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The Battle for Ukraine: Brutal Diplomacy, But Not War

The Battle for Ukraine: Brutal Diplomacy, But Not War

The Kremlin no longer denies the scale of what it calls a military maneuver.

This is our countryForeign Minister Sergei Lavrov replied this week when a journalist asked him to justify such a spread, meaning that we are free to do what we want there.

Lavrov immediately transferred the blame to the United States, which was said to have deployed two warships in the Black Sea.

From Kiev to Washington, via Berlin and Brussels, where NATO sits, the question now arises out loud: What is Vladimir Putin planning if not to invade the territories that Ukraine has been trying to defend for 7 years?

For most of the analysts we consulted, such a scenario is unlikely.

Anyone who knows the Russian military knows for sure that secrecy is one of the cornerstones of its entire strategy.

Quote from:Alexander Golts, military analyst

Analyst Alexander Golts recalls that this show of force had nothing to do with the annexation of Crimea in 2014, when the Russian army had maliciously annexed it by sending in soldiers without insignia in the biggest secret.

In 2014, the Russian army deployed near the town of Balaklava in the Crimea.

Photo: Reuters / Buzz Ratner

Instead, Alexander Golts sees the astonishing deployment of Russian forces at the gates of Ukraine as a new tool for negotiating with the United States as Washington imposes new sanctions on Russia.

This military demonstration is not targeting Kiev alone, but Washington in particular at this stage.

Quote from:Alexander Golts, military analyst

This week, the US administration announced what is the most severe punishment Russia has been subjected to in years, the expulsion of 10 diplomats, and new sanctions against dozens of individuals and companies. A gesture aimed at curbing Moscow’s ability to borrow money.

Moscow responded on Friday by expelling 10 US diplomats as well.

We could have gone further, but I chose not toJoe Biden told the White House on Thursday, before repeating his desire to meet Vladimir Putin in person in a one-on-one meeting in a third country like Finland.

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So Vladimir Putin’s brutal diplomacy and military rhetoric will bear fruit for the time being.

Biden’s phone call responds to Vladimir Putin’s desire to be taken seriously, and assures the Russian system that by behaving like North Korea, he can attract Joe Biden’s attention, just like Kim Jong – one of them did with Donald Trump. On the one hand, for a nuclear power like Russia to behave in this way is pathetic, but it appears to have worked.

Quote from:Roman Washok, former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine

Roman Washok served as Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine from 2014 to 2019, during the first five years of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, a few weeks after the annexation of Crimea.

The diplomat also suspects that a Russian invasion is brewing at this point, although he does not rule out this possibility.

By reaching out to Putin, Joe Biden could buy at least a few months of time to hijack Russia’s ambitions. The army can turn around without Putin losing face.

Quote from:Roman Washok, former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine

The Biden-Putin meeting has yet to be decided and may never materialize, but Russian state media view the invitation as a great moral victory for Vladimir Putin, whom Joe Biden despised a month ago. ABC Interview.

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin shake hands.

In 2011, Vladimir Putin, then the prime minister of Russia, received Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States, in Moscow.

Photo: REUTERS / Alexander Nattroskin

The threat of war with Ukraine also mobilized Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Erdogan, all of whom called on Moscow to reduce its forces on the border to defuse the crisis. All this attention confirms Vladimir Putin’s role as a key leader in maintaining security in Europe.Alexander Golts.

Because Europe’s security passes through Ukraine, which, as usual, acts as a pawn in this modern Cold War that we do not see its end. Ukraine became a ward of the WestIn his latest analysis of the Carnegie Moscow Center, political scientist Dmitriy Trenin wrote. But at the same time, the prospects for joining NATO and the European Union are very remote or non-existent in the foreseeable future.

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The president of Ukraine knows this well and made no secret of his frustration during a visit to Paris on Friday, where he was received by Emmanuel Macron.

We cannot stay in the European Union or NATO waiting room indefinitely, Declared Volodymyr Zelensky, who considers his country’s membership in adult clubs essential to protect Ukraine’s independence and stand up to Russia.

Ukraine, the conflict in the heart of Europe

When Volodymyr Zelensky was elected President of Ukraine in May 2019, it was, among other things, with the promise to join the major institutions of the world. He also pledged to re-establish dialogue with Vladimir Putin in the hope of ending the conflicts in eastern Ukraine.

The Kiev army has been fighting there for seven years against the pro-Russian separatists who declared their independence in the Russian-speaking Donetsk and Lugansk territories, an area known as Donbas.

If Moscow has always denied its direct participation in the conflicts, Ukraine and the countries that support it always accuse Russia of fueling the conflict by providing weapons and money to the rebels.

This mixed war between Kiev and Moscow resulted in the deaths of more than 13,000 people, despite many ceasefires over the years and the signing of an agreement. Minsk agreements, which provide for a special status for the disputed region.

The year 2020 will be relatively calm on the front line, but political analyst Dmitry Trenin attributes the resumption of tensions to the hostile stance of the Ukrainian president, who is seeking to restore his image. The problem is that he promised the Ukrainians unachievable things.Analyst Alexander Golts adds.

He visited Volodymyr Zelensky in person last week in eastern Ukraine to raise the spirits of his troops, who had suffered from seven years of war. We can see it as the camera tracks it through the mud trenches, a sight worthy of WWII, but it says a lot about this latent war between Russia and Ukraine.

Because if Russia invaded Ukraine, it would have little chance against the Russian army, says Alexander Golts. Even if Ukrainian forces manage to gain ground since 2014 (thanks to American funding and the help of countries like Canada that train their soldiers), Russian forces are stronger and better organized.

And let’s be honest, nobody will go to fight in the trenches on the side of the Ukrainians, and no one will accept that Ukraine is causing a world war.Alexander Golts.

Hence the importance of avoiding direct confrontation between Russia and Ukraine and the need to defuse tensions. but how?

Many observers are convinced that the presence of Russian forces on the border will make it possible to obtain concessions from Ukraine on the possible status of the Donbas territories in favor of Russia, which wants to maintain its influence there.

The speech Vladimir Putin will deliver on April 21 in Moscow (which is his version of the State of the Union address) will be important to learn more about his true intentions in eastern Ukraine.

But even as it happens, having two armies so close together, with tons of ammunition on hand, remains a risky training.

It’s too risky. This tightrope strategy on the brink of war is a very dangerous game. The slightest accident, the slightest mistake, or the slightest provocation may lead to the outbreak of war.

Quote from:Alexander Golts, military analyst