Old methods of new war

Old methods of new war

Some people litterbug in their own staircase and do not understand why they need to put garbage into bins, but “knowingly” criticize government policy, economics and finance. Considering it unnecessary to study, not really knowing history and frivolously analyzing information coming from the outside, they become crowd that is easy to control. This control is realized according to the old, long known scenario: divide and conquer. The fact that such a scenario was possible in Ukraine proves that we learned little from our history. 

Many Ukrainians believe that the conflict in the South and East of Ukraine is an unheard-of outrage, really unique event. In fact, during Ukraine’s independence the event is unique. But on a global scale it is a cynical and inhuman repetition of well-known methods of territories seizure. Dozens of similar examples can be found in the history of the last 50-60 years. Bloody and brutal struggle for colonies’ independence, armed confrontation of communist and capitalist systems, and the more recent tragedy of Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which for most of us were just lines on the news. 

Let’s compare at least some aspects of these recent conflicts. Alleged harassment of the local population, usually ethnically, religiously or linguistically different from the “oppressor” was the cause for fomenting conflicts in all the cases. But the “oppressed” could achieve success in separatist activities only after external “support”, and frankly after military aid and sometimes even invasion of «supporting» country. Thus, units of the Russian army based in Transnistria became crucial in Transnistria’s conflict. In South Ossetia an “operation to enforce peace” – unknown phenomenon in international law invented by the Russian Federation to send it’s troops to a foreign country – determined the case. According to available data, political, military, informational and financial support was provided to the Abkhaz side by Russia. And then the Russian troops “stood behind self-defense forces of the Crimea,” admitted the President of the Russian Federation. This is the global defender of all Russians on the neighboring lands. 

The composition of warring forces can also be compared. In the Abkhazian conflict back in 1992 the National Guard and volunteers took part of the central government of Georgia and the Abkhaz side was represented by the local military groups and “volunteers” from the Russian republics of the North Caucasus, Chechnya, as well as Russian Cossacks. In Transnistria’s military actions Cossacks, armed “tourists” from the Russian Federation and representatives of mountain people were also seen. Doesn’t it seem familiar? 

Legal issues are also interesting to compare, especially given that separatists suddenly begin to interpret some provisions in a very peculiar way. The concept of self-determination of peoples is strained beyond limits, as well as Constitution – the fundamental law. People usually do not enter into legal details or quickly get confused with laws, and propaganda uses it. For example, pseudo-referendums, which are inconsistent with local laws, are so absurd that international organizations do not even send its observers there, and the vast majority of states do not recognize their results. Besides such “referendums” are held at gunpoint. It is clear whose gunpoint it is. 

But there are also significant differences between the situation in the South and East of Ukraine and conflicts of Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In the beginning of the conflict Abkhazia already had a very wide autonomy in Georgia, with equal quota of Georgians and Abkhazians in the local government, with fighting for independence from Georgia even during the Soviet period, with negotiations about federalization. Things were quite different in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Eastern regions of Ukraine. 

Since the middle of the last century Abkhazia has been actively populated by Georgians, and the eastern and southern Ukraine was denizen by Russians. But if separatist movements in Abkhazia were originally initiated by the local population, in Ukraine separatist demands came from yesterday migrants (or their representatives), whose right to the land is more than questionable. 

But the most important difference is whether the local authorities that declare separatism were legitimately elected and supported by the substantial part of the local population. In Abkhazia, the first “critical” decisions were taken by legitimately elected authorities that existed before independence. The decision on the autonomy of South Ossetia was taken by the Council of People’s Deputies of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast of the Georgian SSR and not by a small group of militants. Declaration of independence of Transnistria was taken by the Supreme Council of the country. But decision-making in the Crimea took place after the capture of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea by militants, and what really happened there inside is unknown. Any legitimate election or mass support for separatist “leaders” in the East of Ukraine didn’t exist: only self-proclaimed gangs and banal takeovers by unknown armed people. 

Based on the above, we can draw the following conclusion: seeing the success of previous operations of “peace enforcement” aggressor became bolder and launched similar actions even on the territories where they may fail. Not immediately, but Ukraine was able to resist aggression and propaganda; more decisive although insufficient international reaction against Russia followed. It is a pity that this has not happened before, when problems have arisen in Abkhazia, Transnistria, Ossetia … The world continues to be held hostage by the indifference and ignorance. Assuming someone else’s misfortune as regular news, people are very surprised when no one pays attention to their troubles. Trustingly and mindlessly listening to propaganda, we give the aggressor the possibility to keep a tight rein on. 

World politics can wrap up meaning, but continues to use the same methods that thousands of years ago. However, besides weapons of mass destruction the arsenal of the rulers today includes weapons of mass distortion – the media. Despite the international peacekeeping organizations, missions and tribunals, ambitious tyrants play with the destinies of millions. And simple people continue to be a herd: enslaved, deceived, used.

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