December 16, 2019

What's next: To save Putin's face or Ukraine?

By Irina Severin  |  UAObserver 

Frightened Putin after the downing of the Malaysian Boeing

Now that the Minsk agreement has proved incapable of ending Russia's war against Ukraine, it is important to remember the context in which it emerged. Why did negotiations take place in Minsk?

After the downing of Boeing NH17 and the Illovaisk tragedy, when the Russian military massively shot Ukrainian captives, Putin became a war criminal and was afraid that if he went to the West, he would be arrested. That is why it was decided to hold the negotiations in Minsk.

Then, in a strange way, all the efforts of the West were aimed at making Putin save face in exchange for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Multiple Western articles called "Let Putin save face." The phrase was repeated like a mantra.

For the same reason - saving Putin's face, "Minsk-1" did not blame Russia for military aggression against Ukraine but acknowledged the alleged "internal conflict" in Ukraine. Accordingly, the agreement envisaged mutual withdrawal of troops and offering special status to the Russia-occupied territories - all the measures for resolving internal conflicts which did not exist in Ukraine. The "harmless" lie imposed by Merkel on Ukraine was meant to achieve the main goal of saving Putin's face.