Options for a Russia-Ukraine
11 June 2022 [ last edited 22 April 2023 0232 UTC]
Tipping point in the
Ukraine conflict Russia's leadership
outstanding - avoids loss There
won't be nuclear war Russia's conflict
resolution measures There will be no mediators
The issue of
rockets Roadmap to verification
This is a follow up article to the article I wrote on 19th of
February 2022, 5 days before the launch of the Russian special
military operation in Ukraine. It was called 'Mutually
Assured Destruction - the Prelude to Mutually Assured Security'.
At the time, I didn't think Russia would move into the Donesk. I
"The current lead that Russia has in missile and
defensive systems might persuade the US to agree to verifiable
arms control, but this is the work of years.
In the meantime, the West provokes Russia relentlessly, across all
dimensions of life. This is dangerous. It is time for nations to
comply with their obligations under the UN Charter. A mechanism
must be found accelerate a move to universal security and the
peace dividend it brings.
And Russia has done this, in a stunning and unexpected move, a
move missed by the entire media."
I was referring to an article I published on the same day 'Blindsided
by Peace?' The "stunning and unexpected move" was the December
2021 presentation to the US and to NATO of new draft Security
Treaties. One was written for NATO as an organization, and the other
for the United States. I note "The provisions are short and the
language uncompromising. They secure Russia's security while at the
same time securing European security."
Well, the USA didn't sign, and neither did NATO. I now suspect the
Russians had intelligence that an assault against the breakaway
republics and on into Russia's Crimea was planned, and was maybe
only months from being launched. I now suspect the Americans knew
that Russia suspected something was in the offing, even if the exact
date wasn't known. As the Russian President Vladimir Putin commented
in 2015 "Over 50 years ago the streets of Leningrad taught me a
rule of thumb - if a fight is inevitable - you have to hit first".
"Embassy employees are being evacuated and Anglo-Saxons
are urged to leave Ukraine as soon as possible. Some food for
thought: what if the Anglo-Saxons are preparing something of their
own and this is why they are evacuating their staff? We see their
Sergey Lavrov 10
No matter how many more months the conflict in Ukraine goes on,
Russia has 'won'. Or rather, nearly achieved it's initial objectives
of helping the Lughansk and Donesk Republics to push out the
Ukrainian armed forces - many of the Ukrainian units there were
manned with white supremacist nationalists, espousing Nazi ideas. To
the extent these extremists are captured, killed or pushed out, then
de-nazification - another Russian objective - is achieved, at least
in what were the new Republics (now part of the Russian Federation).
By January 2023 the tipping point seemed near. It was obvious the
West (who are the armers and instigators of the conflict) would have
to tell the Ukrainian government to come to terms. A signed peace
treaty would be required. But what part could the Western
governments play? It is now a matter of historic record that
the signature of Western politicians on agreements are worthless,
and the more so the signature of Ukrainian politicians. In March
2022, Russia and Ukraine came to terms of settlement that both found
acceptable. Then the UK's Boris Johnson swept in and the Ukrainians
immediately backed out.
The question I was asking myself in early January 2023 was this -
will Russia now ignore a future Ukrainian capitulation and brush
aside Ukraine requests to agree on terms? After all, Ukraine had the
chance for peace and ignored it.
The Russians, faced with a proxy NATO army that was constantly being
re-armed by the US and it's NATO 'allies', had to change it's
military approach. It called up conscripts, several hundred
thousand, started training them, and at the same time set about
destroying - with pinpoint accuracy - the electricity supply
to Ukraine - including to Kiev. With artillery dominance, air
dominance, and the equivalent of ten battalions of fresh troops, it
could grind on and capture as much Ukrainian territory as it wanted,
as long as it was willing to pay for it in 'blood and treasure' - as
the saying goes.
But thanks to NATO intransigence, the blood price NATO forced Russia
to pay (and 'set up' Ukraine to pay) meant that the only possible
outcome acceptable to Russia was Ukrainian surrender.
I don't know what Russia will do in future. I do know what Russia
wants for itself, and for others, because it has publicly stated it.
I do know it wants normal relations with Ukraine, because it has
said so. And the Russians almost never lie.
"Even some seemingly respectable media outlets write
about an “operation” that we are supposedly preparing with the aim
of seizing Kiev and other Ukrainian cities or that some “coup” is
being prepared with a view to putting a puppet regime in power in
the Ukrainian capital."
Sergey Lavrov 10
Looking back to that date, we can guess an operation was being
planned 2 weeks before the launch of the special military operation.
But not to 'seize' Kiev. Not to 'seize' (note that word) 'other
Ukrainian cities'. Not to place a puppet regime in power. In
retrospect, Russia badly miscalculated. Russia thought the sheer
display of will and power would cause Ukrainians to rise up and
replace the unpopular Zelensky government, issues would be settled,
the parts of the Donbass that wanted protection would be absorbed in
Russia, and relations would start to be rebuilt.This 'soft war'
approach failed. Where to from here?
We are left with the stated aim - liberation of the 2 Republics.
Kiev won't be taken. Lviv won't be taken. What of other Ukrainian
Question: [...] Does Russia intend to demand that
Kiev additionally recognise independence of the Kherson Region and
part of the Zaporozhye Region currently controlled by the Russian
forces, or their accession to Russia?
The question has now been answered.
Sergey Lavrov: This question will be answered by the people
living in the liberated territories. They are saying that they
want to choose their future on their own. We fully respect this
Sergey Lavrov 6 June
of the Russian and Ukrainian people of the Eastern Oblasts with
the Russian Federation
"The Donetsk People's
Republic, as well as the Lugansk People's Republic, Kherson
region and Zaporozhye region, overwhelmingly supported joining
Russia during their September referendums.
The DPR and LPR, Zaporozhye region and Kherson region held
referendums on joining the Russian Federation on September 23-27.
Despite shelling by Ukraine and the constant threat of attacks,
voter turnout was considerably high, and most people backed the idea of becoming part of
Russia: 99.23% in the DPR, 98.42% in the LPR, 93.11% in
Zaporozhye region and 87.05% in Kherson region.
Russia's Federation Council ratified
the treaties on the DPR's and LPR's admission to Russia on
Tuesday, as well as Zaporozhye region and Kherson region. At
the same time, the parliaments of the DPR and LPR also voted
to ratify the agreements.
Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council, former President
Dmitry Medvedev addressed the votes, saying the outcome is clear
and adding "welcome to Russia!"
Following the votes, President Vladimir Putin and the heads of two
republics and two regions signed agreements on the accession of
the territories to Russia.
Addressing the historical moment during the ceremony, the Russian
president stressed that the people of the four territories had
"made their unequivocal choice." He added that "the people living
in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our
citizens, forever," noting that Moscow will use every means to
Sputnik News 4
"Citizens of Russia, citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk
people’s republics, residents of the Zaporozhye and Kherson
regions, deputies of the State Duma, senators of the Russian
As you know, referendums have been held in the Donetsk and Lugansk
people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. The
ballots have been counted and the results have been announced. The
people have made their unequivocal choice.
Today we will sign treaties on the accession of the Donetsk
People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic, Zaporozhye Region
and Kherson Region to the Russian Federation. I have no doubt
that the Federal Assembly will support the constitutional laws
on the accession to Russia and the establishment of four new
regions, our new constituent entities of the Russian Federation,
because this is the will of millions of people. (Applause.)
It is undoubtedly their right, an inherent right sealed in Article
1 of the UN Charter, which directly states the principle of equal
rights and self-determination of peoples."
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin 30
"We call on the Kiev regime
to immediately cease fire and all hostilities;
to end the war it unleashed back in 2014
and return to the negotiating table.
We are ready for this, as we have said more than
once. But the choice of the people
in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will
not be discussed. The decision has been
made, and Russia will not betray it.
Kiev’s current authorities should
respect this free expression of the people’s will;
there is no other way. This is the only way
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin 30
Time and again the Russian government has stated that the future of
other areas will be decided by the people who live there themselves.
Therefore, there will be a referendum on Odessa and Nikolaev. How
will it be worded? We will have to wait to see. How long before
conditions to hold it are suitable? Who should be at the table to
discuss peace terms?
Talk to someone who has power.
"Where MacGregor sits is the head of the table"
This quote is from the book 'Rob Roy' by Sir Walter Scott. It
embodies the reality that outstanding leaders are almost
instinctively recognised by all who exercise power, whether they
admit it or not.
Such leaders command true respect (not the respect that comes from
fear) because they have earned respect. Not by dramatic actions, but
by effecting popular outcomes, by being consistent over time, by
being honest, calm, by not turning away and blaming others when
things unexpectedly go badly, by being patient and far sighted. Such
a rare person knows the all the dimensions of power - diplomatic,
military, informational, and economic.
like any other country, is concerned with one thing - the comfort
and happiness of its people.
"Our greatest concern and the main task is
to increase people’s incomes. This is our priority, our
number one task, and we are not going to resolve
it by simple linear methods. To do this, we must ensure
the growth of the economy and a change
of its infrastructure.
This is a long-term goal.
We are not going to use populist methods.
It is based on qualitative economic growth that we
intend to resolve major social tasks - including
an increase in the incomes
of the Russian people and the demographic
problem, which is our second most important task.
It implies a package of social issues: healthcare,
education and support for families with children.
To resolve all these tasks, we have mapped out certain
national development goals...Therefore, we should resolve
the two main problems ‒ improve demography
and increase people’s incomes, raise their quality
of life on this serious economic foundation
I have just mentioned. This is what we are going to do
in the near future"
Vladimir Putin 14
Russia signed into law a document outlining national goals and
strategic objectives on 7th May
2018. They covered 12 areas, and in many cases, listed very
specific key indicators of success which had to be met by 2024. The
areas covered will be familiar to you, because most countries have
similar desires for their people :
All this is expensive, both in money and effort. A huge amount of
money has already been sunk into it. If you were the Russian
government, would you risk destruction of all your hard won social
progress with an endless Afghan-style war in Ukraine?
- deal with the flow-on effects of the demographic mismatch of
an aging population and low birth rate
- improved and affordable healthcare
- a more highly educated population
- better housing and urban environment
- protection of the natural environment and clamp down on
- safe and high-quality motorways
- improve labour productivity and employment support
- support research in order to compete in modern economies
- support the digital economy
- support and preserve Russia's culture
- support for small and medium-sized businesses and
- encourage international cooperation and increase exports
Ukraine's leadership had a small
window of opportunity to stop their Western-fuelled
self-destruction. That opportunity required a true leader, but none
was forthcoming. The opportunity has passed, and the West continued
to de facto destroy Ukraine by continuing and escalating the
The West has openly set out to destroy the Russian Federation. There
are 4 possible means of destroying the Russian State:
- nuclear missile strike
- conventional war
- biological war
- economic war
We can dismiss nuclear
strikes - even by the Americans. The Russian and American
Presidents have signed a declaration that a nuclear war cannot be
won, and must not be fought. Both are bound by chains of terror. I
have fully covered this matter in my article 'The
Time Has Come'. Russia's nuclear strike policy was very
clearly explained by the Russian President in 2018, and is
appended to my article. Nothing more need be said.
Russia was always
going to win the NATO proxy conventional war. Why? because
Russia has advanced standoff missiles, superior electronic
suppression, superior air defense, superior aircraft, superior
training in urban warfare (in Syria) - the list goes on. If NATO
didn't know that, then they are professionally incompetent.
Russia does full spectrum conflict resolution (except it doesn't do
much propaganda work). It know power comes from diplomacy
backstopped by military competence (in all its many dimensions), and
from a robust and self-reliant domestic economy. Its military
responses are very carefully calibrated, constantly re-assessed and
adjusted. Russia will not win 'at any cost'. It will create a
military-economic-human nexus where the opposing party cannot but
come to terms.
Biological warfare we can dismiss. When a new instance of a
pathogen arises it's genome will be pulled apart and examined, the
consensus origin found, it's genetic differences examined for
structure and placement on and between chromosomes or RNA, and
conclusions drawn. An attack on Russia with biological weapons will
draw an immediate nuclear or hypersonic kinetic-energy response.
Economic warfare will eventually fail. It will cause quite a
bit of pain for a year or two, but it has no chance of succeeding.
What's more, it damages those who made the attack. I have covered
this in detail in 'The
West's Apartheid International Trading System'.
Russia doesn't need and doesn't want armed conflict - Russia has
always wanted peace
Ukraine will come to terms because it is
reaching a tipping point, where the things that anyone cares about
are being lost or have become uncertain and insecure. Healthcare,
housing, education, a good job, a stable and reasonably comfortable
life, certainty, stability, freedom from fear - this is what people
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (as of 29 May 2022),
6.8 million Ukrainians had left Ukraine. Around 60% (4 million) left
for Poland. About 2.4 million left
for Russia. Around 400,000 left for other EU countries. Russia has
targeted power distribution and transformer centers, which of course
affects electricity, pumps for water and so on (Russia continues to
supply Ukraine with gas for heating). Hundreds of thousands of young
and middle aged men have been killed or wounded in the conflict. As
a result, all manner of normal services have been degraded, and will
remain degraded for years. Ukraine's public debt was about 50% of
GDP in 2021, but by the end of 2022 it had reached about 78% of GDP.
Ukraine is now deeply in debt to the West, as relatively little of
the western military 'aide' is free.
The west supplies artillery and rockets that can reach further and
further in Russia. Therefore the width of the Russian occupied
'buffer zone' between Russia's border and the rest of Ukraine
becomes wider. No one can plan anything, everything is uncertain.
At a certain point the Ukrainian people demand peace.
Russia will provide peace on reasonable terms. But the longer
the Ukraine politicians keep up a fight they know is hopeless, the
longer they deliberately kill civilians in the republics, the worse
the terms will be. Russia still sees Ukraine as part of the Slavic
orbit, a kindred people. There are deep roots between the two
countries. It will never set out to humiliate Ukraine, or try to
bleed it dry. Russia thinks long term - very long term. But the
terms will be set without US or European interference.
"The end, ways, and means, they lack that, to be able to
go back to the pre-2014.
The second point that I would make is, you know, as you look at
the DIME—diplomatic, informational, military, and economic—we’re
woefully lacking on the diplomatic piece of this. If you notice,
there’s no diplomacy going on at all to trying to get to some
type of negotiations. And I don’t think that we can lead
that, given where Putin thinks about us.
But if you sit back and think about those that could possibly be a
part of this negotiation team, you know, you have the—two of them
are in—that I’m going to list are in NATO. One is President Orbán
out of Hungary. Perhaps he can help out in the negotiation effort.
The other one is President Erdoğan of Turkey. Longtime friends of
President Putin, although some view that relationship as
transactional. I don’t know. Let’s put it to the test and see."
Stephen Twitty, former Deputy Commander of the United States
European Command (2018–2020), May
Russia will not deal with 'mediators', or, at least, not Western
"This is the gist of the EU’s mediation. Some process
started in the Balkans after Kosovo proclaimed “independence”
unilaterally and without any referendum. The UN General Assembly
invited the EU to mediate between Pristina and Belgrade and its
effort was rather successful: in 2013, the agreement was reached
on establishing the Community of Serbian Municipalities of Kosovo.
In 2014, when a coup was staged in Ukraine and the
“counterterrorism” forces launched an operation against Donbass
and Russians in Ukraine, the EU also acted as a mediator. This led
to the signing of the Minsk agreements that established certain
rules, just as with regard to the Serbian municipalities in
EU 'mediators' have failed twice now. They are useless.
The EU made a solemn promise to support a special status for
northern Kosovo and eastern Ukraine. The status did not imply any
complicated things: to let people speak their native tongue
(Serbians were supposed to be allowed to speak Serbian and
Russians in Ukraine to speak Russian), teach children in schools
in their native tongue, use it in daily life and have a certain
autonomy as regards law-enforcement and economic ties with
neighbouring regions (northern Kosovo with Serbia and eastern
Ukraine with Russia). Identical agreements were made, which urged
respect for national minorities in full conformity with
international European conventions on the rights of these groups.
The EU announced that it had succeeded in both cases.
But it shamefully failed in both cases and had to admit it later
on by saying it
could not persuade Kiev to fulfil the Minsk agreements [pdf]
or make Pristina abide by its agreements with Belgrade. There is
something in common as regards the EU’s treatment of different
areas in our common geopolitical space, its goals, its competence
and its ability to make deals...I have repeatedly emphasised the
main geopolitical conclusion from this situation: it is now
impossible to agree with Europe
on anything and be sure that they will deliver on their
Sergey Lavrov 6 June
There will be no US mediators (although there will need to be
channels to coordinate the removal of all US military personnel,
including their proxies and their NATO 'pseudoUkrainian nationals'
"When asked by reporters over possible bilateral talks
with Washington on Ukraine, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko
replied, “No, we are not.”
However, the diplomat stated that Moscow is ready to hold
negotiations with Ukraine “without any preconditions,” except for
the key condition – “that Ukraine shows goodwill.”"
Andrey Rudenko, Deputy Foreign Minister, RT News, 8
"Recently, these instructors received the right to acquire
Ukrainian citizenship in a simplified way. This is
sacrilegious and humiliating. People who have lived in Donbass
forever are deprived of the opportunity to have the legal right to
their own language, while those who have never lived in Donbass
and have come there obviously not to establish peace are granted
the right to receive Ukrainian citizenship easily and without any
ties. ...What are the Ukrainian authorities after? They are trying
not only to legalise the presence of military instructors in the
country but also to skirt around the demand of the Minsk
Package of Measures on the withdrawal of foreign armed
formations, combat hardware and mercenaries from Ukraine. If
it transpires that foreign military instructors are present on
their territory, they will tell us that these are not military
instructors but holders of Ukrainian citizenship."
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, 24
There will be no western mediators.
"But we are also aware of Kiev’s position –
they kept saying they wanted talks, and even sort
of asked for them, but have now passed
an official decision that bans such talks. Well, what is
there to discuss?
may be aware, speaking at the Kremlin when announcing
the decision on the constituent entities
of the Russian Federation, I said we are open. We have always said that we are open. We
reached certain agreements in Istanbul, after all.
These agreements were almost initialled. But as soon
as our troops withdrew from Kiev, the Kiev
authorities lost any interest in the talks. That is
all there is to it.
ever get ready for this, we will welcome it. At that point, the mediation
efforts of all the stakeholders may come
Vladimir Putin, October
Who are the stakeholders? The 'stakeholders' are the United Nations,
the Red Cross, and perhaps the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
(OSCE). In investment terms, China, like the EU, has significant
investments in Ukrainian agriculture and in grain export facilities
in Odessa. China is a good trade partner for Ukraine (in
early 2023 the combined bilateral trade between the two was
around $1 billion a month). Chinese imports into Ukraine provide
Ukrainians with cheap and affordable consumer goods, and trade
between Ukraine and China is balanced. Truly massive
amounts of money will be needed to rebuild Ukraine, which
China to an extent can provide. Ukraine joined the 'Belt and Road
Initiative' in 2014, so it is in Ukraine's long-term interests to
see China further develop transport infrastructure from China,
through Russia (with 'belt and road' links to Eurasia and beyond) to
Ukraine and into Europe.
Matters are unlikely to be dealt with by the Ukrainian President
negotiating directly with the Russian President. Issues will be
dealt with between competent officials, and only when everything is
worked out in greatest detail will any agreement be signed. Turkie,
the UAE, Egypt, maybe Hungary, maybe Israel, might play a role - but
China seems likely to take the lead.
On February 18th 2023, at the Munich Peace Conference, China
announced an intention to play a role in mediating peace. On
February 24th it publicly released it's 12 point peace plan. In
March 2023 President Xi was scheduled to visit President Putin - not
long after President Xi successfully negotiated a reconciliation
agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps his team have
already worked with the Ukrainian and Russian sides to come to a
mutually acceptable agreement behind the scenes, with the March
visit by Mr. Xi as the final movement of a well orchestrated piece.
There will possibly be a photo opportunity, where whoever is in
charge in Ukraine is treated with the usual courtesy by the Russian
diplomats. But that's it. It is more likely that a trusted President
(probably Mr. Xi) will be the facilitator, and the photo op will be
with him, plus high level officials from both combating countries.
Where might the photo op be? Odessa might be a
borders and security borders - 2 different things
"Vladimir Putin has commented on the situation that
emerged in connection with the arrival of the new weapons. I can
only add that the longer-range arms you supply, the farther
will we push from our border the line where the neo-Nazis will
be able to threaten the Russian Federation...let me
reiterate the following. The West has decided to supply
weapons that, in all evidence, are capable of reaching not only
the border areas of the Russian Federation but also its more
remote points. Politicians and legislators in Ukraine itself are
laughing at the Americans, who said they believed Vladimir
Zelensky’s promise not to shell Russia. ...I will stress once
again: the longer-range are the systems supplied to the Kiev
regime, the farther will we push the Nazis from the line from
which threats emanate for the Russian population of Ukraine
and the Russian Federation. "
Sergey Lavrov 6 June
"...[The West] has significant leverage in the operation. We are
now trying to move the Ukrainian artillery to a distance that will
not pose a threat to our territories, but the more long-range
weapons they send to Kiev, the further
they will need to move them away from the territories that are
part of our country."
Sergey Lavrov 2
What is "the line" Sergey Lavrov refers to? It is the point at which
shells and rockets can reach not just Russia, but also "the Russian
population of Ukraine". Where, then is the 'Russian
population' of Ukraine located? According to wikipedia,
quoting a 2004 study, the percent of Russian language speakers by
region (oblast) is:
This data is out of date, and populations will have shifted a great
deal in the last 18 years. Many Ukrainians in the east have fled to
Russia. Many families are made up of both Ukrainian speaking and
Russian speaking people. And language spoken is not the sole
determinant of how people identify themselves. Some Ukrainians may
want to 'vote Russia', so to speak, for economic advantage. Some
'Russians' may identify with Ukraine for many reasons, from family
ties, business, to ideological views.
Kherson, just above Crimea, had about 25%
of people who spoke Russia as their native language in 2001, and in
a 2005 survey 46% of Khersonians thought Russian should have the
status as a second state language in Ukraine. This is lower than the
Oblasts that surround Kherson, yet Russia announced on June 22 2022
a referendum on accession of Kherson region to Russia would be in
held in Autumn, and so it did. Kherson is a land bridge to Crimea
and so is of enormous strategic importance to Russia. The oblast had
already been 'Russified' before the referendum. The matter was
decided in late September 2022. 87% of people in the Kherson
region who participated in the referendum opted to join the
Russian Federation. The Zaporozhye referendum was
held soon after, with a similar high positive vote.
This means Russia can play the great 'definition game'. Russia can
use any criterion that suits it's political objectives to decide for
the population just where 'Russian Ukraine' ends and "Ukrainian
One thing is certain - the longer the range of weapons supplied to
Ukraine by NATO, the wider the 'demilitarized' zone has to be. So
NATO effectively is causing a wider and wider band of Russian
de-weaponisation bounding the Donbass. Once fully under Russian
control, the demilitarised zones may well decide for themselves to
join Russia, especially if Russia guarantees their security. The
area currently under Russian control includes major crop growing
areas as well as industrial plant, and produces around 50% of
Ukraine's GDP. If Mykolaiv and Odessa (industrial areas) are
lost to the Russia, then Russia will control +/- 75% of Ukrainian
GDP. Ukraine is deeply indebted to the west, & will be unable
to service it's obligations on a reduced industrial and
agricultural base. It is on the way to becoming a failed
state. (For current Oblasts and major cities see
The Ukraine government policy of sending citizens to industrial
scale death and injury instead of establishing an agreed border is
incomprehensible. Protracting the war means even more trained people
will flee overseas, many more will be killed. Ultimately people will
move to where conditions of life are best. Ultimately, that will be
the Russian Federation. No one wants war. The new Russian regions
can focus on economic matters, without the waste of money on
military equipment. Inevitably Ukrainian economic refugees will
storm the borders of the new Russia.
But Russia is very sensitive to the problems of badly defined
boundaries. The Russian President has spent endless hours mediating
boundary disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan. When the Soviet
Union dissolved itself it didn't fully define some borders. Even
today, around 450 kilometres of the 970-kilometre Tajik-Kyrgyz
border remain undemarcated,
and remain a source of constant disputes.
But the 'military border' in Ukraine simply cannot be
finally set until the political border is set. (Albeit when
Ukraine comes to terms, a temporary border may have to be set while
the political borders are finalised. At the moment, let's set aside
the possibility of the total breakup of Ukraine).
The political Border
Let's consider precedent. Russia used a popular referendum
(involving outside monitoring groups) to determine if Crimea was to
join Russia or not. Russia was dissatisfied that a referendum was not
used (by the EU) in determining whether Kosovo would become an
autonomous region or not. But Crimea was strongly pro-Russia, and
these other Ukrainian regions are much less easily defined one way
or the other.
As a general principle, the choices on any referendum probably have
to allow for four states:
These options determine the political boundaries. Now we can guess
at where the military line will be. Again we can look at precedent.
There was a demilitarised zone around Lughansk and Donetsk,
monitored by the OSCE. Large caliber artillery had to be pulled back
a proscribed distance from the 'line of contact'. (This did not stop
the Nazis killing 14,000 people by shelling, mortars and sniping in
the breakaway regions over the course of 8 years. That was then. It
will be totally different this time)
- remain with a redrawn Ukraine
- autonomous region of Ukraine
- independent state
- merge with Russian federation
Obviously, this will be status quo less Lughansk, Donesk,
Zaporozhye, and Kherson Oblasts (although Russia was forced to
withdraw from the territory west of the Dneiper river, as Ukraine,
with complicity of the USA, was attacking the hydroelectric dam on
the river with American HIMAR missiles).
A line will be drawn at a distance from the Lughansk and Donesk
Zaporozhye, and Kherson Oblast borders that is a little beyond the
point of the range of the longest range weapon that Ukraine or the 2
Republics have. A similar maritime line will have to be drawn
offshore the Black Sea (if a concession is made in Odessa). To
simplify matters, all large weapons, even of shorter range, might be
prohibited from the line up to the (new) borders of Russia. All we
need do is look at the text of the Minsk 2 agreement.
It is all there. Of course the language will be changed, from
'Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine' to the Ukrainian
territories bordering the Russian Federation. The monitoring of
military lines will likely be done by Russian and Eurasian Economic
Union military or military police. Once the situation has calmed
down, normal electronic monitoring methods by Russia, including with
satellite and drone assistance, should suffice.
Minsk 2 clause 4 is no longer relevant, but an initial peace
agreement will likely require Ukraine to acknowledge that the
relevant Oblasts are now irrevocably part of the Russian Federation.
The principles of preventing reprisals of Russians in other parts of
Ukraine is mentioned in clause 5 ("...a law that forbids persecution
and punishment of persons"). This will have to be passed in the
Ukrainian Rada before Russian occupation forces leave areas where
there is a significant risk of persecution of Russians. The
President of Russia has undertaken to protect all Russians.
Of course, the Europeans, who worked so assiduously to cause this
disaster, will be charged through the OSCE with making sure the
population remains safe and any criminals are found and punished.
And the OSCE will have to implement suppression of Nazi ideology and
ensure the freedom of information and expression, protection of
minorities and human rights - that is their job.
Clause 8 is no longer relevant; part of clause 9 will be kept to
ensure no control is handed back to Ukraine until the constitutional
changes to de-nazify (rather than decentralise, as stated in the
Minsk 2 Agreement) are passed in the Rada.
Clause 10 is needed to de-militarise Ukraine (expelling all foreign
forces), and this too will have to be embedded in the constitution
to prevent NATO or any other similar grouping placing itself in the
country (including by issuing a Ukrainian passport to NATO military
staff, foreign mercenaries, and other proxy imposters).
"President Putin has said many times, both in January
and early February, that Russia will not tolerate a model
of European security that relies on NATO as the dominant
force. Especially when it's right on our doorstep.
We've repeatedly said that we want to
find an alternative solution - a solution that would reliably
address security concerns of Ukraine, the nations of Europe,
and, naturally, Russia. And that's the direction we should
President Zelensky said that he was interested in security
guarantees for Ukraine. I see this as a positive development. Our
negotiators are ready to discuss these guarantees..."
Sergey Lavrov 2
Clauses preventing Ukraine ever developing or hosting nuclear
weapons will be required, and also the terms will have to include
wording to recognise that nuclear weapons pose an unacceptable
existential threat to Russia and the existence of which on Ukrainian
territory will result in a military response. This allows Russia to
attack Ukraine at any time that they renege on this key part.
"The head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service
(SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, has stated that the SVR
had obtained intelligence showing that Ukraine was working on
building its own nuclear weapons."
- Sputnik News 03 March 2022
But we have to pay attention the 'all inclusive' nature of Sergey
Lavrov's statement. The Russian government has previously commented
that Ukraine is not really the main problem for Russia. Clearly,
Russian and European mutual indivisible security is. And this must
include 'detaching' USA, as it has embedded itself into it's
European host's tissues very deeply. But we have to acknowledge that
the European leaders are not only incompetent in matters of securing
peace, they are obedient subjects of the US government, and
The Russian Federation may not be able to use the necessity of a
Ukraine settlement to achieve a wider Europe - Russia mutual
security settlement. The time for a security Treaty with the west
may not be now, and conditions for a settlement may not
mature for a long time into the future.
Perhaps that doesn't matter. Russia may achieve it's security
through its highly developed air defense system, combined with an
ability to use it's hypersonic missiles to immediately punitively
strike those who dare to strike it, no matter how wide the ocean
between Russia and the US mainland. Russia may have to fund and
deploy more submarines and ships that can deliver strikes to coastal
USA within 4 or 5 minutes of launch. In other words, to create the
same 'instant and unstoppable strike' threat to the US that the US
government creates to the Russian Federation.
regions of Ukraine
In my view, only Nikolaev
and Odessa might in future possibly vote for autonomy. If so,
they might as well sign up to a Minsk 2 - style agreement. After
all, Minsk 2 was hammered out to suit all parties, and hammered out
in not dissimilar circumstances. These agreements would likely be
agreed by the United Nations. Although this is hardly essential, it
allows the West to save face a little. The only change needed may be
to embed de-nazification in the Ukrainian constitution.
In reality, it is far more likely, if conditions for a vote arise,
the referendum question will be a simple 'remain with Ukraine or
join the Russian Federation?'.
An Autonomous Port City of Odessa?
The Russian President made an obscure remark right at the end of his
mammoth session at the Valdai International Discussion Club in
"You know, Odessa is indeed one of the most
beautiful cities in the world.As you know, Odessa
was founded by Catherine the Great,
and I think even the extreme nationalists do not
dare to tear down the monument to the city's
Odessa can be an apple of discord, a symbol
of conflict resolution, and a symbol
of finding some kind of solution to everything
that is happening now. It is not a question
of Russia. We have said many times that we are ready
to negotiate, and I recently mentioned this
publicly once again speaking in the Kremlin."
Vladimir Putin, 27
He was using Homers story of the Trojan war as a very loose
allegory. Here is my extremely cut down summary:
In the Greek poet Homer's epic poem (The Iliad),
the Trojan War was started by Eris, the goddess of Discord. She
was known as an ungracious guest, well known for stirring bad
relations between the Gods. In a fit of pique at not being invited
to an Olympian God-wedding, she used her powers to throw a golden
apple amongst the guests. The inscription on it read “For the
Fairest”. Paris, a Trojan prince was picked to decide the winner.
Aphrodite, one of the leading candidates, bribed him with the
offer of the fairest woman on Earth. Unsurprisingly, Paris picked
Aphrodite as the fairest of the assembled Goddesses.
Allegories are open to the interpretation. I interpret the
President's remarks to mean he is presenting the classic
'negotiator's choice' between a bad out outcome and an imperfect but
acceptable outcome. If the path the US offers (from a safe distance)
is followed, grinding conflict is ensured, and all that is achieved
The Greek Helen was acknowledged as the most beautiful woman on
earth. Helen's father, King Tyndareus had agreed to chose a
husband for Helen from the bevy of suitors on condition that,
regardless who he chose, they would all unite and come to the
'chosen ones' aid if he found himself in trouble. King Tyndareus
chose King Menelaus. But Aphrodite later caused the
already-married Helen to fall for Paris of Troy, who then abducted
Helen and brought her to Troy. King Menelaus and the eloquent
Odysseus went to the King of Troy (King Priam) in a diplomatic
effort to return Helen.
King Priam refused to release Helen. A grinding 9 year war ensued,
which spilled over into neighbouring regions. Eventually, the
Greeks pretended to yield and give up Troy, leaving behind a huge
wooden horse, with Greek soldiers hiding inside. The Trojans
dragged it into their defensive positions as a trophy of their
success. That night, the soldiers crept out and opened the gates
to the Greek military, who had returned under cover of dark. The
Greeks wreaked havoc and destruction on Troy. King Menelaus found
Helen, but could not bring himself to punish her as she was so
The USA is Eris, Troy is Ukraine. Russian Federation Oblasts are
the suitors. Odessa is Helen. King Menelaus and Odysseus are the
Russian Federation Office of President and Minister of Foreign
Affairs. King Priam is Zelensky.
The city is beautiful and should not have to endure this fate, a
fate engineered by outsiders 7,000 kilometers away.
The city of Odessa could be "a symbol of conflict resolution". How?
Well, Russia will have to give many guarantees to 'win the peace'.
Odessa is a cosmopolitan port city with good tourist potential, well
educated population, a gateway to the Black Sea, wide international
contacts. Even if Russia takes the Oblast, Odessa could return to
what it has been in the past - an autonomous city within Ukraine.
"In 1794, the city of Odessa was founded by decree of
the Empress Catherine the Great. From 1819 to 1858, Odessa was
a free port, and then during the twentieth century it was
the most important port of trade in the Soviet Union...
During the 19th century, it was the fourth largest city of
Imperial Russia, and its historical architecture has a style
more Mediterranean than Russian, having been heavily influenced by
French and Italian styles. Some buildings are built in a mixture
of different styles, including Art Nouveau, Renaissance and
Odessa has 18 universities and higher education centres, with an
emphasis on science. As a cultural centre it contains 9 theatres
including the world famous opera house, more than 40 museums, 10
art galleries and 11 national cultural institutions.Aside from the
tourism and health industries and the port activities, Odessa’s
other significant industry is the oil terminal and related
Self-administered, with a Charter or similar guaranteeing unhindered
local administration, neutral, Ukraine with certain rights, Russia
with no particular rights, military installations prohibited,
security guaranteed by the UN or Ukraine and Russia in concert, that
sort of thing.
The United States put
trade restrictions on the 2 Republics in the years before they
merged into the Russian Federation, and you can be sure that any
Ukrainian Oblast that goes down the path to independent state will
experience the same blockade. However, it may not be much different
to what Odessa, for example, is already experiencing. An autonomy
scenario is very unlikely for any part of remaining Ukraine
(although the nationalist Oblasts of Lviv, Volyn and Rivne in the
northwest might conceivably go down this path).
In the extremely unlikely event northwest Oblasts declare themselves
an independent federations, or independent states, it would probably
be as a stepping stone move to merge with Poland.
The 'Mother of all
Russia, I believe, wants a treaty that finally ends the NATO threat.
It wants security in Europe for everyone - but not at any given
"The thing is that for twenty years, both you, the
British, and the Americans, and all other NATO countries were
urged to do what all of you subscribed to in 1999: no country
shall strengthen its security at the expense of the security of
others. Why can’t you do that? Why is it that the
commitments signed by your prime minister, the presidents and
prime ministers of all other OSCE countries proved to be
lies?...You moved closer to our borders on five occasions (a defensive
alliance!). The Warsaw Treaty and the USSR are no more. Who are
you defending yourselves against? Five times you decided all on
your own where your lines of defence would be. What’s that? This
smacks of megalomania."
Sergey Lavrov 6 June
Security for all Europe is what the two treaties Russia presented in
December 2021 were designed to achieve. I have covered them in my
by Peace?' . If Ukraine is allowed to join the European
Union, Russia's Europe-relevant treaty (the NATO treaty) would then
bind Ukraine. If NATO signs it. It may not.
Europe will eventually sign, there is no other sane choice
(although this may take a decade or so). But US will never 'allow'
it, and therefore NATO will have be dissolved first. Once
NATO no longer exists, the way is open for the 2008
Security Treaty to be brought back into the light.
"Back in 2008, Russia put forth an initiative to
conclude a European Security Treaty under which not a single
Euro-Atlantic state or international organisation could strengthen
their security at the expense of the security of others. However,
our proposal was rejected right off the bat on the pretext that
Russia should not be allowed to put limits on NATO activities."
This is a possibility for some time in the future. A Russia-Ukraine
settlement will have to come now. It will have to include relevant
parts of Minsk 2, it will have to include the additional elements I
have outlined above.
President Putin, February
Breakup of Ukraine
"When at last they [Ukraine] have the grace to suggest
resuming the diplomatic process (something, as I understand, the
Europeans are insisting they should do, but the Anglo-Saxons
do not permit them), we will see what situation has emerged on
There are liberated areas there. The
majority of the population cannot so much as think of
returning under the control of the neo-Nazi authorities or the
authorities that are in every way conniving at neo-Nazism....
Today I don’t see any possibility for Ukraine to make any
proposals, and we are not going to suggest anything either. We
have made our proposals long ago. The ball is now in their court.
I don’t believe that Kiev will be allowed to resume talks.
Sergey Lavrov 23
As discussed, it is not impossible that the 'dark blue' Russian
speaking Oblasts might decide to join Russia, for all sorts of
reasons - with perhaps a better economic future being the major one.
The 'bright green' regions already have an agreement with Poland
that gives Poland a high degree of control of those irredeemably
white supremicist and pro-Nazi Oblasts. The Poles are members
of the European Union (and NATO) and if the bright greens vote to
join Poland, their anti-European prejudices will be Poland's to deal
with. Why would Russia care? How far could this go? What other post
world war 2 'adjustments would be unravelled? John Helmer makes this
"And what if the war ends in the US and NATO alliance retreat
to Lvov; after which the Polish government will notify NATO HQ
it is reviving its treaty claim to the Galician territory of
the Ukraine; ...Berlin will then inform Brussels it requires
the return of the ancient Danzig Corridor and Breslau, Polish
territories currently called Gdansk, Wroclaw, and the Ziemie
Odzyskane; and the Hungarian government will follow suit with
the announcement of the recovery of historical Kárpátalja
(Transcarpathia), the Zarkarpatska oblast of the Ukraine?
These were the spoils of the World War II settlement between
the US and the Soviet Union in 1945-46. The territorial
reversion claims aren’t new. What is new is that the
US and the NATO alliance, plus the Galician regime
still ruling between Kiev and Lvov, also in Ottawa, have
aimed to change the terms of the post-war settlement by
continuing the war eastward on to the territory of Russia
itself, all the way to regime change in Moscow.
That is what Russia says it is fighting now to defend itself
against. As Russian officials have been hinting in recent
days, the foreign and defence ministries and the intelligence
services are currently discussing in the Kremlin Security
Council whether Russia’s long-term security on its western
front may be best served by terms of a Ukrainian settlement in
which the German, Polish, and Hungarian territorial claims are
John Helmer The US war in Europe isn't hot enough - dropping
the climate bomb on Russia 8
Poland wants unpayably large amounts of money in 'reparation' for
damage done by Germany in World War 2. If the results of the World
War II US - Soviet Union settlement are revised, and Germany wants
Gdansk, Wroclaw, and the Ziemie Odzyskane back, then Poland may
settle the issue by regarding the territories as payment of war
reparations. Poland may then feel emboldened to 'return' Galicia.
Perhaps they will hold a referendum. All this seems far-fetched, to
Whatever happens, Crimea is Russian territory, whether the west
recognises it or not. This is the reality.
John Helmer goes on to publish a 'demilitarised zone' concept,
gleaned from various Russian and outside contacts. Essentially,
Russia will push into west Ukraine, and in a very wide arc into the
provinces that spawned the white supremacists, then pull back again.
As they pull back, mines will be laid, along with movement sensors.
The mines will be programmed to self destruct at a certain time or
on command. The population in the area will be told to move out down
defined corridors (as happened in Syria, when terrorists were
allowed to leave the Syrian territories they had infested). The West
will have to provide the buses. After that, all infrastructure -
everything - will be destroyed by artillery and bombing. The area
would remain, like the Korean demilitarised zone, an accidental
His article is very detailed, with maps of infrastructure etc. It
can be found here:
Why would Russia do that? Because regardless of the form of
settlement, there will be embittered ideological elements who will
be ripe for recruitment into Western-trained sabotage groups. Russia
is more than aware of this, and it was commented on at the time of
the public Russian Security Council Meeting prior to launch of the
special military operation. That meeting mulled over what to do in
response to the NATO-proxy intent to solve the civil war by
attacking the Donbas, and perhaps even Crimea. Looking ahead to
post-conflict conditions, the head of the Russian Interior Ministry
"The point of view of the current
and former Kiev authorities is that they were forced
to sign the Minsk agreements in a difficult
situation back then, because they were driven into a corner,
and that the Minsk agreements are akin
to an act of capitulation. Well, then,
“colleagues,” let us draw a historical parallel
and remember May 1945. Supposedly, Germany signed
the Act of Surrender and failed to comply with
it for seven years citing a variety
of circumstances such as getting into pockets
in the streets of Berlin and the like.
This is an analogy.
what can we talk about today when our foreign partners invite us
to play a fair game at the negotiating
table? We can play a fair game only when we have honest
and trustworthy partners at the table. However,
when you have partners with marked cards who are trying their
best to justify official Kiev’s hypocritical
and deceitful position, what is there to discuss then?
Who is inviting us to start this dialogue? We are
encouraged to do so by our foreign partners who,
having presented a vial with white powder, proceeded
to bomb Iraq, change the legitimate government,
and drown the people in blood. Having done that,
they are inviting us to a dialogue."
Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev 21
The first point is that even if Kiev signs an Act of Surrender,
attacks across the border will continue for year, with the Ukrainian
Government claiming it has nothing to do with them.
Second, any security guarantee given by Western governments is
utterly worthless, as lying and deceitful behaviour is normal to
If words are worthless, all that is left is concrete measures.
Russia no doubt observed that Turkey has an extensive and high
concrete wall on it's border with Syria. The zone on the Syrian side
of the wall contains a zone of Turkiye's proxies, so-called
'rebels', many of whom are Islamist terrorists. It is obvious that
the terrorist enclave should rightly be on the Turkish side of the
wall. In Mr. Helmer's minefield scenario, the end of the minefield
could be a long concrete wall, guarded by all manner of observation
means and anti-drone detection devices.
The Russian government has already mentioned that it will have to
shoulder additional expenses for the next three years, and the cost
of a long wall and protective equipment might form part of that
of surrender and post-war reconciliation ?
"..last September  Vladimir Zelensky passed a
decree prohibiting anybody in the Ukrainian government from
having any negotiations with the Russian Federation. And the
fact that people keep asking us when Russia is going to be 'ready
for negotiations' does not do credit to the people who raise this
issue - especially in the media.
Sergey Lavrov 14
"Kiev’s current authorities should respect this free expression of
the people’s will; there is no other way. This is the only way to
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin 30 September
The Russian President's statement was probably partly in response
to the Ukrainian President passing a decree making it illegal to
negotiate with Russia, which is tantamount to passing a death
sentence on Ukrainian soldier, as well as Polish NATO proxies
fighting on the Ukrainian side.
The reference to "current authorities" suggests that part of terms
for peace will include an inclusive government that bars any party
with extreme racist views. Perhaps the Russian President is
hinting that the Black Sea oblasts will be asked to vote on
whether or not they wish to join the Russian Federation, perhaps
not. Based on the survey on use of Russian language (above), it
seems fairly likely they will vote to join. If
settlement has been agreed, Russia might contribute
something to the EU's aid efforts while the Ukrainian people
transition to a new inclusive government. Possibly it would focus
on restoring Ukraines power system, seeing as both countries used
the same Soviet designed systems.
to an interview with
Scott Ritter on September 30 2022 with Andrey Gurulyov, member
of the State Duma Defense Committee, demilitarisation will
require Russia to occupy the remainder of Ukraine. Occupy forces
are responsible for the provision of the maintenance of
essentials for life - food, water, shelter. Did the Western
occupying forces do this in Afghanistan? Most of the aid was
from 'foreign donors'. According to the UN’s Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 'donors' gave $1.67 billion
to Afghanistan in humanitarian aid in 2021. The United States gave
$425 million of that. Why would Russia penalise it's own
domestic economy by replacing the current Western largesse to
Ukraine with Russian largesse? It makes no sense.
It does make sense to give carefully targeted aid to Ukraine
so that it can rebuild what is left of it's economy. But
with full accountability. There may be
limited, temporary occupation of Ukraine as part of the terms of
settlement of a negotiated settlement, but even this is
problematic. I doubt Russia has any intention whatever of an
occupation of Ukraine beyond Oblasts that might vote to merge
with the Russian Federation.
A good paper written by Christopher Knowles in
2013 lists universal principles for an occupying force to follow
to ensure peace and stability returns to the occupied country.
While he was discussing post war Germany, after Germany had
surrendered, the principles apply anywhere. The summary covers the
main points, and nothing much else needs to be said:
- "British experiences in post- war Germany, 1945-1949,
highlight some general principles which are relevant today: what
happens after the war is won can be more important than the
- Restrictive measures to prevent future aggression need to
be complemented by positive reconstructive measures so
that the occupied can see their own efforts are rewarded.
Giving the Germans ‘hope for the future’ was one of
Montgomery’s favourite phrases.
- There is a limit to how much preparation can be done in
advance because it is impossible to predict actual
circumstances on the ground. Therefore military commanders
and civilian authorities need to respond flexibly in light
of what they encounter.
- Democracy cannot be imposed by force or by totalitarian
means. Trying to make local people do everything the
victor’s way can be counter-productive. If political
structures are to last beyond the occupation, they have to
be created by local political leaders and accepted by the
population as a whole.
- Personal relationships between occupier and occupied are
important. Reconciliation does not happen automatically,
but requires a conscious effort on both sides.
In Ukraine's case, EU aid organisations will be in the drivers seat.
As far as the new Ukrainian government is concerned - and the
Ukrainian people - whatever they give will be "not enough". It is
obvious to me that in post-conflict Ukraine blame for the disaster
will be placed less with Russia but with the US and EU. The fact
that Ukrainians were being used as a disposable tool of the West
will become widely known. Ukrainians will -rightly - draw the
According to one US so-called 'think'-tank, USA will have to provide
Ukraine with aid for years to come. (They include military aid,
which is, of course, another delusion.)
"Ukraine cannot continue to fight and to recover without
continuing aid from the U.S. and other powers. Moreover, if the
war drags on as it well may do, the total costs of both the war
and recovery states could easily rise well over $500 billion.
A truly long war could put the total cost of the war and recovery
to a trillion dollars or more...while U.S. aid to Ukraine has
scarcely been cheap, U.S. spending has been at token levels
compared to the economic burden that the cost of the Ukraine war
and economic sanctions have placed on Russia....
moving towards a viable peace settlement is critical to both
Ukraine’s survival and limiting the cumulative cost of aid....the
U.S. should expend its current efforts at cooperation the build
[sic] such a planning and management effort and make current
wartime flow of civil aid cost-effective as soon as possible.
It should expand current efforts to develop the kind of
longer-term post conflict planning that is really needed. Any
realistic peace settlement will depend upon the existence of a
functional and credible form of Western recovery aid to Ukraine –
one where the U.S. will almost certainly have to pay a major
...Past experiences warns that this will require an ongoing
management effort with demanding controls of corruption and
cost-effectiveness, and a postwar planning effort that will link
the Ukraine to the EU and the economy of Europe in ways that would
allow it to export without the same dependence on naval routes
that Russia might challenge or interdict...
...it is critical to remember that the West is also supporting
Ukraine by conducting the equivalent of economic warfare against
Russia. Economic sanctions, controlling on the levels and
technologies involved in trade, and taking measures to limit
European dependence on energy exports are all additional ways of
cutting the cost of aid to the Ukraine, and pushing Russia into
some form of viable peace agreement...
...Creating truly effective international bodies to plan and
manage civil and military aid efforts, with representation from a
full range of donors, can limit the future flow of aid to some
extent, but the U.S. and its allies must face the possible need
for years of future support.
...Any other course of action would leave Ukraine far too weak to
offer any clear hope of stability and undermine many of the gains
the U.S. has made...
...In any case, the U.S. must accept the fact that the cost of
U.S. aid will remain high as long as the war continues and during
the peace years of Ukraine’s postwar recovery...it must be
stressed that the U.S. also cannot push Ukraine too far in making
compromises to obtain an end to the fighting or cut aid to the
extent that it effectively abandons it."
US 'Center for Strategic and International Studies' 22
Those that ruthlessly engineered the destruction of Ukraine - for
their own ends - now have a moral duty to rebuild it.
a negotiated settlement
The West broke Ukraine, and it is the West's cost to bear. If
Ukraine surrenders, then, as the occupying power, Russia would have
to provide everything for the civilian population. Therefore, it now
seems to me that Russia is unlikely to require Ukraine to surrender.
It most certainly does not want to carry the burden of caring for a
deeply divided and corrupt Ukraine.
For this reason, while there may be a temporary occupation, the
Russian Federation is unlikely to require a surrender, but rather, a
negotiated settlement, albeit more or less unilaterally imposed.
This line of thinking arises from remarks made by Russian officials:
"Nazi leaders assumed that there was no need to
storm the city because this made it possible to avoid troop
casualties. At the same time, they did not want its people to
surrender because surrendering is part of warfare implying that
they would have been obliged to care for the civilian population."
Maria Zakharova, Foreign Ministry spokesperson 12
"In March of this year, the Ukrainians asked for negotiations.
After several rounds on March 29 in Istanbul, they finally gave
us something on paper. We agreed with the principles of the
settlement contained in that document. Among them was ensuring
Ukraine's security through respect for its non-aligned status
(that is, its non-accession to NATO), its nuclear-free status
(Vladimir Zelensky would no longer be able to declare that
abandoning nuclear weapons in 1994 was a mistake); and the
provision of collective guarantees not by NATO, but from the
five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as
Germany and Turkey. We agreed to that.
In a day or two, the American handlers said to the
Ukrainians: “Why are you doing this?” It is clear that the United States expected to wear
out the Russian army by using Ukraine
as a proxy, as well as have European countries spend the maximum
amount of their weapons, so that later, Europe would be buying
replacements from Washington,
securing revenue for the American military industry and defence
They said the Ukrainians were too early in expressing their
readiness to receive security guarantees from the Russians and
reach a settlement on this basis.
keep accusing Russia
of seeking negotiations all the time in order to “buy time to
raise and send in reinforcements for the special military
operation.” This is both ridiculous and frustrating. These people are blatantly lying.
We have never sought any negotiations, but we have always said that if someone is
interested in negotiating a solution, we are ready to
listen. The following proves my point – when in March of
this year, the Ukrainians made such a request, we not only
met them halfway, but were also ready to agree to the
principles that they put forward.
The Ukrainian side was not allowed to do this at the time,
because the war had not yet brought enough wealth to those who
are supervising and directing it – and this is primarily being
done by the United
States and the British.
Sergey Lavrov 01
"President of Russia Vladimir Putin has said many times that we never reject any proposal to achieve
diplomatic agreements. The terms on which we agree to
discuss them are well known. The fact that four
territories belong to the Russian Federation is an
indispensable condition for talks. But this
is not all that must be discussed....
The second large block of problems, in addition to the
destinies of the people who do not want to live under the
current regime with its open Nazi and racist views is the
security of the Russian Federation that has been subjected to
numerous threats created on Ukrainian territory."
Sergey Lavrov 28
"Sergey Lavrov again emphasised the possibility of a peaceful
solution but only with due regard for the new realities
and Russia’s interests and concerns."
Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Türkiye Mevlut Cavusoglu 7
Time is on Russia's side. If this is to be permanently settled, then
any negotiated agreement must be water-tight. Above all else, the
West in any manifestation or proxy must be kept out of Ukraine.
Therefore, the two 'blocks' of problems must be negotiated at the
same time. Both terms - recognition of the loss of the eastern area
and neutrality plus prohibition on the West guaranteeing Ukraine's
security - must be met. In the meantime, Ukrainian troops will be
expelled from the Russian territories, and Russia will do whatever
is necessary to protect Russian people living in Ukraine from
harassment, discrimination, torture and murder by the neo-nazi
element in Ukrainian society. Obviously, after settlement, the
burden of this work - rightly - must be shouldered by the Europeans
(who gave silent consent to the rise of far right and nazi ideology
in Ukraine in the first place).
"We are in no hurry. President of Russia Vladimir
Putin talked about this. We would like to finish, as soon as
possible, the war the West was preparing for and eventually
unleashed against us through Ukraine.
Our priority is the lives of the soldiers and civilians that
remain in the zone of hostilities. We are patient people. We will
defend our compatriots, citizens and lands that belonged to Russia
for centuries, proceeding from these priorities."
Sergey Lavrov 28
What are Russia's
Terms for Settlement?
By early April the Ukrainian President had started to prepare the
public mind for the prospect of defeat on the battlefield, and the
need for a settlement.
The Russian Government, in the meantime, had publicly
listed it's broad terms for settlement. All the terms had been
mentioned before, but there was one new one. This is fully in line
with the long-standing Russian practice that where Russia has the
upper hand the first and earliest terms are always the ones with the
most concessions to the other side. In the West, this is done the
other way around - the best terms are offered at the end of a long
and protracted negotiation.
But the negotiations are permeated with the stench of Ukrainian and
Western deviousness, duplicity, and deceptiveness. The bad faith
verbal promises have not been forgotten. The signatures on
agreements which never intended to be adhered to have not been
forgotten. The insolent refusal to implement the Security Council
resolution has not been forgotten. Therefore Russia will not allow
NATO and it's Ukrainian proxy to drag out negotiations as a
subterfuge to allow Ukraine time to be re-armed. The consequence is
that the Russians will likely continue the war right up until the
moment of signature.
There will be no unilateral 'goodwill' gesture on Russia's part.
Russia has not forgotten the cost of a goodwill withdrawal early in
1. All anti-Russian sanctions must be lifted.
2. All claims against the Russian government and Russian legal
entities and Russian individuals must be withdrawn.
3. All attempts to prosecute Russian government officials,
entities and individuals must be terminated.
4. Ukraine’s must respecting the rights of its both its Russian
population and other ethnic populations, including the right to
speak and read in their own language.
5. Ukraine must restore friendly relations with all neighbours
(i.e. Russia and Belarus) by re-opening the borders and
re-establishing all the legal frameworks (including all former
Soviet States such as Belarus) previously in place before the
6. Ukraine must restore Ukraine's founding principles of
neutrality and non-bloc status outlined in the 1990 declaration of
7. Ukraine must de-militarise
8. Ukraine must de-nazify
9. Ukraine must never join NATO.
10. Ukraine must re-affirm its non-nuclear status.
11. Ukraine must never join the EU.
12. The west must pay for the reconstruction of civilian
infrastructure destroyed by Ukraine’s military since the launch of
the Ukraine government's military attacks on the eastern oblasts
under the pretext of fighting secessionists.
13. Ukraine must recognise all new territorial realities - that
is, territories Russia has occupied and held referendums which
confirm a majority desire to join Russia must be recognised by
Ukraine as part of Russia.
Some points may be given up in negotiation, but others, such as
territorial recognition, non nuclear status and freedom from
foreign military, most certainly won't.
Russia reconciliation is possible but not inevitable
Sadly, Ukraine, with Russia (and Belarus) could once have had a
very good future. Ukraine - much like Turkey - had a foot in both
camps, and Ukraine could magnify it's economic hand by balancing
between east and west. Not much chance of that now. Even so, Russia
will try to rebuild relations with Ukraine once the nazi element is
"We will not tolerate neo-Nazism on the territory of
are fighting neo-Nazis, rather than the people of Ukraine,
and we have nothing against the latter.
This nation is closely related to us, we are intertwined at the
level of human destinies, and this concerns millions of families
with a multitude of ties, spiritual, cultural and other bonds.
I am convinced that the neo-Nazi government in Kiev will
be unable to undermine this genetic code; at the same time, we
must also accomplish a lot.
It is necessary to offer specific ideas, involve civil society and
facilitate contacts between people in Ukraine and Russia.
The Russia-Ukraine-Belarus format existed some time ago, and
public organisations and experts met within its framework in Minsk and
elsewhere. For obvious reasons, this is not happening today, but
we need to think about the future.
The people of Ukraine
will be liberated from neo-Nazi rulers, and they deserve to
live in neighbourliness, friendship and prosperity together
with fraternal Slavic nations."
Sergey Lavrov 26
Time will tell. The West will be more interested in supporting
groups of saboteurs to infiltrate Russia and attack infrastructure
and people. Russia has had long experience in dealing with this
with the Chechen criminal grouping. But that was within Russian
borders. It is a lot harder to deal with a constant stream of
Western-trained saboteurs from an adjacent, Western-backed
Reconciliation may be protracted, and is not necessarily
Prosecution of neo
"Today I want to particularly emphasise the significance
of the work performed by regional and district courts in
recognising incidents of genocide against civilians during the
Great Patriotic War.
We continue to collect evidence of the atrocities and crimes
committed by the Nazis, and every piece of evidence must be given
legal and judicial assessment."
Vladimir Putin, in an address to the 10th National
Congress of Judges, 29
Russia will pursue those who have committed atrocities without
limit of time. Russia has documented the crimes every step of the
way. Some criminals self-documented their crimes on social media.
But what can be done about the Ukrainian and Western officials who
gave support and training to neo nazis?
"European leaders are emboldening the Ukrainian
government and encouraging neo-Nazi acts...I operate on the
premise that Europe is part of
the processes that seek to revive neo-Nazism. It’s hard to draw
Sergey Lavrov 26
I doubt anything can be done about officials who supported the neo
nazis in the Ukrainian government. The terms of surrender may
prohibit members of neo nazi groups from participating in
government, but this is probably all that can be done. It is
likely to be ineffectual anyway.
As for Europe, the greatest punishment for politicians who would
betray the sacrifice of those who helped liberate Europe, those
who cynically use neo nazis against Russia, is to have to live in
a nightmare they themselves create. Russia, will severely reduced
electricity in Ukraine over winter 2022, effectively pushing
Ukrainian people into seeking shelter in European countries. All
the problems the West was trying to stir up in Russia with it's
economic blockade will boomerang (the US excluded, of course). A
nightmare of ever-rising popular anger at government, massive
logistic problems of accommodation, shortages of energy, shortage
of food, clashes of ethnicities in the face of white supremacists,
sharply rising criminality, huge monetary cost, massive inflation
- the list goes on.
After Ukraine, the
Main Problem remains unsolved
The US and West simply used the Ukrainian people as their tool to
put pressure on Russia, hoping to break Russia up. But the main
problem, the intolerable problem, the problem of security in Europe
does not go away, regardless of boundaries.
"It is very clear what the West thinks about the current
situation. Ukraine is used as an expendable product. The
stake of the West is not to allow a single event to cast doubt on
its claims to dominate the world order. It is as simple as that.
And everything in the minds of some people is limited to the
resumption of talks between Russia and Ukraine.
First, we did have such talks in March 2022. The Ukrainians
backtracked because the Americans told them that it was not the
right time: “keep fighting.”
Second, it is not going to resolve
the situation because it is not about the Russian-Ukrainian
conflict. It’s about the Western geopolitical struggle
for dominance and for the prevention of the creation of a
multipolar, polycentric world order.
We have many interesting events and developments ahead of us.
Sergey Lavrov 14 April 2023
"Our Western “colleagues” are fiercely fighting to preserve their
domination in world affairs (in the financial, economic, political
and security areas). This is exactly what triggered the current
situation in relations between the Russian Federation on the one
hand and NATO and the EU on the other, as regards the processes in
...Such problems must be resolved not on
a momentary basis but on the foundation of long-term
agreements that would primarily be multilateral and would
consider the security of all states without exception. This is
the principle of indivisibility of security where
not just one country enhances its security at the expense of the
security of other states and will not try to dominate anyone in
This was the essence of the political commitments that the West
together with our country, Ukraine and other post-Soviet states
solemnly assumed in the OSCE in the early 2000s. But the West
has not made a single attempt to fulfil them."
Sergey Lavrov 17 April
It is clear that Russia will prosecute military means against NATO
(via it's Ukraine proxy).
It is clear that if Ukraine won't accept terms, then Russia is able
and willing to go as far as the Polish border - permanently ending
Ukrainian access to the Black sea.
It is clear that Russia will use every circumstantial advantage to
push for the end of NATO and removal of US nuclear weapons from
It is clear Russia will use the defeat of the NATO operation in
Ukraine to push for a new Europe security Treaty - or rather, a
Eurasian Security Treaty - a treaty that brings in nuclear armed
France, United Kingdom, and possibly Israel. It will have to cover
anti ballistic missile deployment in Romania, Poland, and
potentially in Japan as well, as these upset the strategic balanced
mutually assured destruction by nuclear weapons.
The issue of rockets
There is the enduring issue of rockets. As Ukraine (or Poland, or
Romania, or Lithuania, of Finland, or Sweden, or Moldova) is
'donated' bigger, faster, and more sophisticated rockets (or builds
them) the deployment distance from the Russian, Donetsk and Lughansk
borders will have to increase. In reality, it is not about distance,
it is about time from launch to arrive at the target. Russia needs
time to alert the layers of defense. So the faster the rockets
go, the further back they must be placed to allow that reaction
time, if some limited strategic balance is to be kept.
Ukraine (in particular) is the second largest country in Europe, and
that raises the issue that rockets may be concealed. If Russia had
to create a patrolled 'demilitarised zone', as they have in Syria,
then it would have to be so wide that patrolling in the hope of
finding hidden rockets would be impractical.
At some point in technical development rockets will be too fast to
be deployed anywhere in Ukraine or adjacent countries. The
issue is not so much Ukraine - after all, a treaty can be signed
prohibiting weapons over a given caliber/reach. The real issue is
rockets deployed in Europe. Whether deployed by NATO, a European
army, or some British/Polish cobbled together alignment. And as
Russia develops rockets faster than mach 20 (which they already
have) Russia's rockets (in a reciprocal agreement) may have to be
deployed thousands of kilometers away on Russia's East Coast. This
is an absurd situation, and an agreement will have to be reached
with Europe on limiting the range of rockets by whatever technical
means (such as smaller motors and fuel capacities). This will
require dialogue and verification.
The forseeable future may be the one outlined above - strong Russian
domestic defense networks, immensely powerful punitive strike
capabilities within just a few minutes of the aggressor launching
its 'surprise' attack. This 'balance of power' between the Western
politicians and the Russian Federation is very high risk, but
incredible although it may seem to all sane people, it is what the
Western politicians want. All safer options have been maliciously
and willfully destroyed by the West.
"We can see that we are dealing with proactive and
talented people, but within the elite, there are also many people
who have excessive faith in their exceptionalism and supremacy
over the rest of the world.
Of course, it is their right to think what they want. But can
they count? Probably they can.
So let them calculate the range and speed of our future arms
systems. This is all we are asking: just do the maths first and
take decisions that create additional serious threats to our
country afterwards. It goes without saying that these decisions
will prompt Russia to respond in order to ensure its security in a
reliable and unconditional manner.
I have already said this, and I will repeat that we are ready
to engage in disarmament talks, but we will not knock on a
locked door anymore.
We will wait until our partners are ready and become aware
of the need for dialogue on this matter."
Vladimir Putin, February 20, 2019
There are some mutual grievances and differences in approaches to
resolving issues but that is no excuse for starting a
confrontation like the Cuban Missile Crisis that occurred in the
1960s...If someone wants it, let them have it. I said today what would happen."
Vladimir Putin, February
20, 2019 at a media briefing
Well, the West has destroyed all diplomatic relations with Russia.
They have destroyed all treaties that limit the range of rockets in
Europe. They have dug themselves into an impressively deep hole.
Their diplomacy, when it comes to Russia, is simply incompetent, in
the literal sense.
Roadmap to verification
As Scott Ritter points out in his new
book 'Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika' we have been
here before, we have overcome practical difficulties, and we have
achieved arms limitations - to everyone's benefit. We know we can do
it because it has been done before.
When Trump arbitrarily pulled out of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces
Treaty, it was clear he wanted to cut another 'deal' that dealt with
Russia's hypersonics. Biden has walked right to the very edge of the
precipice by running with the aggressive NATO plan, organising and
inciting the Ukraine conflict, funding and fanning race hatred,
continuing the biggest propaganda program in human history, and
imposing an economic blockade on Russia of unparalleled malice -
designed to cause as much damage to the Russian people as the
effects of war.
America has reached the outer limits of it's malignancy. One step
further is destruction.
It is being shown to it's place. And that is not at the head of the
me assure you, dear friends, that we are objectively assessing
our potentialities: our intellectual, territorial, economic
and military potential.
I am referring to our current options, our overall
Consolidating this country and looking at what is
happening in the world, in other countries
I would like to tell those who are still waiting
for Russia’s strength to gradually wane, the only
thing we are worried about is catching a cold at your
Vladimir Putin 22
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