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After the Russian humiliating retreat from Kyiv, all eyes are on the Donbass where a major battle is expected to take place in the near future. Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine will continue holding peace talks, and the Kremlin is expected to keep demonstrating its political weakness.
On March 31 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree allegedly forcing “unfriendly” European purchasers of Russian natural gas to set up a special ruble bank account in Russia’s state-controlled Gazprombank to pay for their supplies. Two days later, however, the Kremlin announced that it does not plan to cut off gas exports to Europe yet, and several European countries openly rejected Moscow’s demand for gas payment in rubles.
If Russia does not halt gas supplies to “unfriendly” countries by May, the West will undoubtedly interpret Putin’s announcement as yet another empty threat. More importantly, the European Union and the United States will continue imposing sanctions on the Russian Federation as long as the war in Ukraine goes on, and restrictive measures are unlikely to be lifted even after a peace deal between Moscow and Kyiv is signed.
Diplomatically, the Kremlin has already shot itself in the foot when it agreed not to continue holding talks in Belarus. According to the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, “Ukraine was against negotiations in Belarus”, which is why Moscow had to accept to meet with Ukrainian delegation in Istanbul, Turkey. Thus, Russia made a unilateral concession to the country it reportedly aims to “denazify”.
Many Russians are not particularly happy about the fact that Moscow and Kyiv are holding talks, be it in Istanbul or elsewhere. For instance, famous Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyov – critics call him a propagandist – claims that “any negotiations with Nazis are interpreted as Russian weakness”. In addition, Igor Korotchenko, a member of the civil council of Russia’s Ministry of Defense, insists that a potential peace agreement with Ukraine “will not only be a mistake, but it will be a betrayal”.
At the same time, Ukrainian officials stressed that the Russian side at the talks in Istanbul has accepted almost all of Kyiv’s demands. The Kremlin has reportedly agreed that Ukraine should hold a referendum on the neutrality of the country, but if the Ukrainian citizens do not approve a deal, Kyiv will launch new peace talks with Moscow. In other words, Russia agreed to hold endless talks with those that Russian President Vladimir Putin called “a band of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”. Moreover, there are indications suggesting that Putin is ready to meet with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Istanbul “in the near future”, even though Moscow has not achieved a single military and a political goal in the Eastern European country.
That is why some Russian analysts criticize the country’s chief mediator Vladimir Medinsky, and fear that the Kremlin is preparing the ground to sign another Khasavyurt Accord – the document that brought the first Chechen war to an end under Boris Yeltsin in 1996. As a result of the deal, Russia withdraw its forces from Chechnya in exchange for its capital, Grozny, being demilitarized. Indeed, it is entirely possible that Moscow could try to implement a similar exit strategy in Ukraine, although a potential agreement with Kyiv is unlikely to be signed before “the battle for the Donbass” is over.
Given that Russian troops have a hard time seizing the strategically important town of Marinka in the Donbass, it is highly uncertain they will manage to establish full control over the coal-rich region any time soon, if at all. Meanwhile, Ukraine is expected to continue conducting strikes on Russian territory, which will represent additional humiliation for Moscow. The Kremlin, for its part, will continue making concessions to its Ukrainian and Western partners. On April 3 Russia agreed to allow evacuation of foreign citizens from the port city of Mariupol. Could “foreign citizens” actually be foreign mercenaries? One thing is for sure – the battle for the Donbass will be a turning point of the Russo-Ukrainian war only if Russia fails to capture the energy-rich territory. In that case, Ukraine will likely launch a major counter-offensive, and sooner or later Russian forces will have to retreat from the region, which will mark the end of Putin’s military adventure in Ukraine.
If the Russian Army wins in Donbass, the war will go on because Kyiv, unlike Moscow, does not seem to be ready to sign any form of capitulation.
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Russia never had intent on taking over Ukraine or installing a government. The push on the capital was a military diversion to pull Ukrainian forces to the area. The pullback was part of a negotiated agreement. While Ukrainian forces were split, Russia has focused on the Donbas region and the port area of Odessa. If Russia takes the coast and the ports, Ukraine is landlocked.
The neo-Nazi Azov rebels have had 8 years to fortify a military frontline west of the Donbas, this is where the war will be fought. Ukraine will end up giving up part of eastern Ukraine or end up in a years long war with Russia, which was what the western leaders that Zalenskyy got in bed with wanted for the past decade. Now we are seeing false flags popping up in an effort to garner emotional support for the west`s proxy war against Russia.
This war has been in the making for the past 10 years……it`s not ending overnight.
Putin is a turd and so are his trolls.
You are Soros’s turd and his troll
I second your reply to Johnson, Alien.
Everyone that doesn’t agree with the mainstream narrative is a Putin troll?
You have a limited imagination
What is your proof for “Russian humiliating retreat from Kyiv”? This is MSM propaganda that I have heard for a while now.
I am afraid this journalist does not have much of a grasp of military tactics. The reason Kiev was surrounded first up was so that a large part of the Ukraine army had to stay there, thus being unable to back up other units in the East, while Russia worked its way around the East and South cleaning out cities are villages of Nazi troops. This is a standard tactic, described by one famous commander as “holding them by the nose while kicking them in the back side”. Russia’s army and weapons are superior to the US ones, which the US does not want to test in direct fighting with Russia, as their second place be revealed, and the USA will lose a great deal of money from sale of weapons around the world. Zelensky does not love his people, or he would have stopped the fighting and come to an agreement before this. As it is, many many wonderful young Ukrainian men are going to die along with the Nazis, who are stationed in the army, with one Nazi to 10 ordinary soldiers, to keep them from surrendering. Half of the elite Naval units have been killed and 267 have surrendered.
The journalist who knows a whole lotta’ more than you do about the conflict happens to be 100% correct.
And no, the Russian weapons are severely compromised, at least the half still operational. This conflict has put into high relief the low morale of the troops and severe inferiority of Russia’s equipment. Shall I add the soldiers who have defected, surrendered, given their tanks to the Ukies, and even injured themselves to get out of the conflict and out of Putin’s army of disaster. Fact is, I have love for neither side, but the misinformation on this conflict is troubling. You, for example, show absolutely no love for America. Zelelnsky has a great love for his people and that is why he’s going to get his nation back for them.
For example, Russia’s weapons are superior. Let me give you a little Israeli history, as Israel is the testing ground for the “superiority” of Russia’s weapons that Israel wiped out in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1978, 1982, the Gaza War, and in Syria.
Russian weapons and troops had failed in every conflict against American weapons, American strategy, bar none.
The only time they failed, as in ‘Nam and Afghanistan, when American will to fight failed.
Your comments are on par with other Russian trolls spreading America Collusion Hoaxes based on myths and wishful thinking, the same way the Democrat Media and their politicians spread Russia Collusion Hoaxes, so it should hardly be surprising. The True Believer believed the Russia Hoaxes the same way Putin’s True Believers believe in the superiority of Russian weapons, Russian troops, and the Russian mission.
Over 14,000 Russian soldiers had died, almost tenfold of Ukie soldiers, and almost 40,000 have been injured. The actual numbers not disclosed yet, may be higher. That these were disclosed is because mothers, wives and girlfriends are storming their local municipalities for answers because their sons and husbands are MIA.
However, I grant you, Russian caviar from sturgeon is vastly superior to the cheap caviar you buy at your local deli.
And Russian girls are far superior to the typical fatsos in some other nations.
I am most sorry for the Russian people however, especially since they still have the mentality of Russia’s communist past – obedience and hero worship – and an affinity to follow Russia’s strongmen, no matter how off-the-wall they happen to be.
The bottom line is that the EU and NATO do not want, and never wanted to, invade or occupy Russia. Who would want to take on a basket welfare state and its vast dysfunction and poverty and integrate it into the western community? For what? For energy? The price is hardly worth it, for once the other sources come on line, carbon fuels will be vastly lower cost than the alternative.
So no, we don’t need Russian energy, for Ukraine has almost as much, and the Americas have far more.
Russia was close to becoming a basket case under Putin, and now, Putin has made it a basket case.
The entire world community knows it.
The reporters telling you the absolute truth are mostly not in Ukraine (some are), and not in Russia (none are) – but nearby.
For example the gent who wrote this article happens to be one, and he’s an asset to CD Media.
Russia is winning this war. Rather easily actually. Ukraine has already lost the entire Azov coast. Russia in fortifying those gains. How can you be losing a war when you are gaining territory. These gains are going to be permanent.
I defend the right of the author of this article to think that Russia is at wit’s end in the Ukraine.
Yet, with the Ukrainian army cut into 6 or 7 parts, unable to conduct more than brief local offensive operations, not to mention it is running out of supplies, the impression I have is that Russia is winning and winning big.
As to how far Russia takes it’s victory I do not know, though, I see it as a long shot that they would go home before making a decisive trek to Lviv.
If you ask me why I think this, it is because anything short of dismembering Galician militancy is a guarantee that that which began 8 years ago, will soon enough be back to bite Russia in the ass again.
Western writers, like this blog author, seem to fail to grasp how gravely both the Russian Government and now the vast majority of it’s people, take the reincarnation of The Galician SS Division into corps size in the new century.
If The West had really been seriously about making the Ukraine a permanent part of it, it would never have gone down the Galician SS route.
The wounds inflicted by the Black Death’s Head’s Runic Clan are still too fresh for Russia.
RU already completed its objectives. To pretend otherwise is serious cope. Ukraine lost about a third of its territory, wherever the RU speakers were in the majority.
BUT, if they keep F’in around the might lose more.
Really though, anyone who has follow this thing from the the Noodleman coup would know that RU was completely within her rights. Just as if RU set up shop in Mexico, same difference. The rest is just tiny hat theatre.
Very true, Matt, all very true.
It’s over in the Ukraine, as it was in late 1944 for Germany, yet, fighting will still go on for some time because the leadership of the country (Ukraine) is not for the welfare of Ukrainians, and is content to allow Ukrainians soldiers sacrifice themselves in vain.
That said, this dilemma of a malicious leadership is hardly anomalous to Ukraine.