For Those Who Think That Russia Should Send Its Troops to Ukraine…

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


With the Syrian war coming to an end after Russia managed to trap Washington, Ankara, Tel Aviv, Riyadh, etc and force them all to curtail their support for proxy forces inside Syria (the Kurdish question is a self-defeating one), it is expected that the role of Ukraine in the Russia-US global confrontation will once again be given special emphasis. Of course, this will also mean that the hyper-emotional (based on being exposed to Western culture for too long) cries from armchair “analysts” for Russia to invade Ukraine and send its tanks to Kiev – behaving just like the US in Iraq! – will turn the information space of so-called alt-media into something from the movie “A Clockwork Orange”. Thus, this article by Rostislav Ishchenko explains using the framework of logic why the specified scenario of Armata tanks buzzing to Kiev is exactly what Washington has wanted since it sent Victoria Nuland to Kiev with a $5 billion cheque and a bag of cookies in her hands.

The law “on features of State policy regarding ensuring Ukraine’s sovereignty over temporally occupied territories in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” (which for brevity is called the law on the reintegration of Donbass) passed with difficulties. There were fights inside and near the Rada too. While nobody from the Ukrainian politicians who is really capable of influencing decision-making doesn’t oppose the idea of the Law. Everybody is for it. The majority considers that this law in general should’ve been adopted about three years earlier.

And foreign sponsors of the Kiev regime are not against it either. Volker extols the law as “a rigid step towards peace”. Paris and Berlin in general are silent. Either they indeed have no time now for Kiev (Merkel still hasn’t been able to form a coalition, and in addition the problem with Catalonia appeared for the EU), or they pretend that they don’t notice anything or their opportunities to put pressure on Poroshenko are exhausted, while the Kiev authorities pay less and less attention to the EU’s wishes, as well as to certain members. All the same, the visa-free was already given, money isn’t being given, and the EU doesn’t provide it with accession. So what’s the point in considering them?

It doesn’t happen that almost everybody is “for” something, or at least that nobody is against it, but the law was very slowly pushed through. It means that there are reefs.

We will begin with the obvious. Today’s domestic policy in Ukraine is multilayered. Different participants of the process, agreeing with the need to carry out the same actions, seek a different end result. The most obvious are: Poroshenko’s aspiration to keep his power – which enters into conflict with the intention of his opponents, who created a political and oligarchical consensus to remove Poroshenko from power; and also the desire of the remains of the “Euro-integration” and “creative” class to see the restoration of order and stability, gradual economic development of Ukraine, and to achieve personal wellbeing, which contradicts the intention of nazi militants and bandit-marginality to resume active military operations and even to expand the zone of the civil conflict to new territories.

Thus, although logic prompts that Poroshenko’s regime corresponds more to the desire of the “creative class” for stability than what can come as its replacement, the majority of “Euro-integrators” are not at all against an early change of power as a whole, including the President. I.e. normal political connections (which are based on a community of interests) aren’t being established. The multiple layers aren’t structured, but turned into chaos.

In addition the situation is influenced by the same kind of multi-layered interests of the West. Germany and France – acting on behalf of the EU – wish to settle the conflict. They already don’t believe any more that it can be achieved in the Minsk format, because Kiev refuses to implement agreements, and Russia doesn’t succumb to pressure and refuses to make concessions. Thus, they can’t reject the Minsk format (they became too deeply involved in the Ukrainian crisis) and aren’t able to seriously pressure Kiev (which is sure that the US will force the EU to automatically further prolong the sanctions regime, and, except their cancellation, the regime isn’t afraid of anything anymore.

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In turn, the US is compelled to formally support the Minsk format, because they understand that the situation of their European allies forces the latter to hold onto Minsk’s form with their teeth, without caring about the contents. At the same time, Minsk isn’t necessary for the Americans – it is even harmful for them. They are not at all against appearing as the only representative of Ukraine and to speak at negotiations with Russia on behalf of the united West.

As we can see, practically all participants of the crisis (both in Ukraine and the West) objectively seek the same thing, and are obliged to imitate vigorous activity in another direction, while they think even about a third direction. In these conditions, even in the presence of formal unity concerning form, everyone tries to pour their own contents inside it.

This fully concerns the law on reintegration, and it is from here that the inevitable conflict comes. But the distancing of the West (both Europe and the US) from this conflict testifies to its exclusive intra-Ukrainian character. The position of the EU concerning Ukraine has been is a state of passively waiting already for a long time. Europe waits only for a rather serious pretext in order to completely exit the Ukrainian topic. The denunciation by the Ukrainian regime of the Minsk Agreements can become such a pretext, as well as the next coup in Kiev, and the beginning, at the initiative of Ukraine, of active military operations. While for the US it is the strengthening of the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia that is important.

From this point of view any version of the [reintegration of Donbass – ed] law suited the foreign allies of Kiev, because in all versions Russia was qualified as the aggressor and occupier, and it means that aggravation was inevitable. And the Minsk Agreements were also actually disavowed because the “occupier” and “aggressor” can’t be the guarantor of any settlement. The US received a lever of pressure on the situation – an entry point in the process of the settlement. Europe, if it desired, could at any time exit the Ukrainian processes under the pretext of the actual disavowal of the Minsk Agreements by Kiev.

But from the point of view of the internal problems of Kiev, everything was much more complicated. Poroshenko needed to adopt a law calling Russia the aggressor (a bone for the nazis), but at the same time to preserve the working order of the Minsk process. For this purpose a mention of it was implanted in the body of the law, and Crimea wasn’t mentioned amongst the “occupied territories”. In the alternative bill of “Self-Help” everything was completely the opposite.

The draft of “Self-Help” was rejected by the committee. But in the course of the fight in the sessional hall and disorder around the parliament, it was succeeded to exclude from the presidential bill the norms appealing to the Minsk Agreements. A demand to place Crimea on the list of “occupied territories” was also made [by “Self-Help” – ed] and not rejected. It is possible to assume that during the second reading they will try to introduce the relevant amendment, at least.

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It is characteristic that Poroshenko’s opponents didn’t begin to actively protest against the right of the head of State – provided by the presidential bill – to introduce martial law “during the special period” without coordination with parliament. Also the judicial reform was voted on, which strengthens the already-fully control of the President over the courts.

It is unlikely that such a strengthening of powers of the political opponent [Poroshenko – ed] at the time of a sharp confrontation with him was an oversight due to carelessness. Most likely Ukrainian politicians base their position on the fact that in the circumstances Poroshenko won’t be able or won’t have the time to use his new powers. I.e. a stake is being placed on the fast solving of the internal crisis using drastic remedies.

It means that the amendments that were introduced in the bill at the first reading, and also planned for the second reading, must additionally weaken Poroshenko in the political and information plan so much so that his increased administrative opportunities will be completely compensated for (and even over-compensated).

All amendments aim to disavowal Minsk and to strengthen the confrontation with Russia. And it is precisely this that Poroshenko would like to avoid. So now, on the one hand, Kiev fairly counts on the reaction of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which, in turn, Klimkin will respond to, and then it is possible to try to inflate the scandal further. On the other hand, even if Poroshenko will manage to avoid serious foreign policy complications immediately after the adoption of the law, his opponents (who, for this, will be completely supported by nazis) will have an opportunity to start being interested in when at last the law on reintegration will start to be implemented, why Ukraine conducts negotiations “with the aggressor”, and how is it that the country that “occupied Ukrainian territories” appeared as an intermediary in negotiations and the guarantor of the implementation of agreements? It will be very difficult for Poroshenko to repel this, and all the same he will be obliged to go on the way of a further deterioration of relations with Russia, up to a formal denunciation of Minsk.

And it is precisely here that the interests of the Ukrainian elite opposing Poroshenko partially coincide with the interests of the US. The elite needs an aggravation with Russia in order to strengthen pressure on Poroshenko and to force him to leave voluntary, under the threat of a “people’s revolt”. The aggravation of relations between Kiev and Moscow is necessary for the US because they have no more arguments in the Syrian campaign and it is necessary for them (like in 2014) to distract Russian forces and resources towards another (less important) subject.

Using the interest of Ukrainian nazis and marginal bandits in the conflict, and also by the desire of the political top brass to use this factor for Poroshenko’s removal, the US doesn’t even push Ukraine towards a confrontation with Russia, but also doesn’t impeach it. Now for Washington it’s all the same whether Poroshenko or his opponents will win, or even if it is the nazis that will become organized and, as a “third force”, will oust all systemic politicians without exception. One more crisis (conflict) in Ukrainian-Russian relations is already created. But as all Ukrainian politicians depend on the support of nazi militants as an organized armed force – which is at any moment ready to react, then whoever from them wins will need nazi support, and it will be necessary to pay for support and victory (including with concrete political decisions).

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Thus, irrespective of the results of the Ukrainian internal political fight, another aggravation of the situation in Donbass should be expected (and probably also on the Ukrainian border with Crimea). The main blow will be struck anyway in Donbass, because it is more difficult to attack Crimea, and there they will be obliged to immediately confront the Russian army, but in Donbass Moscow, like before, will give support to the DPR/LPR armies, but there won’t be any Russian troops on the front line.

The US waits for a rigid reaction by Russia towards the disruption of Minsk by Ukraine and the second stage of the aggression of Kiev in Donbass. They deliberately don’t stop Ukrainian politicians in order to give Moscow an iron reason for an invasion. Thus, unlike 2014, presently Ukraine is so obviously crumbling that it can’t be noticed only by those who don’t wish to notice it (even Ukrainian politicians speak about it, without hiding it) Washington expects that indeed this time, Moscow will be obliged to march to Kiev and to take upon itself the responsibility for Ukraine’s destiny. To push the Kremlin to this decision, in the information space the reasonings of respected American experts and retired politicians was again actualized on the topic: “Ukraine is such a center of the universe that if Russia will take it back from the US, the only thing that will be left for Washington to do is to capitulate”.

A comprehensive Russian invasion of Ukraine would not only solve for the US the problem of strengthening its position vis-a-vis negotiations on the Syrian settlement, but also would remove the question of rescuing the Ukrainian gas transit system — for the Kremlin it would be unprofitable to leave this pipeline without essential transit in conditions of obligations for the re-building of Ukraine falling on its shoulders.

To save Ukraine, Washington, like in 2014, proceeds from the idea that Russia sending troops is maybe not the best solution, but not to send them in the conditions of the prompt Somaliazation of a neighbouring State is even worse. Nevertheless, if during 3.5 years Russia could find a way out from the fork, then now it will be even more possible to do it. After all, it’s not for nothing that Russia armed and trained the DPR/LPR armies for three years. Their number can be easily brought to 50,000-60,000 people, which, with insignificant aviation and artillery support, can break through even the stationary Ukrainian front, not to mention a counter blow. Further, there will be two problems, and both will be solvable:

1. To close the Russian-Ukrainian border by buffering the people’s republics to all its extent.

2. Not to be too fond of pursuing the enemy and the liberation of the territories, because the resources of the republics must be enough not only for their military and police control, but also for providing a normal standard of living and for the restoration of production.

In essence, the situation in Ukraine definitively leaves the control of both the local elite and Washington. In an unsuccessful attempt to overcome internal destabilization due to an emphasis on consolidation against the external enemy, the Ukrainian elite consciously opts for a direct confrontation with Russia. It is from here that this bill of reintegration and the fights surrounding it stem.

But for Russia to start being substantively involved in establishing order in its Southwest forefield, it is necessary firstly to finish the Syrian campaign having achieved definitive peace.

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