№ 06 / CONFLICT ESCALATION
Why did the Minsk agreements, which could and, quite likely, would have resolved all territorial disputes in favor of Kyiv, did not work?
Unfortunately, there are very few people today who can look at the history of the conflict with an open mind and talk about it publicly. The treacherous invasion of Russia discouraged even those who were on the side of Russia “till the end” from doing this. Then let me do it.
Until 2014, Ukraine and Russia were bound by about four hundred agreements that created a possibility of close economic cooperation between the two states, which, in turn, allowed Moscow to exert more influence on the political elites of Ukraine than Western capital could.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow continued to provide significant financial support to Kiev, not only for the sake of strengthening its geopolitical positions, but also so that the neighboring people who think and speak Russian would not be held hostage by the Western economy or be a part of the geopolitical confrontation between Russia and the West.
After the Euromaidan on November 21, 2013, absolute Westerners came to power in Ukraine, who, unlike the Ukrainian people who want to live like Europe, implemented a secret plan for the geopolitical and economic containment of Russia.
The Westerners acted through the hands of nationalists, with whom Western propaganda of hatred for everything Soviet had been working closely since the 90s, whose methods of work in places were openly Nazi. It was the evidence of abductions and brutal reprisals against pro-Russian citizens that caused the split in society and the civil war in the eastern part of Ukraine.
Sevastopol is an absolutely Russian city that is a strategically important stronghold and frontier of Russia in the Black Sea. This fact is well known to our Pentagon friends. Could Russia physically hand over such an important object to a country that will be in NATO in the future? Of course not — everyone understood this very well. Therefore, in 2014, the annexation of the entire Crimean peninsula took place, an issue of the state ownership was acute even during the collapse of the USSR and periodically raised from the Russian side during all the Maidans, which, in fact, happened much more than twice.
In addition, everyone in the leadership of Ukraine and the Pentagon was well aware of the fact that a significant part of the inhabitants of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with financial and military support from Moscow, would not accept the new rules of the game nor give up their national and historical affiliation. Unfortunately for the newly elected Ukrainian authorities, the inhabitants of Donbass have much more economic, cultural and blood ties with Russia and have nothing to do with the glorification of Nazi criminals, as it was actively and continues to be promoted by the nationalist groups of Ukraine, at the suggestion of the country’s leadership.
The first nationalist punitive battalions of Ukraine, such as “Azov”, “Dnepr”, “Shakhtersk”, “Donbass”, “Peacemaker”, “Kyiv”, “Kherson”, “Tornado” largely consisted of the representatives of ultra-right movements, frank followers of the Nazi ideology and mercenaries, who handled the task of unleashing the war perfectly well, but with the suppression of the militia of Donbass they did not cope.
In the same 2014, political leadership of Ukraine was forced to sign the first Minsk agreements not for the sake of resolving the conflict, but for the sake of retaining their own power.
The first Minsk agreements, unfortunately, did not lead to anything, but the second ones, signed in 2015, were already able to prevent a military offense from both sides and concentrate a “lazy” confrontation along “neutral” territories that eventually turned into the usual process of disappearance of the budget funds allocated for military spending on both sides.
In 2019, after Vladimir Zelensky came to power, Ukraine set a course to restore the territorial integrity of the country. However, the new leadership of Ukraine did not follow the path of a diplomatic solution to the territorial issue, but instead chose to escalate the conflict by actively rearming and preparing offensive forces, which would have been enough for the brutal and fast suppression of the Donbass militia. Did everyone really think that Russia would stay away? Of course not. In the event of offensive actions by the Ukrainian army, Russia would be forced to openly enter the conflict.
Then why all these sacrifices? Why were the pro-Western Ukrainian authorities so afraid of fulfilling the terms of the Second Minsk Agreement, which was aimed to peacefully return the unrecognized republics while keeping their autonomy?
The answer is extremely simple:
Kiev’s recognition of the autonomy of the disputed republics within Ukraine would finally put an end to the bloodshed, which, in turn, would lead to the gradual lifting of the overwhelming number of sanctions against Russia. Therefore, both the political leadership of Ukraine and the large industrialists became hostages of the Western economy which dictated its conditions for joining the European Union and receiving material assistance, the need for which only grew after the rupture of partnership with Russia.
Is Putin guilty of what is happening?
Despite the fact that, like many Russians, I am extremely dissatisfied with the domestic and foreign policies of our leadership, I cannot afford to say that only one person is guilty of what is happening.
Of course the Russian political leadership made a huge mistake by launching a senseless invasion of Ukraine. However, the responsibility lies with all those who did nothing, encouraged and contributed to the strengthening of the “Western Ukrainian scenario”.
The war in Ukraine is a collective responsibility of all direct and indirect participants.