First you need to understand what happened. No, the author will not curse the stupidity of the participants in euromaidan, stigmatize the Right Sector terrorists and analyze the consequences of the “national revival” in the Bandera version for the South-East of Ukraine. Many texts have already been written on this account, and those who wanted to understand what is happening have long understood the price of euromaidan and its leaders. We will try to look at the situation from a more general perspective.
What is a revolution, coup or coup for the state organism? Regardless of the goodness of intentions and even the results of these shocks, for the state such social changes mean a serious illness. Every organism that survived a disease (and even more so, a disease accompanied by a series of shock states) needs rest. It is peace that doctors prescribe to citizens tormented by illness, putting the convalescent person into bed, excluding drafts and disturbances. As applied to the state, this very mode of rest, necessary for the restoration of the organism, in no way implies neither a war, nor any confrontation with its neighbors.
This, by the way, was well understood by the one whose monuments the Ukrainian “revolutionaries” began to demolish with such enthusiasm. The Brest peace concluded by the Bolsheviks in 18 was perceived by many as a betrayal of national interests. But Lenin, remaining in the minority, risking his leadership of the party, and indeed the party itself, which was on the verge of a split, continued to insist that the country needs peace, and peace at any cost. Just a few months later, the Brest Treaty was denounced, but the Bolsheviks received the necessary time for the formation, as it were, of the “power bloc”, which helped to repel external and internal aggression.
The Ukrainian government apparently didn’t read Lenin at all, and indeed historical experience, apparently out of ignorance of the existence of such, simply ignored. As a result, these gentlemen began to act like Trotsky, who believed that Germany was no longer able to advance (in the Ukrainian version - “Russia is too weak”), and indeed - the rebelled German proletariat was about to help the Bolsheviks (in the Ukrainian interpretations - “The world community will help us”, or “Putin’s regime will soon fall under the pressure of white-collar workers”). “Lenin” was not found among the new Ukrainian authorities. Although it is not necessary to possess the qualities of a leader of the world proletariat in order to understand a situation that is as simple as a club of an euromaidan leader.
And the situation was and remains the following. Ukraine, poorly governed, with an empty treasury, is weakened by the dubious legitimacy of the authorities and the romping armed gangs of the Right Sector, which cannot be touched, because they are “the vanguard of the revolution”. The northern neighbor hangs over this really sick territory, which in recent years has steadily increased its weight on the world stage, has, according to various estimates, the second or third largest army in the world, and most importantly, it doesn’t particularly hide its imperial ambitions, in which Ukraine has always been given a special role, because, as you know, “Without Ukraine, Russia is not an empire”. Of course, Russia could not fail to take advantage of the weakening of Ukrainian statehood to solve its own geopolitical problems.
At the same time, Putin should not be blamed for the fact that he is driven only by an irrational craving for collecting Russian lands, because there are quite objective reasons for Russia's aggressive pressure on Ukraine. It is now scared to shiver in his knees Yatsenyuk says that “The issue of Ukraine’s joining NATO is not worth it.” A week, a year and ten years ago, all the same people did not hide their not only pro-Western, but also about NATO attitudes. And when the smell of fried, they turned for help there.
In this situation, Putin acted the same way as any normal leader of the country who was concerned about its security in the face of a very specific military threat — did everything to move this threat away from the borders of his state as far as possible.
It is appropriate to recall the Caribbean crisis, which almost led the world to a nuclear war. But the distance from Cuba to Miami is much greater than from Kharkov to Belgorod. Then Kennedy’s tough stance seemed to be quite justified. Putin’s position now looks exactly as justified: to get NATO bases and two thousand kilometers of border with a state belonging to a hostile military bloc seven hours from Moscow is a direct threat to Russia's national security, and imperial aspirations have nothing to do with it.
But our "strategists" of all this either did not take into account, or they underestimated Russia's determination to defend their geopolitical and military interests. And they chose the path, the worst of all possible: first, they began to tease the Russian bear, continuing to push the image of the enemy in the form of Russia in Ukraine, and second, they turned to the West for help. Waving fists in front of the Russian bear gave quite specific grounds for aggression, even if hidden, because it was not only anti-Russian waving, but also anti-Russian, which could not but be interpreted as direct threats to the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine.
And the appeal for help to the West, as expected, ended in nothing. That is, of course, the word "sanctions" in news ribbons are now no less popular than the "provocations" a month ago, but in fact, all these measures of the West for Russia are nothing more than a mosquito bite for an elephant. Visa restrictions for a couple of dozen officials? It's okay, they will go to rest in Sochi, since the infrastructure for cultural recreation of wealthy citizens is there. Asset seizure? Which ones? Who saw these assets? In addition, as far as Russians are concerned, there has recently been a law according to which senior officials, deputies and senators cannot have foreign assets. This, of course, is an empty formality, however, only assets formally associated with specific persons can be seized. In general, this is not a sanction, but complete nonsense.
And even a symbolic step - the exclusion of Russia from the Big Eight, which could mean at least some kind of international isolation, according to Merkel, is not considered. Those. Russia was scolded, of course, but left in a close circle of superpowers. As a relative-nouveau riche, who recently behaves arrogant and bolder, but without which, at the same time - nowhere.
By the way, about a wealthy relative - it turned out that Russia is so closely integrated into the world economy, and not only with its energy resources, but also with a huge domestic market, that the introduction of economic sanctions against Russia for the West is more expensive. And the “brazen” Russia quickly showed the world that economic sanctions could also be applied on its part by blocking imports from the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda. The Lithuanians quickly realized what the talk of sanctions was about, and not only slowed down in accusations against the Kremlin, but also demanded protection from the EU, putting it in the sense that it would be nice to compensate for the costs associated with the sanctions of Russia. Talk about economic sanctions faded away, and they are no longer on the agenda.
How will all this end? It is unlikely that Russia will begin to develop success, joining the Southeast region. Just because in a year or two almost all of Ukraine will fall to Putin’s feet, without much effort on his part.
Firstly, the current government is doing everything to plunge the country into an economic collapse. He doesn’t have any intelligible economic strategy, and most likely he willn’t have any help from outside - Yatsenyuk, of course, is still bubbling with statements on the topic “We are ready to lend,” but the further, the more this expectation of big money looks funnier.
The situation is exacerbated, to put it mildly, in the current situation, inappropriate steps to allocate funds for the army, attempts to drive the Right Sector militants into the stall of the National Guard, repressions against “separatists”, continuing anti-Russian rhetoric of the first persons and other steps that, in the absence of external support, look like permanent tantrum. And the saddest thing is that the list of candidates for the presidential throne does not give grounds to believe that the situation in Ukraine will change dramatically.
Secondly, Crimea will become the strongest factor in Ukrainian politics. And the point is not that his loss is a grandiose spit in Ukraine, which has never experienced such humiliation in its recent history. The fact is that Putin will try to make a showcase from Crimea to demonstrate the advantages of being part of the Empire. The first steps have already been announced. This is a billion-dollar investment and a special tax regime. So it’s quite possible that the popular slogan “Stop feeding the Caucasus!” In Russia will be replaced by “Stop feeding the Crimea!” But no slogans will force Putin to abandon the idea of turning Crimea into yet another Sochi - first of all, because this Crimean “showcase” "Better than any agitation, he will show the southeast of Ukraine the movement vector and will convince doubters, who are still many in Kharkov, Donetsk, and Dnepropetrovsk.
This demonstration will be especially acute against the backdrop of the economic catastrophe towards which Ukraine is moving. This, of course, will take time, but, given the general situation, in this case it works for the Kremlin. So the integrity of Ukraine after the loss of Crimea is a very big question. And not because Russian Tanks will enter its territory, but because the territory itself will run to Russia, sweeping the Ukrainian cheers and mediocre rulers in its path.
Can this be avoided? Theoretically, yes. Theoretically, because in general, something had to be done before.
Immediately after Yanukovych fled, new Ukrainian leaders needed to go not to the West, but to Russia. Riding, taking with him as a souvenir wrapped in a gift wrapper and tied with a magnificent bow Yarosh head - figuratively, of course. Ride and give guarantees. The guarantee that the NATO soldier’s boots never set foot on Ukrainian soil, that the Russian language would be the state language, that the regions, especially the Southeast, would receive a special status ... Shove your national pride far away and agree to any conditions for the sake of preservation peace and territorial integrity.
Acting as Trotsky Lenin had ordered to act a hundred years ago, sending him to Brest-Litovsk, to bargain, but if he did not give up concessions, to sign peace on any conditions.
Of course, Putin’s categorical non-recognition of the new Ukrainian government is an obstacle, but not insurmountable. How can you not hold the same historical parallel - the Bolsheviks that just came to power for the West were far less legitimate and far more unpleasant than the current Ukrainian leadership for Putin. However, the Bolsheviks managed to reverse this attitude. Lenin, realizing that the Western establishment would not sit down at the negotiating table with the revolutionaries, drew to his side a man who was in the most serious offices located not only in government buildings, but also in large banks. They became Leonid Krasin, who, although he treated the Bolsheviks with a slight contempt, was a real patriot and a statesman. He was able to build bridges between the new Russian government and the Western world. So if there is a mediator and, most importantly, a sincere desire to build a dialogue, no boycotts can be an obstacle. Moreover, Putin, being himself an absolute pragmatist in foreign policy, would inevitably react to distinct attempts to find common ground.
Alas, in Ukraine there is neither Lenin nor Krasin. But there are no options either. Because without building a normal dialogue with Russia, Ukraine simply cannot exist - she herself is almost incapable of supporting her statehood. And Western politicians, with grace and cynicism inherent only in them, have merged Ukraine, preferring their own selfish interests to the idea of supporting Ukrainian statehood.
So you still have to negotiate with Russia. And now, after the loss of the Crimea and, in fact, the betrayal of the West, the conditions of these agreements will be very, very difficult, even turning Ukraine into a satellite of the Kremlin. But this, at least, will save Ukraine, which, I really want to believe, is still of some interest to Ukrainian politicians.