KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Accompanied by protest demonstrations, Kiev’s Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, will have talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel today, Thursday, on expanding German support to Ukraine. Yatsenyuk is pursuing an arms buildup by all possible means. Observers assume that Kiev is preparing a new offensive in Ukraine’s civil war. It was reported that several NATO countries are involved in arming the country’s military. The German government confirmed back in September that it had satisfactorily complied with Ukraine’s requests including “defensive equipment”. Even trans-Atlantic supporters of Kiev’s February 2014 putsch, are now warning that a considerable rise in the influence of fascist militias and certain oligarchs is threatening to establish an uncontrollable warlord system. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s party has particularly taken the lead in supporting right-wing extremist battalions. Yesterday, Yatsenyuk was ceremoniously received by German President Joachim Gauck.
Armed by the West
Yatsenyuk’s government is pursuing an arms buildup by all possible means. Already in December, President Petro Poroshenko officially handed over several dozen tanks and other combat material to the army. Monday, according to Ukrainian sources, he turned over assault rifles, mortars, howitzers and infantry fighting vehicles, as well as four fighter jets (MiG-29 and Su-27), declaring triumphantly: “This is how we are using this so-called ceasefire.” According to Poroshenko, these weapons are of Ukrainian production or have been repaired in the country’s maintenance facilities. Observers are not ruling out the possibility that some have been provided by NATO countries. A Ukrainian military spokesperson is in fact quoted saying Lithuania – and possibly even Poland – have promised their support in Kiev’s arms buildup. Canada is furnishing “non-weaponry military aid,” according to reports, including winter uniforms. In December, US President Barack Obama signed the so-called Ukraine Freedom Support Act, explicitly permitting the delivery of “defensive” weaponry. At the beginning of September, Berlin confirmed that several requests for the delivery of German “defensive” and medical equipment to Ukraine had been “satisfactorily complied with.” The delivery of “non-weaponry military aid” sidesteps criticism for supporting one of the parties to the conflict, while allowing that party the possibility of concentrating all its energy on procuring lethal weaponry.
While various NATO countries are contributing to Kiev’s war preparations, even trans-Atlantic supporters of the February 2014 putsch are beginning to warn of the possible social repercussions of the war. For example, in his article in the influential Washington Post, Adrian Karatnycky, “Senior Fellow” of the US think tank, the “Atlantic Council,” wrote that “warlords” are beginning to play a more powerful role. As President of the US “Freedom House” organization from 1993 to 2004, Karatnycky had supported the pro-western segments of the “democracy movements” in Yugoslavia, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Today, he notes that some of the volunteer units operating in East Ukraine, as well as some of the oligarchs financing them, are getting out of control. He is referring to units such as the fascist “Asov Battalion,” which critical observers had been warning against back in the Summer of 2014 (german-foreign-policy.com reported ) as well as billionaires, such as Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who has been notorious for his despotism for quite some time. As Karatnycky notes, they are increasingly standing outside the chain of command of the Ukrainian government. Some battalions have repeatedly threatened to march on Kiev, should President Poroshenko fail to conquer East Ukraine. Kolomoyskyi also defies orders from the capital. The “blatant disregard for the chain of command, lawlessness and racketeering” is posing a growing “threat to Ukraine’s stability,” writes Karatnycky. Already back in the spring of 2014, when Karatnycky was still praising developments in Ukraine, critics had been pointing to this danger.
Belonging to the “White Race”
In fact, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk has considerably contributed to the fascist battalions’ reinforcement. It was he who integrated the commander of the “Asov Battalion” – who is also the leader of the fascist “Social National Assembly” alliance organization – into his party’s structures. The “Social National Assembly” glorifies the “Ukrainian nation” as belonging to the “white race” and basing its policies explicitly on “national and racial egotism.” (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) The former press spokeswoman for the fascist UNA-UNSO party, who also joined the Asov Battalion, has been voted into parliament on Yatsenyuk’s party ticket. Yatsenyuk’s close party ally, Minister of the Interior, Arsen Avakov, is said to have had at least one business partner with close contacts to fascist thugs during his incumbency as Governor of Kharkiv. Just a few years ago, during protest actions of the “Yulia Tymoshenko Block,” these thugs had provided the security. The “Block’s” regional chair, at the time, was Arsen Avakov. Even a fervent supporter of the Maidan protests admits that “since Avakov heads the Ministry of the Interior, the police in Kiev have either not been able to or have not tried to solve a number of hate crimes, crimes committed out of hatred toward particular groups in the population” – dark-skinned people, Jews, as well as homosexuals.