Moscow’s Unbridled Imperial Plan…

Moscow’s Unbridled Imperial Plan – Just Check History and the Maps

Western pundits continue to wonder in an irritating sort of way about Russia’s intentions in Ukraine though they wrongly personify its aggression with the name of Vladimir Putin.

Just as the eight-year Russo-Ukraine War is the latest manifestation of Moscow’s unappeasable quest to subjugate Ukraine that has lasted since Andrey Bogolyubsky sacked Kyiv in 1169, Putin is today’s executor of this immoral, ungodly mission.

Most explanations can be found in general knowledge of the history of Moscow and Russia. With threats, proscriptions and invasions, Moscow has attempted to control Ukraine’s destiny while it ceaselessly plots to re-subjugate it.

Recent articles accessible to all have substantiated this assertion but sadly the experts haven’t been able to make reasonable conclusions.

One popular question asks how long this war – not conflict – between Moscow and Kyiv will last.

Former Swiss ambassador Toni Frisch, who spent years coordinating humanitarian aid in Ukraine, cast a mortal pall on the situation by predicting, “For me, it’s clear this conflict is likely to last a long time. I would call it a ‘tailor-made frozen conflict.’”

Certainly, a frozen conflict or zone will bring death and destruction to Ukraine for years to come. That outcome will certainly not benefit the victim and Europe.

Russians, on the other hand, suggested an end to the war that will obviously benefit only Moscow’s imperialistic objective.

In an article in New Eastern Europe, political scientist at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy and Editorial Advisory Board member of The Ukrainian QuarterlyTaras Kuzio wrote that Dmytro Medvedev, the Kremlin’s second-rate political functionary who espouses Putin’s official line, said the war will go on until Ukraine becomes a second Belarus.

“Wait for the appearance of a sane leadership in Ukraine, which does not aim for total confrontation with Russia or organize foolish ‘Crimean platforms’ created to trick the country’s population and flex their muscles before the elections, but at building equal and mutually beneficial relations with Russia,” Medvedev opined. He also added the warning that “Russia knows how to wait. We are patient people.”

His words reveal much about Moscow’s policy toward Ukraine. The comparison with Belarus is the most deleterious. Today, Belarus and its president Lukashenko are akin to being the latest captive nation of Russia and its leader a mere administrator, weaker even than Ukraine’s ill-fated Viktor Yanukovych.

Medvedev indicated that Ukraine’s defense of occupied Crimea is foolish while cautioning everyone that Russia will wait until a Lukashenko appears in Kyiv – “Russia knows how to wait.”

And while waiting, it will continue undoubtedly to squeeze Ukraine until it starves the nation – literally and figuratively – and Kyiv surrenders, disrupting regional and global peace security. Simultaneously, Moscow is confident that the free world will come to Ukraine’s defense the same way it did in Belarus’ case.

Kuzio concluded: “Following this Russian nationalist logic, the only normal state of affairs for Ukraine is to resemble today’s Belarus.” In other words – surrender.

Putin upped the ante against free world expansion into what Moscow contends is its territory by warning that the enlargement of NATO military infrastructure in Ukraine crosses his red line. He’s sending an unambiguous signal to all concerned. Ukraine, independent or not, is its sphere of influence. Obviously, that’s why Moscow invaded and occupied Crimea and why it is waging an open war in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of eastern Ukraine for almost eight years – the longest war in Europe. Furthermore, Putin is telling the free world’s military-political alliance what it can and can’t do. Don’t cross the red line.

Putin’s July 2021 essay “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” read like a declaration of war against Ukrainian statehood. This was followed by f Medvedev’s own vitriolic anti-Ukrainian article, which dismissed Ukraine as a “vassal state” and argued that any talks with the current Ukrainian authorities were not only senseless but harmful. Putin claimed Ukraine was being functionally controlled by Western nations to foment anti-Russian sentiment.

“We will never allow our historical territories and people close to us living there to be used against Russia,” Putin wrote. “And to those who will undertake such an attempt, I would like to say that this way they will destroy their own country.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba rejected the notion of a Russian red line outside of Russia’s own borders, and said Kyiv had its own security to think about. “Putin’s red lines are limited to Russia’s borders,” Kuleba tweeted. “On our side of the Ukrainian-Russian border we can figure out ourselves what to do in the interests of the Ukrainian people, as well as Ukraine’s and Europe’s security.”

Moscow is not limiting its warnings to Ukraine. It is also dictating behavior to other regions of the world.

“We call on Afghanistan’s neighboring countries not to allow a military presence of US and NATO forces that plan to move there after leaving Afghanistan’s territory,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a video conference held in Tehran after US forces evacuated.

It is evident that Moscow, the evil empire, is setting foreign policies for the free world rather than vice versa. As many have expected, Europe, hungry for energy and eager to acquire it anywhere, has made the devil’s choice and became a hostage to Moscow, hoping against hope that it will not escalate its war against Ukraine to Europe.

This fear has given the Kremlin carte blanche to ride roughshod over the international community, disregarding everyone’s concerns, admonishments and sanctions. Iuliia Mendel, President Zelenskyy’s former press secretary, recently correctly pointed out that Moscow is the root of global instability. “However, when it comes to fueling and exploiting today’s rising tide of international instability, one country, in particular, stands out. Russia has emerged over the past two decades as the world’s leading exporter of instability. This has become a central pillar of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy, allowing Moscow to undermine potential opponents from within while enabling the Kremlin punch well above its true geopolitical weight,” she noted.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an overseeing institution, expressed the same point of view that Russia is not only a party to aggression in eastern Ukraine, but the prime driver of it as Russia started the bloody confrontation and continues to fuel it.

“Last week, and most weeks, we in this Permanent Council hear Russia deny involvement in the conflict it initiated and continues to sustain in Ukraine.  Russia has brought peace negotiations to a standstill by refusing to participate unless Ukraine implicitly recognizes Russia’s proxies in Donetsk and Luhansk by directly engaging with them — a move which would only advance Russia’s false narrative that the conflict in the Donbas is an internal conflict,” Courtney Austrian, chargé d’affaires of the US Mission to OSCE, said at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on September 30, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. According to Austrian, Moscow also attempts to mask the truth – “Russia is not only a party to this conflict but began this conflict and continues to directly fuel and lead it despite signing onto to a peace deal more than seven years ago.”

And to prove Moscow’s unmasked aggressive plans, this weekend several news media, including The Washington Post, reported about another buildup of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine that has international observers biting their nails.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the troop movements have reignited concerns that arose in April, when the largest buildup of troops by Russia near the Ukrainian border in years sparked an international outcry.

The renewed movements of Russian forces in the area come as the Kremlin embraces a harder line on Ukraine. Putin and other Kremlin leaders have escalated their rhetoric in recent months, attacking Kyiv’s Western ties, questioning its sovereignty and delineating a red line.

Can you blame Ukraine for using Turkish drones to destroy Russian military positions?

Videos have surfaced on social media showing Russian military trains and convoys moving large quantities of military hardware, including tanks and missiles, in southern and western Russia.

“The point is: It is not a drill. It doesn’t appear to be a training exercise. Something is happening. What is it?” Michael Kofman, director of the Russia studies program at the Virginia-based nonprofit analysis group CAN, was quoted as saying.

Officials in the United States and Europe began noticing the movements, particularly in recent weeks, after Russia concluded a massive joint military exercise with Belarus known as Zapad 2021 on its western flank in mid-September.

According to Kofman, satellite imagery shows that forces from Russia’s 41st Combined Arms Army, normally based in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, didn’t return to Siberia after the exercises, and instead linked up with other Russian forces near the Ukrainian border. Kofman also said imagery appears to show that Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army, an elite unit based outside Moscow, is moving personnel and materiel toward Ukraine.

The new images taken by Maxar Technologies and shared with POLITICO show a buildup of armored units, tanks and self-propelled artillery along with ground troops massing near the Russian town of Yelnya close to the border of Belarus. The units, which began moving in late September from other areas of Russia where they are normally based, include the elite 1st Guards Tank Army.

Meanwhile, a new analysis by Jane’s today revealed that equipment from Russia’s 4th Tank Division has been moved to areas around Bryansk and Kursk close to Ukraine’s northern border. The units are equipped with T-80U main battle tanks and self-propelled artillery.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defense council, said in a statement that after the conclusion of the Zapad 2021 exercises, Russia left military equipment, as well as control and communications centers, at training sites along the Ukrainian border. Danilov estimated that the number of Russian troops deployed around the Ukrainian border at 80,000 to 90,000, not including the tens of thousands stationed in Crimea.

Putin’s saber rattling has no bounds. On Monday, November 1, he emphasized the need to strengthen Russia’s air defenses amid NATO’s military activities near its borders. Speaking during a meeting with military officials and arms makers in the southern Russian city of Sochi, Putin specifically noted the deployment of NATO’s US-led missile defense components in Eastern Europe and increasingly frequent missions by NATO ships near Russian waters in the Baltic and Black Seas. 

“Even now, a US warship has entered the Black Sea, and we can see it in binoculars or crosshairs of our defense systems,” Putin was quoted as saying in a reference to the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the U.S. 6th Fleet, deployed to the Black Sea. 

Indeed, US and Europe are in Ukraine’s corner – at least with their pronouncements. Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, Charles Michel, president of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, met in Kyiv for the 23rd Ukraine-EU Summit and issued a statement, which said at the start: “We gathered today to reaffirm our continued commitment to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union, on the basis of the Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.”

Russia has regularly been mobilizing and bivouacking its vast army on Ukraine’s border only to withdraw it after a few weeks. Everyone’s concern evaporates but what if next time the Russians don’t evacuate?

It’s a no-brainer what Moscow is doing. It’s telling the world what it will do if Ukraine and the free world express their sovereign rights. Remember “Mein Kampf” by Adopf Hitler? The free world must act first by hogtying Moscow into submission.