Posing with a leg either side of the fence puts your gonads at risk.

Edward Taaffe
5 min readMar 18, 2022

The story of Ukraine, China, The US and Russia is trickier than we are being told by our purveyors of truth, or indeed our elected representatives.

[i]China, Poland and Russia top the list of Ukraine’s partners for the first six months of 2021

China and Ukraine

China remains Ukraine’s largest trade partner according to recent data published by the State Statistics Service published on Aug. 16.[ii]

“Russia, the country that has been negotiating with Ukraine over political disagreements since 2014, takes third place with $4.7 billion worth of total turnover, including $1.9 billion worth of exports and $2.9 billion worth of imports since the beginning of 2021.”

Hungary and Ukraine

The new TurkStream pipeline, commissioned at the start of 2020 will now deliver 24.6 million cubic metres of gas daily to Turkey in place of the previous route through Ukraine. The Ukrainians however claim that Russia must still pay Ukraine whether they use the facility or not.

Germany Russia and Ukraine

In parallel to the Turkish pipeline, Nord stream 2 threatens to supply Germany with gas directly instead of routing it through Ukraine. The estimated loss to Ukraine is 1.5 billion annually. I imagine you are already guessing that there’s more to this than meets the eye.[iii]

Russia and Ukraine

The short version: After the breakaway, Ukraine (Kyiv) has continued to mistreat ethnic Russians in Donbas and Crimea a situation that grew into outright war with the Eastern Ukrainians suffering bombardment from Ukrainian Military no different to what Western Ukraine suffers now.
The Minsk agreements, first 2014 and then 2015 were brokered by Europe to get these regions recognised as autonomous regions within Ukraine and an arrangement for normalisation was agreed to put a stop to this civil war, but it was never adhered to by Ukraine. Russia was continually called upon by the East Ukrainians to support them and most likely did offer weapons etc.

At the same time the US became involved in Ukraine politics and the Zelensky government was seen by many as being engineered in much the same way as so many others thought of as US puppets. I don’t agree with that personally, but I understand why others would and especially why Russia would be very concerned about this happening on their border.
Apart from the Gas deals happening around them, we now have Russia and the US eyeing each other in what was very likely to erupt into another proxy war as Syria did. Indeed many had been speculating as to where the next war would be started in order to feed the AMIC and their need to sell equipment of war.

What would most likely have alarmed Russia further is the vast sums of money from US government invested in helping the Ukraine with its military capability via funding the likes of Azov battalion blocked by congress in 2018[iv] and well documented investments in yet more biochemical labs, this time in Ukraine that have caused concern much further afield than Russia. Its not in my view, whether they are harmless, but the certainty that they would not be seen as harmless especially given recent global events and a delicate diplomatic situation.
The provision most recently of $500 billion worth of arms to Ukraine[v] must somehow escape the rules of NATO, but to any logical mind it is a clear attempt to escalate and prolong war.

A deal gone west

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has not booked any additional gas transit capacity through Ukraine in 2022, according to data from the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSO).[vi]

Given the need to pay even when not used, the only logic bystanders with columns to fill can think of is that Gazprom will use this to reduce supplies to Europe. European markets have pumped prices by as much as 400% in the past year on the basis of this rumour, but many say that it comes from US commentary rather than anything else. That is probably partly true, but Gazprom are no less commercially aware than OPEC and they will likely do anything they can get away with to maximise the value of their product, regardless of what we think about it. The irony of it all is that it is our religiously free-markets addiction that make a fool of us and not Gazprom in any case. In the past year, there has never actually been a shortage of gas in Europe despite the US becoming so concerned about our ability to keep warm.

NATO and the puppet show

The US spat with Russia got going in earnest when Russia demanded a pulling back from its borders in keeping with the agreements that remain in place since Khrushchev. At this point it was obvious to all observers that we were watching a Russia v US spat. Although NATO was occasionally mentioned, even the headlines focused on Americans threatening Russians and vice-versa.
The reality was of course, that Ukraine was not in NATO and not eligible give the ongoing war on its turf even if NATO were offering membership. The US had no right to put military in Ukraine and there was nothing to discuss as long as Ukraine was not declaring war officially on Russia or inviting US to place missile bases on their territory.
So why did Ukraine elect to fight Russia rather than meet its commitments under Minsk and stop aggression towards Russia? I’ll leave you to guess that one.
And what on earth was the US doing involved here in any way or form? A worrying question indeed.

We are now in a place whereby Ukraine continues to resist, Russia continues to press and the ETA for demilitarised and “denazified” Ukraine and Russian withdrawal is about 3–4 weeks hence.

This could stop any day if Ukraine gets on with the negotiations and do what they should have done to avoid this conflict in the first place, but as it becomes more clear that NATO countries or the US will not deliberately start WW3 by fighting beside Ukraine e.g. closed skies, and hopefully, the vast sums from the US for weapons don’t prolong the war as obviously intended, then Ukraine will give its citizens respite, Russian troops will return home having made a point and Europe can return to semi normal.

That surely is the day when a reckoning must occur and new plans are laid down about who defends Europe, when and how. Macron has already pronounced NATO “Brain dead” and anyone who wasn’t paying attention must surely now reconsider that and face the challenge of our security in Europe going forward.
Military, Fuel, Climate and WMD or Bio-weapon security must all be on the table,

[i] https://www.kyivpost.com/business/china-poland-russia-top-list-of-ukraines-partners-for-first-six-months-of-2021.html#:~:text=EXCLUSIVE-,China%2C%20Poland%2C%20Russia%20top%20list%20of%20Ukraine's%20partners%20for%20first,By%20Alexander%20Query.&text=A%20cargo%20ship%20is%20docked,Statistics%20Service%20published%20on%20Aug

[ii] https://bi.customs.gov.ua/uk/trade/import-export

[iii] https://www.kyivpost.com/business/gazprom-halts-gas-transit-to-hungary-via-ukraine.html

[iv] https://theintercept.com/2022/02/18/ukraine-weapons-neo-nazis-bob-menendez/

[v] https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/ROS22031.pdf

[vi] https://www.kyivpost.com/business/russia-refuses-to-book-additional-gas-transit-capacity-in-ukraine.html



Edward Taaffe

Ed is a technical consultant and writer in the areas of Digital and Products. He writes here on random subjects that catch the eye.