Ukraine Between Biden And A Hard Place, by South Front

Washington would really like to see the Ukrainian government launch an all-out offensive in eastern Ukraine, if for no other reason than to trash the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. However, the Ukrainian government doesn’t really want to destroy itself and the country. From South Front at zerohedge.com:

Joe Biden’s extensive interest in Ukraine during his tenure as Obama’s vice president meant that US attention towards the country would instantly be elevated once the new administration came into power. The Burisma scandal which implicated Hunter Biden and which became a problem for Joe Biden on the campaign trail, combined with Biden’s own apparent frailty and avoidance of extensive public engagements, have meant that Biden himself is in fact yet to have a telephone conversation with Zelensky. However, whether he deliberately chose to outsource Ukraine policy to his trusted advisors or they are taking initiative in order to fill the vacuum of power left by their boss’ incapacity, US Ukraine policy has taken a number of new twists and turns in the less than two months of the Biden Administration.

The Biden Administration’s actions so far indicate a certain degree of impatience with the goings-on in Kiev which is behaving in an all too independent fashion on many issues. Kiev’s decision to nationalize Motor Sich, an aircraft engine manufacturer whose purchase was sought by Chinese investors thus robbing Ukraine of a significant influx of badly needed hard currency, took place after Washington had expressed displeasure at Chinese companies’ foothold in Ukraine which moreover brings with it access to Soviet-era technologies attractive to China’s aerospace industries. This action was taken in spite of the considerable risk of Chinese retaliation, which indeed occurred in the form of China’s Foreign Ministry informing its Ukrainian counterpart that it would no longer respect their wishes concerning economic activities in the Crimea, something that Chinese firms have thus far shied away from. The US Embassy in Kiev’s instant endorsement of Zelensky’s shutdown of three opposition TV stations and the placement of sanctions, in violation of Ukraine’s own laws, on one of Ukraine’s opposition leaders Medvedchuk on the grounds that these were involved in spreading so-called “Russian disinformation” suggests that Washington was at the very least aware of the move and may even have prompted it. US sanctioning of Igor Kolomoysky on the basis of his corrupting Ukraine’s politics indicates that Zelensky had not gone far enough in fulfilling Washington’s wishes. In doing this Washington demonstrated it is willing to publicly humiliate Zelensky should he fail to display appropriate deference to their wishes. The question at this point becomes, in which direction will Washington push Zelensky? How far, what means will Washington use to get its way, and to what extent will Zelensky resist?

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