Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Putin: "We support territorial integrity of Ukraine" or How to exchange a stronger argument for a shot into the foot

Judging from the declarations made by Kiev officials and Poroshenko, the Western and Kiev's position is that it is Russia that needs to fulfill all the conditions under the Minsk Agreements. In Australia, Poroshenko said that "Russia must abide by a peace plan agreed in Minsk on September 5."
In particular, clearly well coached by Western PR specialists, Poroshenko then spelled it for the mass audience in several short and simple sentences, even ending with "Very simple":
"Please stop the fire. Please release the hostages. Please withdraw your troops from my territory. Please close the border. And I promise if you close the border, within one, two, three weeks, we have peace and stability in Ukraine. Very simple."
The use of the term "hostages" instead of prisoners, detainees, or prisoners of war is very clever. It implies that both Russia and Novorossiya are terrorists who are taking Ukrainian soldiers and members of the right-wing battalions as "hostages."
The demand also make it seem that it is Russia that is the source of shelling against Donbass, when it is the Kiev regime.
Unfortunately, yes, unfortunately, Moscow (as worded by Putin after his meeting with Hollande at the Vnukovo airport) is matching Poroshenko's simple talking points only with this one: "As you know, we are supporting territorial integrity of Ukraine."
Moreover, Kiev's military spokesman Andriy Lysenko made it clear that the Kiev junta has no intention to withdraw its heavy weapons from its positions around the cities of Donbass for the supposed condition for them is that no single shot be fired for a day: "Once there has been a day without a single shot, it will signal we can start the process of withdrawing heavy weapons."
So far, as far as Novorossiya is concerned, Putin and the Russian government has abandoned 1) any argument for Novorossiya on the basis of self-determination, 2) an effort to make the case on the basis of human lives and their protection, 3) an argument on the basis of standing up against fascism, 4) an argument about the continued illegitimacy of the Kiev regime, 5) an argument in terms of the national liberation struggle, 6) an argument against NATO expansionism and NATO-sponsored regime change in Ukraine either as aggression or as a threat to Russia's national security, 6) an argument about the Novorossiya uprising as a democratic, anti-oligarchic revolution for social justice and dignity. Instead, Russia merely appeals to some autonomy rights and to a need to amend Ukraine's constitution.
While, in the West, the most persuasive and effective argument of the activists that Novorossiya is mainly a struggle with fascism, Russia's official position is tied to Russia's insistence on fulfilling the Minsk Deal, which happens to be also the very thing which the West and NATO demands.

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