No matter how many new conflicts emerge and old ones reignite, Russian aggression against Ukraine remains on top global agenda. The Kremlin, in order to retain what’s been looted, tries to maneuver and continues its war mongering.
After discussing the "fate of the world" in China within the framework of the BRICS summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly focused on the conflict in the east of Ukraine and the supply of U.S. lethal aid to the Ukrainian army. Such attention to the issue speaks only of one thing: Washington is close to making a decision to start arms deliveries to Ukraine. Naturally, it is some bad news for the Kremlin and threatens to turn into a multiple increase in a death toll of Russian mercenaries in Donbas. It is no coincidence that Putin stressed twice as a kind of a mantra that the supply of weapons to Ukraine "will not change anything" and will lead to an increase in the number of victims. Obviously, the Russian president knows what he's talking about, and thus hints at his readiness to deploy the most modern pieces of Russian arms to the occupied Donbas, only to continue lying from high international rostrums about the new finds in the bottomless coal mines across eastern Ukraine.
In the speech of the indispensable Russian leader, there is a very important point. Putin constantly calls the occupation of Donbas a conflict in the "southeast" of Ukraine. On the one hand, this is not so bad and demonstrates a decrease in Kremlin appetites. Judge for yourself: earlier, Moscow wanted to control the entire Ukraine, then Ukraine except Galicia. After the seizure of Crimea and Donbas, the horizon of his dreams boiled down to the "southeast". On the other hand, Putin suggests that Russian militants from the captured parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions could send weapons to other "conflict zones". Once again: in the Kremlin's imagination the conflict is in the "southeast", not in Donbas; and in Moscow's logic, other "conflict zones" are peaceful cities from Kharkiv to Odesa. After the horrors of the "Russian world" in Luhansk and Donetsk, there are no more fools left in Ukraine, and no normal person can crave for the arrival of orcs and the "Orthodox" curfew in their cities. Any attempts by Russia to seize new territories will lead to an instant response by force, and Moscow knows this. Nothing, except for terrorist attacks, is left in the Russian arsenal.
There is another important thing. For the first time Russia stopped covering up their act by Minsk-2 as a fig leaf and openly demonstrated desire to retain control over the occupied Donbas. Reflecting on the fact that the Kremlin has never been against peacekeepers and even agrees to the UN mission, Putin has never once recalled of the document, the implementation of which is demanded by the entire world community. But even more recently, on Ukraine’s Independence Day, the Russian Foreign Ministry through its speaker Maria Zakharova said that UN peacekeepers are not provided for by Minsk-2, and complained about the "Kiyv regime".
It is only at first glance that it seems that Putin and the Russian regime are ready to make concessions. They say they agreed with the proposal of Ukraine for peacekeepers, and it’s only the question of where and how to deploy the mission. But in parallel lines, so many conditions were put forward that speak only of Moscow's cheating and the desire to water down the issue.
Putin's key phrase is that "these forces should remain along the line of demarcation, and not on any other territories." The Kremlin wants to retain full control of the Ukrainian-Russian border and continue to provide its troops in the occupied part of Donbas unhindered. The result of such a "cunning" somersault will be simple: Russians will shoot not only from behind the backs of Ukrainian children and women, but also UN peacekeepers.
There will also be attempts by Moscow under the guise of UN peacekeepers to legalize their occupation contingent in Donbas. "Peacekeepers" from the Russian Federation in South Ossetia who, being invaders, tried on a peacekeeping uniform, showed vividly what the result of such move will be.
Also, Putin continues lying and convincing everyone that the issue of peacekeepers should be negotiated not with him, but with his shadow, more precisely with the Putin-Surkov shadow – Russian proxies in Donbas. It's strange, isn’t it? The Kremlin gives these figures direct instructions, while offering others to enter into direct negotiations with them. What an extravagant trick by a “great” country.
But this speech by Putin about the conflict in Donbas still bears some positive points: the Kremlin is not yet ready to de-occupy Ukrainian territory but is ready to bargain on the issue in the UN Security Council.
The new platform is a new opportunity for Ukraine and the world community. The task is yet to be fulfilled to force Russia to peace.
Roman Tsymbaliuk, Moscow