The Letter, published with permission for the Saker Blog
An acquaintance asked me by email what my predictions for the near future are (he’s from another country, and wanted to see what the perspective of an average Russian looks like). I sent him the attached points and this map.
I thought maybe it would be interesting to a wider English-speaking Western audience. This is by no means some fancy analysis piece by an expert, just a compilation of what I’ve read from different sources and my modest knowledge of history.
* Lvov and Lutsk regions will be annexed by Poland (marked on the map with the Polish flag). Almost a certainty – both Polish and Ukrainian officials made statements about “common land” and Poland already started to take over some administration functions there. The Head of the Russian External Intelligence Service made 2 or 3 public statements about it too, and he very rarely goes public. Poles will find the opportune moment to move in a military “peacekeeping force” to solidify their hold. This will be neither smooth nor bloodless because of history – Ukrainian Nazi collaborators performed ethnic cleansings there, killing up to 100000 ethnic Poles during WW2. Polish political leaders see this as a populist move to restore historical justice (it will work, too), Polish far-right groups see this as a huge unpaid blood debt, and Polish police and security services see modern Ukrainian neo-Nazis as big trouble to be eliminated (through thorough denazification or other means). They were fine with it as long as neo-Nazis were acting against Russia, but when borders solidify and it will be their territory to govern it will be another matter entirely. It’s not out of the question that all ex-Ukrainians will become second-class citizens, like Russians in Baltic states.
* Zakarpatye region of Ukraine will be annexed by Hungary (marked on the map with the Hungarian flag). Looks very probable, but I didn’t see Hungary making any definitive statements about it. Hungary has been steadily building its influence there since the Soviet Union broke up – supporting Hungarian schools, language, and culture, even going so far as issuing passports. Ukrainian neo-Nazis issued threats of ethnic violence because they want “Ukraine for Ukrainians”, which mandates a set of standards for everyone in Ukraine – Russophobia, language (Ukrainian, other languages are not allowed), “ethnic purity” (this stuff is disgusting to even type). This annexation will be pretty smooth and bloodless, like Crimea was, due to how thoroughly Hungary prepared the ground there. If there is any trouble it will be caused by Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Hopefully, Hungarian police and security services are up to the task to keep people safe there.
* Regions marked with the Russian flag will join Russian Federation, the process has already begun. A follow-up anti-terrorist operation by FSB and RosGuard has started as well because the current regime in Kiev (heavily influenced by US+UK governments and Ukrainian neo-Nazis) already started terrorist attacks there. Thankfully Russian security services have a lot of experience with this sort of thing (Chechnya, Syria).
The region in the bottom left, with a red exclamation point is a special one – on May 2, 2014 people protested in Odessa against neo-Nazis, burning the neo-Nazi flags. In response, neo-Nazis shipped their well-organized militia groups into the city, drove the protesters into a building, and set it on fire. 42 people died burning alive, shot, falling to death, or beaten to death. They’ve also killed 8 other protesters on the street. Ukrainian new government (heavily supported by the US) basically ignored it – police had orders to observe but not interfere, a lackluster investigation was started but never yielded any results, and neo-Nazis had support from local law enforcement. This was a pivotal moment in Ukrainian history – the neo-Nazis made a loud and bloody statement “our ideology is the law in Ukraine, we will kill anyone who disagrees”. There is a high symbolic value in taking the Odessa region, I want to see a memorial to this atrocity right in front of that building. Odessa city itself is (or was) very international (this is common for many warm-water ports around the globe actually, due to sea trade) – Jews, Russians, Ukrainians, and many other ethnicities.
* Regions marked with the Russian flag with a green “I” will either join Russian Federation fully or become independent, but integrated into the Russian and South-East Eurasian economies.
* Regions with “?” are up in the air. Maybe they will be divided between Russia/Poland/Hungary/Romania/Slovakia, maybe they will remain as a landlocked rump of “Ukraine”. In the latter case, the Russian government will (I strongly hope) insist on strict military neutrality of it, with non-aligned status (like Austria), observation posts, inspections, and denazification. The latter is not something Putin made up, it’s a lengthy and complex legal process that was done in Germany after WW2.
* The region circled with a green line is Transnistria (Pridnestrovie), complicated history there. I’ve read an argument that from a strictly legal standpoint, Transnistria is still the Soviet Union – I don’t think it has any real importance, just an interesting fact. Lots of Russians are there, in 1992 there was a military conflict – Moldova moved in forces to try and annex it as part of Moldova while Transnistria wanted to become independent. It’s an unresolved issue to this day. Ukraine has already made threats against Transnistria, so Russia needs a land bridge to it for security. Whether Transnistria will be annexed depends on Romania and US policy (Romania wants to annex Moldova).
* Some unclear number of Russian ethnic nationalist military groups (they are either not openly Nazi or using their rhetoric very carefully) made an appearance in Ukraine. Neither the Russian government nor the military wants to have anything to do with them, but they might make some form of demands afterward, as they have spilled their blood for the common cause.
Fortunately, ethnic nationalism didn’t develop into anything coherent or powerful in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. This is thanks to security services locking some of them up for crimes, putting others under strict surveillance, the Right movements disagreeing with each other or just fizzling out and many of the leaders of those movements being morons. To me, any kind of ethnic identitarianism is a stupid idea and a poison to human unity. Unfortunately, it’s an easy sell for some people – tell people they’re superior to others by the accident of birth and some of them will fight and die for that idea.
* Lithuanian government is doing something very dangerous – talking about cutting off Kaliningrad’s (a Russian exclave) trade logistics from the rest of Russia. Possibly with US approval/coordination.
* China will absorb and re-unify with Taiwan. The US is refusing to back down, they are encouraging the pro-US Taiwanese government to acquire new weapons and make ridiculous claims about Chinese planes flying near China being a threat to the US. So it seems to be a matter of finding an opportune moment.
* The US has to reform into a different state. This rabid dog that runs around the planet, building military bases everywhere, bombing everyone they want, funding and arming “good terrorists” is too dangerous to be accepted in this increasingly globalized world. Remember when that racist hag Madeleine Albright called the US “an indispensable nation” in 1998? Apart from sounding distinctly Hitleresque, the sinister implication is that US international policy considers other nations dispensable. Probably a good dose of old-fashioned Imperial racism in that thinking – kill the Indians/American Indians/Arabs/Russians/<ethnicities_different_from_us>, grab their resources. The US demonstrated this in practice by bombing Serbia in 1999, Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, and so on. The crazy thing about it is that a big part of the reason the US starts wars is that people make huge amounts of money on making and selling weapons, and with US lobbying laws (basically legalized corruption) they can push foreign policy decisions. I hope they can reform their country through some internal process that doesn’t involve starting yet another war, otherwise things could get real ugly. The thermonuclear ICBMs of today are orders of magnitude more powerful than what the US dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
* UK government since 1945 seems to be very closely aligned with US foreign policy (if not more aggressive, like Churchill’s “Operation Unthinkable” plans), so it will probably have to reform as well.
Looking at history, some form of globalism seems inevitable, humans just keep organizing into larger and larger groups. I do not want the global government to solidify under the auspices of current US policies though. Maybe going more regional and learning how to cooperate instead of waging wars for a while, before setting up some kind of a globalist deal on Earth, will be good for humanity. I like the way China expands its influence through trade and huge infrastructure projects in other countries.
Have you seen the administrative capital in Egypt they’re building? The thing’s on a massive scale. China didn’t bomb Egypt to get the contract either, which is a marked improvement over a lot of US (and the UK, let’s be honest) interactions with other countries for the past 300-odd years.
That concludes my opening remarks. Just kidding :)