Kissinger, Zelenskyy and Putin

While speaking by video link to the elite club at Davos, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger proposed a peace formula to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, only to invite condemnation from none other than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. As per Kissinger’s idea, negotiations should be aimed at creating borders along the “line of contact” or “line of actual control” as it is called in the case of India-China face off along the contentious boundary. Kissinger, in reality, was insisting on legalising occupied territories of Ukraine by Russia. In his remarks, Kissinger said of the conflict that “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante,” apparently suggesting that Ukraine agree to give up much of the Donbas and Crimea. But Zelenskyy dismissed Kissinger’s plan as akin to appeasement to Nazi Germany. He further accused Kissinger of lecturing the audience not in Davos but in what was then Munich in 1938.

Ukraine is a proxy and Ukrainians are cannon fodders. War is between America and Russia. Daily thousands of missiles are hitting Ukraine, killing and maiming civilians. Ukrainian armed forces are not saints; their actions are equally barbaric and devastating in some pro-Russian separatist regions. World War II horrors are back. The “filtration camps” built by the Russian army, in which they allegedly kill, torture, rape and humiliate like on a conveyor belt, are compared by the Ukrainian media with Nazi concentration camps. Russian soldiers are dying in thousands for reasons best known to their bosses in the Kremlin. The Russia-Ukraine war is an opportunity for America and NATO to weaken Russia economically and militarily, by arming Ukraine with advanced weapons while boosting the global military-industrial complex, and they have so far succeeded to some extent.

Meanwhile, Zelenskyy, the war-darling of the West, urged European countries, to stop playing with Russia and impose tougher sanctions on Moscow to end its senseless war in Ukraine, adding his country would remain independent; the only question was at what price. At the time of writing Russian forces are said to have encircled two key eastern cities of Sienerodonetsk and Lyschansk and, yet another massacre like what happened in Bucha and Mariupol cannot be ruled out. Escalation is in the best interest of the West and America, the real beneficiaries from the on-going war. But it means more devastation for the Ukrainians; ultimately, they will have to foot the bill of arms purchases. A debt-trap is very much in the offing. For one thing Ukraine will need a new Marshal Plan to rebuild the country after the war and again American and European companies will benefit.

Money talks and talks loudly in the international corridors of power. The merchants of death understand business but their governments are still divided over how to continue oil deals with Russia without antagonising Ukraine--a delicate balancing act. Some EU countries are totally against stopping oil import from Russia because they cannot keep their energy supply and economic growth normal without Russian oil and gas. As they were talking about more sanctions, a rather tougher sanction on Russian oil import, Moscow was actually receiving one billion Euros a day from the 27-nation bloc for their energy supplies.

Britain being the most trusted lieutenant of America in Europe is working on all fronts to isolate Putin and crush Russian economy. British foreign secretary Liz Truss recently visited Bosnia and Herzegovina where she addressed the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina to urge the UK’s western partners to ensure Russian President Putin’s defeat. But Putin is not leaving despite tremendous losses of man and money in the battlefield. On the contrary he is issuing nuclear threat to Britain and NATO countries almost daily. That his nuclear ‘rhetoric’ cannot be taken lightly is testified by America’s refusal to send long-range weapons to Ukraine because that may shift the war beyond Ukrainian border, deep inside Russian territory. In other words, it would be a direct confrontation with Russia and that would never be a happy scenario for Europe, particularly small European nations.

UK is also in forefront of promoting public relations. Prince Charles paid a visit to a Ukrainian refugee centre in Romania. After all refugees are Europeans, not Afghans. The centre has been seeing a “steady increase” in the number of distressed people it has welcomed since the war began three months ago. The latest visit from Prince Charles “follows a series of engagements” undertaken in recent months in support of the Ukrainian community.

As the war stretches beyond expected time limit even major economies, not to speak of poor and weak economies, are feeling its cumulative impact--- inflation, unemployment and slow growth in every sector. Unless America calls it a day the world revolving around Ukraine will pose a serious threat to humanity. The tragedy is Peace movement, both locally and globally, looks too mild to be taken seriously by the warriors who are gaining at the expense of ordinary people.



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Vol 54, No. 50, Jun 12 - 18, 2022