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24 September 2017
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OpinionForgetting Ukrainian blood

On the eve of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 28 2013, where Viktor Yanukovych could but chose not to sign an association agreement with the European Union, the Kremlin used every opportunity to return Ukraine under its protectorate. Then the Russian politicians stated that, even if this document was launched, the European integration would not be seen in Moscow as the final choice of the Ukrainian state. Now, after three years of fierce fighting, the death of thousands of people, the occupation of Crimea and Donbas, the Kremlin once again starts thinking that it is time to find a way to return Ukraine back to the Russian stall.

Since the military seizure was only a partial success, the re-enactors of the Soviet realities decided to try, as if nothing had ever happened, to have people sing songs - literally - the songs of the "fraternal peoples." This is how the flash mobs emerged to perform in railway stations across Ukraine the old songs from the joint Soviet past. In fact, this is only a tiny element of a much larger campaign: "Let's live together in peace".

The Kremlin once again begins to think that it is time to find a way to return Ukraine to the Russian stall

As early as this summer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, after the FSB-fabricated story of “Ukrainian saboteurs” in Crimea, accused the Ukrainian government of unwillingness to negotiate. Among other things, there was a message in the speech the leader of the Federation claiming that "the Ukrainian authorities" - that is "the junta" (the term Russian media seem to start forgetting) is switching to "terror" to "divert the attention of their own people from the plight of the economy." Obviously, the Kremlin decided that if they successfully exploit these tactics in Russia to wage endless "victorious" wars, they can also try to do the same in Ukraine. Really, the Russians are being told non-stop about some external threat, to make them forget about the poor contents of their fridges.

On many platforms, various talking heads in Russia keep repeating the thesis that it’s the corrupt officials and criminals who came to power in Ukraine. “See, even Europe delays visa liberalization,” they say. In general, they pursue the idea that Ukraine will eventually collapse under the weight of its own mistakes, and to avoid failure, it is time for Kyiv to turn back to the east. The scheme is simple: Crimea and Donbas were seized in a "fair manner" and they de facto remain Russian. The Russian establishment offers the Ukrainians to simply forget about that horrific period of the invasion, "to turn the page" so to say… After all, "everyone is tired".

The next step is the emergence in Ukrainian political elite of those who will also press on the fact that all the troubles of the Ukrainians come from the current government, otherwise, everything would have long be "negotiated with Putin". The Kremlin then will not refute these statements, and it is likely Moscow will assist in the creation of the illusion that hostilities can be quickly put to an end. The main thing is to repeat as often as possible the mantra of "civil war" and "there are no Russian troops there" on Ukrainian TV. These "new faces" will of course forget about some 10,000 Ukrainian citizens who died because of the political lies and the tentacles of the "Russian world". Just as Russia is forgetting about their dead, plugging the mouths of their families with threats and handouts.

Moscow is already inquiring, who can revive the pro-Russian vector in Ukraine's politics. At the moment, only the political "refugees" are openly trumpeting about it. However, it would be even easier for the Kremlin to set up a penal battalion "Novorossiya" using these shriveled political corpses rather than breathe life into them.

The Russian establishment offers the Ukrainians to simply forget about that horrific period of the invasion, "to turn the page" so to say… After all, "everyone is tired"

However, these “refugees” are now speaking up on various Russian TV shows. Former officials of the Yanukovych regime, who invited the invaders in their country, contrary to common sense, still hope that they will gradually awaken their followers in Ukraine, so that they could return. They actually hope to return without being jailed and even claim some power.

This is what’s important to keep in mind for the Ukrainian voters, as well as the Prosecutor, General who allows the fugitive ex-president Yanukovych to testify as a witness, rather than the accused, via a video conference from a Rostov courtroom on the anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity.

The Kremlin is not OK with the Ukrainian authorities in principle. Moscow was blasting Viktor Yushchenko back in the days, then Yanukovych – ahead of the Vilnius summit, and now Petro Poroshenko is in the same position. When a new president is elected in Ukraine, the situation will repeat itself. Any turbulence and loss of "control" from Moscow would threaten Ukraine with new rounds of escalation of the war. Moscow does not want peace with Ukraine because it does not want to see an independent Ukraine as such. The Kremlin will not be OK with any authorities in Ukraine - only their assignees in Kyiv and Lviv will suit the "comrades" – just like in Simferopol, Donetsk and Luhansk.

Roman Tsymbaliuk, Moscow

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