September 11, 2016 –
– By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ – translated by J. Arnoldski –
In a recent article, we analyzed the statement of the head of Ukraine’s foreign ministry, Pavel Klimkin, that, in his opinion, Russia’s State Duma elections are illegitimate. In the face of its head diplomat, Ukraine practically announced a boycott of the parliamentary elections in its neighbor country. Sure, Klimkin’s statement can be interpreted in various ways, including as a manifestation of his typical incompetence, but another fact has come to light today: the Ukrainian foreign ministry’s head’s actions are part of a plan to discredit the Russian government.
On September 10th, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko instructed the head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform Moscow that elections to Russia’s State Duma will not be allowed on Ukrainian territory. Earlier, on September 8th, the Verkhovna Rada appealed to the international community to refrain from participating in monitoring the Duma elections. The parliament called for the election results on the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol to be not recognized under any circumstances.
If the Rada’s deputys’ call went without a response from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then the Ukrainian president’s statement immediately triggered protests in Russia. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin stated that Moscow expects Kiev to officially take a position on the possibility of Russian citizens on the territory of Ukraine being able to vote in the State Duma elections. Some sources have said that the number of Russian citizens permanently or temporarily living on Ukrainian territory is as many as 80,000.
The situation is seen entirely differently in Kiev. Ruslan Bortnik, the director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Management Policy, spoke in support of Poroshenko and emphasized that the latter had in mind Crimea and Sevastopol, not the territory of the “entire country.”
Indeed, Poroshenko’s statement is quite evasive and vague. so that he can hide behind face-saving phraseology. In fact, however, the creation of obstacles preventing the citizens of a sovereign state residing in Ukraine from expressing their will is a gross violation of international law and basic human rights. This is especially true given that Russia has created all the necessary conditions for the 2.5 million Ukrainian migrant workers in Russia to freely express their will.
Ukrainian political analysts have rushed to the defense of their president. Otherwise, all of Ukraine would find itself in the unappealing role of a state hindering the main institution of democracy – free and democratic elections.
Nevertheless, the clarification from Bortnik’s lips is false and unconvincing. Poroshenko’s statement is the beginning of a campaign to disrupt voting in Ukraine, because Ukraine is in no state to actually disrupt elections in Crimea.
In general terms, it is possible to predict what mechanisms Kiev will use to realize this objective.
On the territory of Ukraine there is a Russian embassy and three general consulates – in Kharkov, Odessa, and Lvov. Recently, the General Consulate of Russia in Odessa was attacked by Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Only the intervention of police prevented the seizure of the building. The building of the consulate general in Lvov is also constantly under attack.
It can be assumed that Ukrainian neo-Nazis, with the tacit complicity of Ukrainian authorities, will start to intimidate Russian citizens in the run up to elections and prevent them from accessing polling stations or the buildings of diplomatic missions. This technique is not a new one – it was used by the German Nazis in the last “free” elections to the Reichstag in March, 1933.
On the diplomatic front, Ukraine will call for the results of elections to the State Duma of Russia to be unrecognized. The general trend is that Western countries a priori take Ukraine’s side in its conflicts with Russia no matter how illogical and absurd Ukrainian authorities’ positions are. This is how things went following the Ukrainian sabotage attack on Crimea, when even the most obvious facts and evidence were misconstrued.
Today, relations between Russia and the collective West are in a bad state, but they are not horrible. This is precisely why Ukraine will be left without a proper response from its Western “partners.” But Ukraine’s call will also be interpreted by the West as evidence of political freedoms being violated in Russia. Once again, when the conflict with Russia enters a more acute phase, the statements of the Ukrainian foreign ministry and Ukrainian president will be be met with a more favorable response and used, according to precedent, for new international pressure on Russia.
Thus, Poroshenko and Klimkin are carrying out the demanded, but rewardless job of their Western overlords.