A good analysis by a top Russian commentator
In order to answer the question why the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis is such a difficult process, we need to understand one simple thing – the Ukrainian crisis would not have arisen if the Ukrainian ruling elite had been minimally adequate not even to the level of management of a modern state, but at least to the preservation of its own interests. Let me explain this.
For Poroshenko Klitschko Yatsenyuk, Tyagnybok, Turchinov and other authors, editors and participants of the Ukrainian revolution as well as ordinary Nazis life was better, more profitable financially and promising politically during the reign of Yanukovych than after their seizure of power.
The above-mentioned individuals were politically promising figures: Klitschko, Yatsenyuk and Tyagnibok were the leaders of political parties with high ratings, Poroshenko was a constant contender for the top positions, who had already been the Minister of Economy and Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of the National Security Council. Turchinov oversaw one of the biggest political parties, whose presence in the parliament was guaranteed, and considering the inevitable defeat of Yanukovych in the elections of 2015, he would be among the opposition leaders who would legitimately come to power.
For Nazi goons, who later formed the so-called self-defense forces of Maidan, volunteer battalions and other illegal armed groups, life under Yanukovich was carefree. They could beat and sometimes kill anyone they wanted and when they wanted. The maximum penalty was a visit to the police station, where they were released almost immediately. The Party of Regions was financing the Nazis. They also received financial and organizational "aid" from Western friends.
Grant-eaters from pro-Western media and NGOs were handsomely paid for a completely unprofessional work (only they considered themselves journalists or experts). In addition, the Party of Regions was grooming and cherishing them.
After the coup, the Nazis were sent to the front, where the usual impunity instantly ended and they began to be killed too, what, in their view, is a gross injustice. Grant-eaters were no longer paid (the criminal regime was overthrown, there was no one to fight with). The most stupid of them, too, found themselves on the front lines (many of them have been killed), the cleverest became volunteers, but among them the competition is enormous –not everyone can get access toserious cash flows, with the majority of them begging for socks and tinned stew.
The political elite discovered that by seizing power it destroyed the country at the same time. In Ukraine, there is no law, no order and no money left. In addition, every person in power has earned himself a criminal liability with no statute of limitation (for crimes against humanity and war crimes) meaning not only life sentences, but death penalty and confiscation of property.
That is, all individuals and social groups participating in the coup have received less than what they would have achieved in the course of evolutionary development of the situation, while the incurred costs are not just huge, but incompatible with the result. From the very beginning it was clear that the collapse of the Ukrainian statehood created by the Nazis would be as inevitable as the defeat of Nazi Germany in April 1945. The timing of the collapse can be different, but the result is the same.
Therefore, all of them, starting from the lowest Nazi goons up to President Poroshenko got involved not because they were aware of all the risks and had a plan to minimize them, but only because of their complete intellectual sterility. They blindly believed that the US and the EU dreamed to use Ukraine as a strong and effective counterbalance to Russia, which meant that "white men" from the West sailing on big boats would pay for everything, arrange everything, help in every possible way while the local chieftains would only have to change their attire made of feathers and divvy up the profits. They continue to believe it even now.
In the period that has elapsed since February 2014 nothing has changed in the mental organization of the Ukrainian elite. They keep sincerely believing that they are of lasting value for Washington. They also sincerely believe that Russia will overstrain itself economically and self-destruct itself politically in two or three months. That is, according to them, they have to be a little patient, to hold on a bit more and the victory would be in their pocket.
I know that this inadequacy of such a large number of people, who for two and a half decades have ruled a big European state, might seem an exaggeration. But for many years I have talked with representatives of the Ukrainian elite, and I maintain that they are even dumber than they seem. In fact, they have often been saved just by their stupidity while their partners or opponents could not believe in such naivety and looked for some hidden meaning in the actions of Ukrainian politicians. Do you remember how the good-for-nothing Kuchma took power from the hardened Kravchuk, and then the worthless Yushchenko took power from Kuchma, then the orange camp lost power to Yanukovych. Finally Yanukovych, who prior to his infamous fall was said to be in full control of the political field in the country, gave power to absolutely worthless characters. But it turned out that this was not the limit, and we might expect such loony characters like Lyashko, Semenchenko and others. Even the"great" Kuchma and Kravchuk run errands for Poroshenko. Such turnover of power is possible only if all characters (from Kravchuk to Semenchenko) are roughly equal in terms of their intelligence.
The second part of the problem lies in the fact that our European "friends and partners", like all normal people, cannot believe that they are dealing with pathologically inadequate individuals, who have never said a word of truth in their lives. The Europeans know that a politician has to deceive both partners and opponents, and even voters, but they realize that all this should be done according to certain rules. That is, it is impossible to lie directly, because you would be immediately caught.
Therefore, during the first round of negotiations on the Ukrainian crisis it was extremely difficult for the Russian diplomacy to convince Merkel and Hollande that representatives of Ukraine lie constantly. Paris and Berlin believed that Kiev is definitely stretching the truth, but Moscow was also to blame. That was a strategy of the European "intermediation" in the conflict.
The situation began to change only after the second Minsk. After the second Minsk it became apparent to the Federal Chancellor of Germany and the President of France that Poroshenko was not only shamelessly lying, but trying to make them accomplices to his lies. And when they do not show sufficient enthusiasm – he complains to the United States. And if Hollande, who will not be running for president, does not care much, for Merkel it is important to be reelected. Poroshenko has become an irritating factor for Angela Merkel – a leader of the country which represents the European Union. So irritating that even Washington's arguments could not get her to close her eyes to the escapades of the Ukrainian president.
In Paris, Merkel, who did not want her peace initiative (Norman and Minsk formats) to fail because of the lying confectioner, took a position that could be called pro-Russian. Even after the departure of Putin and Poroshenko during the press conference Merkel and Hollande clearly defined their requirements to Kiev:
1. To introduce changes to the constitution with a real, not phony decentralization.
2. To ensure a defrosting of the law on the special status of Donbass.
3. To make changes in the legislation of Ukraine ensuring the realization of the right of Donbass.
4. To coordinate all these constitutional and legislative changes with the DPR/ LPR.
5. To adopt a law on the general and complete amnesty for militia and leaders of the DPR/ LPR.
Now Poroshenko must fulfill all of these requirements. Then he will have to enshrine in law Ukraine’s refusal from Donbass (in fact, the law on the special status makes the presence of the DPR/ LPR within Ukraine more formal than of Canada belonging to the British Crown), and recognize the legitimacy of the current governments of the DPR/ LPR. Or he can try to lie again. But this time he would be lying directly to Merkel. It was Merkel, not Putin, who voiced the demands to Poroshenko. Therefore, these are not Russia's, but the EU’s demands. It is unlikely that the daughter of a pastor would forgive the confectioner such abuse of her ideas about morality.
The only problem was that in order to implement these requirements Poroshenko needs time. About half a year, if he follows the Ukrainian legislation. To give Peter Alekseevich these six months the DPR/ LPR agreed to postpone the local elections till the end of the winter or even till March-April 2016. Kiev has already welcomed this decision.
Once Kiev agreed to the initiative of the DPR/ LPR it stepped into another trap. Now, whether it will carry out the reforms required by Minsk or not, the Minsk process is extended to 2016 (at least as long as the DPR/ LPR do not hold elections). And any attempt by Kiev to change something will be interpreted by Merkel as a derangement of the Minsk process through the fault of Poroshenko.
Let me remind you that the extension of Minsk was persistently demanded by Paris and Berlin without any objections from Russia and Donbass. Only Kiev and Washington wished to close the format in 2015. The reason is simple – Kiev cannot implement the Minsk format. But it put its signature on it. And the longer Poroshenko plays games with Merkel and Hollande, the weaker is the European support for Ukraine. In fact, it is nonexistent. To escape this trap, Kiev had to destroy the Minsk format and then talk about the creation of the new one.
Washington would be eager to join the new format and to squeeze the DPR/ LPR out of it. The only opportunity for Kiev to break up the Minsk format without entering into a conflict with Europe was a termination of the format, which was due to expire in 2015. After Paris and today's agreement to postpone the election in the DPR/ LPR Kiev no longer has this possibility.
As a bonus, now our European friends and partners have a good understanding who they are dealing with in Ukraine and do not have any illusions any more.