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Are we prepared for ‘eternal war’ in Ukraine? One year on, senior officials are pessimistic

The West hopes to “asphyxiate” the Ukraine war. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/ /Getty Images

The West hopes to “asphyxiate” the Ukraine war. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/ /Getty Images


February 24, 2023   5 mins

Vladimir Putin’s armies launched their fateful attack on Ukraine a year ago today. Tanks and troops poured across the frontier in what most Western governments feared would be a lightning thrust of fratricidal violence that would throttle Ukrainian independence. Then came the resistance, Russia not only held at bay but, miraculously, thrown back. As the world looks on, expectantly, waiting for the next decisive crash of momentum, a grim pessimism has again taken hold: 2022 might have been a year of heroism, but many fear 2023 might be the year the war settles into something far more conventional — and worrying.

In public, the talk might still be of liberating every inch of Ukrainian territory, but speak privately to those in London, Paris or Washington, and a cynical and sombre mood emerges. Here the talk is less of sweeping Ukrainian advances to come and more of a conflict that is likely to descend ever further into the anarchic quagmire before it stands a chance of emerging, grasping towards some kind of settlement. Over the past few weeks I have spoken to officials at the most senior levels of the British government in an attempt to get a sense of how those guiding UK policy see the war developing during the course of 2023. The overwhelming consensus is that the war in Ukraine is likely to get a lot more chaotically unpredictable before it settles — if it ever does.

Most striking is how few hold much hope for a decisive victory for either side. For many in London, Berlin and Paris, today, Ukraine’s best-case scenario is to stabilise the front sufficiently to allow it to emerge as a viable, independent state, able to defend itself — to be able to breathe and live as a relatively normal country, to trade and grow, export and settle. The unstated goal, in other words, is to grasp towards a temporary settlement which eventually becomes a permanent reality even if no one ever officially recognises it as such. Conflicts have ended this way before: Kashmir, which has been “temporarily” settled since the Forties, and Korea which remains divided and at war while still being at peace.

The question Western diplomats are now asking themselves is what this “minimal breathable scenario” now looks like for Ukraine? I’m told it consists of three basic factors: first, giving Ukraine the capability to be able to stop Russia’s constant aerial bombardment beyond a future ceasefire; second, to ensure Ukraine’s free access to the Black Sea, and third, to secure a stable front. “This is the minimum Ukraine needs before it can even consider talking,” one official put it to me. The problem is that the pre-conditions for Ukraine to emerge as such a functioning, independent state are not in place. And so the war will drag on — potentially for a long time yet.

The war, according to one senior UK official is, in some senses, “eternal”. “The Western mind wants to know when these things can be wrapped in a bow,” the official said. “But they can’t.” The problem is that Russia simply does not believe Ukraine is a separate nation or legitimate state, but a part of greater Russia, in the same way China sees Taiwan. For as long as Ukraine is independent, in other words, there will be conflict. The “end” in such circumstances is little more than a temporary ceasefire in which Russia accepts it cannot improve its position.

The appointment of Valery Gerasimov as the commander of the Russian war effort is seen, in particular, as an indication that Moscow was now going all-out. Gerasimov is widely believed to be more offensive than his rival Sergey Surovikin who oversaw Russia’s retreat last year, stabilising its lines of defence.

The fear in London and Paris is that Gerasimov’s appointment, combined with Putin’s mobilisation, will allow Russia to bring to bear its two most important advantages: numbers and the ability to escalate. Over time, Russia’s numerical supremacy will begin to show on the battlefield. To some extent, the effect has already been felt. Ukraine is already being forced to sacrifice its “good” soldiers for Russia’s “bad” ones — conscripts and convicts — who the Kremlin has no qualms about sending into the meat grinder. The second advantage is escalatory dominance. In short, Russia can bomb Ukraine in a way Ukraine cannot bomb Russia. As long as this remains the case, Ukraine cannot emerge as a free state.

In Paris, there is particular concern about this “double asymmetry”. As such, French military advisers are, again, very cautious about how the war will unfold. The French president and those around him think the war will last for a long time with no clear conclusion. In Berlin, a similar sense of fatalism has taken hold. Few think the Russians will ever give up Donetsk, Luhansk or Crimea and most now see a long, drawn-out war with no obvious way out. “There’s no real sense that Russia can be defeated,” one analyst in Berlin told me.

Given this, most believe Putin’s plan is to play it long — to simply outlast the West. He may have calculated that there is little the West can do about the asymmetry of the conflict, given that no Western capital would consider putting boots on the ground or attacking Russia directly. This, after all, is what happened in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, where Western dominance was eventually seen off by smaller regional powers who calculated — correctly — that they would stay the course and the US would not. But, while the prognosis in Western capitals is gloomy, perhaps it is — once again — too gloomy. Many analysts are unconvinced that Russia can carry on indefinitely. Its offensive this year has been less than impressive.

The only route to a settlement as they all see it, is for the West to squeeze the heat out of the conflict by giving Ukraine what it needs to convince Russia it cannot win. And if there is ever a ceasefire, the West must be free to arm Ukraine sufficiently to protect itself from any future Russian attack. These are the parameters of a deal — there is now no other way.

The danger for Ukraine now lies less in being overrun but in losing a clear narrative arc that its Western supporters can believe in: the noble underdog triumphing over its evil colonial oppressor. If the war descends into a confusing series of offensives and counter-offensives in which there is no obvious victor, towns and villages nobody has ever heard of being taken and re-taken, the clarity of this narrative begins to muddy.

This general fear of inertia, then, is really a fear of the biggest strategic concern of all: losing the West’s support, particularly American support. Should Ukraine find itself defending territory rather than advancing, many in Europe’s capitals believe that the public will lose interest. If it is still dragging on by the winter, there could be another squeeze on energy supplies, creating another surge in prices. How would the public react? What if next winter is brutally cold?

In the United States, attention will quickly turn to the 2024 presidential election. How will Donald Trump’s bid for re-election play into this? There is a concern that his magnetic pull on the Republican party will drag rivals into promising to bring the war to an end on whatever terms. In Germany, the ruling Social Democratic party is already particularly cautious about the war effort.

Most of the analysts I spoke to are optimistic in one fundamental sense — that Russia will not be able to overrun the whole of Ukraine. Yet most are now pessimistic that Russia can be entirely defeated. The goal that many in the West now privately aspire to, then, is to “asphyxiate” the conflict by strangling Russia’s hope of victory before the West loses interest.


Tom McTague is UnHerd’s Political Editor. He is the author of Betting The House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

TomMcTague

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Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

Who is this ‘Chicken Hawk’? (American political slang)

”first, giving Ukraine the capability to be able to stop Russia’s constant aerial bombardment beyond a future ceasefire;”

HOW? WT F? if Russia wants to bomb them it will – not only that, it means the war is hardly at ceasefire. Is he suggesting Biden send them a magic wand? Or just another hundred $Billion?

”The only route to a settlement as they all see it, is for the West to squeeze the heat out of the conflict by giving Ukraine what it needs to convince Russia it cannot win.”

Why? It is not our business. Biden is up to $111,000,000,000!!!!!!!!!!!!! in un- audited Free Money handed to Ukraine, the most corrupt nation on Earth! Biden is paying their Pensions! Here Pensions are eaten by inflation and old people eating catfood sandwiches and Biden is paying the Ukrainian pensions.

This money has destroyed Ukraine, destroyed the Global food and energy supply – Famine and Depression are coming from this insanity. Billions globally are to drop from Poverty to Abject Poverty and starvation to keep Zalenski in his stolen $ Billions.

Your own pensions are toast – your children will never get pensions because of this insanity…

This money and sanctions has allied China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, KSA, Venezuela …..into an alliance – That is NOT good. Rogue Nations Alliance.

Russia was going to kill their corrupt Oligarchs and replace them with his corrupt puppet Oligarchs – so what? Keeping Zalenski in stolen $Billions is not the American Taxpayers job.

LOOK – EACH $ OF WEAPONS LATER WILL REQUIRE $10 TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE! Do the numbers. Send a Hundred Billion as we have – fixing the place will cost a $Trillion after. You warmongers – so your children are going to pay that? You spend it – in Debt – They pay for it. All these children – women, young men you warmongers are sending to their death – YOUR children will pay for you to kill them now. That is how debt works – Your kids already will never own their own house – now you spend their pensions to kill Russians and Ukrainians to keep Zalenski and his ilk in corrupt $ – that is the ONLY Winner – Evil is the only winner of this war you warmongers fund!!!

Peace Now – enough of this wicked and evil war – Quit Justifying it Unherd!

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Yes, agreed with all you say BUT………

The west is in self-destruct mode on all fronts:

1) The war in Ukraine…
2) Cutting back on fossil fuels when the rest of the world is carrying on as normal….
3) Pandering to all these insufferable minorities who take offence at every whisper….
4) Focussing on looking at screens rather than working…
5) Paying for a past of colonisation…
6) Pretending that men are really women…
7) Spending a fortune on keeping people alive instead of looking for cures..
8) Encouraging people to be as UNFIT as possible for life…

All of these things mean no proper life, no pensions, no future. Then the East will become dominant.

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

But Chris, do you know how many followers and likes Zelensky has on twitter

Also stop making Greta cry

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

What’s Twitter?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The organ of the chatteratti.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The organ of the chatteratti.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

What’s Twitter?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Which is exactly why China is crawling all over our universities, corporations, and government, shelling out cash to eager greed goblins happy to kill our culture of freedom and prosperity. Fat, pierced, tatted semi-literate, barely verbal TikTok deviants are apparently in charge.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Not for much longer.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Not for much longer.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

While I agree with 2,3,5 and 6, your conclusions are beyond pessimistic and frankly, rather reductive and stupid.

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Try learning to spell, or failing that use the Edit function. Asperger’s is NO excuse here old son.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

..

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Everyone’s an editor. Congratulations. You caught a typo.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

..

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Everyone’s an editor. Congratulations. You caught a typo.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

I think 50% is pretty good for Harry.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

50% of what, or do you not even know.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

50% of what, or do you not even know.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Try learning to spell, or failing that use the Edit function. Asperger’s is NO excuse here old son.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

I think 50% is pretty good for Harry.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Slightly off piste, but why is the Welsh Assembly increasing its numbers from 60 to 96?

Has there been a massive COVID inspired ‘bonkfest’ to use the vernacular, and thus an equally massive population increase?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

I really don’t know. Perhaps they are too busy, perhaps it is to give fair representation.

My own view: it is Labour-controlled and always will be so. The Labour Party (in Wales) has formerly stated that they see a future where everybody in Wales is working for the government – and this is the start of the job creation.

Apparently, when everybody is working for the government, they will get good wages and pensions and there will no longer be poor people.

There is a flaw somewhere but I can’t put my finger on it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I wonder who is going to pay for all that?
Not ENGLAND surely?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I wonder who is going to pay for all that?
Not ENGLAND surely?

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

I really don’t know. Perhaps they are too busy, perhaps it is to give fair representation.

My own view: it is Labour-controlled and always will be so. The Labour Party (in Wales) has formerly stated that they see a future where everybody in Wales is working for the government – and this is the start of the job creation.

Apparently, when everybody is working for the government, they will get good wages and pensions and there will no longer be poor people.

There is a flaw somewhere but I can’t put my finger on it.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Putin has them where he wants them.

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

But Chris, do you know how many followers and likes Zelensky has on twitter

Also stop making Greta cry

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Which is exactly why China is crawling all over our universities, corporations, and government, shelling out cash to eager greed goblins happy to kill our culture of freedom and prosperity. Fat, pierced, tatted semi-literate, barely verbal TikTok deviants are apparently in charge.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

While I agree with 2,3,5 and 6, your conclusions are beyond pessimistic and frankly, rather reductive and stupid.

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Slightly off piste, but why is the Welsh Assembly increasing its numbers from 60 to 96?

Has there been a massive COVID inspired ‘bonkfest’ to use the vernacular, and thus an equally massive population increase?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Putin has them where he wants them.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Russia’s air force reigns supreme–which is why they only fly s few dozen sorties a day, and never beyond the front line.

But could it be that the Neo Cons have so subverted reality itself, that what one sees and feels is no longer true?

Could George Soros be behind it all?

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

People keep saying that Ukraine is the most corrupt nation on Earth without any proof. I bet most African countries are more corrupt and what about Mexico?

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

Factually, Russia is far more corrupt than Ukraine.
But you knew that.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

World Corruption Index (out of 180.)

146 Russia
146 Sierra Leone
146 Ukraine
146 Zimbabwe
146 Kenya
146 Timor Leste

179 Afghanistan
180 Somalia.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

Great stats!

Ian Dale
Ian Dale
1 year ago

This is not what I see. I see Ukraine at 116 but getting better, and Russia at 127 and getting worse. Mexico is at 126 and staying the same. Somalia of course at 180 and getting worse. (https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2022). Or (https://www.worlddata.info/corruption.php) Ukraine at 53, better than Mexico at 63, Russia at 74 and Somalia at the bottom 117. Incidentally, this latter makes the point that the least corrupt countries are also the ones with the highest average income; and in this respect Russia is a clear outlier, with the average income shown as $11610 and Ukraine at only $4120. Where did you get your statistics, Mr. Stanhope?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Dale

Well spotted due to slovenly staff work I was using the 2009 figures!

2022: TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL.

116 Zambia

116 Philippines

116 Mongolia

116 El Salvador

116 Ukraine

116 Algeria

116 Angola

137 RUSSIA

“Lies, damned lies and statistics?”*

(* 1st Duke of Wellington or Benjamin Disraeli or even someone else!)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Dale

Well spotted due to slovenly staff work I was using the 2009 figures!

2022: TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL.

116 Zambia

116 Philippines

116 Mongolia

116 El Salvador

116 Ukraine

116 Algeria

116 Angola

137 RUSSIA

“Lies, damned lies and statistics?”*

(* 1st Duke of Wellington or Benjamin Disraeli or even someone else!)

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

Great stats!

Ian Dale
Ian Dale
1 year ago

This is not what I see. I see Ukraine at 116 but getting better, and Russia at 127 and getting worse. Mexico is at 126 and staying the same. Somalia of course at 180 and getting worse. (https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2022). Or (https://www.worlddata.info/corruption.php) Ukraine at 53, better than Mexico at 63, Russia at 74 and Somalia at the bottom 117. Incidentally, this latter makes the point that the least corrupt countries are also the ones with the highest average income; and in this respect Russia is a clear outlier, with the average income shown as $11610 and Ukraine at only $4120. Where did you get your statistics, Mr. Stanhope?

TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

It was the 4th most corrupt, but not sure who’s done the tallying…

Ian Dale
Ian Dale
1 year ago

That sort of tallying is done by the Kremlin; but see above. In any event, I haven’t seen any quotes from Putin to say that the intent of the invasion is to eliminate Ukrainian corruption, just to eliminate mythological fascists and the hordes of American tanks supposedly ravaging the outskirts of Moskva, the new Stalingrad.

Ian Dale
Ian Dale
1 year ago

That sort of tallying is done by the Kremlin; but see above. In any event, I haven’t seen any quotes from Putin to say that the intent of the invasion is to eliminate Ukrainian corruption, just to eliminate mythological fascists and the hordes of American tanks supposedly ravaging the outskirts of Moskva, the new Stalingrad.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

Factually, Russia is far more corrupt than Ukraine.
But you knew that.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

World Corruption Index (out of 180.)

146 Russia
146 Sierra Leone
146 Ukraine
146 Zimbabwe
146 Kenya
146 Timor Leste

179 Afghanistan
180 Somalia.

TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

It was the 4th most corrupt, but not sure who’s done the tallying…

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Waaaaah! It is not our business! (even though an aggressive war by an expansionist warmonger on Europe’s doorstep is everyone’s “business.”)
Waaaaah! Weapons are so expensive. (yes, defending a sovereign country from a determined invader doesn’t come cheap)
Waaaaah! There will be famine and depression if we don’t stop helping Ukraine right now! (yes, wars are tough, with scarcity and economic downturns. Ukrainians are paying a much higher price than that for Putin’s aggression.)
Waaaaah! Peace now. Enough of this evil and wicked war. (I agree 100%. Vladimir Putin should withdraw his troops. That would end the war in a minute.)

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
john gunderson
john gunderson
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

It’s not everyone’s business. It’s in your backyard, you take care of it. But you can’t, can you, because all of Europe have been relying on the USA to bail you out at every opportunity. I don’t think it would matter one damn to the USA if Russia overran all of the former Soviet client states (i.e, not a vital strategic interest of ours). We would just continue to do business with the new boss at the old location. And you wouldn’t care either as long as you got your daily pint.

john gunderson
john gunderson
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

It’s not everyone’s business. It’s in your backyard, you take care of it. But you can’t, can you, because all of Europe have been relying on the USA to bail you out at every opportunity. I don’t think it would matter one damn to the USA if Russia overran all of the former Soviet client states (i.e, not a vital strategic interest of ours). We would just continue to do business with the new boss at the old location. And you wouldn’t care either as long as you got your daily pint.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

The real question relates to how fast can Putin resupply munitions. The bombardment has slowed and less accurate missiles are falling. Indeed a lot of Ukraine has been smashed but they fight on. While the sums the US sends are large it’s an insignificant expense in terms of the overall outlays. Can the west supply more bullets than Russia? So far Russian manpower losses have not harmed the population, but some are not happy. Can Putin continue control if the economy shrinks this next year as it has in this? Fuels are not delivering promised revenue as the Chinese take advantage.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Good points, but note that Ukraine, in one year, used up 13 yrs of the US’s supply of Javelin missiles – most of our “stock” of many our weapons it could take 2 years to produce the Abrams tanks that were “promised.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

The reason Putin can’t sue for peace.
If he did, all the justification to keep people in line disappears.
And they realize how much Russia has permanently lost.

Dan Mullock
Dan Mullock
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

The Russian and Ukraine capability trajectories are completely different. Ukraine has never been stronger (more artillery, armor including tanks captured from Russia, precision munitions, and superb overhead intel to shooter synergies, and a million troops under arms versus 200k a year ago). The Russians have lost half of their best tanks, planes, crews and an overwhelming majority of their precision munitions. They also are particularly short of frontline leaders (NCO’s and junior officers) and as such die in much larger numbers to much more shrewd and well organized Ukraine defenders. Morale and will to win is key in such fights, and the difference there is night and day as well. The Russians could collapse soon, particularly if Ukraine receives generous quantities of tanks and all types of ammo now. The Russians simply cannot rebuild what is lost, but the West can. Finally, we have spent more than a billion dollars on Nato over the past ten years. Ukraine is totally kneecapping the Russian tactical forces and they will not be a credible tactical threat to Europe for a long time when this one is over. This will allow lower investment by the US in the future if we so choose. News forecast September 1st 2023; “Ukraine forces cutoff Crimea from the Donbass, forcing Russia to abandon Sevastopol and flee across the Kerch straits back into Russia. Putin offers to stand down in exchange for the Donbass, Ukraine replies by surrounding Donetsk and forcing garrison surrender. Zelenksy offers a 60 kilometer demilitarized zone centered on Ukraine former borders and a ceasfire when the Russian troops reverse over the international border. They do”.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Good points, but note that Ukraine, in one year, used up 13 yrs of the US’s supply of Javelin missiles – most of our “stock” of many our weapons it could take 2 years to produce the Abrams tanks that were “promised.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

The reason Putin can’t sue for peace.
If he did, all the justification to keep people in line disappears.
And they realize how much Russia has permanently lost.

Dan Mullock
Dan Mullock
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

The Russian and Ukraine capability trajectories are completely different. Ukraine has never been stronger (more artillery, armor including tanks captured from Russia, precision munitions, and superb overhead intel to shooter synergies, and a million troops under arms versus 200k a year ago). The Russians have lost half of their best tanks, planes, crews and an overwhelming majority of their precision munitions. They also are particularly short of frontline leaders (NCO’s and junior officers) and as such die in much larger numbers to much more shrewd and well organized Ukraine defenders. Morale and will to win is key in such fights, and the difference there is night and day as well. The Russians could collapse soon, particularly if Ukraine receives generous quantities of tanks and all types of ammo now. The Russians simply cannot rebuild what is lost, but the West can. Finally, we have spent more than a billion dollars on Nato over the past ten years. Ukraine is totally kneecapping the Russian tactical forces and they will not be a credible tactical threat to Europe for a long time when this one is over. This will allow lower investment by the US in the future if we so choose. News forecast September 1st 2023; “Ukraine forces cutoff Crimea from the Donbass, forcing Russia to abandon Sevastopol and flee across the Kerch straits back into Russia. Putin offers to stand down in exchange for the Donbass, Ukraine replies by surrounding Donetsk and forcing garrison surrender. Zelenksy offers a 60 kilometer demilitarized zone centered on Ukraine former borders and a ceasfire when the Russian troops reverse over the international border. They do”.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

The only thing that could achieve “Ukraine being able to defend the integrity of its territory” would be nuclear weapons. Ironic that the Ukrainians surrendered all of the Soviet ones in 1993.
And no, I am NOT suggesting that we hand them nukes. I am suggesting that we accept (like we did with Stalin and Budapest) that Russia has a greater interest in Ukraine than we do.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

You know who has an even greater interest in Ukraine than Russia? The Ukrainian people. And they don’t want to be in Russia’s “sphere of influence.” They know from hard experience what they actually means.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

You know who has an even greater interest in Ukraine than Russia? The Ukrainian people. And they don’t want to be in Russia’s “sphere of influence.” They know from hard experience what they actually means.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

The Russian army in Ukraine is in the same position now as the Tsar’s Russian army was in World War I. They have huge supply chain issues. Russia is rumored to be buying ammunition from North Korea, not known for producing high quality ammunition, because Russia has used up most of their own usable stockpiles. Russia is buying drones and missiles from Iran, because they’ve used most of their own, and sanctions prevent them from getting the electronics they need to make more. Russian artillery fire overall has declined over 70% due to a shell shortage. They concentrate it on narrow fronts, like Bakhmut, where they use World War I style infantry attacks after artillery barrages, with high Russian casualties, to try to break through. They’re short of tanks, and prefer to take massive infantry casualties instead.

Russia’s recent conquest of Soledar has no strategic significance. Ukrainian artillery is pounding the town.

Putin can’t depend on the loyalty of mobilized mobiks, so he can’t allow them to be armed and trained adequately, even if he had the means to do so. (Please remember the Tsar was overthrown by draftees.) Most mobiks are well over 30 and out of physical shape. Typical mobik training is 20-60 rounds fired through a very old AK-47, and that’s all. After a week of such “training,” mobiks are sent to the front, often without officers. They are placed in front line trenches to draw Ukrainian artillery fire, facilitating Russian counter battery fire. Mobiks generally have minimal equipment, no tents, sleeping bags or bullet proof armor, and at best minimal rations of food.

Casualties and equipment losses in Russias professional army have been high. Russia invaded with 160,000-180,000 of their most elite soldiers. At least 80,000-90,000 are dead or seriously wounded. Ukrainian estimates of Russian casualties are double that. Also, proportional amounts of their equipment have been destroyed or captured by Ukraine. The trained soldiers are irreplaceable.

You might think equipment can be replaced from reserve stocks. However, old Soviet tanks are stored in open fields subject to Russian winter weather. After 30-60 years, they need a lot of maintenance, almost complete reassembly to replace engine seals and hoses, to work. Further, many of their valuable parts have been stolen and sold. In an unrelated example of theft, 1.5 million uniforms vanished from their warehouses in Russia. They were either stolen, or paid for, but never made.

Russia isn’t the USSR. Putin ain’t Stalin or even close. Quite a number of oil oligarchs have fallen from windows or boats, or died in other mysterious circumstances. The Russian Army’s command structure since the start of the invasion has changed every 3 months. The FSB (formerly KGB) has had a couple of shake ups. Putin looks ill and is rumored to have cancer. There seems to be discontent inside the oligarchy with Putin’s decisions. At some point, military power inside Russia will become more important than military power in Ukraine. I think Putin will be replaced if he continues to lose, or if he orders a nuclear attack.

In short, I think you have vastly over estimated Russian resources.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Yes, agreed with all you say BUT………

The west is in self-destruct mode on all fronts:

1) The war in Ukraine…
2) Cutting back on fossil fuels when the rest of the world is carrying on as normal….
3) Pandering to all these insufferable minorities who take offence at every whisper….
4) Focussing on looking at screens rather than working…
5) Paying for a past of colonisation…
6) Pretending that men are really women…
7) Spending a fortune on keeping people alive instead of looking for cures..
8) Encouraging people to be as UNFIT as possible for life…

All of these things mean no proper life, no pensions, no future. Then the East will become dominant.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Russia’s air force reigns supreme–which is why they only fly s few dozen sorties a day, and never beyond the front line.

But could it be that the Neo Cons have so subverted reality itself, that what one sees and feels is no longer true?

Could George Soros be behind it all?

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

People keep saying that Ukraine is the most corrupt nation on Earth without any proof. I bet most African countries are more corrupt and what about Mexico?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Waaaaah! It is not our business! (even though an aggressive war by an expansionist warmonger on Europe’s doorstep is everyone’s “business.”)
Waaaaah! Weapons are so expensive. (yes, defending a sovereign country from a determined invader doesn’t come cheap)
Waaaaah! There will be famine and depression if we don’t stop helping Ukraine right now! (yes, wars are tough, with scarcity and economic downturns. Ukrainians are paying a much higher price than that for Putin’s aggression.)
Waaaaah! Peace now. Enough of this evil and wicked war. (I agree 100%. Vladimir Putin should withdraw his troops. That would end the war in a minute.)

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

The real question relates to how fast can Putin resupply munitions. The bombardment has slowed and less accurate missiles are falling. Indeed a lot of Ukraine has been smashed but they fight on. While the sums the US sends are large it’s an insignificant expense in terms of the overall outlays. Can the west supply more bullets than Russia? So far Russian manpower losses have not harmed the population, but some are not happy. Can Putin continue control if the economy shrinks this next year as it has in this? Fuels are not delivering promised revenue as the Chinese take advantage.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

The only thing that could achieve “Ukraine being able to defend the integrity of its territory” would be nuclear weapons. Ironic that the Ukrainians surrendered all of the Soviet ones in 1993.
And no, I am NOT suggesting that we hand them nukes. I am suggesting that we accept (like we did with Stalin and Budapest) that Russia has a greater interest in Ukraine than we do.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

The Russian army in Ukraine is in the same position now as the Tsar’s Russian army was in World War I. They have huge supply chain issues. Russia is rumored to be buying ammunition from North Korea, not known for producing high quality ammunition, because Russia has used up most of their own usable stockpiles. Russia is buying drones and missiles from Iran, because they’ve used most of their own, and sanctions prevent them from getting the electronics they need to make more. Russian artillery fire overall has declined over 70% due to a shell shortage. They concentrate it on narrow fronts, like Bakhmut, where they use World War I style infantry attacks after artillery barrages, with high Russian casualties, to try to break through. They’re short of tanks, and prefer to take massive infantry casualties instead.

Russia’s recent conquest of Soledar has no strategic significance. Ukrainian artillery is pounding the town.

Putin can’t depend on the loyalty of mobilized mobiks, so he can’t allow them to be armed and trained adequately, even if he had the means to do so. (Please remember the Tsar was overthrown by draftees.) Most mobiks are well over 30 and out of physical shape. Typical mobik training is 20-60 rounds fired through a very old AK-47, and that’s all. After a week of such “training,” mobiks are sent to the front, often without officers. They are placed in front line trenches to draw Ukrainian artillery fire, facilitating Russian counter battery fire. Mobiks generally have minimal equipment, no tents, sleeping bags or bullet proof armor, and at best minimal rations of food.

Casualties and equipment losses in Russias professional army have been high. Russia invaded with 160,000-180,000 of their most elite soldiers. At least 80,000-90,000 are dead or seriously wounded. Ukrainian estimates of Russian casualties are double that. Also, proportional amounts of their equipment have been destroyed or captured by Ukraine. The trained soldiers are irreplaceable.

You might think equipment can be replaced from reserve stocks. However, old Soviet tanks are stored in open fields subject to Russian winter weather. After 30-60 years, they need a lot of maintenance, almost complete reassembly to replace engine seals and hoses, to work. Further, many of their valuable parts have been stolen and sold. In an unrelated example of theft, 1.5 million uniforms vanished from their warehouses in Russia. They were either stolen, or paid for, but never made.

Russia isn’t the USSR. Putin ain’t Stalin or even close. Quite a number of oil oligarchs have fallen from windows or boats, or died in other mysterious circumstances. The Russian Army’s command structure since the start of the invasion has changed every 3 months. The FSB (formerly KGB) has had a couple of shake ups. Putin looks ill and is rumored to have cancer. There seems to be discontent inside the oligarchy with Putin’s decisions. At some point, military power inside Russia will become more important than military power in Ukraine. I think Putin will be replaced if he continues to lose, or if he orders a nuclear attack.

In short, I think you have vastly over estimated Russian resources.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

Who is this ‘Chicken Hawk’? (American political slang)

”first, giving Ukraine the capability to be able to stop Russia’s constant aerial bombardment beyond a future ceasefire;”

HOW? WT F? if Russia wants to bomb them it will – not only that, it means the war is hardly at ceasefire. Is he suggesting Biden send them a magic wand? Or just another hundred $Billion?

”The only route to a settlement as they all see it, is for the West to squeeze the heat out of the conflict by giving Ukraine what it needs to convince Russia it cannot win.”

Why? It is not our business. Biden is up to $111,000,000,000!!!!!!!!!!!!! in un- audited Free Money handed to Ukraine, the most corrupt nation on Earth! Biden is paying their Pensions! Here Pensions are eaten by inflation and old people eating catfood sandwiches and Biden is paying the Ukrainian pensions.

This money has destroyed Ukraine, destroyed the Global food and energy supply – Famine and Depression are coming from this insanity. Billions globally are to drop from Poverty to Abject Poverty and starvation to keep Zalenski in his stolen $ Billions.

Your own pensions are toast – your children will never get pensions because of this insanity…

This money and sanctions has allied China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, KSA, Venezuela …..into an alliance – That is NOT good. Rogue Nations Alliance.

Russia was going to kill their corrupt Oligarchs and replace them with his corrupt puppet Oligarchs – so what? Keeping Zalenski in stolen $Billions is not the American Taxpayers job.

LOOK – EACH $ OF WEAPONS LATER WILL REQUIRE $10 TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE! Do the numbers. Send a Hundred Billion as we have – fixing the place will cost a $Trillion after. You warmongers – so your children are going to pay that? You spend it – in Debt – They pay for it. All these children – women, young men you warmongers are sending to their death – YOUR children will pay for you to kill them now. That is how debt works – Your kids already will never own their own house – now you spend their pensions to kill Russians and Ukrainians to keep Zalenski and his ilk in corrupt $ – that is the ONLY Winner – Evil is the only winner of this war you warmongers fund!!!

Peace Now – enough of this wicked and evil war – Quit Justifying it Unherd!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Everyone wants a negotiated settlement. Even Zelensky will be prepared for some compromises when the time comes – a 38th parallel equivalent in the Donbas likely etc. The issue is one has to negotiate from a position of strength with Putin or he’ll just come back for more. He continues to believe that eventually western resolution will weaken. He also believes any ceasefire pause would work in his favour, buying time for his forces to regroup/replenish/retrain, whilst dissipating western unity.
So we want this to end with a negotiation Putin will accept we need to get Ukraine into a stronger position, and this year. Position of Crimea vital. Isolate that and then provide security guarantees to Zelensky and Putin likely forced to negotiate a deal acceptable to Ukraine.
The problem for many of those railing against perception the West is warmongering is they don’t grasp the reality of where you need to stand for a negotiated settlement to be successful. We are all trying to get to the same point but differing on what we think is required to get there.

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Russians were fooled once with Minsk treaty. Do you really think they would fall for that again? And would let some super-unfriendly state sitting on a side sucking military power from NATO and getting ready to attack? Nah.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

So Ukraine will want to invade Russia? Yeah right.It will certainly not be friends with Russia for a while though you are right about that – would you be friends with your neighbour who raped your wife, killed your children, stole your stuff and burned your house down?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Ukraine was fooled once when it gave up its nukes in return for a guarantee from, among other countries, Russia. Do you think Ukraine would fall for another phony Russian promise again? Nah.

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

So Ukraine will want to invade Russia? Yeah right.It will certainly not be friends with Russia for a while though you are right about that – would you be friends with your neighbour who raped your wife, killed your children, stole your stuff and burned your house down?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Ukraine was fooled once when it gave up its nukes in return for a guarantee from, among other countries, Russia. Do you think Ukraine would fall for another phony Russian promise again? Nah.

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Russians were fooled once with Minsk treaty. Do you really think they would fall for that again? And would let some super-unfriendly state sitting on a side sucking military power from NATO and getting ready to attack? Nah.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Everyone wants a negotiated settlement. Even Zelensky will be prepared for some compromises when the time comes – a 38th parallel equivalent in the Donbas likely etc. The issue is one has to negotiate from a position of strength with Putin or he’ll just come back for more. He continues to believe that eventually western resolution will weaken. He also believes any ceasefire pause would work in his favour, buying time for his forces to regroup/replenish/retrain, whilst dissipating western unity.
So we want this to end with a negotiation Putin will accept we need to get Ukraine into a stronger position, and this year. Position of Crimea vital. Isolate that and then provide security guarantees to Zelensky and Putin likely forced to negotiate a deal acceptable to Ukraine.
The problem for many of those railing against perception the West is warmongering is they don’t grasp the reality of where you need to stand for a negotiated settlement to be successful. We are all trying to get to the same point but differing on what we think is required to get there.

Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
1 year ago

The published 12 point Chinese peace plan is eminently sensible and clearly the best way forward and the West should at least give it a try. How much more suffering can the Ukrainian people stand. 8 million have left the country and those that are left are struggling to eat and keep warm. The Russians have apparently agreed to peace talks. Zelensky must be told to start negotiations to avoid more grief and carnage over a piece of land (The Donbas) which is full of ethnic Russians?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

No.1 ‘respecting the sovereignty of nations’ – so what does that mean for the invasion? Will respecting involve withdrawal to international borders? Of course not.
This is China endeavouring to help Putin buy some time and look conciliatory.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

And of the 8 million people who have left the country a sizeable number will be those who don’t want to be conscripted into the Ukrainian army or who saw the opportunity to flee to the West and possibly gain settlement status over time..

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Perhaps they deliberately started the war to get here.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Iris C

Perhaps they deliberately started the war to get here.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

Ah yes, those “sensible” Russians led by eminently sensible Putin and that sad, inflexible Zelenskyy. Make him stop defending his country! Now!

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

Putin will reject.
How can he actually agree to Point 1: that all of Ukraine belongs to Ukraine?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

No.1 ‘respecting the sovereignty of nations’ – so what does that mean for the invasion? Will respecting involve withdrawal to international borders? Of course not.
This is China endeavouring to help Putin buy some time and look conciliatory.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

And of the 8 million people who have left the country a sizeable number will be those who don’t want to be conscripted into the Ukrainian army or who saw the opportunity to flee to the West and possibly gain settlement status over time..

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

Ah yes, those “sensible” Russians led by eminently sensible Putin and that sad, inflexible Zelenskyy. Make him stop defending his country! Now!

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

Putin will reject.
How can he actually agree to Point 1: that all of Ukraine belongs to Ukraine?

Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
1 year ago

The published 12 point Chinese peace plan is eminently sensible and clearly the best way forward and the West should at least give it a try. How much more suffering can the Ukrainian people stand. 8 million have left the country and those that are left are struggling to eat and keep warm. The Russians have apparently agreed to peace talks. Zelensky must be told to start negotiations to avoid more grief and carnage over a piece of land (The Donbas) which is full of ethnic Russians?

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago

That is the amazing paradox:
A much stronger Russia was “terrified” of just Ukraine. The rest of Europe was LGBTQ+, and poor Sleepy Joe would just fold.
Indeed, Ukraine was “so strong” that Putin had “no choice” but to invade.
Yet if Ukraine was so strong that Russia has had to retreat on all fronts, wasn’t invading it a pretty…dumb idea?
Indeed, a 3-day war that lasts years, and cripples Russia’s economy for decades–for a few obliterated provinces–seems…really dumb.
Perhaps it takes a Russian to see the logic.
Because I certainly don’t.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago

That is the amazing paradox:
A much stronger Russia was “terrified” of just Ukraine. The rest of Europe was LGBTQ+, and poor Sleepy Joe would just fold.
Indeed, Ukraine was “so strong” that Putin had “no choice” but to invade.
Yet if Ukraine was so strong that Russia has had to retreat on all fronts, wasn’t invading it a pretty…dumb idea?
Indeed, a 3-day war that lasts years, and cripples Russia’s economy for decades–for a few obliterated provinces–seems…really dumb.
Perhaps it takes a Russian to see the logic.
Because I certainly don’t.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

How much ‘suffering’ can Russia take ?
We’ve ‘assumed’ about the unassailable might of the Russian army, despite it’s failings in Afghanistan or Chechnya (obviously anomalies) and been proven to be ‘clueless’ time and time again. Why then do we assume that the Russian capacity for ‘suffering’ is unchanged from that of the past ?
Ukraine is not entirely without advantage, even if it doesn’t advance, all it needs to do is destroy Russias will to make war. Western weapons give Ukraine that capacity, they can destroy Russias ability to concentrate it’s forces and weapon systems, making them reliant on low tech, poorly supported, mass infantry, assaults. Modern, long range, precision weapons can destroy Russias capacity, and will, before it even gets anywhere near the front line, much less assault it. Kill enough Russians and even the Russians might start taking notice.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Except right now, despite Western weapons, it would appear that Ukrainian losses vastly exceed Russian ones.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

In manpower Russia’s losses much greater and Ukraine has no manpower problem as yet. In fact it’s troops are now betetr trained and equipped than they were at the start. And much better motivated and led. Ukraine has suffered much more infrastructure and economic damage, but has also found itself as a Nation. That does not make the former worth the latter but it wasn’t like they had a choice.
The question perhaps – is would they suffer less damage if they just gave up? One only has to look at what has happened in Bucha and other occupied areas to appreciate this is existential for them.

Simon Latham
Simon Latham
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

You may be misinformed, as of this January UN estimates:
“total number of deaths on the Russian side is about 35,000, while the total number of dead and wounded is about 100,000. On the Ukrainian side, there are about 50,000 deaths and about 150,000 dead and wounded in total.”
The Ukraine War in 2023 (swprs.org)

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

You’re citing a conspiracy website with zero credibility that isn’t actually Swiss and probably run by the Russians.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Don’t burst his bubble.
When Russian tanks explode, no one gets killed.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

Mr Logan, you obviously feel very strongly about Ukraine and your hatred of Russia knows no bounds.
I presume you’re somewhere between 15 and 75 yrs old. I know the Ukes are looking for volunteers anywhere in that age bracket to sign up for 6 month tours into their foreign legion. Have no fear – all are accepted. The Ukes are very inclusive -all are welcome including LGBTIs and the unsure. Even if you’re over 75 yrs old do not despair, I’m sure in your case they’ll make an exception given that your all pervasive hatred will make up for any inadequacy on the fitness front.

So, unless I hear you’re at the front line in Bakhmut by the end of April 2023 I’ll presume you’re a craven bar room colonal type or, let’s say, a tad hypocritical.

To put it another way, the world would be a better place if ‘you put your body where your mouth is’ …. on the Eastern front near Bakhmut.

……And, of course, we all know you want the world to be a better place…….

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Sadly, my days as a tank officer in Germany during the Cold War are well and truly over.
Anyone 73 would be a liability, not an asset, in places like Bakhmut.
But you knew that already.
All I can do now is give to the Ukrainian United24, which I urge everyone to do.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

You sound like a prime candidate for Putin’s invasion force yourself.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

As a diabetic 72 year old Vietnam Era USAF Veteran, I make financial contributions to Ukraine. I also have asthma, high blood pressure and bad arthritis. It takes me over 45 minutes to set up my pills for a week.

Your argument is a red herring. There’s no indication at all that Ukraine needs US troops to defend it. Ukrainians have absorbed new weapons quickly and are using them effectively. US aid will be limited to arms, ammo and training. There’s no potential for a Vietnam style quagmire. US troops were required in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq because all of them lacked troops able to use modern weapons effectively and the will to win. Ukraine doesn’t have that problem.

I also remember that the left’s reaction to Communists killing 2 million Cambodians and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and Laotians was to claim there was “no bloodbath.” Possibly you haven’t considered how many Ukrainians Russia will kill after your peace process is over. Or maybe you just don’t care.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Sadly, my days as a tank officer in Germany during the Cold War are well and truly over.
Anyone 73 would be a liability, not an asset, in places like Bakhmut.
But you knew that already.
All I can do now is give to the Ukrainian United24, which I urge everyone to do.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

You sound like a prime candidate for Putin’s invasion force yourself.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

As a diabetic 72 year old Vietnam Era USAF Veteran, I make financial contributions to Ukraine. I also have asthma, high blood pressure and bad arthritis. It takes me over 45 minutes to set up my pills for a week.

Your argument is a red herring. There’s no indication at all that Ukraine needs US troops to defend it. Ukrainians have absorbed new weapons quickly and are using them effectively. US aid will be limited to arms, ammo and training. There’s no potential for a Vietnam style quagmire. US troops were required in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq because all of them lacked troops able to use modern weapons effectively and the will to win. Ukraine doesn’t have that problem.

I also remember that the left’s reaction to Communists killing 2 million Cambodians and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and Laotians was to claim there was “no bloodbath.” Possibly you haven’t considered how many Ukrainians Russia will kill after your peace process is over. Or maybe you just don’t care.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

Mr Logan, you obviously feel very strongly about Ukraine and your hatred of Russia knows no bounds.
I presume you’re somewhere between 15 and 75 yrs old. I know the Ukes are looking for volunteers anywhere in that age bracket to sign up for 6 month tours into their foreign legion. Have no fear – all are accepted. The Ukes are very inclusive -all are welcome including LGBTIs and the unsure. Even if you’re over 75 yrs old do not despair, I’m sure in your case they’ll make an exception given that your all pervasive hatred will make up for any inadequacy on the fitness front.

So, unless I hear you’re at the front line in Bakhmut by the end of April 2023 I’ll presume you’re a craven bar room colonal type or, let’s say, a tad hypocritical.

To put it another way, the world would be a better place if ‘you put your body where your mouth is’ …. on the Eastern front near Bakhmut.

……And, of course, we all know you want the world to be a better place…….

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

You beat me to it…a sock puppet and one that badly needs darning

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Don’t burst his bubble.
When Russian tanks explode, no one gets killed.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

You beat me to it…a sock puppet and one that badly needs darning

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

That’s a ridiculously low estimate for Russian dead and wounded in the first year of the war. Allied intelligence estimates range from 100,000 to 200,000 dead and wounded Russians. You also have to estimate a higher ratio of dead to wounded because Russian military medical services are very poor. It’s probably close to only 2 wounded for every dead soldier. Remember, Russia only started with 180,000 front line soldiers, so they have lost at least half of their best trained soldiers.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-war-news-russia-invasion-by-the-numbers/

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/02/us/politics/ukraine-russia-casualties.html#:~:text=Feb.%202%2C%202023%20WASHINGTON%20%E2%80%94%20The%20number%20of,gone%2C%20according%20to%20American%20and%20other%20Western%20officials.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

You’re citing a conspiracy website with zero credibility that isn’t actually Swiss and probably run by the Russians.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

That’s a ridiculously low estimate for Russian dead and wounded in the first year of the war. Allied intelligence estimates range from 100,000 to 200,000 dead and wounded Russians. You also have to estimate a higher ratio of dead to wounded because Russian military medical services are very poor. It’s probably close to only 2 wounded for every dead soldier. Remember, Russia only started with 180,000 front line soldiers, so they have lost at least half of their best trained soldiers.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-war-news-russia-invasion-by-the-numbers/

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/02/us/politics/ukraine-russia-casualties.html#:~:text=Feb.%202%2C%202023%20WASHINGTON%20%E2%80%94%20The%20number%20of,gone%2C%20according%20to%20American%20and%20other%20Western%20officials.

Simon Latham
Simon Latham
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

You may be misinformed, as of this January UN estimates:
“total number of deaths on the Russian side is about 35,000, while the total number of dead and wounded is about 100,000. On the Ukrainian side, there are about 50,000 deaths and about 150,000 dead and wounded in total.”
The Ukraine War in 2023 (swprs.org)

Michael Furse
Michael Furse
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

On what planet do you dwell, Herr Strauss? On equipment losses, the excellent Oryxspionkop site disagrees with you. On military manpower, everyone apart from the Russian state appears to disagree with you. On civilian casualties, given the indiscriminate nature of Russian artillery and missile fire, quite apart from extrajudicial killings, you may have a point. But it’s not entirely surprising, as Russia invaded Ukraine.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Furse

A Mossad report disagrees with you.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Furse

A Mossad report disagrees with you.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Only on garbage Russian sites.

Might even lead you to think Russia hasn’t even lost 15,000 dead yet.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

This may be true and it may also be Russian propaganda, fed to us by Putin bootlickers like you. There’s no way you or anyone else here knows this for certain.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

In manpower Russia’s losses much greater and Ukraine has no manpower problem as yet. In fact it’s troops are now betetr trained and equipped than they were at the start. And much better motivated and led. Ukraine has suffered much more infrastructure and economic damage, but has also found itself as a Nation. That does not make the former worth the latter but it wasn’t like they had a choice.
The question perhaps – is would they suffer less damage if they just gave up? One only has to look at what has happened in Bucha and other occupied areas to appreciate this is existential for them.

Michael Furse
Michael Furse
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

On what planet do you dwell, Herr Strauss? On equipment losses, the excellent Oryxspionkop site disagrees with you. On military manpower, everyone apart from the Russian state appears to disagree with you. On civilian casualties, given the indiscriminate nature of Russian artillery and missile fire, quite apart from extrajudicial killings, you may have a point. But it’s not entirely surprising, as Russia invaded Ukraine.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Only on garbage Russian sites.

Might even lead you to think Russia hasn’t even lost 15,000 dead yet.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

This may be true and it may also be Russian propaganda, fed to us by Putin bootlickers like you. There’s no way you or anyone else here knows this for certain.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Except right now, despite Western weapons, it would appear that Ukrainian losses vastly exceed Russian ones.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

How much ‘suffering’ can Russia take ?
We’ve ‘assumed’ about the unassailable might of the Russian army, despite it’s failings in Afghanistan or Chechnya (obviously anomalies) and been proven to be ‘clueless’ time and time again. Why then do we assume that the Russian capacity for ‘suffering’ is unchanged from that of the past ?
Ukraine is not entirely without advantage, even if it doesn’t advance, all it needs to do is destroy Russias will to make war. Western weapons give Ukraine that capacity, they can destroy Russias ability to concentrate it’s forces and weapon systems, making them reliant on low tech, poorly supported, mass infantry, assaults. Modern, long range, precision weapons can destroy Russias capacity, and will, before it even gets anywhere near the front line, much less assault it. Kill enough Russians and even the Russians might start taking notice.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago

I am deeply impressed at the total lack of awareness by many here of the military aspect of something called a “war.”
One might listen to people who actually know something about this war, and where it might lead. Michael Kofman and Rob Lee come to mind.
But the (very Post-Modern) problem is: people want to be fooled. Anything but their ingenious preconceived notions just can’t be true.
The fact is, no one can know the outcome of this war.
But feckless claims that “Russia is so big, it can’t lose” and “the Russians are losing fewer troops–while they attack–than the Ukrainians” ignores every war that has ever been fought. It also ignores the outcome of both the Vietnam and Afghanistan conflicts.
Moreover, the argument that the most corrupt regime on the planet will somehow win because Ukraine is “sort of corrupt too” simply beggars belief.
But nice to see that the people who complain that the majority are just sheep following Joe and the EU turn out to be the biggest flock of all.
Baaaa…

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago

I am deeply impressed at the total lack of awareness by many here of the military aspect of something called a “war.”
One might listen to people who actually know something about this war, and where it might lead. Michael Kofman and Rob Lee come to mind.
But the (very Post-Modern) problem is: people want to be fooled. Anything but their ingenious preconceived notions just can’t be true.
The fact is, no one can know the outcome of this war.
But feckless claims that “Russia is so big, it can’t lose” and “the Russians are losing fewer troops–while they attack–than the Ukrainians” ignores every war that has ever been fought. It also ignores the outcome of both the Vietnam and Afghanistan conflicts.
Moreover, the argument that the most corrupt regime on the planet will somehow win because Ukraine is “sort of corrupt too” simply beggars belief.
But nice to see that the people who complain that the majority are just sheep following Joe and the EU turn out to be the biggest flock of all.
Baaaa…

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

Eternal war is an eye catching headline but a very silly concept.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

There has never been an eternal war, as evidenced by the plain fact that the only war going on at present is the one we’re discussing, which may feel “eternal” but has gone on for one year. One year too long, to be sure, but hardly “eternal.”

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

There has never been an eternal war, as evidenced by the plain fact that the only war going on at present is the one we’re discussing, which may feel “eternal” but has gone on for one year. One year too long, to be sure, but hardly “eternal.”

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

Eternal war is an eye catching headline but a very silly concept.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
1 year ago

Too pessimistic?
Putin has little incentive to do a deal at present. A long war suits him. So what would incentivise him to negotiate?
if the Ukrainians can cut the land bridge to the Crimea and then threaten the actual bridge, they would be in a position to make the Russian position in Crimea untenable. Crimea is considered undeniably part of Russia by Putin (and most of its inhabitants). It’s loss would be unacceptable. There would be threats of escalation but also, I suspect, a renewed willingness to revisit the deal envisaged last June.
Providing the equipment for a southern offensive may make sense.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

So it’s come to this. “A long war suits Putin.” Is this the same Putin who so confidently swaggered into Ukraine expecting it to collapse in a week? So now a long war with hundreds of thousands of Russian casualties suits him? That may have been true of the Russians in the 1940s, when they were invaded by Hitler. It makes no sense whatsoever when the Russians are the ones doing the invading. This was is the biggest military miscalculation we’ve seen since Hitler invaded Russia and declared war on America.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Next up will be ‘defeat for Wagner suits Putin’ or some such.
I agree with your view..this war is just one front to end omnishambles that is destroying Russian credibility even more completely than even it’s one rust bucket aircraft carrier did.
Apologists and doom mongers can’t keep up with an Alan Partridge style ‘Aha!’ every time something else goes wrong, and calling it all part of a deeper plan.
The main outcome I can see is Russia is becoming a client state of China and the land China will end up taking in the East will be far larger than even the wide open spaces of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Next up will be ‘defeat for Wagner suits Putin’ or some such.
I agree with your view..this war is just one front to end omnishambles that is destroying Russian credibility even more completely than even it’s one rust bucket aircraft carrier did.
Apologists and doom mongers can’t keep up with an Alan Partridge style ‘Aha!’ every time something else goes wrong, and calling it all part of a deeper plan.
The main outcome I can see is Russia is becoming a client state of China and the land China will end up taking in the East will be far larger than even the wide open spaces of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

So it’s come to this. “A long war suits Putin.” Is this the same Putin who so confidently swaggered into Ukraine expecting it to collapse in a week? So now a long war with hundreds of thousands of Russian casualties suits him? That may have been true of the Russians in the 1940s, when they were invaded by Hitler. It makes no sense whatsoever when the Russians are the ones doing the invading. This was is the biggest military miscalculation we’ve seen since Hitler invaded Russia and declared war on America.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
1 year ago

Too pessimistic?
Putin has little incentive to do a deal at present. A long war suits him. So what would incentivise him to negotiate?
if the Ukrainians can cut the land bridge to the Crimea and then threaten the actual bridge, they would be in a position to make the Russian position in Crimea untenable. Crimea is considered undeniably part of Russia by Putin (and most of its inhabitants). It’s loss would be unacceptable. There would be threats of escalation but also, I suspect, a renewed willingness to revisit the deal envisaged last June.
Providing the equipment for a southern offensive may make sense.

BW Naylor
BW Naylor
1 year ago

Are we prepared for Russia to have the biggest Western weapons cache in history at their disposal if they eventually take control of the Ukraine?

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
1 year ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

Bigger than the Taliban have?

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

This needs talking about more. However remote, there is a non-zero risk of Ukrainian collapse. Like any military risk, it needs estimating and contingencies put in place.

When do “loaned” assets – including NATO advisors – default to being NATO assets? Would NATO attempt a recovery operation of its advisors or materiel? How would escalation be avoided?

We ran out of Afghanistan when we lost interest and allowed a rout of the Afghan army by the Taliban we’d been fighting for 2 decades. I doubt NATO are going to sustain the Ukrainian army forever – what happens when the support stops?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

Well Ukraine now has the biggest cache of Soviet weapons on the planet, so a few more won’t matter.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

Now that’s a unique bootlicker argument for ending aid to Ukraine. Kudos for originality.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Stop “rocking the boat”, my BAE shares are doing very well.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Stop “rocking the boat”, my BAE shares are doing very well.

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
1 year ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

Bigger than the Taliban have?

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

This needs talking about more. However remote, there is a non-zero risk of Ukrainian collapse. Like any military risk, it needs estimating and contingencies put in place.

When do “loaned” assets – including NATO advisors – default to being NATO assets? Would NATO attempt a recovery operation of its advisors or materiel? How would escalation be avoided?

We ran out of Afghanistan when we lost interest and allowed a rout of the Afghan army by the Taliban we’d been fighting for 2 decades. I doubt NATO are going to sustain the Ukrainian army forever – what happens when the support stops?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

Well Ukraine now has the biggest cache of Soviet weapons on the planet, so a few more won’t matter.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

Now that’s a unique bootlicker argument for ending aid to Ukraine. Kudos for originality.

BW Naylor
BW Naylor
1 year ago

Are we prepared for Russia to have the biggest Western weapons cache in history at their disposal if they eventually take control of the Ukraine?

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago

America is willing to fight to the last Ukrainian. Or the first American, whichever comes first. As long as we don’t have to make any sacrifices, we’re all for defeating Russia. But if it means American lives or (our) economic adversity, we’ll accept whatever terms Russia offers.
America has come a long way from the days of Vietnam and even further from those of Korea. I doubt even a direct attack on American soil, like Pearl Harbor, could raise American anger high enough and for and long enough to sustain a serious war, or even a minor one, if it meant any interference with football season.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

Since the US won’t send in its army, what’s your point?

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I said we wouldn’t send in our tanks. Then I said we wouldn’t send in our air planes. But surely I’m right about our army.
My point is that America is unwilling to assume a perceptible burden to help Ukraine. It is willing to spend Ukrainian blood without limit as long as the Ukrainians are.
What I didn’t say, but will now is this: This is morally indefensible. If the stakes are what we say they are, America should fight, treaty or no. If Ukraine is all that stands between freedom and slavery, we should have sent the army long ago.
But we won’t. Either because the conflict is not the threat it is portrayed to be or we don’t want to be inconvenienced.
If I’m right, a negotiated peace should be sought. Maybe China’s plan is a starter. Better now than another 8000 civilian lives later.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

Nuclear powers tend to avoid direct conflict, for obvious reasons.
Your choice between “faux gung ho” and surrender is a false one.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

Nuclear powers tend to avoid direct conflict, for obvious reasons.
Your choice between “faux gung ho” and surrender is a false one.

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I said we wouldn’t send in our tanks. Then I said we wouldn’t send in our air planes. But surely I’m right about our army.
My point is that America is unwilling to assume a perceptible burden to help Ukraine. It is willing to spend Ukrainian blood without limit as long as the Ukrainians are.
What I didn’t say, but will now is this: This is morally indefensible. If the stakes are what we say they are, America should fight, treaty or no. If Ukraine is all that stands between freedom and slavery, we should have sent the army long ago.
But we won’t. Either because the conflict is not the threat it is portrayed to be or we don’t want to be inconvenienced.
If I’m right, a negotiated peace should be sought. Maybe China’s plan is a starter. Better now than another 8000 civilian lives later.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

What you means is YOU would accept any terms Russia offers. Ukrainians feel differently. And their neighbours to the West support them, because they know something you clearly refuse to accept.

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

That’s not what I said. I said America won’t risk its own discomfort in supporting Ukraine. We haven’t experienced any so far. And there are many Americans who are accepting more than discomfort by contributing personally to the Ukrainian cause. But the limits of this are so severe that those sacrifices cannot alter the conflict’s course.
In the meantime, Ukraine is being reduced to 1945 Germany. Ukrainians are dying and suffering. Even if willingly endured, how long can this be allowed to go on?
And how long can a war in Europe be confined to the original belligerents? German and Russian tanks dueling on the steppes is not a new story. Air war faultlessly confined to Ukrainian airspace. Perfect anticipation of the adversary’s goals and limits.
What will future historians say was the point where events went out of control?

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

As you said above, as long as the Ukrainians are willing to die and the war doesn’t inconvenience Americans too much, then it will continue. It has added to U.S. inflation, but I don’t think Americans see the linkage.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

Tell it all to Putin. He could stop the war he started in 60 seconds.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

As you said above, as long as the Ukrainians are willing to die and the war doesn’t inconvenience Americans too much, then it will continue. It has added to U.S. inflation, but I don’t think Americans see the linkage.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

Tell it all to Putin. He could stop the war he started in 60 seconds.

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

That’s not what I said. I said America won’t risk its own discomfort in supporting Ukraine. We haven’t experienced any so far. And there are many Americans who are accepting more than discomfort by contributing personally to the Ukrainian cause. But the limits of this are so severe that those sacrifices cannot alter the conflict’s course.
In the meantime, Ukraine is being reduced to 1945 Germany. Ukrainians are dying and suffering. Even if willingly endured, how long can this be allowed to go on?
And how long can a war in Europe be confined to the original belligerents? German and Russian tanks dueling on the steppes is not a new story. Air war faultlessly confined to Ukrainian airspace. Perfect anticipation of the adversary’s goals and limits.
What will future historians say was the point where events went out of control?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

Since the US won’t send in its army, what’s your point?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

What you means is YOU would accept any terms Russia offers. Ukrainians feel differently. And their neighbours to the West support them, because they know something you clearly refuse to accept.

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago

America is willing to fight to the last Ukrainian. Or the first American, whichever comes first. As long as we don’t have to make any sacrifices, we’re all for defeating Russia. But if it means American lives or (our) economic adversity, we’ll accept whatever terms Russia offers.
America has come a long way from the days of Vietnam and even further from those of Korea. I doubt even a direct attack on American soil, like Pearl Harbor, could raise American anger high enough and for and long enough to sustain a serious war, or even a minor one, if it meant any interference with football season.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
1 year ago

A nice glass of iced Vodka and Novichok for Mr Putin might solve the problem, as his successor could then end the war honorably and withdraw from Ukraine, blaming a warmongering predecessor.

That excluded, and the West now engaged as it is, it seems probable that the only solution is to provide the Ukrainians with sufficient weaponry to push the Russians back over their border but no further, and then do a deal.

That deal may take the form of allowing fair and overseen referenda in the Donbass region and possibly creating small buffer states there. Ukraine was originally amenable to this sort of idea and should still be.

As mentioned in the article, the West will also presumably have to arm Ukraine to the teeth in perpetuity, to prevent a future repeat attempt by Russia.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

I suspect that Russia will stop once it has complete control of the Donbass up to and including Odessa. As for continual arming of Ukraine, there are 2 issues: first the Ukrainians have to have the manpower and training to use these; second there is only so much the West can give, given that US and others are already running out of ammunition. I suspect the staying power of Russia is a lot greater than that of the West.
I also believe that the unfortunate end result will be an economically weakened West and an emergent and strong Eastern block. The US has bitten off more than it can chew. As they say “go woke, go broke”. And guaranteed that Taiwan is next. The interesting thing about Taiwan is that if you talk to Chinese in the US (either naturalized or permanent residents) they all seem to believe that Taiwan is part of China and should be integrated into the CCP. Why is beyond me, because if I were them I wouldn’t care one bit, but they sure seem to.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Odessa isn’t in the Donbass ! (“complete control of the Donbass up to and including Odessa”).
This war is strengthening the West and NATO.
Now, did you answer my question from 2 days ago about Russia/Putin’s war aims yet ? It is rather confusing that you claimed you knew for certain what these are and then pop up again using vague words like “suspect” about Russia’s objectives. Which is it ?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Tally-ho!

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Russians won’t stop until they take Odessa, nobody from the Kremlin has said this, but its a very safe assumption

The Russians are winning

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

That’s why they left Kherson and Kharkiv oblast. They were winning too much.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Winning what?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

That’s why they left Kherson and Kharkiv oblast. They were winning too much.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Winning what?

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I’m well aware that Odessa is not in the Donbass. But I’m also aware, as perhaps you are not, that Odessa is a Russian City. Not just founded by Catherine the Great, but the inhabitants there only speak Russian, not Ukrainian).
As for Putin’s war aims, obviously there is no way I can be absolutely certain since I don’t have a way to get in his head nor am I privy to the goings on in the Kremlin. But as I said, I suspect the Russians will be done once they have the whole of the Donbass plus Odessa.
As far as I’m concerned, Ukraine should be partitioned into two: the western half with close associations to Poland, and the Eastern half with close association to Russia. And both East and West Ukraine should be neutral countries, unless the East wants to be part of Russia. For sure, in Crimea they absolutely wanted to be part of Russia.

Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Spot on – one of the few sensible commentators on this site.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

idjit supporting bootlicker.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Please don’t drag Unherd down to the level of the UK gutter press. There are plenty of other places to spew insults and ad hominem attacks if that’s your thing.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Please don’t drag Unherd down to the level of the UK gutter press. There are plenty of other places to spew insults and ad hominem attacks if that’s your thing.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Watkins

idjit supporting bootlicker.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Odessa most definitely not a Russian city. You been there and spoken to folks? I somewhat doubt it. Are you suggesting Ukraine gives up safe and secure access to the Black sea? Anyway Putin would have as much chance of holding onto Odessa, not that he’ll ever take it, as Soviets did of Kabul.
On what evidential basis do you say Crimeans want to be Russian? Now were it poss in the future to hold a plebiscite that was fair it could be a way forward longer term, but little suggesting Putin wants to risk that. That probably says it all.
Zelensky speaks Russian. Americans speak English. Thus you’ll be contending Brits ok to invade and take back the 13 colonies next.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

If you speak Russian, according to him, you are owned by Putin. See Gogol’s Dead Souls.

Ulp, come to think of it, I know Russian, so…

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“On what evidential basis do you say Crimeans want to be Russian”
Here US gov poll of 2013:
https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/pnaec705.pdf

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

But you guys don’t believe US government propaganda, do you ?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

But you guys don’t believe US government propaganda, do you ?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

If you speak Russian, according to him, you are owned by Putin. See Gogol’s Dead Souls.

Ulp, come to think of it, I know Russian, so…

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“On what evidential basis do you say Crimeans want to be Russian”
Here US gov poll of 2013:
https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/pnaec705.pdf

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

And what if the people living there don’t want that, overwhelmingly? Fortunately you are not in charge of killing Ukrainians.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

They’re backwards offensive is obviously leading Ukraine into an ingenious trap.

Why didn’t Orwell add that

“Losing is Winning!”?

Won’t be long now…

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Yes of course it’s only Donbass and Odessa, which is why they sent a huge column of tanks to Kyiv in the early days of their unjustified invasion.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

So my question from 3 days ago was too difficult for you ! You said you knew the inside gen on Russia/Putin’s war aims. You were absolutely certain about that 3 days ago. Now you admit you don’t actually know.
What happened to change your mind ?

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Spot on – one of the few sensible commentators on this site.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Odessa most definitely not a Russian city. You been there and spoken to folks? I somewhat doubt it. Are you suggesting Ukraine gives up safe and secure access to the Black sea? Anyway Putin would have as much chance of holding onto Odessa, not that he’ll ever take it, as Soviets did of Kabul.
On what evidential basis do you say Crimeans want to be Russian? Now were it poss in the future to hold a plebiscite that was fair it could be a way forward longer term, but little suggesting Putin wants to risk that. That probably says it all.
Zelensky speaks Russian. Americans speak English. Thus you’ll be contending Brits ok to invade and take back the 13 colonies next.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

And what if the people living there don’t want that, overwhelmingly? Fortunately you are not in charge of killing Ukrainians.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

They’re backwards offensive is obviously leading Ukraine into an ingenious trap.

Why didn’t Orwell add that

“Losing is Winning!”?

Won’t be long now…

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Yes of course it’s only Donbass and Odessa, which is why they sent a huge column of tanks to Kyiv in the early days of their unjustified invasion.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

So my question from 3 days ago was too difficult for you ! You said you knew the inside gen on Russia/Putin’s war aims. You were absolutely certain about that 3 days ago. Now you admit you don’t actually know.
What happened to change your mind ?

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Peter, you are very persuasive I must say. Why so? It’s not a secret, what’s the goal. No NATO-controlled Ukraine. That’s it. It might be no Ukraine state after all, that depends on how it goes.
All other goals are secondary, it seems.
As of it is now, four former regions are annexed and Ukraine lost them forever. If this continues it would be more. It was said that you got to take Mr Putin’s offer as soon as possible because every next one will be less favorable. Implementing Minsk (federalization of the state) and keeping Donbass in Ukraine — that what Zelenskii should take. Now it’s less and going to be less. If he takes what is on the table now at least he would keep some Black sea ports.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andy E
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Nonsense. The four “former regions” aren’t even completely Russian occupied. The “annexation” has no legal status and no one outside Russia pays any attention to this nonsense.
May I remind you that Ukraine was noit “NATO-controlled” before Putin invaded. He’s going a really smart way about trying to keep it so, isn’t he ?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy E

Nonsense. The four “former regions” aren’t even completely Russian occupied. The “annexation” has no legal status and no one outside Russia pays any attention to this nonsense.
May I remind you that Ukraine was noit “NATO-controlled” before Putin invaded. He’s going a really smart way about trying to keep it so, isn’t he ?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Tally-ho!

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Russians won’t stop until they take Odessa, nobody from the Kremlin has said this, but its a very safe assumption

The Russians are winning

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I’m well aware that Odessa is not in the Donbass. But I’m also aware, as perhaps you are not, that Odessa is a Russian City. Not just founded by Catherine the Great, but the inhabitants there only speak Russian, not Ukrainian).
As for Putin’s war aims, obviously there is no way I can be absolutely certain since I don’t have a way to get in his head nor am I privy to the goings on in the Kremlin. But as I said, I suspect the Russians will be done once they have the whole of the Donbass plus Odessa.
As far as I’m concerned, Ukraine should be partitioned into two: the western half with close associations to Poland, and the Eastern half with close association to Russia. And both East and West Ukraine should be neutral countries, unless the East wants to be part of Russia. For sure, in Crimea they absolutely wanted to be part of Russia.

Andy E
Andy E
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Peter, you are very persuasive I must say. Why so? It’s not a secret, what’s the goal. No NATO-controlled Ukraine. That’s it. It might be no Ukraine state after all, that depends on how it goes.
All other goals are secondary, it seems.
As of it is now, four former regions are annexed and Ukraine lost them forever. If this continues it would be more. It was said that you got to take Mr Putin’s offer as soon as possible because every next one will be less favorable. Implementing Minsk (federalization of the state) and keeping Donbass in Ukraine — that what Zelenskii should take. Now it’s less and going to be less. If he takes what is on the table now at least he would keep some Black sea ports.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andy E
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

I don’t know what Chinese people you know in the U.S., but I know plenty of young Taiwanese there, as my son is dating a Taiwanese girl. Her parents sent her to U.S. to finish her education, like many Taiwanese parents do. All of these young people are totally opposed to CCP taking over their Island. The young Taiwanese are very similar in their loathing of the CCP as the young people of Hong Kong.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Bruce Edgar
Bruce Edgar
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Taiwan does belong to China. It exists today only because of American protection. Call it part of China’s own version of our Monroe Doctrine. Good for the gander and all that.
As for a weakened West, I do not see that as an unfortunate outcome. As an American, I have wished for the end of American imperialist adventurism ever since Viet Nam. So far, nothing has slaked our addiction. I do look forward to the day that we come to our senses, and it seems that the only way will be the collapse of our exceptionalist delusions.
Of special interest to me is a new phenomenon: Our Progressives (aka the Squad including Omar, Jayapal and Cortez) has joined the pro war camp. And surprisingly, the anti-war sentiment is coming from Republicans Gaetz and Greene among others. Progressivism, always insincere virtue signaling, now stands exposed for the fraud it has always been.
This collapse now paves the way for a true alternative, opposition party to emerge. Thee cheers for the impending collapse of the Democratic party. Oz has stepped out from behind the curtain.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce Edgar

Taiwan does not ‘belong’ to China! I suggest that you read up on the history of the island of Formosa. It was only conquered by the Chinese empire relatively recently (early 20th C? I can’t be bothered to look it up). Nice bit of racism on internal US politics as well.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

I see a lot of stupidity in that comment, but no racism.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

“Progressives (aka the Squad including Omar, Jayapal and Cortez)”

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

“Progressives (aka the Squad including Omar, Jayapal and Cortez)”

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

I see a lot of stupidity in that comment, but no racism.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce Edgar

Democratic Taiwan belongs to its people, not to Chinese communist aggressors.

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce Edgar

Taiwan does not ‘belong’ to China! I suggest that you read up on the history of the island of Formosa. It was only conquered by the Chinese empire relatively recently (early 20th C? I can’t be bothered to look it up). Nice bit of racism on internal US politics as well.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce Edgar

Democratic Taiwan belongs to its people, not to Chinese communist aggressors.

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

The idea that the U.S. will soon “run out of ammunition” while the Russians can keep fighting indefinitely (presumably with a perpetually unlimited amount of ammo) is an idiotic fantasy that ignores American industrial might, which is the same miscalculation Hitler made when he declared war on the U.S.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

And the idiotic Japanese from the Land of Nipon!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

And the idiotic Japanese from the Land of Nipon!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Bryan Benaway
Bryan Benaway
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

This is the best, most objective and realistic analysis of the situation in Ukraine that I’ve read in the comment sections of these latest UnHerd articles about the war.
The idea that Putin intended to capture Kiev in 2-days or 3-weeks or whatever is mostly an idea propagated by US intelligence based loosely on a comment Putin made early on in a conversation with French officials. Putin indicated that he could do it. He likely could have, but it became quite obvious to anyone with an objective mind that the Russians did not march into Ukraine with that intent in mind. They didn’t take out critical infrastructure, they left open safety corridors for refugees, and honestly, it seemed to me as though they feinted a run at Kiev in order to obtain their real objective, which was the liberation of the eastern, mostly Russian-speaking regions. This also lines up with what Putin has intimated in multiple communications.
And I’m not sure where everyone gets this idea that Putin has these grand imperialistic aims to enlarge the Russian Federation. He’s outlined what is admittedly a long and complicated relationship with Ukraine and how Russia feels a unique unity with The Ukraine. There are indeed countries with seemingly unquenchable imperialistic aims taking part in this conflict, but Russia is not one of them.
For more than 20-years, the Russians have been clear that Ukraine’s flirtation with NATO was a red-line in the sand for them. This should be quite obvious if you look objectively at the ramifications of cruise and other missiles on their border pointed at and within 5 minutes of Russia’s major economic and militarily strategic targets. And it really doesn’t matter one lick whether anybody in the West thinks they should be worried about it or not. They believe it’s a security threat and that’s that. Besides, we all know the US would have invaded a sovereign country under far less provocation, that is, that represented far less of a direct threat. How? History tells us so….repeatedly.
It’s time to start negotiating a peace and to stop the unnecessary suffering of literally millions of people.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Benaway

Usually I will persevere and read views I quickly realise aren’t close to my own, but moment I saw your input suggesting Putin didn’t send armoured brigades down the main highway to Kyiv or attack Hostemel airport on day 1 I switched off. There is only so many times one can read Putin propaganda nonsense on UnHerd.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Benaway

Your “analysis” might make a semblance of sense if Ukraine were actually in NATO. But Putin invaded even though Ukraine wasn’t in NATO, and NATO had no plans to include it. Now, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were fast tracked once this miscalculation of an invasion is ended for good.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Ukraine committed in its constitution in 2019 that it would join NATO and the EU as soon as possible. NATO told Ukraine in 2008 that it would be included in NATO, though it did not give a timeline.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Ukraine committed in its constitution in 2019 that it would join NATO and the EU as soon as possible. NATO told Ukraine in 2008 that i