The “negotiations” between Russia and Ukraine

by Pietro Monsurrò

ROME (Public Policy) – There is talk of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, but it is difficult to take this news seriously. The substance is in fact simple: Russia doesn’t want them and Ukraine doesn’t want them. The form, on the contrary, is that the Russians periodically talk about it, but not seriously: whoever pretends that the Russians want to negotiate has gone from the argument “they have now won, the resistance is futile”, to its opposite “Putin must not be humiliated otherwise use the atomic bomb “. The “peace plans” have now become attempts to freeze the situation on the ground, arriving just in time to stop the Ukrainian counter-offensive and allow the Russians to reconstitute their forces.

The acceptable outcome for Kyiv would be to restore its legitimate borders, violated by Russia in 2014 and 2022. However, this cannot be an acceptable outcome for Moscow: having sacrificed one hundred thousand soldiers, and ten thousand armored vehicles, to lose even what they had obtained. low cost in 2014, it is inconceivable. It follows that the negotiation is useless today.

If the war stops there, the Russian aggression in February will have paid off, at least in the twisted mind of the Kremlin psychopath. Millions of people would continue to live under military occupation of a dictatorship with bloodstained hands. If the war continues instead as it went in the last month and a half (even if at a slower pace for reasons not only related to the weather), the Russians will be gradually expelled from the occupied oblasts: Zaporizhia, Kherson, Donetsk, Lugansk, and perhaps also from Crimea, with further losses of tens of thousands of men.

Barring sudden changes in Western policies in support of Ukraine, or equally sudden changes in Chinese neutrality policy, Russia has few options: Without Western electronics it cannot produce sophisticated weapons, stocks of advanced weapons are dwindling, and hundreds of thousands of conscripts are unlikely to have adequate training and equipment. Neither Iran’s mediocre weapons (assuming the Khomeinist regime will survive the protests), nor Belarus’s limited military capabilities will change the situation on the ground.

The most logical solution for Russia would be to minimize losses by withdrawing from Ukraine: but Putin would lose face, and this solution is therefore incompatible with the survival of the regime.. A new dictator, having acknowledged the situation, could however withdraw from Ukraine, blaming Putin for the disaster. This has not happened so far, and it is not possible to predict if and when it will happen: but, if it did, the war would end because the Russians will have found a way to get out of it without losing face. The current Russian strategy on the other hand is to send recruits to the slaughterhouse to try to recover it, so the war will not be over anytime soon. A new dictator could also decide to continue Putin’s policy, but he will not be able to change the outcome of the war.

The unlikely nuclear threat serves to create the impression that the stakes are apocalyptic, prompting Western public opinion to leave Ukraine out of fear: the problem is that nobody believes it. And if gas continues to drop (the TTF price has fallen from 350 to 120 euros, even if it is still much higher than a year ago, when it was around 40 euros), the energy weapon will also prove to be blunt. Two hopes therefore remain for the attacker: an isolationist US Congress at mid-term elections, or large-scale military support from the Chinese side. Neither scenario seems likely, but the situation will clear up in the coming months.

The Russian military and economic decline, as well as internal frictions due to the economic crisis, mobilization, mistreatment of ethnic minorities used as cannon fodder, and the presence of hundreds of thousands of armed veterans, it could sooner or later lead Russia to prefer to withdraw from Ukraine rather than collapse internally. Such a decision is incompatible with Putin’s survival, but postponing this situation forever could be incompatible with Russia’s survival as a unitary state. (Public Policy)

@ pietrom79

The “negotiations” between Russia and Ukraine – PublicPolicy