Staunton, June 4 – Vladimir Putin’s approach in Ukraine appears to be modelled on what he believes the West been doing in Syria, an approach that he hopes to use as the basis of a swap between Moscow and the G-7 but one that could transform what many in Russia continue to call “the near abroad” into an unstable “Near East,” Nikolay Mitrokhin suggests.
In a Grani.ru article this week, Mitrokhin points out that “the armed conflict in the Donbass no longer is a clash between the central authorities of Ukraine and regional separatists. The level of involvement in it by the Russian side is so great that many analysts now say Russia is conducting a new type of war” (grani.ru/Politics/World/Europe/Ukraine/m.229890.html
Putin simply wants the conflict to continue, until he can use it for his own geopolitical goals.
“What price will Putin set for peace making in Eastern Ukraine?” Mitrokhin says that he believes that the Kremlin leader will propose to the West a “package” deal: Western recognition of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and a non-bloc status for Ukraine and an end to “military support for the anti-Asad opposition in Syria.”
The G-7 leaders are hardly like to agree, the Moscow analyst continues, particularly because “the Ukrainian government has begun to show some success in the military arena. But what this means is that no one should expect news about peace in the Donbass anytime soon.”