Moscow analyst: Western leaders have no doubts about the war being orchestrated by Putin to punish Ukraine

Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine

Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Vladimir Putin has ever fewer resources to prosecute his war in Ukraine, and consequently, eventually some kind of accord will be reached, perhaps like that in Northern Cyprus or Nagorno-Karabakh where people “aren’t shooting but they are not living in peace either,” according to Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin.

But that will happen only when Putin can achieve something that will allow him to stop with “a smile on his face” and the most likely result will be “a Transdniestria-2,” arguing that precisely because Putin has said that is not want he seeks, it is exactly what he wants and will do.

And while “no one knows” what Putin might do if he feels cornered – and because he has nuclear weapons that is a most serious concern – Putin is “all the same a rational man, albeit insane as well. But in his insanity, he is rational” to the extent that he doesn’t want to lose his head and uses bluffs because they work.

In an interview he gave to Viktor Stepanenko of “Novoye vremya,” Oreshkin says that the war in Ukraine will continue as long as Putin needs it to. He wants to punish Ukraine for its independent stance in order to send a message to other former Soviet republics about the limits of the permissible as far as he is concerned.

There is another reason for assuming the war will go on for some time: Putin is someone whose style of leadership requires war. That was true of the Soviet Union. It could prosecute wars because it could organize all the resources of the country. But under peacetime conditions, that system didn’t work, and neither does Putin’s.

Moreover, “in [the current] situation, the only thing that Putin can do is to leave in the body of Ukraine an abscess” that he can exploit whenever he needs it, Oreshkin says.

“In [the current] situation, the only thing that Putin can do is to leave in the body of Ukraine an abscess” that he can exploit whenever he needs it.

Consequently, the Russian analyst says, he does “not understand when Ukrainian politicians say that Donetsk must be returned… They are not fools and they understand that this is a counter-productive idea.” They say because they cannot openly say that they do not need Donetsk because then the question would arise: what are Ukrainians fighting for?

There is a good answer to that: “they are fighting so that the Donetsk and Luhansk regime will not spread to the entire territory of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts and that they will not try to seize Odesa, Dneprpetrivsk or Kharkhiv.” Fighting for Donetsk and Luhansk is “a good slogan,” but it is anything but a good strategy.

Those two places have been “hopelessly lost,” and that may be for the best, Oreshkin continues. Despite the problems they can cause, they have nowhere to go. No one in Russia wants them. And they have no future as independent states: that isn’t even in Moscow’s interests which wants them only as a lever to block Ukraine from joining NATO.

According to Oreshkin, “Putin used the Minsk talks in order to show that he did not have any relation [to “DNR” and “LNR”]. He signed a paper and then the “DNR” people didn’t sign,” giving him the opportunity to show that he could influence them. “Western leaders gave the appearance that they believed all this.” But “that is part of the game which allows Putin to avoid losing face” and possibly using his nuclear weapons.

“Western leaders gave the appearance that they believed all this.” But “that is part of the game which allows Putin to avoid losing face” and possibly using his nuclear weapons.

With such a leader, the Russian political analyst says, it is always necessary to take into consideration his comfort level, standing up to him, on the one hand, but “always leaving a little window open,” on the other. Naturally, everyone understands that all this was orchestrated by Moscow, and “no one has any doubts about that.”

Had things proceeded otherwise, the West could simply have insisted that Putin stop supplying arms to the Donbas militants. But that wouldn’t have corresponded to Putin’s interest because then it would have left him out of the game in Ukraine. And “it would violate his strategy if such a thing in fact exists,” Oreshkin says.

In fact, the Russian analyst says, Putin doesn’t have a well-articulated strategy beyond what he sees as the vital need to punish Ukraine. “He cannot leave Donetsk both because he would lose control and because he would lose face. He cannot administer Donetsk because the West is quite sharply limiting his ability to do so.”

What is left is to keep the situation in a flammable condition and toss in a match when he needs to. And that, Oreshkin says, is what a Transdniestria-2 outcome looks like.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • sandy miller

    All I can say is that America and europe should hang their heads in shame for being such cowards. Once you let someone like Putin threaten you with Nuke’s and you dont do anything about it….we’re all dead anyway. Drop a bomb on the kremlin make sure putin and his regime are in it. It’s the only way out of this travesty to everyone.

    • Morksuggan

      Amerika dont give a fuck, they have set the world on fire and runs back home to leave Europe to deal with it.
      The only ones who stands up against Putler is Polen and Lithuania, the rest dont have the will or the firepower.
      The Baltics are next in line and USA will do nothing.

      • Anthony Caudill

        They can’t afford to. USA is the target.

    • Anthony Caudill

      I agree. We need to start doing nuke preparedness evacuations here at home, if not resettlement away from the cities.

    • giltedged

      As a European, I don’t want a war in Europe started by American neocons for the benefit of neocons.

      It is manifestly clear that Eastern Ukraine will never accept being ruled from Kiev or Lviv. And certainly not by a band of alien oligarchs.

      The answer to the crisis surely must be to give each region the choice of how it wants to be ruled

    • giltedged

      European countries are not colonies of the U.S. We know that it is in America’s DNA to start wars . Four Star General Wesley Clarke recalls being told that America will remove seven governments in five years. Just like that. We don’t want any of that.

      And dropping a bomb on the Kremlin will surely result in a returned compliment . It’s wishful thinking anyway seeing that America cannot protect its own innocent people from having their throats cut.

      But we in Western Europe are doing some things which we feel strongly about. We don’t want immigration especially Islamic, we don’t want unemployment and sanctions and we don’t want our leaders kowtowing to the bureaucrats and idiots in Brussels, the neocons in Washington and the vile banksters and leveragers in Wall Street. So we started removing governments which had not stood in solidarity with the people in these matters

  • laker48

    The only way to get Putin out of Ukraine is to slap more, this time crippling sanctions on Russia, such as the kicking it out of SWIFT, for example, and arm Ukrainians, but only after their army is adequately trained by American, Canadian and European NATO instructors. The Hellfires, Javelins, Spilkes, long-range artillery-sensing radars and other “goodies” should come as graduation trophies in adequate quantities to wreak real havoc on the terrorists and, especially, the Russian spetznaz and other unmarked soldiers and “volunteers”, thus making it impossible for Putin to hide heavy Russian losses in Ukraine.

    Russia should be blown up from inside, as it was the case with the Soviet Union in 1991. Time doesn’t work for Russia, as this short analysis indicates that oil and gas prices will likely fall even more and stay low for a prolonged period of time. Russia is now a cornered one-trick-pony armed with nukes.

    This analysis published by The Economist also touches few sore points and raw nerves of the Russians.

  • Anders Nielsen

    It is time for Kiev to face the realities.
    Work with UN and OSCE to get an armed peace force. Give Putin the rebel held area and enforce a new border.
    Kiev need peace to focus on essential reforms.

    • Melp

      UN poroshenko didnt wanted. because he feared that the separation so would become manifested.
      solve it with weapon delivery? our military said, ukraine has an organisation problem were weapons would’t help much.
      so at the end of minsk will follow in my opinion seperatismn.
      and russians are not the only minority btw.

      • Anders Nielsen

        Poroshenko must start to realize that the present rebel held area is lost.
        Let them separate and join Russia.
        The coming fulfillment of Minsk II points will show that Russia and their stooges cannot comply and then they will runaway from the agreement.
        So he can just as well bring in UN/OSCE peace keepers on his side now.

        • Melp

          the sooner he will realisize it the better. because now its only a small part.
          and autonomy will create more problems than it will solve.
          but giving a part of ukraine avay will create some trouble for him with the ukrainian nationalists.
          even when he is able to win against the separatists, then he will be an occupation force there.

          • Anders Nielsen

            That’s where statesmanship and charisma comes in.
            He will have to mobilize the voters and explain it in a positive way.

        • Melp

          as it seems now, they dont want to separate. so this means no nato and no eu.

          • Anders Nielsen

            There will be EU – NATO is not important now, maybe in 10year ++

  • veth

    Donbass is destroyed by the Russian Army so Russia will pay the repairworks…….Putler will be jailed for downing MH17 and other crimes….peace will be returned.

  • Anthony Caudill

    None of the Russian academics living at home can be trusted. They are no longer free men and are abetters of the state. This is nothing but propaganda. Putin does not mean to stop at Donbass, or even Ukraine. He means to capture Europe and destroy America.