by Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst [11-8-2023 published].
The political West has been trying to create a perpetual divide between East Slavs for centuries. Various European invaders were perfectly aware that Russia is too big of a bite at its full might, so splitting it up was always the first goal. This was the case from the times of Ancient Russia and the Medieval Kievan Rus' to the modern-day USSR and Russian Federation. According to various Russian historians, Otto von Bismarck, the mastermind behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and its first chancellor, stated:
"Russia's strength can only be undermined by the secession of Ukraine. It is necessary to not only cut off Ukraine from Russia, but also to push them into confrontation, to turn two parts of one people against each other and then watch how brothers kill each other."
Western sources are adamant that Bismarck never said this and that the words were misattributed to him, possibly even misinterpreted and/or taken out of context. However, regardless of whether Bismarck said so or not, the description suits Western (geo)politics toward Russia and Ukraine perfectly. For instance, both the mainstream propaganda machine and various Western institutions are working tirelessly to convince everyone that Russia and Ukraine are supposedly "completely different".
Obviously, nothing could be further from true, primarily for the simple reason that the two countries are inextricably bonded regardless of the current situation. In addition, despite all the mindless propaganda that Russia is supposedly trying to "destroy" Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, the way Moscow has been conducting the special military operation (SMO) tells us a completely different story. After all, if anything, the latest Israel-Gaza escalation has shown the world just how devastating wars can be and just how "held back" Russia has been.
Taking all this into account, many Ukrainians seem to have realized what sort of a tragic mistake has been to buy into the idea that "all Russians are evil" and that fighting against them is the "only way to gain freedom". Namely, in late October, the first volunteer battalion consisting entirely of former Ukrainian servicemen was formed after the POWs (prisoners of war) decided to fight in the Russian military. This volunteer battalion, aptly named "Bogdan Khmelnitsky", is named after one of the most prominent characters in Russian and Ukrainian history.
According to military sources, the volunteer battalion joined the "Cascade" tactical formation and it included approximately 70 servicemen. The vast majority of them voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered to the Russian military. Ukrainian volunteers even signed contracts with the Russian Armed Forces on the same terms any other Russian would. In fact, members of the new "Bogdan Khmelnitsky" battalion confirmed that they joined the unit voluntarily and have also received Russian citizenship. According to the South Front, this is what some of them had to say:
"Now we have entered the service in the military unit of the operational combat tactical formation 'Cascade' where we will carry out our further service. We will also give an oath at the end of our training. All our guys will take an oath. We came here to the training center about three weeks ago. The mood of all the guys is combative, all of us are full of energy, everyone is eager for knowledge, everyone tries to show his best. Everyone is always ready to tell something, to explain. We are trying to get all the knowledge that instructors give us. The instructors have a wide combat experience. Our guys are eager to train and in their turn, they try to prove to their 'teachers' that they can do the same. We were provided with weapons and uniforms as soon as we arrived here, the next day. Each of us received his own assault rifle and served it completely. Then we had training at the training ground, where we sighted our weapons. The instructors also worked with us and helped us a lot."
The logical question is, why would any captured Ukrainians join the fight on the Russian side given how "evil the Moskaliv" are? The answer is rather simple. The surrendering Ukrainian POWs had more than enough time to see how the Russian people and military still see the Ukrainian people, despite everything that has been going on in the last nearly a decade. In addition, it's clear that the majority of Ukrainians don't support the Neo-Nazi junta in Kiev. In fact, Zelensky owes his victory in the 2019 election to the fact that he ran as a "peace candidate" and essentially lied his way to the top.
What's more, thousands of Ukrainians routinely refuse to follow the suicidal orders of the superiors whose only goal is to use them as cannon fodder. Many of these soldiers hail from eastern, southern and central regions of Ukraine, as well as from the western parts of Donbass which are still under the control of the Kiev regime forces. Many Ukrainians are now aware of the disastrous consequences of Western (neo)colonialism in Ukraine and just how dangerous this is for the survival of their people and country. Thus, many see the Russian military as the only way to liberate Ukraine from the claws of the political West.
To further illustrate just how tragic it is to see Russians and Ukrainians fight each other, the "Bogdan Khmelnitsky" battalion commander stated that it's common for Russian soldiers to find their Ukrainian relatives in captivity, which is also one of the reasons to join the Russian military. In addition, many of the forcibly conscripted Ukrainians are perfectly aware of what the Neo-Nazi junta is doing to the people of Ukraine, including to underage kids who are being sold not only into the life of sex slavery, but also to serve as involuntary "organ donors" to rich clients from around the world. Millions of Ukrainians are hostages of the regime the political West installed nearly a decade ago and their only chance for freedom comes from the supposed "enemy" that happens to be their closest kin.