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I recently had a look at the polling for the Ukrainian Presidential elections in March 2019.

They don’t look good for him, to put it mildly.

While austerity, stymied reforms and continuing corruption, and the lack of a resolution to the War in Donbass have been dragging at Poroshenko’s ratings for several years now, since the start of this year he has not even generally been getting assured of taking second place in the first round and going through to the second round.

For instance, here are the results of the latest KIIS poll:

8% – Yulia Tymoshenko
6,3% – Anatoly Gritsenko
6,1% – Oleg Lyashko
6% – Petro Poroshenko
5,4% – Volodymyr Zelensky
4,8% – Svyatoslav Vakarchuk
4,4% – Vadim Rabinovich
4,3% – Yury Boyko

He also loses all of the realistic second round runoffs:

poll-ukraine-elections-2019

Poroshenko is losing against Boyko, the head of the Opposition Bloc (reformatted Party of Regions), though this should not be mistaken for a pro-Russian victory because the party, apart from losing most of its support, is no longer even remotely as pro-Russian.

He is even projected to be beaten by Lyashko, probably the biggest lolcow in Ukrainian politics (and that’s saying something).

To be sure, there is still just under a year to those elections, and a lot can change between now and then. The economy will probably continue to recover at a modest pace. And Poroshenko has access to the “administrative resource.” I suspect he’ll still eke out a place in the second round. But there he’ll very likely be beaten by Yulia Tymoshenko (who is polling almost twice as much as him in a direct runoff), or perhaps one of the newer faces in politics, such as Vakarchuk, a young West Ukrainian rock musician who performed before the Maidan crowds and has a degree in theoretical physics – and is projected to get almost three times as many votes as Poroshenko.

(Speaking of young, pro-Maidan rock musicians. There is a small but not entirely negligible chance that the runoff will come down to two of them: Vakarchuk vs. Zelensky – they both have the highest net approval rating of any Ukrainian politician, and they dominate the youth vote).

It’s really hard to tell. Even ten months is an eternity in politics, and once campaigning begins, the current, strange electoral map – in which the eight leading politicians are all within a few points of each other – distillates into clearer leaders and laggards. However, the common theme is that Poroshenko has shockingly low figures, despite having the biggest name recognition of all the candidates along with Tymoshenko.

Incidentally, this is why if the Ukraine is to attempt Operation Storm, now is probably the best time for it.

1. If Russia intervenes = Poroshenko will lose in 2019, but as things stand, he is likely to lose anyway.

Meanwhile, Russia experiences a last minute collapse of the FIFA World Cup, and there is an annulation of the rifts (however real or fictive) that have been growing between the EU and the US.

2. If Russia doesn’t intervene = The LDNR is conquered, which as AP points out will propel Boyko to the second round, against whom Poroshenko has the best chances. Resolving the Donbass issue will also greatly boost Poroshenko’s popularity and almost certainly assure him victory.

Meanwhile, Russia suffers a humiliation that is highly unlikely to even lead to the reversal of Donbass-related sanctions. Russian nationalists move from an on average ambiguous position towards Putin, towards outright hostility; the Communists too will likely become far less happy with him.

That said, on balance I stick by my predictions at the start of the year that there will be no large-scale resumption of the Donbass War, because Poroshenko is a risk-averse politician. However, if it does happen this year, it will happen very soon.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Politics, Poroshenko, Ukraine 
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  1. Vakarchuk is ‘Yale World Fellow’, that is, a buttmonkey stooge of the USA Deep State.

    I’d bet on him if the Deep State wasn’t so incompetent. (They couldn’t even elect Hillary on their home turf.)

    As for ‘Operation Storm’ — the Ukrainian army can’t win against LDNR even if Russia doesn’t intervene. That’s a non-starter.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  2. Is it fair to say that Timoshenko will be the preferred candidate for Kremlin, i.e. someone they can do business with?

    Meanwhile, Russia experiences a last minute collapse of the FIFA World Cup

    What do you mean? I could see England boycotting the tournament over the “invasion of Ukraine”, but how many other counties will?

    As for ‘Operation Storm’ — the Ukrainian army can’t win against LDNR even if Russia doesn’t intervene. That’s a non-starter.

    Yes, I doubt such an operation can be completed by mid-July. The time is rapidly running out for it.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  3. neutral says:

    I am not understanding how what happens in Ukraine will end the world cup? If the USA decides to openly demand that FIFA halts the world cup I don’t think that FIFA will comply, the neocons/neoliberals like to talk about the “international community” a lot, but in this case the REAL international community would be seriously upset if Trump stops the world cup.

  4. AP says:

    This article get it right, I think.

    I would add that if Poroshenko has been assured that Russia won’t intervene if he decides to eliminate DNR/LNR, the chances of invasion are much higher.

    Meanwhile, Russia suffers a humiliation that is highly unlikely to even lead to the reversal of Donbass-related sanctions.

    Who knows. Crimea will still be a problem and may be sanctioned indefinitely. However, removal of Donbas as an area of contention could be a face-saving opportunity for sanctions to be reduced, something it seems many EU countries want. This would be a win for Poroshenko (for reasons described), the Russian state and its elite, and the EU. It would be a loss for Ukraine, which will be stuck with Donbas and all its problems.

  5. Anatol says:

    Vakarchuk is supposed to support Grytsenko in last months before election. Grytsenko is a man chosen by Soros and Dems for this cycle, while Vakarchuk will be saved for later. Also, the main candidate from East will most likely be unpolled Novinsky (supported by Dobkin, Muraev and Rabinovich) – he’s going to ride the” leave the Church alone theme”, which has some support even in the Western part, and will have wide resonance with Poroshenko plans of independence from UPC MP.

  6. @Felix Keverich

    Sergey Markov thinks it might start around June 3-5.

    He claims the Americans think the Ukrainians can force a Russian intervention (or doom the LDNR to defeat) within a week of kicking off a full-scale war.

    World Cup starts in June 14.

    If these calculations are correct, it would all make sense.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Felix Keverich
    , @Beckow
  7. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In this case, ideal situation for Ukraine would be invade and grab some chunks of territory without much population, spark Russian intervention that isn’t too damaging, end invasion before Russian intervention destroys too many things but in time to hold some additional territory and claim “victory.” Talk of dropping sanctions simmers down, morale is boosted, yet consequences of having to deal with millions of Donbas voters aren’t realized. The Russian state can brag that it stopped a terrible, potentially genocidal invasion in its tracks.

    Still seems to be too much of a gamble. The potential of massive airstrikes crippling the economy and destroying Ukraine’s infrastructure (they would certainly destroy Ukraine’s MIC) isn’t worth it. I doubt Poroshenko will go for it without reassurance from Moscow.

    Also keep in mind that for Poroshenko the stakes of staying in power are not as high as in the case of Yanukovich. Poroshenko hasn’t arrested or driven into exile any of his serious rivals. Whoever beats him will probably just leave him alone with his businesses; at worst he’ll lose a hundred million or two while keeping many hundred millions.. I doubt he will be desperate enough to risk something catastrophic.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  8. @Anatoly Karlin

    Markov is a blowhard, who opines on all sorts of issues, but is usually wrong. He is not credible as an analyst. He cannot possibly know what Americans think, because Americans are not talking to him. lol

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Mikhail
  9. What’s more realistic:

    1/ Pan-Slavism

    2/ Peter Pan

  10. @Felix Keverich

    Probably correct (I don’t follow Markov myself to be a judge), but presumably what Russia’s 2nd most influential politologist says is not of entirely negligible interest.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  11. @Anatoly Karlin

    You worry too much about stuff as usual. A week-long timeline is definitely a fantasy, considering that Ukraine lacks overwhelming advantage in firepower and LDNR had 3,5 years to dig in. No way American generals can be this stupid.

    Also, you haven’t explained how they are going to cancel Russia’s World Cup. That’s just silly!

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @notanon
  12. Off-topic:

    Bloomberg: Democracy Will Die, Maybe in Its Sleep

    Part of the difficulty in conceptualizing post-democracy is that recognizable alternatives seem so unappealing. You lay out three alternatives: pragmatic authoritarianism (China-ish), epistocracy (rule by enlightened elites) and “liberated technology” (hail, robot overlords). Each would require a drastic makeover of democratic culture. But if democracy’s current “intimations of mortality” are, as you write, the preface to the end, such a transformation is pending.

    The idea of democracy in America has always been underpinned by a notion of continuing emancipation — when things get stuck, the answer is to expand the reach of democratic opportunity. That period is probably over, though there will be plenty of tinkering round the edges.

    The franchise can’t get much bigger or much younger. The growth of the electorate is likely to be at the other end of the scale as more and more old people tilt toward intergenerational conflict — not just between two generations but among three, four or more. One reason I feel democracy is coming to an end is that it has always been a politics for young people, going all the way back to the ancient world. It’s now a politics for old people.

    I think its interesting, and even promising, that even mainstream media is now talking about what they feel is an inevitable eclipsing of democracy by the changing technological environment. Shades of the highly entertaining twitter poster Mr_Scientism abound.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @DFH
    , @Mitleser
  13. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Let’s see: Kiev attacks Donbass and as they are conquering it with hundreds of thousands refugees, thousands dead, Russia stands back and stadiums full of Russian fans cheer on World Cup games. Right, I don’t see that happening.

    How about: Kiev attacks, collapses, Russia is blamed, World Cup is overshadowed by ‘Ukraine crisis’, some teams go home (England, Sweden, Poland), nobody cares.

    I think it will be the third option: nothing much happens. they missed the window for any action.

    Russia is waiting for the World Cup to be over, North Stream II built, China pipelines done, then they will strike.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  14. DFH says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    So many dubious claims in a few paragraphs, although he is the famous Cambridge academic who gets everywhere and I am a lowly Unz Review commentor, so maybe I am the dumb one. But then again, politics, even at Oxbridge, seems from my experience one of the dumber academic disciplines (maybe a little above ‘Management’).

    The idea of democracy in America has always been underpinned by a notion of continuing emancipation

    Virtually all of the political elite in America was fine for a long time with only white men (and a tiny number of free blacks in Northern states) being allowed to vote

    it has always been a politics for young people, going all the way back to the ancient world

    I can’t think what he means by this

  15. Mikhail says: • Website
    @anonymous coward

    The Krajina Serbs were once relatively well entrenched. Getting cocky can backfire in the long run. Also consider the motivation behind a weaker group seeking a tough pursuit. That point relates to the 1982 war over the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas between Argentina and the UK.

    The Kiev regime has been seeking to improve its military capability, with the knowledge that it has some influential Western support.

    Russia has ample reason to see that an Operation Storm like action doesn’t succeed, as discussed here:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/06/croatian-scenario-shortcomings-for-ending-donbass-conflict.html

    In the West, there’re periodic inaccuracies about Russia not honoring the Minsk accords. In turn, the Kremlin should’ve the best possible PR to detail the Kiev regime’s shortcomings regarding that process. Not that legitimate Russian concerns (including pro-Russian advocates outside of Russia) are so generally well acknowledged in Western mainstream circles. Notwithstanding, it’s always best to put forth the best presentation.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  16. Eighthman says:

    I predict that eventually Poland and Hungary will intervene in Ukraine. I understand that there has already been a warning about Transcarpathia. There were rumors about a military coup against Poroshenko a while back but that might just be a Russian idea.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @reiner Tor
  17. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    He’s arguably the other side of Michael McFaul. There’re US based Russia watchers who’re understandably not so impressed with McFaul.

    I recall Markov saying in a Canadian interview that the West shouldn’t be so interventionist in Ukraine, because such a move increases the stature of Russian nationalists. In addition to not being accurate, that claim isn’t good PR for Russia.

    It suggestively and erroneously portrays Russia as being subject to unnecessarily nationalist activity, while downplaying what should otherwise be a key element to analytically consider. Specifically, the pro-Russian sentiment in the former non-Russian Soviet republics.

  18. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    They might very well not succeed in cancelling it. At the same time, they can create negativity. The Kiev regime has gone out of its way to try to denigrate the upcoming World Cup.

    BTW, Kiev is about to host the the UEFA Champions League final on May 26.

  19. Mikhail says: • Website

    Regarding what serves as motivation for an Operation Storm like action in Donbass:

    http://www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/nationalist-radicalization-trends-post-euromaidan-ukraine

  20. Mr. Hack says:
    @Eighthman

    Your prediction is based on what? Neither Poland nor Hungary will be greeted by thralls of supporters waiting to be ‘liberated’. Nah, this is a pretty far fetched scenario, no matter how I look at it.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  21. @Eighthman

    Hungary has no armed forces to speak of.

  22. @Mr. Hack

    Neither Poland nor Hungary will be greeted by thralls of supporters waiting to be ‘liberated’.

    The Hungarian population in Ukraine is not quite happy there. But it’s a really small border region. Besides, the Hungarian Defense Forces is in a really bad shape. Similar to the Ukrainian armed forces in 2014, except much worse equipped and much smaller. (Even proportionally much smaller, per million inhabitants.)

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  23. Mr. Hack says:

    Exactly. Nobody is going to go to war over a couple of negligible villages. It’s my understanding that there are approximately 150,ooo Hungarians out of a total of 1,250, 000 people living in Zakarpattya. Now the ‘Rusyns’ all 10,000 of them living in Zakarpattya really have some gripes and can’t wait to reunite with their Muscovite brothers. I believe these are the folks that Karlin dreams about becoming the fourth leg of his ever popular ‘Quadrune Nation’. :-)

    Averko will soon bight on the bait and tell us all about it, and Karlin will remain silent (he knows something that most don’t!). :-(

  24. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    [MORE]

    Poroshenko hasn’t arrested or driven into exile any of his serious rivals.

    …..FFS you ignorant twat…it was Yushchenko who initiated the case against Tymoshenko you idiot, he even had a role in her prosecution to play after he left his ( failed) presidency. Many reasons from the liberast side of Ukraine, from the Banderatard side, from the American side and from the oligarch side that were not supportive of Tymoshenko and helped accelerate her demise you ignorant fucktard

    The more one looks at it, the more one can see that Yanukovich, by comparison was a “great” Ukrainian President and probably its greatest ever Prime Minister….. surrounded by the shit that is the modern “Ukraine”. The hapless war criminal Poroshenko named the only”successes” of his catastrophic Presidency ….all 3 were bogus

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  25. Gerard2 says:
    @reiner Tor

    Besides, the Hungarian Defense Forces is in a really bad shape.

    Who said he was talking about military action, and not just Hungary intervening against every linkup of Ukraine to EU agreement,NATO and various economic packages and trade deals that they are in a position to stop….particularly as Ukraine is nothing but a parasitic and artificial country

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  26. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Gerard2

    Poroshenko hasn’t arrested or driven into exile any of his serious rivals.

    That’s a slippery comment for sure. It’s within reason to say that Poroshenko isn’t a violent nationalist.

    Notwithstanding, since the coup against Yanukovych, there hasn’t been a decrease in politically motivated arrests, censorship, beatings and murders in Kiev regime controlled Ukraine.

    It can be technically argued that Poroshenko himself hasn’t done such. At the same time, he hasn’t done much if anything to stop it.

    These human rights issues get overlooked because the target are those with a pro-Russian outlook (whether real or exaggerated).

  27. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Gerard2

    Who said he was talking about military action, and not just Hungary intervening against every linkup of Ukraine to EU agreement,NATO and various economic packages and trade deals that they are in a position to stop….particularly as Ukraine is nothing but a parasitic and artificial country

    This is where I get off the bus. It has become a reality – greatly the result of some historical quirks that (if certain circumstances came about) could happen elsewhere.

    There’s no constructive need to piss off those identifying with Ukraine, who aren’t at an anti-Russian myth making level. It’s easy to overlook that non-svido grouping, when relying solely on Western mass media and Kiev regime officials.

    There’s a Ukrainian Orthodox Church near me, whose congregation have a mixed view on these matters – as confirmed to me by one of its congregants and others who’ve had contacts with that church over the years. I’ve personally experienced this kind of situation elsewhere.

    In short, it’s accurately prudent to not negatively lump them all together.

  28. @Mikhail

    It makes no sense to compare Ukraine to Croatia.

    ‘Ukraine’ is a failed state, the Kiev regime can’t run a functioning military. They can let loose bands of marauders and looters, but bands like that won’t conquer LDNR.

    Think of Ukraine as an African country in Europe. This is a much more apt comparison.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Mr. Hack
  29. Mikhail says: • Website
    @anonymous coward

    Some Kiev regime advocates reference Operation Storm as a possibility for Donbass. There’s also the matter of the support Ukraine has been getting, in conjunction to what failed states can do.

    Argentina in 1982 might not qualify as a “failed state“. It nevertheless had noticeable socioeconomic problems to go along with a disgruntled society. Attacking a Brit position led to a surge in popularity until the Brits successfully fought back – something that should’ve been foreseen beforehand.

    Posted in the US foreign policy establishment realist leaning National Interest:

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/ukraines-military-back-24674

    As foolish as you’ll likely see this piece, it represents a line of thinking that can possibly lead to a war scenario. The Kiev regime is big on hyping the image of itself as a key force against the (stated perception of a) Russian threat.

  30. @Beckow

    Russia is waiting for the World Cup to be over, North Stream II built, China pipelines done, then they will strike.

    These are merely excuses. I’m sure some other issue will arise in the future, that pro-Kremlin commentators will use to justify inaction. The real problem is that Putin lacks balls. His machismo image is all for show. The one moment when Putin displayed real courage and leadership – return of Crimea – he did it to save his own skin.

  31. Mitleser says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Part of the difficulty in conceptualizing post-democracy is that recognizable alternatives seem so unappealing. You lay out three alternatives: pragmatic authoritarianism (China-ish), epistocracy (rule by enlightened elites) and “liberated technology” (hail, robot overlords).

    Unappealing for whom?

    The current situation, in America, Germany or elsewhere, is that we live in systems that are primarily of the rich, by the rich, for the rich yet it is claimed that they are “democratic” or “representative democracy”.

    In 2014 we published a study of political inequality in America, called “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.” Our central finding was this: Economic elites and interest groups can shape U.S. government policy — but Americans who are less well off have essentially no influence over what their government does.

    To summarize, U.S. government policy depends strongly, although imperfectly, on what the well-to-do want but weakly, if at all, on what middle-income Americans prefer. We believe this massive inequality of influence is a serious indictment of the quality of American democracy.

    http://archive.is/xKJHx

    If the real-existing democracy is such a sham, why not adopt something else?
    Something that does not pretend that we have a vote.

  32. Mr. Hack says:
    @anonymous coward

    Your description doesn’t square with reality. Take a careful look at this ‘loose band of marauders and looters’, It’s no longer 2014, but halfway to 2019. Wake up Bozo!

  33. Kinez says:

    All these references to Operation Storm are ridiculous. Putin’s Russia in 2018 bears absolutely no comparison to Milošević’s Yugoslavia in 1995. The latter was a small country which by 1995 had been subjected to three years of a comprehensive UN trade embargo, and whose leader was ideologically confused (he was a Yugoslav Communist, and the foundation stone of Yugoslav Communism was an opposition to supposed bourgeois Greater Serbian oppression). He didn’t care about the Krajina Serbs, who were viewed as a bunch of irrelevant hotheaded peasants, nor did he care about the (Bosnian) Serb Republic, on which he had imposed sanctions in 1994(!?). Incidentally, the UN “sanctions” on the “third Yugoslavia” (Serbia and Montenegro) were supported by Russia, with only China and (I think) Zimbabwe abstaining.

    Putin, whatever his faults, is ten classes above Milošević, who was the wrong man, at the wrong time, in the wrong place. Not to mention that Russia has the capacity and the will to prevent any Operation Storm-type action, as it already showed in 2008 when Saakashvili attempted his own Operation Storm.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Mikhail
  34. @Kinez

    In that case how do see this conflict resolving? The current Ukrainian regime appears stable and unlikely not be overthrown from the inside. It will never agree to implement Minsk accords as they are written and the continued existence of LDNR is a major obstacle to NATO membership.

  35. notanon says:
    @Felix Keverich

    He claims the Americans think the Ukrainians can force a Russian intervention (or doom the LDNR to defeat) within a week of kicking off a full-scale war.

    No way American generals can be this stupid.

    He’s probably talking to Bill Kristol.

  36. notanon says:

    seems to me the eye of sauron (neocons) has moved on to Iran

    also seems to me the point of the Ukraine coup was to grab a bargaining chip (Crimea) that could be used to trade with Putin for dropping Syria – but Pooty grabbed Crimea first – which was lolz.

    so personally can’t see the neocons caring about Ukraine for the time being

    #

    In that case how do see this conflict resolving?

    don’t know how likely this is but what i’d like to see is the former Warsaw Pact countries reforming as a neutral bloc in between NATO/EU and Russia.

  37. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Kinez

    I agree that such a scenario is unlikely – at least in the foreseeable future. A few points in answer to what you bring up.

    Georgia is an easier force to crack. As noted here, among other things, Milosevic essentially went along with Operation Storm:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/06/croatian-scenario-shortcomings-for-ending-donbass-conflict.html

    At some point, could the Russian government be influenced to stand idle? Several things would’ve to be in place:

    - Kremlin becoming very dis-satisified with the Donbass rebels
    - the belief that Russia will get added perks by not doing anything
    - improved Kremlin-Kiev regime relations
    - if possible, a firm guarantee of no refugee flood from Donbass to Russia.

    Milosevic arguably wasn’t so much as stupid, as having a weaker hand than what Putin has.

    • Replies: @Kinez
  38. FWIW – probably not much – a DNR news site reports that a captured Ukrainian serviceman says Ukraine plans to attack before the start of the World Cup.

    https://dan-news.info/defence/plennyj-ukrainskij-voennyj-rasskazal-o-planax-kieva-atakovat-dnr-pered-nachalom-chm-po-futbolu.html

  39. Snja says: • Website

    Is it even possible for Russia to raise its GDP growth rate to 5 percent per year? If factories are automated, what will you do with all those people thrown out of work?

  40. Kinez says:
    @Mikhail

    Compared to the leaders that came after him, Milošević was a statesman. He did find himself in an extremely difficult situation, but his time in power was a colossal failure. The essential problem was he didn’t know what his aims were and so didn’t have any kind of overarching strategy. He was to a large extent merely swept along by events. In the end, he sat by as the Krajina was completely ethnically cleansed of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, signed away all of Sarajevo (half of which was held by the Bosnian Serbs all the way to the end of the war) and presided over a “third Yugoslavia” that had no raison d’être nor any coherent self-conception, as well as many other failures.

    Milošević seems to have thought that he could make a deal with the West by selling his kin down the river in 1995. They came for him in 1999 anyway. He managed to end the NATO bombing with the Kumanovo agreement, with much more favourable terms than what was offered in Rambouillet before the attack. Yet just a few years later UN SC resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo agreement were also forgotten by the West. Iran is learning the same lesson, that you can’t make deals with the West, because a few years later they will just keep pushing, while not respecting previous agreements.

    So, as far as the Donbass goes, the only way it could fall to an Operation Storm is if Russia stands by and allows it to happen, the way Milošević did. The only possible reason for that would be some sort of grand bargain. However, the leaders of Russia must surely have realised by now that you cannot make any agreements with the West. Any agreement represents at best a temporary respite, before the whole cycle of aggression starts up all over again, with upgraded aims. The only thing the West ultimately respects is power. Giving an inch is completely pointless, because the next step is renewed pressure, then giving another inch, and then another, and then another. Which is how Russia got to where it is now.

    If Ukraine really does launch an attack around the time of the World Cup, the only option is to intervene in force. Anything else will (rightly) be taken as a sign of weakness and merely result in the West’s aims being ratcheted up a notch. Such an intervention will “look bad” in the Western media, but who cares? Russia could be the richest, most free, most egalitarian country on earth, but it would still be presented to the Western public as the root of all evil (as it already is). Attempting to win the PR game when the entire Western political and intelligence apparatus is atavistically against you (and controlling the megaphone) is a fool’s errand.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  41. The Kulak says:

    Plus if major fighting erupts, a handful of Canuck observers or NATO Foreign Legionnaires like the Swedish petty criminal / con artist Skillt who puffed themselves up as badass ninja warriors while staying behind the frontlines mostly in Mariupol will get killed. And Russian media in order to avenge the 20 gazillion Wagner mercenaries slaughtered by US air/arty strikes in Syria line will spin it into hundreds of NATO dead on top of the few thousand dead UAF from the Operation Ukrop-Storm failure.

  42. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Kinez

    Well said on your part.

    The half Serb/half Albanian Dusko Doder said that under Milosevic, Serbia/Yugoslavia had a big power attitude, that backfired because it didn’t have a big power capability to match the big power which chose to oppose it. Coupled with that, was Russia’s weakness during that period.

    Your PR point is agreeable. At the same time, it’s still best to put forth the best possible effort. Sergey Markov reminds one a bit of Boris Badenov. Never could quite get the propping of the since de-propped Gleb Pavlovsky.

    • Replies: @Kinez
  43. Kinez says:
    @Mikhail

    Just out of curiosity, what’s your source on Doder being half-Albanian? Doder is a Herzegovinian Serb surname (i.e. far from any Albanian population) and Serb-Albanian marriages were extremely rare 80-90 years ago (and today, for that matter).

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  44. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Kinez

    I heard him say such about himself. I just ckd another source online, saying he’s half Albanian-Jewish and was born in Sarajevo.

    • Replies: @Kinez
  45. Kinez says:
    @Mikhail

    Interesting, thanks.

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