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Bolshevik Building Blocks (History repeating?)

April 14, 2014

Only two weeks ago I wrote an entry – not for the first time – mentioning the possibility that The Kremlin was seeking to create situation mirroring the instability that has forever surrounded Bosnia-Herzegovina for Ukraine.

That will certainly be an option following what are likely to be entirely fruitless talks between the USA, EU, Ukraine and Russia on 17th April.

I see no way Ukraine can accommodate many – if any – Kremlin demands, either in part or in full other than some previously announced devolution of powers to the regions and persevering the existing language laws.

In no way can Ukraine grant individual regions the ability to create their own foreign policy, or agree to formal federalisation breaking the nation into nice bite-sized chunks for The Kremlin to feast itself upon when it has the urge to do so – or threaten to feed upon should Kyiv challenge The Kremlin’s view of what it should be doing at some time in the future.

However, it comes as little surprise that the “little green men” that appeared in Crimea have now started to appear in eastern Ukraine.  The little green men very professionally taking over State buildings in a manner far more practiced than last weeks efforts in eastern Ukraine – though both were successful.

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Similarities abound in appearance, weaponry and method – though similar outcomes may not necessarily manifest themselves or be desired within The Kremlin – at least yet.  Clearly these actions would seem a brazen attempt by The Kremlin to bolster its negotiating hand for the 17th.

Ultimately Ukraine has but one good choice regarding its future – to go its own way and refuse the collar and leash being forced upon it again.  In doing so, Ukraine must also try and navigate no obvious good choices in the current circumstances.

To do nothing allows Kremlin realities to take hold on the ground – again – just like Crimea.  To confront those realities with force will eventually provide The Kremlin with the excuse it has been trying to provoke for more than a month.  To crumble to Kremlin demands with such an overwhelming number of the population clearly unwilling to cede to Kremlin rule – either de facto or de jure – is also not an option.

Dispersing such small numbers of patriotically challenged locals and Kremlin insurgents to the four winds is not really an option when considering Kremlin command and control is running the show in eastern Ukraine.  Reorganisation a simple task.  Containment is therefore the only option – but an option that allows for temporary facts on the ground to become embedded and possibly permanent as occurred in Crimea.

In short Ukraine has little option other than to try and change the situation on the ground – carefully – prior to any negotiations or face another Kremlin driven fait accompli – the longer it waits to do so, the more difficult it will be.  The question is whether undoubted casualties would initiate Russian armour crossing the border in a perverted interpretation of “Right to Protect”?  If that happens war would seem inevitable and if Europe worries over illegal migration, the number of refugees would dwarf it.

The manner in which this is all occurring seems so very reminiscent of Bolshevik methodology when  dismembering Ukraine post 1917.  The declaring of soviet republics in regions, following up with the threat of and/or use of force.  A case of history repeating – or at least methodology mirroring – this time dismembering town by town and city by city?

Somewhere in amongst the works of Ivan Ilyin, the Bolshevik building blocks of post 1917, and the unstable situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is a range of outcomes for Ukraine at the hands of The Kremlin should it get its way either in part or in full.  If it takes The Kremlin a decade or two in order to fully realise its desires in Ukraine – then that is what it will do.  Giving up on Ukraine is not a Kremlin option.

None of this is especially appealing – but its prevention is going to cause severe and unavoidable  pain, perhaps giving the appearance of haplessness at times.  With no easy route forward, and no desire to go backward despite Kremlin wishes, it appears the only sensible option is to stand firm as robustly as is necessary on a day to day, week to week basis – for a very long time to come.

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