Tag Archives: Donbas

European Leaders- Man Who Starts War and Denies Involvement Is Reliable Partner in Ending War

PARIS– French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel see Russian President Vladimir Putin as a legitimate and reliable negotiating partner in resolving the conflict he started in Ukraine at Monday’s Normandy format meeting in Paris. Despite denying any involvement in the war initiated by Kremlin-backed mercenaries, many of whom were Russian citizens, Putin insists on being a party to the negotiations to end a conflict which he also insists his country has nothing to do with.

“I’m confident that Mr. Putin, who still claims his country is not a party to this conflict, is beyond a shadow of a doubt a legitimate, good-faith negotiator who can play an essential role in bringing peace,” a spokesman for Macron said.

“Even though we know he’s actually responsible for starting the war, any student of foreign relations knows that indulging delusional revanchist dictators in their version of events is the first stepping stone toward a lasting peace,” said a spokeswoman from the German Foreign Ministry.

800px-Vladimir_Putin_-_2006

Russian President Vladimir Putin denies any involvement in the Donbas conflict, yet insists on being party to the talks to end them. For some reason legitimate Western leaders and intellectuals accept this as normal. 

The talks were dubbed the “Normandy” format after leaders from Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia met on the sidelines of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War II. Some historians have sought to compare and contrast that monumental conflict with the current situation.

“What we see happening in Ukraine’s Donbas is very different from the Second World War,” said Georgetown International Relations Professor Arnold Sickert.

“Hitler began the war by staging a false flag attack on German targets that he blamed on the Polish. Britain and France didn’t buy this pathetic ruse, and thus they declared war on 3 September 1939. But if they had been like today’s European leaders, they might have tacitly acknowledged Hitler’s claims and demanded that both sides of the conflict come to the negotiating table and hammer out a peace deal, with most of the onus being on Poland. It’s only good modern diplomacy.”

When asked about whether Putin should be allowed to be a party to the negotiations while simultaneously denying any involvement in the war, Sickert emphasized that “the only way you stop a war is by endlessly catering to the regime that started in until it hopefully gets bored and leaves whatever country it invaded.”

Still, there are few hopes that this most recent Normandy meeting will present any major steps toward ending the conflict that has killed over 13,000 people since 2014. Just days before the scheduled talks, pro-Russian separatist forces launched a number of attacks on Ukrainian military positions, showing that they have no shortage of arms or ammunition despite claims they are not controlled by Moscow.

A few commentators have suggested that the practice of acquiescing to Putin’s narratives on the conflict and treating him as a reliable negotiator might actually be the cause of the ongoing conflict. Western leaders, highly-educated diplomats, and think tank academics have dismissed such opinions as  “not serious,” however.

Formula for Disaster

Since my Youtube channel is currently dedicated to more entertainment-related topics, I figured I might as well do a little serious writing here for the time being (typically I publish that sort of material at Nihilist.li these days). It just occurred to me that apart from scattered tweets, I never really gave a comprehensive opinion on the so-called “Steinmeier formula” that’s been dominating news in Ukraine lately, which is of course another argument against using Twitter. So in case you were wondering, here is my position on Steinmeier, which is inevitably going to piss off a lot of people because Ukraine. 

 

My opinion is as follows: Steinmeier, both the man Frank-Walter Steinmeier (seriously who hyphenates their first name?!), and his “formula,” suck. Powerfully. That being said, Zelenskyy’s position on the matter isn’t necessarily the cause for panic that some see it as. The question is whether Zelenskyy sticks to his guns about the manner in which it is to be implemented. Zelenskyy says he insists on control over the border and foreign troops out of Ukraine before holding elections, which must be held according to Ukrainian law. This is different from what the “formula” originally states.

 

As presented in 2016, the plan could be extremely problematic because it calls for elections to be held before restoring control of the border to Ukraine. While they must be certified as free and fair by the OSCE, there’s nothing specifying exactly what degree of “free and fair” they must achieve to be considered valid under the formula. The OSCE’s ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) does not simply rate elections in a black and white, pass/fail style basis. This means that Russia’s proxies could potentially rig the elections in such a way that they get their people in key positions in the region but not so much that the OSCE declares them invalid (Russia would also no-doubt send their typical delegation of neo-Nazi and backward Communist “election monitors” who would declare the whole process free and fair). 

 

On the other hand, if Zelenskyy insists on return of the border and removal of troops first, then it is possible that actual free and fair elections could be held on those territories. The catch in this case is that Russia would most likely refuse to abide by the plan because they aren’t going to risk losing their foothold in Ukraine without some kind of guarantee that they’ll have their agents well-entrenched in the political system. So if Zelenskyy doesn’t go back on his promises, Russia is likely to refuse to cooperate and we stay at the long bloody status quo. 

 

Personally speaking, as bad as the status quo is, it is preferable to any scenario which could be presented as capitulation by the Kremlin and its propaganda organs. Apart from the demoralization in Ukraine, Russia would inevitably use such a “victory” to lobby for the removal of all sanctions related to their involvement in eastern Ukraine by severing them from those covering Crimea. This is why I think it’s good that people came out and protested the matter, if only to remind Zelenskyy not to cave to Russian or European demands. It is of course unfortunate that right wing fifth columnist organizations like the National Corps are trying to capitalize on and monopolize this protest movement, but grifters gonna grift, after all. 

 

On the other hand I can’t help but see a lot of the anger being misdirected at Zelenskyy when there are others far worthier of ire. The Poroshenko dead-enders, for example, seem to forget that St. Petro himself had endorsed and tried to push through similar “special status” laws back in 2015. Those moves also provoked major protests and a bomb attack that killed four people. Earlier he’d even voiced willingness for a referendum on federalization, one of Russia’s main demands, back in 2014. Sure, he said he personally was against the idea, and he had to have known the majority of Ukrainians would vote it down, but Ukrainian politics are a minefield where saying the wrong thing or even saying something innocuous with the wrong wording gets called out as ZRADA! (treason), and some of his fans seem to be forgetting these actions, quite conveniently. Furthermore, Poroshenko and his fans seem to forget that they have been pushing the “no alternative to Minsk” line this whole time. This crowd never ceases talking tough about the war and labeling any opponent as being in favor of “capitulations,” but I know from personal experience that when you press them on what their great military solution is they retreat to mumbling about Minsk, “isolating Russia,” and poorly understood military history about Croatia’s Flash and Storm offensives of 1995. It’s all just empty posturing, and Ukrainians see through it. The majority, in fact. 

 

It seems to me that the most anger should be directed at, after the Kremlin of course, Europeans like Frank-Walter Steinmeier. One of the most infuriating things about the behavior of Ukraine’s so-called “friends,” the OSCE, etc. is the constant both-sides tone you hear in their statements and recommendations. Obviously being the victim of military aggression isn’t a license to wantonly engage in any kind of morally reprehensible behavior, but in the case of this war Ukraine has demonstrated great patience and restraint given the circumstances. If there were a will, Ukraine could be fighting this war far more dirtier than it currently is (Yo, Ze, hit me up!). Yet despite this, European states and their leaders, and at times even the US government, still often act as though peace in Ukraine is equally on the shoulders of Kyiv as much as it is on Moscow. Even Emmanuel Macron, who won an election in which he was the only major candidate without an obvious soft-spot for Putin, was recently demonstrating his desire to reintegrate Russia in the West.

 

Zelenskyy himself is something of a mixed bag, but given everything I’ve covered above, it’s hard to imagine him seeing any alternatives. Since 2015 the world as well as Ukraine’s own president had been saying the only way out is Minsk, and Steinmeier is basically a simplified version of key points of that agreement. And bear in mind they were singing this refrain of “no solution but Minsk” even as the very first point on that agreement was flagrantly violated on a daily basis for years, even up to the present. Ukraine’s establishment and its supposed allies all demanded that the corpse called Minsk II be worshipped, insisted there was no substitute, and now people are supposed to get angry that a former comedian is basically acquiescing to that very notion? 

 

If one wants to rage against Zelenskyy over this, by all means do so, but don’t exclude those that came before him and set the rules of the game. Better yet, don’t engage in chest-beating posturing only to seek refuge in “fulfill Minsk!” whenever someone asks about your supposedly non-capitulationist position. At the moment I hope Zelenskyy sticks to his guns, causing the Russians to refuse, and maintaining the status quo, as bad as it may be. However, because I have a bit more imagination than “Minsk II then Operation Storm somehow,” I can see plenty of opportunities for Ukraine to strike back even if they did accept the formula as is and gave Donetsk and Luhansk  “special status.” But whatever happens, perhaps instead of pointing the finger at this or that Ukrainian politician it would be better to attack the bigger problems such as Minsk II and the broken, capitalist international nation-state system that leads Ukraine’s so called “allies” to treat Ukraine equally to Russia when apportioning blame for the war while chomping at the bit to reconcile with Tsar Putin. Ukraine’s hope was never going to come from some president. 

 

Kremlin Admits Past Five Years Was Elaborate April Fools’ Day Joke

MOSCOW– In what may be called one of the most elaborate pranks in history, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov revealed that the past five years of Russian foreign policy had been a “massive April Fools’ joke” at a briefing on Monday.

“Andy Kaufman has got nothing on us,” Peskov said, tears streaming down his face as he clearly struggled to contain his laugher.

“The look on your faces this whole time- priceless! Absolutely priceless!”

Over the next two hours, Peskov revealed how Putin and other members of his government and security apparatus plotted to play what they called “the greatest prank of all time” on the West. Summarizing the plan, Peskov explained that it would begin first with the annexation of the Crimea, then a war in Ukraine, and finally a host of various international scandals and incidents over the following five years. The events themselves, however, were not the most important part of the plan.

“Of course starting wars and poisoning people in other countries, in and of themselves, are really just acts of aggression and assassination,” Peskov explained.

“The real prank, the thing that made the whole five-year affair so hilarious, was that we planned to just stupidly deny everything despite overwhelming evidence that we were guilty. To that end, we harnessed the entire state media apparatus.”

Peskov then broke down laughing as he recounted the ways in which some independent media outlets and commentators in the West actually took Russia’s denials seriously, even as the Kremlin knew its deliberate lies were “totally idiotic.”

“Can you believe there were- there are people in the West who after all these years seriously believe we didn’t shoot down MH17?” Peskov asked reporters.

“There are. There really are. The Ukrainian military had zero reason to fire at a single plane flying at that altitude, from east to west, while they were fighting a war against an enemy with no air force whatsoever. And yet despite that, and despite the fact that we must have put out no fewer than two dozen different stories, many of which blatantly contradicted each other, some of your citizens still bought it! And they thought they were the clever skeptics who don’t fall for government lies!”

Peskov again broke down laughing after that point and needed to take a few minutes to regain his composure before moving onto the topic of Syria.

“Syria was another one where your gullible audiences totally fell for the flimsiest lies. Remember how many times in 2018 our Ministry of Defense said it knew that the White Helmets and possibly Western special forces were about to stage a fake chemical attack? Did you ever get suspicious when that never happened? What kind of idiot would you have to be to believe something that stupid?  Sure, the false flag to bring Western intervention could have made sense that one time in 2013, but after that, two, three times? Come on? You’d have to be the dumbest imbecile in the world to believe that!”

According to Peskov, “only a total, utter moron” could believe the claims and denials of the Russian government.

“Bellingcat had us dead to rights on the identity of the Salisbury poisoning culprits,” he said.

“If we had been telling the truth about these two men, we had the perfect opportunity to totally discredit those Bellingcat nerds forever. And yet despite the fact that we never even attempted this and instead kept spinning more and more unbelievable alternative theories about the poisoning, so many of your self-proclaimed media skeptics totally believed our side! Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious!”

Putin’s spokesman also told reporters that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the encouragement of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, even treated the prank like a type of competition, whereby different Russian embassies around the world would compete for whose official Twitter account could “tweet the dumbest thing” and still have followers believing them.

“The competition was fierce, but our embassy in the U.K. won ever year, hands down,” Peskov said.

When asked if the revelation of this five-year prank meant that Russia would pull its forces out of Ukraine and apologize for incidents such as the downing of MH17 and the Salisbury poisonings, Peskov said it would not.

 

Greek Foreign Minister Says Ukraine Is Security Threat, Keeps Getting Invaded and Occupied by Russia

BRUSSELS- Greek Foreign Minister for Alternate Realities Nikos Xydakis said that Ukraine remains a “constant problem for European security,” due to what he calls Ukraine’s “perpetual propensity for getting in the way of Russian troops movements.” According to him, Eastern Europe would be far more stable if Ukraine could devise a way to not get invaded and occupied by Russia, which is “saddled with a major economic, political, and logistical burden” as it is forced to occupy the territory that Ukraine carelessly left in the path of Russian military units on the march.

“It’s not just Russian soldiers that keep finding their path obstructed by Ukraine,” Xydakis said.

“Ukraine has repeatedly gotten in the way of military aircraft, naval vessels, and even artillery shells fired from Russian territory for training purposes. How are Russia and Europe to cope with one country constantly sitting there like someone blocking a fire exit?”

Some experts agree with the Greek official, though they differ on the details. Italian Member of Parliament from the right-of-center “Mussolini Non Ha Fatto Nulla di Male!” Party Giampaolo Balbo says the problem is with Ukraine’s “behavior.”

“Look at that country, with its big inviting steppes and flat sprawling countryside.” Balbo said.

“It’s practically asking to be ravaged by Russian armored columns. If Ukraine doesn’t want to be invaded, maybe it shouldn’t look like it does. It’s all about self-respect.”

Meanwhile it’s difficult to to quantify just how much of an obstacle Ukraine is. Ukraine’s total area constitutes 233,062 sq mi, making it the 45th largest country in the world by area, and very difficult to maneuver around for Russian Battalion Tactical Groups, the main operational unit of the modern Russian army. This has led some experts to concur with Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials who deny responsibility for occupying the country after it blocked the path of the Russian military.

According to Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, alternatives to the problem of getting around Ukraine were considered, but rejected for practical reasons.

“We tried looking for alternative ways around Ukraine, believe me,” Peskov said, admitting for the first time that Russian troops were in Ukraine but denying responsibility for their presence there.

“Our best engineers considered everything from tunnels to massive elevated bridges, but these all proved prohibitively expensive. And since Ukraine so rudely got in the way of our marching armies, we really have no choice but to leave them there until we can think up a suitable way to return them.”

Dispatches from Europe’s Hidden War With Jordan B. Peterson

Editor’s note: Jordan B. Peterson is the only Western correspondent in Ukraine, visiting the front lines and covering the ongoing secret war in Europe that the Western liberal cuck media doesn’t want you to know about! He’s been shot at by Russian-backed separatists and thrown into dumpsters on several occasions by Ukrainian military personnel, volunteers, relief workers, OSCE SMM observers, clergy, Plast scouts, and on one occasion, a live bear, although Jordan maintains that he got in a few good smacks in the process. Without further ado, The Heritage Foundation Presents: Daily Outrage Magazine brings you Peterson’s latest dispatch!

When I first arrived in Bakhmut I was concerned at the lack of steak restaurants. As many of my readers know, I have been on an all-beef diet for some time in an attempt to push my testosterone levels ever higher and suppress the chaotic estrogen which stealthily lurks within the body of all males, always waiting for the opportune moment to strike and take over their testicles one and for all. Ukraine has a noted lack of steakhouses. Many restaurants sell “kutlety,” which do contain a good deal of beef but are also commonly tainted with pork and other non-beef ingredients, which while indistinguishable to the palate, still leaves a virile male dangerously vulnerable to a surprise estrogen-led testicular coup d’etat. And because I cannot slap dishonest and wily estrogen in the face as I would surely do to anything else that might threaten my overwhelming masculinity, the beef-only diet is my only option. Luckily I managed to find a butcher shop that would sell me large cuts of meat ahead of time. I would be forced to cook my own meals over the next few days, but this was far preferable to failing to follow my strict gastronomic regimen and succumbing to the chaos.

My first impressions of Bakhmut, like my first impression of the Donbas as a whole, is that it is a very messy place. Certainly Donbas residents could solve 90% of their problems if they just cleaned their towns. People are constantly screaming about pensions, Russian invaders, and corrupt local gangsters, but they are unwilling to take the most elementary steps towards self-improvement and self-realization. As I always say, you must get your own house in order, bucko, and certainly the people in the Donbas should start with this right away. Things like corruption or a Russian invasion are just methods by which they shirk responsibility for the chaos in their own lives, and it shows by the mess everywhere. I tried pointing this out some residents waiting at a bus stop, and this incidentally it was the first time I was unceremoniously thrown into a dumpster by these ungrateful degenerates. They were indeed fortunate that I had not yet consumed my daily allotment of 2kg of beef at that point in the day, because if I had I can assure you it would have been a bloodbath. A bloodbath consisting of their blood, not mine. This is the way of natural law. This is the lion of order locked in eternal struggle against the dragon of chaos.

In truth this whole mess could be traced to the so-called “Maidan” revolution which culminated in February of 2014. Right away I could tell things would go wrong seeing as how Maidan was essentially a protest movement, and protesting is an arrogant and pointless endeavor. Arrogant because by protesting you are telling the world that you know how to do things better than those above you in the natural hierarchy. Pointless because individuals trying to change the world are entertaining a delusion since they cannot possibly change the world but they can only change themselves as individuals. It’s ludicrous to talk about standing up to so-called “tyrants” when one isn’t willing to just stand up straight, with one’s shoulders back, projecting dominance much like the mighty lobster.

lobster

A paragon of virtue who embodies the kind of dominant personality the Maidan protesters should have adopted for themselves instead of making a mess of things. 

By unleashing the dragons of chaos in their own capital, the Ukrainians have left their country vulnerable not only to Russian invasion, but something even worse- Derrida inspired post-modernist neo-Marxism. Sure, Ukraine’s Institution of National Memory claims to have carried out so-called “decommunization,” which superficially seems like it would immunize the country against such totalitarian philosophies, but it isn’t hard to imagine that decommunization could become recommunization. With their striving to join chaos-infested Europe, it is only a matter of time before people in this country are, like in Canada, compelled to use different pronouns and gender-neutral language, which may seem insignificant at first, but will inevitably lead to another Holodomor. Five Holodomors, all at the same time, in fact.

Some may say my concern over pronouns and traditional gender concepts is nothing but alarmism. But what if I were to tell you, dear readers, that the Ukrainian language, much like the Russian language, has not two, but three genders? Worse still, adjectives and past tense verbs are literally forced to agree with the self-identified gender of the noun they are connected to, even if that gender is neither male nor female but, as they called it, “neuter.” Clearly this legacy of Stalin and the Bolsheviks is so deeply rooted in this country that its chaotic ideology is interwoven with the language itself.

Getting back to my trip to Bakhmut, I had an opportunity to see many members of the Ukrainian armed forces. They truly embody a great many of the classic Jungian heroic archetypes, from the young hero on a journey of self-realization to the wise mentor and the mildly irritated vampire wizard. My only concern was that they have foolishly invited chaos dragons into their own army, by which I mean they have females serving as soldiers as opposed to state-regulated concubines to reward males. I wanted to warn them of the dangers of doing male professions and looking attractive in the workplace, but unfortunately I speak neither Ukrainian nor Russian, and I do not plan to learn as I categorically refuse to learn a language that would compel me to recognize three genders. From there it is only a short leap to the Gulag Archipelago. In any case I can only hope that the right-minded men of the Ukrainian armed forces will rein in these rebellious women before it’s too late, especially those three who threw me in a dumpster while I was trying to warn them about the sexual connotations of wearing lipstick via pantomime.

One warning I would give to would-be visitors is that public bathroom facilities are often poorly maintained, so plan accordingly. Naturally this didn’t pose a problem to me thanks to my all-beef diet, which allows me to go weeks on end without having to defecate. Also if you plan to give any lectures on the dangers posed to Western civilization by neo-Marxist feminism, you may be disappointed to find the young people inattentive and generally insolent. This one nine-year-old girl was acting insanely defiant while I was yelling at her about the virtues of arranged marriage and government enforce monogamy, and I was right about to slap her silly when a crowd of her classmates treacherously ambushed me from behind and threw me in a dumpster. Rest assured this is not over. Mess with the alpha lobster and you will get the claw.

As I rode the bus back to the train station in the nearby town of Kostianynivka, I was at least relieved to get out of the city after sundown, as it is apparent that this part of the country is almost certain to be infested with witches. And as I was riding on that train back to Kyiv, I couldn’t help but think while devouring my last chunk of raw beef that perhaps I was riding on a chaos dragon now, swaying back and forth as it sped through the steppe like estrogen coursing through the veins of this modern society’s soy-fed young males.

In the end I realized there was little hope for this land. The chaos has claimed it. It is a messy teenager’s room which no one wants to clean. So to President Petro Poroshenko, who so often demands help from the West against Russian aggression, I can only offer these words of sage-like advice: Sort yourself out, bucko.

Also do not think I have forgiven you for throwing me in that dumpster. You have made a powerful enemy, Chocolate man!

Ukrainian Armed Forces Receive Deep Concerns From US, EU Members

YAVORIV- The Ukrainian Armed Forces have just received the first shipment of “deep concerns” as part of a multinational military aid package in response to last Sunday’s incident in the Kerch Strait, where Russian coast guard ships attacked and captured three Ukrainian naval vessels along with their crews. Almost immediately after the incident was reported, representatives from the US and several of its NATO allies immediately announced their intentions to send aid to Ukraine in the form of both “concerns” and later “deep concerns” in order to counter Russia’s actions.

One State Department official told reporters on Monday that the Trump administration had also considered sending “grave concerns,” but this was later canceled so as “to avoid provoking escalation from the Russian side.” Meanwhile, experts disagree on whether the White House’s response was adequate or too provocative given the danger of opening another front in the conflict between the government in Kiev and rebel separatists in the east who are extremely well supplied, wear uniforms and equipment almost identical to that of the Russian armed forces, have more tanks and armored vehicles than some NATO countries, and whose leadership has historically contained a conspicuously high number of Russian citizens since their movement suddenly appeared in the spring of 2014.

“Deep concerns are not nearly enough if you want to send the right message to Putin,” said Anders Auslander, a fellow at a DC-based think tank.

“The only way you are going to raise the costs and deter him from further aggression is to equip Ukraine’s military with extremely grave concerns. There’s simply no other way.”

Other experts, however, suggest that even mild concern could provoke all-out war, possibly drawing the US and its allies into the conflict.

“We have to see things from Moscow’s point of view,” says Steve Kuhn, a professor of Soviet-Russian history.

“For years they’ve been watching as the US and NATO constantly express concern about Russia. If you want to start World War III, I can’t think of a better way than to arm the Ukrainian nationalists with more concerns, especially deep concerns.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian military personnel are struggling to distribute the concerns and train personnel on how to use them while they are on full alert for a possible Russian ground invasion.

“I don’t understand how we’re supposed to use these,” says Roman Bondarenko, 27, a lieutenant in one of Ukraine’s mechanized infantry brigades.

“All these shipping containers with NATO markings arrived at the rail depot, but when we opened them they were empty. Nothing but air.”

Serhii Hopko, 19, is a soldier in Bondarenko’s platoon who also expressed his disappointment with the latest shipment of NATO military aid.

“We hear reports that the Russians are moving tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks to the border, and we’re supposed to fight with this,” he said, gesturing to the empty shipping container behind him.

conext

KIEV- US Air Force crews unload the first shipment of deep concerns to aid Ukraine’s military in the face of renewed threats from Russia over access to the sea of Azov

Meanwhile, Russian officials slammed the decision to aid Ukraine’s military with deep concerns as “irresponsible” and a “clear provocation.”

“This simply shows that our Western partners are not interested in creating lasting peace in the Donbass, but rather irresponsibly encouraging the Poroshenko regime to escalate the war further,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her official Facebook page.

Zakarhova also warned that Russia would be forced to take “appropriate, and proportional measures” in response to the new aid package. While it is not entirely clear what those measures might entail, military analysts and open source investigators have been monitoring Russian military activity in the region and believe they have already seen signs of a response.

“Based on intelligence provided via satellite imaging, social media, and other open source information, it would appear that Russia is already responding to NATO’s concerns and deep concerns with additional main battle tanks and attack helicopters,” said one Pentagon analyst.

The Wallet Inspector

So recently the US and Germany have, for some strange reason, reacted with measured optimism toward Vladimir Putin’s latest suggestions about a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas region of Ukraine. What a great guy- he starts a war and then sells you the solution! Seriously though, I’m disturbed that the State Department and the German Ministry didn’t immediately tell Putin to shove his peacekeeping plan up his own ass once they heard his “conditions.”

Essentially Putin wants the UN peacekeeping mission to include Russian participation (yeah I’m sure they’ll be totally impartial), he wants it to involve direct negotiations with his proxy actors in the occupied territory, and it should patrol the line of contact between his pseudo-states and government-controlled territory. Just as others have already pointed out, this amounts to nothing but an attempt to solidify control over the occupied territories and permanently freezing the conflict in the manner of Transnistria, South Ossetia, or Abkhazia. UN peacekeepers will keep Ukraine’s armed forces from retaking the territory and possibly firing back when his proxies decide to loose a few shells, and the world will treat the conflict according to the Kremlin’s rhetoric, i.e. as a “civil war.” As if all this weren’t enough to convince you that this plan is nothing but Kremlin bullshit, check out the “DNR/LNR” reaction to the plan, as reported by Russian state media.

Basically, Putin’s “peacekeeping initiative” is the diplomatic equivalent of the “wallet inspector” scam. While it’s obvious he’s not acting in good faith, it’s interesting to speculate why he might be offering this now. There do seem to be signs that Russia might be trying to extricate itself from Donbas. Since early 2015, Russia’s objective has been to shove the territories back into Ukraine so that Kyiv is forced to pay for them while maintaining proxy forces there which could continue to influence Ukrainian politics in the Kremlin’s favor. Of course Kyiv is well aware of Putin’s desire to have his cake and eat it too, which is why they have no plans to grant Russia’s conditions of Minsk II before Russia grants their demands, such as control over the Russian-Ukrainian border.

Putin’s latest offer just seems like an attempt to make an end run around this impasse and perhaps cut costs associated with supplying his proxy forces in the region. Also, if there are Russian “peacekeepers” there, Putin can always use an alleged attack on them as pretext to invade and take more territory, or at least punish the Ukrainian Armed Forces and destabilize the situation for Kyiv. Like in the 2008 Georgia War, Russia would benefit from being able to claim retaliation for attacks on “peacekeepers.”

I could go on, but I think by now it’s painfully clear that there is absolutely nothing good in this offer and really the best answer the US or any country could have sent to Putin would have been a note on official letterhead reading:

Dear Mr. Putin,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

No. 

Sincerely yours,

(Department/Ministry name)

The media can also help. When reporting on Putin’s peace overtures, they can point out that Putin is actually a party to the conflict, as well as its initiator. As my friend Paul Niland in Kyiv has often pointed out, reporters should stop reporting Russian denials on involvement without adding that said denials are contradicted by “overwhelming evidence.” It’s clear that one more motive for this latest ploy is for Putin to once again promote himself as a peacemaker and advocate of stability. The media shouldn’t give him the opportunity.

Lastly, while everyone’s making wild proposals about peacekeeping missions here, let me present my official Russia Without BS United Nations Peacekeeping Plan for the Donbas (patent pending). It works like this:

Russia pulls all forces out of the Donbas. 

UN Peacekeeping troops deploy along the Russian-Ukrainian border, on the Russian side of it, with the mission of preventing Russia from invading again. 

Crimea, Kuban, and Far East go to Ukraine as reparations.

Sanctions are removed so Russia no longer has to squash cheese with bulldozers.

You may call it extreme, but it’s a small price to pay for peace and stability in the region. You’re not against peace,are you?