Ukraine War Day #110: The Vikings Are Coming! [conclusion]

Dear Readers:

Today concluding this story about the new upper management cadres arriving, carrying their suitcases and carpetbags [little joke there, although Russian tourists are very much known precisely to carry big floppy carpetbag type luggage!] to Donetsk and Luhansk. Although I personally am a born cynic, I am starting to come around to the idea. Of the commenters we have met so far, I think Andrei Purgin made one of the best points, when he alluded to the revenue streams about to pour into the Donbass.

Cry Me A Bridge!

Just imagine: the day this war is over (or perhaps even earlier), we are going to see literally billions of rubles flowing into this region, all of it coming from the budget of the Russian Federation. Let’s face reality: This whole region is completely ruined. It was ruined even before the war (a series of corrupt Ukrainian governments and oligarchs ruined it), and now it’s completely ruined. Rebuilding this region from scratch (industry, agriculture, human potential) is a massive project, compared to which the building of the Crimea Bridge (one of the 8th wonders of the world!) will seem like a child’s Lego project. But everybody knows that it is not enough to just throw money at a problem. That’s a good start. But it also requires the right kind of people to track and manage the money; and to manage the engineers and construction in a coordinated way. That kind of training and experience does not grow on trees, sometimes it requires advanced degrees from educational institutions. Hence the Variags. (When local cadres do not suffice.)

In other words, a lot of pressure will be on the shoulders of these Variags. And we know that Putin is just ruthless enough to remove any of them immediately if he does not match up to the standards expected. The other concern being, and I would highly recommend to these new people, that they try to keep their distance from the existing Office Politics and ancient feuds exacerbated by war and violent death; in some places it might be like stepping unaware into a scorpion’s nest.

Vladislav Berdichevsky

The next pundit whom we meet is a man named Vladislav Berdichevsky, here is his mugshot on the Ukrainian Myrotvorec (=”Peacekeeper”) hitlist site, where he is designated a “member of the terrorist organization DPR”, gods I can’t wait for the day when that hideous site will be taken down.

Vladislav Berdichevsky

Anyhow, in real life Berdichevsky is not a terrorist, he is a Peoples Deputy in the DPR Parliament. Here is his opinion about the new Variags, he is okay with their presence and does not believe that it denotes Muscovite lack of confidence in the local administration: “Everything is going to be okay, our seasoned [local] leaders will retain their posts. The appointment of these Russian officials is completely justified: Our Ministers, our political leaders do not currently have this kind of experience of working at such a high level, as do the Muscovites [московские]. The local populace perceives these appointments as a new step towards integration with the Russian Federation, and therefore these events do not raise any questions or cause any concern with anybody. All these years our (DPR) legal system has been developed with a lookback upon the Russian [system] anyhow. But the Republic still has some questions about administrative regulations and the execution of normative acts.” [Not surely exactly what he is talking about in that last sentence. But recall that one of the main goals here is fully integrate the DPR/LPR legal systems into the Russian model, especially in issues regarding property and finances.]

When Will There Be Peace?

Former DPR Prime Minister Alexander Boroday is also not astonished nor perturbed by this invasion of Variags onto the shores of Donetsk and Luhansk: “The Republics of the Donbass will very soon achieve that for which we have been striving ever since 2014: Integration into the Russian Federation. Both DPR and LPR self-organized as states with the ideological goal of becoming part of Russia. Obstacles to such integration are not just political and military complications, but also issues of a technical character. Including issues of management and regulation.

This wonderful photo of Boroday looks almost like it could have been painted by Rembrandt!

“In order for the government of these future regions of Russia to conform to the standards of Moscow, then we require in place an experienced Russian bureaucracy whcih understands how most effectively to assign tasks. The elites of these Republics have formed spontaneously, from the grass roots, therefore they need the help of specialists from Russia, who understand the art of nation-building. And it is more than likely that these officials from Russia will subsequently receive assignments in the Kherson and Zaporozhie Oblasts.”

Dmitry Ofitserov-Belsky, an expert from the Valdai Club [a Russian government think-tank], has a slightly different opinion, he believes these new people were brought in to help organize referendums: “We currently see the gradual process of preparing for referendums not only in DPR and LPR, but also in the Kherson and Zaporozhie Oblasts. Therefore, it is necessary to bring the economic system as well as the legal system, and many other systems into line with the necessary standards.” [hm, not sure exactly what he means here, unless he is saying that the economy and legal system have to be fixed and improved first, so that people will vote the correct way in a referendum? I mean what would happen if majority of people actually voted to stay with Ukraine?]

Dmitry Ofitserov-Belsky

Ofitserov-Belsky continues with his thought: “It is quite clear that these appointments are just temporary, it’s just a matter of the transitional period, and nothing more than that. Afterwards, I believe, the local cadres will return [to their posts].” How long will this transitional period last? “Not very long. To the beginning of autumn, in other words, literally three months.”

But hedges this by noting that the timing depends on several factors, including security. The fundamental need is for peace to be established on these territories: safety and security are the foundation for everything else.

Ofitserov-Belsky’s theory about the referendums is corroborated by Melitopol Mayor Galina Danilchenko: “We know that our future is with Russia. Russian Federation, now and forever. We are beginning to prepare for a referendum.”

This entry was posted in Military and War, Russian History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Ukraine War Day #110: The Vikings Are Coming! [conclusion]

  1. colliemum says:

    Thanks again, dear yalensis: I think your series is a keeper, a measuring stick for what happens ‘after’. That ‘after’ is coming ever closer, ever more rapidly. I noticed that from today one of the UK papers, a rabid Ukrophile paper, has stopped using that sickening blue and yellow banner at the top of their online page. They’re now promoting ‘free horoscopes’, how suitable.

    There’s one thing which made me wonder: that photo of the Think-Tank inmate of the ‘Valdai Club’, Mr Ofitserov-Belsky. He looks like his western counterparts who spend their lives in a Think-Tank. While the aims of those ‘tanks’ are hopefully quite different, it makes me wooden if there’s a certain type of person whose looks and demeanour makes them suitable for those quasi-government organisations, regardless the courtly they’re in.
    That’s not a happy thought: they’re all so very fungible and exchangeable that I for one worry about the future should the people get into power. People who have more in common with other Think-Tankers rather than the people one ‘thinks’ about are a fatal flaw for any society.


    • yalensis says:

      Dear colliemum,
      If you can get a free horoscope, that’s quite a bargain. You should go for it, learn your future at no cost!
      Re. Mr. Ofitserov-Belsky, he of the Think Tank. He looked so familiar to me, and it was driving me crazy all day, and then it suddenly occurred to me: He is the spitting image of a young Liam Neeson!


  2. Stephen T Johnson says:

    Rebuilding is going to be a giant project, but a drop in the bucket to the post-WWII rebuild. Yes, it will test (and hopefully improve) Russian and allied state capacity, but I don’t think there’s much of a doubt that it can be achieved.
    Maybe a little expansion of the “what next ?” is in order. It’s increasingly unlikely that the US/NATO/EU hive mind will elect to escalate militarily, so military victory is increasingly certain, but what then? It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a treaty based solution, given the extraordinary history of bad faith, and evident domestic hostility within the RF to such negotiations – think back to the Minsk and Istanbul negotiations – it seemed like there was a lot of public hostility to to / fear of the whole negotiation process, thanks to the 8 year debacle that was Minsk 2.
    Also, sanctions seem to be practically irreversible – think about it, I don’t think there’s any clear cases of sanctions being taken down without a regime change – given that, what does the near future look like? It doesn’t seem like the EU nor US can afford to back down, but the sanctions strains also seem unsustainable. It’s incredibly murky to me.


  3. raccoonburbleca says:

    People on this blog seem convinced that the Novorossiya area is going to get absorbed into Russia. On some other forums I am following, they have the idea that an independent state will come about, called Novorossiya or Novorus. I think the latter is more likely, because the Russians cannot be seen as just conquering territory. It would also be easier for the rest of Ukraine to submit to Russia if they were sure they were not going to be just absorbed.

    Russia would still have control in a Novorus republic. I think they want to do in the South of Ukraine what they have been doing in Russia, cleaning out the post Soviet corrupt oligarchy and adopting a more Chinese style of government. That is, highly trained cadres running things under the direction of public assemblies.


    • peter moritz says:

      Is it such a strange or unpalatable idea (maybe for NATO it is, but they have been shown ‘wo Bartel den Most holt”) to let the folks in the new republics decide for themselves if they want to join Russia as a member of the federation, or to keep their status as Indpendent Republics, but associated, especially when it comes to defense and trade, with Russia.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cortes says:

        I think you’re exactly right.

        The “not an inch backwards” stance of the Zelensky regime has all the emphasis on the territorial pretensions of the mob in Kiev and the masters elsewhere; the policy of making RF passports available, on demand, puts the rights and future welfare of the people in liberated zones the guiding principle of RF policy – as declared as justification for embarking on the SMO in the first place. The fact that immediate practical benefits accrue from acquiring a passport from RF officials can only add to the persuasive effects of witnessing the cranking up of reconstruction and improvement projects. Nobody will force anyone to apply for an RF passport, but it’d be a great example of cutting off your own nose to spite your face to be the noble hold-out content to await the arrival of your ghost pension from Kiev when your neighbours are picking up real money every month.


        • yalensis says:

          I recommend this video by Patrick Lancaster as he does an informal poll of ordinary Kherson residents (town of Novaya Khakovka); finding some who support Russia, and others who support Ukraine. And who plans to get a Russian passport, and who doesn’t.
          One guy he interviews puts it very succinctly: “The refrigerator won.”
          In other words, even those who are ideologically committed to Ukraine (i.e., Banderite mentality) may submit when they find they are not receiving their pensions or welfare checks any more from the Zelensky government they love so dearly.

          Naturally, one can read this as Mother Russia cynically buying off the conquered population with “bread and circuses”, but another way of looking at it: The Ukrainians are well known for shooting themselves in the foot. Once they cut their own people off from benefits, then it is the job of the occupiers to feed the starving masses. Otherwise, you have to deal with starving masses, and nobody wants to see that. Hence: passports, paperwork, stand in line, fill out the forms, come register one and all…. What other option is there?


  4. Lex says:

    I’m not sure the answer will even be the same for each oblast. Kherson looks like it will be absorbed and combined with Crimea. Hence the offering of passports. Although my understanding is any Ukrainian can go to Kherson and get a Russian passport. But Kherson is strategically vital for Crimea. I assume autonomous republics, at least temporarily, for DPR and LPR. They declared independence and that’s the point of all this. Other oblasts likely get a choice, but of course we don’t know which those will be. Probably safe to assume Zaporizhzhia gets the opportunity and Nikolaev. It’s hard to see Russia not eventually taking Odessa.

    The passport offer is interesting because it’s fait accompli for being part of Russia in a way no referendum ever could be. I think it pairs with the massive effort Russia is already undertaking getting things back to normal (to the extent possible) in liberated areas. People will vote for the refrigerator when push comes to shove. The difference in life between Nikolaev and Kherson must be striking to residents of both. Same goes for demining the beaches of Mariupol. That’s far from a military necessity. But the faster life normalizes, and the faster the money pours in for reconstruction (which will require a lot of labor, which means jobs) the more life in the liberated areas appeals to other Ukrainians. Other than the shelling of Donetsk, the “slow” pace actually allows for reconstruction facts on the ground to be established.

    Moscow imports likely are short term consultants. Maybe also watchers to make sure mini-oligarchs aren’t created with the infusion of funds.


    • yalensis says:

      Great points. I think the “refrigerator” will win over all but the most intransigent and ideologically fanatical Ukrainian nationalists. A lot of us on the blogosphere are very political and even ideological ourselves, so sometimes it is hard for us to realize how many people out there in the world just don’t even care about politics. All they care about is raising their families in a semi-decent environment.

      Agree about the “consultants”. I mean, I have seen this so many times just in the organizations I have worked in: They will bring in some top guns, but they were never meant (and never wanted themselves) to be lifers. For example, in the organization where I currently work, they had brought in a new CEO to get the organization through the difficult covid period. Then, as soon as the situation stabilized, and boom, he’s off to greener pastures. Leaving the lifers behind, pluggiing away at their usual jobs.
      So yeah, these Variags are just hired guns, like you say they want to make sure no funny-money business. These guys will put things in order, then they’ll be back to the mainland, hoping for a new 6-figure salary some place in Moscow hopefully.


      • Lex says:

        We westerners have mostly had a charmed existence that allows us to be ideological, without being deeply so like a serious communist or similar. The basics of life can be taken for granted. But this is also why the next few years are going to be extraordinarily dangerous in Europe and the US. Severe economic dislocation really focuses people on the refrigerator and makes them very open to those that offer great promises and an Other to blame for all the ills.

        I recall seeing a video at a Ukrainian neo-Nazi rally from years back. Two middle-aged ladies were asked why they support Azov et al. They both answered, “nobody else has solved the problems we all see, might as well let them try now.” And it’s also why the fairly numerous neo-Nazis I remember from Russia in the late 90’s are mostly gone while the ones in Ukraine got a whole state to play with. Life stabilized in Russia while the western pillage model continued on in Ukraine.


        • yalensis says:

          Yeah, that’s a very good point. Ordinary people come to support even violent extremists with wacky ideas, when the latter promise to solve the horrendous problems that society faces. I recall reading Trotsky’s analysis of fascism, when he described it as a mass movement supported by various social classes, not just the elites. Not just the big bourgeoisie, but also the petty-bourgeoisie, the lumpen-proletariat, and even a section of the proletariat. A fringe movement can become a mass movement when it promises to solve seemingly intractable problems that ordinary people are facing in their daily lives.

          The irony is that the fascist leaders promise to end the pillaging, when they themselves are the pillagers.


  5. peter moritz says:

    Here an article that speaks o the Polish strategy regarding Ukraine, Russia and the concept of the Three Seas Initiative


    • yalensis says:

      Thanks for this, Helmer is always worth reading. Speaking of Poles, yesterday I glanced at the Intel Slava Z website to see what was going on, and a headline of one of the “tweets” caught my eye: “Polish pigs send more heavy weapons to Ukraine.”

      Intel Slava not pulling any punches there..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s