Category Archives: Ukrainian conflict

Referendum and territorial claims as a justification of annexation : Crimea casus.

Many people justify annexation of Crimea by the Russian president because of the historical reasons. They say, that Crimea was always Russian and that people who lived there speak and feel Russians. All of those claims is partially truth. Fact is that in some moment of history Crimea was Russian. Also people there speaks Russian and many of them feel that they are in fact Russians…

BUT

Even if Crimeans feel like being Russians, they do not necessarily wanted to become part of Russia. Despite the calls that “Ukrainian Nazists” persecute Crimean Russians vast majority of them in a year before the war, wanted to stay in Ukraine. There is even more – the tendency in two years period was showing decreasing number of those who wanted to join Russia – from 33 to 23 percent. In the same time for autonomy, but still in the Ukraine, voted over half of the people in the peninsula.

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We could believe that the people in Crimea were persuaded by the Russian propaganda, but we have polls which shows that even in March and April of 2014 the number of people who wanted to join Russia was really small. Despite the radical propaganda actions, large majority of Crimeans knew that Russia doesn’t mean prosperity and success.

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In this case it is obvious that the “referendum” was fake in at least three simple ways:

1. With use of Russian soldiers, leaving their barracks or transported by see few days before, who voted like they were inhabitants of Crimea.

2. Counting the votes. There was no supervision of any international commission or Ukrainian authorities. Numbers were sometimes extraordinary high – even higher then all inhabitants of the cities.Of course there were politicians of “scientists” from the European countries… even prom Poland, but by money You can always buy some sort of people. Those who were there from Poland are very well known here for being open to bribery and with no moral backbone.

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3. Armed Russian soldiers were all around. If that’s not the breach of the referendum rules, then what is then?

So the claims of the threatened Crimeans because of the Russians were fabricated, same as the referendum. Putin created the situation with no return. After annexation of Crimea, nationalism in Russia raised fast. So called hawks in Kremlin wanted more. People felt like the Tzar and Emperor appeared. Those moves make Putin famous in many countries which are far from Russian border. In the same time Finnlans, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland were terrify. Like always such actions are exiting for people who are not in danger by it. Peoples life has not great value when those peoples are far away.

But even in the western Europe, Egypt or Venezuela, people want to pretend they are honest and balanced. That’s why they say that there are historical reasons why Russia have to “take back” Crimea. Russia in fact owned the Crimea and gave it to Ukraine after II World War because Ukraine was a part of USSR, so this fact really doesn’t matter.

If we would like to be so honest and give back all the territories which used to belong to someone else, such attitude could be very dangerous for today’s world. Or even explosive! But most problems in that case would have… Russia it self. So depending what time in history we consider, Russia should give back most of it’s lands:

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In the XXI century, the world refused to use territorial claims and stated to deterring the meaning of the borders. Poles didn’t call for return of Vilnius and Lviv, Ukrainians in vast majority didn’t call to get back Przemysl, Germans did not use their advantage over Poland to get back Wroclaw or Szczecin. Also Cyprus is not causing the war between Turkey and Greece even if there is still enmity. Romanians and Hungarians once bordering with Poland do not claim to go north again to get back what was their. What about Austria, It was really powerful empire, but it is peaceful now. North Ireland stayed with Great Britain and Scotland tried referendum but also there majority wanted to not divide. Even if Scots would vote to go alone, we can bet, it would cause no war with British. World, despite it’s problems, wrong policies, bad expeditions, got more civilised. But Russia stayed in the beginning of the XX century in a aspect of mentality, domestic policy, expectations for the country leader. Those Russians who care of the fighting the war in Ukraine, are the parents of the soldiers sent to mess in the other country order. They are afraid of losing their children and if they do, they know that this loss was useless.

Russia vs Ukraine on maps from July 2014 to March 2015

The analysis of the conflict between the Russia and Ukraine with use of the maps issued by the Ukrainian Security and Defence Council gives very interesting conclusions. We can see there the situation from the July 2014, when Ukrainian defence was very chaotic. Ukrainian Armed Forces, thanks to former president Janukovych were in very poor condition and influenced by Russians very much. In such conditions it is surprise that there was any Ukrainian organized defence in the East. Nevertheless we can see very reasonable plans of operations starting in July and developed in August. Pushing Russian and pro-russian troops from the Ukr-Rus border to cut the support lines from the Russia and operations aimed in  separating of the areas occupied by the enemy showed the basic tactical skills of the Ukrainian commanders. It was just enough for a relatively small number of Russian proxies (composed of Russian units and Ukrainians). Slajd1 Slajd2

From the middle of August to the end of that month there was massive supply of the Russian/pro-russian side by Kremlin. Even then Ukrainians had some progress but generally the front got stabilized. Slajd3 Slajd4 Slajd5

Fierceness of the change at the end of the August shows that it was much more than just another “separatists” offensive. Those actions were very well organized, strongly supported by artillery and attacked with use of very carefully prepared plan. That situation proves that through at least half of August, Russians prepared a massive offensive against Ukrainian forces. It was put into action with the last days of August. For the fresh, well trained and best equipped Russian organized units it was an easy fight. Ukrainian army was chaotically composed (filled with not trained volunteers), economical crisis and still high level of corruption as well as very poor command & control system caused that very tired Ukrainian army could not be a match for Russian first line troops. Thus the situation got much worse for Ukrainians. Slajd6 Slajd7

The progress of the Russians was extraordinary fast. Ukrainians, even defending their own country, couldn’t stop them in open fight. That why the defence of the Donieck airport was a really heroic stunt. Unfortunately surrounded and shelled constantly by Russian artillery the so called “Cyborgs” were killed or just a few captured. Humiliation of those Ukrainian brave fighters showed once again how savage and ruthless Russians still are. It was stated by the Polish General Skrzypczak that he as the soldier was ashamed what Russian soldiers did – even as for a war situation. Always drunk and drugged Russian soldiers tortured and killed many of their prisoners. Some of them were mutilated before the exchange of the  prisoners. Finally after Donieck, also Debaltzeve was taken by the Russian troops even when seas-fire was announced. It was another show-off how Russians are still mentally in the beginning of the XX century with no care of any rules of war an filled with some illusionary imperialistic imaginations. Time has stopped in Russia and they still worship a leader who “conquers the world”.  Slajd8

The next point for Russians and Ukrainians is Mariupol. Russians for proceeding with their plan of taking the whole south coast line of the Black See, have to take the city. If they succeed it will be much easier then to connect with the Crimea. Also Ukrainians, now equipped and trained by the US forces and also trained by the Polish and British instructors, knows, they have to stop Russian progress in Mariupol. The city seems crucial for further situation. We can be sure, that Kremlin right now calculates how many Russian soldiers will die, or rather, if it comes to Russia, then more important question is how many pieces of equipment will they lose there. The submarine Kursk sinking 15 years ago proved that for Russian leaders equipment and some illusory military secrets are estimated much higher than Russian soldiers lives (it’s a very sad ascertainment for me as a former soldier). To accomplish the plan showed on the map below, there is a need of open war in my opinion. It will be difficult to use proxy war for so large scale of conflict and especially, that it will be proceeded in much more hostile environment than previously. Slajd9

For Ukrainians, to prevent this plan, they have to use not only military! They have to start the information war against enemy! There can be discussion in Poland of the limit of free speech liberty. But in the war conditions like it is now in our eastern neighbour it is completely different. Ukrainians needs to jam or disconnect Russian propaganda TV or Radio stations, ban internet propaganda pages. Influence society with their own war propaganda. They should spent a lot of money for that, because it can be more important than Polish or British instructors in Kiev. Ukrainians have the full right to do all of that, because they defend their own land.

In the same time there is no excuse for Russians invading Ukraine. All those who support Putin should know, that in European history there are many arguments for territorial claims. Poles have it for Lithuania and Ukraine, Ukraine and Germans have the same for Poland, Hungary could fight Slovakia because of such claims. But also Mongolia, Kazakhstan, China and Japan could start a war against Russia because of the claims which would be much more legitimized then annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Russian “imperial” politics and economy on graph

Slajd1The last news about Russia falling economy and also disorder in the closest allies are the signs of growing problems of Vladimir Putin. One of the most interesting comments was made by his closest ally, Alexander Lukaszenka, who have said: “If Crimea is Russian, than Russia need to give back it’s territories to Mongolia” http://www.rp.pl/artykul/1147800.html. In Ukraine, Poland or Baltic states many people repeated such words very often, but between the highest ranked politicians it haven’t been said until now. In the interview, Lukaszenka says that not only Mongolia could have the historical claims on the Russian lands but also Kazakhstan. Such words have to be hurtful for president Putin as they underline exactly the hypocrisy of the Kremlin policy in the Ukraine, but also send message to Kremlin that both it’s closest allies deeply oppose it’s policy in Ukraine. So the problems of lowering of the Rouble and oil prizes – two largest concerns of Kremlin are getting now even more complicated, because of the growing discontent of the Belarus. Also Kazakhstan tries to distance itself from Kremlin policy. Few weeks ago president Putin, during his visit in this Large Asiatic country have questioned the nationality and by this, the rights to be self-dependent of the Kazakhs people. It was a strong signal that he will use all means to shape this coalition in the direction which only Moscow decide. Some understood it, as the strengthening of the Russian control of it’s area of influences. But after Lukaszenka words, it could be seen also as a desperate move, to frightened Kremlin allies who are very unstable in this so called Euro-asia Union. Graph shows the two most destructive trends for the Russian politics. It shows situation at the end of November but month later situation get dramatic. Russia worsen it’s situation in all spheres as a international player. Annexations, military operations in the neighbouring countries, weak try of rebuilding the imperial policy  led to the vast sanctions and econo-political operations, most probably prepared by USA and Gulf countries in the frames of OPEC – (“Why the oil price is falling”, The Economist, Dec 8th 2014, http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/12/economist-explains-4?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/why_the_oil_price_is_falling), which caused Russian real loses and great weakening it’s next year total military budget. Even EU is much more united because of Russian continuous aggression and repeated obvious lies of it’s president. Now it’s time for Kremlin to get back to it’s more reasonable politics. Although the consequences will be long lasting for sure.

Putin’s ambitions, Hitler and the NATO summit

It seems that President Putin has made a similar mistake as Hitler did in the years prior to and at the beginning of the World War II. Hitler believed that western countries are too used to living in comfort and too pacifistic after what happened during World War I, or even too lazy to fight wars. He thought that his eagerness and cruelty, putting nations in front of facts rather than negotiations or diplomacy, will create a situation that will facilitate his plans. Diplomacy used before the conflict an element of war strategy and was meant to give Hitler an idea of European and world leader’s willingness to fight him. His idea was that he would frighten whole world so much that no one would have enough courage to stand against him. In fact at the beginning he was quite right. But at some point he just couldn’t win because too many strong opponents were against him, and they were determined to fight to the end.
Now Putin has made pretty much the same efforts of assessing how Europe and the World view his activity in Ukraine. His clash with Georgia gave him impression that Europe and US are not ready to confront him. The Crimean Anschluss was the next move which gave him the confidence that he is the strong one and master of the situation. Sanctions were the minimum of what the world could do, and for Putin it had to look like just a smokescreen to do nothing. The best proof for it was that sanctions were announced just for a short time, and always just to the moment when Russia deescalates its activities in Ukraine. For those who knows the conflict theories it is obvious that it is not a good approach to negotiations if we at the beginning stat those measurements are just temporary. The Russians know they are doing wrong, and a weak response just strengthens the impression that the west is trying to say sorry for applying the sanctions against the Russian establishment.
I believe Putin considered letting the Donbas area go and waiting for another good moment to act. Putin’s plan seems to be easy to predict. He wants to keep Ukraine’s eastern provinces autonomous from the rest of the state. Then for a few years he can use propaganda like in the Crimea, place regular units there, invited by the autonomous government of those territories and finally hold a fake referendum like in Crimea, or otherwise take the region. The plan could work if Ukraine stays poor and divided.
But the Ukrainians are more and more against Putin because of those pro-Russian separatists which often are just ruthless mercenaries conducting war on their territory. After the Russian aggression, it seems that Ukraine is much closer to joining the EU, and most of the oligarchs escaped or are not siding with Russia now. It appears to be a good path for Ukraine to develop and improve quickly. Then there would be none who would like to join Russia and Putin would not have any occasion to play his strongest card – propaganda. The last point which is very important for Putin for his decision to invade eastern Ukraine was preparation of new elections by President Poroshenko who wanted to get rid of the Kremlin supporters and obvious Russian spies.
The false image of a divided and lazy Europe, a weak and undecided Obama and a mobilizing Ukraine, pushed Putin to the decision that there can be no better time for invading east Ukraine. He decided to invade with an unknown the number of soldiers, but reliable sources claim it is from 7 to 15 thousands of well trained experienced and well equipped soldiers. From the start they were attacking newly formed, totally inexperienced Ukrainian units surrounding Donieck. The results were obvious. The Ukrainian government was fully right giving the order of full retreat. Losing Ukrainian soldiers – many very young boys (perhaps some of my former students), was pointless. At this moment Putin claimed that he could seize Kiev in few days, Warsaw in a week and I suppose he believes that Berlin and Brussels would fall in month. What Putin did and is still is doing in Ukraine has to be enough to be a wake up call for the West. Everything done until now was based on high ambitions of one leader surrounding himself with ideologists most probably having deep antisocial personality disorder. Leader embraced with totally wrong impressions of Russian might and western weakness or inability to organize, who makes decision individually and independently ignoring opinions of people thinking otherwise. All this makes Putin similar to Hitler, although it is not enough to compare those two figures.
The ongoing NATO summit in Wales shows that Putin went too far, just like Hitler. Fortunately, post-World War II – “too far”, doesn’t mean that half of Europe has to be in flames and filled with death camps for “subhumans”.The decision of building quick reactions forces with infrastructure organized in Poland and some initial battle units, four thousand soldiers strong, ready to react in the NATO member countries, seems like a first sign of a really strong and reasonable response to Putin’s activity. We have to add, those units will not operate separately but with the national armies of attacked states. There is much more the west can do to contain Putin, and this progressive direction of NATO is inevitable now, when none have any illusions about him and his mafia state’s ambitions.

I want to thank to Nick Siekierski @ResearchTeacher for correcting of this text.

The Tragedy of MH-17

Simple and undeniable facts of the Ukrainian crisis are that Russia, using military from the Crimea, pressured the people there and organized a so-called referendum (in fact annexing the peninsula), then, almost openly supporting the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The culminating point of this conflict was the shooting down of the Malaysian commercial airliner, Boeing 777 flight no MH17 with 298 people on the board (cited as such by the head of the polish National Security Bureau gen. Stanisław Koziej: https://twitter.com/SKoziej/status/491179285005090816, http://www.polskieradio.pl/7/129/Artykul/1182487,Koziej-zestrzelenie-samolotu-bylo-kulminacja-kryzysu-na-wschodzie-Ukrainy).

This article is an attempt to present and analyse information from different sources to establish the premises to direct the blame for the tragedy to the guilty parties. Another aim is to present the reasons for actions of people who committed this terrible massacre in the Donetsk province in Eastern Ukraine. But I have no doubt it will not convince any of Putin’s “true believers”. Every point can be dismissed by saying: all information from the west is a manipulation of the CIA or other “secret forces”. I am well aware that mine is just one of many voices in this discussion, but it may be helpful to those who want to get to the truth.

Speaking of the credibility of the global flow of information, we need appropriate measure. In the next text, which I will prepare, I will discuss propaganda, access to information and the level of democratization – considered as the plurality of opinions, helping the decision making process in the Western and in Russia. All this should be taken into consideration when we try to analyse the information coming from different directions as we search for the truth.

  1. The evidence of perpetration

First the Russian versions, which focus on three variants:

a. President Putin officially claim that Ukrainian authorities are responsible, because if they had not proceed with the war in eastern Ukraine, there would have been no tragedy of the civilian plane (http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/jul/18/ukraine-malaysia-airlines-mh17-vladimir-putin-video).

     In other words he said that Ukraine should let go of one third of its territory to Igor Girkin and Alexaner Boroday, who officially admitted their aim to transfer those territories to Grand Russia. Concurrently, any movement of the Ukrainian military forces in the direction of Crimea, provokes a reaction from the Kremlin and statements that it will defend its integrity! Even for pro-Russian observers such a philosophy has to seam inappropriate.

b. There are suggestions on the website “Russian Today” and other Russian media, that MH17 could have been shot down by the Ukrainian military jet SU-25 (Ukrainian Su-25 fighter detected in close approach to MH17 before crash – Moscow, Russia Today, July 21, 2014, http://rt.com/news/174412-malaysia-plane-russia-ukraine/). A film has been presented by a Russian officer which purportedly shows a Ukrainian military jet following a civilian plane. Of course such “evidence” like that from other sides of the conflict, could easily be fabricated. But what is really important, is the problem that this scenario presents could be easily checked by European or US intelligence. Maybe that is why president Putin did not mention this version at all. It was released just to create informational confusion, a routine propaganda action. Even if western intelligence kept such information a secret from the public, their governments would still consider Ukrainian authorities as being culpable.

c. The last option raised by Russian media states that there was a flight of the Russian president on the same day and route, and even “the contours of the aircrafts are similar, linear dimensions are also very similar, as for the colouring, at a a quite remote distance they are almost identical” (Reports that Putin flew similar route as MH17, presidential airport says ‘hasn’t overflown Ukraine for long time’ July 17, 2014, http://rt.com/news/173672-malaysia-plane-crash-putin). 33In fact if we compare those planes, they are not as similar as Russia Today claims. Even ground forces in areas of operation are trained to recognize plane types and nation of origin. I am sure that pilots are trained much better and such a “mistake” is not possible. This version seems the most peculiar and looks like pure propaganda with no sense to it at all. In fact, the Russian president did not mention this version either, so even for him this option is not worth using, but makes for very useful information noise. This “gossip” was spread for two groups of receivers: “Putin’s believers” who search through the media to validate that their idol has done everything right. Second are those who are undecided, and are thus pushed into even greater confusion and creates a basis for doubt. The last argument should also be considered the most persuasive. What if the Ukrainians really shot down the Russian president? In such a situation a much more radical man would come to power. For Ukraine it would be end of their short independence and could even cause a humanitarian disaster.

President Putin tried to simplify his claim and said that “Obviously, the state over whose territory it happened bears responsibility for this terrible tragedy,” (Reports that Putin flew similar route as MH17, presidential airport says ‘hasn’t overflown Ukraine for long time’ http://rt.com/news/173672-malaysia-plane-crash-putin). No matter how absurd it might seem, the President of Russia uses this argument officially and often so it merits some consideration. Of course he could say otherwise, that the state which controls the territory over which it happened, bears the responsibility… He could, it looks just like a game of words, but in this version it would direct accusations towards Russia. In fact this second phrase would be much more honest and reasonable. If he would be serious in this question we could ask him the same about the terrorist attack in Dubrovca in 2002. Didn’t Russia own and control the territory of the Moscow Theatre? And yet the tragedy happened. Chechen citizens were blamed and nobody in Russia had any doubts, they bear all responsibility, even if Russian special units made dramatic errors during this anti-terrorism operation. Also 9/11 is another example of huge tragedy happening over territory owned and controlled by the state which can’t do anything about it. Christo Grozev presented in his blog, how the Kremlin’s propaganda works: http://cgrozev.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/the-pot-smoking-gun/, and I also will develop this subject as I mentioned, in my next text.

Now, the most important and at the same time most obvious premise pointing at the pro-Russian separatists as the perpetrators of this tragedy:

  1. Area of the plane crush is in full control of pro-Russian separatists.

All this happened on the territory fully controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Even after the plane crash, they said that Kiev’s envoys are not allowed near the crash site because it lies deep in their area of operations. Meaning there are too many secrets, logistic lines or preparation areas to allow the enemy to enter. So the territory lies far behind the fighting line. There are no reports that the Ukrainians have any anti-craft equipment capable of this act in the vicinity. The Ukrainian PM stated that their forces didn’t even use such equipment because pro-Russian separatists did not have aircraft. From another angle, there are many indications that pro-Russian separatists could get the BUK-1M missile system from Russia and could have used it. There are pictures from the Donetsk area, transport routes and US intelligence information. But most important is that just week before the MH17 tragedy, Russians encroached 3km deep into Ukrainian territory. There are no other reasons for such action other than the transfer of people and equipment into a combat zone. In fact in this area pro-Russian separatists shoot down many ukrainian planes untril now and not russian or pro-Russian plane was shoot down by the Ukrainian army (https://twitter.com/dpjankowski/status/492557547023654912/photo/1) BtXqedWIYAAV9tR.jpg large

  1. Pro-Russian separatists self confession.

There are plenty of recordings of the pro-Russian separatists admitting they committed this attack (just one example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mid_kTCWLzI&app=desktop). Those recordings could be manipulated as Russians claim. But the first recording, linked to above, was released just hours if not minutes after tragedy. Even if it was manipulated, it couldn’t have been done professionally in such a short period. There are number of methods and tests to use to verify those recordings. There are other recordings as well and the voices there seams to be the same. Cristo Grozev was even able to connect with one of those from the tapes and he also confirmed the voice is the same, even if this man denied everything. And the last, but most important. Just after the plane was shot down, pro-Russian separatists sent a message about shooting down a Ukrainian military plane. On that day they did not have any other such “achievements”. Shortly after, the message was deleted (All those deleted ifnormation are gathered in this blog: http://ukraineatwar.blogspot.nl/2014/07/russia-shoots-down-malaysian-mh17.html). We all know that our “Big Brother” – NSA records every message and every phone call we make. It was confirmed by many people that the communication went out into the world, confirming the shoot down of a Ukrainian military plane, which proves they made a “mistake” and shot down a civilian plane thinking it was Ukrainian. By the way, if it was Ukrainian, with the same number of people on-board, the reaction in the west would not be nearly the same as it is now.

  1. If BUK was used, then Russia is responsible in the first place?

From the beginning there were speculations that the BUK-1M missile system could have been used by the pro-Russian separatists in the shoot down. At the beginning Russians spread the three versions of events as described in the first part of my article. But all investigations were presenting more and more evidence that it happened with the use of BUK (“Military analysts said the size, spread, shape and number of shrapnel impacts visible all point to a missile system like the SA-11 Buk as previously suspected” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2702002/US-Russia-created-conditions-shoot-down.html#ixzz38Wnmfm1Y). Now the black boxes from the plane are pointing to a shoot down by artillery. Because of that, new information appeared in the Russian and pro-Russian media. It said the Ukrainians could use their BUK even from an enormous distance.

Why are there contradicting US intelligence reports regarding Russia’s role? In one information they say: “U.S. intelligence officials today said Russia did bear ‘responsibility’ for the downing of Flight 17 but they offered no evidence that Vladimir Putin was directly involved.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2702002/US-Russia-created-conditions-shoot-down.html#ixzz38WoLNt3O) In another we read: Unnamed US officials are telling Associated Press that their intelligence suggests Malaysia plane shot down by anti-Kiev militia, no link to Russia found” (http://rt.com/usa/174796-intelligence-malaysia-plane-mh17-us/). There are two reasons for the contradictions. One is connected with information chaos created by Russia and another with the track two diplomacy of the US and EU. The first statement was official, spread by the British Daily Mail. It suggest that Russians “loaned” the BUK to the pro-Russians separatists and that is why they bear responsibility. But Russians couldn’t know against whom those rockets would be used. They are out of the control of the Kremlin thus Putin cannot bear any responsibility. But Russians are still responsible for supporting those pro-Russian “fighters”. The second message is slightly different. There are no links to Russia at all. So no equipment could be “loaned” and certainly no launching from Russian territory, although the Russian border was much closer to the shooting point than any Ukrainian BUK at that time. Both versions lay responsibility on pro-Russian separatists. And let’s look who in fact spread this second piece of information. Russian propaganda TV and some “Unnamed US officials”. Well… not really convincing. In both cases, they say that president Putin cannot be responsible. Of course, everyone who follows the Ukrainian conflict could be angry, because if Putin supports pro-Russian “rebels” he obviously bears responsibility for their actions. It is true and hard to discuss. But there have to be diplomatic solutions to this difficult and bloody situation. There have to be solutions that prevent the full scale Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory, which would be a disaster for Ukrainians in the first place, then for the region and in the end for Russia itself. That is why president Putin has to be absolved of the heaviest accusations. He has a way out of this with the full, popular support of his own people and those from abroad, “Putin’s believers”. At the same time western media and even politicians leave no space for speculation and openly say that president Putin is responsible for all that happens in the Ukraine. So despite the truth, track two diplomacy is used to show president Putin the way out of this situation. The message is clear: “Cut all connections to the “rebels”, blame them for everything and then we will go back to much better economic relations. You will have Your World Cup in 2018, F1 track in Sochi and so on.” It has to be very attractive for president Putin, but it is not for Girkin, Boroday and others who have staked everything on this conflict. If they lose, they would have to build their reputation from the beginning. All of their “achievements” in Moldova, Chechnya or the Balkans would be forgotten because they failed in Ukraine – the most important aim of their imperial plans. Influencers in Moscow like Malofeev do everything to stop Putin from caving in. They have great impact on the Russian president and a big influence on the Russian economy and Armed Forces. In most pessimistic scenario, they can create a short-term economic crisis (which in fact is imminent considering the war, Crimean annexation and the costs of realizing imperial plans), spread information about the failure in Ukraine and even claim that the President betrayed Great Russia (which in fact they do on Twitter) and ultimately cause Putin to lose his position.

All those circumstances led to tragedy for the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight no. MH17 and has now caused many complications in the area of operation of the pro-Russian separatists. This tragedy is another example of the innocent civilians losing lives in the conflicts caused by the imperial ambitions of the people who have powerful capabilities at their disposal. In fact, Russians fighting in Ukraine makes this conflict another proxy war – which is more brutal, because it consists of mercenaries and people from another countries who don’t care about the people in the territory where they are fighting. Igor Girkin (Strelkov) or Alexander Boroday are no different than the leaders of ISIS in Iraq or Boko Haram in Nigeria. They any and all methods to achieve their aims, they pursue an extremist ideology and they do not have any humanitarian inclinations whatsoever. In their minds a political victory achieved through military or rather terrorist methods is the absolute, top priority. They even could believe they are helping other people, because sometimes “it has to be hard before it gets better in the future”. But such an idea is not appropriate in all circumstances

      What makes them different from the most radical terrorist groups in the Middle East or Africa, is that they operate in the middle of Europe – which despite western views is in Ukraine. They have strong sponsors. Political sponsors are located in the Kremlin, but financial support comes from people like billionaire Constantine Malofeev. Such influential and rich sources of support make those pro-Russian separatists very powerful. They refuse to listen to orders from the Kremlin, but have their own ideologists like Alexander Barkashov, whose ideals fit much better with the aim of a “Great Russia” than Putin’s complicated policy. A great advantage of the pro-Russian separatists is the situation in Russia. Close connection or even unification of Russian politics and organized crime in that country, makes the state highly unpredictable. If western analysts base their assessments on relatively healthy state organisms of western countries, they will have great difficulty in analysing Russian behaviour and predicting their next moves.  We hear, that the Dutch Prime Minister was deeply shocked by the pro-Russian separatists behaviour in front of the MH-17 wreckage and the dead bodies lying all around. Well… Ukrainian, Polish or Lithuanian analysts and politicians were not shocked by this. In this part of Europe, people know much more about those fighting the Ukrainian Armed Forces, about the situation in the Russia and the geopolitical conditions that this situation creates. The Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister and the organizations such as the National Security Bureau with its director, General Stanisław Koziej, warned western politicians, journalists and societies of the importance and danger of the situation in Ukraine and Russia role in it.

Operating in the centre of Europe also has disadvantages. Europe is filled with high- level intelligence technology, the European Union cooperates in strategic alliance with the USA which creates great capability for diplomatic and intelligence actions. Despite the leaks about wire-tapping of European leaders by the USA, western intelligence has the greatest access to the global flow of information. Russia is also deeply involved in cooperation with the European Union, which makes warlike politics much more complicated.

The geopolitical situation in the twenty-first century is proof that every international relations actor of enormous power will act in their self-interest, become arrogant and ultimately aggressive. Today Russia resembles the USA from 2002 and 2003. The beginning of the war in Iraq was not a mistake. There were false reports presented in the UN Security Council, bunch of false media information. Although there was also large critic in the West. France and Germany did not surrender to the US pressure. Even in US there were medias which informed about anti-war opinions. So Russia is same arrogant, and starts to be aggressive but uses much more total propaganda than it is possible in the West. USA regards Iraq as their largest mistake. They also see many others mistakes they did and many others do not see. But Russia starting aggression against Ukraine is wrong in the same way and in Russia there is no real debate. There is no TV channel like “Democracy Now” in Russia or senators like Ron Paul on the Kremlin (or were excluded from Duma). Only West can force Russia to understand that they are not over any international relations and international Law. If US economy started to shrink because of the wars in the Middle East, what caused less international actions by the USA in the second decade of the XXI c., than poor and retarded Russian economy does not allow them to play that game also (This is stated by Zbigniew Brzezinski often: http://t.co/MZRSbMqTw3).

(I would like to thank to Nick Siekierski for correcting this text)