Voices from Russia

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Five Reasons Why the Ukraine Is a Bigger Threat to Peace and Safety than the DPRK Is


It doesn’t fit the western narrative, but the Ukraine is a far bigger threat to its own people and its neighbours than the DPRK is or has been for decades.  Often, people think of the Korean Peninsula as a volatile region, a dangerous region, an unpredictable “weaponised” region.  In particular, the USA accused the DPRK of being a threat to regional peace and stability.  Objectively, there is some truth to all of this, but the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating the two Korean states is far less unstable than the Syria/Iraq border currently controlled by ISIS.  However, when it comes to threatening regional instability and causing bloodshed, one place is vastly more deadly and volatile than the Korean Peninsula… the battlezone between the fascist Ukraine and the Donbass Peoples Republics.  Despite the fact that the ROK and the DPRK are technically still at war, the region has been remarkably stable and calm since the ceasefire that ended the hot conflict on the peninsula in 1953.  Despite occasional worrying movements on the DMZ separating the two Koreas since 1953, life in the ROK and the DPRK has developed in such a way that all Koreans live their daily lives in a normal way according to the standards that each unique Korean state set for its citizens over the decades since the hot period of the Korean War.  For all of its rhetorical bluster, the DPRK remains technically committed to a “no first strike” policy in respect of nuclear weapons.  Because of this, letting a sleeping dog lie would be good advice for the more hawkish forces in Washington.  Compare that to the Ukraine/Donbass conflict.

1. Duration and Nature of the Conflicts

The Ukraine, a united country between 1991 and 2014 but with deep political divisions, has split.  The DNR and LNR arose after the fascist coup in Kiev.  Since then, regular forces, mercenaries, and terrorists loyal to Kiev invaded and attacked the DNR and LNR, almost without cessation.  This is in total violation of the Minsk II ceasefire agreement, which unlike the successful Korean War ceasefire, was dead on arrival.  The Ukrainian war of aggression against the Donbass Republics started in February 2014 and still rages.  It’s already gone on for longer than the 37 months of the Korean War.  That war lasted between June 1950 and July 1953 before the ceasefire took effect.  Besides this, there were attempted terrorist attacks on neighbouring Russia, attacks thankfully thwarted by Russian security services.  By contrast, the last time the DPRK violated the ceasefire with the ROK was in 1975 when DPRK soldiers committed an “axe murder” of two American soldiers chopping down a tree in the DMZ.  When all was said and done, the USA reacted by chopping down the rest of the tree as a “show of force”.

2. Chemical Weapons 

Whilst no heavy weapons have fired from one Korean state to another since 1953, the Ukraine is guilty of using illegal chemical weapons on civilian targets in the Donbass.  The SK RF concluded that white phosphorus was Kiev’s chemical weapon of choice when attacking the Donbass.

3. Deaths

While death hasn’t been a daily feature of Korean life since 1953, you can’t say the same for the Donbass.  As of December 2016, the UN reported that nearly 10,000 people, including women and children, died in the Donbass conflict, and many suggest the UN figure is low, compared to the even grimmer realities on the ground.  Many more people, including civilians, died since then.  Beyond the deaths, torture and rape, including child rape is a feature of Kiev’s war of aggression.  No such analogue exists in the Korean states.

4. Political Maturity 

Although both Koreas have a goal of uniting the peninsula under their respective flags, so, in turn, don’t acknowledge the political legitimacy of the other state, in reality, both accept the fact that for the foreseeable future they’ll have to live side by side.  Not even the most radical anti-communists in the ROK plan to storm the border in a “war of liberation”, nor will the DPRK turn Seoul into a “sea of flames” unless provoked.  It’s all bombastic rhetoric and has been since the 1950s.  Just as the Federal Republic of Germany and the DDR lived side-by-side without engaging in war, a similar “cold peace” exists between the ROK and the DPRK.

By contrast, the Ukraine is totally confused about its own position on the Donbass Republics.  On the one hand, they claim that the territory is part of a unitary Ukrainian state, but on the other, they cut off water, electricity and other vital supplies to the Republics.  The Ukraine legally removed the rights of Russian speakers throughout the country and purged Russian from Ukrainian media.  The Kiev régime refuses to allow trains from the Donbass into Kiev-controlled regions and they don’t issue passports and birth certificates in the Donbass, which led Russia to accept legal ID issued in the Donbass Republics as legitimate documents.  The Ukraine calls the Donbass people terrorists, “Russian agents”, and everything else to make them as distant as possible.  By contrast, neither Pyongyang nor Seoul challenges the “Korean-ness” of those on the other side of the DMZ.  Just yesterday, President Putin said that Moscow didn’t lure the Donbass Republics into its realm, but rather Kiev simply cut them off, isolated them, alienated them, and pushed them away.  One could add historical inevitability to this list. 

5. The Nuclear Question 

While there are no longer nuclear weapons in the Ukraine, there are many nuclear power facilities and most are in a state of total disrepair.  The Ukrainian nuclear sector is amongst the least safe in the world. The combination of lack of funds and a disorganised central government allowed a situation to develop that could result in another Chernobyl-style disaster.  The Energy Post described the Ukrainian nuclear sector as having “persistent safety problems”.  In an article from 2016, the Energy Post described how the Ukraine’s neighbours live in fear of another nuclear meltdown in the Ukraine:

“The Ukraine’s neighbours are also concerned.  Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria sent multiple questions for clarification and requests for participation in transboundary consultations.  However, Kiev, in response, denied its obligation to conduct any.  One might think that this experience, or perhaps civil society’s repeated warnings, would make decision makers reconsider this reckless adventure, but not the Ukrainian government”.

While “nuclear war” is a better headline than “nuclear safety concerns”, the fact is that since 1945, the world’s biggest nuclear disasters were the result of poorly managed nuclear power facilities and not nuclear weapons.  In this sense, the Ukraine’s “nuclear problem” is a more dire danger to global safety than the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programme, which thus far has never fired a missile in anger.

Between 2014 and the present day, the Ukraine killed more innocent civilians than either Korean state has even attempted to do since 1953.  The Ukraine breaks ceasefire agreements on a daily basis while the Korean states haven’t.  The Ukraine used chemical weapons on civilians whilst neither Korean state has done so, nor unlike the quiet Korean political conflict, Kiev’s war of aggression is going on at this very moment.  Furthermore, the Ukraine’s silent nuclear problem is manifestly more worrying than the DPRK’s weapons programme.  Objectively, no one could argue that either Korean state is as dangerous or as volatile as post-coup Ukraine.

3 May 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran


Friday, 28 April 2017

Kiev Cut Electricity to LNR… Readies Same Move Against DNR


Today, the Ukraine cut off supplies of electricity to the LNR. It said that it’s preparing to do the same to the DNR. Supposedly, they decided to do this because of unpaid power bills. In reality, it’s part of the blockade the Ukraine imposed on the two People’s Republics. After some initial disruption, it seems electric power over the LNR is back to normal. This only took a few hours. Supposedly, they did this with domestic resources. Probably, they had technical help from Russia, and possibly even some supply of electricity from Russia, as this article by Deutsche Welle claimed. Indubitably, both the Russians and the two People’s Republics anticipated this move for months, and it seems they prepared for it. When the Ukrainians cut off electricity to the DNR… as I’m sure before long it will be… I expect the power supply there to resume as effortlessly as it did in the LNR.

The fact that the Ukraine cut off electric power to the LNR and intends to do likewise to the DNR further severs whatever tenuous connection remained between the Ukraine and the two Republics. Now, in all respects, they’re de facto independent states, fully separated from the Ukraine. Now, the notion that they’re still part of the Ukraine is no more than a fiction. I understand that the people of the two Republics increasingly respond to surveys that they’re no longer Russian-speaking eastern Ukrainians. Instead, they increasingly redefine themselves as Russians. I expect this trend to accelerate and intensify, and I expect that in time that the two Republics would become fully part of Russia, although I don’t know how it’d happen or how long it’d take. Of course, for many practical purposes, they’re part of Russia already.

The Ukraine’s latest move also provides further confirmation of an unspoken truth. The Ukraine has given up hope of ever regaining control of the two People’s Republics. Moreover, it’s clear that it’d rather lose control of them than implement the constitutional provisions of the Minsk Agreement. That isn’t surprising. If the Ukraine ever implemented the Minsk Agreement’s constitutional provisions, it’d mean the end of the Maidan movement’s plan of a unitary monocultural Ukraine, distanced as far from Russia as possible. There’s no evidence any member of the Maidan leadership wants to abandon this plan, and if they did, the various far-right “activists” upon whom the Maidan régime depends for its survival wouldn’t let them.

That means that the Minsk Agreement… unloved by everyone… is dead. So long as the Maidan régime remains in power, they won’t carry it out. I’d add that if the Maidan régime ever falls… as I believe one day it will… it wouldn’t resurrect the Minsk Agreement because at that point no one would need it anymore. The Minsk Agreement is a ghost in whose existence everyone pretends to believe since it continues to provide a framework around which discussions about the Ukraine between the various parties can occur. However, it’s no longer a roadmap to a peace settlement, if it ever was. Undoubtedly, Russians understand this perfectly well. Whether Western governments do is another matter.

25 April 2017

Alexander Mercouris

The Duran


Monday, 24 April 2017

Lavrov sez: “We Won’t Leave the People of the Donbass in the Lurch”

War damage in the Donbass… the fighting continues… but for how much longer?


Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov said in an interview:

Our efforts will continue to aim at preventing “hotheads” in Kiev from starting a new cycle of violence in the southeast. In any case, we won’t leave the people of the Donbass in the lurch. The process of settlement in the southeast stalled because of the persistent reluctance of the Ukrainian leadership to fulfil its obligations under the Minsk Agreements. We’ll continue to work hard to make Kiev stop its blockade of the Donbass and proceed to a full implementation [of the Minsk Agreements]. We expect a similar attitude from the West, as they’ve repeatedly claimed that they want a speedy implementation of the Minsk Agreements, as they stated that there’s no alternative to them. The main point of the Minsk Agreements is that there should be direct dialogue between Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk. Neither Russia nor the new US president nor anyone else will be able to do anything for the parties to the conflict, for a settlement depends upon direct negotiations between the parties on mutual guarantees of security and the principles of building a common future.

28 March 2017

RIA Novosti


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Aleksei Zhuravko: Today’s Ukrainian Authorities Could Bring on “Chernobyl Redux”


Dear Friends!


Not for the first time, I’m writing to you to tell you that those incompetent know-alls who flaunt themselves as today’s Ukrainian authorities are leading us to a catastrophe… both industrial deterioration and an energy crisis. Besides that, they could lead us into a fatal situation; their actions could bring on “Chernobyl Redux”. Such an affair could bring consequences that our posterity could never repair. Most of all, it’d affect your children’s lives. The world community doesn’t see, notice, or even realise that these power-wielding barbarians can not only lead the Ukraine into chaos but can also affect Europe and the entire post-Soviet space. I’ll tell you one thing… if sensible Ukrainians don’t come to their senses, if they don’t stand up, then, the Ukraine will suffer great misery and pain.


This is what the advent to power of these gatecrashing thieves and murderers is leading us to. The effects are already visible. It hurts me to watch it all.

In Respect,

Aleksei Zhuravko

Aleksei Zhuravko


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