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Friday, February 16, 2018

UN peacekeepers in the Donbas: the background to Putin’s proposal

The Russian President instructed the foreign Ministry to prepare a UN resolution on entering in the Donbass peacekeepers — her project on the same day transferred to the security Council of the United Nations. In response, the Ukrainian foreign Ministry said that the composition of the peacekeeping forces can be neither Russian citizens nor the representatives of the DNI and LC. In this regard, let’s talk a little bit about the lessons of history.

photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

Once in Tbilisi, I had an interesting conversation with one of the most colorful characters of recent history of Georgia by Jaba Ioseliani. Kingpin, doctor of arts, commander of the “informal” paramilitary “Mkhedrioni” (“Horsemen”), the participant of several wars and organizer of the coup, the de facto ruler of Georgia in the early 90’s, Iosseliani shortly before his death told me about the curious fact of the history of the war in Abkhazia.

Shortly before the final assault by the Abkhaz Sukhum, which ended in the complete defeat of the Georgian troops in Adler met Eduard Shevardnadze and Russian defense Minister Pavel Grachev. Shevardnadze was accompanied by then Minister of defense of Georgia Gia Karkarashvili and security Irakli Batiashvili. The essence of the proposals Grachev were the following: Russia puts airborne troops, which are placed along the confrontation line on the river Gumista, thus perpetuating the already existing de facto separation of Abkhazia. Sukhum remains for the Georgian side. However, Karkarashvili and Batiashvili stated that this “annexation” and threatened resignation. The outcome is known to all. Later, the Russian peacekeepers are in Abkhazia, but located not on the river Gumista and Ingur river.

Even many years later Ioseliani were outraged by the antics of the Georgian Ministers: the story could have gone the other way, and today, Georgia could control the entire Eastern part of Abkhazia together with its capital. But as they say, the ground you cannot turn back.

Hardly the Ukrainian leadership is aware of this instructive history: it is on the other side. In those early years the Square of the current President Petro Poroshenko traded cocoa beans in co-op and was preparing to be the “chocolate king” of Ukraine. And it would be worth to study experience of neighbors, before criticizing the proposal for peacekeepers.

In my opinion, for Kiev, this is a great offer and a serious precedent. Never foot an armed foreign peacekeepers set foot on the land of the former USSR. Even Yeltsin, the curse of the Patriotic public, never admitted any “international force” in Abkhazia, despite all the threats in Tbilisi. However, in Abkhazia the UN force is still present. But it was unarmed UN military observers of UNOMIG (the UN Mission for observations in Georgia), which was established under resolution of the UN Security Council in August 1993. The mission operated until June 2009, and resolved itself after Russia in the UN security Council for the extension of the mandate of the observers demanded to specify in the documents of the Republic of Abkhazia as a subject with its borders. And so it was a serious Mission, Yes. 136 military observers, 18 police officers of the UN and 311 civilian personnel she had on the eve of the August 2008 war.

UN personnel were called upon to monitor compliance with the peace agreements, but the peacekeeping mission in Abkhazia was performed in Russia, however, under the auspices of the CIS. In South Ossetia, and Transnistria peacekeeping force was tripartite, with the participation of both conflicting parties and Russia, and they are agreements between the parties. In Karabakh the cost without any peacekeepers: the balance of forces is reached, and the parties to the conflict just over the years are along the line of contact and look at each other in the sight.

What is the meaning of the UN peacekeepers in the Donbass? If, as they say, it will just be an armed guard of the OSCE mission, they will not be able to prevent shelling settlements DND and LNR from the APU. Can, you say? And how? Unless they have artillery to suppress the firing points? The maximum that they can – it’s fix and report back. The result – zero. Maybe Kiev will say: “ay-ay-ay”. And maybe even not say. If someone is rusty, that in South Ossetia on the eve of 08.08.08 acted the OSCE mission. Also all recorded. It prevented the war?

The genocide in Rwanda – is everything you need to know about UN peacekeepers. At a time when in this country there have been mass killings along ethnic lines, which killed up to a million people, there were those “blue helmets”. They not simply failed to stop the massacre. Belgian peacekeepers, for their lives, were actually issued in the massacre killers 2 thousand representatives of the people of Tutsi who sought their protection. The peacekeepers were armed, but killed the Tutsis from this fact neither hot nor cold.

But Russian peacekeepers may enter Donbass part of a UN contingent? Theoretically can. Kosovo became part of KFOR. Even in Pristina airfield captured. Kosovo Serbs, however, this did not help. Nothing could make the Russian peacekeepers as part of the KFOR to the Kosovo Serbs.

So, personally, I doubt Kiev is not very clear. Offer luxury, and it is necessary to take and run before the aggressor came to. So you do not bite your elbows, as Shevardnadze, a burning Sukhum shouted that the paratroopers and the CIS, and bald. Yeltsin, speak, called. But I couldn’t reach. It was a busy, or what.

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