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Successful US Plans and Maneuvers in the Ukrainian Crisis: Chronology of Event

More than a year and a half have passed since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

After the events of the spring of 2014, when the Russian Federation annexed Crimea and launched a separatist revolt in the Donbass, the United States was able to effectively impose its agenda in the Ukrainian crisis.

In this article, I would like to make a short excursion into the past almost 10 years in order to clarify the main stages of US involvement in events in Ukraine.

So, on February 21, 2014, in the midst of the revolution on the Maidan, the then pro-Russian President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine. Witnesses signing spoke-ministers foreign affairs Germany and Poland — Frank – Walter Steinmeier, Radoslav Sikorsky and supervisor department continental Europe ministries foreign affairs French Republic Eric Fournier. From this we can conclude that this compromise was reached with the consent of the main locomotives of the European Union – Germany and France.

Nevertheless, the United States, with the help of its supporters, was able to disrupt this agreement, Yanukovych fled. Russia annexed Crimea and effectively captured Donbass.

With the beginning of winter 2014, the US began to strengthen its grip on the power of Ukraine, carrying out a political offensive against the Russian Federation with its hands.

On December 2, 2014, the composition of the government of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was approved, in which 3 ministerial portfolios went to foreigners educated in the US. One of the ministers, Natalya Yaresko, worked in the US State Department in the early 90s.

On December 18, US President Barack Obama signed Law No. 5859 “On Supporting Freedom in Ukraine,” which provides for technical and military assistance to Ukraine and the expansion of sanctions against the Russian military and energy sectors.

The day before, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland stated that the US administration expects the IMF and the World Bank, as well as other international donors, to increase the amount of financial assistance to Ukraine.

On December 19, Barack Obama signed a decree on new sanctions, namely the blocking of assets of individuals and legal entities doing business in Crimea.

On December 23, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted by a constitutional majority to abandon Ukraine’s non-bloc status. This refusal caused a painful reaction from Russian officials.

It should be noted that the decisive and defiant steps of the Ukrainian government could not be taken without the approval and coordination of these steps with the American side.

It is obvious that with such steps the United States wanted to give a new impetus to the Ukrainian crisis, because its strategic interest is the creation of long-term instability on the borders of its rivals – Europe and Russia. America has been doing this since V. Yushchenko came to power in Ukraine at the beginning of 2005.

Further, on February 12, 2015, under pressure from France and Germany, who tried to extinguish the fire of war at the borders of the European Union on the basis of the Normandy format, the Second Minsk Agreements were signed. This step was an attempt by the main EU players to take the initiative in the Ukrainian crisis into their own hands.

In October 2015, the so-called the Steinmeier formula is a mechanism for the phased implementation of a number of provisions of the second Minsk agreement concerning the provision of a special order of local self-government to certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine and the holding of local elections in these territories.

The parties disagreed until the last minute about the procedure for its implementation. The Ukrainian side said that first it is necessary to return control to Russian-Ukrainian border, and then hold elections and give the East of Ukraine a special status. While Russia argued that first elections, and then the transfer of the border under the control of the Ukrainian authorities. It is obvious that the results of the elections in Donbass directly depended on who would control the border at that moment, and therefore the election process itself.

And therefore, even then, with a high degree of probability, it was possible to conclude that the agreement signed in Minsk would not lead to a solution to the conflict in Donbass or to a reduction in contradictions between Russia, Europe and America.

Despite the fact that the United States was not initially represented in the Normandy format, it blocked the progress of the Minsk agreements through the hands of the Ukrainian side, over which it had enormous influence.

France and Germany fought desperately to prevent the United States from participating in the negotiation process on Ukraine. So, June 23, 2016 During the next meeting of the foreign ministers of the Normandy Four in Paris, representatives of Germany, France and Russia did not support the idea of the United States joining the Normandy format.

At the beginning of 2017, Donald Trump comes to power in the United States relatively whom Russia had the illusion that he would make concessions on the Ukrainian issue.

However, on February 2, 2017 During her first speech, Trump’s newly appointed U.N. Ambassador Nikki Hayley stated: “The United States stands with the people of Ukraine, who have been suffering from Russian occupation and military intervention for more than three years… The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is part of Ukraine.”

On February 15, US President Donald Trump published the so-called “a tweet of complete disappointment” in which he stated that Crimea was seized by Russia due to Obama being too soft. White House spokesman Sean Spicer spoke about Donald Trump’s position towards Russia in part of Crimea Spicer: “President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to de-escalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea.”

By July 2017, the United States decides to become more actively involved in Ukrainian issues. So, on July 7, 2017, it was announced the establishment of a new position – the US State Department Special Representative for the issue of Ukraine, which was Kurt Volker.

The creation of this position undoubtedly indicated the US desire to be more involved in resolving the Ukrainian crisis. Previously, the US position was to monitor the efforts of the Normandy Four and wait for the moment when the parties, tired of failure, would turn to the US so that they could provide assistance as a mediator.

Long attempts by France and Germany to prevent the United States from resolving the Ukrainian crisis failed. Understanding the degree of US influence on the Ukrainian government, they were forced to retreat.

4 months before, March 9, 2017, during a joint press conference in Moscow, the foreign ministers of the Russian Federation and Germany supported US participation in the process of resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov noted that almost all conflicts are resolved with the help of the United States. And his German colleague Z. Gabriel said that in order to implement Minsk in the Donbass, they are interested in American influence.

However, the United States continued to evade until the beginning of July 2017, which, against the backdrop of the helplessness of attempts by Germany, France, the Russian Federation and Ukraine to resolve the crisis, allowed a senior State Department representative to say during a briefing on July 5, 2017 following: “All participants in the Normandy format – Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia – expect that an American colleague will be appointed with whom they could work. “Not within the framework of the Normandy format, but as an important support for this format as they discuss the implementation of the Minsk agreements.”

On July 7, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: “At the request of President Putin, the United States has appointed a special representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker.”

Thus, the United States patiently waited for the moment when the helplessness of the Normandy format participants would force them to turn to them for help.

After this, on November 25, 2018, an incident took place near the Kerch Strait. This event is practically the first case of a direct clash between the Russian and Ukrainian military, which was openly recognized by the Russian side at the time of the clash itself.

From this moment on, the period of open offensive of Ukraine, read the USA, on Russia begins. All this was already a sign of the weakening position of the Russian Federation in the Ukrainian-Russian confrontation. Over the previous two years (the period from 2016 to 2018), the strategic initiative in the Ukrainian crisis passed to the side of Ukraine and its European allies, a natural manifestation of which was the clash in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018.

From that moment on, Russia became a follower in this confrontation, because it is easily provoked, does not have strategic thinking and, being unable to apply political maneuvers, will, as before, strive to solve everything through force. From the very beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, the Russian Federation has relied on saber rattling, fully consistent with the words of the Russian Tsar Alexander III (1845-1894): “In the whole world we have only 2 faithful allies – our army and navy.”

Therefore, the noose of international and economic pressure began to tighten around the neck of the Russian leadership with renewed vigor. Taking into account the pathological inability of the Russian Federation to conduct political maneuvers even at that time, only the last weighty argument remained – this was a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Spring 2019 in Ukraine, Poroshenko is being replaced by a new president, Vladimir Zelenskyy.

Despite Russia’s hopes that with Zelenskyy’s arrival it will succeed in the Ukrainian arena, statements by the new Ukrainian president between the two rounds of elections, as well as immediately after the final victory in the election process, indicate that his policy on this issue will be practically no different from P. Poroshenko.

That is why President Putin’s spokesman in the Ukrainian conflict, Viktor Medvedchuk, immediately after the second round said that Zelenskyy does not agree to Russia’s conditions for resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine.

After this, from the end of 2020, the United States decides to unfreeze the Ukrainian crisis. That is why Ukraine is launching a more active political offensive against Russia. It was during the period of late 2020 – early 2021 that the Ukrainian side began to actively exaggerate the topic of the failure of the Minsk agreements. President Zelenskyy insists that Russia is not complying with these agreements. The stumbling block in the implementation of this agreement, as mentioned above, was the question of what should happen first – Ukraine’s restoration of control over the Russian-Ukrainian border or local elections in Donbass with the granting of special status to it. Russia wanted to hold elections in Donbass under the control of its militants, bring in its henchmen and return the rebellious region to Ukraine as a time bomb, but Ukraine, understanding this, insisted that first – the withdrawal of all militants from the territory of Donbass, then the return of control over the border to Ukraine and only then elections. Naturally, with such a sequence of events, the results of local elections could not be in favor of Russia.

So, high-ranking Ukrainian politicians began to say that Minsk-2 is not working, and Ukraine intends to clear Donbass of pro-Russian separatist militants by force. Undoubtedly, the United States was behind these steps of the Ukrainian government.

This naturally could not cause a painful reaction from Russia, which by April 2021. gathered a huge group of its troops near the borders of Ukraine. The threat of a full-scale Russian invasion looms over Ukraine. In the midst of this confrontation, a telephone call took place between US President Biden and Russian President Putin. They agreed to meet in person in June to discuss the current situation. Russia responded by withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian borders.

June 16, 2021 a meeting took place, the results of which can be called disastrous. According to the leaked information, Biden gave Putin six months to reconsider his foreign policy and agree to apply joint pressure on China. Nevertheless, having rejected the US demands, over the next six months Russia took steps towards rapprochement with China.

The United States, in turn, also did not remain idle; it took a number of measures to supply Ukraine with modern weapons. For example, from the end of summer, the delivery of Bayraktar-TB2 UAVs to Ukraine by the pro-American government of Erdogan begins.

Russia, which realized that the United States had once again fooled it by the end of 2021. again begins to gather its large group at the borders of Ukraine.

The United States turns a blind eye to Britain’s supply of thousands of NLAW ATGM units to Ukraine, and also supplies weapons themselves.

On January 20, 2022, during his press conference, Biden seemed to declare a Russian invasion an inevitable event, saying that Russia would face “very serious consequences” and be “held accountable” if it attacked Ukraine. He also suggested that an invasion would be a “catastrophe” for Russia. According to Biden, US allies and partners are ready to ensure that the Russian economy “pays a serious price.” However, he conceded that a “small invasion” would cause less of a reaction.

The Ukrainian side perceived this statement as Putin’s actual incitement to invade. In fact, events unfolded exactly according to this scenario.

In addition to this, after the Russian invasion, Western intelligence services, and primarily the American intelligence, shouted loudly that Kyiv would fall in 48 hours. By doing so, they incited the Russian Federation to become even more involved in the armed confrontation.

Thus, after Putin’s refusal to cooperate with the United States on the China issue, America decided to lure Russia into the Ukrainian swamp. After the beginning of rapprochement between the Russian Federation and China, the United States saw this as the only effective way to destroy this alliance.

Today, Putin has become a non-handshake for China, because there is no talk of any cooperation with the president of the country, who is accused of war crimes and against whom a warrant has been issued from the international criminal court.

America is the main beneficiary in this conflict. After all, it’s no secret that during these months all its rivals are weakening – Europe represented by France and Germany, Russia and China, which now cannot even dream of any alliance with the Russian Federation to strengthen itself against America.

In relation to the leading countries of Europe, the United States aims to completely sever any economic relations with Russia. Particular attention is paid to Germany’s refusal of Russian energy resources, oil and gas. In addition, the United States put an end to any cooperation between China and Russia.

This is a summary of how the United States, through its political maneuvers, was able to weaken its competitors in Europe and Asia, initiating the largest war on the European continent since World War II.

Fazyl Amzaev
Head of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Ukraine