June 24, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The global “war party” and its plans

Recently, Western media have been writing that in the coming months agreements may be concluded to end the war by stopping it along the front line. And also that Zelensky is being pushed towards this by Western countries.

True, there is no official confirmation from Ukraine and the West about readiness for this yet. As before, the main concept of ending the war for Kyiv and Western partners remains the “Zelensky peace formula,” which implies the withdrawal of Russian troops to the 1991 borders.

There is no clear understanding of whether Putin wants to stop the war, and if so, on what conditions. On the one hand, both he and other representatives of the Russian government declare their readiness for negotiations based on “realities on the ground” (that is, fixing the territorial gains of the Russian Federation in Ukraine). On the other hand, the Russian army is advancing and there is a widespread opinion in the West that in such conditions the Kremlin will not want to stop fighting along the front line. But in any case, no one is offering Putin such an option. Therefore, it is still impossible to say reliably what he thinks about this.

Nevertheless, many signs indicate that the scenario for ending the war along the front line is being discussed at different levels. Yes, and Zelensky is actually right on this hints (we analyzed this in detail Here). And in general, the war is now coming to a fork in the road. Either gradual attenuation (with a stop sooner or later along the current front line), or, to prevent this, escalation. For Ukraine, this means sending millions of men, and possibly women, to war, a total tightening of belts in all directions for the sake of increasing military spending, even greater casualties and destruction. For the West, this means a sharp increase in aid to Ukraine, permission to fire missiles on the territory of the Russian Federation, the deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine, a dramatic increase in military spending (including by reducing social programs). For the Russian Federation, this is full-scale mobilization, a complete transfer of the economy to a military footing and maximizing military spending at the cost of reducing all others, and the use of nuclear weapons in the war.

For both sides, moving to such levels of escalation involves enormous sacrifices and risks. The main one is the threat of a world nuclear war with mutual destruction. Therefore, all parties, being at such a fork in the road, may well make a choice in favor of ending it along the front line on certain conditions.

But we also wrote that in Ukraine, in the West, and in Russia there are forces (the so-called global “party of war”) that are not interested in ending the war in the near future. They have repeatedly thwarted attempts to end the war in the past (more on this Here). And now they can also make efforts to destroy any agreements on compromises in the bud and push all participants to choose a different path at a fork in the road – not peace, but escalation.

They have many options. And attacks on civilians with a large number of casualties, and assassination attempts on country leaders, attempts at internal destabilization, and the like. But one of the most likely options for their actions is to provoke a direct clash between the West and Russia.

On May 6, Moscow actually issued an ultimatum to the West regarding the use of Western missiles to strike Russian territory. The United States and other countries have so far maintained that they do not allow their weapons to be used to strike internationally recognized Russian territory. Even Britain, which previously stated the opposite, has recently been talking only about allowing strikes within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine.

At the same time, both in Kyiv and in the West there are many forces that convince everyone that there is no need to be afraid of the ultimatums of the Russian Federation, and Russian territory can and should be attacked with Western weapons. These forces also promote the view that even in the event of a direct military clash between Russia and NATO, Moscow will not dare to use nuclear weapons, which means there is no need to fear the entry of Western troops into Ukraine.

At the moment, this point of view is not prevalent among Western leaders, which is why most NATO countries are not giving the go-ahead for sending troops. However, with regard to permission for Western missile strikes on Russian territory, this topic, judging by publications in the media, is already being discussed. Although no such decision has been made yet. But if it is accepted, how will Russia react to it?

Moscow has its own war party, which extremely does not want the war to end in the near future along the front line. There is also an opinion that it would be beneficial for the Russian Federation to bring the situation to the brink of a direct collision with the West and the threat of nuclear war (“Carribean crisis 2.0”) in order to encourage the United States and EU reach some strategic agreements with Russia to change the global world order.

Supporters of this point of view are still demanding a “bang” either at the West or with a “nuclear weapon” at Ukraine after each next strike on Crimea or Russian territory. And if Ukraine hits the Russian Federation with Western missiles, then they will definitely try to make the most of this in order to induce the Kremlin to take radical actions against Western countries. And this will take the war to a completely different level, preventing it from dying out and creating conditions for NATO to be drawn into it directly, which, in turn, will sharply increase the threat of nuclear war. Because it is far from certain that the parties will be able to stop one step away from it, as was the case during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Naturally, it is now impossible to say with 100% certainty that in response to the use of Western missiles on Russian territory, Putin will immediately strike the West, and the West will respond by starting a war with Russia. But it is obvious that the likelihood of such an option in the event of missile strikes on Russian territory will increase, and the chances of stopping the war and a peaceful settlement will sharply decrease.

The author's opinion may not coincide with the opinion of the editors.

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