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18 Apr, 2024 19:36

Dmitry Trenin: The US is crawling away from Ukraine

Talk about victory for Kiev has disappeared as Washington becomes a ‘back seat driver’
Dmitry Trenin: The US is crawling away from Ukraine

The Istanbul agreements – a tentative peace plan agreed between Russia and Ukraine in the spring of 2022  – are being discussed again. However, as they were written at the time they are no longer relevant and are unlikely to be of any use in the future. The realities on the ground and in the hearts and minds of many key people, have changed completely.

Nevertheless, it’s no coincidence that talk of negotiations began in Switzerland just as it became clear, to Westerners, that the Ukrainians are unable to make any progress. I am not talking about victory, but about any meaningful success on the battlefield. And thus it has become necessary to somehow limit Russia’s potential for success, to prevent it from winning. 

This is not coming from Ukraine itself, but rather the enemy with whom we are now really at war. The desire to prevent a Russian victory is behind all these diplomatic machinations.

What we are really talking about now is a propaganda campaign.  Of course nobody in the West is in a mood for serious negotiations right now.

Let me explain what it means. From our point of view, genuine talks are ones that would solve the problem that led to the military operation. If we do not solve it, we will all face a new war in the future, and perhaps a more terrible one, with more serious consequences. Thus, as they say, if you take up arms, you must go to the end, to achieve a solution to the problem that made you take take such a measure in the first place. 

The West, and they say this quite openly, is trying to prevent a victory for Moscow. And they are trying to do this in two ways. One is by pumping arms and money into Ukraine. And the other is diplomatic, by creating the appearance of some kind of negotiations. 

This is diplomatic propaganda. The idea is to get dozens upon dozens of countries together, to take a group photo, and put psychological pressure on the Russian leadership. But I am convinced that they are all well aware unless Moscow achieves the stated goals of the current military operation, everything is largely irrelevant.

Otherwise, the sacrifices that Russia has made, ranging from battlefield casualties to numerous other constraints, will be in vain.

At the same time, the Americans are crawling away from the front line. They are still in charge but, as Obama used to say, they are now a “backseat driver.” Basically, they are doing everything they can to ensure that they do not suffer in the event of a collision. They want the people in the front of the vehicle to suffer. And, of course, the Americans are not so much tired of Kiev as they are tired of having to spread their resources, which are not unlimited, in different directions. 

Yes, they are huge, but, I repeat, they are no longer unlimited. Today, the Middle East is strategically much more important than Ukraine.

You may notice that I am not even talking about the issue of China, which the Americans see as existential in terms of their role in world affairs. Will they continue to be number one or will they become number two and so on? For many there, such as scenario is a death knell.

Now we have the opportunity to play the long game, to calmly observe and properly assess the ongoing machinations in the West. That is why it is interesting to see what is being said today about the negotiations and how they are being conducted, rather than the obligatory blather about Russia’s defeat on the battlefield. This kind of talk in itself is a plus for us.

We know that they also understand that they cannot defeat us and are trying to move to the next point of retreat. However the rhetoric is still about the impossibility of allowing our victory. But for us, partial victory will be equivalent to defeat. The West will be able to influence the situation in our country in every possible way if we fail to achieve the stated goals of military operation.

I think time is working in our favor. Let’s see what happens in the United States before the election, what happens during it, what happens afterwards. But at the same time, while our enemy is preoccupied with its internal problems, while its strategic vision for the Middle East, East Asia and Ukraine is in turmoil, we ourselves must make progress. 

Real, serious successes on the battlefield, which I understand the Russian army is now carrying out.

This article was first published by Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, translated and edited by the RT team

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