Specialists of the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies (CEDAW) offer their analysis of key trends in security and defense in the second half of March, 2019 year.
The first stage of the race for the presidential race has been overcome. There was no sensation: the data from the counting of votes from the Central Election Commission as a whole confirmed the results of basic social surveys. In the April 21, Ukrainians will choose between two options: to continue the current course of the state or to throw figures out of the chessboard and take a drastic restraint of power.
The will in the first round explicitly testifies - a wave of crisis of political elites has come to our shores, which has already washed away in the open sea a lot of sand castles erected by the "traditional" leaders. Over the past years, we have been observing from the side as here, then they come to power or gain unexpectedly high support of forces that position themselves as an embodiment of anti-establishment. A textbook example is the election of the US President 2016 year. At first glance, the comparison of Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky's "success stories" suggests (the latter's technology would prefer the postponement to Ronald Reagan, but leave the following parallels behind the brackets). However, the first impression is often misleading. In fact, the analogy with Trump is rather superficial. 45-th President of the United States "Occupied" Oval Office, having long-established vision of foreign policy tasks and priorities of national economy development. At the same time, his views on how the world was organized, Trump never concealed. The Americans did not vote for the "cat in the bag". By contrast, Zelensky's project is a tabula of national policy. Relatively equal support of Zelensky at different poles of the electoral map of the country suggests that with his candidacy the voter associates sometimes mutually exclusive expectations. Yet, common denominators are much larger. This is a real fight against corruption, the formation of a clear strategy for Crimea and ORDLOs, and structural reforms in the economy.
Despite the convincing indicator of the first round, the personal charisma resource multiplied by the protest vote is not enough to guarantee a victory in the final election race. To raise his electoral "ceiling" Zelensky can rally around him a high-quality team of technocrats. This factor will convince the voters to come to the polling station, which, despite the dissatisfaction with the current authorities, is not ready to "start the shore" - to give his voice a comedian. So the famous saying of Niccolo Maciavelli - "The King makes a retinue" - best describes the key challenge for the Zelensky campaign.
The lack of political experience Zelensky does not scare the mass voters. On the contrary, this side of the showman's biography provided a contrast to the rest of the candidates and strengthened the basis of a convincing outcome. This tendency is one of the key factors in these elections and complicates the extremely difficult task of Poroshenko's headquarters - to eliminate a tangible backlog.
The first "weapon" - the election debates - the president put it on the table immediately after the announcement of the results. However, attempts to "pull" the opponent into a comfortable space for public debate, obviously, are not enough to equal the slips of the scales. We need artillery much larger caliber. Will it be found in the arsenals of the head of state within the next three weeks?
This is the main intrigue of the coming weeks. The command of the president was spent considerable financial-administrative, informational and diplomatic resource. However, the work turned out to be Sisyphus - the result was devalued by active voting for the "extra-system" candidate. On the eve of the second round, Poroshenko became a hostage to the militant concept of his own campaign, which counts all opponents of the president on the electoral districts to "Kremlin agents". Thus, Poroshenko complicated the task of finding ranking allies in the finals.
Another challenge, with which Poroshenko will inevitably encounter in the event of a victory, is the low level of trust, and, consequently, the crisis of legitimacy. Support indicator in 16% is a low start for the next five years. Particularly, it will feel Poroshenko sharply in the fall - when it will have to form a new parliamentary majority.
Elections in a dry up
The current election campaign only goes to the final one hundred meters, but has already become one of the most dirtiest in the history of Ukraine. Here are a few factors that, according to CSA experts, will leave unpleasant memories:
- Politicization of the activities of law enforcement agencies, including through statements by the heads of these public support bodies in favor of the incumbent president. On the other hand, in an attempt by the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to demonstratively "stay out of the fight," one sees personal political ambitions and a long-standing conflict with the president.
- The war of compromising on the sole rule - "wood chop, chip fly".
- Large-scale use of de facto paramilitary organizations (National Wives) in political struggle.
It is worth mentioning the positive aspects of the preparation and holding of the March 31 election:
– The unconditional positive thing is to admit moving large-scale violations of the counting procedure, which allows us to talk about the democratic choices.
- The authorities succeeded in ensuring safe expression of will. At the same time, the probability of bloody provocations associated with voting should not be discounted, because only on the eve of the SBU a terrorist attack in Kharkiv prevented.
Undertow Diplomacy of the Prosecutor General
One of the most scandalous plots in March in the Ukrainian media was the prosecution of Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko to the US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovich. In an interview with The Hill, Lutsenko said that the US ambassador allegedly handed over to him a list of persons whom the GPU "should not persecute". In addition, a senior official mentioned US $ 4 million in US assistance to his department for combating corruption, which has never been entered into the accounts of the GPO.
This theme has flourished with new colors in US-sponsored Trump loyalties. So, the former US federal prosecutor Joe DiGenov, in an interview with Fox News, said that Jovanovich spoke badly about the United States president in talks with Ukrainian officials and urged them not to listen to Trump and not to worry about his policy as the White House speaks of impeachment. Fox News also issued a confidential letter with an urgent note, written last May by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Republican Congressman Pete Seshns after his visit to Kyiv. The document states that "Ambassador Yovanovich in private conversations repeatedly spoke about the current administration in the White House so negative that it could be a sufficient reason for her immediate withdrawal from Kiev."
The Lutsenko incident "coincidentally" coincided in time with the main sensation of overseas domestic cuisine - US Attorney General William Bar announced the completion of an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election of the year. The contents of the document prepared by the team of special prosecutor Robert Müller is not yet known. But, as stated by the US Department of Justice, the special prosecutor does not intend to put forward new allegations against the "Russian cause." It turns out that Muller did not find evidence of a conspiracy with the Kremlin of Trump's staff when he was still a candidate. The investigation was also unable to gather enough evidence of impediment to justice when Trump was already president.
Now the White House is set to counterattack Democrats. While the president is tweeting the "Ukrainian conspiracy to help Clinton," his son Donald Trump - the younger, also on Twitter, does not pick up words about Yovanovich himself: "We need ... less of these clumsy ambassadors." In such a rhetoric of Trump, the participation of the Ukrainian high-ranking official in the pursuit of the ambassador looks like an outright curter in the direction of the president of the United States. However, for Tramp's statement, Lutsenko seems to be an attempt to "freeze" old sins. Therefore, after a sharp fall in the direction of Yovanovich, the official Kiev did not receive any "plush". Instead, the relations with the State Duma, which became the ambassador's defense, make such maneuvers of the Ukrainian authorities unnecessary.
«Final Farewell "to the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Low Range Missiles
From the end of 2018, one of the most serious challenges for the global security system and the international nuclear arms control system was the problem of the agreement between the former USSR and the United States on the elimination of medium and short-range missiles (DRSMD). The US officially announced the withdrawal from the 1 Treaty in February 2019 of the year. If Russia, by August 1, will not return to the DRSMD, the document will eventually become the property of the history of the Cold War.
According to the US press, the United States began manufacturing components for testing prototype non-nuclear ground-based missiles prohibited by DRSMD. According to the American press, the Pentagon plans to test a cruise missile ground based at a range of 1 ths. Km. At the same time, US troops declare the lack of plans to test rockets with nuclear warheads - the equipment will be non-nuclear. A source in the Pentagon also reported that it is likely that ground versions of Tomahawk's cruise missiles will be tested. And already in November (when the "deadlin" DRSMD, which Russia, of course, does not plan to follow, will be tested) will be tested a "completely new" ballistic missile.
Actual disintegration of DRSMD actualizes the development of the missile program of Ukraine. Shortly before the election day, Petro Poroshenko said that in the event of a victory, the military missile program will be upgraded. "Now, we will be able to release such missiles that will be able to fly further than now, and this should deter our enemy, because its territory is also vulnerable," said the guarantor.
According to the advisers of the Expert Council of the Central Scientific and Production Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vadym Tyutyunnik and Valentina Gorovenko, the denunciation of the DRSMD will increase the challenges of Ukraine's defense by the RF due to the increase in the number of Russian missile complexes Iskander-M from the medium range 9М729 missile complexes. Over time, the adoption and deployment of missile complexes with medium-range ground-based hypersonic missiles will take place. These Russian state-of-the-art facilities are capable of striking objects throughout the territory of Ukraine, while in the Armed Forces of our country there are no modern missile defense systems / combat systems to combat them.
In this regard, the experts recommend to the President of Ukraine:
- Suspend the implementation by Ukraine of the Treaty between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America on the elimination of their medium-range and short-range missiles, and the Decision on the participation of the States members of the Commonwealth of Independent States in this Treaty from 09.10.1992 to eliminate Russia's alleged breaches of its obligations under the said Treaty. , or until it expires.
- To propose to the United States and NATO, in preparing the Alliance's defense responses to the challenges arising from the denunciation of the DRSMD, to foresee the following:
- Formation of a regional anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system on the eastern flank of NATO with the involvement of Ukraine in this process;
- conducting multinational missile defense exercises in Ukraine starting from 2020 year;
- the 2020-2021 transmission of 1-2 batteries from the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system to strengthen the missile defense of the capital, Kyiv, in the XNUMX-years of Ukraine.
- Contact the United States with suggestions on:
- Selling Ukraine's 2021-2022 anti-aircraft missile systems Patriot to provide anti-missile defense of important administrative and industrial centers, critical infrastructure objects, military command posts, air and naval bases, arsenals and other objects;
- the deployment of a ground-based Aegis missile defense complex in case of Russia's adoption of the Russian Federation for the deployment of missile complexes with medium-range ground-based hypersonic missiles on its territory (or in the territory of Belarus).