When it reads right – but it is still wrongSeptember 28, 2014
What to make of this Bloomberg article?
It lays out clearly how President Putin has defeated Ukraine, NATO, the EU, as well as undermining the international and regional law and security infrastructure well enough. The article makes the case that The Kremlin has won – offering up the consolation prize that Ukraine may yet become a democratic nation.
Yet whilst the Bloomberg article is entirely right in what it says, it is deeply flawed.
It is written as though current events in Ukraine are about Ukraine, and by extension the EU and NATO – but they are not.
“That doesn’t mean all hope is lost for Poroshenko: He can still try to turn Ukraine into a well-run democratic state.”
As has been written here on dozens of occasions – that is what The Kremlin fears for Ukraine – a genuine and consolidated democracy established within a major FSU nation that is an immediate neighbour, and one with which it has the longest possible history.
Russia already has both EU and NATO members on its immediate borders, Ukraine would simply be another. Spinning the usual rhetoric from the bowels of The Kremlin regarding NATO, or trade etc., is for western useful idiots to further disseminate in the hope of framing western public opinion to lazy to drill down to the singular core issue.
The issue for The Kremlin is internal of Russia and what happens within, if Ukraine manages to become what it fears the most – A well run, democratic nation. If it becomes that, then it spells the end of The Kremlin regime – regardless of whether Putin sits atop of it or not. The current Kremlin authoritarian and kleptocratic model then dies when Russians demand what Ukrainians would have accomplished.
There is absolutely no point in looking at Russia or its actions in Ukraine through a western lens. The only lens that matters regarding the Kremlin when either looking in as it sees itself, or looking out as it sees the rest of the world, is the Kremlin lens.
A fear of NATO? No. A fear of the EU? No. A fear of trashing international law and undermining regional security structures? No
A fear of democracy, rule of law, free media? Absolutely.
A large and immediate FSU neighbour that succeeds at democracy? That is an existential threat of no greater magnitude to The Kremlin.
Unless the western media and commentators start looking where they need to look, and through the right lens to understand the genuine and singular driver at the very heart of Kremlin actions both home and within its immediate neighbourhood, they will remain clueless as to what constitutes a real win for The Kremlin – and how it can be defeated.
Peer through the right lens and everything could not be clearer. Look through the wrong lens and be continually surprised by Kremlin actions at home and in Ukraine.
If the Europeans want to defeat The Kremlin in Ukraine it needs to send an army – an army of thousands of democracy technocrats on a permanent basis, stationed in every major town and city that has meaningful access to the presidential administration, reporting, advising, monitoring, certificating and implementing.