Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ukraine suffers humiliating defeat at Debaltseve

(22 February 2015)  Score one for Vladimir Putin. Again.  Ukraine suffered an embarrassing military setback in eastern Ukraine this week as pro-Russian rebels took control of the strategic town of Debaltseve.  The Ukrainian army was forced to flee the town on Wednesday after the superior weaponry of the rebels (courtesy of Russia) made the town impossible to defend.  The irony was that it all took place just a week after a much-heralded ceasefire that had been brokered by Germany and France.  To make matters worse, there is growing evidence that Russian troops are now actually fighting alongside the rebels.  

However unscrupulous he may be, Putin has again apparently out-foxed the West and its client state, Ukraine.  Given the failure at Debaltseve, more commentators are suggesting that the Ukraininan army may be on the verge of collapse unless the West finally decides to supply them with weapons.  The Ukrainian Prime Minister Petro Poroshenko has said that they are now preparing for total war with Russia.

This latest chapter in the Ukrainian conflict with Russia isn't too surprising given Putin's track record.   But it was all quite predictable with astrology.  As I noted in two posts in 2014, I suggested that military action would flare up again in early 2015 and that Ukraine would likely come out on the short end of the stick.  This prediction was based on the chart of the swearing-in of Poroshenko after he was elected PM as well as Putin's own horoscope.  In June 2014, here's what I wrote:

Looking ahead, one obvious time frame to watch will be early 2015.  In February, Saturn (9 Scorpio) will station in a close square aspect to the Ascendant (8 Leo) just as transiting Rahu will conjoin the natal Mars at 17 Virgo.  Although each of these aspects needn't bring problems in themselves, their simultaneity increases the probability of a major setback for Ukraine, including a significant situation involving military action (Rahu-Mars).

The defeat of Ukrainian army at Debaltseve may well turn out to be quite significant and could be a game changer.   It may signal the beginning of a new rebel offensive that takes even more territory in eastern Ukraine.  Alternatively, it may also compel the US to commit to military support of Ukraine, a move it has been desperately trying to avoid over the past year.  If the US gives weapons to Ukraine, it will ratchet up the geopolitical tension and heighten animosity with Russia.   It would essentially become a Cold War 2.0 where the US and Russia fight wars against each other through their client states.    So what does the future hold for Ukraine?

I think there is still a couple more weeks to go before the current atmosphere violence subsides for a while.  The problem is that Rahu (North Lunar Node) at 16 Virgo is still very close to natal Mars (17 Virgo).    Due to Rahu's slow velocity here, it won't fully move past Mars until April.  It could well peak during the first week of March as transiting Mars (17 Pisces) will oppose natal Mars (17 Virgo) with the nodes, Rahu and Ketu still just one degree away.   I can't say if the US will end up arming Ukraine, but that Mars-to-Mars transit on March 5-6 looks quite intense and will likely correlate with a losing or defensive situation that involves violence.   This time period could mark the most intense or significant part of the conflict. 

As Rahu moves away in subsequent weeks (by April), fighting may be less strategically important (although it may well continue in some form), but the chart still looks weakened by the ongoing placement of Saturn at the bottom of the chart at 10 Scorpio near the equal 4th house cusp.  Even if there is a more sustainable ceasefire in April, Ukraine still looks to be in a bad situation since Saturn will station retrograde there in mid-March and then slowly move back over the 4th cusp in the coming weeks.  Its next station occurs at 4 Scorpio in July which is still very close to a square with the Ascendant and hence close to the 4th cusp also.  It is very hard for the country to move forward into peace and prosperity with that kind of ongoing planetary burden.

At this time, I can't predict if Putin will completely take over Ukraine or merely be content to settle for this buffer zone in the east.  But the late summer period looks difficult again for Ukraine as Saturn and Rahu will align with the natal Moon and Ascendant.  September and October look extremely stressed from this alignment.  It looks like the Poroshenko government will likely suffer another major blow in the late summer or early fall.   I can easily see the loss of more territory with this pattern.  March and April of 2016 will see transiting Saturn station opposite the natal Sun.  This perhaps isn't quite bad enough to coincide with total defeat at the hands of Putin and the rebels, but it could be an indicator of the fall of the Poroshenko government.  So some tough times ahead for Ukraine.

Financial Markets Update

The other big news last week was the 11th hour agreement between Greece and the EU to extend a bailout to that beleaguered country for four more months.  Most observers assumed that despite the tough talk of the PM Tsipras and FM Varoufakis, some kind of compromise deal would be worked out before any of the Greek debt came due at the end of the month.  In a previous post, I also thought this would be the case as Varoufakis' horoscope showed mostly favourable planets in January and February.   Another factor was likely the approaching Jupiter-Uranus trine aspect (120 degrees).  This is usually a positive influence on collective sentiment that can boost financial markets and give a sense of hope.  Stocks generally rose last week with the news and this was largely expected given the ongoing Jupiter influence. 

As noted previously, the Jupiter-Uranus aspect is exact on March 3rd so we could be getting very close to a maximum level of optimism and preference for risk-taking as far as the markets go.   The question is what happens after this aspect begins to separate on the 4th?  The short answer is that optimism is going to be harder to come by as Jupiter loses its strength in the days and weeks that follow.  

This week we could see what effect, if any, some Saturn aspects may have on the markets.  There are no less than three quick aspects with Saturn involving the Sun, Venus and Mars in the first half of the week.  Saturn is usually a negative influence, but with Jupiter still operating at full steam in the background, declines could be muted at best.  The late week sees the Sun and Venus align with Neptune which suggests more optimism.   Saturday the 28th is Budget Day in India and markets there will be open in a special session so investors can adjust their portfolios as they see fit.  The planets also tilt bullish on the weekend so one would think the markets will welcome whatever FM Jaitley has on offer.