Crimea River

Crimea River: I’m Always Rhett Butler!

Anyone who has read the book Gone with the Wind knows one of its most consequential scenes, establishing the character of Rhett Butler, comes near the beginning.

When confronted by fellow Southerners eager to commence the American Civil War our practical rouge cautions them not to be overly eager for a fight.

He explains his reasoning thus to the assembled rabble rousers in the parlor:

All We Got Is Cotton, Slaves, and ARROGANCE!

O’Hara, Host: Now gentlemen, Mr. Butler has been up North I hear. Don't you agree with us, Mr. Butler?

Rhett Butler: I think it's hard winning a war with words, gentlemen.

Hamilton, Fellow Guest: What do you mean, sir?

Rhett Butler: I mean, Mr. Hamilton, there's not a cannon factory in the whole South.

Another Guest: What difference does that make, sir, to a gentleman?

Rhett Butler: I'm afraid it's going to make a great deal of difference to a great many gentlemen, sir.

Hamilton: Are you hinting, Mr. Butler, that the Yankees can lick us?

Rhett Butler: No, I'm not hinting. I'm saying very plainly that the Yankees are better equipped than we. They've got factories, shipyards, coalmines...and a fleet to bottle up our harbors and starve us to death. All we've got is cotton, and slaves and...arrogance.

Guest: That's treacherous!

Hamilton: I refuse to listen to any renegade talk!

Rhett Butler: Well, I'm sorry if the truth offends you.

Such wisdom ought to have been obvious to Americans of the day but, despite the claims of its founding document, in America the truth is very infrequently self-evident…

The Winds of War

The Ukraine Conflict began, from the Russian prerogative, as a campaign of liberation.

Co-ethic Slavs in the Far East of the country had been abused for years. They were persecuted for speaking Russian and – whatever Western “policy analyst” apologists may say now – there were laws passed to this effect. Even the Russian Orthodox Church faced various forms of victimization.

For years the Kiev government bombarded inhabitants in this area with the result an estimated 15,000 Russian-speakers were murdered.

Time and again Moscow attempted to formulate a negotiated peace, most famously in the Minsk Agreements.

We now know neither Ukraine nor the broader West had any intention of keeping those accords…and that is not an opinion, it is what Western leaders have admitted in public as reported by recognized media outlets.

Back then Ukraine had no proverbial “cannon factories” and the West endeavored to delay Russian action – while killing Russian-speaking civilians – in order to allow Kiev time to weaponize.

Over the past year the world has witnessed precisely this transpire with the Zelensky Regime being given ever more destructive military hardware in order to force the Russians to retreat.

What began with a defense of Kiev, which reasonable outsiders might have supported, has now morphed into a stated objective of removing all Russians from the 1991 borders of Ukraine.

This includes Crimea.

An Antebellum Primer

Technically speaking there are a multitude of reasons any Crimea extrication is unlikely – defensive fortifications in place since World War Two, wholesale armament of the peninsula, a redistribution of demography which makes the region majority-ethnic Russian.

Likewise is historical fact Crimea has been part of Russia since 1789 and the “transfer” of it to Ukraine in 1954 is dubious at best.

The pro-argument: Crimea was agriculturally struggling and needed to be joined to the “land bridge” of the coast. The anti-argument: Khrushchev did it unilaterally at a Party dinner and he may have been drunk. Either way, in reality Crimea remained de facto Russia until the 1991 dissolution of the USSR.

To an ordinary Russian, as well as the Russian government, Crimea has been and is considered to be part of Russia.

Additionally is the not inconsequential factoid Crimea is home to the main warm-water naval port for the country.

Everyone who has any kind of opinion on Crimea needs to recognize these practicalities.

The Burning of Atlanta…and Moscow

While we are reviewing historical incidentals, another to mention in the Russian psychology is Moscow – specifically its burning.

Back in the days Napoleon came to visit…September 14, 1812 to September 18, 1812, to be exact…the reception was a little warmer than he anticipated.

Monsieur Bonaparte, whom is deserving of our respect for many reasons but not least of which extreme courage, had beaten the Russian army with his French infantry. He was ready to then occupy the capital before establishing his own order, likely putting some brother or cousin on the throne, as was his wont at the time. Everything became set for a victorious if not enthusiastic welcome to the city.

Except, soon there would be no city.

The Russians – rather than lose their beloved home – decided to burn it to the ground.

Not some of it. Not part of it. Not the occupied areas.

The whole thing.

Gazing over their crowning glory, their citadel of centuries, their most towering achievement…they torched the entire place and then departed.

Napoleon was shocked. Then he shivered. Afterward he shoved off back to Paris with a loss of around 300,000 of his best troops.

In case anyone out there believes this was a singular event we also have the example from the Siege of Leningrad that was a mere…872 days…during which at least 800,000 Russian civilians perished and the population was at times reduced to cannibalism.

To put it bluntly, when it comes to Russian Territory there is no Russian Surrender.

This is the Russian mentality.

Twelve Oaks Reduced to Ashes

So what does all of it have to do with Crimea?

Well, there are several things. One, whatever outsiders think of Crimea, Russians think of Crimea as Russian. Two, Crimea is the home to what Russians consider a vital port, making to lose that location an existential threat. Three, there is at present a sizeable Russian population in the area. Four, as a territory it has been officially annexed by the Russian government as parcel of the nation proper.

So what does that mean for the Ukraine Conflict?

Nearly every day there is some retired American military General on the news doing an interview about the Ukrainians “taking back” Crimea or “pushing out” the Russians or claiming 1991 borders “must be respected” for the dispute to end.

Whether these supposed military men – and they are nearly unanimous in this belief – have never read Russian history or met a Russian person is in some doubt.

Because, whatever else, Russia is never leaving Crimea – ever.

As to what is currently designated the Far East of Ukraine, the Donbass as an entity, or the annexed Territories specifically, who can say? Maybe there is some space for negotiation in the Russian design. Far be it from anyone to suppose what might occur there.

But as for Crimea? There will be no negotiation.

The dual possibilities are therefore:

  1. The Russians will remain forever and the world will recognize them as its rulers,
  2. The Russians will detonate an atomic bomb and ensure no one will ever be there forever.

Anyone who tells you there is a third option is either lying or a fool.

Frankly, My Dear…Actually, I Do Give A Damn…

Importantly, the latter is not what ought to be preferred by any rational individual. Still this article is not intended to persuade anyone of anything; its intent is only to elucidate the reality. Russian motivation is very easy to understand – at least if you have Russian blood. Perhaps if you do not, as most of the “experts” looking in from outside, that factor really is a mystery. 

Should the West choose Option Two the reaction of almost every Russian Citizen would be something along the lines, “That is absolutely horrible what was forced on us…but we clearly had to do it.”

Very few in Russia would consider such an act “beyond the pale” for the given circumstances.

If you disagree, please reread the above.

Whither Goes Rhett

Russians are creative, loyal and intelligent…and territorial. To what extent, if any, Ukraine can continue its resistance in the present conflict is unknown. What is a certainty is words describing the “resilience” of the Ukrainians are merely that – words. American military figures – retired and current – should instead review the history of Russian actions. There is talk and there is truth…and all too often the latter is destructive as a tempest.

Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Guy Somerset
Editor Dmitry Sudakov