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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022

Recently, there has been a subtle pressure from the US for Kiev to resume peace talks with Russia. Despite the Western media insisting on spreading narratives about a "Ukrainian victory", Washington still seems to prefer that the negotiations be done as quickly as possible. According to some analysts, this is the best way to avoid a catastrophe of an extended war.

The fact that the conflict in Ukraine is not yet over is exclusively due to Western support for Kiev. According to several experts, the Ukrainian neo-Nazi regime would have its forces totally neutralized by the Russian attacks, if it did not receive the constant packages of military and financial aid sent by NATO countries. The more the West participates by sending money, weapons and mercenaries, the longer the fighting becomes, although there is little or no chance of a real reversal of the military scenario, which points to a Russian victory.

However, recently, the public interest of the US, the nation that leads the anti-Russian coalition, has been to redirect the course of the battles to the negotiations table. Previously, American spokesmen - as well as European and Ukrainian ones - had made it clear that there would be no possibility of a peace agreement as long as Putin's government in Moscow lasted. With the support of the media outlets, the West spread the discourse that the Russian president was “the one to blame” for the conflict and that the end of his "regime" was a necessary step to resume negotiations.

This discourse is no longer seen in official American pronouncements, which now focus on the need for bilateral talks in order to cease hostilities. While in Europe and Kiev anti-Russian animosity continues to grow day by day, in the US the topic of talks is commented on more and more rationally. The reasons for this change in rhetoric are still unknown, but the curious fact has led analysts to propose interpretations explaining the American "pro peace" turn.

In a recent article for Bloomberg, the American columnist Hal Brands lists three hypotheses to clarify why the US would be thinking about peace negotiations. The first, according to him, is the uncertainty regarding the future of the Ukrainian military scenario. Brands adopts the unsubstantiated and biased narrative that Kiev is winning successive victories on the battlefield, but he seems skeptical that this means a possibility of "defeating Russia", considering that Moscow's troops, now withdrawn from Kherson to safer positions, would be having the necessary time to recover and start new offensives.

Then, Brands also emphasizes the possibility of nuclear escalation, if Kiev continues to threaten the zones reintegrated into Russian territory. According to Russian military doctrine, the use of nuclear weapons in situations of threat to the State is legal, so if Ukraine starts constant attacks on Russian sovereign territory, the use of such weapons would be possible, annihilating chances of victory for Ukraine.

Third, the analyst points out that the pro-Ukraine coalition may not have a very long future. As winter arrives, war becomes more expensive, mainly because of sanctions that prevent European supplies of Russian gas. This tends to generate popular and political dissatisfaction in the western world with the course of the conflict. The columnist also points to the growth of the Republicans in the US as another sign of uncertainty for the future of the pro-Kiev alliance.

For Brands, West-Ukraine diplomacy may become unjustified if Kiev continues to refuse to negotiate with the Russians. Apparently, it is necessary to maintain the narrative that it is "Russia that wants war", so the Ukrainian side needs to try to negotiate in order to garner Western support and justify the efforts of the allied countries. Finally, the analyst also states that a long-term struggle could harm US interests in other regions and damage its defense capacity - he cites, for example, the deterioration of security in the Taiwan Strait.

As a Westerner, Brands is based on two false assumptions: that Kiev is winning the war so far and that NATO is taking advantage of the partial results of the conflict. For him, it is necessary to know the exact time to end the war so that the benefits of the West are not reversed. However, despite his analysis error, he has interesting points of discussion, such as the evident fact that prolonging the confrontation will hurt the pro-Ukrainian coalition.

In fact, Russia continues to win and the strategic retreat from Kherson, where the Ukrainian troops are now surrounded and with no possibility of advancement, does not change this situation. NATO does not have the advantage, it is just reacting: unable to win its proxy war, it wants to prolong hostilities in order to inflict material damage against the Russians and destabilize the region as much as possible. However, if this position continues indefinitely, the costs can get out of control.

In this winter, the trend is that simultaneously Kiev is weakened on the battlefield and Europe collapses with the energy crisis. Social tensions will rise in the West in the face of an unprecedented crisis and the imminent defeat of Ukraine, as European and American citizens will see that their efforts have been in vain. Therefore, the American interest in proposing negotiations is not exactly to achieve peace, but to anticipate in saying that "it did everything possible" to avoid the catastrophe.


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