Kyiv government has lost control over the situation in the country. Recent days have demonstrated almost complete collapse of the state. The politicians are not able to influence the subordinate police and state apparatus by their decisions. It is also the responsibility of Ukrainians themselves for this state of things. If Russia wants, and the West will not stop Russian politicians, Ukraine could become a European failed state.
6 May, Warsaw. Ukraine is plunging into turmoil. The responsibility for this situation lies primarily on the shoulders of Russian leadership. However, Ukrainians are also not without guilt. Each of them contributed to bringing the country to its present state of decay. Even if someone “did not take” or “did not bribe”, this silence has indulged corruption, which has penetrated almost all spheres of life. It starts from the drivers of shuttle buses, arranging every day city racing at the Ukrainian streets, transporting and fighting for human commodity, and ends with officials of the lowest rank as well as those ones who build Mezhyhirya residences near Kyiv. Overall callousness brought the country to the nationhood destruction. “Brothers” from Russia have also helped.
Ukraine is now virtually defenseless against the villainous Kremlin policy. Army? Police? Public transport? Courts? Media? Elections? Salaries and pensions? Is there at least one nationhood aspect which would not cause doubts?
Banderivtsi? Extremists? Nobody prevented Ukrainian society from starting a conversation about the past. One had to study history, honestly look at himself in the mirror, evaluating what was good and what was bad, and not arguing that 70 years of the Soviet Union existence have become an insurmountable obstacle on the path to truth. Ukraine has had as much time as Poland. Exactly the same amount. Now Ukrainians almost ran out of time.
Inspired and paid out Russian separatists seized yet another state administration building. Local people – Russian speaking, Surzhik (a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian) speaking – seeing a complete breakdown of Ukrainian structures are anyway joining those who promise at least some prospects of stability. These people can join Novorossiya/New Russia recovered from the 18th century – a new project involving state founding at the south- eastern territory of Ukraine. What is the difference under which banner or flag to do this, if everybody steals? After all, the problem is not in the spoken language but in the quality of life and state of the country, as well as the absence of principles and long-term negligence of officials.
Therefore, the “Balkanization” scenario in Ukraine – the chaos created by armed groups running over the cities and between cities, seizing weapons and citizens, organising their own local security, and recruiting people to protect “their belongings” – is as real today as never before.
In such circumstances, the presidential elections will not take place, and if they take place in the end, the results will display the position of only part of the country, as it is impossible to have free elections with simultaneous presence of the army and constant shooting at the streets. The situation is so unstable that not only Russia can doubt their results. The place of missing central authority will be taken by regional self-proclaimed structures – such as in Slovyansk. The federalization of Ukraine promoted by Russia may occur spontaneously – by filling the place of missing police, law enforcement authorities and government agencies from Kyiv. The new constitutional law will not be needed, because federalization will take place de facto, but not de jure. What then? Then it will become very dangerous, so dangerous that it will be possible to correct the situation only by peacekeeping forces, of course, the Russian ones.
One has to pay for peace
The Geneva Agreements did not affect improvement of the situation in Ukraine. We should not forget that de-es-ca-la-ti-on and round table discussions suggest the desire to reach an agreement and talk to each other with kindness from both sides. Otherwise the outcome will be the same – separatists declare that negotiation resolutions from the top are not applied to them, and the Ukrainian government remains with their hands tied, as it is impossible to arrange de-escalation of the situation using tough actions to restore order in the country. And without Ukrainian army it will be impossible to restore the order.
In Russia, one may get five years of prison for “separatism”, and in Ukraine – green uniform, rifle, grenade launcher and money (from Russia). How Berlin or anyone else wants to negotiate with the Russian Federation in this situation? One has to pay for peace on the border with eastern neighbors – Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, the European Union and Germany as well.
Therefore, it is necessary to take out a wallet and count the money, rather than urging “both sides” to de-escalate.
The European Union, together with the United States and any other political force, for whom it is important to have peace, and above all peace in Europe, should impose strict economic sanctions against Russia, which will pay back to the Russian Federation with real billions of losses. There should be formed a coalition capable to achieve such a reduction in oil prices, that no Russian budget converges. Is it impossible? The task is indeed not so easy – I agree, but sanctions for violation of the postwar world order, the United Nations Charter, should be real, not virtual. Yes, we all will pay for it. As well as “ordinary Russians” who overwhelmingly support Putin’s policy towards Ukraine. Only then the West can sit at a round table or another one and negotiate. Only then Russia will take it seriously.
Otherwise, there are possible two scenarios. One is bad, another – even worse.
In case of the first one, Ukraine will immerse into so deep and prolonged chaos that for a number of years it will be referred to as the failed state in the European part of the world. The state located right on the border of the EU, without natural barriers in form of the Mediterranean Sea. This scenario may seem positive, as it implies recognition by Russia that long chaos works in their favour, because it will permanently thwart Ukraine’s European aspirations. However, it will continue until one or another side, dared by the impunity and inaction of the authorities, starts the gas pipeline sabotage. If you can steal the OSCE observers and face no consequences, why not go further? Yesterday [2 May 2014 – ed.note], the police in Odessa have released more than 60 detainees who took part in the tragic clashes and fire in the House of Trade Unions, where more than 40 people were killed. There was found no responsible for this – neither by the prosecution, nor by the police. Full vacuum.
The second scenario assumes a division of Ukraine and redrawing its borders for a long time. Ukraine will lose not only Crimea, but also some of the eastern and southern regions. If it happens, and the West, London City and German Ostpolitik will continue to de-escalate situation without taking decision that it is time to pay for peace, they will have to pay for shame, since Russia will not confine itself to Donetsk or Odessa region.