Ukraine: The Only Solution
Comment on Ukraine Conflict as of September 1, 2014
by John-Henry Hill, M.D.
September 1, 2014
Revised: December 8, 2014
First, I am an AMERICAN who has lived in Odessa, Ukraine since 2009.
Let’s put aside the propaganda from all sides.
How about a few FACTS?
1.) After the fall of the Soviet Union, President Bush-1 and other NATO members promised the Russians that NATO would NOT extend itself beyond its then current borders. In 1990 Gorbachev agreed to allow German reunification within NATO after being promised that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east.” (To be precise, it was in February 1990 that Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker promised Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would move “not one inch” to the East, if Russia pulled its 24 divisions out of East Germany.) Some NATO members were skeptical about Gorbachev’s motives. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was the primary the primary NATO leader in favor of giving Russia a chance to “prove herself”. In response Gorbachev withdrew all Soviet military from Afghanistan; then unilaterally withdrew of 500,000 troops and 10,000 tanks from Eastern Europe. It was Presidents Clinton, Bush-2 and Obama who broke that promise, with the addition of 12 NEW countries, plus an aborted attempt by Georgia. Other countries being considered for NATO membership include Cyprus and Macedonia (being blocked by Turkey and Greece, respectively), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and (once again) Georgia. It these countries, 17 NEW members will have joined NATO following NATO’s “promise” not to expand eastward. And recently Moldava has expressed interest in joining NATO, which will increase the number of NEW NATO members to 18. Ukraine would make it 19. So, the question to be asked is, “WHO is not keeping their pledges?”
2.) It is now well-known that the U.S. State Department, along with the CIA and numerous Western NGOs (non-governmental organizations) planned, financed (at $5 billion USD) and helped orchestrate the Maidan Square demonstrations in Kiev, leading to the February 22, 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev in which duly-elected President Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown and replaced by the U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland’s hand-picked choice for Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (“Yats”). So, again a question arises:”WHO created the Ukraine crisis?
3.) Does anyone recall the CRIMEAN WAR of 1854? Crimea was under Russian control since the 1700’s and Britain was the invader. I have walked and studied this battlefield on a number of occasions – it would NOT have been my choice of a field of battle. Likewise, Ukraine should NOT become the battlefield between the U.S. and Russia.
4.) Russia included Crimea until 1954 when a drunken Krushchev “gave it” to Ukraine. But the city of Sevastopol always remained a “Russian city” with special status by treaty, which also allowed up to 25,000 Russian military personnel to be stationed throughout Crimea.
5.) Eastern and southern Ukraine have been considered part of Russia for centuries. In fact, ALL of what is now Ukraine, except for the northwester region, was historically part of Russia. Kiev was once the CAPITAL of Russia. The northwestern region from Lutsk to Ivano-Frankivsk ccmprises the REAL historic Ukraine, whose culture, customs and language resemble those of POLAND, much more than Russia. Indeed, if one speaks Polish, one is more likely to understand the Ukrainian language.
6.) On the southwestern border of Ukraine exists the Transdnestr Republic (adjacent to Moldava). Transdnestr is historically Russian and has held 2 referenda in which the people overwhelmingly vote for independence and union with Russia. It has its own government, currency, passports, etc., plus a HUGE well-armed military. It was a strategic Soviet military outpost blocking the ONLY practical invasion route (about 15 miles wide) into Ukraine from southern Europe – except for a small area near the intersection of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. All other routes are blocked by impassable MARSHES and MOUNTAINS. The only other possible invasion routes into Russia proper are through Latvia and Estonia (or Belarus, an ally of Russia), where Russia’a strongest defenses are located. Transdnestr also has about 2,000 elite Russian troops acting as “peacekeepers”, but they are hardly necessary. When the Soviet Army left Transdnestr, it left behind all its military hardware – including missile systems, heavy artillery, tanks, APCs,, heavy machine guns, small arms, etc – along with a vast amount of ammunition. Further, each time the Russian troops in Transdnestr receive “upgraded: weapons systems, the “old” hardware is handed over to the Transdnestr military..
In brief, if NATO should be INSANE enough to attempt to invade Ukraine, its forces will be CRUSHED as soon as they enter Ukraine, if not beforehand.
7.) It is a standing joke that even the Russians blush at the extent of the corruption within the Ukrainian government! The SAME oligarchs that ruled Ukraine in 1992 still rule Ukraine today. The only difference has been the introduction of NATO and U.S. interests, especially through the neo-NAZI political groups from northwestern Ukraine. The U.S., via these neo-NAZI proxies, exercise the REAL political control in Kiev – which means they control who is appointed to the president cabinet (ministries, including the heads of internal security, the military, the central bank and interior ministry), as well as the governors of each OBLAST (similar to a STATE in the U.S.). One has only to visit the northwestern city of Lvov in the Spring to witness the huge crowds watching the annual parades (complete with NAZI flags, German-style uniforms and other NAZI-like memorabilia) commemorating the Ukrainian pro-NAZI regiments that joined the Germany military during World War 2. It is no exaggeration to describe the Right-Sector, Svoboda and other militant Ukrainian groups as neo-NAZIs.
8.) Approximately fourteen (14) Russian troops got lost and wandered into Ukraine. NOT exactly an “invading army” !!!
9.) Entire battalions of Kiev troops have purposely entered Russia on order to escape from attacking anti-Kiev forces. In each instance, Russian troops have given them safety, food, and free, unmolested passage back into Ukraine.
10.) Most of Kiev’s military is composed of “conscripts” with between 2-4 weeks of training, poorly armed and equipped – many Kiev troops were actually offered food by the locals in eastern Ukraine they were supposed to be fighting. (Even the neo-NAZI militia groups, such as the Right-Sector and Svoboda, are better equipped, though also lacking in real combat training.) Ukraine dropped it mandatory military conscription years ago (to save money) knowing that Russia would come to its defense.
11.) On a recent trip to Chisinau, Moldava (adjacent to southwestern Ukraine), we noticed that the highways had roadblocks and ALL bridges across even the smallest of rivers (more like streams) had defensive military positions set up with many troops. WHY? Because, as mentioned above, between Moldava and Ukraine sits the Transdnestr Republic (with Tiraspol as its capital), which has twice voted in referenda to join the Russian Federation, has its own HUGE, well-armed military (as a former strategic Soviet outpost) with artillery, tanks, missile systems, etc – plus approximately 2,000 elite Russian troops as “peacekeepers”, armed with the latest Russian artillery, tanks, missile systems and so on.
12.) Traditionally laws passed in Kiev were frequently ignored by other oblasts and/or large cities, simply because Kiev had no means of enforcing them. The people of Ukraine are truly INDIVIDUALISTS with a strong sense of personal independence. The best analogy I can use is the relation of the states to the U.S. government during the early 1800’s – if the people of a state disagreed with a law passed by the federal government, they simply ignored that law. Even on a local level, it is not uncommon to see a citizen of Odessa arguing with a policeman, in effect asking, “Who the Hell are you to tell me what to do?”
13.) If Russia truly wanted to take over Ukraine by military force, it could do so in 2-3 days maximum coming in from the north, east, southeast and Transdnestr in the west. (Invasion into/out of Crimea is much more difficult, since only 2 narrow – 5 miles wide – land bridges connect Crimea with mainland Ukraine. As the Germans discovered during World War 2, these causeways are highly defensible, especially with modern weapons systems.
14.) Putin and Russia do NOT want to take over Ukraine. Ukraine is an economic “basket case” and offers Russia NOTHING (oil, gas, coal, etc.) that it already does not possess in great abundance. Ukraine would be a HUGE economic drain on Russia. Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (“Yats”) and President Petrov Poroshenko (the “Chocolate King”) desperately NEED a war between NATO and Russia, in order to obtain military and financial aid from the West. And they are willing to issue the most ridiculous PROPAGANDA to achieve that end.
15.) I have said from November 2013 onward that the ONLY solution to Ukraine’s political problems is to hold separate REFERENDA within each OBLAST, asking the people of that oblast whether they want:
a.) Complete independence from the Kiev government;
b.) Independence from the Kiev government, but remaining within a Ukraine Federation (with a Kiev government of very limited powers)
16.) THEN a second round of REFERENDA in each oblast in which the people of each oblast are asked if they wish to:
a.) Maintain their independence as a separate Republic; or
b.) Join with other nearby oblasts to form a union of Republics; or
c.) Join the Russian Federation
From my conversations with the people here in Odessa and various cities in eastern Ukraine, my impression is that most people would choose: 1.) Complete independence from the Kiev government; and 2.) Join with other nearby oblasts to form a union of Republics.
And the eventual outcome:
- Crimea will remain part of the Russian Federation
- The southern half of Ukraine will unite to form a new, independent country; perhaps called “New Russia” (see MAP below). “New Russia” will extend from southeastern Ukraine all the way west to include the Transdnestr Republic (still recognized by the West as part of Moldava, but in fact independent from Moldava and very pro-Russian). I do NOT expect “New Russia” to join the Russian Federation – the people in Ukraine and Russia do NOT want that to happen.
- The remaining northern half of Ukraine will remain all that is left of the NEW “Ukraine”.
This is the ONLY practical and workable solution for the people of Ukraine.
John-Henry Hill, M.D.