UKRAINE: A READER'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Thank you deej1 for your questions given as a comment to a recent commentary, hopefully my expanded answers here will clarify these issues for others also.
1. Why does Russia securing the Donbas ensure its security, in perpetuity or otherwise?
This is not easy to answer in a few words. However, I will try.
The western world. primarily the USA and UK have been using Ukraine as a kind of battering ram to shake up Russia. Outright war is unthinkable (or should be) but since that is out of favour since the series of catastrophically expensive regime change wars in the Middle East, war by other means has become the favoured tactic.
Pressure of all possible kinds from financial undermining to economic sanctions to covert activities fomenting protest movements in target nations have become the most favoured weapons. In this regard Ukraine was a perfect weapon to use against Russia.
The anti-Russian feeling was already there in western Ukraine, with a sizeable minority of Nazi-legacy fanatics existing there and having been taken into the Ukrainian army and National Guard. Fanning those flames against Russia was a no-brainer therefore. So almost the entire western world got behind it.
The people of eastern Ukraine, of the Donbass region, were targeted in 2014. They had mounted a peaceful takeover of the administration centres there with the Maidan-insurrection-induced goal of gaining autonomy from Kiev-rule.
The response of Kiev was to send the Ukrainian military in and many of the Nazi-legacy freaks went also. The result was that mortars were set up all around what the west Ukrainians refer to as the 'Moskal’s' (Russian's) villages, towns and cities and began firing random shells into them. These most often hit the highest buildings, residential blocks of which there are many from the Soviet era, hospitals, schools and so forth. Those that missed these fell at random among urban conurbations, town centres, modest single-storey homes and the streets. Around 14,000 people have died as a result of Kiev reacting with violence there, the majority of them undoubtedly civilians.
These are some of the potent reasons for why Russia required to deal with a situation that was only worsening with Kiev rejecting the peace process agreed to at Minsk in 2015.
To allow the situation whereby Ukraine became ever more obviously a de-facto NATO state, armed increasingly to the teeth and threatening ever more obviously to attack the Russian-speaking millions in the Donbass was no longer an option.
And so Russia was prompted to begin her campaign to resolve all the outstanding issues named above and more, to safeguard her safety and security in perpetuity, despite all risks involved and possible unforeseen consequences.
I believe it was an inevitable decision, made after long years of hoping against hope that Kiev, backed to the hilt by the West, would eventually do the right thing and take the agreed path to peace and reconciliation.
There is so much more to this but the above is at least an outline for you.
2. I'm pretty sure the West would be fine with Russia keeping the Donbas and Crimea.
The West would not at all be fine and has not been at all fine, with Russia keeping the Donbass and holding on to Crimea.
In my view this is part and parcel of the attitude which had its genesis in the hours after 9/11.
In my considered judgement it was agreed in those hours that every single entity not cooperating with the USA in its now absolute need to be global hegemon in a unipolar world with full spectrum dominance at its command had to be eliminated and replaced, without exception.
There have been many subsequent targets and many interventions by the USA, but none as big, or as able to fight back, as Russia. No gains whatsoever were to be allowed any of the nations targeted for regime change, why would they, this would be counterproductive and extremely unwelcome.
Russia was not to be the last of course. China will be the biggest challenge of all if Russia does not completely stymie the 9/11 goals through what I foresee as its ultimate victory in and over a Ukraine war, fuelled and weaponized to the hilt by the West, led by the USA and UK. It is war and in a war of course you grant your enemies no victories.
Allowing Russia to take the Donbass and keep Crimea would certainly be very clear Russian victories. Not AT ALL something the 9/11 protocols could possibly allow.