Historical, political and economic background of the Ukraine war, auch Deutsch

Original:  Oberst Jacques Baud   Historische, politische und wirtschaftliche Hintergründe des Ukraine-Kriegs

Oberst Jacques Baud     https://helmutkaess.de/historical-political-and-economic-background-of-the-ukraine-war-auch-deutsch/

Historical, political and economic background of the Ukraine war, auch Deutsch

Historical, political and economic background of the Ukraine war

“U.S. policy has always been to prevent Germany and Russia to cooperate more closely.”  Historical, political and economic background of the Ukraine war.

Interview with Jacques Baud,* Switzerland

March 15, 2022  * Jacques Baud has a master’s degree in econometrics and a
postgraduate studies in international security at the Institute of International Relations in Geneva and was a Geneva and was a colonel in the Swiss Army.
He worked for the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service and was advisor for the security of the refugee camps in Eastern Zaire during the Rwanda war.
War (UNHCR – Zaire/Congo, 1995-96). He worked for the DPKO (Department of Peacekeeping Operations) of the United Naon in New York (1997-99),
founded the International Center for Humanitarian Demining in
Mine Action in Geneva (CIGHD) and the  Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA). He contributed to the introduction of the concept of intelligence
in UN peacekeeping operations and led the first and directed the first integrated UN Joint Mission Analysis Centre (JMAC) in Sudan (2005-06). He was head of
of the Peace Policy and Doctrine Division of the UN Department of Peacekeeping.
Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York (2009-11) and of the U.N. Group of Experts on Security Sector Reform and the Rule of Law,  worked in NATO and is the author of several books on intelligence, asymmetric warfare
Warfare, terrorism, and disinformaon.
Jacques Baud (Image zvg)  2/10

Current events in focus: Mr. Baud, you know the region where where war is currently raging. What conclusions have you drawn from the last few days, and how could it have come to this?

Jacques Baud: I know the region that is at stake now, very well. I was at the FDFA [Federal Department of Department of Foreign Affairs] and on its behalf for five years
to NATO for five years in the fight against the proliferation of small arms. I have supervised projects in Ukraine after 2014. This means that I know Russia, because of my former intelligence work, NATO, Ukraine and the associated Ukraine and the related environment very well.
I speak Russian and have access to documents, that few people in the West look at.

You are an expert on the situation in and around Ukraine.
Your professional activity brought you to the current crisis region. How do you perceive the events?
It’s crazy, you could say there’s a real hysteria, downright hysteria. What strikes me and what is that no one is asking why the Russians invaded.
Nobody is going to advocate war, and certainly neither am I. But as the former head of the “Peace Policy and Doctrine” of the U.N. Department of of Peacekeeping Operations in New York for two years for two years, I always ask myself the
question: how did one get to this point, to wage war?

What was your job there?
It was to explore how wars happen, what elements what elements lead to peace, and what can be done what one can do to avoid casualties or how one can how to prevent war. If you not understand how war comes about, you cannot find a solution.
We are exactly in this situation. Every country is imposing its own sanctions against Russia, and you know exactly this is going nowhere. What particularly shocked me
shocked me was the statement made by the Minister of Economy in France that they want to destroy Russia’s economy with the aim of making the Russian population to suffer. This is a statement that I find extremely outrageous.

Russia’s goal of demilitarization and denazification
What is your assessment of the Russian attack?
When one state attacks another, it is against international law. But one should also
the reasons behind it. First it must be made clear that Putin is neither crazy, nor has he lost touch with reality. He is a person who is very methodical, systematic,
that is, very Russian. I am of the opinion that he is aware of the consequences of his actions in Ukraine. He has judged – obviously rightly – judged that no matter whether he was conducting a ”small” operation to protect the population of the Donbass
or a “massive” operation to benefit the national interests of Russia and the Donbass
population, the consequences would be the same. He then went for the maximum

What do you see as the goal?
It is certainly not directed against the Ukrainian population.  Putin has said that again and again. You can also see it in the facts. Russia is still supplying gas to Ukraine.
The Russians have not stopped that. They have not shut down the Internet. They have not shut down the electricity and destroyed the water supply.
. Of course, there are certain areas where fighting is going on. But you see a very
approach than that of the Americans in, for example, the former Yugoslavia, in Iraq or even in Libya. When western countries attacked them, they first destroyed the power and water supply and the entire infrastructure.

Why does the West act in this way?
The approach of the Western countries – it is interesting to look at it in terms of operational doctrine, is fueled by the idea that if you destroy the infrastructure,
the population will will revolt against the unpopular dictator  and get rid of him.
This was also the strategy during the Second World War II, when they bombed the German cities like Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden etc. One aimed directly at the civilian population, so that there would be an uprising. The government loses its power through an uprising, and the war was won without endangering
your own troops. That is the theory.

What is the approach of the Russians?
It is completely different. They have clearly announced their goal. They want a “demilitarization ” and “denazification.” If you follow the reporting honestly, that’s exactly what they are doing. Of course, a war is a war, and unfortunately, there are always casualties, but it is interesting to see what the numbers say. On Friday (March 4), the UN took stock. It reported 265 Ukrainian civilians killed.
civilians. In the evening, the Russian Defense Ministry put the number of dead soldiers at 498. This means that there are more victims Russian military than among civilians on the on the Ukrainian side. Now, if you compare that with Iraq or Libya, then it is exactly the opposite with the Western warfare, it’s the other way around.

That contradicts the portrayal in the West?
Yes, in our media it is portrayed in such a way that the that the Russians would destroy everything, but that’s obviously not true. I am also disturbed by the
portrayal in our media about Putin, that he suddenly decided to attack and conquer Ukraine.  The U.S. has warned for several months that there would be a surprise attack, but nothing happened. By the way, intelligence agencies and the Ukrainian leadership have repeatedly denied the American statements.
If you look at the military reports and the preparations, then you can see
quite clear: Putin had no intention until mid-February Putin had no intention of attacking Ukraine.

Why did that change? What has happened?
You have to know a few things about that, otherwise you don’t understand it.
On March 24, 2021, the Ukrainian President Selenskyj issued a decree,
that he intended to recapture Crimea. As a result, he began to move the Ukrainian army to the south and southeast, towards the Donbass. So for a year now there has been a permanent buildup of the army on the southern border of Ukraine. This explains why at the end of February there were no Ukrainian troops on the
Russian-Ukrainian border. Selenskyj has always maintained that the ussians will not attack Ukraine. Also Ukrainian Minister of Defense has also confirmed it again and again. Likewise, the head of the Ukrainian Security Council confirmed in December and and in January that there were no signs of a of a Russian attack on Ukraine.

Was that a trick?
No, they said that several times, and I am sure, that Putin, who, by the way, also said that repeatedly, did not want to attack. Obviously, there was pressure from the United States. The U.S. has little interest in Ukraine itself little interest. At the present time, they wanted to increase pressure on Germany to shut down Nord Stream II. They wanted Ukraine to provoke Russia and that if Russia responds, Nord Stream II will be put on hold.
Such a scenario was mooted on the occasion of the visit Olaf Scholz’s visit to Washington, and Scholz clearly did not want to go along with it. That is not
only my opinion, there are also Americans who see it see it that way: The target is Nord Stream II. It must not be forgotten that Nord Stream II was built at the  request of the Germans. It is fundamentally a German project. Because Germany needs more gas to achieve its energy and climate goals.

“In a nuclear war Europe will be the battlefield”
Why has the U.S. pushed for this?

Since World War II, it has always been the policy of the of the U.S. has been to prevent Germany and Russia or the USSR to cooperate more closely.
This is despite the fact that the Germans have a historical fear of the Russians. But these are the two biggest powers in Europe. Historically there have always been economic relations between Germany and Russia. This is what the USA has always tried to prevent. One must not forget that in a nuclear war, Europe would be the battleground.  This means that in such a interests of Europe and the United States would not necessarily be  the same.
This explains why, in the 1980s, the Soviet Union supported pacifist movements in Germany.  A closer relationship between Germany and Russia would render the U.S.
nuclear strategy useless.

The U.S. has always criticized energy dependence?

It is ironic that the U.S. has criticized the energy dependence  Russia is the second largest oil supplier to the USA. The USA buys its oil mainly from Canada, then from Russia, followed by Mexico and Saudi Arabia. This means that the USA
is dependent on Russia. This also applies, for example also for missile engines.  But it does bother the U.S. that the Europeans are are dependent on Russia.
During the Cold War, Russia, i.e. the the Soviet Union, always honored all gas contracts. The Russian way of thinking in this respect is very similar to the Swiss one. Russia obeys the laws, it feels bound by the rules like Switzerland.
One is indeed emotional, but the rules apply and they enforce them.
During the Cold War the Soviet Union never made a connection between
Economy and politics. The dispute in Ukraine is a purely political dispute.

Brzezinski’s theory that Ukraine is the key to the domination of Asia, does it also play a role here?

Brzezinski was certainly a great thinker and influenced the strategic thinking of the U.S. still does. But this aspect is, in my view not so central to this crisis. Ukraine
is certainly important. But the question of who dominates  or controls is not central.
The Russians are not pursuing the goal of control of Ukraine. The problem for Russia
with Ukraine, as it is for other countries, is one of strategic military one.

What does it mean?
In the whole discussion that is going on everywhere at the moment discussion that is being held everywhere at the moment is being overlooked. Certainly, there is talk of nuclear weapons, but it’s like talking about a movie. The reality is somewhat
different. The Russians want a distance between NATO and Russia. The core element
of Nato is U.S. nuclear power. That is the essence of Nato. When I worked at Nato
Jens Stoltenberg – who was already my boss – always said, “NATO is a nuclear power.” Today, when the U.S. is deploying missile systems in Poland and Romania, they are the so-called MK-41 systems.

Are these defensive weapons?
Of course, the U.S. says they are purely defensive.
You can actually launch defensive missiles from these launch pads.
But you can also use nuclear missiles with the same system.
These ramps are a few minutes away from Moscow. If something happens in a situation of heightened tension in Europe the Russians realize, based on satellite imagery, that there is activity at the launch pads and that something is being prepared, will they wait until nuclear missiles are launched in the direction of Moscow?

Probably not …
… of course not. They would immediately launch a preemptive
The whole aggravation arose after the U.S. withdrew from the ABM treaty.
Under the validity of the ABM Treaty they could not have stationed such a system in
in Europe. When it comes to a dispute you always need a certain reaction time. If only because mistakes could happen.
We had something like that during the Cold War.
The greater the distance the more time you have to react. If the missiles are too close to the Russian territory, there is no time to react  to an attack and you run the risk
of nuclear war much faster. This affects all countries  around. The Russians, of course, realized this, and on the basis of this they founded the Warsaw Pact.
The importance of nuclear weapons becomes greater

First there was NATO …
NATO was founded in 1949 and only six years later the Warsaw Pact. The reason
was the rearmament of the FRG and its admission to NATO in 1955.
A map of 1949, you see a very large distance between the  between the nuclear power
Nato and the USSR. When Nato, through the accession of Germany, moved further towards the Russian border, Russia founded the Warsaw Pact. The Eastern European states were already communist, and the CP was very strong in all countries.
Almost worse than in the USSR. The USSR wanted to have a security belt
around itself, so it created the Warsaw  Pact. It wanted to ensure an apron
to be able to fight a conventional war for as long as possible.
That was the idea: to stay as long as possible in the conventional as possible and not to get directly into the nuclear war.

Is that still the case today?
After the Cold War, nuclear armament was somewhat forgotten.
Security was no longer a question of nuclear weapons. The Iraq war, the Afghanistan war were wars with conventional weapons, and the nuclear dimension was somewhat
out of the picture. But the Russians have have not forgotten that. They think very strategically. I visited the general staff in Moscow at the Voroshilovsk Academy of the General Staff. There you could see how people think.
They think strategically, as one should in wartime.

Can you see that today?
You can see that very clearly today. Putin’s people think strategically. There is strategic There is strategic thinking, operational thinking and tactical thinking.
The Western countries, as we saw in Afghanistan or in Iraq, have no strategy. This is exactly the problem that the French have in Mali. Mali has now demanded
that they leave the country, because the French are killing people without strategy and
without a goal. It’s very different with the Russians, they think strategically. They have a goal. It is the same it is the same with Putin.

In our media it is reported again and again that Putin has brought nuclear weapons into play. Have you heard that as well?

Yes, on February 27th, Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces to a state of alert level 1.
But that is only half the story. On February 11-12, the security conference was held in
Munich. Selensky was there. He expressed, that he would like to acquire nuclear weapons. That was interpreted as a potential threat.
Of course, the red light went on in the Kremlin.
To understand this, you have to keep in mind the of Budapest in 1994 in the back of your mind. That was about destroying the nuclear missiles in the former Soviet republics and to leave only Russia to remain as a nuclear power.
Ukraine also handed over nuclear weapons to Russia, and in return Russia guaranteed the inviolability the inviolability of its borders. When the Crimea went back to Russia, in 2014, Ukraine said it would also Ukraine said it would also no longer abide by the
1994 agreement.

Back to nuclear weapons. What did Putin really say?
If Selenskyi wanted nuclear weapons back, that would be an unacceptable path for Putin.  When you have nuclear weapons right on the border then there is very little warning time. After Macron’s visit, there was a press conference, and Putin said there unequivocally, that if the gap between between NATO and Russia was too small, it
could unintentionally lead to complications. But the decisive element was at the beginning of the war against Ukraine, when the French foreign minister threatened Putin by emphasizing that NATO was a nuclear power. To this, Putin reacted
Putin responded by putting his nuclear forces into an initial state of alert.  Putin is a realist, he is down-to-earth and purposeful.

What prompted Putin to intervene militarily now?
On March 24, 2021, Selenskyj issued the decree, that he would reconquer the Crimea.
He has made preparations to do so. Whether that was his intention or just a political maneuver, we do not know. What we seen is that he massively reinforced the Ukrainian army in the in the Donbass region and massed it towards south in the direction of Crimea.  Of course, the Russians noticed that. At the same time
NATO held a very large maneuver between Baltic maneuver between the Baltic and the Black Sea.   This understandably understandably startled. They have
held exercises in the southern military district, to mark their presence. After that everything quieted down a bit, and in September Russia held long-planned “Zapad 21” exercises.   These exercises are held every 4 years. At the end of the maneuver some troops stayed in the vicinity of Belarus.  These were troops from the Eastern
military district. Mainly material was left there, because at the beginning of this
a large maneuver with Belarus was planned for the beginning of this year.

How did the West react to this?
Europe and especially the USA interpreted it as a strengthening of the offensive capacity against Ukraine. Independent military experts, but also the head of the Ukrainian Security Council said that no preparations for war were underway. Russia left the material from October for the exercises with Belarus – that that was not planned for an attack. So-called Western military experts, especially from France, immediately  called it a preparation for war and portrayed Putin as a mad dictator. This is the whole development that took place from the end of October 2021 until the beginning of this year.  The communication from the U.S. and Ukraine on this issue was very contradictory. One spoke of a planned attack, the attack, the others denied it. It was a constant back and forth in terms of yes and no.

OSCE reports heavy shelling on the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics by Ukraine in February  What happened in February?

At the end of January, the situation seems to change and it seems that the U.S. was talking to Selenskyj because then there was a change.
From the beginning of February, the U.S. repeatedly said that the Russians were
about to attack. They have been spreading scenarios of an attack. For example, Antony Blinken spoke before the UN Security Council and outlined how the Russian attack
will take place. He said he knew this from the intelligence services.
This is reminiscent of the situation in 2002/2003 before the attack on Iraq. Here, too, it was allegedly based on the analysis of the intelligence services.
That was not true then either. Because the CIA was not convinced of the presence of
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld, therefore, was not relying on the CIA, but on a small confidential group within the within the Department of Defense that had been created specifically for this situation in order to
to circumvent the CIA’s analysis.

So where is the information coming from today?
In the context of Ukraine, Blinken did exactly the same thing. You can see it
by the fact that no one from the CIA has has said anything about it. U.S. analysts have
have noticed that the intelligence services have not intelligence agencies have not made an appearance in this have made any appearances. Everything that Blinken told came from a group that he himself had convened within his department – a so-called
“Tiger Team.” These scenarios that have been presented to us do not come from
intelligence. So-called experts have invented a certain scenario with a political agenda. This is how the the rumor that the Russians would attack. Joe
Biden said that he knew that the Russians were going to attack on February
February 16. When he was asked how he knew that, he replied that the USA had good intelligence capabilities. He did not mention the CIA or the National Intelligence Service.

So did anything happen on February 16?
Yes, on that day we see an extreme increase of cease-fire violations by the Ukrainian military along the cease-fire line, the so-called contact line. There have been repeated
violations over the last eight years, but since February 12th, we’ve had an extreme increase, particularly in the area of Donetsk and Lugansk.
This is only known because everything was recorded by the OSCE mission in Donbass.  You can find these protocols in the OSCE’s “Daily reports”.

What did the Ukrainian military want to achieve with this?

It was certainly the beginning of an offensive against the Donbass.
When the artillery became stronger and stronger, the authorities of the two republics began to evacuate the civilian population  and bring them to Russia.
Sergei Lavrov spoke in an interview of 100,000 refugees. In Russia, one saw
the signs of a large-scale operation.

What were the consequences?
This action by the Ukrainian military basically triggered everything. At that clear to Putin that Ukraine was going to launch an offensive against the two republics. On February 15, the Russian parliament, the Duma, adopted a resolution proposing to recognize the two republics.
Putin did not initially respond, but as the attacks intensified, he decided on February 21 to implement the parliamentary resolution.

Causes of Right-Wing Extremism in Ukraine
Why did Putin take this step?

In this situation, he had little choice but to do so, because the Russian people would hardly  have understood if he did nothing to the protection of the ethnic Russian population in the Donbass. It was clear to Putin that, that if he reacted to this and intervened, the West would respond with massive sanctions, regardless of whether he was just helping the republics or attacking all of Ukraine. In the first first step, he recognized the independence of the of the two republics. On the same day he concluded concluded an agreement with the two republics on friendship and cooperation. By doing so in accordance with Chapter 51 of the Charter of the United Nations of collective defense and self-defense, it has the right the right to help the two republics. In this way, it created the legal basis to come to the aid of the two republics.

But he did not only help the republics, but attacked the whole Ukraine…
Putin had two options: First, to cooperate with the Russian-speaking population in the Donbass together against the attackers, i.e. the Ukrainian army. secondly, to attack
Ukraine in several places in order to weaken Ukrainian military capacities.
Putin has also calculated that no matter what he does, it will hail sanctions. That is why he decided to go for the maximum option, although it must be said quite clearly  His objective is clear and unambiguous: demilitarization clear: demilitarization and denazification.

What is the background of this objective?
Demilitarization is understandable, because the Ukraine had gathered the whole army in the south between Donbass and Crimea. That is, with a quick operation it could
encircle the troops. A large part of the Ukrainian army is in the area of Donbass, Mariupol and Zaporozhye in a large encirclement. The Russians have encircled the army and neutralized it.

That leaves denazification.
When the Russians say something like this, then it is usually not simply an invention. There are strong associations of right-wing radicals. Besides the Ukrainian army, which is very unreliable, since 2014, strong paramilitary forces have been have been built up since 2014, including, for example, the well-known Azov regiment. But there are many more. There are very many of these groups that are under Ukrainian command, but they do not consist not only Ukrainians. The Azov regiment consists of 19 nationalities, among them are French, even Swiss, etc. This is a foreign legion. In total, these right-wing extremist groups are about 100 000 fighters strong, according to the Reuters agency.

Why are there so many paramilitary organizations?
In 2015/2016, I was in Ukraine with NATO. Ukraine. Ukraine had a big problem,
it had too few soldiers, because the Ukrainian Army has one of the highest suicide rates. Most of the deaths were due to suicide and alcohol problems. It had trouble finding recruits. I was asked to help because of my experience at the UN to help out there. In I have been to Ukraine several times. The main point was that the army has not credibility in the eyes of the population and has no credibility militarily. Therefore
Ukraine has been promoting and expanding the paramilitary
forces more and more and expanded them. These are fanatics with a strong right-wing extremism.

Where does right-wing extremism come from?
Its emergence dates back to the 1930s.
After the extreme years of famine, which went down in history as the Holodomor, a resistance was formed against the Soviet power. To finance the modernization of the USSR, Stalin had confiscated the harvests and provoked an unprecedented famine.
It was the NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB, that implemented this policy. The NKVD was territorially organized, and in Ukraine numerous Jews held high command posts. As a result things got mixed up:  the hatred of the communists, the hatred of the
Russians and hatred of the Jews. The first right-wing extremist groups date from this
period, and they still exist. During the

During the Second World War, the Germans needed these right-wing extremists like the OUN of Stepan Bandera’s OUN, the Ukrainian insurgent army, and others, to use them as guerrillas against the Soviets. At that time, the armed forces of the 3rd Reich as liberators, for example. the 2nd Panzer Division of the SS, “Das Reich”,
which liberated Kharkov from the Soviets in 1943, is still revered in Ukraine today. The geographical center of the far-right resistance was in Lvov, now Lviv, which is in Galicia. This region even had its own 14th SS Panzergrenadier Division
“Galicia,” an SS division that consisted consisted exclusively of Ukrainians.

The OUN came into being during the Second World War
and survived the Soviet period?
After the Second World War the enemy was still the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union did not not succeeded in completely eliminating these anti-Soviet movements.
The USA, France and Great Britain realized that the OUN could be useful and supported them in the fight against the Soviet Union with sabotage and weapons. Until the early 60s, these organizations were supported supported from the West. In particular through the operations Aerodynamic, Valuable, Minos, Capacho, and others. Since that time there have always been there have always been forces in Ukraine that have had a close to the West and NATO. Today it is the weakness of the Ukrainian army, which has led to the that has led to the resort to these fanatical
fanatical groups. To call them neo-Nazis is not quite right for me. They sympathize with the ideas, they have the insignia, but they have neither a political doctrine
nor a political plan.

After 2014, two agreements were agreed upon, to pacify the situation in Ukraine. What significance do the agreements have in the context
with the current dispute?
Yes, this is important to understand, because the failure to fulfill of these two agreements basically led to the war. Since 2014, there would have been a solution to the conflict, the Minsk Agreement.
In September 2014, it was obvious, that the Ukrainian army was conducting a very bad warfare, even though it was advised by NATO.
It had constant failures. Therefore it had to agree to the Minsk Agreement I in
September 2014. It was a treaty between the Ukrainian government and the
representatives of the two self-proclaimed republics Donetsk and Lugansk with the European and Russian guarantor powers.

Double game of the EU and the USA
How did the creation of these two republics?
To understand this, we have to go back in history a little bit.
In the fall of 2013, the EU wanted to conclude a trade and economic agreement
with Ukraine. The EU offered Ukraine a guarantee for development with subsidies, with export and import, etc. The Ukrainian authorities wanted to conclude
to conclude it. But it was not without problems, because the Ukrainian industry and
agriculture were oriented in terms of products  towards Russia. The Ukrainians
developed engines for Russian airplanes not for European or American ones.
The general orientation of industry was toward the East, not the West. Qualitatively
Ukraine had difficulty competing with the European market. Therefore
the authorities wanted to cooperate with the EU and the same time maintain economic relations with Russia.

Would that have been possible?
Russia, for its part, had no problem with Ukraine’s plans. But Russia wanted to keep its economic relations with Ukraine.
That is why it proposed, with a trilateral working group two agreements: one between Ukraine and the Ukraine and the EU and one between Ukraine and Russia. The aim was to cover the interests of all parties involved. It was the European Union, in the person of José Barroso, that demanded from Ukraine, to choose between Russia and the EU. Ukraine then took time to think about it and demanded a pause in the whole process. After that, the EU and the USA did not play an honest game.

The Western press headlined: “Russia is exerting pressure on Ukraine
to prevent the treaty with the EU”.  That was wrong. That was not the case. The government of Ukraine continued to be interested in the treaty with the EU,
but it wanted to have more time to think and to find the solutions to this complex situation.  But that’s not what the press in Europe said.

The next day, right-wing extremists from the west of the country appeared on the Maidan in Kiev. What all took place there with the approval and and support of the West is gruesome.  But it would go beyond the scope of this article.

What happened after Yanukovych, the democratically elected president, was overthrown?
The new provisional government – formed from the nationalist far right
– immediately, as its first official act, changed the law on the official language in Ukraine. This also proves that this overthrow had had nothing to do with democracy, but it was nationalists, hardliners, who organized the uprising.
This change in the law caused a storm in the Russian-speaking. In all the cities
of the south, in Odessa, in Mariupol, in Donetsk, in Lugansk, in the Crimea, etc. Large demonstrations were organized against the language law. The Ukrainian authorities reacted very massively and brutally, with the army. In the short term autonomous republics were proclaimed, in Odessa, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Lugansk, Donetsk and others.  These were fought extremely brutally.
Two have remained, Donetsk and Lugansk, which have have declared themselves autonomous republics.

How did they legitimize their status?
They held a referendum in May 2014. They wanted autonomy, and that is very,
very important. If you look at the media in recent months, there has always been talk of separatists. But for eight years they have been a total lie for eight years. They always spoke of separatists, – that is completely wrong, because the referendum has clearly and unambiguously always talked about autonomy within Ukraine, they wanted
they wanted a Swiss solution, so to speak.
So they were autonomous and asked for recognition of the republics by Russia, but the Russian government under Putin rejected that.

The Crimea’s struggle for independence
Isn’t the development in the Crimea also related to this context?
People forget that Crimea declared itself independent before Ukraine became independent before Ukraine became independent.  In January 1991, still during the time of the Soviet Union, Crimea held a referendum, to belong to Moscow and no longer to Kiev. Thus it became an autonomous socialist Soviet socialist republic. Ukraine had held a referendum only 6 months later,
in August 1991. At that time, Crimea did not consider itself Crimea did not consider itself part of Ukraine.

But Ukraine did not accept this. Between 1991 and 2014, it has been a constant tug-of-war between the two entities. Crimea had its own constitution with its own authorities. In 1995, encouraged by the Memorandum of Budapest, Ukraine overthrew the Crimean government with special  forces and declared its constitution invalid. But this is never mentioned, because it would cast today’s developments
in a completely different light.

What did the people of Crimea want?
In fact, they always saw themselves as independent. From 1995 on, Crimea was ruled by decree from from Kiev. This was in complete contradiction to the to the 1991 referendum and explains why, in 2014, after the illegal coup d’etat coup brought in a new ultra-nationalist government, which was totally anti-Russian, came to power in Ukraine. Ukraine, held another referendum.  The result was very similar as 30 years earlier. After the referendum Crimea asked whether it could join the Russian Federation.
It was not Russia that conquered Crimea, but rather the population authorized the authorities to ask Russia for admission.  There was also a friendship agreement in 1997 between Russia and Ukraine, in which Ukraine guarantees the cultural diversity
of minorities in the country. When in February 2014, the Russian language
was banned, it was a violation of this treaty.

Now it is clear that if you don’t know all this,  you run the risk of misjudging the situation. Back to the Minsk agreement. There were, in addition to Ukraine and the autonomous republics there were also guarantor powers such as Germany France on the side of Ukraine and Russia on the side of the republics. Germany, France and Russia did that as representatives of the OSCE. The EU was not involved, it was purely a matter for the OSCE.

Immediately after the Minsk I agreement, Ukraine launched an anti-terrorist operation against the two autonomous republics. The government ignored the agreement completely and and carried out this operation. But there was again a total defeat of the Ukrainian Army in Debaltsevo. It was a debacle.

Did this also take place with NATO support?
Yes, and you have to ask yourself what the military advisors of NATO were doing there
because the armed forces of the republics completely defeated the Ukrainian army.
That led to a second agreement, Minsk II, which was signed in February 2015.
It served as the basis for a resolution of the UN Security Council. As a result, this agreement is binding under international law: It must be be implemented.

Was there any monitoring of this from the UN?
No, nobody cared, and apart from Russia no one demanded compliance with the Minsk II agreement. One suddenly spoke only of the Normandy format.
But this is completely insignificant. This came  about at the celebration of D-Day in June 2014. The veterans of the war, the heads of state of the of the Allies were invited as well as Germany, Ukraine and the representatives of other states. In the Normandy format, only the heads of state were represented, the autonomous republics
are not present there, of course. Ukraine does not want to talk to the representatives of Lugansk and Donetsk. But if you look at the Minsk agreements, then there must be an agreement between the Ukrainian government and the republics so that the Ukrainian constitution can be adapted. That is a process within the country, but that’s not what the the Ukrainian government did not want that.

But the Ukrainians have also signed the agreement.
Yes, but Ukraine always wanted to push the problem to Russia. The Ukrainians claimed, that Russia had attacked Ukraine and that’s why and there are these problems. But that was clear, it was an internal problem. Since 2014 OSCE observers have never seen any Russian military units. In both agreements are very clearly stated: The solution must be found within Ukraine. It a certain degree of autonomy within the country, and only Ukraine can solve that. That has nothing to do with Russia.

This requires the fixed adjustment of the Constitution.

Yes, exactly, but it was not made. Ukraine has not taken a step. Also the members
members of the UN Security Council have not on the contrary. The situation did
situation did not improve at all.

How did Russia behave?
Russia’s position was always the same. It wanted the Minsk agreements to be implemented.  It has never changed this position for eight years. During these eight years there were, of course, various border violations, artillery fire, etc., but
Russia never questioned the agreement.

How did Ukraine proceed further?
Ukraine passed a law at the beginning of July last year. It was a law that said,
that people have different rights. It is very reminiscent of the Nuremberg
Nuremberg race laws of 1935. Only the right Ukrainians have all the rights, all the others have only limited rights. As a result Putin wrote an article explaining the historical origin of Ukraine. He has criticized the distinction between Ukrainians and Russians, etc. . He wrote his article as a response to this law. But in Europe he was interpreted that he does not recognize Ukraine as a state.
That was an article to justify a possible annexation of Ukraine.
In the West, all of this is believed, although no one knows either why Putin wrote the article nor what it really says. It is obvious that the goal in the West was to create
to paint as negative a picture of Putin as possible.
I have read the article, it is absolutely sensible.

Wouldn’t the Russians have expected him, that he would comment on it?

Of course, there are so many Russians in Ukraine.
He had to do something. It would have been to the people (but also in terms of international law, with the responsibility to protect) would not have been right
if they had tacitly accepted. All these small details are absolutely otherwise one does not understand what is going on. One can only classify Putin’s behavior in this way
and you can see that the war was provoked more and more.
I cannot say whether Putin is good or bad. But the way he is judged in the West, it is wrong.

Switzerland leaves the status of neutrality
What do you think of Switzerland’s reaction last weekend?

It is terrible, it is a disaster. Russia has drawn up a list of 48 “unfriendly states
“and imagine that Switzerland is also on it.  This is now really a turning point,
for which Switzerland itself is responsible.
Switzerland has always been “the man in the middle”. We have engaged in dialogue with all states and have had the courage to stand in the middle.
There is a hysteria about the sanctions. Russia is very well prepared for this situation, it will suffer from it, but it is it is prepared for it. The principle of sanctions
is completely wrong. Today sanctions have have replaced the function of diplomacy. The Venezuela, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, etc.
Iraq, Iran, etc. The states have done nothing,
but their policies are not to the liking of the United States. That is their fault. When I saw that disabled athletes were banned from the Paralympics. I was really at a loss for words. That is so inadequate. This hits individuals, it’s just mean. It belongs in the same category when the French foreign minister says that the Russian people should suffer from the sanctions.
Whoever says something like that has no honor for me. There is nothing positive in starting a war, but to react in this way is simply disgraceful.

How do you see it that people are taking to the streets against the war in Ukraine?
Of course, I ask myself: What makes the war Ukraine worse than the war against Iraq, against Iraq, against Yemen, against Syria or Libya?
Here, as we know, there were no sanctions against the aggressor, the U.S., or those
or those who supplied weapons that were used against the civilian population.
I ask myself: who is doing demonstrations for Yemen? Who has
demonstrated for Libya, who demonstrated for Afghanistan?
One does not know why the USA was in Afghanistan. I know from intelligence sources that there has never been any evidence existed that Afghanistan or
Osama bin Laden were involved in the attacks of September 11, 2001, but they
waged war in Afghanistan anyway.

On September 12, 2001, the day after the attacks, the U.S. wanted to retaliate and
decided to bomb Afghanistan.
The chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force said, that there were not enough targets in Afghanistan  In response, the defense secretary said: “If we don’t have enough targets in Afghanistan then we’ll bomb Iraq.”  I didn’t make that up, there are sources,
documents and people who were there. So is the reality, but we’re being manipulated and propagandized to  to get on the “right” side.

If I may sum up after this conversation, it became clear from your answers that the
West has been pouring oil on the fire for a long time and provoked Russia. These
provocations are rarely reflected in our in our media, but Putin’s answers are only partially or are only partially or distortedly reproduced, in order to maintain the image of a warmonger and inhuman.

My grandfather was French, and he was as a World War I as a soldier and often told me about it.  And I must say, the hysteria and the manipulation as well as the unreflective behavior of Western politicians reminds me  very much of it today, and that really worries me.  When I see how our neutral country is no longer able to take a
position independent of the EU and the USA, I feel ashamed. It needs a clear head and the facts behind the whole development.
Only in this way can Switzerland can pursue a sensible peace policy.

Mr. Baud, thank you for the interview.
(Interview Thomas Kaiser)
Source: www.zeitgeschehen-im-fokus.ch, No. 4/5
March 15, 2022.
Reprinted with kind permission of the editors.

Über admin

Hausarzt, i.R., seit 1976 im der Umweltorganisation BUND, schon lange in der Umweltwerkstatt, seit 1983 in der ärztlichen Friedensorganisation IPPNW (www.ippnw.de und ippnw.org), seit 1995 im Friedenszentrum, seit 2000 in der Dachorganisation Friedensbündnis Braunschweig, und ich bin seit etwa 15 Jahren in der Linkspartei// Family doctor, retired, since 1976 in the environmental organization BUND, for a long time in the environmental workshop, since 1983 in the medical peace organization IPPNW (www.ippnw.de and ippnw.org), since 1995 in the peace center, since 2000 in the umbrella organization Friedensbündnis Braunschweig, and I am since about 15 years in the Left Party//
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