Russia Does 1999. Behold Moscow Manufacturing a Massively Phony, CNN-Inspired Pretext for War
Hey! I've seen this movie before!
A big day of shelling on the Donbass-Ukraine contact line. Nothing super extraordinary, and without confirmed deaths on either side, but unseen in the past few years in terms of shells expended:
Difficult to understand how heavy the fighting has been in eastern Ukraine today until you compare it to the rest of the year so far.
The Ukrainian MoD reported more ceasefire violations today than they did for all of January. pic.twitter.com/JBVOobNcX9
— Kyle Glen (@KyleJGlen) February 17, 2022
We don’t know who started it, or who fired the overwhelming number of shells, but we do know who is doing everything it can to overdramatize what has taken place:
2) DPR Militia fully mobilized and ready to respond to the threat. pic.twitter.com/UHnD8j6ySG
— Gleb Bazov (@gbazov) February 18, 2022
🇷🇺Evacuees from Donbass are planned to be placed in temporary accommodation in 8 districts and 1 city district of the Rostov region, their total housing capacity exceeds 700,000 – RIA Novosti
— Ukraine War Report (@UkrWarReport) February 18, 2022
You know what this means, don’t you? Soon Russia will have photos of masses of refugees (in snowy tents?) and under the rules established by the Empire in the 1990s having photos of “refugees” means you can wage a do-gooder “humanitarian” war.
In February 2008 the Empire declared the partition of Serbia and the recognition of Albanian independence on its territory. In August 2008 Russia immediately followed by recognizing the independence of South Ossetia to punish Saakshivili’s Georgia for its sneak offensive which killed Russian peacekeepers. (To be fair, if you’re going to launch an offensive against *the Russians* it better be a sneaky/surprise one.)
Both of these recognitions were in violation of international law but once the US did it first, Russia was satisfied to proclaim that what is good for the goose is good for the gander and followed suit.
Events of the past few days show that is not the only lesson Russia learned from Empire’s Balkan adventures.
The utterly phony Donbass refugee crisis we are seeing is straight from the CNN-NATO-KLA 1999 playbook. The 1992-1995 Bosnia War established that as long as you had a photo of refugees or two to point at you could get involved in somebody else’s civil war and intervene against the side you didn’t like.
Then the 1999 Kosovo War established that you didn’t necessarily need to wait for refugee photos to materialize on their own. You could speed up the process. In 1999 some Albanians fled Serb militias or fighting in general, but many more relocated because of LDK lobbying and KLA pressure (vs extended-family patriarchs) to take the short trek into Macedonia and provide fodder for CNN cameras as their patriotic duty to prop up America’s initially troubled bombing campaign. (The Algerians and the Vietnamese had made far greater sacrifices to achieve their independence. Impersonating refugees for a few weeks/months was a very small ask by comparison. Especially of a demographic which had already been collectively boycotting the Serbian state for a decade and was expert and experienced at mass action (and not above using reprisals against those who would not play along).)
Donbass seems to have studied the clever Kosovo Albanians closely. Pushilin is putting the same plan in motion, but one that’s even speedier. Putin has even promised every “refugee” a 10,000 ruble reward, sorry “aid”. (Poor Albanians, when they loaned themselves out as props they had to do it for free.)
#FLASH—#DONBASS—#DPR civilian evacuation from imminent #Ukraine invasion begins. Video from a #Donetsk orphanage. First to evacuate will be children, women, and the elderly. First busses leave at 20:00. pic.twitter.com/RAf00OXgvU
— Gleb Bazov (@gbazov) February 18, 2022
Putin could explain the real reason he is contemplating war — he wants a quick and final resolution to squabbles between East Slavs. One that will once again and for the final time unite them in a single bloc. It’s all for the greater good in the long run as he sees it.
Kiev in 2014 sought to subdue Donetsk by force and started an East Slavic civil war in Ukraine. Now Putin, after many years of seeking a lesser solution, feels justified in escalating into a general East Slavic civil war. One that fully brings in the other big hegemonic East Slav capital — Moscow — and its superpower army.
If he can wage a quick campaign (he can) and with few losses on the Ukrainian side (doubtful) he can go into history as a Slavic Bismarck who ended internecine squabbles of his ethnic family and united them under a single hegemony.
Bismarck similarly waged a “Bruderkrieg” or “German Civil War” in 1866, but because he won quickly, the war is instead remembered fondly as a step on the road to German unification. And Bismarck is thus (rightly or wrongly) celebrated as a unifier and a master statesman in the West as a whole. (Even Lincoln who fought a far bloodier war of re-unification does not escape without gratitude and praise.)
Instead of this truth, we get a false-flag car bomb to answer the Maidainte false-flag sniper massacre. (At least this time around nobody was murdered.)
Another picture from Donetsk/Donbass explosion. Seems like a car bomb in a parking lot pic.twitter.com/9Dm53XNoBh
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) February 18, 2022
To evacuate 700,000 people because of shelling that is in no way unprecedented and which apparently killed nobody is trash.
Of course, if you’re an Anti-Empire reader you’re not the intended audience here. You’re too world-smart to buy this transparent nonsense.
This is for the benefit of those who are generally sympathetic but need some material for self-delusion. Some recent outrage.
Even if the portion of people on whom this will work is small, it’s still worth it to governments to get them what they need.
Karlin has it about right:
Looks like the Ukrainians are exploiting Putin's very kind and gracious Great Troop Withdrawal to bombard the Donbass and prepare a tank offensive. Such under-handedness, such vile perfidy… Will Putin be able to bear this on his conscience??? https://t.co/86ctHWkYPc
— Anatoly Karlin (🚀,🧬) (@akarlin0) February 17, 2022
Denis Pushilin announces mass evacuation of DNR residents to Russia & says Ukraine to launch imminent assault on the two republics. https://t.co/Vn5fC6lSLo
What a pity this had to be so, just 2 days after Putin's magnanimous Great Withdrawal, truly no good deed goes unpunished.
— Anatoly Karlin (🚀,🧬) (@akarlin0) February 18, 2022
Meanwhile the same phony White-Helmet stunts of the other faction:
This is such an incredibly evocative picture. The lighting! The subject matter! The soccer balls are a great effect too. It's not wonder that the New York Times put it on the front page. https://t.co/377WUh1UQH pic.twitter.com/P2YLZBpgdn
— Jeffrey A Tucker (@jeffreyatucker) February 17, 2022