Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review
In my July 25th article “Zelenskii’s dilemma” I pointed out the fundamental asymmetry of the Ukrainian power configuration following Zelenskii’s crushing victory over Poroshenko: while a vast majority of the Ukrainian people clearly voted to stop the war and restore some kind of peace to the Ukraine, the real levers of power in the post-Maidan Banderastan are all held by all sorts of very powerful, if also small, minority groups including:
- The various “oligarchs” (Kolomoiskii, Akhmetov, etc.) and/or mobsters
- Arsen Avakov’s internal security forces including some “legalized” Nazi death squads
- The various non-official Nazi deathsquads (Parubii)
- The various western intelligence agencies who run various groups inside the Ukraine
- The various western financial/political sponsors who run various groups inside the Ukraine
- The so-called “Sorosites” (соросята) i.e. Soros and Soros-like sponsored political figures
- The many folks who want to milk the Ukraine down to the last drop of Ukrainian blood and then run
These various groups all acted in unison, at least originally, during and after the Euromaidan. This has now dramatically changed and these groups are now all fighting each other. This is what always happens when things begin to turn south and the remaining loot shrinks with every passing day,
Whether Zelenskii ever had a chance to use the strong mandate he received from the people to take the real power back from these groups or not is now a moot point: It did not happen and the first weeks of Zelenskii’s presidency clearly showed that Zelenskii was, indeed, in “free fall“: instead of becoming a “Ukrainian Putin” Zelenskii became a “Ukrainian Trump” – a weak and, frankly, clueless leader, completely outside his normal element, whose only “policy” towards all the various extremist minorities was to try to appease them, then appease them some more, and then even more than that. As a result, a lot of Ukrainians are already speaking about “Ze” being little more than a “Poroshenko 2.0”. More importantly, pretty much everybody is frustrated and even angry at Zelenskii whose popularity is steadily declining.
Factors beyond “Ze’s” control:
Still, it would be an oversimplification to bring it all down to Zelenskii’s total lack of experience in politics. There are objective factors which make any kind of resolution of the Ukrainian problem very complicated, even for a very strong and principled leader. Here are some of them.
1. The Ukraine is a completely artificial country composed of no less than 4 different regions: the western Ukraine (Lvov), the southern Ukraine (Odessa, Nikolaev), the eastern Ukraine (Donbass) and the north-central Ukraine (Kiev). It is important to stress here that these regions do not have well-defined borders so one map might show them quite differently from another one. Here are three examples to illustrate this point:
2. The concept of an “independent Ukraine” has always been based on strong ideological founding myths. For example, the expression “independent Ukraine” is a contradiction in terms since in order to be a “ukraine” – that is a frontier/border region, you need to be “the ukraine of something”, of some other entity, like say “Serbian Krajina in Croatia” or the “Siberian Ukraine” in Siberia. These myths include all the silly stuff we have already heard (the ancient “Ukrs” built the pyramids, spoke proto-Sanskrit, taught Buddha, dug the Black Sea, came from Mars, were mentioned by Herodotus [who himself was Ukrainian] etc. etc. etc.) but also a few absolutely crucial recent founding myths including:
- The Euromaidan was a “revolution for dignity” which was supported by the vast majority of the people of the Ukraine. All the shots that day were fired by “Russian agents”.
- The war in the East was started when Russian agents seized official buildings and guns leading to a “covert invasion” (whatever that means) of the Russian armed forces.
- The so-called “LDNR” leaders are Russian FSB agents, mafia thugs and terrorists who oppress the local population which does not support them.
- The Ukrainian armed forces defeated the “Russian hordes” and successfully stopped “Putin” who was planning to invade the entire Ukraine. The Russians still have such plans and are ready to strike.
- The new and improved Ukrainian armed forces are ready to liberate every inch of Ukrainian land.
- The White European Ukraine stands ready to defend Europe against the Russian Asiatic hordes threatening it.
- The “entire world” (no less!!) is united against Russia in support of the Ukraine.
- The Donbass and Crimea will be liberated from the Russian invaders and their local collaborators who will all be carefully interrogated in special filtration camps and all the disloyal elements will be eliminated.
3. Now this set of ideological imperatives makes for a very easy to understand “program” for low-IQ wannabe storm-troopers, but it makes for an insurmountable set of obstacles to the Minsk Agreements or the Steinmeier Formula (which is simply an explication of the terms of the Minsk Agreements). The fact that it was “their” President (Poroshenko) who gave his approval to both of these makes no difference to the nationalists. The main psychological/ideological problem is that the Minsk Agreements and the Steinmeier Formula both obligate the regime in Kiev to negotiate directly with the leaders of the LDNR. So far, nobody in the powerful minorities mentioned above is ready for such a compromise. Why? Simply because IF the government in Kiev finally agrees to talk with the Novorussians then the entire recent ideological basis for the Euromaidan (mentioned above) comes tumbling down. IF the LDNR leaders are not Russian agents and terrorists, then they represent the people of Novorussia and if the people of Novorussia have elected these people, then it is the people of Novorussia who want nothing to do with the ugly “Banderastan” which the AngloZionists and the Ukronazis attempted to impose upon the people of the Ukraine in a bloody (and, not to mention, totally illegal) coup.
The Russian narrative is winning
Another major problem for Zelenskii are two competing narratives: the Ukronazi one and, shall we say, the “Russian” one. I have outlined the Ukronazi one just above and now I will mention the competing Russian one which goes something like this:
- The Euromaidan was a completely illegal violent coup against the democratically elected President of the Ukraine, whose legitimacy nobody contested, least of all the countries which served as mediators between Poroshenko and the rioters and who betrayed their word in less than 24 hours (a kind of a record for western politicians and promises of support!).
- All, repeat, ALL the steps taken to sever crucial economic and cultural links between Russia and the Ukraine were decided upon by Ukrainian leaders, never by Russia who only replied symmetrically when needed.
- Even with international sanctions directed at her, Russia successfully survived both the severance of ties with the Ukraine and the AngloZionist attempts at hurting the Russian economy. In contrast, severing economic ties with Russia was a death-sentence for the Ukrainian economy which has now become completely deindustrialized.
- Now that the Ukraine has been completely deindustrialized, all she can export are either people or land/soil. In the case of people, we are talking primarily about cheap manual labor and prostitutes to the West and engineers and technical specialists towards Russia (especially engineers and scientists of the now defunct, but formerly very powerful, Ukrainian military industrial complex). In terms of land/soil, the party “servant of the people” is now advocating a new law which will do to Ukrainian land/soil what the famous “vouchers” did to the Soviet economy: put it all in the hands of crooks and billionaires.
- Crimea is gone and nothing will ever change that, least of all an attempt by Kiev to reconquer Crimea by force (Crimea is currently one of the most defended spots on the planet).
- While some western politicians simply cannot make a mea culpa and admit that they completely misread, misunderstood and mismanaged the entire Ukrainian crisis, most folks in the West are already seeing a very simple sentence written on their mental walls: the Ukraine is a dangerous failed state with only one thing left to plunder: the Ukrainian soil. In contrast, Europe really needs Russia on all levels, from energy to defense. This is especially true now that Russia and China are embarking on truly gigantic common projects.
- Russia is now strong enough to take on a combined attack of NATO forces. The LDNR forces are smaller than the Ukrainian military, but much better trained, commanded, equipped and supported and they are most likely to defeat any Ukronazi attack. Still, should a Ukrainian attack be successful and the future of the LDNR be at risk, Russia could stop any such invasion without even deploying ground forces into Novorussia.
For Zelenskii or, for that matter, for any other Ukrainian leader the above contradictions are unsolvable and every step taken in a direction of pragmatism, no matter how small (and ALL his steps so far have been small), gets an immediate reaction of outrage and threats by the hardcore Nazis of Poroshenko & Co.
Some of the threats made by these Ukronazis are dead serious and the only person who, as of now, kinda can keep the Ukrainian version of the Rwandan “Interahamwe” under control would probably be Arsen Avakov, but since he himself is a hardcore Nazi nutcase, his attitude is ambiguous and unpredictable. He probably has more firepower than anybody else, but he was a pure “Porokhobot” (Poroshenko-robot) who, in many ways, controlled Poroshenko more than Poroshenko controlled him. The best move for Zelenskii would be to arrest the whole lot of them overnight (Poroshenko himself, but also Avakov, Parubii, Iarosh, Farion, Liashko, Tiagnibok, etc.) and place a man he totally trusts as Minister of the Interior. Next, Zelenskii should either travel to Donetsk or, at least, meet with the leaders of the LDNR and work with them to implement the Minsk Agreements. That would alienate the Ukronazis for sure, but it would give Zelenskii a lot of popular support.
Needless to say, that is not going to happen. While Zelenskii’s puppet master Kolomoiskii would love to stick this entire gang in jail and replace them with his own men, it is an open secret that powerful interest groups in the USA have told Zelenskii “don’t you dare touch them”. Which is fine, except that this also means “don’t you dare change their political course either”.
So what might happen next?
The personal future of Poroshenko and his Ukronazis will be decided in the USA. If Trump prevails over the Clinton-Biden gang, then there is a tiny theoretical chance that a joint “go ahead” between the US and Russia could give Zelenskii the go-ahead to begin denazifying the Ukraine. I find this hypothesis most unlikely. Failing that, Russia will embark on a policy of unilateral actions and decisions. What might these be?
To answer that we need to look at Russia’s real conditions (as opposed to the official ones). They are pretty straightforward:
- Crimea is Russian forever
- Kiev will not be allowed to seize Novorussia by force
- The Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO
- Russia will not pay alone for the reconstruction costs of the Ukraine
- Russia can live with a unitary, but confederated, Ukraine
- Russia can also live with whatever is left following a breakup of the Ukraine
- Unless a viable solution is found, and in a reasonable time frame, Russia can, and will, recognize the LDNR and even allow it to re-join Russia (under what kind of status legally is yet to be determined as there are several possible options here)
They first obvious key question here is this: can the AngloZionist Empire do anything to prevent the Russians from achieving their goals as outlined above?
My personal answer is no, the Empire does not have the means to impose something different from what Russia wants, at least not in the Ukraine. This is not only because of Putin vs the clueless western leaders, it is simply that the Russians have a huge historical and geographical advantage in the Ukraine over any combination of western powers. True, Russia did pathetically drop the ball, but things are now clearly changing and Russia is now in a rather enviable position in which she can rely mostly on unilateral actions (such as handing out Russian passports) while letting the Ukronazi occupied Ukraine slowly destroy itself.
So what happens if nothing happens?
How do you say “Lasciate ogni speranza, o voi che entrate” in Ukrainian?
And since a (currently entirely theoretical) “united West” can’t do anything to prevent Russia from reaching one of the outcomes acceptable to her, neither can any Ukrainian President, Zelenskii or other.
Right now, the supporters of a Banderastan are going through the famous Kübler-Ross stages of griefs: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: currently, most of them are zig-zagging between bargaining and depression; acceptance is still far beyond their – very near – horizon. Except that Zelenskii has nothing left to bargain with.
The prospects for the future of the Ukraine are rather grim, at least in the short to mid term. What will actually happen is impossible to predict (it is much easier to say what will not happen), but here are a few options I find credible:
A collapse of the central authority followed by a surge in violence and a break-up of the rump-Ukraine into some entity in the West. The south will probably seek quasi-independence to make business with Russia while most of the violence will take place in the north-central region which is very polarized and only silent because of the fear of the SBU and/or Nazi deathsquads. As soon as Kiev loses control, these regions are likely to rise up. If that happens the current line-of-contact will become an international border between the LDNR and the rest of the Ukraine. Most UN members will not recognize the LDNR (fear of Uncle Shmuel) but one will: Russia. And that will be the end of the “independent Ukraine” as we know it.
I would never exclude a last minute patriotic coup or, even more likely, counter-coup by Ukrainian patriots in the armed forces, not necessarily one supported by Moscow, but one which will at least replace frankly rather demented Ukronazis with more pragmatic people. There are plenty of such people in the Ukraine, some are known and some are less known. If I were “Ze” I would keep an eye on Vadim Rabinovich, not because he is my personal ideal candidate, but because he is very smart and very well connected. He is not at all popular in the Ukraine, but he has strong support in the West and in Israel. Check out this rather interesting Wikipedia article on Rabinovich and see why he is a typical “мутный типчик” (roughly, an “unclear” guy – meaning somebody you would suspect of being a crook). He is unlikely to ever be elected by the people. But he, or somebody like him, might make a good “anti-Nazi” front-figure for a coup (or counter-coup) should the need for such a figure become useful to the Empire. By the way, the Kremlin’s reaction to a Rabinovich (or similar) led coup (or counter-coup) would be just like when Iulia Timoshenko came to power: they will work with any person who is a pragmatist and who can deliver on promises.
Finally, a war in the East is always, and by definition, a possibility for as long as a rabidly russophobic regime is in power in Kiev. From a purely military point of view, any Ukrainian attack against the LDNR would be suicidal: either the Novorussians will take care of the attacking force, or the Russians will. But either way, the Ukrainian attacking force will be destroyed. From a political point of view, however, such an attack might make sense simply because this would be a gigantic distraction allowing all the Nazi rats to leave the sinking ship and quietly slip away. Finally, there is no doubt that the Neocons have been dreaming of a (real, not fictional) Russian attack as a way to shock Europe back into total submission to Uncle Shmuel. This is also why I believe that a Russian counter-attack on Ukrainian forces might be limited to long range strikes (kinetic and electronic) and the imposition of a no-fly zone.
Conclusion Russia can wait, the Ukraine cannot
It’s really that simple. In fact, time was always on the Russian side here, even if not necessarily on the side of the people of Novorussia who have suffered through the horrors of this war. However, it appears now that the Novorussians have been successful in their efforts to turn a hodgepodge of more or less trained militias into a credible and disciplined military force capable of tactical and operational actions, in other words, capable of dangerous counter-attacks. Finally, Russian policies towards the rump-Ukraine and Novorussia are now all unilateral in nature, which gives Russia a great deal of flexibility.
With a weak leader like “Ze” the Ukraine looks stuck in the no man’s land somewhere between denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The faster the Ukrainian leaders get to the “acceptance” phase, the less the people of the Ukraine will have to suffer (not that anybody in the Ukronazi leadership cares about the common people).
At the end of all arguments and theories, there is a crucial fact which cannot be ignored: the Euromaidan Revolution (which is what the coup against Yanukovich and the subsequent civil war in the Donbass are) has failed. In fact, it was stillborn from Day1 being built on an ideology which most Ukrainians did not share. Furthermore, this revolution alienated the most productive and richest parts of the Ukraine: the Donbass and Crimea. Next, the Urkonazi regime was soundly defeated by the Novorussian insurgents not once, but twice. Finally, by severing all economic ties with Russia, the independent Ukraine basically committed seppuku. None of that can be reversed or easily fixed.
As always, in the battle between ideology and reality the latter prevailed. The outcome of this struggle between ideology and reality was never in doubt, at least not for rational, pragmatic, people, and so the blood and tears of all those who needlessly died, were maimed or had to become refugees will forever remain on the consciences of those who started this “revolutionary fire”: the leaders of the united West.