Following the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine in 2014 (known in the West by the more amiable name of the Ukrainian Maidan or ‘revolution’), much of the East and South of Ukraine refused to accept its outcome. Mass demonstrations and protests broke up in Kharkiv, Odessa and in the Donbass. Instead of trying to assuage the well-founded fears of the Russian-speaking populace, the new regime unleashed a reign of terror culminating in the massacre of Odessa ( a city founded by Catherine the Great) where innocent citizens were literally burnt, strangled, beaten, or shot to death in cold blood by hard-core Nazis in full view of the police forces that were ordered to stand down and not intervene and consequentially several oblasts demanded a referendum to secede from Ukraine. Opposition in Kharkiv was similarly brutally quashed. Besides Crimea which was subsequently quickly absorbed back into the Russian Federation, only the Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts managed to organize referendums, in which around 90% of the population voted for autonomy and quickly picked up arms to defend their homeland.
Spurning all opportunities to calm down tensions, the Ukrainian regime proceeded first to outlaw the Russian language and then to send the army in an ill-fated attack against the separatist areas. Following several embarrassing defeats inflicted upon it by the separatists, the Ukrainian regime had no choice but to enter into the so-called Minsk negotiations which resulted in the Minsk I and Minsk II agreements, whereby the separatist republics were to remain a part of a federal Ukrainian state but enjoy wide powers of autonomy not least were it comes to linguistic and cultural matters. Despite that the regime in Ukraine was a signatory to these agreements, it never really had the intention of honouring them and consequentially never attempted to implement the political and constitutional reforms necessary. Despite being also signatories and guarantors to the same agreements, France and Germany likewise did nothing to hold Ukraine to its commitments. The Ukrainian regime always viewed these agreements as a breathing space in which, financed and armed by NATO, it would reform and rearm its armed forces and ultimately settle the issue by force. The conflict, therefore, continued to simmer, and in the years 2014-2022, the indiscriminate shelling and otherwise criminal behaviour by the regime led to over 15,000 innocent victims – victims never reported or mentioned by the colluding western media.
In early February 2022, the Ukrainian army was in a position to strike, it had concentrated an army over 70,000 strong in the Donbass and escalated its shelling of both Lugansk and Donestk dramatically – responding to this escalation the Russian Federation first formally recognized the Independent Republics (something it resisted for eight long years) and then in quick order signed military defense treaties with them. The Russian Special Military Operation was born.
After six months of fighting, the Russian-speaking population that lives in these areas feels it is time to seek the perpetual security of being part of the Russian Federation. Referendums will be held in the Oblasts of Donestk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson between 23 and 27th September. The result will be a technicality as polls conducted by the Russians already show that the vast majority will vote in favour.
How will these referendums change the nature of the game? Well in more ways than one:
- Contrary to public opinion in the West, Putin is considered soft by the opposition – the real opposition in Russia is not some western liberal clone – but the Communists and the Ultra-Nationalists. If Putin had to fall as the idiotic Western politicians hope, he will not be replaced by some pro-LGBT western progressive but by hawks who have been long criticizing him for wearing a velvet glove. They have put incessant pressure on him (yes Russia is in fact a democracy) that as long as he refuses to state unequivocally that the ‘liberated’ areas will remain part of Russia, the public that inhabits this area, out of fear of retribution, should they find themselves again under Ukrainian rule will likewise not want to commit their futures one way or another and that this state of affairs cannot hold. It seems that Putin who might have before still entertained some hope that the west would act rationally has now abandoned it and has now concluded, that the idea of a federal Ukraine where oblasts enjoy wide autonomous powers is indeed no longer politically tenable. Only the guarantee of these oblasts being once again part of Russia itself will now satisfy both his political opponents and the people on the ground – a people that look enviously at the population of Crimea which was annexed by Russia and has not only enjoyed a bloodless decade but also enjoyed substantial Russian investment.
- Once these Oblasts vote in favour as they are expected to – and are absorbed back into Russia proper, the terms of reference of the Special Military Operation being conducted at the moment will change overnight. Any Ukrainian shell falling on the territory will be considered an attack on Russia proper and Russia will be free to change its combat terms of reference – which every independent observer will admit have been pretty restrained thus far – (avoiding attacks on infrastructure, civilians, and decision centers – these are always the first to go when the US decides to pummel someone). Now instead of fighting under restrained conditions in a ’foreign country’, Russia will be de-facto defending its own territory – and therefore all gloves will be off – and anything – that is including attacking infrastructure or removing decision centers up to and including Zelensky himself will be justified under self-defense.
- Russia will be free to raise and arm further local militias, indeed it will incorporate them under its command – and this will free up Russian forces from policing to combat duty on the front.
- The referendums and eventual absorption of these Oblasts into the fold of the Russian Federation, will only encourage other predominantly Russian-speaking oblasts such as Odessa, Kharkiv and Nikolaev, who have thus far sat on the fence for fear of brutal retribution by the Kiev regime to do likewise.
- The war in Ukraine is about to turn a decisive page.