Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ukrainian Victories have Forced Russia to Cut Back on Its Goals and Stiffened Western Resolve, Piontkovsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 30 – There have been two interconnected developments regarding Ukraine in the last week, Andrey Piontkovsky says. On the one hand, Vladimir Putin has cut back his goals for his aggression against that country; and on the other, the West has stopped prefacing its statements about Moscow with declarations about what it won’t do.

            Both of these developments, the US-based Russian commentator says, are the result of Ukrainian resistance on the ground, resistance that neither Moscow nor the West had earlier expected; and both point to the inevitable if not immediate defeat of Putin’s Russia in the latest phase of the struggle between them (

            When Putin began his expanded aggression, he believed that Ukraine would collapse quickly and that his forces could advance in a few days to take Kyiv and then the entire country; and in a similar way, most in the West believed that Ukraine would be quickly defeated and in anticipation of that did not want to alienate the man they saw as the near certain victor.

            But Ukrainian resistance and victories in the field forced both Russia and the West to change their approach, with Moscow reducing its goals to the Donbass and the West now prepared to stop worrying so much about Moscow and ready to provide Ukraine with more support practical and rhetorical.

            There is an important lesson for all of Russia’s neighbors in this: Resistance is possible, and the West will be far more likely to respond with support to those who do resist and resist successfully than to those who accept the analyses coming out of Moscow and Western capitals that fighting Russia is a losing proposition. 

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