[all links in Russian]
A few days ago, Volodymyr Zelensky signed a new law that increases protections for speakers of official EU languages in Ukraine (the good part), but removes the time limit for the current restrictions on the use of Russian (the bad thing). This law is unconstitutional—although the Ukrainian constitution deems Ukrainian the sole state language, there are provisions to protect the use of Russian and other languages—but the Kiev regime has been using the constitution as toilet paper. Yet again, Ukraine is continuing to divide its people rather than uniting them. If they keep doing things like this, they won’t have a state left to defend. Russia will continue to exploit Ukraine’s refusal to incorporate its ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking citizens (who may or may not support the Russian government; I suspect most of them don’t).
Russia doesn’t even need to fabricate propaganda about the mistreatment of Russians or Russian-speakers (not the claims about genocide, which are fabricated, but the ethnic-chauvinist “total Ukrainianisation”). The Ukrainian government is doing it for them. And then disgruntled Ukrainian citizens who are tired of being told that they can’t speak Russian, or that all Russians are synonymous with Putin, get fed up and start working directly with the Russians. Or maybe they’re in an occupied area and just need to eat, so they will “collaborate” with the local Russian-installed authorities. Ukrainian propagandists act accordingly and claim that they’ve been proven right, so they make life even harder for the “superfluous Ukrainians.” But then the Russians seize on the new anti-Russian laws and regulations, claiming that it is they who were right. And the cycle continues inexorably until someone gets the sense to say, “Wait a moment. Why are we doing this? All we’re doing is playing into the Russians’ hands.”
Is it any wonder that a country that constantly scores own-goals is failing on the battlefield? I despise Putin and want Russian troops off Ukrainian territory, but the bunglers in Kiev can’t seem to get their act together and work strategically—or avoid alienating at least a fifth of its population. And I suspect that its reckless actions, both with regard to domestic and military policy, have led to its inability to regain most of the territory it lost last year.