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Peace in Ukraine has never seemed further away Zelenksyy's dream of outright victory is over

(STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

(STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


January 15, 2024   8 mins

Two years ago, it momentarily looked like the Ukraine war might be concluded as soon as it had begun. As Zelenskyy’s former advisor Oleksiy Arestovych revealed in his interview with UnHerd, when he returned from the Istanbul peace negotiations with Russia in April 2022, his team cracked open the champagne to celebrate. The talks had been “completely successful”, he said, with 90% of contentious issues resolved in a manner broadly advantageous to Ukraine. All that was left was for Zelenskyy and Putin to meet in person a few days later to hammer out the final size of the post-war Ukrainian army, and ink the final deal. And then everything changed: “Something changed in Zelenskyy absolutely during this [period]. And historians have to find the answer to what happened.” 

The events of those fateful five days are still obscure and controversial, with two different narratives offered. In the first, Zelenskyy’s visit to the scene of the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where occupying Russian troops had carried out grisly atrocities against captive Ukrainian civilians, hardened the president’s resolve to keep fighting, while making peace talks politically untenable for the enraged Ukrainian public. “The President was shocked about Bucha, all of us were shocked about Bucha,” says Arestovych. “He started to think how could he provide negotiations and meet Putin directly after this? His face completely changed when he went to Bucha and saw what had happened.” 

 

But in the second narrative — made much of by Russia propaganda, though first floated by the Ukrainian press, and latterly by former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett and Ukraine’s former Deputy Foreign Minister David Arakhamia who were both privy to the negotiations — Boris Johnson’s unexpected trip to Kyiv somehow changed the war’s course. “A lot of people say Prime Minister Johnson came to Kyiv and declined these direct negotiations with Russia,” Arestovych volunteers, “But I don’t know exactly: is it true or false? This is a problem. Yes, yes, he came to Kyiv but nobody knows except I think Mr Zelenskyy and Boris Johnson himself what they spoke about.” Yet whatever the sequence of events, Ukraine broke off peace talks and the war resumed, with vast casualty numbers on both sides as a result.

Could things have worked out differently? In hindsight, the path not taken often looks more appealing than the actual course of events. A passage from Thucydides — like Arestovych, a strategic insider later exiled from his country by its turbulent democratic politics — highlights the uncertainties inherent in whether to commit to war or pursue an unsatisfactory peace. In 425 BC, the greatest military power in Greece, Sparta, found its elite troops unexpectedly humbled by their Athenian rivals at the Battle of Pylos. A Spartan delegation rushed to make terms, warning the Athenians not to let the arrogance of victory cloud their judgment. For “you are now in a position where you can turn your present good fortune to good use, keeping what you hold and gaining honour and reputation besides”, the Spartan envoys declared: “Thus you will avoid the mistake so often made by those who meet with some extraordinary piece of good luck and then go on pressing forward in the hope of more still, because of the very unexpectedness of their first success.” 

War is, after all, an uncertain business, the Spartans warned, in a speech that could easily be placed in Russian mouths: “Our resources are the same as ever; we simply miscalculated them, and this is a mistake that may be made by everyone.” In concluding a peace agreement, the Spartans urged, the Athenians could “avoid what may happen later, if you fail to agree with us and afterwards, as is quite possible, suffer a defeat.” But the Athenians, swayed by the hawkish demagogue Cleon, rejected the offer: after decades of gruelling and devastating war, and the total destruction of entire armies, the result was total Athenian defeat, and the city’s incorporation into the Spartan imperial system. 

Perhaps too much was staked on Ukraine’s 2023 offensive, by both Ukraine and its Western backers. Though US intelligence officials warned the offensive would likely fall far short of expectations, American strategy nevertheless centred on enabling Ukraine to make battlefield gains so significant that Kyiv could re-enter peace negotiations with Russia from a position of strength. But, delayed from spring into summer by slow weapons deliveries and the failed defence of Bakhmut, a costly distraction for Kyiv, Ukrainian forces barely made any headway against the Russian fortifications. The offensive was a spectacular failure, and the Russian regime shifted from its mode of panic and internal turmoil in early summer to a new mood of overbearing confidence in the war’s final outcome. In retrospect, the growing difficulties on the battlefield seem to bear out America’s then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff  Mark Milley’s warning that the optimum time for negotiations was the winter of 2022, while Russia was on the back foot. 

Now, as Ukraine steels itself for its third year of war, peace has never seemed further away. On the war’s current trajectory, there is no incentive for Russia to enter negotiations: Ukrainians must hope that over the coming year, their newly constructed fortifications will batter the Russian army so effectively, just as the Surovikin Line mauled their own offensive, that Putin will reassess his prospects of victory, setting the stage for meaningful talks. While far short of the expansive aims of the war’s earlier stages, it is not a terrible strategy, as I suggested back in the summer. Despite Moscow’s vast advantage in men and industrial production, Russian gains remain costly and incrementally slow: eventually the pain Ukraine inflicts may come to outweigh, in Putin’s mind, the modest territorial gains currently being achieved.

For sympathetic but realistic analysts, like the Ukrainian strategist Mykola Bielieskov or the RUSI’s Jack Watling, Ukraine’s best outcome at this stage would be to survive 2024, while marshalling resources for another offensive in 2025, once Russia’s own offensive capacity has been dented by another full year of costly assaults. As Bielieskov observes, “While some observers will inevitably see this stance as pessimistic or even defeatist, it reflects the current realities of the war and represents the most plausible pathway to future success.” The worst-case scenario, Watling notes elsewhere, would be “an immediate cut-off of U.S. aid resulting in the slow deterioration of Ukrainian forces over 2024 and a collapse in 2025 as Russia expands the active front”. This outcome, it must be noted, echoes the Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu’s prediction that on current trends, Moscow will emerge victorious in 2025. 

Over 2024 then, both sides will aim to degrade each other’s forces as much as possible: the staggering casualty rates of the past year look certain to escalate even further. With an ability to strike Ukraine’s home front in a way Kyiv cannot match, Russian forces will also escalate their current campaign against Ukraine’s domestic power infrastructure, aiming to sap civilian will to continue the war. Yet for Arestovych himself, a critic of Zelenskyy’s overall strategy, Ukraine’s situation, while bad, is not yet desperate, telling UnHerd that even in the worst-case scenario: “I think it will be not immediate collapse, on the frontline or interior Ukrainian situation. I think it will be getting worse and worse, for half of the year probably.” In such circumstances, more expansive definitions of victory ought to be parked, at least for now. “If we really get into realistic policy, we kind of have to say there’s no way to liberate Donbas within five or 10 years for us,” says Arestovych, “The only goal we have right now is to not give Russia the ability to seize more territory of Ukraine.”

With the merciless clarity of hindsight, the uncertain prospects of eventual victory and the challenges to be endured over the coming year will revive debate over whether the collapsed peace negotiations of 2022 were a missed opportunity for Ukraine. Should Kyiv have swallowed the bitterness created by Bucha, and accepted Russia’s less onerous terms back at the beginning of the war? Could Putin have been trusted to stand by the peace deal, and not merely amass resources for a second, meticulously planned invasion some years later? Again, Thucydides may afford a useful parallel. For the classicist and neoconservative pundit Donald Kagan, writing, ironically enough, at the height of American hubris in 2003, the Athenian spurning of the Spartan peace offer was, in the circumstances, not unreasonable. “The Athenians must have understood that
 Sparta could resume the war any time it pleased,” Kagan observes, and “had good reason to want more than merely the promise of Spartan good will in the future”. Just as Ukrainian opponents of a peace deal with Russia warned in 2022: “Why should belligerence not take the upper hand again once it was safe?”

Just the same considerations are in play when assessing Ukraine’s path to constructive peace negotiations over the coming year. That the war will end in a peace deal rather than total battlefield victory now looks the best achievable outcome for Ukraine. What remains to be decided is when, and what peace terms are both politically acceptable and militarily achievable. For Arestovych, Putin’s timeline is clear: “I completely understand Mr. Putin’s goal [is] to get into the negotiations with us from the very strongest position. They need the weakest position for Ukraine, and the strongest position for Russia, for August or September.” Writing for the isolationist Quincy Institute think tank, the strategic analyst Anatol Lieven echoes the Spartan envoys at Pylos in declaring that “Washington and Kyiv both have a strong incentive to open peace talks while we still retain significant leverage; for if we wait, the terms that we will get in the future are likely to be much worse for Ukraine and much more humiliating for the West.” 

Yet echoing Kagan’s hawkishness on Athens’ behalf, the neoconservative Institute for the Study of War think tank (founded, in one of the strange rhymes of American public life, by his daughter-in-law Kimberley Kagan) rejects the idea, floated by the New York Times to the horror of Ukraine’s online supporters, that there is any current prospect for meaningful talks, citing bellicose official Russian statements to the contrary and Putin’s general untrustworthiness. Similarly, as the Russia analyst Sam Greene observes, there is a likely incentive for Putin to enter into insincere peace negotiations now, on the basis that the Western will for them to succeed will incline Ukraine’s external backers to taper off military support both as a sign of good faith and a means of pressure on Kyiv. As Greene notes: “The problem is this: For the West, negotiations are a means of ending the war. For Russia, they are a means of winning it,” allowing Putin to drag out the fighting on favourable terms while increasing his leverage on the battlefield.

Each argument, for and against, is both rational and credible: sometimes, all the options are bad. Yet either way, though reviled as defeatism by Ukraine’s more excitable foreign cheerleaders over the past year — as dynamic future historians will debate — the median policy of dogged Ukrainian defence leading to peace negotiations has now quietly become the Biden administration’s preferred strategy for resolving the conflict. Dependent until now on a supply of Western arms that is drying up, to survive the difficult year ahead Ukraine will be forced to rely on its own industrial resources to a far greater degree than it has achieved so far. This will not be an easy task given Russia’s growing effectiveness at striking deep within Ukraine from the air. Uncertain of the duration and extent of Western support, increasingly divided over strategy and struggling to raise the vast reserves of manpower necessary to hold the line, the coming year will be fraught with challenges for Kyiv and its Western backers. 

Negotiations at some point will be necessary — yet whether the best time for them has already passed, or is yet to come, is a question as unanswerable as it is urgent. For centuries, future historians will also debate the twists and turns that led Europe to this point. Unless a basis for a constructive peace is found, one empire or another will be humbled in Ukraine: which one that will be is still the question to be decided. As the Athenian delegates vainly trying to dissuade the Spartans from declaring war observed: “The longer a war lasts, the more things tend to depend on accidents. Neither you nor we can see into them: We have to abide their outcome in the dark.” In 2024, just as in 2022, we stand at a fateful crossroads in the dark. It is only over the coming year that history’s judgment on the path taken will begin to assume its final form.


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
6 months ago

What do you know? “Putin puppet” translates very well into, “I told you so.” Russia could always change tactics and adapt their strategy. In fact, almost every military in history does so. Unless of course you really have your head in the sand like say America and the U.K. in Afghanistan for the last twenty years. “Ukraine will be forced to rely on its own industrial resources to a far greater degree than it has achieved so far.” Oh? What industrial resources are those? Russia on the other hand has an impressive industrial base. They also have a larger population to recruit from. Now Western countries are running critically low on munitions to send them. It’s almost as if you need the capability to manufacture weapons and cannot just spend them into thin air. Imagine if the West was stupid enough to offshore most of their manufacturing. Oops! Guess that is another “I told you so”. Then the Ukrainian commanders were stupid enough to throw their men into a fortified meatgrinder that heavily favored the Russians in the “Spring” Offensive. So many of these problems were obvious from the start but a lot of writers around here as well as a whole lot of commenters treated this whole thing like a Hollywood movie and not a brutal proxy war in a geopolitical slap fight. I don’t care whether you like it or not. You cannot just pretend and hope your way to victory and unfortunately for the Ukrainians it is rather hard to win a war while suffering from massive casualties and dwindling munitions.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

If Western countries are running critically low on munitions, now would be a good time to increase their production of them. Whatever happens in Ukraine, the West will be at war with Russia again soon enough, either in a proxy situation like in Ukraine, or directly.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

If NATO means anything (and there is a doubt there) you are right that ‘…..the West will be at war with Russia again soon enough,…’
ï»ż

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Why do you think the West will be at war with Russia? What is there to fight about? Ukraine took 15 years to turn into a real war, from George W. Bush’s push to get Ukraine into NATO, then the Western fomenting of the bloody coup d’etat in 2014, then the Ukraine passing of constitutional amendments in 2019.
There’s nothing else like that on the horizon. It’s not like the Russians are going to attack Finland.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

I still don’t like our industrial capacity to be this pathetic and who knows what conflicts the future will hold?

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Exactly. War with China is a very real possibility.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

War with China is only a possibility if the West are led by idiots with a penchant for suicide. The West cannot win a war with China on China’s turf. That should be obvious. Not only are the lines of supply huge, but China has a massively larger population and manufacturing base.

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Somehow I don’t think the West’s objective is to replicate Japan’s strategy and occupy China.
And since “the West” includes Australia, Taiwan, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan…
This definitely IS on “the West’s” turf.
Sorry to burst your bubble…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

China is a “target rich environment” with approximately 102 cities each with a population of about 2 million or more. The whole lot holding about 80% of the population.
By contrast each of the 14* US Navy’s Ohio class submarines carry 20 trident missiles, each with 8 ‘independent’ warheads. Thus there is plenty of room for error.

(* Another 4 carry a suite of Cruise Missiles.)

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago

How did we get from stalled trench warfare in Ukraine to vapourizing 1 billion chinese people in a preemptive nuclear first strike?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

John Strauss Esq (above) thinks the ‘Chinks’ could win.
I beg to differ.

El Uro
El Uro
6 months ago

It depends…

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago

Ok, I assumed that discussion was non nuclear. By the time ICBMs start flying the human race has lost and so has the climate.
The more likely point of confrontation would be a Chinese power play in the Middle East. They already have a new military base 100 miles away from the Red Sea entrance in Djibouti with 2500 personnel.
A Chinese occupation zone in Yemen would solve the immediate drone problem but would represent a strategic setback for the West.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

The BOMB will solve everything. It’s just question of when?
Rather like the Resurrection.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago

A dropped test tube in a gain of function bio hazard lab will get us all before the nukes start flying. There is a statistical inevitability about it.

John Galt Was Correct
John Galt Was Correct
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The Economist is carrying an article stating a considerable increase in European munitions production this year and next from the 4 big manufacturers. As you say, how the capacity became so low is worrying and surely a matter of national security.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Russia does have a propensity to invade other countries on very spurious grounds. To the extent that Russia isn’t going in invade Finland, it is only because Finland recently joined NATO. It seems a pity to me that George W. Bush didn’t get Finland into NATO.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

What other countries has Russia invaded? Seems to me since the Soviet Union was dissolved the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq on spurious grounds while Russia invaded nobody, until Ukraine, and that was not on spurious grounds. Russia has said for decades that Ukraine joining NATO would be crossing a red line.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Carlos, you can add Syria, Libya and Somalia to the list of Western interventions.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Well you could try Chechnya and Georgia for starters

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

This isn’t about Nato.
It’s about Russia in its dotage, dreaming dreams of past glory.
While permanently destroying its economy…

Rosemary Throssell
Rosemary Throssell
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

I think you will find their economy is doing ok.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago

Indeedy. Britain’s Government debt is 4 times larger than Russia’s relatively speaking. If we were to compare gold reserves I imagine the ratio would be larger.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Well, you know, Russia did not just popped out of the good old USSR like Pallas Athena from Zeus’s head, its existence goes back several hundred years, to the detriment of millions of people. Here is a list, probably not complete, of countries and people Russia invaded:
Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Bessarabia, Karelia, Chechnia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia (=Gruzia), Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, several dozen Siberian indigenous peoples (like the Tuva, Sakha, Buryat, Altai, Evenk, Khanty, Mansi, Nenets, Vogul and many others no one seems to care about) … Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania … China (Amur), Japan (Sakhalin).
Sapienti sat.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago
Reply to  Fafa Fafa

In the case of Britain it is much simpler to list the very few countries not invaded.
From memory, Mongolia, Sweden, Belarus, the 20% of Africa not colonized by France and some awkward parts of South America not accessible to the Royal Navy. Otherwise the other 90% of the world has contested or at best tolerated British intervention.

David Adams
David Adams
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

In the 1990s, Russia invaded Chechnya. In the 2000s, Russia invaded Georgia. In the 2010s, Russia invaded Ukraine.

These ignore the ‘peacekeepers’ the Russians kept in Moldova to keep it from reuniting with Romania.

michael harris
michael harris
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

But they might start by supporting the Russian speaking minority in Latvia and see where that goes.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Why will the West be at war Russia, “soon enough” or at all? How this point has gotten not just traction, but also credibility, is a wonder.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Production capacity is finite. If you want the West to magic together more weapons, you have to decide what production will be foregone. Cars, perhaps? Maybe the price of a new Vauxhall could double? Maybe we could stop producing CAT scans for hospitals?
This is how the Ukraine war needs to be explained to people: either we let Russia take Ukraine, or else you don’t get a car this year and you will have to wait three more months for your hip replacement.

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

What everyone overlooks is that Putin’s only card now is permanent war.
It began with Donbas, when he was forced to intervene first in Syria and then Libya.
Now his proxies are active in half a dozen Sahel nations.
Whatever happens in Ukraine, he will just have to keep intervening, to emulate Catherine the Great, etc.
And now, since he can never offer Russians a better life, his only alternative is “glory” in the prospect of future conquests.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

All current trends point to conflict against Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, individually or possibly even as allies, persisting for the foreseeable future. Whether fighting a Cold War or a hot one, the task remains the same. People forget that Germany had a significant advantage in technology over the allies at the start of WWII, especially in the realms of tanks, planes, and submarines. The American side prevailed with significantly inferior weapons by producing more of them, which is exactly what China/Russia/Iran are doing now. These are the fruits of globalism. We are reaping the bitter harvest of three decades plus of unconstrained corporate greed, of profit and raw efficiency placed in front of any and all other concerns.

0 0
0 0
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Only if you really insist on it, like cutting off Kaliningrad as they seem to be preparing at the moment. It would be better to have a trade deal with Russia to boost British industry and give us cheap resources. Go where the Yanks won’t is bound to be a good idea. Use their limitations to our advantage rather than the reverse.

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

So…
Looks like Putin has invaded…
Gaza.
But a Gaza with anti-air missiles, factories for drones, 10s of millions who now hate all Russians, and memories of a 100 years of Soviet and Russian oppression.
Both Bibi and Putin will lose.
But Bibi still has a far better chance…

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Ukraine has industrial resources. But the country has been pillaged by its oligarchs for many years. It relied on cheap gas, it maintained the Soviet style of factories ( unlike Poland, heavily criticised in the West for its shock treatment), and millions left for Poland and Russia to find work. Up to 2014 Ukraine was the fourth largest arms manufacturer. They found the arms to shell the rebel provinces for eight years. A serious discussion about Ukraine since 1992 is long overdue

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
6 months ago

This war should stop. No more.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

The West would be very foolish to accept a “negotiated peace”. Russia cannot be trusted, ands will re-invade Ukraine (or invade somewhere else) soon enough.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Not if Ukraine agrees not to enter NATO, Crimea stays in Russia, and the Donbas becomes largely independent. That’s a deal Vladimir Putin would accept as a win. The West should give Ukraine security guarantees so that trusting Russia is not a requirement.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

That sounds just like the Munich Agreement. No doubt the result would be much the same.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

That’s not at all like the Munich Agreement. The Munich Agreement was a diplomatic agreement designed to avoid war. This agreement would end a war that has been smoldering for 8 years and flared up for 2, on terms that would be very favorable to Ukraine. The war would end and the rebuilding would begin.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

The similarity would be that Putin, like the German chap with the funny moustache, would have absolutely no intention of abiding by said agreement for anything beyond the very short term.

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Putin will never accept your Peace “Plan.”
He’s lost far too much already.
Every Russian would see it as a defeat…and come looking for Vova…

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Why would Russia negotiate a peace deal and then turn around and invade again? That doesn’t make sense. It has the upper hand right now, so any deal would be on its terms. Frankly, I doubt they are interested in negotiating now anyway.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Because a peace deal would give Russia a chance to rearm. They have lost quite a few tanks in Ukraine, you know.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Yes, a peace deal would give Russia a chance to rearm. So what? A peace deal would also give Russia enough to declare victory and take away any reason to fight. The Ukraine war has shown Russia’s army to be pathetically weak. It has killed its best soldiers. There’s no reason to think Russia will rearm and attack Ukraine or anyone else.
Part of the peace deal should be that if Russia did rearm and attack Ukraine, the West would join the war as well. You can bet Russia would not attack Ukraine.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

The only saving grace of this hideous war – it has laid bare how weak and incompetent Russia really is.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The war has also revealed that strike drones coupled with high definition cameras have changed the nature of warfare.
The battle field has regressed to 1915 with low mobility.
I don’t think any nation will want to start a ground war until another generation of technical advance introduces mobility once again.

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago

Simply not true. The Russians wouldn’t stand a chance against the US. One major reason that the Russians are struggling so badly is that they don’t really have air superiority/cannot exploit any they do have.
That and the poor leadesrship and discipline. And the corruption. And the poor quality, poorly maintained military kit.
Apart from that, as D Walsh says, I’m sure they’re “winning” …

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago

Yes, and those shoulder mounted anti-tank weapons have proved themselves very capable too. I don’t know how much they cost, but it has to be a lot less than what a main battle tank costs.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Your last paragraph suggests that Ukraine should be admitted into NATO. I agree.

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

They’ve already re-armed Martin

The Russians are producing tanks faster than they are losing them, and its the same with shells, missiles, drones, ect

You’re still deluded. Something seriously wrong with you, you will lose your war with reality

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

And you know this as a fact how exactly ?
You post a lot of stuff on here. Yet I’ve never seen any factual backup for any of your claims.
Besides which, you’re ignoring the fact that Russia now has neither the people (human capital) for the scale to compete in advanced military equipment with the US (or even China). They may be able to crank out more of their existing equipment. But their capacity to create new, leading edge weapons is pretty much gone (with the engineers and scientists who have either died off or left the country). They will also see a step change drop in arms exports after their disastrous demonstration of their kit in Ukraine. No one wants to buy a lemon.

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Russians are winning, this is the only factual back up to my claims that matters

The msm is lying to you

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

“The Russians are winning”
Isn’t …actually…a “fact”…
How about that downed Russian A-50 yesterday?
But I forget.
According to you, that’s not a fact…

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

How are the Russians NOT winning? Ukraine’s casualties are in the six figures and millions have fled the country, never to return.

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Er, where has every Russian offensive so far gone?
Do you win by retreating?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Only if you are British! Remember Dunkirk?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Er, where has every Russian offensive so far gone?
Further into Ukraine.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Yeah, and only one sailor was killed when the Moskva was “damaged”.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Maybe you can do a live cross from the battlefield for your YouTube channel.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Russia has cancelled conscription for the Ukrainian war because the monthly flow of volunteers is so strong.
US munitions are low and will take years to return to stock levels expected by their generals.
Russia has recently introduced a super version of the main drone it has been importing which is worrying the Ukrainians.
Only China can pursue elective wars just now, which is reassuring given their demonstrable reluctance to do so.
We just need to get through the next year until the US is led by a President with a measurable brain function then the world might get back onto an even keel. Watching the Vake surge this week in Iowa with hope and interest…

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago

Putin paused conscription because he wants to win the election.
But you already knew that…

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Can we infer that real democracy exists in Russia and Putin might loose?
For two years the BBC has been telling me that Putin is an evil murderous totalitarian thug.
What is your prediction for the next Ukrainian presidential election?

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

The Russians are probably producing lots of shells, although they have a lot stockpiled. I don’t think they are producing lots of tanks. Their latest one (the T-14 Armata) has been conspicuous by its absence on the battlefield, and their earlier ones have shown themselves proficient only in cooking their crews.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

The west has much bigger issues with munitions than Russia. If anything, a peace deal will give Ukraine more time to rearm.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Russia cannot be trusted
But the West, with its repeated pledges about “not one inch Eastward” re: NATO can be trusted? Some wars are unavoidable, others are unfortunate; this one was calculated. By us. We just couldn’t handle the idea of a neutral Ukraine. It was a Quixotic mission with a bad ending.

Tony Price
Tony Price
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I think that it was more Ukraine couldn’t handle the idea of being neutral and thus at the mercy of Russia.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Russia did need to be taken down a few pegs. That much was clear.

El Uro
El Uro
6 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I like appeasers. Their good intentions always lead to a new war

J Bryant
J Bryant
6 months ago

I watched Freddie Sayers’ interview with Mr. Arestovych and was impressed. That is the type of open discussion of potentially unpopular opinions we see less and less of in most of the media today.
I was struck by Mr. Arestovych’s belief that, at some point, he and other politicians might be in a position to develop a new approach to Ukrainian politics, and to “market” Ukraine to the West as a country possessing valuable resources and therefore a valuable member of the Western community.
Surely Mr. Arestovych understands that when a ceasefire is eventually negotiated, Ukraine will be a shattered country heavily dependent on the West for money to rebuild. That money will not be a gift. Western investors will likely carve up the countries resources with the backing of their governments, and Western governments, notably the US and EU, will impose a DEI-inspired version of the multiculturalism Mr. Arestovych foresees for his country.
As an aside, I believe General Mark Milley was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, not Defence Secretary as stated in the article.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I gave up watching half way through. Freddie Sayers did his best with the material available but at the end of the day Arestovych sounds like an emigree seeking attention and bitter over events.
Gulf War II provided us with an example, we trusted the predictions of disaffected Iraqi emigrees.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

Gulf War II would have happened come what may. The Israelis were ready to ‘ Nuke’ the place so it was thought to be the lesser of two evils!

All those responsible, in particular the 146 Tory MPs who voted for war should be hanged, no ifs no buts.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
6 months ago

‘Could Putin have been trusted to stand by the peace deal, and not merely amass resources for a second, meticulously planned invasion some years later? ‘
The most plausible answer to this question is surely: “No”.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago

Interesting to speculate about what might have been, but not useful. The question is what to do now, and it does seem like negotiations are in order. Trouble is, Joe Biden couldn’t do a deal to save his life. That’s just not his thing.
You can bet that Donald Trump would live up to his word, and if elected, would be talking to Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin within a short time to “stop the dying” in Ukraine. If anyone can do a deal, he can. He does have his flaws, and they are big ones, but he’s got a talent for doing deals.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

We know from his last Presidency that he is “Putin’s Poodle”. Any “deal” he would do would be entirely in Russia’s favour.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

We know nothing of the kind. Donald Trump is not “Putin’s Poodle”. He was tougher on Vladimir Putin than Barack Obama ever was. In Syria the US under Donald Trump attacked both Russia’s ally Syria and Russian mercenaries. He warned Germany at the UN against relying on Russian energy (and was laughed at for his prescience) and tried to stop Nord Stream 2. He reinvigorated NATO and got its members to up their defense spending.
Donald Trump did hold a meeting with Vladimir Putin and to get him back in the G8. He was following the same line of thought as Israeli general Moshe Dayan: “If you want peace, you don’t talk with your friends. You talk with your enemies.” Had Donald Trump been in office, I doubt very much if Vladimir Putin would have invaded Ukraine. With Joe Biden in the White House, Vladimir Putin knew he would do nothing to stop him.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

We need Nikki Haley in the White House – a traditional US “Hawk”.

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
6 months ago

The comments here all aver that negotiations with Russia are pointless because Russia will not stick to any agreement reached, and would simply use the hiatus to rearm.
This is transference at its best and describes Western behaviour perfectly. NATO was plotting to breach its promise not to expand even before it was made. In February 2014, the EU had brokered a deal for Yanukovitch to go, but Victoria “F*ÂŁ@ the EU” Nuland went ahead with her coup anyway.
The Minsk Accords were brokered by France and Germany and endorsed by the UN Security Council (and were hence binding in international law), but by the admission of Ukraine, Germany, and France, there never was any intention of implementing them on the Ukrainian side or any intention on the Western side to push Ukraine to implementation – their only purpose was to allow Ukraine to gear up for war (as Arestovitch himself said shortly after Zelensky’s election).
It seems Russia was the only party sticking to the Minsk Accords – and indeed, the Istanbul solution is but a slight modification to the Minsk Accords.
I don’t even need to mention the various disarmament treaties terminated by the US, the unfortunate undermining of the OSCE structures, the neverending, arbitrary and illegal sanctions, etc.
Unfortunately, the way forward is going to be slow, marked by small confidence-building measures to persuade Russia that the West has reformed itself and is in future committed to being a trustworthy counterpart willing to adhere to international law.

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago

Russians will treat every Ukrainian in the area they occupy as a traitor.
That was the lesson of Bucha.
And after half a million casualties, Russians are not going to be any kinder…

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

The Russians don’t have half a million casualties, but the Ukraine probably does, why else would they want to call-up another 500k men

At this point it’s crazy to believe the Russians have lost more men than the Ukraine

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Listen to Arestovich’s interview with Freddy. Many more Russians were killed (he thinks it is 1:4). Even Putin accidentally remarked in a recent speech the huge loss of Russian lives ( 350 thousand) . Also in Freddy’s interview you’ll hear that Ukraine has big problems in recruiting men. Arestovich explains the reason for that is Ukraine’s multicultural population, many don’t even want to register.

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago

there is simply no chance that the Russians have lost more men than the Ukraine, it just makes no sense, recently the Russians have been firing 10K shells a day, the Ukraine can manage about 2K, added to that the Russians have an Air Force that is dropping massive glide bombs on Ukrainian positions, these bombs range in size from 250kg to 3000kg

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
6 months ago

Russian Recruiting stations get thousands a month volunteering to join the army. Ukraine has to press-gang old men off the streets – tells it all….

The whole article above is stupid and shows he learns his war news from the MSM. Try ‘The Duran’, or Akexander Mercurious, or Judge Napolitano. or Douglas Macgregor, or Scott Ritter, or…..

Tina D
Tina D
6 months ago

There are so many errors in your comments that I don’t know where to start. It’s absurd how people like to rewrite history.
The Minsk Accords faced significant challenges after Russia’s support for militias in Donetsk and Luhansk, followed by an unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

Ukraine is a sovereign state and has the right to pursue security and trade agreements with any nation of its choosing.

Local elections in Donetsk and Luhansk have been hindered by the ongoing separatist conflict, making it difficult to hold them as outlined in the Minsk Agreements.

The issue of regaining full control of Ukraine’s eastern border, as stipulated by the OSCE-brokered Minsk Accords, has remained unresolved.

Tina D
Tina D
6 months ago

I cannot agree with your comments.
The Minsk Accords faced significant challenges after Russia’s support for militias in Donetsk and Luhansk, followed by an unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

Ukraine is indeed a sovereign state and has the right to pursue security and trade agreements with any nation of its choosing.

Local elections in Donetsk and Luhansk have been hindered by the ongoing separatist conflict, making it difficult to hold them as outlined in the Minsk Agreements.

The issue of regaining full control of Ukraine’s eastern border, as stipulated by the OSCE-brokered Minsk Accords, has remained unresolved.

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago

So, we are seriously asked here to believe that Boris Johnson was responsible for the war in Ukraine !!! No doubt he’ll be flattered to learn he has such great influence on world affairs.
I’m sure some of those claiming Johnson possesses these remarkable superpowers are also amongst those who say he way a lazy, incompetent, party-going buffoon …

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Of course not. what you’re being asked to believe is that Boris Johnson was told to deliver a message from Washington.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

So, we are seriously asked here to believe that Boris Johnson was responsible for the war in Ukraine !!
No, you’re not being asked to believe that, so why argue against a point that one is making? Johnson was dispatched to tell Zelenskyy that the latter would not be agreeing to anything with Russia.

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago

This piece, like most in the West, rely on the assertion that the Bucha massacre occurred as we’re told in the Western media – that it was indeed a senseless slaughter carried out by the Russians. That it was is far from clear.

Anyone who has paid proper attention to the claims of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Civil War which have now been exposed as bogus by Ian Henderson, Brendan Whelan and other courageous OPCW whistle-blowers, will likely treat these Western claims with scepticism.

There are plenty of reasons to doubt the Bucha narrative – you can find a few of them here:
https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2022/04/bucha-massacre-masterlist.html

Mrs R
Mrs R
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

It is extraordinary for me to find that whereas in the past I would have rejected this notion out of hand I now accept it as at least a fair possibility. I once could not believe that Western governments would stoop so low but following the lies that led us into invading and bombing Iraq, the War in Afghanistan, the lies of the use of chemical weapons, the extraordinary Covid propagandising and its overt manipulation of public emotions and fears, the flagrant suppression of dissent – no matter how learned – and the summary withdrawal of basic civil liberties I would put nothing past them.

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago

Aris presents us with a question. Were the peace talks abandoned because of Bucha or because Boris Johnson was sent to Kyiv to convey the West’s disapproval of them?
But surely, that’s not the right question. Both things happened. Perhaps even Zelenskyy couldn’t tell you which was more important. Perhaps either would have been enough on their own to scotch the talks.
We can argue about the stability of the peace that might have emerged and the moral hazard associated with a failure to punish Putin for the invasion and for Bucha. But weighing a bad peace against the war we got is a question for historians.
To me, as a brit, the more important question is about the intent of our own politicians and what business, the US and the UK thought they had putting their thumb on the scales in this way. You will recall that, throughout this conflict, the West has justified its bellicosity by reference to Ukraine’s wishes. And yet, there they were, pushing Ukraine towards war and, crucually, doing so in secret.
We might also ask how western forces can possibly have thought that the war they were pushing Ukraine into could be won. As Aris points out, the Ukrainians have been complaining throughout the couter offensive, that the West was not providing enough money and weapons to allow them to win. But, actually the west has provided far more and far more types of weapons than they intended to. Modern tanks, aircraft, banned cluster munitions. In 2022, there were very real fears that the supply of each of these systems risked escalating the war and allowing it to spread. Western powers had no intention of flooding the Ukrainains with all of theose weapons all at once. So, in April 2022, the West was not simply supporting the Ukrainians in what they wanted to do. They were encouraging the Ukrainians to do what we wanted them to do, whilst knowing full well that they didn’t have the tools to do it and that we feared to give them those tools.
This is not a criticism of Zelenskyy or the Ukrainians who should, like the Athenians, have been free to make their own decisions after Bucha. It is a criticism of our leaders who lied to us, the British and American public about the war they were pursuing.

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

So many, many words. All trying desperately to rewrite history around a narrative that was never true.
Though mildly amusing that you think that anyone would trust what Boris Johnson told them (whatever that actually was – which I doubt you actually know as I presume you weren’t there).
But it’s all irrelevant.
Because there are some very simple, serious and unavoidable facts here.
1) Russia invaded Ukraine. Once in 2014. Again in 2022.
2) None of Russia’s neighbours feel secure or trust Russia. With very good historical reasons – they’ve all at one time or another (often many times) been colonised and occupied by Russia. And it’s not an experience they wish to repeat.
3) Ukraine decided to defend itself. Regardless of whatever Boris Johnson did or did not say.
4) There was never any definite Western end goal in supporting Ukraine – no fixed position about what the end state would be or claim that Ukraine would “win”. The aim was for Ukraine to survive and thereby prevent any further Russian expansion into NATO states. There was no requirement that Ukraine regain all it’s original territory. Merely survive as a free and independent state.
5) It is obviously not in the West’s interests to have a powerful, expansionist, kleptocratic state exporting corruption, lies and violence around the world. Yes, that’s what Russia really is. And we should not be ashamed to state and defend our interests. IF this conflict has exposed what Russia really is and weakened Putin’s kleptocrtic state, that’s a good thing.

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

With respect, it is you who miss the point.
Putin invaded. And his troops committed unforgivable atrocities in Bucha. No-one denies that.
But it is increasingly clear that a peace treaty was on the table in April of 2022 and that the British Government opposed that peace treaty (presumably because they were told that the Americans opposed it).
I’m not saying that the UK should have been pushing the Ukrainians to make peace. And I’m going out of my way to make it clear that I don’t know whether Johnson’s meeting with Zelenskyy was determinative, I’m saying it was dishonest of them to claim that they were respecting Ukrainian wishes whilst pushing Kyiv towards continued war.
Moreover, the longer and bloodier the war becomes, the more questionable that judgement appears (whether Zelenskyy took that decision on his own, whether he caved to US/UK pressure or whether it was some combination of the two).
Finally, the UK Government concealed its role in this affair (along with the existence of the treaty itself). Now that both the treaty and the UK’s actions are widely accepted, it seems an appropriate juncture to consider the path not travelled – since we were unable to do so at the time.

El Uro
El Uro
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are probably the only person here who more or less correctly understands the situation. The rest prefer conspiracy theories; the more they resemble Agatha Christie detective stories, the better.
PS. By the way, Putin and his team have been quite successful in corrupting the Western establishment. Your politicians turned out to be much cheaper than expected

j watson
j watson
6 months ago

The Ancient Greek example the Author uses is informative but perhaps the better one would be Korea 50-53?
By late 50 UN/US forces could have potentially settled the demarcation line much further North than the 38th parallel but McArthur overreached. Subsequently the eventual boundary ossified from mid 51 but fighting and negotiations continued for 2 more years – particularly vexed by prisoner swap issues – but the North right up to ceasefire sought to grab some small geographical advantage. At the time it was far from predictable that S Korea would transform itself into a vibrant democratic economy v much in the western camp. However that is the potential scenario with Ukraine if our help is sustained. It may end up never regaining all it’s lost territory but a S Korean outcome would remain a significant victory.

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Quite.
But the majority of the intellectually challenged commenting on this thread don’t want Ukraine to succeed. That simply cannot be permitted. Now why is that ?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Mindreading again? The majority that you disparage knew that Ukraine was never going to succeed in a military matchup with the Russians. The country couldn’t even succeed in elevating itself beyond being a kleptocracy. That your “argument” is based on ad hominem only reveals that you have nothing useful to say.

j watson
j watson
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Good question. Three reasons I suspect – ignorance, inability to deal with anything complex and the more malign – they work for the FSS!

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Ukraine in NATO would be a significant victory, even if it has to give up a bit of territory.

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago

Bucha rather proves the point.
Russia will never accept Ukraine as a separate state. And will commit war crimes to suppress all Unkrainians, as they did both before and after World War two.
Putin will never accept the terms of a peace treaty, anymore than he followed the Minsk Agreements, or the peace with Chechnya.
As posters in Moscow proudly proclaim: “there are no limits to Russia’s borders.”
So Ukraine will fight on. Even if the line doesn’t hold, Putin will still be faced with one giant Gaza.
No alternative.
Because if they don’t, Ukraine becomes one giant Bucha…

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

It doesn’t matter how often you tell them about the posters in Moscow. Nor the fact that Russian leaders are openly calling us their enemies. The morons still won’t listen.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Russians have some justification for that “enemy” allegation:
(1) We want to lock their president up in a jail cell in Holland
(2) We blew up their expensive gas pipe line.
(3) We have stolen $ 1/2 a trillion of their money held on account in the Western banking system.
(4) We shipped 100s of dirty nuclear bombs to the Ukraine. These are called depleted uranium tank shells and then trained the Ukrainians on how to use them.
(5) Hi-tech British weapons have sunk Russian warships in port, it is most likely the Ukrainians did little more than press the red launch button.
(6) We likely played a role in the destruction of the Kursk bridge.

Peter B
Peter B
6 months ago

Pathetic !
Who’s “we” exactly ? You ? Me ? We didn’t do any of this.
1) I’d far rather he was locked up in Russia where his most serious crimes have been committed (murdering journalists, corruption, need I go on …).
2) No proof for that.
3) The assets are frozen. “Theft” is the removal of someone’s property with the intention to permanently keep it (at least under English law). The assets will be returned when the conditions are met. On the other hand, Russia (true to historical form) has actually *confiscated* many billions of foreign assets. Confiscated – now there’s stealing for you !
4) Never heard this before. Where on earth do you get this stuff from ?
5) Again, what evidence that British weapons were used here. And so what if they were ? I’d be more than happy that they were a) being used for the sort of purpose they were intended for and b) that they actually work that well. They say that “nothing works” in modern Britain. Not according to you !
6) Kursk is some distance inland in mainland Russia and generally well known for the world’s biggest ever tank battle. I think you’ve confused your facts. But hardly the first time, is it ? The Kerch Bridge, on the other hand, still exists.
Do try to come up with some actual facts.
D-

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago

Depleted uranium tank shells aren’t “dirty nuclear bombs”.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

The war crimes in Ukraine were carried out by Ukraine against Poland in 1939 and then again in 1945. There are whole books written about the motivation behind their atrocities. Poland was pacified with an equivalent amount of German territory. Hungary and Bulgaria were not. Under the USSR their western border was the mouth of the Danube and it still is. Not bad for a small peace loving democracy

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago

These are just Ari’s delusions, based on his distorted memories of the Soviet gerontocracy.
Putin can never accept Ari’s Peace “Plan.”
He’s lost far too much already.
His economy will never recover, and demographically the nation is in terminal decline. HIs only option is a Stalinist war, suppressing every Russian in the process.
This was a high stakes gamble that Putin made, betting that Ukrainians wouldn’t fight.
He lost everything he put on the table, and now has to up the ante just to stay in power.
Now Putin knows that without total victory, any peace risks losing both his presidency and probably his life.
This is a war for Ukraine’s (and Putin’s) existence.
So looks like the best Ari–and Putin–can hope for is Gaza on a monumentally larger scale.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago

Perhaps too much was staked on Ukraine’s 2023 offensive, by both Ukraine and its Western backers.
Yes, perhaps. You think? So now, hopes are being banked on 2024 and another “offensive” the year after? If the goal was to completely annihilate Ukraine and finish off the remaining members of this generation of able-bodied men, it’s hard to imagine what the West, and Zelensky, would do differently.
Unless a basis for a constructive peace is found,
Like the peace cited at the beginning of this article? I realize hindsight is remarkably clear but the obvious is the obvious. There is not going to be a Ukrainian victory. At this point, it’s starting to become questionable if there will be a Ukraine at all.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
6 months ago

This war has been a money-making enterprise, as are most modern wars. Grotesque, talentless degenerates become presidents, others sit on phony boards, shell companies are created, power shifts around until the power players lose their usefulness, regular people are disposable casualties and headline fodder for a dishonest, enabling media (QED).
It is indeed a racket, General Smedley. You’d think the world would know that by now, what with all the previous and current examples.

Chris Van Schoor
Chris Van Schoor
6 months ago

Aris lost me at “Bucha”. How can the rest of his piece be considered reasonable, when he starts off with a lie.

zee upītis
zee upītis
6 months ago

I think it’s time to close Unherd comments for it is now completely overrun by wackos like yourself. For someone personally familiar with two victims from Bucha, your preachy all-knowing comment is utterly disgusting. But it’s not like you have to know anyone from there to be able to easily confirm the validity of the claims as there have been multiple investigations by different parties. Alas, it doesn’t fit your political mythology.

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago

Curious that Aris doesn’t seem to know Greek history.
The Spartans weren’t demanding that they occupy Athens, and rid themselves of the current regime.
Whereas Putin’s minimum demands would be the left bank of the Dnipro, and the “denazification” of Ukraine (IOW, a govt in Kyiv totally subservient to Moscow).
The Spartans were Realists.
Vova Putin is a Delusionist…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

There is no possible connection between the Modern Greeks and the Ancient Greeks, besides the fact that they live in the same place.

Hypothetically if there was, one would have to ask ‘what the hell went wrong?’

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

I am surprised you quoted from the loathsome late Donald Kagan who was very much the US version of our own deplorable Eric Hobsbawm, albeit one was a neocon/fascist, the other a unrepentant Bolshevik/communist. Kagan as I recall was particularly vile about the late Rt Honourable Neville Chamberlain PC.

Additionally as you well know the Pylos analogy is rather stretching it as the Peloponnesian War still had 21 years to run.

POSTED AT 14.17 GMT and immediately SIN BINNED.

El Uro
El Uro
6 months ago

“Zelenskyy’s former advisor Oleksiy Arestovych” – After 2 years of that war, you still don’t know that Arestovich was never an adviser to Zelensky?
Aris, sometimes it’s important to check what you write 🙂

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
6 months ago

The whole thing is nothing more than an enormous money laundering/theft of taxes operation. Z can’t be voted out whilst the war continues. He has no reason to stop it. He’s making a fortune. Ten per cent to the big guy.

0 0
0 0
6 months ago

Get one thing right for a start. The atrocities in Bucha were carried out against suspected Russian collaborators by Azov units and filmed by them. The video evidence is conclusive. Hard to believe Zelensky didn’t learn that though just when we don’t know for sure.

So even if he really was shocked rather than that being another performance that couldn’t have lasted for long. So one is back to the Boris visit, in which the crucial message was that Washington wouldn’t give Zelensky the outside of NATO security guarantee he needed for the peace deal if he didn’t continue fighting. That’s what Biden wanted and that’s what’s happened since. Security or peace was what Boris’s bag contained. To be helped down with the best coke BoJo could find, at taxpayers expense. .

leonard o'reilly
leonard o'reilly
6 months ago

In the Ukraine as in the Middle East ( excepting the first Gulf war ) and elsewhere in America’s many ‘interventions’, the implicit questions posed by its foes are: “What is it you hope to achieve?”, and, “Do you have the will to achieve it?”
The answers are: “We don’t know”, and, “No”.
That being the case, the response is: “Well, come on in, then.”