So what is this big lie? It is a claim that Russia needs to win (back) the whole of Ukraine, Donbass is not enough. And because Donbass is not enough and Russia needs the whole of Ukraine, Donbass in the form of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics (the "People's" part was always for Moscow an understandable irritant) has to be sent back into the hands of its murderers and torturers, the oligarchs, and placed back under their sovereignty with a placebo of few promised face-saving (or make-up putting up) "reforms."
Pushing the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics back under Kiev (and its Banderite regime) and dissolving them in the process also happens to be what Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 prescribe, and that's what also Putin and the Kremlin keep saying that they are unconditionally committed to. And that's also exactly what both the West and Kiev demands from Moscow under sanctions and threats.
Once the two republics would dissolve and be back under the Nazi junta, the Ukrainians would be bound to start growing back pro-Putin and pro-Russian sentiments and feelings, eventually (and perhaps even "sooner than expected," some informed insiders claimed) the whole of Ukraine would be not only united again, but also pro-Russian. The Donetsk and Lugansk Republics just need to be surrendered to the junta, and, thus, simply by surrendering Donbass to the enemy, the enemy will be defeated--he, this "logic" goes, would have to surrender to Russia in exchange.
While I am personally more worried about what such and other similar claims are doing to collective conscience, self-esteem, integrity, and intelligence, the fact that this big lie has a longer existence and a greater measure of attraction, made me consider the appeal and attractiveness of this Big Lie more closely.
The idea of winning and defeating the enemy by surrendering to him or by betraying one's own does certainly look simple enough and perhaps even very attractive for it relieves oneself of the burden to fight and even stand up for principles.
But, it also occurred to me, that behind and below the simple-mindedness of such a proposition there might be after all some deeper deviousness, cleverness, or cunning, which should not be dismissed off-hand.
For some (frankly I know none of them, but one can make it up in order to "save" Starikov's Big Lie) believed that, back in 1938 during the Munich Dictate, Czechoslovakia acted out of the same motivation and an equally brilliant plan--by surrendering its frontiers ("Sudeten Lands") to Hitler and the Third Reich, respectively by being compelled to do so by the joint will of then "Normandy Group" made of Hitler, Mussolini and the Czechoslovak allies, the Great Brittany and France, Czechoslovak Benes knew that, instead of eventually losing very soon the whole of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, he would thereby soon defeat Hitler and win a united, pro-Czechoslovak Germany and its Third Reich. This brilliant cunning plan worthy of a Grand Chess Master would have certainly worked had not World War II intervened and had not the Wehrmacht and the SS received different orders. And Minsk is very much like Munich. Donbass is the new Sudeten Land, and by doing what the enemy demands, you would win the whole of what the enemy controls because you would quite easily in this way become part of the enemy. And since you are now the enemy's, all that is the enemy's ought to be yours as well, wouldn't you say? And if you say so, then it is evident that it is also what you deep down want (however unconsciously) and hence what you thus also deserve.
If historic lessons and their costs are too trivial for not being repeated, then Starikov's and apparently Kremlin's notion of selling Donbass to the Nazis (so that, in this honorary way, the whole of Ukraine can be regained) may be looked upon in yet other ways too.
The supposed reason for Minsk is then to regain the whole of Ukraine and to make it pro-Russian again by pushing Donbass back into the clutches of its US and NATO-controlled Nazi regime. Fair enough. The clever rationalization then continues as follow--if the whole is to be regained, then the whole needs to be made a whole again first before it can be made pro-Russian. Hence Donbass has to go back. Once this happens then either the people of Ukraine or the Nazis or both would be so impressed by this "concession" that a new sense of generosity, appreciation, and friendship will arise in them again, and the Nazi police, the SBU, the military, oligarchic mafias nor the US, the EU, and the whole NATO would not be able to resist this new mounting wave of loving emotions.
This rationalization, however, has then one serious blind spot. If Ukraine needs to be made whole again in order to appease it, then it is not just Donbass that is needed, but Crimea too. If the Ukrainians and the pro-Nazi oligarchs were to be impressed by receiving Donbass back, they would certainly be even impressed and touched if Russia also returned Crimea. But there is no logical or any other remaining ethical reason why this buildup of mutual sympathies and generosity ought to be stop with Donbass or even Crimea. If the Big Lie's reasoning is right, Russia should lubricate the surge of mutual sympathies and friendship not only with this (or the cheap gas or the billions channeled to Kiev through Russian state banks), but also, let's say, with reparations, which Kiev also hopes to receive, and eventually also by giving to Ukraine, let's say, Rostov and other territories, which some of the Ukrainians are already also demanding--in order to make their happiness even more complete and more "whole" before it could become pro-Russian again.
Some might also believe that it is equally guaranteed that, after being handed over back and placed under the sovereign rule of the regime, which has been killing them, while hating everything Russian, the people of Donbass would continue admiring Putin's brilliance and cleverness and would remain as grateful as ever before. On top of it they would certainly be in a position to persuade the rest of Ukraine to share with them the same pro-Russian feelings and emotions. They would certainly have an opportunity to do so, after some of them will emerge from the "filtration" camps, and be forced to join Ukraine's anti-Russian army.
If all this does look and sound terrible or as the most cynical lie, there is still another way of looking at this Big Lie. The Big Lie does not exactly spell out how precisely "pro-Russian" such "sovereign and united Ukraine" is to be understood. For, by placing Donbass back under the power of the Kiev regime, the Kremlin would certainly confirm past any remaining doubt or ambiguity that its oft-repeated (and totally un-reciprocated) claims of "partnership" and even "friendship" with the Ukrainian oligarchs and authorities and not a ruse or merely a figure of speech, but that they are, indeed, absolutely serious and honest. It would demonstrate and prove that the Kremlin agrees with many things, which the Nazi junta represents and stands for, that there is some fundamental shared, common ground and interest. In fact, it would show that Kremlin-claimed partnership and friendship has been for real, that is to say, it would irretrievably mean that the Kremlin is also pro-junta, pro-oligarchic, pro-Bandera, if not even (secretly or deep down or not) pro-Nazi. Thus, by making Ukraine "whole" again in this way, the Kremlin would also make it "pro-Russian"--but with one important caveat, the "pro-Russian" here would be as genuinely pro-Russian as Ukrainian oligarchs and Banderas are. In other words, the "pro-Russian" here would give "Russian" and "pro-Russian" a totally new meaning. One that would be the very opposite which normal people have in mind or for which the Russians stood and fought so bravely in the Great Patriotic War, which, as Putin said about a month ago in Milan, is something "which should never be repeated."