Espreso. Global

Why it is vital to have clear vision of war ending

1 October, 2023 Sunday

The future of peace and conflict is shaped by our Western allies' stance. While opinions differ, a prevailing trend has emerged, and it's not promising


Western elites are deeply concerned about three scenarios:

  1. The fear of Ukraine's defeat implies political setbacks for those who supported Ukraine and the potential strengthening of global authoritarian forces, with a risk of Russian aggression in Europe and Chinese expansion.

  1. A Russian defeat could lead to disintegration, a humanitarian crisis, a massive refugee problem, unchecked nuclear proliferation, and China's increased power.

  1. Prolonging the war worries Western elites due to societal fatigue, heightened domestic political divisions, and, ultimately, Ukraine's defeat, with consequences similar to the first scenario.

If you're concerned about these outcomes, what's the alternative?

(It's worth noting that if all scenarios seem unfavorable, it may reflect a defeatist mindset. In contrast, China, for whom all scenarios appear acceptable or even advantageous, seems to be winning. If all scenarios appear negative to you initially, it suggests a skewed worldview.)

What options are left for Western elites?

First, they still dream of a scenario where Ukraine would have surrendered quickly in the spring of 2022. In this idealized version, there would be no current problems, no war, and no need for financial support from their countries. Ukraine's resilience has created problems for them (in fact, on the contrary).

Second, there are persistent myths that help maintain an outdated worldview:

a) Some believe that Putin will eventually pass away. However, with multiple lookalikes controlled by his inner circle, his demise is impossible. 

b) It's also a misconception that, if Putin were to die, Alexei Navalny would become Russia's president. In reality, power rests with the FSB and other influential groups. Even if Navalny were to be released and elected, it may not bring substantial change.

c) Another fallacy is that, after Putin's death and Navalny's inauguration, Russia would swiftly democratize. This is unlikely, as democracy requires both engaged citizens and established institutions, which are currently lacking.

Third, aside from the defeat of Ukraine or Russia or the prolongation of the war, there's the option of freezing the conflict. However, achieving consent from both Ukrainian and Russian sides for negotiations and a freeze is challenging. Ukrainian society may not support such a move by their leaders, and Putin prefers to wait for Ukraine to tire out.

Fourth, Western elites can opt to take no immediate action and hope for unforeseen developments to change the situation. For instance, the death of Putin (revisit the second point above). Currently, they are echoing the slogan, "we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes." As long as what takes, exactly? 

Not having a clear idea of how the war will end makes ending the war very tough, maybe even impossible. (Let's not fool ourselves into thinking that Ukraine's Armed Forces retreating to their 1991 borders means the war is over.)

What should we do?

There's only one way: Ukraine needs to take charge and be proactive in ending the war. We should understand, analyze, and share possible post-war scenarios with our allies. Then, agree on the best outcome and ask for the resources and support needed to make it happen. We must also overcome our own feelings of inadequacy, as well as help our allies shed their colonial mindset. We should seek support from Western intellectuals and public figures, and send a clear message to countries outside the Western world (often referred to as the "Global South"). We should work to form a united front against imperialism within Russia. We should use viral memes to spread our message globally. We should create an international coalition dedicated to achieving lasting peace, just like we did when defending Ukraine. Otherwise, we'll end up going in circles in our efforts.


About the author. Valeriy Pekar, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy professor 

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.

Read also:
  • News
2024, Friday
14 June
Ukrainian partisans expose Russian airfield in Crimea
Canada sanctions 11 Russian individuals, 16 legal entities supporting war in Ukraine
Russia hits bus with drone in Sumy region, injuring three people
Russia claims to have destroyed 87 drones: oil depot allegedly damaged
ISW assesses consequences of strikes on Crimea for Russia
Russian fakes for June 13: selection from Center for Countering Disinformation
Russia's night attack: Ukraine's air defense destroys 24 of 31 air targets
Russian army loses 1,250 soldiers, 48 artillery systems, 8 tanks in Ukraine per day
2024, Thursday
13 June
Victorious news of 841st day of war: 5 destroyed Russian boats, $50 billion for Ukraine from frozen Russian assets
Ukraine, US sign bilateral security agreement for 10 years
Not only procurement, but strengthening production: Stoltenberg on expanding military aid to Ukraine
Ukraine to join NATO's JATEC training centre in Poland - Stoltenberg
Ukraine's IT Army shuts down Russian bank provider - Ministry of Digital Transformation
Russia plans to fill irrigation canals with artesian water after Kakhovka HPP destruction
Japan, Ukraine sign 10-year term security agreement: what it provides for
Russian missile strike on Kryvyi Rih kills 9 people, injures 37 others
Ukraine needs 4.5 million able-bodied citizens to restore its economy - expert
Britain joins United States in sanctioning Moscow Stock Exchange
Ukraine will receive what it needs, assures Lloyd Austin
China lobbies for its 'peace plan' ahead of Peace Summit in Switzerland - media
G7 to allocate $50 billion to Ukraine from frozen Russian assets, confirms German Finance Minister
US to grant Ukraine $100 million military aid package - Lloyd Austin
Russian army amasses reserves in Kharkiv region - Ukrainian military
Switzerland changes draft decision of Peace Summit in Ukraine's favor, number of participants decreases
Who is Ihor Vovchanchyn, whom Oleksandr Usyk will play in film with Dwayne Johnson?
Deploying entire Patriot battery to Ukraine is dangerous - Polish National Security Bureau chief
NATO to step up fight against Russian spies amid sabotage, cyberattacks – Stoltenberg
What will happen to US-Ukraine security agreement if Trump becomes president: diplomat explains
Ukraine has right to strike military facilities on Russian territory, says Stoltenberg
Ukraine's Navy explains why Russian warships visit Havana Port
Ukrainian Defense Forces destroy 5 Russian boats in southern Ukraine
Russia storms 8 times in Pokrovsk direction, ongoing fighting near Kalynove – Ukraine's General Staff
G7 summit start: President Zelenskyy outlines key topics for Ukraine
Russian offensive plans in northern Ukraine thwarted, reserves being deployed
Norway to provide Ukraine with over $45 million worth of mortar ammunition
Russia accused of using starvation "tactics" in Mariupol in 2022 - human rights activists
Next ICC warrant against Putin could be for Mariupol famine - Mariupol official
Ancient stolen painting found by Ukrainian Border Guards after 20 years of Interpol search
NATO's Stoltenberg calls China's aid to Russia key in war against Ukraine
Ukrainian Armed Forces hit Russia's latest P-416GM communication station first time in history
More news