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We’re fighting a ruinous proxy war – but for which ‘sort’ of Ukrainians?


SINCE the invasion of Ukraine, we have seen how effective our free world is in marketing. The art of attaching emotions to symbols is the basic method of propaganda, be that to sell products or policies, which was created by people such as American political commentator Walter Lippmann and public relations guru Edward Bernays in the 1920s.

A frenzy of outrage has been conjured over a country and on behalf of its people. Yet this is how the Ukrainian government sees its own people … 

The poster reads: Ukraine – open your eyes! Yes – they look like Ukrainians. Sort I, II, III. 

In case you were not aware, according to the Ukrainian regime, there are three sorts of Ukrainian. When we speak of ‘the people of Ukraine’ and their rights, bear that in mind. 

The red ‘Sort 1’ on the poster are in Galicia, which may be about to be occupied by the Polish army. There is a statue of Ukrainian nationalist and wartime Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera in Lvov, the regional capital and the base for most Western journalists. 

Sort 1 Ukrainians are not native Russian speakers. In Sort 2, there is a minority (less than 25 per cent) who speak native Russian. Sort 3 is the worst offender, because every area here is populated by a majority of native Russian speakers.  

In 2010, Sorts 1 and 2 voted for Yulia Tymoshenko. Sort 3 voted for Viktor Yanukovich, who was president until the 2014 coup. 

Interestingly, the sorts are also careful to indicate in the second order some of the minority ethnic groups on the Western border. Ethnic Hungarians, Romanians and Moldovans are not Sort 1 either. 

One emotional basis for the proxy war the US and NATO are fighting is the right of the Ukrainian people to decide their own fate. Which people – which Sort?   

This right was not relevant in 2014 when the US, through its then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, deposed the Yanukovich government and replaced it with one of its choosing.  

You can now see why they did this. Yanukovich was not overly friendly with Russia, yet the fact that his base was concentrated in the Russian-speaking population was enough to convince the neoconservative faction that he had to go. 

The proxy war is being promoted by this neoconservative faction, which dominates US foreign policy. The founder of their main pressure group, Robert Kagan, is the husband of Victoria Nuland. Kagan admits that US actions provoked Russia. His wife is the architect of many of these provocations, so he would know. 

The view of the faction which controls US foreign policy is that Russia and its interests must be broken by any means. This is the reason for the cancellation of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline, for the overturning of the election in Ukraine in 2014, for the concentration of arms and military training in Ukraine’s disputes Donbass region for the past eight years.  

US policy – as directed by a faction that destroys nations with no regard for the costs, nor consequences for the populations concerned – is to break Russia. Yet there is a problem with this plan. The strategy is failing. 

Russia is not collapsing at home. Its economy is resilient and looks to be capable of surviving. The wider world is not sanctioning Russia. Ukraine is not winning the war. A global food crisis looms. This makes escalation likely and the situation ever more perilous. It explains the insane Plan B – destroying Europe. 

The sanctions – applied by the Anglosphere, the EU and Japan – 

 are not weakening Russia. The EU seems determined to halt all gas and oil supply from Russia. Hungary, Croatia and Slovakia have indicated this would mean a severe economic collapse. The multinational chemical company BASF warned of the same regarding German industry, saying production will cease with no Russian hydrocarbons.  

Many German firms are preparing to litigate the German government owing to the ‘dramatic repercussions’ of cutting off Russian gas and oil. This means whole industries will halt and Germany will deindustrialise. Europe will face food shortages and stagflation – a toxic mixture of economic stagnation and inflation.  

You may have missed the fact that Ukraine shut down one (of two) gas transit nodes last week, instantly reducing gas supply. This obviously cannot happen without US direction and approval, as it endangers the ability of German industry to continue to operate. One explanation of US policy is to bleed Europe in order to blame Russia, which in turn builds support for war.  

The difficulty here is in finding a rational explanation for the removal of the fuel, grain, fertiliser and raw materials without which European industry and food production cannot continue to function. Gas stores are 37 per cent full across Europe. We have no food mountains any more, and Britain is poised to be the worst hit with stagflation. 

It looks as though the collapse of the EU economies might be the plan for the US administration, as there is no other rational explanation for the removal of gas, oil, grain, copper and fertiliser from that market.  

There are no replacements. There is no agreement with Qatar to replace pipeline gas with liquefied natural gas (LNG). There is no other source of commercial fertiliser.  Added to this, Russian sweet crude oil isn’t the same as every other type of oil, which matters when your refinery is geared to process a specific type of oil.  

That is the argument of Hungary, whose intransigence is explained by the simple fact that even if a replacement could be found for Russian oil, and even if it weren’t more expensive (it will be) – it can’t be processed in its country’s plants. 

It is noteworthy that the Hungarian government will speak for the national interests of Hungary rather than cheerlead its own economic ruin.  

Yet ruin is what we all face, after two years’ money-printing combined with a sanctions policy that will push the European economies off a cliff. This is a strange way to save Sort 1 – and some of Sort 2 – of the Ukrainian people.  

This, however, is the price of a failed US initiative to weaken Russia, whose rouble is higher now than it was when the war began, and whose gas and oil is more valuable than ever. Is it a price we are willing to pay? Perhaps it is time to ask who is selling us this future, and for what purpose. 

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Frank Wright
Frank Wright
Frank Wright is a writer from the North East of England. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and young family. Follow him on Substack at .

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