Document:Why there is no Russian military intervention in Ukraine
★ Start a Discussion about this document
Why there is no Russian military intervention in Ukraine
The level of analytical discussion in the RuNet was excellently described by political commentator Semyon Uralov:
"It is fundamentally wrong to think that only our Kievan colleagues have lost their minds and turned into bloodthirsty hysterics due to the Ukrainian crisis. There is an incredible amount of such people among our Moscow colleagues as well."
The goal of the present text is to move away from hysterics and towards a cold analysis of the Ukrainian situation. I will begin with necessary clarifications upon several emotionally important topics:
- 1 Why is there no military intervention by the Russian Federation?
- 2 How much is the Kremlin prepared for current events in Ukraine, and how much is it improvising?
- 3 How can these goals be realized?
- 4 Timeline of our primary vulnerable points
- 5 Now to complete the puzzle finally, let’s make our predictions:=
- 6 References
Why is there no military intervention by the Russian Federation?
If this text had been written several days earlier, a large portion would have had to be dedicated to a description of why it would be impractical and simply stupid to bring troops into Ukraine, even after a referendum. Thankfully, the resistance leader of Slavyansk, Igor Strelkov who, in his video address very precisely described the inertia of the local population of Lugansk and Donetsk with regard to any real moves towards protecting their interests from the junta, has dealt with this issue better than I. Foreseeing the arguments about taking part in the referendum, I want to say right from the start that checking a ballot box is of course pretty cool, but it doesn't much differ from the hipsterish attempts to '"bring down the regime" with Facebook "likes". Just because the "like" is written on a physical ballot doesn't change the fundamental reality. The referendum was a necessary action, but it wasn't nearly enough.
How much is the Kremlin prepared for current events in Ukraine, and how much is it improvising?
I recommend reading this Wikileaks cable, from which is can be seen that already in 2008, the Kremlin predicted the precise scenarios which we see today:
"Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war. In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face."
It is logical to assume that these developments were not a surprise for the Kremlin and that today we are in a situation that is not ideal, but was nevertheless more-or-less prepared for, as something like a "Plan E".
In order to understand what the Kremlin will do next, let us formulate the following goals:
- Not allow Ukraine to enter NATO
- Not allow the establishment and stabilization of a Russophobic regime in Ukraine, in other words denazification.
- Not allow a genocide of the Southwestern Russian population
Ideally, all three goals should be realized without breaking the Russian economy in the process of reorienting it towards Asia, and without letting the Americans improve their own economy at the expense of the EU.
How can these goals be realized?
Let us look over the simplest scenario and see what vulnerabilities and negative consequences follow from it:
And so, the Russian Federation army enters Ukraine and in several days reaches Kiev, then takes all of Ukraine. "Patriots" are joyful, parades on Kiev's main street Khreshchatyk, etc.
It seems that all three goals have been reached, but the following problems arise:
- In the EU, in which the European business elites are currently leaning on their politicians to put the brakes on sanctions, the "War Party" (aka. "Party USA", or to be more precise, "Party Pax Americana") immediately wins the argument. Maximal, real sanctions are enforced against the Russian Federation, which have their most awful effect upon the European economy, which immediately enters recession. But there's no reason to be happy.
Against this background, the Americans easily push through the signing of their variant of The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - a trade agreement which turns the EU into an appendage of the American economy.  Negotiations about it are going on at this very moment, and the entering of Russian Federation troops into Ukraine would be an enormous gift to the Americans. European business is decimated by the sanctions against Russia, and the lowering of trade barriers with the US drives a stake through it. At the end of it all: the EU is in a postwar-like state. The USA is happily mastering the European markets, for which it now has no competition (nor will any appear). The Russian Federation is in poor form. Don't you think that somebody in this situation is a dupe, somebody who is not the USA? By the way, it is no use to consider arguments that European politicians will not allow their own economic suicide. Eurobureaucrats are capable of this and more, as practice has shown.
- Besides the issue that the Kremlin will be helping Washington, we must look at the situation in Russia itself.
- If the sanctions against Russia are enforced before the mega 30-year gas contract with China is signed, China will be able to negotiate price from a position of strength. Practically from a position of blackmail (which China is already doing, but not so obviously).
- If the sanctions against Russia are enforced before the mega oil contract with Iran is signed, through which Rosneft will be able to control another 500,000 barrels of oil a day, Iran will be able to negotiate price from a position of strength.
- All subsequent attempts to construct any deals, even simply deliveries of imports that we need, will be very, very expensive
- If the sanctions are enforced before the signing of the Eurasian Economic Community agreement, just imagine what an ace Lukashenko and Nazarbayev [presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan] will be given in trying to get concessions from Putin. A little more, and Moscow will have to pay extra for its own oil in order to establish the EEC.
- the Russian Federation will have to take upon itself the responsibility of uplifting the Ukrainian economy, the denazification (where will one get the needed number of denazificators? [...]), leading the battle against compact groups of Ukrainian Nazis, who will be supported and supplied from abroad.
In summary, it is clear that in this scenario, the clear winners are the USA and China. Russia is left only with a feeling of deep moral satisfaction, economic problems, and curses from sincere Ukrainians, who will be unhappy with "life under occupation".
Timeline of our primary vulnerable points
- Natural gas contract with China - May-June (signed on May 21!)
- Oil contract with Iran - summer (that is why the USA lifted the embargo, since Rosneft has influence with BP but not with Exxon Mobil. Where will the oil flow? To China).
- Important! European parliament elections, in which Euroskeptics (allies of the Russian Federation) will receive many votes. After the elections, a new European Commission will be put together, with which it will be easier to work - May 25. Even more important! If the gas contract with China is signed, the newly elected deputies will be more amenable to discussing the South Stream pipeline.
- Collection of all necessary documents/permissions etc. for building the South Stream pipeline - May
This is what can be seen in plain sight, but there are other aspects which are very important to which it is difficult to assign a clear timetable:
- Transition to using rubles for selling oil and gas - this is no piece of cake, there are long-term contracts which cannot be unilaterally rewritten. Lengthy work is required to exchange them with new contracts or modify existing ones.
- Transition to setting the prices of oil and gas in rubles within Russian markets - this is a horrendous amount of work, at least for the reason that nobody before has ever really tried to do something like this.
- An indigenous payment system
- Preparing for import substitution or improving work with Asian suppliers (not in emergency mode)
The list can and should be continued; this is what I see, but the Kremlin surely has a wider viewpoint.
Now let us add several interesting initiatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is keeping quite busy. For example, Vice Minister Karasin was in Doha [capital of Qatar] on May 6, meeting with the entire Qatari elite. The results, by my judgement, are shocking. According to the Ministry's statements, the Qatari Emir stated that he values "the compelling and consistent policy of the Russian Federation in international and regional affairs", which is very unexpected from a country which is not simply a US ally, but a political affiliate of Exxon Mobil in the Near East and a 100% opponent of Russia in Syria. But the mystery is easily solved, for the American dreams of flooding the entire world with cheap natural gas are a death sentence for Qatar and its elite. Without sky-high gas prices, Qatar not only loses its hopes for regional greatness, but becomes a corpse. Doha is orienting quickly and is proposing something interesting: "at the same time, it was proposed to speed up coordination within the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)", the next summit of which (what a coincidence!) will be in Qatar. The Gas Exporting Countries Forum is an organization which includes countries such as Russia, Iran, Qatar, Venezuela, Bolivia and other exporters, and which the Kremlin has long but unsuccessfully tried to turn into a natural gas analogue to OPEC. It is indeed possible that the hour of the potential gas cartel has finally come. First of all, the three main exporters of natural gas, Russia, Qatar and Iran, have very similar interests and can work on the same side in order to divide up both the LNG [liquefied natural gas] and the pipeline gas markets. Such a gas cartel, even in a minimal configuration (just Russia, Qatar and Iran) will control a minimum of 55% of the world's supplies of gas and have the possibility of seriously influencing the energy markets of the EU and Asia. Of course, such a project will have many problems; it will meet resistance, nobody gives any guarantees that it will all work, but it's important to see that Moscow is actively looking for opportunities to gain additional strategic advantages in battle with the USA.
I hope, it is now clear where the Kremlin is spending the time which it is trying to buy in Ukraine, and why this is important.
Let's return to issues directly related to Ukraine and note that even the implementation of all the important foreign policy projects will not help in carrying out the denazification of Kiev, or make it so that Russian troops or the rebel army of Novorossia would be greeted happily at least in the central regions. If the army of Novorossia has problems with mobilization in Lugansk and Donetsk, then work within the more zombified regions will be very, very difficult. However, it seems that Colonel Hunger and the "Hyperinflation" Special Forces Division will soon appear on the side of the Russian Federation on the field of battle, which will dramatically change the balance of power.
The Ukrainian economy is finished. Given the disastrous spring sowings, the destroyed crops of vegetables (due to freezing), lack of credit, problems with gas, the jump in fuel prices, one can safely say that the economy will meet a certain northern beast, which will be full and fluffy. No one will give money to the junta, and even the IMF, which made some promise about $17 billion (exactly 50% of what Ukraine needs for this year) built an "escape clause" into their contract: if Kiev does not control all the regions, then Kiev is not to receive a cent. Hunger, cold and hyperinflation (caused by the collapse of the hryvnia) will actively work to weaken the junta and correct the minds of the “generous” (shchirykh) Ukrainians. They will surely not come to love Russia, but this is hardly necessary. It is only necessary that they begin to remember the Yanukovych period as a sweet, unattainable dream. The inevitable chaos and total collapse of social structures, coupled with a low intensity civil war, guarantees that NATO will not accept Ukraine since Europe will then itself "be on the rails", and even in the U.S., more or less moderate politicians will prevent any movement which would obviously not lead to a U.S. victory, but to the dragging of the country into a nuclear war.
Moreover, in the context of total economic collapse, the miners, metal workers and other comrades who are now firmly glued to their jobs for fear of losing them and hoping to "ride it all out in their huts on the edge (of the precipice)", there will no longer have such a possibility. They will have to participate in one form or another in the political and economic problems of Novorossia. Most likely, they will have to participate with weapons in hand.
At the same time, the Poroshenko junta, foisted upon the country by the European Union, will now have a strong incentive to negotiate with Moscow, to make concessions and offer compromises. Poroshenko will begin to be pushed in this direction by the new European Commission, which will need peace in the east and stable gas transit. Poroshenko will also be pushed in the same direction by the social upheavals caused by Colonel Hunger and Saboteur Hyperinflation.
All these factors, in sum, open up great opportunities for the Kremlin to reformat the former Ukraine into something appropriate to the interests of the Russian Federation. It is precisely this scenario that the United States is attempting to avoid, and it is because of this that the United States has serious reasons to accelerate the conflict into a hot phase with the use of troops and massive bloodshed.
If you add up the time that is needed for the effect of Hunger and the time required to resolve foreign policy problems in terms of establishing work with China, Iran, un-tethering from the dollar, import substitution, etc., we can (very roughly) come to the conclusion that you need around 5-9 months (that same December, for which Yanukovych tried to negotiate) to provide solutions to Ukrainian and other issues to the maximum advantage of Russia. During this period, you must at a minimum ensure the preservation of Ukraine in a state of civil war (i.e., support for the DNR and LNR, but it wouldn't do to take Kiev too fast in order to not create unnecessary additional problems for yourself) and ideally, combine the civil war with prolonged and sticky negotiations within Ukraine, with the participation of international observers, something like the 2+4 format, i.e., Poroshenko + Tsarev + Russia, EU, OSCE, USA.
Now for the final touch. In recent months, the U.S. has heavily slowed down the work of its printing press, reducing its "money infusions" (I'm intentionally simplifying the terminology) from 85 to 55 billion dollars a month. Many expect, that the machine will be turned off completely by the end of this year.  Again, in that same December. This is due to the fact that the dollar, though it is the main international currency, cannot be printed endlessly. According to various estimates, the United States has almost entirely used up the "resource strength" of its dollar which had allowed them to do dirty tricks with the financial system. Moreover, the corollary and inevitable effect of such tricks is reducing rates on U.S. bonds, which, on the one hand, helps Washington to pay less for its debts, but, on the other hand, is actually choking the entire U.S. pension and insurance system that is built on the expectation of very different returns from their portfolios bonds. By the end of the year, roughly speaking, the U.S. will have a choice between blowing up their social system in order to keep on printing, or greatly reducing their appetites in order to preserve any chance of stability at home. Judging by the reduction in the amount of dollars being thrown into the system, Washington has decided that preventing an explosion at home is more important than its foreign policy ambitions.
Now to complete the puzzle finally, let’s make our predictions:=
- America will try with all its might to aggravate the crisis in Ukraine, in order to weaken Russia and put the whole European market under its sway before it needs to shut down its printing presses.
- The Kremlin will try to transfer the crisis in Ukraine from the acute to the chronic phase: a civil war plus sluggish negotiations amid the economic collapse of Ukraine. At the same time, the Kremlin will use the time to create favourable conditions for the transition to sharp confrontation with the United States: untethering from the dollar, work with China, Iran, Qatar, creating the EEC etc.
- The complete end to the crisis in will come in December 2014, possibly earlier if the U.S. desists from trying to exacerbate the hostilities.
- And if it does not desist?
- Then... war... a great war for resources, because the shale "boom" turned out to be an ordinary bubble.
This subject is covered in detail by William Engdahl in "Washington’s Shale Boom Going Bust"
- The lies behind this transatlantic trade deal - The Guardian 2 December 2013
- Fed, with bond taper on autopilot, free to tackle big questions - Reuters 27 April 2014