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This article appears in the December 20, 2013 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Will Ukraine Be Flashpoint
for Thermonuclear War?

by Nancy Spannaus

[PDF version of this article]

Dec. 18—The determination by Washington and the European Union to create a confrontation with Moscow over Ukraine's sovereign decision not to sign an Association Agreement with the EU, has once again brought the potential for thermonuclear war to the fore.

"We are talking about a real confrontation," said Lyndon LaRouche to LaRouche PAC-TV Dec. 16. The British-dominated West is threatening thermonuclear war to try to back Eurasia down, but Eurasia will not give in. That means that, unless the current dominant policy in the West is stopped, the world is headed for extinction.

On the surface, the aggressive response of British and U.S. institutions to Ukraine's decision to reject what amounts to a colonialist free-trade agreement, in favor of closer economic ties with Moscow, makes no sense. Ukraine is a sovereign nation, has a democratically elected government, and should have a right to determine its economic course. This is particularly the case since the deals being offered by Moscow provide some hope of saving Ukraine's high-technology industries, while the EU Agreement demands Ukraine open its borders to EU exports, at a point where Ukraine's own products would not meet EU standards for export in the other direction. In addition, the EU deal was conditioned on Kiev's coming to terms with another section of the infamous Troika that has savaged European economies: the IMF, which demanded that Ukraine hike its energy prices 40% for domestic users, implement a wage freeze, and impose other austerity measures.

But, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out immediately after the streets of Kiev were filled with opponents of the Ukrainian government decision, the Western response has nothing to do with the economic deal as such. Rather, the EU Association Agreement was intended as what former Congressman Dennis Kucinich called a "Trojan Horse" for NATO, a means of using Ukraine, with its 1,426-mile border with Russia, as a geopolitical flank against Russia.

This marks the Ukraine agreement as part of the NATO encirclement strategy against which Russia has been warning vociferously, particularly in the form of the ballistic missile defense system. Such encirclement, which would threaten to neutralize Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent, is a casus belli for Moscow, as then-President Dmitri Medvedev pointed out in November 2011.[1]

The Russians Are Clear

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivered a cogent analysis and an attack on the Troika's (IMF, European Commission, European Central Bank) orchestration of the destabilization of Ukraine, in a Rossiya-24 TV interview aired Dec. 14.

"Provocateurs with a long-prepared script" are behind the events in Kiev, Lavrov said. Regarding the intensity of the demonstrations against Russia, he asked, did the Ukraine government declare war on some peaceful nation; did it announce the building of a nuclear bomb against its obligations; did it order the murder of somebody?

"A demonstration of such a scale and with such bitter slogans has been arranged as if the country had declared war on some peaceful state contrary to the Ukrainian people's will. This goes beyond normal human analysis. There is no doubt that some provocateurs stand behind this. I am really saddened to see that our Western partners have apparently lost the sense of reality."

Lavrov stated that the EU free-trade treaty with Ukraine would decimate Ukraine's remaining industrial base: "The EU is trying to impose its position on the so-called Eastern Partnership countries, which now compete with an overwhelming majority of European goods. But it is luring them into a free-trade area by acquiring their markets, which will be immediately filled with more competitive products from Europe, killing the corresponding industries in the countries that would sign Association Agreements, and causing a problem for Russia, because we don't have customs borders with these countries either."

Lavrov polemically criticized the hypocrisy of the EU and the Troika, which are facing revolts against their economic policies, asking what would happen, were he, Lavrov, to show up at demonstrations in those countries, as Western officials are doing in Kiev: "So there I am walking among demonstrators supporting this party and calling on Germany to change its attitude towards the EU and separate from it. How would that be taken? I believe that the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE would have all passed resolutions on how outrageous it was, and how Russians were meddling in Germany's internal affairs."

Outrageous Interference

The outside meddling in Ukraine is blatant and provocative. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, toured Kiev's Central Square with opposition party leaders on Dec. 11, to hand out cookies. Nadia Diuk, vice president for Programs at the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, has been parked in Kiev for weeks.

Ostentatious visits by European officials, including outgoing German Defense Minister Guido Westerwelle, have also served to buoy the demonstrators.

Then, on Dec. 15, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) showed up to cheer on the opposition. The two stood side by side with Oleh Tyahnybok, head of the racist Svoboda Party, who blames "organized Jewry" and the "Moscovite-Jew mafia" for Ukraine's problems. The Simon Wiesenthal Foundation has counted Tyahnybok as one of the top ten anti-Semites globally—but this did not deter Nuland, EU foreign relations chief Lady Ashton of the U.K., or McCain, who is now threatening to bring a bill for sanctions against Ukraine. All of these people rubbed elbows with or had their hands kissed by Tyahnybok.

Russians Preparing

On Dec. 17, at the meeting of the Ukraine-Russia Interstate Commission, President Putin and Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych sealed an agreement which will lead to $15 billion in Russian investment in Ukrainian securities, cut the price of Russian natural gas to Ukraine by one-third, and initiate other economic agreements, including on space. Despite the obvious advantages for Ukraine, the "democracy" advocates in Kiev's Central Square still complained.

What is clear is that Russia is in the cross-hairs of the British imperial forces behind the demonstrators, and the EU/U.S. onslaught. And Moscow is acting accordingly.

On Dec. 16, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed media reports that it has deployed short-range Iskander missiles into the Kaliningrad region, near its borders with the Baltic states. This is precisely what President Medvedev said in November 2011, that Russia would have to do, if NATO proceeded with its Euro-BMD encirclement.

On Dec. 11, Vice Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin reiterated Moscow's strategic posture toward NATO and the U.S., addressing the Prompt Global Strike (PGS) policy of Washington. Rogozin emphasized that the Russian Federation would respond with nuclear weapons if attacked by long-range missiles, even if they were armed with non-nuclear warheads. "One can experiment as long as one wishes by deploying non-nuclear warheads on strategic missiles. But one should keep in mind that if there is an attack against us, we will certainly resort to using nuclear weapons in certain situations to defend our territory and state interests," said Rogozin, whose portfolio includes Russia's defense industries.

Speaking before the State Duma, Rogozin said that Russia's Advanced Research Foundation (ARF) will develop a military response to the American PGS program. He testified that the ARF, a special group commissioned by Putin in late 2012, has reviewed over 1,000 military-strategic proposals, selected 52 for their agenda, and prioritized eight of those, one of which is a response to the U.S. PGS.

[1] See "The Fuse Is Lit for World War III, EIR, Dec. 2, 2011.

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