Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Reported Peace Signals Not a Sign Putin is Worried but Rather Moves to Disorder His Opponents and Further His Goals, Shelin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 3 – Many are reading reports that Putin is sending signals that he is ready to negotiate a settlement on Ukraine as a sign that he is worried about what is happening there and inside Russia, Sergey Shelin says. But such interpretations are completely at odds with reality.

            In Putin’s mind, his situation at home and abroad is good, the Moscow commentator says; and any “peace signals” are simply an effort to confuse and disorder his opponents (

            The situation at home is acceptable as the economy is doing relatively well and sanctions are failing to achieve their goals, Shelin explains; and the situation on the front lines in Ukraine is if anything better than it has been in months. Talking about talks is thus not an act of desperation but an effort to spread confusion in Moscow and especially the West.

            According to Shelin, Putin will become “alarmed only by what happens without his permission in advance, like the unrest in Bashkortostan.” But while such unrest is occurring not just there but in many places, it remains “too local to truly frighten the leader.” And in fact, the commentator insists, he isn’t frightened.

            “Of all the internal and external problems now,” he says, “only one really puts pressure on Putin: that is mobilization.” His efforts to carry it out the first time faced problems, “and so he keeps putting off the second and seeks to pull it off piece by piece [because] perhaps he fears that somewhere there is a limit to his ability to manipulate people under his control.”

            But even if that is the case, Shelin concludes, “it clearly is not enough to make Putin feel stuck and begin searching for peace.” While Russia definitely is “at an historical impasse, the Kremlin leader “remains satisfied with the situation the war has brought him and isn’t striving to end it.

            Supposed peace proposals emanating from the Kremlin are thus not genuine but only issued “for the sake of intrigue.”

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