“Why Russia wants Ukraine”

18 Feb

I came across this last night on Facebook. A chap named Mike, unknown to me, set out a list of motives for Russia invading Ukraine. It’s laborious, he offers no source for his claims about the latter’s natural wealth (not that I dispute them) and the DTP pedant in me abhors the multiple and serious breaches of the Laying Out Text With Due Care and Attention Act (1952) but here it is anyway:

For those who ask: “Why does Ukraine matter? “
This is why Ukraine matters.
It is the second largest country by area in Europe by area and has a population of over 40 million – more than Poland.
Ukraine ranks:
1st in Europe in proven recoverable reserves of uranium ores;
2nd place in Europe and 10th place in the world in terms of titanium ore reserves;
2nd place in the world in terms of explored reserves of manganese ores (2.3 billion tons, or 12% of the world’s reserves);
2nd largest iron ore reserves in the world (30 billion tons);
2nd place in Europe in terms of mercury ore reserves;
3rd place in Europe (13th place in the world) in shale gas reserves (22 trillion cubic meters)
4th in the world by the total value of natural resources;
7th place in the world in coal reserves (33.9 billion tons)
Ukraine is an important agricultural country:
1st in Europe in terms of arable land area;
3rd place in the world by the area of black soil (25% of world’s volume);
1st place in the world in exports of sunflower and sunflower oil;
2nd place in the world in barley production and 4th place in barley exports;
3rd largest producer and 4th largest exporter of corn in the world;
4th largest producer of potatoes in the world;
5th largest rye producer in the world;
5th place in the world in bee production (75,000 tons);
8th place in the world in wheat exports;
9th place in the world in the production of chicken eggs;
16th place in the world in cheese exports.
Ukraine can meet the food needs of 600 million people.
Ukraine is an important industrialised country:
1st in Europe in ammonia production;
Europe’s 2nd’s and the world’s 4th largest natural gas pipeline system;
3rd largest in Europe and 8th largest in the world in terms of installed capacity of nuclear power plants;
3rd place in Europe and 11th in the world in terms of rail network length (21,700 km);
3rd place in the world (after the U.S. and France) in production of locators and locating equipment;
3rd largest iron exporter in the world
4th largest exporter of turbines for nuclear power plants in the world;
4th world’s largest manufacturer of rocket launchers;
4th place in the world in clay exports
4th place in the world in titanium exports
8th place in the world in exports of ores and concentrates;
9th place in the world in exports of defence industry products;
10th largest steel producer in the world (32.4 million tons).
Ukraine matters. That is why its independence is important to the rest of the world. This is why Russia wants it

Yup, here it is again …

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PS – in her post today – the US has zero moral authority – Caitlin is pithy as ever.

 The narrative managers aim to suck you in to arguing about the minutiae of the inner workings of the latest target of the empire, when in fact a simple “Shut the fuck up, it’s none of your business” is all they deserve.

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3 Replies to ““Why Russia wants Ukraine”

  1. Interesting that so little has been made in the mainstream media of the Maidan coup, Phil..
    And as for the Munroe Doctrine you mention: interesting to hear current media comparisons with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. I believe Castro did subsequently concede that it was a major strategic mistake for Khruschev to send missiles to defend Cuba (a failure to understand the nature of the Cuban Revolution as primarily agrarian – and the Cubans had, unaided, successfully beaten off Kennedy’s invasion and attempted coup the year before at the Bay of Pigs).
    But it is quite extraordinary that America should ever have seen Cuba as a threat – or indeed, so much of Central and South America, never mind all the other places where it’s engineered coups and invasions. And that it continues to maintain sovereignty over Cuba’s Guantanamo Province and refuse to end its crippling economic sanctions against Cuba – which, apart from a few abstentionist countries like Brazil, every nation in the world votes regularly to be lifted at the UN. With the two exceptions, natch, of the US itself and Israel, which continuing to oppose any lifting (notwithstanding the brief Obama detente with Cuba that Trump immediately overturned)…….

    • Hi Ros, good to hear from one of my B.A. Communication Studies teachers back in the day. I hope all’s well with you in spite of the times we live in.

      Cuba is a good example. (Though I’m critical of much of what he wrote, it was good to see Bernie Sanders raise this in his Guardian piece last week – see my Feb 13 post, Can Europe break free of a dying empire?) The geostrategic arguments are far more important here than any intrinsic to Ukraine – whether the natural assets claim which prompted this post, or even the territorial convolutions and turbulent history of a country too few keyboard warriors try to understand or, in many cases, can even locate on a map!

      Maps are so important, no?

      (Best single source IMO? Richard Sakwa’s Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands. Published in 2016, it predates the current standoff but not Maidan Square and the role of Mr Soros, John McCain and Victoria “fuck the EU” Nuland. But it goes back much further, before Maidan and WW2 fascism to Polish Ukraine of the seventeenth century.)

      But back to the current standoff, and the overriding importance of extrinsic factors. I think Caitlin hits nail on head, as she so often does, with the pithy observation I finished my post with.

      • PS – one reason, I think, for our systemically corrupt media – liberal wing especially – saying as little as possible about Maidan is that they were cheering on yet another regime change op which installed, in this case, not jihadi warlords but neo-fascists and antisemites: the real kind.

        There are other reasons of course. I do so wish the liberal intelligentsia would finally let it in that, on matters vital to class rule in the age of imperialism, NO section of corporate media can be trusted.

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