by Hannes Wessels

A regrettable tragedy is unfolding in Ukraine. This may well be the biggest war in Europe since the end of WWII and the great powers are dangerously close to a nuclear confrontation. Western media is almost unanimous in blaming Putin but looking back at events that have led to this there is another side to this sad story.

Going back to the period of Peter the Great and Catherine, Russia has had a close cultural and ethnic affinity with Europe. Just think of names like Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Gorky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninof, Solzhenitsyn, Pasternak, Pavlov, Sakharov, who contributed so much in the spheres of literature, music and science, to be reminded how close we are to the people east of the Caucuses. Despite this, Western leaders have arrogantly dismissed Russia as a backward, non-democratic political and economic wasteland.

Politically it diverged during the communist era, but even then, the divide was not as wide as we were led to believe. As far back as 1954, then Foreign Minister Molotov, with the backing of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, proposed that the USSR join an alliance aimed at achieving collective security on the continent but this was rebuffed.

 Starting in 1989 with the breaking down of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev commenced collapsing the Russian empire and in so doing dispensed with Moscow’s western buffer against US imperialism, EU encroachment and NATO power.  He introduced Glasnost, and a semblance of liberal democracy. In a very short space of time, all the reasons for NATO’s existence had vanished. Gorbachev asked for permanent peace and extended a hand of friendship. The response from the West was the aggressive incorporation, starting with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, of the former Warsaw Pact countries and former USSR republics in the alliance. In 1991, Boris Yeltsin asked to join the NATO Alliance and in 2000 Putin tried. They were rebuffed and told to take their place at the back of the queue for consideration behind lesser nations from the former Soviet Bloc.  Russia’s status as a world power was downplayed and belittled.  America’s only response to the new dispensation was to send in a team of so called ‘experts’ to help restructure the country’s economy who did little other than wreck it and set up the oligarchs who looted the country while Yeltsin was intoxicated.

From the UK, Tony Blair colluded with the power hungry socialists in Brussels to expand the EU by doubling it in size with the addition of thirteen Eastern European states,  former Soviet Bloc nations.  So wedded to this policy was Blair that he immediately gave UK’s full recognition of all the new eastern European additions, even though the treaty admitting them allowed existing members to defer such recognition for at least five years.

Against this backdrop the Russians faced what they saw as a common foe in combatting widespread Islamic terrorism following the country’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. In 1999 the Russians looked on as America bombed Serbia which had only recently been a Russian protectorate. Far from getting any assistance in the fight against the fundamentalists, they were criticised by western countries for being too heavy-handed in Chechnya, whose ‘freedom fighters’ massacred some 330 people (mostly primary school children) at Beslan.  Russia has been left to fight Islamic terror alone with no support from the Western democracies facing a common enemy.

Bearing all this in mind, it is difficult to ignore Putin’s concerns as Western leaders have been making public noises about Ukraine, which runs deep into the heart of Russia, joining the NATO and EU clubs. The threat posed by Kyviv was heightened in 2014 when a democratically elected, pro-Russian government was overthrown and replaced by a pro-Western regime. All Putin has repeatedly asked for, in return for peace in the region, is an assurance that Ukraine will not become a NATO member and this has not been forthcoming.

One cannot help but wonder if the current situation could not have been avoided, had Donald Trump been allowed to pursue the policy of constructive dialogue aimed at improving relations with Moscow, he sought to follow at the beginning of his presidency. This initiative was to have been led by General Mike Flynn who had been appointed as the new president’s National Security Advisor. No sooner had this announcement been made than outgoing officials in the Obama administration including Susan Rice, Flynn’s predecessor, collaborated with the CIA and the FBI led by James Comey, to lure Flynn into a carefully laid legal minefield that would see him forced from assuming his position. This was quickly followed by the unfolding of the Russia collusion hoax and the Mueller investigation which hamstrung his presidency. Powerful people in the Deep State saw peaceful coexistence with Russia as a threat and stopped it happening.

General Dwight Eisenhower, one of America’s greatest presidents and the man who led the Allies to victory over Hitler’s Germany, warned about the dangerous influence on American policy of the military-industrial complex. Looking at the number of pointless wars his country has involved itself in since 1945, it appears his warning went unheeded.

17 thoughts on “An Avoidable War”
  1. It would be great to hear your views on how best this could find resolution. Thoroughly enjoyed your article.

  2. This provides a segue into the Ukrainian invasion. Putin is a strong leader and probably right for Russia. I think Russia felt threatened by western hemisphere approaches into the Eastern block countries after the USSR collapse. The corner-stone was Ukraine. About +/- thirty per cent of Ukrainians are Russian-speaking, especially in the breakaway states. The USA general conduct in Ukraine, here I cite the Biden family, has been predatory and criminal. What an example to set? We are unimpressed with the US State Department performances in the Ukraine. It seems to me that after the Crimea and the outbreak of hostilities the USA should have made a decision. They either had a geopolitical interest in defending Ukraine or they didn’t. However, to make promises that they could not back up is pathetic. NATO is a showpiece of diversity and multicultural ‘gravy train’ ideas. As a fighting force it will get it’s clock cleaned. USA soldiers do not want to sacrifice their lives for Ukraine, who can blame them. The USA has no real geopolitical interest in embittering Russia. One would have thought that befriending Russia in the face of the Sino threat would have been preferable. So here we are, what a mess. We may be able to bully the Russians to retreat through international pressure and fiscal measures, but it still leads to China and Taiwan. The Russians could push back with stopping energy and grain to Europe.

  3. Hannes is accurate, Putin had little choice. I cannot tell what is currently happening in Ukraine as I am not there. I can only point out a few historic events that might put things into perspective – You can draw your own conclusions.
    April 1990 – George Soros “The International Renaissance Foundation” a part of the Open Society Foundations, was established in Kyiv. By 1994, the International Renaissance Foundation was the biggest international donor in Ukraine, with an annual budget of roughly $12 million for projects. In the early 2000s, the foundation oriented itself around European integration.
    1 March 2013, The first “tech camp” to train far-right Ukrainians how to organize online the mass-demonstrations against Yanukovych, was held inside the US Embassy in Kiev on that date.
    14th of February 2014 – VP Joe Biden named by President Obama to be the point man on all things Ukraine.
    18th of February 2014 – Around 20,000 protesters marched toward the national parliament in Ukraine – start of Maidan Revolution.
    20th of February 2014 – Bloody Thursday, became the most violent day in Kiev since the World War II.
    21st of February 2014 The Ukrainian parliament bans the use of firearms by law enforcers and voted to pull back troops from Kiev, with over 80 percent of the ruling party’s MPs not showing up for the vote. At the same time a presidential impeachment bill was introduced in the parliament.
    21st of February 21, 2014, George Soros’ ‘Open Society’ publishes an anti-corruption strategy for Ukraine.
    22nd of February 2014 – Yanukovich fleds the capital in fear of his life and shortly after he was ousted from power.
    23rd of February 2014- Old government was overthrown and the new pro-west government was established.
    1st March 2014 – thousands of people in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Simferopol, Odessa, Luhansk, Melitopol, Yevpatoria, Kerch, and Mariupol protested against the new government.
    2nd of March 2014 – Russian troops take control over Crimea.
    11th of March 2014 the Ukrainian National Council for TV and Radio Broadcasting instructed all cable operators to stop transmitting a number of Russian channels.
    1 April 2014 – Russian Gazprom cancelled Ukraine’s natural gas discount as agreed in the 17 December 2013 Ukrainian–Russian action plan because its debt to the company had risen to $1.7 billion since 2013
    13th of April 2014 – Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings announces the hiring of Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer who also served as a senior advisor to Secretary-of-State John Kerry. Archer was also the college roommate of CJ Heinz, Kerry’s stepson.
    April 2014 to present – Start of civil war in Eastern Ukraine – Estimated more than 10,300 killed and nearly 24,000 injured.
    15th of April 2014 – Burisma Holdings sends two payments to Hunter Biden and Devon Archer’s Morgan Stanley account of their Rosemont Seneca Bohai (RSB) Investment fund. This business was greatly enhanced through a loan from the Bank of China in November 2013 when Hunter travelled on air Force II with the vice president who had a scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    22nd of April 2014 – Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk to urge him to foster Ukrainian natural gas production increases – now just three weeks from (already paid) Hunter Biden being named to the board of directors at Burisma energy, the nation’s largest private energy company.
    13th of May 2014 – Hunter Biden is announced as a board member for Burisma Holdings.
    20th of August 2014 – Ukrainian Prosecutor General, opens a criminal investigation against Burisma Holdings. *According to the records of the prosecutor general’s case file.
    18th of January 2015 – new Prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin’ prosecutors name Burisma Holdings founder Mykola Zlochevsky a fugitive of Ukrainian justice.
    29th of January 2015 – British Serious Fraud Office announces it is closing their investigation of Burisma holdings fraud. (A curious declaration just eleven days after Ukraine’s own justice department announces the founder a fugitive evading criminal prosecution.)
    22nd of July 2015 – Hunter Biden meets with Tony Blinken, the Deputy Secretary-of-State and former national security advisor to Joe Biden. Hunter requested the meeting in an email to get Blinken’s “advise on several matters.”
    18th of August 2015 – despite President Obama praising natural gas since his campaigning for president in 2008, he cracked down on American natural gas exploration and declared mandates which put heavy financial burdens on these companies, raising natural gas prices globally.
    25th of November 2015 – Gazprom halted its exports of Russian natural gas to Ukraine.
    7th-8th of December 2015 – Biden visits Ukraine a month after his son was asked by Burisma executives to meet with high-profile US policymakers
    2017 – Ukraine adopted a constitutional amendment that committed itself to NATO membership.
    January 2017 – Eruption of heavy fighting and failed ceasefires in Eastern Ukraine.
    20th of January 2017 – Donald Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.
    December 2017 – the United States provided Ukraine with lethal aid for the first time, in the form of Javelin antitank missiles. Initially, these were to be kept away from the front, but after the second delivery of similar weapon systems, they were cleared for use anywhere.
    12th of July 2018 – Donald Trump has come close to suggesting unilaterally withdrawing the US from Nato, but would not be able to do it without approval from US Senate.
    2019 – Lawmakers passed legislation to cement Ukrainian as the country’s primary language, ordering middle schools that taught in Russian and other minority languages to make the switch and mandating Ukrainian versions of online stores.
    An article of the laws that entered into force in January goes further, obliging shops, restaurants and the service industry to engage customers in Ukrainian unless clients specifically ask to switch.
    Anyone caught violating the new legislation twice within one year could be fined 200 euros ($235), almost half of the average salary in the country.
    5th of February 2020 – Democrats try to impeach Trump over Volodymyr Zelenskyy phone call.
    2020 – Ukraine was granted enhanced status with NATO, granting it access to interoperability programs and exercises, and more sharing of information.
    20th of January 2021 – Joe Biden becomes President of the United States.
    In 10 months of 2021, 600,000 citizens left Ukraine and still have not returned. This is the highest figure in 11 years. It is reported that in the first half of the decade Ukraine lost about 500k people annually.
    September 2021 – Kyiv commanded military forces drill in a common exercise with US and NATO partners
    12th of January 2022 – NATO rejects Russian demands for security guarantees in the latest round of talks. “Together, the United States and our NATO allies made clear we will not slam the door shut on NATO’s open-door policy”.
    24th of February 2022 – Russian Army enters Ukraine.

  4. I agree with Hannes take on this situation. The US did not like it when nukes were put 90 miles from our shore. Many agreements on both sides have been broken. I ask people this- If mexico had missiles 5 miles from the border of the US and delivery systems that could carry nukes, would America stand for that? One of the most hypocritical things the US has done- When Russia had it’s own war on terrorism on its own land, we offered no support, even in words or sympathy but rebuke from Bush on Putin’s War on Terror. It was a time where a relationship could develop instead of increased co operation.

    In this world today and always, alliances forestall many many bloodbaths down the road..With Russia being blocked from participating in NATO or even better relationships,a situation like the Ukraine and Gerogia likely would not have happened. Viewing things from the opposite POV can put things in perspective. Is all this a justification? I think not. Russia could bring much more to bare and crush the Ukraine, even if there is bitter casualties. Times change and people should change with it.

    I have other personal views that I won’t share here on Putin and the invasion but I will leave it at that.

  5. Another brilliant expose by Olive Tree Views regarding the political situation in the world. You’ll learn more listening to these broadcasts than by listening to Fake Wokie~Cokie Libtard lamestream news media…..

    Jan Markell talks with Curtis Bowers for the hour. When the world lacks a leader, chaos reigns on earth. Current instability is a preview of things to come in the Tribulation. Authoritarianism is rising. Today’s tyrants are leading to the ultimate tyrant who will reign only seven years.

  6. It would seem to me to be another case of boundaries in the wrong place ? If bordering areas have majority Russian population who want to be part of Russia, redraw the boundary. If the remaining population of Ukraine would rather be independent and part of NATO, that’s their business ?

    With your comments on the sick state of the declining West, I fully agree.

  7. Hannes I am a bit disappointed in you for praising Eisenhower.
    Have you not read about the Eisenhower camps and the deaths of millions of Germans post WWII.
    He was a desk general.
    Author: Mike King, Why I Don’t Like Ike, is a good read on the subject.

  8. Bizarre article. Putin is behaving just like Hitler when he started grabbing pieces of land all around Germany, and your solution is ‘Appeasenent’?

    1. Today one of my ex Saloon Scouts friends sent me the photo of Vladimir Putin, Samora Machel and Emerson Mngagwa in army fatigues with a foot note that Vladimir spent from 1973 to 1977 in Tanzania training recruits in the interests of democracy and peace. It seems that the photograph may have been taken in Tanzania?

  9. For me, at this time, Putin and Russia are really good news, and although Putin is no angel, his qualities as a leader far outshine those of any leader of the ‘woke’, decadent west a hundred fold. While I fully understand the tragedy of this ‘avoidable war’ and cannot condone the actions of those who have been instrumental in starting it, perhaps a few points are worth considering.

    Americans have been told by their government it is their patriotic duty to loathe Putin and Russia yet these are the same people who have waged a relentless covid war of terror and fear against their own people for two long years continually lying to them about the consequences of not following government protocol to contain the so-called ‘pandemic.’ In their quest to instill as much fear into their citizens as possible they have unconstitutionally unleashed forced lockdowns, fraudulent PCR tests which cost a fortune to the individual and coerced as many (and children are not excluded) as possible to take their experimental, poisonous ‘vaccination’ as possible and threatening those who don’t. Most of us are enough of decadent, perverted, self-serving western leaders and it is my hope that somehow this conflict will be the catalyst to bring about the downfall of some of these evil, self-serving wretches in western governments, but quite how this might happen I am not sure.

    1. Assuming that the photograph of Emerson Mnangaga, Putin and Samora Machel all in army uniform together is genuine, and not photoshopped it would appear that Putin’s involvement in Rhodesia in the seventies was actually his training programme back then for what he is doing in Ukraine today? If we support Putin invading Ukraine it seems to support Russia supplying the weaponry that shot down the Air Rhodesia Viscounts? Russian military equipment shooting down civilian aircraft which they then repeated more recently with the civilian Malaysian Airlcraft ? Personally, I still struggle to support or comprehend the mindset of the perpetrators of the Viscount shootings or the bayoneting of seven month old baby Natasha Glennie in Chimanimani in 1977 – even if Putin (…for he’s a jolly good fellow and so say all us…)supplied the missiles and the bayonets. I am not yet convinced that Russia or China were in Rhodesia to make peace?

    2. Much like Hitler, Putin has the mentality of a schoolyard bully with a narcissistic personality disorder. Much like Hitler, who started with Austria, Putin’s ambitions go way beyond Ukraine.

  10. Agreed. Putin is not as big a problem as the corrupt cabal controlling USA at the moment. It was unnecessary to insist that Ukraine be allowed to join NATO.

  11. This is an interesting and diverse perspective on the history of the region. However, watching the footage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the mass destruction of infrastructure certainly resonates with the ZANLA forces attacking civilian targets in Rhodesia and then just a few years later – the Fifth Brigade attacking the people of Matabeleland and murdering 20 000 civilians “to maintain law and order.” In the last day or two there has been a really lovely photograph come up of Putin, Samora Machel and Emerson Mnangagwa all in army uniform which may have been taken in Mozambique or maybe Russia? When I look back on the 20 000 civilian genocide in Matabeleland which included about 20% of our commercial farmers in that province all after Zimbabwean Independence, and then I think about the farmers murdered by Zanu with the land invasions, and all the trauma involved in Zimbabwe – I sincerely struggle to justify Putin’s atrocities, Mugabe’s atrocities, Mnangagwa’s atrocities, Idi Amin’s atrocities, and Hitler’s atrocities against civilians no less than I can ever justify the brutal murders of thousands of commercial farmers in South Africa. My father always told me “two wrongs do not make a right.” We may need to think very deeply about how we truly analyse Putin the man?

  12. Open-minded and mind-boggling at the same time, thank you Hannes!
    How stupid and condescending the West and the woke-leaders have been, occupying themselves with social changes, not caring about the outcome, which will be devastating for the innocent populace having to suffer because of this childish play from the so-called “leaders” in the West, where the US president goes on holiday and the rest of the EU is so ineffectual and delusional, hedging their bets like Germany siding with whoever is the winner, and this all whilst (Eastern) Europe is burning!

  13. Brilliantly put HANNES. In my view this war was started by none other than the West

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