What is "Putinism", and is it possible to strike deals with its adepts?Roman Tsymbaliuk
Ukraine is a peaceful country. We don't have a "party of war." We do have "defend and not give up" party though. But this is not about war. Our country has been living a dream of peace from the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Crimea and Donbas, since the first day of hostilities. Petro Poroshenko won the election in 2014, promising a long-awaited peace. With the same promises in 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky grabbed the helm in 2019.
The new Administration is now trying to reassess the situation and understand whether a compromise with Russia is possible ("Just stop shooting").
Ukraine is a peaceful country. We don't have a "party of war." We do have a "defend and not give up" party though
The best way to get rid of illusions is to see what they say and do in Russia, where, in fact, one of the Kremlin’s offices holds the key to peace in our country.
The thing is that the other day the political elite in Moscow started to unanimously and publicly reflect on the idea of "Putinism." That's right, it turns out it’s a thing. So far, Russian authorities have come to the conclusion that it needs to be carefully studied. After all, this is a "well-functioning method of rule."
It would seem that we have nothing to do with all those "isms" (not to be confused with cretinism) that are being introduced in the Russian capital. But the issue was raised not by some empty "talking head", but personally by the ideologist of Russian sovereign democracy and, in the past, the omnipotent "gray cardinal" Vladislav Surkov. It is this man who is now overseeing "political issues" in the occupied Donbas and represents Putin at meetings of advisors to the heads of the Normandy Four.
There is an opinion that the competing Kremlin towers are trying to push Surkov away from the ultimate solution to the "Ukrainian issue", so, with the help of undisguised flattery to the Kremlin chief is declaring to the whole world the idea of how great Putin is.
Apparently, no one is arguing with this message in the Russian administration. A spokesman for the Russian president bluntly said that scholars and political scientists should figure out the terminology and explain whether it is a question of "Putin's ideology" or "Putin's approach".
Any turn away from Ukraine (not to mention a step back) will be perceived as an attempt to cast a shadow on the wise policy of the "father of peoples"
And here the question arises: if people who shape Russian policies in the Ukrainian direction reflect on such issues, is there any space for compromise after all?! Any turn away from Ukraine (not to mention a step back) will be perceived as an attempt to cast a shadow on the wise policy of the "father of peoples".
And that's not all. There is no sign that they are ready to soften their military policy toward Ukraine. Zelensky is already being branded "Poroshenko 2.0" as Russians claim that he, too, "caved in under the pressure of Ukrainian nationalists."
While in Ukraine people continue to argue whether "Porobots" or "Zebots" are better, in Russia these two groups are perceived solely from the perspective of how to push them into a death grip so that the star of the "collaboration” party once again shines (I mean the Opposition Bloc – For Life) and personally that of Russian President's crony Viktor Medvedchuk.
People who work with Surkov publicly express the idea that "politics is war", and that the Kremlin seeks only victory over Ukraine.
In their version, it is about the accession of Ukraine to the occupied Donbas. They know for sure that winners are able to rewrite history – what today is seen as fake news in 10 years can become "truth".
They seek to see us bend, and no one really intends to negotiate with Zelensky.
The word "peace" in Moscow is used only in conjunction with the verb "conquer."
I really wish that the president’s team clearly understand this.