Foreign policy maneuvers
It's just that it is still warm and the Kiev troops suffer only from poor irregular feeding and inadequate leadership, they are ready to fight on. Telepropaganda provides replenishment of losses (which, according to the most optimistic estimates of the militia, do not exceed three thousand people) with the new zombie cannon fodder, who sincerely believes that it (the meat) is sent to the front to protect Ukraine from insidious Putin and smash Russia down to Chukotka and Kamchatka.
With the onset of cold weather morale falls. Even the most disciplined and professional (at that time) army of the Third Reich experienced this in 1941. To stop its collapse, Hitler was forced to give his order “Not one step back” eight months before Stalin.
A catastrophe of the Ukrainian army cannot be prevented by such an order. At least, because by the autumn, the regions controlled by Kiev, which are now the more or less reliable rear of the punitive troops, fully realize the “advantages” of empty shelves in stores. Bread, salt, matches, already disappear from sales in Uman, Kharkiv, Sumy region, the range of goods is declining (though not yet critical) in Kiev stores. By the same time, the population will have to pay for utilities at European rates for several months, in addition to wages reduced by one and a half to two times, rising unemployment, a drop in the purchasing power of the hryvnia and the absence of additional sources of income. Well, the number of coffins that came from the front will increase. And the loss of the “gallant” punitive army of new territories is very likely.
From lightning defeat within a month or two, Kiev can save only the limited military resources of the militia. In the civil war in Ukraine, armies of 15-30 thousand people oppose each other and their increase above 40-50 thousand is impossible due to limited domestic resources (the larger armed forces will simply have nothing to feed and it will be impossible to provide weapons, ammunition and replenishment). That is, both the advance of the Southeast and the collapse of the punitive grouping will rather be relatively slow.
This means that the possibility of international mediation will continue to be maintained in order to achieve a compromise peace. Moreover, with the weakening of the punishers and the strengthening of the anti-fascist forces, this mediation will be increasingly in demand by Kiev. That is, there is a great risk that not a single party to the civil conflict in Ukraine can achieve complete victory.
However, we have already written that the clash in Ukraine is a civil war only in form. In fact, this is - like the Vietnamese or Afghan, Iraqi or Syrian wars - a clash of geopolitical players. In this case, Russia and the United States. So, the conditions of peace in Ukraine, and any war ends sooner or later with peace, we should consider not from the point of view of the victory / defeat of Kiev or the Union of People's Republics, but from the point of view of meeting the long-term interests of Russia and the United States.
Note that war is a game with a nonzero amount. It can be one winner and one loser, both sides can win and both can lose, regardless of the specific outcome of the hostilities. When we stated earlier that the United States had already lost in Ukraine, we proceeded from the axiom of the great Sun Tzu, who taught: “The best war is to break the plans of the enemy; in the next place - break his alliances; in the next place - smash his troops. The worst thing is to besiege the fortresses. ” Putin did not “besiege the fortress” in Ukraine, he provided an opportunity to smash punitive troops to the militia forces, the US unions are gradually falling apart, though not without help, but without the visible participation of Russia. But Washington’s intentions in Ukraine were destroyed almost instantly:
1.The Russian fleet could not be ousted from the Crimea.
2. Ukraine failed to turn into an anti-Russian ram.
3.Russia could not be forced to pay for Ukrainian stability, thus laying its content on its borders on the American vassal bankrupt.
Russia could not be forced to send troops to mainland Ukraine, thus entering into a confrontation with the EU, which would give the United States the opportunity to preserve the most important of its alliances and destroy both existing and only emerging alliances of Russia in Europe.
From this point of view, the USA has really lost. However, the war continues, and it is the United States that is fueling it, pushing Kiev onto ever new provocations and atrocities. Why?
As we have already noted, war is a non-zero-sum game. Losing one is not necessarily winning the other. The USA, having lost themselves, is trying not to let Russia win. Win not in the overthrow of the Kiev junta. This is a problem of time, not of principle. The United States is trying to prevent Russia from winning the postwar world.
Here we move from the definition of Sun Tzu to the definition of Liddell Garth, who, in his teaching on the Strategy for Indirect Action, stated: “The goal of the war is to achieve a better state of peace, if only from your point of view”. This is the best state of the world from the Russian point of view and they don’t want to allow the United States. Therefore, today the center of the conflict is gradually being transferred from the line of fire to the parquet halls of international conferences. Military actions will still be in the foreground for a long time. For a few more long months, people will mourn the dead and watch the movement of the front line with tension, but the result of the war is already predetermined, and the struggle is for a result of peace. She has already begun. How at one time the struggle for the peace format after the Second World War was fought in Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. When the first two conferences were held, Germany was not yet defeated, and the third took place before the military defeat of Japan.
What kind of problems will Russia face (already facing) during the negotiations on the post-war structure of Ukraine?
The first and main problem. There is no longer a Ukrainian state, but it’s extremely difficult to recognize its liquidation right from the international legal point of view. For the first time disappears the founding state of the UN. It disappears during the civil war, when the opposing sides have only conditional legitimacy and none of them is recognized as completely legitimate by the whole international community. Preservation of this state is desirable from the point of view of international law, but it is impossible from the point of view of financial and economic. None of the global players, like all of them taken together, have either the resources or the desire to support Ukraine for years (if not decades), before it can be politically stabilized and transferred to financial and economic self-sufficiency.
With the joint efforts of Russia, the USA and the EU, with the involvement of international organizations, the problems could somehow be solved, but, as mentioned above, the US is not yet ready for a constructive dialogue, and the internal situation in America, as well as its global economic interests, is practically do not give up hope that Washington will move from confrontation to constructive in the Ukrainian direction. That is, we can assume that everyone will not mind to preserve (at least temporarily) the formal unity of the Ukrainian state, but at the same time each global player will be ready to support, stabilize and support only its clients (following the example of two Koreas, two Vietnamese, two Germanies ).
The second problem arises from the first and is that the so-called pro-European (in fact, pro-American) politicians in Ukraine are all, as one, mess themselves with cooperation with the Ukrainian Nazis. They all take part in the construction of a (albeit unsuccessful) totalitarian Nazi state. They are all dirty in the blood of the peaceful population of Donbass. They are all responsible for the unconstitutional use of the army against civilians, without imposing a state of emergency or martial law. And, worst of all, they managed to get a huge amount of ordinary citizens in their blood - someone (participants of punitive raids) in the literal sense, someone (media support groups and a duped population) indirectly. In addition, Western Ukraine has been turned into a neo-Nazi reserve.
Meanwhile, Russia cannot agree to the preservation on the territory of at least a part of Ukraine of a neo-Nazi Russophobic regime dreaming of revenge. And Europe is not profitable. It is precisely her neo-Nazis who are already accused, and the further, the more they will be blamed, in the absence of full support for their “Euro-aspirations”, which means of “treason” and “collusion with Moscow”. But the US is not yet ready to finally abandon the support of neo-Nazis, and it can be assumed that they will try (in their own interests) to preserve this irritant for Russia and the EU, this potential source of conflict, at least in Western Ukraine. The complete defeat of the armed formations of neo-Nazi militants, this problem is not solved. In the case of the preservation (at least in Western Ukraine) of neo-Nazis in politics (and even in power), the formation of new militant groups is a matter of time. Meanwhile, denazification of Western Ukraine is possible only in the case of the introduction of external governance and systemic ideological, administrative and police work.
The third problem: the decision to abandon claims to the Crimea can be taken only by the re-established Ukrainian state, that is, newly created on a confederative basis by new entities within the new borders. The current Constitution of Ukraine prohibits state bodies to make a decision on changing the territorial structure without submitting the issue to a national referendum (and it will be extremely problematic to collect the majority for rejecting Crimea in a referendum). Moreover, the removal of the Crimean problem is unprofitable by the same US. Yes, and the EU would be happy to keep this lever, if not pressure on Russia, then bargaining for it, any additional concessions.
Thus, today two variants of a peaceful settlement are real.
The first involves the start of constructive negotiations with international mediation, which ideally should lead to the creation of a confederative Ukrainian state (most likely temporary, to ensure a bloodless divorce within three to five years). The complexity of its implementation stems from the fact that Kiev is not ready to give up control over those territories that are not yet lost to them.
Neo-Nazi militants who form the backbone of the punitive grouping are not ready to retreat without a fight and recognize the Union of People's Republics (or Novorossia) as equal contracting party. All four months after the coup d'état in Kiev, the United States demonstrates its readiness to fight until the last Ukrainian and leave the territory of Russia and the EU in a state of humanitarian catastrophe, with a destroyed economy, a destroyed habitat of large cities and armed gangs controlling each region or town . The Kiev authorities are blindly subordinate to the United States and have no forces to neutralize their own neo-Nazi militants, whom they recognized as legal armed groups. Constitutional reorganization of the country will require a long period of stabilization, restoration and disarmament of combat units, during which external forces will have to ensure military, police and administrative control over the territory, as well as huge financial investments in ensuring social stability and gradual economic recovery.
Therefore, this option today seems unlikely. It can only be realized if all the players involved, including the United States, are ready for constructive dialogue and cooperation in establishing peace and at the same time have a common, coordinated look at the desired new device of the Ukrainian state and its prospects in the coming 5-10 years (including the need for full denazification).
The readiness of all participants for honest equity participation in the restoration of the economy and social sphere of Ukraine is also necessary. Finally, it will be necessary to have an agreed position on the punishment of war criminals. But here, Kiev continues to officially accuse the militias of shelling their cities themselves, bombing them with the help of a militia that is absent aviation and kill their own children. That is, the parties to the conflict have a diametrically opposite idea of who the war criminal is. In the case of the trial of key figures of the current Kiev authorities, the role of the United States in organizing both the coup in Kiev and the genocide of the Donbass population will inevitably be publicly revealed and legally fixed.
The second option involves the offensive of the army of the South-East, the liberation of not only Novrossiya, but the entire right bank, except (possibly) Zazbruchya or Galicia only, the creation of a new government (the same bases as for the overthrow of Yanukovich and the “election” of Poroshenko - the old government fled fearing the insurgent people), holding new elections, thus legitimizing the new supreme bodies of state power, adopting a new Constitution and on its basis either re-establishment or liquidation of the Ukrainian state.
The weak point of this option is Galicia, which in this case will not just want independence, but will also consider itself the last remaining remnant of an independent Ukraine, and all other territories occupied. The US and the EU (or only the US) may well support such an approach. In addition, he again does not guarantee the punishment of war criminals who can flee to Galicia and feel like heroes there.
Therefore, the implementation of even such a force option lies in the plane of onset up to the western border and the complete elimination of neo-Nazism in Ukraine. However, for such a deep and complex operation, the good will of the EU is necessary. Brussels, after the departure of Barroso, Ashton and Van Rompuy, of course, will become more accommodating, but he will not be able to change his position in a matter of months to such an extent. Moreover, the outgoing European bureaucracy left to its successors a weight on its feet in the form of an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
Consequently, it can be expected that after the intensification of hostilities, inevitable at the end of the failed “truce”, to which both sides are preparing, for some time (a month or two) the punitive group will suffer a catastrophic but not final defeat, and the Army of the Southeast will take control of a significant (perhaps even most) part, but not the entire territory of Ukraine. At this point, in order to prevent the final military defeat of Kiev, the EU and the United States will have to come up with peace initiatives, achieve a final cease-fire with Russia, introduce international peacekeeping forces and start negotiations on a final settlement. In this case, the unofficial section of Ukraine on the demarcation line is almost predetermined.
Only actions of neo-Nazi militants can prevent a settlement of this kind. Thanks to the frantic propaganda of the war by the Kiev media, their numbers have seriously increased. They are ideologically motivated and, unlike the Ukrainian army, which, as always, will calmly go over to the side of the winner, they are unlikely to accept the fact that they are “taken away” by a part (most likely, large) of Ukraine. They are capable of both a coup d'état in the territories under control of the Kiev regime and the establishment of a dictatorial military regime similar to the late Petliurism, and the beginning of a partisan war against peacekeepers (including Europeans and Americans whom they will consider traitors).
Thus, as we see, all the options for a compromise peace settlement, with which Russia is ready and able to agree, rest on the impossibility for the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev and its military detachments to agree to peace and not become the targets of criminal prosecution for war crimes. The second risk factor is the position of the United States and (to some extent) the EU, which are trying to finally legalize the Kiev regime with the help of peace initiatives, to formalize its recognition throughout the country (albeit conditional recognition), while retaining its partial influence on the situation in Ukraine. And Ukraine itself, as an extremely unstable territory, demanding constant attention from Russia and heavy financial, economic and military-political costs.
As a result, it can be concluded that a more or less acceptable post-war peace in Ukraine is impossible for Russia either without a full and comprehensive military victory of the South-East (which is realizable), or without a fundamental change in the positions of the EU and US governing circles (which is problematic in the case of the EU and almost unreal in the case of the USA).
Based on the above, the political situation dictates the following format of hostilities:
The first stage is the rapid defeat of the main group of punishers in the Izyum area and the fastest and deepest movement towards Kiev and the whole of the right bank as a whole, leaving potential centers of resistance in the rear, such as Dnipropetrovsk. The goal is not only and not so much the seizure of the maximum territory before the West has time to launch an intermediary initiative, but also to stimulate the Ukrainian security forces and bureaucracy to switch to the side of the new government, so that it can be stated that the junta has lost the trust of the people and no one supports (a mirror image of the situation with Yanukovych). This is the stage of the initial legitimization of the power of the Union of People’s Republics as an all-Ukrainian
The second stage - after the mediation initiatives of the West - a cease-fire according to the Poroshenko scheme (there is a statement, but there is no cessation). Conducting limited operations to clean up the territory in its own rear and further advance to the West (the pretext is a popular uprising against the junta in its rear).
The third stage - after entering, at least, on the Zbruch line - the beginning of real negotiations with the fluent junta directly, and with Western intermediaries. From the junta is necessary to make statements about the separation of Western Ukraine (or only Galicia). With which you can agree if it will be confirmed in a referendum, following the example of those that took place in Donetsk and Lugansk. The West, on the other hand, must recognize the de facto authorities of the Union of People's Republics as the legal representatives of the rest of Ukraine.
If these three stages are successfully completed, then the longest and most difficult but already peaceful phase of the final international legalization of the new geopolitical reality will begin. The West will have to recognize the new government in Kiev de jure, as well as its right to refuse the association agreement and join the CU and the EAEU (integration directly into Russia, although desirable, seems almost impossible to implement at this stage). In exchange, Russia and the new Ukraine can not only recognize the separation of Galicia as part of the 3-7 areas, but also agree with any of its future fate, ranging from integration into the EU in parts (by joining the neighboring states) and ending with its formalization as a new UN member.
The only requirement that in this case cannot be lifted and whose support from the EU (or part of its members) could be ensured - denazification of Western Ukraine under international control and the tribunal over war criminals. In this case, even if the US hides some of its “especially valuable” minions (even if it would be safer to kill them), the political forces of Western Ukraine will never be able to claim all-Ukrainian representation, and, consequently, the danger of neo-Nazi revenge attempts will be minimized.
In general, it should be noted that for Russia the main problem today is not a physical victory in Ukraine, which has already been practically resolved, namely, achieving peace, which would be better than a pre-war one, if only from the point of view of Russia. Complicated foreign policy maneuvers of the Russian leadership, as well as his refusal to quickly resolve the Ukrainian crisis by the forces of the Russian army, are connected with this.
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