Analyst: Russia has no allies in Kyiv now and won’t have any in the future

Crimea is Ukraine

 

2015/04/30 • Analysis & Opinion, Featured, Russia, Ukraine

Pavel Kazarin

Pavel Kazarin

“When Vladimir Putin or Sergey Lavrov talk about Ukraine,” Pavel Kazarin says, one has the impression that they think there is a pro-Moscow faction in Kyiv waiting in the wings to take power. That might have been true in 2005, but it is not the case now: Moscow has no political allies in Kyiv and won’t have any ever again.

As a result of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas, “there is no pro-Russian alternative,” the Kyiv commentator says. “More than that,” he adds, “for the Kremlin, the Ukrainian opposition will be in no way a lesser evil” than the government now in place.

Ukrainians might elect “populists or pragmatists or socialists or libertarians, but whoever occupies the chief position of the country” will have the same view about the country that is occupying part of Ukraine and, whatever Putin and Lavrov or anyone else thinks, it is not and will not become positive or even acceptant.

After the flight of Viktor Yanukovych, his Party of the Regions renamed itself the Opposition Bloc, but it isn’t an opposition and its base is shrinking. What support it has comes from Ukrainians who vote for people they know because they are from their city or region rather than because of ideology.

And Moscow destroyed this group not only by its aggression but by removing Crimea and the Donbas, the two most “pro-Russia and pro-Soviet” regions from Ukrainian politics. According to Kazarin, as a result, “Ukraine is much more monolithic” and thus much more anti-Russia.

Putin's "little green men"

Putin’s “little green men”

Radical populists like Oleg Lyashko and Yuliya Timoshenko are a real opposition and they use their lack of responsibility to win support by making promises than they could not possibly deliver. But despite that and despite the fact that their statements may help destabilize the situation, they too oppose Moscow on all the most important issues.

For them as for others on the Ukrainian political scene, the worst label they can be given is “’agent of the Kremlin’” because they know that “loyalty to Moscow could be the very last thing that would attract voters. They too view Crimea as a Rubicon, and they are not going to change either.

The Ukrainian far exists in the television broadcasts of Moscow’s Dmitry Kiselyov, but it is “absent from the Verkhovna Rada.” Ukrainians aren’t attracted by ethnic nationalism, Kazarin says, because “the Maidan created a demand for a political nation in which blood and land are secondary factors and convictions are what matters most.”

“Before Yanukovych, Ukraine was a corrupt oligarchic country. After [his] victory, it became a criminal country.” It can’t go back to either as long as Ukrainians are mobilized, and they will remain mobilized because they have no doubts about the presence of Russian forces on the territory of their country.

This leaves Moscow with only two possible ways forward: Either it can try to force Kyiv to take back the Donbas on the Kremlin’s terms and thus institutionalize a brake on its European aspirations, or it can push to destabilize the country and then say that “there is no reason to conduct dialogue with ‘an East European Somalia.’”

But neither of these variants “will return that Ukraine which existed before 2014,” Kazarin says. Russia’s shedding of blood and occupation of Ukrainian territory have made that impossible for a long time to come — whatever some in Moscow or other capitals now prefer to think.

  • Grad attack by Russian-terrorist forces on Mariupol, 24 January 2015
    City of Mariupol after Grad rocket shelling by Russian forces, Jan-24-2015
  • City of Mariupol after Grad rocket shelling by Russian forces, Jan-24-2015
    City of Mariupol after Grad rocket shelling by Russian forces, Jan-24-2015
  • Demonstration to support Ukraine in the city of Mariupol after Grad rocket shelling by Russian forces, Jan-24-2015
    Demonstration to support Ukraine in the city of Mariupol after Grad rocket shelling by Russian forces, Jan-24-2015
  • Russian terrorists are deliberately destroying the infrastructure of the Donbas. Destroyed railway bridge over the road Sloviansk-Donetsk-Mariupol
    Russian terrorists are deliberately destroying the infrastructure of the Donbas. Destroyed railway bridge over the road Sloviansk-Donetsk-Mariupol
  • Russian occupation soldier at the devastated Donetsk airport in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: LB.ua)
    Russian occupation soldier at the devastated Donetsk airport in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: LB.ua)
  • Russian mercenary at the devasted Donetsk airport in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: LB.ua)
    Russian mercenary at the devasted Donetsk airport in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: LB.ua)
  • Devastation caused by the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: Tim Judah | NYRblog)
    Devastation caused by the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: Tim Judah | NYRblog)
  • Devastation caused by the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: Tim Judah | NYRblog)
    Devastation caused by the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: Tim Judah | NYRblog)
  • One of the groups of Russian special forces and mercenaries that started the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine
    One of the groups of Russian special forces and mercenaries that started the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine
  • Russian Cossack mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine posing for camera (Image: nr2.com.ua)
    Russian Cossack mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine posing for camera (Image: nr2.com.ua)
  • Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: uainfo.org)
    Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: uainfo.org)
  • A house in Donbas destroyed by Russian artillery fire (Image: YouTube screengrab)
    A house in Donbas destroyed by Russian artillery fire (Image: YouTube screengrab)
  • An armed personnel carrier with Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: inforesist.org)
    An armed personnel carrier with Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: inforesist.org)
  • Russian mercenaries from Chechnya in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: inforesist.org)
    Russian mercenaries from Chechnya region in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: inforesist.org)
  • Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine
    Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine
  • Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine (village of Troitske)
    Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine (village of Troitske)
  • Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine (village of Troitske)
    Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine (village of Troitske)
  • Russian mercenaries in Ukraine
    Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine
  • A Russian soldier from Buryatia fighting in Donbas
    A Russian soldier from Buryatia fighting in Donbas
  • Devastation in Donbas from the Russian aggression
    Devastation in Donbas from the Russian aggression
  • Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine
    Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas, cannon
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas
  • A destroyed tank in the Donbas, Ukraine
    A destroyed tank in the Donbas, Ukraine
  • Russian mercenary fighting in Donbas, Ukraine
    Russian mercenary fighting in Donbas, Ukraine
  • Civilian victims of the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Source: https://www.facebook.com/freedonbas)
    Civilian victims of the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Source: https://www.facebook.com/freedonbas)
  • Civilian victims of the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Source: https://www.facebook.com/freedonbas)
    Civilian victims of the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Source: https://www.facebook.com/freedonbas)
  • A Russian mercenary from St. Petersburg in Donbas
    A Russian mercenary from St. Petersburg in Donbas
  • Graffiti in the Russia-occupied territory says "Donbas is Ukraine"
    Graffiti in the Russia-occupied territory says "Donbas is Ukraine"Donbas is Ukraine
  • Devastation caused by Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (village of Peski) (Image: http://maxrokotansky.livejournal.com)
    Devastation caused by Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (village of Peski) (Image: http://maxrokotansky.livejournal.com)
  • Mortar attack by Russian terrorists in Donetsk, Ukraine
    Mortar attack by Russian terrorists in Donetsk, Ukraine
  • Mortar attack by Russian terrorists in Donetsk, Ukraine
    Mortar attack by Russian terrorists in Donetsk, Ukraine
  • Mortar attack by Russian terrorists in Donetsk, Ukraine
    Mortar attack by Russian terrorists in Donetsk, Ukraine
  • Attack by Russian terrorists in Kharkiv, Ukraine
    Attack by Russian terrorists in Kharkiv, Ukraine
  • Russian terrorist attack at the bus stop in Donetsk, Ukraine
    Russian terrorist attack at the bus stop in Donetsk, Ukraine
  • Russian terrorist attack at the bus stop in Donetsk, Ukraine
    Russian terrorist attack at the bus stop in Donetsk, Ukraine
  • Russian terrorist attack at the bus stop in Donetsk, Ukraine
    Russian terrorist attack at the bus stop in Donetsk, Ukraine
  • Terrorist Vladimir Efimov telling Russian media that his group of mercenaries will not fight in "LNR" anymore, because people there call them occupiers (Image: E1.ru)
    Terrorist Vladimir Efimov telling Russian media that his group of mercenaries will not fight in "LNR" anymore, because people there call them occupiers (Image: E1.ru)
  • Funeral for a victim of the Russian-terrorist Grad strike on January 24, 2015
    Mariupol Grad strike victim funeral
  • Photo credit: @zoreslav4yk. Translation: we demand to acknowledge LNR and DNR as terrorists
    Photo credit: @zoreslav4yk. Translation: we demand to acknowledge LNR and DNR as terrorists
  • Russian terrorists driving through a Ukrainian city
    Russian terrorists driving through a Ukrainian city
  • A soldier of the Russian occupation force in Ukraine
    A soldier of the Russian occupation force in Ukraine
  • A soldier of the Russian occupation force in Ukraine
    A soldier of the Russian occupation force in Ukraine
  • A soldier of the Russian occupation force in Ukraine
    A soldier of the Russian occupation force in Ukraine
  • Russian mercenary Gritsyuk with his fellow terrorists and Russian press
    Russian mercenary Gritsyuk with his fellow terrorists and Russian press
  • Russian mercenary Gritsyuk with his fellow neo-Soviet terrorists and those from Abkhazia
    Russian mercenary Gritsyuk with his fellow neo-Soviet terrorists and those from Abkhazia
  • Simferopol Crimea terrorists
    Simferopol Crimea terrorists
  • Russian terrorists
    Terrorists group
  • A Russian mercenary known by the call sign "Motorola"
    A Russian mercenary known by the call sign "Motorola"
  • Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine
    Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine
  • Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: Ukrinform)
    Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: Ukrinform)
  • A Russian mercenary in Donbas, Ukraine
    A Russian mercenary in Donbas, Ukraine
  • A girl in a national Crimean Tatar dress holds a placard during a protest against the presence of Russian troops in Crimea, Bakhchysaray, Crimea, March 5, 2014 (Image: mfa.gov.ua)
    Crimean Tartar girl, March 2014
  • Protest against the shutdown of ATR Crimean Tartar TV channel in Crimea by the Russian occupation authorities (Image: krymr.org)
    Protest against the shutdown of ATR Crimean Tartar TV channel in Crimea by the Russian occupation authorities (Image: krymr.org)
  • "Crimean Tatars want peace"
    "Crimean Tatars want peace"
  • A Crimean Tatar woman holds a sign "Crimea Is Ukraine" in protest to the "referendum" imposed by force by Moscow in March 2014.
    "Crimea Is Ukraine"
  • "No to war! Crimea is Ukraine!"
    "No to war! Crimea is Ukraine!"
  • "Crimea is Ukraine"
    "Crimea is Ukraine"
  • Celebration of Crimea Anschluss near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia (Photo: ng.ru)
    Celebration of Crimea Anschluss near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia (Photo: ng.ru)
  • Putin speaking in occupied Sevastopol on the anniversary of the WW2 Victory Day to celebrate the annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine conducted by his military and special services two months earlier. May 9, 2014 (Image: kremlin.ru)
    Putin speaking in occupied Sevastopol on the anniversary of the WW2 Victory Day to celebrate the annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine conducted by his military and special services two months earlier. May 9, 2014 (Image: kremlin.ru)
  • A portrait of Putin exhibited in Moscow. The globe has the Crimea painted in the colors of Russia (Image: bbc.com)
    A portrait of Putin exhibited in Moscow. The globe has the Crimea painted in the colors of Russia (Image: bbc.com)
  • A soldier of the Russian occupation force atop an IFV in Crimea. (Image: epa.eu)
    A soldier of the Russian occupation force atop an IFV in Crimea. (Image: epa.eu)

Edited by: A. N.

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  • The truth

    Putin´s spherical “sphere of influence ” is becoming smaller and smaller , soon will explode and became quadratic !
    Sorry guys and girls, don´t be disapointed , you will not see kim kim junk one and Ri-Sol-Ju on the red wall on the 9th of May. Long time i did not see him. it is said that he has ameliorate his hair cut. Anyway I don´t care. I was curious about his concubine , they say she is dashing ! Pity , we will have to wait another year untill next carneval parade. I am curious about Kadyrov hair cut, maybe he will come ?

  • The truth

    The best that could happen for Ukraine is to get rid of all those phantoms from the past. Look forwards and keep the good work going ! You are on the right track .
    Arriverderci kremlin , adios anti-amigos !

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      The best thing that could happen is for Russia to nuke Washington.

      • LorCanada

        Can’t do. Too many ruskies have invested their fortunes in U.S. property and luxurious penthouses in New York, lol. Ditto for Britain where the Russians have bought up considerable property.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Kazarin is wrong! Russia DOES have allies in Kyiv and in the political spectrum: in addition to Tihipko’s Opposition Block there are also Symonenko’s Communists and Dobkin’s club. They still attract some 15% of the voters, hardly an insignificant amount. One doesn’t need masses of voters to cause mischief or to form a puppet government- Lenin’s Bolsheviks got only 24% of the vote in the 1917 elections for the Duma, but ended up controlling the country.
    It would be most unwise to underestimate them or write them off.

    • LorCanada

      Yep, Putin’s KGB spies will still be lurking in the corners but that doesn’t make them any more likeable. On the contrary, one must be wary of such scum.

  • Murf

    “Moscow destroyed this group not only by its aggression but by removing Crimea and the Donbas, the two most “pro-Russia and pro-Soviet” regions from Ukrainian politics.”

    • LorCanada

      Sounds good to me! A bit of good news for a change, thanks.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Could you give your source for these figures? 189 million is barely believable, but 189 BILLION is way beyond credibility. And are you sure that they are $$$, and not hryvnias? 189 million hryvnias would be more like it.

      • Murf

        Just published in Retures. Google it.

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          I checked both the home page of the Ukrainian Finance Ministry and Kyiv Post. Nothing at all on this and I would think that both would announce such positive news on their sites. Until I see definite confirmation I’ll take this with a grain of salt, much as I would like it to be true.

          • Murf

            Here’s the link
            http://ru.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idRUKBN0NL1UI20150430
            Here is the text:
            KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine has completed the first quarter of 2015 with a surplus of the state budget amounting to 4.169 billion hryvnia ($ 189 million) compared with a deficit of $ 4.094 billion for the same period last year, reported the Ministry of Finance.The Finance Ministry does not comment, so that the economic crisis in the background of the war with separatists in the industrial east in January-March was able to collect 27.5 per cent more revenue than in the first quarter of last year – 113.197 billion hryvnia. According to the data, most of all revenue increased value-added tax. VAT on Ukrainian goods rose to 25.136 billion hryvnia from 19.028 billion last year, while imports – up to 29.889 billion hryvnia to 17.384 billion.Citizens in the form of tax on their income paid 9.445 billion hryvnia, compared with 1,762 billion hryvnia year ago. Growth was obsulovlen, among other things, introduced military training, which added 1.83 billion hryvnia, and the tax on income from deposits – 1.9 billion.At the same time, corporate income tax was reduced to 14.900 billion from 15.451 billion.State Statistics Service has not yet published the data on gross domestic product in the first quarter. According to the forecast of the National Bank, the fall of the economy amounted to about 15 percent.In early March, the Ukrainian Parliament amended the budget for 2015, providing for an increase in some taxes and cutting pensions to working pensioners in order to receive loans from the International Monetary Fund.Government budget revenues recalculated taking into account the deterioration of the macroeconomic forecasts for 2015: economic decline of 5.5 percent compared to 4.3 percent previously, and the acceleration of inflation to 26 percent from 13.1 percent in the previous forecast.This deficit has been increased by almost 20 percent to 76.3 billion hryvnia ($ 3.5 billion), or 4.1 percent of GDP from 3.7 percent previously.(Natalia Zinets)

            © Thomson Reuters 2015 All rights reserved.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Thank you for the link. The $189 million is believable. Let’s hope that Ukrainian economic recovery is just round the corner.

          • Murf

            Not sure why the other Ukraine media have not been reporting it . If true(can’t take that for granted.) it will be a major step in the right direction.

  • evanlarkspur

    For a supposedly “brilliant” guy who “regularly outsmarts his opponents,” Putin seems to have achieved nothing so much as tremendous setbacks for Russia’s viability and interests on pretty much every front. Quite brilliant.

    • commieslayer

      His superiors in the KGB never thought much of him, mostly viewed him as quite incompetent. The “brilliance” stuff is merely propaganda.

  • Vol Ya

    Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has backfired on him. Putin has united Ukrainians like never before. Putin has zero popularity in Ukraine. No one in Ukraine wants to be ruled by a fascist dictator like putin. Putin has lost Ukraine for good.

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      The only good American is a dead American.

      • LorCanada

        Hey, what did the Americans ever do to you?

    • commieslayer

      Not only that, but he has awakened NATO from its recent slumber and is fast uniting and mobilizing Europe against him. Especially Eastern Europe.