The New York Times’ Alleged Scoop About Putin’s Peace Push Is Actually Old News
The Financial Times candidly spelled out the perception management plan that the New York Times is now dutifully following to a tee, all for the purpose of preconditioning the public to accept a compromise for ending this proxy war.
The New York Times (NYT) published a piece on Saturday about how “Putin Quietly Signals He Is Open to a Cease-Fire in Ukraine”, which claimed that he’s been sending out feelers about this since September after fall 2022’s allegedly initial such attempt failed. The rest of the article explains how he supposedly came around to countenancing what’s presented by them as his tacit admission of strategic defeat. It then predictably ends on a skeptical note implying that neither he nor his country can be trusted.
For as intriguing as all this might sound to the average Westerner, the fact of the matter is that this alleged scoop is actually old news, and the details thereof were spun for political purposes. It was already assessed in September 2022 during four former Ukrainian regions’ referenda that “Russia’s Special Military Operation Might Soon Transform Into A Defense Of Its Own Borders” and that “Russia Will Still Strategically Win Even In The Scenario Of A Military Stalemate In Ukraine”.
Those analyses argued that Russia’s priority is to remove NATO-backed Ukrainian forces from the entirety of its newly unified regions, which presciently foresaw that the Line of Contact (LOC) would barely change from then until now with the notable exception of northern Kherson Region in November 2022. These calculations could have been accompanied by President Putin sending out some feelers to gauge whether that goal could possibly be achieved by diplomatic means as part of a larger deal.
He revealed in June of this year that spring 2022’s Istanbul peace process saw both sides agreeing on Ukraine’s return to constitutional neutrality and the imposition of strict limits upon its armed forces so there’s a certain logic inherent in him floating the restoration of that deal in fall 2022 after the referenda. He also strongly signaled that a political solution to the NATO-Russian proxy war is still possible on three separate occasions in the middle of that month so long as the West first curtails its arms supplies to Kiev.
President Putin’s admission of naivety about the West during his annual Q&A session was interpreted here as signaling that all such prior peace feelers shouldn’t be mistaken by the West as weakness since he said during the same event that Russia’s three goals will still be achieved. These are demilitarizing Ukraine, denazifying it, and restoring that country’s constitutional neutrality. He also reiterated that they could be accomplished by diplomatic means but that military ones will continue to be pursued if not.
Several days after his session, “The Financial Times Spun Ukraine’s Defeat As A Victory To Justify Freezing The Conflict” along the lines of the “land-for-peace” proposal pushed by Republican presidential candidate Ramaswamy, former NATO Supreme Commander Admiral Staviridis, and Senator Vance. That outlet quoted an unnamed former US official who explicitly stated that “We have to flip the narrative and say that Putin has failed” in order to craft the publicly plausible pretext for bringing this about.
Therein lies the ultimate narrative significance of the NYT’s falsely described scoop that spun everything in such a way as to mislead their targeted Western audience into thinking that President Putin tacitly admitted strategic defeat and is desperate for a ceasefire. As was earlier clarified, all of his actual and speculative peace feelers were aimed at achieving his country’s three goals through diplomatic means building upon the Istanbul peace process from spring 2022, not freezing the conflict for the sake of it.
The security concessions that Russia is requesting in exchange for an armistice, which importantly wouldn’t result in either it or Ukraine rescinding their territorial claims against the other, aren’t yet something that the West feels comfortable with. That New Cold War bloc seems sincerely interested in having Ukraine resume some sort of dialogue with Russia as the conflict winds down, ergo its recent pressure upon Zelensky to that end, but those aforesaid concessions are a bridge too far right now.
Even so, the resumption of any talks would still represent a significant diplomatic concession after Ukraine formally ruled this out while the West said that it won’t participate in any discussions over that country’s future without it, hence this newfound information campaign. The Financial Times candidly spelled out the perception management plan, which the NYT is now dutifully following to a tee, all for the purpose of preconditioning the public to accept a compromise for ending this proxy war.
None of this insight is to suggest that another round of escalation isn’t possible, especially after Belarus warned that Poland is preparing to launch Belgorod-like terrorist proxy incursions, but just that this is the general direction in which everything is going after summer’s failed counteroffensive. In the absence of any Plan B and provided that no serious provocations transpire, the writing is on the wall, and it clearly says that the West is moving closer towards complying with Russia’s security requests in Ukraine.