Monday, 1 September 2014


A couple of days ago, Putin sent an open letter to the mercenaries fighting in eastern Ukraine, calling on them to create a humanitarian corridor, so that trapped Ukrainian soldiers could leave the area of fighting and return to their homes and families. Sounds pretty good. Quite humane. Even thoughtful. But something else in that letter is deeply worrying, and I've seen very little comment about it - the letter was addressed directly to "the militias of Novorossiya". Novorossiya (New Russia) doesn't exist, neither as a geographical nor a political entity. It was the name of a region of Tsarist Russia, but that was 100 years ago. It is a fiction (re-)created by the Kremlin. But the use of this name completely reveals, I think, what Putin's current aims in relation to Ukraine actually are. And it's not good news. He is trying to bring "Novorossiya" into being.

If you don't know, the name "Novorossiya", as the Kremlin is using it now, basically refers to the whole south of Ukraine, along with Crimea, stretching from Luhansk, Donetsk and Mariupol in the east to the breakaway republic of Transdnistria in the West (between Ukraine and Moldova). In other words, geographically it's the territory bordering the entire northern coast of the Black Sea, from Russia to Romania. Politically, any such self-designated territory would of course declare its allegiance to Russia, and then quite possibly, as in Crimea, seek to join the "mother country" ...

In addition to this, it appears that at least some of the troops that have invaded the far south-east of Ukraine in the last few days are going under the flag of this non-existent place, "Novorossiya". They are Russians, of course, but this subterfuge allows the Kremlin to deny the presence of Russian military in Ukraine and, at the same time, to claim that they are "freedom fighters", seeking liberation for Novorossiya (which, remember, doesn't actually exist) from the "fascist junta" in Kyiv. Whether this last claim has in fact been made yet or not I don't know - but it will be, before long. I suspect that, also before long, the so-called "People's Republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk will declare themselves part of "Novorossiya".

As I said, this is really not good news. But maybe it helps us to understand an important part of what the Kremlin is actually trying to do in Ukraine. Will that help find a way to put a stop to Russia's aggression? I don't know, but I really hope so.Link to article in "Pravda" (in English) about this, again openly using the name "Novorossiya":

P.S. Since I first wrote this, the name "Novorossiya" has been used many more times in writings which emanate from Russia. The propaganda machine is swinging into action.

P.P.S. According to Ukrainian sources, the "humanitarian corridor" was a ruse, and hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who tried to use it (after surrendering their weapons) were gunned down ... No words ...