Posted originally on the conservative tree house on March 29, 2022
While the western propaganda about the Russian objective in Ukraine remains at a fever pitch, most intellectually honest observers have always held that liberation of eastern Ukraine was the goal of Russia and western Ukraine was never part of the objective.
With a decade-long civil war in eastern Ukraine preceding the current Russian operations, and with western forces supporting one side while Russia supported the other, it was always presumed -prior to the Russian military operations- that Vladimir Putin’s central goal was removing the NATO influence from eastern Ukraine.
That objective has seemingly remained visible throughout the conflict with Russian activity in western Ukraine limited in scope to targeting inbound NATO weapons and material support.
We might remember the 20-mile-long armored convoy that sat in place for weeks north of Kyiv while the media narrative was ‘any day now’. Those troops never moved on Kyiv, and in hindsight looked more like a strategic positioning of resources to keep western Ukraine in check while the more important goal of clearing eastern Ukraine was the ongoing operation.
It seems a little silly to point out the obvious, but everything Putin said about what he was doing in Ukraine is factually what has taken place. The western media narrative spinning his ‘true intents’ to be much more significant than his open statements, has never played out when reviewing the actual military operations. In short, Putin was then (as he said), and continues now, to be carving out eastern Ukraine and the Donbas region.
As the Russian operations in eastern Ukraine enter the clean-up and finalization stage, this report about the shift in Russian operations near Kyiv and western Ukraine makes a great deal of sense. The Reuters spin is that Putin was losing western Ukraine, ergo he is reducing activity. However, it never appeared that western Ukraine was part of the objective.
ISTANBUL/KYIV OUTSKIRTS/MARIUPOL, Ukraine, March 29 (Reuters) – Russia promised on Tuesday to scale down military operations around Ukraine’s capital and north, while Kyiv proposed adopting neutral status, in confidence-building steps that were the first signs of progress towards negotiating peace.
Their talks took place in an Istanbul palace more than a month into the largest attack on a European nation since World War Two. Russia’s invasion has been halted on most fronts by stiff resistance from Ukrainian forces who have recaptured territory even as civilians are trapped in besieged cities.
He made no mention of other areas that have seen heavy fighting, including around Mariupol in the southeast, Sumy and Kharkiv in the east and Kherson and Mykolaiv in the south.
Some analysts noted that Russia’s promise to reduce fighting mostly covered areas where it has been losing ground.
[…] Ukrainian negotiators said that under their proposals, Kyiv would agree not to join alliances or host bases of foreign troops, but would have security guaranteed in terms similar to “Article 5”, the collective defence clause of the transatlantic NATO military alliance.
They named Israel and NATO members Canada, Poland and Turkey as countries that may give such guarantees. Russia, the United States, Britain, Germany and Italy could also be involved.
The proposals, which would require a referendum in Ukraine, mentioned a 15-year consultation period on the status of Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. The fate of the southeastern Donbas region, which Russia demands Ukraine cede to separatists, would be discussed by the Ukrainian and Russian leaders.
Kyiv’s proposals also included one that Moscow would not oppose Ukraine joining the European Union, Russia’s lead negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said. Russia has previously opposed Ukrainian membership of the EU and especially of NATO. (read more)