UPDATE 12/27/2014: A better analysis of the Ukraine fiasco is here: https://myrandomthoughtdump.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/putins-pounds-of-flesh/
There was a coup in Ukraine, then Russia invaded–but why?
- Russia was NOT getting paid what they were owed by Ukraine for natural gas. Ukraine’s prior leaders didn’t want to pay for at least two billion dollars worth of gas they stole from pipeline trans-shipments “intended for the EU” but supposedly “used in Ukraine.” Russia has been unsuccessfully pursuing payment for several years. (More here.) It’s reasonable to assume that Ukraine’s leaders continued to steal gas. If only “somehow” Ukraine’s leaders could be replaced by more agreeable leaders, maybe then Russia could collect payments owed (and maybe less Russian gas would be stolen).
- Ukraine’s prior leaders threatened to NOT renew Russia’s lease of its Black Sea naval base (located in Ukraine) if Russia continued to demand full payment for the gas they had stolen. (More here.) Tsk, tsk. If only “somehow” Ukraine’s leaders could be replaced by more agreeable leaders, maybe then it might be easier for Russia to keep it’s naval base on the Black Sea.
- Russian gas supplies routed through Ukraine to Europe were disrupted, which is unacceptable to the European Union. In its attempts to get paid by Ukraine, Russia “temporarily” in 2009 cut back the amount of gas routed to Europe through Ukraine’s pipelines. As a result gas supplies to Europe were disrupted and gas prices in the EU shot up. This was outrage to the EU. They complained to Ukraine and Russia. Russia said they just wanted to get paid but Russia agreed to resume gas trans-shipments, but at a reduced level, until they got paid. (More here.) EU leaders were frightened that Ukraine’s leaders wouldn’t ever pay Russia and that there would never be a reliable supply of Russian gas available to Europe. If only “somehow” Ukraine’s leaders could be replaced by more agreeable leaders, maybe then Russia could be paid and Russia could turn EU’s full gas supply back on.
- Top managers of Ukraine’s Central Bank were stealing from the Central Bank, which endlessly annoyed the Central Bank’s owners. (Article 3) Although there were demands to replace the Ukraine’s Central Bank’s top management, it wasn’t getting done. Owners of Central Banks don’t like it when the “help” start stealing from them. Perhaps these owners came to the conclusion that Ukraine’s prior leaders had to go in order to replace Ukraine’s Central Bank management?
Why didn’t Russia just re-conquer Ukraine? Russia has sufficient military strength to re-conquer Ukraine–if they wanted. Heck, Russia used to own Ukraine. However, it appears that Russia isn’t interested in re-conquering Ukraine. Why? Negative cash flow. Ukraine has huge financial problems (i.e., it’s losing money). Not only would re-conquering Ukraine generate bad PR for Russia, it would be expensive to re-conquer, a nightmare to rebuild, and an huge and ongoing money drain.
So, replacing Ukraine’s prior leaders could help to solve everyone’s problems–at the mere cost of interfering with the internal politics of a supposedly sovereign nation. By “allowing” a coup in Ukraine, and then carefully selecting new leaders (i.e., puppets who will do what they’re told):
- Russia gets paid for its gas and gets to keep its Black Sea navy base.
- EU gets more reliable gas supplies.
- The owners of Ukraine’s central bank get to appoint new management.
Meanwhile, one of Ukraine’s newly appointed leaders (i.e., puppet), Arseny Yatsenyuk, has promised the new government would do its best to avoid a default (i.e., pay its debts), a difficult task as the country’s treasury is empty and the economy is in disarray. Furthermore, he asserts that: (Source)
- Negotiations with Russia would continue, and he considers the neighboring country “a partner”.
- Strengthening ties with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund will remain a priority as Ukraine rebuilds.
- Economic troubles ahead will likely make him the most unpopular PM in Ukraine’s history.
Of course he’ll be unpopular. Why? His priorities are NOT to address the misery of the common people of Ukraine. His priorities are to reduce the looting of Ukraine’s Central Bank, and to tax the people of Ukraine, in order extract the money to pay Russia, so that reliable gas supplies to the EU can be resumed.
What about the people of Ukraine? They’re the tax-payers, the pawns in the game–merely a hapless herd of tax cattle being poked and prodded and milked, in yet another round of superpowers playing geo-political chess. The Ukrainian people’s role is to pay their taxes without complaint . . .
Who could possibly object? The EU, the U.S. and Russia already agreed.
Does Russia Support the coup in Ukraine? Yes. It re-opens the EU market to sell more Russian gas:
Do the EU (and the U.S.) support the coup in Ukraine? Yes. It eases EU’s gas supply problems: U.S.-EU Ready to Help Cash-Strapped Ukraine–after President Ousted
UPDATE 3/2/2014: Russia has unloaded some troops around Crimea. The press is playing it up as if the Russians are trying to use military to take over Crimea (and possibly more). However, there’s some additional news today from Ukraine:
“Russia put pressure on Ukraine from another direction when a spokesman for state gas company Gazprom said that Ukraine owed $1.59 billion in overdue bills for imported gas. Sergei Kuprianov said in a statement carried by Russian news wires that the gas arrears would endanger a recent discount granted by Russia. The Russian payment demand and loss of the discount would accelerate Ukraine’s financial crisis. The country is almost broke and seeking emergency credit from the International Monetary Fund. The tensions barely touched everyday life in Simferopol, the regional capital of Crimea, or anywhere on the peninsula. Children played on swings a few blocks from the parliament building, and most of the city’s stores were open. Couples walked hand-in-hand through parks. Crimea’s airports – civilian and military – were closed to air traffic, but trains and cars were moving to and from the Ukrainian mainland.” (Source)
Things appear to be ratcheting up a bit. The West is upset at Russia’s demand for payment of $1.59 B. This complicates things. Ukraine is broke. If financial aid (IMF/World Bank) is to be “given” to Ukraine then a large part of that “aid” might have to be handed over to Russia. [Typically most IMF/World Bank aid is immediately spent to hire Western firms to undertake projects in the recipient country. In this case some of the money might have to go to Russia.]
Russia wants to get paid for their gas. It’s reasonable to speculate that the reason the Russians are making such a big deal out of the mere $1.59 B is that they want it to be absolutely clear that they will not allow Ukraine’s new leaders to steal gas like the prior leaders did. I’d guess that as soon as the Russians are adequately re-assured that no future stealing will be tolerated, then “peace” will be restored. I’d also guess that the EU will be happy to appease the Russians because they are mostly worried about getting a reliable supply of Russian gas. A negotiated compromise seems likely.
Ukraine’s coup: Just super-power chess, a tempest in a teapot;
Just another successful step towards implementing a New World Order.
Nov 2013 (pre-Maidan!):
Ukraine Deputy gives proof of USA staging civil war in Ukraine
Gambling At Rick‘s? Various videos have surfaced that show what appear to be US and British Special Forces mercenaries fighting along side Ukrainian neo-Nazi forces. Sources suggest that at least 500 Blackwater-type mercs are so employed.
Next up: try again in Syria?
- ‘Treasury empty’, Ukraine’s economy in free fall (therebel.org)
- The Crisis In Ukraine: What it Means to be Looted by the West (therebel.org)
- The Truth About Ukraine – A Coup? (wchildblog.com)
- ‘Soft Power’ and what Syria and Ukraine have in Common (contraryperspective.com)
- Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? (consortiumnews.com)