Why Russia will threaten Ukraine even after Putin



Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

Are the difficulties in Russia’s relations with Ukraine really due to the personalities of the presidents?

Nadiya Savchenko, in an interview with the BBC, stated that “if Putin and Poroshenko were removed, then relations could be normalized but only under those  two conditions.” It is true that she later specified that it would be better to remove Putin first, but that in any case, “the old politicians must be removed.”

It is difficult to argue with the second thesis. The renewal of the political elite is necessary in Ukraine, in Russia, in all the countries of the former Soviet Union. At the same time, the renewal must be radical and can occur only with successful economic transformations and the emergence of committed owners.

If we succeed, in 10-15 years we will have a new elite — not in terms of personalities and age but in terms of quality and value. And this is determined not by youth and biography but by the understanding of strategic objectives.

And this is where the main problem arises. Are the difficulties in Russia’s relations with Ukraine due to the personalities of the presidents? We would like to remind Nadiya Savchenko that these problems absolutely did not begin with the election of Petro Poroshenko as president.

And even if we do not bring up a historical retrospective, which is known to every schoolchild, did the annexation of Crimea occur under Poroshenko? Did the war in the Donbas begin under Poroshenko?

On the contrary. His election as president was largely the result of public reaction to this war. Poroshenko, who was seen as an experienced diplomat and moderate politician by the citizens, won so easily because he promised to end the war. Through diplomatic methods and without new battles and victims.

But you always need two to tango. Why would Putin negotiate with Poroshenko if he launched the war against Ukraine? Why would Putin negotiate with Poroshenko’s successor if he launched the war against Ukraine? And in general, is the issue really with Putin?

Without delving into historical details that are known to every schoolchild, it would be worth mentioning that Russia made its first claims on Ukraine as early as August 24, 1991. This was at a time when there was no trace of Putin and when there was the democrat Yeltsin. But efforts to seize Crimea and Sevastopol began even then.

The Russian parliament — parliament and not some public organizations — was adopting corresponding decrees even then. Yeltsin postponed his state visit to Ukraine when Kuchma was already president  until Moscow and Kyiv reached an agreement on the Black Sea Fleet. Tuzla also occurred under Kuchma, when Yanukovych was prime minister. (Tuzla Island between Ukraine and Russia was subject of a territorial dispute between the two countries in October 2003 — Ed.).

What else do we need to bring up so that Nadia Savchenko and other political neophytes understand that the personalities of the presidents is not the issue. The Putins come and go, but the Russian Empire remains.

And as long as the empire remains even in a limited geographical area, and as long as its inhabitants view all neighboring countries as the “Great Russia” that they have lost but will inevitably recover, we have only one very simple choice. We either surrender to the enemy and become a Russian colony again, which we were, in fact, since  the Pereyaslav Treaty of 1654 until the victory in Maidan in 2014. Or we need to protect our freedom and remain Ukraine.

The names of the presidents in this choice are of secondary importance.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Espreso TV

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  • Mykola Potytorsky

    spot on correct, russia will never stop their attempts to regain Ukraine-this war will not stop. it is fight to the finish.

    • Alex George

      True. If Putin goes, then after a short power struggle he will be replaced by someone similar.

      The only solution is that Russia’s economy must be shattered. Then it doesn’t matter who is in charge. We can see this happening already – its GDP is now down to 14th in the world, but it has a lot further to go yet.

      • Mykola Banderachuk

        That is I have always been saying, Ukraine has to devote at least 5 per cent of the budget to fund our defence forces and have a five hundred thousand man military in full combat capability. This would have to include high tech anti tank and anti aircraft hardware-make the enemy pay for invading Ukraine.

  • zorbatheturk

    Russian aggression in Ukraine must be met with a storm of steel.

    • Quartermaster

      US isn’t deploying anything for any kind of attack on Russia. Such an attack would be utter stupidity. Even the US has some sense. in that regard.

    • Mykola Banderachuk

      Any proof?

  • George Knight

    The implication of Savchenko’s words is that relations can only be normalized if Ukraine reforms. Poroshenko is not a great reformer. So, Savchenko is right.

    • MichaelA

      other way around
      putin does not want ukraine to reform
      the less it reforms the more he likes it

  • Thomas Ferree

    Good article and analysis. Only wish the western powers had the foresight and fortitude to truly help Ukraine to become a democratic country. It’s sad that the democratic and freedom culture that has given European countries so much prosperity, is less important than the need for those countries to now want to preserve their own economic fortunes.

  • MichaelA

    nadiya is a dill if she thinks loss of putin will make any difference
    he is president because thats who russian elite want there

  • MichaelA

    it wants more than that
    ukraine is a threat to it
    a free country next to russia makes russian slaves wonder if things could be better
    much better

  • Alex George

    Typo in your post there – you meant nazzi Moscow.

    Russia has no historical territories in Ukraine. What in the past it took by conquest has been taken away from it when the people declared for freedom.

    That is why the Russian-speaking people of eastern Ukraine are the strongest opponents of Moscow’s ambition. They do not want Putin’s “protection”.

  • Mykola Banderachuk

    Spoken like a compliant Russia troll boy.