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Op-Ed: The Ukraine Crisis – It’s the Intermarium Plan Again

The garbled slogans and ravings of the Ukrainian nationalists are straight from the Intermarium playbook.
Published: Friday, February 28, 2014 3:19 PM


Political scientists attribute the Ukraine crisis to competition between Russia and the West or East Ukraine versus West Ukraine.  While these simple explanations have their merits, there is much more at stake; nothing less the long planned absorption of Ukraine into the Intermarium and the break-up of Russia into toothless mini states.

Few in the Western media or academia would know that in 1920 an opportunistic Poland sought to make Ukraine, Lithuania, and Belarus its own satellites and fought a brief but bloody war with the nascent Soviet Union.  But after defeating the Whites, the Red Army gave its full attention to the Poles and their advances turned into reverses as they were chased all the way from Kiev and Minsk back to Warsaw by Budenny’s Red Calvary. Warsaw was saved only by the soldiering of its Polish chief of staff Pilsudski who miraculously stopped the Red Army just outside the city –otherwise Poland would have been the 16th Soviet Republic.

The Poles never forgot their military humiliation and near annihilation of their just born state. Pilsudski who went on to be the Polish dictator developed two long range plans named the Intermarium and Promethean plans to make sure that neither Germany nor the Soviet Union would ever be able to grind Poland between them.  The Promethean plan involved the breaking up of the USSR  into small relatively harmless states by stirring up nationalism in Georgia, the Don and Kuban Cossacks, Ingushetia, Idel-Ural, Azerbaijan, Yakutistan, Armenia, Crimea, Karelia and Komi with the hopes of detaching them from a weak rump government at Moscow. This plan resembled something of the chaos that occurred in the early 1990s when Yeltsin could scarcely control his governors and Tatarstan and Chechnya were all but independent countries.

The Intermarium was to be a massive concentration of power in east central Europe as a counter balance between East and West with a vast federal union of peoples stretching between the Black sea and the Baltic. The constituent states were to include Poland, the Baltic countries, Belarus, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia - all countries with sizeable Roman Catholic populations. The Intermarium on paper at least was large and powerful enough to supplant German and Russian influence in the Balkans and beyond.

To that end, the Polish Army absorbed the former Georgian, White Russian, Cossack and Ukrainian officer corps fleeing the USSR. But, the rise of Stalin and Hitler and Poland’s own problems with a large restive German minority quickly shelved these ambitious plans. The Promethean plan was briefly hijacked by Hitler who also sought to foment rebellion in the wartime USSR by recruiting foreign legions from among hapless POWs to be led by Nazi collaborators such as General Vlasov and the Ukrainian nationalist Bandera.

+Following World War Two, the CIA, Vatican, and MI6 reorganized the Prometheans and Intermarians into the openly fascist Anti Bolshevik Bloc and World Anti Communist league which welcomed former Nazis as long as they were anti Soviet too.  Maidan agitator US Senator John McCain was once affiliated with the World Anti Communist League as an advisor and surely has had no qualms about his new friends in Kiev.

Notably all these Intermarium states are predominately Roman Catholic with the exception of the Ukraine.  Yet even in the heart of the Orthodox Church, the Vatican has made major inroads.  A long standing campaign of Ukrainization has dispossessed the Moscow Patriarchy in favour of the Rome affiliated Easter Rite Church and Autonomous Ukrainian patriarchy. The presence of numerous priests on the front lines of the Maidan is by design not chance.

The garbled slogans and ravings of the Ukrainian nationalists are straight from the Intermarium playbook.  “We seek neither the EU nor Russia,” “Out with totalitarianism liberalism and decadent democracy!” says Dmytro Yorosh’s Right Sector paramilitaries.  Yorosh who parades about under the black and red Bandera flag has been proposed as Deputy Minister in the new Ukrainian government.

However just as Poland failed in 1920 to hold Kiev so may it fail now. Warsaw seems to have forgotten to have shared its Intermarium plan with NATO, the EU, and USA which would no doubt be shocked at the emergence of a hitherto unknown East Central European federation. And Russia remembers all too well that Polish interference in Ukraine is aimed not just at Kiev but ultimately targets Moscow with the reestablishment of a hostile Polish alliance on its western border.

Therefore it may be a prophetic sign that on January 26, 2014, when Pope Francis released two white doves at the Vatican, in support of the “peaceful” Ukrainian protestors on the Maidan that the hapless doves were set upon almost immediately by a black crow and a white seagull. Speculation in the media was that the two emissaries of peace were presumably killed and eaten by their predatory cousins and never heard from again.

So too may Polish imperial ambitions end in Ukraine – a dismal failure crushed between Russia and the EU.  Poland has perhaps overplayed its hand yet again. Warsaw and its allies have taken Kiev, but can they pay the price?

Jonathan Levy holds a PhD in Political Science and is an attorney member of the International Criminal Court Bar. He is adjunct faculty at Norwich University’s Diplomacy Program (Vermont) and Kaplan University’s School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Levy is the author of The Intermarium: Wilson, Madison, & East Central European Federalism (ISBN: 978-1581123692)