12 Comments
Jun 8, 2023Liked by Diane Francis

Thank you, Diane, for jumping on this and trying to piece together this story as it is happening. I think the maps you provided are especially helpful too.

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Jun 8, 2023Liked by Diane Francis

Thank you, let's hope sooner than later.

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Jun 8, 2023Liked by Diane Francis

Diane, you are always a fountain of inspiration and hope, and may it be as you see events unfolding. However, I am ever doubtful of historical analogies when applied to Ukraine, because - while it is Ukrainian grit (and only Ukrainian grit) that must ultimately prevail - it is Western support financial and military support that is equally critical in the outcome. It is that support that has often been shown to be fickle and unsteady.

Consider, for example, a recent "Bloomberg" analysis of the sentiments of muscovite's elite towards Putin and the war. Seemingly, although there is a general pessimism concerning the outcome and a belief that moscovia cannot win, that same elite believes that the best outcome (for moscovia) would be a frozen conflict. A frozen conflict would be disastrous for Ukraine and its hopes for NATO and rebuilding of Ukraine., let alone bringing war criminals to justice. But Pres. Biden, who claims to have enough funding for Ukraine through the summer, may conclude - in light of the debt crisis - that a frozen conflict is preferable to a seeking additional appropriation going into an election year. After all, Russia's threat will have been greatly reduced, and NATO has been greatly strengthened....so what's not to like with a "frozen conflict" and some sort of "demilitarized zone? And, if Putin should die or disappear, his successor would make it even easier - a "fresh" start" with a "fresh face" - to pressure Ukraine into accepting such an outcome.

The only viable outcome - for Ukraine and future European and U.S. security - is entry into NATO and restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity. If that is not achieved, then the months of suffering and devastation will have been for naught. Unfortunately, Ukraine is not - as yet -the sole determinant of its future.

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I entirely agree that a frozen conflict works for Russia but not Ukraine, indeed disastrous as you say, including that many millions of Ukrainians are currently refugees in Poland and elsewhere, and especially including those unknown number of Ukrainian children and adults kidnapped into Russia.

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Jun 8, 2023Liked by Diane Francis

The fact that Moscow continues to heavily shell Kherson’s evacuation points killing Ukrainians fleeing the flooding gives you an idea of Putin’s brutality. I see this as a battle of firepower/artillery/missiles and Russia certainly appears to have the edge. Russia appears not to care about ‘boots on the ground’ but only about its arsenal of artillery shells and missiles. Russia it seems manufactures more shells domestically than the West is willing to provide Ukraine. The West refuses to ramp up their production. I have a sick feeling that Ukraine’s counteroffensive will eventually be bogged down by Russia’s constant artillery/missile barrage. And the nightly onslaught is slowly draining Ukrainian energy. The West must provide ATACMS and more long-range artillery and double their armament production to Kyiv or this will end up as a frozen conflict as George Woloshyn says.

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Yes, a D-day of sorts and god willing it achieves success, though the Ukrainians are emphasizing caution with their finger to lips videos (compare "loose lips sink ships" from WW2). I was listening to retired U.S. General Breedlove, one of the smartest along with retired General Hodges, making vital points: first, that we (the West) have given Russia "sanctuary" by specifying our weapons may not be used on Russian soil ("unacceptable"), and secondly, how really nice it would be if the Ukrainians manage to destroy the Kerch bridge. But to the north of the bridge is the Azov sea and to the south the Black Sea, so it is no easy matter. I do not see how Ukraine can re-occupy all its territory, considering it's bigger than France or Germany, about 2 1/2 times the size of Britain, 1 1/2 times the size of California, just a little smaller than Texas, and the Russians currently occupy about 17%. Re-occupying that much territory is daunting. In 1945 Germany was invaded from the south by over 4 million Allied forces and from the north by millions more Russian forces. I would guess that is why both Breedlove and Hodges keep mentioning Crimea as the key, and Zelensky also. I also would guess that's why drone and artillery attacks within Russian territory and especially on Moscow are likely to escalate, attributable to Russian dissidents and partisans. Whatever it takes to convince powerful 'others' that Putin's war is unsustainable.

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Upon further reflection I don’t think the West is ‘tough’ enough to deal with a barbarian like Putin. The West’s insistence on ‘fair play’ and their refusal to ramp up to an increased war footing puts Ukraine at a distinct disadvantage.

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I absolutely agree - The West's resistance to commit fighter jets etc has handcuffed Ukr leading to more UKR troops deaths due to this bizarre way to fight a war. If RU can fire INTO Ukr - UKR should be able to return the favor at will!!! The maddness of this war drives me NUTS!!!

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I agree with your observations and UKR must win back what it has lost since Putin's invasion. The US is contributing billions and Europe now must step up to protect their homelands. UKR must become part of NATO. Too many lives have been lost, too much territory and cities have been destroyed and Putin must be accountable for his ego based war. Blowing up the dam is insane, just like this war.

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just outstanding commentary .....hopefully russians themselves will increasing understand that putin must ....GO......i dont like how long all this is taking ....and i worry that if trump gets in again that american help will cease....

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very informative as usual. Maps are very helpful especially when some of the names are hard to remember, and geography is no longer a required course in schools.

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Thanks for your insights Diane. And for last week's article on the feebleness of the Trudeau government responses. My nephew, Dr Patrick Bury, is a Senior Lecturer in Security at the PoLIS department, specialising in warfare and counter-terrorism.

University of Bath

https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk › persons › patrick

I will send him yur article for comment. He is regularly on TV and radio commenting on Ukraine. He has mentioned that if Putin is ousted, his successor (s) might escalate the war. Any thoughts on that?

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