The State Duma of Russia adopted a Statement "On the escalation of situation in Ukraine" on October 18. It is revealing that the document with the same name had already been adopted in Moscow at the end of January 2014, that is, at the height of the Maidan. Now the Russian deputies are again concerned about the situation in the "fraternal", as they wrote in 2014, country. We remember how a couple of months after that, the "brothers" cut off our Crimea and part of the Donbass. Brotherly. What has suddenly stimulated the Russian Duma members in the period of autumn escalations?
Judging by the text of the statement, this is, first of all, Ukraine's withdrawal from the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate and, believe it or not, liberation of Donbass by Ukrainian troops, expected by Russia. Moreover, Deputy of Duma Committee on CIS Affairs and Relations with Compatriots Konstantin Zatulin announced the latter on the air of Russia-1 at the end of September.
"We are really preparing a draft statement in the State Duma, I hope that colleagues will support me, - and in this case, we warn Ukraine that if all these games, connected in many ways with the expectation of those elections where Poroshenko does not risk getting anything, like Yushchenko in 2010…
We warn Ukraine and its authorities. If they try on the pretext of showing themselves as heroes in the eyes of certain part of the electorate and starting a new war in the Donbass, a large-scale. They have already gone down this path, killing Zakharchenko. We warned, agreeing and supporting the idea that the election will be held in the DNR in November, and they will be held – this is the first warning you have been given. And the next warning is that if you do this, Russia will do the same as it did in 2008, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia. That is, it will recognize the DNR and LNR. It will not have another choice", - the Russian deputy stated.
It is curious that in spite of the threats of Zatulin, the Russian Duma did not dare to declare the possible recognition of the puppet "republics" directly, having softened the wording of the statement to an "adequate response".
"The State Duma is confident that an attempt at a new large-scale military offensive by Ukraine in the Donbass, together with new facts of murders and terrorist acts against its population, will receive an adequate response and will inevitably lead to disastrous consequences", - the document said.
Why the Russian deputies did not write for whom these consequences would be disastrous: for Ukraine, Donbass or Russia? And what, in fact, will the disaster consist of? Because if the "adequate response" implied Russia's recognition of the "DNR"-"LNR", and it would be a "disaster", then, firstly, it would be stupid to consciously create a disaster, and secondly, the Communist Party leader Zyuganov, for example, on the contrary, believes that it will bring peace to the Donbass, and not a disaster.
"It will be undermined if we do not respond with a strong will and necessary measures to the chilling and terrible terrorist attack with the murder of Alexander Zakharchenko. We suggested ten times to the President and legislators in the Duma to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics. We made a decision on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and the terror and violence ceased there. If we make a decision on the Donbass, I assure you, everything will stop quickly. We need to show the will. Long live the working class and peasantry!", - Zyuganov shouted at the pre-election rally on September 2.
Zyuganov lies like all communists. Or did not think about what he said. Because the recognition of the "DNR-LNR" by Russia may preserve the conflict and leave it as it is now - neither forwards nor backwards, - but it certainly will not give anything good to the residents of occupied territories, and especially, peace. Since, firstly, it is not annexation, as with the Crimea, it is only consolidation of the status of rogue, consolidation of poverty, sanctions, state and economic inferiority. As it happened with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And secondly, after all, it can take place only in the event of the onset of active hostilities, that is, war. And now imagine, the Ukrainian troops are attacking, and after that, Moscow recognizes the "DNR-LNR" and Russian troops get involved. That is, there is a state of full-fledged war arises! And all this is on the territory of Donbass!...
The recognition of the "republics" by Moscow will not add anything economically as well, since the Russian Federation, after all, already uses the Donbass economically, only under the cover of South Ossetia.
The region and its enterprises will still remain outcasts for the whole world and will be able to trade only with Russia. But we have this situation now. This does not change the structure of the Russian market – which is a direct competitor to the Donbass market. After all, the Russians themselves produce metal and mine coal. And they can support metal production and coal mining in the so-called DNR-LNR only at a loss to themselves, to their industry. This can be done for political reasons, while there is money, but rainbows and butterflies cannot be eternal, money runs out in Russia – otherwise, there would be no pension reform.
The talks about recognition, at least now, before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine, are bluff and blackmail. Although it cannot be excluded that if the Ukrainian army begins to liberate its territory, Moscow can go for recognition in order to ensure the conditional legitimacy of introduction of its troops there. This can happen according to a favorite Russian principle: blast it all! But - once again - this will mean a full-fledged war in the Donbass, because if the Ukrainian army starts such an operation, it will not be the same army that liberated our cities in 2014. Ukraine is not alone today in its struggle. And the USA under Trump is not the USA under Obama, who imposed an embargo on the sale of arms to Ukraine. Today, on the contrary, the USA themselves offer weapons to Ukraine.
Do you believe that Putin can reach Kyiv? Why then did not he reach it still? Does he need a reason for it? He hates Ukraine with all his heart. What did stop him earlier and what will clear the way to Kyiv now? So maybe it is not all that simple? It is one thing to seize the territory, cowardly hiding behind the backs of women and children, and another – to openly attack a sovereign country, showing your true colors to the whole world and being engaged in direct combat with its army.
Do you remember the famous 2014 Putin's interview?
"..And let someone from among the servicemen try to shoot at their own people, behind whom we will stand. Not in front, but behind. Let them try to shoot at women and children. I will look at those who give such an order in Ukraine". – These are not just words, - this is the nature of a person, his character.
So what will give Russia's recognition of the "republics" to the people of Donbass? In a best-case scenario – the preservation of the conflict and extension of their existence as rogues for a long time. In the worst – a full-fledged theater of military operations in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk. Moreover, the Russian troops will stand behind the backs of women and children, not in front, but behind.
So don't trouble trouble till trouble troubles you. Ukraine is not Georgia, and it is not 2018 now, and not even 2014…
Fortunately, unlike the Duma, this seems to be understood in the Kremlin. Instead of recognizing the republics, they look for the bypass mechanisms to ensure their economic activity. Next leader of the "DNR" Denis Pushilin stated this immediately after the meeting with Surkov.
"There is a certain problem related to economic issues. In this regard, we should connect the Russian center in full. Because if we look at how it worked, the Russian center worked more in the cultural, sports, healthcare, and trade union activities within the framework of the integration program. Now we need to expand these issues. And here, the interaction in economic terms between our entrepreneurs, private businesses and entrepreneurs from the regions will create a positive dynamic for our economy, as such. What is it about? Unfortunately, this is still only at the level of non-governmental organizations and social movements, which no one can prohibit, regardless of whether we are recognized or not. Therefore, the creation of platforms for communication within the framework of the Russian Center is for business communication, conclusion of future contracts and, accordingly, development of our enterprises, taking into account the interests of our colleagues from the regions of the Russian Federation. We consider this absolutely correct and necessary at this stage. Moreover, there are a number of issues related to the cross-border cooperation, which are written in the Minsk agreements, so nothing is violated here. Therefore, there are a number of issues that negatively affect the work of our enterprises, and the search for their solution really continues, - how to bypass… Because the biggest problem is our non-recognition, our kind of off-balance, and something needs to be done with it. We need to look for different options using the opportunities that we have today", - Pushilin told journalists.
It is significant that the meeting with Surkov, which was, in fact, commented by Pushilin, took place on October 12, that is, a week before the adoption of anti-Ukrainian statement by the State Duma. At that time, the draft statement was already posted on the Duma website. That is, while Zatulin trumpeted on about the recognition of the "republics", the Kremlin peacefully sought opportunities to work with them without such recognition.
So, Moscow still prefers the so-called "integration" instead of recognition. Slippery term. Not annexation, as it was with the Crimea, but something amorphous – integration – middle ground. If the interest of Donbass leaders in such integration is clear, - they want to somehow get attached to Moscow, then the question arises, what for does Russia need it? After all, in fact, it is integration at its expense and at its loss.
It turns out that in addition to political dividends, enterprising Russians use Donbass as a market for the sale of their counterfeit products. The so-called Minister of the "DNR" Alexey Granovskiy open-heartedly spoke about this.
"Together with the consumer rights protection inspectorate, we began to check incoming products on the territory of the DNR. And I will tell you such a shocking statistic: 50% of all products imported into the territory of the DNR are counterfeit.
How do we detect this? – Standartmetrologiya state-owned enterprise received accreditation in the Russian Federation as a certification body. We have access to the database of Rosstandart in the Russian Federation. So, we can see in this database whether there is a certificate for such a product or not. So, 50% do not correspond to those imported here - this is pure counterfeit.
For example, last winter, we received an window washer with a usual, it seems, documents, and the head of the inspection started to raise hue and cry when drivers started to complain of a headache after applying this window washer, and when it was tested, methanol was found there. Methanol is a deadly poison. Such product came here.
I am not even talking about the fact that to reduce the cost of production of sausages, cellulose is used instead of gelatin - wallpaper glue to put crudely. To make the product cheaper. And there are a lot of such facts"…
There is no fraternity or friendship in politics and, especially, in geopolitics, - there are only interests… Well, and nature. After all, Putin had already showed fraternal affection in the same Chechnya, and it is impossible to change the nature…
Serhiy Harmash, Centre for Research of Donbas Social Perspectives, for OstroV