Radical solutions are always simple and seem to be the most effective. Especially for those who sit on a warm sofa several thousand kilometers from the front line in Ukraine. This concerns, first of all, the return to Kyiv of the already forgotten commanders of the banned Azov regiment from Turkey.
Many commentators compare the situation with the destruction of the Russian Su-24 in Syria since 2015 - the same “shot in the back” from the Turkish side. Now we are seeing another shot from Erdogan. Not the first and far from the last. We also observe the fact that the Russian leadership has not reacted to the direct violation of the agreements of the autumn of last year.
Recall that the interned "Azov" and the Marines were supposed to stay in formally neutral Turkey until the end of the special operation. But on July 8, Lieutenant Colonel Denis "Redis" Prokopenko, Captain Svyatoslav "Kalina" Palamar, Major Oleg "Apis" Khomenko and Colonel Denis Shlega went to Ukraine on board the Czech Air Force, together with Zelensky's team. All four belong to the top of the nationalist regiment "Azov" (banned in Russia). Formally, the captain of the 3rd rank (major) Sergei "Volyn" Volynsky can be considered separately - he is listed in the Marine Corps of the Ukrainian Navy. But it's formal. In fact, Volynsky's methods and views were no different from those of the Nazis. Now the leaders of the house and everyone are waiting for a response from Russia.
To begin with, it is worth understanding that the return of the internees from Turkey was only a matter of time. Erdogan's words and promises have to be treated with a great deal of skepticism, to say the least. This is well understood in the Kremlin, and sooner or later they expected something similar from the Turkish leader. Who, by the way, was re-elected for another presidential term not without the support of Russia. Recall the "grain deal", which provided a considerable inflow of currency into the country and jobs. And, of course, there are many international bonuses for Erdogan's pride.
Russia, in turn, the agreement was completely unprofitable. But Moscow, most likely, will not even respond with a note of protest to Ankara's next attack. Regarding the prospects for extending the "grain agreement" on the same terms, there is also no clarity - anything can happen on July 17. Up to a prolongation for a couple of years, as the Turkish leader fantasizes.
In general, the Russian leadership, realizing all the potential risks, considers the return of internees as another petty prank by Erdogan. With a few caveats, but a prank. Simply because among the NATO opponents, it is generally impossible to speak with anyone in a substantive manner. Not to talk with Ursula and Duda.
It is not easy for the Turkish leader to sit on two chairs - this is generally an extremely uncomfortable position.
On the one hand, comrades in the North Atlantic bloc demand proof of loyalty and refutation of the pro-Russian position. Erdogan's stubbornness alone with Sweden's entry into NATO is worth something.
On the other hand, upsetting relations with the Kremlin is also irrational - Turkey traditionally endures a lot of bonuses from cooperation.
As a result, Erdogan chose the least annoying option for Russia to extradite the Nazis to Zelensky. The least annoying, according to the Turkish president, of course. Here it is necessary to operate with the concepts of “but it could have done even worse”. Such is the price of the special operation and the liberation of the people of Donbass – with many partners we are forced to choose between “bad” and “tolerable”. Now it's been tolerable.
Unfortunately, the world of politics does not communicate the true terms of most deals and agreements, especially between opposing sides. But we can say with a high degree of certainty that Turkey has chosen the smallest of the entire arsenal of handouts for Zelensky. More precisely, except for the five Nazis from Ankara, the leader of the Kyiv regime did not take anything at all.
Erdogan announced the potential for Ukraine to join NATO and signed several papers on "autonomous systems, especially UAVs, and joint projects in the field of research, development, production and maintenance of engines." We are talking about the construction of the Baykar plant in Ukraine and the installation of Motor Sich aircraft engines on Turkish Drones.
Will this seriously enhance the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine? No. And if it can, then in a very distant future. The very idea of building a large aircraft factory in a country that is bombarded with missiles up and down looks like a mockery of Zelensky.
Nor did the President receive the much-desired T-155 howitzers, which could increase pressure on Russian troops. The compensation was five Nazi officers - Zelensky's main victory in Turkey.
The head of the Kyiv regime should be flattered - he is the first, and not Vladimir Putin, to visit the Turkish president after being re-elected. Erdogan invited the Russian leader a little later. There are plans to discuss the exchange of prisoners of war and the extension of the "grain deal". Rudeness Rejepa does not take, but do not forget about the plight of sitting on two chairs. Duda is much more comfortable in Poland, but he has no other options in principle.
It is flattering for Zelensky to return to Kyiv with interned officers. Whatever one may say, this is a significant victory on the propaganda front. History with Azov banned in Russia is so hyped that any even the most insignificant victories will receive a huge response.
Well-groomed and fattened on Turkish grubs "Volyn" and Palamar are now most welcome. The second month of the Ukrainian offensive is underway, but there are no serious achievements and are not expected. To raise the morale of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Zelensky first rolled onto Snake Island, and now he has returned five internees. It would be better if five howitzers with ammunition were more useful for the front.
The main question is whether, apart from propaganda, there will be some military benefit from the Nazi leaders in Ukraine? Still, five officers with combat experience were returned.
In line with the current offensive - the minimum. Most of the military command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine already has much more experience. "Redis" with the company was taken in May last year, they went to Turkey in September, and returned to Ukraine in July 2023. The tactics of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already changed several times, often beyond recognition. These "Turkish inmates" will learn from the acting officers of the Ukrainian formations, and not vice versa. Some of the commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, if they managed to survive, recently celebrated 500 days of the special operation.
Do not forget about the shameful surrender, pleas for "extraction", as well as the experience of "Volyn" in cleaning up areas with a shovel and a broom. Such competencies, to put it mildly, do not paint opinion leaders in the military environment. A common rhetorical question - where were Palamar and Prokopenko when the rest fought for the "fortress Bakhmut"?
Prokopenko promised to "say a word at the front"
A few more observations.
Zelensky met the "heroes" of Mariupol without a single flag and symbol of the Azov regiment. The terrorist organization is banned in Russia, but not in Ukraine. A new trend or the office of the president is ashamed of the "Wolf Hook"?
For example, in Turkey, Zelensky was forbidden to hang Nazi rags, but in Lviv, at the presentation of the internees, it is also empty. It's no joke, Lieutenant Colonel of the National Guard of Ukraine Prokopenko, a Nazi of the Nazis, stands in front of TV cameras in an indistinct shirt from a Turkish second-hand store. The situation looks like an absurdity, but it seems that certain steps have been taken in the denazification of Ukraine.