This article was written for the Unz Review:
Just as the corporate media is not reporting that the USA and Russia are on a collision course which can end up in nuclear war, the corporate media is not reporting that the Ukraine is falling apart. That does not mean, however, that this is not happening. It is. In fact, it has been for a long while already, but since that collapse is smoothed out by a lack of military action and by the political support of the Empire, it does not appear to be catastrophic (in the sense of causing a sudden dramatic change). But the signs are all over the place, ranging from the outright bizarre attack by Ukronazi saboteurs on Crimea (which, besides the group which was caught also involved at least two other groups conducting a diversionary reconnaissance by fire against the northeast of the Peninsula) to the quasi daily reports of an “imminent”, but apparently never coming, Ukronazi attack against the Donbass. On the political front, the Ukrainian Jeanne d’Arc, Nadezhda Savchenko, is now accused of being a Putin agent because she advocates for negotiations with the DNR/LNR, while the regime in Kiev is trying to maintain its relevance to NATO hawks by offering to teach them “how to fight against the Russians”. The reality, of course, is that financial support from the Empire to the Ukraine has now almost completely dried up due to, among other things, the realization that the Ukies can steal almost all the money they get, and that nobody buys the “the Russkies are coming!” canard anymore. Frankly, the Ukronazi project has outlived its utility and nobody gives a damn what will happen to the Ukrainian people.
And that is a huge mistake.
Somalia on the EU
It is impossible to estimate how many people are still living in the Ukraine today, but most experts believe that the figure is somewhere between 35-40 million people. The vast majority of them are struggling to make a living and their future looks very, very bleak. Remember Dmitri Orlov’s five stages of collapse
? They are:
Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost.
Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost.
Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost.
Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost.
Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in “the goodness of humanity” is lost.
Even a cursory look at what is happening in the Ukraine clearly shows that Stage 5 has already been reached, quite a while ago, really. What comes next is basically Somalia. But a big, really big, Somalia, with millions of assault rifles circulating in the population, with major industrial sites capable of triggering another Chernobyl-like disaster, with various death-squads (private or semi-official) freely roaming around the country and imposing their rule with armored vehicles and heavy machine guns. So if the always Euro-centric West could afford to ignore a Somalia in Somalia there is no way it can ignore a Somalia on the EU and NATO border. To put it simply: there is absolutely nothing standing between the Somalia in the Ukraine and the EU. Nothing. Once the inevitable, and this time catastrophic, final collapse happens the resulting explosion will simple take the path of least resistance.
To the east we have Russia, with her superbly capable state security agencies, the newly created National Guard, large military formations deployed along the borders and, most importantly, an excellent understanding of what is taking place in the Ukraine. To the west we have basically Conchita Wurst’s Europe, unable to formulate any policy at all (since all orders come from Uncle Sam), with parade-type military forces mostly hallucinating about the “Russian threat”, with security services who can’t even cope with the current flow of immigrants and, most importantly, with a ruling class and population which has no clue or understanding whatsoever of what is happening in the Ukraine.
Russia has another huge advantage: she already controls Crimea and Novorussia and she has already developed the skillset needed to deal with millions of refugees. Yup, while western leaders were busy blaming Russia for everything and making absolutely crazy promises to the Ukrainians, Russia has already had to absorb about 1,5 million refugees which did not only have to be carefully vetted for Nazi saboteurs and terrorists, but then also intelligently relocated. The immigration service did a pretty good job here too by, for example, relocating medical doctors to regions where they were needed (including Chechnia).
All this is to say that when the inevitable explosion happens the Europeans will be the ones to get hit the hardest and who will have to scramble to cope with the situation. Seeing how utterly incompetent and clueless the EU comprador elites are, we can fully expect them to make a total mess of the situation, as they always do, and end up worrying mostly about the political fallout resulting from the disaster.
The Americans, protected by the Atlantic Ocean, will do the usual: provider “leadership” and “support” but not offer a single dollar to address the actual measures needed to deal with the situation. Politically, they will do in the Ukraine what they have always done in such situations: declare victory and leave.
At this point the situation will become so undeniably bad that even western politicians will have to get out of their delusional comfort zone: they will then fly to Moscow to get the Russians to fix this mess.
The Russians ain’t coming (yet again)
I will never cease to mantrically repeat that Russia is much weaker than what most people think. Her landmass is immense and her military arguably the best on the planet, but population is relatively small, and her economy a struggling one. Yes, the future does look bright for Russia, but presently she simply does not have the means to single handedly rescue (resurrect, really) the Ukraine. Not even close.
The reality is that even Crimea has presented Russia with major challenges. After 25 years of total neglect, Crimea basically needs to completely rebuilt most of its infrastructure. The Kremlin has poured billions of Rubles into numerous and large modernization programs, including an immensely expensive but vitally needed bridge over the Kerch strait
, and she will continue to rebuilt Crimea in spite of the immense costs involved. Down the road, of course, Crimea will end up being very wealthy, courtesy of an immense touristic potential, the presence of a much expanded Black Sea fleet and because of its strategic location. But for the foreseeable future, Crimea will remain a major burden which Russia will struggle to deal with.
The situation in the Donbass is even bleaker. If Crimean was neglected, the Donbass has been almost totally destroyed. Right now the Russians are paying the pensions of the local population because the Ukronazis have stolen them, in direct violation of the Minsk Agreements. Russia is also alone in supporting the Novorussian republics with humanitarian, medical, technical, administrative and military programs. And while the Novorussians have done an amazing job rebuilding much of Donetsk and a few other cities, most of what lies within artillery range of the Ukronazi forces still lies in ruins and the economy is more or less at a standstill. This will not change until peace truly returns to the region.
What is already quite evident that regardless of who will be in the Kremlin and regardless of how much good will and self-sacrifice the Russians will have, Russia simply does not have the means to salvage the Ukraine. It just ain’t happening. Furthermore, polls show that most Russians are categorically opposed to a full reintegration of the entire Ukraine into Russia. Who could blame them? They are not only acutely aware that the Ukraine has turned into one bloody hell of a mess, but that an entire generation of Ukrainians has now been terminally brainwashed with russophobic hatred. And, frankly, Russia has no use for Nazis of any kind, even if they are fellow Slavs or even if they are basically the very same nation as the Russian one.
So even if tomorrow Petro Poroshenko and his gang decided to invite the Russians to come in an fix this bloody mess, the Russians would decline (so much for the warnings about a Russian invasion!). Oh sure, there are a lot of Ukrainians who kid themselves and think that “the Russians will come and fix this”, but this is a pipe-dream: the Russians ain’t coming. At most, Russia will let the DNR/LNR get back the territories which belonged to their regions and Mariupol might be liberated. But that’s about it. And even if by some miracle the Novorussian tanks end up in Kiev, I don’t see them staying there for very long because the Kremlin fully understands that if they grab it, they own it and they have to fix it. Eventually Russia will, of course, simply be forced absorb the Donbass and make it a part of Russia, mostly because there is no way the Donbass will ever go back to the Ukraine again, but even this process will take time. By then, with both Crimea and the Donbass under her responsibility, Russia will simply be maxed out, economically unable to absorb any further territories (sorry, Balts, no Russian invasion for you either!).
The main problem
So the Russians can’t afford it, the Europeans can’t do anything and the Americans have left. What happens next?
What happens next is that the worse the situation becomes the stronger the obvious need for an international effort will become. Once the Russians tell the Europeans in no equivocal terms “forget about our invasion, we are not doing it” (by then the Europeans will *beg* the Russians to invade!), the Europeans will have to turn to their American masters and tell them that the EU will be regime-changed unless something is urgently done. At which point, Uncle Sam will have to open his purse and offer some real money (assuming the Dollar is still a viable currency when that happens). But even if that happens, I don’t see the main donors agreeing on a Ukrainian project.
In purely political terms, the most likely solution would be to have a neutral Ukrainian (Con-)Federation of some kind. You know – nobody wins, nobody losses and we all remain friends. Sounds nice, of course, but it does not address the main problem of the Ukraine: it is a completely artificial country and it is simply way too big. Add to this a level of corruption and an expertise in misappropriating funds which Somalis can’t even begin to imagine, and you have a country which can probably “absorb” even a major donor’s help effort and remain in ruins. Finally, there is the reality that the folks living in the western Ukraine are completely different from those in the south or east and that even if we remove the Nazi Banderites from the equation there is no such thing as a “Ukrainian nation” with a common project.
Small is beautiful
But imagine if the unitary Ukraine was allowed to break-up, under international supervision and, if needed, even under international military protection, into several smaller states. For one thing this would immediately take care of the neutrality issue: even if western Ukraine joined NATO, Russia would not care much. That would also solve the language problem: not only could each region chose one, or several, official languages, but since these newly independent states would be far more homogeneous they would have much less concerns about accepting a second official language of a relatively small minority (big minorities are usually seen as threat, not small ones). A break-up of the Ukraine into several independent states could also make it much easier for each newly created state to sign bilateral agreements with its neighbors without having to get the agreement of folks living hundred of kilometers away and interested in a totally different set of agreements with their own neighbors. Finally, small states are much easier to integrate into larger unions (EU or EEU) than huge ones.
Breaking up the Ukraine also presents a number of advantages to any peacekeeping/peace-enforcement efforts. For example, while I don’t believe that the Russians would be willing to invade or annex most of the Ukraine, even east of the Dniepr river, I do believe that the Russians would be willing send in a peacekeeping/peace-enforcement force to provide security during a stabilization and transition phase provided that this operation is sanctioned by a UN Security Council resolution and has the support of all the major players. Likewise, NATO might *finally* find a useful role for itself doing something similar west of the Dniepr river (and since NATO countries are the ones who armed the Nazis, it would be only fair to ask them to now disarm them).
Problems, caveats and risks
Of course, just as any other break-up of a country, this plan does have major flaws and creates as many risks as it offers opportunities. First and foremost, breaking-up any country no matter how artificial that country is, just creates more artificial borders, at least temporarily. That, in turns, sharply increases the risks of violence. But let’s be honest here: the Ukraine has already been broken up into at least three parts (occupied Banderastan, Novorussia and Crimea), and a civil war has already broken out. What is left of the Ukraine today is already extremely violent and it is pretty darn clear that things ain’t gonna get better anytime soon. So we have to compare the comparable and not compare an admittedly bad situation to an invented ideal one. Those who will now object to the break-up of the Ukraine should have taken action before 2014 and not supported a coup which was bound to result in a civil war: Humpty Dumpty is broken now, and all that can still be salvaged are his various pieces.
Besides, we have to keep in mind that the Ukraine is a completely artificial country whose current borders are the creation of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin (something the Ukronazis assiduously avoid remembering). So it’s not like we are discussing the break-up of, say, Japan or France. Finally, I don’t see why some countries are considered prime candidates for break-up (Yugoslavia for example) while other WWII borders would be sacrosanct.
Some will, no doubt, accusing me of being a “Putin agent” for suggesting that the Ukraine ought to be broken up. Others will accusing me of being a CIA/Mossad agent for suggesting that NATO might actually have a legitimate mission west of the Dniepr river. That kind of ad hominems come with the territory and I have long learned to ignore them. All I will reply to those accusations is that while I lay 100% of the blame for the disaster in the Ukraine on the AngloZionist Empire, I also see that now this has become a common problem which will soon turn into a common threat which will require a common solution. I just don’t see anybody capable of bringing back law and order east of the Dniepr besides Russia. Likewise, since Russia will not agree to carry the full Ukrainian burden by herself, I simply don’t see any military forces besides NATO capable of bringing back law and order west of the Dniepr (btw – I use the Dniepr as a convenient conceptual border, but in reality that separation will have to be agreed upon by all parties).
So is the idea of a controlled break-up of the Ukraine a bad one?
Yes, absolutely. It is a terrible one.
But I don’t see a better one.
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world