A Separate Reality
Swing for a Ruble, Blow for a Penny
After the previous episode of the tragicomedy, many fans were impressed by Tiger Team’s multi-faceted intelligence-sourced universe of invasion plans, expecting a bloody massacre after the Russia’s strike group reached Kyiv. But Russia’s blitzkrieg of Ukraine has turned out to be a classic illustration of the saying swing for a ruble, blow for a penny (замах на рубль удар на копейку). So far.
New protagonists in the Russia State Duma and Federation Council looked painfully promising yesterday and some pundits immediately began to suspect something awful, but even they did not expect such a deafening failure. Instead of rolling out something convincing, the sycophants regurgitated poorly glued pronouncements about de-Nazification, Bandera fascism and genocide in Donbas. The Kremlin’s anti-Ukraine campaign began to resemble Carlos Castaneda’s A Separate Reality, without the ibogaine.
Although the apocalypse forecasted has not yet materialized, momentum continues to build.
As we duly noted yesterday, de jure securing the situation that had developed de facto in Donbas pales in significance to Putin’s unhinged hour-long rant.
Putin’s spelled out his demands less ambiguously on February 22, 2022.
Ukraine’s refusal to join NATO
Ukraine’s rejection of any military alliances in general
Ukraine’s recognition of the de facto independence of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics
The response from Washington, DC was almost immediate:
"Now that we've heard it directly from President Putin himself, it confirms what we've been saying: that he did not send more than 150,000 troops to the Ukrainian border because of benign military exercises, or to respond to threatened aggression from Ukraine, or to stop a fabricated genocide by Ukraine, or any other manufactured reason. His plan all along has been to invade Ukraine, to control Ukraine and its people, and to destroy Ukraine's democracy, which offers a stark contrast to the autocracy that he leads, as well as to reclaim Ukraine as a part of Russia," Tony said (at a briefing on the results of talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba).
Practicing philosopher Vladimir Pastukhov sums up the current situation in his blog appearing on Echo Moscow as follows:
The Ukrainian drama is approaching an intermediate finale, in the style of which one can guess the choreography of the apotheosis of the cult Soviet ballet "Gayane" - "Saber Dance". All world actors have already stood in a circle and are actively waving their hands, simulating a fight. There are two soloists - Putin (evil genius) and Zelensky (lyrical hero). The rest portray extras, holding a saber in their bosoms. It's annoying that the sabers are not fake. Such an energetic dance cannot be endless, because one of the actors will fall out of the circle in the coming days. If it’s Ukraine, the world will be plunged into “vile purulence,” but if it’s Russia, the world will be infused with “fresh blood."