By Paul Goble
Having failed to win its first “special operation” against Ukraine, the Kremlin has launched a second one that it believes it will have more success, Andrey Piontkovsky says. Its various soft power agencies, he continues, are working overtime to convince Western elites that they must desert Ukraine rather than stand up to Russian aggression.
The US-based Russian commentator says that in his 50 years of following Moscow’s foreign policy moves, he has never seen such a concerted Russian effort to change the views of Western elites and give Moscow a victory that in this case the heroic Ukrainian people have denied it (piontk01.comcb.info/material.php?id=6280FB32ED7F7).
The message Moscow wants to deliver and that all too many Western commentators are prepared to do exactly that, Piontkovsky says, is this: “Don’t humiliate Russia. Force Ukraine to agree to a division of that country. Do not in any case raises the question about the prosecution of Russian war criminals. They are still useful to use for resolving problems of global warming.”
Moscow expects its campaign to work in one of two ways, either directly on the national security elite in Washington despite the fact that the American people are solidly on the side of Ukraine against Russia or indirectly by inspiring Republican attacks on the Biden Administration for not doing enough.
However that may be, the Russian-American commentator says, this massive campaign is important for a reason independent of its potential effectiveness. It provides a window into the thinking of “the Chekist-imperial group of people who are making decisions in Moscow at the present time.”
They recognize that the US has ceased to be afraid of Russia’s nuclear blackmail and has decided that it would be better if Putin feared them by their support for Ukraine’s people and government. Neither they nor those in the West who are prepared to repeat their arguments understand what has happened: “the sun of a Ukrainian victory has risen over the world.”
“The heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to the invasion of the Eurasian horde has made Ukraine the leader of the Free World,” Piontkovsky says. If Moscow thinks it can do any better in its second special military operation than it has done in the first, it will be sadly mistaken.
Instead, such an effort will only bring closer the day when some Russians will be sitting on the bench of the International Criminal Court in Mariupol.