Peace in Ukraine creates more problems than war
The article “But Donbass Happened” dealt with the internal genesis of the current Ukrainian catastrophe. Moreover, when a large, geopolitically significant country destabilizes, external forces cannot but take advantage of it. It has always been, is and will be. When now the West and Russia vehemently accuse each other of interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine, this is the height of hypocrisy on both sides. However, such hypocrisy, unfortunately, holds diplomacy.
In the spring of this year, Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that during the post-Soviet period, Russia directly and indirectly subsidized the economy of Ukraine for a total of about 200 billions of dollars. Ulyukaev is a radical liberal, former deputy to the late Egor Gaidar for his institution and party. Therefore, he is unlikely to exaggerate the figure. Rather downplayed.
“Russia fought on the side of Transnistria openly, without embarrassment, but the West was not outraged and did not even stutter about sanctions against us”
The actions of our government have never been burdened by the presence of at least some strategy in whatever field. This fully applies to relations with Ukraine. The whole “strategy” was reduced to three absurd philistine cliches: “We all know about Ukraine”, “Ukraine is a brotherly country”, “Ukraine is not going anywhere from us”. Under this went the above-mentioned subsidies.
In response, Ukraine did not even imitate the "fraternity", and completely regardless of who was in power in Kiev. All presidents and political parties, including those that for some reason were considered pro-Russian in our country, conducted a course to the maximum distance from Moscow in foreign and domestic politics. Official propaganda and the education system were aimed at this. However, we continued to be worn with the above-mentioned stamps and that absolutely “beyond good and evil” - they believed that Ukraine could and even should become a member of the Eurasian Union. When the “pro-Russian” Yanukovych confidently moved to the EU, Moscow experienced an obvious shock, and then tried to prevent it. With a well-known result.
Many further actions of Russia are explained by the implementation of the HSP, that is, the “Putin’s cunning plan.” Probably, this plan is indeed very cunning, it’s a pity that Putin himself knows nothing about him. In fact, we have been and is a typical set of situational reactions to external stimuli for our foreign policy.
At the beginning of 2014, the Russian president persuaded his Ukrainian counterpart to sluggish surrender, that is, to sign the well-known February agreements. In this case, the actions of Moscow were purely peacekeeping, not bringing it any real benefit. Nevertheless, the day after the signing of Yanukovych was overthrown. Putin decided that he was brazenly "thrown." After that, the “Crimean campaign” happened, which became a direct response to the “kidalovo”.
The indignation of Ukraine, the West and our own liberal public about how we, by our “annexation” vilely offended the “fraternal country” and “trampled on international law”, is quite ridiculous. As it was said above, independent Ukraine was not for us even friendly for a second. And on the Independence, the anti-Russian issue has become central in general, pushing even the association with the EU into the background. In this regard, we are absolutely not obliged to observe the interests of Ukraine. In general, they must abide by the leadership of the country and the people, no one else. Others have their own interests. The norms of universal morality never extended to international relations. It is sad but true. As for the “norms of international law”, this sad theme will be discussed in the next article on the role of the West. Here, in brief, it should be said that this right now exists only in the imagination of moralists. And hardly anyone will explain why the Crimean referendum on independence in March 2014 was more illegal than the events in Kiev a month earlier or the Ukrainian referendum on independence from the USSR in December 1991. It is also not clear why the Crimeans, who did not feel that Ukraine is their country, and who for the first time acquired the right to decide their own fate, should have considered an involuntary decision of the Kremlin communist tyrant independent of 60 years ago. Here, on the peninsula (unlike Donbass), immediately after the overthrow of Yanukovych, a real grassroots popular movement emerged, aimed at secession from Ukraine, regardless of what Russia would do. In addition, the accusers of the reunion "did not notice" a wide advertising campaign of the Pravoseks, triumphant at that moment, to the Crimea, where they had to be supported by the militants of the Majlis (not to be confused with the Crimean Tatars as a whole). This is generally the property of many people to see only what is convenient for them.
Perhaps, Ukraine’s loss of Crimea has become the most equitable payment of its people and power for the 22-summer destruction of its own state and for the irrational hatred inflicted on Russia.
Why Donbass is not the Crimea
After the bloodless Crimean triumph, the Kremlin's security forces exerted the strongest pressure on Putin to repeat this scenario in the east and south of Ukraine, along the entire arc from Kharkov to Odessa. At the same time, the separatist plan in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions had already begun to be implemented as an internal Ukrainian oligarchic disassembly (this was discussed in the article “But Donbass Happened”). And Moscow could well use it. However, as events developed, the difference between the situations in the Crimea and the Donbas from the point of view of Russia's actions became apparent.
1. The annexation of Crimea to Ukraine in January 1954 was carried out in violation of even very conditional Soviet laws. This created a certain legal basis for the return of the Russian peninsula. There is no such prerequisite for other regions of the neighboring state. Of course, the borders of the Ukrainian SSR were drawn by the Soviet authorities completely artificially, without taking into account ethnic and historical aspects. However, it is no longer possible to legally use this fact.
2. The loyalty of the Crimean population to Russia exceeds 80 percent (and even 90%, most likely). At the same time, in the most pro-Moscow Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the overwhelming majority of the population just passively waits for anyone to win, or leave for a new homeland “on their own”. In other regions of the south and east, the situation is less favorable for Russia. Thus, if in the face of Crimea, the Kremlin acquired almost the most loyal subject of the Russian Federation, then even joining the Donbass (the whole of Donetsk and Lugansk regions), it will receive several hundred thousand actively hostile citizens.
3. Even the integration of the Crimea, which is small in terms of population and territory, completely loyal, creates a lot of legal, financial, technical and other problems for Russia. The accession of Donbass, not to mention other regions of the south and east, will complicate the situation so much that there will be a real threat to the internal stability of the Russian Federation as a whole, not only socio-economic, but also political.
4. The referendum in Crimea did not comply with the legislation of Ukraine. Nevertheless, it was conducted by the legitimate authorities of the peninsula and the existing election commissions that have lists of voters, in full compliance with the procedure and debriefing. In the course of the referendum, the opinion of the inhabitants of Crimea on the questions asked was indeed revealed. In the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the “people's authorities”, which organized a plebiscite on the independence of the DPR and the LPR, were not legitimate. They did not control all the settlements in their regions and could not organize a voting procedure everywhere, having problems with voter lists, premises and necessary equipment. Due to such problems, it is impossible to recognize the results of the referendum, despite the high turnout in some cities, which actually took place on May 11.
In addition to all these circumstances, the Kremlin apparently realized that for the West it would even be beneficial to join the east and south of Ukraine to Russia. In this case, as shown above, it would have received a tremendous economic and political burden, which would at least plunge the country into a deep economic depression, and as a maximum would cause a serious internal destabilization with an unpredictable outcome. Moreover, in this case, real economic sanctions would be imposed against Russia, which would further worsen its position. On the other hand, it is much easier for the West to finance what would remain in this case from Ukraine, since the population of this part of it is only about 20 million people (and not 43 million, as in the present territory without Crimea), while almost all of them are uniquely pro-Western.
However, the Kremlin could not let the situation in the Donbas take its course. As a result of the propaganda campaign in the self-proclaimed republics, a stream of volunteers moved to fight for the “Russian world” and / or against the “Fascist Bandera”. Other Russians who did not go to war, but listening to the television version of events, began to ask a natural question: why did they save the Crimea, although no one died there, and in the Donbass blood flows like water, but we don’t save it? That is, the internal Ukrainian oligarchic disassembly proved to be the most important domestic political factor on this side of the border. Moreover, there are signs that some militia leaders, who came from Russia, may later be promoted to alternative political leaders already in their homeland. Donbass has become for Moscow a typical “suitcase without a handle,” which is very hard to carry, but also completely impossible to quit. Although this is not our suitcase. And there was no good way out of the situation. It turned out that both the triumphant victory and the complete defeat of the DPR and the LPR turned out to be very bad options for Moscow.
Looking for leverage
For several months, Moscow tried to take at least partial control of the Donbass "guljaipole", maneuvering between the creatures of the oligarch Akhmetov (who, in turn, was not less actively choosing between the militias and Kiev) and the volunteer leaders. Certain results were achieved because the principle “There would be no happiness, but misfortune would help.” As stated in the article “But Donbass Happened,” the Ukrainian army in July-August began to achieve real success, acting by the unpretentious Soviet method of overwhelming the enemy with their corpses. With overwhelming superiority in people and technology, such an approach guaranteed victory. The territory of the DNR and the LC was rapidly reduced and lost its internal coherence. In these circumstances, Russia had to use what is ironically called “voentorg” on the Internet.
At the time of this writing, in the armed groups of the DPR and LPR for the entire period of the civil war, the presence (without losses) was recorded 83 tanks, 83 BMP and BMD, 68 armored personnel carriers, 33 self-propelled guns, 31 towed guns, 11 MLRS, 4 air defense systems (3 Strela-10, 1 Osa). Of this amount captured from the Ukrainian Armed Forces: 23 tanks, 56 BMP and BMD, 26 armored personnel carriers, 19 self-propelled guns, 17 towed guns, 2 MLRS. Where the rest came from is an interesting question. There are actually only two answers to it: a corrupt purchase from the Ukrainian military and receipt from Russia. These options do not exclude each other, but complement. Obviously, at the beginning of the existence of the DPR and LPR, the first option acted (when it was a dismantling of the Ukrainian oligarchs, with their money weapon and was acquired domestically), and in August earned a second one, which they called the “voentorg”. Proof of this, in particular, is that the militia recorded the presence of several units of T-72B3 and BTR-82А, which are simply not in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
To a certain extent, Moscow was untied by official Kiev propaganda. Lies about the "Russian aggression" has reached such a surrealistic scale that now, with all the desire, Russia will not be able to do even half of what has already been attributed to it.
Here one cannot but recall one episode of recent history. In 1991, a separatist movement arose in Moldova in Transnistria, which is typologically very similar to the current Donbass. It was not the oligarchs who created it, but the then party nomenclature. Frankly, it had much more support from the population than the current militia - the inhabitants of Donbass. The 14 Army deployed in Transnistria, which President Yeltsin transferred to Russian jurisdiction in April 1992, began to openly transfer arms and equipment to the separatists. And at the end of May, during the most intense battles for the city of Bender, the 14-I army took the side of the Transnistrian guards. Nevertheless, Yeltsin and vice-president of Rutskoi (at that moment they had not yet quarreled) decided that she was not actively fighting. Therefore, General Swan, a man of the highest degree, was sent to Tiraspol as the new commander. On the night of 2 on 3 of July, on his orders, the artillery of the 14 Army dealt a crushing, moreover, preventive strike on Moldovan positions. After that, Chisinau essentially capitulated, and Transnistria became an unrecognized state. And for some reason neither our liberal community, nor the West (except, of course, Romania) were completely indignant. And no one imposed sanctions against us, did not even stutter about them. Although Russia fought absolutely openly, not embarrassed. I wonder why everything has changed so much since then.
Now Moscow has finally gained leverage over both sides of the Ukrainian conflict. She demonstrated to Kiev that he could not achieve a military victory without the Kremlin’s “permission”. Which, in addition, has such a powerful lever of pressure on Poroshenko, as its assets in Russia (having been elected president, he did not cease to be an oligarch, although he promised to sell everything, and Ukrainian legislation requires it). Militias can be very effectively influenced by the "voentorg". True, at the end of August - beginning of September they seized so many Ukrainian equipment that in the near future they simply didn’t need any else. But in case of resumption of full-scale battles, it will be very quickly knocked out.
With the help of these levers, the Kremlin will seek from both sides a complete and final cease-fire. The war in the Donbass creates Moscow too many economic and political problems both within the country and abroad. In particular, despite its own propaganda, the Kremlin is not interested in a serious quarrel with the West, too many personal interests of our “elite” are associated with it.
The problem, however, is that no one needs peace in Ukraine yet. To Kiev, the war is beneficial from all points of view, and its continuation “to the bitter end” still requires the majority of the population. Dissatisfied with the world and the militia, which the cease-fire found at the peak of military success. The parties did not reach the point where it is really impossible to fight. That is why Russian peacekeeping efforts are not guaranteed success at all.
At the same time, it is necessary to understand that the DPR and the LPR have no prospects under any variant of the development of events on the front - even if the truce takes a long and stable character or if the Ukrainian Armed Forces conduct the next general offensive, but again they will not be able to cover the militia with corpses. Russia not only will not join the Donbass, but also does not have the opportunity to provide him with truly serious economic assistance. Because of this, the standard of living in the unrecognized republics will most likely be lower than in the rest of Ukraine, which will cause the most active population to flee. Its smaller part will rush to other regions of Ukraine, a large part to Russia, but almost all is irrevocable. What will further undermine the economy of Donbass and increase the outflow of the population, that is, the process will take on a self-sustaining character. In addition, those who make up the most efficient part of his army, the Russian volunteers, will leave the non-belligerent, but freezing and poor Donbass. It will not be possible to keep them precisely because they are volunteers, not soldiers, not mercenaries. Since the DPR and LPR will have neither the economy nor the army, Moscow’s desire to remove this weight from its neck and hang around Kiev’s neck can become irresistible. Kiev for purely political reasons will not be able to abandon the weight.
Burden of victory
- Alexander Khramchikhin
Noticed oshЫbku Highlight text and press. Ctrl + Enter