The fact that on November 26 in Paris a meeting of the participants of the Normandy Four at the level of advisers to the leaders of its member states can be safely considered a serious diplomatic "breakthrough" in itself. Recall that the last summit of this kind was held in September last year, and the further, the more there was a feeling that it would not be continued. Be that as it may, Dmitry Kozak and Andriy Yermak, representing Russia and Ukraine, nevertheless ended up at the same table and had more or less fruitful communication for eight hours, even culminating in briefings for media representatives. At the same time, it is worth making a reservation right away - no cardinal agreements were reached even for such an impressive period of time.
The unequivocal positive should be attributed only to the agreement on a communique on the further maintenance of the ceasefire regime on the line of contact, which Kiev, oddly enough, has been trying to adhere to recently. It is also worth counting the “plus” on the eve of the summit, on January 25, the official review of the misanthropic draft law of Ukraine “On the transition period ...”, which, without a doubt, would have been applauded by the entire NSDAP, led by its Fuhrer. The Ukrainian "patriots" twisted up this document in such a way that Moscow completely refused to continue the dialogue as long as its adoption as a law remains on the agenda. By the way, Berlin and Paris, by the way, did not approve this initiative, which in fact was a complete rejection of the “Minsk agreements”, either - in the “nezalezhnaya” they handed it back. However, to say that the local politicians woke up the mind, or at least the instinct of self-preservation is still early. Whether this is so, the next two weeks will show.
Between the hammer and the anvil...
Yes, yes, it is precisely in such an “interesting” and extremely uncomfortable position that Vladimir Zelensky and his entire “team” find themselves now. According to Dmitry Kozak, he managed to force Kiev to do something unprecedented: the recognition of the fact that, most likely, it will be necessary to conduct a direct dialogue with representatives of the Republics of Donbass. No, so far we are by no means talking about a conversation, as Kozak said, "eye to eye." Andrey Yermak asked his colleagues for two weeks to "discuss this issue" as such. However, this is already an undoubted achievement - after all, earlier for any representatives of the “non-collateral” no official representatives of the DPR and LPR existed in principle. They saw them exclusively as "members of the occupation administrations of the temporarily occupied territories of ORDLO." And now Moscow (not without help, or at least the full consent of the Germans and French), as they say, backed up against the wall. Perhaps it will be necessary, if not to speak with the Republicans, then at least to give an official response to their written proposals for amendments to the Constitution and other laws of Ukraine, which were introduced by Donetsk and Lugansk. That is, de facto to recognize them not as "terrorist organizations" (with which negotiations, as is known, are not conducted) and not as "Russian puppets", but as full participants in the dialogue.
And this is where the most devastating consequences can come for Zelensky, up to the complete catastrophe of his political career. In order to fully understand and appreciate this, one should, of course, turn to the current domestic agenda. The reality is that one of its hottest points today is the miserable and ridiculous attempt of the current president to send his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, first to the dock, and then to the prison bunk.
The most remarkable thing in this story is that the ex-head of state is charged with “high treason” as the main point of accusation, which consisted in organizing the purchase of coal in the territories of Donbass not controlled by Kiev. That is, the "terrorists". And now - such a turn. Zelensky’s people, it seems, are going to not just talk nicely with them, but even agree on future laws of the “nezalezhnaya” - right down to the main one. For Petr Alekseevich, who desperately does not want to "sit down", such a situation can turn out to be literally manna from heaven. Here one sees a chance not only to “jump off” from a very rather big “term”, but also to turn the matter around 180 degrees, ultimately returning to himself and his supporters all the power in the country. It is clear that no coups and "Maidans" in Kiev are absolutely impossible without the blessing of the West and, first of all, Washington. But even here for Zelensky everything is not at all “thank God”!
Recently, that he personally, that the head of the faction of his party in the Arakhamia parliament, that the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Danilov or the head of the Ministry of Defense Reznikov all unanimously repeat that there is no “threat of Russian invasion” at all, thereby completely contradicting information agenda promoted by "Western partners". It is clear that various “servants” and their minions are doing this not at all for the sake of truth and objectivity, but exclusively for personal gain. After all, the pseudo-military hysteria inflated by the “allies” has already brought Ukraine almost to the brink of economic collapse. The holders of local OVZGs "dump" them in the literal sense of the word "sacks", the country is actually cut off from sources of external borrowing. And "Javelins", as you know, you will not be full. The socialeconomic the catastrophe will sweep away the current government much more guaranteed than the hordes of armored Buryats invented by the Americans and the British.
...between the Kremlin and the "patriots"
So if the West suddenly considers that the president-clown has reached the point of complete unsuitability and is no longer applicable to carry out commands and narratives sent down from overseas, he will be replaced. Moreover, there is a chance for this, and quite good candidates from the current “patriotic opposition” – if not Poroshenko, who is nauseating for most Ukrainians, then, for example, the same Avakov. This one was always eager to make war with the Russians and “de-occupy” the Donbass. And, alas, not only in words. In any case, even the slightest attempt to start moving along the path of the “Minsk agreements”, and even more so direct negotiations with the DPR and LPR demanded by Moscow, will absolutely inevitably cause a political storm in Ukraine. However, to continue in this direction further the imitation process, which Kiev managed to get rid of over the past years, will also no longer work. The circumstances are completely different. And here we are already talking about external factors that put pressure on the leadership of the "nezalezhnaya" not from the West, but from the East.
Russia more than transparently made it clear that if the Ukrainian side continues to evade the real implementation of the Minsk agreements, and, moreover, its attempts to resolve the “Donbass issue” by the notorious “other ways”, countermeasures will be taken of the most serious nature. The demarche of the Russian communists, who submitted an appeal to Vladimir Putin for consideration by the State Duma on the recognition of the LPR and DPR by our country, is, of course, a beautiful and loud step. However, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation seems to be in opposition, and therefore they are supposed to come up with bright initiatives, but often completely unrealistic. But the statement of Vladimir Vasilyev, who is the head of the "party of power", United Russia, about the need to start deliveries of Russian weapons to the Republics - this is already much more serious. Especially, given the fact that this idea was duplicated by the deputy head of the Federation Council Andrei Turchak.
The doors of our arsenals, officially opened to Donetsk and Luhansk, will change the situation radically – and Kiev is well aware of this. For a better understanding of the issue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov clarified that this would not happen if the process of implementing the Minsk agreements did get off the ground. One way or another, it will not be possible to pull off “quietly” something like the “Croatian scenario”, about which the same Zelensky continues to babble from time to time.
According to data recently released by the Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR, the number of persons who have received Russian citizenship on the territory of the republic has already reached 365 thousand people. So this is only Donetsk - in Luhansk, presumably, the situation is similar. And someone thinks that Moscow will leave more than half a million of its own citizens to the mercy of fate, to certain death in the event of an offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine - it does not matter whether this will be carried out with the support of "partners" from NATO or without it? In the presidential administration, government and parliament of Ukraine today, of course, exclusively alternatively gifted individuals are sitting. But not to the same extent! Currently, all these "authorities" are cornered in the most literal sense. And the two weeks allegedly taken by Yermak “for approval” will no doubt be spent just on trying to figure out a way to weave between the internal “zrada” and the ultimatum of Moscow, which has clearly lost the remnants of forbearance. The task, to be sure, is not an easy one. Be that as it may, at the next Normandy meeting, which will take place in half a month in Berlin, the representatives of Ukraine will have to come up with something specific, and not with a set of general phrases and excuses that have long bothered everyone.
All of the above in no way can mean that Kiev will really take up the systematic and full-fledged implementation of all the points of "Minsk-2". As I said, this is impossible by definition and there are a huge number of reasons for this. Nevertheless, the revival that has begun today on the “Norman” and “Minsk” tracks is already a small victory for Moscow, and it is positive that this whole story, most likely, is inexorably approaching its end. Will this be a revival, but rather a “reincarnation” of the process of a peaceful settlement in Donbass in some slightly different, more realistic and acceptable form for all parties? Or will the fruitless and hopeless process that has dragged on for years simply be put to an end, moving on to resolving the issue by completely different methods? We will know the answers to these questions in the near future. The main thing is that the resolution of the crisis in Donbas will now take place exclusively as a fragment of the global confrontation between the West and Russia, based on its course and outcome.