MY PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF UKRAINE & THE DONBASS
As of this moment I see the Donbass being fully secured by the Russian military perhaps as early as within the next two weeks but in any case no later than one month from now.
At this point the question of the region’s future destiny arises.
I have no doubt at all however that it will join the Russian Federation. Whether a referendum will be called to decide this or it will be decided by the present leadership of the two republics there, I am sure it will join and be unified with Russia.
The security of the Donbass as part of Russia will not be easy in the initial stages, instability, breaches of security and great enturbulation could last a year or more. A secured border to keep out those who will inevitably want to subvert the new addition to the Russian Federation will of course be vital. Border crossings are all well and good, but I would suggest a militarised border fence or wall between the Donbass Republic and Ukraine may well be required to provide the kind of security required, at least in the earliest years of the new republic’s existence.
Investment in the new republic I am sure will be massive, by Russian governmental and also private enterprises and capital in the main, but also by other Russia-friendly nations such as China.
As for Ukraine, I imagine it will join the European Union and NATO and most other European institutions within very short order and see massive investment from all those in western Europe and beyond who have sponsored it until now. This will clearly be of extreme benefit in terms of rebuilding and upgrade of infrastructure. This will bring about very positive development for Ukraine in economic terms, but I also see it having a significantly positive effect on its overall culture, especially in terms of the existing radical elements within it. The ultranational forces, often referred to as neo-Nazis and with good cause, will gradually, I am sure, be sidelined as the Ukrainian culture comes more and more under the influence of western Europe.
Ukraine has much agricultural potential which will receive huge investment from Europe. Its technical and industrial bases, such as they are, will also receive funds, as will the upgrading of what I am sure will become, in time, a very successful tourist industry centred on Kiev but not limited to it.
The Donbass will become ever more integrated within Russia over time and its industrial base in particular upgraded. The devastation caused by the rearguard actions of the ultranationalists will be repaired and destroyed infrastructure replaced. A fully modern and technologically cutting edge and architecturally beautiful airport will be built to replace the previous airport by Donetsk, destroyed by the ultranationalists in the early days of the conflict beginning in 2014.
Slowly but surely over a period of no less than ten years I would expect a sea change in relations between Ukraine and the Donbass Republic. This process may take much longer of course depending on changes in the political makeup of Ukraine in particular. With the much heightened influence of the EU, along with the political response of the Ukrainian population to the conflict just ended, the period required for normalisation of relations could potentially be shortened and perhaps by significant periods of time.
Naturally the greater influence of the EU and the larger corporations within it having access to a Ukraine at peace will not have unmitigatedly positive effects. Though there would be a massive increase in employment, the types of employment on offer are unlikely to be of the highest. Service industry jobs would be most frequently on offer though the younger and most highly educated of the Ukrainian population would certainly have access to higher grades of employment within the information technology sector.
The Donbass will continue to have its traditions, culture and affiliations fully respected within the Russian Federation. Enhanced cultural, technical and political fields of interconnection will naturally occur with the other welcoming republics of Russia. The tourism spinoffs regarding Crimea would increase via the land bridge secured with the city of Mariupol firmly and securely in Russian/Republic hands.
The western world will without doubt continue to rail against all things Russian including the Donbass, at least in terms of its elites. The general population of western nations, even now not fully on board with their leaders’ views on this score, will in many cases find their way to Russian Donbass and Crimea and invest their time and money there in increasing numbers.
The scars will be long in the healing, as I predict, likely a decade and possibly more. All hinges on the political, cultural, economic and political changes, or lack of them, which come about or are brought about in both cases.
This in brief is how I see things panning out at best for both the Donbass and for Ukraine in a future that need no longer be about war, death and destruction but that will I believe, over time, lead to a much more harmonious situation than ever seen previously in this part of the world.