Report from Ukraine Meeting Nov 13, 2019

By Bruce Gagnon,
November 13, 2019

Ukraine coming apart at the seams

While in Moscow two weeks ago I was invited to meet with Larisa Shesler, the Chairperson of the Union of Immigrants & Political Prisoners from Ukraine. Larisa is from Ukraine and had to escape for her life in 2014 following the US-backed coup in Kiev that was directed by the Obama administration.  While in Ukraine Larisa was a political activist and Deputy Chair of a left political party.  She was an elected member of the Area Council (equal to a state).  Several thousand former Ukrainians are members of the Union of Immigrants & Political Prisoners and now are living in Russia.  Here are some of her words from our meeting.

  • Ukraine has become the center of world attention.
  • Russian oligarchs do not want to lose connection to Ukraine’s economy.
  • It would have been a great geo-political defeat for Russia to allow US-NATO military bases in Ukraine. [Imagine the reverse if Russia or China put military bases in Mexico or Canada.  Washington would go ballistic.]
  • Ukraine today depends on IMF and World Bank for financial help.
  • It was absurd that Russia was involved in the 2016 US election.  Russia had no instrument of involvement.
  • The current Ukraine situation could lead to global conflict between Russia and the west.
  • There is a law in Ukraine against selling the nation’s lands and soil, but the new President Zelensky wants to take it away. [Ukraine has some of the best farming soil on the planet.]
  • Western [agri-business] companies want Ukraine out of the world food market – except for sunflowers and rapeseed (canola) oil.
  • Ordinary people in Ukraine are absolutely against selling land – only five million people would be needed for farming, so many would lose their jobs, at least three times as many who would normally be working.  Vegetables, fruits and berries are now big crops – all could be lost.
  • More than 80% of the Ukrainian people are opposed to sale of their lands. Monsanto today is the biggest company interested in Ukrainian lands.  [Monsanto wants to do GMO farming there.  Russia has banned GMO.] The IMF is demanding sale of lands in order to pay Ukrainian mounting debts – especially since 2014.
  • When unemployment hits hard Ukraine will be the most dangerous country in Europe – that becomes a problem for Russia because of the instability on its border.
  • Wise people in the west believe that Ukraine is best left in peaceful relationship with Russia – it’s historic trading partner.
  • China is about to stop tourism to Ukraine.  China has stopped issuing Visas for Ukrainians to travel to Hong Kong because some fascists from Ukraine have been helping to train protesters in Hong Kong. China thinks Ukraine is an instrument of western policy.
  • Ukraine wants Chinese investments.
  • Russia can’t really do much to stop western sabotage of Ukraine.
  • Russia has three million economic immigrants from Ukraine since 2014.  Two hundred thousand political immigrants have escaped to Russia from Ukraine since 2014.
  • France and Germany want to bring Russia back into the fold.  Europe without Russian trade is a weak competitor with the USA.  That is why more EU states are pressuring President Zelensky to make peace with Russia.  Washington opposes this plan.
  • The Kiev government is not safe from the Nazis.  It only took 2,000 trained Nazis to force the coup in 2014.  They have now 200,000 who have experienced war in the Donbass against the two republics (DPR & LPR) and they have no moral barriers. [Many of the Nazis have been trained by the US Army Special Forces from Ft. Carson, Colorado.  See here]
  • Trump is not committed to the Ukraine war, western Europe is not either, but the Democrats still are.
  • Russia won’t let the DPR & LPR dissolve which would create even more instability inside Russia.  
  • Neither side (DPR & LPR nor the Nazis) can advance beyond the current ‘line of contact’ in the Donbass unless Kiev is ready for great losses.  It is like the front lines of WW I.  
  • Russian has given passports to about 70,000 Donbass citizens.
  • President Zelensky has a short rope.  He hopes the west will push Russia to pressure the Donbass republics.  Ukraine wants to change the Minsk Agreements – Russia, LPR, and DPR say no.
  • The US hopes Russia will bend like it did when NATO attacked and broke up Yugoslavia.