Politicians, including those from countries that had been supporting Ukraine in her conflict with Russia, should indulge in pleasuring themselves.
That’s the advice Ukrainian presidential advisor Alexey Arestovich offered to several western politicians who dared suggest that the time might have come for Ukraine to enter into serious peace negotiations with Russia, and the outcome might include ceding some of the disputed territory.
Based on a recording emanating from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s office circles, Arestovich reacted to such ideas by saying (verbatim): “Go f**k yourselves with such proposals, you dumb f**ks, to trade Ukrainian territory a little bit! Are you f**king crazy? Our children are dying, soldiers are stopping shells with their own bodies, and they are telling us how to sacrifice our territories. This will never happen.”
Mikhail Podoliak, another Zelensky adviser, took to social media to echo Arestovich’s sentiments. He wasn’t as forthright as his colleague, but the message remained the same.
Addressing what he called “pro-Russian lobbyists in Europe,” Podoliak wrote (again, verbatim): “We do not sell our citizens, territories or sovereignty. This is a clear red line. Ukrainian society has paid a terrible price and will not allow anyone to even take a step in this direction – no government and no country.”
To get his point across, Podoliak added that while nobody wants a long military action or a food crisis, “the shortest way to end the war is with weapons, sanctions and financial assistance to Ukraine.”
Understandable to a degree
No politician wants to be known in history as the one who had brought her or his country to a defeat, military or otherwise. That includes Arestovich’s and Podoliak’s master, Zelensky.
Here’s the issue: Ukraine did sign treaties that she refuses to abide by.
She has been insisting that she would not agree to any peace proposal that does not respect her pre-2014 borders.
Germany and France brokered the protocols that all interested parties signed (twice: in 2014 and 2015) in Minsk. Ukraine agreed to give the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics a special status.
Ukraine went back on her word almost immediately, before the ink dried.
As it has developed since then, Russia now insists that the independence of the two regions, and the status of Crimea as a Russian region, are not up for discussion.
The situation has since then become somewhat involved, with Russia now demanding that Ukraine declare herself a neutral country that will never join the U.S.-led NATO military bloc.
Ukraine, meanwhile, insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked. She also keeps denying claims she was planning to retake the two republics by force.
What we have here is a typical he-said-she-said situation, with one tragic outcome: people are dying, many of them innocent civilians.
So what triggered the anger in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv?
First and foremost, it was a speech by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday. Kissinger urged Ukraine to make peace quickly and seek a return to the way things had been before February 24, 2022, the day of Russia’s attack.
Why did Kissinger say it?
Because he saw that Ukraine was losing the war, and that the forthcoming world-wide food shortages weren’t worth it. Ukraine and Russia, combined, provide the world with more than one-third of its grain supplies. Ukraine can’t export hers, Russia’s grain has become the subject of a short-sighted Western boycott, and the rest of the world is inching closer toward a famine the likes of which look overwhelming.
Germany’s Scholz said at that same conference in Davos that the West won’t let Ukraine down, and it won’t permit a Russian victory.
That’s so much hot air: one of the two Davos speakers has been known for his realistic approach to world affairs, and it’s not the German Chancellor. Kissinger has been known for his grasp of what is known as Realpolitik (politics of reality). Invented by Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg, German diplomat and politician in the 19th century, this approach may sound somewhat cynical (it is, too): we’ll do what works. Whether it’s good for humanity remains to be seen (if we have enough time to get through all the way to see the outcome).
It seems Kissinger isn’t alone.
An unexpected shift
The Gray Lady, a.k.a. The New York Times published an item that said that the war in Ukraine is getting more complicated than everybody expected and that America isn’t ready for any war, the one against Russia included.
Any engagement in this conflict would be too costly (it is already) and President Joe Biden has yet to answer the many questions Americans have.
And then comes the right hook: it’s not really in America’s interest to engage in a war against Russia, even if the Ukrainians would have to sacrifice more than they had ever thought they would have to.
In fact, the Gray Lady offers a shocking advice to President Biden: it’s about time that he tell his Ukrainian counterpart that the U.S. and NATO can only go so far with their support, militarily, financially and politically.
A sound advice, given the Russians have been finding ways to destroy newly arriving American and NATO weapons before they could be unpacked, never mind used.
The Gray Lady has represented the views of the Democratic establishment, if not necessarily those of the White House itself. What makes their opinion even stranger is the fact that David North, an American Marxist theoretician and the national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States (SEP), formerly the Workers League, echoes similar sentiments.
And the final point might have been influenced by Ukrainian honchos’ outbursts: the story in which the Gray Lady dared question the wisdom of Ukrainian politicians’ actions has miraculously disappeared from her web pages.
Here’s what replaced it:
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