The study of Ukraine-Russia relations in the modern era provides grounds for establishing such a fact: since the twentieth century and to date there have been at least 6 Russia-Ukraine wars, unleashed and inspired by Russia.
The first war began after the Ukrainian Central Rada adopted the III Universal in November, 1917, which proclaimed the restoration of the Ukrainian state, though as part of the future Russian Federation. But even that fact caused a negative reaction of the Bolsheviks, Lenin, the Russian government headed by Lenin. On 4 December, 1917, they presented an ultimatum to the Central Rada and unleashed the war - they began to bring their troops into the territory of Ukraine.
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. My name is Yoshihiko Okabe, I am Professor of Economics at the University of Kobe Gakuin and an expert at the Centre for Russian Studies. I am grateful to the Centre for Russian Studies and the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine for inviting me to this forum.
Today I would like to talk about the territorial problems with Russia from the point of view of the Japanese side.
Minister Ogryzko, esteemed colleagues, esteemed participants of the conference!
At the height of World War II, when mankind had already experienced all the horrors of war and was obsessed with the idea of peace and began to reflect on how to avoid conflicts and wars in the future, a document called the Atlantic Charter appeared (14 August, 1941), which not only provided the ideological basis for the future coalition, defined general principles of the national policy of their countries - the principles on which they set their hopes for a better future for the world, but also became the basis for the United Nations Declaration, and later the UN Charter.
One of the trends of the present liberal thought in the West regarding Russia is to justify its aggressive policy through "pressure from the West". Certainly, no examples or even signs of such pressure are given for one simple reason: the liberal West is just incapable of doing so. The whole period after the collapse of the USSR, the West did not press it, but closed its eyes on everything that Moscow did within the country (e.g., the Chechen wars, the practice of "managed democracy") or outside (aggression against Georgia in 2008). And that was done with the sole purpose: to draw Russia into the western civilizational space and thus begin its gradual transformation into a democratic society.
Thank you very much indeed, and particular thanks to the organizers, to the Center of Russian Studies and the Diplomatic Academy. I was here in event but I don’t often get invited back, so it is a real pleasure. Obviously, I didn’t do too bad the last time.
I should also say it is a bit humbling speaking after such excellent presentations. And, it’s very nice to be in Ukraine, speaking about Russia, all things considered, I think it is a sign of real maturity considering the fact that Russia is in war of Ukraine right now. I will tell you, as a participant of many conferences on Russia across Europe, the quality of discussion, the honesty of discussion, and the maturity of discussion about Russia is far greater here than in most countries.
Vladimir Putin won the election on 18 March, which was quite predictable - and I believe that he will not stop at this: there is such a scale of patriotic frenzy and admiration for imperial rhetoric in the present-day Russia that there are no obstacles for the current "national leader" to continue to remain in power of the head of the state, regardless of how the post he holds is to be called. However, it should be stressed that in addition to purely political exaltation, V.Putin's regime is largely supported by the economic achievements of the Russian government, which, perhaps, are not its exceptional merit, but nevertheless are identified with the current leadership of the country by the overwhelming majority of its inhabitants .
Dear participants! Ladies and gentlemen!
To start with, we have to identify once again, what are priorities of contemporary Russian internal policy, as well as foreign policy priorities both regionally and globally. What Russia is fighting for?
The Kremlin's internal agenda is to cultivate the non-alternative nature of the existing government and the ruling political elite. Part of this task is total control over political processes, the economy and the mass media, including social networks.
Following the results of the presidential election in the Russian Federation on 18 March, 2018, Vladimir Putin gained a convincing victory. Voters’ turnout for the election was 67.5% of all registered, or 73 million 629 thousand people, 76.7% voted for V.Putin.
Were there falsifications at the election? Of course, yes, both new methods and already approved ones. The mechanism of the "mobile voter", new for the electoral legislation of the Russian Federation, was used - voting at the place of actual residence without an absentee certificate, which gave about 4 million votes. The traditional way of "throwing in" filled ballot papers was used, it was especially active at polling stations abroad. This is indicated by statistical distribution - the turnout of Russians abroad was 98%, for Putin - 84.7%, which was 9% higher than the average Russian rate.
The presidential election campaign in Russia (if it can be called election in the generally accepted sense) has become the prologue to a new round of confrontation on the West-Russia axis, in fact, to a new phase of the cold war.
The Address of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to the Federal Assembly, surpassing his famous Munich speech in aggressiveness and confrontation, was a de facto pre-election programme in the form of a video ultimatum to the West. The March speech of the Russian leader dispelled all the illusory expectations of at least some liberal developments in domestic and foreign policy.
The March "election" of V. Putin did not arouse much interest among Russians due to its predetermined outcome and deteriorated economic situation. During the autumn and winter of 2017-2018, only 17-18% of polled kept an eye on the course of the election campaign, others were indifferent. 51% of Russians believed that the upcoming election was an imitation of a political struggle a month before the voting day, only 35% called it "serious". The most skeptical towards the election were Muscovites and residents of megacities, a more informed and educated audience (here the share of skeptics rose to 69% versus 13% who considered the election a real political competition).