Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 02.12.2018
In February 2015 Russia launched the Battle of Debaltseve. Russian forces invading Europe in Ukraine attacked the strategic railhead in Donetsk region, but feared a counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces defending Europe. In order to freeze Ukrainian defenders in place, Putin got a ceasefire deal with the Minsk Agreement. The accord was signed late at night on 11 February 2015. Germany and France were the guarantors. Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande trumpeted the signing of a ceasefire deal as if it was an actual ceasefire. But while Ukraine respected the “silence regime” one-sidedly, Russia proceeded with its violent assault and captured the Ukrainian city of Debaltseve in the week following the signing of the nominal ceasefire.
Germany and France did absolutely nothing when Russia violated the Minsk Agreement immediately after it was signed. Russia went on to violate every provision of the Minsk Agreement from February 2015 to today. The Russians have not returned the border between Ukraine and the Russian Federation to Ukrainian control nor have they allowed OSCE inspections of it. The Kremlin continues to support the terrorist organizations it created, the so-called “DPR” and “LPR,” with unlimited troops, weapons, ammunition and matériel. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have not withdrawn heavy weapons from the battlefront and use them in daily bombardments. The Putin regime held illegal (and fake) local elections on 11 November 2018. The Russian Federation has broken every article of the Minsk Agreement, in response to which Germany and France have done nothing.
Over 11,000 Europeans who live in Ukraine have died because of Russia’s invasion of Europe in Donbas. Germany and France have failed to act as honest guarantors of the ceasefire deal they brokered.
On 25 November 2018 Russia launched the Battle of the Kerch Strait. Russian forces attacked three Ukrainian Navy vessels, captured them, and took 24 Ukrainian Navy sailors as prisoners of war. Russia proceeded to violated the Geneva Convention by putting some of the Ukrainian POWs on television to read scripted ‘confessions,’ charging all of them with criminal offences, and secretly moving them to Moscow.
Just as they did in February 2015, Germany and France have failed to take the side of Ukrainian defenders of Europe or to do anything to stop the Russian invaders of Europe. The two countries expressed “deep concern” at the Kerch Strait “incident.”
At the Group of 20 meeting in Argentina held November 30 and December 1, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Putin. Chancellor Merkel effectively abandoned Ukraine by proposing more of the same four-way talks – the “Normandy format” – that have led to so much suffering for the Ukrainian people over the past three and three quarter years. She said that discussions about the “dispute” should continue at the advisor level.
By calling the Russian Federation’s act of war against Ukraine a “dispute” and by proposing only future talks and no action to stop Putin’s War, Germany is helping Putin consolidate his war gains against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov, Crimea, and Donbas.
To compound Germany’s abandonment of Ukraine, the Germany government remains steadfast in its support of the Nord Stream 2 scheme to finance Putin’s War. Although as a natural gas pipeline the Nord Stream 2 project makes no economic sense, the Germans – who are mostly stuck in the immoral mindset of pre-1991 Ostpolitik nostalgia – are forging ahead. Nord Stream 2 is a political project of the Putin regime to bypass Ukraine as a gas transit country, damage the Ukrainian economy, make Germany more dependent on Russia’s politicized weapon of natural gas, and ruin Europe’s energy security.
Germany has made it clear that it will do nothing to stop the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, even after the Battle of the Kerch Strait. Chancellor Merkel will use the exact same mechanism to ignore Putin’s War as she used in February 2015: useless “Normandy format” talks.
Putin will agree to anything at these talks, and break his word about everything. Putin’s only purpose is to stop Ukraine from defending itself, to stop other Western democracies from helping Ukraine, and to consolidate the gains he has made by the military solution he has imposed on the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov, Crimea, and Donbas. At the G20 in Argentina, Germany announced to the world that it will stand by and do nothing. Germany helps the Russian Federation consolidate its war gains against Ukraine.