What do we do if Russia and Ukraine make peace?

March 30, 2022 • 9:15 am

Of course the first thing we should do is rejoice, but I’m talking about what do we do with Russia if the two nations conclude a peace agreement?  In particular, what about all the economic and political sanctions that we and our allies have put on Russia?

If there’s a settlement that satisfies both Zelensky and Putin, it seems to me, that doesn’t release us from the need to continue some kind of sanctions on Russia. (I”m assuming by “satisfy Zelensky”, when it’s clear the man wants a country free of Russians and Russian threats, means that that “the agreement is something Zelensky decides to do to as the best way stop the killing and devastation wrought on his land.”)

Just as a criminal has to serve time as a form of deterrence and to keep him out of society until he’s reformed, so, I think, we cannot let Russia simply go scot-free if and when a peace is concluded.

Such a peace would surely involve some Ukrainian concessions to Russia, like giving up Ukrainian land in the eastern part of the country or agreeing that Ukraine won’t join either NATO and EU. But if there are no international sanctions in place thereafter, what has Russia lost? Well, it’s a pariah among nations, and it’s lost thousands of soldiers, and perhaps you think that would be punishment enough. Nobody will trust the country again, though of course it still has allies.

On the other hand, keeping sanctions on continues to punish innocent Russians, many of whom abhor this blasted “special action,” and might be seen as uncharitable. After all, after both Germany and Japan surrendered at the end of WWII, the U.S., in contrast to continuing punishment as a deterrent helped rebuild those nations. (We had learnt that lesson from WWI.)

Sanctions will also punish the allies. For example, much of Europe, especially Germany, will be economically strapped by a continued diminution of their gas supply.

Surely the world will pitch in to rebuild Ukraine after a war ends—lif it continues to exist as a sovereign state, but what do we do about Russia? Lift all sanctions, lift no sanctions, at least for a while, or lift some sanctions, and see what happens.

I have no solution to this question save that I don’t believe that all sanctions should be lifted immediately. But please weigh in below, as I’m curious to hear readers’ thoughts.

125 thoughts on “What do we do if Russia and Ukraine make peace?

  1. There’ a difference between Germany and Japan after the WWII and Russia now. The Allies destroyed both Nations during the war and they were under the Allies complete control. Sanctions should remain in force for a while after the end of the war at least as long as Putin is at the helm of Russia.

    1. There were all too many war criminals who got away with it because they were useful to either side in the Cold War. As for Japan, they never owned up to their war guilt, & the despicable Hirohito was allowed to retain his position.

      On the other hand, sanctions have not effected regime changes in Iran, North Korea, or anywhere else.

      1. the despicable Hirohito was allowed to retain his position

        He didn’t really have much to do with Japan’s conduct of the war. On the other hand, if the Allies had conceded allowing him to retain his position up front, they may not have needed the atom bombs.

        On the other hand, sanctions have not effected regime changes in Iran, North Korea, or anywhere else.

        Anywhere? South Africa

        1. Agree. Trade and especially financial sanctions brought down the apartheid regime. But the Russia economy is probably much more robust so it will take a long time to achieve a similar outcome. However, I do understand that Russia is vulnerable due to massive deindustrialisation.

  2. In my definition, peace between Ukraine and Russia must include pulling all Russian troops out of all of Ukraine. The peace agreement should also include reparations from Russia to rebuild the buildings, roads and other infrastructure destroyed by Russia. These reparations could be a signed document committing Russia over time. Unless all these conditions are met, the rest of the world should continue sanctions. Ukraine is a sovereign nation and needs it’s sovereignty back.

    1. I don’t see a way that Putin would ever agree to punitive reparations, since his position has always been that Ukraine was doing wrong, and that his going war was the right thing to do. At least that is how he will claim it.
      But helping a neighbor rebuild could be a different spin on it. Although Russia can ill afford to invest many rubles into the effort.

    2. But those demands aren’t realistic ones to expect Russia to meet. Any settlement will still give Russia some advantage. I agree that a just peace agreement would specify what you’ve said, but I don’t think we can realistically expect that to happen.

      1. We couldn’t realistically expect that Ukraine would hold out more than a few days against the might of the Russian Army, either. But they did. They’ve stalemated them and they’re driving them back in some places.

        Keep the sanctions at least until Zelenskyy has a deal he can live with. Then we’ll talk about sanctions. The Europeans say they want to power their economies with windmills. Let them. (Yes, this is deliberate hyperbole. I know Europe is still getting gas from Russia now and hopes to stop sometime this decade as part of the sanctions regime.).

        Russia owes Ukraine a half-a-trillion dollars, which is half of Russia’s pre-war annual GDP, and not so much as a hand grenade has exploded in Russian territory. Take it out of those frozen Russian assets and rebuild Ukraine with it. Of course the West will have to help. Generously. Until it hurts, and then some. Because they died in Ukraine, we didn’t have to die in Latvia. The impact of sanctions in the West (and sudden nervousness about China as the miner, smelter, and workshop for the Green revolution) is derailing the political consensus for leftist climate plans. Tough.

        1. We couldn’t realistically expect that Ukraine would hold out more than a few days against the might of the Russian Army

          I honestly don’t get this. I was pretty sure that what has happened is exactly what would happen. This is why I was so badly wrong in predicting that Russia would not invade at all. I thought they would have more realistic expectations about the performance of their forces.

          That’s only one of the things that confuses me about this whole crisis. Why Europe and Germany and Italy in particular decided that they were going to rely on a former enemy for all their fossil fuels is beyond my understanding.

          1. Enemies can be deemed allies decades later, e.g., Japan and the U.S., but after Russian incursions into Georgia and Ukraine and the seizure of a substantial chunk of Ukraine, it also strikes me as very foolish for those nations to make themselves so reliant on fossil fuels from Russia.

          2. “Why Europe and Germany and Italy in particular decided that they were going to rely on a former enemy for all their fossil fuels is beyond my understanding.”

            Actually, France only gets 17% of their gas from Russia. Lots more from Algeria and such places.

    1. Give it to Ukraine, have them paint it battleship grey, park it in Odessa, put some anti-submarine warfare tech on it, and rename it the “U Lost Bro?”

      1. Or float it up the Dnieper River to the Belarus boarder. Moor it there as a resort for displaced Ukrainians.

  3. The short to medium term economic punishment on Russia will be severe, given Europe is forging a path toward obtaining gas and oil supplies from alternate countries. I would imagine sanctions will remain in place on members of their ‘regime’ but cease on their financial system. It’ll be interesting to see how Russia’s relationship with China, India and ME nations plays out, and whether they can restructure their oil and gas exports to other countries to make up for the loss in revenue from Europe.

  4. It’s worth pointing out that the US’ rebuilding efforts after WWII were probably, in part, an attempt to avoid the mistake of the treaty of Versailles. The war reparations and economic punishments levied on Germany after WWI did not stop the next war, it arguably set the stage for it. For that reason, I would not include any reparations in the current treaty.

    I think the optimal realistic goal for Ukraine would be (a) land control returned to pre-war status quo, (b) agreement not to join NATO, but (c) defensive treaty preventing Ukrainian deployment of SRBMs, MRBMs, and cruise missiles (what Russia is paranoid about) in exchange for a statement saying that if Russia invades Ukrainian territory again, this time western countries are going to come to its aid.

    1. I think the optimal realistic goal for Ukraine would be (a) land control returned to pre-war status quo,

      Do you seriously think that Putin (and his “Department of Instrumental PR”) would consider that for one second? Putin is going to have to have some land for the blood he’s spilled. At least until the second round of the war.

      1. Every day it becomes more realistic. 🙂
        He’ll probably try to get a land corridor to Crimea. But if Ukraine is in a good bargaining position, Putin might consider official Russian control over Donetsk and that region as something he can claim as a land-gain win.

      2. Unless the West or Ukraine has the power to impose a full wish list on Russia, the outcome is likely to be a compromise peace, which inevitably means the bad guy gets some wins. After the 1986 airstrikes, Gaddafi got to stay in power, but the West got reduced support for terrorism, and this remained fairly stable until our wonderful leaders, ignoring the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan, thought helping Islamists overthrow Gaddafi was a Good Idea.

        Eric’s comparison to WW1 is much more relevant than the WW2 outcomes, because that too was an incomplete victory. Some of German bitterness after Versailles, apart from the war guilt clause and the reparations burden, arose from the continued Allied embargo between the armistice and the treaty which continued to starve Germans. Any sanctions against Russia should be very selective in their targets, accompanied by a switch in Western Europe away from Russian fossil fuels which have funded Putin’s rearmament, and supporting Ukraine’s democracy, economy and defensive capabilities.

        Unfortunately, this requires money and thinking beyond the next election. The Russian military will also rebuild and learn from its misadventures, but the West has several years, before Putin will be for another round.

    2. “…defensive treaty preventing Ukrainian deployment of SRBMs, MRBMs, and cruise missiles (what Russia is paranoid about) in exchange for a statement saying that if Russia invades Ukrainian territory again, this time western countries are going to come to its aid…”

      Ukrainians would be mad to agree to this, after the West baited them with the Budapest Memorandum to renounce their nukes, and then betrayed them.

      1. They don’t have any right now, and acquiring them in the future absent being part of NATO is likely to provoke an immediate Russian attack. So I fail to see how it is “mad” to give up something they don’t currently have and would be destabilizing to get.

        1. For Ukraine to join NATO is actually a good thing for Russia. If Ukraine does not join NATO and decides to acquire missiles — non-nuclear of course — that can reach into Russia, Russia has an incentive to attack without fear of NATO retaliation. It would be able to point with some justification to fear of a rogue, vengeful Ukraine in thrall to the Azov Battalion. But in NATO, it will be under diplomatic pressure from the other member states to avoid doing bat-shit crazy things to provoke Russia. NATO does not want to get drawn into an Article 5 war that could have been prevented had Ukraine acted like a grown-up in some future dispute. (This was the rationale exposited in the Federalist Papers for a single United States: little hot-head blocs of 3 or 4 states each were likely to end up in foolish wars with foreign countries without the wise stabilizing influence of a strong unified republic. Didn’t prevent the War of 1812.)

          It could well take several years before NATO could be satisfied that Ukraine’s continuing government was stable enough to make it a reliable alliance member. The former Warsaw Pact countries joined NATO only in 1999-2004.

    3. “if Russia invades Ukrainian territory again, this time western countries are going to come to its aid”

      This is also known as letting Ukraine join NATO. The effect is the same.

      1. Yeah I sort of thought so too. But the news mentioned this, and so I thought about it. I think the key difference is the placement of Russia-targeting weapons in Ukraine. As part of NATO, the alliance would do that. With a more limited agreement, presumably the Ukrainians would stockpile more defensive-oriented tech. Which Russia may find acceptable, because they probably don’t care how many tankbusters Ukraine has, they care whether NATO can drop a missile on Moscow.

  5. Complications …. We would enter into a time where the different countries would see themselves as needing to tend to own security and economic interests. So discussing what to do about Russia after a settlement is really about what the different Western countries will choose to do on their own.

    Of course the settlement is likely to have several damnably unfair parts to it. Ukraine will probably lose yet more territory. It has a ruined infrastructure, but it can’t seek outside aide without looking like they are getting closer to Europe – in violation of an agreement, probably. I don’t think Russia will lift a finger to help, either (in part bc it will be hard for them to afford it, to be honest). Ukraine will still have stocks of weapons and Russia can claim that is a security threat to them. They can continue to harass the Ukrainian military and civilians from outside the borders. So even with a settlement, and the promise of benefits to normalizing relations with Russia, there will be ample reasons to not remove all sanctions.

    1. Realistically, I don’t think they do.

      I think we (the west) pays… and we the west also reap the benefit of that rebuilding. Russian money will make Ukraine turn east for trade. EU and US money will make them turn west for trade. Short term it may cost us, but long term it benefits us for them to turn west. We want them to turn west. So we help them rebuild. And we hope that China doesn’t decide Ukraine is a plum candidate for dominance via their ‘belt and road’ investment scheme before our money gets there.

      Forget punishing Russia. As Zsa Zsa said, living well is the best revenge dahling. The west brings Ukraine into our ‘living well’ fold as we let Putin swill in his cold war dreams.

      1. And we hope that China doesn’t decide Ukraine is a plum candidate for dominance via their ‘belt and road’ investment scheme before our money gets there.

        Hmmm, that’s good point. I bet that Xi has thought of that already. That may already be on the Moscow-Beijing negotiation table.

  6. After all, after both Germany and Japan surrendered at the end of WWII, the U.S., in contrast to continuing punishment as a deterrent helped rebuild those nations.

    Once Putin abdicates, or is deposed, from his uncrowned tsarship, we should offer the Russian people a generous version of the Marshall Plan.

    In the meantime, even if Putin stops waging war on Ukraine, we should keep the sanctions cranked to the max, while doing what we can to help humanitarian aid flow freely.

      1. Ukraine, we should keep giving a complete foreign aid package. Once the fighting stops, we should allow humanitarian aid to reach the Russian rank-and-file, while using all tools at our disposal to try to ensure it isn’t skimmed off by Putin and the oligarchs.

        1. Easier easier said than done, Ken, You can’t just drive a truck into a foreign country and hand out stuff to people without working with the local bureaucracy and complying with the laws that ensure a comfy life for the bureaucrats.

          A foreign correspondent traveled with a US Marine detachment guarding a truck convoy of humanitarian supplies consigned by an NGO for the trek up-country in Somalia, circa 1993, to prevent it from being “taxed” by the district’s warlord. The convoy arrived intact at the remote village for distribution and the Marines turned their escorting Humvees around for home. In the rear-view mirrors the local bandits could be seen emerging from the shacks and proceeded to loot the trucks. The Marine lieutenant turned to the journalist, shrugged, and grunted, “AWA”. (Africa wins again.)

            1. Why should we aspire to help “rank-and-file” Russians? Putin’s attack on Ukraine caused Western nations to levy economic sanctions on Russia. Those sanctions, of course, will impact everyday Russians, some of whom may come to question whether Putin should remain in power for life. Making it easier for Putin to return the Russian economy to what it was prior to the implementation of the sanctions only makes it much easier for him to realistically assume that he can retain his dream of expanding control over neighboring states or add at least portions of their lands to his domain in the years ahead.

              He attacked Ukraine because, though the West imposed sanctions for seizing Crimea and for other transgressions such as poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter which resulted in the death of a British citizen, those were insufficiently economically damaging to Russia and Putin’s government was able to take measures to lessen the impact of those sanctions. So, likely believing sanctions the West might levy against Russia if he invaded Urkaine would not do any intolerable, long-term damage to the Russian economy, he was emboldened to send his troops into Ukraine. We should help Ukraine rebuild from the devastation wrought by Putin, a process that may take decades given the destruction Putin has wrought on the country. But we certainly should not give aid to Russia to undo the results of sanctions we imposed. Doing so after Putin’s brutal campaign to subjugate Ukraine would be a slap in the face of Ukrainians who have fought so valiantly to drive Russian forces from their land and who have lost friends and family. And for Putin it would be confirmation that the West is weak and so afraid of him that he can attack a neighboring country without long-term consequences and with the West even helping to undo any prior penalties imposed on Russia for that attack.

              1. The aspirational part concerned preventing Putin and his cohorts from siphoning off any humanitarian aid.

                I don’t think the United States of America should ever be in the position of blocking or sanctioning humanitarian aid — medicine for the sick, food for the starving.

                And, as I’ve said elsewhere in this thread, I think sanctions on Putin, his oligarchs, and the Russian Federation in general should be kept cranked to the max until Putin abdicates or is deposed.

      2. I was possibly misinterpreted as being sarcastic here. Because “sanctions” and “aid” were combined in the same sentence, and because, though it is hard to be sympathetic, sanctions will inevitably cause hardship to the hopefully many Russians who secretly oppose the war, it almost seemed to advocate getting help in the form of aid to them. But I assume it did not, for lack of response.

  7. > “the agreement is something Zelensky decides to do to as the best say stop the killing and devastation wrought on his land.” “SUch a peace would surely involve some Ukrainian concessions to Russia”

    Isn’t that the definition of peaceful surrender? I don’t see it coming any time soon, but welcome the discussion. I’m more interested in the implications of a Russian-backed puppet state ‘surrendering’. I’ve seen similar events unfold in countries in Western Asia, and wonder how consistent the international reactions will be.

  8. Kamil Galeev has published numerous interesting tweets on Putin, the political/military/economic situation in Russia and the war in Ukraine.

    Very readable, as he takes an insider’s perspective as a Russian citizen.


    Kamil Galeev is an independent researcher and a journalist residing in Moscow. His main focus of interest is the identity politics in post-Soviet Russia, the ethnification of Russian nationalism and the crackdown on the ethnic republics. Galeev completed a Master’s in Economics and Management at Peking University China and then an MLitt in History at St Andrews, the UK. He is an activist of political opposition, briefly incarcerated for participation in the 2020 protests.


  9. Whether sanctions are lifted or not, Russia is in for hard times even if it gets out of Ukraine now. Companies won’t want to do business with it. There is also a strong move in Europe and elsewhere to become independent of Russian oil and gas. That might become less of a priority after the war ends but I doubt it will go away. Such a change takes time, of course, so the real hurt for Russia will take a few years to develop.

    There is already a scramble by other countries near Russia to seek EU and NATO protection. That takes time also but I suspect it will continue long after the war is over.

    It is possible, given time, that the full knowledge of what Russia has done in Ukraine will seep into the brains of its people. They will at least have time to count their dead soldiers and won’t be happy with that. With any luck, regime change will happen.

    1. It’s not the dead soldiers. It’s the live ones in wheelchairs,,,but with no arms to push them with, faces burned off, feeding through tubes, shitting into plastic bags for the rest of their lives. Maybe Russian surgery can’t, or won’t, save the lives of 18-year-olds wounded that badly. From a morale-back-home point of view, let’s hope not. But even thousands of each dotted around the streets and kitchens of home will concentrate the mind of Mother Russia.

        1. Of course you are right. I should have written “not just the dead”. You get over the dead, though, and stop setting a place at the table. You can fantasize that he died heroically and instantly. (if he died in a tank, at least the latter is possibly true.). You don’t have to listen to their mute silences while you imagine What It Was Really Like. And severely wounded are at least double the combat deaths in land warfare. (Except on Okinawa where the Japanese wouldn’t retreat with their wounded or surrender them for medical care.)

          1. “You get over the dead” – Leslie, that’s surprisingly callous of you. If my husband were killed in combat, I don’t think I’d ever *get over it*. I mean, I’d do my best to carry on with my life, but the grief would be there always.

            1. You’re a good person.

              I borrowed that line from the movie, Memphis Belle. (The Belle was just the second B-17 to survive 25 missions in 1942-43, mostly over France — Germany in daylight was suicide in those early months. It was one of very few U.S. combat aircraft to be flown home (for a war-bond tour), where it is on display now at the Museum of the USAF in Dayton, Ohio, after decades of deterioration and neglect in Memphis.) The film depicts the bomber group’s CO reading a letter he received back from the mother of an airman killed in action, thanking him for the kindness in his letter informing her of her son’s death. She finishes with “I suppose we will get over him, but not too soon I hope.”

              The scene is no doubt invented — Canadian next-of-kin were notified only by telegram from the War Department — but it’s still a good line that captures the times. My mother, who was in her 20s then, said that there were so many families with war dead and missing that you couldn’t dwell on your own loss forever as if yours was special. There was war work to be done. She lost a favourite cousin in the Dragoons — I don’t know how the telegram ended up in her photo album, maybe his mum couldn’t bear to keep it — and her fiancé was being trained up as aviator. He jilted her just before he went overseas and we have no idea if he survived the war. If she knew, she never told us.

              War is a grim business. I would wish it only on my worst enemy.

        2. Honestly, as Russian casualties for the sake of Putin’s delusions of grandeur mount, I wonder how many sons must go missing before Russians start noticing them.

          1. You know Putin isn’t notifying dead soldier’s families, right? Instead, he’s shipping the bodies to Belarus. As far as families and friends are concerned, they are just on maneuvers and will “be home soon”.

            1. Some, yes. But many are informed. I find in the Web lists, photos, reports from funerals (I speak Russian). Relations and communities still take it as a sort of natural disaster.

  10. The only way we could honestly maintain sanctions on Russia after an official peace with Ukraine was if there were undertakings in the agreement that would take time to effect, for example removing all Russians from the disputed Ukrainian territory or Russia providing funds for reconstruction. Then we could argue that the sanctions should continue to ensure compliance. Once all the terms of a treaty were met, though, it is not our war, and we would have no justification for maintaining the sanctions (other than the hole we’ve dug ourselves with our own rhetoric).

    1. Russia was subject to US sanctions even before Putin began his Ukraine adventurism. (You’re heard, for example, of the Magnitsky Act?) Are you suggesting that these preexisting sanctions should be lifted if Russia makes peace with Ukraine? That we should reinstate the Russian Federation’s most-favored-nation trade status?

        1. What you said is ambiguous: Should we return Russia to the status quo ante this year’s invasion of Ukraine? To the status quo ante the 2014 invasion of Crimea? Should we ask the other leaders at the G7 to slide over a seat so Putin can rejoin and return it to a G8?

          1. That would depend on what concessions Russia made surely.

            If Russia withdrew to the borders pre-the current war, then I guess we could raise the sanctions that were instituted because of the invasion. If they also leave the Crimea, we could raise the 2014 sanctions too.

            I think Dr Brydon’s position is clear: if you introduce sanctions in response to some sort of wrong doing, when Russia stops doing that wrong, morally you need to raise those sanctions.

            By the way, the G8 issue doesn’t arise because Russia’s economy is not in the top eight and it will drop further the longer the sanctions continue.

              1. Yes, my apologies to Paul. I just read before I posted this that in some poll Trump would get 47% of votes and Biden 42%. I hope they are wrong.

  11. How can a bully ever be appeased? If lunch money is surrendered to a schoolyard bully today, will the cycle of beatings not continue tomorrow? A world held hostage by a madman with nuclear warheads, and the rational folks must appease him.

    1. The fact is that Putin is holding Ukraine hostage as a madman with nuclear warheads. I suppose you are suggesting that the allies should just go into Ukraine and start fighting Putin? If not, what would you suggest we do to the “bully”?

  12. Russia may, or may not, observe the terms of any treaty with Ukraine, especially if it requires ‘reparations’ that Russia might not feel responsible for (or believe to be an acknowledgement of guilt).

    So I propose that Russian assets held overseas and frozen by sanctions should be released to help with the costs of rebuilding Ukraine. Russia will not like that – but then they should not have invaded another country, killed civilians and destroyed infrastructure.

  13. The sanctions should continue after the war. One lesson that the West must learn from this episode is that it can no longer ignore dictators and their armies. They will always be a threat. Pushing them back after they’ve done damage to their neighbors is just not good enough. The West must make all such dictators pay an economic price for their abuse of their people and the rule of law. Furthermore, there needs to be a line (or set of lines) that countries can’t cross without risk of being instantly sanctioned by the entire free world. Yes, China is going to be a big problem for such a policy. I didn’t say it would be easy. This war has produced a level of unity among countries when it seemed like it was destined to go the other way. It would be a shame to lose that momentum just because a war ended.

    1. Trouble is, it’s not the dictators that pay the price, it’s the people they dictate to. Personal sanctions must continue against Putin and the other gangsters in his inner circle, but, if Russia leaves Ukraine, we should lift the sanctions.

      1. True but the Russian people are far from innocent. Most of them support the war. Yes, I know they are being fed lies by their government but it isn’t that simple. Check out this thread which nicely explains opinions about the war at home in Russia:


        I know this is just some guy’s opinion but it has the ring of truth and echoes what we’ve been hearing elsewhere. Besides, we really don’t have much choice when it comes to pushback on Putin. I doubt whether personal sanctions amount to much in the way of pressure. Putin claims that he’s elected by the people. This is one case where we should take him at his word.

  14. Why is what Russia did so much worse than the multiple invasions/regime-changes that the US participated in (that resulted in millions of deaths), or the horrific genocidal wars perpetrated by our allies like in Yemen, or the concentration camps where our corporations use slave labor for cheap Nikes or iPhones, that it needs such punitive measures?

    Also, how many countries do you want to threaten, bully, intimidate (and/or inevitably regime change, because it is OK when we do it) to force them to go along with your proscribed punishment? African countries who rely on Russian grain or fertilizer, as an example, might not be so keen to sacrifice their citizens lives to starvation to help support your cause. They might view your attempts to twist their arms to support sections as racist imperialism.

    And what are you going to do about countries like China that are immune to US intimidation regarding sanctions?

    I find it shocking that you don’t see that half the Earth that we bomb, intimidate, or exploit, don’t exactly share our consensus about Russia being a cartoon villain and western nations being the noble heros. A lot of people, dare I say the majority of people outside the West, see us as the dangerous aggressive bullies. I guess it is easy to live in an echo chamber when you can dismiss any question of the narrative as a “Russian troll”, but eventually this lack of perspective on how the rest of the world sees you is going to catch up with you.

    1. Yep, given everybody’s bad behavior in the past, we should bloody well just have let Putin take over Ukraine, and why not the Baltic states as well.

      I find it shocking that you have no moral compass about this affair.

      And, as usual, we have a rude first comment.

      1. I agree with “ Veridical Driver”
        I am shocked at the double standards of the US and it’s NATO allies ..
        If we sanction Russia continuously without any easing up ( I believe easing most of the sanctions will earn goodwill) we will end up making enemies of the ordinary russian people as well .
        Furthermore sanctioning countries today , is like waging war ( albeit of another kind ) against them imho, so if a peace treaty is drawn and signed let’s not continue the war .
        Plus the US needs a lot of redemption as well for its terrible foreign policies over the years .
        This whole narrative of the good US and NATO v/s evil Russia in this whole mess is too simplistic to say the least . It’s like viewing the Star Wars movie.
        There are a lot of arguments being made for how this situation has arisen and the popular press is not doing it any justice .

        1. Arguments can be made about US foreign policies but it is Russia invading Ukraine, right? Although Putin claims to be threatened by NATO and the West, you don’t really believe the US or its allies have any intention of invading Russia, do you? They wouldn’t even think of forcing Ukraine to join NATO or the EU. They would allow Ukraine’s government and, hopefully, its people to make the choice. See the difference?

          1. Ok , so you are drawing a line only where it’s convenient.
            Many commentators think that the war began in 2014 when the US actively encouraged the 2014 revolution ( instead of asking the revolutionaries to wait for the next elections ..democracy for you ! ) because they want to breath down Russia’s neck and actively increase their sphere of influence . Many more think it was the eastward expansion of NATO that caused this conflict as well as the bad treatment of the Russian speaking people in the east etc etc.
            one has to just read stuff on the net regarding Zelensky banning tv channels in Ukraine and making the Ukrainian language the official only language of Ukraine. Talking about freedom and freedom of press in Ukraine !
            The US and nato are already waging a proxy war by encouraging Ukraine. All in the name of democracy ..and self determination.
            How come they don’t call out China for invading Tibet and annexing it ? I wonder !
            Russia has been an enemy of the US and NATO ..NATO was created to counter The Soviet Union .
            Why does NATO still exist ..after the Cold War ?
            Surely Russia has not ceased to be the enemy. So if one carries out military drills on Russia’s doorstep ( btw remember the Cuban missile crisis – it was not easily tolerated by the US for the same reason ) and encourages Ukraine by not clarifying it’s NATO membership and keeps it hanging in the air and playing an underhanded game, it is not peace that the US and NATO are looking for .
            I hope there is peace instead of fratricide in Ukraine and the US keeps its nose out of this affair .

            1. You know that the only reason anyone does military drills on Russia’s doorstep is because Putin and the authoritarians before him are constantly threatening or invading their neighbors. All this stuff about Putin and Russia being worried about NATO is just BS. He knows that he’s the cause of it.

              1. Both the US and Russia are extending their spheres of influence in Ukraine .
                Nothing to do with Putin’s authoritarian ways . Russia will not tolerate military drills of Ukrainian troops with US troops on its border
                This position is called offensive realism.
                It’s natural for countries to do this .
                Once again try to remember the Cuban missile crisis.
                All these problems in Ukraine cannot be blamed on Putin’s authoritarianism.
                The US is very democratic in its own backyard but ditches all democratic pretences when abroad . We have seen this in the 2014 revolution in Ukraine .
                We have seen this in the CIA toppling a democratically elected govt in Iran in “Operation Ajax. “ .
                The list goes on .

          2. What is your position on the Monroe Doctrine and Latin America? Grenada 1983? Panama 1989? Dominican Republic 1965? Honduras 1954? Chile/Allende 1973? Nicaragua in the 80’s?
            Mexico 1914? Haiti in the 20’s? Vietnam? Iraq? Where has the U.S. accommodated the independent choices and respected the sovereignty of these countries?

            With a singular focus on Ukraine, Biden is on record saying any country has the right to ally itself with whomever it pleases. The above historical record seems to differ. Let Russia or China establish an alliance with a Latin American country and see the U.S. have a lower GI incident.

            Is it rude to say the above?

            1. I’m not going to argue about every foreign engagement the US has had in its history. I don’t have the knowledge or the interest. Let’s just focus on today’s war, shall we?

              Anyone who takes Russia’s side in this has to ask themselves what the US’s end game would be? After the fall of the USSR, the US hoped that Russia would become a democracy and join the rest of the world. For a little while that seemed possible. But then the old corruption took hold. There were also too many like Putin that yearned for the good old days of the USSR. They turned inwards on their own. It’s a shame. Ukraine wants to break free of that destructive mindset. More power to them.

            2. Cuba was allied with the USSR for decades. Does anyone recall the US sending 100,000 troops and columns of tanks to encircle Havana, Santiago, and Camaguey ? The most this line of argument can come up with is the Bay of Pigs incident.

            3. Filippo:

              What is your position on Russian war crimes in Syria?
              How about Putin’s destruction of Grozny in 1999?
              The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979?
              How about Russia’s suppression of the Prague uprising in 1969 and the Hungarian revolution of 1956?
              The Stalinist purges of 1936?
              Or the 3.9 million people killed in the Holodomor of the 1930s?

              Russia has a long, long, history of imperialism, repression, and brutality. Any misdeeds by the U.S. pale in comparison.

        2. When tanks are rolling through your countryside and SRBMs are falling on your cities, forcing your women and children to flee, it is just like Star Wars.
          The Russian people are the Russian state, whether they like it or not. If sanctions cause them to starve, let them. There’s not enough of them, and they don’t produce enough, that their goodwill matters a hill of beans.

          Honestly, the idea of American redemption obligating Ukraine to be dismembered is just, literally sophomoric. High-school sophomoric, from when we all thought we were Marxists just because the Americans (and Australians) were quagmired in Vietnam.

          1. Too simplistic again .
            I believe the Ukrainian people are being used to fight NATO’s proxy war and Zelensky asking for NATO’s membership has led his country to disaster . I wonder why he did not think that reducing military expenditure, focusing on Ukraines’s economy and becoming neutral ( which Russia wants) he would not have helped his country more.
            I believe Zelensky wanted war ( he was war mongering ) and he got it . Sadly he destroyed his own country .
            The US and it’s popular press will go with the star wars narrative because it suits them . Others are not necessarily buying it.

            1. Sonal, thank you kindly for your insightful comments. Truly, a moment of moral clarity! Like you, I believe that the current war in Ukraine is the fault of NATO and America, the Great Satan of the West. Russia has long been a peace-loving nation that always considers the well-being of the world community. Its involvement in Ukraine, Syria, Georgia, and Chechnya were special military operations designed to spread the blessings of Russian culture and good governance to the grateful peoples of the world. Unfortunately, a few hospitals and schools got in the way of Russian artillery, and maybe a thermobaric device or two might have been detonated in the process, but such is the price of progress. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, right?

              Let us all take a moment to express our appreciation of our mutual friend, Vladimir Putin, the Prince of Peace!

              1. JP415 –
                Most countries will enlarge their spheres of influence US , Russia or any other country.

                This crisis is also about threat perception. If a country perceives a threat it will act . Most countries will act
                Moral pretences are just pretences .
                This is offensive but true .
                Btw one cannot give Ukrainian civilians weapons and kalashnikovs ( which they are doing btw ) and say the Russian are killing civilians . How does one know that Ukrainian troops are not firing out of those hospitals etc
                The devil is in the details .
                Sarcasm does not prove much btw.
                I believe Russia could have carpet bombed most Ukrainian cities but did not actually. Because they are targeting military establishments not civilians . Having said that , Ukraine cannot say civilians are getting killed if the civilians are also being armed for combat .

              2. You have no idea what you’re talking about. There are photos and documented reports of Russia targeting civilians. Sorry, but your ignorant blather does not belong on this website. If you make an assertion this extraordinary, you have to provide evidence for it. Perhaps you could send us some news reports from Russia?

                You act as if Putin had the right to flatten Ukraine simply because it was on the border. Sorry, pal, but if you think that, well, this is a family oriented site and I won’t use words to tell you what I think about your willful ignorance.

      1. Today, annexation of countries is more sophisticated than land grabbing.
        It comes in the form of NATO and EU memberships and subsequent conditions –
        “ Either you are with us or against us “ for non members.
        If one is against – one will either be annihilated or will disappear or join the allies.
        Land grab is more straightforward and honest me thinks .

        1. “Either you are with us or against us” is patently not the position of NATO, still less the EU. Both organisations maintain cordial, mutually-respecting relationships with a vast range of third countries. Please name one single country that has ever been annihilated by the EU.

  15. I think Russia is at real risk of becoming a failed state. The Russian government and the institutions of the state are basically a crime syndicate. They are organized and behave like a mafia organization, and Putin is the Don.

    This is a large part of why the Russian military has been such a disaster in every way. (Another large part is that Putin is a product of state security and the military was always considered the largest threat to state security.) I think it’s fairly certain that all the other state institutions of Russia are in similarly disastrous condition. Putin and his crime boss underlings have been robbing Russia blind for years and every aspect of the government is thoroughly corrupted. The lot of the Russian people will not improve until Putin is gone and a major overhaul of nearly all their government institutions, in order to get rid of the crime bosses and drastically reduce the corruption, is done.

    Of course Russia’s tottering corpse can still continue to cause plenty of damage to Ukraine for some time. How much time? I don’t know. But the outlook for Russian forces in Ukraine is pretty bleak at the moment. They are losing ground, being killed at an alarming rate, losing equipment at an even more alarming rate, starting to be abandoned in the field and their leaders are starting to lie about what their goals for this special military action where.

    If conventional military operations were the only consideration I think it’s pretty obvious that Ukraine would be able to push Russia completely out of their territory, but of course there is a nuclear elephant in the room. And the pressure Putin must be feeling. The humiliation. He pulled the trigger and it back-fired horribly for him. Instead of enhancing his/Russia’s image he inadvertently revealed to the whole world that the Russian military was a laughable sham compared to the image and reputation he worked so hard to portray for the world. And instead of the West fumbling things, staying divided, they, and most of the rest of the world, got together immediately and hit back hard, crashing the ruble and providing Ukraine with state of the art materials, intelligence and aid of all kinds. He’s lost face several different ways and he’s getting his ass kicked too. How much humiliation can a person like him, super-ultimate-macho-man thug, take before reaching for the nuclear button?

    Any way you slice it, Putin has already lost, big, and there’s nothing he can do to turn this into a win. Unfortunately he’s also ruined Russia and wreaked death and destruction across Ukraine while he was losing.

  16. Two of the Russian experts I respect believe that Putin wants to reestablish Russian dominance over all lands that were once part of Russia. That this war with Ukraine is another step toward that goal. If they are right, a treaty between Russia and Ukraine is, at best, a temporary slowdown in the road toward some form of domination of a large part of Europe and other lands. Putin is 70ish. He has a limited amount of time to elevate his place in Russian and world history. So he’s apt to continue his quest while he’s still able to do so. In addition to his war against Europe, Putin is attempting to strengthen his country’s ties to China, and, possibly, to recreate a binarily powered world in which China and Russia are aligned against the western nations. So while pressure needs to be continued to thwart Putin’s aggressive goals, that pressure needs to be carefully calibrated so it doesn’t bring China or vital Chinese interests into the conflict. Biden and the leaders of other Western nations have a path strewn with thorns and land mines ahead.

    1. Reestablish Russian dominance??? — so when does he demand that we return Alaska and large portions of the northwest of Canada and the US?

      1. Good question. I hope even open borders supporters will, if necessary, be willing to have our country defend that border. But then I’m partial to the state. I remember nuclear bomb drills that were routine when I lived in Anchorage in the sixties. And moving in long silent lines into the school hallways to sit against the wall with our heads in our laps and our arms covering our heads. Way back when the US and Russia were Cold War adversaries. And years before Sarah Palin was able to see Russia from her house. 😉

        1. Sarah Palin never said she could see Russia from her house. That was Tina Fay parodying her, (uncannily well, I must say.)

          1. When the half-term governor of Alaska (and former mayor of Wasilla) was asked during the vice-presidential campaign about her having any relevant foreign-policy experience, Palin said, “You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.” This was the statement Tina Fey was exaggerating for the purpose of parody on SNL.

      2. When people make statements like this, I always assume they mean during the era of the USSR. Russia sold Alaska in 1867 (the anniversary of the treaty signing was a few days ago). If we are talking about 1866 borders, I think we need to have a word about the British Empire.

  17. Sanctions should continue until Russia extradites to the West defendants wanted for criminal proceedings. These include trials for the poisoning of Litvinenko in London; for the poisoning of the Skripals and others in Salisbury; for the shooting down of civilian airflight MH17 over Russian-occupied SE Ukraine; and possibly for ICC proceedings against violators of international conventions and agreements in the current special military operation by Russia inside Ukrainian territory.

    1. Jon’s suggestion is an interesting one. On the “Rational Security” podcast a couple of weeks ago, argued that sanctions should be used to pressure the Kremlin into changing course, not to be purely punitive. Thus, there have to be benchmarks for their removal. However, if any peace settlement involves significant concessions by Russia (Donbas, Ukrainian neutrality), then I would argue for the lifting of some sanctions, primarily those that hurt Russians a a whole, but leaving in place those directly targeting Vlad and his cronies. Having said that, one of the biggest sanctions currently in place is the freezing of assets of the Russian National bank, which harm both Putin and Russian citizens. So there are no easy answers.

  18. Russia must pay for extensive reparations of course. As for Europe, they should integrate Ukraine as far as possible into the EU’s activities: economic, cultural, etc. even if Ukraine does not become a EU member (which it should). But what about the wealth of oligarchs stowed abroad? The UK has to answer for this primarily. Ending the scandals like the Panama Papers that protect criminals. Some kind of European/US permanent oversight, short of NATO, is necessary. Let us not forget the huge amount of money and military assistance as well as legitimacy we provide to other countries! Pakistan? home territory for Islamist terrorists who go unpunished? Saudi Arabia? prime oppressor of women. Afghanistan, which just forced girls back into their homes and denied them education? And Iran, which funds Hezbollah and Hamas to bomb Israel? Then the drug lord-controlled countries
    in central America, the diamond/gold lord countries in Africa, the countries with uncontrolled slavery (India being the worst in numbers, Haiti the worst per capita, and southeast Asia with child
    prostitution rampant and ignored). All of this goes unaddressed even as the left declares the US as the greatest criminal in history…….even as it literally saved Europe, alongside Churchill. And by the way, where is the voice of organized religion? Why do they give moral lectures every Sunday in small church around the world but have nothing to say about Putin’s crimes? (nor does the Russian orthodox church which long ago made its peace with totalitarianism…see the film Leviathan).

  19. The formidable “Leviathan” (2014) is an infinitely depressing account of what life is like in Putin’s Russia, a society largely organized through corruption and crime syndicate/government. I wonder what the film’s writer/director Andrey Zvyagintsev is doing now—and where he is doing it.

  20. I have no problem leaving sanctions in place and absolutely crushing the Russian people until Putin is gone and sincere reforms are in place. This is not a short-term project. Russia has been ruled by Tsars and autocrats for centuries. Perhaps it is naive of us to ever expect them to adopt democracy because like several other countries where we have tried to instill it, they have no knowledge of what it is like. Let Russia become a failed state.

    And at this point I’d give Ukraine every weapon we could and let them absolutely kick Russia to the curb. Above, commenters were talking about how reparations poisoned the German people and led eventually to WWII. While this was a large contributing factor, it was also true that the German people were told and believed that their government sold out the war effort. The Germans couldn’t believe they had lost. Not a single battle except at the very early stages of the war was actually fought on German soil. Make it hurt so they know they lost.

    Yes, I’m aware of the risks of my position.

    1. Yes, I agree. Even though sanctions will make the Russian people suffer, the net for the world would still be positive if it cause Putin to be deposed and his replacements seek a more reasonable future for their country. I also feel less sorrow for the Russians since most of them support Putin. I know they are being fed lies but, until recently, they’ve had access to the internet. There’s a price that must be paid.

      1. I believe the world will be a safer and happier place if the US and NATO war machine is dismantled. One has to just look at the defense stocks skyrocketing in the US
        Green Poison Frog and Paul Topping – you guys have provided the very reasons why I think Putin has done all the non NATO members a favour by trying to correct the balance of power in the world.
        No one wants a Unipolar world . The hubris that NATO and US wield underhandedly has to get countered. I predict a slow shift to a multipolar world in the coming decades after the Ukraine crisis

        1. Nothing wrong with a multi-polar world but I doubt Russia will ever be one of those poles. They are too corrupt and have no vision for their people. This invasion has shown how weak they are and the response from the West will weaken them further. The only respect they have gotten for many decades is fear of their nuclear weapons. They are going further and further towards a future like that of North Korea.

  21. Sorry, bit of a long comment, but I made it as short as I could.

    The goal of the West, even if our governments can’t say it explicitly, must be to remove Putin from power. Putin is a menace to Russia, the wider Eurasian region and ultimately the whole world. He is by far the single biggest threat to world peace and a deliberate provocateur to the existing order. Yet he offers nothing constructive; instead, he inflicts fear, disruption, damage, instability and whatever else he feels like, wherever he feels he can get away with it.

    Putin is not a strategic or political genius as some people think – anyone can create disorder given the leverage he has. Making positive change is much more difficult and he simply isn’t up to that challenge.

    The most worrying recent development is that he appears to be pursuing his own interests rather than Russia’s. This makes him even more dangerous. Putin lives in the past; he was devastated by the break-up of the USSR (the real Russia in his eyes) and feels emasculated by it. To him, Ukraine is part of Russia, Ukrainians are Russians, so they must be brought back home.

    He’s surrounded himself with lackeys and yes men, then poisoned / prisoned / sacked anyone who disagrees with him. He snuffed out all political opposition, took control of the media and lives in a world of delusion. His behaviour has got steadily worse over the last 20 years, and because of the inaction of the West, he has learned that no matter how seriously he transgresses international norms, there are virtually no consequences.

    There is a striking level of similarity between Putin in the present day, and Hitler in the 1930’s. Hitler was ashamed and devastated by the defeat in WW1 and the resultant humiliation at Versailles. He was driven to rebuild Germany in his image and believed ethnically German states like Czechoslovakia (Ukraine?) must be absorbed by the Reich. He surrounded himself with yes men, killed or jailed people he disliked, destroyed political opposition and took over the media. For 6-7 years after taking power, he behaved with increasing aggression and recklessness, pursuing his own interests, and we let him get away with it.

    The similarities between Putin and Hitler are striking, and we should understand that people like this do not stop and can’t be trusted. We’re dealing with a despot, and once you have realised that, further appeasement is irresponsible and dangerous.

    Ukraine is our version of the Poland invasion in 1939, and enough is enough. Even if we manage to get Russia out of Ukraine, me must resolve to get rid of Putin. We can’t do it directly, but sanctions will get us there eventually. Putin needs his oligarchs on side, and while they are being stripped of their wealth and freedom, they won’t stay backing him forever. Putin needs to be confronted with the same uncertainty and instability he aims to inflict on other nations.

    The situation in Russia is not as stable as people may think. Many ostensibly loyal oligarchs have private armies that can (and may) be quickly mobilised. Many millions of Russians are angry already and will not tolerate further violence, suppression, or reductions in their quality of life. This may mean sanctions have to get tighter before things improve, but there Is no alternative. We must get rid of Putin

    1. Leslie , I never said the US needs to get redeemed with Ukraine getting dismembered.
      I was talking within the context of not sanctioning Russia after a peace treaty is drawn up.
      You just did a straw man.
      On another note ..I remember seeing the US press embedded with US troops never showing the havoc caused on civilians when they bombed Baghdad . There they were liberating the Iraqis from Saddam .
      Well , can we say that Putin is liberating eastern Ukraine from the azov battalion and for that reason let’s overlook
      collateral damage ?
      It’s an invasion for the US in Ukraine and liberating the eastern Ukrainians from the Azovs for Putin!
      Depending on how one is biased one will interpret this situation .
      I for one wants peace in Ukraine and for the US to mind their own business and let Russia and Ukraine who have cultural and historical ties ties sort it out .
      Zelensky is a far greater enemy of Ukraine than Putin me thinks.

      1. Zelensky is a far greater enemy of Ukraine than Putin me thinks

        Putin is trying to level Ukraine. I cannot believe an informed person could possibly write what you wrote in the last sentence of that comment.


        I’ve rewritten this comment several times to try to keep it within Da Roolz of this web site. Hopefully, I’ve managed it, but if I wrote what I really think, I’d be instabanned.

    2. Wetherjeff- Completely agree, except for the We in your last sentence. It will be ever so much better if Russians themselves somehow manage a Mussolini solution. Or Ceaucescu. It will be ever so much more purifying it they can do it themselves.

      A (WaPo, IIRC) headline today suggested that at the same time that Putin is keeping the truth from ordinary Russians, Putin’s advisors are keeping the truth of the ineptness of his invasion from him. If this is correct, we have the groundwork for a rift, and if these guys feel threatened they could well act to remove the threat. There were something like 25 attempts on Hitler from within – von Stauffenberg’s was almost the last and the one that everyone hears about.

      Once events conspire to take Putin out of the picture, any talk about the aftermath is greatly simplified.

      1. Sorry, I didn’t express myself clearly in that last sentence. In using ‘we’ I meant the global community (primarily the west, obviously), and then only via the sort of indirect methods we are already using. Any direct intervention by the west would not be accepted by the Russian public, it would never last, and the risks of escalation would be beyond prohibitive. Direct action against Putin HAS TO come from within, but we can help facilitate it, and we must do all we can to help, even if we suffer economically in the short term.

  22. “Why evolution is true” –
    There is equal amount of evidence that Ukrainian civilians are being armed by Ukrainian military . It’s very easy to look that up .
    If Russia has evidence of Ukraine gearing up its military with the US against Russia it will attack. It’s not a question about rights but about threat perception. Just like Iraq was attacked by the US because of threat perception or Afghanistan was attacked because the US feared Osama was hidden there .
    Clearly some harsh truths are not going down well and there seems to be a moral outrage at my comments .
    May be there should be conditions on posting – try to agree with most !
    So much for free speech on this one.
    I have not been abusive but just looked at an alternative perspective on this situation.
    Many points made on this one don’t convince me and many others.
    The minute someone pointed an alternative perspective ie what the US has been doing ( most of it is actually true ) that person was labelled as rude . I am shocked that truth did not matter there .

    What have I said that is not family like on this blog I wonder. Do family members always agree with each other I wonder !

    1. This is possibly the silliest of your comments on the thread here Sonal. Your petulant “so much for free speech” makes no sense whatsoever as you have not been prevented from expressing your views. The fact that your comments have been widely disagreed with and have led to sharp retorts is NOT a denial of your right to free speech.
      What you refer to as “some harsh truths” are not truths simply because you have asserted them. Clearly others disagree with you about what is ‘true’. Furthermore the fact that something is true does not necessarily make it relevant. For example, the various references to past US foreign policy interventions in different parts of the world; no doubt many of those can be legitimately criticised but how does that justify Putin’s behaviour? If we work on the basis that we can never criticise any state for whatever it does because we can find examples of where other states have done similar or worse, that would seem to condemn us to an endless grim cycle of repetition of such events.
      You will find if you look at the side bar that there are conditions to commenting on this site but they do not include a requirement to agree either with other commenters or the host, only to remain civil in any discussions. You have not been prevented from commenting and it is childish to make this comment simply because others have disagreed with you.

      1. Of course that’s why people were branded as rude on this blog when they happened to say stuff against America which was btw true .
        Again by calling people rude is not disagreeing with them about the facts that they presented but labelling them as rude .

        I was told in no uncertain terms that my posts did not belong on this one by “ why evolution is true” – it was ignorant blather on my part .
        I wonder who is ignorant when they don’t know that civilians in Ukraine are being armed ..and then assertions are made that they get killed . It’s a joke really ..
        Clearly truth does not belong on this blog .
        I will not btw correct all the wilful ignorance that others are demonstrating on this one anymore. It’s total BS I am reading on this one too .
        I don’t see the point anymore unless I want to be called rude or worse.

    2. Sonal—

      You’re engaging in a dishonest rhetorical tactic called “whataboutism.”

      Somebody expresses concern about the Ukraine crisis and you respond with “What about Iraq?” The U.S. army killed innocent people in Iraq, so it’s okay for Putin to kill innocent people in Ukraine? Is that your point? If O.J. Simpson killed his wife, is it okay for me to kill my wife?

      Either your ideas are muddled and incoherent or you’re just being dishonest. Either way, that speaks poorly of you as a human being.

  23. If I may be so blunt, it seems to me that Putin-understander and Russian trolls are now also posting on the blog here to spread their false. I notice a lot of red herrings, whataboutism, moving the goalposts and other stylistic devices to sow uncertainty and discord

    I do not know about the situation in the USA, but in Germany we have seen this phenomenon since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Putin has activated his social media warriors.

  24. It would be ludicrous to imagine Russia getting off without reprisal.
    To be clear, although this is often referred to as a war, it is not. It is ethnic cleansing.
    The whole idea is to get rid of the population that doesn’t think Russian.
    Russia should be made to pay for every stick and brick they have destroyed plus compensate for every Ukrainian life lost.
    None of this is likely to happen unless the west remains united with steel resolve.
    This whole situation could have been avoided but Putin outbluffed the west.
    We have effectively dodged the bullet by not taking a hard line.

  25. At this point Russia’s attack from Belarus and Russia has been beaten back in the north, and its new attack convoy is no longer 60+ km long byt 10+ and dispersed. Zelensky has, if I understand correctly, declared that there won’t be any high level peace talks until Russia has been completely pushed back. Whether that includes Crimea, and Ukraina can manage it, I don’t know.

    I don’t understand the point about Germany energy situation. They need to weather this winter, and they seem think they can do without Russian gas after that. This should hasten Europe’s weaning from fossil fuel.

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