Let us continue the story about what lies in store for Ukraine, in particular, its eastern part, in the foreseeable future.
The meeting between Kuchma and Medvedchuk (as well as Shufrich, whom we’ve forgotten completely!) the day before yesterday unsurprisingly evoked Boroday’s wrath. It means that old, trusted human resources have entered the stage and the necessity for younger people (incapable of even occupying Akhmetov’s residence) is dwindling.
In a month or two real talks await us. And then there will be several tables. But Boroday will not be at any of them. Boroday and other PRD and PRL activists will leave the talks process forever (some of them will be six feet under). And Medvedchuk and Shufrich will move and take their place and will nicely sit across from Kuchma and someone, say, Herashchenko.
Therefore Medvedchuk is now denying that he represented the PRD, of course, and Kyiv is denying that Medvedchuk had been Poroshenko’s representative.
His phrase “neither in Donetsk or anytime before have I represented the interests of the PRD and PRL” is much more truthful than one may think. We remind you that Medvedchuk is a lawyer, so he is used to saying the truth and nothing but the truth. But it is natural that he did not and could not represent the interests of Kyiv.
Because he represents the Kremlin’s interests. He is the very representative of Moscow that PRD-ers have been asking for for so long. But here he is, and Boroday is pulling a tortured grimace. Because Boroday has come to see that his time has gone by irreversibly. Thank you, meeting adjourned. We will be the ones to continue acting.
And the betrayals did not take long to come. Iron Strelok fighters, to prove the words of his political leader Boroday that the PRD accepts the ceasefire until 10 a.m. on the 27th, shoot down a Mi-8 helicopter.
To try and justify this genius step, Pasha Gubarev, after Strelkov, states that “The helicopter our fighters took down yesterday, besides nine Ukrainian soldiers, might have included a group of foreign military advisors or commanders.” Great, Pasha. Great, Igor. But your political leader Boroday said that you have a ceasefire until the 27th. This means that even if the helicopter contained not just commanders but Satan personally, you were obliged not to shoot it down until it started shooting at you.
This tactic is not hard to grasp, esteemed Pasha. Just look how the Ukrainian army is doing it on mount Karachun. You say yourself that your geniuses shot at it on June 22nd at 4 a.m. sharp, killed three, wounded 15, and Ukrainian soldiers never responded with fire. Yes, this is unilateral ceasefire. This is how the whole world outside of the PRD sees it.
In the end lenta.ru wrote that the helicopter had “specialists and equipment for monitoring, documentation of instances of violation of the peace plan to regulate the conflict in Ukraine onboard.”
So either way the instance of violation of the peace plan to regulate the conflict has been documented in the best and most convincing way, even without the usage of equipment, as planned.
So what do we see as a result? We seen how Boroday, a fully capable side of the talks, is taken out of the talks process with one precise shot from the air defence system. “What can we talk to you about, oh esteemed one? Whom are you speaking for? In the name of the PRD? The PRD isn’t listening to you. You say – ceasefire, and immediately a helicopter falls down, and your Head Commander bravely admits that it was him who did it. Are you sure this is your commander, and not someone else’s? Go take a walk, find out, and then come back.”
I will not be surprised if in reality the helicopter was taken down not just by some of Girkin’s dimwitted rebels, but normal employees of the FSB who got a timely “order 66” to bury Girkin together with the PRD. I will not be surprised if after carrying this order Girkin will go missing, and a couple of weeks later he will be found with bullets in the back of his skull, and someone unnamed will be secretly given an award in the Kremlin.
Who will take Boroday’s place? Oh what a surprise! His place will be taken by an experienced diplomat, international lawyer and, as opposed to Boroday, a highly-respected person in the Kremlin. Viktor Medvedchuk.
And the emissary in the name of the local elites able to reach a settlement with Kyiv will be Mr. Shufrich, who was quite seriously considered a candidate capable of redeeming faith in the PR with Akhmetov’s support back in February, together with Tigipko, but, as opposed to Tigipko, he was unstained in the following boring intra-party scandal with nominating a single candidate Dobkin from the PR. Shufrich successfully hid away during these events, and now his time has come, as we may understand.
What does all of this mean for external serious actors, so not the little loser that is Shufrich and the big loser that is Medvedchuk? What is their profit in burying the hatchet together with Girkin and Boroday, who are holding it in their hands?
Europe is interested in peaceful dialogue. Europe doesn’t give a damn how it is achieved. Europe’s interest is a calm businesslike dialogue with the Russian Federation and the re-establishment of the fuel balance. While the RF is risking to be broken into pieces after hitting Donbas headfirst, and challenging the US’ sanctions in the finance sector, Europe doesn’t like any of it one little bit. If the conflict is hushed up and there is a peaceful political argument – Europe will love it. Fair political competition and all that.
The RF’s interest is “for everything to end.” Sectoral sanctions really are scary. Block SWIFT for the RF for two weeks and see what happens. This is why the Swiss explained to Mr. Putin quite comprehensively that it is time to calm down. And here is the result: Mr. Medvedev has woke up and literally stated: “It is my opinion, and the opinion of an absolute majority of people living in the RF. People very close to us are living in Ukraine, whatever might be said or written, however propaganda might work, they are still some of the closest people to us, we have a joint history, a joint economy in many ways up until now, despite the fact that we are living in different countries.”
Yes, really, whose propaganda was it? In general we observe as the RF does a U-turn, forgets about the Benderites and remembers the brotherly people.
I suspect that part of the crew of this particular manoeuvre ship won’t notice how it will be swept away overboard on inertia with a power wave of 282.3 for financing extremism. Taking down helicopters during a ceasefire – is that not extremism? And sending, according to Zhuchkovsky, about 1 million roubles to Girkin – isn’t that financing? So there. Someone will have to quickly change their shoes and transition from the paradigm “you are not a country, you are not people” to the paradigm of “fraternal nation, another Russia.” I already laugh when I imagine these proud jumps.
Meanwhile it is important to understand that the “peaceful development of events” for Putin in Ukraine definitely does not mean to “let Ukraine go.” No, if this were so, Medvedchuk would be sitting at home, having forgotten how half a year ago he was promising to Automaidan: “You want to go to war? All right, I know how to fight.” As we understand, he has not forgotten, war is underway, and with Medvedchuk’s appearance in the public plane it will not die down, but will simply change its course. It will happen “under the table.”
We will get two anti-Ukrainian powers in Donbas. The Kremlin one personified by Medvedchuk, and the local one with Shufrich.
The most savage 500-600 people will die in the nearest month, the rest will either leave the country or hide and the war for Donbas will continue in the political plane, so peacefully. Girkin can be shot. Shufrich cannot. This is how it will go, more or less.
Poroshenko might not like this plan. But he doesn’t have a choice. He has been played by the EU, and he will not be able to back down from the peaceful regulation plan anymore. Overall, this is what everyone wanted, right? The one-way street underground for military criminals and amnesty to the rest? Here it is, right? Just like everyone ordered. There is no reason to protest. And it is still to be proven that Medvedchuk is an anti-Ukrainian activist. Medvedchuk is not a missile system, his “us-them” system is much more complex. Everyone understands everything, but nobody will be able to make the OSCE see it.
As surprising as it may be, but even the US is all right with this scenario. It is beneficial for Obama to show that democrats, as opposed to the republics, can leave behind not just smoking ruins like in Iraq. That Obama is able to lead smart foreign policies, conduct positive economical reforms in foreign states and bring countries to flourishing under his protectorate.
And he does not have too much time to do this, his presidency will end in 2017. By that moment he will have to show the flowerbeds, the grass and the contemporary economy where Ukraine is now. And it means that Ukraine has to be raised higher in world ratings. For this, a ceasefire is necessary. Because ratings, of course, may be “drawn” to be very varied, but if propaganda of “flourishing European Ukraine” goes in parallel with the propaganda of “the humanitarian catastrophe in the East of Ukraine,” then the layman may not understand something and not believe in it.
This means that the US is also OK with the conflict’s transition into the cold phase from the hot one.
The good news is that the US’ interests at least in this presidential cadence also lie in that the conflict never enters the hot phase again. So right after its freezing, the East should expect mass infiltration of foreign agents into the ranks of Putin’s and Akhmetov’s crowd, which will gradually get rid of destabilising elements and provide peace and quiet, which will allow the White House to report on the successes of foreign policy and the transformation of Ukraine into a buffer state at the Russian border.
It is quite possible that in the next five years we will see, according to George Freedman’s (Stratfor) prognoses, the creation of a geopolitical belt to block the Russian Federation, and Ukraine will become one of the knots in it. However this tempting story is best left for another conversation which we will have next time.
If Poroshenko and, more broadly, Ukraine, does not want to see anti-Ukrainian political constructs on its territory, which appeal to the Russian and Russian-speaking population, then we must assume that Ukraine and Poroshenko have to engage in creating pro-Ukrainian political constructs which would appeal to the Russian and Russian-speaking population to counter them. Their own Ukrainian “night guard” with the task of countering the savage northern hordes.
I don’t know what it will be, and where to get an ideology and an audience. Let’s look for them, shall we.
Oleksandr Noynets, Dmytro Podturkin
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina