Odessa governorship is a path into irrelevance for Poroshenko - but he can serve the US by provoking a war with breakaway Transnistria and draw Russia into the fight in a way that doesn't directly involve Washington
Odessa governorate of Saakashvili as a way to oblivion
In the current environment, Saakashvili in Odessa, on the border of Transnistria – is a lighted fuse attached to a powder keg, says Rostislav Ishchenko.
I was always struck by the belief of some politicians of the post-Soviet space in American invincibility and the eternity of Pax Americana. This faith is not even religious. Any religion justifies its position. It is based on a certain philosophy. Any religious dogmas are periodically amenable to reinterpretation, causing internal theological debate. Religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, and even less prone to theological reflection classical paganism) are faced with heresies, are divided into denominations, occasionally survive the crisis of reformation.
The faith of post-Soviet neophytes of capitalism in the absolute primacy of America is as absolute, as the faith of the adherents of totalitarian sects in their guru. They believe in spite of reason, regardless of the objective situation. They are prepared to not only commit crimes on the recommendation of Washington (ethnic cleansing in Serbian Kraina and in Kosovo, the attack on South Ossetia, a bloody coup in Kiev, the burning of people in Odessa, the military operation against the civilian population of Donbass), they are even ready to go against the objective personal interests in good confidence that "divine bosses" from the United States know best what to do. And they will definitely protect their faithful "priests".
The latest example of this faith – the record of the former Georgian President Saakashvili in Ukraine.
The consultant is in town
Michail Nikolaevich should have been alerted by the fact of his assignment from the US to Kiev in February of this year. In the end, after fulfilling his duty in Georgia, he certainly could not compete with Warren Buffett with his personal wealth, but it should have been enough for a peaceful and very prosperous life.
He couldn't help Ukraine with his Georgian experience – the situation is different (Ukraine is a lot bigger than Georgia, and its impossible to maintain for the money of Soros and the State Department), the time is different (the confrontation of the superpowers has passed a latent phase and is out the open), and the experience of Saakashvili in Georgia is such that you would not even wish to an enemy (a quarter of the country's territory was lost, he had to flee - Prosecutor General's office of Georgia demands his extradition).
However, it seems that Saakashvili, blinded by his own narcissism, did not even wonder why his overseas benefactors send him "to advise" the heads of a decaying Ukrainian state? But he should have. Because Washington was clearly getting rid of a useless puppet.
Georgia, whose government remained loyal to the U.S., but became much more pragmatic in defending state interests than Saakashvili, is not impressed that the allies in Washington refusing to give them the ex-President. Thus, the United States undermined the professional reputation of the Prosecutor's office of Georgia.
But to extradite Saakashvili is also impossible, because after a trial in Tbilisi it would be revealed that Georgia, with unconditional support of Washington, for 10 years was ruled by a corrupt dictator and (likely) the organizer of murders of not only political opponents, but also influential associates (the investigation into the death of Zurab Zhvania was resumed and the main theory is murder).
But if you send Saakashvili as adviser to Ukraine, then all costs of the relationship with official Tbilisi fall on the authorities in Kiev, and Washington can honestly explain to the indignant Georgians that Poroshenko is such an independent President that completely ignores not only the demands of Tbilisi, but also the requests of the United States.
A leisurely position of economic advisor to Poroshenko on reforms still gave Saakashvili's some hope that eventually his case will be worked out, the power in Georgia will change, and he, even if he is not able to return home safely, will peacefully write a memoir somewhere in Vermont.
But here came the appointment to Odessa. And here Saakashvili should have began to seriously worry, but he took it as a gift of fate and a sign of high trust of divine American owners. The American owners, and not Poroshenko, because it is clear that without a firm request of Washington, Peter Alekseevich couldn't have dreamed in a nightmare to appoint Michael Nikolaevich to head Odessa.
The only thing that Saakashvili can do in Odessa is further destabilize the region, which already gives Kiev serious concerns.
But, unlike the people of Igor Kolomoisky, who controlled Odessa so far and ensured relative peace and stability in the interests of the oligarch (who needed a safely operating port of Odessa, as the export window for his enterprises of Dnepropetrovsk), Saakashvili will not interfere with the preparations for aggression against Transnistria. On the contrary, will bust his forehead, trying to ignite another war front.
Why the U.S. needs war in Transnistria
Ukraine did not meet American expectations. The Kiev regime, despite all the efforts, failed to pull Russia into a military conflict. Sanctions did not cripple Russia. Russian society, contrary to the expectations of American strategists, has consolidated, the support of President Putin reached nearly absolute level, anti-American sentiment is going through the roof, and the opposition is only not beaten on the streets. Further support of Kiev brings only expenses, without any positive prospects.
But just to leave for the U.S. is to admit defeat. To replace the Kiev regime with a more sane one is impossible. War criminals in power and the Nazi militants on the streets will not just go away: they have a choice between a prison and a grave. Russia has shown a willingness to continue to wait until the US and the EU will be ready to publicly admit their mistake – and not in a hurry to overthrow Poroshenko and company. Thus, Ukraine must at any cost be urgently discarded.
In this respect, Transnistria is a gift. There are from a quarter to half a million (estimates vary) Russian citizens. There one and a half thousand Russian troops. There are Soviet military warehouses. In this sense, the attack on Transnistria would mean an attack on Russia.
Ukraine has already declared its readiness to organize a blockade of Transnistria and concentrated defense systems near Odessa and Mariupol, explicitly threatening to shoot down a Russian transport aircraft in the case that Moscow will try to organize an air bridge to Transnistria.
In these conditions Saakashvili in Odessa, on the border of Transnistria – is a lighted fuse attached to a keg of gunpowder. Moreover, the fuse is very short. Force majeure forces Washington to hurry.
The possibility of a military conflict
Further calculation is simple. Either an attack on Transnistria, or the attack on a Russian plane (especially if there are casualties among Russian soldiers) must literally force Moscow to provide a military response, depriving her of the opportunity to continue to maintain the position of non-interference. But if an armed conflict begins, the further maintenance of a Kiev regime will become a burden for Russia. So the objective flushing of Ukraine from the balance of the USA will be achieved. While officially everything will be done by Russian hands. Washington will have the opportunity to leave the lost Ukrainian platform, saving face.
USA doesn't care about what will happen to Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Turchynov, the local Nazis and actually to Saakashvili, who will not have such favorable conditions for a flight, as in his time in Georgia. From the point of view of Washington, it is the same geopolitical disposable material, as tens of thousands killed during the civil war in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands killed in Syria, and millions of refugees. And as those who are yet to die or become refugees.
In this respect Saakashvili, who gave his life and career to fight for the interests of the United States, is no more interesting and appealing to his "American gods" than a Donetsk militia man, fighting against a pro-American Kiev regime. Nothing personal – just business.
Well, so that there's no doubt that the actions of Saakashvili have not a drop of personal conviction, I ask to think about this kind of paradox. Mikhail Saakashvili has positioned himself as a Georgian nationalist, a patriot of his motherland, ready to make any sacrifice.
And now this patriot puts on a vyshivanka [Ukrainian national attire - KR], accepts Ukrainian citizenship (and according to Georgian law, his Georgian citizenship is then abolished), and accepts to serve as a petty clerk (in comparison with the post, which he held at home) in another country – in fact, becomes a Ukrainian nationalist and a "patriot of Ukraine".
And what is in common between these two Saakashvilis except Russophobia and a faithful service to Washington?