Two Ukraines – with a Statistical and Historical View at Novorossia

The original article “Two Ukraines” appeared as blog by colonelcassad in Decmber 2013 in Russian.

I present here a translation of the article into English, with the infographics legend explained whenever feasible; but first I want to give some historical backdrop to where Novorossia comes from.

In his article Cold War Renewed With A Vengeance While Washington Again Lies Paul Craig Roberts very astutely writes:

The EU, ordered by Washington, told Russia to suppress the opposition in southern and eastern Ukraine to Washington’s stooge government in Kiev. But, as every educated person knows, including the White House, 10 Downing Street, Merkel, and Holland, Russia is not responsible for the separatist unrest in eastern and southern Ukraine. These territories are former constituent parts of Russia that were added to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic by Soviet Communist Party leaders when Ukraine and Russia were two parts of the same country.

The county of Novorossia was established by the Highest Decree of the Russian Empress Ekaterina II in 1764 and existed until 1802, when it was divided into three smaller counties: Nikolaevskaja, Ekaretinoslavskaja and Tavricheskaja counties. The reason for creation of Novorossia countie on the former territories of Slavjano-Serbia was to create a buffer zone against Osmano-Tatar aggression

Below is the maps of the Novorossia:

And here is the Ekaterinoslavskaja county shown against the borders of Ukraine:

Here is what Ukraine consited of until February (Crimea made a lucky escape and re-joined Russia):
Light yellow – Zaprozhje – Ukraine before 1654
Orange – Presents of Russian monarchs between 1654 and 1917
Light-green – Novorossia – Lenin’s present in 1922
Medium-green (5+6) – Eastern Galicia – Stalin’s present of 1939-1940 (given to USSR according to Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement)
Dark-green – Crimea – Khrushjov’s present in 1954
Transcarpathia (9) – taken from Czechoslovakia in 1945
Northern Bukovina and Southern Southern (7+8) – captured by USSR in 1940

So bearing in mind that Ukraine is a collection of disparate lands, and remembering the Russian roots of the Cossacks living on the lands of Novorossia, the move performed by Lenin after the coup d’etat of 1917, in creating Ukraine and assigning to it the territories of Novorossia was a direct recipe for creating a problem for future generations.

The people of the East differ to much from their Polish-rooted Western cousins.

And now it’s time to introduce the translation of the blog post Two Ukraines.

(Legend: “Yukraina” to the left; “Yakraina” to the right, with percentage of people who voted for Yushenko or Yanukovich during the last legitimate presidential elections)

People asked here about the possible lines of division of Ukraine. In fact, there is nothing new since 2004. Political, economic, cultural and linguistic split historically goes along the Dnieper and it’s not for nothing that from the olden times Ukraine into the Right-bank and Left-bank Ukraines. It’s been written a lot on this topic both in the context of elections, and in the context of the policy of Ukrainianization, in the context of confrontation of the “orange” and “blue” – those who are interested in the question, can trace the genesis of this split in the days Hetmanate and Pereyaslavska Rada (1654).

So just for the information some infographics of recent years on the topic, as some friends in Russia are fed the official idea of ​​Ukraine as a certain monolithic state.


(Ethno-linguistic map. Legend:
Red – speaking Ukrainian
Light-read – mainly speaking Ukrainian
Yellow – speaking Russian
Light-yellow – mainly speaking Russian
Brown – ethnic Russians)

(The percentage of people stating Russian as their mother tongue as per 2001 [Kiev: 30%, Sevastopol: 90%])

(Language used. The numbers are for Russian, Surzhik [and mix of Russian and Ukrainian] and Ukrainian. Legend:
Dark-green – absolute domination of Russian
Light-green – mainly Russian
Orange – Ukrainian)

(Support for Russian as an official state language)

(Geography of requests done in Ukrainian language)

(Regions that have local officially state status of Russian language. Can you see why Crimea sailed away, correlating this map with the previous ones?)

The proportion of users, who stated their mother tongue as Russian (blue) or as Ukrainian (red) in the popular social media VKontakte [“Russian Facebook”].

(Religious split. Simplified legend:
Pink – Orthodox church
Blue overstrikes – Catholic influence
Light-green overstrikes – Protestant infuence)

(Ukrainian producing economy. The legend is too big to translate, but one can see that most of the production is concentrated in the East)

(The East voted for Kuchma, the West – for Kravchuk)

The “orange” split during the elections of 2004

The results of the second round of elections in 2004.

The results of the third round of elections in 2004, after the “orange revolution.

(The results of the election of 2006. Blue – Party of the Regions)

Parliamentary elections of 2007.

(The results of the first round of Presidential elections of 2010. Legend:
Dark blue – Yanukovich
Red – Timoshenko)

Voting results during 2010 elections.

(The leaders of the parliamentary elections of 2012. Legend:
Blue – Leading: Party of the Regions
Red – Leading: Batkivshina
Upper number – percentage who voted for the leading party)

(A small curiosity the geography of statues of Lenin)

Adding to the blog translation, here some of the latest infographics:
Attendance in % during the (p)residential (s)election of 2014.

Total number of registered voters in the South East: 14,854,013
Total number of votes cast in the South East during the 2014 elections: 5,162,665
Turnout: 34.76%

Almost two-thirds of the voters boycotted the polls, and still the NATOis claiming that the elections were legit.

The last two images come from Gallup polls, outlined in this Russia Today article

Now, on with the blog translation:

And so on. Google for more if you like – there’s been produced lots of such maps over the last 10 years, covering various aspects.

It is not difficult to notice a fault line has long been established and all political upheavals have definitely weak influence on it. Neither
Yushchenko’s victory in 2004, nor Yanukovich’s victory in 2009 could change anything. And even if Ukraine joins the EU or the Customs Union, nothing is going to changes. This structural break in the case of Ukraine is unavoidable, and sooner or later will lead to its complete destruction, where the fault lines will serve as possible borders between two or more parts, defined by the economy, politics, culture and language. This is not some news and is regularly mulled over in Ukrainian political establishment, where, as a possible panacea such a scenario, which is constantly hanging over Ukraine, there are proposed various federation or even confederation schemes, in order to keep the current territories in some unified framework.

(Possible federative structure of Ukraine)

To me it seems that the design is unstable at the foundation and will inevitably fall with the destruction of the current world order, which provides a formal safety for the existing borders.

Altogether, all of this could seamlessly coexist within the Soviet model, where the issues of religious, ethnic and linguistic strife,
did not have much importance, and Ukraine was strictly economically integrated into a single economic organism of the USSR. In terms of language and
culture in Ukraine in Soviet times, both Russian as a state language and Ukrainian, as part of the local culture, coexisted organically. Citizens of the UkSSR were primarily Soviet citizens, and only then Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Tatars, Greeks. When a single body of the Soviet Union was destroyed, all
that organically coexisted in the UkSSR, could no longer get along, and that leads to permanent conflicts through political, economics, religion, language. Capitalism cannot solve these problems within the framework of Ukraine, that’s why the conflict is permanent and unsolveable it in the current
Ukraine. I hope it will make more clear to fiend in Russia why what happens in Ukraine does so year after year.

(The population of Ukraine in millions of people. The population count fell by 6 million people.)

Population decreased from nearly 52 million to 45, even though in most complex demographic period during the 30s, which accounted for famine and repressions, Ukraine’s population continued to grow. While now, during 20 years of freedom and independence, without GULAGs and Stalin, the population is
reduced by more than 7 million people.

(Population forecast – And this is not the limit!)

According to forecasts, by 2050 it is reduced to 25-26 million and there are more even pessimistic forecasts on on the topic of total extinction of Ukrainians as a nation by the start of the XXII century.

A considerable part of the working population works abroad because in the country either does not have work to give or the pay is inadequate. Proceeds from migrant workers make up a significant portion of GDP Ukraine, which from the industrial republic turned into backward state, supplying the global market with cheap labour, besides the Ukrainian prostitutes that became canonical.

(Money transfers from abroad into Ukraine (red), vs transfers out of the country (green))

Over the last 20 years the country suffered economic losses comparable to the ones during the Nazi occupation (see

(The diagrams blow by how many times production of various goods reduced in Ukraine:)









Railway goods transportation
(Railway goods transportation)

Passenger aviation
(Passenger aviation)

Coal mining
(Coal mining)

Cast iron
(Cast iron)

House building velocity
(House building velocity)


Trucks and lorries
(Trucks and lorries)




(GDP of Ukraine reduced from 518 billion dollars to 337 billion dollars)

In this regard, the term “Two of Ukraine” carries a certain dualism – internal structure split into two roughly equal parts, reflects the effects of the transition from a socialist UkSSR to a capitalist “independent Ukraine”. USSR was not an ideal state and there was a lot of internal problems, but against the backdrop of the abominations that are being done on its territories for the last 22 years, those problems seemed far-fetched and ridiculous against the background of ethnic hatred, blatant social inequality and poverty, cultural and moral degradation and extinction of the population and many others
things that accompany capitalism. And those who in 1991 voted for the “independence”, to some extent, are reaping the fruits of their choice.

(Didn’t want to live in Republics? Then live in colonies.)

It’s not fair to those who voted against it, and those, like I, who could not take part in this choice. But anyway, the choice was made and the results are before us.

At the end of 2013 we got a chronically sick country split into two parts and a whole bunch of degradation trends in virtually all areas of socio-economic, cultural and scientific development. Therefore Ukraine naturally called a Failed State or colloquially TSM – temporary state misunderstanding. Sad, but a regular fate for the once-mighty Soviet republic mired in capitalist swamp.

Ukraine events resonating with Half-Life2, Harry Potter and Star Wars

I first posted these musings in a Bitcointalk thread.

With each passing week of Ukrainian events, I get a feeling that I have seen some elements of those events before, in popular culture. Namely, in two titles, that I quite like: in Harry Potter and in Half-Life2. Now before you call me mad… 🙂

The way Irina Farion of the Svoboda party has been going on about the Russian-speaking population of the South-Eastern regions calling them for cattle and creatures that need to be exterminated, along with any Ukrainian who supports them, resonates strongly with Death Eater propaganda on Muggleborns, “Mudbloods”, who need to be exterminated and registered as creatures, along with any those supporting their rights, “Muggle-lovers”.

Farion’s own behaviour is best depicted in Helena Bonham Carter’s depiction of the psychotic female Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange.

And the whole Right Sector movement finds clear parallels with the Death Eaters in general.


Irina Farion = Bellatrix Lestrange
The simpering Dolores Umbridge (aka, the toad) = Victoria Nudelman (aka Nuland)
Fernier Greyback = Yarosh
Snatchers = National Guard
Death Eaters = Right Sector

For Half-Life2, I see parallels in the resistance fighting for freedom from an alien occupation, where some humans actually side with the aliens, with Dr. Breen being at the head of collaborationists, urging the resistance to lay down their weapons and accepts their fate in being “improved” by their extraterrestrial “benefectors”. The resistance are heavily outnumbered by both the alien technology and the collaborationist armed forces, the Overwatch, while in cities, the “peace” is kept by Civil Protection, cornering anyone whose look they don’t like. So my parallels there:

The Resistance = The Resistance
Dr.Breen = Turchinov/Yatsenjuk/Poroshenko
The Benefectors/Combine = USA/NATO
The Overwatch = National Guard
Civil Protection = Right Sector

Headcrabs = Nuland, McCain, Beiden
Headcrab hosts = Turchinov, Yatsenjuk

Some telling images from the game, is when the resistance members fight a losing battle against armoured vehicles, screaming “Get the hell out of here” at the aggressors, while Dr. Breen’s voice in the background urges everyone to accept the benefits from “our benefectors” – to become improved transhumans.

Furthermore, the events of game take place in an unspecified Eastern-European county, where the lettering on the signs is written in Cyrillic, often in Russian. Game developers said they did not pinpoint any specific country, but rather created an amalgam of the region. However, in Half-Life2 Episode 2 the player enters a coal mine, which name is “Шахта Победы”, “Victory Mine”, or more precisely in the general context of Eastern Europe “Mine, commemorating in name the WWII Victory”. Coal Mine? A name in Russian? In my mind I now place the events in the area of Mariupol, as the game also features extended coastline in a shallow sea, Azov…

Think also of the Odessa Massacre and compare images from there to the burn corpses of the resistance members, who dared oppose the Combine and were exterminated. Or of Barney, on a com channel, telling the player of the dire situation they are in, saying they are being shelled, and then screaming “Oh, shit! Incoming!” and compare it Slavjansk, Lugansk and Donetsk…

In Star Wars, I see clear parallels with Episodes 1 and 2. Remember, how in Episode 1, the Naboo (Novorossia) is under siege by the Banker’s clan (IMF/US). The situation is discussed in the Galactic Senate (UN) at a snail’s pace. Princess Amidala breaks through the blockade to speak for the planet in the council, exclaiming that people there are dying, while a finer points of politics are being discussed.

In Episode 2, the now grown-up Anakin has a profound conversation with Amidala about the merits of dictatorship and how they are watching the process of a democracy (The galactic Senate, but think US in this context), turning into a dictatorship (and in our world, the real dictator, just as Palpatine, still remains in the shadows).

I just got a new connotation to Star-Wars. With the latest escalation of aggression from the Washington-backed Kiev fascists, I have a feeling that Yoda-Putin is going to send some Jedi Knights to Naboorossia (Novorossia) to help freedom fighters there break the American Trade Federation blockade.

Can anyone name any other resonance points? In other popular culture items?

Is the West gearing up to invade Russia once again?

Starting in April 2014, I started a topic under the same name in the Politics & Society section of Bitcointalk forum. There were some telling signs of warmongering in the air. And those signs are only getting clearer and stronger. I present here a consolidated and expanded version of my posts in that thread.

But first, here are a few links on this topic that I came across – it’s not only me, who feels that the war is in the air:

A few days ago I watched a 2-year old Russian documentary, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812, about the information war, waged before and during the French invasion of Russia in 1812. The Film is called “The War of 1812. The First information War”.

The film revolves around the report by Polish General Michal Sokolnitsky that was presented to Napoleon on the 10th of February 1812 and discovered in French military archives in 1996. The report details how Napoleon should proceed conquering and dividing Russia, how to use locals. The plans for compartmentalisation of Russia were well-defined. South-Western Russia (including Crimea), would become French state of Napoleonida, with Poland expanded South and several French or Polish-governed counties created as buffers. Napoleon went along with the plans, with the slight alteration – he intended to rally Poles and use them as the frontal strike force, commonly known as cannon Fodder.

What struck me the most was the bit that said that Napoleon should ensure setting Ukraine and Russia head to head against each other, and should bribe Don Cossacks, as they hate Russians. Napoleon discovered belatedly that this was not the case.

Napoleon, prior to the military campaign, ran a massive information/propaganda war in Europe, centralising control of most of the newspapers in his hands, and portraying Russia as someone on the verge of conquering the whole Europe, so it was only right for him, Napoleon, to strike pre-emptively first. At the same time, and to that end, he invented the fake Testament of Peter the Great. This “testament” was subsequently used prior to invasion of Russia in WWI and WWII.

I am seeing similar patterns now: An uprising of Russophobic press in Western mass media, depicting Russia as an aggressor, poised to take over the Europe. When passing through Great Britain the other week, I saw a cover of one of the magazines, showing a stylized map of Russia as a red bear with gaping maw, swallowing Ukraine, and the big captions title “INSATIABLE!”. Next will come (or already coming) calls to isolate, sanction and pre-emptively strike Russia, “for the good of Europe”.

Here is a report on that “Insatiable” cover

Before 1941 there were also “worried” calls that Soviet Union has too many troops on its Western borders, and that it should pull back. This time, it seems Putin is not as stupid as Stalin was. At the same time NATO pulls its military closer to Russia, relocating more and more troops to its old and newly conquered bases in Baltics, Poland, Yugoslavia (Black Sea), and Georgia.

It feels like a great war is in the air and NATO is pushing hard for a trigger, seemingly having slated Ukraine to play such role. This would explain why NATO consequently ignores Russia’s calls for de-escalation of the tension in Ukraine and demands that US brings their puppets in Kiev to heel.

If I start seeing mentions of the Testament of Peter the Great in the Western media, then I will know for sure that war is only a few months or weeks away…

I came across an interesting article to this effect (it seems to be Google-translated from Polish):
Cancelled … Napoleonida of Donetsk Oblast and Crimea (WebArchived version as the original disappeared after the 12th of April 2021)

Grey – Give to Poland
Red – The Duchy of Poltava
Green – The Duchy of Chernigov
Yellow – The State of Napoleonida
Biege – Didn’t partition

I then wrote a reply expanding on perception of Russia through a Russophobe’s glasses:

First, regarding Crimea and Putin’s popularity, you put the cart in front of the horse. The popularity ratings rose after Putin defended Crimea and Russian interests there. People still remember drunkard Yeltsin’s lack of action there, when Crimea voted for independence and asked Russia for support and reunification in 1990’s.

Before I answer further, as I said before, I am Russian, but I live in the West and see how Russophobe atmosphere is being imposed. Balthazar is from Ukraine, so though I don’t know his nationality, for all intents and purposes, he’s Russian.

Now, to the question of hatred. If you go to Russia, you’ll see little hatred. You’ll see friendliness and willingness to help. The concept of hatred is being touted most in the Western media. What you take for hatred, is defensiveness. Historically, each time Russia started to get demonised, when Russophobic ideas were starting to get mainstream in the West, it was a signal preceding an invasion of Russia. The more known cases is 1812, 1914, 1941. So forgive Russians for not forgetting their history.

What happens next is that Russia closes down, takes a defensive stance, seeing Russophobic rhetoric from outside, people unite, expecting a physical attack. This is then further used by the West to show Russians as “barbaric” in Napoleon’s and Hitler’s terms, a nation that needs to be cleaned out or subjugated for it’s own and Europe’s good. (People tend to forget afterwards that for example “civilized” Napoleonic army left Moscow in ruins in 1812, while “barbaric” Russians in 1814 behaved cordially and with honour in conquered Paris.)

Russia tries to be open, friendly (Olympics, Eurovision (read the lyrics of the song from Russia – it resonates deeply with how Russians want the world to see them)), but each time they are slammed down, and as a result close up.

Now to the question of gay. As another poster said, no one in Russia cares what they do in their private life and that was the state of affairs until the West started “protecting” their rights. All this publicity is doing them a disservice. First the law is not “anti-gay”, but “anti-commercial of gay propaganda directed at children”, often paid for by Western NGOs. Now, what happens. In the light of what I wrote above, when the West suddenly starts to demonise Russia on yet another front as “anti-gay”, people, who previously didn’t care what gay did, suddenly see that as yet another attack against Russia. Suddenly the gay guy next door, who is an OK bloke is seen as a hand of the West in its attempt to destabilise Russia. Suddenly people turn on the gay – some verbally, while the more extremist factions, physically. This gets touted in the Western media as further proof of Russia being anti-gay, and generally anti-World, and the vicious cycle get reinforced.

What I wrote above had been said many times before, but patience is a finite resource. I think I have more of it than most, and even my patience is running thin. One can write only so many polite responses refuting the misconceptions, before you take the national way of dealing with external assaults, by becoming passive aggressive and telling the world to shut up and mind its own business, while closing in yourself (and if the word decides to attack, you take to the arms).

The most known saying in Russia, attributed to Aleksandr Nevskij in 1240: “He who comes to Russia with a sword will die by the sword”. He allegedly said it in the context of releasing war prisoners, telling them “Go to the foreign part and tell everyone that Russia is alive. Let everyone come as guests to us without fear. Yet anyone who comes to us with a sword will die by the sword. The Russian land has stood on this pillar, and will continue to stand on it.” The historical accuracy of this statement of the context can be disputed, however the core meaning is very much valid today.

Having grown in the West I see the need to be more verbal in addressing the problems, in trying to bring forth understanding, so as to prevent conflicts.

The years before the Crimean War of 1854 saw some of the same russophobic propaganda as we see today.

First, on to another small historical tour. This time to 1854, when the Crimean War began with the invasion by French and British troops. The following is a translation from the following Wikipedia article:

A few years before the Crimean War (in 1848), Karl Marx, who himself actively published own works in Western press, wrote that for a German newspaper to save liberal reputation, it was necessary to “timely to show hatred for all Russian”.

Engels in several articles in the British press published in the March-April 1853, accused Russia of an intention to capture Constantinople, although it was well known that the Russian ultimatum of February 1853 contained no territorial claims against Turkey. In another article (April 1853), Marx and Engels blamed Serbs for not wanting to read books printed with Latin letters in their own language in the West, and read only the books in the Cyrillic alphabet, printed in Russia; and rejoiced that an “anti-Russian Progressive Party” finally appeared in Serbia.

[ It is ironic (or maybe not, given Lenin’s own hatred for all that is Russian, that Marx’ and Engels’ works became the cornerstone books for the Soviet Union’ communism – what better way to bestow harm on Russian people.) ]

In the same 1853 the British liberal newspaper Daily News, assured its readers that Christians in the Ottoman Empire enjoyed greater religious freedom than in the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Austria.

In 1854 the London “Times” wrote: “It would be good to bring Russia back to the ploughing of internal land, to drive the Muscovites deep into the forests and steppes.” In the same year D.Rassel, leader of the House of Commons and the head of the Liberal Party, said: “We have to pry the bear’s teeth … While his fleet and naval arsenal on the Black Sea is not destroyed, Constantinople will not be safe and there will not be any peace in Europe”

[ Sounds familiar, eh? ]

Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev wrote the following as a response to all this:

Long ago was it possible to foresee that this rabid hatred against Russia that with each passing year was more and more kindled in the West, will once escape from the leash. This moment is upon us … This is the moment when entire West came to show his denial of Russia and block her path to the future.

And just a thought…
1854 – Fierce battles to keep Crimea.
1944, 90 years later – fierce battles to free Crimea from the German occupation.
1954, 10 years later – Khrusjov just hands Crimea over without asking Russia.
2014, 60 years later, Crimea is returned, without battles this time (unless NATO is planning something).

In June the stand-off escalated, with multiple cases of Ukrainian military staging provocations on Russian territory, such as driving in on APCs or shelling with artillery. This is how the pre-WWII state was on the German-Soviet borders, with Soviet forces being under strict order not to respond to any provocations from the German side. Here is the latest one.

Newly, some congressmen, associated with American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC launched a senate bill proposal, titled S.2277 – Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014. It should be read in Orwellian doublespeak.

After a long range of artillery shelling provocations, today so the first death on Russian soil.

Now with the latest False Flag – Shooting of Malaysian Flight MH-17, we are one step closer to WWIII. Here is a very good analytical article by Lada Ray: Urgent: Fast Track to WWIII? “USA’s Goal Is to Overturn Putin.”

Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future? – By Paul Craig Roberts (The Russian government and Europe need to look beyond Washington’s propaganda, because the reality is much worst Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future?)

Russian Aggression Prevention Act Seems Designed to Provoke Russian Aggression
Putin-Vertrauter: „Es wird Krieg in Europa geben“ (Putin’s confidant: “There will be war in Europe”)

World War 3: why Russia and Syria are being targeted

Velvet Divorce?

This is a translation from Russian of an article by Georgij Zotov, published in the international paper edition of Argumenty i Fakty #7/2014. Yanukovich is still the president, but the coup is being fostered by Washington. Zotov takes a look at what would happen, and as we can now see, his predictions turned to be pretty accurate.

Velvet Divorce?

“The Battle for Kiev” may end up with break-up of the country

What happens if during the overthrow of Yanukovych, an anti-Russian regime comes to power? Will the republic split up (as it is predicted for her since 1991) into two parts? “AIF” observer considered both versions of events.

My Ukrainian friend, a businessman from Lugansk, is extremely dissatisfied with the behaviour of the Russian customs. The day before, his truck with candy stuck on the border with the Russian Federation – and perhaps will stand there for ten more days. My friend (a big supporter of Maidan) is terribly outraged by this fact, because it incurs losses. “Listen, you’re a fan of Ukraine’s rapprochement with the European Union, friends say ironically to him. – You could have sold all of the West.” “What do you mean?” the businessman is genuinely surprised “You can’t just like that wedge into a European market.” While stores in Russia, taking cheap Ukrainian candy, started making smaller purchases of Russian ones. So I’ll say a blasphemous thing that will not be to everyone’s taste: our economy will BENEFIT from establishing an anti-Russian government in Kiev.

Visas, gas and guest workers

In 2005 a protege of the West, Viktor Yushchenko, became the President of Ukraine. Previously Ukrainians were buying gas at a ridiculous rate – $50 per thousand cubic meters. After a quarrel with Russia they began to pay $95, and then – both $200 and $300(!): of course, our budget just benefited from that. Let’s say the West will displace Yanukovych. And what do we get from from that? Only positive things! A 30% discount on gas will be cancelled. Moscow will certainly refuse to grant Ukraine promised billions of dollars that are so necessary for a moribund local economy. One of the activists of the maidan, the leader of “Freedom” party Oleg Tyagnybok promises to introduce a visa regime with Russia – and it’s even more wonderful. Russian Federation will get a chance to send home two million Ukrainian guest workers, and the treasury of Ukraine will lose money from our tourists – the Russians, who represent half of holidaymakers in Crimea and Odessa, will leave for Sochi. I have already said, Yanukovych calls himself “our guy” in words only, but for Russia there is zero benefit from him: only the endless requests for discounts, cheap loans and deferred payments for gas. With friends like that one does not need enemies.

It is now customary to blame Americans, but for every dollar they invested abroad, United States receive five by skinning “friendly” country on a percentage basis. We do friendship with neighbours by a simple scheme: distributing a lot of money, and in return we get anti-Russian demonstrations. Thus, if the power in Kiev suddenly changes, we will only get richer. And yes, I personally support Ukraine’s rapprochement with Europe. Maybe then they will blame their woes on EU, not Russia.
Meanwhile bloody clashes in the capital caused a split among the citizens of the republic. Even the Ministry of Defence has recently made a strong statement that “recent events lead to the total collapse of the country.” Could it happen? Yes, definitely.

“Soviets” against “Banderas”

– I’ve always been a supporter of a unified Ukraine – explains to me Andrew, a bank employee in Kiev. – But now I started thinking: maybe it’s really easier for us to split? For 22 years we drown in corruption, poverty and lawlessness, nothing changes. Both the West and the East will always vote for their candidate: no matter good or bad, they just need to be a “Westerner” or “Donetsk-guy”. Ukrainians simply torment each other.
That’s right. While in Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil crowd stormed the regional administration, in Donetsk and Odessa, where “Euromaidan” saw 500 people gathered, the police had to protect the protesters. The theme “let them go, will live without them” recently became popular not only in the East but in the West of Ukraine. People are frankly tired of the eternal confrontation between the two parts of the Republic: a different mentality, different moods, different tastes. The point of no return has been passed. In Lviv, many demonstrators interviewed by reporters, snapped: “let ‘normal people’ go to Europe, and ‘soviets’ stay with Moskals”. In Donetsk, the public thinks like: “let ‘Banderas’ go to Germans to wash toilets, we are better off with Russia”. Actually, Ukraine is already broken, but what would happen if it splits officially? Alas, nothing good for us. Where should Transcarpathia go, where in the last election 42% voted for Yanukovych, and how to divide the Kirovograd, where supporters and opponents of the current government are represented equally? This means war – we risk the influx of millions of refugees. But even if the separation of Ukraine will happen as in the “velvet divorce” of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Russian Federation still can not avoid a headache.

“Crimea and Odessa will fall off”

As Ukrainian sceptics predict, the first to fall off will be Crimea, after it – Donetsk, Odessa, Kharkiv, and all the rest. “There is a high probability that there will soon organize a referendum and the people will vote for “an alliance with Russia.” Is there a catch? Moral – no doubt. As for the rest… Ukraine – a poor country, industry and economics remained at the level of the eighties. It’s a difficult task to restore foreign factories and coal mines of Donbass, while Kuzbass own mines are not in the best state. Yes, and how much money will one need for that? Germany has spent on the restoration of the GDR 1 trillion 250 billion Euros(!), but still, after 25 years, they have not managed to pulled East Germany to their standard of living. In general, it is not unambiguous – and we cannot approach it purely with the slogan, “Oh, we finally return Crimea!”.

In 2005 Yanukovych lost the election, Yushchenko became president. And in 2010, the people voted for Yanukovych again, because the economy has tanked to hell… Yushchenko received 5% of the vote. Now carousel turns again. It is possible that the armchair of the head of Ukraine will become occupied by a candidate with support from the U.S. and the EU – only to fail 5 years later at the next elections in the impoverished country. And on whom shall we bet then? Perhaps, sane politicians who provide friendship with Russia, not in words but in deeds.
Meanwhile, the rebellious nationalists in Kiev should really think. It is not “Moskal’s agents,” but the rejection of federal arrangement, persistent disregard for the interests of the East, the unwillingness to recognize the importance of the Russian language that in the end led to chaos in Ukraine and the collapse of the state into two separate parts. However, will someone on Maidan dare to admit it?

The Third Gas War: EU and US must pay for their “successes” in Ukraine

This is a translation from Russian of an article by Evgenij Pozhidaev, originally found here. The article gives a good overview of the history in Ukrainian-Russain gas relations. It was published on the 25th of April 2014. The article is speed-translated using Google translate and then extensively edited, making it human-readable.

An in-depth analysis of the latest events in this gas war can be read in superb blog post by Lada Ray – Gas Wars: Why Is Ukraine Refusing to Pay for Russian Gas?, “Ukraine wants communism, not capitalism, when it comes to gas” and Lada Ray: Urgent! Gas Wars: Why Is Ukraine Refusing to Pay for Russian Gas? June 14, 2014.

As I was translating this, the Supreme Court of Ukraine stated that Timoshenko is innocent of all gas-related charges against her, effectively legitimizing the gas theft schemes she was involved in.

After the translation of the article, I jotted a few highlights from the latest development.

The Third Gas War: EU and US must pay for their “successes” in Ukraine

So, Russia and Ukraine are on the brink of the next (third) gas war. The gas conflict receded into the background, against the backdrop of the “hot” fighting and repression in the South East, however, it may leave a long-lasting and even larger impact on the Ukrainian political landscape. We begin with a retrospective – especially as gas wars long since became part of the Ukrainian political mythology, the main character of which is a sinister totalitarian neighbour strangling young democracy and not allowing it to achieve great success and genuine European prosperity.

The reality is somewhat different. The History of the Russian-Ukrainian gas relations, is a history where the Ukrainian side always gets what he wants, but the final result is always not to its liking. So, in 2005, Ukraine was bathed in cheap gas. Back then there was a contract that was supposed to operate until 2013, provided for a fixed price of $50 per thousand cubic meters, plus a payment “in kind” for transit, which gave Ukraine 19.7 billion cubic meters at in fact even lower prices.

A second supplier, who successfully uses Russian gas transport system was Turkmenistan, which for lack of other buyers except for Russia and Ukraine sold its gas at $40 – $42. In other words, the claim that Ukraine received gas at $50, is in fact stretch the truth – on average, it was significantly cheaper. In addition “Gazprom” turned a blind eye on re-export. In reality it was a subsidy, which provided the Ukrainian economy is very rapid growth, a positive trade balance and other positive trends in the epoch of late Kuchma. In general, it has been more than generous fee for non-aligned status of Ukraine and relative loyalty – nothing else was required from Ukraine.

However, in 2005 the first Maidan happened. Yushchenko administration made clear pro-Western choice, which was to be paid out of pocket of Moskals that were “robbing” Ukraine. The winning tandem requested the average European price for transit and tore up the contract with “Gazprom”. In response to the monopoly proposed an average European price for gas, which by that time was $160 – $170 per thousand cubic meters. Ukrainian side tried to return to the previous agreements – but it was too late. Negotiations dragged on – and meanwhile, the average European price rose to $220 – $230. Giving maximum and indefinite subsidies to the westernized Kiev power was not in anybody’s plans, and in January 2006 Russia simply turned off the gas flow.

Eventually the price ended up being $98 – still more than the reduced price (for the Baltic States, it was $126), 9 billion cubic meters, which could be bought for payment for transit in monetary equivalent at about 1.5 times the discounted price for it, and the debt of $1.2 billion. That was a turning point in the development of rather quickly growing Ukrainian economy – from this point on the trade balance becomes negative. Nevertheless, it is still subsadies. The problem is that under the agreement the Ukrainian side imposed upon “Gazprom” and the Turkmens, a mediator in the for of the office called “RosUkrEnergo” (RUE), where the Russian gas monopoly indirectly (through “Gazprombank“) owned only 50%. The rest went to Dmitry Firtash and Ivan Fursin. At the same time, behind Firtash’s back was none other as Semyon Mogilevich (one of the leaders of Solntsevskaya gang arrested by FSB in 2008, without being able provide convicting evidence, the U.S. FBI asks for the information leading to his arrest $100.000). As a result, instead of $98, Ukraine received gas all at the same average European price of $230.

Next we delve into the abyss of WikiLeaks, and to be more precise into the report of the then U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor‘s meeting with Firtash in 2008. “During the meeting, which lasted two and a half hours, Firtash told the Ambassador that he was a non-public person who has recently increasingly began to dabble in Ukrainian politics. He acknowledged that he “faithfully served” President Yushchenko as an informal adviser during the tense gas negotiations with Russia and political crisis during the “orange revolution” in 2004. He reported that at the request of the President he met Yushchenko three times at his country house last week.” This is confirmed by the former head of the secretariat of Yushchenko Oleg Rybachuk. “I do not know how often they met at the private residence of the president, but as a colleagues told me, he took a very active part in the negotiations.”

“Many a time I started conversations with the president that the gas scheme involving “RosUkrEnergo” is unacceptable. And each time in response Viktor Andreevich remained silent and looked away. According to many years’ experience of communication with him, this reaction I know very well: Yushchenko remains silent if he is not agreeing with your arguments, but can not convincingly argue.” Apparently at about this moment a strong idiosyncrasy about Maidan formed in Moscow, because stealing at the same scale as this team was doing seemed simply impossible.

Yulia Tymoshenko, who just returned to power in 2007, watched the business of her competitors with equal scepticism, and in 2008 RUE got equidistant from Russian gas trade. However, the middle man had by that time accumulated debts of $2.4 billion – and the Kremlin demanded payment, simultaneously placing Firtash and Fursin on the Federal wanted list. Here ends the touching agreement between Miller and Ukrainian “gas goddess” – despite the fact that Yushchenko acknowledged the debt (naturally blaming the Prime minister to it), Tymoshenko refused to pay, saying that it was not the debt of the state, but of RUE.

At the same time Yushchenko tried to return the scheme into the game. “RosUkrEnergo” suggested price of $285 versus $235 from “Naftogaz” (“Gazprom” wanted to receive $250), but Moscow has looked askance at Firtash, preferring a formula – less money, but more transparent scheme. The reaction by President Yushchenko regarding the losses sustained by the billionaire cruel mockery of the crystal honest Ukrainian businessman was tough and unambiguous – he withdrew from the negotiations the delegation of… “Naftogaz”; the latter refused to guarantee transit. Yushchenko and Firtash wanted money at any cost – and the lack of flexibility of the Kremlin has caused their sincere bewilderment.

As a result, on January the 1st, 2009 Russia again stopped gas supplies to Ukraine. “The war”, accompanied by shameless gas extraction by the “Ukrainian partners,” continued until January 19th. In, general, during this remarkable saga, one can watch all Ukrainian classical tricks – blackmail by transit, howls of European officials, statements from Kiev politicians that Russia is robbing Ukraine, appointing non-market prices (in fact constituted the then $320), the requirements of the “technological” gas for free (i.e. gratis) with full gas storage facilities and ultra-patriotic propaganda (Yushchenko: “this is a blackmail of each of you”, “one of the forms to put your existence, stability at greater risk”). The end result was an agreement, according to which gas prices are tied to oil prices (more precisely, on petroleum products – gasoil and fuel oil) with quarterly revisions – i.e. according to common European formula, adopted back in 1960 with the filing of the Dutch government. Obviously, it seemed profitable to the Ukrainian side – in early 2009, of the price per barrel collapsed to $33.67, and Kiev believed it was going to last for a long time. An additional “carrot” was a 20% discount for a year – the southwestern neighbour was given time to improve energy efficiency. Anyway, in 2009, the scheme worked – gas cost Ukraine $228 per thousand cubic meters, almost twice cheaper than less “advanced” users; it de facto meant a subsidy worth about $5 billion. However Firtash-Yushchenko tandem failed to put back into play RosUkrEnergo. Firtash was left profiteering from “Naftogaz” – the latter, while carefully playing a losing game in courts,” presented him in 2010-2012 gas for about $5 billion.

It’s easy to imagine what happened next. Already in the beginning of 2010 it became clear that Kiev traditionally tricked myself – the price of oil topped $80, and gas prices were pulled up after them; in the meantime the term of the discount has expired, and yet in 2009, Ukraine is not at all engaged in improving energy efficiency. As a result, in the first quarter of 2010 the price of gas for Ukraine was $300 – $310 (the average in Europe – $308). When Yanukovych administration came to power, it suddenly realized that Putin-Tymoshenko agreement was “criminal”, and the price – of course, “not a market one”. The result was the Kharkov agreements – in exchange for extension of the Black Sea Fleet stay in Sevastopol until 2042, Kyiv received a 30% discount, which, however, could not exceed $100. In other words, prices returned back to year 2009, continuing to subsidize the Ukrainian economy – that has not prevented Ukrainian politicians to sing a traditional song about the robbery of the free state (thus, Arsenij Yatsenyuk claimed that European countries pay for gas $170 – $220; quite typical case of shameless lies).

By the end of the year the chorus of opposition was joint by the sitting power – the prices rose to $256.7 per thousand cubic meters, and Yanukovych administration again suddenly realized that it signed a contract which is “non market priced”. Kiev began to seek additional discounts – but Moscow has managed to sort out what kind of bird this “protege of Donetsk” is. Kremlin was not going to reduce the prices compared to the average European, only to see further movement towards Euro-shljahta an not keeping the “pro-Russian” promises, so the contract was not revised.

Since then, the Kiev authorities had three main activities:
a) expensive and pointless projects to reduce gas dependence on Russia
b) attempts to finally obtain discounts
c) agitation and propaganda – so that the vast majority of Ukrainians believe that they get “the most expensive gas in Europe.”

Let us consider the last point in more detail. Ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was the one starting the saga of “the most expensive gas” by regularly playing this thesis for several years from the end of 2010. As an example, a quote of 2011: “Ukraine receives gas from the Tymoshenko’ formula considerably more expensive than Germany receives its gas, much more expensive than it is received by Poland. Is that normal? Does that fit into a strategic partnership? And by and large, Russia will have agree with us.” In reality, at the time of pronouncing this perturbed rants, Germany received gas at $355, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia – for $340 – $360, Ukraine – to $295. Azarov, to put it mildly, was engaged in manipulation – “forgetting” about the discount and the transport component and pointing to the base price of gas, which existed only on paper. Over time it has become a common practice in the Ukrainian establishment – thus, speaking in the early 2013th, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Vladimir Makuha dutifully alerted the world that in 2012 Ukraine bought gas at $416 – $426, and in the first quarter of next year – for $432. It’s hardly necessary to specify that such prices for Ukraine have never existed. Such was the general style of negotiation and propaganda attacks, which expectedly did not lead to any results over the span of three years.

Anyway, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is absolutely right: the history of gas relations between Russia and Ukraine – is the story of endless subsidies of the Ukrainian economy, gradually reduced by a Ukrainian initiative, through parasitism of local “elites”, which actually put a tribute on Russian Federation, and mortal offences taken by Kiev over whether that subsidies are inadequate, and parasitism which went by without enough punishment. Of course, this was conducted against the backdrop of the shouts of patriotic Ukrainian public, which was strongly offended by “Moskal’s” for the fact that they do not let Firtash, Mogilevich, Tymoshenko and others to profit on that very same public.

What came next is known well enough – Ukrainian collapsing economy still got gas at $268 per thousand cubic meters (the highest price in 2013 was $398) and credit to pay for the accumulated gas debt. For comparison – the average price for Italy in 2013 was $418, Germany – $479 France – $555. Relatively cheap gas was supplied to Turkey, with which “Gazprom” signed a 25-year contract ($388) and Britain ($330), where the gas monopoly, obviously, made a bid to actively expand its market share.

In other words, by any standards, Ukraine received ultra-subsidised price – but, of course, Moscow did see even a shade of gratitude (conscious Ukrainian patriots immediately concluded that the $268 – this is a market, and the previous price was overstated). These rates remained also after the February coup – Russia dutifully supplied gas throughout the first quarter, and continues to deliver it now. Meanwhile, Kiev regime completely stopped the payments from the second half of February – even though only half of the provided loan was used for the payment. As a result, only in March Ukraine’s debt increased by $550 million, reaching $2.2 billion. We were actually pronsoting and are still sponsoring a regime that is hostile towards Russia.

On April the 1st, “Gazprom” announced the cancellation of “Yanukovych discounts” and price increases to $ 385.5 – officially because of default on repayment of principal and lack of payment of the current supply. On April the 3rd, Kharkov agreements were denounced and the price rose to $485. However, as explained by sources in Moscow, it was a preventive measure – price was slated to actually come closer to $500 in case of possible tricks from the Ukrainian side. On April the 7th came the deadline for March payments. In other words, the “cold” phase of the gas war began two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the reaction of Kiev became less and less adequate. On April the 4th Ukrainian profile Minister Yuriy Prodan said that the blame for not paying for gas lay on… Russia. “There were commitments agreement. Among these agreements in 2013 were also the obligations of the Russian side on granting Ukraine a loan of $15 billion, you know, the first part of the loan in December 2013 in the amount of $3 billion has been paid and has been received by Ukraine. Second part of the obligations matures in February 2014. The Russian side also pledged to give Ukraine a loan of $2 billion. Moreover, the obligations on the part of Ukraine – that Ukraine will pay the money as the corresponding payments for gas. Such were the arrangements. We seek confirmation of these arrangements formally in writing.” Thus Ukraine insisted on maintaining the same gas prices ($268). In other words, Moscow was offered to keep the massive subsidies and loans to new Ukrainian regime. The problem is that Russian Federation does not have and never had such obligation to credit [the new regime], linked to the gas contract.

On April the 5th Prodan still maintained that he’ll ensure the transit of gas to Europe regardless of the development of the “dialogue” with Russia, but then Ukraine’s position began to quickly evolve. Already on April the 8th, the Minister said that a price of $500 will be put transit in jeopardy and directly called the actions of the Russian Federation for economic war. The next day, the head of the National Bank of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv surprised financiers with a fresh discovery in the field of monetary policy, saying that Ukraine has “returned” the three billion Russian loan, paying it for the gas. First of all, what is notable here, is an alternative logic, according to which a loan spent is considered to be a loan returned. Second, there are the outright lies – only $1.6 billion were used to pay for the gas, while $1.4 billion disappeared in an unknown direction (obviously, this explains the sharp decline in the reduction of the gold reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU)). On the 9th the Ministry of Energy put its threats in effect, stopping pumping gas into underground storage (UGS) – something that virtually guaranteed transit disruptions. Kiev regime actually told Moscow to support them by resorting to the traditional transit blackmail. At the same time during a meeting in the Kremlin, it was agreed that Ukraine should be translated into an advance payment – that officially was possible to do from April the 17th; while the reason for disconnection of gas appeared from the 1st of May. Besides, the EU and the United States were offered to provide for “their bastards” themselves. Putin: “As you know, our partners in Europe recognize the legitimacy of the current Kiev authorities, but do nothing to support Ukraine. Not with one dollar, nor with one euro.”

Next, the following happened. Almost simultaneously the head of “Naftogaz” Andrew Kobolev directly linked the possibility of “repayment”, with retention of the old price. later a time frame was designated, within which there must be reached a new agreement – according to the local Department of Energy, in the event of disconnection of gas, Ukraine will be able to provide transit for three months from existing reserves.

Position of the EU and the IMF was more constructive. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger: “There is no reason to panic. I prepare a decision by which Ukraine is to pay to “Gazprom” from the package of credits allocated by the IMF, the ECB and the World Bank.” Later, the European Union issued two more conflicting signal. On the one hand, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso spoke out against the introduction of prepayment and actually laid on “Gazprom” the responsibility for providing transit. On the other, Oettinger reiterated his statement on the need to help Ukraine pay $2.2 billion gas debt. A similar statement was made by the head of the IMF’s External Relations Department Jerry Rice.

In parallel Russian Federation finalized the terms of financial assistance to Ukraine, which included constitutional reform, legitimate elections, the deescalation in the East and “legitimization of the situation around the Crimea.”

In other words, by the middle of last week, the situation looked like this. Kiev will not pay – even Turkish minimum (about $400 per thousand cubic meters) will result in a $12 billion. Together with debt payment ($10 billion) for this year, it will eat almost all western aid promises. The problem of the western adventure in Kiev is that it by default assumed that everything was paid for by the Russian Federation – which was pre-assigned to be the guilty side in the Ukrainian crisis. While the EU and Ukraine actually do not have three months to negotiate – in stores contain only 8 billion cubic meters of gas and it’s technologically extremely difficult to take it out completely. Ukraine in fact has no alternative sources of gas. With gas imports of about 30 billion cubic meters per year, the maximum possible amount of gas that can be supplied from Europe is 12 billion cubic meters. Slovakia accounting for 10 of them, and is not entirely positive to the prospect of doing reverse deliveries. The problem is that the new Ukrainian authorities are not ready to invest in the construction of appropriate infrastructure, nor guarantee its load. As a result, Slovakia without the consent of “Gazprom”, is ready to deliver only 3.2 billion cubic meters. At the same time the supply of 1 billion cubic meters of reverse deliveries in the past year allowed Ukraine to save only $34 million. If the situation is replayed, the savings will be penny-worth this year as well.

Even more absurd is the idea of ​​importing liquefied natural gas – Turkey has quite clearly stated that it will not allow LNGs to pass through the Bosporus. While LNG is extremely expensive – thus the gas from Qatar on 40-50% more expensive than Russian. In other words, Ukraine does not have any chance to get away from gas dependence.

Equally absurd is the rhetoric of the West and the Ukrainian establishment, threatening RF with isolation from the European gas market in the case of “incorrect” behaviour of Moscow. Consider the situation in more detail. The share of “Gazprom” exports to Europe in 2013 – 139.92 billion cubic meters per year. It is necessary to replace this volume. There are some possible sources of supply to Europe. The most publicized – the U.S., which are ready to start exporting LNG (their production is growing fast due to shale technologies), followed by Iran, Azerbaijan, Algeria and Qatar. Norway and the Netherlands are hopeless by default – Dutch reduce their production, exacerbating the shortage of its own gas to Europe, while Norwegians are simply not in a position to dramatically increase theirs, and after 2020 it will start to decline rapidly. At the same time, gas production in importing countries has been steadily declining (as in Germany it fell from 16.9 billion cubic meters in 2000 to 10.6 in 2011), and consumption is growing, in part due to “wrapping up” of nuclear energy.

So, consider the alternatives. Let’s start with Iran – the situation with them is extremely simple. Iran imposed an embargo on the sale of oil and gas to the EU at the beginning of 2013 in response to “hostile policy toward Iran” (in other words, sanctions). The gesture was largely symbolic, however, the same argument was repeated at the beginning of this year, when it was decided to lift the sanctions – but in a modified version. Now the reason for the embargo was a hostile policy towards Iran and… Russia. In parallel the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran made an unprecedented barter deal on oil supplies to Russia, bypassing the dollar settlements. In other words, firstly, the potential competitors get along well with each other. Secondly, the basic amounts of Iranian gas will be produced by Chinese companies and will go to China. The West cannot hope to sick Tehran and Moscow against each other – rather they’ll peacefully divide the European market. Further, Qatar at the moment just does not have the surplus gas (all the world supply of LNG – 120 billion cubic meters), and its exports mainly in Asia – at a very impressive price. As for Azerbaijan, the limit of its possibilities – about 4% of the European market. Algeria has only 4 trillion. cubic meters of gas reserves (about a seven-year consumption in Ukraine, or less than five years for Germany), and the existing pipeline network is able to provide only 47% of gas consumption in Spain.

In other words, the only chance in Europe – is the U.S., whose export potential is estimated at 200 billion cubic meters, while domestic prices are $135 U.S. per thousand cubic meters. However, there are a few ugly strokes in this positive picture that mess it up. In the short term, the massive gas export from the United States is not possible – currently they are a pure net importer (60 billion cubic meters from Canada), and they are not expected to reach self-sufficiency until 2017. Start of exports also does not promise Europeans a sea of ​​cheap gas. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in an interview with Czech television: “If we take the present value of gas in the U.S. market and add to this the costs of liquefaction, transportation, de-liquefaction, and possibly even for the construction of any pipeline, the price – if the gas will be delivered to the Czech Republic – will be about the same as you are paying now.” Meanwhile, the operations by minister with domestic U.S. prices sin with strong craftiness – they are radically underestimated. Shale gas production is now unprofitable. Thus, Royal Dutch Shell has written off $ 2.2 billion due to losses associated with the development of shale gas. A year earlier, shale project turned a 5 billion loss for BHP Billiton.

An increase of domestic gas prices in the U.S. is a matter of time, and it will be significant. The States will in the very near future be faced with a reduction in oil production and closure of a long series of nuclear reactors at their plants – and the “dropped out” energy will have to replaced with something. One should take into account the fact that the gas reserves, as shown by recent studies, have been overstated (by 7.5%). So: U.S. obviously will never be able to compete with Russia on the European gas market.

In other words, when making a choice between a gas war and subsidising of and anti-Russian regime in Kiev in general, and the bounty hunter for Russian citizens – Mr. Kolomoyskogo in particular, the Russian Federation should choose the gas war. The entire history of Russian-Ukrainian relations shows that subsidies to Kiev practically never brings political dividends – good intentions are nothing against a well-run propaganda machine. The EU and the U.S. should pay for their “successes” – and so dearly that they are not tempted to repeat them.

This concludes the original article. After it was written, a series of 8 rounds of negotiations followed, during which EU acted as a mediator and suggested the price of $385 per thousand cubic meters. The Ukrainian side sabotaged the negotiations in any way they could, on one occasion leaving the site and driving off in an unknown direction, presumably to receive further instructions from their Washington masters.

After all the efforts, Ukraine finally declined the EU-suggested price and refusing to pay back the debt, forcing Russia to file a law suite with the international court of appeals in Stockholm. Russian Federation was also forced to stop gas deliveries also this time – from the 16th of June Ukraine’s regime lives on stolen time.

In this regard, it is interesting to note a leaked telephone conversation between two high-ranking Ukrainian officials. It concerned the money provided by the U.S. to buy military equipment. U.S. demanded accountability, while the Ukrainians have already offshored half of the amount and were surprised that accountability was required. One of the officials said that they can use the money from the IMF loan that was earmarked for gas debt down-payment to make weapons purchases, and will simply “handle” Gazprom’s Miller, not paying for the gas.

The Wild-Wild West

This letter was printed in the #10/2014 international paper edition of Argumenty i Facty in Russian at the time when the Second Maidan was about to turn violent. It presents an interesting background view on the situation from a perspective of a person living in Kiev. Here is an English translation of the letter:

If someone says Ukraine nowadays, a word combination “West-East” is always attached to it.

I’ve lived in Kiev centre for 22 years. When I was 6, I for the first time went to the “west” with my parents – to Lvov, and asked in a shop there to sell me a bun. The female seller demonstratively didn’t hear me, as if I was speaking Chinese. A granny from the queue called me for “little moskal” (translator note: the term “moskal” is used by Western Ukrainian about all Easter Ukrainians and Russians and has the same connotation as British “Frogs” with regards to French of Mexican “Greengos” with regard to Americans). My mother, blushing brokenly translated my request to Ukrainian, and I got my bun after all, while at the same time taking away the feeling of a united and friendly Motherland.

Ukraine adjusted itself to its “wild-wild west” since 1939, the moment when the Western territories were officially ascended into USSR. “Western super race” dictates to the “grey central-eastern majority” (which in fact feeds it!) its rules and conditions, which became especially starkly apparent during Euromaidan. Over the course of a few months Westerners have defecated one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It’s doubtful if they’d allowed to pee in the yards of the “central houses” of Lvov.

In the Western Ukraine, the inter-national strife and fights were even more ruthless than in the Baltics. It’s especially remarkable that the “central Kievans” were repressed there even with more passion than, for example, Moscovites – only because in the Westerners’ view we lived in “undeserved chocolate” (translator note: “privilege”). All my trips to western Ukraine we always conducted in a state of extreme stress.

…Once we go to the ski resort of Jaremch, sent from the central Kiev House of Pioneers – during check in at the hotel we tell the receptionist that “we came from Ivano-Frankovshina” (translator note: the last word written in Ukrainian), so as to be housed without problems. In Kiev University we are forced to study the subject under the name of… “Basics of Ukrainian Nationalism”, which praises Stepan Bandera, and during the exams, the exemplary students are from “the west”.

Already one year ago I was listening to conversations about dividing Ukraine, and though: what nonsense is this? Yes, the west and the east are very different. But how can one imagine my country without the emerald slopes of the Carpathian mountains, the brown taste of Lvov coffee and ascent to the mountain Goverla – the highest point in Ukraine? After having be smoked in the hellish smoke of barricades, built by the westerners in Kiev, I suddenly realised – it’s possible! And quite probable it must be so – so that the westerners would finally realise what they had all these years from the hated by them “overDnieprjanshina”.

For the reference: Lvovsk, Ivano-Frankovsk, Ternopolsk, Volynsk and Rovensk regions, which contain 14% of Ukrainian populations stand for only 8%(!) of the industrial production of the country. Donetsk region alone, having only 10% of the Ukrainian population produces 21% of the industrial products! Therefore all speculations about the west separating from the east are nothing more than speculations. What will they live of? The GDP of the Greater Volyn is only 1.3% of the Ukraine’s GDP. The average salary in the west is the lowest in the country. The experts compare the economic development of the Carpathian soil to that of Zimbabwe! And the Western Ukraine has 7 times lower GDP comparing to that of Belarus, which Western Ukraine is comparable to in terms of population count.

— Oksana Sviridenko

I can add to that from the translator and observer perspective, that Donbass region transferred to the central government 95%-97% of the their income in the form of various taxes – in other words, only 3%-5% stayed in the region and could be used for its development. The main reason for federalisation, in addition to the right to use Russian as mother tongue, was fro the finances to stay in the region in greater proportion. Both requests shot down (literally) by the central government, which is comprised solely of westerners.

The Unreported War in Ukraine

This is a collection of links to sites, resource and video content that portrait what is happening in the East-Ukraine, the war, brutality, motives and backgrounds. The war raging in the centre of Europe in unreported and hidden from view by the Western media. I came across these links during my research of the problem, and will expand this list as time goes.

Kiev’s bloody eastern Ukraine campaign LIVE UPDATES

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