What will be the endgame in Ukraine?

French President Emmanuel Macron opened Pandora’s box, refusing to rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine, says the writer. Picture: AP

French President Emmanuel Macron opened Pandora’s box, refusing to rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine, says the writer. Picture: AP

Published Mar 27, 2024


Ilya Rogachev

A year ago, in one of our “Alternative Viewpoint” entries, we offered our readership an opportunity to reflect on how the conflict in Ukraine might end.

Back then, Kyiv was preparing for its infamous “counter-offensive”, while the West, entangled in the “labyrinth of lies”, was frantically pumping it with weapons.

We all know the cost of those illusions: by October 2023, in the course of the counter-offensive, Ukraine lost about 125 000 troops and 16 000 units of heavy weaponry.

As of 2024, it has become clear, even to those who observed the entire picture through the lens of Western propaganda, that Russia owns the initiative on the battlefield. Not only was the Russian defence industry not ruined by sanctions, it is steadily growing, as is our entire economy (4.6% of the gross domestic product growth in January 2024).

Kyiv is losing ground and people, and much to the dismay of Ukrainians, is about to pass law-tightening mobilisation rules. Western mainstream media rhetoric has notably changed: they aren’t talking about “Russia’s strategic defeat” any longer, rather about how not to let Ukraine lose (which is as delusional).

In general, the situation looks drastically different from what the West expected to see, yet close to what we were saying from the beginning: in no way shall we lose the conflict.

Western elites, with their supremacist haughtiness – just listen to them – underestimated Russia, as they bet all on our country’s military defeat and burnt all their bridges.

There’s a reason why the collective West is clinging to the Kyiv regime, and it’s not the support of Ukraine’s “democracy” and “sovereignty”, and not the protection of the international law that Russia has allegedly breached. As Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki put it: “Failure in Ukraine could be the beginning of the end of the golden age of the West” (“Will failure of Ukraine in war mark the end of West’s golden age? Poland’s PM thinks so”, Republic World, April 14, 2023).

As simple as that. The conflict is not rooted in Russia’s “imperial ambitions” or in the Russian president’s alleged “warmongering”, and it’s not, of course, “unprovoked and unjustified” as the Western media and politicians unanimously try to make you believe. It is about the collective West’s dominance being threatened by emerging centres of economic and political power.

With its hegemony at stake, the West won’t stop supporting the monster in Kyiv.

As Ukraine kept losing on the battlefield, the West consequently crossed many of its own red lines in arms supplies – Javelins, middle- and long-range artillery weapons, air defence systems Patriot, Nasams and so on, then Leopard, Challenger, Abrams tanks, F-16 aircraft (promised).

However, even some Western experts admit that no F16s, German Taurus missiles or any other “wonder weapon” will let Kyiv emerge victorious.

Lately, amid rising voices in the West against the continued military support of Kyiv, talks about Nato’s interference in the conflict were started at the behest of President Emmanuel Macron, who opened Pandora’s box, refusing to rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine (“Macron refuses to rule out putting troops on ground in Ukraine in call to galvanise Europe”, The Guardian, February 27, 2024). He later reiterated his position, claiming France had no limits to its support for Kyiv, and urging Ukraine’s allies not to be cowards (“Macron says France has no limits to its support for Ukraine”, France24, March 7, 2024).

In an interview with Le Parisien published on March 16, he didn’t exclude ground operations in Ukraine (“France’s Macron says ground operations in Ukraine possible ‘at some point’”, RFI, March 17, 2024).

We are well aware that Western military participates in hostilities in Ukraine – as mercenaries, advisers, instructors, contractors to operate Western-supplied hardware and so on. It is no coincidence that often in the aftermath of Russian strikes on military targets in Ukraine, some Nato officers in their homelands are reported to have died in a light plane crash, in a car accident or after falling from a rock when hiking in mountains and so on. There are plenty of bizarre obituaries. Have you noticed it, folks? With no witnesses found and no probes conducted.

With that said, why would France, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Baltic states or Finland wish to send ground troops to Ukraine? Apparently, reckless politicians holding power in major Western countries are increasingly losing touch with reality.

Seems like they do want to go to war against Russia, hoping to achieve a military victory at least that way, given that their aid to Ukraine didn’t work.

According to Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitrii Peskov, in the case of the West sending troops to Ukraine, we would need to talk not about the probability but about the inevitability of a direct conflict between Nato and Russia. Regardless of what Nato troops will be doing there, such a step vastly increases risks of a rapid escalation, with the situation probably getting out of control and entailing unpredictable consequences for all.

Is a new war of the united Europe against Russia what people in the West want? Their elites seem to have forgotten how to be sovereign and promote their national interests. Large US companies have made billions on the EU’s energy crisis and food market situation, both resulting from anti-Russia sanctions frenzy, as well as on replacing arms supplied to Ukraine by European countries. Now people must go to war so that some moneybags across the Atlantic can earn another fortune?

It’s not for nothing that Western officials and mainstream media frantically push the false “no-life-after-Ukraine” narrative, trying to convince people that the Ukraine crisis is existential for them.

“Russia won’t stop”, “Putin is ready to use nukes”, “Russia will attack Nato in 5 to 8 years” and other “tales from the crypt” coming soon to frighten Europeans into sending their family members to die for the benefits of global corporations.

We want to remind people that if it were not for the West, the Ukraine crisis would not have emerged at all. If not for the West, it wouldn’t have gone so far as the special military operation.

And finally, if not for the West, the special military operation would have ended back in April 2022.

In fact, the Ukraine crisis can be resolved rather easily – simply by taking Russia’s legitimate security concerns into account. They aren’t something unthinkable; they are basically about an indivisible security system in Eurasia, equal for all.

Something formulated in draft agreements with Nato and the US put forward by Russia in December 2021 and rejected by the collective West. Thus, a peace initiative that would accommodate the provisions regarding Russia’s security issues can become a life-saving solution to the Ukraine crisis.

However, we’ve seen no serious proposals from Ukraine or its Western masters. The so-called “Zelenskiy peace formula” cannot serve as a basis for conflict resolution for one simple reason: it ignores Russia’s security interests.

Apparently, it was initiated and is being promoted solely for propaganda purposes.

And as time passes, the further the conflict continues and the worse the outcome will be for the immediate losing party (Ukraine), and its allies.

As we previously wrote, it is the West, not Russia, who needs an “offramp” as this crisis is of its making.

Will we have to remind of this yet again, in even clearer and more unambiguous circumstances, let’s say, by mid-summer this year?

* Rogachev is the ambassador of Russia to South Africa

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