Espreso. Global

If you want peace, surrender. Why Russians are unable to negotiate

23 September, 2023 Saturday

Sooner or later, all former USSR republics will be at war with Russia. To avoid war, there is one way – to join Russia by diplomatic means. It was stated by United Russia MP, Yevgeny Fedorov


He has recently developed and submitted a draft law to the State Duma of the Russian Federation, in which he proposes to restore the USSR to the borders it had before December 1991. That is, before the official liquidation at the Viskuli residence, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Belarus. The MP is convinced that all former Soviet republics gained independence illegally. 

Although I took the date with a certain degree of conventionality. After all, the Baltic States left the Soviet Union a year earlier. But it is a historical fact that in January 1991, Russian special forces were deployed to Latvia and Lithuania at weekly intervals to bring the rebellious ex-republics back. There was an armed confrontation, there were casualties, and thus there was a local war. This proves the rightness of the Russian MP Fedorov: it is better to surrender, or Russia will go to war. 

Before the Revolution of Dignity, I was talking to a business partner who was awarded the title of Honoured Artist of Ukraine. He sincerely, quite seriously stated that the UPA soldiers and other members of the resistance movement, including dissidents of the 1960s and 1980s, were repressed absolutely legally. After all, they were violating the laws of the USSR, on whose territory they were operating. The Soviet Union was a state on the world map with stable, fixed borders, recognized by everyone, including the United States. Imagine, my interlocutor told me, if a group in America started a movement for the independence of one state from the whole country. It would also put up armed resistance, killing police and military personnel. Here, my colleague said, it was the same: the Banderites violated Soviet laws. And he did not want to hear about the occupation regime, he dismissed it. 

I am convinced that people with such beliefs will never leave Ukraine.

And if Russians take the floor, then wherever they are, they say the same thing: everyone around them is acting illegally and unfairly with Russia. Even before the annexation of Crimea, during the Maidan, Putin himself commented to an international audience: Russia has its own interests and the right to its own integration processes. Ukraine is being provoked by the West, and lured by empty promises, leaving Russia no right to drag our country under its own power. 

The problem is that this rhetoric is partly working. Both the collective West and individual countries are actually not so much afraid of Russian nuclear weapons as they are of violating the principles of democracy to some extent. It's a bit of a head-scratcher, but it's true: it's commonly believed that Russia is relaying an alternative point of view. A different view of the world that has the right to be heard. Against this backdrop, statements by Western leaders about the inadmissibility of violating the territorial integrity of an independent state by force are just words. Because Russian speakers have an irresistible counter-argument: recognize the new reality, the new borders, and then the war will end. 

So, the victim is to blame for the rape. If she had not resisted, everything would have been consensual. Who knows, maybe the victim would have been satisfied. No one knows, because she didn't try, instead, she scratched, bit, screamed, and asked for help. This is the way of thinking in Russia, and there is no discovery here.

All negotiations at all levels come down to a formula: "Either our way or no way". But if all sane people understand this, then one day they must finally admit that no discussion with any Russian on any topic is possible.  Just as it is impossible to influence Russia in the traditional, familiar ways known in history.

For example, from time to time, the information space starts to talk seriously about Putin's terminal illness and predicts his death in terrible pain. If you are not lazy, you can find an explanation: these rumours are spread from Russia and are a typical example of an information operation. No man, no problem, is a well-known expression. So why solve something, why bother, when Putin, as the root of all problems, will soon die

Hence, the recognition of the ineffectiveness of Western sanctions and the unwillingness to really strengthen them. Why bother if Putin is going to die soon, and it will be easier to come to an agreement with others? Hence, the claims that the war in Ukraine will last for another 5-7 years. He hasn't died yet, he will last for some time, let's do nothing, it will dissolve. 

Russia has adopted the rules of behavior of a school bully, who is easier to give up on because he is irredeemable. You can't keep him in school forever. The bully takes advantage of the fact that he has set himself up correctly: it is impossible to negotiate with him, so it is better not to interfere. No matter what processes are going on around him, he will continue to break all the rules, knowing well that he will not be physically destroyed, because the rules of decency do not allow it, but you will have to reckon with him. It's just like the author of the USSR anthem, Sergei Mikhalkov, once said to his critic: "My anthem is shit, but you will listen to it standing up." 

It would be a mistake to assume that the Russian State Duma deputy Fedorov, mentioned at the beginning, is a banal political and geopolitical troll. He is absolutely sincere in his beliefs. His voice is the backing vocals of the supreme Russian authorities and all those who are considered public figures in Russia. 

They really are not ready to negotiate or retreat, only to dictate terms. So is there a way out in a situation where the only way to stop the bloodshed and destruction is to recognize the aggressor's rightness, surrender to his mercy, and quickly forget about what he has done? 

This is the case. It is useless to advise the collective West and all people of goodwill. You cannot shout to them, they will not hear. Instead, it is worth advising those Ukrainians who are able to influence something to stop trying to engage in dialogue with Russia and Russians at all levels, at the smallest of platforms. There is nothing to talk about with them as long as they demand that their opinions be taken into account and their views respected. At the same time, we must do everything we can to strengthen awareness-raising efforts within the country. Not a single "good Russian" on any air, on any page, on any social media page. They have no voice. As soon as 100% of our society understands this, those whom we consider partners will realize it. And only then will Russia slowly lose weight for them. This will definitely bring victory closer.

Specially for Espreso.

About the author: Andriy Kokotiukha, writer, screenwriter.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.
Read also:
  • News
2024, Saturday
22 June
US closes Russian visa centres in Washington, New York
Russia drops about 100 guided bombs on Ukrainian positions, frontline areas daily
Russia attacks Kharkiv with guided bombs four times, causing casualties
China will be very unlucky if Trump comes to power - politician Feygin
Is Zelenskyy's Peace Formula being replaced by Erdogan-Guterres Formula?
Putin aims to destabilize Europe, paralyze NATO after destroying Ukraine - former Polish defense minister
Hungary doesn't block sanctions against Russia in exchange for Paks-2 construction
Ukrainian military destroy Russian equipment in Vovchansk sector
Launch of Oniks missile from Bastion coastal missile system
US bans Ukraine from firing its weapons deeper than 100 km into Russia
Russia tries to withdraw some units from near Vovchansk - Khortytsia troops grouping
China's peace is connivance with aggressor
Polish Patriot can't be transferred to Ukraine: former defense minister explains why
Russian forces launch Kalibr missiles from Sea of Azov for first time
Putin's involvement of North Korean forces in war against Ukraine is adventurous idea - politician
Barbados, Marshall Islands join final communiqué of Peace Summit
EU to sign security agreement with Ukraine next week - media
Ukraine starts negotiations with EU
Explosions at Russian refineries, possible Ukraine-South Korea cooperation, situation near Borova. Serhiy Zgurets' column
Ukraine's General Staff reports 21 firefights in Pokrovsk sector
Ukrainian guerrillas reconnoiter airfield in Voronezh, where Russia keeps Su-34 fighters
"Documents signed by Zelenskyy aren't legally binding": former US officer spreads new fake
Ukraine needs either plan for strategic breakthrough or way to end war - politician
Situation in Kharkiv region stabilized, but Russian army keeps reinforcing units - Ukrainian military
Second Russian tanker enters Mariupol port - mayor's adviser
Russia intensifies pressure on Toretsk, captures Shumy village - DeepState
Russia's massive attack: Ukrainian air defense destroys 25 air targets
Putin finds justification for use of nuclear weapons - ISW
Ukrainian army destroys 1,100 Russian soldiers, 28 artillery systems, 8 tanks per day
2024, Friday
21 June
Ukraine aims to hold second Peace Summit by late 2024
Netherlands to provide Ukraine with Patriot air defense system
Victorious news of 849th day of war: Ukraine's first victory in Euro 2024, powerful attacks on Russian territory
South Korea's arms supply to Ukraine depends on Russia's relations with North Korea
Russia has 80% of maritime exports of oil, oil products: expert urges to block tankers
As soon as Ukraine runs out of resources, war will spread globally
Ukrainian partisans uncover Crimean hospital treating Russian special forces
North Korea may send its forces to help Russia in Ukraine - military expert
Ukrainian activist from diaspora: "It is important to maintain identity abroad"
Russia launches assaults on Chasiv Yar from Toretsk direction - Khortytsia troop grouping
"Putin is interested in negotiations, Biden in escalation": foreign fakes for June 21
Ukraine returns seven children from occupied Kherson region
More news