Thoughts regarding Western change of its end-goal from hybrid victory to diplomatic solution in Ukraine

It is something which is being talked about quite a lot recently. For example, in the latest episode on his YouTube channel, Alex Mercouris discusses this possibility, as the preferred way out of this bloody conflict. I will summarize the main point using the Russian proverb: “bad peace is better than a good war”.

The thing is, in waging an unprecedented hybrid war on Russia, the West has burned all the bridges for any kind of face-saving diplomatic solution. The kind which was seen in Georgia of 2008, and in Donbass of 2014-2015. Now, the collective West has created a situation when any type of compromise, made by the Russian government towards Ukraine of the collective West, would be seen by Russian population as a treason and a betrayal of of their sacrifices.

Putin’s government, for some years now, is surviving partly because of the popular support of their policies, but also because no other capable alternative exists. Capable and smart people are not welcomed in the system. Instead, it relies on blind loyalty, above all. It also relies on mediocracy, which assures the patrons they won’t be outsmarted by their underlings.

This situation isn’t exclusive to Russia — I see it all over the globe. In order to promote more capable people, the patrons must truly believe that their purpose is above all to serve the country and the people. Since this isn’t the case, their main goal, instead, is to preserve and prolong their own reign. As such, any move or decision that will antagonize the majority of the people, most likely would not be taken.

Even then considering the disregard and contempt for the masses that is so typical for elites, at some level they are aware that pushing too much will result in their eventual fall from grace. People may vote not only for someone or something, but also against someone or something. It is entirely possible, that a mediocre and even flawed candidate would receive the popular support, just because he presents a way to take down the current government.

That is why any talks or hopes of Russian acceptance of compromises in Ukraine seem to me as a pipe-dream. If the West is serious in making peace (which it isn’t), any peace talks should be preceded by those things: 1. return all the Russian government and private funds and assets that were stolen; 2. undo all the sanctions against Russia; 3. provide compensations for the economic losses which Russia has suffered as a result of Western actions; 4. make concessions regarding NATO expansion and placement of weapons and systems of strategic importance in Eastern Europe.

These are the steps that would bring the Russian popular opinion to accept peace talks. Of course, this would mean a factual Wester capitulation, which is unthinkable, at least at this point. Rather, the West would accept the Ukrainian capitulation to Russia, or better yet, the continuation of the war, which would delay the inevitable Russian military victory. Because in the Western mindset, only Russia should make compromises, even when actually it is the West, which is most interested to end this embarrassing and damaging conflict, and not Russia. Russia is finally getting by force all that they couldn’t get by diplomacy. Too much Russian blood had been spilled already, so concrete results are needed in order to justify it.

The only thing that is less popular than a war, is a lost or pointless war.

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