Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko is playing a desperate poker game in which he is gambling his political future with an all-out war in Europe.
In a scene reminiscent of an old Hollywood B-movie Western, Poroshenko appears like a washed-up gunslinger with a lousy hand of cards who is bluffing with empty bravado.
However, the difference is Poroshenko is no gunslinger. And this is not fiction. It is grim reality where lives are suffering from his poker games.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech as he attends the 12th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, September 11, 2015
© REUTERS/ Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Pool
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He is a billionaire chocolate oligarch who along with his cronies in Kiev have driven their country into ruins. If a war breaks out, these effete, self-dealing elites will not be doing the fighting. They will find some luxury exile from where to spend their embezzled loot.
Unless, that is, an international criminal court finds them guilty of crimes against peace. Which it should.
This so-called president is putting the lives of ordinary, poor Ukrainians on the line by inciting a war that has got nothing to do with legal or sovereign principles, but which in reality is all about saving the privileges of his ruling cabal.
When the new US president Donald Trump held a cordial phone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on January 28, the Poroshenko regime in Kiev was crestfallen, to say the least.
No longer indulged by the Obama administration and former deputy US president Joe Biden in particular, the Kiev cabal feared the worst was in store. That is, that Trump was no longer going to dole out financial and military support under the overblown pretext of defending them against “Russian aggression”.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, examines the construction of fortifications in Donetsk region, Ukraine (File)
© AP Photo/ Irina Gorbaseva
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That is why the violence then promptly erupted along the contact line in east Ukraine, between territory held by the Kiev regime’s forces and the opposing rebels of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Collectively known as the Donbass region, the DPR and LPR refuse to recognize the Kiev authorities, who came to power in February 2014 in a CIA-backed illegal coup d’état against the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych.
Since nearly two weeks now, the people of Donbass have endured thousands of artillery shellings by Poroshenko’s forces, with the city of Donetsk and surrounding towns being targeted. Apartment blocks, schools and factories have not been spared the blitz. Whole communities have been cut off from water and electricity in the dead of winter by Kiev forces deliberately striking civilian infrastructure.
By any accounting, the Kiev regime, including its President Petro Poroshenko, should be prosecuted for war crimes.
Undeterred from this insanity, Poroshenko’s ruling circle are doubling down in the criminal onslaught being waged on the breakaway republics.
Ukrainian servicemen look at a building destroyed as a result of night shelling, Avdiivka, Donetsk, on February 3, 2017
© AFP 2016/ Aleksey FILIPPOV
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The last desperate gambit seems to have been motivated by a non-committal phone call between Trump and Poroshenko last weekend – a full week after Trump’s call to Putin. To the Kiev regime’s horror, Trump said that he would work with all sides, including Putin, to end the conflict in Ukraine.
In other words, Trump was not buying the hackneyed narrative put out by Poroshenko and his clique that their country is being “attacked by Russia” through Donbass proxies. Obviously, the American president was negating that notion by stating that he was prepared to work with Putin to end the violence.
According to Eduard Basurin, the vice commander of the DPR, as quoted in Fort Russ: “Following the talk between Poroshenko and Trump, Ukraine will in the near future cease to receive financial and military support for its terrorist operation in the land of Donbass. In connection with this, the Ukrainian president has fallen into complete despair and is ready to desperately commit to the most reckless action of unleashing a full-scale and bloody war in Eastern Europe.”
To this reckless end, Poroshenko has ordered more reinforcements, including conscripts and Neo-Nazi battalions of the Right Sector, up to contact line in Donbass, as well as installing more heavy artillery and Tochka missiles. It is a desperate move by a desperate regime.
But the diabolical shame is that Poroshenko appears ready to ignite an all-out war in Europe as he stakes his political future.
Ukrainian soldiers look at the fire of Soviet Grad missile system (file)
© AFP 2016/ SERGEI SUPINSKY
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As DPR’s Eduard Basurin and several other observers note, the offensive being prepared by the Kiev regime bears the hallmarks of the 1941 invasion by Nazi Germany and its Ukrainian fascist paramilitaries against the ethnic Russian people of the Soviet Union.
Fortunately, so far, Trump is not buying the Kiev regime’s preposterous yarn which inverts reality by claiming that Russia is invading Ukraine. Not even the pliable Western media are credulous enough to go along with that fabrication. Besides, the Kiev regime is so incompetent that they have even been bragging about “making advances” on the Donbass. Also the ineffectual Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe which is supposed to be monitoring the 2015 Minsk ceasefire have confirmed that it is the Kiev forces who are breaching the contact line.
What is being exposed here is the endemic corruption and lawlessness of the Kiev regime headed up by the chocolate tycoon Poroshenko. Billions of dollars have been poured into this regime by its sponsors in Washington, Europe and the IMF. And still the corruption continues with none of the promised reforms ever being delivered.
The Americans and Europeans are quietly realizing that they helped create a monster in Kiev when they backed the coup against an elected government nearly three years ago. That is why Washington and Berlin, as well as the European Union, the IMF and NATO are all quietly backing away from their erstwhile support for the Kiev cabal. The latter is an insatiable black hole of cronyism and sleaze, which will never get its house in order under the present regime.
While Poroshenko and his ilk have grown ever-richer over the past three years most ordinary Ukrainians have been plunged into deeper poverty and misery with their sons being dragooned into fighting a senseless criminal war against fellow Ukrainians in the Donbass. Hundreds have been sent home in bodybags – and for what? So that Poroshenko and the illegal junta around him can extort more money from Western capitals.
Rally to support Ukraine’s integration with Europe on Independence Square, Kiev. (File photo)
© Sputnik/ Andrey Stenin
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The level of disillusionment among ordinary Ukrainians, as well as the petty rivalry between fascist paramilitaries and would-be oligarchs, means that the Kiev regime is ripe for toppling.
Poroshenko knows his days are numbered. In one last desperate gamble from the Last Chance Saloon, he is willing to ignite an all-out war in Ukraine. By blaming Russia for “aggression”, he is trying to force the Trump administration to come to his “rescue”.
But the rescue is not really from alleged Russian aggression. Poroshenko and his corrupt regime is actually betting on being rescued from internal collapse under the weight of their own corruption and mismanagement.
Billionaire property magnate Trump is said to have developed street-wise smarts in having dealt with mafia crime syndicates while doing business in New York City over the years. He better use those smarts in dealing with Poroshenko and the Kiev mafia that pretends to be a government. Otherwise Trump could find a war exploding in Europe – a war that could drag in the US and Russia.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.