Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Ugly Things Moscow Might Do if Ukraine is Consigned to a Russian Sphere of Influence

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 28 – All too many people in the West are casually talking about recognizing Ukraine as lying within a Russian sphere of influence without reflecting what that might mean for Ukraine and Ukrainians. Such people might want to revise their thinking after hearing what well-connected Russian commentator says should be done in that event.

            Mikhail Khazin, an economist, a former official in the Presidential Administration, and a member of an experts commission of the Moscow Patriarchate, outlines what he believes Moscow would want if the West acknowledged that Ukraine is in Russia’s sphere of influence (

            Once Ukraine is acknowledged as part of Russia’s sphere of influence, Khazin says, “everything will depend on what we want. If we want to keep Ukraine whole but loyal to Russia then it will be necessary to return the Donbass with a change of leadership in Kyiv … Further, counter-propaganda will begin. The population there won’t be delighted in fact.”

            “There, crudely speaking, will be several million people whom it will be impossible to correct. Well, it will be necessary to liquidate part of them and drive out the rest,” the Moscow commentator says.

            On the other hand, Khazin says, Moscow may decide to dismember Ukraine. Then, “the picture would be the following.” The eastern portion of Ukraine now “should go into Russia as oblasts with complete de-Nazification and de-Ukrainianization, with a complete prohibition of the use of Ukrainian alphabet, Ukrainian texts, broadcasts and teaching in Ukrainian.”

            Moreover, he continues, the rest of Ukraine “must become an agrarian state,” one which will not be allowed to have its own “army or industry.” If there is overpopulation, then people should be sent to the Russian Far East. And the Western four of five oblasts of Ukraine “should be given to Poland.”

            That is, Khazin says, “all of the Banderite people must be driven there and handed over to the Poles. The thing is that, in the division of the world, Poland will also go to us. We must secure the loyalty of Poland and have them occupied by someone or other.”

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