Critics might claim that President Putin’s new outlook came eight years too late, but late is always better than never. Merkel manipulated him for years before finally coming clean with her betrayal, which taught the Russian leader the painful lesson that he can never trust any of his Western peers ever again. Instead, he’s now enthusiastically embracing his Great Power counterparts across the Global South, especially Indian Prime Minister Modi, who shares his grand strategic vision of a multipolar future.
The more I learn about the lies and deceptions of US and European politician that led to the present conflict in Ukraine, the more I'm inclined to reassess western perceptions of Stalin. Perhaps he did have valid good reasons for being paranoid about the West's actions and intentions!
Good work! That ghastly episode, and Merkel's (ongoing) destruction of Germany, her eagerness t subjugate it to a foreign power, and her willingness to take the world to the brink of nuclear war mark her as a First Class War Criminal.
Fortunately (and uncommonly) the good guys have all the statesmen and most of the guns.
I predict them to win outright by Christmas next year:
Ukraine defeated and Nazis publicly tried for crimes against their own people.
NATO behind the 1979, US promised borders.
The new reserve currency in global use.
If Putin is the "last true statesmen" then... Woof. Russia has had the goal of resubjugating Ukraine for at least the last 20 years. Russia under Putin was unable to compete with the soft power of the West. There was a long period of growing Ukrainian belief that greater prosperity would come from West then from the "Russian world", manifested most clearly in the great leap forward seen in their neighbor and brotherly state of Poland. Hence Euromaidan.
As the stability of the new Western-facing government made itself apparent, Russia quickly had to face that military intervention was the only way to save their domination over the Ukrainian state. Initial success in Crimea was followed by an ultimately half-hearted effort in Donbass. And then there came a great gift from the blue: The election of Donald Trump as US President.
Facing a truly historical opportunity, a US President that would have interfered with or even almost entirely prevented NATO and the US from supporting Ukraine from Russian aggression, Putin completely blew it. Instead that window of incredible fortune closed, while the Tsar dawdled. And then, a year-and-a-half too late, he clumsily strikes at the wrong time and the wrong (too many) places.
Now "the last great Statesmen" faces a major strategic blow to the "Russian world" that is already reverberating well beyond Ukraine. The failures of this war, and the incompetence of the Russian state, will change minds from Chișinău to Astana for decades.
I know you got to schill for this, it's your job, but once again... Woof.
I have great respect for the author. However I beg to differ his assessment that Putin was naive and was played by the west. Before coming to such a conclusion one has to consider the following facts. Russia was barely recovering from the calamity of the years of mismanagement of Russian economy during Boris Yeltsin's years. Just consider this, if Putin didn't play along with the west's con game, are we supposed to believe that Russia would have survived the wrath of the combined west with their sanctions? Also at that point in time the Global South that includes India and China , was in no shape to go along with Putin against the combined West . I personally think that Putin played their game to gain time to put his house in order, build up his military and economic strength. When Putin felt confident about his country's strength to wither the onslaught of the west he gave a draft document in Dec 21 for a recalibration of European security and having been talked down by the combined west to prove to his country men/women that the west is not trust worthy and he has to move against them. I have no doubt the Russian population would have not approved a military action against Kiev in 2014. But now we see that population is asking him why are you going so slow finish them off? But again I think Putin is right he has to take his sweet time complying to the west's self inflicted wound of sanctions while raking in money to fill his coppers while exhausting the west of resources, lack of heat/air conditioning , jobs so as to achieve his goal of Multi Polar Just World. Thanks
Maybe , Putin fell for it, and why not give Merkel the benefit of doubt, after all going to war in Ukraine for Russia in 2014 would have been a major gamble. The probability of a success
Would have been rather low. and Russia was by no means ready for a conflict with the collective Western powers at the time of Minsk. The geopolitical realities of the world in 2014 is vastly different than it is today and they favor Russian multipolarity, the probability of success is much greater than 8 years ago. Just think about the progress in the good relations of the multipolar world that has taken place among BRICS + the building of the BRI the diplomatic success of Russia China India Iran the Russian intervention in Syria the Venezuela victory over US regime change op the Turkish turnaround the dedollarizing of the global south the new payment system the hypersonic missiles and all the while the collective West commiting one catastrophic error after another debacle after debacle for all the normal people of the world to see. Yes the moral people descent people free people oppressed people , people of courage because they know their cause is just and they shall prevail. God willing !
My sense from statements and actions is that Putin never wanted this war and tried to avoid it; thus, he was vulnerable to Merkel's manipulation. I also think that Putin used the eight years to prepare Russia for war with the West, economically, politically, socially, as well as militarily.
In the meantime, it looks like Germany is suffering from the loss of cheap Russian energy and the inflation it has caused. I can only hope that none of the Western powers avoid the economic calamities their policies have created, that they either will succumb to reality or be too poor to continue their global depredations.
So Russia presented its huge advances in rocket warfare back in 2018/19 which in turn must have had a lead up of 5-10 years. So I think it is a bit much to say Putin or Russia naively wasted 8 years before wising up. Clearly they have been getting ready for a big confrontation that they could back up against whole Nato. The last 14 years since Georgia have been used very wisely. Had Russia attempted this in 2014/15 then Nato might well have got directly involved - they won't now.
Excellent article, which deserves to be seen by a wider audience. The daily carpet bombing of misleading propaganda which we have to endure in the west is nauseating. It’s refreshing to see a Substack such as this one which offers readers the chance to learn some genuine factual based information. Keep up the good work.
Here's my comment on the previous post. Sorry for repeating myself.
She is obviously a liar and admitted this. BUT since the news of her admission broke, I’ve been wondering, WHY for God’s sake would she do such a seemingly STUPID thing? Isn’t it too “simplistic” to just assume that she is “catering to her western bosses”? She did not HAVE to open her mouth at all.
And why NOW? I may be too naive but I think that is it possible that she is actually the smart one and wanted to warn her former friend NOT to get into any negotiations we have been hearing in the last few weeks that intensified in the days prior to that interview?
She could have gone “into annals of history” or “into that good night” quietly, so why to stir it? And stir she DID!
I was also thinking that she could just make a direct call to Putin and tell him at any point. BUT, would HE have reacted in the same way that he HAS to now when EVERYBODY is talking about it?
Seeing how he is trying to bend over backwards to his “western partners”, I would not be surprised if he would have put this revelation behind him, sweeping it under the table. So maybe, just maybe, she knew him better than anybody else indeed and HAD to do that in public, so he would be FORCED to listen, otherwise his own citizens would disrespect him if he continued to negotiate. Maybe it's her "mea culpa" before going into "that good night"?
Or maybe I am as naive as Putin and also want to think better of people...
In addition, I also want to BLAME Putin! As a head of state, as a PATRIOT of his beloved country, he has no right to just "trust his good partners" risking thousands of lives of his people as he does NOW with his indecision! WHY did he not DEMAND the implementation of Mink Accords rather than HOPING for more than EIGHT YEARS and countless lives killed by these nazis while his "partners" and "best friends" did nothing?! He had NO RIGHT to do that, naive or not - indecision is not the right of a true statesman and patriot!
I think there is a level of theatrics from Putin. He is not stupid at all. The surprise I think is having his suspicions confirmed and Merkel being stupid enough to admit a UN Security Council resolution which is what Minsk 1 & 2 are was a lie.
The real damage Merkel has done is expose the UN that is supposed to be an international peace keeping organisation, signed up to agreements that were supposed to maintain peace that was really a ruse to delay a war long enough to make it infinitely worse for Ukrainians and collapse Russia. The UN was serving US geostrategic interests (take a bow Brzezinsky) and so was Merkel.
So many opinions by people not directly involved. War has no logic, and the people of Ukraine, Russia and Donbass/Lugansk are all suffering as the people who got us into this mess try to achieve their great “vision”, whatever that is. I read as much as I can find on the subject, both (all?) sides, and as someone who thankfully got out of Ukraine with his skin after trying to resolve the “oil” crisis in the 90s, it’s clear to me that most folks who comment either have skin in the game, or have completely bought in to their groups propaganda, logic be damned. One friend, who should know better but is comfortably ensconced in the states will not hear any suggestion that our neocons manufactured the Maiden in 2014, and any remotely logical comment about Russia is “poison”. I appreciate Mr. Korybko’s point of view, and suggest those who think he is “shilling” for Russia should examine their own motives for comment. There are no winners at the level of boots on the ground.
Despite Merkel's manipulation, I do think that President Putin was also sincere in trying to resolve the conflict in Ukraine peacefully. It seems something extremely dangerous to Russia was discovered, apart from Ukraine preparing to attack the Donbass, to force him into taking the terrible but necessary decision to attack first. The gravity of his attitude during his address on Feb 22 seemed to confirm that to me. Must have to do with Zelensky announcing his intention to get nuclear weapons in Geemany few days earlier. My assumption is that there was a program from US and UK to help Kiev get/ produce them, and the Russians intelligence services might have learned about it too late to his liking. He might have had an unpleasant conversation with Naryshkin about this, which might explain the febrility this latter displayed when asked about his opinion on recognising the independace of the Donbass republics.
My interpretation of these events is this was the most decisive factor, probably more than the expected ukrainian attack, to launch the SMO. Before that, it seemed to me that he sincerely wanted to avoid the hostilities, irrespective od what Merkel was saying to him or doing. More so as I think Russia was not ready for a full scale hybrid confrontation with the global West. It needed this time to prepare both economically and militarily, while it was still not ready socially, only somewhat catching up on this side during the course of this year and ongoing SMO.
As for Merkel, it seems she did resist the US on this war, but she knowingly only delayed it until she was out of power, instead of completely averting it.
Yes.....it does appear Merkel lulled Putin into a false sense of security, pretending to support his peace plans in Donbass. But the schadenfreude is misplaced, because far from increasing German hegemony, what is now happening is German deindustrialization, and the shrinking of Germany's economy and the potential freezing of its population.
Why have all European leaders acted like US vassals taking orders from US Neocons, instead of like real leaders caring for the interests of their respective countries?