Ukraine & Novorossiya: There Never Was A Ceasefire
eading our analysis of the mechanisms involved in this war, going back to February, reveals our assessment regarding the simulacrum or hyperreality of the NATO vs. Russia proxy effort in the former Ukraine. In examining the recent example of the ‘Ceasefire’ of early-mid September, we will explain why there never was an actual ‘Ceasefire’, and how this does not represent any kind of failing on the part of Russian strategic thinking nor does it represent any kind of betrayal of the interests of Novorossiya. Rather, similar to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and the attempt on Syria, the goal of the US is to create a failed state in central-eastern Europe out of the former Ukraine.
We have included an informal talk at the end of this, 20 minute video where it is explained on September 6th the view that there is no Ceasefire, in order to dispel any idea that this publication today is a product arising from hindsight.
Upon cursory review, this position that there was never a ceasefire may strike some as out of step or inaccurate, because reading predominating information sources on the subject would seem to indicate otherwise. So why make any agreement?
In actual fact this was not a ceasefire agreement, but a failure of the Kiev Junta to realize that in creating the Protocal Document they had recognized the legality of the Novorossiyan Government, and because Russia was also a party to the agreement, allows Russia to legally intervene to enforce provisions of the agreement as a guarantor when or where they are violated, e.g perhaps allowing Russia to shell from the within the Russian border those referenced ‘illegal groups’ acting out of step with the Protocol Document.
Thus to understand the holographic nature of the ‘Ceasefire’ first requires an understanding of the real methods and processes involved in information management and dissemination. The liberal world view is that each individual is capable, without any particular expertise, training, or education in a given field, of having respectable and accurate opinions on a given subject – especially, according to democratic theory, in the field of politics and world affairs.
While it is also undeniable that most individuals are capable of developing themselves to the point that their understanding is more informed, this requires no small degree of rigorous study of the known processes and methods involved. This fact is absolutely exploited by managers and disseminaters of information.
Our understanding of this conflict relates also to the field of semiotics and involves semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics. They are also combined with a fusion of the realist and idealist school (and others) in IR; game theory, dependency and three worlds theory, soft power theory (Nye, Gallarotti, Al-Rodhan, et al); as well as the Geostrategic schools of Reich, MacKinder and others; but also social and mass psychology, marketing, and the humanities sciences in general: political economy, social anthropology, ideology, theology, etc.
Cutting out an eye-hole from within the opaque film of the simulacrum and peering out: there was never an actual ceasefire, it was not a failing, and there is no betrayal on the part of Russia vis-à-vis Novorossiya.
These points, while distinct, will be combined for succinctness. The fact that the ‘Ceasefire’ was never implemented, or according to others, didn’t quite ‘hold’, is not controversial. Part of this relates to the totality of the concept, other parts relate to the details and the real aims of the Protocol Document. Articles from certain news sources, both Eurasian based and NATO based, which imply that there is some kind of ceasefire in effect which is ”in danger” of not holding, is ‘fragile’, in fact are using a tactic in line with the declaration of the holographic ‘Ceasefire’ declared into existence by the media as the result of the Protocol Document on Friday September 5 at 15 hundred hours. In reality the Protocol Document should not be understood as a ceasefire, but something else somewhat more complicated.
A Brief Summary of our Previous Relevant Work
As previously explored in great detail in our past pieces, these involve the use of holographic reality, hyperreality, the simulacrum, and advanced manipulation of known processes of cognition within an already formed Weltanschauung and schema.
We have discussed Russia’s use of the simulacrum in the information war, representing a significant increase towards parity with their NATO opponent, as they have perhaps surpassed the west in its implementation with regard to the Ukraine conflict. An increasing number of mainstream and accessible opinion writers and editorialists in the western media are now coming around to the view that Russia has made significant strides in this area. On that point they are correct.
We have demonstrated in past pieces Russia’s use of the Arab Spring and Color Revolution tactic, which already was becoming increasingly evident in both the derailing of the post-election protest ”Occupy Moscow/99%” several years ago in Russia through the 6th Column tactic, and in Gezi Park in Turkey last year. Indeed, it is possible that forces surrounding this may have contributed significantly to the later release of ‘Red Eurasianist’ comrade Doğu Perinçek and others from prison which we have previously written about.
In the conclusion of our last piece on this subject Understanding the Astounding Novorossiyan Victories, we then wrote:
It is clear that the methods of propaganda and messaging are decipherable, and can be understood by the attentive analyst. It is not necessary to remain neutral about the desired outcome for this conflict, but it is necessary to remain objective in analyzing and reporting on the developments. If many sympathetic to the Novorossiyan initiative were unnecessarily pessimistic about the developments, this may be in part because they listened to Eurasian and NATO propaganda which, for differing reasons, both exaggerated the extent of Novorossiyan losses. Social psychology, classical military strategy, criminology, textual induction and inference of media, and game theory in the field of Geopolitics and International Relations can be formed into a larger syncretic field which is interdisciplinary in nature and provides a good framework for understanding complex phenomenon such as the war in Ukraine and Novorossiya.
A Weakness of 3GW vs. 4GW Information War
The resulting denotata (referring to semantic semiotics) goes beyond the standard combination of impressionistic reporting used in 3GW information operations, where television, radio, and newspaper combined to create a rather solid paradigmatic shell in the mind of the subject. This served a purpose during the Cold War: The counter-position of a standard British charter system media network ‘colony’, parading as independent, against the ‘state-run Kremlin propaganda’, was sufficiently suited to the prevailing Atlanticist worldview replete with Liberalism. In this schema the subject is led to confuse the arbitrary superstructural legal categories of private vs. public (read as ‘independent news’ vs. ‘state run propaganda’) for actual meaningful differences in the sphere of power qua ”social relations of production” at the base.
A fundamental defect however – as in advertising and marketing – was that there were upward limits to its utility. There were always layers of the population that could see through the veil created by this retrospectively lower form of technology. Television, radio, and print did fairly well to create the simulacrum of consensus as truth; through a number of ostensibly competing news networks and newspapers of records – some known for having, within the controlled intra-paradigm discourse, a slightly more or less conservative or liberal, hawkish or dovish, editorial bias.
At the root of this defect was the sense among consumers that message was coming from a seemingly foreign and authority-based source; being somewhat incompatible with post 1968 democratic memetics and messaging. New Media is different in that information comes from real-existing peer groups, greatly enhancing the credibility. As an organizing tactic, this ‘truth’ about information dissemination was known and explored for the several generations, and had informed grass roots political, social, and religious organizing as well as advertising and marketing for the most part of the last century.
In short, in a contradictory way involving a double-think mechanism, individuals weigh more heavily information coming from peers and friends than from information coming from a mass, alien, official source. At the same time, they would publicly and politely reference Old Media sources as the basis of their thinking. These are for reasons explained in our last piece where we discussed the process of cognitive metabolization of mass media into a somewhat uncomfortable double-think in the mind of the subject.
The rise of New Media changed the rules. After a short period of radical change in media, New Media solidified its base and was ultimately redirected in a way suited to the interests of the ruling class. This is the primary psychological mechanism which explains the efficacy of twitter feeds in the Arab Spring/Occupy tactic and phenomenon, including fake accounts which increase the sense of a seamless simulacrum of mass support and general consensus around a given position. It is therefore a superior method to Old Media methods used in 3GW, and yet the New Media simulacrum is even more effective when combined in certain ways with the Old Media simulacrum. That is true whether we examine the staging is of a controversy on the one hand or an agreement on the other.
Social Peer To Peer (P2P) processes are an advanced form of information management which are crucial to both soft power and 4GW. These are being used with increasing efficacy by the Russian side, while American fears that they are losing a grip on the use of P2P propaganda have pushed them into an over-reliance on Old Media, thus exacerbating the problem in the manner of a vicious cycle.
There Never Was Ceasefire
Why are analysts generally getting this point wrong, and talking about a ceasefire? For one, the event was officially mislabeled a ceasefire, and as such it is practical for communicative purposes to refer to a phenomenon in an accessible and universal way – as it is officially referred to. In actual fact it would have been more accurate to refer to a ‘Protocol Document’. But few have really used that opportunity to point out the non-ceasefire nature of this ‘ceasefire’ as a product of the Tripartite Contact Group, established by Poroshenko and which hitherto excluded the Novorossiya leadership itself, which is elaborated in the Protocol Document. Rather, the TCG includes the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine.
This is an issue not only of exact definitions, but broader implications. While we are not basing our assessment over an issue of punctilious verbiage, there is a significant point that can be drawn out from the following exercise. In fact both meaningfully and conceptually, it is the whole thing. Most narrowly, in English a Ceasefire is defined as :
“an agreement to stop fighting a war for a period of time so that a permanent agreement can be made to end the war”
A similar term, often used as a synonym is an Armistice, defined as:
“an agreement to stop fighting a war: temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement between the opponents : truce “
Problematically, the term ceasefire dates to the mid-19th century during the time of 2GW doctrines when ‘war’ primarily meant those aspects of hostilities involving the use of conventional weapons carried into battle by standing armies, as historically and popularly conceived. This is before the 20th century and the introduction of a permanent condition of war and the eventual blurring of regular politics, regular economic discourse and war, and of civilians and combatants as we see more fully developed in 4GW.
It is a shorthand for speaking of a cessation of hostilities. This is misleading because in 4GW warfare, hostilities continue on other fronts even in the event of a real or nominal ceasefire. We have concluded that the present ceasefire is not only nominal (rather, it is hyperreal) as numerous cases of armed hostilities continued and have continued; it is also in no way a cessation of hostilities. Hostilities have continued in the information war and the economic war. Both of which combined, as proven in the case of the destruction of Yugoslavia and in most theatres since, are of a significance equal to or greater than traditional ‘armed’ hostilities in terms of the outcome of the war.
Finally, there is no indication that on at least the part of one of the belligerents that there is any desire for this to result in a permanent agreement to end the war. Indeed the Protocol Document does not even rule out the use of hostilities, and does not even limit these to defense actions taken in the event of situational breaches of a ceasefire. Rather, they speak to the legitimate use of force in dealing with illegal armed groups. This will play an interesting part to our dissection of the actual Protocol Document a few sections later in this piece.
To reaffirm our standing position, the goal of the US in this is to force NATO and/or proxies into an ‘infinite game’ war that will destroy transcontinental inter-development on the western portion of the Eurasian land-mass. The goal of an infinite game-as-war is for the perpetual continuity of play-as-hostilities. Often one goal along the way is to bring more players into the infinite game-as-war.
In this case it is for the goal of perpetual hostilities to create a failed state in central-eastern Europe characterized by perpetual hostilities. All other publicly proclaimed proposals by the US are cases of the advertising not being the product. If the game-as-war nears resolution because of the outcome of play-as-hostilities, the rules must be changed to allow continued play-as-hostilities. The rules are changed in order so that the game is infinite.
All hostilities and ‘attacks’ in the meaningful, full spectrum, sense of the term as properly applied to prevailing 4GW doctrines continued, it is most accurate to say on this basis alone that there was no ceasefire in any meaningful sense of the term given the methods and tactics pursuant to prevailing doctrine.
However, it is not necessary to get lost on this point. Even in the traditionally implied meaning of ‘Ceasefire’ in strictly 1GW and 2GW terms, this was violated at the same moment, and after, it was signed. Already known examples were the shelling of Lugansk continuing by the part of the KJ, and the continued activities of the NAF in taking out checkpoints on the roads to Mariupol as well as smaller sabotage, ‘recon’ missions on both sides involving firefights, arrests, and various missions involving the use arms to change and move various lines and positions in the field.
Because even the non-hostile maneuvers, such as changes of positions and the bringing in of reinforcements, resupply, etc. on both sides took place, in no way can this said to be commensurate with the aim of reaching a permanent agreement made to end the war without further hostilities.
To wit, in terms of sorties and missions conducted or the rounds of ammunition fired, there has indeed been a significant and notable reduction. But to really understand this, we will attempt as simply as possible to frame it as this: the KJ was thoroughly ravaged in the south, it needed to reorganize, reform, and reformulate not only their material units and supply lines, but their general strategy. That is not a ceasefire, but the pause following defeat of a particular battle (the south cauldrons, etc.), indicative of a need to regroup.
Why Our Pundits Have This Point Wrong
We’ve now already covered what a ceasefire really means and doesn’t mean. But why have they failed to see this? First we have tried to be clear, in the face of other public analysts insisting that things are as presented, and in so doing take headlines for granted and reduce the activities of states to the personalities of leadership, and reduce all planning to more or less haphazard or on the fly contingencies.
Historian and Marxist theorist Michael Parenti once correctly derided prevailing 19th century liberal revisionism surrounding the rise of the British empire, noting that they had claimed that the British ‘fell into’ their empire ‘in a fit of stochastic happenstance’. Likewise, this narrative has been adopted by liberal-left and liberal-right apologists for US colonialism and imperialism leading one to believe that the US had simply ‘fallen in’ to its profitable situation by no fault of their own. But there is a greater defect in the liberal view. This leads to the insufficient belief that in current events in the field of geostrategy and war, planning occurs only reflexively and on the same issues and around the same points mirroring the news cycle.
Using an apparently Popperian epistemology, based on naive empiricism and naive falsification, the liberal analyst displays an acute inability to interpret the actual machinations of empire established upon those same liberal misconceptions characterized above. It is important to note here that some analysts do this genuinely, and others cynically or manipulatively. But in geopoltical analysis, there is more of an emphasis of non-physical, non empirical evidence. This results in an inappropriate veneer of empiricism drawn from a biased sampling of various information sources which, to varying degrees, have a mutual degree of intersubjective agreement on the meaning of the Protocol Document.
Rather, we can attempt to explain the correct method of finding evidence of ‘grand strategies’ through an analogy. Similar to the logic used to successfully prosecute most cases in criminal law involving conspiracy charges, evidence of planning will almost never be direct physical evidence (excepting the role of limited hangouts like Wikileaks, FOIA releases, whistle-blowers, and leaders who give certain statements, etc.), and instead will be circumstantial evidence in nature and thus involves working backwards from the results and contextualizing said results within the parameters of known methods of execution; explaining relationships between individuals, and between individuals and institutions, and arguing that opportunities to collaborate were indeed utilized for making plans to collaborate and that the resulting precision and complexity can be explained in no other rational way.
In disputing the stochastic myth, we might look at questions like who benefited from it (cui bono), who was able to make a plan, and who had a history of making plans, and who had access to executing plans. That intersection point on the Venn diagram is a good indicator of your culprit. But understanding that there was a plan, and being able to sketch out in general terms the points of that plan is no insurmountable task. How so?
Because there are a limited range of possible methods (tactics) which can be used in a given process, those can be named and explored using the language of the academic schools which deal in those arenas.
In contrast to theories of other ostensibly pro-Novorossiyan public intellectuals and pundits who have gained a sufficient readership basis through the use of the demagogic tactic, we have attempted to explain that in Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW), the use of advanced psychological operations had changed the information game.
Again we reiterate that through alternative media and social networking a situation is now engendered where news-stories as semantics (as symbolic communication) surrounding the war serve more than just the same ulterior purpose as in the past 3GW model.
Rather, the new methods dig deeper into the crevices of consciousness and are even more effective in attacking neural-cognitive functioning, similar in effect to a network attack performed by hackers (see AI, semiotics). The resulting simulacrum is even more convincing and seamless than before.
Additionally we cannot rule out, as we have stated before, that they have interpreted (or been instructed) that their role is to promote a certain line about this conflict – that Russian leadership is inept and that the Kiev Junta in general enjoys the advantage – which they perhaps believe to be targeted at a specific audience. Facts relating to a given pundits employment, past work and peer reviewed papers on a given subject, are more indicative both their real intentions and their real methodology. For example, if said pundit has written extensively on 4GW and Information Management, but maintains a public persona with statements meant to convey that their views are ‘straight forwardly’ said, it is reasonable to be skeptical. We explored that theme in greater detail in our past piece, Novorossiya: The Propaganda War – Methods and Framework.
In general we have actually supported that line insofar as their conceived target audience is in fact their actual target audience (western liberals). This plays into a process that we have also described in past relevant pieces on this subject.
But we have previously cautioned that this line may have unintended consequences. Particularly problematic are when those audiences are not as broad in scope as thought, or contain other unintended audiences such as activists. Morale is very important for volunteer activist bloggers and tweeters, and the “summer-time soldier” and “sunshine patriot” phenomenon is quite real. These activists in turn lose the ”wind in their sails” and develop an unreasonably pessimistic view of evolving events, causing them to remain silent at times when their virtual activism is required most.
Bringing Clarity to the Present Debate
What is surprising is that those critical of the ceasefire spectacle from a pro-Novorossiyan perspective have accurately pointed out that the KJ would use this ceasefire spectacle precisely to regroup and form new fronts, and yet not see the obvious problem in their own rationale. They are calling the ceasefire a ruse, and in that narrow sense, correctly so. But this was meant to imply that the Russians had made a significant mistake. But this also means that it is not a ceasefire, and that the KJ had entered into the agreement in bad faith. This makes a good case for nullifying some of executable portions of the Protocol Document while not degrading the implicit legal-relational elements which form its basis (recognition of the parties).
The debate then surrounds around two questions:
1.) The extent to which the Russians calculated this maneuver and understood the non-implementation as a foregone conclusion and even an intentional ruse,
2.) Which side benefited more from the spectacle of the ceasefire. Our position is that there never was a ceasefire, and that the promotion of the spectacle helps the Russian initiative more than for NATO.
1.) For all the reasons explored in the sum of our work on this subject, it is most prudent to assume that the Russians calculated this maneuver and understood that it would not be implemented in any real way. An accurate assessment of the KJ’s ability to project force had already been made. The lull of a really forward moving front on the part of the KJ was not the result of the Protocol Document, but rather the product of the actual-real grinding halt that the KJ forces were brought to as a result of two or three straight weeks of resounding defeats from early-mid August onward.
The Protocol is worded in such a way that it has practically no legal weight de jure, and was de facto violated from the very start. Also as with the very first ‘ceasefire’ agreement on April 17th referencing the Geneva Statement regarding the disbandment of “illegal groups”, the parties were free to interpret the document in any way they saw fit. Since the Russians considered the Pravy Sektor brigades, and Natzguardia brigades including Pravy Sekor groups, as well as fighting groups embedded with mercenaries as the referenced “illegal groups”, they interpreted it this way. This was therefore in no way, either then or now, a position by the Russians that the NM, now NAF, constituted an ‘illegal group. Likewise the Kiev Junta regarded the NF, now NAF groupments as the ‘illegal groups’ but their case for doing so is greatly reduced. The NAF is able to treat the Pravy Sektor and Kolomoisky’s personal militia as legitimate targets during the ‘ceasefire’, and separate them legally from the traditionally organized ‘Armed Forces of Ukraine’.
The April 17th document, as well as subsequent similar language in later documents, allowed both sides to pursue activities against each other. Since the conflict between these groupments is precisely the expression of the hostilities, in no way can any of the present or prior ‘ceasefires’ be considered a ceasefire in anyway which does not inflict violence upon the meaning of the word ‘ceasefire’.
However a critical piece here is that the Novorossiya officials were present at the TCG meeting for the first time, which produced the Protocol Agreement, making them a party to the agreement as the ‘ceasefire’ was termed as being bi-lateral. Bi-lateral between who? Russia was clear through official statements that Russia’s position is that it does not control Novorossiya, does not negotiate for them, and thus the agreement was made between Novorossiya officials and Ukraine officials even as Russia was a signatory. This will mean several things, to be elaborated in the below.
The Russians understood that the lack of enforcement coupled with the things which the document implicitly does (recognizes NAF as a belligerent) would, taken together, mean that the Russians calculated this to produce several results, discussed in 2.) below.
In terms of non-implementation, recall that Glazyev’s position that the KJ is entirely under control of the US, that the US is an occupying power in the former Ukraine has already now been objectively proven through a series of game-theory tests which the Russians conducted and aimed towards both internal fence-sitters and at European partners. Glazyev’s position is in fact the position that Russia is operating on in effect, without overtly stating such. They will save this card for playing at a later date, which we will discuss in our next piece. Also in terms of inefficacy, recall that the Minsk meeting of the TCG also had no direct representatives of the US, and the Protocol Document was hammered out during the Wales NATO summit.
But the coinciding of the NATO summit was key. Russia had been working behind the scenes with its European partners to push against an escalation of the NATO effort. Continued hostilities, a greater attempt by the NAF to take Mariupol – while while militarily and within Mariupol politically tenable – would have resulted in a greater casus belli for NATO. The expected result of the summit indicates Russian calculation – the Minsk protocol agreement produced language committed to de-escalation from the NATO summit, as well as only vague references of support for Ukraine which are not backed by any qualitative or quantitative support in realizable terms. Additionally Russian calculation produced a significant curtailment of the ultimate creation of a joint expeditionary force, resulting now in only an inferential and indirect connection to said force and its use in Ukraine as such. Subsequently key NATO partners have made official statements opposed to direct involvement in Ukraine.
2.) Both parties needed this Protocol Agreement, for different reasons. What they shared on the level of superficial propaganda was being able to appear that they both had an interest in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict. This much does not need to be explored further. Beyond this, we can look at the diverging reasons.
a.) The Kiev Junta. A convenient package for the KJ was to, after the fact, place the Protocol Document as the cause of this when in fact it was the effect. Poroshenko is facing pressures on all sides from within Ukrainian political discourse, but can be reduced in essence as being
ii.) those critical of his inability to pursue this conflict with greater rigor and commitment (Pravy Sektor and Svoboda).
Clearly Poroshenko required this in order to spin the grinding halt as a policy decision made towards finding terms for a settlement of the conflict. This appeased moderate Atlanticist liberals but also allowed the second string of propagandists closer to the Pravy Sektor and Svoboda supporters to run interference, claiming that this was a ruse required to reform a front of about 50,000 soldiers, to date which only about 8,000 have responded for mobilization. There is actually a more complex twist in here, which we will explore in further detail in the next piece on this subject where we reveal the US’s longer term plans for the former Ukraine.
Criticism that the lull in fighting which coincides with the Protocol Document (wrongly perceived as a ceasefire) favored on the balance the KJ initiative over that of the NAF is plainly wrong.
The above essentially summarizes all that the KJ achieved from the Protocal Agreement. Much of what Russia has achieved as been described in 1.) above in relation to evidence of their successful calculated triangulation of the simultaneously running meetings.
b.) The Russians and Novorossiyans. On this point we are compelled to echo the opinion of Alexander Mercouris as explored on his social networking page, which we will summarize: There was not any sketching of a final settlement agreement, no agreement on the final status of the borders of Ukraine (which in fact was an unresolved issue going back to August 1991), or its internal status as either a (con)federalized republic on the one hand, or a unitary centralized republic on the other.
Also by Novorossiya being recognized as a belligerent means that the legal case for the Kiev Junta to consider the NAF as the target of the ATO is significantly reduced, as exampled by the terms of the amnesty agreement and prisoner exchange. In the potential future unfolding of this conflict into ever greater scale, this piece may play prominently in terms of international law and potential NATO intervention, which we will develop in our next major piece. As well we should weight in the fact that Western press has increasingly recognized the de facto reality of Novorossiya as an entity, and the BBC recently ran a ”who’s who” piece of the Novorossiyan leadership.
And yet, as the Russians are also a signatory to the agreement it is implied that they have some grounds to enforce it, if it is breached. But only the government of Ukraine through Kuchma represents the Junta side and the yet US and NATO are not signatories, and so NATO does not have grounds to directly involve themselves in Protocol enforcement.
Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky have been clear that they are committed to an independent Novorossiya. This does not contradict references made in the Protocol Document as it was not a final status agreement, to reiterate, on the internal structure of Ukraine or the fate of Novorossiya. Things which are mentioned, alluded to, and discussed are done so within the context of recognizing the need for a later meeting pursuant to final resolution. Thus, talk of centralization vs. decentralization in Ukraine should be understood in terms akin to the Camp David Accords – without real teeth or legal weight and there are no supranational legal bodies which can enforce it.
Conclusion: Understanding the Illusion of the Ceasefire
It is not necessary to have a formal education in the field of international relations and geostrategy, but it is necessary to have a strong understanding of the mechanisms involved. At the same time we are confronted with professional analysts who have quite a following and publish on a regular basis, who appear to be gathering all of their facts and then forming their opinions from secondary and tertiary sources based in the mainstream media or the controlled ‘alternative’ New Media. Not only will the ceasefire not hold, but there was never a ceasefire in the first place. It’s a very similar script to what we saw with regard to Israel and Palestine, there was not a ceasefire there, only much talk about it. Both sides had very different reasons to talk about a ceasefire.
There continues to be shifting on the European side, and while this has been untimely and perhaps delayed, we must reiterate that time is on the Russian side. In fact pushing things too quickly may produce premature radical changes with regard to the US approach on Ukraine, when Russia would rather deal with those possible eventualities as Winter is more close.
The ultimate position of Russia in this context is for regime change in Kiev. The Kiev government must be Russia friendly, no EU association agreement and no NATO under any form or condition. This may be achieved either with or without full independence for Novorossiya. If both can be maximally achieved without threatening the stability of a regime change in Kiev, then the independence of Novorossiya and its integration into the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Eurasian Customs Union will be a Kremlin goal as well.
In our next major piece, we will explore why Putin would like to help Poroshenko retain legitimacy moving forward, even if as a transitional character, and how Poroshenko will find himself increasingly at odds with US policy if he has any real interest in maintaining the title, prestige, and appearance of running the show in Ukraine. Indeed, Russia may be in the position to offer Poroshenko more latitude in Ukrainian policy if there is a mitigation of US influence; US may perceive that Poroshenko’s utility is winding down, and other options will be explored by the US.
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