Why Is the Ukrainian Army Waging War, and Under Whose Banner Does It Fight?

“My Ukrainians! God grant you happiness and strength.

It is possible to live as a slave and the bread will not become rancid because of it.

But who will ever tilt the sky to your graves,

If it’s not the betrayed and wronged by you Ukraine?”

These poetic lines written by the Kiev writer Viktor Baranov, in my opinion, don’t need to be translated for the Russian person. They even more so clearly reflect the present tragedy of the Ukrainian people, although they were written on a different, anti-Russian occasion.

So how to explain the fact that millions of Eastern Slavs in Ukraine, in fact Russian people, successors of Orthodoxy and Kievan Rus’, have to one degree or another been involved in the self-destructive anti-Russia project inspired by American and European “mentors”?

Certainly, this importunate propaganda of the so-called “western way of life and European values”, on which, according to the American politician Victoria Nuland, $5 billion were spent. This is the creation from brotherly Russia of the image of the enemy, aggressor, and occupier.

I will not dig up the harmful effects of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster on the minds and psyche of Ukrainian citizens. The Belarusians, who suffered no less, had enough sense to not carry out destructive liberal pseudo-reforms.

The reasons for the Ukrainian tragedy, for the Maidan revolt of 2013-14, are too many to count. But I will highlight the most significant ones.

It is the parasitic behaviour of the Ukrainian leadership that emerged from the Communist Party and Komsomol nomenclature. Having betrayed former communist ideals, these leaders, subconsciously feeling their temporariness, their status of “kings for a day”, behaved like servants who started plundering the estate (the economic inheritance left by the Soviet power) in absence of the master.

It is the total propaganda lie that blamed the glorious, common with the Russian people and other peoples of the former USSR, past – a time of achievements and victories.

It is also the convective dissonance in the minds of people who throughout the 20th century changed their identity, consciousness, and even name. Over the last more than 100 years the inhabitants of Ukraine have been Malorossiyans, Carpathians (Galician and Subcarpathian Rusyns), Ukrainians, Soviet people, and again Ukrainians.

As a result the Russophobes, corrupt officials, and compradors who came to power on the Maidan wave started to build not even a “Ukrainian state”, but an “anti-Russia” one, which is unacceptable and suicidal for the people of Ukraine, who are in fact Russians. Although according to the American “Gallup’ institute, 80-85% of Ukrainian citizens speak Russian at home, including active Russophobes. But this circumstance is sacrificed to the “anti-Russia Ukrainian project of the US and EU”. Being guided by anti-constitutional laws for education and language, the authorities started artificially “sculpting” from representatives of 132 nationalities in the country Ukrainians-Banderists/Ukrainian Russophobes, which can’t but cause indignation and protests. And all protesters are immediately labeled separatists and accomplices of the Kremlin. They are pursued, subjected to criminal cases, thrown behind bars without an investigation and trial, and even killed – via the hands of radical neo-Nazis.

After all, the status of the Banderist/banzai-patriot became an indulgence for the unpunished commission of any crimes. From the despicable murder of the writer and journalist Oles Buzina and other supporters of friendship with Russia, to banal racketeering, raiding, robberies, arsons, riots, pogroms, blocking of public institutions, and other excesses.

Moreover, a civil war is burning and smouldering in Donbass. And this internal Ukrainian conflict is used by today’s Kiev bosses and their curators to make against the Russian Federation slanderous accusations of aggression and hostility. Therefore, the Kiev government diligently sabotages the Minsk Agreements recognised by the international community. And if recently the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the new Cabinet of Ministers Vadim Pristayko declared the beginning of the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk protocol and peace-making, then after the arrival of the special representative of the US to Ukraine Kurt Volker to the recent Yalta summit in Kiev, the Ukrainian side made a 180 degree turn and again started to disown its promises. The curator knocked some sense into its pupils. And they again started “singing” painfully familiar “Poroshenko-esque songs”. No changes in the Constitution about the special status of Donbass, no amnesty, and so on.

There are reasonable questions: with what will the newly elected Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky go to the announced meeting in the “Normandy format”? And will this meeting make sense in general?

The US and the harnessed EU, striking a destructive blow on Ukraine by the apparatus of another “revolution” from a range of colours, believed that they thereby strike a blow on the strengthening economy of Russia. After all, the Ukrainian economy has been integrally connected with the Russian economy since the Soviet Union. And the United States, of course, does not want to see a new strong rival on the world stage. But the rupture of many Russian-Ukrainian ties and the introduction of anti-Russia sanctions actually promoted the strengthening of the Russian Federation’s economy. Its economy became more self-sufficient, more independent of external factors and partners.

But while the Ukrainian politicians judge/establish order, jumping from one neo-Nazi and Russophobic extreme to another – libertarian, in the country where the fratricidal war in Donbass continues for already its 5th year, the role of the army has to inevitably increase.

So what is it, the Ukrainian army? Under whose banners and for what ideals does it fight?

The army voluntarily-involuntarily reflects the current state of Ukrainian society – disoriented, deceived by false promises of a cloudless European life, which is torn apart to pieces by the internal conflicts and ill-fated external management. It is the hybrid army of a hybrid state that has lost its international subjectivity, waging a hybrid war against compatriots who don’t agree with the “anti-Russia project”. In fact, the Ukrainian military personnel are an opposing side in a civil war.

The staff of the army also to some extent reflects the motley-ness and disunity of Ukrainian citizens.

It is possible to outline a number of categories of military personnel and voluntary formations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine that were earlier fought in the ATO (anti-terrorist to operation) and are now taking part in the Operation of United Forces.

First of all there are adequate personnel military personnel who are faithful to the oath and sincerely believe that they are acting for the benefit of the nation, protecting its interests and independence. They, unfortunately, don’t make a difference in the Armed Forces. About 155 Ukrainian Generals ordering a 400,000 army are busy not so much with combat training, education, training subordinates, and strengthening of logistics as they are in corruption swindles and personal enrichment at the expense of the military budget.

Further, it is the military personnel/contracted employees who fight for money. In the country there is unemployment and a dying economy. So for them war is a way of earning money.

Then there are the marginal elements with mental illnesses who receive pleasure and a sense of existence from murder.

And, certainly, there are the fanatics/Banderists, who consider the extermination of “Moskals” to be an urgent political task. They fight as a part of voluntary battalions under the auspices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, such as “Azov”, “Aidar“, and others. Fuelling a hatred for “Donetsk separatists” and other Kremlin agents, they often allow themselves to commit acts of violence against locals, marauding, and robberies. Even the Russophobic authorities under president Petro Poroshenko were forced to bring to trial many persons serving in the notorious “Tornado” militia unit, which distinguished itself by murders, torture, violence, and other crimes against humanity.

It should be especially noted that the “Ukrainian Registered Cossacks” organisation, its branches – the East Ukrainian, Central, Podolsk-Seversky, Galitsko-Volynsky, Azov, Black Sea districts, and other Cossack communities did not send their participants to fight in Donbass. Perhaps, individuals went there. But there was no mass participation of Ukrainian Cossacks in the civil war. Although formations of the Don and Kuban Cossacks fought on the side of LPR and the DPR as volunteers.

Petro Poroshenko during the recent electoral presidential campaign declared the so-called “ArMoVir” (Armiya, Mova, Vira) – army, language, faith. I won’t dwell on the language problems – the actual discriminatory prohibition of the languages of ethnic minorities, and in the case with Russian-speaking citizens – the national majority. I also won’t comment in detail on the interfaith mess that arrived with the Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew‘s granting of Tomos of Autocephaly to non-canonical pseudo-orthodox groups. I will just say that this action became a tragedy for many citizens.

The Ministry of Justice liquidated the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church from the Petliura times in favour of the Constantinople branch – OCU (Orthodox Church of Ukraine). And all religious services that citizens performed in the abolished denominations (baptism, wedding, unction, burial service, etc.) are essentially invalid.

There was a mass of attempts to occupy the temples and property of the only canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate headed by the Most blessed Metropolitan Onufry, the guardian of true autocephaly in the country.

The discriminatory law “On language” adopted by the Verkhovna Rada caused a storm of indignation among many ethnic minorities and in their historical Motherlands. Hungarians, Poles, Romanians, and Greeks living on Ukrainian land from time immemorial are outraged that the Ukrainian language became mandatory in almost all spheres of life. In Ukrainian passports there is no “nationality” column. This has so far suited everyone. Now representatives of minorities agree to be Ukrainian citizens, but don’t agree to turn into ethnic Ukrainians, having lost their national identity. But first and foremost, this law and the law “On Education” are aimed against Russian-speaking citizens, not only against Russians, but also against representatives of other peoples who prefer to communicate in Russian.

Now about the army. In 2014, those who betrayed the “Batkivshchyna” party and came to power – the acting president Aleksandr Turchynov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and the rabid nationalist Oleg Tyagnibok urging “to drown Moskals in Jewish blood” – initiated the cancellation of the law “On the Special Status of Russian”. This caused protests among the population of Donbass. Then rampaging Maidan participants were sent to this region as part of the newly formed volunteer battalions. Thus the new Kiev authorities got rid of the marginal mutineers in the capital and organised what is in essence a punitive expedition.

It should be noted that at that time the Ukrainian units were formed from recruits on a territorial basis – locals. And in those conditions many military personnel in large quantities came over to the side of the militia.

After the Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo cauldrons the contact line was stabilised for years. It was promoted by the Minsk Agreement. The Ukrainian side had no forces to come. And troops of the self-proclaimed Donbass republics restrained need to meet conditions of the Minsk protocol.

Human losses during this conflict are officially 18,000 people. Although some experts have it at 50,000 killed. Plus 1.5 million refugees in Ukraine and millions of citizens forced to go abroad … some for work, some for the sake of salvation from the war.

And so the Ukrainian authorities began to create, in their words, the best army in Europe. Waves of appeals, potential recruits being grabbed directly on the street and sent to Donbass, began. And buses of “Nova Poshta” transporting the property stolen from the local population rushed in the opposite direction.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who became the Prime Minister, raised municipal tariffs to the skies and contributed to military construction. He started to build on the border with Russia a defensive wall at the expense of budgetary funds. In fact this “Mannerheim Line“, more precisely of Yatsenyuk, is a metal mesh for the chicken coop, enclosing several hundred meters of cordon. Under the pretext of this construction, astronomical sums were plundered. The pseudo-construction of this source of income continues even today.

The only ammunition plant in Ukraine is located in Lugansk, on territory that isn’t controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. So for five years, under the violent banzai-patriotic screams, they did not bother to build a new ammunition production enterprise. Fortunately, the legacy of the Soviet era is huge warehouses of weapons and ammunition. And these resources, of course, also started to be plundered without restraint.

In order to hide their criminal activity, military officials headed by the Supreme Commander president Petro Poroshenko organised a series of explosions in military warehouses. So as a result of an explosion at a storage facility in Ichnya in the Chernigov region, according to experts, four billion dollars worth of weapons, equipment, ammunition, and other property allegedly flew into the air. A similar thing happened at other blown up warehouse facilities.

The “Molot” mortar launchers made at Poroshenko’s enterprises regularly explode along with mortar calculations. The price of technical equipment, weapons, and other material assets sold by the then president was repeatedly overstated.

The corruption structure “Ukroboronprom” bought spare parts for military equipment also at allegedly very high prices. The difference went into the pockets of the authorities and officials of the Ministry of Defence.

The personnel were given rotten and expired food and bulletproof vests. The monetary allowance of soldiers and officers was also very often plundered.

And under the new president they can’t help but steal. So at the Lvov tank repair plant electric cookers-tanks were ordered and purchased again at an exaggerated price. Criminal cases initiated on the grounds of embezzlement still ended in nothing.

In such conditions the howling staff morally degrades. Alcoholism and drug addiction become more widespread in units. Hazing reigns. In order to feed their habit, military personnel often resort to marauding and robbing locals. Sometimes soldiers kill their commanders, not wanting to carry out their orders.

According to the former chief military prosecutor Anatoly Matios, the non-combat losses of the Ukrainian army for 2018 were 10,000 people, apart from patients, wounded, and crippled.

After the termination of their contract or their transfer to the reserve, these people (300,000 people passed through the Donbass war) can’t adapt and slot in to peaceful life. They suffer from a post-traumatic syndrome and constantly take alcohol and drugs. They consider that Ukraine has not appreciated them enough.

So, for example, in June 2015, in the village of the Idler in the Gulyaki district of the Kiev region, employees of the police detained a participant of the ATO who abused alcohol and kidnapped and raped his own one-year-old daughter. And then demanded from the mother 500 hryvnia of repayment for returning the child. Such cases of mental and moral degradation are not uncommon.

A special category is those with disabilities who essentially no one needs.

Former combatants lead an asocial life, commit crimes, are a part of gangs or pocket armies of oligarchs, and carry out contract killings and other dirty work.

It is possible to say that almost all the rating agencies of Ukraine note the desire of the vast majority of Ukrainian citizens to stop the war. Especially since the new president Vladimir Zelensky in plain terms promised it… assuming he wasn’t joking around once again.

All these jokes, tags, and puns on the lists of the new political genre of showpolitics cause rather sadness, not laughter. People in Donbass perish. Not only military personnel, but also civilians – the elderly, women, and children. But the next current government is stomping the beaten path of Poroshenko, bowing to its American curators, who still benefit from a situation when Russia is forced to provide all kinds of support to its brothers and sisters who rose up in Donbass. Time will tell if peace will come or the conflict will remain in a smouldering format. Anyway, the fate of Donbass and all of Ukraine will be decided in Washington and … unconditionally in Moscow. After all, everything that happens in Ukraine is an American-Russian hybrid conflict. Both pro-American and pro-European orientation brought nothing good to Ukrainian citizens.

So why is the Ukrainian army at war and under whose banners? Officially and loudly – for the independence and sovereignty of the country. Under the blue-yellow bi-coloured flag. In reality – for the political and economic interests of American imperialism and for the further enrichment of domestic parasites/compradors of a neo-Nazi persuasion. Under the Star-Spangled Banner of the USA.

Oleg Rostovtsev

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