The special logic of Putin and his hordes in the Donbas



Analysis & Opinion, Op-ed

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

Many Ukrainians believe that sooner or later the people in Moscow will reconsider. That they will understand what kind of Pandora’s box they opened when they began the war in the Donbas. That they will see the terrible slaughter that results. And that they will begin to question the meaning of what is happening — that Kremlin controlled thugs are holding on to a few regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. And then what?

This hope that the Kremlin will come to its senses increases each time some profoundly dramatic event occurs, when many innocent people die at once. Even though, upon consideration, are  the daily individual victims any different from those in a massacre? But human psychology is constituted in such a way that we are stunned by scale and we have already stopped understanding  that what is happening every day in the Donbas is an endless tragedy. Yet, when the Boeing went down, many thought that the war would end after that nightmare. And when people died in the bus in Volnovakha, they thought so as well.

However the aggressor operates on completely different logic. For him, the loss of human lives is simply one of the excesses of a war that the Vladimir Putin gang must win. The number of victims and the massacres are not issues of great concern to anyone in the Kremlin. Or, if they even think about it, they only serve as trump cards for propaganda. Russian propaganda continues to insist that the Malaysian Boeing was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter plane. It publishes photographs with “bullet holes” and expresses outrage at the “lying West,” thus converting the tragedy of dozens of people into another victory over common sense.

The same thing will happen with Volnovakha. The Russian side will maintain that Ukrainians themselves destroyed the bus in order to compromise the “valiant militias” that are protecting their land from the “Ukrainian aggressor.” The Russian TV viewer will believe yet another lie — at least  for as long as he still has time for news from Ukraine, which will no longer be the case soon. No one in the Kremlin will mourn the dead or think about ending the war. On the contrary, each similar situation will leave Putin and his hordes in the Donbas no other option than escalation.

As for the West, it has become accustomed to the Ukrainian war, as previously it became accustomed to the Yugoslav war. The war in Yugoslavia did not end after Srebrenica, and the Ukrainian war will not end after Volnovakha. Similar tragedies only convince Western politicians and diplomats that they must continue to seek a political solution to the conflict, but they never lead to a decisive breakthrough.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Radio Svoboda

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  • George

    It’s like praying for a miracle to think that the psychology or mentality of the Kremlin will have changed since the Chechen wars in which an estimated 160,000 or more people were killed. More than 300 sleeping people were sacrificed in the apartment block explosions to start the war in Chechnya. Perhaps if enough ‘cargo 200’ are shipped back it may eventually make mothers, wives, families realize the truth.

    • Michel Cloarec

      Russians people have always been resigned ! It is their faith in this world !

    • rgb

      With Russia opening their military to foreigners there will be less cargo 200 for the mothers of Russians to complain about. This opening will also liquidate most of those migrants in Russia, so Putin is killing two birds with this one stone. This will also provide more ‘proof’ (for Putin) that Russian military/mercenaries are not fighting on Ukraine’s soil.

      • Brent

        Russia currently has about 300 foreign nationals in their army. They are going to need more for their future fights in the Caucusus.

        Keep in mind the plan is to pay them 30,000 rubles in salary. When this was announced in December that worked out to $500 per month. Now, it is $450 per month. These paid mercenaries are already looking at a 10% pay cut.

  • Michel Cloarec

    Point: today Saturday at 15.00 was a march in Paris for the victims of the bus attack.
    True that russians even normal everydays russians, do not care much about human lives. What is important for them is the value of the dollars ! So to make them aware, only one way ! MORE SANCTIONS !

  • Mephisto

    Putler won’t give up because of a couple of thousand dead people. Remeber, it’s the man who organized bombings of russian appartment buildings (several hundred dead) to start the second Chechen war. The genocidal war lasted 10 years and tt is estimated that 200-300 thousand people (20% of Chechen population) lost their lives, most of them were civilians. He is limited now because he tries to pretend that he is waging no war in Ukraine

  • Rods

    Putin won’t stop until the price becomes so high it threatens his position as president and we are some way from that. Ukrainian ceasefires are a waste of time, it just allows the Russian terrorists and troops to grab more territory and kill more Ukrainians, with few losses to themselves. Today, it was announced that they have taken of Ukrainian territory since September 9th.

    Donetsk airport and any other targets the Russian terrorists and troops try to take need Cyborg levels of resistance, so Ukraine becomes a Russia meatgrinder, with so many casualties, they can’t be hidden and this adds to the price they are paying for stoking Putin’s ego.

    Sanctions, a low price and ever rising Russian casualties, will at some point open the floodgates, so Putin has a visit from a delegation of men in suits or Russia has its own Maiden or worse a civil war.

  • Brent

    The best solution is to break Russia economically. No more money for their war machine, no more money for the pensioners, no more money for grand megaprojects to build Russian Nationalism, no more money to subsidize stolen territories.

    Putin won’t stop. He can’t stop. His ego does not allow him to back down or admit defeat. Human lives are nothing to him other than a commodity to reach his goals. Whether it be the people in the apartment blocks that were bombed, the Chechens, the Georgians, or now the Ukrainians, whether it be the sailors aboard the Kursk. Joe Biden said it best when he told Putin to his face, “…I don’t think you have a soul”

    This is who the apologists and ‘useful idiots’ worship. They decry the comparisons to Hitler and Milosevic. He is no different.

    • Brent

      Because the ghost of Bandera must have put him there?!?!?

      I’m curious as to your definition of “top job”….the reality is Hunter Biden is on the Board of Governors of a company called “Burisma”, which is a NON-GOVERNMENTAL gas producer in Ukraine. Hunter Biden is also on the Board of Directors of the Howard J. Heinz Trust. You’re probably drawing a blank, but that is the family trust of John Kerry’s wife….bet your head is buzzing with conspiracies now!!!

      You really think there is something sinister to this? Hunter Biden is a founding partner of a Washington law firm. has served as a partner and Board Member of Eudora Global, was CEO and Chairman of Paradigm Global Advisors, was a Senior Vice President of MBNA, which is a large U.S. bank, and served in the U.S. Department of Commerce under Bill Clinton.

      So “Skippy”, please try to show me where the ‘smoking gun’ you Kremlin trolls and ‘useful idiots’ think really is here. Biden serves on a Board of Directors, for a private Ukrainian company, and is more qualified for this position than you and I can ever dream to be…..if you’re suggesting he should not take a position on the Board of Directors with a Ukrainian private company because his father is the U.S. Vice President, then you’re not very bright because people with Hunter Biden’s c.v. are in demand to help companies all over the world. Not because who is father happens to be, but because he’s quite a bit brighter and much more business savvy than you can ever hope to be.

      So, since you want to find conspiracy theories regarding political leaders, could you explain to me how Oliksandr Yanukovych, the DENTIST son of Viktor, happened to amass a fortune of over $500 million in the short time his father was President of Ukraine? Would you like to debate that with me “Skippy”???

  • Azazello Blasphemikov

    Putler will never give up. He is from old KGB-school.
    I wonder why the Ukrainian Secret Service cannot find a way to eliminate this bastard. Some grams of Polonium 210 would be enough, or more easy: use Fluoric Acid (HF) This is easy to apply and avaiable everywhere in steel-industry..

    • Brent

      I think the best way is for Russians themselves to turn on him. Its not that long ago there were protests in Russia against him because of the perception he skirted the constitution to run for a 3rd term. That’s their own internal debate, but the reality is he is crippling their economy with his illegal war on Ukraine and he is making Russia into a pariah state which very few other countries will ever trust.

      If anyone ‘takes him out’ he may become a martyr like any fanatical groups look at their leaders. If it comes ‘from within’, then Russia can’t start blaming anyone else (that might be a first!) but it may be less chance of some idiot replacement ‘pushing the button’

      Personally, I feel he deserves whatever happens to him because of all the blood he has on his hands but there is a better judge than me to decide his fate…but, if he upsets the Chinese, which is inevitable, then he’ll have met his match!!!

  • Eddy Verhaeghe

    How many times will you repeat this post? (would certainly be flagged as repetition in ‘Just a minute’).