Staunton, Jan. 4 – Aleksandr Tsipko, one of the most senior and respected Moscow commentators, says that Russian politicians “do not have the slightest idea” about what they would face if they were to use force to reassemble “a Russian world” including Belarus and Ukraine or seek to extend the borders of Russia to those of the USSR.
“It is obvious,” he continues, “that the rebirth of the Russian world by force and the unification of Ukraine with Russia would lead to the rebirth of a Ukrainian Partisan Army.” That would be no joke: “It took Stalin more than 15 years to pacify Western Ukraine” (mk.ru/politics/2022/01/05/ot-prisoedineniya-belorussii-k-rossii-stanet-khuzhe-vsem.html).
But there is an even more fateful and dangerous consequence if the Kremlin were to follow the advice of the imperialists. Moscow would then add to the separatism on view in the North Caucasus “the separatism of ‘the Russian world’ joined to us.” That would only increase the threats to the territorial integrity of the country.
Tragically, Tsipko continues, in Russia today, anyone who hopes to be a successful politician has to commit himself “to the impossible, openly ignore the history of his own country and the attitudes of our supposedly former brothers.” And this is the case even though most Russians, more thoughtful than their leaders, would not welcome the consequences.