World War III.2 - Ukranian War Aims
In mid-March 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told NBC News that a third world war may have already started. Ukraines former prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuck, went further, declaring that World War Three has already begun.
Russia may have already started World War III, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with NBC News on 16 March 2022. The outcome of Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine has yet to be decided, but it's possible the decision has set off a path to a full-scale global war, Zelenskyy told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt. "Nobody knows whether it may have already started. And what is the possibility of this war if Ukraine will fall, in case Ukraine will? It's very hard to say," Zelenskyy said. "And we've seen this 80 years ago, when the Second World War had started ... nobody would be able to predict when the full-scale war would start." He further emphasized that the outcome of this war puts the "whole civilization at stake."
Zelenskyy said that he believed Russia has already crossed all the red lines. He said If theyre launching intentionally those missiles against kindergartens, against schools, universities, now, that is a cross of every single line... What else should we wait for? For letting Russians kill 200, 300 or 400 children?
Advisor to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak believed that the Third World War has already begun, but the world does not understand this. He expressed this opinion 04 March 2023 at a briefing in Lviv. Podolyak noted that the world community still cannot believe that such events are possible in 2022. "They sit in cafes, restaurants, for example, in Brussels, Amsterdam, they think, conditionally, about Netflix. They were not psychologically ready for the fact that you can go in and start bombing the city center. A big city with 3.5 million people. They didn't understand it. They thought that the Great Patriotic War, as the Russians call it, but in fact the Second World War was over and it will not happen again. There will be some local conflicts, but there will be no global conflict. Now there is a global conflict," the adviser to the head of the Presidential Office emphasized.
Volodymyr Zelensky feared that World War III could break out if China sides with Russia in the Ukraine war. In an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, Zelensky said 21 February 2023: "For us, it is important that China does not support the Russian Federation in this war. In fact, I would like it to be on our side". The Ukrainian leader added: "But I do see an opportunity for China to make a pragmatic assessment of what is happening there. Because if China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war, and I do think that China is aware of that."
By the end of 2022 there was a wide gulf in peace proposals between Moscow and Kyiv, and the two governments were far from any realistic chance of talks aimed at ending the war. It is probably better to think of these positions as war aims rather than suggested negotiating compromises. A survey published by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation on 08 May 2023 showed that over 67% of Ukrainians say the war with Russia can end only after the Ukrainian victory. They said that no compromises with Russia are acceptable, the poll shows. Only 22% of respondents said that some compromises are possible. Over 5% of those asked said that any compromises are acceptable as long as they end the war.
The Minsk Agreements set out terms for a cease-fire and outlined steps towards a political resolution. All participants includÂing Russia recognised the occupied regions of Donbas as belonging to the territory of the Ukrainian state. They were to be granted certain autonomy rights. Russia's consistent denial of its own role in the conflict created a fundamental imbalance. Instead, Moscow insisted that this was an internal conflict and sought by all means to force Kyiv into direct talks with the Russian-sponsored de-facto rulers in Donetsk and Luhansk.
On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help.
In a dark and rambling speech filled with historical grievances, conspiracy theories, and outright fabrications on February 21, Putin all but ended any doubt that he would launch an assault on Ukraine, potentially triggering the largest war in Europe since 1945. Putin essentially told his nation that Ukraine did not have the right to exist, bending history to claim it was created on historically Russian land by Soviet leaders desperate to hold on to power.
In a new address announcing the invasion before dawn on February 24, Putin asserted that Russia has no plans to occupy Ukraine. But he said Moscow would press for its "demilitarization" and hinted strongly that the Kremlin was out for regime change. He claimed that "nationalists seized power" in Kyiv -- and in the remarks on February 24 declared that Russia would press for the "de-Nazification" of Ukraine -- a groundless suggestion about the nature of the Ukrainian government, which is headed by a president who won an election deemed free and fair by international observers in 2019.
On 24 February 2022, Putin stated "The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. ToĂthis end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation. It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory. We do not intend toĂ impose anything on anyone by force."
"You want de-communization? Very well, this suits us just fine. But why stop halfway? We are ready to show what real de-communization would mean for Ukraine," he said, a suggestion that Russia could seize the land he claims the communists handed over to Ukrainian "nationalists."
Putin stated that in " 1940 and early 1941 the Soviet Union went to great lengths to prevent war or at least delay its outbreak. To this end, the USSR sought not to provoke the potential aggressor until the very end by refraining or postponing the most urgent and obvious preparations .. As a result, the country was not prepared to counter the invasion by Nazi Germany... We will not make this mistake theĂ second time. We have no right to do so.... Any further expansion of theĂ North Atlantic alliance's infrastructure or the ongoing efforts to gain a military foothold of the Ukrainian territory are unacceptable for us. ... "
" the showdown between Russia and these forces cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen."
In March 2022 Ukraine and Russia were reportedly getting close to agreeing on a 15-point peace plan that would include a Russian troop withdrawal and cease-fire. However, a senior adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said the plan only included Russia's demands and not Ukraine's conditions. The biggest sticking point remains Russia's demand that Ukraine recognise its 2014 annexation of Crimea and the independence of two separatist statelets in the eastern Donbas border region.
Details of the 15-point peace plan to end Russia's invasion of Ukraine remain obscure. Among the concessions that Kyiv would have to make is declaring neutrality and abandoning its call to join NATO. Additionally, Ukraine would have to agree not to allow foreign military bases or weaponry into its borders. In exchange, they would get protection from allies, such as the US, UK and Turkey.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Zelensky, told the Financial Times that any deal would involve âthe troops of the Russian Federation in any case leaving the territory of Ukraineâ captured since the invasion began on February 24 â namely southern regions along the Azov and Black seas, as well as territory to the east and north of Kyiv. âThe only thing we confirm at this stage is a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees from a number of countries.â Ukraine would maintain its armed forces but would be obliged to stay outside military alliances such as Nato and refrain from hosting foreign military bases on its territory.
Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that neutrality for Ukraine based on the status of Austria or Sweden was a possibility. âThis option is really being discussed now, and is one that can be considered neutral,â said Peskov. Ukraine had earlier rejected Russian proposals for it to adopt a neutral status.
the putative deal also included provisions on enshrining rights for the Russian language in Ukraine, where it is widely spoken though Ukrainian is the only official language. Russia has framed its invasion as an attempt to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine from what it claims is âgenocideâ by âneo-Nazisâ.
Since the beginning of the ongoing Russian special operation in Ukraine, the US has sent more than $40 billion worth of arms to Kiev. This is something that Moscow says actually makes Washington a direct party to the Ukrainian conflict.
Ukraine - 10 Points - November 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on 16 November 2022 called on the Group of 20 (G-20) major economies meeting in Indonesia to step up their leadership and stop Russia's war in his country under a peace plan he proposed. âWe will not allow Russia to wait it out, build up its forces, and then start a new series of terror and global destabilisation,â he said. âI am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped.â
- Radiation and nuclear safety - Russia must immediately withdraw all its militants from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The station must be immediately transferred to the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Ukrainian personnel. The same goes for the crazy threats of nuclear weapons that Russian officials resort to. There are and cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail.
- Food security - Under the initiative, Grain From Ukraine... Ukraine can export 45 million tonnes of food this year. Each country can join with a specific contribution and become a co-creator of the victory over hunger and the food crisis.
- Energy security - About 40 percent of Ukraine's energy infrastructure were destroyed by the strikes of Russian missiles and Iranian drones used by the occupiers. Price restrictions on Russian energy resources should be introduced. If Russia is trying to deprive Ukraine, Europe and all energy consumers in the world of predictability and price stability, the answer to this should be a forced limitation of export prices for Russia.
- Prisoners and deportees - Thousands of our people â military and civilians â are in the Russian captivity. Over 11,000 children who were forcibly deported to Russia, separated from their parents in full knowledge that they have families. Add to that hundreds of thousands of deported adults... and political prisoners â Ukrainian citizens who are held in Russia and in the temporarily occupied territory, in particular in Crimea. Russia must release all these people.
- United Nations Charter and Ukraine's territorial integrity - The world must restore the validity of international law â and without any compromises with the aggressor. Because the UN Charter cannot be applied partially, selectively or at will. Russia must reaffirm the territorial integrity of Ukraine within the framework of the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the applicable international legally binding documents. It is not up to negotiations.
- Russian troops and hostilities - Russia must withdraw all its troops and armed formations from the territory of Ukraine. Ukraine's control over all sections of the state border with Russia must be restored. This will result in a real and complete cessation of hostilities.
- Justice - The world should endorse establishment of the Special Tribunal regarding the crime of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the creation of an international mechanism to compensate for all the damages caused by this war. Compensation at the expense of Russian assets, because it is the aggressor who must do everything to restore the justice violated by it. Ukraine proposed a resolution of the UN General Assembly regarding an international compensation mechanism for damages caused by the Russian war. It is endorsed. We ask you to implement it.
- Immediate protection of the environment - Millions of hectares of forest were burned by shelling. Almost 200,000ha of land are contaminated with unexploded mines and shells. There is an urgent need for an increased number of equipment and experts for demining operations. Funds and technologies are also needed for the restoration of water treatment facilities.
- Prevention of escalation - Russia was able to start this war precisely because Ukraine remained in the grey zone between the Euro-Atlantic world and the Russian imperialism. An international conference would cement the key elements of the post-war security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic space, including guarantees for Ukraine. The main outcome of the conference should be the signing of the Kyiv Security Compact. (The nine-page Kyiv Security Compact published in September 2022 called for Western countries to provide âpolitical, financial, military and diplomatic resources to boost Kyiv's ability to defend itself.)
- . Confirmation of the end of the war - When all the anti-war measures are implemented, when security and justice begin to be restored, a document confirming the end of the war should be signed by the parties. States ready to take the lead in this or that decision can become parties to the arrangement.
The Kremlin on 28 December 2022 dismissed Zelenskiy's 10-point peace plan, saying that proposals to end the conflict in Ukraine must take into account what it calls "today's realities" of four Ukrainian regions having joined Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "There can be no peace plan for Ukraine that does not take into account today's realities regarding Russian territory, with the entry of four regions into Russia. Plans that do not take these realities into account cannot be peaceful."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Zelensky's "peace formula" as a basis for talks, outlining three conditions that Moscow will not accept. "It is obvious that Kyiv is not ready for dialogue," Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti. "Putting forward all sorts of ideas and 'formulas of peace,' Zelensky cherishes the illusion of achieving, with the help of the West, the withdrawal of our troops from the Russian territory of Donbas, Crimea, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson region, the payment of reparations by Russia, and the surrender of international tribunals and the like." "Of course, we will not talk to anyone on such conditions," Lavrov added.
Ukraine - 3 Points - December 2022
On 12 December 2022 Zelensky proposed three steps to "accelerate the coming of peace" to Ukraine in his address to the Group of Seven (G7) online summit.
- The first step entitled "new force" envisages increasing defense support for Ukraine, including tanks, rocket artillery and long-range missiles. "It will not allow escalation from the Russian's side," Zelensky said.
- The second step named "new resilience" stipulates maintaining the financial, energy and social stability of Ukraine next year by providing Kiev with new assistance, he added.
- Under the last step of "new diplomacy", Ukraine will use diplomacy to bring the liberation of its people and territories closer, Zelensky said. He suggested convening a Global Peace Formula Summit to discuss the 10-point plan for ending the Russia-Ukraine conflict proposed by Kiev. Zelensky also proposed Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine during the Christmas holiday season and ensure a lasting cessation of hostilities.
The Kremlin said that the proposal made by Zelensky for a peace agreement is actually a step Â«to continue hostilities,Â» while denying the possibility of a Russian troop withdrawal from Ukrainian territory before the end of the year. Â«These are three steps towards the continuation of hostilities,Â» Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, referring to the so-called âthree-step' plan for peace, as reported by the Russian news agency Interfax.
He also stressed that a possible military withdrawal from Ukraine Â«is not feasibleÂ» and argued that Â«Ukraine has to accept the realities that have emerged during this timeÂ». Â«There are realities that have taken place due to the policy pursued over the last 15-20 years by the Ukrainian leadership and the current Ukrainian regime,Â» he said. Â«These realities indicate that Russia has new constituents that appeared as a result of referendums in those territories. Without taking into account these realities it is impossible to achieve progress,Â» he has argued, referring to Moscow's decision to annex in September the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporiyia, partially occupied in the framework of the invasion.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|