Espreso. Global

Frightened Putin's conditions

15 June, 2024 Saturday

In his speech to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Putin announced new conditions for ending the war against Ukraine, aimed at showing readiness for peace before the Swiss summit rather than a genuine desire for peace


But what does Putin propose? First of all, he wants Ukrainian troops to leave the territory of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions to the administrative borders of these regions within Ukraine. From Putin's point of view, his decision to not only occupy but also annex the territories of a neighboring state is absolutely legitimate, and this state must agree that it cannot control not only the territories where the occupation forces are now stationed, but also those that remained under the control of the legitimate authorities after the beginning of the Russian occupation.

Putin also believes that Ukraine should declare its neutral status and nonalignment with NATO, and that Western countries should lift sanctions against Russia. And, of course, the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, which he has been talking about since 2022, should take place, without ever specifying the essence of each term.

Putin and his propagandists do not even hide the fact that they do not expect their proposals to be accepted. Moreover, Putin does not even hide why he needs the occupied territories of Ukraine in the south of our country. He emphasizes that he was ready to agree to Ukraine's sovereignty over the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of our country if he was allowed to maintain a land corridor to the occupied and annexed Crimea. In other words, he actually recognizes that the point of view of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, on whose territory another fraudulent referendum was held, does not matter to him. That the territories of these regions are exclusively land to Crimea. And Crimea itself is exclusively a springboard for further attacks on Ukraine and destabilization of the situation in the Black Sea. That's all the return to home harbor that Putin's propagandists were so fond of talking about back in 2014.

Of course, in addition to the task of pretending that Russia is a peace-loving state and is ready to negotiate, there is another task, which may not be so obvious behind all of Putin's arrogant speeches and the fact that after them Russian propagandists begin to scare that if they do not agree to these proposals of the Russian leader, then Kharkiv and Odesa will be occupied, and Russia's hands will be tied-as if someone is trying to tie the aggressor's hands now.

It seems to me that the best way to tie Russia's hands is not to negotiate with it, but to destroy as much Russian military equipment, Russian military factories, and Russian military personnel on the territory of Russia itself as possible. That is, to pull out the teeth of the predator so that it washes its face with blood. But the very fact that Putin is trying to signal to the West that he is ready to be satisfied with the territory he has already occupied and will not claim the rest of Ukraine in the future, and this will not be a suspension of the conflict, but its final end, says that we are on the right track in terms of putting pressure on the gangster leadership of the Russian Federation and the population of this very federation, which is sick with a chauvinistic virus and is ready to make any sacrifice to restore its mock empire.

That is, there is still a certain level of fear and sacrifice, where the Russians' courage is running out and giving way to a simple criminal instinct. Leave us at least what we have already stolen, so that we stop and do not continue military operations, do not engage in robbery and arbitrariness, because we may not have enough of our criminal, bandit forces to do so.

Such proposals usually arise after the Kremlin at least begins to realize the limited resources it has for further hostilities. When they are looking for a way to get out of the war, at least for now, while maintaining their ominous face, if not in front of their own compatriots, whom Putin does not consider to be people at all, then at least because they want to save face in front of the elites, who may decide that this tsar is no longer able to fulfill their whims and that they can already think of a new one to lead Russia after the unexpected heart attack of their predecessor. The way they have always dealt with the issue of power when they realized that the head of state had gone mad. And this is exactly what Putin may fear in the coming years of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

And that's why Putin is now trying to get out of the situation with the least amount of damage. What does this really mean? We are well aware that no one in Ukraine, let alone in the civilized world, will ever agree to revise the very norms of international law. I can imagine Western politicians, and not only Western politicians, proposing a truce on the contact line. However, to agree that Russia has a right to Ukrainian territories along their administrative borders is to actually open a Pandora's box that no one will ever close in the twenty-first century. It is to endorse the right of one state to appropriate the territories of another by force and to legitimize this arbitrariness. This means that we must continue to act to destroy Russia's military and economic potential. We need to strike at Russian facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation. This means that we need to introduce new and new economic sanctions on the territory of Russia, which should lead to the degeneration of the economy and total poverty of the Russian population. This means that we need to create conditions for the Russian elite that will convince them that they will never return to normal life. This means that we need to deprive them of the hope that they will be able to end the war on their own terms. It means that they need to be convinced that they are weaker than the West and should know their place in civilization for the next decades. And they can return to cooperation with normal people only when they recover.

These bandits understand only force and severe pressure. They do not want any real negotiations. And the fact that they are already actually determining certain concessions for such negotiations shows that the gang is scared. When a gang is scared, it needs to be scared further.


About the author. Vitaly Portnikov, journalist, Shevchenko National Prize winner.

The editors don't always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.

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