While civilian homes, apartment buildings, and hospitals were being pounded, ceasefire talks between Ukraine and Russia resumed this week but failed to achieve substantive breakthroughs. Senior negotiators from Kyiv and Moscow, who met via a video teleconference, could find no common ground during the fourth such meeting. The Kremlin insisted that it would not pull back until its goals were achieved, leading one to ask, why do Kyiv envoys bother to speak with the Russians?
Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian representative to the peace talks, tweeted about the conditions necessary for Russia to meet: “peace, ceasefire, immediate withdrawal of troops and security guarantees.” However, as talks continued on March 15, Moscow held out for its “plans for the invasion” to be fulfilled – which does not bode well.
One of the Kremlin’s key demands is that Ukraine does not join NATO. On Tuesday, March 15, President Volodymyr Zelensky held a virtual meeting with the leaders of the UK Joint Expeditionary Force in London, where he acknowledged that Ukraine’s accession to NATO would not be likely to happen. He said that “Kyiv needs new formats of interaction with the West and separate security guarantees.” This indicates that although NATO membership may be off the table, other agreements that could be just as unpalatable to Moscow are still in play.
Based on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 5,000-word monograph “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians” published in July 2021, re-incorporating Ukraine as a vassal state of Mother Russia should be considered Moscow’s endgame. If so, that dashes hopes for successful peace talks. The view from Washington, DC, is not encouraging, either. Giving a less-than-rousing vote of confidence for ongoing Kyiv-Moscow negotiations, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki relayed President Joe Biden’s position:
“As you’ve heard us say in the past, we certainly will continue to support the Ukrainian participation in these talks as long as they choose to participate in them, of course … We are not seeing any evidence at this point that President Putin is doing anything to stop the onslaught or de-escalate … That is what we would be looking for.”
There is no sense of the United States proactively engaging the Russian government; it seems there is a lack of commitment, rising to the level of disinterest, to the negotiations. A number of commentators are asking why the Biden administration seems reluctant to push for progress, or even seriously address the Kyiv-Kremlin ceasefire discussions.
Meanwhile, the persistent bombardment from aircraft and ground-to-ground missiles has created a hellish landscape in major Ukrainian cities. Gruesome hulks of destroyed homes, storefronts, and apartment houses now stand in the place of vibrant businesses and well-cared-for neighborhoods. The only light in the darkness is the tenacious resistance of the Ukrainian people to the relentless destruction by Putin’s war machine.
Consequently, “The Russians, for all their inventory and for all the munitions that they have available to them and to their aircraft, they still have not achieved air superiority over the skies of Ukraine,” as their “advances remain stalled,” an unnamed senior US defense official told Haley Britzky, writing for Task and Purpose. What was supposed to be a two- or three-day Russian invasion to topple the Kyiv government is now going on 21 days. The grit of the Ukrainian people is stopping Putin. But can the Ukrainian military forces and everyday citizens convince Moscow its gambit is folly? There is a sense the worst is yet to come – regardless of ceasefire talks.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
~ Read more from Dave Patterson.
Liberty Nation Today:
A Sneak Peek
Texas’ War Against Indoctrination in Schools - Those pushing far-leftist ideas in Texas schools are in for a reckoning. - Read Now!
Janet Yellen Blames You for Inflation – Swamponomics - It's your fault for inflation, November jobs, and manufacturing slips into recession. - Watch Now!
The Moral Bankruptcy of Apple - Love your iPhone and Apple gear? You may want to think again. - Read Now!
College ‘Ethics’ App Is Another Smothering Security Blanket - Students today: They're 20, they've fallen, and they can't they get up - Read Now!
Black Friday Boom! – C5 - No one believed this holiday shopping season would start strong -- and they were dead wrong. - Watch Now!