Time for a change of tactics?

May 20, 2014

The Kremlin has decided –  (When? How many?)  – to draw back its troops at Rostov, Belgorod & Bryansk on the Ukrainian border.

It seems likely that the current gas pricing dispute will be settled between the two nations before 1st June.  The price being somewhere between the $268.50 Ukraine wants to pay and the $485 Russia demands it pays per the 2009 agreement struck between Mr Putin and Ms Tymoshenko.

As my entry yesterday stated, the leaders of People’s Republic of Donetsk have been totally underwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the people for their vision.  As bemoaned by Igor Strelkov, Donetsk separatists cannot raise 1000 fighting men – this from 4.2 million people in the Donetsk Oblast.  That tells its own tale – even if it is a tale that fails to make headlines in either the West or Russia.

That the secession seeking leaderships have such small genuine support and seemingly little hope of annexation by Russia as they have requested – combined with the Russian military presence on the border being ordered back to their respective bases making military intervention much less likely – the question is how long before these “People’s Republics” leaderships, together with their few genuine supporters, disappear into the mist?

Mid-June after any second round of voting in the presidential elections on 15th?  Perhaps before?  Sometime after disrupting the first round on 25th May?

After disrupting the elections sufficiently for The Kremlin to continually question the legitimacy of the results, and with seemingly little intention of annexing Luhansk and The Donbas, what use does the Kremlin have for “People’s Republics” in the immediate future?

Perhaps time to bury some stockpiles of weaponry and munitions and put those proven reliable souls involved to “sleeper” status pending activation again?  Further infiltrate the institutions of local governance and order in the meantime?

Some of those involved will no doubt morph from well armed petty criminals into well armed organised criminals – if they have not already.

Some will disarm should an amnesty occur and return to their previous lives unlikely to ever take up such a cause again.

Clearly without more than tacit Kremlin support the “People’s Republic” structures will not last long overtly – but covertly those structures can be reorganised and/or reactivated in the future if necessary.

Federalisation as The Kremlin wants it defined in Ukraine seems unlikely to occur.

If removing direct social and military threats from the list of immediate problems facing any new Ukrainian president –  temporarily, a return to the tactics of economic pressure, political subterfuge and perhaps more rigorously Kremlin sponsored uncivil  civil society actors?

A less overt but nevertheless continuous coercive front against Ukraine is sure to continue.  Goals have not been achieved.

Yet I still see nothing but tactics.  Strategy for achieving Kremlin goals in Ukraine remains absent.

Perhaps all will become somewhat clearer tomorrow after Mr Putin’s trip to China.

A massive energy deal that will provide for further rampant corruption as well as economic stimulus at home?  The confirmation of large military industrial complex contracts?  The complete abandonment of the US$ in Sino-Russian trade?  Renewed political energy within the SCO?

Russia would certainly be the junior partner in any strategic marriage with China going forward whether The Kremlin would like to think of itself as an equal or not.

A deliberate “second tiering” of Ukraine and the EU awaits?  The repercussions of that?



One comment

  1. It’s good that these separatists were stupid enough to have taken up arms. I hope they are hunted down and liquidated quickly as terrorists deserve.

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