Russia has proposed that a UN “peacekeeping” force be placed in Ukraine to protect Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) representatives, who are supposed to be monitoring adherence to the Minsk agreements. But already the problems with the idea have become obvious with the United States and the Kiev regime reacting to the proposal with statements that they want to use the force to “restore Ukrainian sovereignty” and its “territorial integrity.”
The objective of the NATO alliance is clear, to use the force as a device to crush the Donbass republics. Russia sees it as a way advance the Minsk agreements, to stop the harassing criticism of the NATO powers that the Russians and Donbass impede the work of the OSCE observers and perhaps to have some control over the OSCE to make sure it is neutral and objective in its mission. For in fact the OSCE is seen by many in the Donbass Republics as a group of spies for the west, not to be trusted.
The Russians seem to think a UN force could be created that would actually be neutral between all the parties to the hostilities, give some assurance to the Donbass and create another layer or buffer between the Kiev forces besieging the Donbass and the Donbass forces resisting that siege. A logical idea it would seem if one were not aware of how UN “peacekeeping” missions actually work. The trouble with it is that unless such a force is officered by Russians, or nations allied with Russia, no UN force could be trusted. History shows that UN peacekeeping missions can turn into “regime change” missions, as happened in Rwanda and Yugoslavia.
I will focus on the Rwandan war and the role of the UN there since that is better known to me through the war crimes trials at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal. During those trials a lot of the evidence of the real role of the UN in Rwanda was revealed. The situation deserves remembering because the UN force sent to Rwanda in order, supposedly, to keep the peace between the invading Ugandans of the Rwanda Patriotic Front supported by the US, UK, Canada and Belgium, on one side, and and the government of Rwanda on the other, in reality acted as division of the invading forces.
The Canadian UN force commander, General Dallaire, and officers under him, actively helped the invading forces to violate weapons limit agreements, troop deployment agreements, helped them bring into the country arms and artillery for a final offensive, were complicit in the assassination of officials and politicians, were complicit in the murder of the President of Rwanda and President of Burundi, the murder of countless civilians, used their freedom of movement to gather and provide intelligence to the invading forces, and, in the fighting, along with American military forces, provided logistics and ammunition to the invaders, took part in attacks on government forces alongside the invading forces and, on the whole conspired to bring down the legitimate government and replace it with the present dictatorship of Paul Kagame.
In all this Dallaire was helped by senior members of the Department of Peace Keeping Operations, the DPKO, in New York, staffed by another Canadian general, Baril, and headed by Kofi Anan. The Rwandan UN peacekeeping mission, on which the hopes of millions rested for peace and democracy, was in fact a Trojan Horse wheeled in to spread death and destruction on a mass scale and it was a Horse controlled by Washington and London. For his loyal service to the United States in that war Anan was later made Secretary General of the UN.
This is the reality that Russia faces in proposing such a force for Ukraine. The US has already requested an amendment to the Russian proposal that requires the force to have a mandate right up to Russia’s borders. If this occurred then UN forces would be operating deep inside the Donbass Republics’ territories. It is a certainty that if NATO officers and troops control the force they will use it to their advantage against the Donbass Republics and Russia. It would be complete folly to permit it.
The only way that such a force could work if it is acceptable in the Donbass Republics. But the Donbass republics will want such forces to be composed of forces they can trust, which are at the least neutral and fair if not sympathetic, and unless Russian officers are part of the composition I cannot see how they could accept the idea with any rationality.
But the Kiev regime has already stated that it will not accept Russian or allied forces in any UN mission. In fact, the regime went so far as to state that UN mission is “irrelevant.” Poroshenko stated on September 7th that the “Russian proposal to deploy a UN mission specifically to protect the OSCE mission is strange to say the lease. However, Ukraine is ready to talk about it and we call for the deployment of a full-scale UN mission in the Donbass. Besides, the mission should meet UN principles, meaning that the aggressor state or the sides to the conflict will not take part in it.”
This slap at Russia as the “aggressor state” only backfired as it is clear that the aggressors in Ukraine are the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev and its NATO allies, the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Canada and others who have their forces there supporting the Kiev regime’s attack on the peoples of the Donbass. So, according to Poroshenko’s logic, no NATO soldiers could take part in such a mission.
So a stalemate has developed unless both sides are willing to accept neutral soldiers from neutral countries. But where are these countries to be found? They do not exist.
The fact remains that the Minsk agreements are a dead letter. The Kiev regime has never acted in accordance with them. Germany and the US and the rest put out propaganda that Russia and the Donbass are not in compliance while themselves arming the Kiev regime and supporting attacks on the Donbass peoples They have never ceased the attacks. The war simmers from month to month. The misery for the people drags on into another winter. People continue to die for no reason at all. NATO forces continue their build up and their military exercises. Russia responds with its own, along with Belarus. A political solution is needed but the goodwill and intentions necessary for one cannot be found for the NATO objective is not peace but conflict to create the circumstances the United States wants.
The regime in Kiev is now an adjunct of the NATO war alliance, a willing pawn in the bigger game. It has dragged its people into chaos and poverty and they have gained nothing except NATO chains. The United States and its allies want Russian subservience and will push until they get it or are they are stopped. In the meantime they too drag their peoples into chaos and poverty. Russia, with a deep experience, does not want another general war and so searches for light under any barrel. There is not much to find but at least Russia is making the attempt, searching for peace. Like John Lennon they just want to give peace a chance but the United States leadership doesn’t want any of it. They are only searching for domination or war and continue to deliver to Russia one insult after another even as Russia bends over backward to accommodate the US in Korea.
We have to salute President Putin for making the suggestion in an endeavour to advance towards the victory of peace in Ukraine. A political solution is necessary. But we have to caution him and the Russian leadership as they search for that victory. Beware the Trojan Horse.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”