JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MEANING OF PUTIN’S EASING OF APPLICATIONS FOR RESIDENTS OF BREAKAWAY RUSSIAN-SPEAKING EASTERN UKRAINE (DONBASS) TO APPLY FOR RUSSIAN PASSPORTS – IT’S NOT REALLY WHAT THE AUTHOR OF AN ARTICLE SUGGESTS – IT REFLECTS PUTIN’S CAUTION, STRATEGIC THINKING, AND LONG VIEW   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARKO MARJANOVIC IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“So, It Begins: Moscow to Grant Russian Citizenship to Inhabitants of East Ukraine Rebel Republics

“It is now likelier that Donbass will eventually be incorporated into Russia, than that it will return under Ukrainian rule”

 

“Russian citizenship and passport make it all the more certain that in the case of a large-scale Ukrainian army offensive to retake the region for Kiev Russia will intervene”

 

I just do not see that happening.

First, Ukraine is too militarily incompetent to try it, as they’ve demonstrated over and over.

And there seems to be no great hunger, except among the minority Extreme Right in Ukraine, for war, a big war.

When Poroshenko tried drafting more soldiers in Western Ukraine, there was a big wave of draft-dodging

The country already has countless other problems generated by the total incompetence of Poroshenko.

Putin is always careful and moderate in his policies. I can’t see him sending in the armed forces under almost any circumstances. Nevertheless, his granting the passports does serve to plant a doubt in any foolish Ukrainian planning.

Sending in troops would lend support to years-long American and British trumped-up charges against Russia, charges of supposed aggression. Far more severe sanctions, at the very least, would quickly follow, and I think Western intervention, although unlikely, could not be ruled out.

Putin takes the long view and has made many references to Donbass and its gradually increasing ties with Russia. The granting of citizenship for those who want to claim it is just one of these.

This could also be viewed as pressure on Ukraine to implement Minsk. The new Ukrainian President does give some promising signs, despite repeating boiler-plate rhetoric, such as his frequently having spoken in Russian during the election.

I very much suspect Putin regards Donbass over time as a lost cause for Kiev, and I tend to agree. But he is a patient man. If things are headed in that direction, why not just patiently wait? There’s nothing to be gained from war.

Donbass, almost certainly, will transition into a viable mini-state, one with many very close connections to Russia – trade, education, culture, migration, and special arrangements.

But there will be no joining the Russian Federation by request, as happened in the case of Crimea, at least for a good many years, not until Donbass has proved its viable independence, and no one much cares anymore.

Posted April 27, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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