To Russia and Ukraine, the crisis is an existential issue. To the US and NATO, it’s a regime-change game. To Europe, it means the demise of stability – in the world economy, lost years (and that’s the benign scenario).
This crisis did not come out of the blue. It was allowed to happen. NATO expansion led to the Ukraine conflict, the new Cold War, energy and commodity crises, nuclear alerts and dented global recovery.
But if the war was unwarranted, why did it happen? And what will follow afterwards?
NATO expansion: “the great blunder”
In his TV address of 24 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced three decades of NATO expansion and the many pledges that were betrayed to Russia. He said that Moscow did not intend to occupy Ukraine but wanted to “demilitarise and de-nazify Ukraine”. When bombs exploded in Ukrainian cities, Putin’s speech was condemned in the West as a paranoid fantasy, even as Facebook reversed its ban on users praising the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi military unit.
As declassified files show, a series of security assurances were given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders against NATO expansion at the turn of the 1990s, starting with President George H.W. Bush (whose presidential campaign had leaned on the Ukrainian far right in America) and his chief of CIA, Robert Gates, followed by a cascade of assurances by German, French, British and NATO leaders (Figure 1).
Figure 1: The path to tragedy
Empty pledges … preceded by ties with neo-Nazis
|Source: Vice President Bush, President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev in New York City in 1988 (Source: Wikimedia commons)||“To the honorable Yaroslav Stetsko,” signed by (then-vice president) George H.W. Bush” in 1983. In his 1988 campaign, Bush was supported by Eastern Europe’s far-right networks (Source: Wikimedia commons)|
What ensued was three decades of NATO expansion, today portrayed as an inevitable sequence of the “end of history”. Yet, it was widely condemned in 1997, by 50 leading US foreign policy experts in an open letter to President Clinton. They feared it would derail the future of US-Russian trust and nuclear arms control – as it did, while denting Eastern Europe’s future. Recently, Michael Mandelbaum, one of the signatories, called NATO expansion “one of the greatest blunders in the history of American foreign policy” (Figure 2).
Figure 2: US foreign policy NATO opposition in 1997
In April 2008, NATO announced that Ukraine and Georgia would become parts of the Treaty Organisation, which Russia denounced as an existential threat, drawing its red line. By 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, some leading international relations practitioners charged the US and its European allies with most of the responsibility for the crisis. Today, some military experts blame the US “war lobby” – the Pentagon and the defence contractors – for the crisis escalation.
The NATO expansion boosted the return of the Ukrainian far right, reinforced by a scandalous UN vote. In November, Russia presented a motion against the “glorification of Nazism”. Before Christmas, more than three out of four UN member countries passed the resolution. Despite its wartime devastation and the Holocaust, EU members abstained en masse from the resolution. Worse, Ukraine, the United States, even Canada rejected the motion.
It was an unparalleled insult against the Russians, who lost 27 million lives in the Second World War, ensuring the Allied victory against Hitler. But the UN vote was perfectly aligned with US covert activities since the 1940s.
Expansion of the Ukrainian far right, with clandestine US support
During the Second World War, Ukraine’s far-right forces collaborated with Nazi Germany. Some 1.5 million Holocaust victims came from Ukraine, while 100,000 Poles were slaughted by the same far-right. During the Cold War, they cooperated with the US, which eventually led to “the role of domestic fascist networks in the Republican Party and their effect on US Cold War politics”. These ties date from the heroes of Ukrainian far right Stepan Bandera and Yaroslav Stetsko (see Figure 1) to US anti-Communist think-tanks today. Nor are these ties history or Putin’s fantasy. Since the 2014 Maidan, Ukraine has enacted new monuments, plaques and renamed streets – including a major Kyiv boulevard leading to Babi Yar, a site of one of the largest wartime Nazi massacres of Jews – nearly every week to “Nazi collaborators and Holocaust perpetrators.”
In February 2014, Victoria Nuland, then-assistant secretary of state for European Affairs, played a key role in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukrainian, President Viktor Yanukovych, while selling US mainstream media the pro-democracy tale, “without weighing the likely chaos and consequences”. That legitimised the Ukrainian far right, its massacres of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, while burying the European-guaranteed compromise plan with Yanukovych and early elections. The coup led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol’s strategic naval base – as noted by the highly regarded investigative journalist Robert Parry, who exposed the Iran-Contra debacle in the 1980s.
Hence, the neoliberal “reforms” and the IMF interventions, which almost collapsed the Ukrainian economy and the “deep degree of US involvement in affairs that Washington officially says are Ukraine’s to resolve”.
Since 2014, the Ukrainian stay-behind networks have been dominated by far-right, neo-Nazi and white supremacist paramilitaries, with the commander of the notorious Azov Battalion, Andriy Biletsky, a self-proclaimed “White Führer”. At the time, these groups were tacitly supported by then-vice president Biden, deputy national security advisor Blinken, and Biden’s top security aide Jake Sullivan. Nuland, too, is back in the game. As secretary of state Blinken’s right hand since May 2021, she has pushed for the Biden administration’s elevated anti-Russian sanctions to “punish Putin” and “fuel Russian unrest”. As a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, the US funder of “colour revolutions”, she’s promoting regime change and another collapse of the Russian economy. From Iraq to Afghanistan, they have supported all U.S. post-9/11 wars, which cost $8 trillion to U.S. economy alone.
According to a 2020 West Point counter-insurgency analysis, the “common preoccupation” for both neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups in the US and Europe “has been the conflict in Ukraine, where a well-established far-right extremist movement and its associated militia have consistently engaged with and welcomed far-right ideologues and fighters from other parts of Europe and North America”. In fall 2021, a US extremist-watch group reported that the Ukrainian far-right group Centauria had made its home in Ukraine’s major Western military training hub, built ties with the Azov movement, and infiltrated the armed forces. The State Department knew the extent of the problem but purposely ignored it (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Expansion of Ukrainian far right with US support since 2014
(a) Flags of NATO, Azov and Hitlerjugend (b) Far Right in the Western military Hub
|Members of the Azov Battalion holding the flag of the Azov Battalion, NATO flag and a Nazi Hitler Jugend flag in 2014. (/Wikimedia Commons).||IERES report on the infiltration of Western military hubs in Ukraine by the far-right paramilitaries (Sep 2021)|
Energy, commodities and global nuclear risks
Since Ukraine’s contribution to the world economy is fractional and Russia represents less than 2 per cent of the global economy, the geopolitical risk of a Ukraine crisis was discounted for years. In reality, those risks have vital energy, commodity and nuclear ramifications.
Russia is the world’s second-largest oil exporter. After two years of COVID-19 economic and human devastation, the oil market is no longer well equipped for major supply disruptions, due to low inventories and diminished spare capacity. As supply concerns spur oil stockpiling, price increases escalate. Russia is also the world’s largest natural-gas exporter. As the sanctions hit Russia, they will suppress supplies and drive up prices worldwide. Russian gas is vital to US NATO allies Germany (49 per cent of gas supply), Italy (46 per cent), and France (24 per cent). It accounts for 42 per cent of Europe’s gas imports via pipeline alone. Overall, energy makes up two-thirds of Europe’s imports from Russia, even as EU countries already grapple with the spectre of high inflation (Figure 4a).
Figure 4: Major trading partners, 2021
(a) Russia (b) Ukraine
Ukraine and Russia also play a major role in the global agricultural market. Together, the two countries account for a quarter of global wheat exports. The crisis is likely to have a lingering adverse impact in the poorest developing economies, particularly in Africa, while emerging economies, particularly in Southeast Asia, will have to cope with increasing energy and commodity prices amid inflation spikes. Predictably, the benchmark gauge for world food prices soared in February, reaching an all-time high. But worse is still ahead.
With rising tensions and open hostilities, crude oil has already hit the highest since 2008 at above $130 per barrel, a 14-year high. The Commodity Index is almost 50% per cent up since the beginning of 2022. Both could climb significantly higher.
Worse, there are heightened global nuclear threats. Recent fears of potential nuclear disasters at the Zaporizhzhia plant and elsewhere in Ukraine are just a glimpse of challenges looming ahead. Some 90 per cent of all nuclear warheads are owned by Russia (5,977) and the US (5,426). Only weeks ago, the symbolic Doomsday Clock, maintained since 1946, was set at just 100 seconds to midnight, for the second year. It was the worst-possible accomplishment at the worst-possible time.
Today, the risks are significantly higher.
Undermining China’s economic development with Ukraine
The Ukrainian crisis was avoidable but a geopolitical trajectory was manoeuvred, at least in part so that peace, stability and development would be pre-empted. Even as tensions have progressively escalated in the past half a decade, trade ties between Ukraine and Russia have steadily increased since President Viktor Yanukovych’s state visit to China in 2013. Four years later, Ukraine, now under President Poroshenko, joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative. And in 2019, China overtook Russia as Ukraine’s biggest single trading partner (Figure 4b).
In 2020, Kyiv and Beijing signed a deal to strengthen cooperation in multiple areas, particularly in infrastructure financing and construction. And last year, overall trade boomed to $19 billion, having soared 80 per cent since 2013.
To President Zelensky, the BRI meant an alternative future that would be more peaceful and stable. Or, as he said in his phone conversation with President Xi Jinping, Ukraine might become a “bridge to Europe” for Chinese investments.
In just a year, major Chinese companies started operations in construction (CPCG, CHEC), food (COFCO) and telecommunications (Huawei). Huawei, which the US has struggled to neutralise for a decade, helped Ukraine to develop mobile networks, won the bid to install a 4G network in Kyiv’s subway and was selected in 2020 to improve Ukraine’s cyber-defence and cybersecurity.
Washington has worked for three decades to transform Ukraine into a client state. Hence the penchant for ignoring Russian pleas for diplomacy, the crisis escalation, and the deliberate neglect of Austrian-style options for neutrality in the region.
And when Zelenskyy flirted with the idea of reconciliation with Russia in 2019, the far right torpedoed it quickly. It wanted revenge, which has been shrewdly exploited.
From Prince to Biden: The plan to militarise Ukraine
From 1991 to 2014, the US provided Ukraine with $4 billion in military assistance, even though it is not a NATO member. Over $2.7 billion has been added since then, plus over $1 billion provided by the NATO Trust Fund, which is only a part of the total military investments in Ukraine. To Erik Prince, it was a great business opportunity, Iraq déjà vu.
As the founder of the private US contractor Blackwater (renamed Academy), he had long supplied mercenaries to the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department for covert operations, including torture and assassinations.
In early 2020, as Washington struggled to keep China and economic development out of Ukraine, Prince outlined a “roadmap” for the creation of a “vertically integrated aviation defence consortium” that could bring $10 billion in revenues and investment and compete with “the likes of Boeing and Airbus” (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Iraq déjà vu?
|Paul Bremer, leader of the US coalition after the unwarranted $3 trillion 2003 Iraq War, escorted by Blackwater Security guards (Wikicommons)||Time exposé of Erik Prince’s $10 Ukraine plan on 7 July 2021 (screen capture)|
Prince also wanted the Motor Sich factory that the Chinese had already acquired. As the Trump administration was busy suppressing China’s presence in Ukraine, Prince promoted himself as the “American option” with support from his mighty Republican family dynasty, and his sister Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary.
But the plans fell apart when Prince’s Ukrainian partners fell under criminal investigation for alleged efforts to sway the 2020 presidential election (the investigation also involved President Biden’s son and his stakes in Ukraine).
Instead of a private entity, the Biden administration seems to favour the idea of another major US military base, right at the Kremlin’s backdoor, as a platform for operations. As a common enemy, Russia could “make America united again”. Hence, Biden’s new approvals for $350 million of military arms to Ukraine, the largest such package in US history.
It was neither philanthropy nor a free lunch, but a sale in exchange for money. NATO refused to participate directly in the fighting. Pentagon took its provision. Defence contractors rejoiced their big win. Ukrainians were free – free to die.
Political reverberations in Washington and Kremlin
As long as most Americans approved of Biden’s performance, the White House had touted mainly diplomatic measures in Ukraine. But as most Americans turned against Biden, a dramatic change ensued. Hence, the hawkish push, and eventually threats and warnings about “imminent Russian invasion”, which the Kremlin slammed as “provocations”. Nonetheless, the hawkish stance has not reversed Biden’s ratings, which have been plunging since summer 2021 (Figure 6).
Figure 6: The crisis escalation: Presidential ratings in the US and Russia
(a) Biden’s sagging ratings
(b) Putin’s rising ratings
Source: (a) Screen capture of Biden ratings, Fivethirtyeight. (b) Putin’s approval ratings, Levada Center (Russia); Difference Group Ltd., 3 March 2022
There’s worse ahead, starting with Republican senators’ public demand to have Putin assassinated and a bipartisan bill to ban Russian oil, which could dent the Biden administration’s attempt to avoid a backlash in oil markets that could severely harm the US economy, as Goldman Sachs recently suggested. With impending elections, political populism may drive global prospects toward a stagflation recession.
In the West, the international media offers daily feeds of Russian protests against “Putin wars”. In reality, after Putin managed to stabilise the Russian economy, his approval rating soared to 80 per cent. When the far right threatened eastern Ukraine in 2014, the same recurred. And despite great tensions, his ratings exceeded 70 per cent prior to the crisis. Russians debate politics passionately, but they haven’t forgotten the post-Soviet economic devastation, which the West’s reforms made a lot worse.
Oligarch monies, regime change
In fall 2019, Zelenskyy won the elections as a populist who positioned himself as an anti-establishment, anti-corruption figure against his predecessor Poroshenko; and one that would finally end Ukraine’s prolonged conflict with Russia.
But Zelenskyy’s landslide did not fit the plans of the oligarchs, who hated his efforts to undercut their economic dominance; or the US State Department under Pompeo and then Blinken, who had other goals for Ukraine; or the far-right paramilitaries who’d been preparing for mobilisation since 2014; or Ukraine’s parliament, which opposed his efforts at greater centralisation. To many of them, he was replaceable.
So, in October 2021, like manna from heaven, files obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) indicated that Zelenskyy and his partners established a network of offshore companies back in 2012. What made the Pandora Papers politically embarrassing was that his offshore firms had received an alleged $41 million between 2012 and 2016 from firms belonging to Igor Kolomoisky, a billionaire whose TV channel screened Zelenskyy’s popular shows.
Kolomoisky has been a major funder of Azov since 2014, while bankrolling private militias, such as the Dnipro and Aidar Battalions, to protect his economic interests. It’s a symbiotic threesome. Reportedly, “Zelenskyy has ceded to neo-Nazi forces and now depends on them as front-line fighters”, while the far right has shrewdly used his Jewish heritage to refute allegations of Nazi influence in Ukraine. Other oligarchs sponsor their respective private militias.
The ICIJ does important work, but the timing of the disclosures is intriguing and some of the major sponsors of the Consortium itself are also key architects of “colour revolutions” (e.g., Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation).
Ever since the end of the Cold War, Ukraine has struggled for democracy. Of the myriad threats facing Ukraine since 2014, the return of the oligarchs has been prominent, even if their economic dominance has diminished. A solid democracy will “require the growth of stronger state institutions”. Yet, that is not the goal of those that seek to turn Ukraine into a fully fledged client state.
Despite repeated efforts to capture the parliament, the far-right groups enjoy only fringe (less than 2.5 per cent of the vote) support in Ukraine. Hence their reliance on extra-parliamentary measures and oligarchs. In the US, firms working for Ukrainian interests “inundated congressional offices, think tanks, and journalists in 2021″. To put the Ukraine lobby’s campaign into perspective, “the Saudi lobby – known for being one of the largest foreign lobbies in DC – reported 2,834 contacts, barely a quarter of what Ukraine’s agents have done.”
Lobbying requires money, which is the oligarchs’ speciality. They want to sustain their supremacy in the kind of Ukraine the US prefers. Besides, Ukraine holds the second-biggest known gas reserves in Europe, right after only Norway and largely untapped. A poor but resource-rich economy is an attractive target for regime change. Perhaps hence, too, the likely use of the neo-Nazi paramilitaries as stay-behind forces for “sabotage in a multipolar world”. In the postwar era, the CIA backed such Ukrainian insurgents for similar purposes, with disastrous results.
Ordinary Ukrainians want peace and development. But that’s not what they’re getting.
Ukraine’s decades of plunging living standards and millions of refugees
Ukraine has the highest number of politicians named in the Pandora Papers. Poor economies that are resource-rich, with fragile institutions, oligarchs, and extremist paramilitaries are highly vulnerable to corruption, particularly when they are targeted as “client states” by major powers. And those powers use weak institutions and corruption for their agendas. Ukraine is a prime example.
Between 1991 and 2021, the US military assistance, coupled with that by the UK and NATO, amounts to some $10 billion or more. But, as Iraq and Afghanistan evidence, military aid and economic aid, whether it is disguised for military purposes or not, seldom boosts consumer welfare – quite the reverse. In 2014, Ukrainian military spending was about 3 per cent of GDP, increasing to 6 per cent in 2022, corresponding to more than $11 billion. In brief, Ukrainian military expenditures have doubled since the 2014 regime ploy. Meanwhile, its economic growth has tanked. After the implosion of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian per capita incomes were almost on a par with Poland. Today, they are more than 60 per cent behind the Poles (Figure 7a).
Figure 7: Ukraine’s economic growth and military expenditures, 1990-2021
Ukraine’s population of 44 million people has been declining since the 1990s, because of a high emigration rate and high death rates, coupled with a low birth rate. And by 8 March, some 2 million Ukrainians were estimated to have left their country in the fastest exodus of people since 1945. Millions more could follow. Before the crisis, Ukrainian per capita incomes were barely ahead of Libya, which Western intrusions have turned into a failed state. Now worse is ahead.
From the unwarranted war to elevated economic and geopolitical risks
The Russia-Ukraine War has already resulted in more than 11,000 casualties, while some 2 million people have been displaced and these figures will increase. In a matter of days, that prompted a war crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and unprecedented economic sanctions, including the Russian central bank’s $643 billion of forex reserves, which aim to collapse Russia’s $1.7 trillion economy; the 11th largest in the world – despite the prewar pledge by the White House to use only targeted sanctions that would not hurt Russian people.
To put these things in context: In the past two decades, the U.S. has waged half a dozen post-9/11 wars (some under false pretense), with and without its allies, which have caused at least 1 million deaths and 38 million displaced. Yet, all efforts to prosecute the US have been derailed by the White House. Nor have there been any major economic sanctions against the U.S. (Figure 8).
Figure 8: U.S. Post-9/11 Wars and the Russia-Ukraine War
* U.S. Post-9/11 Wars from Sept. 2001 to Sept. 2021; Russia-Ukraine War (Febr. 24 to March 8, 2022
The ongoing crisis was avoidable and unwarranted. Worse, in the past, world leaders sought to end wars. Now wars are seen as business opportunities. The consequent economic sanctions are grossly disproportionate and, coupled with Biden’s ban of oil and gas imports to U.S., they will dramatically penalize the ailing global economy.
Elevated economic and geopolitical risks
In the dire international landscape, global recovery has remained elusive since 2017, due to the US and the pandemic depression. In a matter of weeks, global economic risks will accelerate as the Fed will begin rate hikes and, in due time, shrink its balance sheet (even if the pace and scope will be slower and lower than initially anticipated).
The hoped-for global recovery is now history, while the risk of stagflationary recession has increased. Moreover, the Ukraine-related geopolitical tremors, which could turn into broader existential threats if nuclear threats escalate further, have only begun.
Three scenarios remain after the hostilities diminish.
- The trap scenario. In the 1980s, President Carter’s security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski incited the Soviet Union into Afghanistan to weaken the Kremlin. Some believe Ukraine is the trap scenario déjà vu. While Russia may win the war in Ukraine, it can’t avoid another collapse of its economy. Ukraine will have a liberal future. America’s unipolar hegemony will prevail. A new generation of pro-Western oligarchs will loot Russian assets, again. The West will gain over time.
- The trap in the trap scenario. President Putin knows Biden’s traps. He will “de-nazify and demilitarise” Ukraine. Sanctions will crumble over time, but not before more debt-taking by the US, which will result in a new debt crisis, and the weakening of the EU, whose leaders will be more flexible after the war. The new Ukraine will thrive in Russia’s near abroad. Global recovery will ensue in a more multipolar world economy.
- The mutually assured trap scenario. Despite the planned trap scenarios in Washington and Kremlin, the geopolitical reverberations will turn the hybrid proxy war into a direct confrontation with fatal geopolitical contagion, or generate accidental conflicts which trigger exaggerated military responses. Rounds of sanctions and counter-sanctions will penalise the Russian and US economies and thus overall global prospects. A split Ukraine will emerge as a failed state. The US dollar as a major reserve currency will be shaken. The world economy will be neither unipolar nor multipolar, but devastated.
The real trajectory will be none of the three, but a combination of each. It is not that difficult to start a war; an exit from the war is a different story. Unwarranted wars among nuclear powers, proxy conflicts or not, will only drive humanity – all of us – ever closer to the abyss.
About the Author
Dr Dan Steinbock is an internationally recognised strategist of the multipolar world and the founder of the Difference Group. He has served at the India, China and America Institute (US), Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Centre (Singapore). For more, see https://www.differencegroup.net/
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-  Bellant, Russ. 1989. Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party. 3rd ed. Boston, 1991.
-  In 2017, the declassified assurances were posted online by the Washington-based National Security Archive. See Savranskaya, Svetlana and Blanton, Tom. 2017. “NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard.” Briefing Book #: 613. NATIONAL Security Archive, 12 December
-  “Opposition to NATO Expansion.” Arms Control Association, 26 June. 297.
-  Chotiner, Isaac. 2022. “Why John Mearsheimer Blames the U.S. for the Crisis in Ukraine.” The New Yorker, 1 March 1; see also Mate, Aaron. 2022. “US war lobby fuels conflict in Russia, Ukraine, and Syria: ex-Pentagon advisor.” The Grayzone, 6 January.
-  Bellant 1989, op. cit; and “Seven Decades of Nazi Collaboration: America’s Dirty Little Ukraine Secret.” An Interview with Russ Bellant. The Nation, 28 March 2014.
-  On Bandera, Stetsko and their organizations and U..anti-Communist think-tanks, see Grzegorz, Rossolinski. 2014. Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist: Fascism, Genocide, and Cult. Stuttgart; Snyder, Timothy. 2001. To Resolve the Ukrainian Question Once and For All: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ukrainians in Poland, 1943-1947. Working Paper, Yale; “Far-right exploitation of genocides” in Steinbock, Dan. 2021. “Playing Genocide Politics: The Zenz-Xinjiang Case.” The European Financial Review, 11 June
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-  Parry, Robert. 2015. “The Mess That Nuland Made.” The Consortium News, 13 July.
-  Gearan, Anne. 2014. “In the recording of U.S diplomat, blunt talk on Ukraine”. The Washington Post, 6 February.
-  “Ukraine’s National Militia: ‘We’re not neo-Nazis, we just want to make our country better’.” The Guardian, 13 March 18.
-  Since May 2021, Nuland has served as under-secretary of state for political affairs for secretary of state Blinken. On her role, see Wong, Edward and Crowley, Michael. 2022. “With Sanctions, U.S and Europe Aim to Punish Putin and Fuel Russian Unrest.” The New York Times, 4 March.
-  Costs of War project by the Watson Institute, Brown University.
-  Lister, Tim. 2020. “The Nexus Between Far-Right Extremists in the United States and Ukraine.” CTC Sentinel, April, pp. 30-43.
-  Ibid; “Neo-Nazis Not Top of Mind for Senate Democrats Pushing Weapons for Ukraine.” The Intercept, 19 February 22.
-  “FAO Food Price Index rises to record high in February.” Food and Agriculture Organization, UN, 4 March 2022.
-  Crude Oil WTI (USD/Bbl); CRB Commodity Index.
-  “China, Ukraine sign deal to strengthen infrastructure cooperation.” Global Times, 4 July 21.
-  State Statistics Service of Ukraine.
-  https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/vidbulasya-persha-telefonna-rozmova-volodimira-zelenskogo-z-69509
-  As the West Point report puts it, “these groups have bitterly opposed any suggestion of compromise with Russia over Donbas through the Normandy negotiating process… and oppose concessions floated by President Volodymyr Zelensky.” See Lister 2020, op. cit.
-  Shuster, Simon. 2021. “Exclusive: Documents Reveal Erik Prince’s $10 Billion Plan to Make Weapons and Create a Private Army in Ukraine.” TIME, 7 July.
-  “Chinese firm’s stake in Ukraine military aircraft engine maker ‘frozen'”. South China Morning Post, 16 September 2017 China’s Beijing Skyrizon Aviation bought a 41% er cent holding in Motor Sich. The Chinese planned to invest $250 million in the Ukrainian plants until American pressure killed the deal.
-  Remarks of President Joe Biden – State of the Union Address as Prepared for Delivery. The White House Briefing Room, 1 March 22.
-  “Biden, Putin Discuss Ukraine as Kremlin Slams ‘Provocations’.” AFP, 12 February 21.
-  “Bipartisan bill banning Russian oil sets up clash with White House.” Politico, 3 MarchMa022; “Sen. Lindsey Graham’s apparent call for Putin to be assassinated draws backlash.” NPR, 4 March 22; The Russia Risk. Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, February, p.13.
-  “Political and business links to Pandora Papers roil parliaments, anti-corruption and tax authorities as global fallout swells.” Pandora Papers Impact, ICIJ, 12 October 21. See also “Revealed: ‘anti-oligarch’ Ukrainian president’s off shore connections.” The Guardian, 3 October 21.
-  Rubinstein, Alex and Blumenthal, Max. 2022. “How Ukraine’s Jewish president Zelensky made peace with neo-Nazi paramilitaries on front lines of war with Russia.” The Grayzone, 4 March.
-  Minakov, Mikhail. 2016. A Decisive Turn? Risks for Ukrainian Democracy After the Euromaidan. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 3 February
-  “Ukraine’s CEC announces official results of parliamentary elections,” UNIAN, 3 August 19.
-  According to an analysis of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), filings for a forthcoming report from the Quincy Institute. See Freeman, Ben. 2022. “Ukrainian Lobbyists Mounted Unprecedented Campaign on U.S lawmakers in 2021.” The Intercept, 11 February
-  Amelin, Anatoliy et al. 2020. “The Forgotten Potential of Ukraine’s Energy Reserves.” Harvard International Review, 10 October
-  Meegan Daniel. 2020. Breaking Other People’s Toys: Sabotage in a Multipolar World. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey California, December. Rogg, Jeff. 2022. “The CIA has backed Ukrainian insurgents before. Let’s learn from those mistakes.” Los Angeles Times, 25 February
-  UN Population database.
-  Data from the UNHCR. See also Global Trends in Forced Displacement – 2020, UNHCR, 21 June 21.
-  Steinbock, D. 2017. The Great Shift: The Shift of Globalization from the Transatlantic Axis to China and Emerging Asia. China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies Vol. 03, No. 02, pp. 193-226; and Steinbock, D. 2018. U.S-China Trade War and Its Global Impacts. China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies, Vol. 04, No. 04, pp. 515-54.