This article originally appeared at Gray Falcon
Will the new ceasefire bring peace to Ukraine? I think not.
Aside from some slightly stronger language and specific timelines, to me this looks basically like the same paper. And the only part of “Minsk 1” ever implemented was the OSCE monitoring mission, which has been worse than useless.
Alexander Mercouris believes that the talks were a Franco-German effort to halt the fighting before the Kiev junta suffered a catastrophic defeat; that would have given Washington a pretext to send weapons to the junta, which in turn would have caused a Russian response – and WW3. Fair enough.
Here’s a problem, though: as Andrew Korybko points out, Washington wasn’t at the talks. While Mercouris thinks that Merkel and Hollande have kept the Atlantic Empire in the loop, this does not mean Washington is bound by the terms of the paper. Then again, the Empire has a history of oath-breaking, so that’s a moot point.
It is important to note, as Mercouris has, that this is not a political settlement – not a peace treaty, then. At best, it’s a ceasefire with theoretical potential to grow into an armistice. If Kiev abides by it, within a month we should see some steps towards a political settlement. But honestly, what are the odds of that?
Srdja Trifkovic noted the resemblance of the current diplomatic circus to the European attempts to negotiate a peaceful solution in Bosnia, two decades ago. Time and again, Washington sabotaged their efforts, encouraging its client – a faction of the Bosnian Muslims – to reject all deals, no matter how favorable. Only after Washington had set the stage to re-assert control over Europe, establish the primacy of NATO, and sideline the UN, did theDayton Accords happen.
What happened to Izetbegovic’s Muslims, whom the U.S. was supposedly “saving”? Used and discarded, just like the Croat “junkyard dogs.” I’ve never had the slightest doubt that this would be the ultimate fate of Poroshenko’s junta. This is how Empire’s “allies” usually fare.
But the Maidan Banderists in Kiev still believe that weapons and instructors are on the way, and that the American white knight will lead them to glorious victory over the hated “Moskals” come spring, or maybe another August.
With that in mind, let me venture some predictions here:
- Whatever happens on the battlefield in the next two days, before the ceasefire takes effect, the junta will drag its feet in pulling back artillery and heavy weapons.
- The junta will also violate article 10 – which calls for disbanding “illegal armed groups” (i.e. “volunteer battalions”) and withdrawal of “foreign troops, heavy weapons and mercenaries” – by claiming the existence of phantom “Russian invaders.”
- The Western media will parrot Kiev’s narrative, no matter how much satellite, drone and other evidence Russia provides to the contrary.
- The people of Donetsk and Lugansk (i.e. Novorussia) will grumble, but abide by the terms.
- OSCE observers will make mealy-mouthed statements about “all sides.”
- There will be precisely zero movement in Kiev towards a political solution – no laws on autonomy, no resumption of payments and services, nothing.
- US “instructors” will arrive in March, even though that’s in direct violation of article 10 (“foreign troops”).
- At this point, the ceasefire will break down and fighting will resume.
While it is possible that the junta might be PR-savvy enough to propose some politically correct-sounding legislation aimed at creating the impression they care about a political solution, I don’t think it’s very likely.
They don’t have to make much of an effort to persuade the West (as the propaganda machine is already on their side), the Novorussians don’t trust them anyway, and they’d have a hard time selling it to the torch-parading Banderists of the Maidan.
Oh, and I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if the Western media were to spin the Minsk armistice as a result of righteous Western pressure on the “evil aggressor” Putin, who is desperately looking to salvage his crumbling economy and justify the loss of Russian lives to grieving mothers and widows, etc. etc. ad nauseam.
And when the fighting resumes, as it will, they will blame it on “Russian aggression” again, and all of Washington will bark in tune with John McCain.
Why am I such a pessimist? Because I’ve lived through Bosnia. Because European-brokered deals mean nothing to the Empire. Because a proxy war on Russia is still a policy in Washington. Because the junta’s Nazi ideology doesn’t allow for a political settlement with “sub-humans” and Russians, but insists on conflict with them.
The few Western leaders who haven’t gone completely mad from their own propaganda may vaguely realize that Russia doesn’t want a large-scale fratricidal war – but see that as a weakness, not a proof of reason and wisdom born of experience.
They really shouldn’t ignore the warning given by Donetsk leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko: “If these terms are broken, there will be no new meetings.”
But they will.