Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Brave New World of the Minsk "Ceasefire" Protocol

The sum result of the essentially unilateral "ceasefire" in Novorossiya is that the "ceasefire" is turning into a stealthy and not-so-stealthy comeback and advance of the junta back unto portions of the territory that was controlled by the army of Novorossiya.

The loss that is taking place, especially over the last three days, is rather significant--the whole portion of the territories west and north of Mariupol has been reoccupied by the junta and ceded by Zakharchenko's command. The junta also started moving deeper into northern part of the front between Debaltzevo and Lugansk. At the same time, shelling of the cities of Novorossiya continues and it also includes white phosphorus shells.

On the face of it, it looks that Putin-initiated "peace plan" has been a deal on returning a significant portion of Novorossiya's territories, signing away Novorossiya's sovereignty (see the provisions of the Minsk Protocol, which say exactly that), and putting the army of Novorossiya on ice or in a sleeping mode. At the same time, there is no evidence of any notable gain by Novorossiya in return.

There might be some unknown or intangible benefit, but the other very significant tangible harm of this deal and situation is the demobilization and politically adverse affect which this state of affairs and leadership is causing. Zakharchenko's authority and charisma is in the abyss, and Russian foreign policy looks as poorly as it did when Russia voted for sanctions against Yugoslavia or for the bombing flight zone in Libya and when Russia continued supplying gas to the anti-Russian Nazi junta in Kiev for more than three months for free.

As I reported elsewhere, Zakharchenko went out into Donetsk today and he gave there an interview, in which he happened to disclose that ceding Mariupol was demanded by the junta before they made him together with Moscow sign the Minsk Ceasefire Protocol as "a guarantee" ... presumably as a down-payment on the withdrawal and accepting the Protocol's provisions which say that "regions [no Novorossiya] of Donetsk and Lugansk" will have merely some "special status" within the Banderire junta-controlled Ukraine and that the Nazi junta in Kiev will at some point make some "law" for these regions. The Protocol also requires new "local elections"--apparently under the sovereignty and hence control of the same junta.

It does almost look that someone, and someone very high, in Moscow made a decision that Novorossiya means revolution and that revolution is what Moscow cannot afford. Or seven millions of Russians who voted on their referendum just as the people in Crimea did--but without any Russian bases in Donbass or "polite men"--and who don't want to see their fields being used for launching pads of NATO missiles aimed at Moscow and who don't want to live under rule of pro-Nazi oligarchs.

It is incomprehensible that the victory of the Novorossiya Armed Forces offensive would be used as a bargaining chip to be given away or undone through inter-oligarchic tete-a-tete behind closed doors.

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