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. 
These measures had nothing to do with ending external aggression and occupation. It was like treating dysentery with cough drops and hoping for a cure. But this is exactly what the Normandy format and the West as such have been doing for the last 5 years.

Poroshenko was on the phone with Surkov in those days, just as Zelensky is doing it now. And Surkov described to him how everything would be fine if he made concessions.

With such support from the West, Putin not only did not withdraw his troops from Ukraine but began to increase his military presence in the occupied territory and, by forcing the fake idea of ​​an internal conflict, presented himself as a peacemaker and mediator who has nothing to do with the war.

Now he is not only not afraid to leave for the West but also dictates his conditions to the West and scares the West with Srebrenica, which he himself created in eastern Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelensky, who came to power thanks to the Russian propaganda against Poroshenko, which he willingly supported, gave Putin even more confidence. His electoral slogan was, "It is enough just to stop the shooting, and the war will finish." But now Zelensky himself is in the situation of Poroshenko and should begin to understand what is actually happening.

At this point, there are only two ways - either to continue to save Putin's criminal face along with Russia's camouflaged as an "internal conflict" war against Ukraine or to start saving Ukraine and calling a spade a spade - the only thing that can lead to an end to aggression. There is no third way.

The West must finally understand that the strategy of saving Putin's face is not working. It only leads to a further escalation of Russian aggression, and not only in Ukraine.

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