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Can China checkmate the west in Ukraine?
Zelensky may be the target of last night's drone attack against the Kremlin.
Last week's telephone call between Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky and China's President Xi Jinping was certainly one of the most significant events since the beginning of Russian military intervention in Ukraine. The call, as we now know, was initiated by President Zelensky, without consulting his handlers in the Biden administration or NATO. President Xi accepted the call but made the subtle point of conducting it through a Russian and not Ukrainian language interpreter. According to Chinese government readout of the conversation, Xi warned Zelensky not to support US policy on Taiwan, and offered to send a peace delegation to Kiev in order to help broker an end of hostilities in Ukraine.
No cards left to play
The significance of this call could be hard to overestimate, including the fact that Zelensky took the initiative without consulting his western sponsors. If he risked their wrath by calling on the Chinese president, it was because, as Scott Ritter put it, Ukraine has no cards left to play. Their much talked about spring counter offensive appears dead on arrival and there are increasing signs of mutiny in Ukraine's military ranks. Apparently, numerous officials are privately voicing opinions that they must find an off-ramp and seek a negotiated peace solution to avert the nation's total collapse.
Even Poland's Chief of the General Staff, General Rajmund Andrzejczak who was one of the western alliance’s most eager pro-Ukraine voices has lost taste for the adventure. Amid extreme casualties sustained by Ukraine in the recent artillery and missile attacks, he warned that the war does not look good for Ukraine. According to Colonel Douglas MacGregor, Andrzejczak now thinks Ukraine would need two million troops to have any hope of success with their counter offensive.
Regime officials now blame the West
In another sign of Ukraine's disaffection with the west, Zelensky's advisor Mykhailo Podolyak gave an interview after his boss's call with President Xi, in which he blamed the west for war, stating that, "The United States, unfortunately, along with other western countries encouraged Ukraine to give up nuclear and other weapons ... This was a wrong policy ... and led to a major war in Europe."
The risk of peace breaking out again turned the west (principally the British establishment) apoplectic and they immediately scrambled a high-level delegation to Kiev to stiffen the regime’s spine and to continue fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian. Recall, just over a year ago, it was UK's then Prime Minister Boris Johnson who parachuted unannounced into Kiev to warn President Zelensky not to sign any peace deal with Russia (which, at the time was brokered by the Turkye's government).
The Brits send the “give peace no chance” delegation to Kiev
Last week it was the former MI6 chief, Sir Richard Dearlove who led the mission to Kiev. Interestingly, this delegation's visit is almost impossible to find in any news media. You can find it however, on the pages of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. The delegation brought the message of "strengthening the support of international partners for Ukraine on its path to victory," and stressing that, "we should not be afraid of Russia." Of course "we" shouldn't - it's only the ordinary Ukrainians dying and the country being destroyed, including by depleted Uranium ordnance supplied by Britain.
Another member of the "give peace no chance" delegation was the uber-warhawk and UK's Defense Committee Chair Tobias Ellwood. It is the same Tobias Ellwood who pounded the table in a recent interview that, "we are now at war in Europe, we need to move to a war footing. We are involved in that,... we need to face Russia directly rather than leaving Ukraine to do all the work."
To be sure, the Neocon faction in the Biden Administration and the leadership of the EU and NATO are every bit as keen on seeing the hostilities continue, but the party that's played the key role in setting the agenda is the official London, which also played the key role in orchestrating the previous two world wars. As the commitment to war against Russia began to founder in Washington, it was again Boris Johnson who flew to the US, chumming up to the new Republican leadership and urging for "Western unity and support for Ukraine and what more can be done against the threat Russia poses."
It was in fact Boris Johnson who announced the coming conflict in November 2021, issuing a veiled warning to European leaders: "We hope that our friends [in Europe] may recognize that a choice is shortly coming between mainlining ever more Russian hydrocarbons in giant new pipelines and sticking up for Ukraine and championing the cause of peace and stability."
At that same time, Britain sent additional troops and equipment to Poland and announced that the UK would enhance its permanent presence of troops and tanks in Germany. Shortly thereafter, the outgoing head of the UK chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter stated that the UK military would have to be ready for war with Russia. UK's former Defense Minister, Sir Gerald Howarth also spoke to Sky News to suggest that NATO should go into Ukraine, "boots on the ground," because Ukraine must win the war.
The Chinese - will they try to extricate Zelensky?
I very much doubt that the Chinese leadership is naive about brokering a peace deal in current circumstances and I suspect that the promised peace delegation might be more like a military intelligence cleanup crew whose role would be to protect Zelensky and try to extricate him from his political, business and intelligence entanglements with the west.
Liberating Zelensky from the clutches of NATO / CIA / MI6 clutches could make him a hugely important asset for the Russian and the Chinese side. Chinese peace delegation's role could be to identify the key exponents of the western control in Ukraine and buying them out or eliminating them in some way. I ventured to propose this idea in a recent CryptoRich podcast with Tom Luongo and Alexander Mercouris.
Mr. Mercouris thought that the former Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev might have corroborated this idea in a cryptic message on his Telegram channel, saying that it was necessary to find and eliminate the most dangerous people in Zelensky regime. It is all but certain that Russia and China are now coordinating their strategy on Ukraine, which is already crawling with Russian intelligence assets.
Incidentally, I highly recommend the above mentioned podcast as the events led to a very lively and interesting conversation.
The events will be extremely interesting to observe as the Ukraine war may have entered into its final stages. Hopefully it will end soon, and if China somehow manages to broker a peace deal, it will almost certainly follow up with large investments into Ukraine, integrating it into its Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Since 2019, China has already been Ukraine's #1 trade partner, accounting for 14.4% of imports and over 15% of exports). Ukraine had in fact already joined the BRI in 2014 and a BRI trade and investment center was established in Kiev in 2018.
I drafted this article for my Wednesday, 3 May TrendCompass report but before I could publish it here, the saga took another surreal twist…
The Drone attack on the Kremlin: is Zelensky the real target?
Last night’s apparent attempt to assassinate Vladimir Putin with a drone may have been the consequence of the recent events. The assassination attempt itself had a snowball’s chance in hell of achieving anything much, so why launch it? Speaking from Finland, Zelensky himself denied that this was a Ukrainian attack. In a way, he might be telling the truth.
While the drone was probably launched from Ukraine, it was most likely a NATO orchestrated attack aimed not at Putin but at Zelensky. I’m guessing, but it may have been discussed at the meeting of the western “give peace no chance” delegation and the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine with Mr. Z entirely out of the loop?
In calling Xi Jinping, Volodymyr Zelensky has clearly defied his western handlers and in this, he might have become a liability. If the Chinese or the Russians managed to extricate him from Kiev, he could become valuable witness to events that had led up to this war and a massive liability to the western war party. Eliminating him while credibly blaming the Kremlin could achieve two important objectives: getting rid of the man who knows too much and also turning him into a hero of Ukrainian nationhood and anti-Russian resistance.
We might just witness further surreal twists over the coming days.
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Alex Krainer – @NakedHedgie is the creator of I-System Trend Following and publisher of daily TrendCompass reports which cover over 200 financial and commodities markets. For US investors, we propose a trend-driven inflation/recession resilient portfolio covering a basket of 30+ financial and commodities markets. For more information, you can drop me a comment or an email to email@example.com