New Rocket Attack in Europe
I do not like like to write two articles in a row about Ukraine. If you think too hard about what is going on in what used to be the East of that country you are likely to be accused of being a Russian hacker, an agent of Vladimir Putin or, as I was accused on Bruges Group's facebook last night, an RT troll.
But, last night (2nd Feb) there was a rocket attack on the city area of Donetsk. Europeans died under a rocket bombardment but you might not have known about it had I not made mention.
Some supporters of Brexit in UK tell me to hush, that is a bit too complicated to talk about just now. Some even say that anything that can be construed as support for VV Putin is, using an aging cliche, toxic.
But if the British people want to leave the EU and be independent again then they are going to have to accept that this is hard work. It is going to mean learning how to behave like political grown-ups again. We are going to have to learn again to be democratic and that means taking responsibility for those things done in our name or with our taxes. I can see why children would protest against such a burden.
Great Briain will have to learn how to do Foreign Policy again.
So, last night just before 22.00 Moscow time, in addition to the usual low level activity you get during what passes for a ceasefire in Ukraine, one large rocket was launched at the city area of Donetsk. We were told about this about an hour later by an eye-witness who said it was the biggest bang she had heard since 2014.
Since you will have read our article of a few days ago about action around the nearby town of Avdiyka, you might think this is just a bloody reprisal by the Ukrainian government forces. We think we need a deeper understanding.
The BBC narrative is that the Russian-backed rebels renewed military aggression immediately after the evil Donald Trump's first telephone call to the almost as evil Vladimir Putin. But recently some people have begun to suspect a small element of bias in BBC coverage of messrs Trump and Putin.
We have heard of none of the build-up in DPR you would expect before an offensive. And although it makes sense for the DPR to re-take the parts of Donetsk region not under DPR control, there is another interpretation of events. It is an interpretation we know some in the new US administration hold. It is that Kiev are desperate not to see a calm, pre-Obama normality, returning to US-Russia relations. They do not want sanctions to end and they really do not want the Brussles gravy train to end. They also know, as do their patrons in Brussels, that time is rapidly running out.
Yes, Trump is urging European countries to cough up the 2% spending on NATO but he may not be so keen on them parading the kit bought up and down the Russian border. Actually, if you put what Trump is saying through google translate it comes out as "spend more Euros on US-made equipment". The period of unquestioned support for Kiev is likely to end soon.
Events like those in Ukraine cannot be put down to goodies and baddies. Everyone has interests and aims. Still, many people understand recent events as Kiev ramping up military action while they still believe they can call in western support.
Ukraine is included in NATO exercises nowadays. I know that at the time of the Euromaidan, Brussels swore blind that there was no military threat to Russia but just a celebration of European values. There are US soldiers in reasonable numbers in Ukraine. Ukrainian tanks drive around with EU flags.
You may not care that the man in the video who looks like he may have just died is someone's dad, someone's husband on his way home. Maybe you would say I am being sentimental and you might say that deaths in unrecognised republics do not matter and that only Donald Trump having pinched someone's bottom in the 1980s matters.
What happened last night matters because the EU taxpayer, and that means the British taxpayer, has been shovelling money into Kiev. No excuses, it means we part funded that missile last night. It is nothing to say we only fund non-lethal stuff because every euro not spent on radios can be spent on making hurricane rockets.
If London and Washington cannot calm Brussels and Kiev down then this situation is going to get worse in coming weeks. That means deaths and trouble with Moscow.
This is not a football match where you pick which side to cheer, where we cheer the Brussels-backed side because we are European - nor cheer the DPR because they are fighting not to be controlled by Brussels. The people lying on the floor do not get up at the end of it - their ghosts come and haunt you and ask why you paid for the bullets that killed them.