Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia Will Return Kurile Islands, Should Return Crimea

Paul Goble reported on a Vitaly Portnikov article which states that Putin or his successor should return Crimea to Ukraine.

Portnikov gives examples of the good feelings and benefits from returning two or more Kurile Islands to Japan, seized at the end of World War II. 

In the same frame of mind, these are just a few more reasons why Putin should return Crimea to Ukraine. One reason would be the praise of the people of Ukraine.  The Russian people will celebrate as well, if Putin tells them to. 

At the same time a few more things should be pushed ahead on Russia’s agenda:

  • Return Crimea to Ukraine
  • Return Donbas to Ukraine
  • Return South Ossetia to Georgia
  • Return Abkhazia to Georgia
  • Return the 24 Russian hostage sailors to Ukraine
  • Return other Ukrainians held as political prisoners in Russia
  • Apologize for shooting down MH-17
  • Apologize to everybody for being a rogue state, for many illegal, immoral, and unethical actions, and for provoking everybody on numerous occasions
  • Apologize for abusing your veto authority at the Security Council at the UN
  • Apologize for waging an information war against the world

Putin and Russia have created such a complex, interwoven pack of lies, illegal actions, and shady deals, that it will prove extremely painful for them to extract themselves from their economic, legal, diplomatic, and military woes.  Putin’s first action after returning the Kurile Islands should be along the line of returning Crimea to Ukraine.

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Russians Will Celebrate Return of Crimea to Ukraine If Putin Tells Them To, Portnikov Says

Paul Goble

Staunton, December 8 – The possibility that Vladimir Putin will return two or more of the Kurile Islands the Soviet Union seized at the end of World War II in exchange for a peace treaty with Japan has an important lesson for the world about Crimea: Russians will celebrate its return to Ukraine if Putin or his successor in the Kremlin tells them to, Vitaly Portnikov says.

Too many people assume that Russians have always wanted to “take back” Crimea and that they will never yield territory to Japan or anyone else, the Ukrainian analyst continues. But in fact, while a few do care about these things, most will follow the Kremlin line wherever it leads (

If Putin does decide to hand back the Kuriles to Japan, he continues, “the population will have to unanimously approve this decision of the boss and not protest. And they will approve it, have no doubt,” Portnikov says.  They will celebrate this great act of statesmanship and dismiss the questions of any foreign journalist who may inquire about how they feel.

To the question as to how they can put up with a loss of territory, they will answer “’on the other hand, we have peace with Japan,’ ‘on the other hand, we have investments,’” or simply “’you are a provocateur,’ ‘Russia is a generous soul,’ and what is most important, ‘this isn’t ours!’”

Exactly the same thing would occur with Crimea, Portnikov continues. “No one should doubt it.” When Putin or his successor decide to return Crimea to Ukraine “to achieve the normalization of relations with the West and ‘the eternal friendship with a fraternal country,’” a few will protest and they will be dispersed by force.

Despite expectations, “the rating of the ruler on the day of handing over Crimea to Ukraine will rise to the heavens,” and Russians will celebrate what he has done – and they’ll use exactly the same terms that will be used about the Kuriles.  After all, that is what Russians will be told to think by television.


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