5 scenarios for the Donbass: Russia’s fate is at stake

In Ukraine, they expect concessions from Moscow and really want the peace promised by Zelensky.

The conflict in the Donbass under certain conditions may end in the coming year of 2020. The Kiev edition of Strana.Ua, inspired by the New Year’s address by President Zelensky, presented five scenarios for the development of the situation in the region.


Journalists noticed that the participants of the congratulations at the end of the refrain repeat the word “peace”. And they decided to figure out whether, indeed, for Zelensky and his team members, achieving peace in the southeast will be a priority in the new year.


In total, five possible scenarios are presented.


The first is “inertial”. It implies the absence of any progress, except for exchanges of prisoners, reduction of shelling and periodic dilutions of forces in certain areas.


In other words, after some activation of Zelensky on the issue of Donbass, remission is likely to begin, and “the peace process will again be frozen, as it was under Poroshenko,” the article says.


The second option: Kiev “will make concessions” to the Donetsk Republic, agreeing to the popular police. It will also fulfill the Minsk agreements regarding elections and the special status of Donbass until it receives a section of the border with Russia. With this scenario, it is believed that external risks for Kiev are minimal.


According to the third scenario, Moscow will make concessions “for the sake of lifting sanctions”. The publication notes that Western restrictive measures are “quite a serious deterrent to Russia.” And there are allegedly people in the leadership of the country who are ready to “give up certain clauses of the Minsk agreements if the West lifts sanction pressure.”


The fourth is a “compromise”, i.e. “Neither yours nor ours.” In this case, control over the border is transferred not to Ukraine, but to international mediators (for example, the OSCE or UN missions), which, according to the scriptwriters of Strana.Ua, will allow independent elections to be held in Donbass. But Washington’s position will play a key role.


Finally, the fifth – the most unlikely option, according to Ukrainian journalists, is “military exacerbation.”


It is noted that “the most fragile world will be at the time of the transit of power” in the Donbass after the election. During this period, experts believe, provocations are possible that are capable of “overturning the situation into war – even if there is an international mission at the border”.


Evaluation of the scenarios proposed for Donbass from the point of view of their implementation was requested by the director of the Center for Public and Information Cooperation “Europe”, political scientist Eduard Popov:


– Actually, I would not call the fourth option “compromise”. There is no compromise here, such a development is beneficial only to Kiev and the United States standing behind it. Because the idea of ​​introducing the so-called “peacekeepers” and transferring the border to them, this is not a compromise at all, but a form of occupation of Donbass by Western forces.




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And you need to be a very naive person to believe that Moscow will make these concessions, these generous gifts to Kiev. Especially when you consider that it was Kiev that twice lost the war to Donbass, and both Minsk were concluded at the insistent requests (even pleas) of Ukraine after the Ukrainian army was miserably defeated.


Why would winners go for voluntary surrender?


So, the number of scenarios can already be reduced to four … But, in my opinion, only the first and fifth options are more or less real.


This year, the development of the situation, I think, will take place in about the same way as before. There will be some “sprouts” insignificant both in the diplomatic sphere and in the military, there will be statements … But, by and large, the situation is likely to remain strategically unchanged. Nothing fundamentally new will happen.

This scenario seems to me the most probable.


With even less probability, a military-confrontational scenario can be assumed. It is unlikely so far. Neither in Ukraine, nor in the Donbass, nor in Russia can one see the willingness and desire to go for the implementation of this option. It is not profitable now to either side.


– And what scenario would suit the People’s Republics?


  • Residents of Donbass would be satisfied, of course, with the surrender of Ukraine and the implementation of the Minsk agreements. But Ukraine, more precisely, its authorities, will never agree to this scenario.


Firstly, the so-called opposition will not allow it – i.e. Ukrainian Nazis. Very strong, well armed and organized.


And, secondly, foreign “friends” of Ukraine, who did not organize a coup d’etat, did not train the Ukrainian army for this, provided them with enormous military-technical assistance, sent their instructors and their commandos who were fighting in the Donbass. All this was not done so that Ukraine would capitulate.


Therefore, the mission of Ukraine is to fight to the last Ukrainian soldier. Preferably with Russia.


Ukraine is just an instrument of American politics. Therefore, the second option will never be implemented.


I repeat, I believe that the first option is most likely. And, in my opinion, if any decision regarding Donbass depended on me, then I would also adhere to this scenario.


And Russia, I must say, is behaving very consistently. It is trying to catch Ukraine on failure to comply with the conditions of the Minsk agreements.


The Russian Foreign Ministry and President Vladimir Putin are very firmly on the positions of implementation of Minsk-2. Russia’s strategy is to show the West that Ukraine must implement these agreements. And if it does not, then it must bear all responsibility for non-compliance.


This plan is being consistently implemented by Moscow.


– For too long, it all lasts so long …


– Of course, this can drag on for a very long time.


But Lenin, as you know, wrote about the development of the imperialist war into a civil war. And that load of problems that stands in Ukraine, it will sooner or later – as it is clogged, because there is no way out – will lead to the fact that the Ukrainian boiler explodes. Inter-regional contradictions, inter-political contradictions …


Now Ukraine is dominated by two main forces – the oligarchic, pro-Western liberal power and Ukrainian Nazi street. These are, in fact, situational allies, who, however, hate each other and are ready to cling to each other’s throats.


And everything possible must be done so that this clash of “bulldogs” takes place.


Therefore, I believe that the status quo situation is beneficial for Russia, which plays into our hands. Strategically, time works for us and against Ukraine.


“SP”: – But this does not prevent them from shelling the Donbass for the sixth year …


– Of course, one thing is that we, who are sitting in Rostov, in Moscow, are watching what is happening, and another thing is the people who live there. But a lot is at stake. At stake is not only the fate of the Donbass, but the whole of Russia.


As for the option in which Russia will make concessions for the sake of lifting the sanctions, then, without a doubt, there are such forces in the country’s leadership. That’s not even an open secret. But, fortunately, not these people determine politics.


Russia has invested a lot in support of the Donbass, including financially. Let me remind you that 200 thousand residents of the republics have already received Russian passports. And in a year, if there are no radical changes, I think everyone will have a Russian passport.


This is the answer to the question of what Russia is doing …