The concentration of Russian troops on the border, as well as statements by pro-Kremlin politicians and journalists in Ukraine about the need for "dialogue" with Donbass for the reintegration of the ORDLO, is a sign of the Kremlin's special operation. The purpose of this special operation is to realize in Ukraine Bosnian scenario, namely to provide a special status for ORDLO, which will provoke the federalization of Ukrainian regions. In fact, if this scenario is implemented, Ukraine will become an incapable state, on the territory of which there will be enclaves controlled by the Russian Federation, which will pursue an independent foreign policy.
I would like to ask Ukrainian "peacekeepers" a question, what will happen after the legitimization of militants from the "DPR" and "LPR"? If the special status allows city and village councils to create detachments of people's militia, and judges and prosecutors will be appointed with the consent of local authorities. Therefore, I would like to hear from the "peacekeepers" how Ukraine will react if its pro-Ukrainian citizens are illegally detained by the people's police and subsequently convicted by representatives of the judiciary in some districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions with special status.
By legitimizing the militants, Ukraine will, in fact, commit political suicide, because the ongoing conflict in Donbas will be transferred to the entire territory of our country. The Kremlin will be able to absolve itself of responsibility for military aggression against Ukraine by turning the international conflict into an internal one.
It is very unfortunate that the majority of Ukrainians do not understand that Russia's military aggression will take place according to a different scenario than in 2014. When Russian special services launched a special operation called "Russian Spring", Kremlin officials had the illusion that the military invasion could be disguised by a "people uprising" of residents of southeastern Ukraine. After the Russian special services created sabotage groups, these gangs had to take control of the regional state administration in the regions where they operated. The Kremlin's calculation was that sabotage groups, using force, would be able to force deputies of regional councils to vote for the creation of new regional executive bodies, which would subordinate the police and ask the Russian authorities to introduce the Russian Armed Forces into the south-eastern regions of Ukraine.
The Kremlin's key mistake in failing to carry out this special operation is that Russian politicians intoxicated by chauvinism, who are under the influence of the "Russian world" doctrine, their Ukrainophobia, heightened anti-Ukrainian rhetoric of Russian propagandists and war crimes against Russian mercenaries rising patriotism in Ukraine. People who consider themselves Ukrainians cannot be forced to become Russians. Even the well-known traitor of Ukraine Natalia Poklonskaya admitted that the chauvinistic idea of "Russian peace" is completely wrong, especially for Russia itself.
Now, after the defeat of the "Russian Spring", Kremlin ideologues are mostly discussing two scenarios for the conquest of Ukraine. The first scenario envisages the creation of two states on the territory of Ukraine - Western and Eastern, due to the creation of "Novorossia". This scenario assumes that the main blow must be inflicted by the Russian Armed Forces in southern Ukraine to cut off our country from the seas. The ultimate goal of this scenario is to sign a "historic agreement" on the unification of "Novorossiya" and Ukraine, which will result in the creation of a confederate state, which will be in the zone of influence of Russia.
The second scenario of Kremlin ideologues involves a strike on Kyiv, possibly even from the territory of Belarus. The capture of Kyiv, from the point of view of pro-government Russian experts, will lead to the capitulation of Ukraine and the signing of a peace treaty under which the Ukrainian government under pressure from the Kremlin will have to agree to recognize the new status of Crimea and DPR and LPR.
The current geopolitical realities, when the West shows weakness towards the Kremlin, do not leave much room for maneuver for Ukraine. From my point of view, in order to prevent the Kremlin's scenarios from being implemented, the Ukrainian authorities are obliged to address Russia and our Western partners with a proposal to place UN peacekeepers on the line of demarcation between Ukraine and ORDLO. Freezing the conflict in Donbas would allow Ukraine to free up the resources it needs for its economic development. Ukrainian officials should also make a proposal to the Kremlin that, if Russia's aggression ceases, Ukraine could agree to become a neutral country.
Of course, Ukraine must not forget about its "red lines", namely, under no circumstances agree to federalization and granting special status to certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions occupied by Russia. Therefore, the permanent neutrality enshrined in the Constitution under a mutually beneficial compromise with the Kremlin would allow Ukraine and Russia to coexist peacefully at the expense of a "cold peace."
A real "cold rain" for supporters of Ukraine's accession to NATO should be an article by a well-known American diplomat, former Deputy Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance Alexander Vershbow. In his article, "How NATO Can Help Ukraine Restrain Russian Aggression" for THE NATIONAL INTEREST magazine, he proposes a revision of Ukraine's strategy, as its dual position could undermine the North Atlantic Alliance and show Moscow the weakness of the West. Alexander Vershbow is convinced that in the near future Ukraine should not count on NATO membership.
After Vladimir Putin declared Ukraine's membership in NATO a "red line", most Allies are not ready to challenge the decision of the President of the Russian Federation. The latest example of this geopolitical reality, from Vershbow's point of view, was the rebuff given to President Zelenskyy by President Biden at a meeting at the White House in September. Vershbow also emphasizes in his text that no Western country seeks to provoke a military conflict with Moscow. The statements of the leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO, when in practice the doors to the Alliance remain closed, only demoralize both Kyiv and Tbilisi.
The former NATO Deputy Secretary General believes that if Russia manages to spread its influence throughout Ukraine, it will deal a major blow to the Western vision of a liberal international order. In his view, the Alliance should take a more strategic approach to Ukraine's security. This may be an initiative that will be a continuation of the Alliance's enhanced capabilities program, through which the Allies could help Ukraine defend itself and counter Russian destabilization, but this assistance does not extend Article 5 guarantees to our country.
The American expert insists that the new Ukrainian initiative should include not only military equipment and training, but also measures to increase Ukraine's resilience to cyberattacks, misinformation, economic warfare and subversive political activities. It is noteworthy that Vershbow offers to provide similar support to Sweden and Finland, as can be seen, the neutral status does not prevent cooperation with NATO and, if necessary, to receive security assistance.
According to Vershbow, Ukraine can be helped by purchasing defensive weapons, namely air and missile defenses, anti-ship missiles, combat drones and anti-artillery systems, through joint funding, which should become an official obligation for NATO. This strategy can be further supported by steps to increase NATO 's military presence in Ukraine, and may include the establishment of a joint naval training and service center in the Black Sea.
By implementing the Ukrainian initiative, the Allies could help Ukraine finance the construction of NATO-compatible military infrastructure, such as airfields, railway stations and port facilities. It is important for Ukrainians to realize that Alexander Vershbow acknowledges that the Ukrainian deterrence initiative will not be a guarantee under Article 5 or NATO membership through a backdoor. This should be clearly understood, from Vershbow's point of view, for both Ukrainians and Russians, namely that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO.
Unfortunately, Western experts and politicians do not understand that the main safeguard against Russia's aggression against our country is the rapid economic development in Ukraine, which ensures social and political stability. Without receiving large-scale economic assistance from our Western partners, when Ukraine was left alone with Russia during the Kremlin-provoked energy crisis, it is very naive to hope that Vladimir Putin does not want to expand the sphere of influence of the Russian Federation.
Therefore, Ukraine already needs to play ahead, offering its peace plan that meets its national interests, Russia and our Western partners, before it is too late.