No Peace in Sight for Ukraine - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
No Peace in Sight for Ukraine

Entering its fourth week, Russia’s war against Ukraine is still partially stalled by Ukrainian resistance and poor logistical support. Ukraine hasn’t lost, despite what the Russian disinformation campaign contends.

Russian forces are still committing war crimes, intentionally killing civilians and even bombarding temporary evacuation routes to which they had agreed. While the Russians try to press westward toward the Polish border, more than three million refugees have fled Ukraine, mostly to Poland.

Russian forces surround the eastern port city of Mariupol where hundreds are still trapped in buildings bombed by the Russians. Russian forces are also blocking humanitarian efforts to get food and water to people in the city.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s poignant video address to a joint session of Congress last week failed to budge President Biden in his refusal to provide MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Those jets, and more sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems, are what Ukrainian forces need most.

The use of nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles is another Russian attempt at intimidation of Biden and Europe more than Ukraine. And it’s working.

Biden and his team of incompetents don’t understand, or care to understand, the vital role airpower could play in this war. Russian airpower has not been dominant, in part because of Ukrainian air force opposition and, in part, because of the anti-aircraft Stinger and Starstreak missiles we and the Brits have provided. Both have reportedly downed many Russian fighters, bombers, and helicopters.

If Ukraine were able to get the twenty-eight MiG-29s offered by the Poles, they could support Ukrainian ground forces closely and to a far greater extent. And, they could attack Russian artillery and missile launchers, as well as Russian ground troops. They could down many more Russian aircraft and possibly turn the air war to Ukraine’s advantage.

Those fighter-bombers alone won’t win the war for Ukraine but they could make it impossible for Putin’s forces to conquer their nation.

In the midst of this, there are efforts to negotiate a cease-fire in Ukraine and a peace agreement. Zelensky has, several times, proposed face-to-face meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Putin hasn’t agreed to any such meeting because he still believes the war is winnable.

In a big Moscow rally last week, Putin faced a crowd of about 70,000 supporters, many of whom were bused there by the Putin regime and told to cheer. The stadium was decorated with slogans such as, “Free the world from Nazism,” which Putin claims is his goal in the war on Ukraine.

Sounding much like Joseph Stalin, Putin claimed, laughably, that his invasion was prompted by genocide against Russians in the Donbas region. The only “genocide” in Ukraine is Putin’s wanton slaughter of civilians in hospitals, schools, homes, and on evacuation routes.

Putin is facing demonstrations of opposition to the war at home. A new law punishes anyone who publicly criticizes the war with fines and up to fifteen years in prison. Thousands are being arrested, but those protests and arrests are having no effect on Putin’s resolve to conquer Ukraine.

The first evidence of dissension within Putin’s government is a report that the commander of the FSB intelligence agency’s unit responsible for Ukraine has been placed under house arrest. Those who believe Putin’s government is about to fall are wrong at this point. He is still firmly in control.

Friday was a very busy day. President Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and reportedly threatened China with sanctions if it aids Russia — with money or shipments of weapon systems — in the Ukraine war. Xi is reportedly considering giving Putin drones and other offensive systems. Biden’s threats won’t change Xi’s mind because he neither fears nor respects Biden.

As further proof of that point, China sailed one of its aircraft carriers through the Taiwan Strait last week in provocation of the U.S. and Taiwan.

Russia’s defense ministry claimed Friday that Russian forces had used a hypersonic missile for the first time, purportedly to destroy an underground ammunition dump. Since he announced their deployment in 2018, Putin has been bragging about Russia’s hypersonic missile capabilities. (They claimed a second shot on Saturday.)

The use of nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles is another Russian attempt at intimidation of Biden and Europe more than Ukraine. And it’s working.

Also on Friday, Zelensky again asked Putin to speak with him in person.

Russia has been floating “peace” proposals which were tantamount to Ukrainian surrender. Zelensky has, so far, agreed that Ukraine wouldn’t join NATO but that is not nearly enough for Putin to agree even to a cease-fire.

As reported by the BBC and the Financial Times, there is another — more formal but no more acceptable — Russian proposal.

Last Monday, a fifteen-point plan was discussed by Ukrainian and Russian representatives. Most of the plan, reported by BBC and FT, is intended to be unacceptable to Ukraine.

The plan would require, among other things, Ukrainian disarmament, recognition of two “independent” Russian-dominated states in the Donbas region, and agreement that Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula — a part of Ukraine — was legitimate.

Other demands by Russia include “de-Nazification” of Ukraine and its government. That means removal of the elected Zelensky government and installation of a Russian puppet. (Zelensky is Jewish and several of his relatives were murdered in the Holocaust.)

Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who has learned the Russian habit of injecting himself where he has no business to be, related Russian demands he learned of in a call with Putin. Most of the plan — including the parts most clearly unacceptable to Ukraine — are, in Erdogan’s view, acceptable. Among them, according to Erdogan’s spokesman, were Ukrainian disarmament, recognition of the “independent states” in Donbas, and Ukraine’s acceptance of the 2014 seizure of Crimea. Erdogan’s view is nothing more than another attempt to cozy up with NATO’s principal enemy.

Putin knows that Zelensky would be thrown out of office were he to accept any of those terms. Putin clearly means to continue the war until Zelensky’s government is toppled and a pro-Russian government is installed in its place.

In sum, there is no serious proposal to end the fighting at this point. There is also no serious attempt, contrary to Biden’s insistence, by the U.S. to take the necessary steps to welcome Ukrainian refugees.

That fact is similar to Biden’s bar to Cuban refugees coming to the U.S. In both instances, the refugees — fleeing oppression — have a far greater claim to admission to America than those coming in through our southern border.

Why isn’t Biden welcoming them as he is welcoming the illegal aliens? It’s simple. The Brandon Administration has a greater desire to admit those who are more likely to vote Democratic than those coming from Ukraine who would more likely be productive and less sympathetic to his politics.

There are more than three million refugees who have fled Ukraine, about two million who have fled to Poland, which has welcomed them. To help those desperate Ukrainians — and to relieve the pressure on Poland — it’s long past time for Biden to remove the barriers that are preventing the Ukrainians, particularly those who have relatives here, from coming to America.

Biden’s sanctions campaign against Russia has done nothing to stop or even slow the Russian attack on Ukraine. They haven’t even prevented Europe, especially Germany, from keeping the supply of Russian natural gas flowing. He needs to get the Polish MiG-29s to Ukraine and remove the barriers to Ukrainian refugees right now.

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