Shots fired in Luhansk 02.02.2022

"If you play with matches near a powder barrel for too long, it might just explode."

(c) David Arius

The First World War began with shots fired in Sarajevo. Generally, in the early summer of 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II and his cousin Nicholas II did not particularly want to fight each other. But it happened that way. That war destroyed those two empires and gave rise to "Bolshevism" and "National Socialism" - the bloodiest ideologies in world history. Tens of millions of people died. And all because student Gavrilo Princip waved a gun in the right place at the right time. "Butterfly effect," "World conspiracy"... No, it's just the banal human stupidity of the "mighty of this world."

In the world, there have always been and always will be certain destructive forces that benefit from catastrophe. The task of reasonable people is to detect and destroy these forces in time, rather than cultivating them on an industrial scale, which is exactly what Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing today. And yes, I am specifically talking about the situation in Donbass in the first place.

In the fall of 2019, I wrote an article titled "Donbass: What's next?". There, I wrote about how the situation developed in southeastern Ukraine in 2014, what factors played a role at that time, and who was behind it all. In short, it all started as blackmail by Rinat Akhmetov against the new Ukrainian authorities. Nobody was thinking about war. But then came the terrorists, "dukes" of Malofeev (who were directly supported by the leadership of Russian military intelligence), and it became what it became. Over ten thousand victims. Destroyed Donetsk and Luhansk. Tens of thousands of refugees. And instability that has lasted for 8 years now. The destructive forces won back then. And these destructive forces have a last name, a first name, and a position in the leadership of the Russian government. Just so you know, in 2017, I detailed to the leadership of the Russian military counterintelligence department how these destructive forces began to emerge, and I happened to be a witness to that, by the way. Fortunately, as usual, they didn't label me as a pedophile or a CIA agent after that. I just want to point out that these destructive forces haven't changed anything to this day. "Duke" Malofeev and Co are alive and well, organizing "monarchic weddings" with an honorary guard from the Russian Ministry of Defense. The only thing that has changed, if anything, is that the former always in the shadows, Andrey Turchak, is now openly friends with Yevgeny Prigozhin and openly escalates the situation in Donbass, calling for the supply of weapons to terrorists from the DPR and LPR.

Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin has followed in the footsteps of Rinat Akhmetov and has started to blackmail the "collective West," deploying a large armed forces grouping near the borders of Ukraine. The reasons for the blackmail are clear. The "collective West" is, to put it mildly, unhappy with Vladimir Putin's current policies and has blocked his "Nord Stream 2," on the creation of which Vladimir Vladimirovich himself and his closest circle spent a huge amount of money through, practically, their "state-owned" oil and gas companies. In the end, there is gas, there is a pipeline, but there is no money. Moreover, gas is now being supplied to the European Union from the United States. How can one not be upset?

As a result, Vladimir Vladimirovich was pacified by the leadership of China, in which local analytical centers apparently realized where these kind of "tank games" in world history usually lead to, and gave Putin good contracts for gas supplies, apparently trusting his word not to engage in more mischief. The Kremlin soon announced the start of troop withdrawal. And then the unimaginable began...

Immediately after that, on February 17, the DPR and LPR began a massive artillery bombardment of Ukrainian army positions. However, instead of military targets, these "artillerymen" bombed a kindergarten with children inside. And today, on February 18, the leadership of the DPR and LPR announced the evacuation of civilians to Russia. However, there are no factors that would indicate the need for such measures. What will happen next?

Honestly, after these "shots fired in Luhansk," it is difficult to make any meaningful predictions about what awaits us and what other "shots" we can expect. Unfortunately, the destructive forces, like the most dangerous parasites, have managed to poison the whole body of state governance in the Russian Federation. And this war could turn into a civil war with an absolutely unclear outcome.

Dmitry Ershov, political scientist.

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