Time is on Ukraine’s side in Donbas — Portnikov



Analysis & Opinion, War in the Donbas

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

The Kremlin has not yet fully realized the danger it faces. The Bednov (“Batman”) killing is just a continuation of a struggle that could spread to Russia itself.

No one is hurrying to Astana (Kazakhstan). The only thing that the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia have been able to negotiate is to meet personally in Berlin. The Astana summit, which was seen as a possible breakthrough in deciding the crisis in Ukraine, is being postponed indefinitely again. And it is not clear if it will take place at all.

In order to hold such a meeting, mutual interest by the participants is essential. But in reality, each participant in the Astana talks has his own ideas of possible success and compromise.

For the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, it is important to establish control over territories occupied by Russia and its terrorists and mercenaries. However, this is not to say that Kyiv should be in any rush to restore control. It is already obvious that in the absence of military hostilities, clashes by the various groups of militants among themselves and with the Russian troops are a better way to clean out the area. Bednov (“Batman”) is only the continuation of a struggle that can spread to Russia itself. Therefore, it is Putin and not Poroshenko who should be interested in the restoration of Ukrainian control.

But Putin is not interested. This is because under conditions of the economic crisis in Russia — and its effects will soon become obvious and tragic for each Russian citizen — the Kremlin has nothing to offer other than Crimea and the “protection of compatriots” in the Donbas. Putin cannot accept a “defeat”; he will hang on to the Donbas till the end. And therefore, he cannot agree to the concessions that Merkel and Hollande expect from him.

For Merkel and Hollande, these concessions are obvious. After all, the situation in Russia is so serious that Putin should forget about the Donbas. But they are mistaken. The worse things are in Russia, the more its president will want to play the tsar-liberator. And in that case, what can the Western leaders possibly discuss with the Russian ruler?

Therefore, what is happening now is simply negotiation for negotiation’s sake. Until those in Moscow realize the full extent of the danger and begin to think exclusively about preserving their own power as well as the country, Putin will not agree to concessions. And time is required for the proper awareness to sink  in.

Editor’s note: Alexander Bednov (aka as “Batman”), a military chief of an insurgent group in the Donbas, was killed, along with his guards, during an ambush on January 1. It is widely believed that Russian commandos or rival gangs were responsible for the murders.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Radio Svoboda

Since you’re here – we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away. But we’re here to stay, and will keep on providing quality, independent, open-access information on Ukrainian reforms, Russia’s hybrid war, human rights violations, political prisoners, Ukrainian history, and more. We are a non-profit, don’t have any political sponsors, and never will. If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation!

Tags: , , , ,

  • Michel Cloarec

    ” In the absence of military hostilities, clashes by the various groups of militants among themselves and with the Russian troops are a better way to clean out the area.” BEAUTIFUL LINES from the text above !
    Keep on going !

    • Milton Devonair

      ” a continuation of a struggle that could spread to Russia itself.”

      And that’s what needs to happen….for the world…..russia included.

      • Michel Cloarec

        It goes without saying that could happen ! Today´s russians are quite happy with Macdo, french perfumes and wines, foreign cars, travel possibilities , at least the ones living in Moscow and St Petersburgh.

        They thank Khan Putin ! So any struggles will have to come from the Sibirian regions till example, but as long as there is no free press and freedom to demonstrate it will not be easy ! I have a dream ! A SECOND FRONT to force putin to deal with ! Or a catastrophe !

        I remember the russians reactions after the KURSK u boat .
        (how he did managed to stay in power, puzzled me ) Alternatives :

        ” A volcano in Russia’s far eastern region of Kamchatka that began erupting ash on Monday may now be discharging lava, a news report said Tuesday.

        “It’s impossible to say right now whether lava has begun pouring out of the volcano, because there is no visibility in the area. If that happens, the lava will flow northwest,” a scientist from the regional branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences told TASS news agency.

        OR :Earthquake Strikes 2014 Olympics Host Sochi

        A gas pipeline blast followed by a mild earthquake has struck Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, a local government spokeswoman told Reuters on Wednesday.
        Irina Gogoleva of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said no one was hurt and there was no apparent damage to the city’s infrastructure after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake was reported at 2:42 a.m. local time on Wednesday (2242 GMT on Tuesday).
        “The Emergencies Ministry servicemen scoured through the city districts, bridges and electrical cables, there was no damage,” Gogoleva said, adding that the epicenter of the quake was some 150 kilometers (93 miles) off Sochi in the Black Sea.
        In an unrelated incident, a gas pipeline that feeds a local power station exploded a couple of hours before the quake.

  • disqus_aJpixObjG7

    For 300 years any thought of Ukrainian independence has been smeared by “russia” as treason.

    For the last 70 years this smear primarily takes the form of equating Ukraine with nazism. One popular ongoing propaganda smear tactic is to refer to the Galizien or Haychyna division:

    To debunk this:

    Not just Ukraine, but every single nation that fell under the
    German boot had Waffen SS divisions.

    Most far, far more than Ukraine, but Ukraine is always singled out as
    guilty while information on the other nations is censored.

    For example FRANCE (1941 population 40 million) had
    20,000 Waffen SS collaborators- JUST AS MANY AS UKRAINE.

    UKRAINE (1941 population 40 million) had 22,000

    Waffen SS collaborators.

    NORWAY (1941 Pop. 3 million) had 15,000 Waffen SS or

    proportionately to population 1900%

    HOLLAND (1941 pop. 10 million) had 55000 Waffen SS almost three
    times as many as Ukraine and proportionately by population 1200% or TWELVE

    BELGIUM (1941 pop. 8 million) had 44000 Waffen SS nazi
    collaborators TWICE AS MANY AS UKRAINE and proportionately by population 1000%

    RUSSIA had 60,000 Waffen SS nazi collaborators and

    its other soviet Republics 70,000 TOTAL 130,000 Waffen SS 600% or SIX TIMES

    SERBIA (pop.1941 5 million) had 10,000 WAFFEN SS, 400% or
    proportionately to population or FOUR TIMES MORE THAN UKRAINE

    The list goes on and on…



    Further, ethnic non-Germans could NOT join the Wehrmacht. They were all integrated exclusively into
    the Waffen SS, which became Germany’s “Foreign Legion” so to speak. It is wrong
    therefore to ascribe fanatical “SS” sentiments to these Ukrainian troops as was
    the case with all the other abovementioned nations whose fanatical zeal often
    surpassed that of the Germans.

    The Haychyna or SS Galizien Division, after acute and intense
    investigation over decades by both Jewish and non-Jewish commissions and
    investigative bodies has been fully exonerated of any war or hate crimes
    against Jews or others. Not one single case has been established.

    The Haychyna Division participated in only one significant
    military operation. It was thrown as cannon fodder- a buffer- by the Germans
    against the massed spearhead of Soviet forces at the battle of Brody 1944, where it
    was annihilated. http://www.ucrdc.org/HI-BATTLE_OF_BRODY.html

    The SS Galizien Division continues to be a dead horse flogged by
    Russian and other propagandists in their constant efforts to smear Ukraine and
    its right to independence, which has been anathema to “Russia” and others, for
    three centuries.

    The same has been done regarding any and all Ukrainians striving
    for Ukrainian independence such as Bandera, Konovalets etc.

    Ukraine is constantly spotlighted and smeared by its enemies as
    a Nazi collaborator. No one however mentions the glaring fact that to save
    itself, the West is itself guilty of collaboration on a massive scale. The
    allies collaborated with a regime genocidally even worse than Germany, with
    their murderous sworn enemy, “Russia.”

    See also

    Wikipedia: Waffen SS Foreign Volunteers and conscripts.

    • wmm

      One exception:


      “Although the Waffen SS on the Eastern Front contained a sizable number of non-Germans, no Polish unit was ever formed.”


      • Milton Devonair

        I didn’t know that, but it makes sense. nazi germans looked at poland as theirs (split with russia) and it would be populated with germans, not poles, so they wanted nothing to do with the people of poland. This is why their extermination camps were all located in poland rather than in germany.

        • wmm

          Yes, concentration camps were in Poland, so Germans had short distance to annihilate Polish, Jews and everybody else.

          “The official Polish government report on war damages prepared in 1947 put Poland’s war dead at 6,028,000; 3.0 million ethnic Poles and 3.0 million Jews not including losses of Polish citizens from the Ukrainian and Belarusian ethnic groups.” (wiki)

          And those Jews were mostly Polish Jews, very often they feel equally or more Polish than Jews – the fact that everybody, consciously or not tend to not remember. The same as US has for example French American, or German American citizens and at the end all of them are Americans.

          “Germans tried to form a SS Legion from the Goralenvolk sometime in 1942. Only 300 voluntered, 200 of them where fit for service. These 200 where moved to Trawniki camp when they soon fell in conflict with the ukrainians. Most deserted, unit was disband and few where transfered to labour units in the west or other SS units.”

          That’s the summary of Polish cooperation with German fascists. And those 300 ‘volunteers’ were collected after get completely drunk. They deserted as soon as they get sober…

          • Milton Devonair

            That’s an example of how other people wearing german uniforms with german equipment would commit some attrocities in eastern europe and it’d be blamed on the germans. The germans had to keep some of their eastern euopean allies separate from each other or they’d fight with each other.

            I heard about the 300 number, not not the specifics.

    • Mykola Banderachuk

      lets also not forget the Vlasov army of one million – 1,000,000 ruSSians who fought for the nazi armies during ww2. those comrades were also nazi collaborators. lets also not forget the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Agression Pact of 1939 where the cccp and Hitler were allies. this pact effectively started World War Two.

      • disqus_aJpixObjG7

        That’s right Mykola!

        When the “russians” speak of “Banderites” we should always rebut them as “Vlasovite Nazi collaborators”.

        btw 55% of the “russian” Parliament are neo nazis such as Jirinovsky , putin’s right hand man in the Duma.

        Did anyone notice that BBC, Telegraph & their bosom pals at RT etc are on a constant fanatical rampage looking for “nazis” in Ukraine… but refuse to look at the FACT that the russian govt is in MAJORITY neo-nazi extreme right nationalist proto-fascist, allied today with all the European neo- nazi parties such as LePen in France etc

        • Mykola Banderachuk

          right on, you have this right, but of course the putinites ignore this fact. this picture below shows some of the russian-nazi collaboration in 1939, there are are many more out there.

        • russian paid troll

          LePen neo-nazi? What have you been smoking?

    • russian paid troll

      Soviet Union wasn’t a primary target of SS Galizien and UPA. Most members of these formations never lived in Russia, so they targeted another “occupant” – Poland.
      “Innocent” is the last word that could be used to describe SS Galizien.
      These are the known Polish vilages massacred by SS Galizien: Huta Pieniacka, Podkamien, Prehoryle, Smoligow, Nowy Majdan, Chodaczkow Wielki, Borow.
      Bandera maybe wasn’t Hitler’s lapdog, but his ideology was almost exact copy of Nazism – he wanted ethincaly pure Ukraine “without Liakhy and Moskali”. Between 1943-1945 UPA launched a full scale ethnic cleasing in Eastern Poland and murdered up to 200 000 Polish civilians.
      Were it not for the fact the Ukraine had no Nazi puppet gov. (unlike Croatia), Bandera would be much, MUCH worse than Ustasi.

      • disqus_aJpixObjG7

        From this shameless russian troll we can again read the ongoing russian genocidal HATE /smear campaign against Ukraine, repeated by this typical leninist-.polpotist russian robot parrot.

        He is quoting word for word from the Kremlin- the home of many demons,, recently such as lenin, stalin putin et al.

        Like a broken record playing over and over, these toxic lies (and countless others) against Ukraine, all its people and its heroes were revealed as LIES, fabricated accusations, when russian archives were briefly opened after 1991. (putin sealed them again.)

        It was clearly revealed that the russian leninist/PolPotist genocidal maniacs (people just like this troll) carried out massacres dressed as Ukrainians to smear and discredit any idea of Ukrainian statehood.

        They raped, slit throats, slit pregnant bellies,burned families alive and carried out pogroms against Jews, dressed as Ukrainians and members of Bandera’s freedom fighters. Blaming all these atrocities on the the Ukrainian people and on the very idea of Ukraine as an independent state.

        These libels continue to be repeated by russians and other enemies of Ukraine today but their croaking voices are fading.

        This typical russian parrot troll, like a Pavlov’s dog, was trained to repeat murderous lies. Whenever he hears the word “UKRAINE”, he screams, “traitors! murderers! nazis…! ” I.e. russia’s message since 300 years.

        HOWEVER THE TRUTH OVERCOMES LIES and TRUTH is on the side of Ukraine.
        Ukraine will prevail and russia will continue to shrivel into its real status as a failed mafia state on the level of a Nigeria.

  • Murf

    Ukraine should forget about Dobas.
    It’s not going any where.
    Six more months and the place will be depopulated. An economic basket case.
    It is not enough to regain control UA needs to keep it. to do that this whole “Mother Russia” Love affair will have to come to and end. Other wise this will happen again.

  • Mykola Banderachuk

    just like the jihadists are returning to the West to cause terrorist acts so will these terrorists return to the ruSSia and cause mayhem and destruction-count on it

    • Michel Cloarec

      I agree with you, but they will certainly go onto terrorism all over Ua first !
      And that will remind little of what is going on in France. So in some ways they will exterminate themselves ! How long time ? 4, 5, 6 months ? Can Ukraine managed that ?

      • Mykola Banderachuk

        Michel, you are right these terrorists are conducting a campaign of terror all over Ukraine-we are witnessing it’s beginning already. These campaign is aided, abetted and funded by putler’s junta. Just curious, is putin in Paris today?

        • Michel Cloarec

          NO , putin was mot invited ! Lavrov came, but not to be seen anywhere!
          I did not see him ! I am told that the F secret services recommended to him to hide to avoid demonstrations !
          1 million “march” in Paris ! 4 million all over France against terrorism
          To honore 17 deads, inclusive 4 jews in Kosher shop and 3 polices .
          3 terrorists in the sky or somewwhere else !

          • disqus_aJpixObjG7

            Michel, Hollande a reçu le criminel Ribbentrop/lavrov à l’Èlysée en lui serrant chaleureusement la main…

          • Michel Cloarec

            Chaleureux= warm ! Of course they shook hands. BUT
            warm welcome would have been if Hollande had step down on the stairs to meet him. Hollande waited lavrov to go upp the stairs. Compare with the welcome to A Merkel and others.
            Presidential protocol !

          • Michel Cloarec

            Lavrov was push in the palace, not a chance to stand bredvid Hollande on top of stairs, for journalists to take photos ! OK ?
            Presidential protocol !

          • Mykola Banderachuk

            Good point, by not inviting putler, France has acknowledged that putler is a terrorist himself. give this link a read


  • Guest

    As a European I would like to say that I see the situation in the Ukraine as also being largely down to US/NATO geopolitical interference, and I hope that the messages given out by the English-language media do not lead to Russia seeing us as being in the same basket as the USA. Germany and Russia work closely and well together, and I have a lot of good experience dealing with Russian business people. I think this cultural proximity between continental Europe and Western Russia is something that scares some people and the situation in Ukraine is being used as a wedge to divide us.

    • Michel Cloarec

      To divide Europa is the full scheme of putin !
      His flirt and financing of extreme parties in EU, is certainly not for the lovely eyes of lepen/fn woman !