Archive for March 31st, 2014

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Why don’t I write about Russia more?

March 31, 2014

After answering a large number of similar questions yesterday relating to what I thought the future of Ms Tymoshenko holds – within 13 hours of writing it this part became a reality – though I had given advanced warning prior to that entry of yesterday that such a merger/coalition was inevitable:

“At this point, as I have written before, we should be expecting Poroshenko and Vitaly Klitschko’s UDAR to merge or join forces prior to the RADA elections. This will provide Poroshenko with a recongised party that has a very active regional infrastructure capable of producing local candidates. For UDAR it provides finance for the RADA elections.

I do not discount the possibility of Klitschko withdrawing from the presidential race with both he and thus UDAR backing Poroshenko in return for a Solidarity-UDAR coalition guarantee in the RADA. It seems logical for all concerned and may result in a first round victory for Petro Poroshenko large enough to dismiss the need for a second round – a result that would underline in no uncertain terms the legitimacy of the candidate within the Ukrainian voting constituency.

If that be the case, Klitshcko may run (again) for Mayor of Kyiv in order to try and mitigate the candidacy of Yuri Lutsenko whom Ms Tymoshenko has encouraged to run for that position – thus beheading her attempt to control the capital.”

Not especially surprising that is what came to pass – or particularly prophetic – for the reasons I gave – it was simply logical.  Whether the rest of what I wrote comes true, we will have to wait and see.

But there has been another regular question from readers that is deserving of an answer –  Why don’t I write about Russia more?

Perhaps a good question considering the military build up on Ukrainian borders, agent provocateurs and (unfortunately outstandingly effective) propaganda campaigns etc.

Well firstly I thought I had written about  The Kremlin quite a lot over the past few months – at least enough to be commensurate to the threats posed, tactics used/to be used and ultimate goal.

Secondly I write a lot – and not only free to read, less than erudite, unedited offerings such as this blog.  I think of this blog as nothing more than a place to write a few thoughts that I may refer to later – or not – and are there for others to read if they are bored.

Anyway, back in January – long before the fall of ViktorYanukovych or the illegal annexation of Crimea – I predicted The Kremlin goal would be the federalisation of Ukraine in order to either break bits off, continually threaten to break bits off, create pseudo Russian protectorates and subsequently control any Ukrainian government should it allow the nation to become too “Europeanised” and upset Kremlin sensibilities which as a result would threaten to stir up secessionist sentiment.

There is also the permanent threat of annexation under the same pretext as Crimea as well as economic and trade “sanctions” under the guise of various false facades – as has happened before.

What more is there to say?  The broad thrust of The Kremlin desires and tactics has already been written.  At best an Austrian solution without the friendly geographical location.

I know I have not mentioned strategy, only the goal of federalising Ukraine and the tactics of what can be collectively defined as “destabilisation” – but that is because I am yet to identify an overarching strategy to achieve the federalisation goal.  I see only destabilising tactics whilst a defined strategy is being worked out.

We can expect The Kremlin to now try and mirror its diplomatic and political actions that followed Georgia in 2008 – whilst it thinks of a strategy that would prove successful – in the hope that the western world will do as it did in 2008 and simply accept the realities on the ground and move on – a mistake then, and hopefully not a mistake it will make again now.

We must also hope that the western world is not bought off by a political hollow success story, such as the chemical weapons diversion in Syria, that has allowed the regime to continue its crimes against its own people.  Every political and diplomatic conversation with Russia must include reference to the illegal annexation of Crimea – The issue cannot be allowed to pass.

gandalf

The Kremlin goal will remain consistent.  Ukraine and the western world must remain fully conscious of that, regardless of whether The Kremlin goal can be achieved next week or ten years from now (whilst ever Mr Putin remains in charge, and possibly afterward too) that goal will not change.

In reply to The Kremlin question asked of Ukraine,  there can only be a singular Ukrainian answer (hopefully with the assistance over the next five to ten years from Ukraine’s friends).  That answer must be robust, unwavering and most importantly, it has to be seen to be Ukrainian led.   The Kremlin must see a strong, unshakable Ukrainian response.

That Ukrainian answer is that it will become many of the things The Kremlin doesn’t want it to be – starting with being a genuine and consolidated democracy with rule of law, all basic human rights adhered to with integrity, a free media, balanced economy, responsive, good and transparent governance, and the robust rejection federalisation to negate all the reasons The Kremlin wants to impose it.

The Ukrainian answer also has to be to clean out and rebuild its corrupt, compromised and in some cases infiltrated institutions of State – and that means almost every single institution needs critical attention – as I repeatedly tell anybody who will listen.

I have lost count of how often I bang the “institutions of State” drum with EU MEPs who seem intent on concentrating on civil society or the political class in the hope of horizontal or top down instigated institutional change.  I will be frank, I know quite a few heads of local institutions of State in Odessa and most would very much welcome somebody helping them plant and enforce “keep of the grass” signs for the political class to adhere to.

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Oversight is one thing – the wanton trespassing upon the lawns of institutional pillars – as currently occurs – is quite another.  Particularly so as more often than not, that wanton trespassing is for nefarious reasons.  In short the Ukrainian institutions of State need direct assistance.

Just as The Kremlin goal regarding Ukraine will not change until it is achieved, the Ukrainian answer cannot be any less robust.  It will take years – perhaps a decade – before that answer will be understood as unequivocal to The Kremlin strategists and planners.  Even then it won’t prevent the pursuit of the Kremlin goal as long as the subjugation of Ukraine remains that goal.

As The Kremlin question of Ukraine is known and will not change – I prefer to concentrate upon the Ukrainian answer when I write.  Until The Kremlin arrives at an identifiable strategy, uses military force within Ukraine (outside of the Crimean peninsula), or really ramps up efforts to destabilise Ukraine far beyond current levels, there is little more of any importance to say about Ukraine’s large neighbour.

Instead of concentrating upon the Kremlin disease,  I will continue to look at the Ukrainian cure.  I trust that answers the question asked of me.

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