Jacques Baud is a man worthy of your attention. He is a retired Swiss Army officer and served in a variety of international posts, including a stint with NATO (even though Switzerland is not a member of NATO) where he monitored the flow of small arms in the Donbass and was involved in a NATO program to assist the Ukrainian armed forces in restoring their capacities and improving personnel management.
The Postil Magazine has posted an interview with Baud that provides valuable insights into Russia and Ukraine and the nature of the war now being fought. Here are some salient points from that interview (please click on the link to read the entire interview).
In 2014, during the Maidan revolution in Kiev, I was in NATO in Brussels. I noticed that people didn’t assess the situation as it was, but as they wished it would be. This is exactly what Sun Tzu describes as the first step towards failure. In fact, it appeared clear to me that nobody in NATO had the slightest interest in Ukraine. . . .we tend to portray the enemy as we wished him to be, rather than as he actually is. This is the ultimate recipe for failure. This explains why, after five years spent within NATO, I am more concerned about Western strategic and military capabilities than before.
The current war has its roots in the events of the Maidan in 2014. Simply put, the United States and the United Kingdom facilitated a coup that removed the democratically elected President and replaced him with someone the U.S. and the U.K believed they could control. It was in the aftermath of this coup that the people of Donetsk and Luhansk declared their independence One impetus for this move was the vote of the Ukrainian policy abolishing the law that permitted Russian to be used as the second official language in those regions that were Russian speaking.
Once the Donbas “republics” declared their independence, the Ukrainian Government declared them terrorists and dispatched its army to take control of the region. Despite having numerical and materiel superiority, Ukraine utterly failed to dominate Donetsk and Luhansk. Baud offers this insight:
After 2014, Ukrainian armed forces’ command & control was extremely poor and was the cause of their inability to handle the rebellion in Donbass. Suicide, alcohol incidents, and murder surged, pushing young soldiers to defect. Even the British government noted that young male individuals preferred to emigrate rather than to join the armed forces. As a result, Ukraine started to recruit volunteers to enforce Kiev’s authority in the Russian speaking part of the country. These volunteers ere (and still are) recruited among European far-right extremists. According to Reuters, their number amounts to 102,000. They have become a sizeable and influential political force in the country.
One of the myths readily swallowed in the west is that Russian troops entered Ukraine in 2014 and fought alongside the people in the Donbass who were fighting the Ukrainian Army. Baud says this is not true:
The Western narrative of a Russian intervention in Ukraine got traction, although it was never substantiated. Since 2014, I haven’t met any intelligence professional who could confirm any Russian military presence in the Donbass. In fact, Crimea became the main “evidence” of Russian “intervention.” Of course, Western historians ignore superbly that Crimea was separated from Ukraine by referendum in January 1990, six months before Ukrainian independence and under Soviet rule. In fact, it’s Ukraine that illegally annexed Crimea in 1995. Yet, western countries sanctioned Russia for that…
Think about this for a minute–if the Ukrainian Army could not defeat the militias in the republics of Luhansk and Donetsk over the last 8 years, how in the world is that Army going to defeat the Russian Army? It is delusional.
Baud also comments on the role that the the United States and Europe played in training and equipping right wing Ukrainian extremists who espoused anti-semitism and racial purity:
In October 2021, the Jerusalem Post published a disturbing report on the training of Ukrainian far-right militias by American, British, French and Canadian armed forces. The problem is that the “collective West” tends to turn a blind eye to these incestuous and perverse relationships in order to achieve its own geopolitical goals. It is supported by unscrupulous far-right biased medias against Israel, which tend to approve the criminal behavior of these militias. This situation has repeatedly raised Israel’s concerns. This explains why Zelensky’s demands to the Israeli parliament in March 2022 were not well received and have not been successful.
I encourage you to peruse the Jerusalem Post piece for more background on the west’s role in training groups that openly celebrate Hitler:
The report found that members of Centuria, a far-right organization intent on reshaping Ukraine’s military to align with its ideology, received training from Western countries while at the Hetman Petro Sahaidachny National Army Academy (NAA).
Centuria describes itself as a military order of “European traditionalist” military officers who aim to “defend” the “cultural and ethnic identity” of European peoples against “Brussels’ politicos and bureaucrats,” according to the report. The group is led by people with ties to Ukraine’s far-right Azov movement. Members have been photographed giving Nazi salutes and have made extremist statements online.
The American people are inundated with a barrage of propaganda that portrays the Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias as principled patriots fighting a communist horde. The military forces we are supporting in Ukraine are not Jeffersonian democrats committed to the idea, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness“. Our political class in the United States is betting on the ignorance of their constituents in order to spend billions of dollars in propping up the Ukrainian Government and Army. I for one am praying they lose that bet.