Zelenskyy Sees the War Ending in the Coming Year
On the one-year anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked … unwarranted … inhuman …criminal … invasion of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy gave a powerful speech of patriotism and optimism. He believes the war will end in victory for Ukraine in the coming year. It could, but there are no guarantees.
First, it is important to know what ending in victory means. There seem to be two schools of thought between Zelenskyy and many of his western supporters. For him, victory is the removal of Russian troops from every inch of Ukraine – not just the regions Putin had illegally annexed (the Crimea) … the areas he previously held hegemony over (the Donbas) … and the additional regions he has temporarily conquered.
In addition to removing troops, victory means that Putin’s Russia will have to pay reparations for the deaths, injuries, and damage his dirty little war has caused. Finally, there is the issue of international war crime charges to be leveled against Putin and members of the military, from top commanders to frontline soldiers – and the paramilitary Wagner Group.
That is a tall order – and there are not many experts or observers who would think a total victory on that scale is possible. Even Ukraine’s supporters in NATO, the European Union, and around the world are never that specific in terms of defining victory. Many talks of a “negotiated peace” without much specificity about what that means.
You can rest assured that ANY negotiated victory is a win for Putin, however. He may have failed at his larger ambitions, but holding on to a piece of Ukraine, avoiding reparations, and skipping out on war crime trials is a win for the Madman of Moscow – or at least not a loss.
As readers know, I have been in the Zelenskyy camp in defining victory. But can he achieve his vision without his allies upping the military support – even to the point of pissing off Putin? I am not so sure. And even if such a victory were still possible with the current level of support, it would needlessly take a lot longer – and result in a lot more deaths, injuries, and destruction. Ending the war sooner than later will also cut the cost for every nation supplying military and humanitarian support.
Of course, Zelenskyy openly appreciates the massive amount of aid – from weapons to sanctions – provided by the world democracies. But he has also been frustrated by what can only be described as a too little/too late policy led by President Biden.
I lay that buck on the desk of Biden because he has resisted calls from other NATO allies to send more weaponry and impose more sanctions – including Poland, England, and the Baltic States. They will do more when America does more.
Biden has been especially slow to impose meaningful sanctions. Initially, he promised to hit Russia with every sanction on the shelf. The diddling out of sanctions over the course of the past year is clear evidence that Biden was fibbing. In fact, he used the one-year anniversary of the invasion to announce yet another round of sanctions. How many are still left on the shelf?
CNN had a special report on how the sanctions have NOT tanked the Russian economy – and how other nations have been getting around the sanctions and carrying out business-as-usual trade with Russia. Biden most surely knows that.
General Barry McCaffery and Admiral James Stavridis made a joint appearance on the morning cable news. They praised Biden for his handling of the war. That was odd since they both expressed their firm belief that the President should have done more in the past to support the Ukrainian war effort – and should do more immediately.
And they were very specific. Send all the weapons and ammunition that the Ukrainian military needs to win the war. More frontline weaponry and jet fighters. Stavridis said that America has jets that Ukrainian pilots can already fly – and that it would not take a year to train them on the more advanced planes.
The key issue in terms of ending the war in victory is Putin himself. How badly does his military have to be beaten before he would throw in the towel? When does his supply of weaponry – and his supply of young men as fodder – reach the breaking point?
Actually, I do not believe Putin will ever give up – and accept the terms that Zelenskyy lays out. But that does not mean such a victory is impossible, but Putin will not be the person to decide. When the losses on the battlefield are great enough – and when there are sufficient sanctions to really cripple the Russian economy – the folks around Putin will take him out, one way or another.
Biden was correct when he said that Putin could not be allowed to remain in power. As long as he is, the megalomaniacal dreams of empire will continue to guide Russian international policy. If there is a complete victory for Ukraine within the coming year, it would be a safe bet that Putin will be gone from the Kremlin when it happens.
So, there ‘tis.
The problem is that Putin has actually been a moderator of the more hawkish hard right who want him to be much more violent and cruel in prosecuting the war. I do agree with you when you say, “The diddling out of sanctions over the course of the past year is clear evidence that Biden was fibbing.” What I wonder is if he learned this tactic from our former POTUS who said Mexico will pay for the wall, and he will build it.” We all knew that was a lie, but we swallowed it hook, line and sinker with no or little objections. It seems like no matter which party is in charge, We The People need to start holding these leaders accountable for their lies and lack of execution. This is why I am an Independent/Unaffiliated voter. I refuse to be associated with such a large collection of liars. Now, if you want to learn more about what goes through the mind of Putin and if there can be a negotiated settlement, Putin incentives to use Nukes, listen to this lady who has worked for several POTUS’s and is a real Putin expert whom has dealt with some in Putin’s inner circle at “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEu0oRajJxE”. If you do not have the full 1 hour and 8 minutes to listen, at least go to minute 40 and spend 28 minutes listening to the end. It will open your eyes and sober your brains!
Tom … I know that was the assessment of the one reporter, but I think Putin is clearly in the hardline camp in the Kremlin. I may have missed it, but you said the reporter on YouTube worked for several Presidents. I only noticed that she has been a journalist covering Russia. Took up Russian studies in college.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke at the G20 the other day.
He got applause for saying the West has a double standard to criticize Russia for invading Ukraine when Western powers invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.
He got laughter when he said: “”The war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us using Ukrainian people.”
Gives an idea how this is viewed ROW and while countries like India have not condemned Russia….yet.
Meanwhile, the Russian UK ambassador stated this is a civil war amongst Ukrainians, another propaganda ploy Putin professes.
Zelensky can say what he wants, no one can say what Putin will say or do. IMO, Putin will not concede any loss. I just don’t see him pulling a win out of this unless he wins. Can’t imagine a sliver of land will do it. It appears that NATO, the coalition, and the US will not let Zelensky take the war outside his borders, so he can push back and call that a victory, but at that point, he’s got a destroyed country that can be attacked by Putin at any time. Zelensky’s answer has been and continues to be entrance into NATO.
I still think this can only end with Putin gone.
A wild card is the Russian people. In the beginning, they were pro, then protests cropped up, but seems they are pro again via Putin’s crackdown and propaganda. Kids are doing drives to make candles, collect supplies, etc. There is a good amount of popular support for a war they are being lied to about. Many of the Russian dead are not Russian, so…… Bottom line: we have not heard much about life in Russia lately. Putin’s blackout is working. Here’s some Russian views, four days ago, from the younger set. *https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/3/2/a-year-on-what-do-young-russians-think-of-the-war-in-ukraine*
But the general thought is that Putin’s propaganda has won, most, like 70%, either support the war or, at least, say they do: *https://carnegieendowment.org/2022/09/07/my-country-right-or-wrong-russian-public-opinion-on-ukraine-pub-87803* it’s from end of September of last year.
The only saving grace in all this is the longer it goes on, the better position the US will be in IF we have to finish the job. We can keep spending for awhile, the world too. Ukrainian troops are a fixed asset that will be impacted at some point, if not already. Only so many international volunteers available. But our fighting forces are primed and ready to go against a war-weary Russia, if need be. Joe’s rope-a-dope will have saved us a lot of pain if it comes to that conclusion.
This is just bla-bla-bla. Russia strong. Russian economy will O.K.r. Putin will President for a long time. Above talk
nothing in value.
They should have joined NATO years ago. We have Women and Children living under bridges and an invasion coming fro our Borders. We need our money here.
Richard … We can well afford to support Ukraine and take care of our domestic issues. It is a matter of priorities in spending — and government waste and corruption.
America should support Ukraine in its defense against Putin’s barbarism toward its people , human rights travesty, and disregard for its sovereignty as a democracy.
However, nations supplying munitions, tactical technology systems, and heavy land artillery assume Ukraine will recruit and train military personnel for the equipments use as intended.
The point being, Ukraine does not have enough people in their military to adequately fight and over power the Russian offensive.
Russia has a population many times greater in number than Ukraine and Putin’s military leaders have no problem sending untrained, low skilled, younger citizens, an prison convicts into battle on the front lines.
Russia uses its people for sacrificial targets luring Ukrainian’s into firing first. So. Ukrainian military give away their location an Russian officers know where they will target fire power and infantry ground forces.
Ukraine’s insufficient personnel on the ground and in the battlefield is a serious factor in their fighting and wining.
Putin is willing to fight a war of attrition, wearing down Ukraine’s resources, knowing his forces have a deeper inventory of persons and arms.
Ac … that is why I think Biden’s leadership is so inept or dangerous. Russia wins a long war … a war of attrition. Every day the war goes on, Ukraine is losing advantage.