Mother Theresa could fairly reproach the Ukrainian soldiers for many things. During the shootings of the positions of the separatists/federalists/rebels/terrorists, which the latter frequently intentionally set up in living quarters, local citizens perish as well. The Ukrainian state is facing a horrible dilemma: to allow professional saboteurs, trucks sent from the neighbouring country, to start disorders, steal, attack the border checkpoints, kidnap, torture and kill Ukrainian citizens only for remaining faithful to their country, or to try and neutralise these “desperate” (according to Lavrov) separatists/federalists/rebels/terrorists, thus possibly endangering the lives of peaceful civilians. It was this that the main organiser and inspiration to “force Ukraine into friendship” Mr. Putin prophesied and warned during his first “Ukrainian” press conference about: “Let them try to shoot at our soldiers, when there are women and children standing in front of them.”
One of the first victims of the “pro-Russian” sadists was member of the Horlivka City Council Rybak, whose maimed corpse was found in a river, his stomach ripped open. His crime consisted in trying to lift the Ukrainian flag that had been thrown on the ground. It can be concluded from the phone conversation between the kidnappers and murderers that they were the current Russian TV stars Strelok, Bes and the “people’s mayor” of Sloviansk.
The strategies and tactics of the impending “hybrid war” was obviously well thought-out by the High Commander of the Army. But his tirade was so monstrous that it was quickly taken down from the presidential website. Putin and his entire propaganda army are throwing accusations of “genocide” at Kyiv, not even considering the fact that Putin’s own actions have to be characterised thus as well, as under his commandment tens of thousands of Chechen citizens were eliminated.
Putin’s rule began with the war started by Yeltsin’s circle in order to bring his heir to power. Putin’s rule ends with a war which he started himself in order to hold on to power and make it lifelong. He lost the Chechen war, having given full power in Chechnya to Kadirov, and since then he is paying reparations to him. He is losing the Ukrainian war. The insane idea of gathering “historical Russian lands,” starting with “Novorossiya,” proposed during the euphoria of the Crimean “triumph,” is a fiasco. In 6 out of 8 Ukrainian oblasts appointed for the inclusion in the Russian world, the calls of “good Hitler,” as well-known Kremlin propagandist Migranian called him, have not gained any support. In Donetsk and Luhansk, a significant minority of pro-Putin agents was found, held together by well-armed aliens.
The situation there is a stalemate. Ukraine cannot afford Putin’s methods of conquering Chechnya, and without them it will be impossible to beat the city partisans. But the rebels, without the support of the regular Russian army, will be unable to take off the blockade and start advancing. One of the numerous Donetsk chiefs, one Mr. Kofman, characterised the situation very well. Clearly disappointed with the lack of mass support of the Russian army, he bitterly noted at one of Solovyev’s shows: “It seems that someone needs the embers to carry on glowing.” And it seems we know whom Mr. Kofman had in mind.
Having played with Novorossiya, Putin was unable to let go of his central goal: to disrupt Ukraine’s European choice by any means. In these days, the fate of Russia is also being decided in Ukraine. The success of Ukraine, who has chosen the legislative and democratic model of development, is the death of Putinism, the poor philosophy of forcible bureaucracy, which has gone insane from “covering” furniture shops and dividing oil companies. Ukraine’s example will become too contagious for the Russian sociality and will make the fall of Putin’s regime irreversible in the nearest historical perspective.
Putin’s tactic today is to interfere with Ukraine as much as possible, without the US imposing sanctions. The direct deployment of the army evokes an automatic blockage of the Russian Federation’s bank sector and, what is more dangerous for Putin, the publication of the financial US Intelligence of secret data about his personal financial empire. Therefore the support of the rebels will continue for their resistance not to stop but in volumes insufficient for their success.
It’s just like Kofman said – the embers have to stay warm. There is another, no less cynical reason for Putin’s austerity in supporting the self-proclaimed “people’s republics.” Nobody has attacked Russia since 1941. Meanwhile its leaders have been sending youths to senseless colonial wars for 35 years now. Several generations of veterans of these wars have grown up, people with maimed psyches, who have not found themselves in civilian life, filled with bitterness and anger. The lying state propaganda, which successively baited them with the spirits, Chechens, Siberians, vermin dehumanised by it, has appointed new enemies for it today – Ukrainians, towards which they can direct their bent springs of anger. But the government is already considering what will happen when all of these passionate Bes, Streloks, Abvers, Babais return alive to the Motherland, poetised by the Russian television and enriched with the invaluable experience of occupying weapons stocks, police murder and robbing supermarkets. The thieving putinomics is irreversibly moving towards its own failure, and the grains of social rebellion are already growing bigger.
There are few really aggressive people, therefore there are no leaders. And her you have leaders ready to murder and die. These are not glass-wearing hipsters on Bolotnaya Square which are only capable of overturning a public restroom. Is the wise Putin government not trying to solve an additional internal political task – to prophylactically detect and burn this human resource in the fire of the Ukrainian Vendée, by extending its dying fire as long as possible? Did the smart rebel with the untraditional (for the separatists) surname Kofman come to this conclusion? And it is in vain that the fanatically convince Eurasian Dugin, who dedicated his entire life to the priceless (for him) idea of Russia’s final break with the West and its dissolution in the Eurasian ocean of China, makes daily manifests to Putin’s Mystical Body, begging, demanding, asking him to immediately deploy the regular army in Ukraine.
There is no second Mystical Body there, a visible seal of the Spirit, in which Russia itself is concentrated, its fate, quintessence of its existence. There is a worn-out physical body of an ageing prosaic dictator of the third world, which – just like the rest of them – is incredibly scared of losing power and of the well-known uncomfortable procedures which follow this loss in general.
Andrey Piontkovskiy – Moscow-based political expert
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina