Ishchenko: What are the real issues preventing a settlement in Ukraine?

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October 8th, 2015

By: Rostislav Ishchenko,

Translated for
Fort Russ by Paul Siebert

“Difficulties of the Ukrainian settlement and diplomatic maneuvers around

In order to answer the question why the settlement of the
Ukrainian crisis is such a difficult process, we need to understand one simple
thing – the Ukrainian crisis would not have arisen if the
Ukrainian ruling elite had been minimally adequate not even to the level of
management of a modern state, but at least to the preservation of its own
interests. Let me explain this. 

For Poroshenko Klitschko Yatsenyuk, Tyagnybok,
Turchinov and other authors, editors and participants of the Ukrainian
revolution as well as ordinary Nazis life was better, more profitable
financially and promising politically during the reign of Yanukovych than after
their seizure of power.

The above-mentioned individuals were politically
promising figures: Klitschko, Yatsenyuk and Tyagnibok were the leaders of
political parties with high ratings, Poroshenko was a constant contender for
the top positions, who had already been the Minister of Economy and Foreign
Affairs, the Secretary of the National Security Council. Turchinov oversaw one
of the biggest political parties, whose presence in the parliament was
guaranteed, and considering the inevitable defeat of Yanukovych in the elections
of 2015, he would be among the opposition leaders who would legitimately come
to power.

For Nazi goons, who later formed the so-called self-defense
forces of Maidan, volunteer battalions and other illegal armed groups, life
under Yanukovich was carefree. They could beat and sometimes kill anyone they
wanted and when they wanted. The maximum penalty was a visit to
the police station, where they were released almost immediately. The Party of
Regions was financing the Nazis. They also received financial and
organizational “aid” from Western friends.

Grant-eaters from pro-Western media and NGOs were handsomely
paid for a completely unprofessional work (only they considered themselves
journalists or experts). In addition, the Party of Regions was grooming and
cherishing them.

After the coup, the Nazis were
sent to the front, where the usual impunity instantly ended and they began to be killed too, what, in their view, is a gross injustice.
Grant-eaters were no longer paid (the criminal
regime was overthrown,
there was no one to
fight with). The most stupid of them, too, found
themselves on the front lines (many
of them have been killed), the cleverest became volunteers, but among
them the competition is enormous –
not everyone can get access to
serious cash flows, with the majority of them begging for socks and tinned stew.

The political elite discovered that by
seizing power it destroyed the country at the same time. In Ukraine, there is
no law, no order and no money left. In addition, every person in power has
earned himself a criminal liability with no statute of limitation (for crimes
against humanity and war crimes) meaning not only life sentences, but death
penalty and confiscation of property.

That is, all individuals and social
groups participating in the coup have received less than what they would have
achieved in the course of evolutionary development of the situation, while the incurred
costs are not just huge, but incompatible with the result. From the very
beginning it was clear that the collapse of the Ukrainian statehood created by the
Nazis would be as inevitable as the defeat of Nazi Germany in April 1945. The
timing of the collapse can be different, but the result is the same.

Therefore, all of them, starting from
the lowest Nazi goons up to President Poroshenko got involved not because they
were aware of all the risks and had a plan to minimize them, but only because
of their complete intellectual sterility. They blindly believed that the US and
the EU dreamed to use Ukraine as a strong and effective counterbalance to
Russia, which meant that “white men” from the West sailing on big
boats would pay for everything, arrange everything, help in every possible way
while the local chieftains would only have to change their attire made of feathers
and divvy up the profits. They continue to believe it even now.

In the period that has elapsed since
February 2014 nothing has changed in the mental organization of the Ukrainian
elite. They keep sincerely believing that they are of lasting value for
Washington. They also sincerely believe that Russia will overstrain itself
economically and self-destruct itself politically in two or three months. That
is, according to them, they have to be a little patient, to hold on a bit more
and the victory would be in their pocket.

I know that this inadequacy of such a
large number of people, who for two and a half decades have ruled a big
European state, might seem an exaggeration. But for many years I have talked
with representatives of the Ukrainian elite, and I maintain that they are even
dumber than they seem. In fact, they have often been saved just by their
stupidity while their partners or opponents could not believe in such naivety and
looked for some hidden meaning in the actions of Ukrainian politicians. Do you
remember how the good-for-nothing Kuchma took power from the hardened Kravchuk,
and then the worthless Yushchenko took power from Kuchma, then the orange camp
lost power to Yanukovych. Finally Yanukovych, who prior to his infamous fall was
said to be in full control of the political field in the country, gave power to
absolutely worthless characters. But it turned out that this was not the limit,
and we might expect such loony characters like Lyashko, Semenchenko and others.
Even the”great” Kuchma and Kravchuk run errands for Poroshenko. Such
turnover of power is possible only if all characters (from Kravchuk to
Semenchenko) are roughly equal in terms of their intelligence.

The second part of the problem lies in
the fact that our European “friends and partners”, like all normal
people, cannot believe that they are dealing with pathologically inadequate
individuals, who have never said a word of truth in their lives. The Europeans
know that a politician has to deceive both partners and opponents, and even voters,
but they realize that all this should be done according to certain rules. That
is, it is impossible to lie directly, because you would be immediately caught.

Therefore, during the first round of
negotiations on the Ukrainian crisis it was extremely difficult for the Russian
diplomacy to convince Merkel and Hollande that representatives of Ukraine lie constantly.
Paris and Berlin believed that Kiev is definitely stretching the truth, but
Moscow was also to blame. That was a strategy of the European “intermediation”
in the conflict.

The situation began to change only after
the second Minsk. After the second Minsk it became apparent to the Federal
Chancellor of Germany and the President of France that Poroshenko was not only shamelessly
lying, but trying to make them accomplices to his lies. And when they do not
show sufficient enthusiasm – he complains to the United States. And if Hollande,
who will not be running for president, does not care much, for Merkel it is
important to be reelected. Poroshenko has become an irritating factor for
Angela Merkel – a leader of the country which represents
the European Union. So irritating that even Washington’s arguments could not
get her to close her eyes to the escapades of the Ukrainian president.

In Paris, Merkel, who did not want her
peace initiative (Norman and Minsk formats) to fail because of the lying
confectioner, took a position that could be called pro-Russian. Even after the
departure of Putin and Poroshenko during the press conference Merkel and Hollande
clearly defined their requirements to Kiev:

1. To introduce changes to the
constitution with a real, not phony decentralization.

2. To ensure a defrosting of the law on
the special status of Donbass.

3. To make changes in the legislation of
Ukraine ensuring the realization of the right of Donbass.

4. To coordinate all these constitutional
and legislative changes with the DPR/ LPR.

5. To adopt a law on the general and
complete amnesty for militia and leaders of the DPR/ LPR.

Now Poroshenko must fulfill all of these
requirements. Then he will have to enshrine in law Ukraine’s refusal from
Donbass (in fact, the law on the special status makes the presence of the DPR/
LPR within Ukraine more formal than of Canada belonging to the British Crown),
and recognize the legitimacy of the current governments of the DPR/ LPR. Or he
can try to lie again. But this time he would be lying directly to Merkel. It
was Merkel, not Putin, who voiced the demands to Poroshenko. Therefore, these
are not Russia’s, but the EU’s demands. It is unlikely that the daughter of a
pastor would forgive the confectioner such abuse of her ideas about morality.

The only problem was that in order to
implement these requirements Poroshenko needs time. About half a year, if he
follows the Ukrainian legislation. To give Peter Alekseevich these six months the
DPR/ LPR agreed to postpone the local elections till the end of the winter or
even till March-April 2016. Kiev has already welcomed this decision.

Once Kiev agreed to the initiative of the
DPR/ LPR it stepped into another trap. Now, whether it will carry out the reforms
required by Minsk or not, the Minsk process is extended to 2016 (at least as
long as the DPR/ LPR do not hold elections). And any attempt by Kiev to change
something will be interpreted by Merkel as a derangement of the Minsk process through
the fault of Poroshenko.

Let me remind you that the extension of
Minsk was persistently demanded by Paris and Berlin without any objections from
Russia and Donbass. Only Kiev and Washington wished to close the format in
2015. The reason is simple – Kiev cannot implement the Minsk format. But it put
its signature on it. And the longer Poroshenko plays games with Merkel and
Hollande, the weaker is the European support for Ukraine. In fact, it is
nonexistent. To escape this trap, Kiev had to destroy the Minsk format and then
talk about the creation of the new one. 

Washington would be eager to join the
new format and to squeeze the DPR/ LPR out of it. The only opportunity for Kiev
to break up the Minsk format without entering into a conflict with Europe was a
termination of the format, which was due to expire in 2015. After Paris and
today’s agreement to postpone the election in the DPR/ LPR Kiev no longer has
this possibility.

As a bonus, now our European friends and
partners have a good understanding who they are dealing with in Ukraine and do
not have any illusions any more.

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