Who’s responsible for the war in Ukraine?

This is a statement by the EU “High Representative/Vice-President” Federica Mogherini on the recent shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine.

Residential areas of the city of Mariupol have been fired upon today from separatist held territory, which has cost the lives of at least fifteen civilians, wounding many others and terrorising the innocent population. This comes after a series of indiscriminate attacks in the Donbas in the past few days, accompanied by the announcements of further offensives by Russia-backed separatists, who bluntly refuse to observe the cease fire.

This further escalation of the open armed conflict has tragic consequences for a population greatly suffering already for far too long. It would inevitably lead to a further grave deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia.

I call therefore openly upon Russia to use its considerable influence over separatist leaders and to stop any form of military, political or financial support. This would prevent disastrous consequences for all. Those responsible for the escalation must stop their hostile actions and live up to their commitments.

“High Representative” really does sound like a title from the late Roman Empire. How does an ordinary person approach Ms Mogherini? On all fours, presumably. (According to the article linked below by a Conservative MP one EU diplomat in fact indicated that this is how the Ukrainians should approach the EU).

The blame for this latest piece of carnage is laid firmly at the door of the “Russia-backed separatists”. One characteristic of this conflict is the way the Western political narrative does not even bother with investigations etc. The narrative just amplifies the line from Kiev.

It may be true that this latest piece of carnage and slaughter was the result of fire by the militias. But where is the EU, the upholder of civilisation on the European continent, when their regime in Kiev attacks civilian areas in Eastern Ukraine with Grads? In July last year Human Rights Watch commented:

Human Rights Watch called on all parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, particularly Ukrainian government forces, to stop using Grad rockets in or near populated areas because of the likelihood of killing and wounding civilians.

Rational and calm commentators on Ukraine recognise that the EU’s single-minded insistence on Ukraine signing the EU Association agreement was a leading cause of the crisis. You do not have to be a genius at geo-political affairs to see that forcing a country as divided as Ukraine (in both World Wars Ukrainians fought on both sides) to choose irrevocably between Russia and Europe was going to cause problems. The naive, irresponsible, politicking of EU officials and the out of touch European political class drive a wedge into Ukraine, split it asunder, and now step back and blame Russia for all the problems. As the statement from the EU above shows they still haven’t learned. They still want their side to “win”.

There are numerous analyses from political figures in the West which broadly speaking make this analysis. Here is clear and informed account by Bill Cash MPÂ written in March 2014.

This is another calm analysis. This is US elder statesman Henry Kissinger writing in the Washington Post back in March 2014.

(Neither of these people could be accused of “left-wing” sympathies of any kind).

The “policy” of the US and EU is to pretend that they haven’t made a dreadful (and cak-handed) mistake. The just go on about “Ukrainian sovereignty” and “Russian aggression”. But in reality they are supporting the faction in Ukraine which took power in the February 2014 coup. Â The other 25% of Ukrainians who don’t see their interests represented by the coup leaders are supposed to just airbrush themselves out of history presumably?

This really is a shocking moment in European even American history where the leaders just throw any responsibility for diplomacy, notions of constitutional settlement etc. out of the window. Â They promulgate a fictitious narrative about “Russian aggression” in order to avoid having to even discuss the real complexities of the political situation at hand. This practice – of refusing to admit there is even an opposing point of view – is becoming a hallmark of the Western political class. A different problem, but the refusal to think of Islamic terrorism in terms other than that of the apolitical “barbaric murders” line is another example.

Here are a couple of quotes from the two articles quoted above. The first is Bill Cash MP quoting a British nineteenth century statesman John Bright. John Bright was talking about the Crimean war:

Russia is a great Power, as England is, and in treating with her you must consider that the Russian Government has to consult its own dignity, its own interests, and public opinion, just as much at least as the Government of this country.

This is Henry Kissinger:

Putin should come to realize that, whatever his grievances, a policy of military impositions would produce another Cold War. For its part, the United States needs to avoid treating Russia as an aberrant to be patiently taught rules of conduct established by Washington. Putin is a serious strategist — on the premises of Russian history. Understanding U.S. values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point of U.S. policymakers.

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Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer