I had to interrupt the series «World War of Sanctions», because in order to further analyze what is happening on the fronts of the economic war between the West, on the one hand, and the Russia-China-India group and those who joined them, on the other, it is necessary to understand what is happening now on the fronts of Ukraine, as well as what has happened on March 29 in Istanbul, where after Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, the Russian participants made, as many thought, strange and even shocking statements.
So, what happened in Istanbul?
Splits in Ukraine and Russia
After the meeting in Istanbul, the Ukrainian delegation did not make any statement, but quietly moved into negotiations with the Turkish government on the purchase of new military drones «Bayraktar TB2». By that time, all the Bayraktars available to Ukraine had been shot down by Russian troops. The negotiations were successful, and a day later new Turkish drones appeared in the Ukraine.
The Ukrainian negotiators made their comments later, after their return to Kiev, and noted the positive dynamics and constructive nature of the meeting with the Russian delegation, as well as the positive role of Turkish President Erdogan.
Unlike the Ukrainians, the head of the Russian delegation, Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky and Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin spoke to reporters immediately after the talks, and what they said stunned the public in Russia and Ukraine so much that emotions and disputes still do not subside and affect what is happening on the fronts of the Ukrainian-Russian armed conflict.
These are the results of the negotiations that Medinsky pointed out:
— Kiev for the first time presented specific proposals in written form for achieving peace in Ukraine and that was an important step towards reaching agreement.
— Kiev agreed to declare Ukraine «a neutral state under international legal guarantees.» Thus, Kiev accepted the Kremlin’s demand for non-aligned status of Ukraine and rejection of plans to join NATO.
— Kiev agreed to accept Russia’s demand to abandon creation of nuclear weapons and deployment of foreign bases on the territory of Ukraine, as well as conducting exercises and presence of foreign military units and advisers in Ukraine.
— Kiev agreed for fifteen years not to try to return the Crimea and the republics of Donbass that proclaimed independence, limiting itself to resolving these issues through peaceful negotiations with Russia.
Speaking about the proposals and position of Russia, Medinsky said about the possibility of a meeting between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia to sign the treaty, if the treaty is prepared and signed by the foreign ministers.
Speaking after Medinsky, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Fomin said that «in order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations,» the command of Russian troops in Ukraine decided to «radically… reduce military activity in the Kiev and Chernihiv directions,»
If in the West these statements were met with caution and with faint hope for cessation of hostilities, most Russians and Ukrainians were surprised, disappointed and even shocked. This clearly manifested the difference in the understanding of what is happening in Ukraine, in the pictures that are drawn by the media in Europe, the United States, Ukraine and Russia, as well as the difference in the mentality of Russians, Ukrainians and Western Europeans and Americans.
In Ukraine and in the West, the war was presented in the way that the Russian offensive was running out of steam, the main forces were knocked out, the losses were enormous and although the Russians were bombing and hitting targets throughout Ukraine, and the Ukrainian troops were slowly retreating, the resistance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was so strong and stubborn that the forces of the Russian army were running out. Ukrainians needed to be patient and suffer for another month or a little more, and the victory will be for Ukraine, and it will return all the lost territories, including Crimea and Donbass. Russia will retreat and collapse under Western sanctions. Russia’s frozen foreign exchange reserves will be transferred to Ukraine and used to rebuild destroyed cities, infrastructure and recover the losses.
Suddenly, in Istanbul, instead of victory, it was reported that Kiev was ready to sign a peace treaty with Putin and agreed to leave the Crimea and Donbass to Russia for at least fifteen years, that there will be no indemnity, there will be no billions of dollars of Russian foreign exchange reserves for the restoration of Ukraine, but there will be a refusal to join NATO and to allow foreign bases on Ukrainian territory, and there will be demilitarization in exchange for some guarantees of Ukraine’s security provided to it by Western countries, Israel and… Russia…
What was that!? — the Ukrainians shouted with surprise and indignation.
In Russia, there was even more surprise and indignation than in Ukraine.
The authorities and the media in Russia described the war as special military operation to destroy the resurgent Nazism and radical Ukrainian nationalism, to ensure the security of Russia, to free the Ukrainian people from the regime of thieves, corrupt officials, Nazis who turned Ukraine into Anti-Russia and are ready not just to give Ukraine to the West, but to turn it into Nation-Army aimed at fighting Russia.
The special operation led to death and injuries of thousands of soldiers, thousands of civilians, to the flow of millions of refugees, and in Istanbul, it turned out that Moscow was ready to sign a peace treaty to leave Kiev and a large part of Ukraine under the control of the regime of the «gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis», as Putin called it. The regime that the Kremlin and Putin personally guaranteed to destroy will survive and get a chance to restore its military strength hiding behind promises of neutrality and rejection of neo-Nazism.
Does Russia really have to believe this?! How long will this clown Zelensky keep his word to fulfill the treaty? Who can believe Kiev if, having signed Minsk-1 and Minsk-2, it did nothing to at least begin to implement these agreements, but continued to bomb Donetsk and Lugansk for eight years? Why was it necessary to talk about the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine, if everything will end with Zelensky’s recognition that Crimea will be under the control of Russia for fifteen years, although Crimea is in fact part of Russia, and the republics of Donbass will retain independence, although they are in fact independent of Kiev?
What was that? – the Russians shouted with surprise and indignation.
Here I have to remind my readers of the difference in the mentality of Russians and Europeans that I wrote about in “World War of Sanctions”, part 1.
Russian civilization for centuries was based on communal structure of society. Relations in communities, based not on private, but on communal ownership of land and forests, subsoil, rivers and lakes, forced Russian community members to build their lives within community on the basis of peace and mutual trust and assistance, to avoid conflicts, and to quickly find acceptable compromises when contradictions arose. Disputes and conflicts began with search for compromises.
The village-communities scattered over a vast territory covered with tens of millions of hectares of forests, the isolation from large cities and remoteness made communities-villages, as well as small towns, easy targets for gangs of robbers and external invaders, and this created a special Russian character. For the Russian, any conflict that threatens the existence of the community and the life of their family members could not be resolved by compromise. The result of the conflict can only be the destruction of the enemy.
Western European civilization is based on principles of Western democracy, which involves defending its interests from the very beginning of the conflict. Conflicts develop and escalate, but when there is a threat that losses during the conflict may significantly exceed any possible gains in the event of victory, Europeans begin to look for compromises, which are then formalized into laws and rules that regulate and block such conflicts in future.
Thus, for European-American civilization, compromise framed in the form of a law is a natural result of conflict, and for Russian, compromise is a natural way to prevent or resolve conflict at its initial stage. For Russian, conflict ends with destruction of one of the parties to the conflict. For Europeans and Americans, compromise sets stage for further development and is the natural end of conflict.
The Western Ukrainians have been heavily influenced by the rule of Poland, Austria and Hungary for centuries. As a result, their mentality that has now spread throughout Ukraine, is different from that of Russians. However, for them, compromise as a result of war means defeat, and most of them, including those who profess radical nationalism, are ready to fight to the end, until their death or death of Russian soldiers.
Now, when they are going through death and suffering, keeping hope for victory, some representative of Putin comes out and declares that Zelensky agreed to fulfill all the Kremlin’s demands put forward before the war began, and that obligation to fulfill the Kremlin’s demands is hiding behind «guarantees» and «future peace negotiations» on the status of the territories of Ukraine!
That brought a very deep split in Ukraine. On the one hand, nationalists and most radical Ukrainians, including military, accused of betrayal those who prepared the proposals and participated in the negotiations in Istanbul. On the other hand, the Kiev authorities actively began to explain that «everything is the opposite», that this is the beginning of victory, that the Russians are beginning to retreat from Kiev and Chernihiv, that “the rest is all deception”. Ukraine will win if the West provides the necessary weapons, fuel and financial assistance.
In Russia, a split has also emerged, but it was quickly overcome. The outrage at the possibility of compromise with Kiev and signing of a peace treaty was so strong, especially among the military, special services, as well as ordinary people, that Medinsky had to justify himself and explain that he had only outlined Kiev’s proposals. Perhaps for the first time in the history of modern Russia, the Russian media, including state television channels, openly accused assistant to president of incompetence, excessive chattiness and stupidity, and the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, appealed directly to Putin with a request to allow «the destruction of all Ukrainian Nazis.»
The Kremlin was forced to react, convincing the population that there was no «betrayal» and «capitulation» will not happen. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was in China at the time, made special statement that Ukrainian negotiators only confirmed non-nuclear and non-aligned status of Ukraine, outside the framework of NATO. «I consider as progress that the issues of Crimea and Donbass have finally been resolved by Ukrainian colleagues,» he said, offering his version of the events.
In Moscow, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: «It is positive that the Ukrainian side has at least begun to concretely formulate and put on paper what it proposes. Otherwise, for now… we can’t say anything very promising, or some breakthroughs.»
Here, it should be noted that the negotiations in Istanbul turned out to be both a reflection of what was happening on the fronts of Ukraine, and a veil covering the fundamental turning point and the beginning of a new stage of that war.
Front behind the front line
As I wrote in my previous article, at the first stage of the military operation in Ukraine, the main mistake of the Russian military and political leadership was that Moscow believed the promises of the political and regional elites of Ukraine who called themselves pro-Russian. The Kremlin believed that the elites in the regions and the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and special services would switch to the side of Russia and establish a pro-Russian regime immediately after the invasion of the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine began. This did not happen.
As a result, Russian troops faced stiff resistance from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the special operation spilled over into a full-scale war. Having seized vast territories — equal to France — in the north, south and east of Ukraine, Russian troops were unprepared and unable to effectively control the captured territory. They were not supported by the Russian state services that were supposed to create temporary military-civil administrations to manage the economy and life of the population in cities and towns to replace the Ukrainian local authorities. The rear of the Russian army was not provided with the necessary number of counterintelligence and police units for effective control over the occupied territories.
The reason was that the Kremlin did not plan to create those administrations before the invasion. A single governing body of the territories occupied by Russian troops that could be engaged in the recruitment of military personnel, volunteers and civilians to perform administrative and police functions in Ukraine, was not created. That body has not been created so far. That confirms that the Kremlin was not ready at all for such a development of events, and for several weeks it even failed to comprehend what was happening. The Russian bureaucracy was unable to quickly respond to the changed situation and keep up with the development of events on the fronts of Ukraine. Unlike the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff, Russia’s state bureaucratic system was not ready for that war.
As a result, the rear of the Russian army was beyond its control. It was run by administrations that remained loyal to the Kiev regime and hostile to Russia. Local armed detachments of territorial defense, created by Ukrainian administrations, turned into units waging war against Russian troops in their rear, which not only led to losses in Russian troops, especially in units that were engaged in supplying advanced units at the fronts, but also allowed Kiev to keep under control the population of those regions that were occupied by Russian troops, not allowing the population to switch to the side of Russia or simply to show pro-Russian sentiments.
For Russia, strange and extremely dangerous situation has been created. After occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine by Russian troops, it turned out that almost the entire territory of Ukraine, including the territory occupied by Russian troops, remained under control of Kiev, and the Ukrainian, and consequently, Western special services. Those representatives of the authorities who tried to go over to the side of Russia were destroyed. Those who were willing to cooperate and even just receive food as humanitarian aid from the Russian army were enrolled by local nationalists in special lists and warned of responsibility and impending punishment.
Moreover, although Russian troops in some directions moved into Ukrainian territory for hundreds of kilometers, significant forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine remained on the Russian border and threaten the Russia territory. That threat also came as a surprise to Russia and manifested itself on April 1, when in the early morning two helicopters, taking advantage of the folds of the terrain, crossed the border at low altitude, flew into Russian territory for 38 kilometers and struck with missiles at the oil depot in Belgorod. We’ll come back to that strike later…
The Ukrainian and Western maps depicting the course of hostilities differed radically from the Russian maps, and these differences had objective reasons, explanations and justifications. The cities from which the Russian troops knocked out the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were marked on Russian maps as occupied by Russian troops, but some of them remained under control of local authorities and Ukrainian territorial defense units. On Ukrainian maps, these territories and settlements were marked as recaptured and reconquered by the Ukrainian military. Moreover, many of them were indeed subordinate to Kiev.
The lack of control by the Russian military and special services over the territory indicated as occupied on the Russian maps inspired hope, confidence, strengthened the spirit of the Ukrainian army and provided huge opportunities for Ukrainian and Western propaganda.
Moscow found that Kiev’s optimism and Zelenskiy’s statements about Ukraine’s possible victory were well-founded, not just bravado and naked propaganda. Under these conditions, Moscow was forced to adjust the entire plan for the special operation, which, as it became clear in the Kremlin with a long delay, dragged on for several months and turned into a full-scale war.
Firstly, additional units of the FSB and the Russian National Guard began to be transferred to Ukraine to eliminate territorial defense detachments, Ukrainian special units and remnants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the occupied territories. Secondly, the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics announced an additional recruitment for local government bodies and militia detachments that were sent to various regions of Ukraine. Thirdly, in Russia itself, volunteers were called up, including among immigrants from Ukraine with experience of military service, to be enrolled into military units and local police detachments to operate in Ukraine.
By this time, the number of Ukrainians who moved to Russia in the last 8 years, had reached more than seven million people, mainly from industrial Russian-speaking regions, and thousands of them expressed their readiness to return and signed up as volunteers. Thousands of Russian citizens of different nationalities also began to actively enroll as volunteers. This recruitment continues now, and at an increasing pace. The formed detachments are sent to Ukraine almost daily. However, all that required time and organizational resources…
In addition, Russia is actively recruiting police and FSB officers, including those who recently retired, as well as prosecutors, judges and court officials to participate in the creation of new authorities in Ukraine. In fact, Moscow was forced to create a new statehood in Ukraine.
Russian troops launched the invasion, counting on a quick operation and low resistance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The number of the Russian army group was 190,000 troops that was almost three times less than the number of the Ukrainian army, which numbered more than 300,000 troops and more than 250,000 National Guard soldiers, including nationalist battalions.
In new conditions, it turned out to be extremely important for Russia to deprive the Ukrainian army of mobility, ability to transfer troops from one direction to another, from one front to another. Several circumstances played on the side of Russia. Firstly, the Russian troops managed, despite all the miscalculations and difficulties, to maintain the initiative and act, constantly exerting pressure and keeping in suspense and tension all Ukrainian army groups on the front line almost 3500 kilometers long. Such pressure forced Kiev to keep the Armed Forces of Ukraine almost motionless in the south-west and west of Ukraine, as well as around Kiev, Kharkov, Chernihiv and other major cities, including Odessa, where there is still a constant threat of landing of Russian marines.
Secondly, from the first day of the war, the Russian Aerospace Forces began to methodically destroy with missiles, including the latest “Kalibr” and hypersonic “Kinzhal”, as well as high-precision weapons, command posts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, communication centers, fortified areas, the entire military industry and infrastructure, including warehouses with ammunition, equipment, fuel, including oil refineries, as well as transport infrastructure necessary for redeployment of troops and equipment, ammunition and fuel, throughout Ukraine. Having destroyed up to 90% of Ukrainian aviation in the first three weeks, the Russian Aerospace Forces received an unconditional advantage in the air. By the end of March, Kiev officials admitted that Ukraine’s military-industrial complex, which was the most developed and powerful in the USSR, had practically ceased to exist.
As a result, the army of Ukraine as a single whole does not exist today, having turned into various groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine scattered throughout the territory of Ukraine, although united by a single command, but not capable of conducting joint large-scale military operations.
The Kremlin’s second mistake that became threat to all
However, there was another important miscalculation by Moscow. The Kremlin and Russian special services underestimated the level of nationalism in Ukrainian society, army and special services. Moreover, Moscow did not take into account that in the course of the military operation, Ukrainian nationalism could increase dramatically.
From the beginning, the war was accompanied by the extreme radicalization of the Ukrainian army that felt not only increasing hatred of Russia, but also increasing dissatisfaction with Zelensky and his team, irritation with Kiev’s inability to turn the situation on the front in its favor. Radicalization of the Armed Forces that remained loyal to the Zelensky regime at the initial stage of the war, along with neo-Nazi battalions such as «Azov», «Aidar» and nationalist parties and organizations, for example, the Right Sector started posing threat to the current Ukrainian leadership.
This scenario was not calculated by Zelensky and his team, who, for all their publicly demonstrative nationalism, consists not of Western Ukrainians, who are natural carriers of Ukrainian nationalism born in the Ukrainian regions of Poland and Austria, but of ethnic Russians, Jews and Ukrainians from the central, southern and eastern regions of Ukraine. Members of Zelensky’s team, like their parents, before coming to power, spoke exclusively Russian language.
This option was not calculated by Western special services and politicians also. They did not notice that the war was getting out of their control as well and was beginning to seep into Europe.
It was surprising to everyone that the right-wing neo-Nazi coup in Kiev began to turn into a real threat to all parties to the conflict. That threat was manifested in the reaction of the population of Ukraine to the information provided by Medinsky after the conclusion of the negotiations in Istanbul.
So, we need to return to Istanbul and draw the readers’ attention to a few facts and one non-political figure who suddenly appeared in the hall where the negotiations took place.
Broken secret game in Istanbul
For many observers, the presence of Roman Abramovich, who along with Russian citizenship also has the citizenship of Israel and Portugal, at the talks in Istanbul came as a surprise. Although he behaved quietly, media drew attention to the fact of his presence in the hall where the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations took place. Moreover, a fuss was first raised in the Western media mainly around information that Abramovich had recently been allegedly poisoned.
If in the West all attention was focused on the «poisoning» of Abramovich and was more like a «smokescreen» hiding the real picture of what was happening, Russian politicians and journalists asked questions: Why did Abramovich come to Istanbul? What did he have to do with the negotiations? Who exactly invited him, and who did he represent? Why did Abramovich meet with Erdogan before the start of the talks, while the head of the Russian delegation, Assistant to Russian Presidential Vladimir Medinsky was deprived of the opportunity to meet personally and in private with the Turkish leader?
The Kremlin had to answer these questions. Although not all questions were answered, it was nevertheless clarified that «Abramovich’s participation in the negotiations between Moscow and Kiev was approved by both sides, but he is not a member of the official delegation.»
What might that mean? Most probably, this meant that Abramovich acted in the interests of both Moscow and Kiev, trying to find solutions to those issues that the parties were ready to compromise on pulling out of the armed conflict.
Moreover, information appeared in Kiev that Zelensky personally asked Washington to lift sanctions against the Russian-Israeli-Portuguese oligarch, and the WSJ reported that «the head of Ukraine explained to US President Joe Biden that the billionaire could be, in his opinion, an important mediator in negotiations with Russia.»
What does Abramovich have to do with Russia’s fighting in Ukraine? There can be only one answer: the fighting may have involved facilities in Ukraine that are owned by Abramovich and his Ukrainian partners and those facilities preservation he was instructed to ensure. There might be also business and political projects that are of interest to a group of businessmen and politicians who are associated with Abramovich. It might have been these topics that were the most important and secret part of negotiations in Istanbul.
Russian media recalled the long partnership between Abramovich and Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who for several years headed the Jewish community in Ukraine and even in Europe, who now lives in Dnepropetrovsk, where the local government is formed by his close associates.
Photo: Roman Abramovich and Igor Kolomoisky
This is the Kolomoisky who financed Zelensky’s election campaign and promoted him to the presidency of Ukraine. It is Kolomoisky who is now the most powerful oligarch in Ukraine and has the greatest influence on the Zelensky’s administration.
This is the Kolomoisky who financed the neo-Nazi regiment «Azov» that is recognized as a neo-Nazi organization not only in Russia, but also in the United States, and now leads the defense in Donbass, including in Mariupol. Kolomoisky financed and created other «national battalions».
It is Kolomoisky who owns the Kremenchug oil refinery, the largest in Ukraine, that supplied fuel for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and is also one of the owners of the oil refinery in Odessa, and both of these plants at the time of negotiations in Istanbul were the only oil refineries that the Russian Aerospace Forces for unknown reasons did not bomb.
Kolomoisky cannot escape from Ukraine and move to the West, since a criminal case against him has been opened in the United States on charges of corruption, or to Russia, where he will be immediately sent to prison on a long list of charges, starting with pathological Russophobia, support for neo-Nazism and ending with criminal charges.
After the coup in Kiev in 2014, Kolomoisky invited Abramovich to invest in a joint project in Ukraine, and when Abramovich transferred money, several billion, Kolomoisky simply embezzled it. Given that people who were at the top of power in Russia, repeatedly invested their capital through Abramovich, it can be assumed that Kolomoisky cheated more than one Abramovich, who, explaining his gullibility, then said: «It never occurred to me that such a thing was possible.»
After that, Kolomoisky began to actively and publicly insult Putin and Russia, and that is not forgotten in the Kremlin. However, now perhaps the need and time has come to get Abramovich back in Kolomoisky’s projects…
By the way, in March, Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog unexpectedly also visited Istanbul. He became the first Israeli president to visit Turkey in fifteen years. One of the topics of the talks between the two presidents was the crisis around Ukraine, and it became clear that along with Turkey that had long tried to mediate between Moscow and Kiev, Israel joined the mediation mission. It was during that visit that the presidents of Turkey and Israel discussed issues related to the organization of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Antalya, and then in Istanbul.
In early March, the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Ukraine Sergey Lavrov and Dmitry Kuleba met In Antalya. It was in Antalya that the decision was made on the next meeting of negotiators in Istanbul and, as it has now become clear, on the presence of Abramovich at the talks.
Around the same time, when Israeli President Ishak Herzog met with Turkish President Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is in constant contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, visited Moscow and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the Kremlin, Putin and Bennett discussed protection of interests of Israel in Ukraine, and it was after this meeting that the sanctions of Washington and London against Abramovich were eased, and information appeared in the Ukrainian media about Abramovich’s possible participation in the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations.
What happened in Istanbul and what did the «mediator» Roman Abramovich help the official delegations agree on?
The sharp increase in radical nationalism and its influence on Ukrainian society, primarily on the army and special services, cannot but worry the Jewish community in Ukraine, numbering, according to various sources, from 150 to 400 thousand people. Although the number of Jews in Ukraine during independence has decreased at least five times due to emigration, mainly to the United States and Western Europe due to the decline in living standards and the economy of Ukraine, Jews retain their influence on the politics in Ukraine and occupy important place in business and culture.
Nationalism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine are used by different forces, and as Kolomoisky’s example shows, Jews also use neo-Nazis to their advantage. However, a sharp and uncontrolled surge of radical nationalism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine poses a clear threat not only to Russians, but also to Ukrainian Jews, who at the genetic level have preserved the memory of the extermination of Jews in the XVII century during the uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian authorities of the Ukrainian Cossacks under the leadership of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, who appealed to the Russian tsar with a request «to accept the Zaporozhye Army under the high sovereign hand» and began the process of reunification of Ukraine with Russia. During that uprising in many cities, especially in Northwestern, Central, and Left-bank Ukraine, the Jewish population was almost completely exterminated, and under the terms of the Treaty of Zboriv, concluded in August 1649 by Bohdan Khmelnytsky with the Polish king Jan Casimir after the severe defeat of the Poles, who came out to suppress the uprising of the Cossacks, Jews were forbidden to live in Cossack Ukraine.
In 1768, in Ukrainian town of Uman, the new anti-Polish uprising brought death to 20,000 Jews and Poles. This is how the historian S.M. Dubnov (1860-1941), a Jew by nationality, described what was happening: «… when the Haydamaks broke into the city, they first of all rushed at the Jews, running in terror through the streets: they were brutally murdered, trampled with the hooves of horses, thrown from the roofs of tall buildings; children were lifted with the peaks, women were tortured. A mass of Jews, numbering up to three thousand people, locked themselves in the great synagogue. Haydamaks put a cannon to the doors of the synagogue, the doors were blown up, robbers entered the synagogue and turned it into a massacre. Having finished with the Jews, the Haydamaks took up the Poles; many were slaughtered in the church; the governor and all the other lords were killed. The streets of the city were littered with corpses or mutilated people. About twenty thousand Poles and Jews died during this «Uman massacre».
In World War II, German Sonderkommandos killed up to 800,000 Jews in Ukraine. In Babi Yar alone, in Kiev, up to 170,000 Jews were killed, including Kolomoisky’s and Zelensky’ ancestors. Although the Germans commanded the extermination, Ukrainian nationalists took active part in the extermination of Jews. The Ukrainian nationalist army units performed suppressing resistance, searching for and eliminating partisans, communists and Jews throughout Ukraine. In today’s Ukraine, the streets and squares of cities are named after those leaders of Ukrainian nationalists who led the killings of Jews, in particular, Shukhevych and Bandera, who were Polish citizens and now are hailed as heroes in Ukraine.
Photo: «Map of the Holocaust» in Ukraine
Today, there is not only a rapid surge of Ukrainian nationalism, but also a clear, rapidly growing, although still potential, threat to the current leadership of Ukraine, emanating from this nationalism.
And after the talks in Istanbul, several events unexpected in Kiev and Moscow took place…
Cutlet «Denazification a la Kiev»
Immediately after the talks in Istanbul, as it was promised by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Aleksander Fomin, Russian troops withdrew from Kiev, the Chernihiv and Sumy regions. The Russian troops were withdrawn from settlements that were in the «gray» zone and being «occupied» but not controlled by Russian troops, because there were no new pro-Russian administrations or police units. Most important, it appeared that Moscow did not have the opportunity to form them in the near future.
These were precisely the areas where local elites, before the start of the special operation, had guaranteed and swore to the Kremlin of their full support and to switch to the side of Russia as soon as the first tanks entered Ukraine. It was the territory that was ruled by “traitors” to Russia’s interests. Now they were given back to the nationalists.
This withdrawal allowed Zelensky to conduct vigorous and effective propaganda campaign, showing Ukrainians and to the outside world the long-awaited victory. However, the most important decision that was taken by Kiev immediately after the withdrawal of Russian troops was the beginning of the redeployment of tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops from Kiev to the Donbass and Pavlodar, the closest stronghold and fortified area to the Donbass. Moreover, these were the most radical nationalist units in the Armed Forces and the nationalist battalions that were transferred to the Donbass.
Given that the Russian command has openly stated that Russian troops were concentrating for the upcoming encirclement and destruction of 60,000 troops of most radical nationalists that were located in the Kiev-controlled part of the Donbass, it looks as if those national battalions and radical army units transferred from under Kiev after negotiations in Istanbul, were actually sent to be slaughtered, or to face stark choice: they must die or defeat Russia.
Attention is also drawn to the fact that the Russian Aerospace Forces, neither before the transfer of those units to the Donbass, nor during their transfer by rail, did not strike at the railway tracks, bridges and railway stations between Kiev and Pavlodar, allowing for that transfer of manpower.
However, not everything went the way it may have been discussed in Istanbul. In Ukraine, there are powerful forces that didn’t like efforts to reach agreements with Russia.
As I have already written above, on April 1, two helicopters, at low altitude, using the folds of the terrain, flew 38 kilometers deep into Russian territory and launched a missile strike on oil depots near Belgorod. For official Kiev, this was also a surprise. Zelensky refused to admit the responsibility of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but also did not deny the accusations. This means that the strike was the initiative of the forces that President of Ukraine could not condemn or renounce.
In response, the Russian Aerospace Forces launched missile strikes on all remaining oil refineries in Ukraine, including Kolomoisky’s oil refineries in Kremenchug and Odessa, as well as airfields and commanding centers.
After the retreat of Russian troops from Kiev, there was a barrage of accusations of brutality, violence and crimes committed in the territories that were occupied for some time by Russian troops. The most popular video now is the video of corpses on the streets of the town of Bucha, although the recording was made four days after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the town and two days after detachment of Ukrainian special forces entered Bucha making video recording of the situation in the city. On that recording, there are no corpses on the streets …
This minimizes possibility of any agreement between Kiev and Moscow and puts Zelensky in the situation of his troops in the Donbass: die or win. He turns out to be part of a political and propaganda war machine that neither he, nor Kolomoisky, nor their team control.
We see and go into new political alignment in Ukraine and new stage of the war…