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Putin has ‘no way out’ of failed Ukraine invasion, ex-NATO ambassador says


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Russian President Vladimir Putin has “no way out” of his weeks-long invasion of Ukraine, according to former US NATO ambassador Kurt Volker.

While some foreign policy experts expressed surprise that Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine continued until mid-March, Volker says he expected Ukraine showed strong resistance, and Putin only sank into a deeper hole by continuing his war against the ruler. nation without showing any indication of agreement to a peace agreement so far.

“Putin who has no way out. He has bet everything on this military effort to take control of Ukraine. And it’s a failure,” said Volker, former US special representative for negotiations with Ukraine, at Fox News Digital. “So he’s just going to keep doubling down and doubling down on a military victory that looks increasingly unlikely.”

Kurt Volker, former US special envoy to Ukraine. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Putin is calling on Ukraine to demilitarize, recognize Russian control over Crimea and renounce all efforts to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO is an intergovernmental military-political alliance between the United States, Canada and a number of European countries. NATO was founded after World War II in 1949 with the aim of protecting European countries within the alliance against threats from Russia – then the Soviet Union.

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Ukraine is not part of NATO, which plays no official role in Russia’s war on Ukraine, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy has called on alliance officials to set up a security zone. no-fly over his country to stop Russian missile attacks. Most NATO officials have so far rejected such demands, citing fears of a Third World War against Russia.

Volker said he “doesn’t see” Ukraine bowing to Putin’s demands at all, except perhaps agreeing not to recognize Ukraine as an ally of the NATO. He does not expect Ukraine to demilitarize, but rather to strengthen its army and “seek other guarantees of security”.

Speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin during the concert marking the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, March 18, 2022, in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)

Speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin during the concert marking the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, March 18, 2022, in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)

He added that Ukrainians “feel like time is on their side now.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is asking Russia to commit to a ceasefire and withdraw its forces from Ukraine, something Volker doesn’t think is likely in the near future but could possibly happen. .

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“I could see commitments or a declaration from Ukraine that they do not join NATO, as long as they have sovereignty and territorial integrity. And they can also agree to agree to to disagree on Crimea and… not to accept their independent states as part of Russia, but also not to fight to take them back. It’s conceivable,” said the former ambassador of NATO.

Even once an agreement is reached between the two countries, Russia faces a bleak future, militarily and economically, according to Volker.

“Everyone can see it. People are leaving Russia. You can’t get money. There’s no shortage of goods in stores. Everyone can see what’s going on and they know that it’s a disaster for Russia,” he said. , adding that he expects Putin to be replaced by a more “rational” leader.

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“Putin is acting irrationally in many ways, but bring in a rational actor – they will want to settle the conflict, stop the bleeding of the Russian military, get sanctions lifted, so they can revive an economy, and have some kind of peace agreement with Ukraine and with the West,” Volker continued. “That would be the rational thing to do.”

Zelenskyy said on his telegram channel on Friday that “meaningful negotiations on peace – on the security of … Ukraine – are the only chance for Russia to reduce the damage of its own mistakes”, adding that he is ” time” for Russian and Ukrainian officials to meet and talk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference on the Russian military operation in Ukraine, February 25, 2022 in kyiv.  (Photo by Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference on the Russian military operation in Ukraine, February 25, 2022 in kyiv. (Photo by Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“Otherwise, Russia’s losses will be so huge that several generations will not be enough to bounce back,” he said.

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Putin called the invasion a “special military operation” intended to “denazify” Ukraine – phrases that have sown confusion and angered Ukraine and its Western allies.

“The West, collectively, is trying to fracture our society…to bring about a civil conflict in Russia, by means of the fifth column,” the Russian president said in a speech on Thursday. “The goal is the collapse of Russia.”


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