Saturday, August 26, 2023

Ukraine Fighting Not Only Against Russian Invaders but Against Westerners who Would Welcome a New Cold War, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 20 – Ukraine’s decision to continue to fight until Russia is defeated and perhaps dismembered brings it into diplomatic conflict with the United States which has already achieved its “main goals” in this conflict and would not oppose the appearance of a new cold war given that it would inevitably win that conflict as it did the first one, Vladimir Pastukhov says.

            “Unlike Ukraine,” the London-based Russian analyst says, “the US continues to tacitly adhere to its longstanding concept of ‘the containment of Russia.’” That concept “doesn’t imply the destruction of Russia as a political goal” and helps to explain Washington’s dose by dose supply of assistance to Kyiv (

            According to Pastukhov, “the US in principle has already achieved its main goals in the current conflict: Ukraine has been preserved as a state and is firmly integrated into the West’s security system as its outpost on the border of ‘the steppe.’” As a result, the West and others as well are “ready for a new ‘cold war’ with a Berlin wall somewhere along the Dniepr.”

            “Everyone except Kyiv,” which has larger goals. And despite the arguments of those that Ukraine can’t do so without the continued assistance of the West, it is entirely possible that Kyiv can continue the fight for some time, underscoring the new reality that “in this situation, it is the case that not only is Ukraine dependent on the US but the US and its allies depends on Ukraine.”

            Pastukhov argues that today “Kyiv is thus waging a war on two fronts. The obvious military one, and the less obvious diplomatic one with the US and its allies in Europe. The purposes of this second one is to prevent a separate agreement between Russia and the US to return to the conditions of the Cold War with ‘a partition of Ukraine.’”

            That would recall the situation after Yalta in which the Baltic countries and much of Eastern Europe came under Moscow’s rule; and consequently, “it isn’t a surprise that the Baltic countries and most of the countries of Eastern Europe are today the only consistent allies of Ukraine, backings its pursuit of a war to a victorious end.”

            “In a sense,” Pastukhov says, “Ukraine today is fighting against everyone who is gradually moving toward a consensus in favor of freezing the conflict.” Kyiv has countered with both people to people diplomacy and employing its military against Russia before it received new aircraft from the West rather than after.

            That doesn’t make sense with regard to Ukraine’s conflict with Russia but it does concerning its diplomatic confrontation with the West, Pastukhov suggests.


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