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Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago

Ultimately, the decision should be made by the Ukrainians and them alone. If they wish to keep fighting then the west should offer as much assistance as it can in the form of weapons, aid and sanctions. If it wishes to sign a peace treaty of some sort then it’s up to them what conditions they are happy with. If the west can help them negotiate from a position of relative strength then so much the better

Friedrich Tellberg
Friedrich Tellberg
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Sure, the Ukrainians should decide about their business. But so should we about ours. The US, Britain and the EU supply Ukraine with aid, weapons and (as far as the EU is concerned) with generous support for Ukrainian refugees they don’t have to take care of within their own borders. And the US, Britain and the EU are also the ones who can and do sanction Russia up to the point where it hurts. So they can’t deny that they are playing a very important role in this conflict, because only NATO has the leverage to push both parties to peace talks or, indeed, to carry on fighting. Making ourselves the mere servants of what Ukrainians want is a weird way of dealing with a weaker partner and probably insincere. Suppose Ukrainians are willing to risk a nuclear escalation in their country or even in the world, should NATO be willing to risk that too? Just because the Ukrainians don’t mind? The whole idea that “Ukrainians decide” is, upon closer look, nonsense and I don’t believe any Western leader will hold to this slogan if the situation on the ground escalates dramatically.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
7 months ago

It’s arguably nonsense in realpolitik terms, but the Billy Bob statement seems perfectly correct morally.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

What is meant by realpolitik? The first time I’ve heard the phrase is in relation to this invasion, and I’ve only heard it used by those who seem to want to force the Ukrainians to give up large swathes of its territory in exchange for peace.
Let us not forget that Ukraine already has a signed a peace treaty with Russia in exchange for giving up its nuclear arsenal, one that was blatantly ignored so they are perhaps sceptical of signing another one that makes them reliant on Russian goodwill?
If the west genuinely believe that given the right equipment Ukraine could expel the Russians from large parts of its country, weakening Putin at home and abroad, wouldn’t that be in their interests politically? Is this not also an example of realpolitik rather than simply caving to Putins demands, which now seem to include carving off parts of Moldova?

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You seem to eagerly, willfully missing the larger point. Putin’s refusal to accept defeat makes the risks to Ukraine ( and the rest of the planet ) vastly higher than Ukraine’s refusal to do so. Putin has tactical nukes, if pushed to the wall he may see them as an acceptable option(what is the West going to do then, start WW-III?). As for ignoring peace treaties, the US has ignored the promise not to push NATO eastward post 1991.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

So Putin should be able to do exactly as he pleases, invade who he wants and subjugate other nations without any pushback, simply because he has nukes?
Your second point, where was the written agreement that NATO wouldn’t allow other nations to join its voluntary union? The only agreement with Russia/USSR was that no NATO troops would be stationed in the old East Germany for a set amount of time after reunification, an agreement that was honoured in full

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There’s a difference between “push back” and tossing gasoline on a fire. Russia has been massively sanctioned economically most would consider that ‘push back’. Sending massive amounts of advanced weaponry to Ukraine amounts to tossing gas on a bonfire. Had Russia had done similarly during one the US “wars of choice”, we might not be alive today to bandy it about. It’s simply idiotic to twist the tail of a nuclear power with the ability to incinerate you, especially since you have done similar thing in your own history and to top it off the country at issue(Ukraine) no security agreement with you whatsoever.
Yes, there was no written agreement (Gorbachav’s stupid gullibility in trusting the US at its word. But its only Russia that lies, right? ) It’s all here if you care to read it:
https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early
To sum up,
Russia: a handshake deal to not extend NATO which we break almost immediately.
Ukraine: no formal security ties whatsoever but we risk armageddon to “save it”.
The only thing “trustworthy” about the US govt is that it will do whatever it damn well pleases whenver it pleases.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

The link you supplied simply proves that there was no agreement for those ex Soviet states to be refused entry to NATO, there was merely an agreement not to move one inch eastward in regards to East Germany. Why do you believe Russia should get to choose the alliances of countries that it has behaved despicably to in the near past?
Also the Russians have funded numerous groups who have fought the Americans, they’re both as bad as each other on that score so they really have no cause for complaint there in my eyes.
Personally I think the west has played this incredibly well so far, in arming Ukraine sufficiently to defend itself but keeping a safe enough distance so Russia can’t blame them for any provocation

jan van ruth
jan van ruth
7 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

gorbatshow is on record saying that he has no recollection of the no nato east expansion deal.
so there not only was no written agreement but there was no agreement, period.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  jan van ruth

Not only that, but there WAS an agreement that Russia would guarantee the independence of Ukraine when it gave up the nuclear weapons on its territory, which the Russians have clearly abrogated. And the U.S. signed that treaty too, if I’m not mistaken. .

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
5 months ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

The treaty is the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 to which the UK is also a signatory. It follows that the UK and US are treaty bound to protect the sovereignty and 1991 borders of Ukraine. Russia instigated the treaty, and first reneged on its commitment in 2014. Given this precedent, it would be foolish to assume that Russia would adhere to any armistice in the current war, which it has started.

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
5 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

‘… to top it off the country at issue(Ukraine) no security agreement with you whatsoever.’
Wrong. See my comment in reply to Vilde Chaye.

Last edited 5 months ago by rupertmsteel
Julianna Perin
Julianna Perin
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Putin is imposing the Minsk accords by force. Had Ukraine and NATO stuck to their agreements since 1990 (and 2014/15 for Minsk) – ceasefire, removal of foreign military, recognition of the autonomy of Donbass – whole other ball game. This isn’t about making Donbass part of Russia – it’s about recognising those regions’ right – agreed in 2014/15 by the security council with France and Germany as guarantors – for autonomy. Which is probably because, as ethinic Russians, they didn’t want their own language banned in their own country.

Liomar Marques Júlio
Liomar Marques Júlio
7 months ago
Reply to  Julianna Perin

He IS a foreign military!! He is not enforcing Minsk, he’s trumping over it.

Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
6 months ago
Reply to  Julianna Perin

Precisely. I am disappointed by the poor coverage of a conflict that has been ongoing since the regime change in Kiev seven years ago. When they treat a large minority of Ukrainians as outsiders, even taking away their native minority status in 2020, are you surprised that someone had to say STOP NOW?

Warren T
Warren T
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That is the textbook definition of realpolitik.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago

How can the Ukrainians escalate the situation exactly? They don’t have the means to do so, if nuclear weapons were to be used the only side capable of making that decision is the Russians. The only thing Ukraine can do is defend itself

Friedrich Tellberg
Friedrich Tellberg
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree. In the situation so far. But some people, also in government positions in Europe and the US, seem to want to arm Ukraine or to encourage it, so that it can defeat Russia (what ever that means in practice). It is unlikely Putin will simply accept a defeat with conventional weapons and put his war at rest, out of some kind of moral or humanitarian consideration that you shouldn’t use nukes, thereby reducing them to some kind of honorary heritage or a mere status symbol. As the article says: you cannot uninvent nuclear arms. Only try to poker with them in some way or another (I have no practical idea how).

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago

Personally I can’t see Ukraine trying to push on to Moscow, they simply don’t have the numbers required and the west would be much more reluctant to supply arms for an offensive into Russian territory

Bert Brecht
Bert Brecht
7 months ago

When a nuclear armed country demands something, give it. That is your principle. Luttwak does not apply this principle to China or North Korea. But then, Israeli interests are not involved there as they are in the case of Israel’s friend Putin. If Putin gets his way by threatening nuclear war, be sure he will resort to the same trick again.

Last edited 7 months ago by Victor Serge
Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago

The Russians need to be told firmly that any use of nuclear weapons, including tactical, will result in direct NATO intervention. As territory-mad as Putin is, something tells me he wouldn’t want to rule a Russia whose cities have been incinerated, which is exactly what would occur should he decide to use them against NATO.

alex bachel
alex bachel
7 months ago

I agree, what is to stop Russia from hitting targets in countries that have supplied Ukraine with vehicles and arms?
It seems to me that the only solution is to let Russia take part of Ukraine as self-administering areas and for Ukraine to agree to not join NATO. Russia has now seen the limits of their military power and will be pleased to get out without any further losses.

Last edited 7 months ago by alex bachel
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  alex bachel

Don’t the Ukrainians get a say in the matter as to whether Russia gets to confiscate large areas of its territory? Also if Russia attacks countries supplying weapons then that would be an act of war surely, which is enough for NATO to become involved?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  alex bachel

There’s a word for people who schlep Israel into discussions that have little to do with it.

jan van ruth
jan van ruth
7 months ago

the eu sanction russia?no chance mate.
russia is their lifeline for energy.
the eu is financing putin.

Bert Brecht
Bert Brecht
7 months ago

Western self-confidence and unity will be shattered by surrendering to Putin as you recommend. Western countries, feeling helpless, will rush to appease Putin even more. The USA will lose interest in defending Europe. All this fits Putin’s playbook and yours.
It is interesting that far right organs like Unherd are advocating appeasement of Putin’s fascism.

Bert Brecht
Bert Brecht
7 months ago

Putin has aims going far beyond Ukraine. Fascist Russian ideologues like him are not to be appeased. His aim is nothing less than the destruction of Western liberalism and democracy.

Friedrich Tellberg
Friedrich Tellberg
7 months ago
Reply to  Bert Brecht

All right then. Give me a plan to defeat Putin, which at the same time prevents him from using nuclear weapons, and I will be completely on your position. I fully understand that leaving something on the table for Putin upsets you.The only reason I advocated a partial victory (or a rotten compromise, if you like) is that I don’t believe a full victory after a nuclear strike is worth the fight. No, Putin does not deserve to get something out of this war. Yes, the world would be better off without him, so a complete victory for Ukraine is best. But how? And even if the US could strike first with nuclear weapons, and prevent Russia from retaliating, is such a victory worth the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians?

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
5 months ago

Putin’s nuclear threats are like an Obama red-line. He keeps making them, but has neither the means nor the will to execute these threats. He blinks every time.

Bert Brecht
Bert Brecht
7 months ago

Luttwak here is speaking on behalf of Israeli interests. The Israeli PM Bennett recommended surrendering to Putin to Zelensky who brutally told him Ukraine did not need him as a postal service for dealing with Putin.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Bert Brecht

that is totally nuts, and rather obsessive to boot.

Liomar Marques Júlio
Liomar Marques Júlio
7 months ago

Well, considering that you have a definitely insincere party in Russia…

Craig Woerpel
Craig Woerpel
7 months ago

“only NATO has the leverage to push both parties to peace talks”
It’s true that if NATO cut off supplies Ukraine would have to accept a very bad deal. But political pressure in virtually all NATO countries makes that no where near possible. Under conditions for the forseeable future, it really is up to the Ukrainians.

Bert Brecht
Bert Brecht
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Luttwak here is speaking on behalf of Israeli interests. The Israeli PM Bennett recommended surrendering to Putin to Zelensky who brutally told him Ukraine did not need him as a postal service for dealing with Putin.

Bob Bobbington
Bob Bobbington
6 months ago
Reply to  Bert Brecht

“Speaking on behalf of Israeli interests”? You lot don’t even have the shame to hide it, do you? As it happens, I think Israel is blameworthy in this instance for maintaining links with Putin. That has nothing to do with what the author is saying here, except in the rabid minds of those who believe one ethnic group is uniquely evil (or maybe two: I bet you think ‘white people’ are morally degenerate too?)

Cheryl Benard
Cheryl Benard
7 months ago

Brilliant analysis until it tips over into a conclusion that I believe his own exposition does not support. Perhaps, yes, Russia needs to be allowed a way out. But it also needs to be reliably blocked from attempting any way back in, and the suggested approach fails to do that. There will be nothing to prevent Russia from taking their little chunk and then coming back in a few years for the next bite. Nor should the sanctions be lifted anytime soon. We will be saying: if you have nuclear weapons, then anything you do will quickly be forgiven, and you can attempt any sort of aggression and walk away with a consolation prize at a minimum. Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. and Russian officials have all clearly stated their larger intention: to overturn the current global order. This was the opening salvo. It needs more than a slap on the wrist and two oblasts as a goodie bag.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
7 months ago

I don’t get the “we have to give in because he has nukes” argument – we also have nukes.
We’ve relied on the mutually assured destruction theory for decades – but if we are too scared to stand up to bullies with big sticks, even though we hold an equally big stick – then we have lost.
We spend too long painting ourselves into a corner with all the statements about what we won’t do.

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

“Too scared to stand up to bullies”
Obviously, the USA has been the biggest bully in the world since August 1945. Russia is merely reacting.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

Reality check: no one was ever forced to join NATO. Countries queued up. And still do. No one voluntarily joined the Warsaw Pact.

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

And no migrant was ever forced to come to the West. They are queuing up to cross the Mediterranean, Rio Grande, and English Channel. So, open borders it is? No-one is allowed to judge their own national interest in the admission of entrants?

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

Noise. How is this relevant to the topic being discussed here ? Are you commenting on the right article ?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

What an absurd analogy; NATO did allow them entry, and therefore believed it would “benefit existing members” and the world in general. And NATO was correct.

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

There is no benefit to the European members of NATO, encompassing what was once labelled ‘Christendom’, in making an enemy of conservative, Christian Russia while beset by the increasing threats from fundamentalist Islam and CCP-run China. That is just lunacy.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

Ridiculous. Russia’s actions alone are responsible for any so-called “enemies” it faces. You give the Russians little agency and entirely ignore the wishes of millions of people in countries formerly occupied or otherwise dominated by Russia, who legitimately — and correctly — fear the return of the Russian bear.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I have no idea what you’re on about. This discussion isn’t about immigration. Take it outside.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

Tell it to the nations in the former Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Idiocy first grade.

Warren T
Warren T
7 months ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

Please name one country that the U.S. has attempted to conquer in the last century?

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

MAD is nonsense. The US would obliterate Russia in any full scale nuclear exchange. However the collateral damage would be the total destruction of Europe and perhaps the Middle East.

However as the good general said “War is too important to be left to Politicians, they have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought”. So we have a problem.

Rick
Rick
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

“We spend too long painting ourselves into a corner with all the statements about what we won’t do.” Yes, I thought it was ridiculous for the U.S. to explicitly state what would not be done from the very beginning. Why would we make that so clear for Putin? When asked if the U.S. would deploy troops, it would have been easy for the Biden administration to avoid answering for “national security” reasons, or at the very least strategic reasons. After all, “national security” gets used to avoid answering other questions or disclosing domestic decisions and information. “It depends” would have been a much better answer, accompanied by an explanation that if the Russian invasion turns genocidal, all bets could be off.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Would that not have given the Ukrainians false hope though, believing that the west would help them? As it stands they’re getting more equipment than they could have dreamed of, but know the actual defence is up to them.

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

The problem with your “analysis” is that unless you’re fully prepared to commit suicide then there’s a clear limit to standing up to ‘bullies with big sticks’. An analogy is two very fast gunfighters facing off a close range, “forever”. A false movement by either ends it for both of them. The question is, does one feel lucky?

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

It is estimated that a nuclear exchange between the USG-led West and Russia would result in 335 million dead in the first 72 hours. Unlike after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, there will be no bruised but intact civilisation available to bring in aid; even the countries not targeted will be concerned only with keeping their own population alive amidst a collapsed civilisation.
It doesn’t actually matter if Putin is a ‘bad guy’ or not. We would have treated Hitler with far more circumspection if he had been nuclear-capable.
I support having the nuclear deterrent (difficult to impossible to uninvent them), but they are to ensure no nuclear-armed power can simply threaten to nuke our cities one by one until we surrender. They are not there for us to go ‘noo-klur combat toe-to-toe with the Rooskies’ on behalf of ‘faraway countries of which we know’ only too much of their corruption and murderousness.
Anyone lightly bandying about the nuclear option is fundamentally unserious.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

Quoting Chamberlain seems about right.

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Chamberlain was not dealing with a nuclear-armed Germany. Again: ‘Anyone lightly bandying about the nuclear option is fundamentally unserious.
When Chamberlain took Britain to war, he had cause to feel confident as, combined with France, we outmatched Germany economically and militarily (see David Edgerton’s 2011 Britain’s War Machine, Karl-Heinz Frieser’s 2005 The Blitzkrieg Legend and James Holland’s The War in the West volumes 1 (2015) and 2 (2017).) It was a combination of bad luck, poor generalship, and inferior doctrine that saw the West defeated in 1940 (in computer simulations of the Battle of France, ‘it always took active human intervention to prevent the Allies from winning’ (Ernest R. May, Strange Victory: Hitler’s Conquest of France, 2000)).
Chamberlain did not issue the guarantee to Poland out of any quixotic interest in their borders (Britain opposing Polish expansionism 1919–21) but out of adherence to a foreign policy dating back to at least Henry VIII of opposing any power dominating Europe (summarised in Winston’s The Gathering Storm, the first volume of his magisterial six-volume The Second World War (1949)), and recognition of Adolf breaking every promise and treaty he ever made (just like USG wrt not only Russia but every one of its partners, including very much us).
Chamberlain was an honourable man, nobly trying to avoid Britain being plunged into a repeat of the bloody slaughter of the First World War. His one and only interest (in an echo of Palmerston’s famous advice) was Britain.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

I prefer Churchill — by a country mile. And FYI, the only person bandying about the nuclear option is Putin.

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Take it up with UnHerd censors; cannot debate when UnHerd removes my replies.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

Now there’s a non-response if I ever saw one. What exactly should I take up with the censors? I see plenty of your replies. I happen to disagree with them and think they’re dangerous.

David McKee
David McKee
7 months ago

Maybe we need to think this through.
A Ukraine still outside NATO would be a sitting duck for Putin, when he manages to rebuild his army. To avoid that, the Ukrainians would have to bankrupt themselves, in an arms race with Russia. Moreover, leaving the Russia-Ukraine war as a score-draw sends a clear message to Xi: go ahead, invade Taiwan. If it all goes belly-up, don’t worry – you can’t lose.
In fact, the message to would-be empire builders is clear. First, acquire nuclear weapons. Then start invading your neighbours. The West will be too scared to stop you.

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
7 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

“Acquire nuclear weapons”

That’s definitely the message that all countries, not just empire-builders, got after August 6th 1945. This message has been reinforced hundreds of times by the greatest criminal organisation in the history of humanity since.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

The greatest criminal organisation knocking around at the moment is Putin’s Russia.
Hate to interrupt your fantasy with a fact.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

That’s a bit melodramatic isn’t it, or have you forgotten China & its idiotic Client State, North Korea?

Last edited 7 months ago by ARNAUD ALMARIC
Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

I’m measuring the amount of money stolen from the people in units of super-yachts. There’s not really much competition. Perhaps the Saudis are a distant second ?

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I think you will find that the Ukrainians are also expert in that particular field.
Didn’t one of their recent Presidents have a full scale Spanish Galleon, complete with platinum lavatory seats, moored in a pond next to Presidential Palace? Apparently it was used for guest accommodation!

However, and despite your evaluation, I would without any hesitation, award the Victor’s Palm for sheer, gargantuan vulgarity in this very competitive field, to the unspeakable Saudis.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

To be clear – I’m not defending what the Ukrainians may have done in the past. They do now have an opportunity to clean their house now and ditch their oligarchs.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

How are those meetings at the Stop the (Western) War Coalition going these days?

Pierre Mauboussin
Pierre Mauboussin
7 months ago

Russia would never allow anything remotely resembling a free and fair plebiscite in the territories it now occupies. The only realistic concessions the Ukrainians can make are the recognition of the annexation of Crimea and the rump “republics” in the East by Russia, in exchange for which it should receive Transnistria, simply to put an end to any more “breakaway republic” border disputes. Ukraine should also guarantee the water supply to Crimea. Russia would get this “victory” and a slow reduction in sanctions, starting after withdrawal to the Feb 24 lines of demarcation. Ukraine will want real guarantees of security (probably involving stationing someone else’s troops as a tripwire) even if not NATO.
The problem is that neither side will make any concessions at the moment because the outcome is still being decided on the battlefield. The moment of greatest danger will come if the Ukrainians can resist and start to push back the Russians, at which point an uncontrolled escalation is very likely. A better option would be a quick and sufficiently painful US or NATO air operation to make it plain to Putin that he will not be allowed to win combined with a peace offer along the lines I outlined.

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago

“A better option would be a quick and sufficiently painful US or NATO air operation to make it plain to Putin that he will not be allowed to win combined with a peace offer along the lines I outlined.”

This is just lunacy, the rest of what you wrote has merit.

Pierre Mauboussin
Pierre Mauboussin
7 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

Putin has to be convinced he will not win. Even if the Ukrainians start to push back Russian forces, it’s too humiliating for Putin to back off. The likely result is an escalation such as the use of chemical weapons, a strategic bombing campaign against Ukraine’s cities with thousands of civilian casualties or even a strike against NATO staging areas for Ukrainian military aid in Poland.
There will be some kind of escalation preceding an endgame: it’s better that we control that escalation rather than react to it.

martin logan
martin logan
7 months ago

I don’t think Luttwak’s plan brings stability–particularly for Putin.
But a referendum–carried out by Blue Helmets in Donbas & Crimea–is the only sane way to resolve the border disputes. For Ukraine to take back self-proclaimed Russians is as delusional as Putin’s idea of the Russian World. But I emphasize, this has to be a FAIR referendum, not like the one in Crimea.
That said, this is still a disaster for Russia–far worse than 1991. Putin has little chance of remaining in power, and, as Volodin said, “without Putin, there is no Russia.”
So be prepared for further astonishing events there.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
7 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Putin is not Russia but this supine need for a Ivan/Peter/ Stalin figure to brutalise everyone to keep this sprawling heap of blood and violence together is sadly true. An overextended Empire which committed genocide of many tribes as it expanded eastward kept in check by repression. Even the damned exile/ gulag colonisation never paid for itself. What a benighted country.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
7 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

The referendum in Crimea was reasonably fair. An overwhelming majority of Crimeans wanted to join Russia, as confirmed not only by the balloting itself but by Western polling before and after the election. A poll a few years ago showed that only 2% of Crimeans wanted to rejoin Ukraine.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

who is this so-called prophet Volodin and who cares what he said. There has always been a Russia and somehow it originated in the 1400s and continued until 1999 without Putin. What a load of nonsense. Who buys into this stuff?

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago

I am surprise at your reluctance to mention the Doomsday scenario, although you do hint at it in your final paragraph.
If the West continues to goad Putin and his assault continues to fail, what is there to stop him using the Nuclear option? An 800 Kiloton air burst over say Kiev, would certainly “clear the air”.
Would Putin’s Praetorian Guard intervene to stop him? I very much doubt it.
So we are where we are, and as the Ancients would say “You don’t argue with a man who has thirty Legions at his back”.

Peter Branagan
Peter Branagan
7 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Given the Russian conviction that NATO is an existenial threat to the very existence of Russia, an even more awful scenario would be a Russian decision never to face a threat from Western Europe ever again. So they fire 500 nukes at Western Europe targeting 500 million people and if the US intervenes threaten the end of the world by firing all remaining 5,000 warheads at North American cities and US assets across the world.
If they start losing in Ukraine they’ve nothing much further to lose as they know NATO wants their total destruction anyway

Only the profoundly irrational wish Russia to start losing in Ukraine.
As the saying goes, be careful, be VERY careful, what we wish for.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

Precisely, thank you.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

In case you haven’t noticed, Putin’s Russia is destroying itself in it’s own corruption and incompetence. It doesn’t need any help from us there.

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

In case you’ve been in a coma for the past 2 years, the West is destroying itself with its own corruption and incompetence.

Pierre Mauboussin
Pierre Mauboussin
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

But Russians are doing a faster and more thorough job at the moment.

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago

Ah, I see my second reply to you was censored also. That was fast. Well, cannot debate with UnHerd censors’ thumbs on scales.

Last edited 7 months ago by Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

Third and last attempt to get past UnHerd censors.
The West is taking on record levels of debt while becoming increasingly totalitarian—one can neither state biological facts or correctly identify men and women, nor innocuously declare that ‘It’s okay to be white’ without a visit from Plod (or getting one’s comment removed by UnHerd censors—twice so far). We (native Britons) are fast becoming a minority in our own country, this prospect accelerating year by year, the Guardian stating that we would be a minority by 2100 in 2000, the Independent declaring ‘before 2070’ in 2013 and the Daily Mail saying ‘by 2060’ in 2016. As Douglas Murray wrote, bold added (The Strange Death of Europe):

Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide. Whether the European people choose to go along with this is, naturally, another matter. … I mean that the civilisation we know as Europe is in the process of committing suicide and that neither Britain nor any other Western European country can avoid that fate because we all appear to suffer from the same symptoms and maladies. As a result, by the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.

These are the end days of European Civilisation; like the collapse of Rome that R.C. Sherriff wrote of in The Long Sunset, where the Romans meandered along not realising their civilisation was dying around them.

Liomar Marques Júlio
Liomar Marques Júlio
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

Not really.

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago

No point in debating when UnHerd removes my replies.

Last edited 7 months ago by Scotched Earth
Rick
Rick
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

Yes, he could very well decide to take the rest of us down with him. Noone seems to have a good handle on the state of Russia’s nuclear bunker system, but Putin may have already been told it’s extensive, modernized and capable of keeping the bulk of Russians safe. I don’t expect anyone within his circle would dare tell him otherwise.
He may also calculate that the Russian people are far more capable of overcoming the devastation of a global nuclear war than the westerners he perceives as pampered weaklings. While I and others might think this would all be a gross miscalculation on his part, his current decision-making already demonstrates an obvious tendency for miscalculation.

Pierre Mauboussin
Pierre Mauboussin
7 months ago
Reply to  Rick

They’ll simply starve and freeze to death. Russia’s population would fall to a few million and China would grab Siberia.

GW Epema
GW Epema
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

They don’t “know” that NATO wants their destruction. Some may have that belief, but there are others who know better, that in fact there is much to lose. The issue it seems to me is how anxious Putin and his faction are about the end game. They can’t count on the man in the street, and the many in the elite who have suffered as a result of Putin’s failed initiative. Self preservation is the game now, which is why I think Mr Luttwak is right. What was done for a Haitian dictator, or one or two others, can be done for Putin. Feelers are out by now I should think.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

If Putin is THAT crazy – which I doubt he is – he would then risk destroying his own country – and no amount of rational geopolitical argument has any meaning. Or, the West might as well capitulate, since we would not want to ‘provoke Russia’ by our existence – and do what CND has been demanding for years and at least save the money on our military.

The idea that NATO is an existential threat to Russia, when it was not to the Soviets, is dubious in the extreme. An excuse (for the invasion) is not a reason.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

they’ve got nukes! they’ve got nukes! and they’re threatening to use them! Give them anything they want……

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

re: they “know” NATO wants their total destruction anyway.
Utter nonsense. Not to mention hysterical.

Liomar Marques Júlio
Liomar Marques Júlio
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

Not sure if NATO wants his total destruction anyway.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Absurd. you can certainly argue with a man who has 30 legions at his back when you have more than that. Which the West does.

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
7 months ago

Russia already guaranteed Ukraine’s independence once, why would they trust him a second time?
And then, to compound this, suggests a plebiscite in areas already controlled by Russia where a fair contest has absolutely no chance of happening, opponents would disappear, most of the population would vote twice and a majority of at least 90% would be in favour of Russian control.
Ultimately it talks an awful lot about winners and losers, NATO or Russia but absolutely nothing about Ukrainians and what they want.
An article that started off so well decended into give Putin whatever he wants, just so long as you make him happy for a couple of years.

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

“Russia already guaranteed Ukraine’s independence once, why would they trust him a second time?”

And Russia was promised that NATO would never be expanded eastwards. Trust goes both ways, no?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

No they weren’t, show me the treaty that promised the Eastern European nations wouldn’t be allowed to join, there isn’t one. There is however a document signed by the Russians promising to respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territory in exchange for giving up its nuclear arsenal, something I’d wager they now deeply regret

Philip Crook
Philip Crook
7 months ago

Mr Luttwak forgets that fighting amongst rival factions and people continued into 1923 after the first war supposedly ended. It ended for the victorious powers who could concentrate on other things like recovery but for the newly emergent nations rising from the defeat of the Germans, Austro- Hungary and the Ottoman empire there was bloody fighting. Very few plebescites.

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
7 months ago

Luttwac has a point or two. Clearly US intelligence did not expect the special operation to fail, etc. And maybe a handover of Donbas is best option but why no mention of the Black Sea coast? Do we assume the Russians will just evacuate it for a plebiscite elsewhere? Not likely.
As for the Russian tactical nuclear option, are the Chinese on board with this kind of Russian escalation? Can Putin blandly think a tactical nuke strike (where?) will not provoke an exchange in kind inside Russia? Is NATO/US or even China making this point clear to Russian military commanders? No one seems to process these questions when the nuclear issue is mentioned..

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  rick stubbs

Good questions. Unfortunately, the public is highly unlikely to be briefed on what might going on behind the scenes. If a nuclear device were to be detonated, I would rather think it would be unlikely to be telegraphed to either NATO or China as it would be a highly desperate act and would likely completely sever Russia from any and all allies. At that point anything becomes possible, which is why avoiding escalation is good for everyone.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
7 months ago

My two pennorth. The war drags on. Putin grinds out some Donbas Republic region. Ceasefire but no armistice. Ukraine joins EU. Frozen politics with normal Russian cultural Asiatic European cringe factor and paranoid resentment. It drags on until Putin goes or falls ill. Ordinary Russians still living in crappy 1960s blocks on average wage of $13k. They’re too passive to change and culturally (Orthodoxy) feel suffering is good for your soul. China happy for Russia to be permanently weakened.

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

This would actually be a “good” outcome, at least it avoids the worst outcome.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago

Delusional. We are well past a time when we can have any confidence in any commitments made by Putin’s Russia. As far as I can detect, everything Putin and his cronies say is a lie. But I don’t think that’s any reliable basis to predict their future actions.
It is time to fix the issues here once and for all. That means decisive defeat for Putin. It probaby also means at minimum the expulsion of Russian troops from the non-state of “Transdnistria”. These Russian exclaves need to be at minimum cleansed of Russian troops. It would probably be best in the current chaos and disruption if the Russians in such areas who really want to be Russian were resettled in Russia (which can hardly be short of space to accomodate them). Left as they are, these areas are a festering sore which will be provoked later in the future.
This is after all what it took to create a stable Czechoslovakia and Poland after WWII. Not perfect, but may be less bad than the alternatives.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I don’t wish to be unkind, but given your somewhat belligerent utterances, may I ask if you have ever really been involved in a war?
And if so at the sharp end, and not in some air conditioned Command Post moving pins around a map?
I only ask because this site seems to have a legion of armchair warriors who have wielded little more than a feather duster in action.
If I am mistaken please accept my sincere apologies.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Not yet, no. So what ? How is that at all relevant ? I do hope my son doesn’t need to be either and putting Russia back in its box is the best way to do that.
I think it is important that people speak up for what is right in situations like this and condemn the lies coming from Russia and their legion of apologists.
I have, however, briefly worked in the UK defence industry a long time ago. So I hope in some small way, I’ve done my bit.
I don’t consider myself “belligerent ” at all. We have to deal with the consequences of Putin’s belligerence. Anything bad that happens is all on him. There are no credible excuses for his behaviour. But that won’t stop the apologists and useful idiots.
Say what you like – nothing you say is going to upset me.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Thank you, and as I said before it was not my intention to torment you.
I am glad that you are not upset, and that we can continue a civilised discourse.

Last edited 7 months ago by ARNAUD ALMARIC
Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Absolutely. You’re not always wrong (and I’m not always right) – and we sometimes agree. Nothing I say is ever meant to be personal.

David Lewis
David Lewis
7 months ago

We need to think carefully about what ‘nuclear escalation’ might look like. In a recent NATO war game Putin was backed into a corner and deployed a tactical nuke to vaporise HMS Queen Elizabeth and all her crew. How would we respond to that?
Similarly, many seem to presume that ‘nuclear escalation’ would involve a number of bright flashes followed by oblivion – the assured mutual destruction of the Cold War. However, this is unlikely. A more limited nuclear war might involve far fewer immediate casualties, but enough muck thrown into the atmosphere to create a nuclear winter for a decade. This would be really miserable for the survivors with widespread famine and local ‘tooth and claw’ struggles for diminishing resources. It might put an end to global warming, however!
Conclusion: perhaps we should be more fearful of ‘nuclear escalation’ than some suggest.

N T
N T
7 months ago

There is, of course, another option, that may be the end game for some. What if the real end-goal, now, is using UKR as a proxy, a gigantic thorn in Putin’s side, keeping him from turning his attention to Moldova, Belarus, or anywhere else? Maintaining the sanctions and forcing him to either maintain the status quo or run away will prevent RUS from being an effective partner in any action taken by China against Taiwan. Why wouldn’t punishing them, toying with them – all of them – be the preferred outcome? There is no overcommitment of troops or treasure, just the slow torture of the opposition, so that a hundred years from now, they will talk about this moment, and the takeaway will be “Don’t screw with the new world order”?
This feels like what I what I was taught about World War I. I don’t think we will respect the other team enough to allow them the dignity of a cessation of hostilities.

Last edited 7 months ago by N T
Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
7 months ago
Reply to  N T

I.e. the containment option Dominic Sandbrook wrote about back in March, though it sounds a little more aggressive in your version. IMO it raises a similar level of nuclear risk to the victroy lobby plan. Proff Luttwak’s strategy seems much safer.

N T
N T
7 months ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

Oh, no, I don’t prefer it. I just don’t see how the Powers That Be will choose a less aggressive option. “Punish him! Dare him to use a tactical nuke in UKR!”
See the last paragraph I wrote: it feels like we didn’t learn anything from WWI, and we are making the same mistake, again.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
7 months ago
Reply to  N T

Sorry if it seemned I was diagreeing, I meant my comment as more an expansion to yours. Well, ok, I guess Im in two minds – its good we’ve had unexpectedly courageous (if arguably foolish) rhetoric from some of our liberal friends re the nuclear risk, otherwise the Bully might assume all he needs to get his way is play the nuke card. But mostly I agree.
I like your reference to WWI. Here’s a quote from Lord Keynes on said post victory deliberations by the council of 4. (LG, Wilson, Clemenceau & Orlando) “if it is to understand its destiny, the world needs light, even if it is partial and uncertain, on the complex struggle of human will and purpose, not yet finished, which, concentrated in the persons of four individuals in a manner never paralleled, made them in the first months of 1919 the microcosm of mankind.” Almost as true now as when LK wrote this over 100 years ago.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  N T

Putin brought this disaster on himself. No one else.
He would allow no “dignity” to his opponents – show me one example of that. What dignity does he deserve ?
Before we get into a discussion about whether the Russian people deserve what’s coming to them or are “victims”, let’s just remember that they repeatedly voted for Putin.
I’ve said this elsewhere – the “existential threat” to Russia is not NATO. It’s Putin.

N T
N T
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You’re absolutely right, of course.
I believe that we (the UKR cheering section) are in a power position. We have Putin in a very tough spot. Then what? Then, THEN, what?
If you believe, as I do, that we have failed, over and over, to get the THEN part of the plan right, what do you think we should be doing now, and then what?

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  N T

I’m fairly happy with what we’re doing now.
My read on the situation is that the West (US/UK/NATO etc) still has plenty in reserve to back up Ukraine if needed and will incrementally do so if needed. This will be so incremental that there will never be a “tripping point” the Russians can point to. It’s like slowly boiling a frog …
My suspicion is that the sinking of the Moskva is a demonstration to the Russians of what the West could do it it wanted to – i.e. the entire Black Sea fleet could be wiped out without too much difficulty. In which case, Sebastopol and the Crimea wouldn’t matter any more.
You can see the confusion on the Russian side in the response to the sinking of the Moskva. First they plead incompetence in order to avoid admitting the likely missile strike. Then some Russian media start saying it was only due to NATO interference and help – perhaps even that NATO fired the missile. But if they really believed that, there has been no sign of the threatened nuclear response. They probably spend a good 30% of their management time on propaganda and lies and not on actually doing the war stuff competently. Just imagine the chaos with all the yes men trying to second guess what Putin wants every day. How do you ever get anything done ?
If Russia doesn’t start to see sense they may be looking at a future with Finland and Sweden in NATO and possibly being blockaded from leaving the Baltic and Black Sea by NATO.
Also, Ukraine has removed any doubt about the capability of the Russian military (pretty awful across the board) and quality and reliability of their equipment. This could be the endgame for the Russian defence industry if they lose their export markets and access to advanced Western technology.
One day, the Russians will wake up to the fact that they’re just not a Premier League team any more. And never will be again.
I also think a weak Russia suits China very well.
Still, Putin’s a strategic genius, right ?
I’m actually very slightly impressed by Biden in all this. Very soon after the Russian invasion, a journalist asked him if he planned to call Putin. He was very clear : no. He was right. There’s nothing to discuss with people like Putin any more here. They are not part of the solution.
No dictator can long survive becoming a laughing stock.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  N T

None of us have a crystal ball so nobody knows for certain what will happen. However this isn’t like Afghanistan whereby large restructuring is needed. The endgame should simply be to arm the Ukrainians so they’re able to push Russia from its territory (if that’s what they wish) and assist them in building up defences so that this doesn’t happen again. What happens to Putins regime isn’t really the wests concern

Rob Mcneill-wilson
Rob Mcneill-wilson
7 months ago

This writer cites 1919 but his perspective makes me think more of Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland followed by its invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
7 months ago

Great article. Thanks.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
7 months ago

So Edward, about those danged nuclear weapons that can’t be in invented – if it’s confirmed to Putin that his possession of these means we have to back down and negotiate, isn’t that the same game Hitler played, gradually expanding his empire until a war had to be fought?
Having confirmed we’re scared, why do you think Putin wouldn’t threaten us with nukes again in the future to get his own way? Following your course of advice rewards the bully and encourages future bullying.

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

The US has used nukes and has “threated” to use them on a number of occasions, otherwise what’s the point of having them? When we fly nuclear capable bombers near a countries borders, that is a “threat” used to make a point.
Hitler didn’ have nukes, if he had it’s unlikely we’d have attempted to retake the continent and the Third Reich would still exist today.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

No that would only have happened had ONLY Hitler had nukes.

George Pazuniak
George Pazuniak
7 months ago

Childish proposal. As a practical matter, a plebiscite would be impossible in the near future, because that would require demilitarization of the two areas. Russia and its subordinates may agree to it, but would never actually leave their arms in Russia. One could have a free plebiscite only by pushing Russia out of the areas, which, of course, defeats the purpose of the proposal. A second problem is that we are rewarding Russia’s illegal invasion and genocidal practices. Seems like the proposal is an invitation to brute aggression.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
7 months ago

Instead of “Putin will never accept defeat”, the proper subheading for this article is “NATO will never accept defeat” – that is clearly what is driving the continued war.
As Mr. Luttwak says, the broad outlines of the settlement are clear, and were in place before the war escalated from its eight-year civil war to the current wider war: A neutralisation of Ukraine, and an implementation of the Minsk Accords. Russia has consistently said they’d be happy with that; it is NATO that wasn’t.
“Allowing” Ukraine to join EU is a brilliant poison pill…

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
7 months ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

“Russia has consistently said they’d be happy with that; it is NATO that wasn’t.” And of course we should trust Russia, shouldn’t we? But we shouldn’t trust NATO, of which we are a member, and which exists solely to give a measure of security to the many small nations with the misfortune to be located close to a big neighbour.
We hoped that in 1991, we could all enjoy the peace dividend, and we did, because there’s nothing a western European politician likes more than to switch expenditure from defence to, say, foreign aid, complete with statutory obligation in the case of the UK.
Meanwhile, the West increased its purchases from Russia, giving it its own dividend. We should call this the ‘war dividend’.

Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Pushing NATO towards Russia’s borders, as we’ve regularly done since 1991, is an odd way to ensure the continuance of a “peace dividend”.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

In case you didn’t notice, it was the populations in the countries wanting to join NATO that prompted NATO’s so-called “expansion.” Why did they want to join NATO? Because they were scared to death of the Russians, with good reason, as Russia/USSR had dominated and subjugated them mercilessly. The only “push” came from those people, whose fears you dismiss so casually in the name of realpolitik. Russia has nothing to fear from NATO, never has. The countries bordering Russia, on the other hand, have every reason, historical and otherwise, to fear the Russian bear.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

ridiculous. you might as well join the Stop the (Western) War Coalition.

jan van ruth
jan van ruth
7 months ago

plebiscite like after the great war?
sure! very successful indeed!
we need reminding of how that worked out in the end?
just ask the polish, they know….

Thomas Pelham
Thomas Pelham
7 months ago
Reply to  jan van ruth

Because ongoing sanctions and a dismantelling of the German army went really well after WW1 too. Didn’t lead to a more extreme, more expansionist regime at all.

Craig Woerpel
Craig Woerpel
7 months ago

I thought of referenda too. It’s pretty straightforward that a majority of people in a region should be able to choose their government. Catch is, even the Russian speaking populations will see full proof of all the atrocities before any voting takes place. How many votes will Putin get in Mariupol, for instance? This is why Putin would never agree to any referendum that he couldn’t completely control and cheat, unless faced with an even worse possibility.
Only if Ukraine starts to show signs of an effective counter-offensive, enabled by more heavy weapons and those MiG-29s, would Putin agree to such a cease-fire and plebiscite. He would jump at that way before being fully driven out.
This is the right solution, and possible if NATO makes the right choices.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
6 months ago

As in other discussions on the outcome of this war, this assumes that both parties are logical and analytical in negotiating strategy and looking for a win-win result. I am not sure this applies to bullies whose mindset is ‘winner takes all’.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
7 months ago

It all seems eminently reasonable; negotiate, and give Putin a sizable chunk of Ukraine so that he may remain in power and not start a nuclear war. At least there is a nod to the idea that Putin can’t be trusted, so to keep him to it, re-imposition of sanctions is threatened.
I think there’s no doubt that Putin and a few trusted spy and military appointees would immediately start to plan for restarting the war when they are ready.
He’ll interfere covertly with Ukrainian civil life. He’ll analyse and correct military weakness, and spend even more on long-range weapons. He’ll make absolutely sure that they can gain air superiority, the most striking Russian omission in this conflict, it seems to me.He’ll ensure that the conquered territories are firmly held, probably as parts of Russia voted in by plebiscites with 99% support. And he may ensure other associated territories are absorbed, such as Belarus, Moldova, and Kazakhstan.
And surely he’ll demand a veto on military aid to Ukraine.
Finally, I expect he’ll wish to negotiate only with Germany and France.

Last edited 7 months ago by Colin Elliott
Michael North
Michael North
7 months ago

“Upon acceptance of the plebiscites in principle, a cease-fire would come into immediate effect, with Russia’s respect of their terms guaranteed by the ease of reimposing sanctions just lifted.”
The flaw in this is that any “respect” by Russia is completely lacking in credibility. Their word/promise on anything is meaningless.
Also, they don’t care about sanctions, if that is the threat they face.
What would be needed is a huge deployment of NATO forces to be stationed in Ukraine, including massive air defences, that could guarantee effective prevention of Russian invasion in the future. The comparison is the huge commitment of American resources in South Korea to prevent invasion from the North.
.

Last edited 7 months ago by Michael North
Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
7 months ago
Reply to  Michael North

Your comparison is ridiculously flawed. Injecting NATO forces into an active war zone is in no way comparable to stationing troops in an allies country during peacetime. Your way is to start WW-III and let the chips wall where they will and the rubble to bounce high. I don’t think our leaders are quite that stupid, hopefully.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Kent Brockman

Stupid they may be. But they’re certainly not as stupid as Putin. Take off the blinkers.

Michael North
Michael North
7 months ago

“Upon acceptance of the plebiscites in principle, a cease-fire would come into immediate effect, with Russia’s respect of their terms guaranteed by the ease of reimposing sanctions just lifted.”
The flaw in this is that any “respect” from Russia has no credibility. Any promise they make is meaningless.
What would be needed is a huge and permanent commitment of resources, comparable to that in South Korea, to prevent future invasion.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
7 months ago

To be honest, ‘sensible’ analysist like Luttwak are actually disconnected from reality if they think there is any upside to allowing Russia to realise *any* of its war aims. Putin has made a strategic error of epic proportions and once his army has be bleed white on the Ukrainian steppes then pushed back to the 2013 borders, only then comes the time to talk.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
7 months ago

What then happens to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, whose citizens voted overwhelmingly to join Russia? Even before they left Ukraine, they were not bound by Ukrainian law but governed themselves. Most people in Crimea are ethnic Russians who speak Russian and not Ukrainian. Will they be forcibly Ukrainized?
Things are more complex than simply right versus wrong. Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe, and one of the most corrupt. It has a lot of problems that will continue regardless of how the war ends. We do need to think about, and work toward, ending the war on terms that will make the best for Ukrainians and Russians alike. Returning Crimea and all of the Donbas to Ukraine may not even be best for Ukraine.
As Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “As for me, I cease not to advocate peace. It may be on unjust terms, but even so it is more expedient than the justest of civil wars.” Or as a more modern person put it, “the aim of war is peace not victory”.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
5 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

What then happens to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, whose citizens voted overwhelmingly to join Russia?”
Yeah, sure they did 😀
“Most people in Crimea are ethnic Russians who speak Russian and not Ukrainian.”
Pretty much everyone in Kharkiv also speaks Russian, yet they have bitterly resisted the Russian army & driven them back. If you think this is actually about language, I recommend you stop watching Russia Today..

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
5 months ago

The vote in Crimea reflected polls taken before and after by Western polling groups. The latest such poll that I have seen showed just 2% wanted Crimea to return to Ukraine.
That was before the war, and I don’t know what feelings are in Crimea now. But if Crimea were to return to Ukraine, I think that would create a mess, with “collaborators” being punished and ethnic Russians being treated as second-class citizens.
I refer to language because Ukraine cracked down on the use of Russian even before the war. Ukraine has long been split by geography, with the west leaning west toward Europe and the east leaning east toward Russia.
The war may change that some, but I doubt the problem will go away. It may get worse.
I’m not pro-Russian, but I do think the conflict is not just good against evil. Both sides have some legitimate interests. Any end to the war should take those into account.

Corrie Mooney
Corrie Mooney
7 months ago

Crimea must be included in the plebiscites.

Brian Kullman
Brian Kullman
7 months ago

Governments generally oppose plebiscites to set national borders. Too many nations have regions that would opt out of their current arrangements if given the chance (e.g., the Kurds.) The US in 1861 rejected the clear preference of the Confederate States to leave the Union.
WW1 was an outlier. The Turkish, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian Empires contained peoples with long standing separatist movements. The victors in WW1 used these separatist movements to dismember the defeated Empires.

Marina Sapir
Marina Sapir
7 months ago

It is great idea! Russia will give up all the territories it controls already, and will get the junk food McDonalds back! Why did not they figure it out yet?
I bet, they go all hangry without McDonalds!

Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
6 months ago

Ukraine, as a state, is finished. It’ll be lucky to keep anything West of the river Dnieper. Donetsk and Lugansk are the absolute minimum they will lose. Play with matches, wet the bed.

Allan F
Allan F
5 months ago

Maybe I’m alone in saying this, but I haven’t the slightest idea what your comment means.

Michael Kellett
Michael Kellett
5 months ago

So Professor Luttwak, Russia invades Ukraine, bombs its cities, kills its citizens, commits war crimes and seizes territory it has no intention of returning. The Ukrainians fight back and during the course of doing so they sink the Russian cruiser Moskva. You think this was a mistake because ‘the sinking was bound to cause retaliation’ and ‘Kyiv might have preferred to let it be’. Really?? Just how much harder could Moscow ‘retaliate’?

Last edited 5 months ago by Michael Kellett
Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
5 months ago

All journalists are paid or dumb lackeys but this one reminds me of Comical Ali.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
5 months ago

Putin said that all Russians killed in a nuclear exchange with Nato would go immediately to heaven. Heaven heard about it and immedaitely applied to join NATO. – Garry Kasparov

Derrick Hand
Derrick Hand
5 months ago

Worldwide failing economies, devolving demographics, fraudulent elections, corrupt officials at the top, impending famine, reoccurring pestilence, and finally existential threats to national sovereignty; this has WWIII written all over it.

Francis Turner
Francis Turner
7 months ago

I think the only way the rest of the world can expect Russia to stop doing stuff like this is if the nation is dismembered. It’s a dysfunctional kleptocracy with historical delusions of empire that mean that it will always want to reassemble a greater Russia. The only way to stop it is to break it up into bits the way Austria Hungary was broken up 100 years ago. And if the Chinese end up dominating Siberia good luck to them, I predict they won’t enjoy it

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
7 months ago
Reply to  Francis Turner

We in the US are currently suffering a dysfunctional kakistocracy. Breaking it up into bits might be an option for us, too.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
7 months ago

This ‘comparison’ of the West with Russia China and N Korea is absurd. There are categorical differences. Many Westerners are upset because there are differences of opinion among us. That’s the point of imperfect but vibrant democracy. We disagree. Try disagreeing with Putinism or Xiism. Ask Navalny about Trump/ Biden issues and you’d get a hollow exasperated laugh as he tries to explain from his Siberian prison the joy of actually having two parties. As the saying goes’ ‘you don’t know you’ve lived’….

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
7 months ago
Reply to  Francis Turner

Hysterical exaggeration of the Russian threat has worked so well for the last 75 years, so let’s have more of it.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

Hungary 1956. Czechoslovakia 1968. Afghanistan 1980. To name but a few.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I’ll raise you the Dutch East Indies,Vietnam, Mau Mau, Iran, Israel, and continuous interference in South America, WMD-Iraq and so on & so on.
The real opportunity for US Imperium was in that very short period between 1945-48, when the Soviet Union did not have the bomb.
However unleashing it would have been prejudicial for investors in US Defence Stocks.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Deflection. And noise. We were discussing the Russian threat here.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Let who is without sin caste the first stone”.*

(* John 8:7.)

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You might not be aware of this, but the Berlin Wall came down over four decades ago—they’re no longer Communist. They’re not utopia—but neither are we. They seem more conservative and Christian, and considerably less degenerate than the modern West. And after the West turned itself into an open air prison over the last two years, no Westerner has any right to witter on about ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ in comparing itself to any other country.
Russia has repeatedly offered friendship to the West and sought co-operation. E.g. Putin, in the wake of 9/11, commissioned a 1000′ tall memorial to the dead, ‘The Teardrop’; within hours of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 Russia offered humanitarian aid to the US and ultimately sent 60 tons; they allowed NATO use of Russian territory, airspace and an airport in support of their Afghanistan mission, only ended in May 2015; they honoured our Arctic convoy veterans in 2015, and continue to annually honour British and Commonwealth dead. Even in the face of increasing hostility of Western Neocons, Russia continued to make friendly overtures, such as ordering their cruiser Moskva to assist the French Navy in the wake of the 2015 Paris attacks by Muslim terrorists and offering Canada help in fighting the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires (rejected by Trudeau).
Russia’s current antagonism towards the West is entirely of the USG-led West’s making, breaking promises and taking every opportunity to p*ss on Russia’s chips. We should ask ourselves, as per the Mitchell & Webb line: ‘Are we the baddy?

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

No, we are most certainly “not the baddy”.
Do you deny that Russia is currently a criminal kleptocracy and has been for most of the time since the fall of the Berlin wall ?
The legacy of Communism is – sadly – corruption and crime. This is hardly a surprise. Firstly, Russia has no strong tradition of rule of law government. Secondly, it was almost impossible to get anything much done legally under the horrendous inefficiency of Communism. Thirdly, the KGB had to fund itself through corruption in order to acquire the hard currency needed to operate.
It will take a very long time for Russia to rid itself of the toxic legacy of Communism. It’s far harder than simply knocking down a wall.

Scotched Earth
Scotched Earth
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

What does the West stand for now? Mass abortion, rampant degeneracy, the sexualisation of children, increasing totalitarianism, population replacement. The West has embraced evil.
The West, esp. Britain, has a ‘strong tradition of rule of law government’—didn’t stop Parliament driving our economy off the cliff and turning our country into an open-air prison. Our Parliament is irredeemably corrupt, imbecilic and treasonous—increasingly blatant in its war on European Civilisation and the British people.
And it will take a very long time for the West to rid itself of the toxic legacy of the USG-promoted Woke cancer currently destroying the West.
We are Communists compared to conservative, Christian Russia.

Peter B
Peter B
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

It may have escaped your notice, but we live in a democracy with a free press and free speech. You are free to stand for parliament on an alternative platform or publish your views without fear of being imprisoned or murdered by the state. Just try that in Russia. Or China.
For sure, the West isn’t perfect and we’ve gone too far in a few of the respects you mention. But our system is ultimately self-correcting through the feedback of democratic elections.
I think you seriously under-estimate the strength and adaptability of the West.
You also ignore the fact that Parliament has largely followed public opinion in much of what it has done. Like it or not, lockdowns were largely popular. We shall only know later looking back if they were really necessary or helpful.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Scotched Earth

Wow. I see the 5th column is alive and well. Perhaps it was the U.S. that invaded Ukraine and is causing all that death and destruction.

Last edited 7 months ago by Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Not only that; follow the migrants. Those from Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Vietnam, Africa, Iran South America, the Warsaw Pact countries, and Russia itself, head to the West, including and esp. the US. Those from Soviet subjugated countries head to ….. the West, esp. the US. Wonder why?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

Tell the people of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and the former East Germany about that “hysterical exaggeration of the Russian threat.” How historically ignorant.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
7 months ago
Reply to  Francis Turner

Isn’t Siberia ‘warning up’ and thus becoming rather salubrious? Plus it is rather good ‘tank country’ all the way to the Urals.
Surely we don’t want a re-run of the 13th century Yellow Peril?

PETE ROSS
PETE ROSS
7 months ago

Why Ukrainia too lazy to blow the Kerch bridge?

nm wander
nm wander
7 months ago

The “sovereignity” of the “nations” under discussion at this time is only murkily understood by the brutish Authoritarians that drank too much Vodka during the final stages of agreement on one night long ago, that no one today can clearly recollect.
…..
The suggestion for a Plebescite or series of Plebescites, is, I agree, a genius suggestion. But who gets to vote? and How?? Ukraine? Moldova? Russia? Belorussia? Cirmea? …. And where will they draw the lines of their national sovereignity?

The more serious clash between two Organizations that have Common Interests is……NATO vs CSTO. We need to LISTEN to Russia…..not necessarily Agree with Russia…but LISTEN…..which is something the US Diplomats are currently refusing to do. Do I honestly think that the Ukranian Leadership is Less brutish and Less corrupt than the Russians?? NO. both sides have some Serious Problems.
….
As Sergei Lavrov was once mercilessly ridiculed by the US Press Corps for saying this…..”Maybe its time to redraw the map”…….he was correct.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
7 months ago

We in the West rightfully support Ukraine, but we should also realize that Russia has some legitimate interests too. The bloody coup d’etat in 2014 was fomented by the West. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea then voted overwhelmingly to join Russia (and few there want to return).
Since then, the almost half of the population who identify strongly with Russia has been forced instead to tilt to the West. Books from Russia were banned in 2017. Use of Russian in education was also banned. Since January 2022 all publications must be in Ukrainian.
The war in the Donbas that has been simmering for 8 years has been a product of these tensions. Nationalist Ukrainians have on occasion been guilty of what is close to ethnic cleansing.
None of that excuses Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But after the war these tensions will not disappear. They will need to be addressed. Can you imagine what might happen to its largely Russian-speaking population if Crimea were returned to Ukraine? We should be imagining that as we try to end the war and bring back peace.

Last edited 7 months ago by Carlos Danger
paper map
paper map
7 months ago

We forget to say that Russia is the successor to Mongolia.
Not to mention politics, even the military.
The Mongolian and Russian troops have exactly the same advantages and the same drawbacks. They have few infantry on their own, rely on cavalry and tanks, are not good at urban warfare, and infantry recruit locals.
BTG loves artillery and tanks, and Mongolians love bow cavalry indirect and direct fire.
They failed in urban warfare, recruited local infantry, threw plague corpses, and destroyed towns and castles with cannons and arson.
Well, ignore the terrible performance of the Russian army.

If Putin is defeated, the next one to come out is Shoigu or Jumin. The Communist Party of Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia are far more radical than them, and even just Russia mentions Japan’s war on Hokkaido.
Even Navalny has an imperialist remark to the Mongolian Turku republic and the Caucasus.

Manchuria, Mongolia in the Middle Ages was a semi-peripheral country in the olden days, and when global cooling occurred, they went south and attacked China due to the danger of starvation.
In ancient Mongolia, in order to maintain the government, they attacked China to obtain delicate goods for the tribal chief.

Russia is also a semi-peripheral country, a desperate defense environment surrounded by NATO, China, Islam, Japan and South Korea, and a country that has caused an overreaction even in Able Archer 83.
If Able Archer is in danger of a full-scale nuclear war, this environment itself is a good reason for a nuclear war.

Honestly, it’s a trivial matter such as an agreement, and they will only be interested in how the country feels in the end.
And they can’t stop when they get here. Without any benefit.
Aside from Donbus, if Ukrainian troops charge to Crimea, they may use nuclear or chemical weapons. Or, if the land is attacked, it is possible to start drafting 2 million troops.
The Ukrainian army may eventually acquire the ability to do that.
But even at the stage of performance that is too terrible now, Russian troops have the potential to conquer the Baltic states.

In Japan’s Vietnam War, the Sino-Japanese War, the war with the United States began without being able to control China. As a result, more than 1.1 million people were stationed in China, reducing the defense capabilities of Burma and the Pacific Ocean.
The Russian army can do that with a large draft of 2 million.
There are two wars between Ukraine and NATO.
Well, obviously it’s tough on the Russian army.
If that happens, we will use nuclear weapons.

The endless long-term war in Ukraine is the best way to undermine Russia. I think there is a way to keep Ukraine from being abandoned by repeatedly winning and losing and presenting half-hearted profits.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  paper map

RE: Russia is also a semi-peripheral country, a desperate defense environment surrounded by NATO, China, Islam, Japan and South Korea, 
One can only laugh at the inanity of this. Russia is by far the largest country in the world, more than twice the size of Canada that rules over a vast number of ethnic minorities under its thumb. That’s quite a “desperate defense environment.”

paper map
paper map
7 months ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

The land is large, but GDP and military power per land area are too terrible.
When looking at a nation, it cannot be measured by the total military power alone.
That is why Russia was defeated in the Russo-Japanese War.
In Siberian intervention, the White Army, the Japanese Army, the Western Army, and the Polish Army were simultaneously opposed, and an Islamic rebellion soon occurred.
And, as a bonus, it is now weak enough to deal with a single country only when the troops are rallying.
This is one of the reasons why Ukraine cannot be beaten.
Russia is the wreckage of the Soviet Army, and military spending is less than 20% of the Soviet Union.

Russia always has this dilemma.
The Ottoman Empire was fighting against Europe and Persia at the same time, so it couldn’t finish either.
While the European Allied forces mobilized 100,000 against Ottoman, Nader Shah’s Persian army mobilized 400,000 in just one country.
At one point, the capital was dropped by 200,000 Timur troops.
Various other countries have entered this dilemma, and Russia is one of the worst in this dilemma.
The four navies, which were divided into the world’s largest land area due to a large amount of nuclear military spending by Western opponents, and the army, which is vulnerable to the land area. Mobilization speed is very slow and relies on a deposit system.
They exaggerate their nuclear weapons because they are now a huge North Korean army.
You can’t beat NATO or the Chinese Army.
Ukraine cannot be defeated, and if so, it is impossible to beat the current Turkish and Japanese forces. Other than Baltic and Scandinavian, it has no advantage.
Muslims are the ones the US military couldn’t beat for 20 years and $ 8 trillion. Can you beat Russia? It’s impossible.

According to the US Army’s 1980s Soviet Army analysis manual, the Soviet Union cannot beat Japan, South Korea, China, Turkey, or Iran. They could only win against Europe. With South Korea, even if you form a coalition with North Korea, you will be defeated by the US and South Korean troops. You have to go through the sea. The landing force is not enough for Japan, and the force cannot be pulled out for China.
The Soviet Union’s Turkish army was defeated by the Turkish army alone, and it is finally fifty-fifty in Iran.
In fact, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was an economic problem and could not mobilize 300,000. The Soviet Union has mobilized 100,000 people from the Category 1 division and is out of physical strength.

And semi-neighboring countries is an economic term. The core nation is the most economically advanced country, and the semi-neighboring countries are the ones facing it.
Semi-neighboring countries distribute the wealth of core nations. Of course, it causes many wars against the core nation.
This means that Russia will be a warlike country, not a weak country. Was Mongolia weak?

In WW3 during the Cold War, the Soviet Union was afraid of being attacked by NATO and the Middle East, China and Japan at the same time.
Of course, this will have a Hitler-like ending in the underground pit.

paper map
paper map
7 months ago
Reply to  paper map

The deposit system is wrong and the military depot system is correct.
Place your equipment at bases everywhere and move only your troops.
This suits the Russian environment, but proficiency training issues reduce mobilization speed and quality.
Well, it could be faster than the railroad …
Moreover, in this Ukrainian war, it is not completely successful because it has been mobilized from Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.

It does not mean that it is weak because it is a semi-neighboring country, but Russia is in a state like a huge North Korean army because it lacks military power at all for the required ability.
Nuclear is the fastest military force, while the Army is the slowest military force.
Huge continental nations always suffer from this mobilization speed, the abundance of enemies and the enemies of the people.
So huge continental nations are always vulnerable to military power as a result.

paper map
paper map
7 months ago
Reply to  paper map
Continental nations are weak for their own military and national power
paper map
paper map
7 months ago
Reply to  paper map
My English is definitely terrible and can be hard to read ...



Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
6 months ago
Reply to  paper map

No argument from me on your points, but I was taking issue with calling it a “desperate defense environment, which it most certainly is not, for the reasons I outlined above.

paper map
paper map
6 months ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

No army in the world can survive being caught between NATO and the Chinese army. Russia is on good terms with China now, but sometimes they are on the wrong side. Of course, there are times when this is not the case.
China and Russia are not so much a relationship of mutual help, but rather a joint struggle between beasts aiming at the time when each other becomes weak.
It is unclear if the Chinese army can drop Taiwan.
I’m Japanese, but Russia’s defense environment is much worse than it is today.

(Opinion polls show that 90% of Japanese blame Russia, the highest percentage in the world except Ukraine. Russia, like me, is not as strong as he needs, and the opinion of a desperate defensive environment is rare. I am far right, my view of war is medieval,
I don’t really trust peace, cooperation, international law and human rights. I trust only power. Well, it means that the law, thoughts and beliefs are also regarded as one of the powers.
In other words, it is close to the beast-like world view of Russia, the Soviet Union, and China.)

After all, despair is determined by the person’s perception. From the west, they are as tough as steel, but they think they are in danger.
Recently, not only Germany but also Japan has talked about increasing defense spending to 13 trillion yen within five years, and the ruling party has begun discussions with NATO, so it is completely over.
If that happens, Japan may have a regular aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine and join NATO. The glorious Imperial Japanese Navy will be resurrected and Russia’s nuclear strategy will collapse. The nuclear submarine to attack the United States will not be fully effective.
Well, this is a Russian suicide bomb. I would have had a first strike or political work somewhere in Putin, but I think this is a terrible fumble because the army was too incompetent.

And according to the FSB letter, it was originally planned to attack Japan instead of Ukraine.
Well, I still say desperate because the Russian army hasn’t reached the required capabilities.
I see war as a continuum from ancient and medieval times, not as a modern one.
In other words, all nations intend to attack all nations, and if their abilities are necessary and sufficient, they will attack. Russians think so too.
They value the physical abilities of the enemy, not the will of international law and peace.
If the Russians were capable of defeating four, it would be like having more than thirty enemies.
There are some that are close to Hitler and Japan in 1944, just because the war has not started.

This is an explanation of my opinion and does not blame you.
I’m far right and medievalist, so I think most people are russia is strong.
Excuse me for a long sentence.

George 1111
George 1111
7 months ago

The author intentions are good but he completely failed to read the situation. Zelensky could not accept a deal that is worse than what Ukraine was offered before the war, if he tries his own people would revolt. After a relentless propaganda to incense people in the United States against Russia Biden could not accept a solution that accept Russian control over significant parts of Ukraine, if he tries the expected losses for the Democrats on the midterms would turn into a bloodbath. Putin could accept this solution, but anything less would cause him to lose his.power and possibly his.life. All the three parts on the conflict ( Ukraine, Russia and the West) have unleashed powerful forces that cannot be stopped and make a peaceful solution impossible. The best we can expect is a frozen conflict with sporadic flares of violence, death and destruction. Everything short of a full WW3 would be a win

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
7 months ago

Plebiscites a good idea after the Azov Battalions and all the other neo-Nazis are liquidated, because they will act as they have for 8 years to ethnically cleanse those areas of Russian speakers and will make plebiscite impossible.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
7 months ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Zenesky is a Russian speaker, and unlikely to be sympathetic to Nazis, seeing as he is a Jew.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

It’s comments like this completely devoid of fact that make me realise you’re not interested in debate. Maybe Twitter would be more up your alley?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
7 months ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Putin toady.