Portnikov: Putin's plan aimed at preserving conflict in Donbas

Like
25
During his visit to Mongolia Vladimir Putin unexpectedly announced his plan to resolve the conflict in Donbas. The plan has seven proposals-requirements. First of all, the head of Russia called on all parties to cease offensive operations and withdraw Ukraine troops from cities in Donbas. Alledgedly, this way they cannot fire at civilian houses. 
 
Putin also called for an end of use of air power against the civilian population in Donbas. According to the president of Russia, humanitarian corridors for refugees and humanitarian supplies should be opened in the southeast.  Repair crews must also go there to restore social infrastructure.
 
 
According to the Ukrainian political analyst Vitaly Portnikov, Putin's initiative could mean that the Kremlin administration seriously fears new sanctions from the EU and NATO. They could "put into question the survival of his political regime" - Russia's economy will not sustain them. 
 
 
Vitaly Portnikov: "Therefore, what Putin offers is to some extent a break. In these circumstances, he no longer speaks of the status of PRD and PRL. But he is clearly set to preserve this conflict. He is hoping that the further development of the situation, perhaps softening of the EU and the USA, will allow him to use the frozen conflict as a means of pressure on Ukraine. And it can help stop Ukraine in its movement towards the European Union and NATO."
 
According to the Euroradio's source, main goal of Putin is stop Ukraine's movement towards the EU. After all, says Vitaly Portnikov, main goal of Russia's  president is "the elimination of Ukrainian, Belarusian and Kazakh statehood and inclusion of these countries in the areas of the Russian Federation or the Eurasian Union, to which the Russian Federation will be renamed." 
 
Freezing the conflict is not to Kiev's disadvantage, but the way it reacts to Putin's initiative will depend on the real potential of the Ukraine Armed Forces after the events of the recent days in the east.
 

Vitaly Portnikov: "It is entirely possible that Kiev is also in need of rearrangement and that Kiev would not want to provoke a massive invasion of the Russian armed forces on our territory. What happened in Novaazovsk showed that it is possible, and that no one will hide behind mercenaries and subversives. It is clear that we can resist this armada, but this will lead to countless victims. And that number could reach tens or hundreds of thousands. And in the case when the aggressor occupies territories outside of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the civilian population will fight against the Russian, and millions could die. And I do not think anyone wants that to happen in Ukraine."

Therefore, says the analyst, now president Petro Poroshenko and other Ukrainian politicians are looking for a solution that would eliminate the "separatist fire with no active hostilities." Another thing is that here the goals of Kiev and Moscow are not the same, that Moscow wants to leave  not only local fighters, but also mercenaries, and even soldiers in the territory of Ukraine, says Portnikov. And in such case it is quite difficult to find common ground.