Everybody writes about it and the signs are there--Ukraine is trying to attack Donbass, again. As Patrick Armstrong notes today:
The team that gave us the Ukraine catastrophe is back in Washington, a US general is in Ukraine and heavy equipment is moving. A resumption of fighting would suit many in Kiev, Washington and NATO. But Moscow is not asleep and the Donbass defenders are prepared. I would expect, along with supplies, Moscow to make discreet but observable preparations. If that doesn’t stop an attack, Moscow has the long-range weapons to interdict assembly areas and routes and pretend deniability. If that doesn’t work, I would expect a reprise of 2008, only faster. What’s the West going to do in the face of a fait accompli? Shout more? Sanctions? A crushing defeat will produce reverberations in Kiev: very few of the Ukrainian forces in Crimea stayed loyal to Kiev and Zelensky was elected on a promise of making things better, not worse. A week should tell us which it is.
It is exactly the same team of one trick ponies in D.C. who assured that in the long run Donbass will join Russia's as her administrative region and that, this time, Russia may appear in person and this will "reverberations" in Kiev which will accelerate already proceeding apace the process of the statehood failure in Ukraine. Three factors define West's actions as of now:
1. Western Europe wants to "unload" this shithole of a country it created on Russia. Russians do not want to pay for this banana locality, so the only way to "coerce" Russians is make sure they defeat Ukraine. OK. Russian Armed Forces can wipe out Ukrainian Army in several days but, as Patrick Armstrong correctly observes, the Georgian scenario could be in store--Russia will demolish Ukraine's military and will bulldoze the remnants of Ukrainian statehood to the West.
2. For the United States which increasingly reminds of Ukraine, just on a much larger scale, the factor of visceral Russo-phobia and desire to engage Russia's resources in any way in Ukraine--personal military encounter with Russia means many bad things for the United States and its military, hence proxies--should not be discounted. Plus, in a face of an economic catastrophe the Biden Administration needs some distraction--I told you, one trick ponies.
3. Both the so called President Zelensky, who is a clown (literally) by his background and a bunch of people in his "Administration", controlled from the US Embassy in Kiev, are not people who actually have any grasp of the reality and act on pure neurotic instincts in their constant fight for a position at the ever shrinking trough of a disintegrating Ukrainian economy. So, Zelensky may decide to commit a political (and who knows which one additionaly) suicide and commence operations in Donbass seeing them as the only exit he has from a clusterfuck which Ukraine and its bosses from EU and US created in the midst of Europe.
Too bad, as they say. This time Kremlin has one major factor playing for it, which was not the case in 2014--by different estimates, majority of Russians had it with Ukrainians. No, not with Ukraine, but namely Ukrainians as people. Ukrainians have got what they wanted when stating for the last seven years to Russian faces "We will never be brothers" (in Russian). Overwhelming majority of Russians today say--OK. In fact, these are the Russians now who do not want to be "brothers" and will have no compunction about demolishing, if it comes to this, Ukrainian Army. In 2014-15, there were still huge reservations on Russia's part in this regard, today--the hell with it. As is the hell with the EU and the United States. But I am sure if it comes to it Russia will start with high profile, but less costly in terms of personnel, strikes on whatever is left of Ukie Air Force and its bases, it will destroy Ukie Air Defence and then will burn all tanks, APCs and artillery at the line of contact.
So, whatever Russia will do, ranging from behind the scene support for LDNR to the outright annihilation of Kiev regime, she has options and escalation dominance, Kiev does not. If EU stops Nord Stream-2 as a result of the United States pressure and the use of Donbass conflagration as means of coercing Europeans to commit energy suicide, as was stated not for once, for Russia the stoppage of the Nord Stream-2 is merely a bump in the road. As latest events in Russian-Chinese relations indicate, Russia finally reoriented herself economically to the East and it seems actual Russian-Chinese alliance is de facto in existence now.
Russia and China have signed an agreement to build an international lunar space station that will be “open to all interested countries”, Beijing’s space agency announced on Tuesday.The two countries “will use their accumulated experience in space science, research and development as well as the use of space equipment and space technology to jointly develop a road map for the construction of an international lunar scientific research station (ILRS),” China National Space Administration said in a statement.Though no timeline is accorded to the project, the lunar science station is being envisioned as a “complex of experimental and research facilities created on the surface and/or in orbit of the moon,” Russia’s Roscosmos space agency was quoted as saying by CNN.
Those European nations, who would want to join any major Eurasian economic and science projects--they will be welcomed and the selection process already started.
An Italian-Swiss pharmaceutical company has agreed to produce Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in Italy, the first such deal in the European Union, a trade body said Tuesday. "The vaccine will be produced from July 2021 in (pharma company) Adienne factories in Lombardy," northern Italy, a spokesman for the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce, Stefano Maggi, told AFP. "Ten million doses will be produced between July 1 and January 1, 2022," he added, describing it as the "first agreement on the European level for the production on EU territory of the Sputnik vaccine".
You see how easy it is? No coercion, no imposing oneself, as it was with Russia in 1980s through early 2000s. Nope, just keep the door open wide enough for people to see the opening and if they will step in is entirely up to them. It is so easy to live when you don't owe anything to anyone and you don't need anything from anyone.