I fully agree with the idea expressed on the live broadcast by Sergei Datsyuk and Yuri Romanenko - we are obliged to consider a variety of scenarios. Consider in a non-illusory coordinate system. In a rigid, truthful coordinate system, corresponding to reality, and not to favorite domestic fantasies.
What exactly are Russian troops doing near the Ukrainian border? Spoiler - no, they are not furniture and not a dummy. So far, I haven't heard a single reasonable explanation for what's going on. The sounding explanations lead to the conclusion that Russia is bluffing, which creates a false sense of security. Untying the hands of both the West and Ukrainians in terms of mistakes leading to an internal conflict that is extremely dangerous in the current conditions.
In this article, I will describe a scenario based on a simple but non-obvious hypothesis. The troops concentrated by Russia near the borders of Ukraine are not yet an invasion force. And this makes the situation even more dangerous. Because the scenario of their use is still "invisible". Neither the West nor the Ukrainian authorities seem to understand what they are dealing with. Or strenuously pretend not to understand. But what is not entirely critical for the West is a disaster for Ukraine. And to miss this scenario or to remain diplomatically silent about it is the shortest path to such a catastrophe.
There is an absolutely non-illusory option, in which everyone will win - Russia, the USA, the European Union, but Ukraine will lose colossally. And, the reader may be surprised, but this is not about the Minsk agreements.
So, dear reader, let's go? Let's discuss.
There are materials that you don’t want to write, but you have to. This is one of them.
In June last year, I posted the material “On the fate of the Ukrainian experiment and strategic sanity” . I didn't want to write it either. Being a "black sheep" is not always great. Even more so in sensitive issues for millions of compatriots. But not writing is also very difficult. Because many destinies can depend on the unspoken. And it happens that time does not wait for the word at all.
That June my article described the likely actions of Russia in the Ukrainian direction and it ran counter to almost everything that sounded then in the Ukrainian information space. The subsequent reality was too much superimposed on the described assumptions so that I could afford to remain silent now.
Please, dear reader, be patient. I will describe in a sufficiently large coordinate system. Because it is the lack of a realistic understanding of the broader context that often creates illusions.
The day before, I watched a fragment of an interview with Alexei Arestovich, where Alexei said that Russia was afraid of a war with Ukraine. Probably, this is exactly what an official in a country at war, in fact, should say. Even if this official is a quality military expert.
But I have doubts about this thesis, and since fortunately, I am not an official person, I can express and justify my point of view. Because I have already lived in one country that has become a victim of illusions.
The repetition of such a story in the current circumstances is an option that threatens ordinary citizens of Ukraine (the reader of the analytics understands why I do not mention the elite in this context) a catastrophe of much greater depth.
We have seen a lot and could understand a lot on the example of Afghanistan. As a result of the Afghan catastrophe , the West, unfortunately, helped out very few of the ordinary Afghans. Although negotiations with the Taliban have lasted, in fact, for a long time. A very long time and long before the start of their final offensive and fatal denouement for many. And the West could have tried to do more. At least try to tell the people who entrusted their destinies to it more of the truth about what awaits them soon.
Do you believe that absolutely “no one expected” what happened? I personally do not believe. Some of the politicians, even many, could not expect. But politics is not only about a wide range of politicians, but also about a great many people who are fully aware of the nuances. From politics and near-politics.
So, about the thesis of Alexei Arestovich. I suppose that, alas, no matter how much we reassure ourselves, in every war outside its borders, where Russia has visibly participated since the collapse of the USSR, it has gained. That is why Russia is waging wars. Leads them simply because it works. This is the harsh but true reality.
Russia strengthened its position through the conflict in Transnistria, the war in Georgia in the early 1990s, the war with Georgia in 2008, the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas, participation in the Syrian war, in Libya, in conflicts in other African countries. And, quite likely, it will somehow increase as a result of the CSTO operation in Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstani precedent, by the way, showed a significantly and remarkably increased speed and flexibility of Russian actions, i.e. readiness for much more complex games. This is increasingly no longer the clumsy style of the USSR, but powerful, daring and productive multi-moves.
West participation in military conflicts has led, in recent times, to the outflow of "resource". Russia - to a constant influx. Therefore, it does not bluff, but plays. Every now and again.
Speaking of resourceful. Due to the increasingly sophisticated “gas” and, more broadly, fuel wars, Russia, again, wins a lot. And all that the West has countered to this challenge right now is its weighty wallet. Moreover, in general, few people were worried about what “union” Ukraine would do in these conditions (even after the economic covid knockdown), which does not have the bottomless purse of the ECB at its disposal. Germany, for example, calmly stopped its nuclear power plants just in time, without looking back at the fuel crisis and energy prices. After Nord Stream-2, one should not be surprised at German pragmatism in Ukraine. The show must go on. I refer to the "green transition".
In general, you can add a couple of words about the transition. To even less illusions. And for the sake of completeness. The dramatic de-industrialization of Ukraine, in its most varied forms, has long and frankly been encouraged from outside. Although it led to a deterioration in the economic situation in Ukraine. Yes, to millions of people who were dying in poverty - without basic services, medicines, etc.
Do Ukrainians in this case naively think that “no one expected”, “no one knew”? All significant figures in politics are well aware of such things. Society does not know, does not think. It is so comfortable. And it is more convenient for politicians in leading countries to pretend that they, as their society, do not understand. It is more convenient for them to treat such things like rain. It's raining and there's nothing you can do about it.
Yes, when in the West one job is “knocked out” with battles, in the developing world 5 or 10 can disappear (simply because of the difference in wages). Markets are global and not dimensionless. Created in one place, dropped in another. In developing countries, losing a job can mean starvation. But rain is rain.
Injected vaccines that also protected the most protected of the inhabitants of developed countries were not provided even to the most vulnerable inhabitants of developing countries. And WHO still reminds of this nuance, raising the problem of discrimination. But rain is rain.
And if you look at the problem of emissions through the prism of realism, you can see that... Being at a similar level of development with Ukraine (now you can forget about it) China, India, Turkey and Co. were rapidly increasing emissions, while Ukraine was rapidly reducing it. China, India, Turkey and Co. reaped numerous benefits of economic and technological growth, Ukraine received penny compensation.
Global carbon dioxide emissions by country 1990-2017
Yes, it is quite obvious that the “green transition” was originally not only about caring for nature, but also about merciless competition in the now global market. About an attempt to preserve superiority. About technologies that, like vaccines, are available to some and inaccessible or almost inaccessible to others.
That is why the money of the West was pumped into the aforementioned Afghanistan in huge quantities and irrevocably. It was not a competitor in anything... Stop. Why only Afghanistan? Our neighbors in Eastern Europe have received and continue to receive huge injections from EU funds (which, of course, is reasonable and correct). But the main part of the funds was received by Ukraine - that is by us - at interest rates. And these loans, and these interest were regularly returned. This is what business looks like, not help.
Okay. Here the West can be understood. Our guest workers, who create GDP for more developed countries, transferred $14 billion to Ukraine last year. 20 times as tranches of the IMF. Well, why give something for free to those who can't manage $14 billion of infusions from outside a year? It's illogical.
The IMF's anti-covid aid to the affected economy of the world turned out to be many times less than originally promised. And it was not even distributed according to the principle that was originally intended. Because competition is the reality of the modern world, and political slogans are just slogans.
There is another, moreover, a very big problem, which ordinary citizens and even non-ordinary citizens in Ukraine are not aware of. And those who may be aware, will hardly say out loud. Because people who are able to understand such things usually dream of a career or are already doing it. And a career in Ukraine for 30 years has been made on the desire not to argue with anyone in the "abstract" national interests.
And here is the problem. For all 30 years of Ukrainian independence, the West continues to fight against the already non-existent USSR . There is no USSR, but the West is at war with it. Not just with Russia, we don't need to flatter ourselves. Exactly with the USSR.
It happened when Ukraine was fastly getting rid of nuclear weapons. Then it was obvious that they finished off the USSR, they just didn’t call it like that. And then the Ukrainians generally stopped to understand what was happening, although for those who see and understand, it remained extremely noticeable even further.
When the States pushed Kuchma on "Kolchuga" (signals intelligence system - ed), which, as you may remember, no one has found at the right address, it was not only about competition in the arms market. The West continued to fight with the non-existent USSR. With the Ukrainian remnants of its military-industrial complex. Because suddenly it will merge into something new again?!
In the midst of the 2019 presidential campaign, a specific, but still interesting, analysis surfaced, conducted by the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise and later presented at a meeting of the Interim Commission of Inquiry of the Rada. The document indicated exactly how much equipment was “removed from the combat depot of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” from 1991 to 2014. All this was artificially tied to the ministers of defense, and it is clear why. One of the candidates, an ex-minister, molested another candidate, the then president of Ukraine.
In fact, it is hardly a secret for anyone that this issue has traditionally been tied to the first person in the country. Who was the first person? Definitely pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko.
And now, after the events at Tuzla... Hundreds of now invaluable anti-aircraft systems, including S-300s, Buks, Tors, Tunguskas, etc., hundreds of expensive combat aircraft (!), dozens of powerful and long-range fuel dispensers "Tochka" left the Armed Forces of Ukraine. With ammunition. For one presidential cadence. Moreover, the disarmament of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was in full swing after the extremely difficult war for Georgia in 2008, which clarified a lot.
The most valuable Ukrainian weapons, many of which Ukraine could no longer produce (and buy at real market prices, too), were dumped at a price slightly more expensive than scrap metal. And until 2014, there was nothing left.
Please understand me correectly. I'm not talking about Yushchenko's malicious intent. He is beyond any slightest doubts, a patriotic president and would not wish harm to his country. Seriously. But Viktor Andreevich tried with all his might to do what seemed to him economically feasible. Which, our “advisors” explained to us as the most economically feasible. But, unfortunately, not everyone cared about the future security of Ukrainians. As in the case of nuclear weapons in exchange for the frivolous Budapest Memorandum.
What were they concerned about? About how to reduce the threat on the eastern border of the EU. Because the West continued de facto to consider the post-Soviet territory as a space where the USSR could be reborn. So, the weaker everything is, at least militarily, the better .
This deeply erroneous, morally dubious, but real and poorly understood position in Ukraine has not been completely corrected by the West to this day. And it cost for Ukraine a lot. Because we regularly see the actions (or threats) of the West aimed at weakening Russia, but we hardly see any actions aimed at real strengthening of Ukraine.
In the logic of the fight against the mythical (it is no longer possible) revival of the USSR, even a war between Russia and Ukraine for many in Europe or beyond is not that evil. The "ghost" of not communism, but the supposedly resurgent USSR will "weaken" as a result of such a war. And the more fierce the war, the more it will weaken. Just like that... In the myth of the USSR, in fact, if you look closely, there are more sides than one.
But there is a nuance. The United states, do not care about large-scale flow of refugees from Ukraine in case of a dramatic denouement, but the European Union would not like it definitely. And who has played on this topic more than once in recent years? Whose hand is actually on the switch right now?