Thursday, July 18, 2024

Russia's Medvedev promises destruction of Ukraine within a decade

 Form the Institute for the Study of War:

"Russian state news outlets editorialized comments by Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev and claimed that he said that the Ukrainian state will no longer exist by 2034, likely to support the Kremlin's efforts to prepare the Russian public for a long war in Ukraine while promising that Russia will complete its objective to destroy Ukrainian statehood within a decade. 

Russian media editorialized comments made by Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev in an interview with Russian outlet Argumenty i Fakty (AIF) on July 17.[1] Medvedev claimed that "it is not for nothing" that NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg suggested that Ukraine could be able to join the alliance within the next ten years, concluding that Ukraine will "never" join NATO because NATO leadership will have changed by 2034 and because "it is quite possible that the notorious country 404 [a derogative use of the 404 computer 'error' code meant to suggest that Ukraine is not a real state] will not exist either."[2] Medvedev notably did not explicitly say that Ukraine will cease to exist by 2034 — rather it was a tangential implication of his statements — but Russian news outlets, including Kremlin newswire TASS, immediately began publishing stories with headlines such as "Medvedev Admitted that Ukraine Will No Longer Exist in 2034" and, "Medvedev Predicted the Disappearance of Ukraine by 2034."[3]

There are several implications to the way that Russian media is currently editorializing Medvedev's statements. First and foremost, the explicit suggestion that Russia will be able to "destroy Ukraine" by 2034 is a promise to the Russian public that Russia will be able to win the war and achieve its objective to destroy Ukrainian statehood within a decade. This sets careful information conditions and societal expectations for a war that will last another decade, but one that will end with Russia's desired "victory." This Russian narrative also directly and strongly undermines select Kremlin officials' separate attempts to suggest that Russia is willing to "negotiate" for "peace" with Ukraine and further emphasizes that the Kremlin's only desired end-state for the war is the complete destruction of the Ukrainian state and people. Russian President Vladimir Putin has carefully articulated his goals for the war as such and has demanded that Ukrainian forces withdraw from territory that Russian forces do not control as a precondition for any kind of "peace" negotiations, as ISW has previously assessed.[4] Neither Ukraine nor the West can expect to negotiate with Russia on Russia's terms if Russia's terms are premised on the eradication of Ukraine and its people in the next ten years.

[1] https://aif dot ru/politics/russia/dmitriy-medvedev-poryadok-zapada-eto-kidalovo

[2] https://aif dot ru/politics/russia/dmitriy-medvedev-poryadok-zapada-eto-kidalovo

[3] https://tass dot ru/politika/21379443; https://rg dot ru/2024/07/17/medvedev-zaiavil-chto-ukrainy-k-2034-godu-uzhe-ne-budet.html; https://lenta dot ru/news/2024/07/17/medvedev-predrek-ischeznovenie-ukrainy-k-2034-godu/; https://www.gazeta dot ru/politics/news/2024/07/17/23476651.shtml; https://www.m24 dot ru/news/politika/17072024/709038; dot ru/politics/2024/07/17/medvedev-rasskazal-kogda-ukraina-prekratit-svoe-sushhestvovanie.html; https://russian.rt dot com/ussr/news/1342388-medvedev-ukraina; https://by.tsargrad dot tv/news/medvedev-zajavil-chto-ukrainy-mozhet-ne-byt-k-2034-godu_1028843;



Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Shooting Trump's shooter was escalation (satire)

 Translating Dmitriy Yarosh's comment in the Ukrainian Obozrevatel news site about the attempted assassination of Donald Trump:

"The terror act against Trump: how can you shoot against a terrorist's territory?

The terror act against (ex) president Trump was of course very bad.

But how could the snipers of US Secret Service open fire in return? How can you shoot against a terrorist's territory?

How can aggression against a president be an excuse for eliminating a terrorist?

They had to hold negotiations with the shooter, absolutely not violate his rights, and finally give him that roof.

Let him live and flourish.

Double and triple standards are the modern geopolitics of so-called democratic countries.

And we have to do our own business, that is, fight for the right to be Ukrainians."

(The approach to the shooter suggested in this sarcastic post is of course the approach of Western countries, and above all the USA, to Putin.)

Saturday, July 13, 2024

NATO Does Not Help Ukraine to Win

 From Foreign Policy:

NATO Is Helping Ukraine to Fight—but Not to Win 

The Washington summit was heavy on promises but light on plans.

By , a national security and intelligence reporter at Foreign Policy
July 12, 2024

Russia’s war in Ukraine dominated the NATO summit in Washington this week as the alliance unveiled plans to intensify support for Kyiv and offer an “irreversible” path to eventual membership in the defense pact...

But the summit also highlighted a central tension in Western strategy to support Ukraine: Military aid has played a decisive role in enabling Kyiv to fend off Russian forces, but it has fallen short of enabling it to actually win the war.

“We’re basically propping up Ukraine to stay in the battle and make some advances and not outright win the battle,” said Liana Fix, a fellow for Europe at the Council on Foreign Relations. “There’s not a real strategy for the war.”

Allies along NATO’s eastern flank, most notably the Baltic states and Poland, have long called for a surging of support to Ukraine. But the allies with the deepest pockets and most sophisticated weapons systems—particularly the United States—have taken a more cautious tack in a bid to prevent an escalation spiral with Moscow.

The renewed support comes as Russian airstrikes have pounded Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leading to sweeping power outages in recent months. On Monday, as heads of state and government departed for Washington, Russia struck a children’s hospital in Kyiv in broad daylight, a shot across the bow at the alliance...

“The Ukrainians need more to win than just what we have set up,” Royal Netherlands Navy Adm. Rob Bauer, the chair of NATO’s Military Committee, told Foreign Policy on the sidelines of the summit on Thursday.

The Russian armed forces have bounced back faster than anticipated following their unexpectedly poor performance in the early months of the war and are quickly learning how to counter high-tech new weapons systems supplied by Ukraine’s Western allies.

U.S. officials believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ultimate goal of subjugating Ukraine remains unchanged more than two years into the war, moving his country’s economy onto a war footing. Nearly a third of the state budget this year is earmarked for defense spending, and shipments of artillery from Iran and North Korea have left Ukraine outgunned on the battlefield.

On Thursday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chair of the country’s Security Council, posted on X that Moscow sees two acceptable outcomes to the war: “either Ukraine disappears, or NATO does.”...

Although the Biden administration played a pivotal role in warning of Russia’s intentions to attack Ukraine and galvanizing Western support for the country, it has offered little in the way of a vision for a path forward for ending the conflict...

“There is a gaping hole between saying we want to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and what we’re actually doing,” said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, the director of the trans-Atlantic security program at the Center for a New American Security. “Right now, it just feels like we’re all saying it but people don’t really believe it.”...

Ukrainian officials have expressed their concerns about being pressed into a peace deal on unfavorable terms, and the Biden administration has reiterated that it is for Ukraine to decide how and when to end the war.

In the interim, the strategy appears to be to bolster the country’s defenses and hope that Moscow punches itself out. “We’re not in full control of that timeline,” said a senior Biden administration official, asked about a path to a just end to the war. “There is one person who is in control of that, and that’s Vladimir Putin. If he chose to back away and end it, he could do that tomorrow,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

The problem is that Russia is similarly trying to wait out Ukraine and its Western allies.

“It’s ultimately a big psychological game, and Putin thinks that he can win it—that time is on his side and that he can grind down the Ukrainians and our political will to support” them, Ciaramella said...




Friday, July 12, 2024

Lithuanian foreign minister: Russia's bombing of the children's hospital was a test for NATO

 From Fox News through Yahoo!News:

"Lithuanian foreign minister warns Putin watching NATO for weakness following children's hospital bombing

Thu, July 11, 2024
The deadly attack on a children’s hospital in Ukraine this week was a test for the NATO alliance, warned Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis as world leaders gathered in Washington, D.C.

"Attacking a children's hospital in Kyiv during the week of the NATO summit here in Washington clearly sends a political message. He expects us to discuss, and most likely, not to find a way how to address this," Landsbergis told Fox News Digital from the Lithuanian Embassy in Wasington, D.C.

The foreign minister said Russian President Vladimir Putin is banking on NATO not to respond due to its concerns that doing so will prompt further escalation between the West and Russia.

"That’s enough to send a message to Ukrainians that, look, your friends in the West cannot do much for you. Even your children, those who are suffering from cancer in a hospital, cannot be protected," Landsbergis said...

The foreign minister’s comments come after Russia struck a children’s hospital in Kyiv on Monday, killing at least two and injuring some 50 people, though search and rescue efforts remain ongoing.

The images of sick children, some with hair missing from chemotherapy and radiation treatments, being held by caregivers with blood running down their faces and bodies, showed again the gruesome extent Putin will go to achieve his war aims.

In a statement to the U.N. Security Council Tuesday, Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya said that evidence suggested the children’s hospital was deliberately struck by a Kh-101 cruise missile while children were receiving treatment, including three open-heart surgeries that were underway at the time of the attack. 

"There has to be a price on Putin’s escalation," Landsbergis said. "You cannot just play on defense and expect the other side to somehow stop. Putin is clearly not planning to stop."

"He just continues his escalation and that means that we have to meet him, or assist Ukrainians to meet him," he added.

The U.S. has implemented bans on all U.S.-made missiles being used to strike targets in Russia, though an exception was granted for military targets near the Kharkiv border. Landsbergis and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have urged all nations to abandon strike-based stipulations as the capability would enable Kyiv to hit airfields, arms depots and vessels off the coast of Ukraine.

The White House on Monday said that despite the repeated deadly attacks on Ukrainian civilians, there would be no changes to the U.S.'s policy, prompting a sense of growing frustration with Washington ahead of the summit.

A source involved with the NATO talks confirmed that several allies, including the U.S., are unwilling to change their position when it comes to countering Putin, despite repeated urging from Ukraine and fellow NATO nations.

"This could definitely be an opportunity to push back, if the U.S. will allow additional targets to be targeted inside Russia. But so far, I don't see any signs of any movement in that direction," the source confirmed Tuesday. "Most likely we will just eat whatever is served by Russia."

Washington’s refusal to heighten its response to Putin’s aggression also means that Ukraine is unlikely to see a concrete path to membership... "The sense from the U.S. is that there is a 100 percent understanding that any real move closer to NATO for Ukraine is an escalation," the source involved with the NATO talks confirmed."

Thursday, July 11, 2024

The White House ties Poland's hands out of fear

 Translating from Ukrainian medium Dialog:

"The USA is afraid of the joint Ukrainian-Polish initiative to create a mechanism that would allow Poland to intercept missiles shot from Russia into Ukraine. The White House gave a negative comment about this initiative, and offered no alternative.

'Nobody wants escalation in this war,' said the White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby...

Instead of an alternative, Kirby vaguely said that the USA 'wants to seek a way to make Ukraine effective, but wants no escalation'.

'We do not want to give Putin arguments that this is a war of Russia with the West, with the United States,' openly admitted rear admiral Kirby.

The statement of the White House National Security Communications Advisor is the epitome of contradiction, because, if Ukraine becomes "effective", this will enrage Putin and lead to "escalation" anyway. According to Kirby, the White House doesn't want Putin to consider the war with Ukraine a war with the USA. In other words, the Biden administration clearly showed that in the future, Ukraine will fight Russia alone, as before."

Украинско-польская инициатива о разработке механизма, который позволит Польше сбивать ракеты, выпущенные Россией по Украине, напугала США. В Белом доме негативно высказались об указанной инициативе, ничего не предложив в противовес. "Никто не хочет эскалации этой войны", - процитировали координатора Совбеза по стратегическим коммуникациям США Джона Кирби

читайте подробнее на сайте "Диалог.UA":
Украинско-польская инициатива о разработке механизма, который позволит Польше сбивать ракеты, выпущенные Россией по Украине, напугала США. В Белом доме негативно высказались об указанной инициативе, ничего не предложив в противовес. "Никто не хочет эскалации этой войны", - процитировали координатора Совбеза по стратегическим коммуникациям США Джона Кирби

читайте подробнее на сайте "Диалог.UA":

Monday, July 08, 2024

Russia bombs children's hospital in Kyiv

 From AP / Yahoo:

"Dozens of Russian missiles blasted cities across Ukraine on Monday, striking apartment buildings and a large children’s hospital in the capital, where local residents joined emergency crews to search through piles of rubble. At least 31 people were killed, officials said...

At the time of the strike, three heart operations were being performed, and debris from the explosion contaminated the patients’ open chests, Health Minister Viktor Liashko said...

“Among the victims were Ukraine’s sickest children,” Volker Türk, the U.N. human rights commissioner, said adding that a U.N. team visited the hospital shortly after it was hit and saw children receiving treatment for cancer in hospital beds set up in parks and on streets.

“This is abominable, and I implore those with influence to do everything in their power to ensure these attacks stop immediately,” Türk said..."

The images below are from the Ukrainian news site Obozrevatel


Saturday, July 06, 2024

Putin has stopped pretending that he wants negotiations

 From the Institute for the Study of War:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin used a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on July 5 to oppose a negotiated ceasefire altogether and expressed his commitment to pursuing a "final" end to the war that would achieve his goal of destroying Ukrainian statehood. Putin met with Orban in Moscow and reportedly discussed Ukraine and the possibility of a negotiated ceasefire agreement.[1] Putin explicitly rejected Russian participation in any meaningful negotiations on a ceasefire agreement on July 4 in a departure from his usual feigned interest in negotiations, and Putin notably outright rejected any negotiated ceasefire in a press conference with Orban on July 5.[2] Putin stated that an agreement between Russia and Ukraine should not result in a temporary ceasefire since this would allow Ukraine to regroup and rearm and that Russia instead favors a "complete" and "final" end to the conflict.[3] Putin is currently unwilling to accept anything short of the destruction of Ukrainian statehood and identity, however, as his remarks and demands have consistently illustrated.[4]

Putin is demanding both the surrender of a significant portion of Ukraine's territory and people to Russian occupation and Ukrainian military capitulation in advance of any negotiations on an end-state to the war. Putin called for the complete Ukrainian withdrawal from "Donbas and Novorossiya" as a prerequisite for ending the war during his press conference with Orban — a reference to Putin's June 14 demand for Ukraine to recognize the Russian occupation of occupied Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts and for Ukraine to surrender all territory that Russia does not currently hold in the four oblasts.[5] The imagined borders of "Novorossiya" are disputed among Russian ultranationalists, however, and Putin and the Kremlin have routinely indicated that they hold aims of territorial conquest beyond the administrative boundaries of the four oblasts that Russia has illegally annexed.[6] Putin also invoked concerns on July 4 about Ukrainian military reconstitution and expansion during a potential ceasefire to call for Ukraine's "irreversible" "demilitarization" as a prerequisite to negotiations.[7] Putin has long called for Ukraine's "demilitarization" — a demand that Ukraine abandon its ability to resist Russian aggression so that Putin can freely impose his will upon Ukraine.[8] Putin would almost certainly use Ukraine's capitulation to achieve his other goal of deposing Ukraine's democratically elected government and replacing it with a pro-Russian government and a political system to his liking.

Ukrainian counteroffensive operations that liberate operationally significant territory remain the soundest course of action for degrading Putin's confidence in and commitment to his desired end state for his war of aggression against Ukraine. Putin's rejection of any ceasefire indicates that he is increasingly confident in his assessment that Russia can pursue victory by continuing creeping advances in Ukraine, outlasting Western support for Ukraine, and winning a war of attrition against Ukrainian forces.[9] Putin's demands, achieved through either Ukraine's capitulation or the protracted war he assesses Russian forces can successfully wage, are not consistent with the survival of an independent Ukrainian state or the Ukrainian people, nor are they compatible with NATO's vital security interests. Putin's confidence in Russia's ability to encourage capitulation or win a protracted war of attrition is based on the assessment that Ukraine will not be able to conduct operationally significant counteroffensive operations.[10] The West must hasten to provide Ukraine the support it needs to conduct counteroffensive operations to invalidate Putin's calculus and avoid protracting the war more than necessary to secure a peace acceptable to Ukraine and its partners.[11]

Putin's rejection of any ceasefire agreement contradicts the Kremlin's previous effort to place the onus for negotiations on the West and Ukraine. Putin blamed the West and Ukraine for the lack of negotiations while explicitly rejecting future Russian participation in any meaningful ceasefire negotiations during his July 4 press conference at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a stark contradiction in his rhetoric.[12]

[1] http://kremlin dot ru/events/president/news/74474

[2] ; https://tass dot ru/politika/2188909

[3] https://tass dot ru/politika/2188909

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