by Ben Friedman
Monday, 16
May 2022
Debate
10:30

Humiliating Russia is not good foreign policy

The U.S. should be preparing Ukraine to compromise
by Ben Friedman
Credit: Getty

According to Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, his nation’s successful defence in the two and half months since Russia’s invasion has expanded what they will accept in any peace deal. Kyiv now demands control over all Russian occupied territories as well as reparations for war payments:

The end story for Ukraine is, of course, the liberation of occupied territories. And payments… for all the damage that [has been] inflicted on us.
- Dmytro Kuleba

Most Western observers see Ukraine’s tough negotiating stance as an unmitigated good. Of course, Ukraine, the victim of aggression, wants to control all its territory, and it’s fair that Russia pays for damage it inflicted. Furthermore, if the NATO goal in Ukraine is to weaken Russia, as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says, it makes sense to encourage Ukraine to take a position that makes peace unlikely anytime soon — in other words, to let them carry on fighting.

According to this logic, no amount of Western aid — over $20 billion is allocated with another $40 billion from the United States alone coming — is too much. In Western eyes, Ukraine should not compromise, but Russia should: telling Ukraine to settle for half a loaf is simply immoral.

But unconditional and seemingly bottomless western support for Ukraine risks prolonging the war. Peace talks are now moribund, but might revive when the war turns static. At that point, U.S. support for Ukraine should be used to encourage a peace deal.

Battlefield success might allow Ukraine to reclaim some of its lost territory and even get payments from Russia. But the balance of military power makes that unlikely. More likely is a bloody stalemate that does not meaningfully move Russia’s position: basically, that Ukraine gives up Crimea permanently, allows autonomy or independence for occupied areas of Donbas, and becomes neutral by forswearing NATO membership.

U.S. and European leaders repeat the talking point that the terms and timing of peace should be up to Ukraine. Western support should be automatic and unquestioning, they imply. But there are both strategic and humanitarian reasons why this is the wrong approach.

First, trying to weaken Russia is probably counterproductive, past a point, to NATO countries’ security. Russia has dashed itself on the rocks in Ukraine, losing a chunk of its fighting force, degrading its military morale, and demonstrating shocking military deficiencies. This weakness makes it quite unlikely to invade another country soon. Maybe some further humbling could help, but Russia is not going to disappear as an energy exporter that can fund a substantial military force and large nuclear arsenal. Endless sanctions and continual proxy wars will create a resentful garrison state, with more revanchist nationalism and desire for payback.

Second, encouraging Ukraine to hold out for a full victory may be bad for the country itself. Of course, Ukraine should be best positioned to judge what’s best for it. But, on the other hand, Ukraine’s political situation may make it impossible for any Ukrainian leader to accept the limits of what war can achieve. And what Ukrainians want depends in some sense on what their sponsors will bankroll.

Pre-invasion Ukraine is instructive. Since 2014, when Russia seized Crimea and stoked insurgency in Donbas, Ukraine’s perilous circumstances suggested a compromise with Russia, by accepting neutrality, giving up on Crimea, and implementing Minsk II, which effectively meant allowing rebel areas autonomy. This was never a great deal for Ukraine, except compared to the alternatives: being endlessly menaced or invaded.

After this deal, the U.S. went on about “ironclad support” and held out the prospect of NATO membership. This was gross negligence, not just because Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership was at once a chimera and provocative to Russia, but because it tempted Kyiv’s belief that western support would prevent the need for painful compromise.

The western impulse is to give Ukraine everything it wants, no strings attached, to punish Russia. But the quest to punish makes for poor foreign policy, especially when another country’s lives are on the line. The time has come to use western aid as leverage for a peace deal. It won’t be a just outcome for Ukraine, but it is necessary in order to prevent further suffering.

Benjamin H. Friedman is Policy Director at Defense Priorities

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Lou Campbell
Lou Campbell
3 months ago

Wow. Just wow.
You’re suggesting giving Putin everything he asked for pre-invasion. You must know you cannot give into a bully, let alone a country sized one.
This is without getting into the heavy industry Putin will be scooping up with your ‘peaceful’ settlement.
It’s crucial that the West demonstrates that you do not get rewards for invading. By not setting this example is 2014, this is why we’re seeing a full scale invasion now.
Disappointing article.

Sam Sky
Sam Sky
3 months ago
Reply to  Lou Campbell

My impression is the author knows this, and doesn’t care, as he sees it as irrelevant to US interests that Europe ends up dominated by Russia, in fact the organisation he works for advocates Russia forming part of a new regional order in Europe. Probably with the constant threat of continent-wide wars breaking out now the US has ‘liberated’ itself from providing a nuclear umbrella.
Whether this would really be beneficial to the long term interests of the US is an interesting question though. I am fairly sure to Xi and Putin it comes across as weakness and the kind of delusional detacted otherworldliness that only Americans are capable of.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ferrusian Gambit
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Sam Sky

I agree with much of what you say, but ‘ delusional detached otherworldliness’ is pretty common in many nations, notably Germany,

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Lou Campbell

He’s also ignoring the acceptability of compromise by the Ukrainian people, particularly those who have suffered death and rape. This will fester with them for decades, like Northern Ireland, and some will look for retribution if the Ukrainian state doesn’t reach a position they can accept.
If I was Ukrainian, I’d certainly be out for revenge for some of the appalling atrocities we’ve seen by Russians. I’ve never understood how people can move on from such things when it’s caused such loss and suffering to your own family.

Sam Sky
Sam Sky
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Unfortunately this kind of perspective is what happens when you see politics and war as some sort of a game, the ludic fallacy as Nassim Taleb would see it, as do many in the West. This kind of understanding of events disconnected from the psychological reality of the events created this kinds of ‘intellectual yet idiot’ type of clever but hollow ideas.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Generally they don’t, and the hatred runs down the generations.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
3 months ago
Reply to  Lou Campbell

“Battlefield success might allow Ukraine to reclaim some of its lost territory and even get payments from Russia. But the balance of military power makes that unlikely”

Would it be impolite to ask the author how he knows this? What aspects of the war so far tell him the balance of military power favors the Russians?

From what I can see, the Russians have managed to botch everything they have tried to do. They’ve taken 25-35% casualties. The Ukrainians have forced them to retreat from Kyiv, Chenahiv, Sumy and now Kharkiv. Russian offensives have piled up lots of destroyed and captured Russian vehicles, followed by Russian retreats. Where is the new, powerful, Russian Army supposed to come from?

To me, it looks likely that the Russians will lose all occupied Ukrainian territory, including the Crimea and Donbas, by this time next year.

Domestically, “experts” in the US like to give away other people’s money. Intenationally, “experts” like to give away pieces of other people’s countries.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 months ago

Well matches my viewpoint. Russia has created a situation that has become impossible. They lack the resources to dominate Ukraine now that Ukrainian nationalism has arrived in the face of awful brutality. There seems no easy withdrawal so the article suggests we tell Ukraine to give up which they are not likely to accept. We would do well not to try any more Russian punishment with unwise words.

Mimi Ivanova
Mimi Ivanova
2 months ago
Reply to  Lou Campbell

I suggest @ Mr. Friedman posts his home address, so some people can take away his home, and then give him back just a couple of rooms. Remaining rooms will be held by those people to let them “save face”. This way he will show an example of his theory in practice, and can walk the talk.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 months ago

This is worth discussing, but not very convincing. Sure, it would not be the first time that there were wars, territories changing hands, and population exchanges after an empire has broken up. The end of the Yougoslavian wars may have been unjust – the outcome of the Greek-Turkish wars certainly was. But even an unjust compromise peace can be worth it – provided it is indeed a peace.

Unfortunately it seems unlikely that Russia will settle long for any kind of partial victory. The break between Russia and Ukraine came about because Russia continued to meddle in Ukrainian politics. The Minsk accords were not, realistically, about ‘accepting neutrality and allowing rebel areas autonomy’, it was about rendering Ukraine defenceless and allowing Russia – through its Donbas puppets – a permanent veto over Ukrainian politics. If Russia had wanted to keep the eastern Russian-speakers and keep Ukraine out of NATO there would have been no need to invade – Russian control over Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk already guaranteed that. It is pretty clear that Russia’s war aim is full control over Ukraine. Consider what they are saying – that Ukraine is not a legitimate state, that its people are really Russians, and that only a fascist government prevents them from accepting this obvious fact. Consider how crucial Kyiv and the ‘people of the Rus’ are in Russian imperial mythology. And consider how consistently Russia has tried to take control over Ukraine – through ‘friendly’ governments (Yanukovich), through a quick coup in Kyiv (start of the invasion), and now through full-scale war.

A deal that gave Russia territory would only be worth it if it guaranteed that Russia would then stay peaceful and respect the independence and freedom of movement of Ukraine and the other post-Soviet states. A minimum concession from Russia would be that as part of the deal they renounced their claims on Transdnistria, pulled back their support, and let Moldova take over the territory undisturbed. They are not likely to accept that. And until they do, it is pretty much guaranteed that they will keep fighting till they control the entire Black Sea coast.

Peace is worth a lot of sacrifices, but you need to recognise when it is not achievable. As it is, either you hand Ukraine over to Russia, on the instalment plan if not at once, and leave Russia licking its lips for more. Or you decide to fight them and pay the cost.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
3 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Peace is worth a lot of sacrifices, but you need to recognise when it is not achievable. As it is, either you hand Ukraine over to Russia, on the instalment plan if not at once, and leave Russia licking its lips for more. Or you decide to fight them and pay the cost.”
A perfect summation.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
3 months ago

Neville Chamberlain, please call your office.
So, even though Ukraine has demonstrated it is willing to bleed for victory, they should be told to reward Russia by giving up territory and thus legitimising Putin’s gambit after all?
The author’s inability to see the many historical examples of why that is *such* a bad idea is remarkable.

AC Harper
AC Harper
3 months ago

There’s the utilitarian argument (as above) that an end to the ‘special military operation’ is worth surrendering some sovereignty and wealth for.
There’s the political argument that being seen as willing to strike a deal merely encourages the aggressor (or others of a similar mind set) to keep waging war to steal your ‘stuff’ and kill your people.
It rather depends on the nature of the aggressor, and Russia has a history of seeking its own advantage through military action.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
3 months ago

If you look at the lessons from the previous world wars – we ‘humiliated’ Germany after the first to the point where the second was the [inevitable?] consequence.
I strongly believe Russia should be made to return Crimea and the other invaded territories – and should pay reparations for what they have done.
But we do have to be careful that action does not backfire over the longer term – it should not be about long term humiliation. Just like the Germans in the world war, the current war is not really the fault of the Russian population and certainly not the fault of the young Russians (children) who in 20 years time will be the leaders. We want them to be embarrassed by their past leaders actions but not humiliated forever.
If you look at the lessons from the previous world wars – we ‘humiliated’ Germany after the first to the point where the second was the [inevitable?] consequence.
I strongly believe Russia should be made to return Crimea and the other invaded territories – and should pay reparations for what they have done.
But we do have to be careful that action does not backfire over the longer term – it should not be about long term humiliation. Just like the Germans in the world war the current war not really the fault of the Russian population and certainly not the fault of the young Russians (children) who in 20 years time will be the leaders. We want them to be embarrassed by their past leaders actions but not humiliated forever.

Last edited 3 months ago by Andrew Wise
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

The reparations inflicted on Germany after the First World War were not any more or less severe than had been imposed on any nation during the countless wars of that era. Whilst it undoubtedly severely harmed the German economy and indirectly led to conflict again, the terms of surrender were no more draconian than any other defeated nation had to endure

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
3 months ago

After 1919 the German conservative political and military class spent two decades nursing a sense of grievance, in which they were frequently encouraged by naive foreigners. In fact, although German suffering in the Great War and its aftermath had been severe, they were not unique in that regard, and much of the suffering was due to the actions of their own governments rather than their enemies. It was only after the humiliation of defeat and occupation in the Second World War that German attitudes became more constructive. So it now is with Russia. The Putin regime needs a good humiliation and Russia needs to profoundly restructure for its own sake, to finally apply the lessons of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Europe cannot afford to allow Ukraine to be a failed state on its doorstep – with perennial low level conflict and the threat of further Russian invasion or interference hanging over it – just to pander to Russian paranoia.

Last edited 3 months ago by Stephen Walshe
William Adams
William Adams
2 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Ludendorf and others in the German high command were plotting the next war even before WW1 had ended.

Sam Sky
Sam Sky
3 months ago

The part of these incessant opinion pieces I don’t get is this idea that it is the West that should be accommodating and the one seeking to ensure that peace remains at any costs. Don’t Russia or China also hold some responsibility for ensuring that escalation doesn’t arise? Why should they be permitted endless tirades against our countries, our ways of life but we should always be the model of restraint and comprehension? Why when the West attempts to assert itself there is always this chorus of self-flagellation? Yes one can with good conscience ask whether Europeans should step up and manage their own defences, but in the context of an aggressive expansionist superpower these are, to my mind, second-order issues.
It just looks weak and pathetic, not smart and strategic as some thinkers seem to think. Putin needs to fear us and what we might do if provoked, not the reverse, as it is the only way to deal with a street thug.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ferrusian Gambit
Duke Of Hesse
Duke Of Hesse
3 months ago

Ok, so let’s use that kind of thinking about Ukraine and apply it to the U.S. Russia somehow invades our country. We fight like hell. Casualties are high on both sides. The Russians take over most of the east coast. We fight on but the Russians are able to hang on to New York and New Jersey. So with the silly reasoning above, It would be in our best interest to negotiate a settlement wherein they just keep New York ‘to prevent further suffering’. Yikes!

Edward DeVogelear
Edward DeVogelear
3 months ago

Since the end of WWII, except for the Gorbachev/Yeltsin years, Russia has followed an expansionist policy and has been a threat to it’s neighbors and a problem for the rest of the world. Even recently, besides annexing Crimea and attacking the Donbas, it has invaded Georgia and annexed territory there. This will never end until the rest of Europe and the US ends it. If anything, our support to the Ukraine has been to weak and slow. The goal should be total and complete victory for Ukraine, a recovery of all territory back to 2014 and a weakening of Russia militarily to the extent that they will not be in a position to threaten their neighbors for a very long time

David McKee
David McKee
3 months ago

But unconditional and seemingly bottomless western support for Ukraine risks prolonging the war…” was precisely the logic behind Anglo-French non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War.
This was not a success, on any level. Weapons flowed in which prolonged the war for three years and left much of Spain in ruins. It allowed the warring parties to be ‘captured’ by competing totalitarian powers – Germany and Italy backing Franco, the USSR supporting the nationalists. The resulting ideological zealotry left deep scars, which have still not healed.

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
3 months ago

But unconditional and seemingly bottomless western support for Ukraine risks prolonging the war. ‘
Err, no. It increases the likelihood that the war will end fairly soon, as a result of the total defeat of Russia’s conventional forces. Once the main body of the Russian army has been destroyed, possibly in the impending battle for Izyum, the stragglers will go home. What would prolong the war would be the sudden halt to Western financial and materiel support. In this event, Ukraine would slowly bleed to death. One of the interesting outcomes of the destruction of the Russian army is that a nuclear attack on Ukraine becomes pointless. Without the means to follow up with conventional forces, Russia is unable to capitalise on the shock value of a nuclear attack. The danger for Russia is that a triumphant Ukraine will conduct a Great Raid within Russia proper, in which event the use of Russian tactical nukes just contaminates Russia itself.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Rupert Steel

Yes I’ve wondered if we’ll reach a point where Ukraine will become more militarily active in Russia, using its fluent Russian speakers who know the country, it’s culture and processes extremely well.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 months ago

This is a recipe for invasion and aggression. Mr P seizes Alaska or East Anglia, threatens Sacremento or Lincoln, so we give him what he has taken to not take those as well? It was called Danegeld in the C9th.

Proving aggression pays is not the answer.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 months ago

Short-sighted. If Russia is rewarded in any way for its unprovoked aggression in Ukraine, it will be back for more in the future. At the risk of triggering simmering Russian resentment, the West, by supporting the Ukraine as far as is possible, should stamp its authority on this moral question.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 months ago

“Humiliating Russia is not good foreign policy”
B0110CKS. Never appease a bully. Always humiliate them. It’s the only language they understand.

Terry M
Terry M
3 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

No, humiliation is what inspired the Nazis. The West needs to find a solution that allows Russia to save face. I don’t advocate just giving in the territory Putin wants, but we need not add to Putin’s already substantial humiliation since it will inspire and unite them. Remember, most Russians are only hearing what Putin wants them to hear.

Sam Sky
Sam Sky
3 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

Did it inspire the Nazis? Or did the endless shilly-shallying and desperate attempt to avoid conflict over the Ruhr rearmament, Abyssian, Manchuria and eventuall Czechoslovakia?
And anyway, was Germany really excessively humiliated after 1918 or maybe it was all a victim-complex as a way of avoiding honest discussion of errors and mistakes?

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 months ago
Reply to  Sam Sky

German reparations destroyed their economy and were unwise. They were punished as a nation when only leaders that deserved the punishment.

Iris C
Iris C
3 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

It is strange you using the word “bully” because that is what I thought when America (and the UK – unfortunately its poodle) invaded smallish countries to bring about democracy but never big ones like the Soviet Union (when it existed) and China

Sam Sky
Sam Sky
3 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

Yes, it was terrible when the US annexed Iraq and rigged the election that made it into the 51st state.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
3 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Unfortunately this bully has the Bomb, and should he detonate it over say our Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston it would vaporise one of my favourite pubs, ‘The Old Boot’ at Stanford Dingley, a few miles to the north.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
3 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

I’m not worried about your pub, I’m worried about my allotment which is within hailing distance of AWE (at least if you have a loud-hailer).

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
3 months ago

Fortunately the Roman Amphitheater at Silchester would probably be unscathed.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago

@Douglas Prouidfoot @Rupert Steel (reply button not working)
Russia has three times the population and military of Ukraine, much more weaponry, and oil and gas to sell. Ukraine has done marvellously well so far, but we only hear one side of the story, their losses too must have been horrific, and so far they have been defending their home ground, in cities and forests, against an enemy with supply problems. To win in the Donbas, Ukraine would need to do the attacking, over open plains, with their own suply problems. To win in Crimea would require amphibious assault (and Ukraine has no navy to speak of). A chance of Ukrainian victory would justify (and motivate) Russian mobilisation to save the Fatherland (not to mention the nukes). I am no military expert, and all for an Ukrainian victory, but surely it is folly to bank on it.
Anyway, suppose Russia declared a ceasefire in place and dug in for defence. All the while maintaining a blockade of all the Ukrainian ports for a couple of years, strangling all exports, pummelling the world grain supply, and ruining Ukraine’s economy. What price victory then?

Last edited 2 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
George Knight
George Knight
3 months ago

Peace with Russia…for how long! Putin has gone from wanting to be part of Europe, possibly joining NATO, to dreaming of a Tsarist greater Russia. He is surely just starting out to fulfil his current vision. Putin will not give up unless he, and most importantly the Russian people, realise that the dream can never be fulfilled.

Mike Chiropolos
Mike Chiropolos
3 months ago

To the extent parts of contested oblasts in Eastern Ukraine include separatists and have been plagued by conflict, are resettlement and adjusted boundaries worth discussing?
In the past 100 years in Eastern Europe, have new boundaries and re-settlement been negotiated between Greece and Turkey, for Armenia, in former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere?
Short-term costs of re-settlement and adjusting boundaries on maps for long-term security, stability, prosperity and peace?
We need to debate the case for a peace settlement against the costs and uncertainty of war. For the U.S., the starting point is to define our mission, national interest, goals and strategy. Biden has been vague at best, so that debate is yet to happen.
We spent $8 trillion in foreign entanglements after 9/11, resulting in tens of millions of refugees, regional instability, unintended rise of terrorist groups, and an estimated 360,000 dead. Resources directed to Ukraine have opportunity costs domestically and internationally.  

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago

Certainly this is worth discussing. We live in the real world, and need to be content with what is achievable. Unfortunately a deal only leads to ‘long-term security, stability, prosperity and peace’ if both sides are willing to abide by it – and if both sides can survive as s independent actors. There is no evidence so far that Russia would abide by any deal that did not give them political control of Ukraine – at which point they would be in charge of both sides and any deal would be moot. If Russia gains the whole Black Sea coast including Odessa, Ukraine is reduced to a landlocked rump with no export outlets and at the mercy of Russia. As I said above a minimum confidence building measure would be for Russia – in return for whatever territory they got – to abandon any claim to Transdnistria (and Odessa), withdraw their support for the separatists, and leave the whole thing to Moldova. Short of that (and it is highly unlikely they would do it), any deal is just a stepping stone to further conquests.

Unless, of course, you are willing to give Russia back all the lands they controlled after WWII. In which case (even if they would stop there) there would be scant ‘security, prosperity and peace’ for the people of Eastern Europe.

Last edited 2 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 months ago

What Friedman is saying is that even if Ukraine, with ongoing western support (which will be predominantly U.S.), successfully resists Russia within its own borders, it should concede something to Putin so as to shorten the war. The implication is that this should be imposed on Ukraine, presumably by the threat of withdrawing support.
That is a valid proposal, but it expects a lot of Ukraine; that it should coexist with a neighbour which may very well immediately start to prepare overtly and covertly for another attempt, after learning where it went wrong, and perhaps from a better geographical base.
It may well come to it, in which case Ukraine, too, would need to prepare, but another potential outcome is that Russia realises that Putin is not Superman, despite the propaganda, and changes its ways.
It’s not promising, in that those around Putin will remain loyal through self-interest, but it has a better long-term solution (think ‘Galtieri’).
My opinion is that the Ukrainians have proved themselves astute, so will assess pros and cons with better in-depth knowledge than Biden (or Friedman or Macron), but that his administration should keep in touch, as I’m sure they do.

Last edited 2 months ago by Colin Elliott
John Campbell
John Campbell
2 months ago

Invading a non-hostile sovereign country is not good foreign policy. Killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians is not good foreign policy. A poorly planned, poorly executed and obviously futile attempt to rebuild an anachronistic, failed European empire is not good foreign policy.

Vladimir Putin and his corrupt criminal flunkies bear full and total responsibility for bringing death, decline, economic ruin and historic humiliation on Russia.

As we all watch the mindless and savage shelling of Ukrainian cities and towns, the author of this farcical nonsense would have us wring our hands over the loss of Russian pride? Good Lord!

Vladimir Putin launched this squalid war. And yes, Russia will pay a heavy and lasting price. They deserve to get it good and hard!

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
3 months ago

The Walrus and the Carpenter weeping for the oysters- then eating them. Spare me the self pitying of these brutes- on a day when journalists are witnessing the aftermath of the mass murder of civilians in Ukraine and more of thisis coming to light. If they persist in gloating about and lauding their ‘Asiatic savagery’ (a phrase used by various Russian writers) then damn them. Every Russian could be on an average $23k or so salary but their own corrupt mafia government has ripped them off- average salary a ludicrous $13k.

Mimi Ivanova
Mimi Ivanova
2 months ago

Very pro-Russian article – I wonder how much the “journalist” and his company is receiving for pushing the pro-russian agenda here in US. I wonder how many people here still do not understand that these articles are paid for in hard dollars.

Mimi Ivanova
Mimi Ivanova
2 months ago

@ Mr. Friedman, please post your home address so someone can take away your home, and then give you back just a couple of rooms. Remaining rooms will be held by those people to let them “save face”. Please show a good example and walk the talk.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
3 months ago

Astonishing angle to pursue. Russia needs to be defeated, broken up and never be a threat (ever) again to its neighbour. They have destroyed so much of Ukraine – at a minimum all territories should be reinstated… then reparations. Wow what an article written here. Either Ukraine dies or Putin does – it’s as simple as that.
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

Last edited 3 months ago by Justin Clark
M. M.
M. M.
3 months ago

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should offer one concession to the Russians in order to end the war. Specifically, he should offer to not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

By the time that Ukraine actually qualifies for membership in NATO, it will be dominated by two non-Western countries. One of them is Turkey, where Islamic culture is dominant. The other non-Western country is the United States, where Hispanic culture will be dominant.

The United States is undergoing rapid demographic change (due to its “open borders”). By 2040, Western culture will decline to the status of a minority culture, and this country will cease being a Western nation. Hispanic culture will become the dominant culture. (In California, Western culture is already rejected by most residents, and Hispanic culture dominates.)

By 2040, there will be better options than NATO. One possibility is the Joint Expeditionary Force lead by the United Kingdom and populated by several countries in Northern Europe.

Get more info about demographic change.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
3 months ago
Reply to  M. M.

Since when have Hispanic people not been western? Hispanic: from Latin Hispania meaning the Spanish peninsular, thus people whose ancestors were from that area of Europe.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
3 months ago

Isn’t that the second time MM has made such an ignorant statement?

William Adams
William Adams
2 months ago

I respect Unherd for publishing controversial opinions, even egregious rubbish such as this article. Following his specious logic Churchill would have struck a deal with Hitler and let him gobble up a chunk of France in 1940. So the little corporal could “save face”, you understand.

Last edited 2 months ago by David Bell
Liam F
Liam F
2 months ago

This is unfortunately the kind of incoherent thinking that’s got us where we are. Russia needs to be humiliated for their own good.

As with all empires there’s a section of their public who yearn for the past glories of the Soviet Union. For Britain it took the humiliation of Suez before it finally gave up on its imperial ambition. For Russia ,the uncomfortable truth is that the war is widely supported by the general public. It will take a humiliating defeat before they confront their own recent past. They bought the ” everyone’s got it in for us” story – never thinking they themselves are responsible for the gangsters they elect. Only when Russia accepts its done wrong will it be able to act as a good neighbour