Defeat Of Kremlin ‘Peace Party’ In Syria A Good Thing For Ukraine, Piontkovsky Says – OpEd


Vladimir Putin has decided to listen to Russia’s hawks and intensify his confrontation with the West, a clear defeat for the so-called “peace party” in Moscow but quite possibly a good thing for Ukraine, according to Russian commentator Andrey Piontkovsky.

By receiving Syrian dictator Bashar Asad, Putin indicated that he has no intention of leaving Syria anytime soon but instead will support the current regime in its struggle with “terrorists,” who is this case are deemed to be “all the opponents of the Syrian president” (

“For Ukraine,” Piontkovsky says, “this is good news for two reasons.” On the one hand, it suggests that Putin will be tied down in Syria. And on the other, it represents a defeat of the Kremlin’s “peace party” which for Ukraine is “the most dangerous” group in the Russian political elite.

The reason for that conclusion, suggests, is that the war party in Moscow has already suffered a defeat as far as Ukraine is concerned: Putin is not now prepared to launch a new wave of aggression because of his focus on Asad. But the Kremlin peace party has lost as well – and Ukraine is the beneficiary.

The members of the Kremlin peace party are just as much imperialists as the members of the war party, but they believe that they can achieve at least some of their goals by appearing cooperative and securing a grand bargain with the West in which the West would welcome Russia’s involvement in the fight against ISIS and betray Ukraine to Moscow in exchange.

But Putin’s extremely hard line on Syria makes that impossible. The West is upset with what he is doing there, and it has already made it clear that further misbehavior on his part will lead to more sanctions and more isolation, not some grand bargain of the kind some in the Kremlin had hoped to organize.

If Putin’s tilt to the war party and against the peace party is “good news for Ukraine,” Piointkovsky argues, “it is at the same time very bad news for Russia and the Russian people because it points to a new place in which Moscow is bogged down with an inevitable raising of the stakes and the broadening of Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict.”

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

2 thoughts on “Defeat Of Kremlin ‘Peace Party’ In Syria A Good Thing For Ukraine, Piontkovsky Says – OpEd

  • October 25, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Putin is doing a good job, Americans and its allies think that they will re-colonize the small states. So if Putin comes up to fight for the elected president. Me I don’t see any reason why you come against him.

  • October 25, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Even a commoner like myself understands a bit of politics.This piece of news is nothing new.Do you honestly believe Putin cannot just wipe out Ukraine?.American coalition for over a year are still bombing same villages over and over again.My guess is,Americans love to keep the war industry humming, and tax payers pay for it.It is a joke to supply guns to ISIS while claiming the coalition is fighting them.If Putin succeeds in Syria,gets into Iraq,the ISIS will end up in Saudi Arabia,Jordan and even Israel,then what? Have you seen ”, Prison planet,TV ” on internet? Europe has been invaded by the ISIS.I guess the war machine will profit,not me or you.


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