Minsk and the West’s “useful idiots”



Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

In reading articles on the Minsk agreements in world media, it is difficult to avoid amazement at the naiveté of their authors. Yes, these people may not like Putin and may consider him the aggressor. But at the same time, they continue to believe in the law. In the conviction that Putin will honor the spirit and letter of the laws that he himself has guaranteed. And they — including a number of Ukrainian observers — carefully, scrupulously, point by point continue to analyze every point of these agreements, attempting to demonstrate the most important thing — the capitulation of the West and Ukraine to Putin. That Putin has achieved everything he wanted.

But, in fact, what did he want? For Ukraine to recognize the special status of the particular regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and for it to relinquish its European choice and elect as president another Moscow puppet? For Ukraine to promise the residents of a small portion of the country’s territory “linguistic self-determination” or to make Russian the second state language?   For Ukraine to carry out reforms of local self-government and to become a “federation” in which every subject can veto core decisions on the future of the country?    Are there really people in the world who still believe that Putin needs the Donbas or that he is protecting compatriots? Were the Minsk negotiations even about the Donbas?

Authors of the outraged articles accuse President Poroshenko of concessions and President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel of misunderstanding Putin’s intentions. I will dare argue that Hollande and Merkel  understand Putin better than any of the authors of the incriminating texts. And they understand perfectly that even if they were to give Putin a blank page to sign, he would still find ways to avoid fulfilling the conditions written on it. Putin is a liar. Isn’t that obvious?

It is obvious to you. It is obvious to Merkel. But it is not obvious to the great number “useful idiots” and political whores purchased by Moscow in the West. It is not obvious to the businessmen in the West who have been warming themselves on Russian corruption. And each time when it is necessary to increase sanctions against Moscow or to help Ukraine, this entire chorus of the “uncomprehending” begins to sing the same old song about why the West does not want to understand Russia. Why is it punishing Putin? Why is it holding Moscow responsible for a civil war in Ukraine? Why?

Yes, these people lie. But they are doing everything for the lie to take on the appearance of truth. This is exactly why the leaders of Western countries find it necessary to knock out their trump cards. To keep demonstrating that they — including the president of Ukraine — are doing everything possible to help peace. Responding to the slightest offer from Putin. Flying to Kyiv and Moscow. Not sleeping in Minsk. While Putin continues to cheat and to reject his own guarantees practically the following day.

Why be surprised that in Minsk they could not achieve control of the border — as if there were some date when Russia was planning to return this control?  Why assume that for the return of this control Ukraine will make concessions to the “separatists” when they do not intend to comply with anything? Isn’t it clear that if all the points of the Minsk Agreement were actually fulfilled, then not a trace of Russian influence would remain in the Donbas? And isn’t it clear that Putin understands all this perfectly and does not intend to comply with anything?

Today already — even before the ceasefire — declarations were made in Donetsk that the legislation on local elections must take into account the wishes of the DNR, even though DNR and its wishes were not even mentioned in the Minsk agreements, and, according to the agreements, local elections are to be conducted according to Ukrainian law. Today already– even before the ceasefire — DNR (representatives) are declaring that parties that have expressed “aggression against the DNR” would not be allowed to participate in the elections. Are we just talking about the free democratic elections under OSCE control, as called for in the Minsk agreements?

And so they will go on refusing point after point. And at the same time bringing the situation in the region to a real humanitarian catastrophe. And to a simple choice — to break the truce and begin another escalation or to close up shop. There is simply no other possible outcome for these events.

I really want this truce to happen and for the thugs to stop killing soldiers, women and children. But I also want to note that, in addition to the truce, there is another most important summary of the meeting in Minsk. This summary was not included in the statements made to the media, but it was clearly heard in an exchange between presidents Petro Poroshenko and Alexandr Lukashenko that were obviously not intended for the press.

“He’s playing a dirty and dishonest game.

I know, I know. Everyone has understood that.”

Everyone has understood. Except for those who have not understood why Putin was lured to Minsk.


Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Radio Svoboda

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  • Richard Hoover


  • Rods

    The only way that parts of the Minsk agreement will be accepted and implemented by Putin and his terrorists is if they give them all that they want. What they want is the tail wagging the dog, where a small Russian recruited and armed terrorists army stop Ukraine’s right along with the majority of its people to self-determination and to enter into any economic or military alliances they wish to do so. They have made it clear in two elections in 2014, that they want to turn their backs on Putin’s Russia and become part of a much better Western way of life.

    Anything less and it will be back to violence by Putin and his proxy army again. So I have every expectation that it will be back to violence again after a few days.

    Will the West learn anything? Well Canada has said it will supply lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine if Minsk 2 fails, the US and other NATO countries need to do likewise as we will then be a step forward is raising the costs to evil Putin and his evil rabble and the violence, death and destruction they are inflicting on the Ukrainian people

    The big problem with the current crop of weak Western left-wing liberal leaders is that they think that the leaders they are dealing with will be reasonably honest and respect agreements and laws. Dictators, especially ruthless ones like Putin don’t do that, they do whatever they can get away with to get what they want. The only thing they respect is strength and that is something with one or two exceptions that is totally lacking with our current crop of weak leaders.

    I’m convinced that these weak Western leaders and their appeasement towards Putin will like the weak Western leaders appeasement of Hitler in the 1930’s be the cause of another World War, except of course this one will be nuclear! This is what we all want to avoid, but the way these weak fools are indulging Putin they will do anything but!

  • ct

    Exactly! When will the World realize Putin is a sociopath eager to kill millions only to satisfy his arrogance and world domination. This man has no regard for Russian laws never mind international laws. Upon signing this agreement, Putin proceeded to send more heavy weapons across the border, as demonstrated by satellite imagery, and continues his path of destruction and murder of the poor and struggling Ukrainian people. Does this man act in good faith? For whom will the bells toll tonight at midnight?

    • Milton Devonair

      most russian apes are larger, but the putin monkey is like a little chimpanzee. He even has the severely sloped backwards skull that signifies how severely under developed the russian specie is.

      Proof is everywhere that russians are unfit to be around humans and humans can never be safe around russians. They chimpout at the slightest provocation….like, say a gust of wind strikes their pant leg….

      • Racquel

        LMAO. I notice that “Russian ape” is a go-to reference for you. I must say, though, the chimpanzee reference in juxtaposition to his mug shot above, you are dead-on. Also, if the man gets one more Botox injection, he’s going to morph into the Elephant Man. I should not insult Mr. Merrick like that as he was a kindhearted, sensitive man. Sorry.

        • Milton Devonair

          😀 I do like that “ape” term because it’s so fitting. But I’ve gotta give credit to Winston Churchill,

          “Of all the tyrannies in history, the Bolshevik tyranny is the worst,” he had said, “the most destructive, the most degrading.” They “hop
          and caper like troops of ferocious baboons amid the ruins of cities and the corpses of their victims.” The Russian regime was “an animal form of barbarism,” maintained by “bloody and
          wholesale butcheries and murders, carried out by Chinese-style executions and armoured cars.”


  • Czech Friend

    My question is: If Merkel &co knowingly play Putin’s staged game are they also preparing for the real one? Because that is the most frustrating thing looking from the outside.

    Instead of leading and protecting us they act in this obvious charade while days go by, people dying and Russian arms massing.

  • sandy miller

    Western media particularily NYT have been sutley undermining the truth what Russia is doing to Ukraine. And most american media use their articles. We need to expose them now. Most of the NYT reporters are in Moscow and that’s where they get their news from. Everyone should know that this is happening. Many ex-Russian pat’s have returned to Moscow in a paid capacity doing Putin’s propaganda in reporting and TV news. It’s such a sad state of affairs but most media in the world has been bought and paid for by Putin. If Ukraine wants to get the truth out it’ll have to pay for it in the form of ads and even then the western media may not except it. As you may have noticed, the media has been busy showing what ISIS is doing in the middle East and Americans believe that’s who threatens them not Putin. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that it’s Putin who’s armed the middle east. He’s throwing out a bone to the west that if they let him kill Ukraine he’ll stop Iran from getting nukes. Why would anyone believe him? He will use the west and than fuck them. He’s hell bent on being a world power. He and his regime are laughing and spitting in the wests eye right now. The west including America, Uk, Germany are pathetic and Putin will be the leader of the world very soon. He has already shown them to be fools.

    • Dave Ralph

      You give Putin way too much credit. The guy can barely lead his own country, he is screwing up all over the place and he has zero chance to become anything more than what he is – the dictator of a gas station economy. I seriously doubt that he will still be in power 2 years from now.

      • Czech Friend

        he may not win but he will destroy, all he can

  • luc’s views

    Putin the Whore

    It is obvious to you. It is obvious to Merkel. But it is not obvious to the great number “useful idiots” and political whores purchased by Moscow in the West. It is not obvious to the businessmen in the West who have been warming themselves on Russian corruption. And each time when it is necessary to increase sanctions against Moscow or to help Ukraine, this entire chorus of the “uncomprehending” begins to sing the same old song about why the West does not want to understand Russia

  • Dave Ralph

    Excellent article and credit to the translator as well, i assume Portnikov did not write it in English. Thanks.