Hybrid negotiations Why can’t the agreements signed after "Minsk negotiations" ever be fully implemented by any of the parties?

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There are several objective reasons why the agreements reached during the Minsk negotiations cannot be completed to the end by any of the parties. This article is an attempt to organize information, received from open sources, on the contradictions that exist in the process of the Minsk negotiations.

In lieu of a preface

The essence of Russia tactics in the ongoing processes can be described by a statement, that was once expressed by the Secretary of the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Suslov:

"One of these days the Georgians will start to fight against communism, for independence. The fight against the Georgians should be begun in Abkhazia. Autonomy should be given to Samegrelo and Svaneti. It is necessary to stir up parochial and national feelings in them separately. We need to convince everyone that the Georgians are placed in Abkhazia. Тo Georgia's eastern part. After that, we are to play the role of a mediator."

Russia's imperial policy has led to the occupation of several countries' territory by that state. Russia is trying to present its armed aggression against these countries as internal conflicts. The essence of a hybrid war is that kind of misleading attempts and trying to present an external armed aggression as internal conflicts on the occupied territories.

Hybrid war. Map of territories occupied by Russia.

De-facto, the following events are taking place in Ukraine.

  • 1) An invasion of (an attack on) the territory of Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation and occupation and annexation of a part of the Ukrainian territory including Crimea.
  • 2) Blockade of ports, the Ukrainian coastline and airspace, disruption of communication lines of Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
  • 3) The assault by the armed forces of the Russian Federation on military ground, sea or air forces, or the civil marine and air fleets of Ukraine.
  • 4) The infiltration of the armed groups of regular or irregular forces engaged in acts of military violence against Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
  • 5) The slaughter of citizens of Ukraine.

Currently, the international community believes the Minsk negotiations to be one of the means to deter the Russian aggression. However, for Russia, they are a tool to make Ukraine surrender its interests and, in fact, to capitulate. Moreover, as it will be shown below, the text of the agreements was written in Russia and in the interests of Russia itself. Furthermore, the agreements reached clearly contradict many articles of the Constitution of Ukraine. At the same time, due to the existing contradictions, they cannot be completed by any of the parties.

We present an attempt to systematize the existing contradictions in Minsk agreements below. All documents and photos are taken from the open press.

The Minsk negotiations

Part 1. Documents on the basis of which the representatives of Ukraine are assigned.

Most of the facts outlined below are taken from publications and interviews of the ex-judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the first Prosecutor General of Ukraine, merited lawyer of Ukraine Viktor Shishkin. He carried out extensive work on legal assessment of all aspects of the Minsk negotiations. Below, there is one of V. Shishkin's speeches, where he considers the compatibility of the Minsk agreements with the legislation and Constitution of Ukraine in a most detailed way.

Let us start with President Petro Poroshenko's order to confer powers on Leonid Kuchma during the Minsk negotiations.

The order of the President Petro Poroshenko to confer the powers on Leonid Kuchma during Minsk negotiations

As it follows from the text of the Order, Leonid Kuchma is granted authority only to represent Ukraine, but not to sign anything. Besides, that order mentions that Leonid Kuchma acts on a voluntary basis during the Minsk negotiations.

There is a contradiction - how can a volunteer sign international agreements? Consequently, the representative of Ukraine in the trilateral contact group has no right to sign any document. Kuchma represents Ukraine and has no other powers.

Next point. According to the Minsk agreements, we make commitments under some international document. However, article 9 of the Constitution of Ukraine stipulates Ukraine's international treaties are only binding if ratified by the Verkhovna Rada. In other words, international treaties become national law if the Parliament gives its consent for them to be binding.

The Minsk agreements were not ratified either by Parliament of Ukraine (as the Constitution requires) or by the Parliament of Russia. Then why does Ukraine or Russia have to fulfill them?

The Minsk agreements are thus not binding for Ukraine, since they were not ratified by the Parliament, and the representative of Ukraine at the negotiations in Minsk, Leonid Kuchma (according to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko's order) was not authorized to sign them.

Part 2. The personalities of the negotiators.

There are obvious questions about Ukraine's delegation. Apart from Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine is represented by Viktor Medvedchuk at the Minsk negotiations. Below there is a simple set of well-known facts about this "representative of Ukraine."

  • Viktor Medvedchuk was a KGB informer in prison where he was serving a criminal sentence for beating a minor;
  • Viktor Medvedchuk was recruited by the KGB and had the cover name "Sokolovsky";
  • Viktor Medvedchuk was the well-known Ukrainian human rights defenders, dissidents, Yuri Lytvyn and Vasyl Stus's lawyer. Medvedchuk did everything to put the famous poet Stus in jail. Vasyl Stus and Yuriy Lytvyn died in the camps;
  • 2004 Ukrainian election fraud.
  • Viktor Medvedchuk appears in a number of criminal cases, in particular the case on the illegal privatization. One of the episodes: he captured a piece of land and had the facilities of the Baranov children's antitubercular sanatorium demolished for the construction of his Crimean villa.
  • It is Viktor Medvedchuk who is the main ideologist of separatism in Ukraine. Under his direct participation the separatist organizations in Ukraine were created and funded through him by the Kremlin. Later they became the basis for the formation of the armed terrorist groups.
  • It is Viktor Medvedchuk who is the author of the idea of the so-called "decentralization" and the federalization of Ukraine. It is actually aimed at the destruction of Ukraine as a unified state.
  • It is Victor Medvedchuk who advised Putin to tear 8 regions off from Ukraine with about half of the population of Ukraine and to create an entity subordinate to the Kremlin in that region — the so-called "Ukrainian Federation". Medvedchuk was supposed to become its head.
  • It is Viktor Medvedchuk who supervised the preparation of the so-called "referendum" in Crimea and the preparation of Crimea's takeover by Russia.
  • It is Viktor Medvedchuk who is now blackmailing the People of Ukraine by the execution of prisoners of war. Although the collaborators in power say that Medvedchuk is busy with the release of prisoners of war.
In fact, Viktor Medvedchuk is a new concept in international politics. He is called a “Representative of terrorists".

In addition to Medvedchuk on the side of Ukraine in the negotiations, a close friend of Medvedchuk's (and his purse at the same time) Nestor Shufrych is involved. By the way, he does not appear anywhere in official documents and is also an odious pro-Russian politician.

Another side of the negotiations is represented by Heidi Tagliavini. In President Petro Poroshenko's order she is called (literally): "the special representative of the acting head of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe." She is known for her statements that the Russian-Georgian war was started by Georgia. It is noteworthy that the main provisions of the EU report on the war between Russia and Georgia, compiled under her direct guidance, call the Russian occupation army the "Russian peacekeepers on Georgian territory (in South Ossetia)." Now, this lie has become obvious worldwide.

On the part of the terrorists some Zakharchenko and Plotnitskiy are taking part in the negotiations. Who are Zacharchenko and Plotnitskiy?

There is no document confirming their powers as representatives of anyone or anything. Neither their position nor date nor anything else has been mentioned. Those individuals' participation in the negotiations is not required by any documents.

In Ukraine, the world's first precedent was set, when the terrorists are one of the parties of the negotiations.

Although in fact, the Russian regular troops operating on the occupied territories meet the definition of "terrorists" very figuratively. If we can call a spade a spade, this is a Russian armed attack on Ukraine. And it has a clear definition - the "war".

The world’s first precedent was thus created in Ukraine when a country (Ukraine) being subjected to aggression by the country-guarantor of the Budapest Memorandum (Russia), which committed itself to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, was forced to make concessions to the aggressor. Moreover - in this case, negotiations were initiated and are conducted with the representatives of the puppet administration created by that aggressor.

There is a legitimate question. Can we consider a piece of paper signed by that kind of "representatives" binding for Ukraine? That sort of "agreements" have nothing to do with international agreements.

Representatives of the trilateral contact group

The representatives of Ukraine at the Minsk negotiations didn't therefore have the legal powers to. Not to speak of the representatives of the other parties.

The evidence of this fact results in the Ukrainian people's adequate attitude towards the Minsk negotiations. It was often said that the Minsk agreements were written in the Kremlin and were essentially aimed at the capitulation of Ukraine to the Kremlin. Suffice it to recall the human rights activist, political prisoner of the Soviet concentration camps, the Ukrainian 1st, 2nd and 4th convocations MP, the Hero of Ukraine, one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine Stepan Khmara's appeal to the People of Ukraine. In his appeal, he directly and reasonably highlights the fact that Minsk negotiations are nothing more than a surrender of Ukraine's interests and the capitulation of Ukraine to the aggressor country of Russia.

Part 3. The Minsk agreements

Below are the agreements signed by the trilateral contact group. The full text of this "document" is published on the official website of the President of Russia. You can also read the full text here >>>

The "documents" signed in the result of the Minsk negotiations.

The contradictions in these agreements are the following.

Paragraph 4 of the Minsk agreements in particular provides: "Immediately, not later than 30 days from the date of signing this document, it is necessary to adopt the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, indicating the territory covered by the special regime in accordance with the Act of Ukraine "On temporary order of local government in separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts," on the basis of the line established in the Minsk Memorandum dated 19 September 2014"

In fact, the issues of the territories and their special status in Ukraine are solved exclusively by a national referendum. This is a requirement of Ukrainian legislation. The Ukrainian government cannot sign something, that contradicts the national legislation. In particular, it cannot make commitments on changing the status of territories, if it is stipulated by the Ukrainian laws.

Paragraph 5 of the Minsk agreements reads: "To provide free pardon and amnesty through giving effect to a law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that had taken place in separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine."

Moreover, the Annex to the documents contains the clarification: "Exemption from punishment, persecution and discrimination of individuals connected with the events that had taken place in separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts."

The contradiction on this point is obvious. It is proposed to announce the amnesty for the terrorists who committed war crimes. This paragraph highlights the inadmissibility of persecution of the terrorists' leaders.

Those who will victimize terrorists for their crimes, automatically become outlawed. In this case, the law is on the side of the criminals.

In fact, the Ukrainian collaborationist government and the Kremlin use the participants of the negotiations, France and Germany, in order to give international status to their fraud. The essence of the fraud is to surrender the interests of Ukraine, freeze the war in the Donbas region (in fact, to transform the Donbas region into new Transdnistria), freeze any issues related to the liberation of the occupied Crimea, and discharge war criminals from responsibility for the committed crimes.

Paragraph 9 of the Minsk agreements says: "To restore full control over the state border from the Ukrainian government throughout the conflict zone, which should be begun on the first day after the local elections and be finished after the comprehensive political settlement (local elections in separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts on the basis of the Act of Ukraine and constitutional reform) by the end of 2015, subject to the paragraph 11 – by the consultations and agreement with the representatives of separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in the framework of the Trilateral Contact group."

It is impossible to hold elections when people have guns outside, and on the territory there are foreign troops and mercenaries. In particular, it is impossible to hold elections where there is no Ukrainian government, and then to withdraw and establish control over the border.

It is impossible to hold elections until normal conditions for the vote are created. In particular, until the control on the border is established. If the control is not set, the elections cannot be held as well.

First. It is necessary to withdraw occupational troops from the occupied territories. And to ensure full control by the UFA over the border with Russia. The elections in Donbas region on such terms is the only way the return of the Ukrainian legitimate authorities to these territories.

Paragraph 12 of the Minsk agreements says: "On the basis of the Act of Ukraine "On temporary order of local government in separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts" the questions regarding local elections will be discussed and agreed with the representatives of separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts withing the Trilateral Contact group. Elections will be conducted in compliance with the relevant standards of the OSCE under the monitoring of the ODIHR."

Actually, this paragraph confirms that according to the Minsk agreements, elections in the occupied territories will be held under the control of terrorists.

Moreover, according to this "document", Ukraine can put a claim for the full restoration of border control only after amending the Constitution, besides, these changes should be carried out in consultation with the representatives of "separate areas" of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts – those regions that official Kiev now calls either "temporarily occupied", or "uncontrolled".

Part 4. Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine

Paragraph 11 of the Minsk agreements reads: "To take on the constitutional reform of the new Constitution in Ukraine inured by the end of the year 2015, involving decentralization as a key element (taking into account the characteristics of separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, agreed with the representatives of these areas), as well as to adopt the permanent law on the special status of the separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in accordance with the measures specified in the Annex, by the end of 2015."

On this basis, Petro Poroshenko at the time, began the propaganda company inside Ukraine, that purportedly, if the Constitution is not amended in terms of decentralization, then Minsk-2 will not be fulfilled.

The precedent was created when the country-aggressor requires amendments to the Constitution of the country, which it attacked on.

It is noteworthy that the interests of the aggressor (Russia) in terms of changes of the Constitution are being lobbied by the Petro Poroshenko, the President of the country, which was attacked (Ukraine). In particular, in the new edition, there are manipulations with concepts of "oblast", "raion" and "rehion". The purpose of it, ultimately, is to give a constitutional right of self-determination to the occupied territories. In this case, Poroshenko uses the Minsk agreements in order to lobby his own interests. He gambles on lies.

The basic contradiction here is that the requirement contained in part 2 of the Article 157 of the Constitution of Ukraine says that the Constitution of Ukraine cannot be amended under conditions of martial law or state of emergency.

The conditions of martial law exist regardless of whether the head of the state declared this law or not. According to Viktor Shishkin, the fact that Petro Poroshenko, as the President, does not respond to these conditions by imposing martial law is only his personal position. The conditions of martial law or state of emergency exist objectively, creating legal relations peculiar to such a state and do not depend on the subjective position of those who in accordance with his constitutional powers should respond to them by the introduction of this state, however, they do not invoke such actions.

In fact, the country is involved in a war now. And we actually are under the war-time conditions.

First, proper acts were adopted, in particular, the Act of Ukraine "On military-civil administrations.

Secondly, there are numerous amendments to the laws relating to the prosecution of war criminals. In addition, Russia was declared as an aggressor state. There is a corresponding resolution of the Verkhovna Rada dd. 27.01.15.

All these facts indicate that martial law is imposed in the country. And this means a direct prohibition to amend the Constitution of Ukraine.

In addition. The President himself does not have a right to sign this provision (paragraph 11 of the Minsk agreements), much less to give such assignment or task to someone else.

Nobody had the right to commit oneself with the obligations to change the electoral law, to amend the Constitution of Ukraine and to sign such commitments with Russia and militants on behalf of Ukraine. It is only the Parliament who can make laws and decide in what order this should be done and in what period. Not only is Ukraine dictated the essence of the law, but also the period in which it must be taken.

Part 5. De-occupation Of Crimea.

In the Minsk agreements, no word is said about the de-occupation of Crimea. Crimea is mentioned neither in Minsk-1, nor in Minsk-2, nor in the Geneva agreement dd. April 17, 2014... Which adds further credence to the Kremlin authorship of the text and the collaborationist essence of the negotiators.

Part 6. Subsequent agreements.

On September 21, 2016, in Minsk, the agreement on the withdrawal of troops from three areas of Donbas region was signed. But as you know, the devil is in the details.

The text of the document says that the "units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and armed forces of separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine" are liable to decoupling. This is certainly a serious concession of Kiev to Moscow, and it can be regarded as the agreement that Russia is not involved in armed conflict.

Moreover, Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky having signed the agreement, now appear in it as "the representatives of separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine". These men and their subordinates before (representatives of terrorist organizations and the so-called "DPR" and so-called "LPR", whose names are not mentioned in the Minsk agreements) were not considered to be such representatives.

These "concessions" are likely made under the pressure of Berlin and Paris.

There is a question, how could the representatives of the Russian terrorist organizations become "suddenly" the representatives of Ukraine? "Hybrid" essence of the Minsk negotiations is obvious.

In addition, the decisions on the withdrawal of troops from three areas on the contact line of between the parties (if it happened) taken at the last Minsk negotiations, are clearly pursuing another goal - the seizure of the new territories of Ukraine by Russians and the creation of at least two new traps for the volunteers and the UFA.

Let us remember the words of Otto von Bismarck: "The agreement signed with Russia is not worth the paper it's written on."

Part 7. Future prospects.

Most accurately the future prospects of the Minsk negotiations were described by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Volodymyr Ogryzko.

"Now we confidently go to a dead end because it is impossible to expect the Ukrainian government to legalize bandits under the guise of the pseudo-elections and allow them to power. It is also impossible to expect that Moscow will easily back down and withdraw their troops.

It is not a question in Verkhovna Rada, and not in the fact whether it adopts these or those laws, but the question is whether Putin wants to leave before reaching his goals, or, on the other hand, whether our government wants to retreat where there is no way of retreating. Now we approach the point after which everything stops...

The Russian side does not understand the necessity of making serious decisions until it is forced to do it. And it can be only forced by a strengthening of economic sanctions, on the one hand, and on another - by a dramatic increase in military capabilities of the Ukrainian army. If these two things are fulfilled, then there is a real hope that Russia will retreat... Otherwise, the negotiations will reach a blind alley, and I do not exclude any scenarios in the future, including negative ones.

To the extent of a new escalation of the military conflict".

Part 8. What to do with "the Minsk agreements that have no alternative"

The people of Ukraine are widely discussing the Minsk negotiations issues. Below there are published specific constructive suggestions that were stated by different people at different time. And they are a good alternative to the Minsk process that reached a blind alley.

1. To admit that the "agreements" constitute, in fact, an ultimatum for Ukraine, delivered by Putin.

2. To claim that Ukraine was forced to agree to the terms of the ultimatum through a military pressure and outright aggression of the Russian Federation.

3. To admit that the so-called "separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts" are the territories that are actually occupied by the Russian Federation. (The court in the Hague said bluntly: "You are to decide first. You want that on the outside arena these territories should be regarded as the occupied ones and the responsibility should fall on Russia, but on the inside part, you do not consider them as the occupied ones.")

4. To declare that Ukraine will perform the terms of "Minsk ultimatum" only if they do not threaten the integrity, sovereignty and constitutional order of Ukraine.

5. To declare that the full control restoration of Ukraine on the state border with Russia in the Donbas region is an undisputable condition for further actions to restore the democratic public sector, lasting peace and order on the territory "of separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts "of Ukraine.

6. To state that the task of Ukraine in the Donbas region is the full restoration of peace, public peace and constitutional order and a single way to this goal is the de-occupation "of separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts" of Ukraine, namely:

  • - withdrawal of Russian military and armed groups from the Donbas region to the territory of the Russian Federation;
  • - withdrawal of all the military hardware (uncontrolled by Ukraine) from the Donbas region to the territory of the Russian Federation or the transfer of it under the control of Ukraine:
  • - withdrawal of all the citizens of the Russian Federation, persons without citizenship and foreigners who got on the territory of Ukraine illegally, so that in a way not provided by the laws of Ukraine, from the Donbas region to the territory of the Russian Federation.

7. Ukraine should stipulate a clear condition to the Western countries: not to hold any consultations and negotiations with Russia on Ukraine issues without Ukraine's participation. Any separate contacts of international organizations, bypassing Kiev is what the Kremlin wants the most.

8. All negotiations with Russia or Western countries should be conducted with a mandatory requirement of Crimea de-occupation.

9. To increase the pressure on the Kremlin, starting the elaboration of the documents on the reparation for damage caused as a result of the military aggression.

10. As an alternative to Minsk, Budapest format should be introduced.

The continuation of the war is the biggest lever of pressure on Ukraine for Russia. Every single day people die. The Minsk negotiations are an element of a hybrid war. These are "hybrid" negotiations, that were started in collusion and in a close coordination with the "hybrid" Ukrainian authorities. This is a way not to stop the war but to continue it on terms that are primarily beneficial to the Kremlin.

Ukraine is an outpost between Russia and the civilized world. If the international community allows the collaborators in power of Ukraine surrendering the interests of Ukraine, everyone will lose. First of all, it is Europe that will lose a powerful military ally on the border with the terrorist state - an aggressive Russia.

By @Prizrak_opery

I thank @HannaGun for help with the article.

#MinskAgreements, #NoMinsk

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