Ukraine’s “denazification”, Russian-targeted “genocide” … why Putin’s rhetoric justifying the war is unfounded

Early in the morning, sitting at a dark wooden desk, the Kremlin’s master signaled hostility. “I have decided on a special military operation,” Vladimir Putin issued a surprise statement on television Thursday morning. After months of tension, the Russian president decided to go to war with Ukraine to protect the self-proclaimed separatist “republic” in the eastern part of the country that granted independence on Monday. “We strive to achieve denazification and denazification in Ukraine,” he added.

Patrick Martin-Genier, a specialist in European and international affairs and a teacher at Sciences Po, broke the record. “It’s all crazy,” he explains. 20 minutes.. “Ukraine is a democratic system, not a Nazi. President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected directly by universal suffrage. He is completely legal,” he emphasizes. “Like many countries, there are people on the far right. But they do not rule the country. It is a provocation to justify the intervention he has just made.” »»

“The words they use are overkill.”

Jean de Grineisti *, the French ambassador to Moscow from 2009 to 2016 and now the head of research for Iris, is also trying to understand the similarities between Putin and the Third Reich. “This probably refers to the suppression of Russian-speaking television channels and the various measures taken against Ukrainian citizens of Russian and Russophilia origin, but all they use. The word is excessive – and the word is not powerful enough. This is part of the promotion of internal use. »»

Putin is trying to justify the war to the Russians, according to former diplomats. “His own views, including the general policy of Russia’s policy towards Ukraine, are not necessarily in line with the military initiative,” he points out. He needs to add justification. »»

The accusation of “genocide” is clearly stated by François Heisbourg, a special adviser to the Strategic Research Foundation since 2005. In Ukraine, “I couldn’t see the shadow of the genocide tail.” Since 2014, pro-Russian separatist movements have emerged in the eastern part of the country in Donetsk and Lugansk in the Donbas region, which borders Russia, killing about 14,000 people in clashes. “Ukrainians have defended themselves with legitimate rights after being attacked because separatists seized power in these unrecognized republics, but there was no genocide.” Adds Patrick Martin Genie.

A significant proportion of the inhabitants of these areas who are victims of combat do speak Russian. “But the term genocide has a specific meaning,” says Patrick Martin Genie. It is the systematic eradication of some of the population because of their ethnicity. Not at all here. Jean de Gliniasty admits that bombardment of towns on these territories caused many injuries. Among them, the children who were victims of “seashells that fell to school”. “But when Putin says that, he’s talking to Russian citizens, who uses it to justify military operations,” said the former ambassador.

“War of Conquest”.

What is the purpose of this war that Moscow has declared to Kiev? “Putin has been doing the same for 30 years,” continues Jean de Grineersty. He does not want Ukraine to be a country against Russia when it is his brothers. He has a desire to achieve military neutralization in Ukraine. Putin said: “We tried to do that through negotiations, that is, by putting pressure on Ukraine, but when that didn’t work, he relied on what he called technical military measures.

François Eisbourg is complete. “He believes that Ukraine is neither a nation nor a nation nor a nation, and that the puppet government in the hands of foreigners and made up of neo-Nazis must be eliminated. By doing “to overthrow the government and bring Ukraine back to the bosom of the Russian empire.”

“Putin is in the logic of heritage,” analyzes Patrick Martin Genie. “He believes this territory has been stolen from Russia and wants to recover it militarily or by acquiring the fall of the President of Ukraine. His own logic is that of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As in the case, it is to eliminate this democratic system and introduce a system that is completely subordinate to it »».

* “Short History of the Franco-Russian Alliance”, by Jean de Gliniasty, L’Inventaire Edition, 128 pages, 13 euros