President Putin – Get Your Hands Off Ukraine

LONDON, England -- “One day Russia will stand alone and become destabilised…it is acting out of fear of the enemies that will surround her. That’s why they tried to block the gas.” Yuri Yakimenko. Director of Political Affairs, the Razumkov Centre.

Russian President Putin

With the male life expectancy rate, in Russia, plummeting down to 56-years-of-age, all due to chronic unemployment, alcoholism – vodka consumption is four times the West’s at plus 12-litres a year, and this applies merely to the moderate drinkers – and its bordering countries becoming more hostile to the Putin regime, Russia is turning in on itself and employing a new weapon.

Having dumped its nuclear arsenal, along with highly toxic munitions into various seas, and into the atmosphere - the Chernobyl case in point - Russia is now using its natural resources - oil and gas – to assert its dwindling global influence by temporarily halting gas supplies to Ukraine, and squeezing other EU countries, into the bargain. All a sign of the present Russian government running scared.

Yet, turning off the gas tap could be Russia’s most powerful weapon of decades past. It is a perfectly legal weapon, one that cannot be retaliated against, and it would arm-lock the West as never before.

As for the oil – lest us not forget that dozens of US drilling companies are sucking ‘the Black Stuff’ out of the ground – because the Russians lack even the most basic technology to obtain it for themselves – and getting rich into the bargain - as are the pro-Putin mega-rich oligarch businessmen, and ‘New Russians’, who bleed this wonderful country dry.

But, the name ‘Ukraine’ means ‘The Edge’, or ‘The Border’, has always been, an enviable land of riches in an enviable land of riches without natural defences.

”Vikings, Cossacks, Kaisers, Red Guards, White Guards, Commissars, and Nazis – they come and go and sometimes they come back again after everyone thinks they have gone for all time. And, for the Ukraine people – their rustic life replete with village duck ponds and overloaded horse-drawn carts – life is pretty unsettling to have Mother Russia next door.

If they wished, the Russians could turn of the gas tap, shut down Ukraine industries and freeze the Ukraine people in their own homes.

This is the sleety wind of economic reality. So, welcome to the new world order, where a complacent West has exposed its windpipe to the muddy boots of Russia and the dusty sandals of the Arab Muslim world – and does not yet realise just how serious its mistake is.

Of course the US oil and gas drillers care not a jot for the long-term consequences of Ukraine, nor the West. This weapon doesn’t turn any city into vapour, and nobody, allegedly, dies. This is no H-bomb, but the row over gas in Ukraine is not just a spat between two neighbours, it IS the beginning of a Russian campaign to become a world power once again. Yet the US of A does not give a damn.

There is no doubt that the past, and present Ukraine government is riddled with corruption thru-and-thru. On a suitably dreary morning, the world was entranced by the Orange Revolution, in which smiling young people took to the frozen streets to protest against the evil, corrupt ballot-riggers who had taken over their country. And, I was there, too.

The loser, Viktor Yanukovich, was portrayed as straightforwardly bad, unpopular and wrong and supported by Russians. If only the winners, the poison-scarred Viktor Yushchenko and his then ally, the beautiful Yulia Tymoshenko, had been as perfect and wonderful – and independent – as Westerners seemed to believe, as I did… alas this is not so.

There are those who portray Ukraine as a dreary, slushy country, more so with its over-ambitious plans to join the West, the EEC and EU, bless their humble souls.

And, this is also a country where it is hard to see where the money, or the justice will come from in a land where - like Russia - millionaire oligarchs gamble in kitschy casinos while the poor struggle by on shrivelled pensions, and the carefully husbanded produce of allotment gardens.

Nevertheless, Ukraine is rich in culture and soil. The people of Ukraine are among the most hospitable folk on this planet. Generous to a fault, meeting real Ukraine people is like stepping back into romantic postcard time, and the country’s prizes are the same as ever: black, fertile farmlands, strategic routes, ports and, of course, the gas and oil of the Caucasus, now far more important than they have ever been before.

These are increasingly dark times. The West’s true friends, and comrades are Ukraine – not Russia – and it is about the right moment for the West to show its appreciation of a small country that had the nerve, the spirit and the foresight to split from Russia, and tread an unknown path, alone.

Source: New Criminologist