Victoria will be on our side, say Ukrainians and whole West
With cards on the table. Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov outlines three basic scenarios for the end of the war in Ukraine.
“The first scenario will resemble the so-called ‘Russians’ gesture of goodwill’ which they declared when fleeing Kyiv region, Chernihiv region, Sumy region, and Snake Island. Accordingly, I think it will be broken into several chains. First, we will reach the February 24 positions, then, of course, there will be some conversations about the status of the previously occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea, but we will conduct these negotiations at the table with our powerful partners,” Reznikov said during the “Building Together” online conference organized by Forbes.
The second scenario, according to Reznikov, could be a gradual “war of resources”. However, Ukraine will be able to achieve the effect in this case only if it uses modern technologies.
“The war of resource against resource. They have more people, more territories, tanks, planes and so on, but it is all obsolete, and today they use the meat grinder principle,” Reznikov explained, adding that, according to international partners, they won't be able to help in such a war. “The second option for victory, perhaps, is not so quick, not before the end of the year. Perhaps, it will last till the beginning of the next year, but I see it this way,” Reznikov noted.
The third option is the collapse of the Russian Federation due to the war in Ukraine, the minister believes.
“A more dramatic scenario for the Russian Federation is its collapse, it is a ‘parade of sovereignties’ into several different subjects: Tatarstan, Bashkortostan [regions], eastern ones etc. We will definitely see it in our lifetime, but this is a long-term story,” Reznikov said.
Ukraine is de facto becoming a NATO member, Reznikov said at the Forbes Ukraine conference. "If we say that Ukraine is not currently viewed by NATO countries as a full member de jure, because this requires a consensus among the NATO countries, we are in fact turning into an Alliance member de facto, because we are on the eastern flank, we're being provided with NATO equipment, we have mastered over 30 NATO standards, and so on," he stated.
The only thing that concerns Ukraine’s partners is Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which they would not like to invoke if Ukraine were a NATO member, he said.
Among 20 leading economies, Russia is not at all the first
Deeply divided top diplomats from the world’s richest and largest developing nations failed to find common ground Friday over Russia’s war in Ukraine and how to deal with its global impacts, leaving prospects for future cooperation in the forum uncertain.
At talks that were knocked off balance by two unrelated and unexpected political developments, including the shocking assassination of a former Japanese prime minister, far from the Indonesian resort of Bali where they were meeting, Group of 20 foreign ministers heard an emotional plea for unity and an end to the war from their Indonesian host. Yet, consensus remained elusive amid deepening East-West splits driven by China and Russia on one side and the United States and Europe on the other.
The Russian foreign minister left the G20 meeting of leading economies early after telling his counterparts that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not responsible for a global hunger crisis and that sanctions designed to isolate Russia amounted to a declaration of war.
Russia wants to conquer and subdue Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN on Thursday that Ukraine is unwilling to cede any of its land to Russia, standing firm that a concession of Ukrainian territory won't be part of any diplomatic negotiations to end the war.
“Ukrainians are not ready to give away their land, to accept that these territories belong to Russia. This is our land,” Zelensky stated.
Asked whether the war could be over before the end of the year, Zelensky said, "Our country will stay united and unified. If the powerful weaponry from our partners will be coming to us on-time, and if good luck and God will be on our side, we can achieve a lot of things before the end of the year and we can stop this war. We can stop the military part, at least, of this war.”
Vladimir Putin claimed Russia has barely started campaign in Ukraine. His spokesperson Dmitry Peskov doubled down on the threats on Friday, saying that only “a small part” of Russia’s “great” military potential was currently being used in Ukraine.
Putin’s statements contradict recent US intelligence that said Russian forces in Ukraine had been so heavily degraded by more than four months of combat that they could achieve only “incremental gains” in the near term.
Not all Russians welcome war
A Russian court sentenced Moscow municipal deputy Alexei Gorinov to seven years in prison Friday under censorship laws that criminalize anti-war protests.
The 60-year-old lawyer was arrested in April for spreading “knowingly false information” about the Russian army during a session of the local assembly in northern Moscow where he is a deputy. At the session in question, Gorinov’s queried plans to hold an art competition for children in his local area while “children are dying” in Ukraine.
Sunlight from the East, natural gas from the West
Romanian prime minister Nicolae Ciuca said that the Greece-Bulgaria gas pipeline, which is due to become operational on Friday, will enable Romania to supply gas to Ukraine and Moldova.
The 220 million euro ($225 million), 182-kilometre gas link connects the Greek gas transmission system in the area of Komotini to the Bulgarian gas grid in the area of Stara Zagora.
“Basically, this interconnector will ensure the connection between the network passing through Anatolia and the Adriatic and also connects to the BRUA pipeline, thus giving consistency to the vertical corridor and ensuring the gas supply of both Bulgaria and Romania. Of course, we can then ensure the gas supply to our eastern partners, Ukraine and Moldova, as well as to the other countries that are on the distribution map network,” Ciuca told a news conference on Thursday.
Why do they need visas if they have tanks?
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a TV program said the Russians don’t travel legally in Ukraine. During a week since the visa regime with Russia started to be applied, no citizen of the Russian Federation has applied for a Ukrainian visa. “This shows the state of the relations not between our states, but between our people and actually Russians’ attitude to us,” he noted.