The Kremlin's Karabakh Gambit: After Transcaucasia, Russia may lose Donbass
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The Kremlin's Karabakh Gambit: After Transcaucasia, Russia may lose Donbass

17 November , 12:54
Azerbaijan set an example for all post-Soviet countries to successfully resolve conflicts, and if Ukraine starts a new military operation in Donbass, Moscow will have no formal groundings to officially react to this.

Victor Kuzovkov*

As you know, the Kremlin has won yet another resounding victory in the Transcaucasus. Pashinyan is punished, Karabakh is saved, Azerbaijan has undermined its military power, and Turkey will have to spend many billions to tow Baku. All this became possible thanks to another cunning plan of one "grandmaster" whose name is too well known for you to be mistaken. In short, Putin has played a clever gambit that has baffled the entire world, except for a few full-time and freelance propagandists from the Russian media.

In fact, the number of people confident in Moscow's deafening victory in the Transcaucasus is somewhat astonishing. No, okay, government "talking heads" with federal buttons, there is nothing to be surprised at. But even in social networks, hundreds and thousands of apparently sane people are seriously trying to prove how splendidly everything turned out with Karabakh. "Russia should have frowned" and all that. Well, you know, of course...

But if we try to look at what happened soberly, without loyal approval, what will we actually see? A deafening triumph or an equally deafening failure, which they are now trying to hide with the help of loud chatter? Or something in between, "both ours and yours"? Well, let's try to figure it out...

First of all, let us turn our attention to the fact that an extremely unpleasant precedent for Moscow has been created in Karabakh. For the first time in the post-Soviet space, one of the states participating in the conflict has relied on an external player and has made tremendous progress in the process of resolving this conflict on its own terms. Earlier, we recall, nothing of the kind happened and Russia has always been, in fact, the only arbiter in this kind of confrontation.

In the language of the street, the Azerbaijanis brought a “big boy” to our courtyard from a nearby gateway and together they pretty much piled on the one who until then had unconditionally relied on our protection. And now you can at least drown in your nightingale trills, but Moscow's authority in the post-Soviet space will simply collapse catastrophically after that. Strictly speaking, Armenia was one of the last strongholds of this authority. That is, a couple of months ago, somewhere in Central Asia, they were sure that if you are friends with Moscow, then at least you can not be afraid of your neighbors. Now there is no such confidence, and Turkey has become a player almost equal to Russia in the space, which she herself considers the priority goal of pan-Turkism.

You can treat Pashinyan as you like, you can not love him or even hate him, but Azerbaijan should have been punished for such actions. Moreover, he was punished seriously, no joke. The minimum that could be talked about was that Baku was to receive a military defeat in Karabakh, which would close the Karabakh issue for another 25 years. Instead, we saw what we saw. That is, the weakness of Russia and the sluggish murmur of the Kremlin speakers...

At the same time, we managed to almost lose Armenia too. We have many "analysts" who call this country unnecessary and practically useless for the geopolitical tasks facing the Russian Federation. But it is not Armenia that is useless, but these "experts", whose entire "geopolitics" does not go beyond the limits of the dacha ring near Moscow...

Armenia is the only state thanks to which our presence in Transcaucasia is not virtual, but real. And do not be misled by the talk that "but now we will make friends with richer Azerbaijan." Alas, these hopes are not destined to come true simply due to the fact that Azerbaijan has Turkey. Turks are not just an older brother, but practically one people with Azerbaijanis. It is not surprising that the concept of "two states - one people" is very popular both in Baku and Ankara. And hopes for Baku oil look extremely dubious if only because Turkey will find both willing and investors for it.

Transcaucasia is a very important region for Russia from the point of view of geopolitics. This is both the best of the potential logistics corridors to Central Asia, and a possible outpost for our aviation, should it ever bomb the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. Having lost Armenia, we almost automatically give Transcaucasia to the Turks, who will receive an excellent route through the Caspian Sea to Central Asia. And the loss of this region, in turn, will mean the geopolitical surrender of Russia and its actual exit from the “big game”. If the Americans follow the Turks into Central Asia, we will face a potential military catastrophe, the scale of which looks more impressive in advance than the scale of the catastrophe brought to our people by the Great Patriotic War.

That is, little Armenia is not important only, excuse me, for the stuffed fools trying to measure everything by the volume of GDP or the amount of oil. Geopolitics, if you strictly follow the meaning of this term, it is not about economics at all - it is about geography and the influence that the competent use of geographic factors in politics gives. But try to explain this to the regulars of our TV...

A separate line is the catastrophic losses for the image of the Russian military-industrial complex. If somewhere we had quite strong positions in foreign markets, it was in air defense systems that absolutely failed to cope with the defense of Karabakh. And it can be explained for a long time and persistently that the Armenians had, for the most part, outdated systems that were completely not designed for modern warfare. Maybe someone will believe ... But basically, for hundreds of millions of ordinary citizens in Asia and the Middle East, everything looks as if Azerbaijan had defeated the Armenian army, almost one hundred percent armed with Russian weapons, with only Turkish drones. And this will inevitably affect the volume of export orders for our military-industrial complex.

But the matter may not end only with economic and reputational losses. If you look closely at what is happening in Ukraine now, it becomes really alarming. Throughout the entire conflict in Karabakh, Ukrainian radicals have become sharply active, believing that Azerbaijan has set an example for Ukraine to successfully resolve conflicts. In the media and social networks, there is a real hurricane of comments of varying degrees of sanity regarding the purchase of Turkish UAVs "Bayraktar TB2" for their possible use in the skies of Donbass.

Moreover, these sentiments seem to be shared by the Ukrainian authorities. As you know, Ukraine has already purchased a small batch of the aforementioned Turkish UAVs. Now we are talking about the fact that Kiev will repeat the path of Baku, namely, build a plant on its territory, where Turkish UAVs of various types will be produced under license. The only difference is that Baku produced drones of Israeli design, but this, in general, in particular ...

Of course, one can object to this in the spirit that Donbass is not Karabakh, and what Azerbaijan was able to do in Transcaucasia will not work there. This is true, but there is one tremendous "but" ... Alas, we can say with full confidence that the positions of extremist circles are very strong in Kiev. Moreover, at all levels, including the Rada and the government. And even if they do not have the strength and ability to win the war, starting it is easy. And this means that bombs will again start falling on ordinary residents of Donetsk and Lugansk, and ordinary Russian boys with machine guns will again have to extinguish the fire that has broken out.

You, gentlemen, propagandists, did you shout pathetically that Russian guys should not die for the Armenians? I wonder what you will start screaming later, when missiles from Ukrainian drones will destroy tanks, at the levers of which our "vacationers" are sitting?

Probably, the risk of intensification of the currently frozen conflicts is the main danger provoked by Azerbaijan's military success. In addition to Ukraine, Georgia may well follow his example, especially since Ankara is just a stone's throw from there. And the Azerbaijani comrades will certainly be happy to share their experience with the Georgians...

Among other things, there is even talk about the possibility of "expelling" Russia from Transnistria. These voices are still being heard from there, from the camp of Ukrainian nationalists. Probably, this is the most dubious point of their "program" - in Transnistria, whatever one may say, Russian peacekeepers are quite officially deployed, and in case of aggression against them, what happened with Georgia in 2008 will most likely repeat.

But Donbass, for example, is not recognized by Russia as an independent subject. And our peacekeepers are not there. That is, if Ukraine starts a new military operation there, Moscow will have no formal grounds to officially react to this. Therefore, it will have to be unofficially, because otherwise - new, even tougher sanctions. And it is them, apparently, that Moscow wants to avoid, showing incredible peacefulness in the Transcaucasus. Yes, it is possible and unofficially, but there is one problem - assistance in this case will be incomplete, because it will be impossible to hide the massive transfer of equipment to the combat area. This means that you will have to fight with what is at hand. And this is about the same technique that Azerbaijanis and Turks smashed in Karabakh...

To be honest, the Kremlin's motives still defy any unambiguous interpretation. Weakness and fear of even greater sanctions? It is possible, but this is a dead-end path - something, and our "partners" will find as many reasons for sanctions as they like. Or is it not the case, but the ghostly hope of the Kremlin to drag Erdogan from the pro-American camp to its own? In this case, we will have to admit that Ankara plays excellently on Russian Wishlist, gradually beating more and more new fields from Moscow on the world's geopolitical board.

In any case, we can only state that Russian diplomacy has openly sat in a puddle, and propaganda efforts have a clearly expressed internal orientation. Already, as they say, there is no time for fat, we would have to convince our own, domestic patriots that it was intended that way, that another cunning plan outwitted all adversaries, that everything is under control and there is nothing to worry about. And since we ourselves, as usual, are glad to be deceived, the next session of collective hypnosis is successful.

Wondering when we'll wake up Near Donetsk? Or already near Moscow?

* The opinions of the authors may differ from the position of the publication and are published in a discussion order

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