Here are a series of questions answered by one of my good friends who lives a few miles away from the rumble in Kiev, Ukraine. – Jay Rogers
KIEV, Ukraine (Forerunner) — I’ve been surprised so far to see so many people who agree we are not seeing the whole story from the western media. The solution to the Russia and Ukraine crisis has always been some simple concessions to Russia.
- Recognize the sovereignty of three breakaway regions (Crimea, Lugansk and Donetsk).
- Obtain a guarantee that Ukraine will never join NATO.
- Agree to the demilitarization of regions surrounding Crimea and Donbass.
- Make a legal declaration of Ukraine’s neutral status — possibly a constitutional amendment.
These seem to me to be reasonable demands. Former U.S. representative Tulsi Gabbard was criticized for saying that such concessions in 2021 could have avoided this horrific military conflict. Numerous other commentators have agreed that now this ought to be considered a good exit strategy. Instead we given the unending narrative that Putin wants to occupy Ukraine permanently and resurrect the Soviet Union. Yet we are told we cannot interfere with his nefarious plan. We cannot go to war with a nuclear superpower either. Instead, we are to arm Ukrainians for a long drawn out resistance that will kill many thousands on both sides and finally ruin Putin. That is the media narrative, but I believe that scenario to be absurd and cruel.
I asked the following questions of my friend.
Forerunner:— Our media is continually repeating that Putin has said he desires to reconstitute the Soviet Union and the occupation of Ukraine is just the beginning of the long term war. Do you agree with this narrative?
Mr. Putin never said he wants a Soviet Union resurrection. Instead, he did say that collapse of the Soviet Union was the biggest tragedy of the 20th century. I don’t know whether we can put an equal sign between these two ideas. What Russia (RU) really wanted was to invite the Ukraine (as well as some other countries) to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and they almost succeeded. However, at the same time as the Ukraine was in process of joining, the Maidan coup occurred in 2014. Ukraine (UA) was promised EU membership, which never happened, and now UA is not welcome to join the EU anytime in the foreseeable future.
Forerunner:— What is happening in Kiev? Our media here is constantly claiming that the convoy of Russian tanks has stalled outside of Kiev because Putin made some kind of blunder. There are various theories on why the tanks are not advancing. But many pundits admit they are puzzled. What is your view on this apparent lack of action by the Russian army in the north of Kiev?
After heavy combats in the north, northwest and northeast of Kiev, there is a pause. Right now, the attack on Kiev has been put on hold since March 7th at 10 am. Humanitarian corridors are open in Kiev, Kharkov, Mariupol and few more towns and cities. At the same time, both UA and RU armies are using this pause to improve their positions. The cities of Odessa, Nikolaev, Kiev are surrounded. Besides, there was third round of negotiations between RU and UA delegations that were hosted by Belorus. I expect an attack on Kiev any time this week. March 6th and 7th were more or less calm in the city of Kiev and near it. There are lots of barricades in Kiev, many of them are erected next to apartment buildings walls. It is too bad since they will be targeted by RU army and the tenants can be injured or killed. Public transportation is working, but not as frequent as usual. Food stores offer basic products, pharmacies also are running low on their available stocks.
Forerunner:— Also part of the narrative is that there are heavy losses inflicted on Russian troops, most north of your city, Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government has claimed over 1000 Russian soldiers have died per day, “over 9000 in the first week,” which is an amazing and catastrophic number. Russia recently gave a number of 498 for the first week. Do you have any way of knowing if either is accurate?
There is no way of knowing the number of casualties at the moment. In my opinion, casualties of RU army is no greater than 1000. I believe the figure of 1000 per day is a pure unrefined lie. The UA army casualties and other armed forces should be few times greater taking into consideration the missile attacks. But here is a very interesting observation – the RU army acknowledged their casualties and revealed a death count of 498. You also can see reports of funerals of RU soldiers on RU television and the Internet. Some of the soldiers were mentioned by name by Putin. However, you can’t find any data on casualties of UA army. None. There were a few facts acknowledged, but no death toll.
Forerunner:— While no one can accurately predict anything that will happen with certainty, how long do you expect the military operation to last realistically?
In my opinion, the main part of military operation should be over by the end of March. So far this is the situation.
- UA is fully isolated from the Black and Azov seas. All ports are shut down some of them are mined.
- There is a No Fly Zone over 100% of the Ukraine claimed by RU army.
- The capital city of Kiev is soon to be surrounded as well as Odessa and Nikolaev. The cities of Kharkov, Chernigov, Mariupol are surrounded already.
- IMPORTANT: Nazis squads together with the Security Service of Ukraine (the former KGB of Ukraine) are allegedly planning to blow-up the ammonia storage at Odessa and some small experimental nuclear reactors in Kiev and Kharkov.
- UA government urges NATO to claim and secure its own No Fly Zone, which practically means a NATO war with RU. Putin already warned that he will respond “no matter what military organizations such countries are members of.”
Forerunner:— What do you see as the outcome when a peace settlement is reached?
It won’t be the Ukraine as everybody knew it previously. At best, there will be some type of confederation like in the early USA, but without Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk. At worst, there will be few republics of states instead of the Ukraine. Russia will secure peace and and a guarantee of neutrality, as well as a “no bloc” status of this territory.
Forerunner:— It is part of the narrative that the entire nation of Ukraine is united against Russia even in the south and east. I recently saw that the three provinces (Crimea, Lugansk, Donetsk) who voted to separate from Ukraine total almost 9 million people (correct me here if this is wrong) This is about 20 percent of Ukraine’s population alone without counting other regions such as Kharkov and Odessa. In your estimation, about how many Ukrainians favor separatism? If it is close to 20 to 30 percent, why don’t we hear much about them?
That is a hard question. At the moment, most Ukrainians would prefer to live as part of the Republic of Ukraine. Potentially, 20 percent of the population would want to leave Ukraine (Crimea, Lugansk, Donetsk). Up to 50 percent might prefer to change the status of their region and obtain more independence and autonomy from the central government in Kiev. This is one of the main questions that Ukrainians need to discuss and vote for when the military operation is over.