Espreso. Global

West prepares to cross final red line for Ukraine's victory - political scientist

16 June, 2024 Sunday

Political scientist Andrey Piontkovsky (Washington, DC) talked about what could change the war and how U.S. policy toward Ukraine has shifted


He expressed his opinion in an interview with Anton Borkovskyi, host of the Studio West program on Espreso TV.

While communiqués and summits are important, the crucial factor is gaining permission to strike the aggressor's territory and addressing aviation issues, which are decisive on the battlefield.

There is a serious shift in Western attitudes. In response to Putin's nuclear threats, Macron calmly reminded Putin that France also possesses nuclear weapons.

The West has stopped responding to Putin's nuclear blackmail.

It has become ridiculous, no one is stopped by one red line after another, they cross them. The most recent example is yesterday's statement by Foreign Secretary Cameron regarding the Russians' latest cries that they are going to strike at Russian territory, and how they will respond to this. His answer was simple: let Russia withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine, and there will be no strikes on Russian territory.

The entire war plan has failed, because Putin is not only at war against Ukraine - he has declared war on the West. We remember his statement before the war.

Take your staff and go back to the 1994 borders.

Yes. This is what I call the Batu- Dzhugashvili line, the biggest advance to the west in 1245 and 1945. But now Putin has a different task: he has already realized that he is not going to be the ruler of the world and that he now needs to hold on to power in a country that has lost the war. His task now is to cling to some kind of "honorable draw" that he can sell to his population. This honorable draw is the plan that Ukraine has been forced to adopt all along, the so-called Korean option. Look how wonderful it is: North Korea, South Korea, the war was stopped, North Korea remained a dictatorial regime, South Korea became a great state in 50 years. But Ukraine will never agree to this.

A game is now being played. Putin understands that there is very little time left before the West decides to take the decisive step - the one I have been urging for in every speech I have given for the past three months: to erase the last red line.

This red line is that only Ukrainian pilots should operate Western aircraft. However, there aren't enough Ukrainian pilots trained in the West. Deploying one hundred, or ideally two hundred aircraft over Ukraine will determine the outcome of the war in a few weeks. These aircraft could enable Ukraine to expel the Russian forces from Crimea, leading to a collapse of the regime.

France is moving towards this goal, as indicated by Macron's recent statements. During the Normandy meeting, Macron mentioned that France is supplying Mirage-2000 fighters and is also sending technical advisors and instructors.

Someone has to maintain the airfields. There must be additional Patriot batteries. You are right: the question is in terms of timing.

Why has Putin sharply intensified terrorist attacks now? His task is to destroy residential areas of Ukrainian cities and Ukrainian infrastructure with impunity while this issue is being resolved. And he is doing this in the hope of arousing the sentiment "let's consider a truce." Time is of the essence now. We see that the outcome of the war will be determined in the next month at the most. Or when the West sends those planes.

Sweden's decision to provide two aircraft, in addition to the Gripen, an analog of the American AWACS, is a very good signal. It is no longer about Ukrainian pilots.

The pilots are irrelevant here - these are laboratory aircraft, with a crew of 5-6 people who could not have been trained during this time. That is, this red line is being blurred with every step. And the Russians understand that when a hundred or better than two hundred Gripen, Typhoon, and Mirage jets appear in the Ukrainian sky, and another 40 Ukrainian pilots are trained on F-16s, it will put an end to the Russian grouping in Crimea.

You said that the Russians might understand something. Instead, I have the impression that the Russian General Staff is simply carrying out orders from some offices in Lubyanka. This attack on a civilian facility in Kharkiv-a supermarket, a weekday, people killed. Their crimes have already blurred their perception of good, evil, rational, irrational. After such crimes, of course, the West is simply obliged to help Ukraine. Why is the Kremlin doing this?

Their moral idiocy is working against them. We can see that the American administration, our grandpa Biden, who is always hesitating, they resisted to the last and did not want to give permission to use American weapons. And it was these attacks from the Belgorod region on residential neighborhoods in Kharkiv that made it impossible to continue. We remember a wonderful speech, I showed a video on all my channels of the Republicans, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, McCaul, when he was practically screaming at Blinken and the administration with a map of the Belgorod region: what are you doing - they are shooting up cities with impunity!

They don't realize that this tactic-being ahead of the West and still forcing Ukraine into some kind of surrender, some kind of Korean version-is working against them.

It is with these attacks on Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Kryvyi Rih that he is accelerating the final decision to send Western aircraft into the skies of Ukraine. Moscow is losing this race in time.

But there is also China, which is actively working, and not always publicly. Reuters wrote an article saying that the main task in Beijing is to sabotage the Swiss summit and, instead, in a couple of months create some other negotiation platform where the countries of the Global South, and the Sino-Russian position would be represented.

Beijing has such sweet dreams of showing their prominent role, and they like to mediate unexpectedly. Do you remember last year when they unexpectedly mediated the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia? Now they want to do it again. The Chinese, like the Russians, do not understand the changed dynamics in the West. There are two powerful forces at work now: first, the so-called coalition led by the United Kingdom and France. I remind you of the historic decision, which was also not appreciated in Moscow, to restore the Entente on the day of its 120th anniversary. That is why yesterday's statement by Cameron is very characteristic.

And the second effect, one of the effects of the European response, is the revolution of the Reaganites in Congress, who broke the resistance of the Trumpists. And they not only secured the passage of the law on financial and military assistance, but also launched an attack on the Biden administration for not providing enough assistance to Ukraine. So now this is a double offensive by the Reagan Republicans.

By the way, did you notice how Biden tried to create a motive for his election campaign in Normandy and at the G7? He was always making a point to the United States: I, Biden, will ensure an alliance with Europe, we will confront Putin together in Ukraine, and if Trump comes in, all this will fail, and so on. Very good. But the Republicans took unexpected actions - they made a deal with Trump: they forced him to shut up about Ukraine, to abandon his pro-Putin sympathies for a while, and to attack Biden for not helping Ukraine enough.

Look at the two brilliant diplomatic effects achieved in Ukraine, not so much diplomacy, though let's give credit to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, but the main thing here is the heroism of the army and the people. First, we see a competition between the United States and Europe, especially France, for the mantle of the leader of the free world. After all, when it became clear that the Biden administration had failed in this role, Macron came forward to claim to be the leader of the free world.

On the other hand, this gave rise to an internal struggle in America. We were always worried that the pre-election atmosphere, the pre-election struggle, would create difficulties for Ukraine. And it seemed that way for six months, when the aid law was being blocked.

Now it has turned out to be in Ukraine's favor. Biden, the Democrats and the Republicans are competing on who is the best ally of Ukraine. Therefore, this trend cannot be reversed.

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