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Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
3 months ago

This is a clear and cogent analysis.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

It is garbage.

“Russia assumed that the United States would prefer negotiations to war and would wish to avoid the redivision of Europe into hostile blocs.”

The only assumption Russia made was that it could conquer Ukraine in 3 days.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

It is absolutely not evident that Russia assumed it could conquer Ukraine in 3 days. Had it assumed this, it probably could have quite easily but simply instituting a shock and awe aerial campaign a la US in Iraq, followed by a ground invasion 3-4 weeks later. This didn’t happen because Russians wanted to minimize civilian casualties. You may laugh at this but if you think carefully about the situation, this war is not a war between truly separate states but a civil war. For example, most of the people living in Odessa only speak Russian, and while they may consider themselves Ukrainian now, the ties to Russia are huge.

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

By your argument as Americans speak English (a form of it anyway) then they consider themselves American but have huge ties to the UK. They don’t!

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

But London and Washington DC are separated by 3674 miles so quite a different situation.
And as for the US, quite frankly it would have been better for the UK had the British fought a little better during the war of independence.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

We had a better chance in 1812, but in the end just couldn’t be bothered.
A bad mistake!

anna smith
anna smith
3 months ago

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Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Ireland is a better example. English speaking people in the Irish republic certainly don’t identify as English.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago

Although the English have a far greater affinity with the Irish than they do with either the Sc*tch, the Welsh or even the Cornish.

stephen david
stephen david
3 months ago

The Cornish? I think not. Some Scots and fewer Welsh.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Ummm…. we’re best off shot of ’em.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

The comparison is invalid.. so invalid I couldn’t be arsed explaining it to you.

Kat L
Kat L
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Uh yes we do. When I was a kid the ties were strong in the culture. Diversity changed it but a lot of us still remember.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Correct! The wanton slaughter in Gaza gives the lie to alleged indiscriminate attacks on Ukraine.. the contrast is huge! Proof positive that what you say is accurate.
Don’t forget either, the Russian so-called “invasion” force was ⅕th of what was required (+ shock n awe) to effect a full invasion. Again, proof that Putin assumed an incursion (special military operation) would result in peace talks.. he didn’t reckon of the US/Nato’s willingness to sacrifice an entire country and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian pawns in their evil chess game! Naivety or a misplaced assumption of humanity? The latter I think..

Rob N
Rob N
3 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“Naivety or a misplaced assumption of humanity? ”

They are the same thing: naivety.

Punksta .
Punksta .
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Qhat nonsense; it is exactly what it looks like – an invasion by Russia of a former colony that had the gall to go indepoendent.
The entire country – including the Russian-speakers, voted to leave Russia inj 1991

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

..nope, ’tis yerself with the garbage I’m afraid.. Russia was naive enough to believe (1) Nato wouldn’t encroach eastwards (2) the US, Germany, France and Ukraine would honour Minsk2 and yes, (3) that the US/Nato would not push Russia into a no option but to invade situation.. Naivety in its extreme.
There was a time when a country’s word, treaties and agreements were upheld.. Putin’s mistake was to think he was dealing with honourable people!

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

NATO “encroaching” means it is giving in to the will of the peoples wishing to join. There has never been any pressure from NATO towards Easter European countries for them to join. The pressure have been in the other direction, with nations badgering NATO to join, and NATO reluctantly giving in.
Why should Russia have a veto over what alliance free, sovereign and democratic countries can join?

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
3 months ago

Why should the US have a veto over what Cuba does?

0 0
0 0
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Russia could have done that had they employed all of their force in the first 3 days. They did not.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

Yea… he says what everyone has known since the war began. I watch the truth side of this insane, evil, corrupt war.

Redacted News, The Duran’ Douglas Macgregor, Scott Ritter, Alexander Mercorious, Judge Napoltino and rafts of others. Every one said this from Day one – this guy is not some great seer – he is just being allowed to show through the Fake News and CIA owned Social Media as it is time to wind this fiasco up.

But he is an insider and so also is not really given the reality of it all.

‘Russian threat to the West, once a powerful argument for Nato unity, has lost credibility. Russia’s armed forces have proven unable to conquer Ukraine, still less the rest of Europe.”

First, the USSR was the threat – Russia Never Was a threat to Europe! And USSR ended decades and decades ago, tired and worn out. This guy makes a really stupid mistake there.

Second, Russia could crush Ukraine military like a bug – at huge costs to it’s own soldiers – and to the total destruction to the Ukrainian Cities.

No Russia sits behind minefields in trenches with thousands of artillery and millions of shells and is a meat grinder Ukraine throws its men and machines at. Ukraine suffers 8 to 1 losses to Russia fighting this war of attrition.

Would this writer go toe to toe with the enemy and take huge losses and destroy the cities which will then just need rebuilding so Ukraine may become a trading partner later?

No, Russia grows its military exponentially wile it destroys the Ukrainian Military at very low costs. When Russia figures it is time they will go take what they want.

The thing is – the very last thing Russia wants is Ukrainian Ukraine as a subject people. Be a huge hassle, have to keep an army of occupation. No, they want leaders there who are not NATO Pawns – and let them manage themselves. They will absorb the Russian Ukraine.

But Biden and his mini-me Boris have instead destroyed a Nation, borrowed vast amounts to spend 90% on corruption, and killed, thus far 450,000 Ukraine fighters. Driven off 12 Million Ukrainians who will not return – this is the worst War Crimes imaginable. The Biden White house did this.

This writer goes half way, but then keeps the Neo-con line at the same time. Russia a threat to Europe, what a crock…

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
3 months ago

Agree with everything you say, but in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King.

I give him credit for even getting things half right (finally). In a world of lies, (even half of) the truth is a revolutionary act.

Vega Artist
Vega Artist
3 months ago

Your points are totally valid, but he still deserves credit for taking 1000 times more realistic perspective than 99% of the western media.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

Yes. There are no winners in war.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
3 months ago

Ukraine has no say whatsoever in any negotiations. It is a US puppet state and, unsurprisingly, Russia doesn’t trust the USA to comply with any agreement.
The war will grind on, presumably until the pro US Ukrainian government is overthrown by more realistic leaders.

Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

You can trust Ukraine’s peace as much as you can trust Hamas ceasefires. As soon as they signed the Minsk II agreements, they reneged on them and went on to bomb the East of the country for daring to think differently. Zelensky was elected under the pretence that he would push for peace in Donbas and also went back on his word. Let’s not forget that by the time that Russia got dragged in, the Kiev army had been bombing Donetsk and Lugansk for over a month (you can still find the OSCE reports online).

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago

Russia never fulfilled its part of the Minsk agreements. Zelensky tried to negotiate with Putin in the beginning of his term, but Putin was not interested in an agreement, only in domination.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
3 months ago

I wonder what David Patrikarkos makes of this article.

Mind you, he’s too busy now in Gaza to worry overmuch about Ukraine these days.

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
3 months ago

American foreign policy in the 21st century has been a litany of disasters. Will it ever end?

Will K
Will K
3 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

The world dominance by the USA looks like being ended as a result of the unintended consequences of the Ukraine war.

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
3 months ago
Reply to  Will K

Intended.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

To totally destroy Russia AND Ukraine were their goals!

Vanguard Blackrock – the vultures were chained up till all was smoking ruins and were then to be loosened to devour the great mines and energy resources – the Agriculture, the Industry – they were to make Russia and Ukraine into what USSR made of East Europe post WWII.

As an aside – Globalism hates a unified people, and a Christian one? That is pure anathema in their wicked and evil plans.

Those destroyed nations were to be re-peopled with Middle Easterners, Africans to make up for the ‘Demographic deficits’ as Europe and USA are. Their Orthodox Christianity (as Zalenski is doing per his orders in Ukraine already) to be destroyed – and these countries be made to fallow the Western Model we see eating the guts out of Europe and USA and Canada….

This was intended to destroy BOTH. But instead it made Russia stronger, BRICS+ a powerhouse, and did destroy Ukraine as par plans.

Thanks Biden, Boris, EU leaders, for failing in this Crime against Humanity, it only half worked. But they all got their 10%, so they will just move on like the rapacious things they are….

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago

There has been no repression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv patriarchate, recognized by the Constantinople patriarch). So no repression of Orthodox Christianity in itself.
There have been actions taking against Russian Orthodox Church, but that is hardly surprising since the Moscow Patriarchate blessed the war. I am sure that if the Patriarch of Moscow had called upon Russian Christians to refuse to take part in the invasion, as he should have as a christian, no actions would have been taken.

David Yetter
David Yetter
3 months ago

You apparently do not understand Orthodox Christian ecclesiology very well, and haven’t even bothered to get the names right. The “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” is the creation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow, and has as bishops several men who were correctly excommunicated from the Orthodox Church by the Patriarchate of Moscow years before the war began. Establishing a parallel church on the territory of another is a violation of the canons of the Orthodox Church (though this his hardly the only time Constantinople has done this — the Americas were part of the Patriarchate of Moscow when the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America was established in the 1920’s), as is reconciling those excommunicated by another bishop (made worse, as there was no demand for any form of repentance). My own Pattiarchate, the Patriarchate of Antioch, does not recognize its legitimacy.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onouphry is the legitimate Orthodox Church in Ukraine and the largest ecclesial body in Ukraine in terms of membership. It is now being persecuted by the Ukrainian government for its historical ties to Moscow. However, since the invasion, its churches do not commemorate Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow or include him in their dyptics (the list of bishops regraded as Orthodox), because his identification of Orthodoxy with Russian state interests is manifestly heretical. It is thus calumny to claim they are “Russian” or under the control of the Russian Orthodox Church. The UOC is de facto autocephalous, since it will certainly not be referring any matters, including selection of a successor to Met. Onouphry should he die, to the Holy Synod of Moscow.
One of the many evils the war has wrought is the disunity of Orthodoxy within Ukraine, which will require a council generally recognized by all the Orthodox churches to sort out when the war is over, however it ends.

Gerard A
Gerard A
3 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

A lot of that is a consequence of disasters, sometimes hailed as successes, inthe 2nd half of the 20th century.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Gerard A

not really

this is a consequence of the Cabals of Global Elite, the WEF (World Economic Forum) is their mouthpiece. What are called ‘Lizard People’ as their evil and depravity are so great it is impossible to call them human. Gates anyone?

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
3 months ago

People like Bill Ackmans Prof wife at MIT.

Wanted a donation from a known paedo, got it and then asked MIT to hush it up.

Just when you thought these people couldn’t get any lower……

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
3 months ago
Reply to  Gerard A

A lot of that is a consequence of disasters, sometimes hailed as successes, inthe 2nd half of the 20th century.

Many of which are in turn the consequence of disasters in the first half of the 20th century.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
3 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Disasters? Not for the insiders within the military industrial complex.

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
3 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Not under Trump, it wasn’t a disaster, and it can end if Trump policies win in 2024.
The Obama first two terms and the Obama proxy third-term under Biden have sought, and achieved, to destroy the US military, to foster war, fear and hostility around the globe, and to destroy solvency and solidarity at home. In other words, if Obama wanted to destroy American morale and influence in the world, he has been spectacular. For 20 years, Obama’s mentor and pastor, Jeremiah Wright, preached it, “We say not God Bless America, but we say G D America!” and so Obama has believed and so he has acted. Funny that. Imagine electing someone to lead the free world, whose paternal roots in Kenya taught him militant anti-colonialism. Imagine anti-West doctrine still driving foreign policy 15 years after he was first elected, energizing Iran and funding wars and terrorism. And the US media is totally complicit in the illusion that this is how ‘equality’ works.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

Did,’t Obama’s Uncle, or father, grandfather, get reparations under the Mau-Mau settlement? I bet Obama he could have if he applied then, under their’s… would have been cool if he had applied

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
3 months ago

Sounds like a job for The Blair Institute.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago

What ever happened to The Quartet, wasn’t Blair FĂŒhrer of that outstanding success story?

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago

Usual perversion of the truth by starting off presenting incorrect assumptions as facts.
Ukraine did not bet on Western support. It was invaded by Russia and has been in a war for survival.
The West did not assume that Ukraine could beat Russia. It decided – quite correctly – that it was essential to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression reagardless of the outcome.
It is equally fallacious to attempt to judge the long term outcome of this conflict before it is over and before the consequences become clear. Germany and Japan were officially the losers of WWII and Britain and Russia amongst the winners. Things looked very different by the 1970s.
But there are a few facts we cannot get away from here. Russia invaded Ukraine. And Ukraine doesn’t want to be occupied by Russia and is fighting for survival.
If even a fraction of Ukraine comes out of this permanently free from Russian interference and able to freely choose its own future, that’s a result for me.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Correct

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago

Incorrect.

You are watching the puppet show and not seeing the puppeteers behind the curtain.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Ukraine was invaded by Russia in 2014. For a West that supposedly thinks it essential to defend a free Ukraine from Russian aggression regardless of outcome, what the West did next looks very odd. Instead of sending military support, the West negotiated Minsk II: the federalisation of Ukraine and self-governence of Donetsk and Luhansk, effective separation. It was the failure of the Ukrainian government to deliver on Minsk II that was the pretext for war.

Some say Minsk II was a cunning plan to stall Russian aggression while Ukraine’s military was strengthened by the West. A few billion dollars of military advice came, basically next to nothing. So when Russia re-invaded in 2022, Ukraine’s military was barely any better prepared than in 2014.

So what changed? Did the West have a damascene conversion to the cause of a free and independent Ukraine? Hardly. In the first 6 months of the war, when Russia’s efforts were confused, the West resisted providing sufficient support for Ukraine to gain the strategic upper hand. That is not the action of a West that thought it *essential* to defend Ukraine.

There is no interest other than self interest. All that changed is the ground had been prepared to leverage this new war to bolster NATO and expand NATO. Without the war, European NATO members would not be upgrading military capability and NATO wouldn’t have Sweden and its excellent military as a new member.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Let’s think about this for a moment.
NATO clearly had an interest in defending the existing NATO members that would have been threatened by an expansionist Russia taking over Ukraine. And then moving on into Moldova. And fomenting dissent in the Batlic States (NATO members).
Are you seriously surprised that NATO countries acted to help Ukraine defend itself. Or that those most energetic in doing so were those like Poland and the Baltic States which were the most threatened.
What do you think those countries should have done ?
Poland has been invaded and/or occupied by Russia multiple times in the last 300 years. And never with good results for the Poles.
Russia has brought Finnish and Swedish NATO membership on itself. There was never any plan for this. Russia made it happen.
Oh yes. Putin started the war by invading Ukraine. Fact.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

You’re living in the past and your comment reflects paranoia. There was no evidence that Russia had an intention of expanding Westward. Indeed Russia is very much a European country culturally (just think literature, music, ballet, etc….). Rather it was NATO that was continually expanding Eastward. I’m not defending the Russians here nor am I a Putin chill. Rather, I am stating simple facts. The reaction of the Russians to ever eastward expansion of NATO is no different from that of the US during the Cuban missile crisis. In the US, the response was based on the Monroe doctrine.
To just state that Russia invaded Ukraine is like saying that Israel is currently invading Gaza. Perhaps a little context is required.

Helen E
Helen E
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“Indeed Russia is very much a European country culturally (just think literature, music, ballet, etc
.).”
Sadly, that is all in the past as well, if it was ever true. What this conflict has exposed is that (1) Russia is very much not Western or European and now never will be, and (2) has devolved into an oppressive dictatorship—supported by the majority of its population, despite the courageous efforts of a shrinking opposition.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Helen E

Interesting, given that many of the greatest works in the literary cannon, including the likes of Solzhenitzin, pasternak, etc… in the 20th century, were from Russia. Never mind that many of the best classical musicians come from Russia where classical music is being preserved. Never mind that art forms such as ballet are largely being preserved in Russia while fading in the so-called West.
As for conflicts over borders, do you consider the states that comprised the former Yugoslavia as not part of the West. They definitely seem to be part of the West now.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

In what way is ballet “fading in the West” ? Please do give some examples.
As far as I can see, both classical music and ballet are doing very well in the West. I’ve never needed to go to Russia for these things.
Come on, let’s have some actual facts here.
Solzhenitsyn and Pasternak were of course both punished by the Soviet Union. And for committing no crimes. That surely tells you something. Show me any writers in the West who got sent to a Gulag or were prevented from accepting a Nobel prize by their government.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

They give Nobel prizes away now like Crackerjack cabbages.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

?

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago

I recall Yasser Arafat getting a Nobel Peace Prize. At the time, I wondered whether Carlos the Jackal would get next year’s one.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Arafat got it jointly with Yitchak Rabin for signing the Oslo accords. That is exactly the kind of thing the peace price is supposed to award. It was not meant Ada general price for a virtue and saintly life. But I thought the comment above was about the literature price, not the peace price.

Kat L
Kat L
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

I just want to know why Obama got one, he hadn’t done anything yet. Turns out he was one of the worst most divisive presidents ever.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Classical music and ballet are now niche areas of endeavor in the West, largely the province of the super-rich elite. They are certainly not part of the overall popular culture. For example, a classical music CD selling a 1000 records is considered a massive hit in the West. That shows you just how this art form is currently regarded in the West.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

CDs? Wouldnt downloads on Spotify or similar be a bettet metric.

Kat L
Kat L
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

No, classical stations are dwindling and the two major online stores devoted to it had to expand their genres and narrow their choices. You are obviously not much of a fan if you don’t know this. SiriusXM now only offers one classical station via radio, the Met and Pops are online only. As diversity grows in the west the western culture and history is diminishing.

Helen E
Helen E
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Wouldn’t it be relevant to consider whether today’s Russians consider themselves to be Western/European? Because polling from 2021 suggests that most of them, particularly the young, do not.

https://www.intellinews.com/the-number-of-russians-that-consider-russia-to-be-european-down-by-half-in-the-last-decade-to-29-205975/

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Helen E

Who cares how they consider themselves? We all know they are not in any sense “Western” or “European”.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Helen E

“Oh-h-h,those RUSSIANS”
(Ra-ra-Rasputin).

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“There was no evidence that Russia had an intention of expanding Westward”

Apart from its invasions westward in the Donbas and Crimea, and later the rest of Ukraine you mean? You’re right if we discount the three times Russia has pushed westward in the last decade there’s no evidence at all

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It did a bit of “Westward pushing” in 1945 too.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

This is a silly comment. Crimea was part of Russia until the 50s when it was gifted to Ukraine. The Donbas is largely Russian too, and has been continually bomed by the Western Ukrainian forces since the 2014 Maidan coup. So what exactly are you talking about?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

I mean both of those areas are Ukrainian territory, as agreed by Russia themselves in the Budapest Memorandum. Therefore Russia sending in troops to occupy them is classed as an invasion, and because they’re west of Russia then it’s clearly a westward expansion.

P Branagan
P Branagan
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Nope. Victoria Nuland started the war with a US funded coup in 2014.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

There was no coup. Stop lying.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
3 months ago

Wow, there are still people who believe this !?

In 2024 !!

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

Because it is true. In some years, with Putin gone, you will be as ashamed as those who proclaimed the Soviet Union a workers paradise.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Russia did not invade in 2014. If you are talking about Crimea it is debatable whether Crimea should ever have been considered part of Ukraine, given that it was gifted to Ukraine by Khrushchev in the 1950s at a time when Russia and Ukraine were part of the same country, the Soviet Union. Recall, Ukraine was not a vassal state like Poland or Hungary, but an integral part of the Soviet Union. Further, never mind the history of the Russian people, going back to Kiev Rus in the middle ages, many parts of Ukraine were populated at close to 100% levels by Russian speakers. Indeed, Odessa, for example, was bult by Cathrine the Great.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Agreed, this spate of petty nationalism must be resisted at all cost.
For heaven’s sake look at what trouble we are having with the recalcitrant Sc*tch, the ever whining Irish and even the Welsh. Soon it will be Liverpool* or even worse ‘needy’ Cornwall.
ps. It is still Chicken Kiev NOT Kyiv!

(* Despite geography Liverpool is hardly England.)

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago

Thank you for reminding me about Chicken Kiev, Charles.
I still insist on calling those crumbs they serve at Indian restaurants Bombay Mix, rather than Mumbai.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

And the fabulous Bombay Duck!
Now impossible to get thanks to wretched Health and Safety’.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Whether it should be part of Ukraine or not, it was guaranteed as part of Ukraine by Russia when they signed the Budapest memorandum in1994.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Russia and Ukraine were de jure separate countries, each of which was a founder member of the United Nations.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

The Soviet entity Ukraine was attacked in 2014, yes.

D Walsh
D Walsh
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

“If even a fraction of Ukraine comes out of this permanently free from Russian interference and able to freely choose its own future, that’s a result for me.”

The Ukraine will probably end up landlocked and lose aprox 40% of their territory, and who cares about all the dead Ukrainians eh. so long as its a result for you

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

The deaths of Ukrainians are the responsibility of the Russian invaders. And any sycophantic sympathisers of the Russian regime. And no one else.
Ukraine will probably not end up landlocked, nor lose 40% of its territory. But even if it did, that would be a better outcome for the remaining free Ukraine than living under Russian rule. Why do you think the Ukrainians have fought so hard in this war ? Would Western stooges and dupes (as you and many others claim them to be) really have done that ?

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The only good Indian is a dead In….sorry,the only good German is a dead Ger…oops again.. the only good Russian is a dead Russian. I must keep up

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

you skipped the Japs….. but good for for doing your homework

And remember, misgendering is not only a crime, but it is violence.

We all must keep up with the current reality, less we get in trouble.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

I don’t agree with the first two, but the third has been correct throughout my entire lifetime, and for some time before that.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Some freedom is surely better than no freedom, which is precisely what Ukraine would get if Russia completes its invasion.

D Walsh
D Walsh
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

But the Ukraine clearly DID bet on Western support, they were convinced like many of this sites readers, that Western military equipment was vastly superior to the Russian equivalent, we know now that this was a foolish bet

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

There’s no polite word for your nonsense here. Ukraine did not somehow choose to be invaded as you suggest.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Not convinced! They made no attempt to negotiate with Russia. They made no attempt to indicate they would not join NATO (in fact the absolute opposite). I believe they felt that NATO would support them and that they would get CRIMEA back.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Hopefully, they still might get Crimea back.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
3 months ago

What is Crimea to you, friend ?

A strategic peninsula in the Black Sea the size of Wales.

Or the 3m Russians who live there ?

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

If those 3m Russians don’t like it, there is plenty of room for them on the frozen steppes of Siberia.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

An area inside the internationally recognized ( including Russia in the Budapest memorandum of 1994) borders of Ukraine.
And if you care about supposed Russians living there, what about Ukrainians (still living or in exile) or Crimean Tartars (ditto)?

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I was once told that actions have consequences.

Go listen to Putins 2007 Munich speech.

It’s been all there since at least then.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

I am thinking of joining my local golf club. I’d better check with Putin to make sure he doesn’t have a problem with that.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian Johnston

So if your local crime lord threatens a business with destruction if they don’t do the crime lord’s bidding, it is only “actions have consequences”

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

We sent them all our old hardware that was out of date and costing us money to warehouse. We sent them junk,items with broken or missing parts,out of date software,no spare parts and no longer manufactured.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I don’t know, those Western shoulder launched anti-tank missiles that made the turrets of the Russian tanks pop off seemed to work quite well.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Your assumption is that Ukraine is a genuinely independent country as opposed to a Russian province that had seceded. Yes Russia invaded Ukraine after being poked by the West and the US in particular since the 2014 Maidan coup. The Russians clearly stated what the Red line was, and the US refused to listen and literally laughed in the Russian’s face. But you can bet that if the situation had been reversed and we were talking about something equivalent in the Western hemisphere in close proximity to the US the Monroe doctrine would have kicked in in very short order.
It therefore seems to me that it is best to view the current Ukraine-Russian war not as a war between truly independent states, but rather as a civil war between Russia and a province, Ukraine, that had seceded and decided, despite prior agreements and assurances, to no longer be neutral and act as a buffer between Russia and NATO forces.
It therefore seems to me that in many ways the current Ukraine-Russian war is rather similar to the US Civil War, where despite the current pearl clutching and rewriting of history (as seen by the response to Nikki Haley’s comment at a NH townhall), the fact is that Lincoln went to war to preserve the integrity of the Union (“a house divided cannot stand”) and not to abolish slavery in the South (where, for military reasons to further undermine the South, he put forth the emancipation proclamation towards the end of the war, liberating the slaves exclusively in the South, but not the North).
As for the Ukraine-Russia war, there are only 2 ways this ends: (a) the Ukrainians sue for peace and are left with Western Ukraine which has more affinity with Poland than with Russia; or (b) the war continues until Ukraine is forced to surrender unconditionally (as was the case with the South in the US civil war). Given that the industrial base of Russia is so much larger than that of Ukraine, the die has already been cast, and the end outcome is inevitable.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Russia guaranteed Ukraines borders in the Budapest memorandum in 1994. That was 20 years before the Russian invasion in 2014. Your comparison with the US civil war would only hold if the federal government in Washington had recognized the independence of the confederate states in an international agreement 20 years before the war began.
And, by the way, while abolition of slavery wasn’t the main goal for the union, preservation of slavery surely was the main goal for the confederates. It says so in their declaration of secession. And no state in the confederacy was allowed to abolish slavery (so much for state rights)

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago

The US Civil War was fought over states rights. Not slavery.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

And one of those rights was the ability of one person to own another. Come on, man. Let’s not pretend that slavery was an afterthought.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

As I said above, the confederates put slavery front and center in their declaration of secession. Do you claim they were lying?

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago

Also, as I said above, members of the confederacy were bound to not abolish slavery. So much for state rights.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I heard in a radio history programme that Abraham Lincoln pondered and thought over until the very last minute whether to claim the ending of Slavery as the reason for the War or something else and he only opted for Slavery at the last minute

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

He didn’t claim slavery as reason for the war. At least not until some years into the war. His stated reason was preserving the union. It was, by the way, the south that started the war by shooting at federal troops in Fort Sumpter.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago

And as I said above; unlike Lincoln the south claimed it was about slavery.

Kat L
Kat L
3 months ago

They had seceded and Lincoln sent troops there to stir it up and get them to start it. They didn’t consider it federal land.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Fort Sumpter was a federal military base before the war. Of course the south did not recognize it, since they seceded. But also of course, the Union reinforced it, since they had not recognized the secession. But the fact remains that the south started the shooting.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

If you give Xi Jinping a call, you might get a job being his Western Spokesperson for the invasion of Taiwan.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Funny! But let’s be real here. Xi Jinping has stated categorically that Taiwan will be rejoined with China. Every single person in China would agree with this and that Taiwan is part of China and not some separate entity. The bottom line is that if China wants to invade Taiwan there is nothing that the West can do about it, no matter how much saber rattling may come out of Washington DC. Yes the US military is superbly equipped but the supply lines are very long and the foe in this instance is not some 3rd world military as was the case in Iraq, but a 1st rate, well-equipped and highly disciplined Chinese military. So the fact of the matter is that whether we in the west like it or not, we had better realize that the fate of Taiwan will be no different from that of Hong Kong. The only difference is whether this happens peaceably as in Hong Kong or violently.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

I have two comments on that. The first is that the World has done a grave disservice in continuing to pay lip service to the idea that Taiwan is part of China. Everyone should have simply recognised Taiwan as an independent country 70 years ago, and been done with. China was weak then, and wasn’t to be feared, and their views on the matter could simply have been disregarded (they were after all Communists, so who cared what they thought). The second is that invading a heavily defended island by crossing a wide stretch of water is a challenging undertaking. It wasn’t the same as Ukraine, where Russia simply had to drive over the border.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

It doesn’t matter what the world thinks. All that counts is what the Chinese think. Interestingly a few years back I was talking to a couple of Chinese colleagues in the lab (now both US citizens) about Taiwan: to a man they stated categorically that Taiwan was part of China. I tried to argue with them and couldn’t understand why they even cared. But they did care passionately for whatever reason. For myself, while I live in the US, I was born in England, and if the Scots or Welsh wanted to depart from the U.K. it wouldn’t bother me at all. But that’s just me and others may view the situation very differently.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“Your assumption is that Ukraine is a genuinely independent country as opposed to a Russian province that had seceded.”
This statement is asinine. Ukraine has never been part of Russia. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic were each de jure separate countries, but de facto bound by decisions of the Soviet Politburo in Moscow.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago

That’s pure sophistry. I suppose England, Scotalnd and Wales are separate countries too, especially given that they field different national football teams! Further, historically, the Russian entity started out in the middle ages with the Kiev Rus. I guess you can make the connection of “Rus” with “Russia”!!

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I agree with you that some of the ‘assumptions’ may not have been as clearly thought out – or thought out differently, to what the author presents, but I cannot agree with your few facts and especially not your conclusion.
First, it is far from clear that ‘Russia invaded Ukraine’. Or at least, that is shorthand for a long, complex and messy history, one in which both sides appear to have committed atrocities and made blunders. One riddled with corruption and stupidity; brutality and myopia.
Second, because I doubt under any circumstances any part of UA will emerge from this conflict ‘freer’ than before. It will become a client state of the American Empire globally, and locally it will be subject to authoritarian forces in whatever client state government Washington tacitly endorses.
Third, whether that is ‘a result’ for you is surely beside the point. The better question is whether that is a result for the people of UA, pro-West or pro-Russia, who had seen their country destroyed, lost their loved ones, their limbs, their lives.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

That’s OK. It’s always wise to disagree with facts (and you clearly accept that they are facts) !!!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

 It was invaded by Russia and has been in a war for survival.
Why did this happen? It wasn’t some random act.
If even a fraction of Ukraine comes out of this permanently free from Russian interference and able to freely choose its own future, that’s a result for me.
Ukraine has chosen its future some years ago, but it was a choice not to the West’s liking. All of the “not one inch eastward” talk re: NATO proved nothing more than a lie. It’s already clear how the US would have reacted to similar action; it’s called the Cuban missile crisis.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Nobody has tried to put nuclear missiles in Ukraine, so that comparison doesn’t hold. And as far as I know, there is no nuclear missiles in any of the NATO countries that formerly were part of either the Warsaw pact or the Soviet Union itself.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

And? The absence of nukes does not make those nations any less members of NATO. Nor does it expose “not one inch eastward” as any more than a blatant lie. One can not be in the Putin fan club while noticing the West’s role in this.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The comparison was to the Cuban missile crisis, which happened because the Russians put missiles on Cuba. The US did not blockade Cuba for their general, non nuclear alliance with the Soviet Union

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago

Also, there never was any “not one inch further” treaty or agreement. James Baker and Georg Bush senior told the Soviets that their administration had no intention of any NATO expansion eastward, which was true since they had no such intention. Mere verbal statements of government policy does not bind future governments.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago

But it is likely that the Cuba missile crisis would have still occurred had the Russians simply placed a large number of troops in Cuba.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Maybe, maybe not. There is no way of knowing. But the unique nature of nuclear weapons were central to at least the rhetoric of JFK.
It may also have depended on what kind of non nuclear weapons and troops.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Surely membership of NATO should be something decided by the current and prospective members of NATO? Why should Eastern despots get a say in the matter?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Russia invaded Ukraine.”
Russia allowed Ukraine to be independent back in 1991.
What changed? Russia suddenly woke up one day, 30 years later, and decided on recreating the Warsaw pact…..or NATO moved all the way East to a few hundred miles from Moscow?

“And Ukraine doesn’t want to be occupied by Russia and is fighting for survival.”
What Ukraine, or Iraq or Libya, want is irrelevant, unless they have the power to do anything about it.
And Russia, as in 1991, doesn’t need or care about occupying Ukraine. Just ensure that they cannot be a launching pad for NATO missiles or a threat to Moscow.

“If even a fraction of Ukraine comes out of this permanently free from Russian interference”
Start off with an independent country,with free elections.
End up losing the productive Eastern part, lose six million people, plus a few hundred thousand young men dead.
If that’s winning, God help them if they lose.

P Branagan
P Branagan
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

It’s people that matter not some arbitrarily drawn lines on maps by bureaucrats. The peoples of the Donbass, Kharkiv and Odessa are Russians. To have included them in a Ukrainian state which then morphed into a neo-n*zi regime was a crime against humanity.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Being a russian speaker is not the same as being Russian, just as being an english speaker is not the same as being English (see Ireland).
A majority in each of the regions you name voted for independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

If they get to choose American rule theyll soon really be crying,but they are so dazzled by the land of plenty image they dont realize.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Sounds too much like the official line to me!

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
3 months ago

A good analysis but I fear the claim that “every party to [the war] has lost far more than it has gained” is untrue. The analysis fails to take into account the perspective of the more malign groups that also walk through the corridors of power. Clearly, some parties have benefited and who these are might explain why some of the unforced mistakes have not been avoided. Indeed, from some perspectives, these mistakes are not even mistakes.
So who has benefited?
As the author notes, a prominent feature of Ukrainian politics is corruption and the war has allowed this to become rampant once again. Clearly some elite Ukrainians are doing very well from this corruption and thus gaining from the war. As the elite, they’re also in a position to lobby for its continuation whilst remaining immune to its devastating consequences, which means there is a powerful lobby group in Kyiv who are positively encouraging the perpetuation of the war. It was not a mistake to perpetuate the war from the perspective of the corrupt Ukrainian elite.
The author notes nearly 6 million Ukrainians have headed West. Separately, Western governments are all wildly committed to immigration no matter what the social cost and the main justification given by governments to their citizens is Western economies now depend on immigration. Taking this government justification at face value, then 6 million Ukrainian immigrants may benefit Western economies, and certainly benefits the self-interest of pro-immigration Western governments. It was not a mistake to perpetuate the war from the perspective of Western pro-immigration economic policies.
The author also notes “Washington has instead sought to …. reinvigorate Nato, and reinforce US primacy in Europe”. That is a clear benefit for the US and for Nato. We can expand on this and look at how much the US has had to spend – perhaps $150 billion – to secure primary in a continent with a GDP of well over $15 trillion. That looks like a great investment. In fact, it is even better, because much of that $150 billion has been spent on retooling armaments manufacturing to renew Nato stocks over the next decade, something that the European members had found politically impossible before the war. The war has prompted European Nato members to begin to invest in their militaries, which will bolster a US-led Nato in years to come. It was not a mistake to perpertuate the war from the perspectives of maintaining US primacy in Europe and Nato logistics.
I disagree with the author when he says the war has “exposed obvious fissures among Nato’s members”. Sweden, with a relatively strong military, will now soon be part of Nato thanks to the war. This long-term fissure has been healed by the war. Sure, Nato member countries have bickered over admitting Ukraine, but that is an argument over a hypothetical future that right now isn’t even possible. Sweden was the prize addition to Nato, not Ukraine, and Sweden has been won by Nato. It was not a mistake to perpertuate the war from the perspective of Nato command.
I agree the war has accelerated the emergence of a post-American multipolar world order, but is this necessarily a disadvantage to the US? Accelerate implies inevitable. The US’s relative strength is declining; it is in the interests of the US to confront this inevitable multipolar world order now rather than later when it will be relatively weaker. It was not a mistake to perpertuate the war from the perspective of a US adapting itself to a changing world order.
If you now review the above accrued benefits and who receives them and contrast this with the awful costs of the war, you will see that the costs are largely borne by ordinary Ukrainians, ordinary Ukrainians in a fabulously corrupt country that has now outlawed democracy and opposition backed by Western governments who have no responsibility for the people of Ukraine. So the one group who might – if given the facts – want an end to the war are the only ones not benefitting. Therefore there is no real impetus to end the war while the benefits keep rolling in to the parties who are not affected by it but who do decide the direction of the war. However, this does point to an end to the war: the benefits listed above are largely secured now, and I don’t see any further benefits that can be accrued except to the corrupt Ukrainian elite who have no say on Western involvement. I fear the West will broker a cut-and-run deal in the next 18 months and leave Ukrainians to the mercy of its corrupt elite in a state devastated by war.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I think your analysis is basically spot on. And don’t forget the huge profits made by the US military-industrial complex. The armament manufacturers in the US are making a killing, all at US taxpayers expense.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“The armament manufacturers in the US are making a killing, all at US taxpayers expense.”
As they have been doing since 1940. Perhaps ‘they’ (US) were haunted by 1929 and the subsequent Depression?

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
3 months ago

Oceana is now at war with both Eurasia and Eastasia…but was once friendly to Eastasia…
Indeed the whole policy used to be to split Eastasia from Eurasia…and it was quite successful…

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago

Charles – if you remember Little Orphan Annie’s secret benefactor was called ‘Daddy Warbucks’ – from WWI Armament profiteering.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Interesting perspective. Especially the point about the American Empire hastening confrontations so that it can win them. I see this point as very applicable wrt Taiwan. The Chinese strategy is clear: they will overwhelm Taiwan economically and swallow it without drawing a single gun. It’s only a matter of time, and Washington knows this. So they are spoiling for a fight, before arthritis and osteoporosis turn the Empire into a weakling.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

I can’t see the US starting a shooting war in Taiwan unless China takes hostile military action, either through invasion or blockade. How do you think the US is “spoiling for a fight”?

A D Kent
A D Kent
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

 @Neil – good points (here and above), but I’ve got a few points to add though.

Regarding your ‘some’ who said the Minsk process was “a cunning plan to stall Russian aggression while Ukraine’s military was strengthened by the West” – that ‘some’ now includes the then Presidents of the two Western sponsors – Frances Francois Hollande and Germany’s Angela Merkel as well as the then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko – that’s quite some some.

As for NATO winning Sweden – that will no doubt strengthen them in some respects, but with Finland that comes at the cost of dramatically increasing the potential line-of contact, another set of systems to integrate and other mouths to feed. As the Ukraine war has shown, what matters in this new era of conflict (of drone swarms, ISR, hypersonic missiles etc) is not how all the spiffing systems look in the brochures, but much more so the industrial base and other capacity to maintain, replace and re-supply. The Finns and, especially the Swedes, will bring a lot to the table here, but this has been at the cost of the almost certain massive diminishment of the industrial bases of much of Western Europe now fully sanctioned from all that lovely, cheap Russian gas.

And all of that assumes that NATOs objective now is the security of it’s constituent nations and not the interests of its consituent corporations and global interests – and that’s an assumption I don’t hold – and your comment of ‘malign interests’ suggests you may not either.

And finally, one thing missing from your comment is a consideration of what the Russians themselves may have to say about all of this. Yest they have made plenty of mistakes and have suffered more losses than they needed to. But they have essentially defeated 2 and possibly 3 versions of the Ukrainian army, emptied the West of most of their post Soviet munitions, gained invaluable knowledge of the characteristics of the Wests Wunderwaffen, mobilised hundreds of thousands of people and more. The restructuring of and confidence drawn from their resilient sanctioned economy I think may dwarf the ‘opportunity costs’ of detachment from the rentier economies of the West. Whether or not the West can extract a face-saving deal I think will be up to the Russians who may not be in any mood to give them one.  

David Renton
David Renton
3 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

the West has already won , Russia has already lost. For the cost of one of the poorest countries in Europe, that no American or European cares about to be honest, the Russians have done incredible damage to their country, future
They take a pawn off the board , but it cost them a queen.
At best Russia takes Ukraine, they still lose, at worst they don’t.
Russia has downgraded itself for nothing, it’s demonstrated it’s nothing to be feared and if they think China won’t take advantage they are mistaken

All this cost in money, equipment, lives , reputation, security for what, a part of Ukraine, what a bad miscalculation on Putin’s part.
Russia was already in terminal decline, this just hastens it by 20 years.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

“Sweden, with a relatively strong military, will now soon be part of Nato thanks to the war. ”
Sweden was pretty much a part of the US block to begin with.
The reason they never formally joined NATO was
a) There is little their military could add to NATO.
b) There was little Russia could do to threaten the Scandi.

There is a reason, during WW2, with it’s massive to and fro battles, there was little movement on the Finland front.

All that Sweden did was to add a couple of pins on the map of Russian nuclear missile targets.

Ukraine, on the other hand, is critical and there is a reason why Russia could not allow NATO to enter that country.

Russia was twice utterly devastated, first 1812, then 1941.
But they survived.
If their enemies had started from Kiev rather than Poland, they wouldn’t have.
As simple as that.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

There was no movement on the Finland Front because the Finns fought extremely effectively.

Betsy Warrior
Betsy Warrior
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Just like the USA left Afghanistan, while the ex-governmental warlords they had installed ran to planes with suitcases filled with cash, and the Taliban beat women in the streets with batons and chased them inside.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

This writer has strong deep state lean in this article – he gives the reality on the ground, sort of, in parts, but then makes what is not seen fit agenda. To me this means the Deep State is ready to bail on this fiasco, and on Biden.

What a story could be written on – in the old days Hollywood cheap movies making a second film on the Swamp Monster, a sequel, would call it ‘The Son of the Swamp Monster‘. Or even ‘Swamp Monster II

And so they have here – it is called the Israel – Palestine War – the Gaza Edition.

Kat L
Kat L
3 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

We’re broke and at some point this house of debt will come crashing down upon everyone. Biden doesn’t want Christians or white people coming in; he said during his campaign how glad he will be when whites become a minority in the USA.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
3 months ago

“Russia would not have invaded as it did”. The author displays acute naĂŻvetĂ©. There is little doubt that Putin always intended to absorb Kiev.
The West is reacting to unprovoked aggression. One’s policy options are somewhat restricted in such circumstances. The West has now clearly prevented the absorption of Kiev. Kharkov and Odessa. It’s pretty hard to see that alternative options were available. The analysis is misplaced although not all of the conclusions are wrong.

D Walsh
D Walsh
3 months ago

The West hasn’t prevented anything

The war will continue for a good while yet, I expect they will still be fighting this time next year, its hard to know exactly what the Russians want but I expect at the end Odessa will be a Russian city again

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Do you think? I’m inclined to bet that Ukraine will collapse after the Russian summer offensive. My prediction is for late august.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Hope so.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

I assume you also hope for the war crimes that would follow.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 months ago

Odessa hasn’t been taken yet but if the war grinds on, no doubt it will be. And it isn’t evident that Putin wanted to absorb Kiev. What he wanted was to prevent Ukraine from becoming part of NATO, something that he repeatedly stated was a red line. Indeed, had a similar situation pertained in the US (e.g. Mexico joining the Warsaw pact), you can bet that the US would have reacted no differently than the Russians.

Ken Bowman
Ken Bowman
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“And it isn’t evident that Putin wanted to absorb Kiev.” You do not then recall his original strike column heading for Kyiv?

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken Bowman

Show em whose Boss.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

How does he feel about Finland and Sweden joining NATO? Not too bothered, obviously, as he was the major facilitator of it.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

It does not become more true just because people keep repeating it. What Putin wanted was to prevent Ukraine from becoming in any way independent of Russia. A Ukraine that joined the EU but not NATO, for instance, was clearly not acceptable. A status like that of modern Finland was not on offer. Putin has not insisted on absorbing Belarus – but only because they are reliably under the Russian thumb already. Ukraine would have been no different.

Lee Feegreenz
Lee Feegreenz
3 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Nonsense. NATO “expansion” is nothing more than a pretext. It has no more to do with Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine than “biolabs” and “nazis” and “gay Satanists”.
Anyone paying attention over the years to Putin’s and Russian state media statements would be aware of this.
Putin’s only “red line” is having an independent, democratic Slavic nation on Russia’s doorstep. He will not tolerate this as it might give the Russian people some ideas and threaten his clique’s grip.
Describing the war in Donbas as a civil war is straight-up Kremlin propaganda. It was a hybrid warfare op. Putin invaded eastern Ukraine and Crimea (“little green men”, anybody?) following Ukraine’s 2014 Revolution of Dignity in which the Ukrainian people rejected Putin puppet president Yanukovych turning his back on his commitment to bring Ukraine into the EU.
Russia wishes literally to wipe Ukraine and the Ukrainian people off the map. This is evinced by its indiscriminate attacks on civilians, civilian infrastructure and cultural sites since its 2022 full scale invasion. By its own admission, Russia has kidnapped over three quarters of a million Ukrainian children, removing them to far flung regions of Russia where they are becoming russified.
The Ukrainian people have no desire to live under a russian puppet dictatorship where torture, murder, and human rights abuses are the norm. See temporarily occupied eastern Ukraine. See Belarus.
Ukrainian interest in joining NATO which was previously middling has grown markedly as a consequence of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. See also Finland and Sweden.
Calls for Ukrainian “neutrality” from Putin and his apologists are disingenuous. Ukraine has zero designs on Russia or intentions to invade. It never has. As an independent nation, Ukraine does have the right to join whatever defensive alliance it chooses. That’s how international law works.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 months ago

Well, this is certainly the emerging narrative. “We had no choice but to try.” “At least we showed Putin we were prepared to fight to defend democracy.” “We may have lost Ukraine, but that was inevitable given the monster that Putin is. At least it’s reinvigorated the NATO alliance.”
I wonder if all the major news outlets in the American Empire receive the same talking points on a sheet of paper?

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago

Aw,were so nice and good.

A D Kent
A D Kent
3 months ago

 Excellent post – it’s a desperate shame that such clear-headed analysis is only now making it into more Western outlets over a year and a half into this unnecessary conflict.

There are plenty of reasons for the Ukraine debacle, but I think two are worth noting here.

The first is more general and relates to our Establishment media – the networks of chums, contacts & self perpetuating world views that assigns all Western misadventures as ‘mistakes’ and mis-steps. That despite their appalling regularity, there’s nothing systemically wrong and that lessons will be, and are, learned. From Vietnam, to Central America, then on to Yuogoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and now to Ukraine we’ve seen a succession of catastrophes book-ended by first great claims of savagery and the absolute necessity to ‘react’ and later by complete memory holing of what led to them and the consequences of ‘our’ response.

So it won’t be long before we’ve another situation where ‘we have a duty’ to do something – where that something is always to bomb or impose medieval sanctions – where the only relevant lesson from history is that of Neville Chamberlaine’s appeasement. ‘We’ will never be asked to remember the (IMHO much more) salient events of the Gulf of Tonkin, the USSs Maine and Liberty, the non-existent Iraqi WMDs, the bogus Syrian sarin attacks, the Libyan viagra mercenaries or the babies bayoneted or thrown from incubators (and now it seems, beheaded too). When the consequences of ‘our’ actions become apparent their usually hastily forgotten and subsequent catastrophes only ever compared to those of our ‘official enemies’ – so particular devastations are compared to Aleppo and Grozny, never Fallujah, Mosul and Raqar, let alone Korea, Cambodia or Laos.

Thee second, related, cause is an ingrained, possibly Cold-War hangover, Russophobia in the same Establishment Elites. It’s a reaction that fails to consider the perspectives of the Russians and always seeks to demonise and assign the worst of motives. It’s been turbo-charged in recent years by a quite pathological focus on Putin and his alleged dastardly meddling. The endless hogwash of Russiagate, election meddling and the various poisonings (the UK government’s Skripal narrative is simply preposterous) have just baked this in. Any attempt to view events with any kind of ‘strategic empathy’ or even just asking for a little more evidence is immediately denounced as being useful idiocy or apologising for this dispicable monster.

The Russian people are dismissed as a lumpen mass of Soviet type automatons, mired in corruption, crushed by propaganda and unable to learn and adapt. All ‘we’ have to do is ‘kick the door in’ or ‘apply enough pressure’ and Putin’s empire will either crumble or be taken down from within. Underestimating the resilience, adaptability and resourcefullness of the Russian people is another lesson from history that ‘we’ never learn).

None of which is to say that Putin is nice, or this invasion was necessary (it wasn’t), but it is to say that it was provoked, it was ‘rational’ from a Russian point of view and that they had every reason to expect to win it – none of which were considered at all in our Establishment media. Lessons will not be learned.  

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Korea? What was wrong with the Korean War? Do you want every Korean to live under the North Korean regime?

A D Kent
A D Kent
3 months ago

What was wrong with the Korean War was, amongst many other things, the carpet bombing of all of it’s major cities and the use of biological weapons by the US.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

You have to agree that was better than living under the North Korean nightmare.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago

I do notice that AD Kent still haven’t declared if they think life is better in South Korea than in the Noth Korean hellhole.

A D Kent
A D Kent
3 months ago

Notwithstanding the fact that you didn’t ask me that & that I’m not continually checking back on Unherd threads I’m pretty certain I’d prefer South Korea right now. Having said that I’m not convinced I’d be desperately unhappy in the North either – see my comments on our Establishment media above – it’s thanks to them that many have the jaundiced view of their country – a country that seems to have some resilience it seems and haven’t, as yet, invaded, bombed or sanctioned anywhere for a generation or two.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Because of US deterrence.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

General MacArthur was going to carpet bomb China with nukes but Trueman fired him instead – at the start of the Korean war – look it up.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago

Not before he did the Incheon Landings, his greatest ever military campaign.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

What was right with the Korean War?
‘The US Air Force estimated that North Korea’s destruction was proportionately greater than that of Japan in the Second World War, where the US had turned 64 major cities to rubble and used the atomic bomb to destroy two others. American planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea including 32,557 tons of napalm, compared to 503,000 tons of bombs dropped in the entire Pacific theatre of World War II. The number of Korean dead, injured or missing by war’s end approached three million, ten percent of the overall population. The majority of those killed were in the North, which had half of the population of the South; although the DPRK does not have official figures, possibly twelve to fifteen percent of the population was killed in the war, a figure close to or surpassing the proportion of Soviet citizens killed in World War II.”
https://apjjf.org/-Charles-K.-Armstrong/3460/article.html

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The war was an answer to North Korean aggression. No attack by North Korea; no bombings.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago

Some would say that the Korean War was the last useful thing the UN ever did.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
3 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Bravo, sir.

Spot on.

Betsy Warrior
Betsy Warrior
3 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Well said.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago

Thank you for that synopsis, however in my little corner of England most of us feel that this a classic case of “A quarrel in a faraway country, between people of whom we know nothing.”*

Both sides seem so irredeemably corrupt that they are beyond salvation, and we the UK are NOT the moral compass of the world as we like to pretend. Surely we have enough problems of our own to deal with? Or is whole thing just another ‘useful’ distraction from our own woes?

(*NC.)

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 months ago

Much as we would all like to retire to the Green Dragon, after a long pleasant day tilling the fields around Hobbiton, war is coming to Middle Earth. Gondor is calling us for aid.
Or is it Mordor that’s calling us for aid?
Either way, the Shire will not remain free for long.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago

Since COVID and lockdown made me really reassess 20th century history I have come to see that Neville Chamberlain was not the weak fool we were even taught at school. Poor man to have his name so blackened in perpetuity. That quote of his was true then and true now. I’ve learned that Chamberlain was a compassionate and humane man who oversaw a lot of legislature that benefited working poor people. He was too humane to sign the death warrants of thousands of people as they knew the coming war would involve aerial bombing of populated areas. So THEY removed him and replaced him with a Useful Idiot. I’m not denying Churchill.had charisma,even showmanship and I think he may have had qualms about signing the death warrants for thousands of people,in UK + abroad.
But he did it,he obeyed the script.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

NC is much maligned as you so rightly say. Additionally he didn’t enter Parliament until he was 50, having spent the previous years in ‘commerce’. He also understood the appalling fiscal cost of war, something that was completely beyond WSC.

WSC despite his obvious powers of rhetoric was essentially a butterfly brained journalist of very limited academic ability. He was also far too gung-ho both for this country and his own good, as his record so sadly shows. He played a major role in getting us into WWI and just couldn’t wait to vindicate his previous blunders by getting us into WWII. Yet despite this he has become a national treasure!
It rather bears out the late Bertrand Russell’s opinion “that most people would rather die than think and MOST do”.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
3 months ago

Margot Asquith famously remarked : “Have you heard? Winston’s written a book about himself and called it ‘The World Crisis’!”
Churchill was a prize bungler.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

From Day 1 if not before!

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Indeed, Chamberlain was an outstanding Chancellor and a realist as to the outcome of the war for Britain…which was bankruptcy.
His reputation was trashed by the appalling and biased book The Guilty Men…co-written by Michael Foot.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

He did one thing – the Hurricane and Spitfire were built and also the underground RAF comms system as he dragged out the clock with Germany (Visit RAF Uxbridge in West London for the last remaining one, a plesant walk from the tube station, and worth it very much)

Also let us remember Churchill Kept Chamberlain on – NOT making him a scapegoat. This means there was more happening than one would suppose.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Had Chamberlain remain as PM, you’d probably be speaking German now.

R Wright
R Wright
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

The idea of a successful Operation Sealion is laughable.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Indeed, one the greatest deceptions/bluffs of the War, that makes things like ‘Operation Mincemeat’ “look like Noddy”.*

(* An English cartoon character for US browsers.)

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

With that coward Chamberlain in No.10, Britain probably would have surrendered when it saw the German troops massing at Dover.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

We already are and have been for sometime now. English is classified as a Germanic language, rather like Dutch, Swedish etc.

Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
3 months ago

Only surprise is that Macron hasn’t inducted the author into the LĂ©gion de fromage mangeant des singes de reddition

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago

Excellent article. It’s hard to find a balanced analysis anywhere on the Ukraine War, but I suspect this probably is one.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
3 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Agreed. This by far the clearest analysis of the conflict so far published on Unherd, and probably in any Western media. NATO/the West has learnt nothing from the failures and unintended consequences of its military interventions over the past 20 years. Except possibly that it’s better to outsource operations to a third party so the body-bags are not so conspicuous on CNN.
This conflict is a case study in foreign policy iatrogenics. One sentence sums up the folly of it all: ‘In continuing to insist that Ukraine will become a Nato member once the war is concluded, the West has perversely incentivised Russia not to agree to end the war.’

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

Please Freddy – get Alexander Mercouris to be on one of your little talk shows – put some real stuff out. He is right there in London.

This Guy

https://rumble.com/c/AlexanderMercouris

if you do not know him you are a stooge of the Deep State and Lizard agenda, and are a sheep. haha… but true…

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Watch ‘The Duran’ or Scott Ritter, or Judge Napitano, of Douglas Macgregor or Alexander Mercorious – all on ‘Rumble’, the uncensored youtube, or on youtube. Many have been saying the same thing as this writer (but with less biases to the swamp in this article) (Like saying ‘Russia’ was a threat militarily to Europe when it was never – He mistakes it for USSR. NATO is a money pit great wealth is made off – it is not to keep Russia from taking Brussels)

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 months ago

Interesting article with some decent observations and a few questions. This invasion started with the received wisdom (at least in the western MSM) that Russia’s military was only good for a few weeks so Putin had to win quickly or not at all, and that the Russian economy would collapse when the oil and gas stopped flowing to the EU. Obviously neither has happened. Russia is winning the war of attrition. Their O&G has found other customers and the multi-polar world is taking shape. The mantra that we must keep Russia facing west, not east, has been abandoned.
So are the ‘smartest guys in the room’ completely stupid? The billions spent every year on experts whose main task is to accurately suss intelligence about foes and potential foes was a complete waste? Wondering why it seems that nothing has unfolded as we thought would be time better spent looking at who or what is quite happy with the way things are, thank you very much. Who are the real winners and losers?
Aside from arms manufacturers, Larry Fink and Blackrock seem to be doing OK. They’ve signed a deal with Zelenskyy for the Ukraine rebuild. Fink expects $750B in investment will be needed and that number gets higher every day. He also predicts/hopes that the war will accelerate the renewable energy shift but he still holds on to petro stocks so it’s a win-win either way.
While Fink talks Net Zero true believers are going to be sadly disappointed. The world’s largest economies still run on fossil fuels. India is building more coal plants because it’s cheaper than gas. Political compromises are being made on EU green schemes that are by varying degrees unproductive, unaffordable or unpopular. The US is now producing record amounts of crude and LNG to make up for the loss of Russia’s supply to the EU.
Perhaps NATO may be a winner but I’m not sure about that Canada is a perennial laggard but Trudeau’s costly socialist green dreams – about $30B in EV battery subsidies and rising climate taxes – make proper NATO spending virtually impossible. Picking up Sweden and Finland will more than make up for Canada’s irrelevance but I don’t see NATO as a real force to be reckoned with just yet.
And what of Ukraine? How long can Biden finance their survival? Every few months there’s a fight for more funding. Recently the GOP insisted the deal had to include more southern border security funding. At the same time CNN posted poll results on the biggest issues of concern to Americans. Cost of living and immigration scored in the 20 plus percent range. Ukraine/Russia and Israel/Hamas? abt 4% each. How is “We’ll support Ukraine whatever it takes” going to go over on the campaign trail? How long is Zelenskyy going to keep his job? Who would take his place?

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

We are buying tanker loads of Russian oil,thats why the lights are still on. So are all the Europeans who loudly proclaim SANCTIONS. There are ways to obtain stuff,there are always are,and there will always be fixers,Private Walkers who know how to supply a market.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Your second sentence is partly true. The Russians initially only brought food and fuel for a week or so.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 months ago

Arms manufacturers have done very well out of the war.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago

Even better than the ludicrous War in Terror!

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago

On both sides it sounds like. Why kill the golden goose. Actually kill Ukranians instead then you can “invest in land” as a junior Tory Minister ingeniously explained to a BBC radio host on 5live…social unrest creates investment opportunities… I could not believe my ears that someone was saying it,the radio host did not pick up on this remark that was actually very significant. Seems that some social unrest in Rwanda left a lot of vacant land available to buy,or “invest” in and a lot,A LOT of those investors are Tory MPs so I expect that ÂŁ24million sent from our Treasury to Rwanda to make if nicer for migrants has gone into their bank accounts,a hidden way of transferring money. The migrants thing is just a cover story to hide wealth transfer. I hope no Tory reads this. Of course not. Nobody reads me. I should be named Cassandra!

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
3 months ago

Without them, we all speak German or Russian. A frivolous comment there.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
3 months ago

Sounds about right to me.. no mention of Nato encroachment however? One statement I’m not convinced is true is..
“Russian aggression has united Ukrainians, including many who are Russian-speaking, to an extent never seen before” – just as many blame Hamas for the Gaza genocide I believe, when the truth emerges, many Ukrainians will blame the Kyev cabal, Nato and especially the US for the catastrophe! I may be wrong.. the 15,000 killed before the Russian invasion is a major factor I that.
Another statement I’m firmly convinced is true is…
“..Kyiv’s fate has always been an afterthought in US policy circles. Washington has instead sought to exploit Ukrainian courage to thrash Russia, reinvigorate Nato, and reinforce US primacy in Europe. And it has not spent any time at all thinking about how to restore peace to Europe” – Reinforce US primacy in Europe? YES absolutely, and wreak havoc with Europe’s economy as a bonus! ..also, to the delight of many in GB, no doubt!

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
3 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You lost me (and I suspect more than a few others) with the glib claim of a “Gaza genocide.” A genocide, for those who respect the horror of the concept, is a war whose purpose — purpose — is to eliminate an ethnic or religious group. If Israel were engaged in a genocide, it would 1. never have warned citizens to move 2. carpet bombed the whole place and 3. directly and persistently bombed thsoe aggregated in the south.
None of that has occurred. To careve out the Oct. 7 massacre as the cause of the war, and Hamas as the perpetrator, is a perversion of ruth and logic.

zee upītis
zee upītis
3 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“When the truth emerges”, jeez, do you think you know better what happens in their country than Ukrainians? This is the Western colonial thinking, with their own shit at the centre and seeing Eastern European countries as having no agency of their own, except for Russia. As about statement of uniting Ukrainians “including many who are Russian-speaking”, is indeed something I am not convinced about, because this was never ever about the language and Russian is what I have been hearing most even on the frontlines on Ukrainian side even since 2014. It has always been about loyalty to your country, that’s all. Armchair geopoliticising without any actual experience in the countries in question and familiarity with the local cultures and history is ridiculous and irresponsible.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
3 months ago

I see the Kremlin excusists are as active as usual….. If Putin had not been challenged he would not have stopped at Ukraine….he wants the old empire back in his fantastical imagination. NATO didn’t expand, free countries knocked on its door and sought its protection from an increasingly restless bear. Why did they run West not East? Because they do not share his vision, and value the way of life they gained when freed from the yoke of the Soviet machine. And now Finland and Sweden have joined too realising that their former neutrality positions left them exposed. “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” What damage one man and his ego can do …..

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Sam Brown

I’s all so confusing, because the Russian shills have Anglo sounding names. I mean, “Jane Baker” doesn’t sound very Russian.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

As NSC Advisor Jake Sullivan has said, everyone “needs to look squarely at the fact” that allowing Ukraine to join Nato at this point “means war with Russia”.
It always meant war with Russia. But we insisted on pushing for it anyway. A cynic might surmise that war with Russia was the goal, no matter how many died along the way.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

War or not, Russia needs to be “put back in its box”. It can never be trusted.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
3 months ago

Nice summary of the whole mess. This sentence sums up the thoughts of many of us since early in the war:
“Combating Russia to the last Ukrainian was always an odious strategy.”

Rob McMillin
Rob McMillin
3 months ago

Calling what happened in 2014 a “civil war” is certainly novel for someone claiming to level with his audience.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 months ago

It would be nice to hear what alternative peace this author has in mind. So far I see no reason to think that Russia would ever have accepted anything less than its openly stated war aims, i.e. ‘denazification and demiltarisation’ of Ukraine – i.e. that Ukraine become a Russian vassal state. After which any Russian concessions would have been moot, since Russia would be controlling the Ukrainian government. Russia could then have prepared its little green men for the next operation against Lithaunia? Poland? Moldova? Finland? If the author thinks that giving Russia it empire back in Eastern Europe is a price worth paying for peace he should say so openly. If not, he should explain what kind of deal he has in mind, and why he thinks Russia might accept it.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago

Let’s start with Ukraine. From 2014 to 2022, the civil war in the Donbas took nearly 15,000 lives.
There’s no point in reading further

Lee Feegreenz
Lee Feegreenz
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

Bingo.

zee upītis
zee upītis
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

Yeh, I did read two-thirds, an article that tries to cover up author’s inclinations by appearing to be objective.. Another pearl is “reinstating the rights of Russian speakers” — what are these rights that need to be reinstated exactly? Most people in the East speak Russian even now although since 2022 increasing numbers are switching to Ukrainian voluntarily. Then there’s waffle about free press and opposition parties being outlawed — well, they aren’t. There are many publications critical of the government, such as Kyiv Independent or Censor.net. The president may try to lean on them sometimes but it doesn’t quite work and they are very much there. Same with the opposition parties, they are not only not outlawed, they are actually capable of stopping a bill from being passed in the parliament as they have said to do with the new draft of mobilisation law. The only banned parties are the pro-Russia ones, which totally makes sense at war time, especially when some of them were even directly linked to the invasion. Same for Ukraine’s population.. UN estimate for it in 2023 was 36 million, down from 43 million in 2021, while the author’s calculation makes it like half the country vanished. Well, I can tell you that there’s traffic jams in every major Ukrainian city as I travel it often — only the frontline towns are empty. Yes, there are good points too, such as how the US is the main beneficiary of the situation etc but the author’s understanding of the situation is far from what they think it is.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
3 months ago

Putin wins again. He has played rope a dope for a lot of years now, although this one cost him much more than he thought it would, and this may be the beginning of the end for him. A lot of blood on the hands of the West, Ukraine, and Russia. For virtually nothing except to keep the Military Industrial complex filling their coffers.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark epperson

There are those that say Russia hasn’t been damaged, but I don’t think that is the case. A lot of its troops are dead, a huge number of its tanks (most of the newer ones) are lying burnt out, a considerable distance from their upturned turrets. The NordStream pipeline is destroyed, and won’t be reconnected (who in the West will ever trust Russia to supply its energy again). Western sanctions will remain, and Russian individuals (particularly its oligarchs) will be pariahs in the West for at least half a century. Yes, all that will push Russia closer to China, but will even China trust them?

Scott Burson
Scott Burson
3 months ago

The key to preserving what’s left [of Ukraine] is to empower and back Kyiv to end the war on the best terms it can obtain

The only terms the Kremlin will accept are those that permit it to subjugate Ukraine to its will, either through outright annexation or, more likely, through the installation of a puppet government.
In particular, Russia will not tolerate any Western security guarantee for Ukraine, whether that be full Nato membership or a separate agreement with some Nato members. And without that guarantee, Russia will attack Ukraine again in a few years. Does anyone debate this?

Whatever else the war may be achieving, then, it has not been good for Ukraine. Its bargaining position vis-Ă -vis Russia has been greatly weakened.

This is not at all clear to me. Kyiv’s bargaining position is not strong now, but had they not resisted the Russian invasion, we wouldn’t even be talking about their bargaining position; there wouldn’t even have been a Ukrainian government left to bargain.
I don’t even understand what Mr. Freeman is thinking here. When has Kyiv had a significantly better position than they have now? Early in the war? The Russians then controlled a lot more territory, notably Kharkiv. After they retook Kharkiv and Kherson city? By that point, Putin had gone through the spectacle of formally annexing the four oblasts which Russia only partially controlled, making it politically impossible for himself to accept anything short of their full control.
I think the larger question of whether Ukraine is better off damaged but free, or intact but under the thumb of Russia, is one only the Ukrainians can answer.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
3 months ago

Delusional article but this is the doozy…

As the war continues, Ukraine may well lose still more territory, including its access to the Black Sea.

Ukraine has crippled the Black Sea fleet & far from Russia capturing Odessa (the prerequisite for Ukraine losing access to the Black Sea), Russia could not even hold Kherson.

Punksta .
Punksta .
3 months ago

This war did not need to take place.

Exactly as WW2 didn’t. If only everyone would just let rabidly imperialist nazi types take whatever countries they wanted, peace would follow.

Ukraine is being eviscerated on the altar of Russophobia

Russian imperialism ‘phobia’

 the civil war in the Donbas took nearly 15,000 lives

Outright propaganda. There was no civil war, only a covert Russian invasion dressed up as one.

Sam May
Sam May
3 months ago

“Russian defence industries have been revitalised, helping the country to recently overtake Germany to become the fifth-wealthiest economy in the world and the largest in Europe in terms of purchasing power parity.”
Wow, is this true? I thought the Russian economy was on a par w Italy and Texas and below that of Germany, UK, France. US budget deficit this year is $1.8trillion and total gov’t debt now stands at $35trillion. US incurs debt to drive growth. Did Russia just move up the league tables by financing military spending internally (thru debt, taxes, increased oil sales?)? Is it really now the largest economy in Europe in terms of PPP? In the Iraq war the UK was the US’s lapdog. Did Germany just get toppled from within by its green agenda and by the US? My, my. And Germany gets as its reward? We blow up the Nordstream to further move Germany down and Russia up. Talk about unintended consequences. Or intended.
If this is true, this is the shocking news here. Has “the West” not shot itself in the foot and created the conditions for Russian to run the tables, at least in part?
What will all my friends who flew Ukrainian flags take from all this when the dust settles. They stood with the Ukrainians on the side of democracy! Where will they stand next?

martin logan
martin logan
3 months ago

Better prepare for many more wars then.
A “multi-polar world” is a return to great power wars everywhere.
Once “the secret is out” that changing borders by force is acceptable, and even profitable, we’ll start seeing it everywhere. Indeed, we already see it in the Sahel.
The writer assumes that Putin and other leaders are rational actors who want stability. Sadly, too many on this thread are under the same delusion.
But Russia and China’s economies are stagnant at best. They can only avoid deep recessions by expansion and internal repression.
The same thing happened in the 30s. Japan, Italy and Germany avoided unrest at home by taking, or trying to take, other countries by force. An example we’ve seen time and again in history.
Putin isn’t threatened by the war while it lasts.
But an END to this war–particularly when Russia has few if any material gains–will only force him to try and take more territories elsewhere.
Remember, the other part of his ultimatum prior to 24 Feb was that the eastern states in NATO must become neutral.

Fabio Paolo Barbieri
Fabio Paolo Barbieri
3 months ago

The Neville Chamberlain school of diplomacy is alive and well, it seems. That the Russians have not advanced one kilometre from the territories that they held when they started the war is somehow, in this author’s view, a victory for Russia. And after all, he does not seem to think that Russia originally intended to destroy Ukraine – in spite of Putin’s amazingly clear statements on the point – since he says that it is only now that “for [Ukraine,] this war has become existential.” It wasn’t you see, when Russian columns were driving for Kyiv and Odessa. Oh, no, that was not a threat to Ukraine’s existence. It is only now that Russia threatens to take away Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea. Please. This is bullshit, and shows that the rest of his argument is to be rejected.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago

The single and by far the glaring fault of Western democracy is by failure to recognise that as In any conflict, sporting
Competition and any such Human induced adversarial situation
Is the single most important consideration of all and that singularly is
Tis only the end result that is of importance
Not the knee jerk immediate and ongoing actions that can only lead to defeat of what was actually sought
Think Vietnam ,Cambodia , Laos ,Iraq , Syria and Libya
None of which resulted in the original objective being remotely realised
Take football for example and a Quote by Sir Alex Ferguson when at the half way stage of the Premier League season
And they were 6 points off the Leaders
When a journalist put it to Sir Alex that Man.Utd. were not going to be league champions
Sir Alex took a calm deep breath and calmly replied
It was our firmest of intentions again this
Year by way of our new signings, and improved management etcetera that again Man.Untd.again would be crowned champions and just like a horse race we are very much at the half way stage in contention and plenty in reserve whilst those at the Top do not have the same resources then pretty soon they shall find out how misplaced their planning and misjudgements truly are by way of
Rain sodden pitches, lack of excellent reserves etc. that soon injuries to key players along with suspensions that their charge to the front will soon falter badly
Whereupon Man.Utd. will soon regain the leadership, hold it , increase it and then go on to be the inevitable winners
Why because Sir Alex understood tis only the final result that matters nothing else and that is exactly how that season
Was planned for
In warrior terms Sir Alex went a long way
To winning by merely placing his hand upon the sword
And when the opposition began to very soon falter Sir Alex didn’t even have to draw his Sword but saunter on to finish line in a calm controlled winning
Fashion and all exactly to
Plan

Murray Morison
Murray Morison
3 months ago

Thank you for a cogent and thoughtful analysis that is free from propaganda in both its negative and positive guises.

Ron Kean
Ron Kean
3 months ago

The credentials of the author demonstrate major diplomatic skill. The Saudis and the Chinese must be two of the most challenging nations to work with. To maintain a peaceful relationship or advance the national goals of, in this case, America the diplomat will probably avoid political arguments of the diplomat’s home country. He should project unity at home to assure the other country of stability to achieve policy.
We on these comment sections aren’t limited that way. Left wing and Right wing can go at it. The author has totally ignored a big factor that irks the Right in America and may or may not play out largely in the reasoning process prolonging this war.
“…And every party to it has lost far more than it has gained.” Not every party. The Bidens have gained much more than they have lost. I wonder how much the Leftist press has talked about all that money. Do Europeans know about the hopefully soon to be revealed kickbacks, bribery and gifts Hunter shared with The Big Guy?
Well, son of a *****, some of us Americans know a lot already and don’t much care anymore about the outcome of this war. We’ve been bothered too much with lies about Russia, lies about hotel rooms and lies about election interference. How big an enemy could Russia be after being given American uranium and having a former president receiving a half million for a 30 minute speech? Children of prominent Americans work for Ukrainian gas companies. Hunter got a big gift from the Moscow mayor’s wife.
America isolationism isn’t something new. How many lives could have been saved if America had entered the Great War before the last half of the last year of it? If Japan hadn’t attacked Pearl Harbor would Nazi flags be flying in Paris and London today? But the Ukrainian/Russian war is different. Russia doesn’t seem like it wants to conquer the world. Ukraine may be still in the fight because the American president may be hiding something.
European borders move. Grozny seems to have been rebuilt. Why not Ukraine? Who wants to conquer the world anyway? China? That’s maybe why countries should strengthen deterrence. That’s why many Americans just want to say ‘no’ to this war.