#EuroMajdan # єvromaydan Chronicle 04/04/2014
UPD: 04/07/2014 Putin's strategic miscalculation: Russia in ticks between the US and China
Vladimir Putin made a blatant strategic miscalculation by tearing a book of the rules of international relations and not asking China for consent. Any hope of recruiting Beijing as an ally that will help dull the pain of Western sanctions is doomed to failure - and with it the Kremlin’s chances of a painless victory and victory in general.
Mr. Putin, in his victorious speech on Crimea, hastened to thank the Chinese Politburo for the alleged support. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, with his inherent elasticity, reported on "coinciding assessments of Russia and China on the situation in Ukraine."
This, of course, is a desperate lie. China did not stand behind Russia during a vote on the Crimea in the Security Council, as was the case with Syria. He defiantly abstained. His Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that "China always adheres to the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of any state and respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine."
We do not know exactly what Xi Jinping said during a meeting with President Obama in The Hague, but what he said has nothing to do with the Kremlin’s crazy assessments. US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes is delighted with the progress of these negotiations, and after them argued that Russia can no longer rely on a "traditional ally."
If so, then Mr. Putin was fooled. He will not be able to avoid financial strangulation by American financial muscles - both in the event that he sends soldiers to Eastern Ukraine, and if he simply confines himself to fanning chaos there, with the help of Russian agents-provocateurs.
He also has no hope that the West will be able to mix all the cards by creating the Eurasian Bloc with China - a league of authoritarian regimes that controls huge reserves of natural resources. A similar outcome is the obsession of the “Spenglerites,” the Western self-haters who are confident that America is over and that the dollar will be replaced by a Eurasian gold ducat.
The reality is that China is constantly and tirelessly destroying Russia's monopoly on control of Central Asia’s gas reserves. Turkmen gas always went north, and was hostage to Gazprom's pricing policy. Now he is going east. President Xi personally appeared in September 2013 to open the 1800-km gas pipeline to China from the Galkinish field, the second largest in the world (26 trillion cubic meters).
The pipeline will supply up to 62 billion cubic meters of gas per year. This is half what Gazprom supplies to Europe. The same thing is happening in Kazakhstan, where Chinese companies have taken control of most of the energy industry. What is happening is caustically described in a series of diplomatic telegrams from Central Asia published by Wikileaks. A British diplomat in 2010 reports that Russians are "painfully" watching how their energy dominance in Central Asia evaporates.
The telegram, in which the ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Kazakhstan, Jen Guopin, is still opening his eyes to what is happening. He warns that China and Russia are on a course leading to a clash, and the side that yields is not China. The ambassador said: “In the future, relations between the great powers in Central Asia will be delicate and complex. New oil and gas pipelines are destroying the Russian monopoly on energy exports. ”
Mr. Jen not only positively assessed the American role in the region, but also expressed the view that NATO should participate as an observer in the negotiations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization - the alleged Russian-Chinese response to the EU / NATO axis - with the goal of “breaking the Russian monopoly in region ”.
The axis - USSR / China - was one of the favorite scarecrows in the 60s. Henry Kissinger, however, saw two hostile cultures - on knives all over their borders. As Akihero Iwashita aptly put it, “Four thousand kilometers of problems.”
George Walden flaunted the deep roots of this mutual distrust in his little book China: A Wolf in the World? He worked as a diplomat in both Russia and China. He was one of the very few Westerners who lived in China during the cultural revolution. He closely watched how deeply the two branches of the Marxist Brothers hated each other. And indeed, they have come to the brink of nuclear war. Both the CIA and the State Department were stunned by his report. They had no local sources in the Mao era.
Walden says that the Chinese will never forgive the Russians for the capture of Eastern Siberia - even under the tsar. For them it is “lost territory”. They want property to return, and in this they are supported by an ethnic resettlement for Cupid, very reminiscent of the Mexican migration reconquest of California and Texas.
For 20 years, the population of Eastern Siberia has declined from 8 million to 6.3 million, and these figures are ghost towns along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Russia could not use the fruits of its eastern event. With a birth rate of 1.4, chronic alcoholism, and an expected population decline of 30 million - it is predicted that by 2050 no more than 110 million people will live in Russia (according to the statistics of the United Nations, not Mr. Putin’s demographers), the nation will inevitably roll back to the European bastion Old Moscow. The question is how fast and how peaceful.
China expert Jonathan Fenby says there is a faction in the Chinese National Security Council who intended to support Putin in Ukraine, hoping in return to squeeze out more favorable terms for gas, food and mineral supplies. But these voices were drowned out by Xi Jinping. He plays on a more complex strategic scene.
China is likely to follow a tightly stretched rope, "hiding its splendor and buying time." This has become more difficult with the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. Beijing will have to choose. It is more than likely that the imperial Jinping will not throw out the great prize of the US-Chinese Big Two in order to save the wretched and incompetent regime in Moscow - from its own recklessness.
Mr Putin must now realize how fatal his isolation is, and how dangerous every next step is. Even the all-forgiving German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has lost patience and is bitterly complaining about the "inevitable loss of confidence." Enough European pipelines, since 2009, have been converted for supplying fuel in two directions with the aim, if necessary, to help vulnerable border states. Eight EU countries have LNG terminals. Two more - Poland and Lithuania to join the club this year.
The EU summit last week was a call to arms. Officials were ordered within 90 days to develop a plan for breaking the dependence on Gazprom. Even if it blows this time, Europe will take radical steps to find other sources of energy. Imports from Russia will be reduced by half in 10 years.
Capital flight from Russia in the first quarter reached $ 70 billion. The Russian Central Bank cannot protect the ruble without tightening monetary policy, aggravating the recession in the process. In the next 12 months, Russian banks and enterprises will have to close loans in the amount of 155 billion dollars in a hostile market, where surcharges have already increased by 200 basis points.
Mr Putin is now beginning to realize that global markets are more frightened by the US Securities Commission than Russian T-90 tanks. Any sanction against any Russian oligarch associated with a Russian company knocks this company out of the global market and potentially leads to default. Creditors in the West will burn. But no one will take this into account when it comes to the interests of national security.
Putin also did not choose the most opportune moment for his adventure. Europe now has unusually large gas reserves. Oil prices - with other conditions remaining - should fall. Iraq has reached its maximum level of production over the past 35 years, America is adding several hundred barrels of shale oil to the market every day, and Libya is resuming exports. According to statistics from the International Energy Agency, global production last month jumped 600 thousand barrels per day. Deutsche Bank predicts market glut. The same is predicted by the Chinese Sinopec. Mr Putin needs a price of $ 110 per barrel under his budget. Very soon, he may face a reality of $ 80 per barrel.
In the end, he condemned Russia to the middle income trap. Unexpected wealth of the oil boom wasted. Russian engineering skills atrophied. Industry is devastated by the Dutch disease (de-industrialization of the country, which switched to the export of one type of raw material): the curse of revaluation of the currency and dependence on the sale of raw materials.
He ran ahead of the engine, before the transitional government managed to do anything serious or waste the goodwill of the international community. This is a very raw and impatient putsch - for the KGB man. He mistook Germany for a puppet, and he mistook China for granted. He got the Crimea, but he turned the Kremlin into a pariah - for another decade, if not a generation, and most likely lost Ukraine forever. This is a highly unsuccessful deal.
UPD: 04/07/2014 A video appeared attempting to escape Pshonka and Klimenko from Ukraine
Today there was a video from the Donetsk airport’s cameras when the guards of ex-Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka and ex-Minister of Revenue and Duties Alexander Klimenko, while trying to detain them, opened fire on border guards.
Former officials tried to leave the country through the airport’s VIP terminal, but border guards refused control of their departure while passing control and tried to detain them.
However, ex-officials, accompanied by armed guards, managed to hide in an unknown direction.
Recall that the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine opened criminal proceedings against Pshonka under article 115 of the Criminal Code - the massacre of people. The sanction of article prescribes punishment in the form of imprisonment for a period of 7 till 17 years. According to the GPU, in the case of the massacre of people, about 50 more appear as suspects. Pshonka was put on the wanted list.
UPD: 04/07/2014 "All of you Ukrainians-pid # aces-Bandera," - pro-Russian activists smash a car in Donetsk
A video appeared on the Internet from the DVR of a random witness of a car pogrom in Donetsk.
According to Ostrov, the pogrom of the car took place at night in some garages in Donetsk. Several people, with their faces covered with batons, were "processing" a small passenger car.
To the question of where Bandera appeared in Donetsk, the driver passing by received a more than eloquent answer.
UPD: 04/07/2014 Separatists share the money received after the capture of the SBU building in Lugansk
On the Internet on the popular youtube hosting, a video appeared on April 6 immediately after the seizure of the SBU building in Lugansk.
UPD: 04/07/2014 In Kharkov, pro-Russian activists with sticks and bottles attacked pro-Ukrainian
There were clashes between people with Russian flags standing at the entrance to the Kharkiv Regional Administration and rally participants with Ukrainian flags lining up opposite the Regional State Administration. It is reported by the "Main".
Several hundred people with St. George ribbons began moving from the Regional State Administration towards the square, trying to suppress the rally with Ukrainian flags. Participants of the pro-Russian protest threw plastic bottles and some other objects at people under the Ukrainian flags. Two loud pops were also heard, as from explosive packets.
The fight began. People with St. George ribbons were armed with sticks. There are several casualties on both sides. The RSA has four ambulances.
A rally with Ukrainian flags is no longer there, MediaPort reports.
UPD: 04/07/2014 Donetsk separatists imitate Maidan: tires, cobblestones, sandwiches
Pro-Russian separatists overnight strengthened barricades of car tires and barbed wire on the steps of the Donetsk regional state administration seized on the eve of the day.
Now, under the walls of the DonOGA building, there are about 150 people, many of whom are armed with sticks, bats and shields, taken from Sunday by police officers guarding the administration building, Censor reports.NET with reference to the Island. The faces of the separatists are hidden by masks and balaclavas. Also on the steps and flower beds lie cobblestone mountains for self-defense.
As reported, on Sunday, April 6, the Donetsk regional administration was captured by pro-Russian separatists. They completely occupied the building, including the office of the chairman of DonOGA Sergey Taruta. The police did not prevent the seizure.
UPD: 04/07/2014 In Crimea, Russian invaders shot a Ukrainian officer, - the Ministry of Defense
April 6 at 23.40 Kiev time, in the village. Novofedorovka in an officer dormitory with two shots at point blank range from an AK-74 machine gunner of a separate marine corps battalion of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation Junior sergeant E. Zaitsev shot and killed Major Karachevsky Stanislav Vladimirovich (born 1981), who served in one of the military units of the Ukrainian Navy and was preparing to leave for the mainland. This was reported by the press service of the military department.
The tragedy occurred in the corridor on the fifth floor of the hostel No. 3 on Marchenko St., Second in Novofedorovka, Saki district, Crimea.
According to the agency, it was previously established that one bullet hit the Ukrainian officer in the chest, the second in the eye area, traces of blood from the third floor. There is an assumption that there was a movement of the body of the deceased.
There is also information that the comrade of the deceased - an officer in the operational department of the headquarters of the military unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Captain Ermolenko Artem Vladimirovich was brutally beaten and arrested by soldiers of the Russian Federation, and is currently transferred to the investigation department of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation.
According to witnesses at about the hour of the officer’s death, explosions and shots were heard in the hallways of the hostel.
According to Ukrainian Pravda sources, “a quarrel arose between the parties“ on the basis of personal hostility. ”The Russians were armed, the Ukrainian officer was not.” "He tried to run away and hide in the hostel, but he was caught and shot. The shot turned out to be fatal," the source added.
Local police and representatives of the Russian military arrived at the scene, and the commander of the Ukrainian unit was also present.
However, according to the initiator of the "Information Resistance" Dmitry Tymchuk, the invaders took the body of the deceased.
UPD: 04/07/2014 Yatsenyuk: In the East, Russia is implementing a plan to invade Ukraine
In the eastern regions, they are implementing a plan for the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine. The Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said this, opening a government meeting on Monday, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"I would like to appeal, first of all, to all residents of the eastern regions of Ukraine. It is completely clear to everyone that an anti-Ukrainian, anti-Donetsk, anti-Lugansk and anti-Kharkov plan is being implemented. A plan to destabilize the situation, a plan for foreign troops to cross the border and seize the country’s territory which we will not allow, "he said.
Yatsenyuk expressed confidence that the residents of these regions want to live in a single country. He stressed that the authorities will not allow the implementation of this plan.
He also stressed that Russia did not withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border - they are in a 30-kilometer zone.
UPD: 04/07/2014 Capturing 4.5% of Ukraine, Putin made a disastrous miscalculation and ruined his dream, - The New York Times
Russian history textbooks extol Peter the Great as a modernizer and visionary who turned Russia into a European power, writes the British historian Robert Service in The New York Times.
However, Vladimir Putin reminds another tsar - Nicholas I, who was remembered by the fact that he "got involved in an armed conflict with Britain and France and rejected the calls for basic reforms necessary for Russia to compete with the world powers of that time," Censor reports. Foreign press.
"Always attentive to the armed forces and secret services, Nicholas I overlooked the wider need to modernize the Russian economy and society. His country paid dearly for this after humiliating his army in the Crimean War of 1853-1856," the article says. - Russia's foreign policy under Putin is also demonstrating a clear lack of foresight. "
Having seized 4.5% of the Ukrainian territory, Putin has done an incredible thing - he personally destroyed his dream of creating a Eurasian Union led by Russia. "This is a disaster for Putin’s foreign policy. Although he hides it from society through control over state channels, he will not be able to deceive the whole people all the time," the author writes.
The main miscalculation of Putin concerns Russia itself, Service continues. The emergency situation in Ukraine prompted the richest people in the country to transfer even more funds to the West: up to $ 70 billion was withdrawn from Russia alone this year.
The outflow of human capital should be no less disturbing for the Russian president. "Young people are leaving, driven to despair by boorish officials and aggressive businessmen. They want to live in a meritocracy where only talent matters. Their model is Sergey Brin from Google, and not the poor ministers and businessmen of the Putin court," the historian believes.
In addition, the head of the Russian state has not undertaken enough efforts to diversify and open up the Russian economy. “Russia should produce high-tech products, not just oil and gas,” the author points out. “And the competing power that it needs to look after is not in the west, but in the south. Since the mid-1970s, Chinese leaders have diversified their economies priority. The same is the minimum requirement for Russia to gain Eurasian power status. Instead, the Chinese are preparing to become a super power while the Russians are lagging behind. "
Putin began the year with a demonstration of Russian “soft power” at the Sochi Winter Olympics, the closing ceremony of which presented Russia as a stylish and non-aggressive country of sport and culture. The very next day, he sent troops to the Crimea, and now the World Bank is predicting an economic recession for Russia by the end of the year.
“Western countries are not going to start the second Crimean war, however, they have more opportunities to put pressure on Russia than Putin expected. It will be useful for him to study the precedent of Tsar Nicholas I,” Service advises.