Common Grounds

Our Friday Edition | Part 7: Let’s All Meet in Yalta … Who's Wise?

June 03, 2022

By Abraham A. van Kempen

Our Friday Edition | Part 7: Let’s All Meet in Yalta … Who's Wise?

What is the Side of the Story that is Not Yet Decisive?


The Hague, 3 June 2022 | If you know of any story that is decisive, tell the world. We're still searching.


I could just as well entitle this segment of my series: “Shooting One’s Feet Until There Are No More Feet Left.” I’m referring to the recent sanctions against Russia perpetrated by Europe: an embargo on Russian oil and gas (though some EU member countries are exempt, i.e., Hungary and other Central European EU members) and banning other Russian banks from the international payment system, SWIFT. Why does Europe, throughout history, tend to shoot itself in both feet?


The oil boycott will initially only apply to oil that is supplied by sea to ports in, among others, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. This would affect about two-thirds of Russian exports to the EU within six to eight months. The new sanctions package also includes new measures against those in Russia who are held partly responsible for the war. Plus, three additional Russian state channels will also be added to the sanctions list. Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, and two other banks have been banned from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).


Déjà vu? Is history repeating itself with all of Europe invading and attacking Russia? On Russian television, this topic is the talk of the nation. It is a repeat of history but not as ruthless as in 1941. Today, the collective penalties imposed on all Russians are austere, unsympathetic, uncompromising, and stern. How does it feel to try to withdraw funds from a SWIFT-connected Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) that can’t connect to Russian banks? The sanctions strengthen the Russian resolve to beat the Eurocentric System. They defy the injunctions against them. European atrocities against a noble and proud people have become Europe’s, Achilles Heel. With 30 NATO countries pointing their nuclear warheads at them. The EU is not ever to be trusted. Most Russians now want total access to the Black Sea, notwithstanding protecting the lives of fellow Russians currently embroiled in the Ukrainian civil war. Russians support their Commander in Chief en masse. They’ve all played a part in this movie before.


On 22 June 1941, Germany stormed into Russia with 3 million German troops accompanied by 700,000 European NAZI collaborators from all over German-occupied Europe but primarily from Finland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Croatia.  The German Generalplan Ost, Operation Barbarossa, aimed to use some of the conquered people as forced labor for the Axis war effort while acquiring the oil reserves of the Caucasus as well as the agricultural resources of various Soviet territories. Their ultimate goal was to create more Lebensraum (living space) for Germany and the eventual extermination of the indigenous Slavic peoples by mass deportation to SiberiaGermanisation, enslavement, and genocide.[26][27]



According to the Pure Race Theorists, Slavic are half-breeds and frowned upon as less human. Many Russians are physically attractive because they are an admixture of all the ‘races’ that tried to conquer them, i.e., Mongolians, Vikings, Moors, and Arabs. For example, the people of Chelyabinsk, a metropolis in the Ural Mountains, show shades of Mongolian, Middle Eastern, and Viking phenotypical characteristics. My Dutch colleagues and I lectured at the Academic Hospital in Chelyabinsk, located next door to none other than the University of Kyiv, 2563 kilometers from Kyiv, Ukraine. The people of Russia and Ukraine have, for centuries, been one people. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev[a] (15 April [OS 3 April] 1894 – 11 September 1971), the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to1964 and chairman of the country's Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964, was born in Ukraine and was Ukrainian. Joseph Stalin, Khrushchev’s predecessor, was born in Georgia.



Operation Barbarossa opened up the Eastern Front, in which more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in history. The area saw some of the world's most significant battles, most horrific atrocities, and highest casualties (for Soviet and Axis forces alike), all of which influenced the course of World War II and the subsequent history of the 20th century.


At first, the German armies captured some five million Soviet Red Army troops.[28] The Nazis deliberately starved to death or killed 3.3 million Soviet prisoners of war, and millions of civilians, as the "Hunger Plan" worked to solve German food shortages and exterminate the Slavic population through starvation.[29] Mass shootings and gassing operations, carried out by the Nazis or willing collaborators,[f] murdered over a million Soviet Jews as part of the Holocaust.[31]


The failure of Operation Barbarossa reversed the fortunes of Nazi Germany.[32] Operationally, German forces achieved significant victories and occupied some of the most important economic areas of the Soviet Union (mainly in Ukraine), and inflicted and sustained heavy casualties. Despite these early successes, the German offensive stalled in the Battle of Moscow at the end of 1941, and the subsequent Soviet winter counteroffensive pushed the Germans about 250 km (160 mi) back. The Germans had confidently expected a quick collapse of Soviet resistance as in Poland. Still, the Red Army absorbed the German Wehrmacht's most decisive blows and bogged it down in a war of attrition for which the Germans were unprepared. The Wehrmacht's diminished forces could no longer attack along the entire Eastern Front, and subsequent operations to retake the initiative and drive deep into Soviet territory—such as Case Blue in 1942 and Operation Citadel in 1943—eventually failed in the Wehrmacht's retreat and collapse.


The Russians decimated 73 percent of Hitler’s military might. NAZI Germany shot itself in both feet, and three years later, there were no feet left.


Has the EU learned any lessons from the previous century? As one who is more European than most, born with two nationalities, British and Dutch, I’m disgusted with Brussels. They’re clowns together with their stooges in Washington DC.


               Shouldn’t Europeans now know more than ever before about walking the tightrope, forging consensus among dozens of nations, and balancing the need to regulate and supervise cross-border interactions while recognizing the interests and culture of each country?


               With the leadership style necessary to bring the world together over its many challenges, where is Europe?


               Why do we help divide nations into warring camps over finite resources?


               Aren’t we all in the same boat?


               Shouldn’t European democracies foster inclusiveness, participation, political debate, multiparty representation, and majoritarian policy based on a consensus of viewpoints and broad public support?


Why fight one of our own, the largest and most powerful European nation, Russia? What’s the use of thirty NATO countries pointing their nuclear warheads at Russia?


Click on and take a listen! This quick, 3-minute video shows the EU at work and how it should be done. You’ll witness a 3-minute debate in Strasbourg's European Parliament between Bulgaria and Ireland. Their discourse gives hope that the European ideal shall prevail despite the rhetoric of the moment. The EU must take charge of NATO, not the other way around.


Mr. Angel Dzhambazki, Member European Parliament (MEP) representing Bulgaria:


Madam DaIy [MEP Clare Daly Ireland],I have a question. Can you take this question, please?


Do I understand you correctly?


Do you support the lack of sanctions against an aggressor committing war crimes?


Do I understand correctly that your idea of how to save Ukrainian children is not to provide the arms to protect them?


Do I understand you correctly that you justify one war crime by referring to other war crimes?


If this is the case, this is shameful. We are not a NATO tool, we are NATO, and we need to defend every Ukrainian citizen.


Thank you!


Clare Daly Responds:


Thank you.


I would love Colleague [Mr. Angel Dzhambazki] to tell me any circumstance in which NATO has played a constructive role or delivered peace anywhere.


History has taught us that sanctions do not end the military conflict; they do not bring peace.


They [sanctions] make the people suffer, not the oligarchs. The people, the people of Russia, the people of Europe [suffer], and they're not going to help save lives because the more arms you pump into Ukraine, the more the war will be prolonged, the more Ukrainians will die, and it might sound radical colleagues. Still, the answer to war is not more war.


It's peace, and peace isn't delivered by the barrel of a gun.


It's delivered by diplomacy, by dialogue.


You can wish away your continent’s history. WE SHARE A CONTINENT WITH RUSSIA.


We will sit down with Russia.


There will be a negotiated peace, and this organization should promote it earlier rather than delay it and ensure that more Ukrainians die. Your feigning of sympathy rings hollow. It makes me sick, to be honest with you. (Here, Mr. Angel Dzhambazki, the Representative of Bulgaria, removed his earphones and abruptly, in defiance, walked out of the chamber.)


Thank you very much.


Finally, read a note dated 2 June 2022 from my friend, Macedonian Journalist, Mr. Tome Dzamto:


               “Dear Abraham,


               Here is my attempt to convey the thoughts we have shared about current events in the world. I do not pretend that my views reveal the whole truth, but only to shed a different light. We, Macedonians, have experienced human catastrophes and social changes that have shaped our worldview.

               The war in Ukraine and its impact on the world is an unprecedented and unjustifiable tragedy for the people of Ukraine with all the repercussions throughout Europe and the world.
               In my opinion, the reactions of the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom defy reason. At no point - other than the efforts of French President Emmanuel Macron - did they substantially try to resolve the situation in Ukraine by diplomatic means.
               Instead, they started an unparalleled campaign to denigrate Russia and sanction it at all possible levels (imagine even banning Tchaikovsky ???) while concurrently arming Ukraine with lethal firepower. Peace cannot be achieved by military means and sanctions.
               The crisis in Ukraine did not start in February 2022 but eight years earlier, with the civil war in the Donbas region and the annexation of Crimea. If the liberal and democratic West adhered to freedom, democracy, and human rights, why did it not act as fiercely as it does now?

               It seems that the West gives minimal historical context to the whole event. Namely, nothing starts like a "thunderbolt from the clear sky," rightly and without reason. Of course, all the changes that took place with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the unwarranted expansion of NATO to the east should be considered here.

               Moreover, the historical relations between Russia and Ukraine need to be understood. Any attempt to cast a historical context on the whole conflict seems hailed in the West as anachronistic and unacceptable. What's the future? Where are we going? In what and for whose future? For the dead Ukrainians and Russians, the future is over. It is uncertain for the refugees on both sides. The commercial future – financial gain – is inevitable for the military-industrial complex and the world's leading financial institutions, which happen to be in the western world.
               This catastrophe, especially for the Ukrainian and Russian people, can and should be prevented only through diplomacy. This seems an abstract concept, especially for the people in the United States. If this does not change soon, the agony in Ukraine will continue, and the world will come to the brink of an abyss from which there is no return.
               The United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom must change the narrative of the crisis. Instead of using military language, speak the language of diplomacy and seek a peaceful and speedy resolution of the problem.
               Of course, there are countless other questions and dilemmas, but I firmly believe that the key is in the change that needs to occur in the "Western world," and not just point the finger today at Putin, "yesterday" at Saddam. It's time to tidy up one's backyard.”

In the meantime, Russian forces will systematically pursue their military objectives to annex the Donbas and Crimea permanently. The EU could have prevented this measure through diplomacy. Russians are European, too.


Preferably sooner than later, we will meet in Yalta, located along the Crimean Peninsula, to carve out a lasting peace. We need each other. The world depends on Russian oil, gas, and wheat.


Russia is NOT our worst enemy. We are.



Related articles by Abraham A. van Kempen:

Friday Edition: Who’s Wise (Part 6)

Friday Edition: Who’s Wise (Part 5)


Friday Edition: Who’s Wise (Part 4)


Friday Edition: Who’s Wise (Part 3)


Friday Edition: Who’s Wise (Part 2)


Friday Edition: Who’s Wise (Part 1)


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