Staunton, June 5 – “The most dangerous result” of Putin’s war in Ukraine is not the risk of nuclear war although that is dire but rather that his ability to conduct this war without the rest of the world acting to stop him has shown everyone that if your country has nuclear weapons, it can do what it likes regardless of international law, Viktor Mironenko says.
That understanding will likely convince ever more countries to try to acquire nuclear weapons so as to free the hands of their leaders to do what they want not only with regard to other countries but also to their own, the former head of the Komsomol in Gorbachev’s time says (rfi.fr/ru/украина/20220606-рф-украина-историк-виктор-мироненко-об-истоках-нынешней-войны).
In the course of a wide-ranging interview with the Russian Service of France’s RFI network, Mironenko makes a number of other observations and recollections which deserve to be noted:
· Selectively using history for one’s own purposes as Putin has done can be “more dangerous than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.”
· A clear early warning sign of Putin’s intentions regarding Ukraine was the disappearance of any reference to Ukraine in Russian scholarly journals almost a year ahead of the invasion.
· Invading Ukraine is “a stupidity even greater than the liquidation of the USSR in 1991” because it is about “the imitation of its restoration.”
· The Soviet Union could have survived if oil prices had been higher, the economy more diverse of if it had been the beneficiary of Marshal Plan-type assistance.
· Ukrainian Party Leader Petr Shelest was removed not for Ukrainian nationalism but for suggesting that Moscow should develop the central parts of the USSR rather than Siberia.
· “Yeltsin used Ukraine to oust Gorbachev and take his place” because “he assumed that whatever arose after the disintegration of the USSR, Russia would remain the leader and all the rest including Ukraine would join it. He was mistaken.”
· Despite all their differences, Gorbachev and Yeltsin had one thing in common: “both could not imagine the future as involving a genuinely equal union of independent states but only as a certain new formation ‘around’ Russia.”
· The Ukrainian war may yet allow people there and in Russia to revise their views of the possible.
· Gorbachev was completely deceived by the fraudulent referendum Putin organized in Crimea.
· The war in Ukraine is a hurricane at the epicenter of world politics; and it is likely to last for some years.
· And lastly, no one should be deluded into thinking that everything will be resolved when Putin exits the scene.