Ukrainian Tanks, "inherited" by the Russian army, transported to the north of Crimea to strengthen the Russian military grouping on the border with mainland Ukraine. Photo http://www.svoboda.org
The situation has somewhat changed after the talks that took place the other day between the heads of the diplomatic departments Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry. With a cursory assessment, these negotiations could hardly be called breakthrough, but upon careful consideration they identified, at least, a hypothetically possible point of contact between the positions of the two states. The US Secretary of State made it clear that the United States is concerned about Russia's serious military presence on the eastern border with Ukraine, and if Russia had withdrawn its troops to the places of permanent deployment, then this step would be the basis, quote: de-escalating the conflict in Ukraine.
It would seem that Kerry's words are everyday and do not carry anything new in themselves. But in fact, these words are covered with many important nuances.
Nuance one: the head of American diplomacy speaks of troops, which Russia seems to be taking away from the border with the eastern regions of Ukraine, and says nothing about the southern direction. Indirectly, this means that the United States is beginning to gradually (literally through “I cannot”) accept the fact that the Crimean peninsula is the territory of Russia. Naturally, the same John Kerry will not say this openly (it’s necessary, as they say, to preserve the honor of the uniform), but these words that he said, translated from an American diplomatic, mean that in the south of Ukraine the USA has no problems with Russian military presence is not seen. Well, or see, but try to keep quiet about it, without escalating the situation. And without that debate about the “use” of sanctions against Russia is enough ...
The nuance of the second: of course, Kerry is still trying to present the conflict in Ukraine as a result of exclusively Russian pressure, stating the need for the first steps of de-escalating the conflict precisely from Russia. But at the same time, the United States makes it clear that they are ready to compromise with Russia. The condition for this compromise was announced - "withdrawal of Russian troops from the border with the eastern regions of Ukraine."
So, it is this thesis that is too often repeated by Western "partners." It would be foolish to ignore him, purposefully ignoring. And, apparently, the Russian authorities decided that the opportunity to somewhat defuse the situation should certainly be used. Whether there are troops on their own western border, whether there are any there — you need to take something away from the border anyway ... And, apparently, the option “take something away” worked well. But about it one after another.
Almost immediately after the negotiations of Lavrov and Kerry, which took place in Paris, interesting reports come from the territory of Ukraine. The deputy chief of the main command center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Major General Alexander Rozmaznin, states that the number of Russian troops on the border with eastern Ukraine has decreased by about 10 thousand people. A senior military official notes that Kiev initially considered this a process of rotating Russian soldiers, but it turned out that the Russian units had left the regions bordering on Ukraine, and their place was not occupied by other units.
Information that Russian troops leave the "border" polygons, where active exercises have recently been conducted, and are sent to the places of permanent deployment, is confirmed, which is remarkable, in the main military department of Russia. The press service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reports that a “whole” battalion of the 15 th rifle brigade of the Central Military District was withdrawn from the territory of the Rostov Region. Before the withdrawal, the battalion participated in training maneuvers at the Kadamovsky range, after - he went to his native Samara region. Training is underway for the withdrawal of other units.
For clarity: from the Kadamovsky landfill to the Ukrainian frontier - under two hundred kilometers. Well, if Kadamovsky is considered “near the border with Ukraine”, then for God's sake, of course, but Russia would be one thing (with our geographical parameters), and it’s another thing, for example, in the North Atlantic Alliance, in which for a considerable number of countries 200 km - this is the size, no less, of their entire territory from the border to the border ...
By the way, about NATO. Just a few days before the withdrawal "from the border area" of the said battalion, an inspection flight took place in the skies over the same Rostov region. Representatives of the North Atlantic Alliance participated in the inspection. And it is interesting that the inspectors did not find any military activity of Russia near the border with Ukraine ...
When such information reached the NATO Secretary General Rasmussen, he stated that he was still not sure about the withdrawal of the Russian troops from the border, referring to the generals who had reported “good disguise” by the Russians of their positions. They say that they looked bad - Russian soldiers are definitely there - they are masking well ... And, as noted, the camouflage is apparently so remarkable that even American spy satellites cannot determine where exactly those 40 of thousands of Russian soldiers are located near the border with Ukraine who were miraculously counted by people sitting in Kiev ... Yes, yes, it was 40 who counted thousands of "bayonets" ...
How much Kiev’s exaggerated words about the 40 of thousands of Russian soldiers "near the borders with Ukraine" can be judged by the statements of the same General Rozmaznin. If one Russian battalion departed “from the frontiers”, and according to Roseznin, this is already “minus 10 thousands” of servicemen, then it turns out that 40 thousands is only the 4 battalion ... What are extensive, however, now the battalions in the Russian army ... Although more a completely different definition fits here: fear has big eyes, and the fact that Kiev is pretty, sorry, put pants on Russian activity lately is a fact.
After the withdrawal of the Russian divisions (we recall that while we are talking about exactly one battalion) to the places of permanent deployment, white-toothed smiles appeared on the faces of the western “partners”. Spokesman for the United States Foreign Office Marie Harf said that this is a signal for a possible de-escalation of the conflict.
The press service of Angela Merkel said that they consider the withdrawal of Russian troops to the places of permanent deployment as a "positive step of Moscow."
CNN also announced with great enthusiasm to its viewers that the process of de-escalation (well, they love this word in the West today) of the conflict near the borders with Ukraine.
And how our "friend" Barak must be proud of himself ...
It turns out how little now needs to be done to make the West rejoice ... Previously, I remember, the West "rejoiced for Russia" for completely different reasons (for more global ones): the collapse of the USSR, Bulgarian sawing by strategists, the export of highly enriched uranium to the USA, shock therapy for the population against the background of the barbaric privatization of state-owned enterprises, and now the “partner” has been crushed ... One battalion was taken away from sin away - and now the rhetoric of the West has changed. Not at the root, of course, but changed. And who then will say that April 1 is not a day of laughter. What else!