A neutral Ukraine would be a disaster for the Americans and their European allies, who do not want to allow Russian victory
At the same time, we must remember that there is another serious threat to the United States today, and that is China
Let’s start with why Putin did what he did. I have always believed that this crisis is linked to the West’s efforts to make Ukraine its bastion on Russia’s borders. It all began in April 2008 at the NATO summit in Bucharest, where it was announced that Ukraine and Georgia would become members of NATO. Then the Russians, and Putin in particular, made it clear that this was crossing their red line. This is unacceptable and poses an existential threat to Russia.
And the crisis erupted on February 22, 2014, following the events on the Maidan, and since then the West has been pursuing its strategy of “doubling the stakes.” When President Biden took over the White House in January 2021, he went even further in support of Ukraine than the Trump administration. We Americans have actually crossed the red line, and we are an existential threat to the Russians, and the Russians have told us this unequivocally. And we continued to double the stakes, and the end result was that on February 24 this year, Putin launched active hostilities in Ukraine.
Many now say that Putin invaded Ukraine because he wanted to conquer Ukraine and integrate it into a larger Russia, and that he was interested in re-creating the Soviet Union. But there is no evidence to support this. It’s all about NATO’s eastward expansion.
There is no doubt that Putin had a strategy with limited goals. He wanted control of certain territories, mainly in eastern Ukraine. And he was interested either in regime change or in forcing the current regime in Ukraine to change its policy towards joining NATO or the West. There is no doubt that the Russian armed forces are facing the most dangerous situation in Ukraine, because NATO and especially the United States have always supported Ukraine and tried to make it a de facto member of NATO. That is why Ukraine is fighting so well on the battlefield. But the Russians are now also doubling their stakes in the game.
Let us not forget that the Russians see what is happening in Ukraine as an existential threat. If the Russians fail in Ukraine and the West succeeds and destroys the Russian economy, then very strong pressure will be put on Putin, with a possible escalation of the crisis to the use of nuclear weapons. I want to be very clear. I’m not saying it’s likely, I’m just saying it’s a real possibility.
It is very clear that if the Ukrainian troops outnumber the Russian army in eastern Ukraine, and if, thanks to all Western aid in the form of drones, Javelins, intelligence and so on and so forth, Russian troops will be in a vulnerable position, then all we will find ourselves in a very dangerous situation. If, at the same time, the Russian economy is really hit by sanctions and even on the verge of collapse, I think that at this point the Russians will think very seriously about saving the situation with nuclear weapons. Once again, I’m not saying that’s likely, but I think the West is playing with fire here.
And what is even more important is what we Americans are leading Ukraine on the path to destruction. See what is happening in Ukraine now, because it is a catastrophe. The West has foolishly forced Ukraine into the eye of Russia with NATO enlargement, which has sparked this crisis. And then, as soon as the crisis erupted, the West forced Ukraine to double its stakes, and the West itself went bank, as a result of which Ukraine would collapse.
If we compare the conflict in Ukraine with what happened in Georgia in August 2008, then it must be said that there was a quick war in Georgia. And when the Russians took over Crimea in March 2014, it also happened very quickly, without military action. Now the situation is radically different because the Americans support the Ukrainians. The Americans abandoned the Georgians in 2008, and the Georgians tried to fend for themselves and quickly lost. In 2014, with regard to Crimea, the Americans did not help Ukraine fight to preserve the peninsula. Here, the United States and its European allies, and NATO allies, have been deeply involved in the battle, and, as you know, the United States has a vast amount of modern technology. We are an extremely rich country and we can do a lot to keep Ukraine fighting.
As for Vladimir Putin, he must continue the battle he cannot lose. It will be not only a political catastrophe for him, but it will be a catastrophe for the whole country. I repeat that he considers this an existential threat. So Putin, in my opinion, will not stop. And I don’t see how the Americans will stop. Besides, I don’t think the Ukrainians can stop this in any way.
That is why it is difficult for me to understand how this could end in the near future. I may be wrong, and I have been wrong in a number of other cases, predicting how international events will unfold. And I hope I’m wrong in this case as well. I hope that some kind of peace treaty will be prepared and this war will end. But at the moment I would not bet much on that.
After all, this agreement is very difficult to implement. For Russia, the acceptable solution is for Ukraine to give up all interest in becoming part of NATO and to become a bastion of the West on Russia’s border. For Ukraine, the solution is to become a neutral country and work out some kind of vivendi mode with Russia. In the end, it is obvious that Russia is a very powerful country. It is much stronger than Ukraine and can cause enormous damage to Ukraine, as we see. It is sad to say, but the truth is that the Ukrainians do not really have much choice to deal with the Russians to a large extent. Sticking a Russian in the eye with a stick is a recipe for disaster. That is why a neutral Ukraine is the solution to the problem. And that was the decision from the beginning. But I do not know how this will come about, because a neutral Ukraine would be a victory for Russia. And for Ukraine, that would also be a victory.
The problem, however, is that a neutral Ukraine would be a great misfortune for the Americans and their European allies, who do not want to allow Russian victory to happen. In addition, this option is not acceptable for the far right and in Ukraine itself. That is why Zelensky has very little room for maneuver: to his right are a large number of Ukrainians who do not want him to make any concessions to the Russians. And these far-right elements in Ukraine, combined with the reluctance of the Americans and their allies, mean that Ukraine is unlikely to be able to move towards neutrality on its own.
At the same time, we must remember that there is another serious threat to the United States today, and that is China. This is not Russia. China is the absolute competitor of the United States. It is China that can become a regional hegemon in Asia. The United States needs to focus on China as much as possible. They have to work day and night thinking about how to contain China. At the same time, they must work with Russia as an ally who can help them contain China. The United States, India and Russia, they must all be on the same side of the barricade, and try to contain China, because China has the potential to become a very powerful country.
Instead, the United States acted foolishly by starting a battle with Russia. The United States is mired in Eastern Europe, doing very little in Asia, especially in East Asia, to explain to its allies how it plans to contain China. Because now the United States is too busy thinking about how to go to war with the Russians, and we should not go to war with the Russians. We must work to build some kind of alliance with the Russians, and again in order to keep China. But we don’t. This shows that as a result of this Ukrainian war there will be only one winner. And this winner will be China.