As I predicted long time ago, Russia is holding referendums in the regions it has captured so far. It’s the same playbook used in Crimea in 2014. The referendums — asking people if they want to stay with Ukraine or join Russia — will last for four days, Sep 23-27. The implications are far-reaching. Why? After these referendums, any attack on these regions will be considered as attacks on Russia itself. Will the US/EU encourage Ukraine to continue the attacks? Will it be a prelude to a bigger war that may entail nuclear weapons?
Ukraine’s four regions — Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson — are full of ethnic Russians. These people have been persecuted by the Ukrainian government and the Nazis since 2014, and thus will gladly vote to join Russia.
Of course, the West has already called these referendums as “sham”, which means that Ukraine will continue to attack Russian troops in those regions.
How Russia will react is yet to be seen. Putin again warned that “all options” are on the table; and Russian President Medvedev went further and made it clear that if the West crossed the red lines — such as providing Ukraine with long-range missiles — then Russia would use nuclear weapons.
Best-case scenario for Russia
In the most optimal outcome, Russia will be a big winner. The four regions being annexed are also the most industrial and productive regions in Ukraine. Thus, they will boost Russia’s economy. On the flip side, Ukraine will be crippled.
Moreover, Putin is not going to stop here. There’s one more strategic and sentimental city: Odessa. It had belonged to Russia for a couple of centuries.
Putin announced a partial mobilization — or, conscription — of 300,000 Russian men. It’s possible that Russian military will train them for a few months and then launch an attack on Odessa next spring. This way, Russia can minimize wars in winter, which will be brutal.
While I sympathize with ordinary Ukrainians, the leaders have been making terrible moral and geopolitical mistakes for more than a decade. Encouraging Nazism, demonizing everything Russian, and talking about joining NATO were all needless provocations.
Also, Ukraine has forgotten that its current borders were drawn and expanded by Russia — Russian emperors and the USSR. For example, the four regions currently holding referendums used to be called NovoRussiya and were added to Ukraine in 1922. What Russia giveth, it taketh away!
Similarly, Crimea was added to Ukraine in 1954. This year was the 300th anniversary of formal unification of Ukraine and Russia. People celebrated the “forever friendship” between the two nations.
The reason why Russians gave lands to Ukraine was, of course, that Russia never considered the possibility that Ukraine would become anti-Russian.
Ukraine cannot win the war against Russia. The situation is NOT like the Kurds, who were able to get lands from Iraq and Syria, thanks to American meddling.
Ukrainians must realize that they are geopolitical pawns. In fact, the US would love for Russia to nuke some Ukrainian city like Kiev. That would help the US launch a massive propaganda war against Russia, hoping to, for example, kick Russia out of the UN.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,” said Jesus Christ. However, the US is in the business of running an Empire. This means divide and rule. If the US really puts its power and influence to good work, it will bring peace between EU and Russia, Taiwan and China, India and Pakistan, and so on. But, no, that would mean a prosperous Asia and a prosperous Eurasia. How can America then be the exceptional, indispensable, #1 nation?
So, the wars will continue. Let’s hope it doesn’t lead to a nuclear war or a WW3.
P.S. Here is a short clip of Ukrainians (soon to be Russians) standing in line to vote in the referendum: