Kiev and the West are tiring of war and each other — RT World News

The idea of ​​reaching some form of compromise to the conflict between Kiev and Moscow is creeping up on foreign hawks and on more and more locals.

What a small, though long-disparaged, group of objective observers in the West have long warned about is happening now: Ukraine and the West are losing their war against Russia. The strategy of using Ukraine to either isolate and slowly strangle Russia, or to defeat and weaken it in a proxy war, is approaching its predictably catastrophic end.

This fact is now recognized even by the mainstream media and senior officials who are accustomed to not giving up in pursuit of the highly ill-advised goal of achieving military victory over Russia. The Washington Post article explained this with “There is no way out of the worsening war” Options of Ukrainian President Zelensky It looks as bad or worse“. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explored the option of ending wars Privileges – Ukraine concessions, that is. The tough old hardliner Edward Luttwak warns of A 'Catastrophic defeat' – For the West and Ukraine. It is true that Luttwak still spreads desperate fantasies about directly deploying NATO forces to avoid the worst. In reality, of course, this would only make things worse again, as happened in World War III. But his fear, not to mention panic, is palpable.

The rapidly approaching outcome would be a disaster for Ukraine, even if Moscow has to be generous on the terms of the postwar Certain, after the costs incurred by Russia). Ukraine is already devastated in terms of demographics, territory, economy and, last but not least, its political future. The damage done cannot simply be undone, and will have long-lasting consequences.

For the West, this war would also mark a grim turning point, in four major ways that can only be sketched here:

First, the United States will have to absorb its worst defeat since the Vietnam War. This latest failure is arguably even worse, because America, even during the Vietnam War, did not attempt to attack Russia (which of course was then leading the Soviet Union) as directly as it does now. It is Washington's most confident attempt ever to keep Moscow out of the way “Great chessboard” Once and for all has completely backfired. In general, this would reduce America's ability to influence and cajole the world. In particular, the goal of preventing the rise of regional hegemons in Eurasia, the holy grail of American geopolitics, is more elusive than ever. the “unipolar” The current moment and its illusions were passing anyway, but the American leadership added an exemplary example to the West's borders.

Second, the EU and its members – especially myopic warmongers like Germany, Poland, and France – are far worse off again: their foolish abandonment of the inevitable geopolitical caution and balance (remember: location, location, location) will cost them dearly.

Third, in different ways, there are cases like Britain (which is no longer even a member of the EU) and the Baltic countries (which are very exposed). And Highly aggressive, short-sighted combination) are in a class of their own: the damage will be ample. Damage control? The choices are trivial.

Finally, of course, there is NATO: overstretched, self-exhausting, and unjustifiably revealing itself as much weaker than it appears. Its defeat by Russia in Ukraine will give rise to centrifugal tendencies and blame games. Not to mention the possibility of particular tension between the United States and its agents/followers in Europe, especially if Donald Trump wins the presidency again, as is likely. Incidentally, he can only thank NATO for proving his point about the questionable proposal. If you thought adding more lands on the map (Sweden and Finland) was a mistake “Wins,” Just remember what happened to the misplaced celebrations of Ukraine's territorial progress in 2022. Land may be a price; It is not a reliable indicator of strength.

But what about the Ukrainians? They were being used as pawns by their Western friends from hell. They still live under a system I just decided to pack more of them For a hopeless meat grinder, while Zelensky admits that Ukraine is on the verge of defeat.

Some Western media still tell a simplistic and false story about Ukrainians' steadfast and united will to stand for victory, as if everyone owes it to the West to play Marvel's hero to the bitter end. But Ukraine is in fact a normal, if largely misguided, country. Many of its citizens have long shown what they really think about dying to a toxic mix of Western geopolitics and megalomaniacal comedian narcissism: by dodging the draft, either by hiding out in Ukraine or fleeing abroad. In addition, a recent poll showed that approx 54 percent Many Ukrainians find the motives of draft evaders at least understandable. Kyiv's efforts to increase mobilization will not go smoothly.

But there is more evidence that Ukrainian society is not united behind the kamikaze strategy “No agreement.” Indeed, under the title “settlement line” Strana.uaone of the most important and popular news sites in Ukraine, published a long and detailed article about three recent and methodologically sound opinion polls.

They all relate to Ukrainians' evolving attitudes toward the war, and in particular the issue of seeking a compromise peace solution. In addition, Strana provides a rich sample of comments made by Ukrainian sociologists and political scientists. It is no exaggeration to say that the mere appearance of this article is a sign that times are changing: under the subtitle “How and why do attitudes toward the war differ in eastern and western Ukraine?” It even highlights “substantial” Regional differences, really pent-up divisions. If you know anything about the extreme political, even historical, sensitivity of such differences in Ukraine, you will agree that this framing alone amounts to a lot of noise.

but this is not all. In fact, the article focuses on ending the war through concessions – because that is what any settlement would necessarily require. Readers learn, for example, that according to 'evaluation' In a poll conducted by an agency affiliated with the Ukrainian Ministry of Veterans Affairs, in western Ukraine, furthest from the current front lines, 50% of respondents oppose any settlement, while at least 42% support compromise as long as other countries (other than Ukraine) remain Russia, that is) is involved in finding them. For a region that has traditionally been a center of Ukrainian nationalism, this actually represents a remarkably high percentage of those who side with compromise.

If you move east and south on the map, the compromise faction becomes stronger. In the East, the percentages are almost exactly the opposite: 41% oppose the settlement and 51% support it. In the south, the tie was perfect: 47% for both sides.

In general, Ukrainian sociologists find A “gradual increase” Supporters: A “Giving up peace” in “one way or another.” Even if this increase shows different rates in different regions, one researcher cautions, it still adds to the national trend. One of the reasons is “disappointment,” Loss of confidence in victory, as political expert Ruslan Bortnik notes. In other words, Zelensky's regime is losing the information war on the home front. Despite its combination of censorship and showmanship.

The concessions that the Ukrainians are imagining include every conceivable solution that achieves this end no Expect a return to the 1991 borders In other words, there is a growing number of Ukrainians willing to trade land for peace. how a lot Lands, that is of course a different question. But that is clearly an extreme and fruitless goal “Get it all back” the All or nothing The illusion that has long been imposed on Ukrainian society is beginning to lose its grip.

Sosis Agency, For example, nearly 45% of respondents are ready for a settlement, while only 33% want to continue the war until the 1991 borders are restored. But there is also 11% who still prefer to continue fighting until all the territory they lost after February is restored. 2022. This too is now an unrealistic target. It may have been closer to reality when Kiev rejected a nearly completed peace deal in the spring of 2022, based on terrible Western advice. The ship has sailed.

It is important to note that the poll results do not all point in the same direction. KMIS released results showing that 58% of respondents want to continue the war “Under no circumstances” And only 32% of those who prefer A “Freeze” If Western security guarantees are provided. Such a freeze, although a favorite pipe dream of some Western commentators, is unlikely to be an option now, if ever. Why should Moscow agree? But that is less important here than the fact that KMIS, for example, seems to have found an enormous foundation of pro-war sentiment.

However, even here, the picture becomes more complex when we look at it more closely. For one thing, the KMIS survey is relatively old, having been conducted in November and December of last year. Considering how quickly things have evolved on the battlefield since then – for example, the main city and fortress of Avdiivka finally fell only in February 2024 – this makes its data very outdated.

KMIS also had interesting comments: The agency notes that participants' proximity to the front lines plays a role “important role” in forming their opinions about the war. In other words, when the fighting gets close enough to hear artillery, it focuses the mind on finding a way to end it, even through concessions. As one Ukrainian sociologist said: “In the east and south…one of the main fears of the people is that the war should not reach their homes, their city.”

In addition, the KMIS Executive Director noted that the number of settlement advocates also increases when Western aid declines.

It remains difficult to draw strong conclusions from these trends, for several reasons: First, as some Ukrainian observers point out, the number of supporters of the settlement may be higher — personally, I'm sure of it — because Zelensky's regime has distorted any appeal. For diplomacy and negotiations as well “betrayal” For a long time. It is almost certain that many Ukrainians are afraid to express their opinions on this issue.

Second, what exactly the settlement camp understands by settlement must be diverse. This camp probably still includes a fair number of citizens who have illusions about the kind of settlement available at this point.

Third, the current regime – a de facto autocracy – is not accountable to society, at least not in a way that makes it easy to predict how shifts in the national mood will translate into regime policies, or not.

However, there is no doubt that there is a strong wave in favor of ending the war, even at the expense of concessions. Add to this the clear evidence of western Ukrainian fatigue – and even a growing willingness to dismantle Ukraine – and the realities that the Russian military establishment is creating on the ground, and it becomes difficult to see how this fundamental shift in Ukrainian mood could not become an important factor. Factor of Ukrainian and international politics.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of RT.

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