The rationalization of the disaster: how to explain the Russian withdrawal inside Russia

Last Friday I published on the channel of Public a video dedicated precisely to the withdrawal from Kherson, and speculation about possible negotiations on a freeze on the conflict, a temporary armistice, etc. Check it out if you haven’t already, because I explained where that information comes from, why, and if a negotiation is possible now. Well, since then there have been a number of other milestones that should be taken into account as well. Let me tell you:

First: yesterday they met in Ankara the director of the INC, William Burnswith the head of Russian intelligence, Sergei Naryshkin. The meeting had not been previously announced, it was initially reported in Russian media citing close sources. Then, the reason for the meeting appeared in the North American media.

They met not to negotiate anything with Moscow, of course. But there one could speculate that one of the topics of conversation would have been the conditions for an eventual freezing of the conflict.

I am using conditionals on purpose, because it is important for our audience to know that it is very difficult in the current situation to have accurate information about what is happening behind the scenes. So we only have to put together a puzzle with the pieces we have.

In addition to this meeting of intelligence chiefs, it is worth noting the fact that Russia will withdraw from Kherson without encountering too many obstacles from the Ukrainian troops. That withdrawal was followed by an uprising by the Treasury Department of USA of sanctions that prevented bank transfers to Russian diplomatic missions. That was followed by information that the government of Netherlands authorized the departure of rotterdam of some Russian shipments with 20,000 tons of fertilizers to malawi. Those shipments had been blocked in the Dutch port for months due to sanctions and suddenly, a permit to leave.

That dialogue, that search for some terms under which they could start working on something would be the result of a weariness generated by that geopolitical confrontation. The war went on too long and if the countries that are not very belligerent towards Russia were silent at first, now they are beginning to insinuate that it would not be a bad thing to put an end to the special military operation.

Already last September during the summit of shanghai so much China as the India have made it clear that they are interested in a ceasefire, they have conveyed it to putin as it is. Although they are not going to join the strategy chosen by USA and followed by the EU of complete collapse of the Russian economy, they also do not seem very willing to help Russia, beyond buying its fossil fuels at an unprecedented discount.

yesterday they met Joe Biden Y Xi Jinpin in the framework of the G-20 summit in Bali. The conversation lasted more than three hours and ended without a press conference
No joint statements. However, the tone that has characterized it has been very peaceful.

It is clear that no one is under any illusions regarding their relationships, but it seems that at the moment the red lines are not going to be crossed.

The key is now: yes, he is going to continue building anti-American strategies, but in the very long term. beijing It’s not going to stop Russia from moving in the direction it’s going, either, but it’s not going to help it actively. She will continue to buy oil from him and will not join the sanctions, but she will comply with the extraterritorial sanctions so as not to harm herself; will abstain on key votes in the UNbut little else.

Both the chancellor lavrov as the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense have assured that they are willing to negotiate, but that the reality on the ground is taken into account (the reality is that parts of the territories are still occupied). Now what does Ukraine say? Both its president, its officials, and the military have made it clear that they want the liberation of all territories, Crimea included. Back to the borders of 1991.

And this is where we hit a dead end. Just yesterday, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces -commenting on the possibility of a freeze on the conflict- has made it clear that they will not accept compromises. In March, when Russia had just invaded the country, they had already refused to recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea and they were doing much worse than now without all the Western weapons they have received and without the lend lease in force. Why should they give up their aspirations to recover those territories now? On the other hand, I also don’t see Russia, whoever its ruler, agreeing to return to those 1991 borders and hand over Crimea.

The question that worries me is: if Ukraine decides to recapture Crimea militarily (following the advice of Josep Borrell who said that the outcome of this war has to be decided on the battlefield), what will be the Russian response? Do you have any ideas? Crimea is not the same as Kherson, they are not going to withdraw easily and since the only ace in the sleeve that seems to fit Moscow are nuclear weapons, what do you think can happen?

From what I read every day, I can only confirm what I have already recounted once here on this program: that within the “patriotic” pole that supported that war from its beginnings, there are increasingly notable divisions. Some who call to never criticize anything and speak right now of a strategic withdrawal, to prepare and return later, obviously, because a Russian defeat is impossible, inconceivable. The ‘rationalization’ of disaster: disaster is not what it seems, it is strategic, that is the path to victory.

Others are somewhat more willing to accept reality. In this acceptance of reality they begin to criticize the Ministry of Defense, the soldiers, the entire state apparatus… (something quite daring at this point). People who were convinced of Russian military might, of the possibility of a short and victorious war, now crashing against the facts on the ground.

Those of us who have been against this adventure since its inception do not have much representation within the country. For us, Russia lost this war on February 24, the day it decided to start it. The consequences that Russia will pay, regardless of the peace agreement or the ceasefire, if it is reached, will be paid by its citizens throughout our lives, our children and most likely our grandchildren. For us, the war has been lost since February 24. And until recently we had no point in agreement with the ‘hawkish’ patriots. Well, now the situation seems to be changing: because some of those hawkish patriots arrive, albeit through a different path, to the same conclusion: that the war is lost. With what results?

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