A friend sent me this note concerning a photo taken of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the recent NATO meeting in Vilnius:
“NATO literally turned his back on him. I didn’t think that would happen.
What do you think will happen next?”
NATO didn’t completely ditch him. Zelensky clearly didn’t get what he wanted in terms of a more definitive road map for joining NATO, along with the number and specific types of weaponry he seeks.
A consensus among some has the collective West giving the Kiev regime until the end of this year to roughly 12 months from now, to make its case on the battlefield. That stance comes across as a roundabout acknowledgement of the practical limits on opposing Russia, which appears to comparatively have more in reserve to continue the conflict if need be.
Another prevailing factor is US President Joseph Biden, who will still be in office within this time frame and can’t politically afford another Afghanistan scenario with a looming election. Following the recent NATO gathering, Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already lost, further digging a likely deeper hole for the former. Putting aside Biden’s neocon-neolib bluster, the Kiev regime and collective West can arguably/reasonably best expect a frozen conflict for the purpose to build up the Kiev regime. Russia will be understandably wary of such.
The Kiev regime is somewhat like a car which has become a money pit to the degree that the owner increases the thought of ditching it. For its part, Russia would like to do other things with its budget and resources. It definitely didn’t want this conflict, waiting years for a peaceful option to be honored in the form of the Minsk Accords, as well as trying to have a new security arrangement with the collective West.
Russia views securing geopolitical stability on its border as a necessity that it can’t ignore and will successfully see enacted in one way or another, albeit with some hardship which their opponents have experienced in varying degrees as well.
The Kiev regime and its main backers wishfully hoped for heightened civil conflict between some (definitely not all) Wagner Group personnel and the Russian armed forces. That incident dwindled with a reality giving Putin (in my opinion and that of some others) the continued greater odds of outlasting (in the role of head of state) Biden and Zelensky, as well as the current leaders in France, Germany and the UK. In turn, new leadership among the leading Western nations potentially increases the likelihood of ending the proxy war.
Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic.