Has Putin turned the Russians in Ukraine against Russia?
Ukraine freely elected a pro-Russian national assembly majority in 2012 and a pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in a hotly contested election two years earlier. Now such political feats cannot be repeated, except perhaps at a regional level in the southern and eastern parts of the country. …
The country’s linguistic, cultural, and political divide has remained significant, with millions of Russian speakers feeling marginalized. It is nevertheless noteworthy that by and large, they have not greeted the Russian Army as liberators. …
The rank-and-file “soft-Ukrainian” veterans and their families, once the fighting is over, are likely to see themselves as distinct from Russians — possibly hostile to them — even in those areas where the Russophobic variety of western Ukrainian hard nationalism had not been present in the past. …
But there is an alternative scenario to consider as well.
Chechens are definitely an ethnos, and Muslims to boot. They were beaten in the 1990s, pounded far worse than Ukraine today, but that did not permanently alienate them from Russia. In Ukraine, in fact, they are performing quite enthusiastically as Russian auxiliaries. Other analogies might be the Scottish Highlanders and the American South: both were defeated, harshly. Both maintained a sense of identity but fell into line with the respective victors. This type of scenario seems less likely than a resentful Ukraine lastingly detached from Russia, but it should not be discarded as a priori implausible, especially considering that the bloom may be off the rose of the West, which didn’t do diddly-squat for Ukraine, leaving the possibility of a strong sense of betrayal; the future will tell.
How will Ukrainians feel about the West?
Either way, Ukraine has been used with uttermost cynicism as a pawn of the neoliberal-neoconservative duopoly in Washington and its Euro-minions, none of whom gives a hoot for its people, or for any other peoples. …
The fact remains that Putin started the war, and he bears the primary responsibility for how it is being pursued. Why he did so is another matter. The claim that Putin has been pushed into this war is not without merit, but it is the job of a statesman of stature not to be pushed into risky moves.
Russia will be loathed by the West:
The second aspect in which Russia likely will be weakened by Putin’s action is in its global position as an autonomous great-power actor, actively loathed by the political West, to be sure, but respected — and feared — by friend and foe alike.
From now on, sanctioned and crudely maligned by the collective West, and likely damaged by losing Ukraine in the cultural sense (regardless of the political arrangement to end the war), the Bear will be pushed into an ever tighter embrace of the mighty Dragon in the East. No longer an equal partner but effectively a supplicant, he will be treated with smiling aloofness, which the Middle Kingdom has already displayed at the UN Security Council by abstaining from the vote condemning Russia. …
The political West, led by the U.S., may yet fatally damage itself by its mendacious and ultimately hysterical treatment of Russia, but that in itself will not be enough to save Russia from its likely coming decline. With Europe beyond salvation demographically and spiritually, and the globalist cabal in Washington on a self-destructive rampage, Comrade Xi has every reason to be delighted by what looks like a solid mandate from Heaven.
Probably about right. Putin’s invasion only made sense if the victory was swift and almost bloodless. Another great stuff-up.
hat-tip Stephen Neil