Saturday, January 16, 2016

Reading through the Shadows on the Wall conjured by Alexander Chalenko on the meeting between Surkov and Nuland

Alexander Chalenko, who belongs to the ex-Ukrainian circle of Surkov's  and the Kremlin's PR horns, published an article on the meeting between Surkov and Nuland and, in it, claims to be using as his source of information someone from the Russian delegation at the meeting with Nuland. The article together with a Russian blogger's commentary is in the link.

Chalenko does not offer any reliable information, but what he does (again) is peddling a spin, which, however, helps understand and catch something behind the spin--the situation is reminiscent of a Socratic pilgrim watching the shadows on the wall and deciphering by remembering the realities around the cave.

So here is my take:
1. Chalenko does confirm that the Nuland-Surkov agreement is to fulfill (i.e. accelerate the fulfillment of) the Minsk deal, which means "returning" the rest of Donbass to the fascists (Kiev).
2. However, and here comes the spin, which Nuland and Surkov apparently agreed with as well, that, to the Russians and Putin'sfans, this return will be presented as being merely formal, a just political formality, which would not change reality on the ground. Because
3. The unrecognized DPR and LPR will be granted some tenuous right to make some sort of otherwise undefined agreements, possibly with Russia.
4. Chalenko even tries to argue that the DPR and the LPR will be, as a result, in a situation similar to Kosovo after the end of the Kosovo War--the NATO War on Yugoslavia over Kosovo. A claim that might be persuasive to those who know about Kosovo not more than few headlines.
5. According to Chalenko, the US and Russia are now on the same page, that they have now a common strategy, which does sound plausible.
6.  However, the other part of the spin (and its twist) is Chalenko's claim that the common position embraced both by the US and Russia is--behold!--to exercise jointly pressure on Kiev in order to "force" Kiev to "fulfill the Minsk agreement"--to restore fascist sovereignty over Donbass. According to Chalenko, Kiev needs to be pushed and will be from now on pushed together both by the US and Russia to carry out the Minsk deal, which, as Chalenko says, will make the DPR and the LPR (still unrecognized as such) "formally part of Ukraine."
7. Moreover, the fact is that by signing Minsk 1 and 2, Putin and Russia already agreed that the DPR and the LPR don't exist as such--that they are merely "certain regions" of the Ukrainian state--and that, as such entities they are already formally and legally part of Ukraine and that this is the "only way" it can be.
8. In a nutshell, the main clever idea and agreement between the US and Russia is that, yes, the former DPR and LPR will be made part of Ukraine, but, especially Moscow will try to argue as long as possible, that this is only formally so, no big deal, and that by making them part of Ukraine (somehow), Moscow will be somehow magically (again) doing the opposite.

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