Under Tutelage

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is preparing the Bundeswehr's deployment in Ukraine. According to reports, in support of the OSCE mission to monitor the ceasefire between the Kiev government troops and the insurgents, up to 200 German soldiers will be deployed in the East of the country. The decision on the deployment is expected to be made in the next few days. Following armament and training operations in Iraq and the airlift to West Africa, this would be the third intervention to have been decided in a short period time. It shows that the German government is increasingly willing to supplement its foreign policy activities with military engagement. With the planned Bundeswehr deployment in Ukraine, Germany wants to reinforce its direct control over military activities inside that country. It would be the first combat mission of German troops since WW II on territory of the former Soviet Union, placing German soldiers close to the Russian border. This goes hand in hand with considerations to actually place the state administration under German-European tutelage.

Forced Arrangement

On the sidelines of the September 4 - 5 NATO summit in Newport, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande had already discussed possible Bundeswehr deployment in Ukraine and agreed to support the OSCE. This is obviously one of a list of measures the EU - under German leadership - had agreed upon in early September with Moscow and Kiev. The list also includes a commitment to Moscow to renegotiate all elements of the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement that could prejudice Russian economic interests. On the sidelines of the NATO summit, Chancellor Merkel reached this commitment, in spite of Ukraine's resistance. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[1]) In November 2013, Berlin and the EU did not find it necessary to reach an arrangement with Moscow. Completely disregarding Moscow's interests, they were hoping to integrate Ukraine into their hegemonic sphere of influence - after overthrowing the government in Kiev. Faced now with the threat of Ukraine's total economic collapse, an agreement had to be reached. This also laid the foundation for the ceasefire, agreed upon in Minsk on September 5 by Kiev and the East Ukrainian insurgents. The ceasefire also provides for Eastern Ukraine's wide-ranging autonomy, which Kiev had always tried to avoid. The OSCE is supposed to monitor the ceasefire - assisted by Berlin and Paris.

Fact-Finding Team

Already on September 16, a 14-member fact-finding team of the Bundeswehr had visited Ukraine. In collaboration with members of the French military, they were to explore "if and under what conditions the OSCE monitoring mission could be assisted," the Bundeswehr reported. The exploration should focus on "the nature and site of the required personnel as well as the means of monitoring, necessary security measures," as well as "medical service and logistical support." The focus should be particularly on "airborne surveillance capabilities," concretely, in the Bundeswehr's case - "Luna" drones.[2] At the time, the Luhansk region was mentioned as a possible mission location.

Facing the Decision

The decision on the deployment of German troops in Ukraine will soon be made. On Friday, Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen informed the various parties' Parliamentary Defense Committee's representatives of the plans, according to which, up to 200 military personnel may be sent "to provide security for an OSCE mission." According to a news report, 150 of them are supposed to "use drones to carry out surveillance of the crisis area." "The ceasefire between Ukraine and the separatists can only be monitored with drones," if "armed soldiers protect the needed personnel." Therefore 50 more soldiers "have been charged with their protection." In the town of Seedorf, in Lower Saxony, German paratroopers have begun preparing for this mission.[3] Saturday, the OSCE began marking off a 30 km wide buffer zone separating the two sides of the civil war. Here is where the ceasefire must be monitored - if it holds.

"Treason"

In Kiev, German plans have provoked irritation. Already the ceasefire and concessions to East Ukrainian insurgents have seriously angered the ultra right-wingers, who, in the course of the past year, had received a strong impetus though the Maidan protests, the overthrow of the former government and the civil war. That the combat in Eastern Ukraine has currently been halted, is "an act of treason and a national disgrace," declared Oleh Lyashko, the popular parliamentarian, whose ultra-nationalist political platform polled third place in the presidential elections. His "Radical Party" is in second place in opinion polls leading up to the October 26, parliamentary elections.[4] Pressure for continuing the war is also being applied from diverse ultra-rightwing militias, such as the fascist Asov Batallion. It has repeatedly threatened to overthrow the Kiev government and replace it with a fascist regime. Monitoring the ceasefire with the help of German troops, runs diametrically counter to the concepts of the broad spectrum of the ultra right. A representative of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine is reported to have said that he knows nothing of proposals for the "presence of German troops on Ukrainian territory." If German troops eventually are deployed, they will have to be unarmed - that is "obligatory."[5]

No Interest in EU Rules

Considerations to reinforce direct German control over the situation in Ukraine are not limited to the military sphere. This is evident from recent proposals published last week by one of Berlin's EU experts. The proposals are based on the fact that some of the elements of the EU Association Agreement - that Russia does not object to - are tentatively already supposed to be implemented. Difficulties have arisen, according to a "Ukraine Analysis" published by the University of Bremen. "Ukraine's current political and business elites" support "only rhetorically" the planned implementation of the Association Agreement. "At best," they are only "interested in a selective implementation" of the agreement. Particularly in the case of Ukrainian oligarchs, who "still hold high political office," it is "questionable whether they are really interested in applying EU rules" for example "in the area of competition regulations" or "public procurement."[6] This indicates that alongside the conflicts with the fascists,[7] which Berlin had earlier found so useful, but who now are threatening to militarily get out of hand, another conflict is brewing with forces, that in the course of the Ukrainian conflict, came into ruling positions, with western acquiescence. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[8])

Twinning Measures

The "Ukraine Analysis" proposes assuming direct control of state functions in Kiev, as a solution to these conflicts. It suggests that not only "financial aid and visa facilitation should be made dependent upon progress, and withheld in cases of non-compliance." The EU Commission should also "set up a network of official and non-official actors from Ukraine and EU member states that the EU can call upon to monitor the transfer of rules." In addition, "functionaries from EU member states ... should use twinning measures to continue to assist in the establishment of a new administrative structure."[9] This means, the allegedly liberated Ukraine will find itself more and more under ostentatious German-EU tutelage.

Other reports and background information on Germany's policy toward Ukraine can be found here: The Crimean Conflict, The Kiev Escalation Strategy, Cold War Images, The Free World, A Fatal Taboo Violation, The Europeanization of Ukraine, Official Government Vocative, An Unusual Mission, "Scientific Nationalists", Crisis of Legitimacy, "Fascist Freedom Fighters", The Restoration of the Oligarchs (IV), For Peace and Freedom, The Finnish Model, Second-Class Stakeholders, Establish Facts, Ukrainian Patriots, Ukrainian Maneuvers and A Lesson Learned.

[1] See A Lesson Learned.
[2] Bundeswehr schickt Erkundungsteam zur möglichen Unterstützung für OSZE-Beobachtermission in die Ukraine. www.bundeswehr.de 16.09.2014.
[3] Bundeswehr will Kampftruppen schicken. www.bild.de 03.10.2014.
[4] Reinhard Veser: Sehnsucht nach Frieden und neuen Gesichtern. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 04.10.2014.
[5] Umstrittene Aktion von Minister Müller: Deutschland schickt Hilfskonvoi in die Ukraine. www.spiegel.de 04.10.2014.
[6] Julia Langbein: Regeltransfer ohne Elitenkonsens? Vorschläge zur Umsetzung des Assoziierungsabkommens mit der Ukraine. Ukraine-Analysen Nr. 137, 30.09.2014.
[7] See Nützliche Faschisten, "Fascist Freedom Fighters" and Ukrainian Patriots.
[8] See Die Restauration der Oligarchen (II), Die Restauration der Oligarchen (III) and The Restoration of the Oligarchs (IV).
[9] Julia Langbein: Regeltransfer ohne Elitenkonsens? Vorschläge zur Umsetzung des Assoziierungsabkommens mit der Ukraine. Ukraine-Analysen Nr. 137, 30.09.2014.