Minsk Accords are paper equivalents of Putin’s ‘little green men,’ Illarionov says

Putin, Merkel, Holland and Poroshenko in Minsk during the negotiation of Minsk II Accords

 

2015/12/01 • Analysis & Opinion, Russia, War in the Donbas

The Minsk Accords are the diplomatic equivalent of Vladimir Putin’s “little green men,” Andrey Illarionov says. Like the latter, these pieces of paper have as their goal the destruction of Ukraine; and they are even more effective because they enjoy the support not only of the leaders of Western countries but of the Ukrainian government itself.

In the course of a long interview published by Liga.net, the Russian opposition commentator argues that Putin’s diplomacy around the Minsk Accords is the continuation of his war against Ukraine by other means.

Andrey Illarionov, Russian economist and former economic policy advisor to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Currently, a senior fellow in the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC (Image: Voice of America)

Andrey Illarionov, Russian economist and former economic policy advisor to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Currently, a senior fellow in the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC (Image: Voice of America)

Russia lacks the resources to launch a full-scale attack on Ukraine, Illarionov says, but that does not mean that it will not continue its aggression against Ukraine. It isn’t just that the Kremlin now has to fight on two fronts. “There are simply no forces. At present. The current Russian army cannot conquer Ukraine.”

But Putin’s goal remains unchanged – blocking Ukraine’s move away from Moscow towards Europe, and “besides open war, there are many methods of achieving it: in particular, besides little green men, there are little green papers,” in this case the Minsk Accords which help Putin toward his goal.

Putin’s goal, everyone must remember, Illarionov says, “is not the raising of Russian flags in Kyiv and the declaration of [Ukraine] as the territory of the Russian Federation but only the establishment of control over the Ukrainian state and its political elite by means of its own people in Kyiv offices.”

“The Minsk Accords are one of the most effective instruments for the achievement of Putin’s goal,” Illarionov continues, since under them are the signatures of senior Ukrainian officials, and also on the side of Putin are such people as Merkel, Hollande, and Obama who also demand the observance and fulfillment of the Minsk agreements.”

The existence of these accords has obscured for some the fact that “Putin’s operation to establish control over Ukraine has not been completed and that he has in his hands all the cards. More than that, people from the Ukrainian side are actively helping him by agreeing to fulfill the Minsk Accords.”

Indeed, it appears some in Ukraine appear to have forgotten that Russia has invaded them and thus have forgotten what is required when one is dealing with enemies as well as allies. During a war, “one must not give amnesty to terrorists, but under ‘the Minsk peace’ please do;” during a war, “one must not change a constitution on the demand of the aggressor, but under ‘the Minsk peace,’ do so as much as you like.”

Asked if he was calling on Ukraine to “openly fight with the Russian Federation,” Illarionov replies by asking “would you prefer to gradually lose part of your territory by the path of ‘the Minsk peace?’” And can Ukrainians long tolerate a situation in which some of their leaders have not gotten rid of their investments in the land of the invaders?

The Turkish government wasn’t afraid to shoot down a Russian warplane that violated Turkey’s airspace, he observes. But again was challenged by his interviewer who suggested that “NATO stands behind Erdogan, but there is no one behind Ukraine,” Illarionov says that Ukraine could in any case only count on itself but that that didn’t change the calculus.

Those in Kyiv who think there exists “an anti-Putin coalition” in Europe are deluding themselves. “Who is in it?” Illarionov asks rhetorically. “Holland who just returned from Moscow? Or Merkel who criticized [Kyiv] for turning off the electricity to [Russian occupied] Crimea?”

  • Putin's military aggression in Donbas devastated Ukrainian territories under the Russian occupation (Image: Novosti Segodnia)
    Putin's military aggression in Donbas devastated Ukrainian territories under the Russian occupation (Image: Novosti Segodnia)
  • Devastation in the Donbas - the product of Putin's military aggression into peaceful Ukraine. (Image: Slavyansk Delovoy)
    Devastation in the Donbas - the product of Putin's military aggression into peaceful Ukraine. (Image: Slavyansk Delovoy)
  • A funeral for unidentified soldiers killed in action liberating the Donbas region of Ukraine from the hybrid army of the Russian Federation. The funeral was held in the town of Kushugum, Zaphorizhze oblast, on October 1, 2014.
    A funeral for unidentified soldiers killed in action liberating the Donbas region of Ukraine from the hybrid army of the Russian Federation. The funeral was held in the town of Kushugum, Zaphorizhze oblast, on October 1, 2014.
  • Russian mercenaries in Donbas
    Russian mercenaries in Donbas
  • A Russian mercenary in the Donbas with heavily bleeding leg wounds being evacuated in the rear (Image: censor.net.ua)
    A Russian mercenary in the Donbas with heavily bleeding leg wounds being evacuated in the rear (Image: censor.net.ua)
  • Russian Federation servicemen from Chechnia arriving in Donbas in 2014 (Image: AFP)
    Russian Federation servicemen from Chechnia arriving in Donbas in 2014 (Image: AFP)
  • 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)
  • 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 at Donetsk airport caused by the Russian aggression in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: LB.ua)
    Devastation at Donetsk airport caused by the Russian aggression 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)
  • Russian neo-Nazi mercenary Alexey Milchakov photographed next to the corpse of a tortured Ukrainian soldier after an ambush on his vehicle. Donbas, Ukraine (Image: Milchakov's social network page)
    Russian neo-Nazi mercenary Alexey Milchakov photographed next to the corpse of a tortured Ukrainian soldier after an ambush on his vehicle. Donbas, Ukraine (Image: Milchakov's social network page)
  • 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)
  • Russian mercenaries from Chechnya in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: inforesist.org)
    Russian mercenaries from Chechnya region in Donbas, Ukraine (Image: inforesist.org)
  • Russian mercenaries in Ukraine
    Russian mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine
  • Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine
    Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine
  • Devastation in Donbas from the Russian aggression
    Devastation in Donbas from the Russian aggression
  • War in Donbas (Photo: uapress.info)
    War in Donbas, tanks
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas, tank fire
  • Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine (village of Troitske)
    Devastation from the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine (village of Troitske)
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas, cannon
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas
  • War in Donbas
    War in Donbas
  • 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 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
  • A Russian mercenary from St. Petersburg in Donbas
    A Russian mercenary from St. Petersburg in Donbas

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Minsk was the equivalent of Munich 1938, with Frau Ribbentrop Adolfina Merkelain and her henchman Hollandier playing the parts of Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier. No surprises there as Merkelain has been batting for the demented dwarf from the start, doing her best to prevent any sanctions, limiting those that eventually were agreed on etc. As an ex-Stasi agent (IM Erika) she probably is vulnerable to blackmail by the dwarf. Hollandier is useless, but his potential succcessors Le Pen and Sarkozy are no better; Le Pen is at least partly funded by Moscow.

    • Quartermaster

      Germany has been a problem in dealings with Russia going back to Soviet Times. France became a problem in the 80s. The two countries are more interested in maintaining commercial ties than anything else. It has never bothered them to betray their country’s interests as long as their big corporations can keep making money.

  • Yoshua Zafoy

    Not only did Germany and France push Ukraine under a bus with Minsk 2, Germany will also take over Ukraines roll as a transit nation for Russian gas with North Stream 2. Its a dog eat dog world.