We should already be forming our position today on the future of Russia after its military defeat by Ukraine. This is what the United Nations did to Nazi Germany. The question of transformation of the Russian Federation should be discussed with the participation of international experts.
I recently had an opportunity to take part in the Free Nations of Russia Forum, where the prospect of disintegration of an aggressor state was discussed. This is a logical prospect, based on the history of world wars. The confrontation between Russia and Ukraine is not a world war, but its scale suggests consequences for the world security system as a whole.
By war crimes against civilians, nuclear blackmail, violation of the Helsinki Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russia has placed itself outside international law. It is turning into an outcast state, so recognition of Russia as a terrorist state looks like a statement of the real state of affairs. It should be understood that even the restoration of its territorial integrity by Ukraine within the internationally recognized borders will cause a huge outburst of revanchism in Russia. This is already obvious today.
Therefore, we should talk about “Russia the day after tomorrow”, its transformation after the military defeat of Ukraine. The following points seem appropriate today:
– The destruction of Russian nuclear weapons, ways of delivery, including Kalibr and Iskander missiles, submarines, and surface ships with nuclear power installations. Actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine have demonstrated that it needs to be deprived of nuclear weapons, namely by destroying them under international control. The destruction of Russia’s nuclear arsenal is a good prerequisite for the peaceful division of the nations populating its territory.
– Adherence of Russia to flank restrictions on the deployment of conventional forces in Europe, and the restoration of Open Skies rules for the Russian Federation. Permanent international control of the Russian army is necessary, and at least existing international control mechanisms should be used for this purpose.
– Liquidation of the Rosgvardiya and paramilitary youth and children organisations. The situation in Russia is increasingly reminding Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union’s desire to control all areas of public life. Repressive paramilitary mechanisms should be destroyed, and their leaders brought to international justice.
– Introduction of a legislative ban on the use of the Russian army, including pipeline units, outside of Russia.Being aware of the scale of the Russian Armed Forces and convinced of their inability to comply with the rules and customs of warfare, the world community should insist on their isolation on the territory of the Russian Federation.Today it is the interests of a fierce European and Asian states.
– Liquidation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). It is likely that weakening of Russia in the international arena will lead to the self-liquidation of the CSTO and preservation of Belarus alone in the Russian sphere of influence. However, it should be pointed out that Aliaksandr Lukashenko’s regime may well become a token coin for Vladimir Putin.
– Depriving Russia of its seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The debate on UN reform has been ongoing since the early 1990s, and the place of Russia on the Security Council has become an increasingly incomprehensible vestige of its Soviet geopolitical inheritance. Moscow’s misuse of its status seems a sufficient reason for it to be stripped of its seat on the UN Security Council.
– To determine a possibility of a nation’s right to self-determination in the Russian Constitution. I recall that on 24 February 2022, while announcing the start of hostilities against Ukraine, Vladimir Putin stated that “Russia supports the right to self-determination of all nations populating Ukraine. It would be logical if the Russian authorities, given the federal nature of the state, ensured such a right to citizens of the Russian Federation as well.
– Russia’s rejection of Soviet-era territorial acquisitions – Vyborg, the Kaliningrad region, and the Kuril Islands. Territories acquired by the Soviet Union after the end of World War II should either be returned to their rightful owners or become independent.
– Passing of Vladimir Putin and Putinism to the International Criminal Court. Human history knows several international trials of criminals, and the trial of Putinism looks necessary today. Ukraine has already started working on it and 45 states support it.
– Paying reparations to the victims of the aggressive actions of Russia. This is probably a prerequisite for the very start of negotiations on the return of Russia or the states to be established on its territory into the civilised world community.
Eugene MAGDA, Institute of World Politics, ISANS expert