Kremlin cancels denazification of Ukraine?
Nazi-cleansing is not on Moscow's list of demands to Kiev
By Riley Waggaman, a Moscow-based writer and former “senior editor” at RT
Ukraine is home to Wolfsangel-bedazzled punitive battalions that bring eternal shame to Kiev and its Western sponsors. I wrote about this more than seven years ago.
Well, a lot has happened since then.
It appears this assessment was correct.
Below is a brief chronology of recent events:
Denazification means that Ukraine should be liberated from neo-Nazis, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
“Ideally, Ukraine should be liberated, cleaned from neo-Nazis, from people sharing pro-Nazi sentiment and ideas,” Peskov pointed out, when asked to explain remarks about the need to denazify Ukraine. […]
Peskov also declined to say if Moscow believed that Ukraine’s president and other senior officials shared pro-Nazi ideas. “I will refrain from further clarification,” the Russian presidential spokesman said.
The Kiev authorities are under the control of Western countries, led by the United States and supporters of neo-Nazism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference on Friday.
“No one is going to attack the Ukrainian people, no one is going to treat the members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in some degrading way. It's about not allowing neo-Nazis and those who promote genocidal methods to rule in this country,” he said. “Because now the regime in Kiev is under two mechanisms of external control—the West, led by the United States, and neo-Nazis who promote their ‘culture’, and it is flourishing in modern Ukraine.”
Kiev’s announcement that it is ready for demilitarization and denazification will be a step towards the end of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. This was stated by Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya, speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly on the situation in Ukraine, broadcasted by RBK.
“Yes. This is the President of Ukraine,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. So he answered the question of journalists whether the Kremlin continues to consider Zelensky the legitimate president of Ukraine…
Peskov was asked to answer the question: according to the Kremlin, Kiev is now under the control of Nazi forces that need to be denazified? The press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation replied: “I cannot answer this question. It is necessary to contact the Ministry of Defense. I do not know the situation on the spot.”
Russia does not abandon the course towards the denazification of Ukraine. This information was denied by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov , TASS reports.
“No, this is not so,” the press secretary of the President of the country emphasized.
A Kremlin spokesman gave such a comment to Ukrainian media reports, citing Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the head of the President’s office, that Russia no longer mentions the demand for denazification of Ukraine.
“We really are finishing the demilitarization of Ukraine. We will finish it. But the main thing is that Ukraine ceases its military action. They should stop their military action and then no one will shoot,” [Dmitry Peskov] said.
On the issue of neutrality, Peskov said: “They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc.”
He added: “We have also spoken about how they should recognize that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognize that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment.”
RIA Novosti also published a story on March 7 outlining Russia’s “conditions for the termination of the special operation in Ukraine.” The listed demands are conspicuously absent of anything Nazi-related.
What is “denazification”, anyway?
Konstantin Dolgov, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy, said on March 4 that “denazification” involved reeducating Ukrainians:
According to him, denazification is not only not only the liberation from symbols or the prohibition of symbols.
“The bulk of the population [should] understand that Bandera is a Nazi criminal, and others like him too. When this understanding comes, then the process of denazification will be basically completed,” Dolgov said.
A day later, Putin seemed to advocate for a more targeted approach:
“So what is denazification. Here I was talking with my Western colleagues: what is it, you also have radicals. Yes, we have. But we don't have radicals in the government. And everyone admits that there [in Ukraine] is,” Putin said. He noted that in Russia there are also “some idiots who run around with a swastika somewhere,” but they don’t walk around the capitals with torches, as in Germany in the 1930s, but this happens in Ukraine.
It’s not difficult to understand why these grand visions for Ukraine were dropped. After all, how could any of this be achieved using military force?
What will the Not-War accomplish?
It’s safe to say “denazification” was never a serious objective for the Kremlin—mostly because it’s difficult to understand what it would entail, or even how a “special military operation” could be used to make sure Ukrainians are sufficiently “denazified”. How to even measure that? It’s a mystery.
Besides, the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians are completely normal people minding their own business. That’s just a fact.
In my humble opinion, Russia’s other demands (as stated by Peskov on March 7) are reasonable. The problem is that Kiev and its Western patrons are not very reasonable. But Russia knew this before launching its Not-War… so what was the Kremlin hoping to achieve here?
It’s been nearly two weeks. It’s now abundantly clear that some very serious miscalculations have been made. Where is the exit ramp? How does this end well for Russia? Or for anyone?
You’re not allowed to ask. It’s a no-no. The Not-War is safe and effective.