The Kremlin changes its Donbas war narrative

Putin's personal advisor Vladislav Surkov is often called the "grey cardinal" of the Kremlin. RFE/RL Graphics

Putin's personal advisor Vladislav Surkov is often called the "grey cardinal" of the Kremlin. RFE/RL Graphics 

Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaly Portnikov

The Russian president’s personal advisor Vladislav Surkov has stated that the insane declaration by the chieftain of the Donetsk militants Alexander Zakharchenko (regarding the creation of the “new country of Malorossiya“– Ed.) was due to the fact that “the Donbas is fighting not for separation from Ukraine but for its inseparability, for the entire Ukraine and not just for a part of it. In other words, there is a ‘civil war’ in Ukraine between people who see the future of their country differently.”

This is a completely new view of the events associated with Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Because, at the beginning of the undeclared war, it was considered that the struggle was for “Novorossiya,” which the Bolsheviks supposedly gave to Ukrainians. This is what Russian President Vladimir Putin talked about in the “Crimean speech.” When it became clear that the Russian offensive in the east was faltering, (the Russians) moved to create some new “Donbas” nation with its own mentality that was different from the Ukrainian one. After all, it is not by chance, for example, that the word “Moldovan” appears in the name of Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) , the separatist enclave in Moldova. But the word “Ukrainian” is absent in the names of DNR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and LNR (Luhansk People’s Republic). The Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) was created as another Moldova. And DNR and LNR were created as the “anti-Ukraine” territory that had nothing in common with its own state and had only one dream — to join Russia under any conditions. Even when there was talk about territorial integrity it meant the “restoration” of the territorial integrity of DNR and LNR within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. And now, suddenly, it turns out that Zakharchenko is fighting not for the detachment of the Donbas but for its reunification with Ukraine. Who would have thought! Interesting. Is Zakharchenko aware of it himself?

Well, if he doesn’t know he will soon find out. This is because Surkov’s words testify to the Kremlin’s desire to get rid of the “people’s republics.” Russian officials simply do not know yet how and under what conditions. Naturally, they really would like to return the occupied part of the Donbas to an “obedient” pro-Kremlin Ukraine, but for now they have begun to expound on the wholeness of the country, on the “civil war” between people who have different ideas about the future of this entire country. After all, in a civil war it is possible that the Ukrainians could win as well as the “Malorussians.” And what would Surkov do in the event of such a victory? Well, nothing special — just shrug: the country’s unity has been preserved. If there is no “Russian” Donbas, if there is no “Novorossiya” but only “Malorossiya,” which is transformed into Ukraine with the wave of a hand, then what is there to argue about? As Surkov explained to his assistants, the main thing is that this is an “internal Ukrainian discussion.” Simply put — prepare for the surrender of the occupied part of the Donbas.

The same fate awaits occupied Crimea. Yes, today the peninsula is considered to be “an integral part of the Russian Federation,” but this is true as long as an insane Putin sits in the Kremlin. And after the inevitable collapse of his regime, Crimea will likely become the only commodity that Russia can use to trade with the West, the only opportunity to prove its commitment to international law. And then suddenly, unexpectedly, it will turn out that “annexation” of the peninsula is against this very law and that everyone knew it but was afraid to say so.

And if certain Crimean residents still have a different idea of their own future at that time, this will become part of  the “internal Ukrainian discussion.” Russia will have nothing to do with it.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Radio Svoboda

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  • Eolone

    Todo, I have a feeling we’re not in Malorussia anymore.

    • Robert

      ROFL! :)

  • Tony

    russia has a conversation with its hand puppet, who cares. Its insane to take this farce seriously.

    • Dale Davies

      No, this should be taken very seriously. This lunatic Zakharchenko has stated repeatedly he wants all of Donetsk oblast. This is just stretching his ambitions. Take note how Hitler started to sneak up on us bringing on WW2. He was a loon also.

      • Tony

        Oh yes take the threat they represent seriously, but not their transparent theatrics.

  • Robert

    The Kriminalin changes its’ ‘Donbas War’ narrative, its’ MH17 narrative and many other narratives more often than some people change their underwear..

  • Vol Ya

    Russia only knows how to lie and cheat and steal and kill
    and destroy. Other than that it is a perfectly normal country.

  • Dirk Smith

    Simplistic and dumb. A perfect propaganda ploy for the neanderthal mongol demographic. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc8f0f0c109a97372dcd1fb5e05a4eccff5d01355dcd8e044d3230f55ccce972.jpg

  • veth

    http://112.international/ukraine-top-news/mother-of-detained-russian-soldier-comes-to-ukraine-19152.html

    Russian mother of arrested Russian soldiers arrives in Ukraine. The chance she will/may return too Russia is rather small I geuss…………..(from Russian point of view)

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    There are a number of significant issues that could be gleaned from Vladislav Surkov’s comments on Russian occupied Donbas and the nonsensical comments made by Oleksandr Zakharchenko. These include but are not limited to the following: 1) It should be considered as noteworthy that Russia’s “gray cardinal” issued these statements rather than Pompous Putin as it could indicate that Russia’s dictator has finally come to the conclusion that the war in Donbas has only served to devastate Russia’s economy and any lengthy prolongation could lead to bankruptcy. However, Putin himself could not make such a statement as that would involve a major loss of face as well as a direct assault on his personal prestige among his supporters. 2) The message from Surkov went far beyond an admonishment of Zakharchenko alone as he would have undoubtedly been privately notified by the Kremlin and reminded that he was not immune from the same fate that “blessed” the gangster “Motorola”. This communication was also intended as a warning to other “Great Russians” and their “little russian” puppets that compromises would have to be made and that a “malorossiya” was not and could not be in the picture. 3) Finally, in his role as a surrogate for Putin the Pederast, Surkov’s denunciation of Zakharchenko could indicate the beginning of a major purge of the leaderships of both the “DNR” and “LNR” and it probably could not come soon enough. Why? Putin has always been an admirer of certain Soviet policies and tactics and any personal public attack on a targeted individual as was demonstrated in the Soviet era was almost always sent as a signal to the impending removal of that individual from power. Therefore, should this tactic be re-enforced then Zakharchenko’s days could be numbered.

  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSian proclamations belong on the Comedy Channel.