RUSSIA & UKRAINE AND THE MOMENTOUS EVENTS NOW OCCURRING
Momentous events are underway in eastern Europe with the vastly controversial special operation Russia has mounted to transform its neighbor Ukraine into a nation that it can live with in peace untroubled by any future threats it may pose.
In the end game war that the western powers have been waging for at least a decade and a half now this new development has shaken them to the core. This was not supposed to happen, not at all. The game plan was for Russia to be consistently weakened in an economic and political attack whereby it was undermined through constant pressure, brought further and further into a narrower and ever more dangerous space where the the war of attrition would dismantle its structures of governance.
Putin clearly saw the significance of the West’s actions long ago but while Russia was still relatively weak, bided his time, fielding the sanctions used by the West, learning from them and creating new defences against any and all future attacks. From 2014 to now Russia has learned coping mechanisms in regard to the weaponizing of economic attacks and has formed new and tighter relationships, most significantly with China. Russia has become much more invulnerable now, not completely of course, there will be damage to the Russian economy, but the Stalingrad principle will prevail.
The operation undertaken by Russia in Ukraine could no longer be delayed. It came at the last possible moment after all other options to make the regime there and its western allies see sense and move the Minsk process forward. This was not to be. After seven years of refusing to do this it was clear from the fruitless nine hours spent in recent weeks at the latest Normandy 4 meeting that Ukraine had no intention whatsoever to implement its promises made at Minsk. Further than that its leadership talked of renewing Ukraine’s nuclear capacity. Meanwhile Ukraine’s western allies flooded it with weaponry.
What was Russia to do? Sit and continue to hope in the face of every obvious factor telling it that this was exactly what its enemies wanted? It could not and so we have the present situation. Left with no choice Putin acted as he did. The entire future, stability and safety of Russia, its borders, sovereignty and people were clearly at stake. The situation was intolerable and there could be no half measures, Ukraine had to be transformed into being the good neighbour it had once been with a reasonably normal government, an ultra-national minority under some control and trading practices that ensured Ukraine and Russia would remain good neighbours if not good friends.
The western powers along with its military spearhead NATO did not want the above to transpire but the complete reverse and this is what they have constantly worked to achieve and did successfully accomplish. Russia could only sit and accept this so long. The matter came to a head through overreach by those powers including Ukraine’s regime when they revealed too much of their plan in recent times. Putin could avoid the obvious no longer, the war being waged against Russia was never going to be ended until the western powers achieved their aims and they believed they would do this through Ukraine.
Therefore Ukraine HAD to be dealt with. The intolerable situation of the ever ratcheting up of pressure and tension by the West with the hope of shaking Russia apart HAD to be addressed. Putin had arguably delayed the inevitable too long. Russia could no longer delay, Ukraine had to be transformed and there was only one way left that this could be accomplished.
The special operation Putin initiated after recognising the breakaway autonomy-seeking republics of Donetsk and Lugansk will have the following steps within it which Putin is determined will lead to Ukraine becoming once again the good neighbour and stable trading partner it once was. And not the constant source of threat it now is.
My take on what the steps foreseen by Putin in transforming Ukraine follow:
Russia to remove all military obstacles in Ukraine until the regime accepts that it has lost control and is ready to accept terms.
Once this level of dominance is achieved by the Russian military forces there are two primary possibilities:
The present regime is made to relinquish power and the opposition party led by Viktor Medvedchuk assumes the mantle of caretaker government until democratic elections for president and government are held.
The present regime remains but must legislate the following reforms:
The Ukrainian constitution is changed to add that Ukraine will remain a non-aligned/neutral state in perpetuity and that with this being the case it will never form any military or defence alliances such as NATO.
An act of the Ukrainian parliament be immediately passed granting the Donbass region full autonomy providing the right to a high proportion of taxes on income raised there, its own defence force and a range of other rights that enable it to protect its language, customs and relationships with other states in perpetuity.
As the above changes are enacted it will obviously be necessary to deal with the enormous threat posed by the far right that infects the body politic in Ukraine, the various militant organisations, some of them heavily armed, the hundreds, perhaps thousands who have pro-Nazi sentiments and the rabid ultra-nationalists who have been accepted into the Ukrainian army. I suspect the twelve thousand troops that have been readied in Chechnya will be given the task of neutralising these elements.
Ultimately the goal is a normalised Ukraine, a Ukraine that has once again a normal system of governance and positive mentality toward diplomatic and trading relations with its neighbour Russia. Russia will once again become Ukraine’s best asset in regard to trade, and a major market for Ukrainian products and services. It is quite possible that Ukraine, having been given the opportunity of a new start will achieve the level of economic success and absence of corruption that might allow it to be accepted into the EU, though more likely is that it would instead join the Eurasian Union with Russia and other near neighbours to the east.
Whether all of this can be achieved in the present environment where Europe appears ready to plunge headlong into the most tragic effects imaginable by enacting every possible weapon to be used against Russia. Doing this of course will hurt western European economies every bit as much as Russia’s, perhaps even more so. If Russia cuts of natural gas and oil to western Europe for instance. We are all in for an incredibly bumpy ride, a hugely frightening but fascinating time where all the till now hidden fears, hatred, ambitions, plots and tactics all come into view.
Ultimately Russia will come out of this with her position very much improved in my estimation, with renewed if grudging respect for her power to influence events and unwillingness to be subjugated by ANY power at ANY time. We have entered a new era… one of fearful possibilities, but also one of huge potential that, hard to believe as it may now be, could ultimately lead us to the multipolar world that many of us have longed for, for so very long now.