Russia is tightening its policy towards Ukraine. Andrey Babitsky

Vladimir Putin’s interview broadcast on Russia 24 channel on August 27, bad surprise for Kiev

It will undoubtedly have the most unpleasant consequences for Ukraine. And, by the way, certain actions, indicating a tightening of Moscow’s policy in the Ukrainian direction, are already being taken, which will be discussed below.

Journalist Sergei Brilev asked the president, in whose trap “33 guests of the “Belorusochka” boarding house goy caught”. I mean, who is behind the provocation associated with the detention of employees of the “Russian PMC” in Belarus and what is the meaning of this provocation?

The version that the idea to lure those who were dubbed “Wagnerians” belonged to the SBU and the operation itself was developed over the course of a year has already been described in sufficient detail in various Russian media. Now the head of the Russian state has told the story in detail.

“This is an action by the special services. The people you mentioned were blindly used to move them to the territory of Belarus, to set completely legal goals for them, they had, as they were told, to leave for third countries, Latin America, the Middle East, just for absolutely legal work. In fact, they were dragged into the territory of Belarus and presented as a possible striking force to sway the situation during the election campaign, which was absolutely untrue”, – said Vladimir Putin.

Brilev inquired which special services were involved in the provocation.

“This is an operation of the Ukrainian special services together with the American ones. Now this is reliably known”, – the president replied without hesitation.

This is now the official position of the Kremlin on this case, and this is forming a new space for Russian-Ukrainian relations. There is hardly any room left in them for the trust in Vladimir Zelensky that Vladimir Putin has shown for some time, willingly responding to his requests for telephone conversations. An attempt to set Minsk and Moscow at odds, to start events in Belarus according to the scenario of the Ukrainian Maidan is absolutely unacceptable for the Kremlin, which became clear from the words of Putin about the possible assistance to the Belarusian security forces to restore order, which sounded in the same interview.

Russia does not intend to put up with attempts by external forces to destroy an alliance with the fraternal people, which is extremely important from a geopolitical and military point of view, as has already happened in the case of Ukraine. If necessary, it will intervene in the course of events, and Putin has already formed a “power reserve” at the request of Alexander Lukashenko. Until yesterday, the head of the Russian state showed restraint on this issue, but now he clearly went for broke, which, incidentally, caused a shock reaction from the Polish leadership.

So, here are the immediate political consequences of the tightening of Russian policy for Ukraine. Let’s list the obvious ones. This is another reason (there are many) why Volodymyr Zelensky can forget about a meeting in the Normandy format at the highest level. The summit after a large-scale provocation by the SBU, which has put Belarus on its hind legs, would have looked very strange. The Normandy format may be suspended altogether due to the complete loss of the Russian president’s confidence in his Ukrainian counterpart.

After the scandal with the Wagnerites, the Federal Security Service organized a large-scale hunt, firstly, for Ukrainian agents from among Russian citizens, and secondly, for employees of the special services of Ukraine. The detention of blogger Andriy Pyzh on suspicion of transferring secret data to Ukrainian intelligence and a serviceman from Barnaul, who is charged with high treason, is from the first category. But the arrest of recruited SBU agents who tried to kidnap one of the commanders of the Donbass militia in order to take him to the territory of Ukraine is a special story altogether. This is purely a terrorist attack under the criminal law, and therefore, we are actually talking about the transfer of hostilities from Donbass to Russia. This is much more serious than Poroshenko’s attempts to destabilize the situation in Crimea with the help of various provocations and terrorist attacks. Then, however, there were human sacrifices, this time, thank God, they did not. But from a political point of view, the situation with the kidnapping is a much more radical step.

And for Vladimir Putin, I think, it does not matter at all whether everything that happens is the result of Zelensky’s administrative weakness, who cannot cope with his security forces, or whether the Ukrainian ruler foolishly sanctions their initiatives. In either case, Zelensky is incapable of negotiating. And therefore, the fate of Petro Poroshenko awaits him, with whom the Russian president at some point stopped communicating once and for all.

Andrey Babitsky,


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