In placing the memorial plaque to Marshal Carl Mannerheim, a commander-in chief of one of the fascist invading armies in World War II, in downtown Leningrad, for which the Kremlin purposely dispatched there Putin's Chief of Staff personally in addition to having Russian troops giving their salute to the Marshal and the plaque, the Kremlin did clearly intend to send a cuing-in message to the Russian people. Symbolically, this act has brought into the center of the city which Mannerheim tried to conquer and destroy as an invader and occupier.
The act of honoring the Iron-Cross-decorated Marshal and having the Russian army itself honor him in particular is tantamount to a declaration of the city's surrender. In other words, the symbolic message of this act is one of surrender and occupation, which is also the meaning of the Yeltsin memorial center and the meaning of the Minsk Agreements.
The material basis of his symbolic fact is the closure and destruction of 40,000 factories under Putin's reign, Russia's de-industrialization, loss of its mobilization capacity, and the reduction of the general level of wages and pensions towards $100 a month (forget the official average of 27,000 rubles). For the last 25-30 years one once's mighty superpower and country has been on sale for dumping prices.
Still, while the plague might make look as if the Kremlin is capitulating to a Finnish commander, the geopolitical truth and fact is, of course, somewhat different. But to put there an American general or a NATO general instead would be going somewhat ahead--but honoring Mannerheim is a logical step or stepping stone in that very direction. Moreover, all the telegraphic lines above have already been decided and sealed by the defeat in Ukraine and the loss of Ukraine, which the Minsk Agreements ratified as a strategic and geopolitical fact.
With Ukraine, including the Kharkov area, available to the West, the position of Moscow, downtown Moscow only some 400 miles away, is similar to a town below a mountain occupied by the opponent. The Moscow-policed prohibition on the Novorossiya/Donbass forces to do anything except for disengaging/ceding war and territory is tantamount to Moscow's acceptance of its submission and acceptance of this fate. The rest are details and modalities to be filled in.
In retrospect, the beginning of the surrender began with the assassination of Stalin, followed by massive purges and numerous executions in the Soviet apparatus, the army and the KGB. This was then followed by the careful and gradual preparation of new sufficiently "flexible" cadres, starting from above (viz the case of Yakovlev and other future high echelon leaders sent on various studies to the West; this process became accelerated in the 1970s and included, for example, also some of the key players in the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution).
The corner stone of the surrender and one of the key strategic decisions making the demise of the Soviet Union and the world socialist system a foregone conclusion was the 1975 decision of the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party, prepared by the KGB, to begin "rolling back" the world social system, which, ironically, was made at the very greatest extent and geopolitical peak of the system--when Vietnam won the war and last (Portugal) colonies in Africa gained independence. By the late 1970s, the coming demise and disintegration of the Soviet Union and the world socialist system was already understood as fact in making by the inner circles in the West. The concomitant end and demise of Yugoslavia was similarly also known and projected more or less at the same time--or in the early 1980s at the latest.
The end of Soviet communism as a system in 1989-91 was a partially public enactment of the strategic decisions made on op more than a decade before. At least.
Russia is now entering the terminal phase of its Cold War capitulation and surrender. The US and its allies are dictating terms at their leisure now. And Putin and his clique are the agents of this capitulation--that's why under Putin Russia "forgave"--as undoubtedly dictated to Moscow--some $150 billion of old Soviet credits to other countries; hence the currently ongoing peace talks with Japan; thus the recent surrender of pieces of land of China under Putin, and the big gift of sea shelf given to Norway by Medvedev in 2010.
The capitulation has been spread over these years; first Russia gave up nearly all of its military secrets and all its weaponized, enriched uranium reserves; then the Soviet Union via Shevardnadze gave the US a huge area in the Bering Sea (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USSR%E2%80%93USA_Maritime_Boundary_Agreement); then the Soviets turned all the secret personnel files to the West ...
Then after building up a cult of Putin's personality the new and perhaps last phase started now
Moscow has now tough time keeping its mask/face. Most Russians did not take kindly the way Putin made it up with Erdogan.
Final and unconditional capitulation as “self-liberation”—from oneself
What we are witnessing and what some of us are able to see as happening is the gradual fulfillment of a strategic, geopolitical grand-plan co-authored or partially disclosed back in 1997, before Putin even became President, by Zbigniev Brzezinski:
Thus, none of the counteralliance options [to be left to Russia], in the final analysis, offer a viable alternative. The solution to Russia's new geopolitical dilemmas will not be found in counteralliance, nor will it come about through the illusion of a coequal strategic partnership with America or in the effort to create some new politically and economically "integrated" structure in the space of the former Soviet Union. All evade the only choice that is in fact open to Russia. Russia's only real geostrategic option—the option that could give Russia a realistic international role and alsomaximize the opportunity of transforming and socially modernizing itself—is Europe. And not just any Europe, but the transatlantic Europe of the enlarging EU and NATO. Such a Europe is taking shape, as we have seen in chapter 3, and it is also likely to remain linked closely to America. That is the Europe to which Russia will have to relate, if it is to avoid dangerous geopolitical isolation. For America, Russia is much too weak to be a partner but still too strong to be simply its patient … For many Russians, the dilemma of the one alternative may at first, and for some time to come, be too difficult to resolve. It will require an enormous act of political will and perhaps also an outstanding leader, capable of making the choice and articulating the vision of a democratic, national, truly modern and European Russia. That may not happen for some time. Overcoming the post-Communist and postimperial crises will require not only more time than is the case with the post-Communist transformation of Central Europe but also the emergence of a farsighted and stable political leadership. No Russian Ataturk is now in sight. Nonetheless, Russians will eventually have to come to recognize that Russia's national redefinition is not an act of capitulation but one of liberation. They will have to accept that what Yeltsin said in Kiev in 1990 about a nonimperial future for Russia was absolutely on the mark. And a genuinely nonimperial Russia will still be a great power, spanning Eurasia, the world's largest territorial unit by far. In any case, a redefinition of "What is Russia and where is Russia" will probably occur only by stages, and it will require a wise and firm Western posture. America and Europe will have to help. They should offer Russia not only a special treaty or charter with NATO, but they should also begin the process of exploring with Russia the shaping of an eventual transcontinental system of security and cooperation that goes considerably beyond the loose structure of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). And if Russia consolidates its internal democratic institutions and makes tangible progress in free-market-based economic development, its ever-closer association with NATO and the EU should not be ruled out. At the same time, it is equally important for the West, especially for America, to pursue policies that perpetuate the dilemma of the one alternative for Russia. The political and economic stabilization of the new post-Soviet states is a major factor in necessitating Russia's historical self-redefinition. Hence, support for the new post-Soviet states—for geopolitical pluralism in the space of the former Soviet empire—has to be an integral part of a policy designed to induce Russia to exercise unambiguously its European option. Among these states, three are geopolitically especially important: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. … Although that will take time, it is not too early for the West—while further enhancing its economic and security ties with Kiev—to begin pointing to the decade 2005-2015 as a reasonable time frame for the initiation of Ukraine's progressive inclusion … Indeed, Ukraine's relationship to Europe could be the turning point for Russia itself. But that also means that the defining moment for Russia's relationship to Europe is still some time off—"defining" in the sense that Ukraine's choice in favor of Europe will bring to a head Russia's decision regarding the next phase of its history: either to be a part of Europe as well or to become a Eurasian outcast, neither truly of Europe nor Asia and mired in its "near abroad" conflicts. … One cannot predict how fast that process can move, but one thing is certain: it will move faster if a geopolitical context is shaped that propels Russia in that direction, while foreclosing other temptations. And the faster Russia moves toward Europe, the sooner the black hole of Eurasia will be filled by a society that is increasingly modern and democratic. Indeed, for Russia the dilemma of the one alternative is no longer a matter of making a geopolitical choice but of facing up to the imperatives of survival.
Russians too are now beginning to wake up to the gradually disrobed truth and the exigencies of the situation and its conditions that have been carefully planned, planted, and crafted over decades:
Как кремлины будут сливаться? У них нет другого выхода в их системе ограничений.
Москва исключает серьезное противостояние с Западом и какие-либо анти западные действия, плюс, она загнала себя безотносительно украинского кризиса в катастрофическое дипломатическое положение, оказавшись вообще без союзников. Кризис лишь выявил это и катализировал дипломатический крах. Минский курс был неким компромиссом между патриотической риторикой и желанием сразу слиться.
Видно, что затея не удалась, ЕС полностью сплотился вокруг санкций, и Кремлю больше ничего не остается делать в его системе ограничений, кроме как сливаться. Остается вопрос, как они это будут делать? В любом случае, даже если они наврут самим себе и соберутся противостоять США, они захотят подготовиться по лучше к этому, а для этого нужно время, которое можно выгадать новым сливом.
Можно предположить такой сценарий, медленное, постепенное отступление под американским давлением до конца. Захотел Обама миротворцев? Давайте обсуждать, пока Обама не рассердится и не пригрозит новыми санкциями. Тогда согласимся. И так далее.
Это похоже на правду, так как в Кремле предпочитают слив через ничего не делание, и какого-либо способа прилично слиться они так и не придумали. Но сливаться надо, так что просто будут продолжать ничего не делать и на все постепенно соглашаться. Так оно и само и сольется. То есть, активные американцы будут работать, а кремлины вальяжно ничего не делать.