Thursday, July 9, 2015

OSCE condemns Russia for an "unjustified assult" on Ukraine ... for partially helping out to resist Ukraine's Nazification

OSCE (part of the Minsk process--restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity) adopted a resolution condemning Russia for an "unjustified assault" on Ukraine, this term does include Crimea and Donbass. Both.

Russia's official position is that Crimea was an ad hoc, special case where the reasons or justifications used do not extend to Donbass or anywhere else in Ukraine under its current anti-Russian, nationalistic regime. With respect to Donbass, Russia tried to argue (feebly and) in vain that it has nothing to do with any of that--well except for having some "leverage" over the leaders of the two would-be breakaway "self-declared republics or regions." Of course that leverage is much like a command. Russia was able to make the Donetsk and Lugansk leaders sign both Minsk 1 and 2, in which they effectively single-handedly (by Russia's decree) cancelled their independence referendum. Everyone also knows that, without Russia, none of these two republics could exist.

The OSCE resolution shied away from calling Russia's involvement "aggression." Although the term "unjustified assault" does imply that, but it also can possibly cover a whole range of variously grievous "assaults." In this, the West retained some flexibility and space of maneuver for itself, though much less for Russia. Choosing also a seemingly softer term was apparently also led by a desire to form the largest possible anti-Russian bloc.

Still the use of the term "unjustified" is important and revealing. For its adoption documents both the position of Russia's convinced adversaries and NATO satellites and a possible agreement of some others that Russia has failed in making her case to justify her actions in Crimea and also in Donbass. In the case of Crimea, Russia did try to evoke the very important principle of self-determination, but dismissed and rejected it for Donbass, thus undermining its own position and thereby serving the counter-argument of the anti-Russian coalition on the side of the Bandera regime. Principles are principles because they are supposed to be universal or applicable "as a matter of principle," not as a justification that serves only one special case.

When it comes to justification of its (non)involvement in Donbass and the struggle of the Russians there, the Kremlin decided already in April of 2014 that this is--i the eyes of the Kremlin as opposed to the consensus of most of the Russian people--neither a national liberation struggle, nor a struggle against Nazism, nor a fight for freedom, but merely a struggle for some very vague, unspecific "administrative" and language rights together with a fight for what the people of Donbass had before they rose up against the junta--their pensions and other social payments. Thus, the Kremlin framed the struggle as an armed (and clearly not that really justified, when framed as such) struggle for a placibo of "constitutional amendments," some decentralization, hopefully with some respect for old Soviet monuments and some locally and regionally limited, conserved piety for the remembrance of the Great Patriotic War. As Putin then summed it at the Economic Forum in St.Petersburg in June, really "nothing special." One does not need to have too many schools or degrees to see that such "justifications" do undercut any serious attempt or, at least, its pretense to make the case for the justice of the Donbass uprising. I noticed this turn right away when Lavrov made it for the first official and public in Geneva in April of 2014. It was too evident that the Kremlin suddenly (back then) decided to falsify and misrepresent the true reason and character of the conflict in the most trite way possible--as a mere fight for the buildings (back then) and as a local conflict largely over language and obscure administrative issues.

Lesson? Once you take justice out and the truth, you cannot really justify your position well. And this was either Moscow's intention or its systemic, class default. Or its vested interest. Without justice and the truth, only few other options are then left--sophisms and/or pleas to one's enemies to make a deal, which would not look too much as what it is in fact.

The truth is that Moscow, namely Putin and Lavrov above all, did a very sloppy job justifying either themselves or the cause of the Russians in Donbass who once believed in them more than anyone else. Essentially, Moscow was continuously sabotaging any serious justification of the anti-Nazi, anti-oligarchic, anti-Bandera uprising to a point of removing authentic Novorossiya and Donbass leaders who were saying the truth about why they fight  and who also stand and stood by it. Moscow tried very hard to silence and suppress the anti-oligarchic character and program of the Novorossiya revolution as well as its anti-Nazi, patriotic ethos. In this regard, it was not hard to see that Moscow cringed over the word "people's" in the name of the two republics and evaded them more than anything else.

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