What is behind Poroshenko’s hardening rhetoric?

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Why did the president harden his rhetoric?

By Varjag-2007

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

It’s not necessary to read the article [the blog post links
to an article outlining the Ukrainian gov’t latest measures, including the
hardening of rhetoric against Russia, the closure of borders, and stepped-up
censorship], but the question is absolutely appropriate, and we know what the
answers are. Poroshenko wanted a bit of calm, he wanted order that he needs to
hold on to power, but instead everything is spinning out of control. So much so
that the MFA is making statements about being ready for a full-scale war with

It’s all very simple.

It doesn’t matter what Poroshenko wants anymore. The economy
is collapsing, its strategic enterprises are dying, and there is no money and
there will be none. Ukraine’s sponsors in which it had placed its hopes are now
practically insulting it—the Europeans are helpfully suggesting that “Ukraine
ought to show its attractiveness to investors, while the US equally helpfully
points out that “Ukrainians are very ineffectively using their resources,” so
not a chance of actual help. Moreover, coal mines are about to close and a
hungry coal miner is a dangerous beast.

As if on cue, Mr. Azarov is suggesting the creation of a “Ukrainian
government in exile”, and Azarov is not Yanukovych, he is totally dependable,
so much so that many of Ukraine’s oligarchs might be tempted to play the role
of “prodigal son” to seek his forgiveness, which would mean curtains for
Poroshenko. On the other hand there are rumors on the Maidanek [Maidanek was a
German death camp in Poland, whereas the Maidan, well, you get the picture]
that maybe it’s time to change the president, but not for Yatsenyuk or the
Pastor [Turchinov] (both seem repelled by the prospect of this honor), but rather
the [Azov commander] Biletsky who is already being groomed for the post of
mayor of Kiev [here the article links to a rather lengthy article, one of
several that appeared in Ukrainian press in recent days, on the campaign to get
Biletsky elected as a mayor of Kiev].

No Germany and no France, for whose sake Poroshenko went to
Minsk, will help. Neither with money—that’s self-evident (Greece is more
important), nor with political cover. They did the most they could and now can
only not interfere. And explain that they were bitterly disappointed in
Poroshenko [here the blog links to an article detailing the UAF’s morale
collapse post-Debaltsevo]. But the US, which keep the Maidanek on a tight
leash, and viewed their slave’s submissiveness before the Frau and Monsieur as
an attempt to reduce the US stranglehold, have already let the leash slip a
little by organizing the “unified HQ” [reference to the volunteer movement
coordinating HQ pushed by Semenchenko and apparently also Yarosh]. Once they
scared Poroshenko a little bit they backtracked, but Poroshenko got the message
and “hardened his position.”

Honestly, I have no idea what this pack of rats is capable
of now that it is cornered. There are no limits here, but I still think that
when it comes to a “war with a nuclear power” [a reference to the Ukrainian
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs stating such readiness in an interview with
CBC] is a bluff. Probably. But the “accusations that the militia is preparing
to take Mariupol” is an evident and open provocation, which clearly suggests
that very soon Poroshenko will throw away all agreements and throw the remnants
of his forces into slaughter. Knowing perfectly well how it will end. In the
hopes that the US will intervene one way or another. But that’s still to come.
In the meantine…

In the meantime, judging by everything, Ukraine is moving
toward terror. Not for nothing are the junta media outlets discussing the
matter of where the multi-thousand army of “titushki” [thugs employed by the
Yanukovych government to break-up demonstrations, which was a legitimate
grievance held by many well-meaning participants of the Maidan]. And we learn
that it did not go anywhere. It scattered, and now it awaits better times. Given
that anyone could be accused of being a “titushka”, you don’t have to guess
where this is going. Likewise not for nothing is the Ukrainian government
de-facto banning the freedom of movement and closing borders. One can no longer
count on the protection of the law: Turchinov ordered restrictions on judges’
ability to leave the country [here the blog links to an article describing the
plans to carry out a purge of the judges, starting with an investigation of
those who refused to support the banning of the Communist Party of Ukraine]. I
dare say the judges got the message.

And that’s everything. I have to admit the situation is
developing faster than I expected.

J.Hawk’s Comment: 

Me too! I don’t agree with the
interpretation of the US role. Semenchenko and Yarosh are genuinely rogue
actors, not under anyone’s control. Their efforts to create a separate “coordinating
HQ” were met by MVD “cease and desist” order, which was supported by the
majority of volunteer battalion commanders. Tellingly, Biletsky did not join
the initiative. But it is through the Turchinov/Avakov/Nalivaychenko/Yatsenyuk clique (and the
associated volunteer battalions which recognize their authority—Semenchenko is
an exception here) that the US influences Ukrainian politics. The hardening of rhetoric and policies has little to do with Semenchenko and Yarosh–those two can be easily crushed by the combined forces of the MVD and loyal volunteer battalions.

 But what about Varjag’s prediction that Poroshenko will
throw the remnants of his army at Novorossia once again, in order to provoke a
US intervention? In my view, it doesn’t seem likely in the immediate future.
The junta is painfully aware of the magnitude of its defeat. It knows that the
military’s strength would have to be first reconstituted—that’s why its
representatives travel the world begging for “precision weaponry.” However, the
US does not like to give weapons to losers, and that’s what the UAF looked like
even in the US media after Debaltsevo. Not to mention that by now the
credibility of Poroshenko and his General Staff Chief Muzhenko is non-existent.
Would the UAF follow orders if ordered to attack one more time? And what would
happen after it suffered YET ANOTHER defeat?  That strikes me as an excessively risky
proposition. Internal repression and state terror seem like the safer bet.

No, the terror angle is the dominant one—the junta is wounded,
it is increasingly unpopular, and now its violence will turn on those who are
still under its control since the original plan of establishing its dominance
through the destruction of Novorossia had failed.  But terror has to be justified, and the justification
is simply that Russia is still the enemy, and anyone criticizing the junta must
be a pro-Russian traitor.

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