Putin Decides to Donate 50,000 Tons of Russia’s Coal Daily to Ukraine for Heat

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, looks back at US President Barack Obama, left, as they arrive with Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, at the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.(Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Eric Zuesse

On Saturday, December 27th, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided that though Ukraine cannot now pay for coal and will soon go bankrupt, so that any ‘sale’ of coal to Ukraine will be a donation, Russia will nonetheless supply 50,000 tons of coal per day to Ukraine in order to help them through the winter. The official announcement said that “this is a demonstration of good will of President Vladimir Putin to provide real support for the Ukrainian people.”

In a bill that had passed both houses of the U.S. Congress, with more than 98% support from members of both houses, and which U.S. President Barack Obama then signed into law on December 18th, the United States has made available to the Ukrainian Government the possibility of up to $450 million to aid its war against the residents in Ukraine’s far-eastern region, Donbass. The Ukrainian Government is killing the residents there because the vast majority of them don’t recognize the legitimacy of the U.S. coup on 22 February 2014 that overthrew Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, for whom the people in that now-rebelling region had voted 90%. Obama has said that this military aid will not immediately be supplied, and that he will hold this expense and threat in abeyance for the time being.

So, the Ukrainian Government either is, or will be, receiving donations, or possible donations, from the taxpayers in both the United States and Russia.

An earlier announcement from Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Kozak, said that Russia would supply Ukraine with “up to a total of 1 million tons of coal per month, … to remove energy problems that arise in that country.” President Putin has decided instead on 1.5 million tons per month. He did this despite Russia’s own economic hardships from the Obama-imposed economic sanctions against Russia, and from the Saudis’ agreement with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in September to flood the global markets with oil in order to drive down oil prices enough to hurt Russia, which both the U.S. and Saudi aristocracies want to destroy. Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. are all major exporters of oil and gas. The Saudi and American aristocracies want to control the aristocrats in Russia, who are currently controlled by Russia’s President Putin, whom U.S. and Saudi aristocrats want to replace.

Putin seems to be saying that the Americans and the Saudis will not dictate his policies, and that he is more interested in ameliorating the extreme hardships that are being suffered by the victims of Obama’s February coup in Ukraine. Perhaps this response from Putin will anger Obama even more, but what can Obama do about it?

Probably, things are not playing out in the way that things had been gamed out inside the U.S. White House at the time when the Ukrainian coup was being planned by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan, and the other Obama advisors. However, only future historians will be able to write about that; no reporter today can.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.