8 thoughts on “Ukraine Thoughts And Trends”

  1. “The Germans might also want to consider that in a year or so Ukraine is going to have the largest and most experienced army in Europe. It’s going to be an army that is experienced at using (and fixing) equipment from anywhere of any vintage and, apart perhaps from the Azerbaijanis and/or Armenians, it is going to be the only military that has actual combat experience both using drones and defending against them.”
    Hmm. Russia State TV seems to think they fighting NATO. Which is silly. But how much of the military force is former military of NATO and other countries, and if a lot, they leave, but small, then just basically trained the Ukrainian, and the foreign element is no longer required.

      1. Sounds compatible with the Ukrainian Nazi menace narrative. One wonders what mayhem those guys could have caused, if Russia weren’t around to protect us from them!

  2. What Ukraine will insist on by way of guarantees from Russia, post-war, is something I’ve been giving some thought to as well. Verbal and written assurances will be seen, correctly, as entirely useless. If I was Zelenskyy, I would make, at minimum, the following demands:

    1) that Kaliningrad Oblast be ceded to Poland as recompense for Polish aid to Ukraine, especially its care of war-displaced Ukrainians during the war.

    2) the complete de-militarization of Belarus and its transfer, as a subject territory, to the joint sovereignty and administration of Poland and Ukraine.

    3) the establishment of a minimum 100 km. demilitarized zone in Russia along all of its contiguous borders with NATO member states, Belarus and Ukraine (which should, itself, become a NATO member state).

    1. I think the only assurance Ukraine has of a future free of Russian invasion is the demonstrated capability to kick Russia out of their country and that this capability is maintained in perpetuity.

      1. Perpetuity is a long time. But it certainly needs to be maintained until Russia ceases to be a consequential threat or simply ceases to be, full stop. Russia should certainly remain sanctioned “in perpetuity” at a rock-bottom minimum.

        But Russia also needs to lose something besides international markets in the wake of this war. And it is traditional that nations which lose wars also lose territory to the victors. Russia has certainly been very “old school” in this respect where the territory of others is concerned, so it has no real case to be made against the same happening to it in the wake of clear defeat on the battlefield.

        Kaliningrad is an absurd bit of post-Cold War untidiness anyway, especially in the wake of this failed war of conquest. When you reach for something that doesn’t belong to you, you deserve to draw back only a bloody stump. Russia should have some permanent territorial losses to contemplate as it continues its rapid slide toward the grave.

    2. Russia doesn’t have the authority to speak for Belarus. Worse, I think demands 1 and 2 would create long term grievances and conflict as well as continuing the tradition of ownership by conquest.

      A demilitarized zone sounds useful, if it is enforced. My take is that restoring Ukraine to it’s pre-2014 boundaries, strengthening of Russian democratic institutions, and credible prosecution of war crimes is about the best that Ukraine can expect.

      1. And yet Russia does speak for Belarus via its puppet of convenience. Perhaps NATO could borrow a page from the Russian playbook and hold a referendum on Belarus’s proposed new status? Russia could hardly complain about that I should think. We can even let Russia keep its pet puppets as has been the case with Ukraine – minus, of course, the ones who’ve had unfortunately energetic malfunctions of their personal automobiles in recent days.

        Russia has no shortage of long-term grievances against pretty much the entire rest of the world. What are a few more, really? Let what remains of patriotic Russia stew in its ancient resentments as it dwindles to zero by mid-century or thereabouts.

        “Strengthening Russian democratic institutions” would first require that Russia have some – which it manifestly does not and never has. Old dogs don’t learn new tricks. Russia, being one of the oldest dogs currently extant, and rabid besides, simply needs to be nailed into a crate and left to howl and snap until it dies.

        Trials of small fry button-men from Wagner Group are probably as much justice as Ukraine’s war crimes victims are likely to get. The medium and tall war criminals will likely remain unreachable. That is why Russia must be punished for its crimes mainly in other ways.

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