Staunton, November 25 – Commentators in Moscow, Kyiv and the West have misunderstood what Moscow and its agents in Ukraine are about as far as reaching a settlement in Ukraine is concerned, Vladimir Piontkovsky says. Moscow and its agents want Ukraine to reunite with the ORDLO rather than having the ORDLO reunite with Ukraine.
That is not peace as some imagine but another step toward Russian dominance of Ukraine because the ORDLO (the Russian acronym for “certain regions of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts”) that Moscow now controls won’t pass to Kyiv as force Kyiv to become part of the ORDLO, the commentator says (echo.f08b.comcb.info/material.php?id=5DDC2B851A047).
It is bad enough that this is what Moscow wants, Piontkovsky argues. It is worse that Moscow’s agents in Kyiv, including members of Vladimir Zelensky’s staff like Andrey Yermak want it. But it is unforgiveable that the international community refuses to see what is going on and instead has fallen into a swoon as a result of Moscow’s supposed “peace” offensive.
To achieve their ends, Moscow and its agents in Kyiv are doing what they can to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the West so as to make this Russian victory over Ukraine less odious, the latest example of “the salami tactics” the Russian side has been using since 2014, the Russian analyst warns.
The key features of this Russian campaign are two: the insistence that there be elections in the Donbass before the restoration of Kyiv’s control and the even greater insistence that the Normandy Four agree to all this in advance and in secret so that Kyiv won’t be able to maneuver or back out at the last minute.
Such arrangements are designed to conceal the fundamental fact: “the reunification [of Ukraine] with the ORDLO is not peace. It is the spready of Russian occupation to all of Ukraine. It is war,” Piontkovsky says.
“A just peace would require the return to Ukraine of all occupied territories and a trial of Russian military criminals and their Ukrainian assistants. Today, this is impossible. Today, only an armistice is possible – a real ceasefire … and the return to Ukraine of hundreds of its citizens seized on the occupied territories as hostages.”
This is “a frozen conflict, a new Transdniestria, South Ossetia, Kashmir and divided Korea,” Piontkovsky continues. “This is a bad option” but it is the best available one especially considering that agreeing to Moscow’s program will result in something much worse, the legitimation of Russian control and the extension of Russian power throughout Ukraine.
To understand just how wrong what Moscow, its Ukrainian agents, and its friends in the West want, “imagine if South Korea were offered today reunification with North Korea but with Kim Jong-un, his army and nuclear arsenal maintained and the liquidation of the demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel.” No South Korean or South Korean supporter would accept that.
But given the actions of its agents in Kyiv and its success in turning the heads of many Western leaders, even those in Moscow who had thought that such a move might backfire by producing a new Maidan have concluded that as long as “Trump is ours, Macron is ours, and [Andrey] Yermak is ours, we must use this window of unlimited geopolitical possibilities.”