The last month’s events were all but favorable for the Americans. The ceasefire in Syria helped Bashar al-Assad’s army to free Palmira from ISIL, and this, according to some western mass media, may serve Washington as an example of how one should fight terrorists. In the meantime, Turkey continued killing Syrian Kurds, the Americans’ most efficient allies against ISIL. The terrorist attacks in Brussels and the refugee crisis have proved inefficiency of the European allies, while the cynical fight for power in Kiev means a fiasco for the Americans’ “democratization” and “Europeanization” policy in Ukraine.
Even Barack Obama’s nuclear security summit was forced to change its agenda. Ignored by the Russian and Pakistani leaders, it failed to cause a breakthrough.
This all can be qualified as tactical losses in the Americans’ conflict with the Russians. So, the former could not but counteract. The key questions of global politics are still open. In whose favor will the Syrian conflict be resolved? Who will be the conqueror of ISIL? and what is the future of the Minsk process on Ukraine? Until now, the Russians have been overplaying the Americans, but each time it was just a one-front game.
Today, the Russians are not as strong as they were before, so, the Americans have chances to knock them down. The best way for them is to kindle some of the frozen post-Soviet conflicts and to cause internal instability. And so, the new dirt against Russian leaders, the provocation in the Black Sea, the renewed conflicts in Donbass and Nagorno-Karabakh were all but a coincidence. Taken separately, they may look quite unrelated to each other, but all together they are playing into the hands of the Americans and the advocates of the controlled chaos policy.
Last week western mass media cast more dirt at some of the Russian president’s men. In just a week German and British tabloids, together with Soros Fund and USAID sponsored ICIJ, appeared with corruption charges that will suffice them for a whole year. In their articles about offshore business they mentioned not only Russia and Russians but many other countries and celebrities. But the focus was still on Russia. One of the reasons why Petro Poroshenko, King Salman and Ilham Aliyev were also in the articles is that they have been no so pro-American of late. The proofs and conclusions are not very convincing. But unlike the Kremlin, who does not want to spoil its image with legal squabbles, celebrities like Messi are going to sue ICIJ for their charges.
The Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov was ready for such an attack. He warned of it last week, right after the visit of US State Secretary John Kerry to Moscow. A few days ago, they in the Kremlin hinted that they in the West are trying to cause instability in Russia before the presidential election but they will not succeed.
One more information attack concerned Donbass. According to Bild, the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics are governed by Russia. The German tabloid claims that those two republics are just puppets in the Kremlin’s hands. The German author refers to some document by a Russian inter-department committee but he does not show it. That committee was set up in 2014 for cooperating with the Donbass authorities, so, its activity can be interpreted in any way, especially if the interpreter does not have the facts but just retells them.
Right after Russia’s success in Syria, the Ukrainian army captured part of the neutral territory and got very close to Donetsk.
The self-defenders are counteracting in an attempt to prevent the Croatian scenario: the Ukrainians organize a blitzkrieg and “get back their territories” with the West just watching in silence. As long as this scenario is possible, the fights in Donbass will continue. This has already allowed Kiev to delay the self-government elections in Donbass, which means that the Minsk agreements have not been fulfilled and that the anti-Russian sanctions will not be lifted. The last thing the Americans want is to see the Russians strong, so, they will do their best to keep them on their toes.
The provocation in the Black Sea was part of this policy. Last week the Russian president’s representative to Crimea Oleg Belaventsev stressed the need to tighten the security of Chernomorneftegaz facilities. He reported more provocations in the area. As far as we know, he meant the last incident when an unidentified ship approached a Crimean gas platform in the night and begun shooting in the air.
The renewed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is a special story. Today Azerbaijan has lots of internal reasons for unleashing a new “victorious” war. Turkey has no fewer reasons for provoking its “junior brother” to do it. Russia is one of the guarantors of peace in Nagorno-Karabakh and is obliged to protect Armenia as a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. But it also has friendly relations with Azerbaijan. So, this is one more headache for Moscow. And there are also Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Renewed conflicts in these trouble spots will create a whole chain of tension all along Russia’s border. In Syria, things are not very stable either: now that the Syrian army has forced ISIL out of Central Syria, in the north it is facing attacks by the “moderate opposition.” According to mass media, Syrian Al Qaeda, al-Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham are trying to capture the Damascus-Aleppo highway. If they succeed, things will change.
In all these stories, the Americans were standing aside. But this all is playing into their hands. Now the game is on Russia’s court and the Russians will have to prove their strength in a new multi-front game. What the renewed conflicts will end in depends greatly on how efficient the Russians will be in this game – even if it has not been plotted in Washington and the chaos around Russia is not controlled.