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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Zhirinovsky Favors Air Assault Over Bombing

The Kremlin has long tasked itself with protecting what it broadly calls “Russian-speaking people” throughout the former Soviet Union, especially in Ukraine. With a little bit of protection, some of these people become Russian citizens, eligible for further protection.

Like every urban Ukrainian born in the Russified Brezhnev era, I grew up speaking Russian. Do I need the Kremlin to protect me? No. And neither do my friends.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky clearly doesn’t think so.

State Russian Duma Vice Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Any armed forces, but used to protect. It doesn’t have to be a war, it doesn’t have to be bombing, but let them [Ukraine] know that at any moment Russian paratroopers will appear in the air...will make a landing and will force [Ukraine] into peace...and will protect the lives of our citizens.

Mr. Zhirinovsky, without the bombing, most of your paratroopers will be dead on arrival. Our air defense system will take its toll on your bombers as well.

Remember that Tu-22 and those three Su-25s? The ones you said we had shot down over Georgia?

So you’ll need a full-scale war to talk “peace” to us, and you’ll need a pretext for that. Which means that protecting “Russian-speaking people” has nothing to do with peace and everything to do with irredentism and aggression.

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Lingüista said...

That guy is really revolting, Taras. The only good thing I can think of concerning him is that he's an extremist even by Russian standards. Even among Duma members, most are ashamed of him.

Which is not to say that the Russians will never attack -- I personally think it's not very likely (there are better ways), but who knows? Maybe they will. But if they do, I don't think this 'gentleman' will have anything to do with it. He's just way too crazy.

One thing I worry about is if the Ukrainian armed forces wouldn't feel divided, like Ukraine itself, between allegiance to Ukraine and to 'the Russian people.' There surely are Russians and Russia sympathizers in the Ukrainian army? If sufficiently many soldiers have doubts, that makes the situation more complicated.

Taras said...


Most Russian politicians would say the same thing using different words. Therefore, I don’t consider him an extremist.

One may argue that his bark is worse than his bite, but, well, you never know what the Kremlin may be up to.

As for the allegiance issue, the only real test is to attack Ukraine, whatever the means.