Ukraine’s Plan C


30 July 2015

Ukraine’s Plan C

By Pavel Shipilin [livejournal’s third most popular blogger in Ukraine]

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

“We can’t live on credit anymore. If our economy doesn’t restart we’ll have only the third option remaining to us: fall to our knees before Moscow. That realization will come. To everyone. The important thing that it not come too late.” said Yuriy Lutsenko, president’s faction leader in the Rada.

And yet they are outraged by our permanent interest in Ukrainian politics.

Nobody ever doubted that Ukrainians believe Russia to be the aggressor, and consider themselves to be a separate nation. They’ve always known that once things get really bad, they can come back and show a little contrition–we’re their own, they’ll forgive us.

Plan A was to live on their own. Didn’t work out.

Plan B was to live off the West. Isn’t working out.

Plan C I am very wary of. And not because we are offended and want apologies before we start re-establishing relations. Well, maybe we do want apologies, but not from the current Kiev rulers.

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The main problem is that we’ve finally figured it out: any Ukrainian plan represents a tactically clever attempt to deceive.

Plan A was to deceive own population. Plan B was to deceive Europe. And, of course, Plan C aims at deceiving us.

However, since Ukraine became independent not only they changed, we’ve changed too. We don’t want to share or make presents. Remember days of glory while sitting on a bench together. Call each other a brotherly nation and break bread together.

Because contemporary Ukrainians, it turns out, view brotherhood in their own way. Not half a loaf but the whole thing. And without prepayment. On the rights of a poorly brought up younger brother, capricious, insistent, and ready to tell everyone family secrets.

So now I don’t even know how to react to Poroshenko’s proposal which he transmitted through Lutsenko. Because I did not expect to hear an offer to capitulate so soon. It means the crisis is deeper than it looks from the outside. Everyone surely realizes that Lutsenko did not express his own opinion but carried out an assignment from the president with whom he must be pretty close. He rolled out a trial balloon, so to speak.

And the proposal reads as follows: can we get free stuff if Ukraine returns into Russia’s orbit?

We can clearly see the ears of Gauleiter Jeffrey Pyatt behind Plan C–Poroshenko himself could not have come up with that. Washington is not abandoning the hope of drawing Russia into financing the collapsing Ukrainian economy. And as soon as possible.

No, guys, there will be no free stuff, your clever Plan C is doomed to failure. Please inform the Americans.

J.Hawk’s Comment: Even though, strictly speaking, Lutsenko said these words in context of encouraging Rada deputies to vote for reforms which might yet prevent the Plan C from becoming a necessity, given that even Lutsenko probably doesn’t believe any “reforms” the Rada might come up with at this late date are going to produce the miracle Ukraine needs. Therefore the Shipilin’s argument this was a trial balloon is a plausible, even likely explanation of what Lutsenko was trying to do even as he was couching his rhetoric in politically correct references to Russia as aggressor.

Moreover, this is not the only trial balloo…excuse me, trial Hindenburg to be rolled our in recent days. Gordon’s “Donbass is our ball and chain” sour grapes rant amounts to pretty much the same thing–how about we give Moscow what it wants and call it a victory.

Shipilin is also probably correct about Pyatt prodding Poroshenko to make that call. I’ve written earlier that the ideal world from West’s perspective is Ukraine subsidized by Russia and in a free trade pact with EU/US. Except now there is a sense of urgency which is indicated by the withdrawal of Azov and Donbas battalions from Shirokino over Ukrainian Nazis vociferous protests but with Pyatt’s support.

Finally, Shipilin’s Plan A/B/C framework describes Ukraine’s politics of the last 25 years to a tee. Ukraine’s lack of a genuinely patriotic state-forming elite means it is not a country that’s capable of existing except as a protectorate and protectorates, alas, cost money to maintain. I don’t think many people in Washington, Berlin, and Brussels realized just how great the upkeep was going to be. Even keeping Ukraine from defaulting is too much of a burden for them to sustain for a longer period of time. Therefore the West is resorting to sticks and carrots (US abrupt expansion of sanctions list likely has more to do with the final Ukrainian settlement than with the MH17 tribunal vote) in order to get Russia to play ball and rescue Ukraine from itself and from the West once again.

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