I do not see evil

Why is Europe failing to curb Russian expansionism?

“And what, isn’t the war in Ukraine over?” – asks a sophomore at the University of Lyon. Smart, erudite, educated girl. “But the French press does not say that the fighting continues,” she added, confused, as if apologizing for her ignorance.
The French press is really silent, with a few exceptions. “Crimea and Donbass are the two topics on which no one finds a solution today,” journalist and writer Ann Niva explained in an interview with France24. – Nobody wants to promise to give up their words later. Neither Putin nor Europeans. Therefore, it is not even possible to talk about what is happening in Donbass and what happened in Crimea – about this frozen conflict. The topic has disappeared from the European media, because it is the core of our relations with Putin. “

According to the sources of the Week, there is a high probability that Macron’s visit to Moscow will take place in the second half of August. “The agreement to meet with Putin is a symmetrical response to the Kremlin host’s visit to Breganson a year ago,” said a former diplomat who previously worked at the French embassy in Kyiv. – Relations between Russia and France have not changed the rhythm. They do not deteriorate or improve. This is the longevity that Macron hopes to sell profitably to Brussels. European diplomacy pays special attention to the quality of personal relations between state leaders. The French president has put a lot of effort into surrendering to those who know how to talk to Putin. “

The Elysee Palace is in no hurry to inform the press about the topics that Paris is preparing for a conversation with Putin. The context is really difficult: the predicted successful referendum has strengthened the position of the Russian leader, who theoretically can now remain in power until 2036. Whether he will be able to take advantage of this opportunity is another question, but it is obvious that the Kremlin is not thinking about concessions from the West. On the contrary: Moscow is already using its referendum as a shield to defend itself from internal and external criticism.

Macron, who has once again decided to play a lone rider in a dialogue with Putin, will find it difficult to make any concrete progress in Moscow that would be considered a success. However, he also cannot afford an empty visit. The domestic political situation in France is too difficult and unfavorable for his party. While Putin has strengthened his position through changes to Russia’s constitution, Macron’s recent municipal elections have weakened him. Presidential Party “Forward, Republic!” significantly lost support, not gaining any mayor’s office in major cities. This defeat led to the resignation of the government of the popular Edouard Philippe. On July 6, a new government was appointed, headed by a new prime minister, Jean Castex. And even if Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian retained his post, Macron’s overall influence diminished. So, to return from Moscow it is necessary only on a horse. Therefore, only winning topics should be selected for negotiations. Which exactly?

“No one will start a conversation with Putin on the subject of Crimea,” said one of Russia’s pro-Russian political scientists, Pascal Boniface. – In the past, the West also never recognized the occupation of the three Baltic states, which did not prevent the development of relations with the Soviet Union. The bad news for Ukraine is that President Zelensky, under pressure from part of his population in relations with Moscow, is gradually moving to the position of his predecessor Petro Poroshenko. The West is used to putting pressure on the Kremlin – maybe we should start putting pressure on Ukraine as well? ”

Opinions similar to those expressed by Pascal Boniface are quite common in French political and expert circles. They are voiced by influential politicians Hubert Vedrine and Jean-Pierre Chevenmann, deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies at the Jean-Baptiste Wilmer Military School, and many others. It cannot be said that calls to change the tone of the dialogue with Moscow have gained new supporters, but pro-Kremlin forces have not lost their positions. If Latvia stops broadcasting the RT propaganda channel on its territory, and Poland removes Russky Golos from Bialystok television immediately after the first issue, France, Belgium, Switzerland and other French-speaking countries will not conflict with Russian propagandists. In addition to RT and Sputnik, sites such as News24, Breakingnews.fr, AgoraVox, Actuality, L’essentiel, Yeclo.com and others,

Against this background, Putin’s article in National Interest magazine did not even provoke debate in the French-speaking world: opponents and supporters of the Kremlin exchanged familiar remarks, but the public debate on World War II and the right to a true version of history did not take place again. The suburbs of Paris are full of Lenin streets, and the French are most concerned about other problems. The public is much more interested in the virus, the crisis, the new government, taxes and reforms in France than Russian aggression and even cyber attacks by Russian hackers on numerous large French companies that took place in May. Loss of self-preservation instinct? It may well be. Until the threat becomes apparent, people often see only what they want to see. At least on a collective level.

And what about the elite? Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Venezuela and other countries where Russian weapons are openly or covertly also do not receive adequate research and political attention. Europe lacks the will, resources and awareness of the real scale of Moscow’s special operations to form a full-fledged Kremlin deterrence system. “The current situation evokes certain associations since 1986,” writer and journalist Halyna Ackerman explained in an interview. – Then, due to the war in Afghanistan, the USSR was under sanctions, Chernobyl exploded and oil prices fell sharply, which complicated the economic situation. Today, instead of Chernobyl, we have the COVID-19 epidemic, but the situation is broadly similar, including propaganda that minimizes Russian losses. It seems that the economic situation in Russia, as well as in 1986, will only get worse,

Moscow’s own sick economy seems to be the best factor in curbing its appetites. The West is more mobilized by Washington’s confrontation with Beijing and the prospect of a close US election than by the obvious Russian expansion not only in Ukraine, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria, but also wherever the political system provides citizens with social freedoms. Totalitarianism does not tolerate competition from the free world.

The fact that Putin can stay in power for another 16 years is not a local problem in the Russian Federation. The problem is the system of relations in world politics, where double standards overcome the requirements of international law, where the leaders of nuclear-weapon states, instead of rejecting Putin’s attempts to organize a new UN Security Council summit, instead plan their “courtesy visits” to White Stone. where high scholars “do not notice” manipulations in the Moscow discourse…

Western helplessness in the face of authoritarianism is perhaps best illustrated by the situation in Hong Kong, where Beijing is not going to keep its promises to London made when the city came under Chinese jurisdiction. China flaunts its power, and the world is silent, as it once was during the Holodomor, the partition of Poland, the occupation of the Baltic States and Western Ukraine… And prestigious Western magazines provide pages to the aggressor to appease him. But who will deny him? Even when the text itself is manipulated.

But there is also good news. The world still exists, because there have always been forces capable of stopping the infernal locomotive one step closer to catastrophe. Due to its very geographical location, Ukraine is doomed to play the role of one of the epicenters of resistance to Moscow’s expansion. The war continues, and nowhere is it said that it will end in defeat. Even if Western capitals are distracted today by other matters. 

(c) Tyzhden


  1. “The West is used to putting pressure on the Kremlin – maybe we should start putting pressure on Ukraine as well? ”

    French scum, typical gutless bastards who can bully the weak, but lack the spine to stand up to bullies themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

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