Ukraine managed to liberate 60% of the territories captured since 24 February. The Russian army has actually been defeated. The Dnieper River as a natural barrier restrains the AFU from a counterattack, as a result of which Russian military units will be permanently defeated. In this situation, Putin has expressed his readiness to negotiate: after 30 September, Russia has voiced this request at least 30 times. In reality, Putin does not want peace: he wants a tactical pause during the cold season to draw down his military reserves, train the mobilised troops and increase the missile arsenal. Another full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with unprecedented destruction and thousands of civilian casualties will follow this. The negotiations are just another bluff by Putin in the hope of deceiving the whole world and preparing for a second attempt to take over Ukraine.
In mid-November, the number of people killed in the Russian army exceeded 82,000, more than in all wars and conflicts in which the USSR and the Russian Federation have taken part since 1945. Putin, relying on a completely wrong assessment of the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, made an attempt to quickly take over Ukraine, a key idea for him since 1999. This was Putin’s most fatal mistake during his entire time in power: the Russian army began to suffer one defeat after another. At this stage of the war, the strategic initiative rests entirely with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which have displaced the enemy from a number of occupied territories. The war with Ukraine has exposed a very undesirable fact for Putin: the asymmetrical weakness of his army, which cannot even conditionally be considered to be among the top ten armies of the world.
“The Russian army uses World War II military tactics; it has nothing to counter modern military tactics.”
The Russian military in Ukraine has shown itself primarily as looters and rapists, who are defeated in 10 cases out of 10 when NATO military tactics and Western weapons are used against them. It should be noted that since September the number of deaths in Russian military units on the front lines has risen sharply: an average of plus 10,000 every week, a critical number for Russia, which is undergoing a demographic catastrophe. This circumstance was largely responsible for the withdrawal and, in fact, the shameful flight of the Russian army from Kharkiv and the right bank of the Kherson region. The front in Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk oblasts is very unstable with a qualitative advantage for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, only in Donetsk oblast; given the huge casualties among mobilised local men (we are talking about the actual genocide of the local population at the front) have the Russians been able to hold the front.
“The power of the Russian army turned out to be a ‘soap bubble’ – a myth long and expensively cultivated by Putin.”
If Putin does not “freeze” the war for the winter, his army will be forced to make “manouevres” and “goodwill gestures” in favour of Ukraine much more often, and protest sentiments will rise sharply in Russia itself: already the Russian population wonder why big Russia is losing so demonstrably to little Ukraine? The answer lies in an analysis of the system that Putin began painstakingly building in Russia after 1999: while building foreign economic ties and markets to raise living standards, inside the country he has made a “return to the Soviet Union, with censorship, fighting against dissent and a total rejection of alternative points of view. In such a situation, Russian society (and hence the army) is doomed to stagnation and degradation.
“Putin wants to maintain the Russian presence in the occupied territories of Ukraine.”
Putin is aware of the destructiveness of his adventure and its disastrous consequences for Russia. The Kremlin’s narrative about the negotiations is completely devoid of toughness and bellicosity, to the point of lacking any preconditions at all. It is no longer about demilitarization and denazification, nor is it about admitting Ukraine to the EU and NATO. Putin simply wants to maintain the Russian presence in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
“Putin simply wants to deceive the whole world, and buy time to prepare for an apocalyptic invasion of Ukraine. This is his main goal in the current situation, and he is not interested in the price”.
Putin’s bluff is that he does not need negotiations as such. He wants to deceive everyone and buy time for a tactical pause, during which he will accumulate stocks of heavy weapons, increase missile capabilities by importing from Iran. In Belarus, the de facto mobilization of local men has already begun, and infrastructure has been prepared for wartime use. A repeat offensive against Ukraine on all fronts is a matter of time, if Putin is given the opportunity to prepare. Russia is mobilizing about a million men by spring, and the Russian military-industrial complex is producing Soviet and Russian weapons, particularly missiles on a 24/7 basis. All for the sake of taking over Ukraine. Therefore, the negotiations that Russia is soliciting will resemble some kind of “Minsk format” meetings that took place just before the war, the only difference being that the Russian side will stall and create a meaningless concept of such negotiations so that the Russian army will recover and prepare for the invasion.
“The strike on Poland is Putin’s test of the entire West and an attempt to persuade it to negotiate: if the West ‘swallows’ this provocation, the strikes will continue.”
The symbolism of the Kremlin dictator is very telling and predictable. On November 15, Russia deliberately struck Poland, a NATO country that Putin hates as much as Ukraine, with two missiles. Putin deliberately decided to raise the stakes and commit a provocation against NATO, disguised as an oversight or accidental missile strike during the massive strike on Ukraine. The Alliance faced a dilemma: If it accepted Russia’s obvious guilt, then Article 5 of the Charter would have to be enforced, which would raise the stakes dramatically and make NATO a de jure party to the conflict. If one ignores this provocation, or blames Ukraine, then Putin will repeat such an incident. In either case, the Kremlin has an advantage: if there is a threat of confrontation between Russia and NATO, then Putin will offer negotiations on Ukraine, “because it is the reason the missiles are flying”, and if NATO ignores this “spit in the face”, Putin will happily continue striking the fringes of the Alliance unabashedly, creating the appearance of a big war.
“Putin is the Hitler of the 21st century, and any negotiations with him are a repetition of the betrayal of the Munich Treaty.”
Putin is acting along Hitler’s lines, and wants to create the appearance of a protracted war by raising the stakes. Thus, he wants to talk to the great powers, increasing his importance and solve the “Ukrainian issue” without the participation of Ukraine. This is a typical repetition of the “Munich Accords” of 1938, when European countries betrayed Czechoslovakia by giving up the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany to avoid dragging Britain into the war against Hitler. The irony was that it was precisely this concession of European politicians that finally deprived the Nazis of any fear, and they started the bloodiest war in the history of mankind. History has a tendency to repeat itself, and Putin’s current efforts are very much reminiscent of Hitler’s behaviour before “Munich”.
“Any agreements with Russia are not worth the paper they are written on. Weapons for Ukraine are the best guarantee of appeasing the aggressor.”
The West has supported Ukraine for all nine months of Russia’s war of invasion, which has encroached on the sovereignty and freedom of an entire nation. This winter will be the most difficult for Ukrainians since 1991. However, it will be no less difficult for Putin: his army is critically weak and depleted, Russia is mired in sanctions, and Russia has become a pariah. In this situation, supporting Ukraine with weapons is the best solution and the final blow to the distraught Kremlin maniac. The formula of Putin’s strategy with regard to Ukraine is quite simple: he will attack as long as he has military resources, and no negotiations with him will not stop the war, but will only strengthen and expand it in the future. The only way to eliminate the Russian threat is to weaken the Russian army critically. The Ukrainian Armed Forces desperately need missile defense equipment – because it will soon be needed to protect Ukrainian cities from strikes by Iranian ballistic missiles, against which Ukraine has nothing to use. Putin is committing the unthinkable 21st century genocide of an entire country along ethnic lines – and the West must not stand by and withdraw support from Ukraine. If we go along with Putin and let him deceive himself – Europe will soon be dragged into a big war. If we equip the Ukrainian Armed Forces with first-class weapons, the Russian threat will be eliminated for decades to come. Ukraine is destined to become the “shield of Europe,” and it will prove its worth. The civilized world must prevent the crime against humanity that Putin has set out to commit in Ukraine.