Category Archives: future status of Novorussia

What is the Donbass fighting for?

by Edward Birov for Vzgliad

Translated by Gideon 

“It is abundantly clear that the crisis will continue until such times as the Ukrainians achieve harmony between themselves and society, instead of being submerged in the roar of radicalism and nationalism, will unite around more positive values and reflect the true interests of the Ukraine”, – from an interview with Vladimir Putin.

“Novorussia, consisting of the pro-Russian Ukraine, Russia and Belorussia together form the Russian world - a multi-layered doll (Matryoshka) where every element forms part of the wider whole”

Whenever the Russian authorities articulate the view that this conflict will end with the establishment of a “united Ukrainian people” the question inevitably arises – And what about Novorossiya – What is the Donbass fighting for, Novorossiya or a unified Ukraine?

This question is regularly used by propagandists of a ‘patriotic’ inclination, who as often as not, are likely to couple it with refrains of “the Kremlin’s betrayal” or the “sell-out of Novorossiya”. However even without the help of these “well-wishers”, Russians are still confused by this artificial conflict between Novorossiya and the other Ukrainian people.

However, the answer is simple and obvious: Donbass struggles for Novorossiya and more widely for a pro-Russian Ukraine and ultimately for Russia and the Russian world pitted against the aggression of the West. All are stages of the same process.

Novorossiya, consisting of the pro-Russian Ukraine, Russia and Belorussia together form the Russian world - a multi-layered doll (Matryoshka) where every element forms part of the wider whole. We fight for every part of it with no element of differentiation. Ukraine as a country and people do not threaten us. However, Ukraine as a Western political project, animated by the ideology of Bandera and Nazism, with its Nazi oligarch elite, does.

Geographical Ukraine, freed from Russophobic propaganda can and should remain part of the Russian world as per its cultural traditions. Those who support the violent de-nazification are in fact on the contrary aiding the process of nazification and the estrangement of Ukraine from Russia.

Yes sure, we have, for now, lost the battle for hearts and minds for the Russian population there. However, in the long term the people will still be ours. The West is using and playing with them and will anyway simply discard them, and when they do that land will remain forever the source of our culture. That is exactly why we should never set Novorossiya against the geographical Ukraine.

There is nothing surprising when the Russian leadership encourages Novorossiya and almost simultaneously the Ukrainian people, as necessary. This is the norm for geopolitical politics. It is entirely possible to, without sacrificing your principles and interests, try different combinations to promote them.

Given that the west (covertly or at least not overtly) has used Fascist puppets to pull the Ukrainian lands away from Russia, Russia has also had to act indirectly assisting the Ukrainian population in Novorossiya in the defense of their interests. This applies to the contradictory tensions between the Banderovites and the Euro-integrationists who also tried to break the Donbass and force her to become part of their Ukrainian vision.

Now, Kiev and the west, after months of bloodshed have broken their (military) teeth on the Novorossiyan army. They now understand that it is impossible to break the will of Donbass through violence, but that to simply let her go will be even more traumatic. Russia will compel Kiev to acknowledge the Donbass as a sovereign subject on Ukrainian territory and the Donbass itself will become a virtual state in its own right within boundaries but still forming its own separate pole of strength within the Ukraine proper.

In summary, Moscow and Donbass are compelling Kiev (which has been taken over by Banderovites and Americans), to take Russian interests into account. The Donbass, in a figurative sense, binds the remainder of the Ukraine to Russia and stops that remainder from forging a definitive break from Russia. Moreover this threatens the main political project, that of ‘The Ukraine is not Russia’, whose driving principle is the establishment of a mono-ethnic Ukrainian State, that is an end point where all citizens of the Ukraine, in one voice hate Russians and are in fact, Nazis.

It goes without saying that an open and more vigorous war of the Russian world in the Ukraine would be preferable to the current cautious moves of the Russian state. The flag of Russia fluttering alongside the flag of Novorossiya with the symbols of the pro-Russian Ukraine flying above armies freeing the territory from Fascists all the way to Lvov, would be closer to the heart of Russian people and patriots.

This is indeed the case and it is easy to understand the patriotic dissatisfaction with the current strategy. But we must restrain ourselves here and accept that Russia cannot act so openly, as to do so would risk a direct confrontation with the US and NATO. Moreover it is critical to delay such a confrontation and to chip away at Washington’s ‘Coalition of the Willing’. Indeed if we look at the recent utterances of France and Germany, even without listing the positions taken by the likes of the Czech Republic, Greece and Austria, there would appear to be signs that this approach is bearing fruit. A direct confrontation with the consolidated western countries when the dollar system is still dominant would be the politics of haste and adventure. Time is on Russia’s side.

‘Well that’s fine’ the naysayers cry, but what happened with the Crimea? How is it a special case but not the Donbass? Is it really the case that the Crimea is more ‘Russian’ than the Donbass? No, of course not. The issue here is not some degree of ‘Russianness’, that’s a fabricated issue – to compare the ‘deservedness’ of the Crimea and Donbass. The examples of Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, Ilovaisk and Gorlovka, the blood-drenched battles with the Banderovites and their punitive battalions, have declared their Russian nature more than anyone else. Crimea does have one outstanding characteristic – Its unique geographical situation and its military status.

As a Russian military base and a peninsular, the Crimea could painlessly secede from the Ukraine, raising its periscope to the north and waving goodbye to the Nazis in Kiev. The return of the Crimea to Russia does not lead to the loss of the whole of the Ukraine from Russia. Similarly, the Crimea for the Banderovites was like the 5th leg of a dog – to amputate it would be painful but it’s completely impossible to do anything with it and moreover at the critical moment there are always those Russian bases.

Should Russia have allowed these American Puppets to take the Crimea and expell the Russian Fleet, this would have been interpreted as a crushing strategic defeat for Russia, having lost its main base on the black sea. However, this was averted because of the Crimean operation. This is where we see the ‘special status’ of the Crimea and the geopolitical meaning of her return to Russia.

However, the Donbass presents a completely different proposition. It’s simply impossible to divorce her so painlessly from Kiev. From all military history it is clear that if we lead an army to the Donbass, then we need to go at least as far as the Dnieper river and with every step to the west the front becomes wider and extends from the Black sea to the Belorussian forests. Finally if we say that after the referendum in the Crimea, that that was the best time to undertake such a campaign, the Kremlin chose not to take that path and now it is so much more difficult to do that as to be impossible.

A different course has been chosen. Donbass as a dead-weight for the pro-western Ukraine and as a staging point for Pro-Russian Ukraine. The task ahead for Donbass is complex and will demand enormous effort – The future Novorossiya has to become a beacon for the rest of the east and eventually a Nazi-free model for the whole Ukraine. This can be achieved by war, diplomatic or economic means.

At the moment only the military solution is in motion, which, tragically, is leading to enormous fatalities amongst the civilian population. In order to progress to a non-military phase a truce and a real cease-fire is required. Moscow is trying to achieve this through the Minsk agreement.

Ultimately it must be understood that the redemption of the Ukraine is dependent on the results of the global confrontation between Moscow and Washington, the US and Russia between the West and everyone else.

The trump cards of the west are the dollar and resultant financial colonialism. If this collapses the Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan and the rest will be freed. The whole world will change beyond recognition.

Putin’s counter-intuitive 8 point peace plan for the Ukraine

There is a lot of speculation about Putin's end goal.  They range from "Putin wants ton conquer the Ukraine and then Moldova, the Baltic States and (who knows?) even Poland" to "Putin's wants to back-stab Novorussia and sell it in exchange for Crimea".  And these are not just empty speculations, because your assessment of what is happening today will largely depend on what you believe Putin's end goal is.  For example, if you believe that "Putin is about to sell-out" theory, then the Minsk agreement is just the first phase in a general surrender of Novorussia to the Nazis.  But if you believe that Putin's end-goal is to regain control all (or most) of the Ukraine, then the Minsk agreements are just a way to keep the junta at bay while giving it the time to commit economic suicide before striking.  So what is Putin's end goal?

Putin's 8 point peace plan:

The Ukrainian newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli, UA, has recently published a fascinating article entitled "Blood Topography" which made a detailed analysis of the line of separation agreed upon in Minsk and whether it should have included the Donetsk Airport or not (it placed the airport on the Novorussian side).  But at the end of the article, the author, Tatiana Silina, writes that according to her sources, Putin's real peace plan for the Ukraine is composed of all of the following elements:
  1. The federalization of the Ukraine (even if under another label such as "de-centralization").
  2. A special status for the LNR and DNR which would include the creation of a purely local political authority not subordinated to Kiev.
  3. A full budgetary autonomy.
  4. Full freedom to chose the official language
  5. Full cultural freedom
  6. The right to "chose the vector of economic integration"
  7. The Ukraine must be declared a neutral state
  8. All of the above must be explicitly stated in the Ukrainian Constitution.  
Tatiana Silina added "Putin's methods may have changed, but not his goal: to attach the Ukraine to Russia".

Now here is where it gets really interesting.  Consider this: how is it that Silina begins by listing 8 goals which (apparently) are designed to separate the Donbass as much as possible from the Ukraine and then concludes that these goals are designed to attach the Ukraine to Russia?  This is a crucial question, so let me repeat it again:

Why does separating the Donbass from the rest of the Ukraine attach the Ukraine to Russia?

The second question is not less important, and it flows from the first one

Why does Putin not simply demand the full secession of the Donbass or even its reunification with Russia?

To understand, let's us make a simple but crucial thought experiment.  First, let's consider if the Donbass fully secedes from the Ukraine and joins Russia and then compare it with Putin's solution.

Novorussian secession:

We assume that Kiev agrees with this (out of political, economic or even military necessity).  The Donbass follows Crimea's example and pretty soon becomes the southwestern region of the Russian Federation.  The first obvious consequence is that he war stops and that the rump-Ukraine becomes much more unitary.  Having lost the potential support of Crimea (gone!) and the Donbass (gone!), other "trouble" regions (Odessa, Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie, Chernigov, Kharkov) soon basically give up any notion of resisting Kiev and those who cannot accept a Nazi junta are forced to either shut up or relocate ("encouraged" by the Ukie-Nazi slogan "suitcase - train station - Moscow").  Furthermore, the regime at this point will say that Russia betrayed the Ukraine whose sovereignty she had promised to guarantee when the Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons and that joining NATO is the only way to preserve the rest of the country.  The population will mostly agree.  There is no Russian language constituency left, so Ukrainian becomes the only language, the Russian language media disappears.  The multi-billion effort to rebuilt the Donbass becomes "Russia's internal problem" while the US and EU "aid" is directed only at the comprador elites of the rump Ukraine (aka "privatization" and "opening up of the economy").  This new Ukraine completes the NATO encirclement of Russia from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Novorussian autonomy inside the Ukraine:

Formally, de jure, the Donbass remains part of the Ukraine and thus it remains represented at the state level: the Rada.  Because the LNR and DNR are free to chose their vector of economic development (i.e. join the trade union with Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia), they begin to have a "gravitational pull" on the entire Ukrainian economy.  There us *much* more money made in lucrative contracts with Russia then there is by trying to sell something to the EU.  The Russian language and culture remain vibrant in Novorussia and the effects of that are felt throughout the Ukraine.  In contrast, the Ukrainian language becomes the "dialect of the loser", the sign of the pauper.  And because the Ukraine remains constitutionally neutral, NATO simply cannot get in.  The economies of all the regions listed above (Odessa, Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie, Chernigov, Kharkov) become more and more dependent on the "Novorussian special economic zone".  Since the West has nothing to offer economically, it can only rely on the west-Ukrainian minority to promote the Empire's interests, which is wholly inadequate to counter the effect of the political and economic power of the eastern Ukraine.

Which of these two scenarios make more sense to you?

The first one basically hands over the Ukraine to the Empire and while the second one uses Novorussia as an unbreakable tether tying the rest of the Ukraine to Novorussia and Russia.  In other words, Tatiana Silina is absolutely correct "Putin's methods may have changed, but not his goal: to attach the Ukraine to Russia".  

The fact is that to truly (de jure) cut-off Novorussia from the rest of the Ukraine is tantamount to hand over the rest of the Ukraine to Uncle Sam and his EU puppets.  Keeping a nominally unitary Ukraine with the Donbass de facto independent makes it possible for Russia to "reel in" the entire Ukraine.  And since there can be no safety or security for either the Donbass or Russia with a NATO run Nazi regime in power in Kiev, regime change and the full de-nazification of the entire Ukraine is the only viable long term solution to this conflict.  That goal can only be achieved if Novorussia remains nominally part of the Ukraine.

The Saker