Portnikov: President Zelenskyy should wake up

Image: espreso.tv

Image: espreso.tv 

Op-ed, Russian Aggression

Translated by: A. N.

On August 7, 2019, a day after the Russian occupation forces in the Donbas violated the ceasefire by attacking the Ukrainian positions and killed four Ukrainian servicemen in the attack, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called his Russian counterpart and asked him to “influence the other side” to stop the attacks.

It is time for the Ukrainian president to wake up and abandon his dangerous illusions. There is no “other side”; this is an invention of Kremlin propaganda.

There is only Putin. It is his troops and special services that are occupying the Donbas. It is he, as commander-in-chief of the Russian Armed Forces, who is responsible for any escalation of violence in the occupied region. Putin does not “influence the other side,” but gives orders to it instead. He is not a mediator but a party to the conflict. And when Zelenskyy asks Putin to influence Russian mercenaries, he thereby lets him avoid responsibility by turning him from an aggressor into a “mediator.” This is exactly what Putin needs to continue the war.

And yes, Putin does not need to get closer to peace. He did not begin the war so that it would end in peace. He started it so it would end with the defeat of Ukraine… With our collapse. This war does not hinder Putin, it facilitates his goals instead. It helps him keep Ukraine on the hook and feel himself as an influential leader negotiating with the West. So, why would he need peace?

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, you are no longer a participant in the election campaign, you are the president of a country that is in a war with a brutal aggressor. And the authorities of the country-aggressor do not want any peace.

Your failure to understand this simple fact will only multiply the sacrifices and will lead to new losses – both in people and territories.

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Translated by: A. N.

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