At the recent meeting of the UN Security Council, Ukraine’s envoy, Vladimir Yelchenko, announced that the peacekeeping contingent to be deployed to Donbass should be equipped with combat aircraft and vehicles. Yelchenko also added that peacekeeping forces should be guaranteed necessary funding and advanced reconnaissance technologies.
If we assume the hypothetical possibility of such a proposal being approved, then the history of peacekeeping operations will be “enriched” with a new precedent. Never before have peacekeeping missions used combat aircraft. Of course, the Ukrainian ambassador’s extravagant proposal can be attributed to the infantile experience of Ukrainian statehood and Ukraine’s young diplomacy – but only partly. I once had the opportunity to participate in a meeting with Yelchenko when he was Ukraine’s ambassador to Russia during Ukraine’s Yushchenko presidency. Already back then I drew the conclusion that we are dealing not with a diplomat, but with a political demagogue whose “diplomacy” comprises little more than Russophobia. His subsequent career as Ukraine’s envoy to the UN has only confirmed this. Unlike Russia’s envoy, Vitaliy Churkin, who was a professional with a capital “P”, this Ukrainian quasi-diplomat and Ukrainian quasi-diplomacy as a whole are famous for one thing – aggressive Russophobia and extravagance.
Nevertheless, we should give Yelchenko credit where it is due. He has one undeniable advantage: the ability to furnish constant, offensive outbursts. Again, to put such in context, Ukrainian diplomacy is not professional, but it is indeed very active and aggressive, a quality which, in my opinion, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov does not display enough. Thus, Yelchenko, with all of his extravagant outbursts, is quite appropriate for the role of Ukraine’s UN envoy.
In proposing that peacekeeping in Donbass be done with combat aircraft, Ukraine’s Yelchenko is basing himself not on the experience of peacekeeping missions, but on other precedents. Obviously enough, his proposals allude to the events of spring 1999, namely, NATO’s intervention against Yugoslavia, when combat aircraft played the main role in the US and its allies’ punitive operations.
What Kiev understands by “peacekeeping operations in Donbass”, of course, is in fact a NATO intervention in Donbass and reigning in this “rebellious region” back under Ukrainian control. If we understand this obvious truth, then Yelchenko’s proposal does not look so extreme after all. Ukraine sees the peacekeeping contingent as being composed solely of NATO troops, and the goal of this “peacekeeping” mission as breaking the “separatist armies” by Western hands. In effect, Ukraine is essentially inviting the collective West to not only solve Kiev’s problems by military means, but also finance the operation. This is the Ukrainian mentality and the style of the Ukrainian quasi-elite.
Of course, this strange proposal will be rejected at the UN Security Council even by Ukraine’s Western allies. But the goal has nevertheless been achieved, as the Ukrainian regime has thereby demonstrated that it is ready to go to extreme measures such as calling for NATO intervention against Donbass – and, as follows, against Russia, which will not simply abandon Donbass.
Kiev is calling for the West to go to war against Russia. This is bad for the West, bad for Russia, and terrifying for Ukraine. But it is good for the Ukrainian “elite” who have bet their existence and assets on a military collision between two of the world’s most powerful military forces.
Originally published on fort-russ.com