Ukrainian philosopher Sergiy Datsiuk frequently invited his Russian counterparts to participate in intellectual battles, though they either missed the opportunity or appeared with no arguments. This fact proves that the Russian philosophy still has not shaped up any views on the Russian Federation’s future as well as the way of the country’s further changing. To sound reasonable, that task should have been given to ordinary Russian people since, finally, Russia belongs to Russians. We, Ukrainians, are overwhelmed with our own tasks to cope with. However, we have a vital interest at least in a single aspect of the Russian statehood; the way in which Russia will stop being dangerous to Ukraine is of paramount importance. In other words, we are interested in peculiarities of Russia’s changing at the first stage enacted by dealing with its interior problems and stopping its influence on Ukraine.
Invasion of Russia, annexation of Crimea and intensive informational war do not allow to move back to the starting point of 2013 when Ukraine and Russia were “kin nations with tight economic relations and kin cultures” and do not let to pretend as if nothing happened. Hence, Russia will change its attitude towards Ukraine only after changes take place inside Russia itself.
What events may take place?
Mass riots on economic issues. Russian History Shows That The lumpenproletariat AS The Basic Layer Of Russian Society CAN Live For substantially Log Time Beyond The Poverty Threshold Suffering NO Difficulties. Such people get easily used to further deterioration of living standards and are not ready to break the principles in order to live the better life.The impoverishment of the society does not lead to their discontent. Moreover, lumpens from Donetsk and Lugansk regions, who are akin to Russian post-soviet ones, set an example showing that reach and happy Europe avert them by its foreignness. We Find This Scenario Impossible .
Middle-class economic revolution. Russian middle class is weak, dependent and divided both on a physical and informational basis. A middle-class revolution requires independent mass media and organized structure of the society as well as the lasting dialogue over the country’s future. Nothing of the abovementioned is noticed in Russia. In addition, masses of people should support the bourgeois revolution, though, in our case, All Russian Territory Outside The Centre Of Moscow IS Doomed To Become Entire Huge Vand é E For unsuccessful Bourgeois revolutionaries. Finally, the Russian middle class is completely needless for the existence of Russian economy and its statehood (as it was during the 20s of last century). Subsequently, the middle class can be easily dispersed by numerous enforcers in case when it threatens the state. It is useless to consider the development of this scenario as well.
Oligarchic Revolution . Unfortunately, this scenario is also impossible to develop in Russia. Russian oligarchs are politically weak and dependent. The so-called “Semibankirschina “(or the group of influential business oligarchs) is already in the past, and there is nothing that resembles the balance of oligarchic powers in Ukraine during President Kuchma’s office. An oligarchic revolution requires not only big business’s economic independence, but its own mass media and parliamentary factions, as well as appreciation of the Western countries that see them as independent figures. It is also preferable to follow an established norm of several power centers “functioning, which is irrelevant to Putin-led Russia. To put it bluntly, Putin has effectively carried out a clean-up of oligarchic powers. As for the oligarchs in Putin’s directly appointed entourage, all of them obey him. Are they real oligarchs in the long run? They are more likely to be in charge of common money’s flows.
Economic collapse and disintegration . Russia IS Still Unified Due To
zombification Of The Masses AS Well AS The unanimity Of The Regional Elite. Such unanimity has to be constantly fueled by flows of money coming from the power center. It turns out that the Kremlin buys the loyalty of regional elite with money earned as profit from hydrocarbon. When these financial flows are exhausted, regional tycoons will ask themselves whether the loyalty towards the impoverished regime will be worth that. The point is that all statehood crises of all times started as fiscal crises. Subsequently, we will be able to watch a parade of sovereign states where new identities will be forged in haste (Siberian, Far-East states) regardless of the local ethnic composition. It is evident that lots people from the local elite are ready to betray the federal power center at any time. We note this scenario as potentially possible. (By the way, the regional elite are unlikely to strive for Ukraine’s support or, at least, cooperation with it).
National liberation and anti-imperialist wars. There are a plenty of scenarios of how Russia may break up through economic collapse, since the national structure of the country is heterogeneous. The Russian Federation (it is the federation de-jure only, as all crucial features of the federal system of power de-facto are absent) has a massive number of small and big units of national significance. In addition, it enjoys its economic power and political influence. In spite of North Caucasus’s long-lasting determination to separate and unexhausted sop from Moscow to suppress this will, some other prosperous republics conceal their objectives. In case when the power center is on the wane (and, possibly, in case of effective activity of foreign secret agents and Islamist campaigners), some new counter-center movements may arise as it was during President Yeltsin’s office. It is all primarily about Tatarstan, however, the more the power center is waned, the more surprises are to unfold. We consider these surprises as as sub-scenarios of the abovementioned economic collapse and disintegration.
Big war in Europe . The Kremlin may resort to the escalation of war in Ukraine in order to maintain its position. However, there is a low probability of such course of events because it is already apparent that Ukraine can not be conquered by military forces only. Though, in cases when there is no reasonable strategy, the latter one can easily be substituted by any spontaneous decision. Such scenario is rather slaughterous and leads to numerous deaths of both Ukrainians and Russians; it leads to so many deaths that some disasters may happen in Russia, starting from coup d’etat in collusion with the West and ending with a military junta’s activation or West’s attacks on Russia’s infrastructure.We will dwell upon these scenarios in the following clauses.The same course of events may take place if the Kremlin, having completely lost its touch reality, tries to intimidate the Baltics with “little green men” and its nuclear potential.
Big war in Asia. At the same time, there are several possible theaters of war. We have already stated that Ukraine will apparently work its way out of zugzwang (strategic position when any move can deteriorate a situation) if Russia shifts its attacks to weaker partners on other theaters of war; and we predicted attacks on Kazakhstan first, and then on Azerbaijan.These both countries are rather fragile. If Russia withdraws its forces from Ukraine in exchange for Kazakh resources, the West will be satisfied with such course, will lift sanctions and will not intervene on President Nazarbayev’s behalf (especially, if operational conditions for foreign companies stay unchanged). There is a serious possibility of incumbent Kremlin regime’s conservation through the shift of focus.However, the only thing which apparently will not happen is invasion of China. China knows how to wait: sooner or later, all resources will come to their hands by themselves.
Shift of focus from the war to own interior affairs. As we have mentioned about the change of the war’s theaters, one more similar variant of the Kremlin regime’s conservation remains possible: de-escalation of war in Ukraine and engagement in a war against a ” fifth column “traditionally represented by Jews and intelligentsia that in this case will be equated to Jews. Under this scenario, Russia will face the revival of ultra-nationalist movements, persecutions and repressions like those carried out in Soviet forced labor camps. We have covered this scenario before as well, and now we find it absolutely possible.
The collapse of infrastructure instigated from outside.Russian infrastructure is rather fragile on various issues: SWIFT, foreign software support on technologically dangerous and key infrastructure facilities (starting from nuclear power stations and ending with the railway, as well as steel producing works or mobile phone operators), imported spare parts of inventory for all possible purposes, and a great number of other fragile sectors. The West will definitely never resort to such tough sanctions that will threaten the huge nuclear country with chaos. However, this course of events may cap the measures of last resort. Depending on how well the infrastructure collapse can be handled, Either Putin Will BE beheaded With HIS Head brought BACK On A Platter (we will dwell upon this scenario in the following clause), or the collapse will follow the same way of the abovementioned economic collapse .
The collapse of infrastructure instigated from inside. AGreat Number Of Disasters Happened Over The Last Years Of USSR. Chernobyl-based nuclear station explosion is not a single calamity. Why does a set of technological disasters happen prior to the collapse of a regime? Humanitarians will explain that if the quality of human capital deteriorates, it becomes impossible to keep super-complex systems in order.Physicists will say that the increase of entropy will backfire on the initiator. Mystics will consider that to be signs of the upcoming collapse, like those ones during Balshazzar’s feast when prophetical writings appeared on the wall. In the long run, several major disasters with grave consequences may completely destabilize the social system.
Military takeover (junta). It IS NOT Desirable To Ignore The Possibility Of A Military Takeover In The Country With A Great Number Of Enforcers. Edward Nicolae Luttwak has thoroughly studied the theory of a military takeover; judging by the strategy that he suggested, such scenario is impossible for Russia. On the one side, Russian army officers do not constitute a closed caste system with a strong self-identification and absolute respect or trust from Russians.They are oppressed by poverty and repressive methods of giving orders. On the other side, intelligence service and its secret agents bring the Russian army into balance. Hence, the conditions for “the Decembrists of the 21 ST Century “are completely unfavorable.
Nazi coup d’etat. What Russian forces are most uncontrollable except for the Russian army? Judging by the situation in Ukraine, the answer to this question is apparent: the rabble that fights in Ukraine shoulder to shoulder with the Russian army. Mercenaries, Russian Cossacks, activists from various ethnic regions, re-enactors, discarded special operations soldiers and others. Having a leader and ideology, they can substantially shake the authority or even to take it over. As far as we can see, they will always get some sort of a leader. As for the ideology, some vestiges of still appreciated among Russian lumpens National Socialism will suit them fine. It is obvious that nowadays these factors may create a powerful force. Nevertheless, German Nazis also started their way at such level until they took the country under their total control. All-nation frustration over the geopolitics, passionarity, tons of unregulated weapons and heaps of people who already learned to kill, dozens of outdated slogans, heterogeneous ethnic composition, severe recession and dissatisfaction with the ineffective authority constitute a set of components that make a hellish potion. Let us remember that time accelerates, and nowadays the sowed dragon’s teeth will grow in a few months, thought previously it could take a few years. However, this scenario is possible only in case of a complete weakness of a State gained through the coup d’etat.We consider this scenario as a part of the scenario called “Black Hole” which will be the last to be dwelt upon.
The New Horde . What happens to the country with the level of “social energy” at the bottom? Such country falls prey to aggressors, as it happened hundreds of times in world history.Russia convinced the world that the principle of inviolability of borders is not applied to it. Luckily for Russia, though, nobody encroaches on its territory. As we have put it, China will not attack Russia; it waits until an old Chinese proverb saying “If you sit on a river’s bank and wait for a long time, you will see the dead body of your enemy” comes true. Even if there is a volunteer to take collapsing Russia over, developed countries will be against it: they do not want a secondary player to gain excessive powers by means of Russian resources. However, they will not be against if the aggressor comes from inside Russia.
The comparatively small army of passionaries from North Caucasus run by experienced leaders can quickly take the huge country under their control. As the history shows, the ethnicities that differ from that of the aggressor (for example, Turkic speaking ethnicities) can quickly incorporate (Mongol Empire’s army chiefly consisted of non-Mongols). Masses of people will obey, and local enforcers will be glad to become basqaqs (our pardon for the Turkish term: we do not know the Chechen language).
Coup d’etat. It is a traditional way of changing the power in Russia which happened a plenty of times. The Russian history at all its stages lacked such subjects as independent regional barons, powerful city-bred middle class and other forces that can start a revolution. Self-preservation response was noticed chiefly among a small number of immediate entourage to a monarch. As a rule, several rival factions exist around the head of a state. In our case these rival factions are the army and special operations units (as we have mentioned, oligarchs are weak and dependent). In Soviet times there was a third faction – the party apparatus -which brought the two previously rival factions together against it (by the same token, Beria was displaced after Stalin’s death). Judging by the current circumstances in Russia, the bulldogs fight under the carpet is going to be tough. As the outcome of the fight, there will be an acceptable for the West ruler with unaggressive external policy and the ability to keep its interior forces and nuclear weapons under control (we would like the stress, that there is no one in Putin’s entourage who suits these requirements).That may be an independent and strong person or a provisional regent with real forces ‘(the army and special purpose units) fights behind his back (there is a possibility that oligarchs will show themselves as a third power and will strengthen any of other two powers ). There is no difference whether Putin will be assassinated or face the Hague tribunal.The former variant is the safest for coupists. Anyway, Russia will bring the occupied territory back to Ukraine, sanctions will be lifted, cheap Russian assets will be substituted by investments, and the Kremlin will host a group of Western advisors (for instance, from Germany in order not to disturb Russians with Americans ).
Black hole. Everything will be alright if the new authorities will manage to stay in power after the coup d’etat. However, there is a probability that the system is already out of balance.Subsequently, the new authorities will turn to be provisional.This outcome may result from Western countries ‘excessive pressure aiming to displace the powerful and dangerous figures of the old regime from the new Russian authorities. By doing so, the West does not understand that such their actions will isolate the authorities, like it happened with Iraq, so then all abovementioned scenarios will unfold simultaneously, Since The System Of Rigid Power Vertical Does NOT tolerate A NY Holes (the system of well-balanced authorities and horizontal network structures is more stable). THe abovementioned Holes May BE Filled With Any Volunteers: courageous oligarchs, regional elite, Islamists, servicemen, street Nazi followers, mercenaries from Donbas, passionaries from North Caucasus and others. It will become a rage civil war trap where Russia will either turn into desolated desert, or will break into numerous parts. It may possibly give birth to a new monster akin to the Soviet Unit or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In this case, no walls and ditches with crocodiles will help its neighbors.
We have dwelt upon the most important scenarios of Russia’s future development. We would like to remember the readers that the aim of our analysis is not to determine the future of Russia (let Russian analyst do that), but how Russia may stop endangering Ukraine. In other words, we tried to find out what should happen so that Russian authorities and Russian passionaries tackle their interior affairs and let Ukraine alone.
The following scenarios we find impossible or unlikely:
– Mass riots on economic issues
– Middle-class economic revolution
– Oligarchic revolution
– Military takeover
The following scenarios are rather plausible:
– Withdrawal of Russia from Ukraine due to the shift of focus on Asia or interior enemies.
– Economic and infrastructure collapse, disintegration.
– The New Horde of passionaries from North Causcasus.
– Coup d’etat.
We would like to draw your attention that the three latter scenarios may happen simultaneously what may lead to the scenario called “Black hole”.
To conclude, let us briefly dwell upon the question of further Ukraine’s actions. This topic needs a separate publication.Now We Will Simply Stress That There IS NO Scenario Under Which The Powerful And Aggressive Russia IS A Peaceful Neighbor Of Ukraine . Even the scenario of Russia’s invasion into Kazakhstan “instead of Ukraine” does not mean that the Kremlin rulers as well as offended lowest social classes and special purpose soldiers who remember the fallen companions will let Ukraine alone. Nevertheless,even weak and collapsing Russia will endanger Ukraine : it will always release lots of refuges and mercenaries.
The only optimistic scenario is a pro-Western coup d’etat.However, how stable will be this scenario? It may succeed like in Serbia, or fail like in Iraq. The Iraqi variant is more plausible since there is no new force already prepared to take the full responsibility for the country. In addition, the current foreign policy of Russia is a complete reflection of Russians “aspirations. The people supporting the alternative way of Russia’s development like Navalny or Khodorkovsky can do nothing but follow the aspirations of their electorate and estimate the prospects of Russia-Ukraine relations.
Hence, under the overwhelming majority of plausible scenarios, Russia will always endanger Ukraine . It means that we have to:
- To elaborate a strategy of waging the war with Russia in military, political, economic and informational spheres.
- To conclude the reorganization of the army and form up-to-date armed forces of Ukraine capable to repel the Russian aggression.
- To win the support of Western allies by explaining them in a blunt way that only Ukraine is standing between them and the imminent chaos from the East.
- To relocate the military industry facilities taking the real threats into consideration (the location of old facilities resulted from the policy of confronting the NATO countries).
- To fight the Russian secret agents in the fields of law enforcement and media.
- To withstand Russian propaganda through introducing regulatory restrictions and own counter-propaganda.
- Gradually and firmly to break economic ties with Russia, especially on the field of energy self-sufficiency.
- To elaborate a new migration policy.
- To promote Ukrainian culture that will replace Russian culture in the minds of Ukrainians.
- To show the world Ukraine’s significance on the international scene and promote its own understanding of Ukraine’s new place in the world history.
In a nutshell, we have to become strong, independent and economically prosperous. (Needless to say, it is the task not only of the state, but of all its citizens). The myths about fraternal nations, tight economic ties and kin cultures should be dispelled completely since they lead to the deadly outcomes.
Translation is made on the initiative of NGO “” Ukrainian Women’s Guard ”