Abandoning Pro-Russia Separatists Would Be 'Unforgivable' (Izvestia, Russia)
"We have no moral right to call for putting our troops into
southeast Ukraine. That right is given only to those who, with weapons and with
bare hands, defend the freedom of Novorossiya from
the puppet regime in Kiev. One thing is certain: we cannot pretend that the war
happening now right on our border is not our war. ... They are killing our
brothers and sisters. They are killing those who want to be part of Russia. By
turning away from them and absolving ourselves of the need to defend Novorossiya, we are only helping our enemies, and that is
unforgivable. ... This excuse is a weakness, and weakness in politics always
analysts shun emotion. Reading articles that pass through this section of the
newspaper, one rarely senses strong emotion - except perhaps when an author pays
tribute to the competence of a particular writer, or conversely, suggesting a mild
grin, when a writer isn't particular well versed on a subject he is discussing.
"Toward a War Preordained By the
West," is an exception. Kuznetsov's competence
is beyond question, and indeed, there is little temptation to grin. Nevertheless,
reading his column leaves me with an unpleasant aftertaste, as if like a clever
musician, my colleague had used sleight of hand to mislead readers through the
use of his professional skills.
begin with, Kuznetsov takes to task Vladimir Putin,
who in a speech, called Russians
"perhaps the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders."
Indeed, the president said this on March 18, immediately following the famous
Crimean referendum. At the time, hard anyone thought to subject his words to
closer inspection, but three and a half months later things are different.
the desire of the Russian elite is to dodge a head-on confrontation with the
West. Once again, the unfashionable argument about the division of the Russian
people rears its ugly head. What is even more important to elites is the idea
that the state
of Novorossiya, which has been proclaimed by ethnic
Russians living in southeast Ukraine, is a "proto-state" that
disrupts Russia, because they say, "it takes the topic of development, the
economy, and non-military intervention off the table," and in general
distracts us from, "resolving the important domestic and foreign policy
tasks of the country."
course, those who say directly that we don't need this "gift" of a belligerent
southeastern Ukrainian oblast, which offers us nothing but hemorrhoids, and which
should be left to deal with Kiev on its own, risks at least appearing unsympathetic.
Kuznetsov, though, is more cunning: he devotes much
of his analysis to recent developments in the Arab world, and in particular, the
new civil war in Iraq between ISIS [Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria] and the official government in Baghdad.
idea is simple: chaos in the Middle East benefits the Americans, whose task is
to "prevent the emergence of any force capable of challenging them or which
might slip out of their control." Kuznetsov then
casually compares ISIS with the state of Novorossiya,
and concludes that instability on Russia's southern border is a phenomenon comparable
to the civil war in Iraq.
addition, Kuznetsov says the West, by maneuvering
Russia into taking military action in the southeast, seeks to insidiously draw her
into the same pattern now emerging in the Middle East. This distracts Russia from
more truly urgent tasks like developing the Far East, attracting skilled foreign
workers, and building universities, etc. To substantiate his thesis, Kuznetsov is forced to revise Putin's statements about Russia
being "the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders."
Now the most divided people in the world are - the Arabs.
first glance, there is indeed some logic to this. It is true that about 85 percent
of Arabs are spread throughout eight countries, primarily in North Africa and
the Middle East. On the other hand, to call them a "divided people" is
a claim that many experts dispute. The fact is that Moroccan Arabs and Arabs
living in the southern Sahara, for example, differ far more than Russians do
from Serbs. One simply cannot compare Arabs to Russians in this way. It would
be more accurate to compare Arabs to Slavs, especially as their numbers are
roughly similar: 350 million Arabs and just over 300 million Slavs.
the first issue. Secondly, the Arabs don't have a state (and haven't since the caliphate)
that could be said to have largely determined the development of a civilization,
and lay a claim to superpower status. Russians have had such a state, and I
dare to hope, will continue to. Moreover, the power of modern Russia, given its
capacity to mobilize, far exceeds the potential of other centers of power on
the Eurasian continent. There are only a few that can: the E.U., India and
military dimension of a United Europe has been deliberately emasculated by its
leaders and its allies overseas, so that now it has been reduced to a logistics
and communications system (albeit a good one). India has neither the reason nor
the desire to challenge Russia. Beijing, despite the scaremongering of
hidebound Atlanticists, isn't interested in confrontations
with Moscow, and would prefer to strengthen mutually-beneficial cooperation (answering
why is a separate and lengthy question, but suffice it to say that there are fewer
major contradictions between Chinese and Russian civilizations than between
Russian Orthodox and Western Protestant ones).
there is another power center on the Eurasian continent that it would be wrong
to dismiss: Iran. Its role will be discussed later, but for now let's get back to
the constructs of Kuznetsov.
theory that a cunning "Washington cabal" is pushing Moscow toward
military action in southeast Ukraine in order to expose Russia to new sanctions
and isolation is not new. To varying degrees, this has been discussed by
everyone who feared that Visa and MasterCard would pull out of the country and don't
want to be deprived of the opportunity to jet off for a weekend in London or shop
for isolation, in the spring, when Moscow's position in relation to the Ukraine
crisis was firm and uncompromising, countries that had previously been seen as
either neutral (like India) or even vassals of Washington (Afghanistan, for
example) began to express their support. What's more, the enthusiastic reception
recently given to Putin in Austria shows that even the notorious West in not
monolithic in relation to a Russia that it perceives as gathering strength.
lies the central weakness of the concept of a treacherous Western plan to lure
Russia into war. In both Brussels and Washington, differing (and sometimes
opposing) forces are at play that have varying and often contrasting goals.
Just as it is in the Middle East, where, despite what Kuznetsov
says, there are powerful forces out of the control of the United States, as
there are also in Ukraine.
the Middle East, Iran, a Shiite country, is such a force. Improving ties with
Iran has been one of the key goals of Barack Obama's second term. This was to
radically alter the balance of power in the region by weakening the bonds
between Washington and Riyadh, as well as weakening Israeli influence on
rapprochement was made possible only after the de-escalation of the Syrian
crisis, when the United States, with Moscow's active assistance, declined a military
intervention in the conflict. It was at this point that the Lavrov-Kerry
tandem (Foreign Minister Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry) became a most effective instrument of U.S.-Russia cooperation,
and the convergence of the interests of Russian and American leaders allowed us
to hope for the creation of a new global security architecture.
was also at this point that a calculated blow was struck over Ukraine, which
destroyed the fragile new order in the Middle East.TheISIS attack on
pro-American Baghdad was certainly not in the interests of the "global
hegemon" - since the hegemon now
lacks a united strategy. The ISIS offensive was only in the interests of
powerful financial and political groups who oppose U.S. rapprochement with Iran.
it is in the interests of these same groups that the puppet regime in Kiev now wages
a war of extermination against Russians in Novorossiya.
The same war that, according to Kuznetsov, prevents
us from concentrating on our domestic problems.
when the last bastion of defenders fall in Slavyansk and Donetsk, when hundreds
of thousands of refugees pour across the border into Russia, when battalions of
national guard and squadrons of the extremist PravyySektor [Right
Sector] march into the bloody streets of the towns and villages of southeast
Ukraine, when American missiles are placed 35 miles from Voronezh and
Rostov-on-Don, will our program to attract foreign teachers and build universities
do us any good?
have no moral right to call for putting our troops into southeast Ukraine. That
right is given only to those who, with weapons and with bare hands, defend the
freedom of Novorossiya from the puppet regime in
Kiev. One thing is certain: we cannot pretend that the war happening now right on
our border is not our war.
Posted By Worldmeets.US
are killing our brothers and sisters. They are killing those who want to be
part of Russia. By turning away from them and absolving ourselves of the need
to defend Novorossiya, we are only helping our
enemies, and that is unforgivable.
excuse is a weakness, and weakness in politics always signifies defeat.
*KirilBenediktov is a writer and