Time For Peace, but Without Russia – WWIII Prelude News 31/07/23: Zelenskyy’s Unilateral Peace Plan
Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, is in the news lately for threatening nuclear war. This sounds pretty terrible and aggressive for a state official to randomly announce, except that it wasn’t entirely random – the comment comes in response to an announced Ukraine Peace Summit in Saudi Arabia on August 5th which Russia isn’t invited to. However, the publicly announced partial list of the 30 invited countries include Brazil, India, South Africa, Turkey, the European Union (because that’s a country now, I guess), the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and Zambia – at least 4 of which are known to be sympathetic to Russian concerns.
Medvedev’s precise message was as follows: If NATO occupies Russian territory, then a nuclear response is inevitable – referring to the 4 democratically-annexed regions of Ukraine. According to Russia’s nuclear doctrine, any incursion into Russian territory by foreign forces is seen as an existential threat which allows for the use of nuclear weapons. This isn’t unusual for any country’s nuclear doctrine and, in fact, many other countries like the United States have a much more “liberal” nuclear doctrine allowing the use of the weapons. In this light, Medvedev’s “threat” isn’t in any way unusual, except for the fact he felt the need to say it now.
It’s unusual for a peace process to only involve one side of a conflict plus numerous other parties, but when it does happen it’s usually because the peace plan involves stipulations that the absent party could never agree to, and it usually ends with that offended party left feeling violated and bitter, as dozens of other countries descend upon them to enforce peace terms which they had no say in. It’s a cruel violation of sovereignty that often ends in disaster, with the greatest modern example being the rise of Hitler after the Treaty of Versailles.
- Radiation and nuclear safety, focusing on restoring security around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine, which is now Russian-occupied.
- Food security, including protecting and ensuring Ukraine’s grain exports to the world’s poorest nations.
- Energy security, with a focus on price restrictions on Russian energy resources, as well as aiding Ukraine with restoring its power infrastructure, half of which has been damaged by Russian attacks.
- Release of all prisoners and deportees, including war prisoners and children deported to Russia.
- Restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and Russia reaffirming it according to the UN Charter, which Zelenskyy said is “not up to negotiations”.
- Withdrawal of Russian troops and the cessation of hostilities, the restoration of Ukraine’s state borders with Russia.
- Justice, including the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes.
- The prevention of ecocide, and the protection of the environment, with a focus on demining and restoring water treatment facilities.
- Prevention of an escalation of conflict and building security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic space, including guarantees for Ukraine.
- Confirmation of the war’s end, including a document signed by the involved parties.
Let’s examine these points from a Russian perspective.
Radiation and nuclear safety: Nobody can argue with doing more to secure a nuclear facility in the middle of a warzone, but it should be known that this plant has been under Russian control and operating normally for several months. Even with the destruction of the Kakhovskaya dam, which supplied the water critical to its functioning, it still remains functional and completely safe. The only concern around Ukraine’s nuclear infrastructure (including the hermetically sealed Chernobyl site) is the occasional Ukrainian shelling of the vicinity of these fragile sites since the beginning of the war, coupled with Ukraine and the United States claiming Russia will sabotage them in order to blame Ukraine. All evidence points toward such a claim being absurd, since the only side in this war who have commit terrorist attacks is Ukraine and their western intelligence sponsors: the Crimea bridge twice; the incursions into Belgorod; and the frequent drones being sent in the general direction of Moscow with just enough fuel to randomly crash land, potentially in civilian areas. The Russians have always responded to allegations of planned false flag attacks on the nuclear sites by saying, “No, we’re not planning that. That’s probably what you are planning.”
Any peace agreement will inevitably have to involve a nuclear safety plan, especially given that the Zaporizhzhia plant is now in Russian territory and Ukraine having a 9-year-old habit of bombing ethnic Russians. With a unilateral peace agreement, this concern will never be taken seriously, as Ukraine is seen as the sole and perpetual victim in this conflict.
Food security: Let’s be realistic here. Governments and corporations don’t care about the food security of 3rd world countries – they care about levies and profits, respectively. The inclusion of this detail is a mere virtue signal to re-enforce the idea that Ukraine is an angelic nation along with their angelic friends in the NATO bloc. Later in this list we’ll cover the stipulation that Russia will withdraw from ALL pre-2014 Ukrainian territory, but after the withdrawal Ukraine will have unfettered access to its Odessa port and the Black Sea, which grain is exported through. If peace is established, Russia won’t be blocading their ports (blocades are an act of war), so what is this issue really about? The port of Odessa has been used to transport weapons and personnel, and since the establishment of “the grain deal”, Russia has allowed the passage of cargo ships out of that port. As a result, Africans aren’t starving to death and the price of bread hasn’t shot through the roof in Europe. A side-effect of “the grain deal” is Ukraine using those cargo ships to import weapons and ammunition, prolonging the war and costing the deaths of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian troops.
Energy security: This is where the stipulations get very hairy from a Russian perspective. Since the invasion of Ukraine, the EU and US have teamed up to impose various sanctions on Russia designed to cripple its economy (which they failed to do, evidenced by the fact that a 7th batch of sanctions is being discussed). Sanctions are an age-old strategy used by large countries and blocs to cripple smaller countries and bend them to their will, and they’re a favourite of the United States hegenomy which is most famous for imposing sanctions on Iran. They’ve been wanting war with Iran for over 20 years now, attested by the Project For a New American Century and regular threats since the 2000s, but progressive sanctions have done a lot to gradually destabilise their government. The problem with sanctions is that they work very well on small countries, but not so much on huge countries like Russia who have spent decades building positive relations with African, Asian, and South American countries – many of whom outright rejected US and EU pressure to join the sanctions. Many reports from the past year suggest that the Russian economy survived the initial shock, but recovered well and now enjoys a reasonably low inflation rate and foreign debt.
If the war ends tomorrow on Ukraine’s terms, Russia will have lost all of the Donbas regions and Crimea, and its solid and liquid fuel exports will be sold at discount prices. Who does this serve other than the NATO countries who explicitly announce their desire to destroy Russia economically in order to break it up into smaller (more manageable and vulnerable) countries? It won’t help you, with your astronomically high electricity bill. I know this from experience as a natural gas field not far from me in Ireland was sold to Shell many years ago for pennies on the dollar, with one of the false promises being that the Irish would enjoy a discount on our gas. The sales agreement didn’t involve any such thing, so it’s no surprise such a discount never arrived. We also know that energy prices have been falling all year, yet our energy bills remain at the extortionate prices they’ve been raised to last year “because of Russia.”
Putting a cap on Russia’s energy sales has nothing to do with peace.
Release of all prisoners and deportees: Does this include Russian prisoners? Does this include the Fathers/Priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church imprisoned, after the raiding and looting of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, on spurious accusations of spying? There’s no mention of Russian prisoners and when we look at the rest of the stipulations, namely about Russian war crimes, we could be forgiven for assuming they won’t be included in this peace plan.
Restoring Ukrainian territory: Inflated by the West’s vocal commitment and its constant supply of subsidies and (rapidly depleting) weapons, this small country with its downsized army has decided that they want the Donbas back, along with Crimea (which joined Russia in 2014), and it’s not willing to negotiate peace without those terms being met. Without the West’s support, this would be an absurd demand and it would have to end the war on Russia’s terms, but with the backing of about 30 countries it might actually achieve this. What’s notable about this demand is that it includes “Russia reaffirming it according to the UN Charter”, which is telling of the fact that both Crimea in 2014 and the Donbas regions in 2022 joined Russia legally according to the UN Charter. This, along with Russia’s original pretext to the war, was completely legal according to UN law, which is why the United Nations itself has been unable to sanction Russia. The Western leadership and media don’t want to discuss this because they know that Russia has done everything by the book.
Withdrawl of Russian troops: This may seem like a repitition of the last stipulation, and that’s probably because it is the same thing under international law. If two countries are at peace, then they can’t have troops in their opponent’s territory.
“Justice”: This stipulation calls for the prosecution of Russian war crimes. Absolutely, Russian war crimes should be prosecuted where they occurred, but this smacks of any abusive relationship which ended with both partners thinking that the other was responsible for 100% of the wrongdoings, when any of us who are seasoned in the game of life and love know that it’s never that simple. There’s a reason why terms like “all is fair in love and war” and “love is a battlefield” have become popular – the realities of war and intimate relationships share the similarity of dignity, personal integrity, and law, being violated. War is a nasty business, as it almost always involves trained killers brainwashed to hate the enemy soldier and civilian, which results in the horrendous treatment of Prisoners of War and the violation of the rights of civilians. The fact that there’s no mention of Ukraine’s war crimes from the last 18 months should tell you all you need to know about what this peace plan will look like. In this position, why would you personally agree to such an arrangement, and why should any right-thinking person sit idly by while you’re forced into such an abusive capitulation?
We should neither forget that Ukrainian forces have been shelling residential areas in the Donbas region (their own citizens, supposedly) since 2014. Will Ukraine be brought to account for these crimes? And will they be brought to account for their abuses of the ethnic Hungarians living in the Zakarpattia Oblast before and during the war?
The last three points: Can be condensed into one. Like with the nuclear power plants, the environment will have to be healed through the bilateral co-operation of Russia and whatever remains of Ukraine, as they are the main belligerents in the conflict and have caused the damage. What isn’t reasonable is a security framework designed with the understanding that “Russia bad, Ukraine angels.” To carry on the analogy of an abusive relationship, this would be like your abusive partner bringing you to court with the judge being completely convinced that you’re entirely in the wrong and everything your ex has done was justified, meaning their judgment will include a variety of restrictions and responsibilities imposed on you, with absolutely no protections for your own personal security, leaving you wide open to more abuse.
It’s worth repeating that the original intent of NATO was to secure the US and Europe against the powerful Soviet Union. Since the end of the Soviet Union, the leaders of Russia and the US have had an agreement that the two powers should co-operate for mutual security – part of which was an agreement that there would be a European buffer zone of non-NATO members or Russian allies in Eastern Europe, so that both can enjoy security and avoid the threat of war. Since the late 90s this agreement has been violated with the joining of nations bordering Russia, Belarus, and the Black Sea – a violation which has caused the degradation of relations between the two powers. Pro-NATO commentators offer the excuse of “those were verbal agreements,” yet what is your honour worth if we can’t trust your word? The Russians have a word for someone like this which can’t be directly translated into English – недоговороспособный – but can be described as “non-contractual” or “non-agreement-capable.” Like our abusive partner, this is somebody who has promised to respect your personal boundaries, yet they have inched closer over time, and when you’ve attempted to make new agreements with them to stay out of your life, they have done everything to harass you and deliberately misinterpret what you say in order to make you seem crazy to others. Even if our hypothetical judge were to recognise that perhaps things aren’t one-sided and gave a judgment ordering you both to respect each other’s boundaries, you know that agreeing is pointless as they would continue to violate your sovereignty. This is the experience of Russia over the last 25 years and this new peace deal is yet another persecution.