Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Putin Puts Kiev Behind the Eight Ball

00 Konstantin Maler. Quo Vadis Ukraina. 2014. 13.05.14

Quo Vadis, Ukraina?

Konstantin Maler



After remaining silent about Ukraine for over two weeks, on 7 May, President Putin came out with a sensational statement. Many opponents of Russia already regard this as his surrender of the southeast Ukraine; however, in reality, this is just one more step towards the realisation of Russian interests in Ukraine. The goal is to minimise potential damage. 

The President’s Goals

After meeting in Moscow with the OSCE Chairman, President of Switzerland Didier Burkhalter, President Putin made a series of unexpected comments concerning the Ukraine. In particular, he asked patriot elements in the southeast not to hold a referendum, expressed his support for presidential elections in Ukraine on 25 May, and announced the withdrawal of Russian troops. Several anti-Putin personalities interpreted this speech as evidence of the surrender of the southeast Ukraine, as well as showing Putin’s weakness of Vladimir Putin and that of the entire Russian régime, which fears additional sanctions. However, in reality, in speaking this way, the president had two objectives.

Firstly, he showed the world Moscow’s willingness to honour the commitments that it made in Genève to de-escalate the Ukrainian crisis. This greatly reduces the risk of having economic sanctions imposed against Russia… at least, the USA will have an even harder time trying to convince European politicians of the need for such a step after Putin’s speech. The market reacted very positively to Putin’s statements… the Euro fell below 49 Roubles, and the US Dollar to below 35, and the indices on the stock exchanges increased by 5 percent. In addition, by taking this step, Putin actually pushes the Ukrainian authorities to become more active. Until now, the strategy of Kiev was very simple… escalation of the situation, confrontation with Russia, and constant complaints to Washington and Brussels. Now, Putin set Kiev a more complicated task… the need to respond to proposals put forward by Moscow. Now, if Putin’s plan succeeds, the answering moves by the Kiev authorities will either bury them completely or lead to a de-escalation of the situation and the federalisation of Ukraine. Both of these options would satisfy Russia.

Detailed Scenario

Let’s look at the main points of Putin’s speech. Putin spoke against the holding of referendums on regional autonomy in Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts on 11 May. However, one shouldn’t regard this statement as a refusal to provide protection to people in the Donbass. Firstly, Putin effectively tied the cancellation of the referendum to the cessation of the junta’s military actions. He said, “The prerequisite for starting a dialogue is the unconditional cessation of all violence… this means not using armed force, something that’s absolutely unacceptable in the modern world, and not using any illegal armed groups”. Thus, he presented Kiev with an extremely unpleasant dilemma. As we already know, on 6 May, the Rada voted against holding a referendum on decentralisation. Now, Ukrainian deputies will either have to change their minds and overcome their anti-Russian phobias, or publicly take responsibility for the failure of the peaceful approach to solving the problems proposed by Putin. After all, a number of international actors, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the OSCE actually support Putin’s demands. Moreover, no matter which of these options the Rada takes, it plays in favour of Russia.

Secondly, the obligation to take action in response to Putin’s statement falls only on the Kiev authorities… the patriot elements aren’t obliged to listen to him. If the Donetsk authorities decide to go ahead with a referendum, then, blaming Putin won’t be easy. Patriot elements correctly interpreted Putin’s speech, and presented the Kiev authorities with the conditions under which they would abandon their planned referendum. Oleg Tsaryov, a Rada People’s Deputy, said, “These include an immediate cessation of anti-terrorist operations (sic) and withdrawal of all units of the armed forces and the MVDU to their places of permanent deployment; the disbanding and disarming of all illegal armed groups, the release of all political prisoners, including those detained on trumped-up criminal charges”.

One could view Putin’s statement concerning the Ukrainian presidential election in a similar vein. Having stated, “The presidential election, in itself, is a move in the right direction”, Putin demonstrated to the West, and Kiev, that Moscow isn’t going to disrupt it, and, perhaps, might recognise its results. However, he added, “This election won’t decide anything, if all Ukrainian citizens don’t feel assured that their rights would be guaranteed after this presidential election… we believe that a direct dialogue between the Kiev authorities in Kiev and those in the Ukraine is the key element of any future settlement”. Some political analysts regard this statement as a demand to adopt a new constitution before the holding of the elections. Moreover, they don’t rule out the possibility that Moscow already agreed with the West that the Ukraine should postpone the election.

Finally, Putin said that Russia’s no longer concentrating troops near the Ukrainian border. Moscow never intended to send its army into the Ukraine… the imposition of extremely harsh sanctions and political consequences would follow such, not to mention the undesirability of having to wage war. Rather, it sees sending in troops as a last resort, a tool to achieve the real goal… to keep the southeast under patriot control. Now, it seems, new tools have come into play to achieve this goal… reports come in from the Donbass about the arrival of groups of armed Russian “volunteers”. Thus, keeping troops on the Ukrainian border is politically and even economically unprofitable.

The Ukrainian authorities seem to understand Putin’s game plan, and they’re trying to neutralise his latest moves. So-called junta “Prime Minister” Arseny Yatsenyuk said, “Dear Vladmir Vladimirovich, trying to sell us air is somehow unbefitting of the president of a large country. In answer to the statement that Russia is asking to have the 11 May referendum postponed, we’d like to inform the Russian president that no referendum was ever planned in the Ukraine for 11 May”. However, if Putin’s really vetted his statement with the Europeans, then, very few people will care about Kiev’s opinion.


The delivery of the two Mistral helicopter carriers from France to Russia is still on. That says it all. The Uniate filth had best prepare their boltholes in exile. The junta’s sinking and the European members of NATO REFUSE to save it. NO AMERICAN SOLDIER WILL ENTER THE UKRAINE. I’d say that the USA had best remove all “Ukrainians” from its forces in Europe, for the time being. There’s a real risk of them trying to involve the USA in the potty Russophobic violence of the junta. It’s best to be safe… for one can’t be sure. Sad to have say such, isn’t it? However, the diaspora Uniates and “Ukrainian Orthodox” refuse to silence the fascist elements amongst them, so, the rest of us have to take sensible precautions.


8 May 2014

Gevorg Mirzayan

Russia Beyond the Headlines


Enhanced by Zemanta

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: