There is no alternative for Putin in Donbas but to create another TransNistria. That is, Donbas will remain unrecognized and Russia will never formally annex it, Russian political expert Dmitri Oreshkin writes in Novoje vremya Sept. 10.
In the harsh words of Donbas residents Putin is dumping them, like he did separatists’ Purgin, Girkin and Bezler before.
The big problem for Putin is that Russia has no real diplomatic and economic muscle to grab Donbas.
The naïve Donbas locals believed that, first, things in Russia were going well and they would be afixed and, second, that Vladimir Putin is true to his word and won’t let them be harmed. It turned out, however, that everything is bad in Russia, there is no money, and Putin does not care much about the plight of Donbas locals.
Putin only needs a tool to influence Kyiv. There is no better tool than a smoldering conflict tailored on Karabakh or TransNistria.
Putin will never annex Donbas – he will try to push this hot potato to Kyiv to prevent Ukraine to build an effective economy.
Because Putin’s worst nightmare is the democratic Ukraine with a strong economy – like the Baltic states are. Of course, Putin can continue to lie that the Baltic states are the hotbed of Fascism. But the people there, including many Russian speakers, realize that their life is better than in Moscow.
The average salary in the Baltics is Euro1,000 or RUR80,000, while the average salary in Russia is RUR30,000, with all the gas, oil, wood and gold they have.
Putin has found himself in a stalemate – he cannot leave Donbas same as he cannot annex it and make it part of Russia,” the Russian expert says.