In order to give a correct assessment of the current events in Ukraine and Syria, one should recall what preceded them in the near past:
1. In exchange for curtailing its presence in the Middle East, Russia received from the West the guarantees of non-interference in any of its actions in the "zone of influence" that extended to the entire post-Soviet space. For Europe and the United States it was more advantageous to deal with Moscow as a single center controlling the territory of the former USSR than with a bunch of the uncontrolled republics. For the same reason, they did not interfere with the revival of the Russian empire, which was to begin with the annexation of Ukraine.
2. The Kremlin and its fifth column’s attempts to implement the Ukraine's "peaceful entry" into the Russian Federation, despite the active support of the Ukrainian authorities, had no success, but provoked the emergence of the Maidans in 2004 and 2014. President Yanukovich’s flight from the country forced Putin to resort to the forceful scenario of annexation of Ukraine, which began with the occupation of the Crimea, but, for the reasons remaining unexplained, was never completed.
3. The G-7 countries did not take any active action against the aggressor, believing that the annexation would be implemented in next to no time. Not knowing the true reasons for Russia's refusal to engage in a full-scale invasion of the continental part of Ukraine, they suggested that it withdraws its troops from the 50-kilometer border zone in order to exhaust the conflict and pacify the world community. Putin promised to remove the troops, but did not do this, which forced the United States and Europe to condemn Russia's aggressive actions in order to maintain their images of peace supporters.
4. The Maidan of 2014 became a threat on a global scale to the Power’s institution formed by the System, since it challenged the very meaning of its existence by proposing a new concept of societal management, the main parameters of which are the product of its participants’ lively creativity. Its essence consists in replacing the current institutions of power which stand over the society with the people’s self-government based on their self-organization. The military and the civil volunteers’ movements in Ukraine became a weighty confirmation of its effectiveness.
5. The oligarchs of Ukraine and Russia, with the support of the West’s elite, came out as a united front against the ideas of self-government. The usurpation of power exercised by Turchinov and Yatsenyuk within the walls of the Verkhovna Rada after Yanukovych's flight was the first step towards extermination of the Maidan. The presidential election completed the process of gaining "legitimacy from the people" by the new government. Well, things would be all fine and dandy, but in consequence of the joint efforts by Russian special services and Yanukovich’s bandits on the eve of the Maidan, the country’s government apparatus was destroyed because of its uselessness for the powers that be, as far as according to their plans the Ukrainian state would cease to exist after the "peaceful entry" into the unitary and indivisible Russia. Scilicet this circumstance also became the reason of incapacity of the present authority of Ukraine that has not received from its predecessors the necessary tool for realization of the imperious powers.
6. The possibility of emergence in Ukraine of the power controlled by the West and the Russian Federation was originally considered by the "anti-Maidan coalition’s" participants as a reserve option, since no one doubted that Russia would be able to annex Ukraine in a matter of hours. The fact that this did not happen became an unpleasant surprise not only for Putin, but also for his friends from among the G7 leaders. The first plunged into adventure in the Donbass in order to understand what was happening to his army, while his "friends" began to "pacify" the parties to the conflict through organization of the negotiations in Minsk. All participants in the "peace process" were least worried about Ukraine's interests and in fact solved the task of saving the image of the Russian president. The Ukrainian government did not become an exception, as its interests coincided in many respects with Putin's interests.
The yesterday's participants of the Maidan have become the military and civil volunteers, who represented a real threat to the current regime. That was why the powers that be had to stop their offensive in the Donbass, which threatened to drive the aggressor out of the country. So, there was an idea of organizing a "cauldron" [i.e. entrapment] near Ilovaysk, which was to become a weighty argument in favor of abandoning the military volunteers' offensive actions. There were no "convincing" losses among the volunteers, although the "pro-Russian" command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (the AFU) did everything possible for this. The volunteers realized that they were simply "sold-out", and therefore began to rely more on themselves, so another "cauldron" near Debaltsevo did not take them by surprise.
According to president Poroshenko, overall strength of the Ukrainian army at the time of Russian aggression did not exceed 6,000 people, who couldn’t significantly interfere with the aggressor. So, removing the volunteers from the front, the authorities helped the Russian troops to freely expand the occupied territories. The next step in the fight against the volunteer’s formations was the decision to subordinate them to the leadership of the AFU or other law enforcement agencies in accordance with the “Minsk Agreements.” The process of withdrawing the volunteers from the front lines and their subsequent disarmament began. The only thing was that this action did not lead to the expected effect on the line of combat contact between the warring parties. The Ukrainian government has created all the conditions for Russia to be able to freely arrange a land corridor to the Crimea, but the latter is in no hurry to take advantage of this opportunity.
Proceeding from the above, one can conclude that the desires of the participants in the events do not always coincide with their capabilities. However much the Ukrainian authorities would like to organize together with the Russian president a "frozen conflict" in the Donbass, but this is not in their competence. Neither party controls the situation in the conflict zone. The process is somewhat reminiscent of the state of affairs in Libya. Ukrainian partisans will be exterminating the enemy and its accomplices in the Donbass, what they have been already doing during the entire period of the occupation, while the Ukrainian army will be observing the "Minsk agreements", which can only be described as a betrayal of the country’s interests. Contrary to the statements of the authorities concerning increasing the fighting capacity of the Ukrainian army, the lion's share of funds goes to the formation and arming of the police units, as they prepare for the future battles with its people. The "boiling point" is approaching, and soon there’ll come blow-up. The only thing is that the authorities cannot survive in this fight. The Donbass has already backfired on Europe, and this is only the beginning. The flow of refugees will increase, and with them there will appear insoluble problems. "For all the good" one should thank the "peacekeepers", Merkel and Olland.
Putin is looking for answers to his questions in Syria. Unlike in the Donbass, there still fly its aviation and cruise missiles, but that's for now. Contrary to the desire of the Russian president, in Syria, his army can prove to be effective only in the fight against the ISIS’ formations, while support of Bashar Assad’s regime may turn into the second Donbass. The Syrian people must solve themselves their own internal problems.
The time of "tough guys" in the world politics has passed. Now any aggressor can get a scolding. Putin and his regime will be an example for all those who want to be “primus inter pares.”
Translated by professor Leonid Bilousov