Putin’s “peacekeepers” — a ploy to legitimize the Donbas “republics”

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Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaly Portnikov

Vladimir Putin is not interested in having UN peacekeepers in the Donbas but in preventing Ukrainian proposals on the deployment of peacekeepers from becoming a topic of international discussion.

The Russian mission at the UN delivered Moscow’s proposal on the introduction of peacekeepers into the conflict zone in the Donbas to the UN General Secretary.

This demonstrated once again that the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin was not spontaneous and that Moscow had carefully prepared another propaganda campaign designed to demonstrate its interest in resolving the situation.

But I would not place too much hope in a change in Putin’s approach to events in the Donbas, nor would I support his initiative, as the German Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel has already done. A careful analysis of Putin’s statement suggests that the Russian president is not interested in having UN peacekeepers appear in the zone of conflict but rather in preventing Ukrainian proposals on the deployment of peacekeepers from becoming an important topic for international discussion.

Putin says that peacekeepers in the Donbas may be deployed only after  a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons. This is the first point of the Minsk agreements.

This is a point Moscow could have implemented many times already, but for some reason is in no hurry to do so. It is in no hurry because the Kremlin is perfectly aware that the cessation of the bombardment of Ukraine would greatly limit the opportunities to destabilize the situation in our country. And this is clearly not in Russia’s interests.

Putin wants the peacekeepers to appear exclusively on the line of demarcation of the occupied territories. Simply put, this would mean transferring the Russian border. The point of having peacekeepers is precisely that they would be able to control the part of the border between Russia Ukraine that is now under Moscow’s control.

This is the beginning of the transitional period for the return of Ukraine’s control. But Putin’s  proposals do not even have the beginning of such a period in mind. He wants to secure the freedom to act in the Donbas for himself. And, at the same time, to be protected by the decision of the UN Security Council.

And, finally, what is most important is what Putin said at the very end. It is that the deployment of the UN peacekeeping contingent is possible only under conditions of direct contact with the leadership of the “people’s republics.” This is what the Russian ruler has been trying to impose on Ukraine literally from the first days of the war in the Donbas — the acknowledgement that the Russian puppets who were made leaders of the “people’s republics” in Donetsk and Luhansk really represent someone other than the invaders.

He wants to prove to the international community that there is no occupation in the Donbas but an “uprising,” a “civil war.” It is clear that discussions with Zakharchenko and Plotnytsky (heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” — Ed.) about the possibility of deploying UN peacekeepers into “their” territory is a surefire  step toward legitimizing the “people’s republics.” And, perhaps, it is precisely for this reasons that Putin began to talk about peacekeepers.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Espreso TV

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  • veth

    Complete right analyses.

  • Микола Данчук

    So, Putin wants UN peacekeepers to protect Russian military from crazy Ukrainian nazis on Ukrainian territory?
    Without securing the Ukrainian/Russian border but changing it?
    Is Putin stupid for suggesting this or those the stupidity lie with anyone considering this a valid scenario?

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    Vitaliy Portnikov has presented a very credible scenario but could there be more than meets the eye? Would Putin not consider other options as well should an initial strategy fail? Has the Russian despot not clearly demonstrated that he has reveled in using “smoke and mirrors” to achieve an ultimate objective? If so, could the Kremlin’s “toning down” of the conflict in Russian occupied Eastern Donbas including the introduction of UN peace keepers and attempt to upgrade the internationally and negatively viewed profiles of the so called “Donetsk and Luhansk Republics” not be a step forward in the bargaining process for something more sinister? After all, does Russia not have enough problems dealing with its own restive population and moribund economy which is on the brink of bankruptcy without having the need to allocate massive resources to rebuild a territory it does not really need? Therefore, could Putin’s mindset not be similar to his Bolshevik “heroes” who temporarily traded land for peace (particularly Belarus and Ukraine) in the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk? In a much more recent example of the use of distractions, Putin has just proposed the building of a new bridge linking Russia’s Sakhalin Island with Hokkaido Island in Northern Japan. Why? Would this not indicate that Putin may be trying to normalize Russian relations with Japan as both countries remain technically at war since the Soviet seizure of the Southern Kuril Islands? So then, what of Russian occupied Eastern Donbas? Could Putin’s overtures for peace not include trading Eastern Donbas to Ukraine for the international recognition of Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea? Would this not be in line with the deviant mind of Pompous Putin the Pederast? You be the judge.

    • zorbatheturk

      Putin is a Mad Monkey.

  • zorbatheturk

    Vladimir Putin is a congenital liar. This civil war BS must be exposed as the RuSSian lie it is. Send in UN peacekeepers OR shoot all RuSSian mercs in Donbas.

  • Quartermaster

    To which Poroshenko should say, no thanks. Unless, of course, they are deployed on the real border with Russia.

  • Tony

    Dont care, russia is an unrepentant aggressor thus their proposals are worthless.
    No compromise. Return the borders to what they were and pay damages, thats fair, thats what any just court would demand from a thief, nothing less.

    Otherwise let the conflict continue and let Ukraine be free to illegal foreign military personnel on its territory with impunity and if russia doesnt like that then lets remember Afghanistan vs. Soviet Union only that Ukraine is stronger than Afghanistan and russia is weaker than soviet union, russia will crumble trying to occupy the whole of Ukraine.