Recent statements by the United States—namely, the White House and the State Department—reveal the misunderstanding and/or improper use of the vocabulary related to Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Biden administration is rapidly yielding to Russia, first, on the front of semantics (see Part Two). The administration’s self-inflicted defeat is already translating into concessions of substance to Russia at Ukraine’s expense (see Part One in EDM, December 14). Samples of the administration’s use of MinskSpeak are fast accumulating.
The Joseph Biden administration has recently learned the Russian MinskSpeak, chapter and verse. Following direct discussions with Moscow (see EDM, October 20, December 8, 9, 14), the White House and State Department have adopted key parts of Russia’s specific terminology regarding the Minsk “agreements.” And based on this terminology, they are asking Ukraine to fulfill the terms of what can only be characterized as a Russian diktat.
Russia imposed the Minsk “agreements” on Ukraine in 2014 and 2015 through military force. Ukraine’s government and civil society regard the terms of those documents as inimical to the national interests. They spent these seven years resisting, evading, and asking to change those terms.