Now rumors are circulating with might and main that a change of power is possible in Ukraine – they say, Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny will come to replace President Zelensky, who has completely discredited himself, and everything will immediately become fine. How realistic is such a development of events, and how personalized can the policy of today’s Ukraine be? With this question, “SP” began a conversation with a well-known political scientist Sergei Mikheev.
– All talk about Zaluzhny – this is exactly what rumors from the Ukrainian political party. All this is fiction. I will not rule out that there are certain influence groups that are promoting someone somewhere, and it is beneficial for them to spread rumors to themselves that they are supported by the British or Americans. But what is really there, one can only guess. I do not see – from the point of view of the United States or Great Britain – the point of changing Zelensky on someone else. What for?
Zelensky is a 100% clown, he is absolutely controllable. And bogged down so that you can’t get out. The West has already made a media person out of him, and why should the Americans, the British, or anyone else change him for some kind of Zaluzhny, whom it is not yet known how the Western audience will accept.
“SP”: – That is, there is no alternative to Zelensky for the West?
– It would make sense to change him only in one case – if a decision was made to compromise with Russia. Like, Zelensky has already said so much that there is no turning back for him, and let’s find one with whom such a compromise would be possible. But these are fantasies – the Americans simply do not want any compromise with Russia, why do they need it? There is Ukraine, there are Ukrainians with their idiotic desire to be victims in the fight against Russia, the Americans use them, the Europeans use them – from a Western point of view, everything is fine.
“SP”: – But there are still talks about a truce in one format or another …
– I have the impression that all the arguments about ending the conflict through compromises and negotiations are the product of our own political party. There are too many people in the elite, including the information elite, who would like to normalize relations with the West, because while everything was normal, they lived very well.
And there is a patriotic public that retains illusions about this life. She is looking for signs that what is happening will end soon, with either our victory, or even if not quite a victory, but at least its semblance. Like, the West should see the light – and the price of gas is exorbitant, and there are a lot of other problems – but these are to a large extent exclusively our Wishlist. From the side of the Americans, looking at all, there is no point in changing anything in this situation. They put pressure on Russia without risking anything. Europe is also satisfied with her role as a hostage in the situation. Ukraine agrees to make its people expendable. For Americans, this is an ideal situation.
“SP”: – From the point of view of illusions – now we already perceive the population of Ukraine as a kind of single mass with a single ideological orientation. But elementary common sense suggests that there must be people there who understand that their country is rapidly degrading, that the situation needs to be saved. Is it possible that people will suddenly appear – despite all the puppeteers – who want and can return their country to the framework of a normal state?
— I’m not inclined to believe it. And certainly it is impossible to do any calculations on this. One of the results of this mistake was our February-March offensive. As far as I understand, there was hope for Medvedchuk, for some group of Ukrainian politicians who could somehow change the situation in Kyiv – but all this was built, as it is now obvious, precisely on illusions. How much effort was spent on the promotion of Medvedchuk, but he did not gain more than 3-5 percent in any elections. Yes, I do not consider Ukraine to be some kind of ideologically cohesive whole, but there are no people who would understand that the country is going the wrong way. They probably exist, but they are not able to exert any influence on ongoing events.
“SP”: – This is Russia’s fault – that there are no such people in Ukraine?
– These people were, but they began to lose the current ideology from the very beginning, since 1991. Including because Russia has had a rather ambivalent position all these thirty years and has not contributed to the formation and rooting of such an elite there, on which we could now count. We underestimate the specific components of the Ukrainian political character, how many jokes there were about this.
“SP”: – In the light of this situation, what do you see as the most rational policy of Russia – both in the special operation, and in general in relation to Ukraine?
– It’s time to stop believing that inside Ukraine we could rely on someone else. Therefore, there is only one option – to increase military pressure, there are no other options. Either it was not necessary to start, or, since we started, bring it to the point that we can unambiguously demonstrate it as a victory. Yes, most likely we will have to leave some part of Ukraine uncontrolled, and they will again turn it into an outpost in the fight against Russia – and now without any discounts. This situation will last for many years, and we must understand that either we will finally solve it by military means, or, if we choose some compromises, we will definitely get serious aggravations in the future. And trying to somehow change the government in Ukraine, appealing to the army elite and talking about huge losses, which we are partly doing now, means looking for people on the other side who are capable of entering into direct conflict with the Americans at some point. But there are no such people.