Moskovskiy Komsomolets columnist Dmitry Popov, invoking the timeless symbol of Russia, claims that the Russian bear has been caged, and this has encouraged countries, such as Georgia and Lithuania, that previously quaked in fear before their ferocious neighbor, to think they could dictate terms to Russia. Russian goodwill gestures and self-restraint have been misinterpreted as weakness and indecision. The West feels free to escalate the conflict, as exemplified by the recent decision to supply tanks to Ukraine. Popov believes that fighter planes and long-range missiles will soon follow.
The solution is to unleash the Russian bear and score a devastating victory—not merely a win on points—that will restore fear of Russia. According to Popov, the postwar environment should be such that the U.S. would hasten to return Alaska should Russia demand it.
Popov's column, titled "Fear Has Been Lost: Even Georgia Dictates The Terms Of Russia's Surrender In Ukraine," follows below:
A 2014 cartoon that conveys notions similar to those expressed in Popov's column. (Source: Yaplakal.com)
The very same angry bear provokes very different feelings, depending on whether it is caged or running free in the wild. An animal on the loose, coming straight at you, is a genuine, paralyzing terror. [But the same beast] growling at you from a cage provokes a reaction along the lines of "Aw! Aren't you just sooo formidable!" In what position does Russia currently find itself?
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili stated, in an interview with Bloomberg, that a peace agreement on Ukraine (i.e., Russia's capitulation) must include... withdrawal of the Russian troops from South Ossetia and Abkhazia [where they have been since 2008]. Because, in her view, "Russia already practically lost the battles" and generally needs to know its place. "Russia needs to understand where its borders are. Georgia's issues must also be taken into account. War cannot be over until Russia retreats from all the occupied territories."
Otherwise, according to them, the West will make another big mistake, like the ones made in 2008 [during Russia's war with Georgia] and 2014 [the annexation of Crimea and the breakaway republics in Ukraine]. That's what "from all the occupied territories" means.
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Well, we are just waiting for Japan to demand that the Kuril Islands [taken from Japan by the USSR in World War II] be included in the "Ukraine peace treaty," for Hans [a slur for the Germans] to demand Kaliningrad [formerly Königsberg], and for Greece (bearing in mind whose friend Erdogan is exactly) to demand on the sly the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Northern Cyprus.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda insists that no one should fear Russia and should go ahead with supplying weaponry to Ukraine. As if to say that "We are managing to erase Russia's red lines, and this has happened more than once before."
For instance, "Germany initially stated categorically that it would only supply body armor, helmets and the like, but no arms. But this red line was also crossed quite a long time ago." And in general, red lines, if they exist, "exist only in our heads," let's supply Ukraine with fighter jets and long-range missiles without delay.
The fact, unpleasant as it is to admit, is that Nauseda isn't that wrong. The Nazis from the Azovstal catacombs, who, unlike the regular ZSU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] soldiers, "won't be swapped" and "will definitely be prosecuted," are now resting up in warm Turkish climes.
Our military still shudders when they remember the "goodwill gestures." Well, the story with our "red lines" should be considered over as of October 24 of last year, when our Foreign Ministry declared: "The West shouldn't measure the width of the red line."
After this "width," as well as after all the purely verbal attacks on the decision-making centers, the fear in our opponents has transformed into an attitude of "Aw! Aren't you just sooo formidable!" Tanks (deliveries of which were perceived as an extreme escalation until recently) are already being supplied, aircraft will no doubt be supplied as well, long-range weapons are already covered by the new U.S. aid package, and the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Oleksiy Makeyev, states that Ukraine wants nuclear arms as "security guarantees."
All the variations on the statements that "we are not NATO," and "we do not want to fight till the last Ukrainian" are perceived as weakness and indecisiveness in the Ukrainian conflict and allow for talk along the lines of "Russia should know its borders," and [notions] that Russians should be kicked out "of all the occupied territories." Fear has been lost.
And such talk won't stop until Russia begins to live up in reality to the image of "Mordor" and "orcs" (i.e., fierce, merciless, indestructible), as portrayed in Western propaganda. So that upon hearing the phrase "Russians are coming," the enemy's sole desire would be to find himself somewhere beyond Pluto's orbit.
The [talk] will not even stop with Russia's "victory." It will only stop with a "Victory in all caps." A Victory so dazzling and devastating that America will be the first to run to return Alaska if Russia so much as hints at it.
Let the Russian bear loose already!
Dmitry Popov (Source: Mk.ru)