Discover more from Learning by Proxy with Vivek Srinivasan
Why fight for Ukraine?
This battle was started by USA in 2014, it is coming to an end now.
If you are lazy to read, listen to this as a podcast.
When Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, he started with Ukraine. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe. It is the 7th largest producer of Wheat in the world. Without Ukrainian wheat, Hitler knew he would not be able to feed his soldiers. He was getting regular supplies from the Stalin government. He foresaw that it would stop, the moment he attacked USSR.
If you go back in history, even before the second world war, Russia and Germany were close! The Nord Stream 2 would bring them close again.
When I started on this blog, I wanted to see if there is an economic (Oil, Mineral Ores, Food) war. As I dug in, it became clear, that it was something totally different.
There was a coup in Myanmar and a democratically elected leader was thrown in prison, the US did not care. Why care so much about Ukraine?
A millennium ago, as the Roman Empire lay in decline, the Persian empire was ascending. Europeans sold slaves to Persia and imported goods. Goods that came from as far away as China. The Silk Road was a series of trading posts stretching from Beijing to London. One of the critical trading posts between the lands of Genghis Khan, the Persians and the Europeans was a city called Kyiv.
While the region played a key role in trade through the early part of the second millennium, its importance waned as the Portuguese, Spaniards and English found sea routes to Asia. Paying taxes to every city along the Silk Road did not make any sense. The region fell to the Ottomans.
As the First World War drew to a close, the region slipped out of Ottoman hands into the hands of Russia in 1917.
Stalin and Roosevelt had actually agreed and put an American air force base in Ukraine during the second world war as a forward base to beat back Hitler. Then the cold war happened and USSR asked the Americans to…
Ukraine has a small economy, a tad shy of $200 Billion in GDP. That is less than one 12th of Apple’s market cap. With a population of over 41 Million, it is more populated than most of the Western European nations. It has a per capita income of less than USD 5000. It is a fairly poor country.
It is safe to say that Ukraine is in no position to give anything to US or Russia. Ukraine does not HAVE anything to give to either. Except…
A geopolitical upper hand.
The US for one does not seek to develop the Ukrainian industry. Look at their record - Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. They leach off the land and get lost. That has been their modus operandi. They do it in their own country as well - They are called Superfund sites.
I have been suspicious about this whole thing since the drumbeat of news started from the US.
Here is a thread on Obama’s crimes, it runs into 100s of news pieces so click it only if you have the time. Biden was his Vice President, so safe to say, it gives us a good picture of who Biden is.
Biden’s career in the Senate began in the midst of the Cold War. Much like the Bushs’ could not sleep well till they terminated Saddam Hussain; Biden has a thing for Russia.
Although USSR broke into a panoply of states after the collapse in 1989, the country has ensured that the leadership of all of the states from the Caucuses to Eastern Europe have been sympathetic to Russia. The US has been working hard to change these regimes often unsuccessfully.
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The first attempt was during the Second Chechen war. Unfortunately, Bill Clinton was embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal at the time and could not devote his full attention.
George Bush did not care much about the Russians because he was on daddy’s mission. And then…
President Obama spoke a bit too freely in his recent CNN interview. In the interview, the president told CNN that the US government had "brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine." This admission that the US was playing a role in the February, 2014 coup flies in the face of the dominant west narrative, which is that the overthrow of the Yanukovych government was solely a popular uprising.
Source: Ron Paul Institute
Biden had been biting Obama’s ears for almost 2 terms and he decided to engage in good ol’ fashioned regime change in Ukraine. They used a disinformation campaign to create an uprising in Ukraine.
Ukrainians had recently deposed their pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in the Maidan uprising by protesters seeking warmer relations with the EU and Nato.
Yanukovych fled to Russia in February 2014 after the months-long uprising, which saw security forces shoot dead at least 77 protesters in Kyiv. Ukraine would go on to usher in the first in a series of pro-European governments to replace him.
The ousting of Yanukovych provoked immediate unrest in the east of Ukraine bordering Russia, where pro-Kremlin sentiments are higher.
In addition to spurring on separatists, Vladimir Putin took advantage of the removal of Yanukovych by ordering work “on returning Crimea to Russia”, a peninsula that lies between Ukraine and Russia.
Putin used the situation efficiently and took over the Crimean peninsula. The people were sympathetic to the Russians and the entire episode ended swiftly. The US planted an Oligarch by the name of Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko’s plank was Ukrainian nationalism and Putin said his move into Crimea was to protect the ethnic Russians from the right-wingers.
Putin then returned the favour though. He put Donald Trump in the President’s office in the USA using the very same disinformation.
Even during the 2020 election cycle, Ukraine and Biden’s names kept popping up. As Biden came back to power, his machinations in reference to Ukraine would have started again.
Why the machination, you ask?
The US issued USD 3 Trillion in debt over the last 2 years. Another economy would have tanked with that much debt but not the US. Why?
The Bretton Woods Agreement after the Second World War makes USD the primary currency for trading oil.
US is the only country that can issue the USD and so they have infinite coffers.
With the rise of Russian gas and both Russian and EU willingness to trade in non USD denomination, that position comes under threat.
If Russian influence in the EU is allowed to grow, the USA might lose its place as the most influential economy.
The US needs war to align the EU on its side. Donald Trump had ensured that none of them cared about America. The cold war was a ruse to keep the Russians away from the EU. If things normalise between Russia and the EU, America would watch its importance on the global stage get completely eviscerated.
This time Putin had had enough. He decided to put an end to the whole thing by annexing Ukraine.
In 2016, I was in Estonia, the Crimean conflict was fresh. A 20 something-year-old boy was driving the cab and we struck up a conversation. He said, if Putin so wished he could walk into Estonia tomorrow, not a bullet would be fired. His intentions are not imperialistic.
The US media has been screaming invasion for the last month. Steadily fed by the White House, they have been shaping global thinking about this issue. They knew because they had, perhaps, kicked the ant’s nest.
The internet is flooded with the image of Zelensky walking around in army fatigues. Is it from April 2021?
We performed Google reverse image search on both the photos and found them to be from April 2021. The first image can be found in a news report by Kyiv Post that gives credit to AFP for the image.
We checked for the image on Getty Images and found it there. The photo was uploaded on February 11, 2021. The photo is captioned, “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky inspects during his visit along with G7 ambassadors in Donbass, Ukraine on February 11, 2021.”
One day Zelensky says this is the last time you may see me alive and then the next he agrees to meet the Russians at the border. The country is supposedly burning and his greatest priority is applying to join the EU. This will involve the entire EU in a war that they have no business or interest in.
So the truth is right now, both the Russian media and the US media are in the process of engaging in disinformation. Nothing can be believed. But the US will win because - can your read Cyrillic?
Ultimately, America’s greatest weapon seems to be English.
Finally, over the week, more than the USA, the EU has made many moves to push the Russian government into a corner. I had recently written -
By comparison, when you force the other person into an adversarial stance, you often have to push the opposite side into submission. This can be far more time consuming and painful. Even if the other person is approaching the position with malice, if your approach is one of giving the other the benefit of the doubt; the two greatest creations of human society, guilt & shame, will bring them around to your position.
How does the EU and the USA think this will play out?
Vladimir Putin will say, “I lose. Your sanctions broke my back.”
Or will this game of brinksmanship escalate further?
Could he take the Nuclear option?