The crown of the Russian Empire

The crown of the Russian Empire 

Opinion, War in Donbas

Edited by: A. N.

While most coverage of Russia has been focusing on the FIFA World Cup and Russians’ obsession about a Croatian footballer shouting “Glory to Ukraine” after his team defeated Russia, Kremlin-linked commentators have stepped up their calls for the complete destruction of the Ukrainian state altogether, Kseniya Kirillova says.

Such vicious calls have never been absent from Russian rhetoric since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in 2014, but they have generally although not always been confined to the margins of Russian discourse. But now, the US-based Russian analyst says, they are taking center stage.

These calls appear less likely to presage a new broad-scale attack on Ukraine, she continues, than an expansion of diversionary and destabilizing activity within Ukraine by Russian agents and an effort to counter the sinking morale of pro-Moscow forces in the Donbas who increasingly feel that Russia is not doing enough for them.

The comments of self-described “television commentator” Valentin Filippov are not atypical of the new wave of Russian writing on this subject. He says directly that Ukraine is not a country but “a terrorist organization” and its population “are in essence the very same Russians Ukraine has been called upon to destroy.”

Moreover, Filippov continues, “all our actions which are not directed at killing Ukraine make it stronger.” It is time to drop the sentimentality and focus on the goal because the continued existence of Ukraine is a threat to Russia and the Russians. “The enemy must be destroyed and not forced to accept a peace.”

To that end, he says, “the only effective means is the complete liberation of Ukraine from the powers that exist there, the complete cleansing of the territory from hundreds of thousands of Nazis and murderers” by “sowing chaos on its territories and in a planned fashion splitting city from city and village from village.”

Those who ask “’what will America say?’” need to be “ignored,” Filippov says, because, as correctly noted the new president of Russia, ‘why do we need a world in which there is no Russia?’” and who has also said that Ukraine is “’the economic, political and geographic space of Russia.’”

“In fact,” Kirillova observes, “the appearance of such ‘masterpieces of agitprop’ do not mean that Putin is planning a new invasion of Ukraine in the near future. However, it is undoubtedly the case that the Kremlin in the future will try with all the forces at its disposal to destabilize the country from within.”

That will require that Moscow itself train “ever more new terrorists prepared to sow this very chaos in exchange for promises that ‘the absolute evil’ and the most horrific threat for Russia’ will be destroyed literally immediately after the militant fulfills his latest assignment” against Ukraine.

And there is growing evidence Moscow is preparing precisely such terrorists and doing so in precisely the same way and with precisely the same people who were involved four years ago, including oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev and his Donetsk Higher All Military Command Academy.

That will give new heart to the pro-Moscow forces in the Donbas and new headaches for Ukraine even as Putin makes nice with the West in the hopes that the latter will lift sanctions and allow him to continue to act in exactly the same ways that he has and that reflect his unchanging character.

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Edited by: A. N.

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