Alexander Motyl Is Dead Wrong About JD Vance And Russia-Ukraine – OpEd


Alexander Motyl’s recent article in The Hill, “JD Vance is dead wrong about Ukraine aid”, is a classic case of muddled thinking (using Motyl’s erroneous characterization of Vance). The Ukrainian nationalist leaning Rutgers academic confuses what he’d like to see with actual reality. Vance has provided a well premised overview second guessing further military support for Ukraine. Brian Berletic’s April 22 podcast provides further insight on this topic.

The fact is that the Kiev regime is badly losing. It has severe recruitment and military equipment problems, along with a poor economy relying heavily on Western support. As Vance notes, the West is pretty much tapped out on what it can (within reason) militarily give to the Kiev regime. The West has other security concerns requiring military matter.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky cancelled an upcoming presidential election, in line with the Kiev regime bans on political parties that were (as per voting trends) popular in the primarily Russian speaking eastern and southern portions of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR). 

In sharp contrast, Western polling and Russia’s recent presidential election result reveal that Vladimir Putin is the people’s choice in Russia, where there’s plenty of good cheap fossil fuel and food, along with a well-equipped, staffed and trained armed forces. Simply put, since February 24, 2022 (the start of Russia’s “Special Military Operation”), Russia has gotten stronger with the Kiev regime becoming weaker.

This excerpt from Motyl’s piece is way off the mark in its pro-Kiev regime simplicity: “Either way, there’s far more room for maneuvering than Vance assumes, but only if Putin would also be willing to make concessions — which he is not.” For openers, the Kiev regime will have to lift or contradict its edict making it illegal for Ukrainians to negotiate with Russia.

As the side which is winning, Russia isn’t the party in need to show the greater degree of flexibility. Russia was perfectly fine with a neutral Ukraine that respected its pro-Russian community. The Kiev regime took a different path from the reasoned status quo. Within reason, Russia feels it has been played a few too many times.

Shortly after signing an internationally brokered (Polish, German and French, with Russian oversight) power sharing agreement, the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown. The regime taking his place appointed a disproportionate number of anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalists from the Svoboda party, while considering the restriction of the Russian language and ending the Russian military presence in Crimea.

Meantime, NATO was on record for supporting Ukrainian membership in their organization. Russian inquiries on joining NATO were rebuffed.

Crimea proceeded to reunite with Russia in a virtually bloodless process. A clear majority of the Ukrainian armed forces situated in Crimea transferred their services to Russia. Likewise, the majority of Crimea’s ethnic Ukrainian population favor being reunited with Russia.

The situation in Donbass proved more problematical. Although clearly evident, the pro-Russian presence in Donbass isn’t as great as Crimea. The Minsk Accords were signed with the heavy diplomatic involvement of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. At the time, the Kiev regime forces were having a difficult time against the Donbass rebels.

Along with France and Germany, the Kiev regime later acknowledged it never intended to honor the UNSC approved Minsk Accords. (France and Germany were guarantors to that agreement). They signed this agreement with the intention to buy time for a future military conquest.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged that a war like situation in Ukraine was evident for several years prior to February 24, 2022. During this period, Stoltenberg said the Kiev regime’s armed forces were armed and trained by NATO. 

Within this time frame, the Kiev regime fatally shelled civilian areas. (On an anecdotal note, I know two Ukrainian born American citizens who identify themselves as Ukrainian. They don’t know each other. The two noted the aforementioned fatal Kiev regime behavior, in line with the reporting from the Donbass rebel side.) Just prior to Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO), OSCE observers noted a sharp increase in Kiev regime shelling of rebel held Donbass territory. 

The SMO has never been indicative of an operation seeking to take over the entire former Ukrainian SSR territory. Russia’s initial deployment of around 150,000 is way too light for such an operation. Likewise with the roughly 50,000 troops of that group which were just outside of Kiev. The SMO succeeded in getting the Kiev regime to negotiate a closely related version of the Minsk Accords in Istanbul. Boris Johnson then swayed the Kiev regime to foolishly fight on.

The longer the Russia-Kiev regime/NATO proxy war continues, the greater the likelihood of Ukraine losing more territory. As the accomplished military analysts Daniel Davis, Jacques Baud and Alex Vershinin, (among others) have noted, this is an armed conflict where attrition (downgrading the opponent’s ability to militarily operate, as opposed to taking land) is the greater factor. In one form or another, the Kiev regime is destined to lose on the same premise the Confederacy lost to the Union and Finland to the Soviet Union.

As a staunch Kiev regime supporter, the Biden administration has an interest to not see this conflict end before the next US presidential election. In turn, the US military industrial complex sees an opportunity for financial gain. There’s also the overly wishful thinking of pro-Kiev regime advocates like Motyl.

At this juncture, Russia might (stress might) consider the following settlement:

– no NATO membership for Ukraine with it having a limited military under strictly enforced oversight

– Russia is recognized for having all of the former Ukrainian SSR territory it currently holds

– the present Kiev regime controlled Ukrainian territory is recognized as Ukraine’s

– all of the sanctions implemented after February 24, 2022 against Russia (like the hypocritically bigoted ones concerning the Olympics and other sporting events) are promptly stopped

– an end to the suppression of Russian culture (language, religion, monuments, et al) in Kiev regime-controlled Ukraine.

  • Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic.

Michael Averko

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. He has appeared as a guest commentator on the BBC, RT and WABC talk radio, in addition to having been a panelist at the World Russia Forum, Russia Forum New York and Experts' Panel. Besides Averko's Eurasia Review column -, Counterpunch, Foreign Policy Journal, Global Research, History News Network, InoSMI.Ru, Johnson's Russia List, Journal of Turkish Weekly, Kyiv Post, Oriental Review, Penza News, Pravda.Ru, Pravoslavie.Ru, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia Insider, Sputnik News, Strategic Culture Foundation, The Duran, The Huffington Post, Valdai Discussion Club, Yonkers Tribune and WikiLeaks, are among the numerous venues where his articles have either appeared or been referenced. The American Institute in Ukraine and the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies, have referenced some of Averko's articles, along with academic white papers prepared for NATO Watch, Ohio State University, Problems of Post-Communism and the Royal College of Defence Studies. He has been referenced in the Council on Foreign Relations, Defense One and The New York Times. Averko is source referenced in Richard Sakwa's book "Frontline Ukraine". His Eurasia Review article on Pavlo Skoropadsky, provides the first full online English language transcript of Skoropadsky's edict calling for an "All-Russian Federation", inclusive of Russia and Ukraine. Among other issues, that article explains the relationships among the major combatants in the Russian Civil War. He can be reached via [email protected]

One thought on “Alexander Motyl Is Dead Wrong About JD Vance And Russia-Ukraine – OpEd

  • April 24, 2024 at 2:14 am

    Great article! Michael you have to run for the US President!


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