Vladimir Kornilov: The West Envisages Peacekeepers in Donbass as Occupiers

Translated by Ollie Richardson



The political scientist and historian Vladimir Kornilov specifies the features of the West’s perception of a peacekeeping mission in Donbass…

I attentively listened to yesterday’s discussion at the Atlantic Council about the format of a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbass. What did it show?

1. Volker, who has said that 2017 was the most bloody year since the beginning of the conflict, confirmed once again how far he is from understanding reality. He is sacredly sure that the history of the conflict must begin with his appointment as “ambassador”, and not since the bloody 2014.

2. The West envisages a “UN peacekeeping operation” as an actual occupation of Donbass. All participants in all seriousness stated that this mission will define even “temporary civil authorities” in Donbass both before and after the “elections” organised there by the West. There were suggestions that it will last 2-3 years, and even more.

3. They are sacredly sure that there isn’t a need to agree with Donbass on the format of a mission, or even with Russia. The fact that they did not bother to provide at least someone who explained the position of the Russian Federation is additional proof.

4. They see the total blockade of Donbass from Russia as one of the main tasks of the mission. Even without discussing the humanitarian disaster it entails.

5. According to them, up to 50,000 soldiers must be included in the structure of the UN Mission.

6. They constantly cited the UN Mission in Serbian Krajina as an example. And the representative of the Razumkov Center even bragged about how he, being the head of the Ukrainian contingent there, covered with helicopters the operation of the Croatian special troops against the “Serbian bandits”. I.e. you understand whose operation they want to cover in Donbass with the hands of peacekeepers.

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7. The West knows precisely what to do in the event that Russia doesn’t agree to these categorical conditions. But the question “What about all this Russia?” isn’t asked at all. I.e. all recognised that the sanctions will remain the solution of the “Crimean problem”, but no one even considered it to be necessary to at least discuss some benefits for Moscow from the occupation of Donbass – probably because there aren’t any?

The most amusing was the expert by the name of Mendelson, who was worried about only one thing: that the peacekeepers don’t commit any sexual crimes in Donbass, and that female military personnel were included. Well, it is the most important problem, certainly.

It was still funny that “on behalf of Donbass” a certain Andrey Nikolayenko spoke, who had nothing to do with Donbass until the war. Under Yanukovych he headed the Kirovograd regional administration for a few months. And after the beginning of the war he was appointed by Taruta to the fake position “vice governor of the Donetsk region”. But the representative of the Razumkov Center was terribly excited: like, look, not all residents of Donbass are against Kiev! So it is possible to also call Yarosh “a representative of Donbass” — he also fought there.

From all of this it is possible to draw one conclusion: forget about a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbass. We stand not just on different positions with them concerning its role and functions, we stand on opposite positions, period. And the embodiment of the dream of Poroshenko/Washington concerning this mission won’t give Russia anything other than a “strategic defeat”, which the representative of Ukraine directly stated.

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