October 6th, 2015 –
Translated for Fort Russ by Paul Siebert –
“Patchwork quilt of “independent” Ukraine”
The loss of the Crimea and Donbass has taught nothing the politicians in Kiev”
The Ukrainian political analyst Vladimir Granovsky predicted the disintegration of the present Ukraine into two almost equal parts after the country’s joining NATO.
Granovsky cited the results of a statistical survey, according to which about 60% of the population approved of Ukraine’s joining NATO. The analyst also noted that the remaining 40% would be categorically against NATO, and this could lead to further division of the country.
“You say — “60% for NATO. And what about other 40%? After all, 40% is a lot. What will you do with this forty per cent if they are categorically opposed to NATO? To lose more territory?”, – Granovsky asks the logical question.
“Any attempt by one group to dominate the other will lead to conflicts. Donbas is an example of such a conflict. The Crimea is a horrific example of a loss of territory.
He urged the government to seriously examine their own actions, noting that if the people of Donbas and the Crimea voted against Ukraine they had a reason.
“Without the analysis of their actions the Ukrainian authorities will not understand why the population voted against the Ukrainian state. We can continue to lose the territory. A human being is given brains in order to think and not to shout slogans”, – concluded the expert.
He pointed out that Russia has managed to take the Crimea without a single shot, because the population of the peninsula was loyal to Moscow and not to Kiev, which did not want to listen to the Crimeans.
In response to a replica that in the case of the Crimea Russia simply “took advantage of the weakness of Ukraine”, Granovsky made a distressing forecast for Kiev:
“Soon Poland and Hungary will also take advantage of this situation”.
A new Ukrainian statehood that emerged after the collapse of the USSR was based on ethnic nationalism, linguistic and cultural dominance of the country’s West over the country’s Southeast”, – explains a political commentator Viktor Shapinov.
– The Ukrainian language was imposed administratively on the Russian-speaking regions. In these circumstances, it is difficult to increase “loyalty”. Although, before coming to power of radical nationalist forces as a result of the Maidan, the Crimea and other regions of South-East were tolerating the rule of Kiev.
“SP”: – Is it still possible somehow to retain the population of Donbas?
– Now it is impossible to restore at least some loyalty of Donbas to Kiev. People here consider themselves the citizens of the DNR and the LNR and, despite the difficult economic and social situation, remain committed to the People’s Republics. For the people to even begin to consider the possibility of returning to Ukraine a fundamental change of power in Kiev is required. Elimination of the openly Nazi elements is a prerequisite.
“SP”: – Could Hungary, Poland and Romania use Russia’s “Crimean experience”?
– The disintegration of Ukraine is a real scenario. In this situation, Poland, Hungary, Romania and, possibly, Slovakia might lay claim to certain territories. And, perhaps, take them de facto.
“SP”: – And how the West would react to it?
– I think that it would shut its eyes to the attempts of East European allies to enlarge their territories. Although, officially it could condemn such attempts.
“SP”: – And would the people of Galicia, Transcarpathia and Bukovina support an exit from Ukraine?
– Ethnic Hungarians, Romanians, Poles, Ruthenians, as well as some Hutsuls could easily support such separatism. It would depend on the overall situation. Prior to the coup d’etat in February 2014 only 15-20% of the Crimean people were in favor of joining Russia, but when it became clear who had come to power in Kiev — these sentiments were shared by more than 90% of the Crimean people.
“SP”: – Granovsky predicts the division of Ukraine into two parts? Only two?
– It is difficult to predict now. A line dividing Ukraine into two parts — conditional Ukraine and Novorossia — are easily observed. I would not go as far as predict the possibilities for further splitting. Maybe, some independent entities under the control of one or another oligarchic group might arise. We’ll have to wait and see. But the fact is that it would be very difficult for Ukraine to survive within its former borders.
– It should be noted that a hallmark of countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dismantling of socialism was capitalist exploitation and a huge contradiction between the sentiments of the general population, who created the national wealth by their labor and nationalist elites, which determined the agenda and the rules of the game, – says a former representative of the Foreign Ministry of the DPR in Moscow Daria Mitina.
– The only exception was Belarus, where a different course was taken. In Ukraine, these contradictions had been growing and reached their peak in 2013. I would not divide the regions into Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian – the fault line was “Soviet values — anti-Soviet values”, and the civil war today is not between Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians, but between the ideological grandchildren of Bandera and the heirs of the Soviet soldiers. In the “non-Ukrainian” or rather, the eastern and southern regions, these contradictions were more acute, because these regions, as an industrial and scientific basis of the Ukrainian state, felt discriminated against —imposed upon them was an alien system of values of the parasitic elite, which was based on ethnic nationalism and cannibalistic liberalism. By the way, the bosses have not realized it until now, and therefore they try to blame anyone — Russia, the Putin administration, Donbas, the Crimea, but not themselves.
“SP”: – Can Kiev retain the population of Donbas? Which steps should be taken?
– This question is meaningless for almost a year and a half — since 24 April 2014 (the date of the beginning of the “ATO”) it lost any meaning. The first drop of blood shed in Donbas was a watershed, after which it is ridiculous to talk about any loyalty.
“SP”: – What actions can the Kiev regime undertake to save at least the part of Donbas it controls now?
– Of course, it will be taking advantage of the truce and the absence at this stage of attempts by the DPR and LNR to retake the occupied areas. However, the freezing of the conflict is not a solution of the problem, but only a postponement for an indefinite period. It is very difficult to hold the disloyal population on the huge territory by force. The population is armed. Therefore, Ukraine can control the situation in these areas only with the deployment of army and reinforced police units. At the moment, they are somehow managing the situation in one way or another, but that cannot last for a long time.
“SP”: – How justified are the fears of Granovsky? Could Poland, Hungary and Romania use Russia’s “Crimean experience?
– This issue will be decided not in Poland or Hungary, but in Washington. Poland is in the orbit of American influence, and without an American permission it would not be active. With Hungary it is more complicated — it might take advantage of the sentiments of the Hungarian population of Transcarpathia, but these sentiments are not clearly articulated now.
The West does not care about Ukraine’s statehood. It will not be trying to save Ukraine’s statehood, but to keep its own interests. At the moment, it is more convenient for Europe to have a single territory for the transit of the Russian energy resources than some obscure fragments.
“SP”: – What will be the result of Ukraine’s policy to join NATO?
– This is a purely theoretical question — NATO does not invite Ukraine. Therefore, it is completely worthless to calculate what percentage of Ukrainians is in favor of the entry. The collapse of Ukraine, if it takes place, will not be caused by its entry into NATO. Poroshenko has also announced that so far NATO does not invite Ukraine, but it is something to aspire to.
“SP”: – Is it possible to preserve Ukraine as a state?
– Ukraine has not been preserved — the current Ukrainian Constitution refers to the Crimea, the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as a part of Ukraine, which are not both de facto and de jure. Further developments may have different scenarios, each of which is equally probable. The fate of the country, which has lost its national sovereignty, will largely depend on the factors of foreign policy.
And here is a comment from the Kiev journalist Dmitry Skvortsov.
“SP”: – Why Ukraine has been unable to create a common identity for its citizens in the west and in the east of the country?
– Ukraine simply did not have enough time. Another generation or two down the line and the people of Sloboda Ukraine and Novorossia would have identified themselves as Ukrainians despising (at best) the “Moskals” like today’s “truly European” residents of Zhytomyr and Chortkiv. Assimilation was carried out by the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, but also – in much more “creative” ways in the youth environment – by nationalistic grant-eaters. Resistance to forced Ukrainization was represented almost exclusively by enthusiasts, with their own hand-drawn banners. All national television channels were Russophobic, and Moscow did not create resources for spreading a positive image of Russia.
“SP”: – And why Kiev in all 25 years of independence did not make any efforts to increase the loyalty of the population of the South-East?
– It did not undertake anything because Ukrainization was successfully promoted anyway. In particular, through those Donbas oligarchs who held the region’s population in check. Suffice it to recall how meekly the fans of the Donetsk football team swallowed the replacement of the Russian “ё” into Ukrainian “e” in the name of the football team “Shakhter” — the symbol of the eternal confrontation between Kiev and Donbas.
Are they undertaking anything now? They are. We should remember how quickly the Parliament lifted its ban on the use of regional languages. We have seen this absurd show “The united country”, a deliberate and awkward attempt of TV and radio hosts to shift into Russian, to imitate some scanty humanitarian convoys to Donbas, to set up TV towers at the borders with the republics of Novorossia. But it is impossible to hide their Russophobic nature. Their spite gets to the surface. Hence the spontaneous bombing of cities, and the flow of hate in the Internet aimed at Donbas. Eventually, the blockade of Donbas and the Crimea receives almost complete understanding in the Ukrainian society.
“SP”: – How can Kiev attract the non-Ukrainian population?
– Speaking of economic measures, then it is impossible for Kiev. Speaking in humanitarian terms, then Ukraine should cease to be Ukraine. It was deliberately created by Austrians, Poles and Germans to destroy the identity of Novorossiya and the surrounding regions. Therefore, the puppeteers of the Kiev regime and Ukrainian ideologues understand: any flirting with self-identification of the people is suicidal for the project “Ukraine”.
Among these people there are not only Russians, but also Hungarians and Romanians, whose “mother countries” border on Ukraine. Even more dangerous for Ukraine are the Poles who hate it. They would have long ago raised the issue of their property in Galicia and Volyn (including whole cities), but “intra-European solidarity” in opposition to Russia wins. But once Brussels understands that the “patient is more dead than alive” they would immediately go in to grab “their own” so that Russia does not get it all. Here the forecast of Granovsky about the division of Ukraine looks realistic.
“SP” – Is Poroshenko capable of hearing the voices warning about the split?
– Petro Poroshenko and his American masters do not care a hoot about Ukraine. The first needs it as a means of enriching himself. The second needs it as a bridgehead against Russia. But the resources of Ukraine are almost exhausted. Therefore, soon it will not be interesting to either Poroshenko or to Washington. Only to Moscow, Budapest, Bucharest and Warsaw.