Is peace in the Ukraine possible?
translation by "G' of М.Хазин, "Может ли быть мир на Украине?"
The devaluation of the Ruble and the Yevtushenkov affair have so saturated our mass media that it would seem desirable to stand aside and address a more substantial theme. Namely; under what conditions can the Ukraine know peace? Not just any ’peace’ but a peace without wholesale disintegration of the country into petty fiefdoms, without a bloodstained dictatorship, without ethnic cleansing and without genocide. In order to answer this question, it is necessary, above all, to look at Kiev and Donetsk.
They should be part of one state. However the 10s of thousands killed and the open exhortations to genocide which have been issued by the dominant political forces in Kiev (for example: the phrase ’Russians, clear off back to Moscovy’, which is directed at people who are not only currently inhabiting Lugansk and Donetsk but who have lived there for centuries, could be considered, formally from the point of view of international legal norms to fit the definition of genocide and, without doubt, that of ethnic cleansing) render such ’cohabitation’ within the framework of a usual state simply impossible. The people of Donetsk and Lugansk (we include the Odessa massacre, even though it differs, in part from the others ) will never relinquish their right to justice against those who are guilty of the massacre of civilians and, similarly, the Kievan nationalists are unlikely to stop uttering phrases of the sort: ’ We’ve barbecued that [Colorado Beetle] bitch.’ or other such endearments.
In theory the only way that Kiev can go back to normal would be in the context of sustained economic growth. In that case it might be possible to brush the nationalist slogans back under the carpet and for everyone to benefit from the resultant financial in-flows, but here Kiev has fallen into a trap of its own making. It is a simple fact that economic growth is only possible in collaboration with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. There is simply no other option. There is not even any real perspective for the development of agriculture; one would just need look at the example of Bulgaria, where the climate is noticeably more clement than that in Ukraine. Ukraine finds it impossible to compete with Turkey. Once the European Union association agreement comes into force there will be no means of regulating the influx of Turkish agri-business and the only profitable way to engage in agriculture will be in a vegetable garden. It is sufficient to look at the example set in that neighbouring former Soviet state, Moldova.
Insofar as Kiev has adopted a radically anti-Russian model, the chances of growth in that country are precisely zero. The European Union has no money and judging by the way that the crisis is developing the prognosis is not positive, and even if we were to look, more optimistically, into the medium term at the global economic situation, the European Union is most likely to help out the Eastern European Countries and the Baltic States before it bails out Ukraine. Nothing personal, just business.
And this means that Kievan Nationalism is going nowhere. It has no choice as it will be impossible for it to maintain its grip on power otherwise. Moreover it has achieved some success insofar as the United States has enacted sanctions against Russia and coerced its allies in Europe and the wider world to do likewise. There is only one problem: For how long will they be willing to prosecute these sanctions for the sake of Ukraine? Kiev’s issues will continue to mount, insofar as the only way that it can deal with the growth of democratic sentiment in the South East (it is clear that the struggle is for freedom and democracy, regardless of how discordant that sounds from the point of view of the contemporary Western mass media) is by the use of military force. It is far from certain that this particular problem can be resolved by military force.
In summary we can say that, judging by the development of negative economic trends, the intensity of internal confrontation in Kiev will constantly grow. In turn those wishing to live under their guardianship will become fewer and fewer. The cohesion of the Ukrainian state will melt like snow in the heat of the summer sun. As that happens the state will become more and more aggressive So we expect to see a contradiction in answer to the question that we posed. Is it possible to establish peace in the Ukraine?
I intentionally have not referred in general to Ukrainian nationalists, rather specifically to Kievan Nationalists. The fact is that Galician Nationalists and Kievan Nationalists are not the same. The latter always had significant sources of income (be it the budget of the USSR, Ukraine etc.), however the former have been forced to be much more pragmatic. Furthermore they have been unable to understand that they cannot hold Kiev. This is because any government in Kiev, in correspondence to their stability, will in the first instance, fall not upon the Russians in the Donbass, but rather upon the genuine committed nationalists. Today this is what Poroshenko is doing. This was clear earlier and I wrote about this earlier in the year.
Rather than being an idea (which moreover is distinctly un-appealing to the EU), Nationalism for Kiev is an instrument. There is no requirement for committed nationalists. The requirement is for cynics, who are happy to articulate nationalists’ slogans in order to gain control over the budgetary and gas revenue flows. Thus, regarding the situation in recent months, committed nationalists(which for our purposes we shall name ’Right Sector’) have come to look more and more seriously at breaking away from Kiev. Moreover, Kiev earlier distributed budgetary money to them (received from Donbass and other regions) and now there is no more budgetary money to distribute.
However Galicia by itself cannot breakaway from Kiev. Kiev, for whom the slogan (’for the unity of the Ukraine’) has become totemic, will never agree to it. This means that, as well as the rebels in the Donbass, there is also appearing a new force, which is also interested in the collapse of the country. In this way, from the above, we can formulate the picture below of the future Ukraine.
Should the Rebels from the South-East reach an agreement with the Galician nationalists, then they will take power in Kiev. In that case, the insurgents, proponents of the former Soviet Union and the slogan ’friendship of the Peoples’ will, through the creation of a multi-ethnic ethnic state, put an end to nationalism and re-establish peace in the Ukraine. Galicia, as it were, in gratitude for its assistance, would receive either independence, probably as part of a confederation or quite possibly full independence as a separate state. It is clearly difficult to imagine a state where in some schools they teach that Bandera is a fascist criminal and in others – that he is a hero. But that remaining part of the Ukraine will be a peaceful, unified state, entering, one would imagine the European Economic Area.
Should agreement not be reached and the insurgents not achieve victory (either by circumstance or by result of foreign intervention), then the intensifying confrontation in Kiev will inescapably lead to the break-up of the country into petty fiefdoms with a correspondingly low quality of life and norms of governance. At present we enumerate 5 of these; Novorossiya, Hetmanshina (Cossak, with Kiev as its capital), New Khazaria (under the control of the oligarch Kolomoiski) and Galicia. We also consider one more statelet, Transcarpathia which is likely to be dissected and integrated into neighbouring countries.
But nobody has said that the process of disintegration will stop there. Anyone who doubts it should read Bulgakov. The mentality of the people in the Ukraine has not significantly changed since then. It is difficult to even conceive how a normal man can live in these conditions.
If we believe that the best outcome is a united (that is relatively united, without either the Crimea or Galicia) Ukraine, a Ukraine which is peaceful and prosperous, it is essential that the insurgents take control of Kiev. Until this happens, the war will continue. Unfortunately, there is simply no way of stopping the war and preserving Ukraine until Kiev falls to the insurgents.