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Will America end Zelenskyy’s dream? The pro-war consensus seems to be weakening

Absolutism won't win (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Absolutism won't win (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)


October 19, 2022   5 mins

Even as “kamikaze” drones rain down on Kyiv, the mood over Ukraine is shifting in the US. Between May and September, the share of Americans who are extremely or very concerned about a Ukrainian defeat fell from 55% to 38%. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 32% say the US is providing too much support for the war — up from 9% in March.

But rifts are emerging within the American establishment as well. The list of high-profile media and policy figures who are starting to question the wisdom of the US strategy in the conflict grows longer every day.

Why is the US administration continuing to pour tens of billions into a war that is ravaging Ukraine and causing thousands of deaths (and triggering massive collateral damage globally) when, according to the Washington Post, “privately, US officials say neither Russia nor Ukraine is capable of winning the war outright”? If so, why is the US prolonging the bloodshed and destruction, pledging to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes”, rather than working towards a diplomatic solution that, barring nuclear war, is the only possible outcome anyway? The madness of this policy has become even more apparent in recent weeks, as fighting on both sides has continued to dangerously escalate — with Biden himself warning of the very real possibility of a nuclear “Armageddon”.

As Josh Hammer wrote in Newsweek, the time has come for the US to abandon its overly simplified position of supporting Zelenskyy’s dream of retaking “every square inch of territory in the Donbas and Crimea from its nuclear-armed adversary, seemingly no matter the cost to the US taxpayer”. At this stage in the conflict, Hammer notes, it is not in America’s interests to endorse all of Ukraine’s unrealistic territorial claims. Rather than semi-permanent war and destabilisation, what is needed is “de-escalation, detente, and peace”. Mike Mullen, who served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, put it even more bluntly: “As is typical in any war, it’s got to end and usually there are negotiations associated with that. The sooner the better, as far as I’m concerned.”

But this, of course, means facing down Zelenskyy’s absolutist stance — which includes refusing to come to the negotiating table until Putin is removed from power, continuing to demand Ukraine’s immediate accession to Nato, and refusing to compromise on the recently annexed regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, or even on Crimea. Interestingly, the same concerns were even voiced by David E. Sanger, the chief Washington correspondent for the traditionally pro-war New York Times, who wrote: “No one in the [Biden] administration wants to suggest, in public or private, that the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should avoid chasing Russian troops out of every corner of Ukraine, back to the borders that existed Feb. 23, the day before the invasion began. But behind closed doors, some Western diplomats and military officials say, that is exactly the conversation that may have to happen.”

A possible solution in this sense was articulated by Elon Musk — a member of the US establishment himself, albeit an eccentric one — in a hugely controversial tweet in which he offered his idea for a peace deal, which involved re-running referendums on annexation under UN supervision in Russia-occupied areas; recognising Russian sovereignty over annexed Crimea; and giving Ukraine neutral status.

Musk’s proposal echoes the peace plan put forward by Henry Kissinger earlier this summer. Kissinger warned that if negotiations did not restart by the end of July, then we risked “upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome” — such as those that have now come to fruition.

Several military analysts agree that the conflict has reached a stage where the situation could easily spiral out of control, regardless of what the political or even military leadership of the two countries may want. They point to the fact that during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, nuclear war was avoided not only because of skilful diplomacy, but also, and perhaps even more important, due to sheer luck — such as when a Soviet submarine captain, who believed the war had begun, decided to fire his nuclear torpedo at US ships, but was convinced otherwise by a fellow officer; or when US forces in Okinawa received a mistaken order to fire 32 nuclear missiles on Russian targets, again only being stopped by one quick-thinking captain.

The lesson from the only nuclear confrontation the world has ever known is therefore clear: the longer the tension lasts, the greater the risk of accidents and miscalculations. Hence the need for de-escalation. As David Ignatius observed in the Washington Post: “Leaders must think now with the same combination of toughness and creativity that President John F. Kennedy showed during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. That means drawing a firm line — Kennedy never wavered on his demand that Soviet missiles be removed from Cuba — but it also means looking for ways to de-escalate.”

Ignatius also highlighted an uncomfortable truth: that the refusal to engage in any diplomatic process has, so far, come from Ukraine, and even more so from the US (and UK) — not Russia. On the contrary, Ignatius recalled that “Russia had been prepared for a ‘peaceful settlement’ in the negotiations brokered by Turkey in Istanbul in late March, but that Ukraine and the West had balked”. Then, in April, according to multiple US officials, Russia and Ukraine had agreed on a tentative deal to end the war — only for Boris Johnson to fly to Kyiv to bring the negotiations to an end, according to Ukrainian pro-Western sources. This raises several questions: why did Western leaders want to stop Kyiv from signing a seemingly good deal with Moscow? And how many lives might have been saved, on both sides, if the peace talks hadn’t been derailed?

That said, Ignatius, along with others, interprets Biden’s recent “Armageddon” speech as a signal that the President may finally be pivoting towards the need for a diplomatic solution. The fact that Biden hasn’t ruled out the possibility of meeting Putin at next month’s G20 meeting in Bali — an option he wasn’t willing to consider until recently — also indicates a potential change of strategy on the US administration’s behalf.

But if this is the case, much will depend on Biden’s ability to stand up to the powerful forces of the US military-industrial complex pushing for the continuation and escalation of the war (as Kennedy had to do during the Cuban missile crisis). Some are even suggesting that the increasingly brazen attacks against Russia — the recent bombing of the bridge connecting mainland Russia to Crimea, likely at the hands of the Ukraine’s SBU security service, for example — might be attempts by America’s pro-war faction to escalate the conflict.

After all, how realistic is it, as the former congressman Ron Paul asks, to assume that the Ukrainian government and intelligence services were able to conduct these operations behind America’s back? This leaves a couple of possibilities: either the Biden administration is fully on board with these actions, and supports the escalation; or there are elements actively working against the administration to derail any diplomatic solution — it certainly wouldn’t be the first time sections of the US intelligence had gone rogue. Of course, there is also the third possibility: the US has completely lost control of the Ukrainians, who are now engaging in terrorist activities behind the US’s back; it wouldn’t be the first time that had happened either, if we were to consider America’s role in the birth of al-Qaeda, for example.

All three prospects are equally terrifying. Whatever the case, the pro-war consensus is weakening, and that represents an opportunity. Now is the time for everyone who believes in a diplomatic solution to the conflict to speak out — and to put pressure on their leaders to stop the madness.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

I’m not sure how blowing up a bridge that was a key supply line for the Russian military can be classed as a terrorist operation, that line to me betrays the writers bias. Using kamikaze drones to target civilians and civilian infrastructure seems much more terrorist in nature.
On another note what would Ukraine gain by Musks plan? They would effectively lose vast swathes of territory and banned from joining NATO, they would be reliant on the goodwill of the Russians not to further encroach their borders in the future. Seeing as Ukraine already had a written agreement that Russia would respect its sovereignty, why would they believe the Kremlin wouldn’t simply ignore any new treaties going forward?

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You are wrong in thinking that Ukrainian citizenship mirrors your own and that Ukrainians are united under the present government.
Ukraine is an example of national borders set after WW2, the divisions made through geographic features – like rivers or mountains – rather than the culture, language and (sometimes) the ethnicity of the people. This has caused many of the internal conflicts that persist today in some parts of the world (the Kurds and Kosovo are other examples) .
The population in some parts of Eastern Ukraine (and Crimea) are of Russian descent and they don’t want to go back to the situation they experienced before the conflict when they suffered discrimination by the Ukrainian government and their Ukrainian neighbours..
Thus Elon Musk’s solution – backed by Henry Kissinger – that there should be referendums in those areas (under UN supervision) is the only just and realistic way forward to end the conflict.
It would also give stability to the region if Ukraine was a neutral country, forming a barrier between NATO countries and Russia.
.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Not unreasonable. But how would you avoid the situation where Ukraine was so weak and neutral that it became too weak to resist ending up under Russian control – like Belarus? Or East Germany?

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Belarus was part of the Russian Empire since the early 18th Century. East Germany was conquered and occupied by the Red Army in 1945. Those cases have almost nothing in common with a Ukraine that is not occupied by any foreign power, and whose neutrality is guaranteed by treaty. Russia to the East would be balanced by NATO to the West.
Think postwar Austria, which was not a member of NATO or the Warsaw Pact, and while a member of the EU and eurozone is to this day not aligned in a military treaty.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire, just like Belarus was. And a neutralised Ukraine would be too weak to resist a Russian military incursion – that is the whole point. Without some kind of guarantee mechanism Ukraine would get exactly as much freedom of movement as Russia happened to feel like granting it. Why whould Ukraine be happy with that? Treaties are worthless without enforcement – the most recent invasion was in violation of a treaty that Russia signed not many years ago.

LBrady
LB
LBrady
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Ukraine held a referendum in 1991 in which over 90% of voters agreed to leave the USSR. They did this BEFORE even Russia did. Russia then signed a treaty agreeing to a sovereign Ukraine and guaranteed its borders. This is an inconvenient truth for Putin, that even he cannot lie his way out of.

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There was a guarantee: the Ukrainian nuclear arsenal. The agreement was that Ukraine should not be part of the Western block and Russia would respect Ukraine’s borders. Well, Ukraine handed over its nuclear arsenal to Russia. Then Ukraine started selling weapons to any rebel militia in the world. Both Russia and the West backed social and political movements in Ukraine while letting the export of Ukrainian arms go on. Then Ukraine decided to join the West and Russia violated the integrity of Ukraine. If there was a Molotov – Ribbentrop pact we have not heard about, the thing is that it is going the same way. Nobody believes the other part is going to respect the commitments.

fiso jukijk
fiso jukijk
1 year ago

People keep repeating that the nuclear arms in Ukraine at the fall of the Soviet Union belonged to Ukraine; they did not.
They belonged to the USSR, and conveniently located in Ukraine, which was part of the USSR at the time.
Both Russia and Ukraine lived in relative peace until the US attempted to bring Ukraine into NATO. Anyone who does not see the correlation is either not seeing the big picture, or is not being realistic.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

“whose neutrality is guaranteed by treaty”

Because Russia abided by that didn’t they! Why should Ukraine believe Russia will take notice of any future written agreements to respect their borders and sovereignty?

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

And why should Ukraine believe that NATO will protect its borders? They did not in 2014.

fiso jukijk
fiso jukijk
1 year ago

Ukraine does not need NATO to protect its borders. As long as Ukraine remained neutral, it had nothing to fear from either side, east or west. The neutrality is Ukraine’s protection.

fiso jukijk
fiso jukijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes Russia did, until the US tried to bring Ukraine into NATO. That was the genesis of all this mess.

Brian Kullman
Brian Kullman
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Nor are there any NATO forces stationed on Austrian territory.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Fantasy, sadly.

Putin could never allow a genuine referendum whose outcome he could not control.

Please give a rational, plausible way out of this, not self evident no-starters.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

On the contrary, at this point an internationally recognized plebiscite is the only way Putin could back down. If he wants to do it, he might be able to do it, but he would have to overcome the real war-hawks in Moscow to do so.
Don’t you go deciding what Putin could or could not do–make him a responsible proposal and see what comes vack. It’s called negotiating.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

And Putin will never hold any election he cannot control and manipulate.

Or do you have recent evidence to the contrary?

Please stop posting “Bell the cat” fantasies, and give a serious solution.

Sam M.
Sam M.
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

No, the fantasy is there is any other option than negotiating with Putin. It seems you need reminding, or worse, don’t even know: holding up your own personal hatred for a leader of a foreign country as proof of his perfidy is not serious, nor even worth considering.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam M.

Still no coherent solution.

Thanks!

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

He was unable to get his candidate for Ukraine elected. And a full invasion of Ukraine could be as disastrous as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. If Putin has not considered that, part of his entourage certainly has.

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Other options? Let Turkey in to have a new Khanate of Crimea?
Biden seems keen to drop bombs somewhere, after facilitating armed Taliban to retake a country in Russia’s underbelly.

Andrew Nugee
AN
Andrew Nugee
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Iris
Setting aside the fact that your solution provides a powerful precedent to other nuclear states which might envy neighbouring resources, what mechanisms would you propose as guarantee that Russia does not try again, in another eight years, to take more? How could you build confidence on the Ukrainian side that they are not just being taken for fools again?

Iris C
IC
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Nugee

With an international treaty which would be subject to international law.

Liam Brady
Liam Brady
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Ukraine held a referendum in 1991 in which over 90% of voters agreed to leave the USSR. They did this BEFORE even Russia did. Russia then signed a treaty agreeing to a sovereign Ukraine and guaranteed its borders. This is an inconvenient truth for Putin, that even he cannot lie his way out of.

fiso jukijk
fiso jukijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam Brady

Have you ever asked yourself why Russia did not invade Ukraine between 1991 and 2014?
Maybe it was because Ukraine did not try to join NATO all those years. So clear for anyone to see.

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Nugee

They should agree on the countries supervising the referendum. None of them should be too close to either side.
There is at least another problem, though: who is going to pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

fiso jukijk
fiso jukijk
1 year ago

America, NATO, Ukraine, and Russia

Brian Kullman
Brian Kullman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Nugee

The post-Napoleonic treaties that committed European states to a neutral Belgium were not enforced by any multinational body. Belgium’s neutrality lasted about 100 years, until German armies marched into Belgium in August 1914, and Britain, Russia, and France promptly declared war on Germany. Belgian neutrality worked for three generations, and then it didn’t. Nothing man-made lasts forever. No one knows what Russia or Ukraine or NATO will be doing next decade let alone next century.

LBrafy
LBrafy
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Ukraine held a referendum in 1991 in which over 90% of voters agreed to leave the USSR. They did this BEFORE even Russia did. Russia then signed a treaty agreeing to a sovereign Ukraine and guaranteed its borders. This is an inconvenient truth for Putin, that even he cannot lie his way out of.

Tim F
Tim F
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

However, the populations of the disputed areas has largely either been killed, has fled or has been deported. Who would be voting?

Tim F
Tim F
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim F

Population (typo)!

Greta Hirschman
GH
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim F

Those who remained and those who are allowed to get back. Therefore, Russia has many chances of winning.

Jim McDonnell
Jim McDonnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Modern Ukraine’s borders were mostly drawn by Vladimir Lenin after the Red Army conquered Ukraine after its unsuccessful war for independence after World War I. Putin now criticizes Lenin for constituting the conquered territory as its own “Soviet socialist republic” and thus a member state of the old USSR, instead of simply reincorporating it into Russia proper.

Greta Hirschman
GH
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim McDonnell

It was not Lenin. The borders were set by Khrushchev after WWII.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim McDonnell

Stalin persuaded the West to give the Ukraine, part of the USSR, several hundred kilometres of Polish land, aling with a chunk of Hungary. this replicated the invasion of Poland in 1939 and was also accompanied by bitter fighting from Poland. The Polish government was compensated by gaining a big chunk of Germany, but protested that they did not want it, preferring to keep to pre 1939 Poland.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Ma’am you are confusing me with facts and good sense.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kat L
Andy E
AE
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I’m not sure how blowing up a bridge… as a terrorist operation”, seriously? A few civilians were killed by that bomb, including the truck driver who was played. Any bridge in the world is multi-purpose. Do you think it’s ok if Iraqi “freedom fighters” blow one of the London bridges just because it was used for transporting weapons eventually destroying their country? The argument “but these guys are worse than those” is not working to justify terrorism aka murdering civilians.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

If the UK was at war and had a railway supplying its airfields or military bases with troops and artillery then yes I’d say it would be a legitimate target. Firing drones into tower blocks full of women and children hundreds of miles behind the front lines however I wouldn’t, to me that’s no better than the bombings carried out by Islamists or the IRA in the past

fiso jukijk
FJ
fiso jukijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Is it possible that the Ukrainian soldiers used civilians as a shield in those tower blocks?

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It was not Russia who disregarded the Minsk Accords. See Alred De Zayas’s writings at Human Rights Corner.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  John McKee

According to Wikipedia it was both sides who disregarded them.

Art C
Art C
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Wikipedia is not a reliable source. It’s chief claim to fame in recent years has been censorship & character assassination

Victor Whisky
VW
Victor Whisky
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The modern Ukrainian borders were set by the USSR. They drove the Poles out of Lviv, then Lvov and previously Lemberg, to Gdansk to replace the Germans whom they drove back to Germany. While for centuries, Ukrainian fought for independence, there was never any real cohesion and many parties existed whom could never get together, making it easy for the Poles, Russian, Germans and others to seize territory while Ukrainian were fighting amongst each other. It was Khruschev who gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, perhaps out of fondnest as he was the ruler of Ukraine SSR under the Soviet regime.
When Ukraine became independent, it was the world’s third largest nuclear power. It was the US, who preferred to get in bed with Boris Yeltsin the drunk, as there was much more money to be made in Russia, who abidded by his wishes and strong armed Ukraine into not only giving up its entire nuclear arsenal, but also to destroy their modern supersonic nuclear capable bombers. Had the Ukes kept their nukes and declared nuetrality, no one would have dared messed with them.
The whole trouble started when Putin decided to send Russian troops to Syria, thwarting the effort of the little state of Israel’s desire to drive all Arab countries into the stone age, so that it could be the dominant power and keep on expanding its territory. As such, it is using US blood and treasure to accomplish their goal. It is no mere coincidence that the same neocons who brought the Iraq and Afghan wars are have provoked the Kiev coup, namely Victoria Nuland most of whom are Zionists, loyal to Israel and devout haters of Russia no matter what form of government Russia has. The Kiev coup was the prelude to regime change whose plan was formulated a long time ago. Most Ukrainians could care less about the Kiev coup and many were against the 10 year civil war that killed 14000 in the Donbass inflicted by a paramilitary force accused of being NAZIs and strangely enough, financed by Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian Zionist oligarch.
The war in Ukraine is all about regime change and most likely orchestrated by Victoria Nuland. Ukrainian and Russian young men are killing themselves over the policy of one moronic idiot in the US state department, who most likely could care less about Ukrainians but is satisfying her immense hatred for Russians.

Greta Hirschman
GH
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Victor Whisky

That’s one vision, clearly blaming Jews.
However, Turkey played a key role in destabilizing Syria and still occupies part of its territory while Israel was not even able to go an inch further from the Golan Heights.
Should Ukraine was able to keep its nukes, it would probably be a neutral country. On the other hand, some of its nukes could have ended in the hands of a terrorist group, as they were unable to keep its own arsenal after independence.

fiso jukijk
FJ
fiso jukijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Victor Whisky

So, you’re saying the nuclear arms did not belong to the USSR, but to Ukraine before the latter became independent? Got it.
Fact: those nuclear arms belonged to the USSR, but kept in Ukraine for easier deployment. Makes sense actually.

Jim McDonnell
JM
Jim McDonnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

A lot of what we’re hearing, and have been hearing from the beginning of this crisis, are echoes of 1938. Make the Czechs/Ukrainians grant some territorial concessions to Hitler/Putin and we’ll have peace in our time. Why would anyone expect better results this time around? People who want to sell out the Ukrainians should just admit that they don’t think Ukraine is worth our time, money and effort so we should abandon it to its fate. At least that would be honest.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago

A reasonable position, however we should be cautious that de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis may result in the return of draconian COVID policies (remember those?) or a new Current Thing to distract us from our leaders’ abject failures.

chris Barton
chris Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Good point to be fair.

Doug Pingel
DP
Doug Pingel
1 year ago

Whatever peace deal is forced on Ukraine by the US will be broken by Russia as soon as they have restocked and retrained their military. Putin has stated in print that he wants to incorporate Ukraine into Russia. After that who next will be subjected to Putin’s dream of recovering the old Soviet State. Appeasement, whether “Danegeld” or ceeding territory didn’t work, doesn’t work and won’t work. The UK and USA were guarantors (with Russia!) of Ukraine’s independence when it was agreed that Ukraine should give up their nuclear weapons. What message will be sent to Iran, North Korea and any other nation working towards making a “Freedom Bomb” if a freedom guarantor chickens-out.

Rob C
RC
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Source for Putin stating in print that he wants to incorporate Ukraine into Russia?

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C
Doug Pingel
DP
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

Thanks for that – I’ve been in the workshop repairing my trike and forgot about unherd for a while.

fiso jukijk
fiso jukijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

Quite the opposite. In the article, Putin clearly stated that Russia respects the sovereignty. He ended with this statement:
Today, these words may be perceived by some people with hostility. They can be interpreted in many possible ways. Yet, many people will hear me. And I will say one thing – Russia has never been and will never be ”anti-Ukraine“. And what Ukraine will be – it is up to its citizens to decide.”
Where in the article did Putin say he wanted to incorporate Ukraine into Russia? He never did.

P Branagan
PB
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

OK. Your position guarantees an all out nuclear war in Europe. But don’t expect the US to join the party. Forget Article 5 – that’s only for losers.

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

In an ideal world, it would have worked. However, after WWII, NATO members have proved unable to effectively impose their force in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua or Syria. They have happily handed over Hong Kong to China only to see how the red army crashed pro-democracy protestors. After all, China is the US’s main business partner.
The cost of all these efforts was a huge number of bombs dropped over civilians with no positive outcome for the concerned countries. The budget of Western countries suffered enormously and hate among peoples have increased. A continuos war effort would imply that the whole of Europe will suffer a hard winter.
As no Western county cared about the massive expropriation of public wealth in the former Soviet Union in the name of democracy and free markets, who would care about democracy in the West when its people are freezing?

chris Barton
CB
chris Barton
1 year ago

Glad that peace is finally being metioned. Zelenskyy is a prisoner of the ultra nationalists in Ukraine (Azov and co) who refuse to let him seek peace no matter the cost to Ukraine. Everyone in Ukraine must surely know they were never getting Crimea back. Once again the crowd that rush to be seen to support the “current thing” are slowly meeting the reality that this will have to end with some kind of deal.
Before I’m accused of siding with a tyrant, that we must stand up to Putin no matter what etc – the west is perfectly happy to deal with tyrants if it suits us. General el-Sisi of Egypt, The Saudi royal family & the CCP in Beijing being just a few examples.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

You get along with tyrants when you do not have any good alternatives (Beijing) and/or when the situation is stable enough that things are at least not going to get worse (Sisi, MBS, …) – and when it also suits us, to be sure. The big problem here is that the aim of Russia is to 1) fully control Ukraine, 2) keep expanding its sphere of influence beyond that. A deal that left Ukraine diminished but free to run its own policies and safe from further Russian threats might be worth considering. Unfortunately any guarantees from Russia on that point will be worthless. Accommodating them now will gain nothing but a temporary truce while they strengthen for future advances.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Wim de Vriend
WD
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Perhaps unintentionally, you make a good argument for incorporating Ukraine, in whatever future form, into NATO.

fiso jukijk
fiso jukijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Not true. Putin has never been interested in controlling Ukraine. He has stated that fact many times.

“And I will say one thing – Russia has never been and will never be ”anti-Ukraine“. And what Ukraine will be – it is up to its citizens to decide.”
Taken from an article written by Putin referenced above.

Kat L
KL
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Where is your proof of his motives?

Ben J
Ben J
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

Apples and oranges. And the Saudis don’t have nukes.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ben J
Roger Irwin
RI
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

The problem is that a truce with Putin will just be an opportunity for him to rebuild the army and return. We have already seen this in 2014; with hindsight he clearly had no intention of respecting that agreement.
An agreement is just kicking the can down the road for worse to come.

chris Barton
CB
chris Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

But whats the other options here? bankrolling a forever war? direct shooting war with Russia?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

They’ll fight until they’re tired.

That’s at least a year away.

The war against Napoleon lasted 20 years. But it had to be fought.

Napoleon would not be bound by any agreement.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

What are you going to say when the Russian tanks (much modified!) roll into Estonia after a ‘false-flag’ operation by “The Orchestra”? Where are you going to draw the line – Calais? Portugal? Spain? Gibraltar, Sicily?

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

How can there be “peace” when the only outcome that Putin will accept is annexing Ukraine as he annexed Crimea? On that argument we would sit back and watch if he chose to annex Poland and Hungary as well.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

The Poles will fight – tooth and nail. Hungary has memory too.

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

King Charles accepted money from Qatar before the World Cup, apparently to be given to a charity which is also financed by the very democratic and gay-friendly Qatar.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

Biden is driving the war at this point. Putin would negotiate a deal because his military is performing so badly. Zelenskyy might want to keep fighting but he is utterly dependent on US support.
The question is not just whether Biden thinks negotiation is a good idea, as distinct from trying to destroy Russia, but whether it’s good politics before the mid-terms. The Republicans (whatever they might think in private) could try to use his support for negotiations as an argument that he’s weak. My guess is Biden might quietly open the door to negotiations now but nothing will happen till after the mid-terms.

Roger Irwin
RI
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Putin would negotiate a truce in order to buy time and reform his army.
Putin is a fanatic. If not stopped, he will continue until he has at least recovered all ex-Soviet territory. But as he moves on he will feel empowered to set the stakes higher…
A truce is just kicking the can down the road, and things will only get worse as he gets older.
He needs to be clearly shown the border between Russia and the rest of the world.

Matthew Powell
MP
Matthew Powell
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

The Russian army will need up to a decade to replenishing the losses it has sustained and to will have to restock it’s inventory, whilst being denied key components and do so with a smaller economy.

Also, Russia does not have the logistical capability to fight more than a couple of hundred km from its major supply bases and railway infrastructure, it is not designed to and therefore is not capable of fighting a campaign deep in Eastern Europe. Look what happened when it tried to support a relatively small amount of troops, by historical standards, in its attack on Kyiv.

Fighting the much larger and technologically superior NATO alliance is a none starter for Russia, given its performance in this war, and the more time that passes the stronger European armies will be and the weaker Russia’s. This is the last generation of soldiers it can muster before demographic collapse severely constrains the number of troops it can field.

I’ve no objection to opposing Russian aggression, though the article is correct, we do need a plausible strategy to end this conflict; but using the straw man argument that we must accept nothing less than the total defeat of Russia otherwise it will be in Warsaw in a few years, is fantasy.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

You are quite right that ‘total defeat’ is not a good thing to aim for. but I think you are too optimistic otherwise. Taking Ukraine in 2-3 successive heaves would not require fighting far from your bases (which move forward with each heave), and leaves Russia stronger economically for each win. The Baltic states are already within reach. And if the threat of invasion is realistic enough and the support from NATO is unlikely enough, Russia might get by threat most of what they could have got by actual invasion. NATO may be larger and richer, but if it is sufficiently afraid of war, Russia could still try with ‘give me what I want – or else’. Sooner or later we need to establish that this kind of war is not going to be successful. Surely now is better than later?

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I don’t think Russia conquering Ukraine in stages is a plausible scenario.

For a start, they failed in their objectives in the original offensive, the partial mobilisation will probably do no more than allow them to hold onto the territory they have now. To get the kind of troop ratios they would need to inflict defeat on the Ukrainian army, they will probably need 1-2 million men, they will have 500k if the current mobilisation goes to plan and that has used significant political capital to do so. Not only that but they only have one foothold over the Dniper, at Kherson, and they’re on the defensive there. The Dniper is a major obstacle and all it’s crossing points are at heavily urbanised areas. To force them now would be next to impossible.

Modern armies are post industrial, technologically based. Even during the Second World War, with the economy on a total war setting and far shorter production times, offensives that lasted 1 month could take 6 months or more to build up supplies for, that ratio is now much higher. Modern armies burn through equipment far faster then it can be replaced and rely on large pre war stock piles built up before hand. Once these are gone it can be years before units can be brought back to strength. The kind of multi year conflict it would take to capture the whole of Ukraine is not plausible.

Finally, absorbing parts of Ukraine will do little bolster the Russian armed forces. As explained, modern militaries are complex and whilst some kit could be looted, it’s not like you can simple transpose production centres to the occupied territories. They are too complex to do so. Russia would be left defending huge supply lines, in hostile territory. Again, looking back to the Second World War, German needed millions of men just to maintain supply lines, guard infrastructure and fight partisans.

The war is now at a stalemate which is unlikely to be broken, with both slides being severely militarily and economically damaged for years to come. It’s time to find an end to the conflict.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

All sounds quite sensible – and you surely know more about this than I. Ending the conflict would indeed be good – but who would you leave in control of which areas? Who would be recognised as legitimate owners? If you want Russia to withdraw then to where, and how do you make them? If you want to leave them where they are 1) if you force Ukraine to accept it then Ukraine and everybody else sees it as the west rewarding Russia for its invasion, 2) How do you prevent Russia from spending ten years to restock, build roads, and suppressing resistance in the new territories, – and then making a quick fait-accompli grab for Odessa?

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Matthew Powell
MP
Matthew Powell
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I agree that it will be politically impossible, or at least very unlikely, for Ukraine to make peace with Russia now but that rather the war will grind to a halt around stable defensive positions, with the West no longer willing to do more than meet Ukraines defensive needs, setting a new de facto borders.

I don’t believe this war will act as an encouragement to dictators, quite the opposite. A smaller, poorer country, has successfully prevented what was considered the second most potent military in the world, from achieving its military objectives, without even the need for full scale western intervention. Even if it has not achieved total victory, Ukraine has shown the costs of fighting Western allies is extremely high.

As for the long term prospects of Russia re-arming, despite the economic turmoil in the West, I still believe that western economies and western technology will retain a significant advantage over Russia. I expect the the Ukrainian army will be better armed and equipped in 10 years time than Russia’s. Borders will be heavily militarised and should prevent the possibility of any lighting strike.

This is Russia’s high water mark, not the beginning of the flood.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Do not forget the truly massive amounts of materiel NATO, especially the US, has sent to Ukraine. This is a proxy war.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

After a settlement, I would recommend Ukraine marks its border with surplus shipping containers, stacked 2 or 3 high. Trans-pacific shipping is expected to decline …

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“..and then making a quick fait-accompli grab for Odessa”
So what? I just learned that city was founded by some Russian Queen (or Tzar-lady, whatever). It’s kinda theirs, no?

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

The French founded Quebec and New Orleans. And of course the natives owned the entire continent before that. And anyway Kyiv was under Viking kings before there even was a Zar in Moscow. Does that mean it is ours?

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Why don’t you make that argument about the USA?
To answer your question, in the late-18th century Catherine the Great’s general Potemkin conquered Ukraine, that is true. But there have been strong independence movements in many Russian conquests since: in Finland, in the 3 Baltic states, in Poland — and in Ukraine. With great bloodshed the Soviets re-conquered them or put down their independence movements, and I can’t see letting them go down that road AGAIN.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Why don’t you make that argument about the USA?
He did mention New Orleans (USA) and Quebec (Canada) – see it’s them blxxdy Brits/Limeys forking-up the world again. Funny – no one (yet) blaming Brexit for all this?

pessimist extremus
pessimist extremus
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Absolutely. Why is the US administration continuing to pour tens of billions into a war that is ravaging Ukraine and causing thousands of deaths” – it’s not the US admin, it’s Russia causing the deaths, and one can’t negotiate with a maniac who wants the land of the neighbours and to make them ‘neutral and Russian-friendly’. Oh my.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

AMEN!

chris Barton
chris Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

See the middle east if you think western driven regime change will make things better.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

We have no control over Russia.

Except that Putin’s war makes it more and more a non-significant power every day.

Let them keep digging!

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

Well said! Invasion by the West of four sovereign states this century- and one/two last century) has created unstable governments and general chaos.

Last edited 1 year ago by Iris C
martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Kuwait in the 90s?

Bosnia?

Kosovo?

Each of those prevented far more bloodshed.

And now we have Putin’s invasion.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agree with this. Many establishment types consider Trump and domestic insurrection to be a greater threat than Russia or any foreign adversary. I have little doubt that they would sacrifice Russian and Ukrainian lives if it meant Biden beats Trump in 2024. Domestic political conflicts have begun creeping into American foreign policy, and it’s likely to get worse not better.

Buena Vista
Buena Vista
1 year ago

The Biden family and the Ukranian oligarchy are partners in crime, this being the reason the US funded the war, and the complicit American beat the drum as directed. There wasn’t a shred of altruism or humanity as motive.

JJ Barnett
JB
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

The Telegraph reported this week… [prepare your shocked pikachu face] …that Ukraine has a lot of natural gas. And their nice friends America noticed that some pipelines and stuff kinda blew up recently…
And you know, there’s also that thing where Europe was wanting some gas?… Oh, goodness, whatever to do?

A real head scratcher.

But, don’t fret! — the Telegraph was also able to telegraph that there is a happy ending to this particular tale!
They report that those nice American’s have stepped up to “help”. It turns out that they have some massive multinationals who know a bit about this complex gas business, and they are volunteering to “assist” Ukraine in getting all this gas out of the way. How thoughtful of them!

[Have I become too cynical in my old age, or is this major Iraq-2.0-vibes? — my spidey senses now tell me that this war may continue for as long as Ukraine has gas that US multinationals can “help them” with. I hope I’m wrong, but this recent turn of events looks a lot like the classic model of US forever-war profiteering.]

Last edited 1 year ago by JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
JB
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Interesting that my comment is getting a bad reaction.

Apparently it’s difficult for people to hold 2 ideas in their head at the same time about this matter:

  1. Putin has done something illegal and outrageous when he started a war in Ukraine — BAD
  2. America is fighting a proxy war, and often their MIC and corporate sectors find ways to profit from these wars… which muddies up the incentives for various outcomes, and turns them into forever-wars — BAD

These two statements are not at all in conflict with one another. They are both true, at the same time. It’s a shame that this important matter cannot even be discussed because someone will think that you’re not being sufficiently supportive of Ukraine = therefore you support Putin. Ridiculous.

Expressing disappointment that it looks like US companies are about to loot Ukraine for her resources while she’s busy fighting off the Russians is not a statement of support for Russia. It’s a criticism of war profiteering. And the US has form on this front, so it would be quite wilful to refuse to notice it. It would be nice to think the US only wants to help Ukraine because they just love freedom so much. But when you start mixing in these very lucrative incentives for other parties, the mission objectives get much less clear. I don’t know how anyone can argue against that while keeping a straight face.

Last edited 1 year ago by JJ Barnett
martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

The problem is WORLD CAPITAL!!

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

I find the presumption of American bad faith in so many comments, “that it looks like US companies are about to loot Ukraine for her resources”, strange. It didn’t happen in the Iraq war. It wasn’t substantiated in review of the massive publication of classified US diplomatic correspondence by Assange. If you hold that all actions will must be purely altruistic, please name the country that adheres to that ideal. If you insist each action must result in a solution, rather than the same or a different set of problems, you live detached from reality. As I said, strange.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Holmes

Andrew, I seriously don’t know how you can say that..,
Halliburton — just one firm alone — benefitted to the tune of billions during the war in Iraq, supplying everything needed. And then once Iraq had been smashed into rubble (by Halliburton, and others) …guess who gets the multi-billion dollar contracts to rebuild [what they just smashed] …. OH YEAH, right, it’s Halliburton.

Surely just a coincidence. I mean it looks like a predatory business model of playing both sides of a war, but surely I’m wrong and they were just being patriotic on the front end, and then humanitarian on the back end …right? …right??

FFS.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

In psychology, it is said that mental health problems are overdetermined – there are multiple causes all working in tandem (bio-chemistry, behaviour, thought, personal history, current circumstances). Similarly, there are usually multiple reasons for war. It is not cynical to say that Iraq2, or this war involved a scramble for resources; it is cynical to frame this as ‘big oil profits’ -surely ‘oil’ is powerful not so much because it makes money for the extraction companies, but because oil is the life blood of the economy, society, in which we are all complicit. Moreover, there are geo-political considerations (such as trying to set up democracies, de-fang aggressors), and, somewhere in all of this there may even be motivations for justice.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Alas, I believe you are correct!

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Whether that is true or false, I don’t see how it would be such a bad thing for Ukraine to supply western Europe with natural gas; the Americans have more than they can use, and don’t need it. I bet Germany, for one, would be in favor of such a plan. But you seem to revel in conspiracy theories, the more sinister the better — a perpetual feast.

JJ Barnett
JB
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Whether that is true or false, I don’t see how it would be such a bad thing for Ukraine to supply western Europe with natural gas…”

Ok well let me explain further then…

Ukraine, benefitting from her own resources = Good.
It’s their resources; if Europe want gas, and they have gas, great — that’s a brilliant outcome.
BUT if actually the US want to intervene (as is being reported) then that is not what this is.

What is happening is “disaster capitalism”, where off the back of a disaster, predators scoop in to hoover up all the profit. Not good!

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

It’s not just the Biden family – they are being supported by House and Senate – maybe much insider trading going on?

Bashar Mardini
Bashar Mardini
1 year ago

Does the author understand that the only reason Zelensky is so bellicose is because he has more or less unconditional and unlimited US/western support and armaments? That, to bring their guy to the table, that necessitates halting the weapon shipments? That Zelensky will march a million Ukrainians to their deaths to push the Russians out, while screaming from behind his green screen? That a significant amount of the fighting on the Ukrainian side is being done by paid foreigners and mercenaries / contractors?
Further, as time ticks on, has it possibly dawned on readers that the Ukrainians are not exactly the saintly angels on the vanguard of freedom and democracy that everyone has made them out to be?

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Bashar Mardini

A needed viewpoint, based on reason and evidence.

Al N
Al N
1 year ago

What makes you think Russia would stick to the peace deal when it broke a previous deal, supported by UK and others, when Ukraine became independent?

Andy E
AE
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Al N

The answer is simple: the deal was dead. Coup was orchestrated. Ukraine dropped its neutral status. Became quite unfriendly. Stated to kill East-Uranians (practically Russians) in Donbas/Lughansk. Last drop was Zelenski hinting about restoring nuclear program. I guess any of these quite a deal-killer.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
1 year ago

When referring to the Cuban Missile Crisis, one crucial element of the deal has to be at the front of our minds: The Soviets moved missiles to Cuba because the US had first placed its missiles in Turkey. The deal involved not only the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba, but also of the US’ Jupiters from Turkey.
Kennedy asked Khrushchev to stay mum about the US missiles side of the deal because it would look bad for Kennedy in the upcoming elections. Khrushchev, who didn’t have to worry about elections, agreed.

George K
GK
George K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Mum? I remember knowing it back then,when I was 18.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  George K

It’s not mentioned anymore, I never knew about it.

Mustard Clementine
MC
Mustard Clementine
1 year ago

We already responded to Russia invading Ukraine in 2014 with a diplomatic approach – this, clearly, did not lead to any sort of lasting peace.

It isn’t “pro-war” to have learned the lesson that doing the same thing over again and expecting different results would be foolish. It’s accepting of the reality that you have to deal with someone like Putin in a different way. He interprets diplomacy as weakness. Someone like him has to be clearly and decisively defeated – he interprets anything less as a chance to go further.

I wonder if it is willful blindness that allows someone to remain ignorant to this, or merely actual ignorance of recent history in Georgia and Ukraine that preceded this year’s most recent invasion.

Apparently Putin is quite motivated by fear of ending up like Gaddafi, having frequently replayed the footage of his death. Frankly, I am not convinced exactly that fate wouldn’t actually be the best way to end the war. It would probably throw Russia itself into turmoil – but that would likely distract them from further expansionism and nuclear saber rattling, at least for a good while. And while we wait for that dust to settle – it could afford the opportunity for the West to come up with a better approach to Russia than was taken post-perestroika and glasnost.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

“Someone like him has to be clearly and decisively defeated “
Would you like to define what “decisively defeated” means?

Roger Irwin
RI
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I think what most people consider ‘defeated’ is pushing Russians forces right back to the official borders of Russia.
As long as despots can enlarge their domain by force they will continue to try.

chris Barton
chris Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

As long as someone else does the fighting and dying part ah Roger.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  chris Barton

Quite a few Ukrainians are willing to do that. Just how do you plan to stop them?

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

That’s already occurred. Kherson is about to fall, so the cost of his war now outweighs any benefits.

Which is why Putin cannot make peace.

If he did, he would be admitting he has failed miserably. The knives would come out and he would go.

Putin’s only salvation is to keep the war going–and hope that someone betrays Ukraine, so that he gets what his invasion failed to bring him.

Any real compromise means his physical elimination.

Andy E
AE
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I would rather wait to see if Kherson really falls. I’d bet it’s not going to happen. We’ll see.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Russian television is already preparing its idiot viewership for disasters over the next two months.

“Pay no attention to the evacuating civilians.”

Vici C
VC
Vici C
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

In any case there are more of them waiting in the wings. Like drug dealers.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 year ago

Let’s hope sense finally prevails, but Russia is going to drive a hard bargain, that’s for sure.
NATO’s binary framing of this war now means that the West must be seen to have failed in its mission.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

Yes, it’s not just Putin who can be seen to have failed.

Roger Irwin
RI
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

Russia has deployed all it has. NATO has not deployed anything.
Countries that are members of NATO have supplied weapons. Most of these have been ex-Soviet weapons — weapons the Ukrainians know how to use.
There has been little use of western supplied weapons, yet their effect has been disproportionate.
Most of the money is going on aid for Ukraine’s decimated economy.

Last edited 1 year ago by Roger Irwin
George K
George K
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

Decimation is a loss of 10%, and not a blowout.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

When this clown (literally: Watch the video of him playing the piano with his d*ck), posed for Vogue, any thought I had of him as heroic disappeared. I think the world – or those with a financial stake – is being played. This is a regional dispute. How it plays out is none of anyone else’s business – unless, of course, there is money to be made (and laundering to cover up).

Ben J
BJ
Ben J
1 year ago

If it’s an ‘Absolutist Stance’ to defend your country from invasion by an aggressor, then I’m an Absolutist too. I’m slightly tired of Fazi’s continued leftist indulgence of Russia.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

This doesn’t seem so much leftist as pragmatic. Who’s going to win?

Ben J
BJ
Ben J
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Read his other stuff, he’s basically a Corbyn-esque softy when it comes to Putin.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

I read the article in front of me without prejudice.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

That’s the problem.

This is an existential issue for both sides, but Fazi seems to think it can be solved like a local council meeting.

Quite naive about Real Politik.

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Bryan Dale
BD
Bryan Dale
1 year ago

You really have to wonder how much money the Biden family made in Ukraine. Zelenskyy knows and so Hoe Biden has to do his bidding.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago

Fingers crossed.

For what it’s worth, a day’s browsing of the relevant Wikipedia page suggests that nuclear winter is a vanishingly unlikely outcome of even a full-scale nuclear war, but that hardly makes the latter palatable.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

What a pity as I was rather relying on that to stop ‘global warming’.

George K
George K
1 year ago

Nuclear Winter is “Global Death”.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

I’ve read that a full scale nuclear war between Russia and the U.S. would result in 5 billion deaths from starvation and supply-chain breakage.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

Yes, that was the thing that got published a week(?) or so ago claiming up to 99% of the northern hemisphere would be killed due to plummeting temperatures and minimal crop yields. My understanding is that that’s the standard ‘nuclear winter’ scenario, which has been pretty heavily criticised (but always gets published because nothing’s sexier than a massive death toll and the end of the human race). So, maybe not!

George K
George K
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

It is incorrect. Read the TTAPS Report.
I was working on protecting American industry for nuclear effects when it came out, making our work irrelevant.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

”’But this, of course, means facing down Zelenskyy’s absolutist stance — which includes refusing to come to the negotiating table until Putin is removed from power,”

Zelensky is doing as he is told and it is Biden’s (and his mini-me Boris) war, which the writer almost calls it (correctly) later on. In March and April Ukraine and Russia were ready to end it………….Zelemski is bought and paid for. $80 Billion, and then Biden is leading them on with a $Trillion it will cost to re-build Ukraine (which will not happen I think, they broke it, they own it will be what happens – because the Treasure just cannot borrow another Trillion for that (Or Biden would do it in a second, remember about the Big guy…)

”uncomfortable truth: that the refusal to engage in any diplomatic process has, so far, come from Ukraine, and even more so from the US (and UK) — not Russia.’

”Russia had been prepared for a ‘peaceful settlement’ in the negotiations brokered by Turkey in Istanbul in late March, but that Ukraine and the West had balked”

”Russia and Ukraine had agreed on a tentative deal to end the war — only for Boris Johnson to fly to Kyiv to bring the negotiations to an end,”

So why did Biden (and his Boris) want to wreck the West, likely cause hundreds of millions globally to starve in the fertilizer and fuel drought he caused? (blocked from searches – Europe has closed most, or drastically reduced, its fertilizer plants – bad global times ahead) and the middle class to lose their savings and pensions.

Why did he want to break the world? We know he (and Boris) were out to break the world from their Covid response, and then this. But Why? And why did the MSM and Social Media/Tech 1000% back him up by promoting the cause totally, and silencing the opposition totally? I would guess they are captured by the WEF, where else is a Dr Evil of such world spanning power?

The dial on the second counter is ticking down – and if 007 is to save us it better be soon – But then it may be, November 8 Midterm elections! And MAGA could ride to the rescue of a otherwise doomed world – get out and vote, it is this one chance.

And Never Forget – Liz Truss backed the lockdowns and all covid insanity – And the war totally – she is as dirty as Boris.

Time to purge the politicos who caused these crimes against humanity.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

”Russia had been prepared for a ‘peaceful settlement’ in the negotiations brokered by Turkey in Istanbul in late March

On what terms? And when did he say so?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“Putin in his Wednesday speech repeated the same claim he made at a news conference last week in Uzbekistan — that Russia had been prepared for a “peaceful settlement” in the negotiations brokered by Turkey in Istanbul in late March, but that Ukraine and the West had balked. Okay, that’s the letter to answer.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/22/putin-ukraine-threats-biden-cuban-missile-crisis/

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

OK. The Washington Post said that Putin said that he had once been prepared for a peaceful settlement. Aaron James takes this as a fact. I do not. My best guess is that back in late March Putin might have been willing to stop fighting if Ukraine would grant him all his main war aims – as a minimum allowing Russian control over future Ukrainian policies, quite possibly with some territorial adjustments and ‘de-nazification’ thrown in. A conditional surrender, in short. I might be wrong, but I think it is up to those who claim Putin was willing to compromise to show us exactly what kind of deal he was offering.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You’re just baiting. You asked when Putin had said he’d negotiate. I told you. Whatever you accept as fact is irrelevant. Yes, I don’t know the conditions, neither do you.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

OK, it seems we have some agreement. Neither of us knows what is behind this, and there is no reason to believe any of it is true, except Putin’s unsupported word.

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sorry Brett – the idea that Putin’s willingness to negotiate was anything other than ”I’ll stop fighting you if you give me what I want’ – is risibly naive. He had just invaded a sovereign nation, again, and had the upper hand at that point. For decades he had expressed a desire, a mission, to rebuild the Russian empire, and had come up with a chain of flimsy, hypocritical, excuses to invade. Oh, and he is the head of a kleptocracy who has shown no compunction over murdering inconvenient Russian civilians, in any country, at any time, peace or war.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I wasn’t making any comment about the content of negotiations. I was addressing Rasmus’s query about when Putin had made a statement and I supplied a reference in the media to it.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

What Putin asked for wasn’t negotiation, it was surrender.

Art C
AC
Art C
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

My dear Brett H. You’re absolutely correct that he’s baiting, but you’re wasting your time. That’s his job. He’s been around these pages for ages and it’s pretty clear whom he works for.

Last edited 1 year ago by Art C
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Hitler too was always proclaiming his wish for peace, while blaming his opponents for wars he started.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Will you and Billy read my comment a bit more carefully. I said nothing about the content of negotiations. I put up a quote from a story to answer a question by Rasmus: “And when did he say so?”

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You implied that Putin would negotiate in good faith, I was merely saying that I disagree

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

How did I imply that? My second reply to Rasmus made it clear. Here it is:
You’re just baiting. You asked when Putin had said he’d negotiate. I told you. Whatever you accept as fact is irrelevant. Yes, I don’t know the conditions, neither do you.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

What I believe the US is doing, rightly or wrongly, is giving the Ukrainians just enough support to keep the war going indefinitely in an attempt to bleed Russia in the same way we did the USSR in Afghanistan in the 70’s/80’s. What benefits the US is a long conflict that dramatically weakens and damages Russia. It provides four benefits to the US. 1.) The main motivation, it weakens Russia militarily and economically 2.) It drives a continuing wedge between Russia and Europe. 3.) It creates conditions in Russia that might lead to a coup and regime change in Russia. Other possible benefits include creating a point of contention and disagreement between China and Russia and pushing the EU towards energy dependence on the US instead of Russia, and as a distraction from domestic issues where Biden and the Democrats are getting hammered (that benefit is pretty much spent by now though). Honestly, the entire Ukraine conflict, however it ends, stands to benefit the US more than any other party to the conflict.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago

I would add that after the dissolution of the USSR, Ukraine was persuaded to give up all its nuclear bombs in exchange for its borders being guaranteed to remain inviolable. Anybody advocating more talks with the Russians ought to consider what happened to their earlier pious promises.

Troy Savage
Troy Savage
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

They in turn guaranteed they would not join Nato, they are violating that causing the invasion

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

The writer ignores the reality of conflicts like this: neither side is tired, and both see it as an existential conflict, a la the Napoleonic wars, WW1 or WW 2.

This isn’t a limited state vs state conflict over territory. Either Ukraine survives or Putin. If Ukraine does, it shows every Russian that they are ruled by a fool. He goes. If Putin survives, then Ukraine doesn’t.

I personally can’t see this ending until well into next year, with at least a million Russian casualties. The figure of 65,000 dead so far is probably too low.

Putin is already wisely keeping most of his wounded near the front lines, where the death rates are 50%, instead of wasting Russia’s limited resources on people who won’t fight again. He’s also transformed Russia into a Stalinist state to destroy any dissent. The vast majority of Ukrainians want to keep fighting through the winter.

Everyone in Russia and Ukraine know this will be a long war.

Get used to it.

Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I do think that it is a Ukrainian existential war, but I can’t see how it is Russian existential war. If Russia withdraws from Ukraine, or even if they are driven back, Russia still exists as an independent state, whereas if Ukraine loses this war she will cease to exist as an independent nation and (eventually) become part of a “Greater Russia”.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Sorry, you don’t understand how Russia has worked for 800 years.

The only thing that matters is Putin. Peace and compromise threaten his position unless it’s a clear win.

Might get a Korean style cease-fire. but Ukraine won’t accept it.

The idea of splitting the baby helps no one.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Ah, so it’s existential for Mr Putin, not for Russia.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

“Russia’s” opinion is of no consequence.

Been that way for 800 years.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

If a bully asks for your lunch money, giving him half your lunch money is absolutely going to dissuade him from asking for the rest of it. Or indeed asking anyone else for theirs.

I am very clever.

Eric Kottke
Eric Kottke
1 year ago

It must be very confusing to be in the military industrial complex. Now politicians in both parties loudly proclaim you are evil while shoveling gobs of money your way to make up for outsourcing all the other jobs. This is all nonsense anyway. Blaming the war on defense suppliers is as stupid as blaming BIOEX for profiting from truck crashes (they make fire fighting foam). All the profits tell you is that people don’t do difficult/complex things for free. I’m shocked!

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago

The idea of a “diplomatic solution” to end the war is absurd. Vladimir Putin’s objective in embarking on a war of conquest is to swallow Ukraine whole. If he were to agree to a ceasefire because the western-backed Ukrainian military has proved to be a tougher nut to crack than he anticipated, it would only be a tactic to gain time and regroup before attacking again to annex the rest of Ukraine. Saying that you are against the war is equivalent to saying you are in favour of surrendering any territory that a tyrant is willing to invade. ..

Wim de Vriend
WD
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago

“Between May and September, the share of Americans who are extremely or very concerned about a Ukrainian defeat fell from 55% to 38%” The writer seems to think this proves growing indifference in the US to Ukraine’s fate, but it seems equally or more likely that such concern declined because of the excellent, and quite unexpected, performance of Ukraine’s armed forces.
And where did he get the idea of a “traditionally pro-war New York Times” ? No doubt that was true of the WWII New York Times, but it’s been quite a different paper, starting way back with the Vietnam war.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

It’s rather sad to see people who think they can negotiate their way out of this war.

Talks only reflect realities on the battlefield. If Napoleon had won at Waterloo, the Congress of Vienna would be completely forgotten.

This war won’t end until one side or the other caves–or both sides are exhausted.

Better hope for a quick Ukrainian victory. Otherwise, the war drags on at least til the end of 2023, with 100s of thousands of casualties.

Neither the Ukrainians nor Putin will give in.

And no one else matters.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

“It’s rather sad to see people who think they can negotiate their way out of this war.”
It seems to me that’s all we’ve ever done from after 1945. I can’t think of one conflict, you may do, that we haven’t negotiated an end to.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Tim F
TF
Tim F
1 year ago

Clearly, support ‘for as long as it takes’ is a front to keep morale high. Zelensky’s demands are just but probably unrealistic given the nature of the players. A diplomatic solution, whatever that would entail, would obviously be best. But in that part of the world, one is never sure who is really making the decisions and where the power lies. (Let us not forget that Ukraine has its fair share of oligarchs too.) Any agreements are likely to have ifs and buts which will confirm a different interpretation of events on either side. Unless Putin presses the nuclear button, NATO will not become involved directly.

The state of the Russian army has been a shock, but historically Russia has only ever won by sheer force of numbers, squandering young men’s lives in the process. It may be that, despite the setbacks, Russia may prevail, but at enormous cost and with the prospect of perpetual Ukranian resistance.

The resistance to this war must come from within Russia itself; we should make sure that the Russian people are fully aware of what’s going on – as they were eventually in the war against Chechnya which saw Yeltsin’s popularity plummet with mothers marching to the front line.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim F

When I think about Russian history I can’t help thinking of a nation more betrayed than any other nation. Their resilience against Germany during WWII is heroic. Their survival of Communism is a long road of pain. But they’re victims of international politics and there seems to be no end to it for them.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

”Peace in our time”, or so, someone unimportant, said !

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago

Can you end such a polarised conflict with a compromise? Does anyone really know what Putin would do next if the fighting stops without him getting what he really wants? Even if he resumed gas sales to Europe, would he not threaten to stop them for some other reason? Any compromise that keeps Putin in power has to give him the status in World politics that he desires. I can not see the West doing that.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

“Any compromise that keeps Putin in power has to give him the status in World politics that he desires. “
So what’s your solution?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Insisting on regime change is probably not wise, however much we would love to see it. However, any important concessions (like recognising the Russian take-over of Crimea) would require complete Russian accept of the new borders, and solid, reliable guarantees against future Russian aggression. Which is surely impossible. Which leaves pushing back Russia so far as to show the war was a not a good idea (ideally at least to Crimea and the parts of Luhansk and Donetsk they had before the invasion), freezing the situation in a ceasefire, and keep arming Ukraine indefinitely to avoid a repetition.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“Which leaves pushing back Russia so far as to show the war was a not a good idea “
Is that a solution that’s realistic? Isn’t that where we are now? So the solution is to keep doing what we’re doing?

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

If it is that or surrender to Russian demands, then, yes, I think continuing where we are is the better option. Remember, if this war is a success, even partially, there wil be more wars. If we give in to threats now, Russia (and others) will assume that we will do the same in the future. Deals are better than wars, but if Russia wants to make a deal, they should start considering what they can offer us that will convince us to make one.

Wim de Vriend
WD
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes; we need to face that one big reason for Putin’s current aggression is that the guarantors of the earlier treaties involving Ukraine did nothing about his previous attacks on that country. In that respect, also, Putin follows Hitler’s playbook.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

If a compromise can be negotiated invite both Ukraine and Russia to join Nato. Isolating Putin is counter productive and an own goal, as was sanctions.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

A brilliant idea, as it is axiomatic that we want/need Russia/Putin onside for the ‘big one’………the forthcoming war with China.

Roger Irwin
RI
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

Russia did apply to join NATO and was in the process. Putin stopped it. Nato’s offices in Moscow were definitively closed in 2015.

Liam Keating
Liam Keating
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

I agree. Putin apparently asked Clinton about joining NATO who responded positively but permanent Washington was against it. More recently a Russian diplomat rejected the idea. That could change though if there is also access as a special member of the EU and other friend making to accompany the NATO offer.
Putin is old and his successor is unlikely to be so mawkish about the old days of soviet empire. If we can make friends and allies with the country, I think that would unnerve the CCP and might prevent them invading Taiwan.

Roger Irwin
RI
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

Putin must be pushed back to the official Russian border. Anything less is just an invite for him to try again.

Dermot O'Sullivan
DO
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago

I found this guy’s insights interesting (and wished the interviewer hadn’t interrupted so often).

https://youtu.be/tt07fmWUnhU

Last edited 1 year ago by Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
DO
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago
Eric Kottke
Eric Kottke
1 year ago

Classic modern western culture…we’re Gung ho that Ukraine should win until they start actually winning. Then commence with the self-sabotage. Then if you’re not looking for a deal with psychopaths or just looking for the exits, you have to be part of some evil military-industrial conspiracy. This even described the New York Times as “pro-war” which made me spit my coffee out.

Last edited 1 year ago by Eric Kottke
Michael Coleman
MC
Michael Coleman
1 year ago

On 11/9/22 it will be clear to the Ukrainians that they must pursue a negotiated settlement. Kevin McCarthy, very likely the next house speaker, has made clear the blank check regime will end by Jan 23. I would not put it past Democrats to ignore the voters in a lame duck session and give Ukraine another measly $10B but that isn’t enough to completely kick Russia out of Ukraine given that each HIMAR rocket is >$100k and a big chunk needs to go towards humanitarian aid
https://news.yahoo.com/kevin-mccarthy-warns-ukraine-aid-124550172.html

Hanna Orr
Hanna Orr
1 year ago

This article is highly naive, typical from those who have not experienced neighbouring with Russia, i.e. the naive West. Eastern Europe which experienced Russian savagery for hundreds of years understand diplomatic solution is not possible, period, because Russia does not believe in diplomacy. Russian regime and its society believes in and respects brutal force, alone, as is the case with any organized criminal enterprise. Russian “culture” is suffused with cruelty for the weaker and servility towards the stronger. It is a society of slaves and slave-drivers (I.e. KGB and other “services”). More menacingly the same is true for any rogue regime, such as China, which is a far more powerful adversary of the free world.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

The problem I have is that I cannot place faith in any leader. I don’t believe any of them are telling the truth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Zelensky, Putin or Macron, just to mention three out of hundreds. These people are reptiles and we have to find the space in between their actions to survive. So despite the destruction of Ukraine I cannot put myself on the side of Zelensky. And we know that the map is not the country.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

It seems the latest US aid package to Ukraine will be $50 billion, dwarfing all previous assistance.

That is actually value for money, when one considers that the US spends around a trillion on defence, and the danger had always been a two front war with China and Russia.

Now Finland and Estonia should be quite sufficient to guard against any threat from the East.

But don’t tell any Russians, or Putin fanboys or fangirls.

We all have a right to our dreams…

Scott McCloud
Scott McCloud
1 year ago

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. — John Quincy Adams. Sixth President of the United States.

Would that it were so.

George K
GK
George K
1 year ago

Sellout!

N T
N T
1 year ago

Just like it is also possible that the boom on the bridge was an unfortunate accident, and the rupturing of the fuel tankers on the adjacent train was unintended.
I’m being serious. Science requires skepticism as option 0. This does, too.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

So we can look forward to Biden returning from a summit holding a piece of paper from Herr Putin and declaring he has achieved “Peace in out Time”.

Wim de Vriend
WD
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The quote is: “Peace in OUR time”. Because Hitler did NOT take time out, and within a year invaded both Czechoslovakia and Poland.

Richard Barrett
Richard Barrett
1 year ago

I agree with this, but at the moment Ukraine is winning the war so peace talks do not interest them for now.

John Grillo
John Grillo
1 year ago

The key to a settlement starts with Putin. One has to ask, does he or does he not want to negotiate in good faith? Good faith is the key, as a diplomatic settlement is one where all sides can claim victory. Dragging out the war for another year or so isn’t an option–that I do know and there are red flags when you factor in how much money companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are generating from this war. If it were me, I would cede Donetsk and Luhansk (or part of it to Putin, and the Kherson region and upper northeast be returned to Ukraine. These regions can be de-militarized without Ukraine joining NATO, but some sort of security guarantees for Ukraine should Russia ever invade again. I don’t know if Putin wants to negotiate in good faith, but what I find intriguing is his willingness to evacuate civilians from Kherson…could that perhaps be a signal he is sending? Something doesn’t add up in all of this, if the U.S. truly wanted a quick end to the War from the outset, they would have provided the Ukrainians all the arms they needed up front, instead of this drip-drip policy with a little here and there as the months roll by.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Grillo
Troy Savage
Troy Savage
1 year ago
Reply to  John Grillo

There was a deal in place in April. Russia would withdraw completely and Ukraine would pledge to never join Nato.
Biden and dems nixed it causing the deaths of tens of thousands more and potentially millions. All because dems are still mad at Putin for their fake hoax that he stole the 2016 election for Trump

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Brilliant, as ever. And moreover sensible.

Ess Arr
Ess Arr
1 year ago

Awful, depressing article, giving comfort to brutal regimes. Yo dictator, you want that country next door? Just send in armies of unmanned drones, destroying everything in their path and quislings behind them, braying for “peace”.

Matthew Powell
MP
Matthew Powell
1 year ago

Ukraine has triumphed. Putin’s invasion plan was likely to take everything from Kharkiv to Odessa, which would have left Ukraine a land locked diminished state, reliant on Russia to export via the sea and having lost its 2nd and 3rd most important cities. Preventing this, which would have been catastrophic, is a great victory but now the irony is that by not accepting this win, Ukrainian nationalists may actually harm their cause.

Putin seems reconciled now to have only gained slightly more of the the Donbas and a land bridge and water supply to Crimea. Paltry reward for the cost extracted by Ukraine. But now Zelenskyy faces the difficult dilemma of how to sell this win to a population enraged by Russian aggression, that now maybe be the optimal time to cash out, even if it means losing territory.

If the war continues, and though there are no guarantees when it comes to armed conflict, the most likely outcome looks to be stalemate, even a tilt in Russia’s favour, as Western military inventories are rumoured to be perilously low and European Economies seem to be on the brink. However, perhaps the Russian army’s moral will collapse as hesitant reservists are exposed to the horrors of war and give Ukraine the victory they desire; though to roll the dice again, hoping for this result, poses grave risks.

What I think most likely to happen, is that peace will not be declared but fighting will eventually grind to a halt around stable defensive lines. Ukraine will never accept Russian rule over its territories but will no longer be able to mount the offensives to take them back, in part because the west will no longer fund them. Russia will consolidate its rule over the occupied lands but be greatly diminished for having done so, whilst Ukraine, though severely damaged, will enjoy the dividend of being the West’s new most favoured allie and enjoy the benefits which come with this.

Joaquin Carral-Cuevas
Joaquin Carral-Cuevas
1 year ago

Tiene toda la razón, al igual que muchas naciones que se negaron a condenar a Rusia, como si fuera el único responsable del conflicto. Bien por China, India, Brasil y Mexico

Martin Johnson
MJ
Martin Johnson
1 year ago

The point made by Ignatius is true, Ukraine and Russia were negotiating and were close to a settlement in late March when Boris flew to Kyiv and read Zelenskyy the Riot Act about no settlement. Everything Zelenskyy has said since has to be evaluated as to whether it is his genuine belief or he is mouthing what NATO has told him to say.
This was was completely avoidable, and could easily have been settled back in March-April: Ukraine neutrality, a framework to negotiate Uktraine’s position economically, implementy Minsk II in eastern Lukhansk and Donetsk, and a compromise over Crimea which could have been along teh lines of Ukraine selling Crimea to Russia in return for a large payment that could be devoted to rebuilding without calling it reparations–maybe discounted gas for several decades. This would have been easy had people in the US, especially, wanted peace rather than to challenge Russia.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Reads like a list of Russian war aims. Let me translate a bit:

  • Ukrainian neutrality leaves Ukraine defenceless against a Russian attack.
  • ‘a framework to negotiate Ukraine’s position economically,’ means Ukraine cutting ties with the EU and entering a Russia-dominated economic sphere
  • ‘implementy Minsk II in eastern Lukhansk and Donets’ means that both oblasts go under Russian de facto control and are lost to Ukrainian sovereignty, but retain veto power over Ukrainian decisions.
  • And the model for Crimea not only legalises Russia’s annexation, but does it in a way that admits the Crimea was really Russian all along.

The end result is that Ukraine is a Russian vassal state, powerless to resist Russian demands for foreign and to a large extent even internal policy. At which point Russia could go back on any promises made and extract any further concession it wanted with Ukraine being unable to do anything about it. It does seem understandable that Ukraine preferred to continue the war.

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
1 year ago

At last some realistic,pragmatic and intelligent sense expressed by this article.

Brooke Walford
BW
Brooke Walford
1 year ago

Totally. The number of YouTube videos outlining the same moments for negotiation is increasing.

Tom Aaron
Tom Aaron
1 year ago

Putin is never going to back down or retreat short of nuclear war. No amount of wishful rhetoric in the West will change this. He knows exactly what he is doing. These latest attacks will stifle any hope of 5 million Ukrainians in Poland from returning home this winter. They will start to trickle in Germany where there is a stifled resentment about getting involved in this conflict despite the ‘united’ front put up by the government.

What are we left with? A growing alliance between Russia, China, , Iran, Pakistan, etc with even Turkey, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil, wanting to be part of the ‘group’.

A hard stand against Russia? Fine but it will change nothing. Anyways, look to Germany in the coming months. We may not like the ‘democracy’ that is bubbling. Also, to a lesser extent in the USA…another futile endless conflict funded on the backs of angry young male workers.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
1 year ago

Some good points raised here. Think of Crimea. A poll by a Western polling company a few years ago found that only 2% wanted to go back to Ukraine. What a mess Crimea again joining Ukraine would be, with no real benefit to Ukraine. (Crimea was always more a drain on the treasury of Ukraine than anything else.)
The Minsk accords were a pretty good solution, but Ukraine backed out of those. We need to get back to something like that. I understand the desire to not let Vladimir Putin win this war in any way, but reality is harsh and the reality is that Ukraine needs to accept peace instead of (complete) victory.

Barry Werner
Barry Werner
1 year ago

Surrender monkey Republicans just like those who refused to confront Hitler in 1939 and 1940

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Barry Werner

Why do you think they say “America First?”