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WHAT'S NEXT FOR UKRAINE? Scott Ritter, Mark Sleboda & Tony Kevin. CN LIVE! S4E11

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Published on 05 Dec 2022 / In News and Politics

In Moscow: Mark Sleboda, IR & Security Analyst & US Navy vet-Nuclear Engineering;
In the US: Scott Ritter, former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer & UN weapons inspector;
In Canberra: Tony Kevin, Ret. Australian ambassador to Poland & diplomat in Moscow. (The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Consortium News or CN Live!)

The war in Ukraine began in 2014 as a civil conflict when Russian-speakers in the east resisted a coup that overthrew a democratically-elected president. The post-coup state then launched a war against the resisters for eight years, a war which Russia entered nine months ago on Feb. 24.

It was an expansion of the fighting that could have easily been prevented. A peace accord was never implemented by the Western-backed Kiev regime. Instead NATO armed and trained Ukrainian forces that included extremist groups which early this year began amassing at the conflict line with the east, poised for an offensive, prompting Russia to intervene. Peace treaties Russia presented to the U.S. and NATO last December, which would have seen NATO deployments of troops and missiles in Eastern Europe rolled back, were ignored, even as Russia spoke of a technical-military response.

The U.S. got the invasion it wanted and needed. Without it, it could not have launched its economic, information and proxy war designed to “weaken” Russia and return it to the servile state of the 1990s. Make no mistake. This is a U.S. war against Russia. Ukraine is simply the stage on which it is being acted.

However, the war is not going according to U.S. plans. The economic war, intended to bring down the Russian government, has backfired, with dire economic consequences and growing popular discontent in the West instead.

The information war is being lost outside of territories controlled by the West – which comprises the vast majority of humanity. And the war on the ground is not being won.

But the war hasn't gone according to Russian plans either. Moscow sought negotiations with Ukraine almost immediately upon entering the conflict. In March they had a deal in which Ukraine would remain neutral and Crimea would be recognized as Russian and Donbass as independent. But Western leaders, wanting to bleed Russia, stopped it.

A restrained invasion, insofar as invasions can be restrained, is now on the verge of a major Russian offensive. It is being preceded by widespread Russian strikes against power infrastructure, raising troubling questions about the effect on civilians.

Despite continuing propaganda that Ukraine is winning the war, Western leaders know what they are facing: freezing Ukrainians and Europeans and the looming Russian attack. This has led to talks about talks to end the war, but is it now too late?

Is Russia committed to reabsorbing all of Catherine the Great's imperial conquests in Ukraine or will keeping Ukraine out of NATO, recognition of Crimea and Donbass as part of Russia and withdrawal of NATO's forward deployments of men and missiles in Eastern Europe still be enough for Russia?

Is the U.S. and NATO still committed to a long war in the vain hope that it will bring down the Russian government? --- Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief, Consortium News.

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