Russia Gives Ukraine Its Demands For Ending The War

Russia Gives Ukraine Its Demands For Ending The War

Russia Gives Ukraine Its Demands For Ending The War

It isn’t quite “all your country are belong to us,” but the list of demands Russia just made to Ukraine are pretty damned close.

If Putin is looking for a diplomatic off-ramp, he might want to try one that isn’t quite so obviously designed to be rejected out of hand. There were apparently two versions of the demand list – the first one was reported to contain a demand that Russia would get to install a prime minister puppet under Zelensky.

Obviously, either demand list is laughable.

The demands include Ukraine ceasing all military actions, changing its constitution to ensure neutrality, acknowledging Crimea as Russian territory, and recognizing two republics in the Donbas region as independent territories.”

If Ukraine were to acknowledge these demands, Russia would halt military action “in a moment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters. Ukraine is aware of these demands, Peskov claimed, adding that “they were told that all this can be stopped.”

The specific changes to Ukraine’s constitution include rejecting any attempt to join other blocs, such as NATO or the European Union, Peskov said. The demand arises days after the EU’s European Parliament voted in favor of Ukraine becoming a candidate to join.”

Peskov claimed that Russia was not going to attempt to take any additional territory from Ukraine.”

“We really are finishing the demilitarization of Ukraine. We will finish it. But the main thing is that Ukraine ceases its military action. They should stop their military action, and then no one will shoot,” he emphasized.”

“We will stop killing you all if you just give us what we want and never try to defy us again” isn’t the selling point that Putin thinks it is. This is the equivalent of a domestic abuser saying “I will stop beating you if you will just obey me always.” Yeah, anyone believe that Russia will never ever ask for any more territory from Ukraine? Nope, not a chance.

Zelensky is not stupid – he knows that any kind of surrender like this puts a target on his back for Putin to have him “removed” at the earliest possible opportunity. The man already knows he is the target of multiple assassination squads, and he’s not going to give up his country for these vague assurances from Russia.

Putin has created bigger problems for himself than Zelensky’s refusal to surrender, though. While some wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Putin, that will largely depend on the Russian public. Which would be the same public that is about to lose credit card access, has watched news stations and celebrities disappear off TV for objecting to the war, and are hearing about Russian casualties from “official” sources. Will ordinary Russians realize just how bad this is, and risk everything to remove Putin? I’m not confident in that scenario at all.

So, what happens now? Obviously Ukraine isn’t going to cede to these demands, especially the “you can never join NATO or the EU” one. Ukraine has nothing to left to lose in this situation except their lives. Russia, on the other hand, is losing a lot every single day that they can’t say that they won.

This has devolved quickly into a war of attrition, but neither side can back down. If Zelensky backs down, he’s a dead man. If Putin backs down, he will lose face and possibly his position or life. What remains to be seen is how many body blows each side can take. The sympathy of the world is with Ukraine, but it seems no one can commit (yet) to actually quitting Russia. Germany just admitted that they can’t make do without Russian oil (how about turning your nuclear reactors back on?), and the Biden administration is still hoping that Russia will help them broker a new Iran Deal (still the worst idea ever). The West is handing Ukraine weapons with one hand, and Russia a financial lifeline with the other.

No wonder Putin thinks his demands are “reasonable” and if Ukraine rejects them, that’s on them. After all, what does Putin care if he kills thousands or hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians? The question really is, does the West care enough to help stop him by actually cutting off the oil and becoming energy independent with REAL solutions, not feel-good “green” ones?

Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click

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