by Finian Cunningham, Strategic Culture
At the World Economic Forum last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel let the cat out of the bag with her sly offer, or rather bribe, to Russia. The German leader told delegates in Davos that European Union sanctions on Russia would be lifted in exchange for a «peace deal» in Ukraine. She promised a «free trade pact from Lisbon to Vladivostok».
That’s a bit rich coming from the bankrupt EU, but nevertheless let’s accept the assumption that Frau Merkel is offering something very juicy. Why would she do that, and right at this time when civilians are being massacred in eastern Ukraine?
In other words, Merkel is saying if Moscow capitulates to Western objectives of ceding Ukraine to its full political, economic and military control, then Russia will be «paid off» with respite from Western sanctions and can look forward to a tantalising free trade «happy ending» with the EU. How generous of Frau Merkel!
The Russian-speaking population of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas regions will then be abandoned to their fate of accepting the legitimacy of the Western-installed Kiev regime.
The New York Times spelled out the reasoning further in an article at the weekend headlined: ‘War Is Exploding Anew in Ukraine; Rebels Vow More’. The Times reported with dripping innuendo blaming Russia for the violence and quoting its usual NATO and Kiev regime «sources». But take note of this little giveaway nugget in the NYT: «The renewed fighting has… put to rest the notion that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be so staggered by the twin blows of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices that he would forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West».
So, the Western calculus revealed by Merkel and the New York Times is that Putin has not been «staggered by the twin blows of sanctions and a collapse in oil prices to forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West».
In this context, Angela Merkel is shamelessly dangling a «free trade bribe» in Russia’s face. Behave yourself, she is saying: just be a good boy, roll over to our geopolitical objectives and we will call off the economic war in the form of sanctions and the crash in oil prices, the latter courtesy of the Western puppets in Saudi Arabia pumping oil into an over-supplied world market.
Merkel, who is known for her ardent «transatlantic» partnership with America, is thus showing herself to be dutifully doing Washington’s bidding over the Ukraine crisis and the bigger objective of subordinating Russia to Western hegemony, or as the New York Times euphemistically calls it «better relations with the West».
The other pincer move in this Western offensive on Russia is that the Western-backed Kiev regime has gone into full false flag terror mode in a bid to criminalise Russia for its diplomatic and moral support of the besieged ethnic Russian population in eastern Ukraine.
Western mainstream media are shamelessly aiding and abetting the propaganda campaign. On the latest massacre in the port city of Mariupol at the weekend, in which at least 30 civilians were killed in multiple-rocket attacks, the Western media amplified claims by the Kiev regime that the perpetrators were Russian-backed separatists. No evidence offered, just the usual assertion and innuendo. France 24 explicitly attributed the carnage to the rebels with an audacious false report that leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko admitted responsibility of the separatist militia.
Zakharchenko admitted no such thing. In fact, he and other rebel leaders blamed the Kiev military for launching multiple rockets in a deliberate attempt to impute the separatists and, by extension, Russia. Western media mendaciously reported the atrocity in the context of the DPR militia calling off the ceasefire the day before and after they took control of Donetsk international airport earlier this week. The reason why the separatists called off the truce is because the Kiev regime has repeatedly violated it with ongoing indiscriminate shelling of towns and civilian districts.
US secretary of state John Kerry weighed in with his take on the propaganda, saying: «We join our European counterparts to condemn Russian-backed separatists» and added «we call on Russia to immediately end its support for separatists».
Western puppet-leaders in Kiev, prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and president Petro Poroshenko called the Mariupol massacre «a crime against humanity» and accused Russia of «violating the fundamental principles of international law and humanity».
As noted, the separatist militia denied any involvement, pointing out that they do not have the long-range weapons to carry out such a strike from their positions. Mariupol is held by Kiev’s military forces.
Monitors from the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that craters from the deadly blasts indicated that the Grad and Uragan rockets were fired from 15-19 kilometres to the northeast of the city, implying they were from rebel-controlled territory.
However, the latest atrocity fits squarely into a recent pattern of similar attacks on civilians by Kiev forces that bear the hallmarks of false flags aimed at framing the rebels and Russia.
Three days before the attack on Mariupol, 13 people were killed in rebel-held Donetsk City when a volley of Grad rockets slammed into a trolleybus and other vehicles. Previously, on January 13, 12 people were blown to pieces when their bus in Volnovakha was hit by Grad rockets. Again, the Kiev regime was quick to blame «Russian terrorists». But the craters in the latter attack clearly showed that the fire came from positions held by the Kiev military, according to OSCE monitors and spokesmen for the DPR militia.
Over the past eight months, since the Western-sponsored regime in Kiev launched its military offensive on the breakaway eastern Donbas regions, indiscriminate shelling of civilians is a routine feature of the so-called «anti-terror operation». Donetsk has been shelled constantly, with much of the fire coming from the airport, which is why the separatist militia put so much effort into capturing the location – to put an end to the barrage.
Just this weekend, five civilians were killed in the rebel-held town of Gorlovka when apartment blocks were hit with artillery fire from Kiev forces. The latter, comprised of neo-Nazi «volunteer battalions», have also used cluster bombs, white phosphorus incendiaries, unguided ballistic missiles and warplanes to strike civilian centres. Of the 5,000 total dead incurred over the past eight months, most of the civilian casualties have been caused by the Western-supported Kiev regime.
And all the while in the face of this state-sponsored terrorism, there is silence in the Western media and among Western leaders like John Kerry and Angela Merkel.
The Kiev regime is also implicated in the massacre in Odessa on May 2 where more than 40 people were burned or executed inside a Customs Building that was deliberately torched by Right Sector paramilitaries. Prior to that, the mysterious sniper shootings that killed more than 80 protesters and police in Maidan Square and precipitated the coup on February 22 was blamed, in a full-court Western media campaign, on the Russian-backed government of Viktor Yanukoych when the evidence actually points to the CIA-backed Right Sector in a classic false flag psy-ops job. Moreover, credible Russian aviation records show that the Kiev regime’s airforce shot down the Malaysian civilian airliner on July 17 over Donetsk region, with the loss of all 298 onboard, although Western governments, media and the Kiev regime again cranked up the usual blame-game against Russia – with economic sanctions to boot.
The pattern of criminality, terrorism and pathological lying by the Kiev regime makes it almost a certainty that the latest massacre in Mariupol is another false flag. The regime and its Western sponsors have the motive to do so and the vile capability.
But with Western governments and media working in concert in a full-on propaganda war against Russia, reality is being turned on its head and Moscow is being framed up on every atrocity, which then justifies Western economic sanctions and further NATO militarisation on Russia’s borders. Russia is being placed under intense aggressive pressure – and all based on total propaganda.
Now enters «soft cop» Frau Merkel into the fray of this US-led gang beat-up on Russia, with the metaphorical packet of cigarettes and a comely smile. Pulling up a chair, she softy whispers to the Russian subject… «just give up Ukraine, abandon those pesky Moskals in Donbas, let our capitalists rape the population, allow our NATO takeover and placement of nuclear strike forces on your border… and you can enjoy a quiet life with an EU free trade bonanza… because ve ’ave vays of making you talk, ya».