Illarionov pointed out that because these decisions are contrary to Putin’s policies so far, and also contrary to his previously known plans.
Illarionov pointed out that the decision is a clear sign of a fundamental change in the strategy that Putin has been pursuing for months.
Before Samarkand, Putin was poised for a protracted war of attrition – if necessary, for several years.
Illarionov said the Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kharkiv did not cause panic in the Kremlin and therefore was not the reason for Putin’s decision to change course. “I have a different feeling,” he said. “All these decisions were announced in a three-day period from September 19 to 21. That means the Kremlin has to make these decisions at least a day or two before that,” he said. That means September 17 and 18.”
And this time coincides with Putin’s first two days after returning to Moscow from the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO). “It seems that Putin had some exchanges there that forced him to make all these decisions,” Illarionov said.
According to Ilarionov, the only influential person who can have such an exchange with Putin is Chinese President Xi Jinping. He believes that Xi Jinping seems to have told Putin something that forced Putin to reverse his attitude towards the war. “Based on some leaked information and their body language, I don’t rule out the possibility that Xi Jinping advised his friends to get things done in Ukraine as soon as possible—for example, before the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October, rather than accompanying Russia’s defeat. Russia fought a seven-month battle without a victory, embarrassing Xi and making him look weak in the most important thing in his life. But Xi doesn’t allow himself to look weak. “
Illarionov believes that Putin’s changes were driven by his reliance on Xi Jinping.
Coincidentally, current commentator Ren Songlin also believes that Xi Jinping influenced Putin, but he did not specify what type of influence.
Ren Songlin said on his We-Media channel that Putin’s decisions were “absolutely” related to the meeting with Xi Jinping at the SCO summit. Ren Songlin further analyzed that before the SCO summit, Ukraine had already started to fight back and beat the Russian troops into a mess. Even in this case, Putin should not miss the SCO meeting just to meet Xi Jinping.
Ren Songlin also pointed out that every time Putin and Xi Jinping meet directly, there will be big moves. The big moves after the last meeting (referring to the meeting in Beijing before the Winter Olympics) show that their discussions were a failure.
Ren Songlin believes that Putin wants to tie Xi Jinping to the chariot, but Xi Jinping just wants to get some money from it.
There is also a view that Putin did not get what he expected from Xi Jinping at the SCO summit, which is why he made the above decision after a series of defeats on the front line.
In this regard, current commentator Dr. Zhang Tianliang, a professor at Feitian University, believes that, judging from past signs, Xi Jinping cannot put pressure on Putin or even influence Putin’s decision. If Putin relied on Xi, Russia’s temporary shutdown of gas pipelines to China would not have happened. These signs show that Putin is putting pressure on Xi, not the other way around.
On September 20, Russia announced in the name of pipeline maintenance that it would suspend gas supply to China through the “Power of Siberia” pipeline from September 22 to 29.
In early September, Russia also shut down the gas pipeline to Europe in the name of pipeline maintenance, but it has not yet been opened.
The French Broadcasting Corporation reported that although the CCP claimed that “China and Russia have no upper limit for cooperation” after the General Assembly meeting in February this year, their relationship is not allies, but that they each work hard in different categories and have their own vested interests. .
Before the meeting between Xi Jinping and Putin on the SCO summit, Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People’s Congress of the Communist Party of China, visited Russia and said that China (the Communist Party) would respond to Russia from all aspects. But the CCP did not report the relevant content in the media.
Since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian War, although the CCP has not clearly expressed its support for Russia, it has not condemned it. It is believed by the outside world that the CCP intends to give a neutral impression.
Subsequently, the Russian side deliberately leaked the video of Li Zhanshu’s “cooperating” position, and it went viral on the Internet, preventing the CCP from coming to power and “refuting” the CCP’s so-called “neutral” position.
The outside world generally believes that it is obvious that the purpose of Russia’s deliberate release of the video is to kidnap the CCP.
At the SCO summit, some observers pointed out that judging from the videos circulating on the Internet, the talks between Xi Jinping and Putin in Samarkand were not pleasant. Times commentator Wen Zhao pointed out that the video showed that Putin was so angry when he looked at Xi Jinping at that time that he was about to spit fire.
On September 20, a Chinese student uploaded a video saying that Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport discriminates against Chinese inbound passengers. As long as they are Chinese passengers, they are required to go through the red customs clearance channel, and then crowd into a small room to wait for their luggage to be checked. As long as the value of their belongings is found to exceed the regulations, they will pay additional taxes or fines, but passengers of other nationalities, even if No matter how much luggage you carry, you can go through the green channel for quick customs clearance.
On September 22, Russia unilaterally shut down the natural gas sent to China. Some analysts pointed out that this move has the meaning of “teaching” Xi Jinping.
In this regard, China is also “unwilling to be lonely”.
On the 23rd, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who replaced Xi Jinping at the 77th UN General Assembly, held the first public meeting since the Russian-Ukrainian war with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Later, Kuleba tweeted that Wang Yi told him during the meeting that China respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and opposes the use of force to resolve differences. According to Chinese media reports, “China has always been committed to persuading peace and promoting talks, and has never stood idly by, nor has it added fuel to the fire, nor will it take advantage of the opportunity to profit.”
The outside world believes that Wang Yi’s remarks show a change in the CCP’s position on Ukraine, which was unheard of before. According to Fa Guang, this seems to suggest some kind of irritation from Beijing.
There are various signs that there seems to be a rift between China and Russia.