Paul Craig Roberts

Fifteen cities plus smaller towns in Ukraine have had their infrastructure damaged in Russian strikes today.  The EU advisory mission in Kiev was also hit.  The best current account is on sourhfront.orghttps://southfront.org/russia-starts-to-fight-for-real-overview-of-strikes-in-ukraine/ 

Southfront reports: “RUSSIA STARTS TO FIGHT FOR-REAL,” but more likely it is a wrist slap for Ukraine’s attack on the Crimea bridge.  If the Kremlin saw these strikes as part of the war, the strikes would continue and intensify until Ukraine was begging on its knees to surrender. As of this time, there is no indication that the Kremlin intends to do what it needs to do and bring the conflict to an end before it widens into all out conflict with the West.

Russian on-the-ground military intervention was probably never necessary to halt Ukraine’s attack on Donbass.  The Kremlin could have just knocked out the civilian and military infrastructure of Western Ukraine and continued repeating the attacks day after day until Ukraine complied or was destroyed.  The conflict might have lasted a week without a single Russian casualty.

But the Kremlin chose a Goody Two Shoes role–small commitment of ground forces to the Russian parts of eastern Ukraine long suffering from Ukrainian artillery strikes on civilians and neo-Nazi torture of the Russian population, about which there has been no complaint in the Western whore media.  

It was obvious from the beginning that this was a strategic blunder whose slow-moving progress would give Washington time to widen the war and back Ukraine with money, weapons, training, intelligence and targeting information.  With the Kremlin determined to confine and limit the conflict to the Russian regions of Ukraine, the Russian military was prevented from interfering with Ukraine’s ability to conduct war.  No strikes were made on government and military communication and infrastructure in Kiev, allowing Ukraine to engage in the conflict while remaining untouched, a huge self-inflicted disadvantage on the Russian forces.  Apparently, this mindless military policy was to show that Russia was rescuing Donbass, not conquering Ukraine.  In other words, the Kremlin let Western opinion constrain its military operation.

This, of course, is why Ukraine has refused to negotiate with Putin.  There is no incentive for Ukraine to negotiate.  Putin has confined the war to the Russian areas, leaving Ukraine untouched.  Only Russian civilians are being killed and their cities and towns destroyed, while Ukraine goes its merry way as if a war doesn’t exist.

The Russian policy toward Ukraine has made no sense since 2014 when the Kremlin accepted the creation by Washington of a hostile neo-Nazi government on Russia’s border.  If today’s strikes are only a wrist slap, they will turn out to be counterproductive.  The strikes will fuel more Western propaganda, making it easier for Washington to further expand the conflict and create more determination on the part of Ukraine.  

A Turkish government official reports that what Putin really wants is not a victory in Ukraine but “a new grand bargain, a new deal, with the West.”  Putin’s aim, he says, is to renegotiate the balance of power between Moscow and Washington.  https://www.rt.com/russia/564300-putin-west-deal-turkiye/ 

If so, this is a Kremlin pipe dream.  Washington is committed to Russia’s destruction, and the Kremlin continues to play into Washington’s hands.  If the Kremlin is incapable of facing the fact that the West has declared war on Russia and intends to destroy Russia, the conflict will continue to spiral out of control.  What is needed is a quick decisive Russian victory that ends the conflict and shows Washington’s European puppet states what the war on Russia will mean for them.  Only this can stop the war that is unfolding.  Negotiations are totally impotent, as surely the Kremlin has learned by now.

For three decades not one single negotiation with the West has served Russia’s interests.  Why continue a totally failed approach?  A government that replies to threats with requests for negotiations creates an imagine of itself as a government unwilling to fight, an image that encourages more provocations until, finally, its back is to the wall.  This is how the Russian government’s reasonableness is encouraging Washington to continue pushing until Armageddon is reached.  

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