Europe has behaved like a drug addict who accepts drugs (in Europe's case gas) at a low price until he is addicted to them and can no longer do without them. This not only demonstrates naivety, but also a non-existent geopolitical vision of the future.
Interesting Selfish brothers
Among Putin's closest friends we shouldn't forget Italian former premier Silvio Berlusconi
On October 19, 2022, a press agency called LaPresse published an audio, secretly recorded during a Forza Italia assembly in the Low Chamber, in which Silvio Berlusconi is heard reconstructing his own responsibility for the war in Ukraine. According to the former prime minister, the conflict arose because of Ukraine and its president Volodymyr Zelensky, while Russian president Vladimir Putin was forced to go to war against his will.
The following day, in an interview with Corriere della Sera, the leader of Forza Italia defended himself from the criticisms that came in the last few hours, saying that he did not want to give "any absolutive interpretation to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation".
According to Berlusconi, the two (him and Putin) exchanged birthday gifts (Berlusconi turned 86 on September 29, Putin turned 70 on October 7).
For my birthday he sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a very sweet letter" Berlusconi can be heard saying in the audio clip. "I replied with bottles of Lambrusco and an equally very sweet letter. He adds: "I have been one of his first five real friends".
What is true and false about the reconstruction made by the leader of Forza Italia? He said a series of unsubstantiated things.
Has Ukraine violated the Minsk agreements? Silvio's lies
"2014, in Minsk, Belarus, an agreement is signed between Ukraine and the two newly formed republics of Donbass for a peace agreement, with no one attacking the other. Ukraine throws this treaty to hell a year later and starts attacking the borders of the two republics".
This reconstruction is false. A first ceasefire agreement was signed in Minsk, Belarus, in September 2014, to stop the violence that broke out in April of the same year in the Ukrainian Donbass region, after the assault on institutional headquarters by pro-Russian separatists in some areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The truce, however, did not last and the clashes and violence, on both sides, began again shortly after.
After more months of violence, a second ceasefire agreement was reached again in Minsk in February 2015. Here, among other things, Russia and Ukraine agreed that the breakaway regions would return to full Ukrainian control and that Ukraine would have approved a constitutional reform to grant them a special status. These two conditions never occurred.
In general, it is false, unlike what Berlusconi said, that this "peace agreement" was violated by Ukraine's decision to attack the borders of the two self-proclaimed separatist republics. As can be read in various reports (here for example that of the NGO that deals with the defense of human rights Human rights watch, 2017) the agreements made in Minsk in 2015 have led to a general reduction in hostilities and violence, even if There were frequent violations of the ceasefire on both sides.
According to the United Nations, civilian deaths went from 2 084 in 2014 to 955 in 2015 and to 112 in 2016. Between 2014 and 2015, according to data from the Upssala conflict data program, from the university of the homonymous city Swedish, the number of deaths in battle, both military and civilian, also dropped, as well as between 2015 and 2016. Subsequently, until 2022, the level of armed confrontation in the Donbass remained at a lower intensity.
Generally, when we talk about the non-compliance with the Minsk agreements we mean, on the one hand, the non-approval of a constitutional reform by Ukraine, which would guarantee strong autonomy to the breakaway regions, on the other hand, the non-return from part of Russia's control over Kiev-ruled separatist territories.
The dead in the separatist republics
"The two republics suffer casualties among the military who arrive, I am told, to 5-6-7 thousand deaths"
The figure quoted by Berlusconi is correct. According to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, between April 2014 and December 2021 there were a total of about 14,000 victims in the Donbass conflict: about 3,400 civilians, about 4,400 Ukrainian soldiers and about 6,500 members of the pro-Russian militias.
Has Zelensky tripled his attacks on Donbass
Silvio said: "Zelensky arrives: attacks on the two republics tripled"
This accusation is without foundation. Volodymyr Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine in May 2019 and since the beginning of his mandate has tried to negotiate with Russia a diplomatic solution for the Donbass, sfollowing the so-called “Formula Steinmeier” (named after the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier). To put an end to the violence, this strategy involved local elections in the occupied Donbass regions and the recognition of their special autonomy.
As these negotiating attempts proceeded, it is not true that Ukrainian attacks on the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, which are part of the Donbass region, tripled, as Berlusconi said. The data on civilian deaths and deaths in battle, both military and civilians, already cited above, indicate that from May 2019 to February 2022 there was no increase in attacks, given the decrease compared to previous years.
According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the largest intergovernmental regional security organization for promoting peace, ceasefire violations and violence in general decreased in 2019 compared to 2018. OSCE recorded a decline in violations and violence also in 2020 and 2021.
In summary: contrary to what Berlusconi said, since Zelensky became president of Ukraine in May 2019, until the invasion by Russia in February 2022, violence in the Donbass had decreased compared to before.
In addition to these statements, Berlusconi has also made others that are not verifiable or in any case not very credible. Among other things, the leader of Forza Italia said, for example, that Russian President Vladimir Putin was basically forced to wage a war he did not want, to establish "a government already chosen by the Ukrainian minority of good and good people. common sense".
Berlusconi also added that, after the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian army "found itself faced with an unforeseen and unpredictable situation of resistance from the Ukrainians, who began to receive money and weapons from the third day. West". Here it can be seen that Western military aid to Ukraine did not start "from the third day" after the invasion by Russia, but years earlier, and grew after the Russian invasion of Crimea and Donbass, which took place in 2014.
Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister in waiting, has been at pains to distance herself from Russia, describing Moscow’s invasion as an “unacceptable large-scale act of war by Putin’s Russia against Ukraine” and advocating sending weapons to the government in Kyiv.
Silvio Berlusconi's is a demonstration of Putin's strategy of disorder who has made friends on the left and on the right (Berlusconi has always claimed to be a visceral anticommunist).
What Moscow does not want is a stable, pro-Atlanticist Italian government. At the moment it is the center-right coalition that should express the prime minister and the leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy party, has reiterated its loyalty to NATO and its support for Ukraine.
And here come, from the right, the saboteurs like Silvio Berlusconi who begins to embarrass the first, potential female premier in the history of Italy, his own coalition and all European and non-European allies.
A perfect job. According to some analysts, the Russian president knows inscrutable secrets about the life and fortune of Silvio Berlusconi. Secrets that, if revealed, would even make people forget the elderly leader's sex scandals.Berlusconi is described as an elderly and sick man who is no longer very lucid, but the truth is likely to be different and perhaps they know it in Moscow.