The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Israel Shamir ArchiveBlogview
Putin Prefers a Bad Peace in Ukraine
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
shutterstock_208636393
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

In February, it is a long way to the spring, lamented Joseph Brodsky. Indeed, snow still falls heavily in Moscow and Kiev as well as in the steppes that form Russian-Ukrainian borderlands, but there it is tinted with red. Soldiers are loth to fight in the winter, when life is difficult anyway in these latitudes, but fighting already flared up in war-torn Donbass, and the US prepares to escalate by supplying sophisticated weapons to Kiev. Tired by the siege and by intermittent shelling, the rebels disregarded snow and took the strategic Donetsk airport. This airport with its Stalin-built tunnels, a symbol of solid Soviet defence work, presented a huge challenge for underequipped militia. Its many-leveled underground facilities were built to sustain a nuclear attack; still, the rebels, after months of fighting, flushed the enemy out and took it.

In a bigger offensive, they trapped Kiev’s troops in Debaltsevo pocket, and Kiev already sued for a cease-fire. The rebels hope to dislodge the enemy from their lands altogether, as now they hold only about one third of Donbass; but Russia’s president still gropes for brakes. He prefers a bad peace to a good war. For him, the Ukraine is important, but not a sine qua non, the only problem in the world. This attitude he shares with the American leader. There is a big difference: Russia wants a peaceful Ukraine, Americans prefer one at war.

Russia would prefer to see Ukraine united, federal, peaceful and prosperous. The alternative is not very tempting: Donbass is strongly connected to the rest of Ukraine, and it is not easy to switch its ties. The war already had sent millions of refugees from Donbass and from Ukraine rump to Russia and overloaded its systems. Putin can’t cut off and forget about Donbass – his people would not allow him anyway. A cautious man, he does not want to go an open-ended war. So he has to navigate towards some sort of peace.

I had a meeting with a well-informed and highly-placed Russian source who shared with me, for your benefit, some inner thoughts on condition of his anonymity. Though the West is certain that Putin wants to restore the Soviet Union, actually the Russian president did everything he could to save the Ukraine from disintegration, said the source. That’s what Russia did in order to bring peace to Ukraine:

  • Russia supported the West-brokered agreement of February 21, 2014, but the US still pushed for the next day (February 22) coup, or “had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine” , in Obama’s words.
  • After the coup, the South-East Ukraine did not submit to the new Kiev regime and seceded. Still, Moscow asked the Donbass rebels to refrain from carrying out their May referendum. (They disregarded Putin’s appeal).
  • Moscow recognised the results of sham May elections carried out by Kiev regime after the coup, and recognised Poroshenko as the president of the whole Ukraine – though there were no elections in the South East and opposition parties were banned from participating.
  • Moscow did not officially recognise the results of November elections in Donbass, to the chagrin of many Russian natoinalists.

These steps were quite unpopular in Russian society, but Putin made them to promote a peaceful solution for Ukraine. Some warlike Donbass leaders were convinced to retire. In vain: Putin’s actions and intentions were disregarded by the US and EC. They encouraged the ‘war part‎y’ in Kiev. “They never found a fault with Kiev, whatever they do”, said the source.

Peace in Ukraine can be reached through federalisation, my source told me. That’s why two most important parameters of Minsk accords (between Kiev and Donetsk) were those we never hear about: constitutional and socio-economic reforms. Russia wants to secure territorial integrity of the Ukraine (minus Crimea) but it can be achieved only through federalisation of Ukraine with a degree of autonomy being given to its regions. Its west and east speak different languages, worship different heroes, have different aspirations. They could manage together, just, if the Ukraine were a federal state, like the US or Switzerland or India.

In Minsk, the sides agreed to establish a joint commission for constitutional reforms, but Kiev regime reneged on it. Instead, they created a small and secretive constitutional committee of the Rada (Parliament). This was condemned by the Venice Commission, a European advisory body on constitutional matters. Donetsk people wouldn’t accept it, either, and it is not what was agreed upon in Minsk.

As for integration, it was agreed in Minsk to reintegrate Donbass within Ukraine. This was disappointing for Donbass, but they accepted it, – while Kiev laid siege to Donbass, cut off its banks, ceased buying Donbass coal, stopped paying pensions. Kiev troops daily shell Donetsk, a city of a million inhabitants (in peaceful times!). Instead of amnesty for rebels, as agreed in Minsk, there are more government troops pouring eastwards.

The Russians did not give up on Minsk accords. The Minsk agreements could bring peace, but they have to be implemented. Perhaps President Poroshenko of Kiev would like to, but the Kiev war party with its western support will unseat Poroshenko if he goes too far. Paradoxically, the only way to force him to peace is war—though Russia would prefer the West to put pressure on its clients in Kiev. The rebels and their Russian supporters used warfare to force him to sign Minsk accords: their offensive on Mariupol on the Black Sea was hugely successful, and Poroshenko preferred to go to Minsk in order to keep Mariupol. Since then, Kiev and Donetsk had a few cease-fires, they exchanged POWs, but Kiev refuses to implement constitutional and socio-economic demands of Minsk accord.

It does not make sense to cease fire, if Kiev uses it to regroup and attack again. A cease fire should lead to a constitutional reform, said my source, a reform negotiated in an open and transparent dialogue of the regions and Kiev. Without a reform, Donbass (or Novorussia) will go to war. So the Debaltsevo operation can be considered as a way to force Poroshenko to sue for peace.

Russia does not intend to take part in the war, or in peace negotiations, said the source. The Russians are adamant to stay out, while the Americans are equally adamant to present Russia as a side to conflict.

ORDER IT NOW

Meanwhile, the Russian-American relations were moved forty years back to Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1974 by the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014. The US Secretary of State John Kerry considered this act an unfortunate development, but a temporary one. The Russians are not that optimistic: for them, the Act codified anti-Russian sanctions. The US tries to turn other states against Russia, with some success. In one sweep the German Kanzlerin Angela Merkel eliminated all organisations, structures and ties built between Germany and Russia for many years. Every visit of Joe Biden causes a conflagration.

The Russians are upset with the story of the Malaysian Boeing. In every high-level encounter with the Americans, they remind of the hysterical accusations and claims that the liner was downed by the rebels using Russian missiles. Six months passed since the tragedy; still the Americans have not presented any proof of Russian and/or rebel involvement. They did not present photos of their satellites, nor records of their AWACS aircraft hovering over Eastern Europe. My source told me that the American high-ranking officials do not insist anymore that Russians/rebels are involved, but they stubbornly refuse to apologise for their previous baseless accusations.

Still the Americans want to play the ball. They insist that they do not seek Russian ‘surrender’, that they find the confrontation costly and unwelcome, while the US needs Russian support for dealing with Iranian nuclear programme, with removal of Syrian chemical weapons, with Palestinian problem. The Russians retort they have heard it all during the Libyan affair and aren’t impressed.

Differences of opinion between Russia and the US are substantial in practically every area. There is one common feature: from Syria to Donbass, Russians endorse peace, Americans push for war. Now the Russians invited some opposition figures and the government representatives from Syria for talks in Moscow. They came, talked, went away and will come again. They could probably settle but the US representatives say that they will never reconcile to Bashar Assad presidency and will fight to the last Syrian for his dismissal. It makes sense for them: every war on the globe supports the US dollar and invigorates Dow Jones, as capital seeks safe haven and finds it in the US.

They do not think about fate of Syrians who flee to Jordan – or of Ukrainians who escape to Russia in ever increasing numbers. What a shame for two wonderful countries! Syria was peaceful and prosperous, the diamond of the Middle East until ruined by the US-supported islamists; the Ukraine was the wealthiest part of the USSR, until ruined by the US-supported far-right and oligarchs. Joseph Brodsky bitterly predicted in 1994, as the Ukraine declared its independence from Russia, that the shifty Ukrainians will evoke their Russian in their mortal hour. This prophesy is about to be fulfilled.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Ukraine 
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Karl says:

    >>> Syria was peaceful and prosperous, the diamond of the Middle East until ruined by the US-supported islamists; the Ukraine was the wealthiest part of the USSR, until ruined by the US-supported far-right and oligarchs

    Wait… the Islamists are controlling Obama’s decisions, or the far-right is controlling Obama’s decisions? Which narrative is it?

    >> What a shame for two wonderful countries!

    Yeah, back in the good ‘ole days – those Syrian &Ukrainian embassies all around the world, were ==flooded== with would-be immigrants!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /ishamir/putin-prefers-a-bad-peace/#comment-866285
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. Very nice article. One criticism I would offer is, the Germans had been, all along, up to their necks in geopolitical intrigue with clones of the USA’s ‘civil society’ projects; under-girding color revolution & regime change in Ukraine…

    Read More
  3. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    If Israel could tie Poland’s Parlimentary speaker(Brezinski Bastard child) Rado Sikorski, whom I understand had to bring daughter of ex-finance minister in to explain how English is correctly translated, this might illuminate this ill planned coup. Also, did which Tweedledee of the Kaczynski brothers siad they had dirt on Sikorski- the Katyn Krasher or his still alive brother? Holodomor could explain some things:)

    Read More
  4. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Bill Blizzard and his Men"] says:

    Every peacenick move made by Putin is seen as a sign of weakness by Victoria Nuland…Susan Rice….Samantha Powers. And these peacenick moves will be a signal to these three Luciferian creatures to murder an even greater number of Russian Speaking Ukranians. So the questin arises: how many murdered Russian speaking Ukranian Civilians is acceptable to Vladimir Putin and his billionaire oligarch advisors…100 thousand….1 million. There is a critical number of dead Russain speaking Ukranians beyond which the probability of Putin being assasinated goes up very high.

    Putin must send the tanks in. If he doesn’t…Nuland…Rice…Powers are going to be in a very strong position to forment unrest in Russian. Where is Putin going to draw the line? If Putin is waiting for the collapse of the US over the course of the next year…he should start thinking about ordering a coffin for his burial after assassination.

    Putin should start an international legal campaign to indict Nuland-Rice-Powers for Crimes against Humanity.

    Read More
  5. I know a bit about the Eastern countries. About some, a bit more than I would like. What I can say is this:for most of the local populace it would be difficult to own a hunting shotgun. As a general rule the governments over there ain’t too hot about lording it over an armed population. Nevertheless, suddenly we have all these Donbass freedom fighters running around equipped with battle tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other good stuff. Where did they get it from? Did they have it buried in their gardens? How did a bunch of ex civilians become so proficient in using advanced military hardware so fast? While I do not believe that the Americans are innocent angels, to pretend that Putin and the Russians are the party of peace is beyond my belief.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    How did American freedom fighters, whom Brits considered 'terrorists', take on the superpower of the day, England, with its highly trained, battle hardened professional military and defeat them ?

    Another example from former Soviet Union: in 1991, the newly independent former Azerbaijan SSR invaded the self-declared Armenian Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR). Azerbaijan military had huge stores of weapons and ammunition left from Soviet times, and a massive manpower advantage. In the beginning, Armenians of NKR had pretty much nothing. Over time, they obtained more and heavier weapons, including tanks, from defeated or fleeing Azerbaijani units, who didn’t really want to fight.

    Armenians started with 20-30 man squads of mostly volunteers. They were often led by experienced former Armenian officers of Soviet military. The bloody war lasted until 1994, when Azerbaijan sued for a ceasefire in May 1994, after its army was completely destroyed.
    Of course by this time, NKR Armenians had formed a regular army, with heavy armor, anti-aircraft units, command & control, etc.

    If fighters are motivated, and are fighting for their own land - you'd be surprised what they are capable of.
    , @rod1963
    The American Jews, military and political classes want a war with Russia.

    You can see the pretext being set with GOPers like McCain pushing for arming the Ukrainians with the latest American weapons and sending advisers along(the tripwire).

    Now Obama won't sign off on this at the moment because it doesn't fit his agenda. But if Hillary or a GOPer gets in, you better start digging that shelter and investing in MRE's and medicine.

    Because once those weapons and advisers are used against Russian people, Putin will respond. As to how, well I don't think it will be pleasant for the American advising the Ukrainian Army nor will it be pleasant for the EU.
    , @Kiza
    Firstly I thought you were from another planet, then I realized that you were just a Western citizen, which is not much different, because it is the most brainwashed population on this planet.

    Ukraine is one of the most armament stocked up countries in the World because they inherited a large chunk of USSR armaments (armaments storage for territorial defense in every neighborhood). Ukraine even sold an unfinished aircraft carrier to China, first such sale in the history of the World. Therefore, neither side in Ukraine lacks armaments and the story that Russia is arming East-Ukrainian rebels is purely for Western propaganda. It is not even the past secret and the future open US/German supply of advanced weaponry to their puppets in Kiev which has made or will make much difference, it will not turn the tide of this US war. But, the open supply of US weaponry will be a final proof that the US will never want peace in Ukraine, never ever.

    Simply, this is a war on Russia, not on Ukraine. Russia has very powerful nuclear weapons and cannot be attacked directly. But what the US regime mugs do not understand is that if they succeed with regime change in Russia and Putin falls because he did not oppose the US enough, someone much tougher is likely to replace him, someone who will take this (non-nuclear) war to the US.
    , @Cliff Arroyo
    "all these Donbass freedom fighters running around equipped with battle tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other good stuff. Where did they get it from?"

    Probably the same place they got their Russian accents from.... An acquaintance with ties to the region says they sound nothing like locals when they speak in the media.
  6. Avery says:
    @PerishTheAccent
    I know a bit about the Eastern countries. About some, a bit more than I would like. What I can say is this:for most of the local populace it would be difficult to own a hunting shotgun. As a general rule the governments over there ain't too hot about lording it over an armed population. Nevertheless, suddenly we have all these Donbass freedom fighters running around equipped with battle tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other good stuff. Where did they get it from? Did they have it buried in their gardens? How did a bunch of ex civilians become so proficient in using advanced military hardware so fast? While I do not believe that the Americans are innocent angels, to pretend that Putin and the Russians are the party of peace is beyond my belief.

    How did American freedom fighters, whom Brits considered ‘terrorists’, take on the superpower of the day, England, with its highly trained, battle hardened professional military and defeat them ?

    Another example from former Soviet Union: in 1991, the newly independent former Azerbaijan SSR invaded the self-declared Armenian Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR). Azerbaijan military had huge stores of weapons and ammunition left from Soviet times, and a massive manpower advantage. In the beginning, Armenians of NKR had pretty much nothing. Over time, they obtained more and heavier weapons, including tanks, from defeated or fleeing Azerbaijani units, who didn’t really want to fight.

    Armenians started with 20-30 man squads of mostly volunteers. They were often led by experienced former Armenian officers of Soviet military. The bloody war lasted until 1994, when Azerbaijan sued for a ceasefire in May 1994, after its army was completely destroyed.
    Of course by this time, NKR Armenians had formed a regular army, with heavy armor, anti-aircraft units, command & control, etc.

    If fighters are motivated, and are fighting for their own land – you’d be surprised what they are capable of.

    Read More
  7. rod1963 says:
    @PerishTheAccent
    I know a bit about the Eastern countries. About some, a bit more than I would like. What I can say is this:for most of the local populace it would be difficult to own a hunting shotgun. As a general rule the governments over there ain't too hot about lording it over an armed population. Nevertheless, suddenly we have all these Donbass freedom fighters running around equipped with battle tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other good stuff. Where did they get it from? Did they have it buried in their gardens? How did a bunch of ex civilians become so proficient in using advanced military hardware so fast? While I do not believe that the Americans are innocent angels, to pretend that Putin and the Russians are the party of peace is beyond my belief.

    The American Jews, military and political classes want a war with Russia.

    You can see the pretext being set with GOPers like McCain pushing for arming the Ukrainians with the latest American weapons and sending advisers along(the tripwire).

    Now Obama won’t sign off on this at the moment because it doesn’t fit his agenda. But if Hillary or a GOPer gets in, you better start digging that shelter and investing in MRE’s and medicine.

    Because once those weapons and advisers are used against Russian people, Putin will respond. As to how, well I don’t think it will be pleasant for the American advising the Ukrainian Army nor will it be pleasant for the EU.

    Read More
  8. Kiza says:
    @PerishTheAccent
    I know a bit about the Eastern countries. About some, a bit more than I would like. What I can say is this:for most of the local populace it would be difficult to own a hunting shotgun. As a general rule the governments over there ain't too hot about lording it over an armed population. Nevertheless, suddenly we have all these Donbass freedom fighters running around equipped with battle tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other good stuff. Where did they get it from? Did they have it buried in their gardens? How did a bunch of ex civilians become so proficient in using advanced military hardware so fast? While I do not believe that the Americans are innocent angels, to pretend that Putin and the Russians are the party of peace is beyond my belief.

    Firstly I thought you were from another planet, then I realized that you were just a Western citizen, which is not much different, because it is the most brainwashed population on this planet.

    Ukraine is one of the most armament stocked up countries in the World because they inherited a large chunk of USSR armaments (armaments storage for territorial defense in every neighborhood). Ukraine even sold an unfinished aircraft carrier to China, first such sale in the history of the World. Therefore, neither side in Ukraine lacks armaments and the story that Russia is arming East-Ukrainian rebels is purely for Western propaganda. It is not even the past secret and the future open US/German supply of advanced weaponry to their puppets in Kiev which has made or will make much difference, it will not turn the tide of this US war. But, the open supply of US weaponry will be a final proof that the US will never want peace in Ukraine, never ever.

    Simply, this is a war on Russia, not on Ukraine. Russia has very powerful nuclear weapons and cannot be attacked directly. But what the US regime mugs do not understand is that if they succeed with regime change in Russia and Putin falls because he did not oppose the US enough, someone much tougher is likely to replace him, someone who will take this (non-nuclear) war to the US.

    Read More
  9. @PerishTheAccent
    I know a bit about the Eastern countries. About some, a bit more than I would like. What I can say is this:for most of the local populace it would be difficult to own a hunting shotgun. As a general rule the governments over there ain't too hot about lording it over an armed population. Nevertheless, suddenly we have all these Donbass freedom fighters running around equipped with battle tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other good stuff. Where did they get it from? Did they have it buried in their gardens? How did a bunch of ex civilians become so proficient in using advanced military hardware so fast? While I do not believe that the Americans are innocent angels, to pretend that Putin and the Russians are the party of peace is beyond my belief.

    “all these Donbass freedom fighters running around equipped with battle tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other good stuff. Where did they get it from?”

    Probably the same place they got their Russian accents from…. An acquaintance with ties to the region says they sound nothing like locals when they speak in the media.

    Read More
  10. Joe Webb says:

    “He prefers a bad peace to a good war. For him, the Ukraine is important, but not a sine qua non, the only problem in the world. This attitude he shares with the American leader. There is a big difference: Russia wants a peaceful Ukraine, Americans prefer one at war.”

    Am I missing something, or is this a contradictory statement?

    Joe Webb

    Read More
  11. AP says:

    opposition parties were banned from participating.

    Nope. Not true. Opposition leaders were sometimes assaulted by angry mobs, they weren’t given airtime on TV, but the parties were not banned and they did participate in the election. The Opposition Bloc got about 10% of the vote; their allies the Communists just under 4%.

    Russia wants to secure territorial integrity of the Ukraine (minus Crimea) but it can be achieved only through federalisation of Ukraine with a degree of autonomy being given to its regions. Its west and east speak different languages, worship different heroes, have different aspirations. They could manage together, just, if the Ukraine were a federal state, like the US or Switzerland or India.

    A better comparison to the federal Ukraine that Russia would like would be, not Switzerland or India, but the old 18th century Polish commonwealth. This was a weak decentralized state dominated by powerful magnates (comparable to modern oligarchs), some of whom were in Russia’s pocket. This weak, decentralized and paralyzed state served as a buffer for Russia and was basically a Russian puppet. Want to see an eerie similarity to modern events? Read this summary:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Targowica_Confederation

    Putin’s motivation for demanding a federal Ukraine that includes Donbas is to insure that Ukraine remains paralyzed, decentralized, and permanently saddled with a large pro-Russian region that can veto any moves by Ukraine that may be inconvenient for Russia. So that is like 18th century Poland. And you know what eventually happened to that Poland…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dan
    You are talking genocide on the Russian remnant.

    Good luck with that Panzer Heinz!
  12. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    JEWISH LOBBY MAKING THE MID-EAST AND THE WORLD SAFE FOR ISRAEL
    MAKING SURE WHITE GOYIM KILL EACH OTHER SO THE SPECIAL RACE CAN DOMINATE THE WORLD.

    Thanks for the great article, Mr. Shamir.

    The Jewish lobby is behind this.

    The Judaists own and operate all 3 branches of our govt. and the media. They own and operate Obama whom they installed as a Manchurian President.

    Judaists see Iran and Syria as a threat to Israel that must be eliminated, and Russia supports both of them, so they are going after Russia and Putin directly. By eliminating Putin and Russia, they believe they can then eliminate Syria and Iran, and make the Middle East totally safe for Israel, where Israel can kill and terrorize the Middle East and maybe the whole world with impunity. So the US and Saudis made a deal to push oil prices lower. The Saudis are Sunni and hate the Shia Iran and Syria. Plus the US promised them some weapons and other benefits under the table, such as free visas to the Saudis, etc. America for sale–to help the Judaists!

    The Judaists, are under the delusion that they are a “special race” called “Jews”, descendants of an African pimp called Avram, worshipers of a Negro mass murderer Moshe, from Egypt, when, in fact, they are mostly whites themselves, from Europe or Khazar, and whose ancestors converted to Judaism in the middle ages. They perceive whites as a separate race of goyim as a biggest threat to them and which must be eliminated by arming them against each other and through the alien invasion.

    Putin needs to be more aggressive with Kiev and Jew-S-A. He can cut off gas to Europe. He can warn Washington not to arm Ukraine and if they refuse, bomb the govt. buildings in Kiev and attack it with cruise missiles and invade it and destroy the Jewish puppet Petro Poroshenko, have him tried for his crimes and hung and take over Ukraine. He can print billions in US dollars, by buying the printing presses, which are sold by the Swiss manufacturers, as most dollars in circulation are fake anyway. But he better do that before the Jewish puppet McCain, owned and operated by his Jewish masters, carries out his threat of arming Ukraine.

    Read More
  13. Dan says:

    I think that a motivated Russia will take down all comers.

    If the West wants to ethnic cleanse the Russian remnant in Ukraine the Russians will do to them what they did to Germany.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    I think that a motivated Russia will take down all comers.
     
    Let's not exaggerate Russia's military capability and historical military prowess.

    "Russia" did not defeat Germany - the USSR did. Russia has about 60% of the USSR's population. It can handle tiny Georgia, and it can handle a largely army-less Ukraine. And its big enough to make a large-scale occupation unfeasible. But it needs the nuclear deterrent to be safe. Which, btw, works both ways.

    As for Soviet military performance. During World War II, the Soviets managed to defeat, after enormous losses and several years, 70% of the military of a country with half its population and a fraction of its territory. Prior to that it struggled to defeat tiny Finland. Prior to that, it fought Poland to a draw. Post-war, it took several years to subdue western Ukraine, defeated tiny Hungary, lost in Afghanistan. It was certainly formidable but not some kind of unstoppable juggernaut.
  14. Dan says:
    @AP

    opposition parties were banned from participating.
     
    Nope. Not true. Opposition leaders were sometimes assaulted by angry mobs, they weren't given airtime on TV, but the parties were not banned and they did participate in the election. The Opposition Bloc got about 10% of the vote; their allies the Communists just under 4%.

    Russia wants to secure territorial integrity of the Ukraine (minus Crimea) but it can be achieved only through federalisation of Ukraine with a degree of autonomy being given to its regions. Its west and east speak different languages, worship different heroes, have different aspirations. They could manage together, just, if the Ukraine were a federal state, like the US or Switzerland or India.
     
    A better comparison to the federal Ukraine that Russia would like would be, not Switzerland or India, but the old 18th century Polish commonwealth. This was a weak decentralized state dominated by powerful magnates (comparable to modern oligarchs), some of whom were in Russia's pocket. This weak, decentralized and paralyzed state served as a buffer for Russia and was basically a Russian puppet. Want to see an eerie similarity to modern events? Read this summary:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Targowica_Confederation

    Putin's motivation for demanding a federal Ukraine that includes Donbas is to insure that Ukraine remains paralyzed, decentralized, and permanently saddled with a large pro-Russian region that can veto any moves by Ukraine that may be inconvenient for Russia. So that is like 18th century Poland. And you know what eventually happened to that Poland...

    You are talking genocide on the Russian remnant.

    Good luck with that Panzer Heinz!

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    You are talking genocide on the Russian remnant.
     
    What part of my comment could be interpreted to mean genocide of some sort?
  15. AP says:
    @Dan
    I think that a motivated Russia will take down all comers.

    If the West wants to ethnic cleanse the Russian remnant in Ukraine the Russians will do to them what they did to Germany.

    I think that a motivated Russia will take down all comers.

    Let’s not exaggerate Russia’s military capability and historical military prowess.

    “Russia” did not defeat Germany – the USSR did. Russia has about 60% of the USSR’s population. It can handle tiny Georgia, and it can handle a largely army-less Ukraine. And its big enough to make a large-scale occupation unfeasible. But it needs the nuclear deterrent to be safe. Which, btw, works both ways.

    As for Soviet military performance. During World War II, the Soviets managed to defeat, after enormous losses and several years, 70% of the military of a country with half its population and a fraction of its territory. Prior to that it struggled to defeat tiny Finland. Prior to that, it fought Poland to a draw. Post-war, it took several years to subdue western Ukraine, defeated tiny Hungary, lost in Afghanistan. It was certainly formidable but not some kind of unstoppable juggernaut.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous

    As for Soviet military performance. During World War II, the Soviets managed to defeat, after enormous losses and several years, 70% of the military of a country with half its population and a fraction of its territory. Prior to that it struggled to defeat tiny Finland. Prior to that, it fought Poland to a draw. Post-war, it took several years to subdue western Ukraine, defeated tiny Hungary, lost in Afghanistan. It was certainly formidable but not some kind of unstoppable juggernaut.
     
    Yes, that's all true enough. Now compare it with the performance of the USA. In WWII the US fought about 20% of the capability of a defeated and demoralized Germany, invading at the last moment to scoop up what it could on the cheap. Poor third world Koreans-Chinese and then Vietnamese fought the heavily armed Americans to a stalemate. Lightly armed tribesmen in Afghanistan have managed to continue resistance even against jets, helicopter gunships, drones and more. Since '45 the US has only managed to conquer Panama and Grenada. From all the hullabaloo a person would get the impression we're a nation of Rambos but in reality our highly touted Seal Team 6 and all the rest are busy just fighting malnourished third world tribesmen.
  16. AP says:
    @Dan
    You are talking genocide on the Russian remnant.

    Good luck with that Panzer Heinz!

    You are talking genocide on the Russian remnant.

    What part of my comment could be interpreted to mean genocide of some sort?

    Read More
  17. Svigor says:

    If Russia supported an anti-American regime in Canada, and America started sending troops and aid to a strategically important, pro-American breakaway region there…no, I don’t think Americans would hear a “gotcha” when the Russians pointed that out.

    Read More
  18. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AP

    I think that a motivated Russia will take down all comers.
     
    Let's not exaggerate Russia's military capability and historical military prowess.

    "Russia" did not defeat Germany - the USSR did. Russia has about 60% of the USSR's population. It can handle tiny Georgia, and it can handle a largely army-less Ukraine. And its big enough to make a large-scale occupation unfeasible. But it needs the nuclear deterrent to be safe. Which, btw, works both ways.

    As for Soviet military performance. During World War II, the Soviets managed to defeat, after enormous losses and several years, 70% of the military of a country with half its population and a fraction of its territory. Prior to that it struggled to defeat tiny Finland. Prior to that, it fought Poland to a draw. Post-war, it took several years to subdue western Ukraine, defeated tiny Hungary, lost in Afghanistan. It was certainly formidable but not some kind of unstoppable juggernaut.

    As for Soviet military performance. During World War II, the Soviets managed to defeat, after enormous losses and several years, 70% of the military of a country with half its population and a fraction of its territory. Prior to that it struggled to defeat tiny Finland. Prior to that, it fought Poland to a draw. Post-war, it took several years to subdue western Ukraine, defeated tiny Hungary, lost in Afghanistan. It was certainly formidable but not some kind of unstoppable juggernaut.

    Yes, that’s all true enough. Now compare it with the performance of the USA. In WWII the US fought about 20% of the capability of a defeated and demoralized Germany, invading at the last moment to scoop up what it could on the cheap. Poor third world Koreans-Chinese and then Vietnamese fought the heavily armed Americans to a stalemate. Lightly armed tribesmen in Afghanistan have managed to continue resistance even against jets, helicopter gunships, drones and more. Since ’45 the US has only managed to conquer Panama and Grenada. From all the hullabaloo a person would get the impression we’re a nation of Rambos but in reality our highly touted Seal Team 6 and all the rest are busy just fighting malnourished third world tribesmen.

    Read More
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Israel Shamir Comments via RSS