Vishnevsky: The Kremlin wants to keep the situation in eastern Ukraine unresolved

For Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of the main reasons for starting the war in the Donbas region was the ease with which Russian Special Forces were able to occupy and annex the Crimean peninsula in early 2014. This opinion was expressed by Russian opposition leader Boris Vishnevsky in an interview with Apostrophe.

"The hypothesis that seems plausible to me is that Vladimir Putin doesn't consider Ukraine to be a state, and it's possible that he seriously considered a scenario in which a number of regions would be cut off from Ukraine. They could have even formed some kind of a buffer, puppet quasi-state, which wouldn't join any country. It's plausible that such a plan could exist. But what's obvious is that the current situation in the Donbas region could not have happened without the preceding events in the Crimea,” Vishnevsky said.

According to the opposition leader, "due to the ease with which Putin executed the ‘Crimean operation’, due to the large number of internal causes and the extreme weakness of the Ukrainian authorities at the time, the Kremlin might have thought it could proceed in a similar fashion in other parts of Ukraine. And they could have thought that this goal would be easy to achieve.”

"The development of the events suggests that Putin wants to keep the situation unresolved. This means that he won't annex the Donbas region and won't allow Ukraine to restore full control over the region and the Ukrainian-Russian border. So it would become a kind of a non-healing wound that would prevent Ukraine from developing as a serious power," concluded Vishnevsky.

Vishnevsky is a member of the liberal Yabloko party and a member of the International Human Rights Society.

  Russia, Ukraine, Russian Opposition