What’s going on:
On 27 February 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin violated the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the underlying agreements of 1997 determining the terms and conditions for the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s temporary presence and operation on Ukrainian territory.
On 27 February 2014, Putin UNLEASHED A REGIONAL CONFLICT and is now treacherously implementing the same plot as the one he used in Georgia. Russia is currently waging a unilateral – and, fortunately, bloodless – war against Ukraine.
It is important to understand that the key reason for Putin’s aggression is one of psychological nature. What led Putin to this step was his defeat on the Maidan. Being essentially a defective, deconstructive and destructive individual, Putin would not stop short of plunging millions of people into chaos of war just for the sake of displaying power to Ukraine and third countries. A paranoid man with a Napoleon complex, he can burst all bounds of humanity and adequacy for the sake of a revenge.
Relying on the hand-picked legislature of the Russian Federation, on the controlled mass media and the population thoroughly processed by a powerful state information-psychological machine, Putin has willfully destabilized the situation in Crimea.
At this moment in time, the tactics used by Putin is to take over the Crimean Peninsula by means of staging a separatist coup by the hands of Russian citizens and military units redeployed to Crimea from Russia. A more global aim pursued by Putin’s administration is to achieve a change of government in Ukraine. It does not necessarily mean restoring Yanukovich in power. All that means is that that government is controlled by Moscow and heed to orders from the Kremlin. Against this background, Crimea remains to be a potential “flashpoint”; when continuous provocations by Russian military men make Ukrainian army units respond with force, armed bloodshed will be imminent.
It is to be added that Putin and his administration are successfully exploiting to their advantage fugitive ousted president of Ukraine Yanukovych, announcing on his behalf some alleged agreements on redeployments (disguised as regular training exercises) of Russian forces in Crimea. What is playing into Putin’s hands is, unfortunately, the slow pace of decision-making by Ukrainian authorities; decisions made prior to March 2 were put into practice with several-day delays. The authorities failed to prevent Yanukovych from fleeing Ukraine or to isolate extremist and separatist leaders, including Russian citizens, neither did they manage to stage an all-Ukrainian information front.
It needs to be particularly emphasized that Putin as personality is strongly inclined to military invasion. Identifying himself for a long time with bloody dictator Josef Stalin (incidentally, as Saddam Hussein did), he is potentially ready to kill huge numbers of people just to satisfy his own ambitions.
At the same time, there is a CLEAR DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE CONCEPTS OF “PUTIN’S ADMINISTRATION” AND “THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE”. It is the Russians who have not forgot how to think and don’t want a dictatorship again, who, along with the voice of the international community, could become a core of opposition to Putin.
It is to be added here that it is Putin who bears full responsibility for the Russians’ thinking of Ukraine which has been worsening month and out. Hostile attitude of brainwashed masses has aggravated to the degree where members of the Russian Armed Forces have become ready for fratricidal war, and this war would find favor with a substantial part of the Russian people.
What is to be done:
On the one hand, the only restraining factor under the current conditions may be a consolidated effort of the international community and the conscious part of the Russian people. Putin is expecting precisely a military force response from Ukraine, or that the mentioned aims will be achieved by a bloodless means. However, Putin is not so certain, and there are signs of that. THIS IS WHAT DICTATES THE NEED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO LAUNCH A GLOBAL INFORMATION WARFARE ATTACK AGAINST THE PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA PERSONALLY.
It is necessary to launch the second information front in an uncompromising war against demonism of Putin’s personality. The moment has come for the international community to begin using all its influence power available, with one single aim – to stop this inadequate man. The current conflict has fully revealed Putin as a destructive person equal in his ambitions to Hitler and Stalin. The world must not turn out to be weak to permit one demoniac man to plunge it into chaos of a potential Third World War! To that end, it is necessary to put to use all the available rostrums, information forums, mass media and social network services. Things must be called by their proper names to reveal a potential criminal against humanity. It should be understood that Putin is afraid of becoming a pariah of the world.
IMMEDIATE CHANGE OF INTERPRETATIONS is necessary among other things: “military action in the name of bringing Crimea back [under Russian control]” must be interpreted in terms of “military invasion, a war against Ukraine”.
New Ukrainian government should:
Immediately set up an information center for round-the-clock coverage of developments in Ukraine; translation to major languages is key. Correct the distorted information; warn about Russia’s misinformation. Recruit experts, analysts and journalists.
Maintain restraint, KEEP THE ARMY INACTIVE for some time while preparing it for combat actions. Carry out limited mobilization; define in clear terms “the no-return point” – the moment when Ukraine’s Armed Forces come into combat. It is to be emphasized that the current level of morale in the Ukrainian army is sufficiently high. It is this factor, rather than the troop level or the available amount of armaments, which can make the aggressor stop. At the same time, this is going to be an uneven confrontation, considering intensive rearmament of the Russian army during the past five years and six-fold numerical superiority in combat capabilities. For this reason, combat actions could only be a last-resort means of settling the crisis.
Declare readiness to go for expanding Crimea’s autonomy; this is subject to negotiations, and this should be made known broadly to the population in Crimea.
Continue intercommunication with the USA and NATO regarding possible involvement in a potential military scenario. Be active to the maximum possible extent on the international scene. The voices of diplomats and politicians must not cease to be heard; the wave of anti-Putin protests must reach out to the entire conscious international community.
MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME. Arrange for operations to isolate extremist and separatist leaders; strongly warn the visiting Russian officials against making anti-Ukrainian statements; full denial of entry for agent provocateurs such as Zhyrinovsky, Zatulin etc.
INTENSIFY COMMUNICATION WITH THE CRIMEAN TATARS, up to establishing the National Guards (adopt a relevant Law of Ukraine, urgently equip the National Guards units with arms).
Finally, and most importantly, Putin’s boldness is pretended since it arises from the false perception that Putin’s Russia is firm in its determination to fight fiercely for Ukraine, whilst the West is not. Based on this perception, Putin awarded himself two points: in 2008, the West had had to “lump” Russia’s invasion of Georgia, and the West left Ukraine alone when its European integration aspirations came to a standstill… Putin will quickly pull out once he sees that the West is ready to defend Ukraine with force, not with words.
Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies