Saturday, April 13, 2024 | 09:41 WIB

Russia-Ukraine Crisis: The Meandering Roadmap to Ultimate Peaceful Settlement

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Jakarta, IO – At the beginning, it was referred to, in a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin, as “special military operation” aimed largely at “demilitarization” and “denazification” in neighboring Ukraine. We know from history that both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union. After the Soviet’s collapse in 1991, all the Soviet republics became independent states, and have legal claims to their individual territorial integrity and political sovereignty within the international law recognised by the United Nations. 

As time moves the military situation between Russia and Ukraine have been described differently in media reports. We read descriptions such as “crisis” or “conflict” or “war” in reports. Whatever be the standard case, the situation is seen and understood from different perspectives. There are, of course, several undermining factors or reasons for Russia’s action in Ukraine. 

While Putin during his first speech announcing the operation, he added explicitly that Russia would not “occupy” the territory of Ukraine. But seemingly, among Russia’s main goals is to take “full control” over the Southern Region as well as the Eastern Donbas region off Ukraine. Some other officials say Russia wanted simply to protect its Russian-language speaking population in Eastern Ukraine, while other cite political factors. 

In mid-June, talking to seven African countries in St. Petersburg, Putin interrupted the presentations to explain the the concept and the reasons behind the action in Ukraine. He reiterated that “all the problems in Ukraine were conceived after a state non-constitutional armed and bloody coup in Ukraine in 2014. This coup was supported by Western sponsors. As a matter of fact, they even specified the amount they spent on the preparation and execution of the coup. And this coup is the source of power of the current leaders in Kiev. That is the first thing.” 

Second, afterwards, part of Ukraine’s population did not support the coup and declared that the population of these areas would not submit to the people who came to power following the event. Russia was forced to support these people, bearing in mind the historic ties with the areas, and the cultural-language bonds with the people living in these areas. 

“For a long time, we tried to restore the situation in Ukraine via peaceful means. If you have heard, you must have heard something about this, corresponding agreements were signed between the opposing parties in the capital of Belarus – Minsk. In this way, the so-called Minsk settlement process was launched,” he stressed in his explanation. 

As it turned out, the western countries and the Kiev government authorities, then declared practically and publicly that they would not adhere to the peaceful agreements, and actually withdrew from that peaceful process. It was after this, that Russia was forced to recognise the independent states that had been formed in Ukraine, which we had not recognised for eight years: the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. 

On the international-legal aspect of this case, Putin said that Russia had the right to recognise the independence of these territories. And it did, in full compliance with the UN Charter, because pursuant to the corresponding articles of the UN Charter these areas were entitled to declare their independence. 

According to Putin, after signing the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation, Russia had the right to render assistance to them in full compliance with the UN Charter. Because the Kiev regime made numerous attempts to resolve the issue using arms and, in fact, launched military actions in 2014 using aviation, tanks and artillery against civilians. It was the Kiev regime that sparked this war in 2014. And in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, Russia had the right to render aid to them citing the self-defence clause. 

At first, Putin really appreciated the fact that the African leaders have a balanced approach towards the Ukrainian crisis and accepted the proposal to hold talks regarding the situation around Ukraine. That the African leaders have a clear and deep understanding of the situation between Russia and Ukraine. 

Under the headline – Kremlin decides that goal to “demilitarise” Ukraine has largely been achieved – the Ukrainskaya Pravda reported that Kremlin’s Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, had said that the task of the aggressor country on the socalled “demilitarisation” of Ukraine has largely been fulfilled. 

In an interview with RT Arabic mid-June, Peskov said “Indeed, Ukraine was heavily militarised at the time of the beginning of the special military operation, as the Russian Federation calls the war against Ukraine. And, as Russian President Vladimir Putin put it, one of the tasks was to demilitarise Ukraine. In fact, this task is largely completed. Ukraine is using less and less of its weapons. And more and more it uses the weapons systems, that Western countries supply it with.” 

“The countries of the West, namely the North Atlantic alliance under the leadership of Washington, are increasingly – directly and indirectly – getting involved in this conflict. They intervene in this conflict and become a party to the conflict. Of course, this leads to the fact that the conflict is delayed in time. This leads to the fact that the situation in Europe becomes more tense and unpredictable. And, of course, this obliges Russia to apply more decisive measures to ensure the safety of people in Donbas and the security of the Russian Federation.” 

Peskov, in another interview to Russia Today (RT) this mid-June also stated that the “special military operation” has transformed into “war” between Russia and the West. Russia’s special military operation started to defend the Donbass region and now it has virtually turned into a war with the collective West, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in the interview. 

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