Russian media today, 28 April 2022

In fulfillment of my mission to bring to Western readers news items of particular importance in Russian media about which they otherwise would likely be clueless, I direct attention to information released on the Interfax website and carried by and other major Russian news portals:   the head of Russian External Intelligence (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, has spoken out about Poland’s plans to take control of part of the territory of Ukraine.

According to SVR, Poland is coordinating this issue with the United States. The idea is to establish military and political control by Warsaw over the “its historic territories” which today fall within the boundaries of Ukraine. Poland would introduce its troops into the Western regions of the country under cover of a mission to “protect the territory from Russian aggression.”  Eventually this would be expected to lead to a partition of Ukraine. The Poles would install a friendly government in the territory they control, ousting the Ukrainian nationalists.

Of course, the Polish ambitions in Western Ukraine are as well founded historically as are Russia’s with respect to Eastern Ukraine, which was once known as New Russia.  Western followers of the war will now know for certain where the city of Lviv is located – 50 km or less from the Polish border.  It is the city to which American and other foreign diplomats withdrew after Kiev seemed unsafe in the early days of the war. It has been the marshalling point for incoming foreign mercenaries and deliveries of military supplies to Ukraine from the West.

Following the three partitions of Poland in the 18th century and for the entire period of the 19th century, Lviv alias Lvov alias Lemberg, was a Polish city within the Austro-Hungarian Empire known for its splendid Central European architecture and philosophical bent: the city was home to mystical religious sects, both Jewish and Christian.

Indeed, if we want to trace back in history the sources of the present conflict in and over Ukraine, we necessarily find ourselves going back even earlier into the 16th and 17th centuries, when the Great Powers of the day, Ottoman Turkey, Poland, Sweden and Russia were all engaged in warfare over lands that figure in modern day Ukraine.  For a good initiation into the culture, or perhaps better to say the barbarism of those days, which prefigure what is now going on in places like Bucha, a good place to start is with the novella Taras Bulba by the Ukrainian-Russian author Nikolai Gogol. I just re-read it in Russian and I assure you the novel is a splendid initial guide to understanding the passions of the present day.

However, none of the foregoing takes into account the military powerhouse that Russia is today.  We may take the possibility of a Polish move of its forces into the Western Ukraine as the kind of intervention that Vladimir Putin had in mind when he said yesterday to legislators gathered in St Petersburg that it would provoke a lightning fast counter blow by Russia.  Meanwhile, a similar possible intervention by Romania in swallowing up Moldova and threatening to overrun the Russian separatist territory of Transnistria which is sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine, could also spark a powerful military response from Moscow. 

The mainspring of history is unwinding spasmodically and destructively.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

27 thoughts on “Russian media today, 28 April 2022

  1. Does Poland really expect no response from Russia occupying this area, thus making itself automatically vulnerable to attack simply because Poland would certainly use this corridor to supply weapons to the rest of the Ukrainian army (whatever might be left at that time)?

    Any such attack by Russia on the storage and transportation systems involved, necessarily would then be construed to be an attack on a NATO member, an appropriate response follows and we have WW3?

    Is that the goal here or is the idiocy of NATO talking heads achieving heights never seen before by presumably rational players?


  2. The brief summary of Taras Bulba in Wikipedia is enough to send a chill down anyone’s spine. The antithesis of Les Miserables, though both “Romantic”.
    Please continue these posts. Please. There is some solace in perspective, and knowing what is being said in Russia is invaluable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can assure you that Poland is not about to re-occupy its historical “kresy” in what is now Ukraine. Ukraine is a key Polish ally, There are most likely at least 4 million Ukrainians now in Poland, accounting for more than 10% of the population. The last thing Poland wants is to reignite its bitter historical quarrel with Ukraine and, in so doing, provide Russia the pretext to occupy so-called Novorossiya. It would be total madness!
    For a historical perspective, the key date to bear in mind is 1654, the date of the Treaty of Perejaslav, whereby the Cossack leader Chmielevski transferred allegiance at the end of the Cossack Uprising from Poland to Muscovy. The date simultaneously marks the beginning of Russian domination in Ukraine and the decline of Poland.


    1. “I can assure you that Poland is not about to re-occupy its historical “kresy” in what is now Ukraine. Ukraine is a key Polish ally”

      I guess we are all feeling reassured now.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Certainly as peter moritz says, Poland is not an ally of Ukrainians. Rather the game is to steal working age Ukrainians and leave the pensioners and weak back in Ukraine for someone else to care for.


      1. Notwithstanding a difficult, at times tragic past, for which both sides share the blame, Poland and Ukraine remain close allies. There is zero chance of Poland ocupying Western Ukraine.


      2. Ischguet: With Friends and Allies like US and Poland, who needs enemies?

        I might just as well ask who needs 200 T-72 tanks on the Polish border with no skilled crew?


  4. Polish people in Ukraine were given the ethnic cleansing treatment by the Banderites. Part of that history here. The Austrian Empire set up the Ukraine Catholic Church as a half-way house to move Orthodox worship over Catholic, and a combination of timing and nationalism left much of Western Ukraine stuck in the middle. Hence the killings and hate, which is only mitigated by a greater racism toward Orthodox Russia. I half suspect Russia might enjoy the Irish question being replayed inside NATO again, on a far larger scale, and I wonder if Poland’s oligarchy is really that stupid. After all, the Polish state funded a movie that went over this history only 10 years or so ago.


  5. But what about all those Nazis whose heartland is the West of Ukraine? Where will they ‘disappear’ to I wonder. I’m not convinced by any scenario. The Poles who are not for deep thinking in terms of nationalistic aims are being egged on by the US, these days are of anger and frayed nerves especially in the western halls of power. I think theyve all gone mad, incompetents like Von Der Leyen (how on earth did she get this job after completely ruining the German army – followed always by the pungent whiff of corruption) Stoltenberg looks like a rabbit in the headlights of a massive gas gussling American V8 tearing towards him. The US are the big big problem in all of this and as Russia tries to avoid doing what they want them to do – bleed Russia to death on multiple fronts – the more they seem to get dragged into that very thing. To keep control of what is going on Russia is going to have to get down and dirty at some stage. Bombing C&C centers would be a good start, the US is setting up a new INTEL center in Kiev manned only by American personnel, would send a solid message. Bullys are cowards and the US is a bully, trying to tip toe around them is not going to work. The Russians always have plans, lots of them, A,B,C,D,E,F etc lets hope they have a good plan for all of this, the Ukraine army is about to collapse, at least in the Donbass, that should be a good inflection point as to where to go next and which problem is most immediate.


  6. Today the Italian newspaper Repubblica contains several interviews to Russian politicians (Klinov, Rodionov et al) discussing various plans for dismembering and/or annexing Ukraine including a referendum in Kherson to be delivered on 14/15 May. Transnistria appears to be on the menu too. And weapons keep flowing from Biden. We must indeed prepare for a very very long war.


  7. There is a dysfunctional pattern of the West escalating involvement in Ukraine, Russia not responding, the West not believing its own luck and escalating even further. While Russia keeps a self-imposed manpower shortage (conscripts not used and in fact discharged on schedule).

    Russia is now fighting its type of war in the Donbas, not many pesky civilians getting in the way, Ukrainian military sitting ducks in trenches waiting to get pounded non-stop by heavy Russian artillery. But once Russia wins this part of the war, I don’t see a path for them to take any more Ukrainian land, as the Ukrainian military will just retreat into the cities and dare Russia to do to Odessa and Kharkiv and Dnepr and every other significant population center what it did to Mariupol.

    Liked by 1 person

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