The Polish Question. Partition of Ukraine?
Some background on Poland: the plan to hand over western Ukraine to Poland already existed before the start of the SMO, when the West was only considering the likelihood of such a conflict. NATO believed that Russia would destroy the command centre in Kiev at the beginning of the operation and that this would be a wake-up call for Poland; the relocation of the embassies from Kiev to Lviv was also linked to this.
The Russian strategy to focus on the Donbass and the liberation of Novorossi, and a certain delay in the operation due to the Kiev-approved Nazi terrorist strategy in eastern Ukraine and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kiev, corrected the initial plan. For a moment, it seemed to the West that the Russian attack had failed. In this situation, the Polish scenario was postponed.
It was, then, revisited after the pathetic surrender of the neo-Nazis of the Azov battalion; then, it became clear that the Donbass and then Novorossia would be liberated from Russia sooner or later and that the Nazi front would collapse; at this point, the West turned again to the 'Western Ukraine as part of Poland' plan. Duda's visit and Zelensky's unprecedented moves to integrate Ukraine with Poland - effectively abolishing the border - were a turning point. The plan, ready from the very beginning, has become relevant again.
On the one hand, it makes Russia's task much easier. It is now clear to everyone that the Western line in Ukrainian politics has reached a critical point and the choice is no longer between a 'non-independent Ukraine' and the return of Novorossia to Russia, but where the Ukrainians will live at the end of the SMO: in Russia or in Poland. This is how the dream of the EU and NATO is realised. But for eastern Ukraine this is not at all acceptable. It will finally become clear to everyone why Russia came. This means that the pro-Russian underground will revive and the patriots will start exterminating the gravediggers of Ukraine bit by bit on their own.
There will also be some resistance in the western part of Ukraine, but it is not yet clear what will prevail, whether the slavish desire to join the EU and NATO or pure Ukrainian nationalism. However, this is of secondary importance: Kiev is ruled by Washington, the local population and its feelings are irrelevant. Russia acts as the liberator of a united Russian nation, as it has been since the 17th century. Apparently, this is why the issue of the autocephaly of the UOC (the Ukrainian Orthodox Church) and the banning of the deputy of the ROC (the Russian Orthodox Church) in Ukraine has become so acute. All indications are that integration in Poland is being prepared at an accelerated pace.
This could be exploited if it were only Novorossian for us. We will liberate the territory from Odessa to Kharkov and annex it one way or another, that is already out of the question. Western Ukraine as part of Poland is, at first sight, acceptable. For us it is ours, and the other half of the failed Ukraine returns to what it dreamed of.
But there is another aspect to consider.
First, NATO in this case will expand in our direction, and substantially so. Not full-scale, but half-scale.
Secondly, the introduction of Polish troops would mean NATO's direct involvement in the conflict, which means everything is taken to a new level of escalation. The probability of using nuclear weapons increases. Once again there is the question of red lines, which Russia has worked hard and dearly to establish, and the borders between eastern and western Ukraine, or rather between Poland and Russia, will have to be defined in battles with the NATO contingent. This is highly problematic and risks turning the situation into a third world war.
Finally, the third point. Russia, by agreeing to Poland's annexation of western Ukraine, loses its status as the friend and liberator of the fraternal Ukrainian people, although this is not yet apparent to many. The state 'Ukraine' no longer exists, but there are Ukrainians, and there are Orthodox Ukrainians, and in western Ukraine they are the majority. This is a problem to consider. It turns out that we are trading 'our' half of Ukrainians for 'someone else's' half, and that is a business, not the fulfilment of a liberation mission.
As a private matter, the withdrawal of western Ukraine to Poland can serve as an excellent argument for the captured Ukrainians who fervently and angrily side with us to liberate what they consider 'their land', not only under duress but under our command.
After Duda's visit, Moscow is faced with a new dilemma. How to deal with Poland's direct involvement in the war against us?
Historically, the Russian Empire and later the USSR expanded westwards in stages. One area after another was conquered by Poland and the Ottoman Empire, until the Second World War, when western Ukraine was also included in the USSR. Of course, this was not a linear process: there were also partitions of Poland, which ended up under direct Russian rule for centuries. And even before that there had been battles over Kiev between the princes of Vladimir and Galicia. There were multiple attempts to create a separate metropolitan state in western Ukraine, distinct from the metropolitanate of Greater Russia. Ukraine was a frontier, a transition zone between two civilisations, Russian (Eurasian) and Western European, and first among three, also Turkish-Islamic, from which the Russian Empire also wrested Novorossia, populating it with its own, both the peasants of Greater Russia and the fraternal Cossacks of Lesser Russia.
Ukraine's fate was thus to change hands, hence the dual identity of being Russian or anti-Russian, hence the loyalty and betrayal deeply rooted in the frontier culture. Taras Bulba and his son. Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Mazepa. The border passes through families, through hearts.
The intensification of Poland's role in the conflict aggravates the degree of war between Russia and the West, civilisation against civilisation.
In theory there are two solutions:
- Agree to divide Ukraine, trying to take as much of it as possible and allowing Poland to act on its own rather than on behalf of NATO;
- or go all the way with the risk of the confrontation escalating to the level of a nuclear confrontation.
From the beginning of the SMO, I had assumed that at some point we would come to exactly this dilemma, but I thought it would come to the fore during the fighting over Kiev. Events unfolded according to a slightly different logic, which does not invalidate the basic geopolitical regularities, but shapes them each time in an original and unpredictable way. This is why it is a living history that can both follow the lines of destiny and depart from them. To raise the issue of the end of the CFE and any negotiations before the complete liberation of Novorossia is pure treachery - something only a 'foreign agent' could argue. But the issue of western Ukraine is not so clear-cut.
If there were no risk of nuclear war, I would be inclined to support the idea of taking control of the entire Ukrainian territory. This coincides with the president's stated goals of demilitarisation and denazification, for which full control of the territory is necessary. This is how military procedure works, so there is no need to be shocked. It is clear that we would get a time bomb within our territory, but after the excesses inherent in military action, the normalisation of both eastern and western Ukraine would require extraordinary efforts on our part in any case. Things have become too brutal and bloody for us to hope for simple solutions. The whole of Ukraine is a challenge to our very being, and if we manage the East, we will somehow manage the West. And, above all, we will preserve the Church.
Having said this, merely liberating Novorossi - with or without Kiev - would not be a direct 'betrayal'. This plan can be considered without betraying Russian destiny. There is room for political realism, for weighing the pros and cons and considering the consequences, but there was no such opportunity to initiate an SMO. It is a question of being or not being, and one decides in favour of being. The traitors' position is broken, and above all, the decision is irreversible.
With Poland, however, the situation is different, but in some ways no less tense. If it is the duty of a patriot to demand from the authorities the complete liberation of Novorossia no matter what, in my opinion, in the situation with Poland it is the duty of a patriot to accept the decision to be made by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.
A true victory begins with the liberation of Novorossi. After that, it is up to God.
Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini