In an interview for the АрміяInform, a well-known Ukrainian international conflict expert, director of the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, Doctor of Political Sciences Hryhoriy Perepelytsia explained why the democratic world is still trying to adequately perceive the lying Russian diplomacy, predicts the further course of the war with the russian federation, and also talks about options for security threats for Ukraine after our victory over russia.
The adequate reaction of democratic countries politicians’ to russia’s inadequate words and actions is surprising. For example, when the head of the russian ministry of foreign affairs is publicly asked about the reasons for the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian armed forces, he retorts without batting an eye: “We did not invade.” But a normal dialogue with the russians continues. Why is that so?
First of all, it’s a matter of habit. The West itself created an overly positive image of russia and got used to it. That happened when the Cold War ended with the victory of the West, and the West, being infinitely grateful to Russia, hoped to integrate it into great Europe. Although it didn’t work, the habit of considering the russian federation a normal country remained.
Secondly, powerful Russian propaganda and an extensive network of, diplomatically speaking, lobbyists have been operating in the democratic countries of Europe for decades. And there is no need to explain to Ukrainians how effective they are. These are also the consequences of their poisonous influence, which fuel the myth of russia’s “normality”. Therefore, the top politicians of democratic countries and their diplomacy continue negotiations with the russian side, observing traditional norms and rules.
Thirdly, the politicians of a number of democratic countries have certain plans on how to use russia in their interests. They also take into account such a factor as the end of the globalization era, and with it – a unipolar world. At the moment, humanity is rapidly moving towards a multipolar world system: the influence of the USA is weakening, and new centers of power are emerging. Accordingly, in the conditions of a multipolar system, when we get several centers of geopolitical influence, they will begin struggling for dominance in a certain space. Each individual country will not be able to become an independent heavyweight player, so alliances will be formed and direct the future geopolitical picture. Some currently see russia as a future ally in the upcoming geopolitical game.
Russia’s political elite also wants to take part in reshaping the world, since it has retained nostalgia for its position in the bipolar world of the Cold War era. But now the russians want to divide the world so that they become full-fledged masters on the Eurasian continent. In this sense, for them, the destruction of Ukraine is the first stage of an expansion plan for the 21st century.
Fourthly, the leaders of democratic countries also plan to use russia in their economic interests, because the russian federation is a colossal reservoir of energy and other raw resources.
That is, we see a multifaceted geopolitical game in which the motives of its actors are not entirely obvious.
In the early 2000s, you clearly predicted the challenges for Ukraine’s security from russia that we are currently facing. I will ask you to do it again – to predict threats and challenges for Ukraine in the short term from the point of view of today’s realities.
Let’s recall something else from recent history. In the 1990s, Russia was making plans for future regional wars (including with Ukraine) to restore its imperial status, creating certain bridgehead outposts for future aggressions.
How did they do it? By provoking and organizing internal conflicts. Those were, let me remind you, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia-controlled enclaves appeared there, keeping the conflicts frozen for decades. Russia nurtured those conflict hotbeds, sometimes “unfreezing” them, then “freezing” them again, so that when the time came, they could take back the desired regions in a conditionally peaceful way.
This trick didn’t work with Ukraine.
As for Ukraine, let me remind you, they initially applied a peaceful plan to return it to russia through such quasi-unions as the “single economic space”, “customs union”, “Eurasian union”. It didn’t work out. Then Putin decided to destroy Ukraine in war, including by using previously occupied territories of neighboring countries.
We already have new fronts in these areas (Moldova, Belarus), now frozen for certain reasons.
I would like to make a special remark about Belarus. We must realize that today we are dealing not with Belarus, but with the “union state” – the russian federation plus Belarus. So far it is advantageous for Putin to pretend that this is an independent state, although in fact it is not. This country is practically completely under russia’s control, primarily its armed forces, where the entire command is Russian. The truth is that they are Russian armed forces, only in slightly different uniforms and under a different flag.
The skeptics who say that Belarus will not attack us are wrong.
I will apply the following verbal formula: Belarus will not attack us only because it does not exist as a separate state.
Ukraine will be attacked from the north by russia, but by the so-called Belarusian armed forces.
That is, there will be such Belarusian “little green men”?
Yes, they will implement the same scenario as in Crimea in 2014, but this time in the north of Ukraine. Belarusians can begin an assault without identification marks or in russian uniforms. Such examples already exist. In particular, there is evidence that the presence of Belarusian military units disguised in russian military uniforms was recorded near Kherson.
As for the timing of the strike from the north: most likely, it will be after the Lend-Lease starts.
So it’s about autumn?
Yes, but Belarusian forces are already fully prepared to invade Ukraine. But obviously, the time has not come yet, they are currently kept in a “warmed up” state. Meanwhile, aviation, rocket launchers, and armored vehicles are being rolled from Russia to Belarus.
As for the military goals of the attack: a strike from Belarus will aim to cut off our arms supply routes from the West, as well as the occupation of the Volyn and Rivne regions, and the Rivne nuclear power plant.
Our chances to withstand this blow?
We shall withstand, we shall repel the enemy and we shall win!
How long will the war last? What will happen after our victory?
We, Ukrainians, should honestly face the truth — the war will be long, we must prepare for a military marathon.
Let’s imagine that we have liberated all our territories from the russians, including Crimea. Will we go to war on russia’s territory to finally destroy the enemy? Of course not. We will not have enough economic resources or weapons for this. Theoretically, if a powerful international military alliance was created for this cause, this task could be accomplished. However, European countries, Canada, the USA and our other partners will not agree to this.
What will defeated Russia do?
I am sure that after the defeat they will immediately start preparing a new war against Ukraine. We can assume that after our victory, russia will be subjected to further economic sanctions, but the resource base of this country is quite significant, so it will not be possible to stop the production of weapons necessary for aggression.
Will we be able to prepare to repel russia’s next attack?
We have to do it. It will be hard for us, but we have to do it right after the victory. Our country has already suffered significant losses – economic and human. It will be very hard for us to recover and prepare for new battles, but we can do it with the help of our allies.
Is there a hope for a peaceful future?
Of course, there is. The best option to protect ourselves against new aggression is to join NATO. Of course, being under the Alliance’ “umbrella” is not a one hundred percent guarantee against a russian attack, but its probability will decrease significantly. However, this task contains many political pitfalls, so we should not hope for this in the short term.
Currently, the most realistic scenario for preserving Independent Ukraine is to militarize as much as possible, from now and forever. Prepare the population for total resistance, purchase necessary weapons, develop and build our own.
We must be active in the international arena, gaining allies capable of providing military support outside of various alliances and unions. We must find our place in the future multipolar world on the bright side of humanity. And be always ready to fight back against the russians.Belarus russia ukraine war