Kyiv must use military means to recover occupied territories, Borovoy says

Ukrainian military


Analysis & Opinion, Crimea, Military analysis, War in the Donbas

Now that Vladimir Putin is focused on Syria and clearly unlikely to stop there, the Ukrainian government should take advantage of the situation by moving militarily to reclaim Russian-occupied territories in the Donbas and Crimea, according to Konstantin Borovoy.

Konstantin Borovoy, the head of Russia's Western Choice Party (Image:

Konstantin Borovoy, the head of Russia’s Western Choice Party (Image:

“The attention of the Russian president has been distracted” for the moment by Syria, the Russian commentator says. “But he needs instability in Ukraine, that is his only goal, [and] for Putin the situation now is ideal: no one is trying to change anything, people are negotiating with him as if he were a real politician, and he feels himself someone who is making the decisions.”

No one else is particularly interested in helping Ukraine because “it doesn’t require anything and doesn’t want anything,” Borovoy argues. From the point of view of the international community, everything can continue unchanged for some time to come.

And that means, he continues, that Crimea and the Donbas will remain under occupation.” Indeed, “the situation will change only been Ukraine will begin to resist.”

The refugee crisis has driven Ukraine down to a second or third level in Europe, and there can be “no doubt” that Putin has exploited and accelerated the refugee flow even if it did begin before his bombing. “This is one of the means of creating instability in Europe – the technology of provocation and the technology of the special services.”

“I do not think,” Borovoy says, “this is the last provocation.”

Given that, one must “defend oneself” and not wait until something happens, he continues. “Inaction is very dangerous and even criminal” for European and Ukrainian politicians.

“Today, in spite of itself, Ukraine is fulfilling yet another indirect function: it is taking part in the defense of the international community against aggressive Russia. Putin will not stop at Syria. Provocations against Israel (and it is said this project is already working) and against the Baltic countries are possible.”

In that situation, Ukraine has a responsibility not just to silently sit by and wait for the occupation to somehow end. Some in Ukraine understand that. Among them are the Crimean Tatars. It is reasonable for Kyiv to be cautious, but it is dangerous when caution “becomes cowardice” or even the appearance of cowardice.

Russian citizens and voters, Borovoy argues, “are already tired of the military operation in the Donbas and in Ukraine itself. This propaganda serial has ceased to be interesting to viewers. Therefore, according to all the laws of mass media, an interval has been declared, but this does not mean that the theme is closed for Putin.”

Rather it means, Borovoy says, that Ukraine has an opportunity to being the liberation of the Donbas and Crimea by military means, military because there are no other realistic ones. If Ukraine doesn’t do something, “no one, no Merkel and no Hollande will try for a solution;” and neither will Obama.

Doing nothing as new in fact works to Putin’s benefit: it adds to instability and undermines the trust of Ukrainian citizens in their government. The decision of the Crimean Tatars to blockade Crimea shows that “citizens themselves are beginning to address government problems.”

And that means, Borovoy says, that “the next question which they will ask themselves is this: why do we need such a set of powers if we have to solve state problems ourselves?”

At present, many Ukrainians are saying and some even believe that Russia will eventually give up the occupied territories, but that is a mistake, Borovoy says. When things deteriorate even more, Putin will be even more ready to use military action to deflect criticism from himself.

And there is one other factor and a terribly important one that people in Kyiv need to keep in mind: “in Crimea and in the east of Ukraine are citizens who believe their country and president will at some point liberate them.” The longer time goes on, he implies, the fewer such people there will be.

Edited by: A. N.

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: , , ,

  • canuke

    Such a tough decision. Militarily, I agree that Russia is probably weakest now, but at what cost? And once liberated, what then? A decimated rust bucket that is Donbas? I don’t know.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Dwarfstan is not weak enough yet. Let increasing losses in Syria weaken Dwarfstan further, financially and militarily. Make every effort to improve the Ukrainian armed forces in the meantime. Let Zakharchenko, Pushilin, Plotnitsky, Aksyonov and their criminal gangs of alcoholics and Krokodil addicts continue to misrule the Crimea and so-called LNR and DNR, undermining any support they might have among the local population.
      Time is on Kyiv’s side, not Moscow’s. The dwarf has bitten off far more than he can chew.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    I would wait. Dwarfstan’s treasury will be running on fumes by the end of next year. More importantly, liberating the Donbas and the Crimea will bring back voters who may continue to vote for pro-Russian parties, whose support is limited at the moment. The thing to do is to press ahead with reforming the country without hindrance from the pro-Russians in Donbas and Crimea. In a few years, when Dwarfstan is on the verge of total collapse, it will probably be possible to liberate them without firing a shot. Why run the risk of Ukrainian soldiers being killed or wounded for the enclaves of the so-called LNR and DNR, which are total ruins thanks to the dwarf stripping them of everything that could be carted off to Dwarfstan? Let them, and the Crimea, fall into Kyiv’s hands like ripe apples- no need to climb the tree to pick them.
    Plus, a couple of more years of misrule by Zakharchenko, Pushilin, Plotnitsky, Aksyonov and their criminal gangs of alcoholics and drug addicts will dampen any ardour for the Russkii Mir, I think.

    The old Stones song “Time is on my side” is fully applicable here. Use it to build up the Ukrainian army with help of UK, US, Canadian, Polish and other advisers into a force that can tackle Dwarfstan’s. The dwarf will be forced to send more and more troops and equipment to Syria to prop up Assad’s army- or rather, what’s left of it, and suffer increasing casualties, if he wants to retain his bases at Latakia and Tartus. Let Syria bleed Dwarfstan white.
    Igor Girkin thinks that next year the Ukrainian army will be able to take on Dwarfstan’s with a good chance of winning, but I think that’s optimistic.
    And another thing to consider is that if the dwarf is forced to choose between giving up Syria and giving up on attempts to control Kyiv, he will drop Syria without hesitation. The Ukraine is his top priority, his top project.

    • Oknemfrod

      What he said.

  • Kruton