• ADF

War in Ukraine, Part 1: Post-USSR Independence (1990 - 2014)


Ukraine Independence Day celebrations, August 24, 2022. On this day, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine will fight "till the end".



Executive Summary:


In Part 1 we discover how Russia developed and maintained its influence in Ukraine since independence from the USSR, and how it is affecting the current global situation:


1. Russia controlled the Ukraine Government: Russia controlled the political narrative in Ukraine for two decades since Ukraine's independence, effectively suppressing Ukraine's sovereign potential as if it was a de facto part of the Russian Federation, to include neutralizing potential enablers of Ukrainian nationalism promoting independence from Russian control mechanisms;


2. Post-Soviet Ukraine was purposefully demilitarized: Ukraine military capability has been constantly suppressed and reduced by means of Russian influence through a compromised Ukrainian political system which always supported Russian interests over Ukrainian interests. This is the main cause for Ukraine's unpreparedness in terms of equipment to resist Russian aggression effectively without NATO assistance;


3. Russia refuses to accept Ukrainian sovereignty: Russia considers Ukraine as native Russian territory, and refuses to acknowledge Ukraine as a sovereign independent nation with the right to pursue its own strategic objectives;


4. Russia started testing Western tolerance 14 years prior to the invasion of Ukraine: The 2008 Russo-Georgia War served as a testing ground for evaluating Russian regional power projection, its defense strategy, and to assess Western political willingness to counter Russian aggression. The fact that the West failed to address the 2008 Russo-Georgia War supported Russian confidence to expand its global expansionism strategy;


5. Irregular Warfare became the new Russian strategy: The development and deployment of new multi-domain Russian Special Operations Forces capabilities within Western territories was a product of the lessons learnt during the 2008 Russo-Georgia War to extend Russian military reach, and to develop a basic strategic power projection capability through clandestine irregular means. One of the more concerning special operations capabilities by Russia is the use of chemical weapons to target individuals within foreign territories, and how affected nations are still reluctant to restrict Russian citizen movements through their territories, with no governments protesting against Russia's continued use of military grade chemical weapons within their territories..


6. Russia has been at war with the West since 2014: Russia effectively declared a silent war against the nations of the West during 2014 with gradual escalation to the present, having mastered the exploitation of the traditional West's naiveness pertaining Russia's ability to target Western vulnerabilities that exist in its economic systems, political systems, and imbalances in society.


7. The majority nations in NATO, excluding the US, do not know it is already at war with Russia: At present, the traditional West is still ignorant to the fact that it has been the target of an undeclared silent war with Russia, and current Russian advantage at the strategic level is still greatly underestimated;


8. Russia has had the advantage over the West for nearly a decade: Western political stability and global influence has been eroded gradually by targeted Russian interference based on two decades' experience gained in Ukraine and Europe, taking advantage of Western ignorance of cause blindness relating to the current challenges it is facing affecting its respective societies' centers of gravity;


9. What Russia developed in Ukraine is already applied in the West: Russian activities in Ukraine relating to control over domestic politics, perception management and narrative control and economic manipulation within. a target society has become the template for how Russia is fighting a superior military, but economically- and socially vulnerable Western alliance by following a discreet undeclared irregular warfare doctrine;


10. The Russian grand strategy is expansion of Russian global influence: It is the Russian objective to divide nations into smaller independent states within strategic locations globally. The main purpose behind this strategy is that Russia believes in a future world order where every state equals a vote, and the more traditional powers (existing nations) Russia can dilute into smaller states by assisting and/or facilitating the processes of 'independence separation', the more power Russia gains as a representative of a bloc of smaller nations in terms of future global policy direction. Russia has always favored creating its own union of aligned nations instead of being part of a global body such as the United Nations for the simple reason that Russia believes that the inclusion of smaller [low-contributing] nations with equal voting rights to itself within world bodies (such as the United Nations), is not fair to larger nations such as Russia in terms of deciding what is acceptable in terms of global policy creation;


11. Russia effectively infiltrated the West post-USSR: Russia never abandoned its ambitions for global influence at the end of the Cold War as the controlling body of the USSR when the Soviet Union was disbanded. Instead, it just rebranded and updated its strategy by exploiting what the naive West was offering when it opened up to the idea of greater Russian inclusion. Therefore the assumption that Russian strategic objectives post-USSR disbandment differs from Russian objectives while leading the Soviet Union pre-USSR disbandment is incorrect. Russian strategic objectives have remained consistent throughout the transition from the USSR to the present, and all that has changed until now is the Russian strategy, and the means of achieving strategic goals.


12. The US has always been cautious of Russia: The United States has always been aware of the dangers posed by Russia, especially relating to its strategic competition goals, but its traditional European allies do not share the US concerns. This is the main reason why the US society has been targeted through political divides, and why US politics is in such a fragile state as at present. Not only has the US been targeted by means of the creation of artificial divides within its society, but its economic system is also being targeted by mass disinformation which affects consumer trends in terms of investing in US financial instruments as a means of eroding away the US tax base. However, as the leading nation in the NATO alliance, it has the responsibility of managing alliance members in Europe who still struggle to rid itself from past Russian allegiance (such as the power of influence still being exercised by the pro-Russian enablers of the Cold-War era German Democratic Republic, as an ex-Soviet aligned republic, on the existing German Federation government). Just as Russia opposed a growing US influence in Ukraine, so did various influential European powers (who are also NATO alliance members) oppose Ukraine becoming US aligned, instead [silently] preferring a Russian controlled Ukraine. The main reason for this divide in NATO, which Russia exploited to its advantage, is mainly caused by pockets of European resistance to US controls that came into existence in Europe post-WW2;


13. The global 'Islamic State' phenomenon is a tool for Russian expansionism: Daesh, also referred to as the 'Islamic State", is perceived to be a global terrorist organization representing the interests of radical Sunni Islamists who believe they have been disenfranchised by the West, and most prominently the United States. However, Daesh evolved from powerful figures who used to be associated with the Ba'ath Parties of Iraq and Syria, both entities being allies of Russia until the US commenced its anti-Ba'athist operations in the Middle East in retaliation for its support to Al Qaeda during its Global War on Terror. When the US led coalition launched the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, Russia was heavily opposed to the US invasion of its ally. However, Daesh (Islamic State) entered the international public domain when it launched a ruthless military occupation of territories in Iraq and Syria starting in 2013 (Syria), 2014 (Iraq), and now everywhere Western oil and gas interests are found globally amongst a predominantly Muslim society. The 2014 expansion of the Islamic State caliphate in Iraq is significant for the fact that it is the same year Russia [silently] declared war against the Western nations it considers 'US controlled'. Therefore, academics in the field of counter-terrorism should start studying Daesh (Islamic State) from the perspective of an 'army for hire', and how Russia (and its allies) became enablers of its current global footprint of operations, and how the sponsors of Daesh are beneficiaries of the 'Islamic State' global network. The most concerning fact about the people that support Daesh for their own personal gains are people of influence who control the governments of regionally influential nations, and their actions, even if it degrades the sovereign legitimacy of the respective nations it controls via the [captured] political system by enabling state resources to be utilized for the promotion of strategic objectives that do not benefit their citizens, is legitimized as official government policy whereas the majority public do not support the government sponsored activities serving only a selected few.


Foreword:


This timeline is a simplified, but somewhat comprehensive summary of events that contributed towards the current Russo-Ukraine War, and it is not a complete product. Since the February 24, 2022, Russian invasion of Ukraine, we were all very much negligent about the true origins of this war and how it shaped the perception of Ukraine since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. This war has divided so many nations along the lines of who is right (or wrong), with much [unjustified] blame being directed towards NATO, and specifically the United States of America. Unfortunately, much to the detriment of the people of Ukraine, we were all wrong and blinded to the real facts, why we have dedicated a team to filter through vast resources of confidential-, declassified- and open source information to explain how Ukraine nearly became lost to a belligerent Russia. May this be a lesson to us all.


(Note to reader: This is an ongoing project, and the contents of this article are updated constantly as more information becomes available. This article is non-partisan, and it is not funded nor sponsored by any government or organization which may be referenced within the article).


Introduction:


On February 24, 2022, Russian forces invaded Ukraine along multiple fronts with the main objective of occupying the country in a few days to enable the establishment of a pro-Russian government. Russian strategic objectives were short-sighted, and the capabilities of its armed forces exaggerated which resulted in a major failed operation for Russia with exceptionally high numbers in human- and material losses. For various reasons ranging from mainstream media disinformation, along with contradicting foreign policies amongst EU member states pushing their own narratives regarding the Russo-Ukraine relations, much of the details leading up to this war are nearly lost in history, why it is important to record the timeline highlighting all the activities by key role-players since Ukraine’s independence from the USSR, to the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022.


The main motivation for publishing this timeline highlighting Russia’s constant interference in Ukraine since independence is due to the extensive depth of disinformation that still exists amongst the majority global societies who are still divided in terms of understanding post-USSR Russia’s culpability in facilitation of the current Russo-Ukraine conflict. This divide is mainly a result of a phenomenon best described as Cause Ignorance (or ‘Cause Blindness’, whichever makes more sense in the absence of a better term), which basically implies the result of society’s focus on effects (symptoms) and consequently reacting to, or in accordance, with such effects while ignoring the cause(s) for the effects. In simple terms, people are more likely to desire the effects of an achievement instead of the causes for achieving the effects as an end result. Within a consumerist society, the concept of cause ignorance is exploited by businesses through marketing campaigns (information operations) promoting products and services (effects/symptoms) of production instead of (ignoring) how the products or services were developed (causes). The same phenomenon applies to the divide that exists between the wealthy and the poor, where the latter (the poor), choose to focus on the product (effects/symptoms) of the process of production as the definition of wealth, whereas the leaders of industry generate wealth by focussing on the causes of production leading to the desired effects/symptoms (the product).


From an information dominance perspective, the problems society are experiencing now are all effects of greater causes which are generally ignored by the target audience for the simple reason that the causes have been purposefully over-complicated and misleading to create an effect of difficult understanding to a point where it can be easily dismissed as being false in favor of a simpler narrative (the symptom). This same method is also used within the business environment to protect the means of production during the pursuit for constant competitive advantage (commonly referred to as business secrets). For the same reasons, people are more inclined to accept ‘simpler-to-understand’ sensationalist information, although not factually accurate, as the acceptable ‘truth’ instead of the actual truth most commonly perceived as more complicated resulting in a lower degree of understanding and acceptance by its audience. This phenomenon is more common in societies subjected to a constant declining standard of education which affects cognitive maturity within the target society (such as what can be witnessed in Africa in terms of declining government education standards during the information age compared to the global standard). The current global perceptions about the situation in Ukraine is one such example of when the effects of the causes become the adopted narrative amongst an audience not aware of being the subjects of long-term [dis]information operations due to the effects being simpler to understand than the causes, especially within the current context of global [distraction] events and flawed [government manipulated] historical record being passed as formal ‘education’. From an education perspective, we also see much decline in the quality of education, especially at the tertiary level, which contributes to the common misconception in modern society caused by the perception created by the current systems of formal education that everyone that fails to conform with such academic guidelines are wrong simply because their perspectives fail to fit the current narrative, and because of that, every person with an opinion (even flawed opinion) has the self-entitled responsibility to 'correct' what is perceived as 'incorrect' within our current society, a society that is influenced by various actors with different agendas to insist on corrective actions which are in fact based on flawed assumptions caused by ‘cause ignorance / cause blindness’. However, the danger in this presumption is that we are living in an era where the narrative to whom the majority people conform with are in fact flawed and compromised, and not necessarily correct. As people, we also tend to believe that certain activities during the past (such as the concept of the USSR within the minds of younger generation Russians), was better based on the ideas derived from ‘beacons of excellence’ recorded in historical scriptures by a small community of so-called academics with the authority to decide what is appropriate or not in conformance with political government prescribed education outcomes. For these reasons we find that the younger generation Russians believe that the world can 'return to the days when things were better' because of the people they saw coming out of those times (such as the ‘fearlessness’ of Vladimir Putin’s leadership style as the supreme leader of the Russian Federation). However, what the greatest victims of the current Russian era, the people of Russia, still has to figure out is that good will eventually always persevere over evil (just as before, repeated so many times during the challenging history of humanity).


To explain this concept better, we have listed the timeline of major events in Ukraine since independence from the USSR, and how each event contributed towards the making of the current Russo-Ukraine War, including the tactics used by Russia’s intelligence mechanisms (GRU, FSB), during the following phases of Ukraines history post-independence:


Part 1: Independence from the USSR (1990 - 2014)

Part 2: Russian Annexation of Crimea (2014)

Part 3: The War in Donbas, Eastern Ukraine (2014 - 2022)

Part 4: Russian Invasion of Ukraine (2022 - Present)


However, this subject is extremely complex, and it does require greater understanding of the mechanisms of strategic power projection, and how covert intelligence services support their governments to achieve strategic objectives (Read: 5th Generation Warfare: The evolution of Warfare beyond the controls of the Nation State). Also, Russian strategic objectives are much different to any other nation in the world, and to understand its obsession with Ukraine better, we need to understand how Russia sees the world, and how it perceives itself within this world (Read: The Great Power Competition: How does it affect Africa?)


“The major effect of government controlled education involving historical programming is that history changes so quickly, you never know what’s going to happen yesterday”

Undisclosed Author


A Timeline of Russian Interference

The citizens of Ukraine celebrate their independence from the USSR, 1991



1990:


1990, July 16: The Rada (new Ukrainian parliament formed from the previous Soviet legislature), votes to declare independence from the USSR (Union of the Socialist Soviet Republics, or ‘Soviet Union’ in short). Ukrainian soldiers stationed in other Soviet states are recalled back to Ukraine, and the remaining reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is shut down.

1990, July 23: Leonid Kravchuk is appointed Supreme Soviet of the Ukraine SSR.

1990, October 24: The monopoly of the Communist Party of Ukraine on government power is abolished. Leonid Kravchuk, the sitting leader of Ukraine, remains the head of state of Ukraine.


1991:


1991, August 24: Following a failed coup in Moscow (commonly known as the August coup) by Soviet Communist Party hardliners who attempted to seize control from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the Ukraine parliament declares independence for the second time, the date still celebrated as Ukraine’s official independence day.

1991, November 30: Leonid Kravchuk, the head of state of Ukraine, orders the commander of the aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, that the aircraft carrier remains the property of Ukraine as per the agreement of independence from the USSR.

1991, December 01: Ukraine, along with Crimea, become independent from the USSR based on the results of a referendum with 92% of the population in favor of Ukraine’s independence. Crimea joins Ukraine as a semi-autonomous state. The Russian Navy risks losing control over the territory of its main Black Sea base in Sevastopol, Crimea. At around 21:00PM, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov sails out of the Sevastopol harbor to Vidyayevo in Russia. The order for the ship's urgent departure was given by the deputy commander of the Northern Fleet, Yuri Ustimenko, who arrived in Crimea earlier for the purpose of enabling the ship's departure from Ukraine, acting upon instructions from the Russian Navy who pre-empted the possible loss of the carrier to Ukraine upon declaration of independence.

Admiral Kuznetsov in service with the Russian Northern Fleet. The ship was designed and built in Ukraine, and effectively became the property of Ukraine as part of the approved terms of independence from the Soviet Union. The ship was taken by Russia from Ukraine on the day of independence under the cover of darkness.



[The majority of the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov's crew chose to remain with Russia, why the instructions from Ukraine's head of state, Leonid Kravchuk, was ignored in favor of transferring the ship [illegally] to Russia. Based on the conditions of independence approved by the USSR, Russia effectively stole the Admiral Kuznetsov from Ukraine. However, since the ship was built by Ukraine, and the ship building design and expertise remained in Ukraine, Russia struggled to complete the ship in accordance with its original operational design specifications. Since the ship's induction into operational service with the Russian Northern Fleet in 1995, the ship has been problematic in terms of serviceability, effectively not having successfully completed a single operational deployment without experiencing major mechanical failures. Admiral Kuznetsov was deployed to Syria on October 15, 2016, while still undergoing maintenance. The carrier was withdrawn less than 6 weeks later to undergo a refit starting January 2017 after multiple arresting gear failures on the flight deck resulting in the loss of various combat aircraft. The carrier air wing was transferred to Khmeimim Air Base in Syria. The carrier has not been operational since, having undergone various setbacks, and at present the refit is expected to be finished by 2024, although this is expected to be delayed as a result of the ongoing Russo-Ukraine War].


1991, December 05: Leonid Kravchuk is inaugurated at the first President of Ukraine. His term end on July 19, 1994, when he hands over duty to Leonid Kuchma. Leonid Kravchuk served as the head of state of Ukraine until the approval of the newly created position of President after declaration of independence.

1991, December 08: The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is re-established by Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine at the Belovezh Accords in Belarus as a means of bringing together all the newly independent countries that originally belonged to the USSR. The CIS, which functioned as a shared Russophone cultural, social, and economic space, originated during the era of the Russian Empire until replaced in 1917 by the Russian Republic following the February Revolution in that year. The CIS Charter, which stipulates all the statutes of the group, had not been developed at the time.

1991, December 26: The Union of the Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) is officially dissolved.


1992:


1992, February 26: Crimea ASSR renamed Republic of Crimea in an attempt to be recognized as an independent sovereign state after the passing of a resolution in the Crimean Parliament.

1992, May 05: Crimea declares self-governance pending approval by a referendum.

1992, May 06: The Crimean Parliament includes a sentence in the constitution confirming Crimea remains part of the sovereignty of Ukraine.

1992, May 19: Crimean Parliament annuls proclamation of independence from Ukraine, and agrees to remain part of Ukraine.

1992, June 30: Crimean Communist Party forces Kyiv to extend the status of Crimean autonomy. The Soviet Black Sea fleet is divided equally between Russia and Ukraine.

1992, October 13: Leonid Kuchma, as an independent politician, becomes Prime Minister of Ukraine winning 316 of 450 votes in Parliament.


1993:


1993, January 15: Union of the Ukrainian Naval Officers demands an end to Russian interference in Ukraine's internal affairs causing for Russia to retaliate by initiating anti-Ukrainian protests to support an independent Crimean Republic via the Party of the Republican Movement of Crimea, Voters for the Crimean Republic, and Union of Communists who demands Crimea’s return to the USSR (now CIS).

1993, January 22: The Charter (Statutes) of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is signed by its member states, excluding Ukraine and Turkmenistan, the latter two nations choosing to participate as non-member states to limit Russian interference via the CIS mechanisms.

1993, March 19: National Salvation Front refuses Crimean Ukrainian Congress entry to the Republican Council.

1993, March 21: Russia establishes an 'information bureau' in Sevastopol.

1993, April 14: Presidium of the Crimean Parliament calls for establishment of a Presidential post for the Crimean Republic.

1993, April 21: Russian Deputy, Valentin Agafonov, confirms Russia is ready to accept Crimea as an independent republic in the CIS.

1993, July 28: Russian Society of Crimea confirms readiness for an armed mutiny to enable the establishment of a Russian administration in Sevastopol.

1993, October 14: Crimean Parliament establishes the post of President of Crimea. Crimean Tatars oppose the election of a President for Crimea, stating that Crimea cannot have two Presidents (referring to sitting Ukrainian President as first President).

1993, November 06: Crimean Tatar leader, Yuriy Osmanov, is murdered, followed by a series of terrorist attacks throughout the Crimean Peninsula targeting mainly Ukrainian and Tatar politicians.


1994:


1994, January 30: Pro-Russian, Yuriy Meshkov, is elected President of Crimea.

1994, June 16: Ukraine Prime Minister Leonid Kutchma hands over his duties as Prime Minister to Vitaliy Masol after Kuchma resigned from the position, criticizing the Ukraine government for being too slow in terms of government reforms post-independence. He served as Prime Minister for 20 months.

1994, September 08: Crimean Parliament degrades powers of the President from Head of State to Head of the Executive. Meshkov dissolves the Parliament.

1994, September 12: Yuriy Meshkov declares himself in control of Crimea.

1994, December 05: Ukraine, Russia, United Kingdom and United States of America sign United Nations treaty 52241: Memorandum on security assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. By undersigning this treaty, the Russian Federation acknowledged the borders and sovereign independence of Ukraine, with security guarantees provided by all signatories to support Ukraine in the event of any future conflict involving the threat of nuclear weapons being used against Ukraine in return for nuclear disarmament.


1995:


1995, March 17: With Special Forces assistance, the Ukraine Parliament removes Yuriy Meshkov and his party from power for their attempts to integrate Crimea with Russia. Meshkov is arrested at his residence, and immediately deported to Moscow.


1996:


1996, April 04: Interim constitution changes Crimean territory name to Autonomous Republic of Crimea.


1997:


1997, May 14: Viktor Yanukovych is appointed the governor of Donetsk Oblast. Looking back from the perspective of current events, this event is significant for the reason that it established the foundation for Donetsk Oblast’s subsequent break-away from Ukraine with Russian military support during the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution in Kyiv.

1997, May 31: Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation is signed in Kyiv, fixing the principle of strategic partnership, the recognition of the inviolability of existing borders, and respect for territorial integrity and mutual commitment not to use its territory to harm the security of each other. With this treaty Russia recognized Ukraine’s sovereign control over Crimea and Sevastopol. In a separate agreement, Ukraine agrees to hand over 80% of the Black Sea Fleet (shared ex-USSR at the time) to Russia, along with a 20 years lease to the Russian Navy to operate from Sevastopol.


1999:


1999, December 22: Viktor Yushchenko, as an independent, becomes Prime Minister of Ukraine winning 296 of 450 votes in Parliament. He serves as Prime Minister for 17 months before replacement by Anatoliy Kinakh.


2000:


2000, September 16: Heorhiy Gongadze, a Ukrainian journalist investigating alleged corruption implicating Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma, disappears. His beheaded body is found 2 months later in a forest outside Kyiv. Audio recordings eventually surface implying that Kuchma ordered his subordinates to get rid of Gongadze which spurs public discontent. Western nations reconsider their relations with the Ukraine Presidency.


2002:


2002, November 21: Viktor Yanukovych, representing the Party of Regions, becomes Prime Minister of Ukraine winning 234 of 450 votes in Parliament. He served as Prime Minister for 26 months until replacement by Yulia Tymoshenko.


2003:


2003, February 15: Around 3 million people rally in Rome to protest the anticipated US invasion of Iraq. The source of the global arrangement of protesting actions were suspected to be arranged via the Russian information network.


[Iraq, a long-standing Russian ally, was of great strategic value to Russia’s future expansionism plans, and the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a major upset to Russia. Russia was still recovering from its economic transformation and reintegration into the global economy and bound to solving many domestic unresolved issues brought over from the dissolution of the USSR. Vladimir Putin was especially dissatisfied with the US invasion at a personal level, why the invasion of Iraq was also used by Putin as a constant reference to his dissatisfaction about US global reach and expansion of influence closer to Russia’s traditional areas of influence. When Vladimir Putin came into power, he envisioned himself as a force for change in terms of the global power balance, and he used the US invasion of Iraq as a template for the eventual Russian invasion of Ukraine. He also considered his predecessors too weak to enable Russia’s potential as a global power in direct competition with the West. The only problem with that plan was that Russia had no experience in conducting combined arms operations equaling the scale of the US-led occupation of Iraq, and Russia failed to develop its armed forces with such capabilities, rather choosing to rely on its untested and flawed Soviet doctrines during the invasion of Ukraine on February 22, 2022. However, to a certain degree Russia was aware that it was no match compared to the West in a conventional war (even if it was just the United States), which forced Russia to explore alternative means of warfare through irregular means. A major requirement for Russia to escape its self-perceived situation of being encircled, was to re-establish a foothold in the Arabian Peninsula. That foothold was Syria, and to establish that foothold, Russia required the assistance of Iran (‘foothold’ meaning a firm base where Russia could deploy strategic capable components of its land, air and sea forces with access to the Mediterranean Sea). Taking into consideration the rapid mobilization of Daesh (Islamic State), the effects of the Arab Spring, and the eruption of unrest in Syria on March 15, 2011, the situation opened an opportunity for both Russia and its ally Iran to support the Syrian Ba’athist government. Both Russia and Iran entered Syria under the basis ‘to fight the Islamic State’, but there is no coincidence in the fact that during the combined Russian-Iran campaigns in Syria, the armed forces of both nations failed to effectively engage so-called ‘Islamic State’ forces, instead targeting US sponsored militants fighting the Assad Ba’athist government. It is also no coincidence that both Iran and Russia were ready in the waiting when they committed large military resources in support of the Assad Ba’athist government when the unrest ‘escalated’ into a civil war].


2003, March 19: The US-led coalition launches its air campaign during the invasion of Iraq. Russia condems the United States initiated invasion to remove Saddam Hussein and his Ba’ath Party from power. The Ba’ath Party and its influential leadership was considered a threat to regional security, especially relating to stability of global oil supplies. The Ba’ath Party was responsible for the financing of international terrorist groups affiliated to the Al Qaeda ideology. The operation to occupy Iraq was completed in 26 days.

2003, March 20: The US-led coalition commences its ground invasion of Iraq from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The US-led coalition during the initial invasion phase of the operation consisted of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland with around 160,000 troops. Poland was the only NATO Europe nation to contribute combatant forces during the initial invasion phase. US allies Canada, France, New Zealand, and Germany also confirmed their strong opposition against the US-led invasion.

2003, April 09: The US-led coalition captures the Iraqi capital of Baghdad 22 days after launching the invasion. The Battle of Baghdad took 6 days of urban combat to complete the city’s occupation.

2003, May 01: US President George W. Bush officially confirms the end of major combat operations in Iraq. The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) is established to develop the systems to enable Iraq to hold parliamentary elections in January 2005 as first step to establishing a democratic government. This point also marks the beginnings of the establishment of Daesh, or in other words, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ which rose in popularity amongst predominantly Sunni Arabs in MENA starting 2013 in Syria, followed by the annexation of large territories of Iraq in 2014.


[Daesh, or better known as the ‘Islamic State’ thanks to mainstream media, was established by senior Iraqi military- and intelligence officers who were forcefully removed from their positions during the US military’s de-Ba’athication of Iraq following the successful overthrow of the Iraqi Government under leadership of Saddam Hussein. Initially, the founding members wished to establish a Sunni Islamic Caliphate by whatever means. Daesh would in the years following the US invasion of Iraq, establish its network throughout the Arab nations, building its core structures around the Sunni populations of Iraq and Syria that considered the West as the ultimate enemy of Islam. However, Daesh (Islamic State) became a serious concern to Russia during 2012 when Russia experienced a mass exodus of radical Muslims from predominantly the North Caucasus region and Chechnya. What was of concern to Russia was that these fighters, numbered up to around 30,000 men by August 2016, was joining Daesh to fight against the United States and its allies in Syria and Iraq. The fact that Russian citizens were fighting US/NATO allies was not of concern, but these men had to return to Russia at some stage which would cause major internal disruption in the volatile North Caucasus and Chechnya. Russia was fighting radical Islamist insurgencies in various regions within the Russian Federation since 1994 to 2017 (predominantly in the North Caucasus and Chechnya), and the mass exodus of experienced fighters to join the ranks of Daesh presented somewhat of a solution to Russia to de-escalate the conflicts within its territories. It was not until 2014 that Russia realized that even-though it banned Daesh/Islamic State from operating within Russian territory, it would be to Russia’s strategic benefit to utilize Daesh to fights its silent war against the West with plausible deniability, while at the same time offering some form of control over around 30,000 Russians following the Muslim faith from contesting Russian territories to establish self-ruling status. By supporting Daesh (Islamic State), Russia gained an additional irregular ‘Army’ to utilize strategically through covert means, while also constructively making use of Russians who resisted the Russian ruling class in Moscow, to the benefit of the Russian Federation’s strategic objectives. Now, this idea is not an original Russian idea, but Russia borrowed the idea from US President George W. Bush that stated publicly during the early years of Operation Iraqi Freedom that it was better to fight the enemies of the United States within the boundaries of a foreign state (referencing Iraq as justification for the extended US military presence in Iraq), than to have those enemies infiltrate the United States, and killing Americans on US soil (referencing 9/11).


Since the Russian adoption of Daesh as a tool to achieve strategic objectives with plausible deniability, all radical Islamic insurgencies within Russian Federation territories ended by 2017, allowing Russia to shift more focus to expanding its foreign agenda. This plan of Russia became exposed when the US entered Syria to support its allies in destroying Daesh. At the time, Russia claimed that it was supporting the Syrian Government in fighting the ‘Islamic State’ which was an acceptable reason to have large military forces based there. This also supported the US to deploy larger force contingents into Syria without foreign scrutinization. Initially the US tried to establish some form of co-operative framework as to avoid targeting Russian forces by mistake. During this process it became clear that both Russia and Iran were overestimating its claims relating to attacks on Daesh (Islamic State) positions, instead targeting US sponsored militant groups fighting the Islamic State and the Syrian Government Forces, and then claiming that they had attacked Islamic State positions. One such example is when Russia confirmed to the United States that it had killed the leader of Daesh (Islamic State), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, during an airstrike in May 2019. The US knew this information was inaccurate, and during an undeclared special operation targeting al-Baghdadi in a Special Forces ground assault, al-Baghdadi was killed when he detonated himself with a suicide vest when he was surrounded by US forces. US President Donald Trump announced the killing of al-Baghdadi in a televised address, and thanked all the US allies for their assistance, including Russia. Russia only responded that if the US claims were true, that “it represented a serious contribution by the United States to combat terrorism”. Russian President Vladimir Putin did not provide any response to the success of the US mission. In total, the majority foreign fighters serving as combatants in Daesh originated from Russia, especially within leadership positions. By the end of 2014, the Islamic State had around 200,000 combatants in its ranks. What differentiates Daesh (Islamic State) from other radical Islam groups is its depth of organization. Daesh was well organized, and it even had its own multi-level secret service which it established in 2014. During 2014 alone, Daesh (Islamic State) was earning around US$ 1.9 Billion from its wide range of activities. However, the irony is that Daesh, who supposedly opposed the United States and its Western allies, used the USD currency as its own currency. The problem with operating such large numbers of USD currency is access to the US SWIFT banking system to enable international payments for salaries and supplies. This is where Russia and its organized crime network would contribute much value to the facilitation of USD processing to Daesh, which in turn offered great rewards to connected Russian inner circles, in addition to Russian oil traders benefitting from trading oil extracted from Islamic State controlled facilities at well below market value].


2003, August 17: Ukraine contributes 1,614 troops to the US-led coalition in Iraq. The Ukraine contingent is formed as the 5th Separate Mechanized Brigade and operates under the command of a polish led Division in southern Iraq alongside a Polish Brigade and a Spanish Brigade. The Brigade headquarters was based in Al Kut, Wasit Governate of Iraq. Main responsibilities involved rear area defense, base defense operations at Al Kut Air Base, and providing security to Polish EOD Engineers, and convoy protection. Both Russia and its pro-Russian political support base in Ukraine condemned the Ukrainian deployment in support of the US-led occupation of Iraq. Due to political pressure in Ukraine, the deployment would last only 7 months before complete withdrawal of all Ukrainian soldiers from Iraq. Contrary to various mass media disinformation, Ukrainian soldiers were never engaged in frontline combat operations alongside US forward units.

2003, November 03: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan issues a statement that the US invasion of Iraq was illegal under international law, and states that it breached the UN Charter.


2004:


2004, September 05: Viktor Yushchenko, an independent candidate running for the position President of Ukraine, attends a dinner with senior Ukrainian officials, including head of the Ukrainian Intelligence Services, Volodymyr Satsyuk. After the dinner, Yushchenko became seriously ill, and was flown to Vienna for medical treatment. It was later confirmed that Yushchenko had ingested TCDD dioxin, with a concentration 50,000 times the normal count in his body. He suspects intentional poisoning by the officials, including Davyd Zhvania, in attendance of the dinner, leaving his face severely deformed. Later studies confirmed the purity of the dioxin having originated from a laboratory. All three accused went into hiding in Russia, and Russia refused to extradite them back to Ukraine to face charges of attempted murder. Poisoning of political rivals identified as obstacles to Russia's expansionism agenda became more common practice after the 2008 Russo-Georgian war revealed that Russia had to change its strategy, which included the establishment of specialized covert Special Operations Forces to conduct clandestine direct action missions by irregular means.

Viktor Yushchenko before (left) being poisoned, and after (right) dioxin poisoning. In the years to follow, Yushchenko received multiple skin transplants to partially restore his face. Yushchenko wished to move Ukraine away from Russian political- and economic control, which nearly cost him his life. Prior to the Zelenskyy administration, Yushchenko was the only President of Ukraine that actively attempted to free Ukraine from Russia, but without success.



2004, December 01: American lobbyist, Paul John Manafort Jr, a long time electoral campaign consultant (also having served as the Trump presidential campaign manager during 2016), starts advising Viktor Yanukovych as his presidential campaign manager (until 2014 when Viktor Yanukovych flees Ukraine to Russia).


[The personal relationship between Manafort and Yanukovych ended abruptly after Yanukovych was inaugurated as President of Ukraine in 2010. According to sources close to Manafort at the time, Yanukovych just cut all contact with Manafort which disgruntled Manafort who even threatened Yanukovych that he would face severe political consequences for severing ties with him. Manafort however remained in service of the government of Russia, as well as Yanukovych’s Party of Regions in Ukraine. Based on evidence gathered by the FBI while investigating corruption charges against Manafort sprouting from his relationship with Yanukovych, Manafort was always paid via the Belize based Neocom Systems Limited account at the Kyrgyzstan based Asia Universal Bank (AUB). Although Manafort predominantly supported Republican Party presidential campaigns in the US against the Democrats, he was also opposed by various senior figures within the Republican Party (such as former Senator John McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham) due to his foreign ties with questionable people and foreign affiliations (such as Russia and Kyrgyzstan). Manafort is a controversial figure due to the extent of his political connections, especially his acceptance of an agreement starting 2006 based on a confidential proposal during June 2005 (based on FBI evidence) to assist the Vladimir Putin government (via Oleg Deripaska, a Putin aide) at a rate of US$ 10 million annually to promote Russian interests in both the US and the EU (which includes the UK pre-Brexit) relating to politics, strategic business, and mainstream media coverage. The link between Manafort and Russia is the reason why numerous compromised [conservative] US, British and EU politicians and media continue to support the mainstream Russian narrative in the current Russo-Ukraine conflict. Derived from other official disclosures made by Manafort, he earned around US$ 17 million between 2012 to 2014 “working for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine” (Viktor Yanukovych’s Partiia Rehioniv / Party of Regions, which formally collaborated with the dominant political party in Russia, Yedinaya Rossiya / United Russia). Based on his diverse foreign relations, reasonable suspicions indicate that he was also working with United Russia, and he was also implicated in an affidavit submitted to the January 2019 Special Counsel investigation that he handed confidential polling data relating to Donald Trump to Konstantin Kilimnik, a known Russian GRU agent. Manafort was convicted and imprisoned resulting the Special Counsel investigation relating to Russian influence in the 2016 US presidential elections, but he was pardoned on December 23, 2020, by former President Donald Trump.


However, just because Manafort supported the Republican Party while he was working to promote Russian interests in the US, it does not imply that the Republican Party as a collective is Russian sympathetic (just as Donald Trump does not represent the whole Republican Party). The overall political support to the current Russian activities in Ukraine amongst Republican senators are in the minority, and unfortunately the majority of the Russian narrative supporters are either paid to do so (and being coerced by some leverage the Russian GSU/FSB has over them), or because they simply suffer from ‘Cause Ignorance / Cause Blindness’, not knowing the exact details (causes) for being sympathetic towards the current Russian narrative (such as retired US military Generals serving as Senators preaching pro-Russian anti-West narratives relating to the current Russo-Ukraine conflict). The point we are getting to is that the effectiveness of Russian information operations should not be underestimated (for it is at present highly underestimated by even members of the law enforcement- and intelligence communities), and for some reason it is the older generation ‘conservatives’ who consider themselves the ‘most educated and knowledgeable’ regarding global affairs who have proven to be the most vulnerable and ignorant to Russian information campaign effectiveness mainly due to Russia’s clever masking of their disinformation message around conservative’ political ideologies. However, much of Russia’s political ideologies are still very much socialist in nature, and therefore what is perceived as a ‘conservative’ Russian government is in fact ‘socialist conservatism’. Now, this is where current Russian strategic ideology becomes interesting for the last time we observed governance resembling a ‘socialist conservatism’ model was during the Cold War in the German Democratic Republic (GDR / East Germany). There is also no coincidence that during the last years of the Cold War, Vladimir Putin was stationed in the GDR as a member of the Russian KGB with a close working relationship with the East German Stasi (Ministry of State Security), with its past members currently exercising much influence on the present day German political narrative. This possibly also explains why the German Federal Government, a supposedly leading NATO member state, maintained more favorable diplomatic support towards Russia since the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea, compared to its support to Ukraine even 6 months after Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine].


DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article suggests that any of the political institutions in the United States are sympathetic towards Russia, for that assumption would be grossly incorrect. Also, irrespective of the past relationships between known Russian collaborators and former President Donald Trump, nothing in this article implicates Trump being either sympathetic towards Russia, or compromised by Russia, for these assumptions would also be incorrect. However, since we are discussing this subject being quite a sensitive topic within the present political environment, we need to understand why the Republican Party is viewed as the more 'sympathetic' towards Russia's current operations in Ukraine within the public domain. The answer is actually quite simple. From a Russian perspective, the Republican Party has always been assessed as the greatest threat to Russian expansionism, why Russia, and specifically Vladimir Putin, dedicated so much resources to ensure that the Republican Party was infiltrated by pro-Russian narrative supporters (even if only for reward), which includes exposure of these characters via [Russian influenced] Western mainstream media when compromised as a means of degrading the Republican brand and values amongst its existing- and prospective followers who were still undecided between the policies of the Democrats and Republicans respectively. The thing is, in Putin's mind, the US was more likely to engage in direct military action against Russia under a Republican administration than under the leadership of the Democratic Party (not to be viewed as a negative reflection on the Democrats, for it is quite the opposite). This was proven during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War when the Republican administration under the leadership of President George W. Bush did everything to minimize Russian aggression in Georgia, and specifically stopping Russia from occupying Tblisi, When the Democrats took over office with President Barack Obama a few months later, the US softened its stance against Russia as not to 'provoke' further Russian aggression. This in effect gave Vladimir Putin the idea that the Democrat leadership was less likely to confront Russia in a direct conflict.


With reference to Donald Trump (with all animosities between him and various prominent Democrats set aside), we need to be aware that when Donald Trump entered the candidacy race during 2016, the Russians saw an opportunity to capitalize on his most dominant characteristics, and to turn it to their benefit. Trump is an extrovert, and with that he is also a very outspoken character which is further amplified by his entertainment industry past. Is he a good politician, and did he understand the complexity of international relations and diplomacy? No, for when he entered the Oval Office as a non-career politician, he was very much naive about the realities he was facing. In fact, overwhelmed would be the most accurate description for his first experience as President of the United States (POTUS). To simplify his transition into the POTUS, he appointed advisors who were supposedly experts in their fields if not close relatives who he trusted. This is where the Russians saw weakness in his administration, and this is where they targeted the Trump administration, namely, via the incompetence of his advising staff (without mentioning names). As Trump became more aware of the poor quality advice he was receiving based on factually flawed information, the more his actions in response to poor advice played out to the benefit of Russia, resulting in an ever-expanding political divide between the Republicans and Democrats. The point of this explanation is not to promote any political figures, nor to promote any political parties or ideologies, but instead to highlight the causes for the current political fragility in the United States. We mention this for the reason that a political unstable United States results in global instability, a desired Russian end state. What is needed now is for both the Republicans and Democrats to press the reset button, and work out a way to improve inter-party relations to enable greater cooperative effort in countering a belligerent Russia already at war with the West].


2005:


2005, January 06: Viktor Yanukovych, former governor of Donetsk Oblast and former Prime Minister of Ukraine, is declared the winner of the second round of the Ukraine presidential elections against former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko. During the first round, Viktor Yanukovych narrowly lost against Viktor Yushchenko, which called for a second round of elections in accordance with Ukrainian election laws.

2005, January 23: Viktor Yushchenko resumes duty as the President of Ukraine from Leonid Kuchma after the Ukrainian Supreme Court nullified the second run-off election results which saw Viktor Yanukovych win the election after evidence of Russian assisted election fraud and voter intimidation was detected, to include the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko during the campaign which left his face deformed, consequently leading to mass public protests which became known as the Orange Revolution when Viktor Yushchenko supposedly lost the second run-off. Yushchenko is a trained accountant, and his father survived various German POW concentration camps during WW2.

2005, February 04: Yulia Tymoshenko, representing Batkivshchyna, becomes Prime Minister of Ukraine winning 373 of 450 votes in Parliament. Tymoshenko resumes duty from Viktor Yanukovych, and serves for 7 months before being replaced by Yuri Yekhanurov.

2005, February 17: Viktor Yanukovych’s Partiia Rehioniv (Party of Regions) signs an agreement of collaboration with Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) party, the dominant conservative [policies] party supporting Vladimir Putin’s government as former party leader.


[So, what is the major significance of Viktor Yanukovych’s political collaboration with the Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) party? The Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) party is the political instrument that is keeping Vladimir Putin and his supporters in power in Russia (since Vladimir Putin, as former Chairman, acts as the de facto leader of the party). Basically, nobody can become a ‘person of power’ if he does not belong to the United Russia party. The current official leader of United Russia is Sergey Shoigu, who also serves as the current Minister of Defense of Russia since 2012. At present (Q3 2022), Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) holds 325 of the 450 State Duma (lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia) seats. Also, much instrumental to Russia’s successful expansionism throughout Crimea and eastern Ukraine, is the Russian Orthodox Church under the leadership of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, a powerful supporter of Vladimir Putin. However, to understand how foreign political groups seem to be controlled by Russia, we need to look at all of the current international alliances of Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia):


Armenia Prosperous Armenia

Austria Freedom Party of Austria

Azerbaijan New Azerbaijan Party

Bosnia & Herzegovina Alliance of Independent Social Democrats

Cambodia Cambodian People’s Party

Cuba Communist Party of Cuba

Estonia Estonian Centre Party

Germany Alternative for Germany, Young Alternative for Germany

Italy League of Salvini Premier

Japan Liberal Democratic Party

Kazakhstan Nur Otan

Laos Lao People’s Revolutionary Party

Moldova Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova

Mongolia Mongolian People’s Party

North Korea Workers Party of Korea

Philippines Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP – Laban)

Serbia Serbian Progressive Party

South Africa African National Congress

Syria Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party – Syria Region

Tajikistan People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan

Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party

Vietnam Communist Party of Vietnam


Basically, Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) took over political alliances previously held by the Communist Party of Russia (USSR), and now maintains an [integrated] working relationship with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, since all its foreign alliances practice Socialist political ideologies. However, where Russia gained much success within traditional Western nations that are majority ‘anti-socialism’ oriented, United Russia (with assistance from the Russian FSB, GRU and foreign collaborators), changed the political language to reflect ‘conservatism’ instead of ‘socialism’, hence capitalizing on the similarities in political ideologies that exist between Socialism and Conservatism (ignoring economic models). However, through cleverly devised narratives, Russia has gained much success in establishing favor amongst traditionalists (conservatives) by pushing against the same anti-liberal agendas opposed by so-called ‘conservatives’, especially when Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) was a member (until 2014) of the European Democratic Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe alongside other European parties such as the British ‘Conservative Party’, the Polish ‘Law and Justice’, and the Turkish ‘Justice and Development Party’. Up until 2014, the Ukrainian Partiia Rehioniv (Party of Regions) under the control of the Yanukovych faction also served as a member of the European Democratic Group. From 2014 to 2019, the group operated under a new name, European Conservatives Group, after Russia annexed Crimea (supposedly to disguise its former inclusion of both Partiia Rehioniv (Party of Regions), Ukraine, and Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia). However, what remained unchanged post-2014 was Russia’s covert support to this group and its members, the majority parties being international alliance members of Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia). Now, the most confusing part about the current Russian system of government is that it cannot be categorized into being a party prescribing to a specific political ideology. The reason for this is due to Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) being composed of four internal groupings as follows:


Liberal Conservative: 4 November Club

Social Conservative: Centre for Social Conservative Politics

Conservative Liberal: State Patriotic Club

Liberal: Liberal Club


By maintaining four systems within a single political party, Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) is able to contest political control over Russia using either a Liberal, Conservative, or Social model, with each model prescribing to the same central party core objectives under a centralized leadership structure to eventually achieve the same end goal. The term used by United Russia to describe (disguise) this three model system, is ‘Russian Conservatism’ (why the majority of assumptions based on perceptions relating to Russia’s political ideologies are mostly incorrect). Basically, this is the reason why the current Russian political government appeals to so many people supporting diverse/opposite political ideologies world-wide. To understand how party governance works, and how it is applied in terms of managing the Federal Government of Russia, Yedinaya Rossiya is nothing more than a collective of organized crime syndicates operating within a single centralized organizational framework under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. The Russian Federation is in fact a working example of organized crime syndication functioning as the national government].