Ukraine: The Nuclear Answer to Chamberlain

16 September 2014 —

Translated by: Gleb Bazov – Edited by S. Naylor

91598.2The Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Geletei, has announced that Ukraine will choose to drop its nuclear-free status and arm its army with nuclear weapons in the event that “the world does not help [the country].” In Russia this announcement prompted a not-so-polite proposal that Geletei undergo psychiatric treatment; however this issue does not exist solely as a subject of the field of clinical research.

The United States can no longer simply withdraw from the situation in Ukraine. They already have a well-tested method of conflict intensification. This can be seen in the example of Syria: when frontal attack efforts turned out to be futile, the United States simply launched a new project – the Islamic State, thereby solving several related tasks. In the medium term this landmine will explode simply because all the conditions have been created. The goal of the United States now becomes to channel the energy of destruction, which is simply bursting out of the Islamic State. It appears that the regional players have already accepted such a development as given, and are actively trying to divert the coming explosion.

It would be impossible to repeat such a scenario in Ukraine—the potential of the Banderovtsy has nearly been exhausted. Moreover, the preparedness of the militants of Yarosh, Biletskiy, Lyashko, and all sorts of other Semenchenkos to wage Jihad is much lower. The army of Ukraine has almost completely ceased to exist – and, apparently, a sober assessment of its combat-worthiness is forcing Poroshenko to look for some other means of dealing with the Donbass problem. A sober assessment—by Ukrainian standards, of course, but even these standards do not allow Kiev to have any illusions.

Considering the fact that the Maidan and all the subsequent outrage are to a significant degree controlled from Washington (or from their embassy in Kiev, which, for Ukraine, is a congruent concept) no one is going to pass the reigns of control over the situation to the natives; regardless of any illusions that the natives may have on this issue.

At the same time, it must be understood that the Kiev authorities will not remove the Crimean question from the agenda—a consensus has been formed with respect to it, and the West simply will not allow such a perfect cause to disappear. It is not possible to frighten Russia with an army that for three months with difficulty fought with guerrillas and only on its last breath managed to crawl over its own corpses to reach some sort of acceptable operational results. An Islamic insurgency in Crimea is better in this regard, but Crimea is not Syria. It would be impossible to supply the rebels along the bottom of the sea. The people’s militias of Islamic militants cannot come ashore like the 33 Bogatyrs.

For this reason alone, despite a certain understanding that not all is really quite right with Geletei’s clinical presentation, it is still necessary to treat his words with a fair degree of caution. With his statement, the Minister of Defence exceeded his mandate twice or even three times, taking upon himself the responsibility carried only by the highest official in the country. At the same time, Poroshenko in no way corrected his presumptuous subordinate, which means at the very least that Geletei verbalized that which is already being actively discussed at the very top. And, possibly, even announced—in a controlled manner and under the guise of a reactive psychosis—that which Poroshenko is still unable to discuss publicly.

1395805757_5e666f7224b4e5da40dbdf57bb0231cd95ee5ba5In reality, the question appears to be purely technical in nature. The abandonment of the nuclear-free status can be initiated at any time; moreover, there is already a basis for it – the Budapest Memorandum, pursuant to which it was premised on guarantees of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Omitting the details of how exactly Kiev brought upon itself the loss of a part of its territory, the Junta could appeal to the international community that would treat with understanding the efforts of the offended young democracy to defend its violated rights.

With respect to the Budapest Memorandum, Russia, on March 4, 2014 declared at the highest level that, considering that fact that a coup d’état had taken place in Kiev, there is another state now in place of Ukraine, to which all previously executed agreements do not apply. The declaration was authoritative, but this is Russia’s point of view, and all the other signatories to the Memorandum have adopted a different position.

If the nuclear-free status is liquidated, then Ukraine will not even need to create its own nuclear weapons, even if theoretically it is still capable of such a feat—Ukraine can simply request them from the international community.

It is clear that under normal circumstances, the West would not have agreed to this under any conditions. Both Russia and China alike would react most severely to the idea of the transfer of nuclear weapons to a failed state. However, the circumstances are no longer normal. This is a pre-war situation, and the West is frankly engaging in a conflict by using a drugged-up halfwit as its champion in the war.

There is no doubt that the strategic situation on the Russian borders will change sharply if even ten tactical nuclear warheads are transferred to Ukraine. And it does not matter that the Ukrainian Tochka-U (SS-21) missiles look like the stale-in-the-heat unrecovered bodies of the punitive troops. If it comes to the transfer of warheads, delivery vehicles will also be donated to Ukraine. It is also clear that the Ukrainians will not be allowed to staff or to command all these systems, although there is always the option of issuing Ukrainian passports to some Ukrainian-speaking American or Canadian citizens to address this problem.

In essence, such an operation would be analogous to the Syrian one. The conflict will be given a second wind by the introduction of new (or, rather, of qualitatively strengthened) participants. No one will allow Ukraine to return to civilian life—the claw has stuck. The current Nazi authorities have proven that they will, without flinching, apply any type of weapon to anybody, including its own civilians. Would they be prepared, in demanding the return of Crimea, to threaten Russia with these weapons? It is quite possible. Especially if the West supports it in this undertaking by threatening to respond to Russia’s counterstrike with its own arsenal. This would be a game of nerves, and it is quite uncertain how strong they are in the Russian leadership.

Nuclear weapons in this case would become an entirely adequate analogue of the Islamic State—only this time for Ukraine.

In other words, it makes sense to take Geletei’s words with a grain of salt, but without dismissing him as a complete fool. He may, in fact, be a fool, but the same does not necessarily apply to his words.

By the way, a few months ago my friend from Kiev warned about such a development. At that time, his statements were received very skeptically by those who commented on his message. Something tells me that this time around the number of skeptics will be somewhat smaller.

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