||This article appears in the November 7, 2014 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
New Obama, NATO Provocations
Threaten Russia and China
by Jeffrey Steinberg
[PDF version of this article]
Nov. 3—In the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 26 Ukrainian elections, in which a pro-NATO bloc, including two neo-Nazi parties (Svoboda and the Radical Party), won a majority in the parliament, provocations against Russia have risen to the point that Lyndon LaRouche has warned that we could be moments away from world war. LaRouche made clear that such a global conflict, which could lead to the use of thermonuclear weapons, was not inevitable; however, all the pre-conditions were now in place for just such a war between NATO and Russia. He further warned that such a conflict would soon draw in China.
On Oct. 29, Kiev pulled out of the delineation accord that was signed in September, as part of the Minsk Agreement between the Kiev government and pro-Russian forces in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of the southeast. Under those accords, a 19-mile-wide demilitarized zone was established, and provisions were also made for elections in the two regions, although the date was not specified. Facing ongoing military assaults and the pullout of the delineation accord, the local officials set the date for Nov. 2.
Now that the Donetsk and Lugansk regions have held their elections—the results of which Russia has pledged to honor—the situation threatens to escalate. Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko claimed that the elections were a “flagrant violation” of the Minsk protocol, and his Security Service threatened criminal prosecutions of those involved.
This turn of events only underscores the warning that LaRouche issued at an Oct. 31 webcast: that the threat of thermonuclear war has never been greater, and the fate of the planet absolutely depends upon jamming up Obama’s policy, a script handed to him by his British imperial sponsors.
Russians Sound the Alarm
Russian leaders immediately expressed their concerns over the growing war danger in the wake of the Ukraine elections. Gennady Gatilov, a deputy foreign minister, called on the United Nations to take up the implications of the revival of fascism in Ukraine, pointing to an early October demonstration in which thousands of activists commemorated the Ukraine Insurgent Army (UPA), which was the armed wing of the Nazi collaborationist Bandera movement of the 1930s and ’40s.
Gatilov’s call for UN debate was echoed on Oct. 28 in a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the anniversary of the liberation of Ukraine from Nazi occupation. Putin warned that the world must resist any attempts at reviving Nazi ideology, fomenting of inter-ethnic strife, and falsifying the shared history of the two countries.
The next day, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, during a visit to Belarus, announced an increase in joint maneuvers for 2015 in response to new threats. He focused on Ukraine, where the U.S. and European Union instigated the overthrow of the legitimate Ukrainian President. During the Minsk visit, Shoigu announced that Russia had sold four S-300 air defense systems to Belarus.
On Oct. 28-29, the Russian Air Force conducted large-scale maneuvers over the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the North Sea, involving 28 fighter planes including Tu-95 Bear bombers. Russia simultaneously successfully test-fired the new submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the Bulava, with a range of 10,000 kilometers, capable of carrying 6-10 150-kiloton thermonuclear warheads. The successful test was launched from the Barents Sea, and hit a test range in the Russian Far East.
On Oct. 31, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, who is in charge of Russia’s vast military-industrial sector, announced that the threats coming from NATO, particularly centered on Ukraine, mean that Russia will maintain full defense spending—i.e., without cuts—through at least 2020. He assailed the U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia, and announced that the first steps towards import substitution had already begun—in the defense sector.
These Russian words and actions clearly represented Moscow’s response to provocations from the U.S. and NATO. In addition to the unilateral cancellation of the Minsk Agreements delineation plan, the Ukraine government, along with the U.S. and some European governments, called for the cancellation of the Nov. 2 elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined the call, despite the fact that the UN had supported the original Minsk Agreements. The elections did take place today, with an estimated 80% turnout.
Days before the vote, the Polish Minister of Defense, Thomasz Siemoniak, announced a redeployment of Polish armed forces eastward to three bases bordering Belarus and Ukraine. Over the coming months, the three bases will reach 90% capacity, reflecting the first major repositioning of Polish armed forces since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. While Poland’s armed forces are small (the Army has only 120,000 troops), Poland has been a member of NATO since 1999, and any border conflict with Belarus could trigger Article V of the NATO Charter, providing for mutual defense—an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all of NATO. The significance of this move was clearly noted in Moscow.
On the eve of Russian National Unity Day, President Putin stressed that Russia will not drift into a confrontation provoked by NATO, a confrontation which he said was being persistently forced on Moscow. He cited the hotbed of provocations across the border in Ukraine, but emphasized that Russia’s military doctrine is defensive. On Oct. 30, Putin chaired a meeting of the Russian National Security Council, in which the major topic was the crisis in Ukraine and the elections in southeast Ukraine.
While there were some signs of a de-escalation of the Ukraine-Russia crisis, which has been building for the past 12 months, including the signing of a gas deal among Russia, Ukraine, and the European Union, on Oct. 31, the most radical neo-Nazi factions in Ukraine began threatening a military coup d’état against President Poroshenko if he slowed the process of full Ukraine integration into the European Union—and, implicitly, into NATO. The head of the Dnipro-1 Battalion, a neo-Nazi formation under the sponsorship of Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, announced that it was giving Poroshenko six months to meet its demands, or there would be a military coup. The same warning was delivered by the Azov Batallian, the armed wing of the Right Sector, a neo-Nazi party that won 6% of the vote in the Oct. 26 elections.
The China Front
LaRouche’s warnings that China would be rapidly drawn into any global conflict provoked against Russia by Obama and NATO were confirmed last week, as well. In a cover story for the November/December issue of the New York Council on Foreign Relations’ Foreign Affairs, the CFR’s top Asia specialist, Elizabeth Economy, penned a violent attack on China’s President Xi Jinping, under the headline “China’s Imperial President.”
She cited China’s New Silk Road policy, the proposal for China-Russia cooperation for building a rail link between Asia and the Western Hemisphere over the Bering Strait, and the founding of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), as signs that China is seeking a global empire. Economy demanded that the U.S. accelerate its Asia pivot, and prepare for military confrontation with China, while at the same time orchestrating color revolutions in Chinese-allied nations in Southeast Asia. The U.S. is already deeply involved in fomenting a color revolution in Hong Kong, through the National Endowment for Democracy and affiliated non-governmental organizations (NGOs).