide Putin's Victory, Bloomberg, Sep 26
Poroshenko's address to the U.S. Congress was the peak of his magic show. Nothing of substance was gained but it helped divert attention from his capitulation to resistance and Russian demands
Poroshenko's recent concessions to Putin's demands
Just last week, the Ukrainian parliament passed a Poroshenko-approved law granting self-government and budgetary support to the areas of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian rebels, and Kiev agreed not to lower trade barriers for European goods. In return, Russia apparently pulled out most of its troops from eastern Ukraine and facilitated some prisoner exchanges between the rebels and the Ukrainian military. Bloomberg, Sep 26
Self-government is another word for autonomy. The idea of a happy reunion between the breakaway regions and central government of Ukraine is inconceivable. They're likely gone for good. As for the author's claimed Russian troop presence in Ukraine (initially called an invasion), that falls in the same category as the accusation that the resistance shot down Malaysian flight MH17: a political convenience absent any supporting evidence.
NATO membership for Ukraine not likely