– Listen, explain to me why you are writing about this Crimea, Russia and Ukraine again and again. Don’t we have our own problems? Why are you so worried about this topic?

         – You know, I sincerely consider it as my civic duty.

         – A civil duty? Are you protecting our Motherland by this?

         – Yes. Of course. Isn’t it clear?

         – Unclear. What does Kazakhstan have to do with it?

         – Listen, it’s elementary. If today the entire world community does not declare its amicable condemnation of Russia’s actions, then tomorrow I see no obstacles to do the same to Kazakhstan and other republics.

         – How many times I have to explain to you and such people as you? This will not happen with Kazakhstan.

         – Why?

         – Because the main reason for joining Crimea to Russia is the protection of Russian people from Ukrainian fascists.

         – Oh well. The goal is noble. And now tell me, please, where and when did Russian citizens become oppressed by the Ukrainian fascists?

         –  As much as you want! To begin with, the veterans’ of the war medals and St. George’s ribbons were taken on the Victory Day. Banderists marched along the central streets of Kiev.

         – That’s all you call the oppression of Russians in Ukraine, and because of what it is worth taking away the territory? Or do you have any other facts? You know, I looked for them, rummaged the entire Internet and did not find it.

         – This was just the beginning. Everything tended to the fact that the new government was opposed to Russia and would begin to oppress the Russians.

         – So, are these your assumptions?

         – Why do you think so? There are also concrete actions. Do you remember that Kiev started by abolishing the status of the Russian language as a state language.

         – So, do you consider the abolition of the status of the state language as Russian language in a non-Russian country as oppression of the Russians in this country?

         – Of course.

         – Do you know that in Kazakhstan, Russian language already no longer has the status of a state, while more than 20% of the population are Russians? In Latvia, 26% of the population are Russians, and 34% speak in Russian, but Russian is not a state language. In Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and other former Soviet republics, Russian is not a state language. So what? Are these countries enemies of Russia? Should Russia attack these countries as oppressors of Russians? And do you know that in Canada the Diaspora of Russians constitutes more than half a million people? And in Canada, Russian does not have the status of a state language. So what? Russia can attack Canada?

         – In those countries that you listed, a bunch of people did not seize power in the square and did not impose their orders on the entire country.

         – Stop. Let’s structure the conversation. So, you are already giving up your argument about the oppression of Russians in Ukraine, because you could not bring real and sufficient facts. Now you are saying that the grounds for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are the illegal seizure of power. Do I get it right?

         – This is not the main argument, but it also played a role.

         – Well, then I have two questions for you. Does this mean that Russia has the right to attack any country where someone came to power illegally? For example, what do you say about the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya?

           And my second question is this: even if the revolution in Kiev happened, as you say, illegally, although, frankly speaking, I did not hear about the legitimate revolutions, then you are aware that immediately after this, two months later, national elections were held? In these elections Peter Poroshenko won in the first round. And now he is the legitimate President of the country, that is, he does not represent a bunch of people on the Maidan, but the whole people of Ukraine. Do you know this?

         – Of course, I know it. And do you know that this president started a war against his people under the guise of ATO?

         – Wait. Military actions against armed people, who declared insubordination to authorities and who are in the desire to move to another state – do you call it a war against your people?

         – Are not they people? Do not they have the right to determine their own destiny?

         – Then I have a counter question for you: do the Chechen people have the right to determine their own destiny? At the time of the collapse of the USSR, in 1991 The Chechen people like other union republics wanted to gain independence. Did they get it?

         – What does Chechnya have to do with it? Let’s not go into the distant jungle, or we will recall the Northern Ireland, Quebec, and Texas, and Xinjiang as well.

         – Oh well. If you do not want to delve into this topic, then your argument about the reasons for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because of the illegality of power, also does not stand up to any criticism.

         – Another argument why Russia could not tolerate Ukraine’s withdrawal to Europe is a threat from NATO. NATO would come very close to the borders of Russia.

        – Exactly! This is how it was necessary to begin with. Just admit that there was no harassment of Russians in Ukraine. And the illegality of the change of power in Ukraine is also not Russia’s concern. These are just occasions, and even these are strained. The main reason was the fear of NATO and the resentment of former allies for moving to another camp. And what is more, the geopolitical changes near the Russia that occur without its’ participation and contrary to its interests made it discontented. It considers itself as a great empire, and all movements in the world must occur with its’ awareness. Is not it?

         – And who will like it?

         – Right. No one. I also do not like the behavior of some of my neighbors. But I do not beat them and do not take away rooms from their apartment. 

         – Good. It is okay if it just would not like someone’s position. But you will not argue about the real threat of Russia with the approach of NATO to its border, will you?

         – You know, I was always amazed by this argument: NATO has approached the Russian border. As if we are talking about two detachments in the open field. And now one detachment approached a few steps to the next. In fact, there is not a clean field between Russia and NATO. This is the land of whole nations: Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, etc. And they must decide in whose unit to join. On the part of NATO, I do not see any aggression. After all, it is not NATO that joins new territories to itself, it’s former allies of Russia themselves who are asking for NATO. Do you feel the difference? And Russia is trying to keep them by force, up to the annexation of territories.

           You know, one analogy comes to mind. An educated, intelligent young man comes to the village from the city. A local girl who is tired of rough drunkards and dreaming of a bright, refined life in the capital falls in love with him. Her former boyfriend, a rural big guy, a rowdy, instead of courting her and seeking mutuality, drinks and beats both the girl herself and the newcomer. A familiar picture? Resentment, vindictiveness, brute force. Is it possible to attract friends with such qualities?

         – And I’ll give you a fact, which Putin very accurately indicated in his reply in the last big press conference. Do you know that the US has more than 50 military bases in 26 countries around the world, and Russia has only 2, not counting the former union republics?

         – Why would you consider the former union republics? They are not parts of one country anymore. These are independent states.

         – Do not carp at words. We understand that the military bases in Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus and so on are the legacy of the former Soviet Army.

         – Good. I’ll leave it on your conscience.

           As for the US bases. First, the United States is the core state in NATO and, in fact, at the expense of its budget, covers the lion’s share of the expenses of this organization, including its foreign bases. And secondly, I again give arguments about voluntariness. After all, nobody did not capture these countries and did not force to take these bases. The countries themselves expressed their desire and provided the US with their territories. For example, when Kyrgyzstan in 2009 did not want to have an American airbase at its “Manas” airport, the Americans were quietly, peacefully ready to leave it, and did not use force to leave the base in a very important Afghan direction. Only by negotiating and increasing rent they remained in the “Manas”, but already as the Transit Center.

          In general, I can give you many examples of a civilized solution of international issues, including territorial ones.

          For example, in 1867, America bought Alaska from Russia. For money. For 7 million dollars in gold. Without aggression and attack. Or, say, Japan has long been claiming the Kuril Islands, but in fact it does not seize them by force. It has been negotiating for many years. That is why the whole world community was shocked. Everyone believed that the times of seizures of foreign lands passed with Attila, Genghis Khan and the Roman Empire. How can we feel comfortable with such a neighbor?

        – But Kazakhstan is not going to join NATO.

        – This argument shocks me too. Does this mean that Russia will not have claims to us only as long as we are loyal to it? Should we join any unions in spite of its will, or we will immediately get the Ukrainian script? Do not you think this thesis is monstrous? And it is seriously repeated by many Russian and Kazakh experts! Can such a relationship be called friendship? Personally, it reminds me of “friendship” with a brazen man with an ax in his hands. “We are friends,” he says, “but if you leave to be friends with another, I’ll cut off your hand. Just keep it in mind. ”

          And let’s imagine the opposite situation: Russia claims that it joins NATO and Kazakhstan takes Orenburg region from it in revenge. According to many Kazakhs, Kazakhstan has as many rights for the Orenburg region, as Russia has to the Crimea. 

        – Well, do not compare a small Kazakhstan and a huge Russia.

        – Ah, so what’s the matter? Does size matter? Hence, large and strong countries can take away other people’s land, and small – cannot? Well, then we must abolish all international law, formed by centuries, and return to the cave rules of the game, based on strength, as in the times of Genghis Khan. In this case, as once, fleeing from the dzhungars, Kazakhstan entered Russia, many Kazakhs will want to save themselves from Russia by joining a more civilized country, for example, the United Kingdom. Why not an option? It has many territories around the world. We will become part of the kingdom, like Canada, for example. And the protection from any aggression is assured.

        – Do the Anglo-Saxons are really closer than the original neighbor and the fraternal Russian people?

        -You know, I highly value our common history and close ties. And I have nothing against the Russian people. I just think that the current leadership of Russia is conducting an incorrect policy towards neighboring countries. I want these actions to stop. As soon as the current direction of Russia will change, our two countries will live in peace and friendship without any phobias against each other again. Believe me…

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