September 17, 2016 –
By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ – translated by J. Arnoldski –
In a previous article, we warned of inevitable provocations against the buildings of Russia’s diplomatic missions in Ukraine – the embassy in Kiev and three general consulates (Kharkov, Odessa, Lvov). The aim of such provocations is creating an atmosphere of fear among Russian citizens temporarily residing in Ukraine and disrupting the vote in elections to the State Duma of Russia. The other aspect of Ukraine’s tactic for disrupting elections is an information and diplomatic attack. The goal is to prove to the world that the elections in Russia are illegitimate. We predicted that the embassy and general consulates would be subjected to attacks on the eve of the vote (September 18th).
As last night’s events showed, Ukraine is accordingly carrying out at least the first part of these anti-Russian plans.
On the night of September 17th, around 20 Ukrainian neo-Nazis attacked the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kiev, throwing smoke bombs and shooting at the building with fireworks. As the embassy’s staff noted, the shots were fired directly at the diplomatic mission’s building.
Local police did not arrest the attackers. What’s more, in a demonstrative manner, the Ukrainian government has refused to guarantee any security when the elections will be held. Back on August 30th, this was announced by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin live on Echo of Moscow radio.
Today, Klimkin’s statement was repeated in an even more insulting and provocative manner by Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman. At the 13th annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting in Kiev, he stated: “This is a petty conflict which does not require any comments at all.”
On the same note, Groysman remarked that Kiev would not take any special measures to protect Russian diplomatic buildings during elections on September 18th. Of course, the attack on the embassy is by no means a “petty conflict.” And the demonstrative refusal to ensure Russian citizens’ freedom to vote is a blatant violation of international law.
Then again, Ukrainian authorities should not be seen as mere hooligan bullies in world politics who do not want to behave like gentlemen. It is similarly not worth looking for any emotionality inherent to the Ukrainian mentality in the attack on Russia’s embassy. There were no emotions involved – this was a thorough calculation.
“Russian pigs, you’re not welcome here. Today – fireworks, but tomorrow there’ll be Grad’s!”
It was not local neo-Nazis behind the attack on the Russian Embassy, but the governing authorities of Ukraine. Neo-Nazi militants are a convenient and obedient instrument in the hands of the SBU, for whom they do the dirty work.
Therefore, the Ukrainian state as such should be considered the one at fault for the attack on the embassy (which, according to international law, is equivalent to attacking a country).
What did the Ukrainian authorities gain by organizing the attack on the Russian Embassy? I think that they had set two goals before themselves: disrupting the elections to the State Duma, and provoking Russia to take not only retaliatory measures, but equivalent ones.
What did they achieve?
Commenting on the events in Kiev, the head of the Central Electoral Commission of the Russia, E. Pamfilova, stated that Russian citizens in Ukraine who want to vote in the Duma elections will not be left without such an opportunity. Earlier, the president of Russia’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, also stated that elections to the Duma will be held on the property of Russian diplomatic institutions in Ukraine no matter what.
This, to put it mildly, is not so. Put yourselves in the position of those people who, by going to vote, turn themselves into potential targets of attacks by Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Participating in the vote puts Russian citizens at real and, perhaps, considerable risk. No statements by Pamfilova or Peskov can change the situation. This means that the first part of the Ukrainian plan – intimidating Russians from voting – has been successfully realized.
The second part of the plan obviously failed. Sure, this is a sufficiently high reputation loss for Russia, but Moscow did not succumb to provocations and did not send troops into Ukraine. Russia did not even break off diplomatic relations with Kiev, whereas Ukrainian authorities wanted both to happen.
At the same time, however, Moscow has once again left Kiev’s rudeness without a response. In a different situation, this attack could have been a sufficient reason for declaring war. Another such instance was on August 10th after Vladimir Putin’s speech on the terrorist attacks against Crimea prepared by Ukraine.
This means that Kiev is going to continue to provoke Moscow. It will stop at nothing. This tactic has been successfully tested by the Ukrainians in Donbass and, of course, the Ukrainians’ behavior relies on the tacit support of the West. Psychologically, it is based on the peasant mentality of Ukrainians and the complete absence of state-building experience. For these reasons, Ukraine is a perfect weapon for the West.
How Moscow plans to counteract this foolish but aggressive and dangerous weapon is still unknown.