Ukraine: Ahead towards the inevitable defeat…

  1. The Russian operation north of Kharkiv is being conducted successfully. Analysts are not in agreement as to whether Kharkiv consists of the ultimate objective, since it is 6 times larger than Bakhmut, the second largest city in Ukraine and therefore with a force of 50-60,000 men, its capture is considered rather complicated. On the other hand, completion of the control of the Donbass remains such an objective. A way to achieve it would be the capture of Kharkiv, including Sumi further north. The other objective is the defense of the Russian city of Belgorod, hit by Ukrainian strikes, not against military infrastructure though, but urban areas (war crime). However, the defense lines of the Ukrainians are up to a breaking point, the number of those killed rising daily to an average of 1,500 (Paix et Guerre n°18: Retour vers le réel, avance russe et remaniement, panique ukrainienne – Avertissement à J. Biden).

The country also continues to suffer politically from corruption (Ukraine corruption: Ruling party MP charged with embezzlement,; militarily as well (Ukraine says it has uncovered major arms corruption, Despite the allocation of significant resources, as a result of the said corruption, the development of the first line (mining) of the Ukrainian defense in Kharkiv has been postponed for months, allowing for its effortless capture by the Russians (Ukrainian Commander in Kharkiv Says Defense Missing in “Betrayal”, Thus, a gray zone has been formed, to be further reinforced by more Russian forces. Ukrainians are actually talking about “betrayal”, leaving open the possibility that the Russians may have even infiltrated the Kiev regime. In fact, within Ukraine there’re strong pro-Russian resistance networks, active in the destruction of logistics, ammunition deposits and power plants, derailing trains etc., chiefly led by Ukraine’s Security Service (S.B.U.), composed of special military units and evolved as a state within the State (Russia Jacques Baud: Russia aims to cripple Ukraine’s Military as Putin launches major offensive, 02:40).

Due to the above, Kiev is forced to withdraw forces from other fronts (e.g. Chasiv Yar, in Donetsk), to reinforce Kharkiv, in which, it should be noted, Russia has deployed just 7-15% of its forces. In the event of the launch of N.A.T.O. troops, Russia reserves the right to use its highly accurate and powerful Iskander tactical nuclear missiles, capable of carrying up to 50 kilotons of TNT or Trinitrotoluene (Iskander 9K720, Wikipedia), launched by a wide-range of Sukhoi bombers, where nuclear warheads can reach up to 100 kilotons of TNT. In Hiroshima, there were only 15 kilotons of TNT used. A regrettable development of the sort could also be the outcome of Kyiv’s continuous Western-backed strikes against Russia’s nuclear umbrella. As stipulated by paragraph 19 (c) of the Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine (Paix et Guerre n° 20: Pourquoi l’OT.A.N. joue t elle à la roulette russe ?, point 34:10): «The conditions specifying the possibility of nuclear weapons use by the Russian Federation are as follows: (…) c) attack by [an] adversary against critical governmental or military sites of the Russian Federation, disruption of which would undermine nuclear forces response actions».

  1. The Russian government reshuffle, on 11.05.2024, is looking forward precisely to the strengthening of the Russian defense, transferring the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, firmly in place for 12-years, to the leadership of the not so less important Russian Security Council, him being replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov. The Kremlin describes the aforesaid reshuffle as “innovative”, as the restructuring of the Armed Forces is challenged to be combined with Russia’s economic parameters or the War economy to be integrated in the Civil one (Vladimir Putin removes Sergei Shoigu from Russian defence ministry, Hence the above promotion of A. Belousov, a well-known economist, former Minister of Economic Development (2012-2013) and economic advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin (2013-2020). Son of a father economist and a mother chemist, he studied mathematics, econometrics and cybernetics, forging a personality distant from an ideologue, reapproaching that of a pragmatist and a technocrat. According to French professor of Political Science, specialist in geopolitics and Colonel in reserve Ms. Karolina Galacteros, the departure of S. Shoigu is based on two essential imperatives (P&G n°18, ibid, 24:35):
  2. On the elimination of channels of corruption, the aforesaid reshuffle being accompanied by the arrest of government officials (also see Guy Mettan: La Russie se met en ordre de bataille, and on the implementation of reforms within the Ministry of Defense.


  1. On the need to improve the way of conducting military operations, given nowadays’ events, putting an emphasis on Drones and in general on all aspects of potential performance of robotics in the three fields, Air, Sea, Land.

Kremlin’s Press representative, Dmitry Peskov, pointed out that as a result of the war, the defense budget rose from 3% of GDP to 6.7% and is expected to rise further to 7.4%, rates reminiscent of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Given that, it is deemed appropriate, that defense expenditures be integrated into the country’s broader economic framework, in view to better ensure the latter’s defense viability. Hence the significance of A. Belousov’s promotion, obviously reflecting a gloomy horizon for regional and possibly global security and peace (Surprise pick as Russia’s defence minister is tough-talking economist and Putin ally, Reuters).

As the Swiss analyst Jacques Baud, already confirmed on all fronts of the Ukrainian crisis, aptly argues (Col. Jacques Baud: Putin’s devastating warning to N.A.T.O. as Russian military becomes UNMATCHED, point 21:47): «Investments in the sector must be placed on a long-term horizon. You cannot increase your production just within weeks or months. (…) Given the above, it is of no coincidence that, in view of such challenges, an economist is at the head of the Ministry of Defense. That’s why A. Belousov was chosen (…). (…) Mind us, the transfer of S. Shoigu as Secretary of the National Security Council – Russia’s most important decision-making body [!] – bears more the characteristics of a promotion rather than a demotion».

In view of the above perspective, the country suffering the most of sanctions worldwide (see below) already manifests G.D.P. growth from 4.9% in the 4th Trimester of 2023, to 5.4% in the 1st Trimester of 2024, refuting I.M.F.’s forecasts, while German, Italian and Spanish banks in the Russian market tripled their profits in 2023 (Myret Zaki: L’économie russe n’a jamais coulé: Le G7 impuissant?, Blick). To the above, we should add the discovery in the Russian Arctic of 511 billion barrels of oil, i.e. twice as much as Saudi Arabia’s, capable of answering to the world’s energy needs for 4 decades (511 milliards de barils: La Russie aurait découvert de colossales réserves de pétrole dans l’Antarctique et c’est une mauvaise nouvelle,

  1. In the course of the above, there were also developments regarding the pledged Russian deposits abroad -mostly in Europe-, amounting to $280 billion. The U.S. -in which there’s just $5-6 billion from the above deposits- and Great Britain wish to claim these funds in favor of Ukraine. However, the E.U. is divided, Germany being the most opposed to the proposal in question (World War II History haunts attempts to seize Russian assets, W.S.J.). Germany’s position is reasonable, dictated by three valid reasons:
  2. By fear, that such a collusion may force Russia to put forward new claims for compensation for the crimes Germany committed in WWII. Actually, in contrast to Greece’s recent paradoxical stance, other European countries have revised the issue of German reparations, Poland raising, on 14.09.2022, a new claim of $1.3 trillion against Berlin! German professor of Contemporary History Andreas Rödder (Johannes Gutenberg University) noted that the demands of both Poland and Italy –since Benito Mussolini regime’s fall and Germans’ subsequent invasion of Italy (26.07.1943)– are gaining solid grounds. Paris, Rome and E.C.B. also look hesitatingly at the proposal, due to the possible shaking of international confidence towards the Euro.


  1. As in the case of other European countries, so does Germany’s abstention from the matter shall eventually make Russia refrain from any further retaliation against German companies operating on the latter’s soil. The Kremlin has already adopted a series of decrees allowing Russian companies to acquire assets of such foreign companies (COMERZBANK, DANONE, DEUTSCHE BANK, FRAPORT, H.S.B.C., JPMORGAN CHASE, O.MV., SHELL, etc.) at 50% or more of their value, even at discounted prices of up to 90% of their value. This exit from the Russian market has so far cost foreign companies about $107 billion (Foreign firms’ losses from exiting Russia top $107 billion, Reuters and Moscow takes control over assets of Western companies, Reuters). According to the Kyiv School of Economics, by the beginning of 2024, of the 3,708 foreign companies active in Russia before the commencement of the war (24.02.2022), 854 are estimated to have left the Russian market or stopped working (Dances with bears – The Maiden cookie has crumbled, Germany, on its part, has already nationalized Russian subsidiaries (ex. Gazprom’s).


Also this question: If (a) confiscation and (b) appropriation of foreign assets (c) to their disposal to the opposing camp, for the sake of continuing the conduct of warfare, is Europe’s response, while the conflict can easily end through peaceful means –former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, by phone, on 02.04.2022, to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, followed by a visit to Kiev, on 09.04.2022, discouraged the Ukrainian leader from seeking a diplomatic exit from the crisis (Ukrainian news outlet suggests U.K. and U.S. governments are primary obstacles to peace, Peoples Dispatch and Ukraine and Russia explore neutrality plan in peace talks,, a policy that seems unaltered (“No” deal between Moscow and Kiev – London,–, which foreign investor shall entrust any further placement of capital in that very Europe?


  1. As the American Minister of Finance, Janet Yellen, is said to have pointed out, the above Russian deposits abroad could be used by the West as a leverage for future negotiations, a rapprochement Germany also shares.


However, is the West’s attitude towards Russia’s aforementioned deposits abroad compatible with International Law? Before the decision to confiscate the above $300 billion of the Central Bank of Russia, the latter was targeted with 2,778 sanctions. Then, on 27.02.2024, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Senate took the lead in passing the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians Act, to be then adopted by the rest of the Senate, the House of Representatives and ratified by U.S. President Joe Biden. However, according to International Law, can a State decide on its own to confiscate assets belonging to another sovereign State? Further to a well-founded analysis, a decision to confiscate such assets can be taken (La confiscation des actifs russes, une victoire de Moscou,

  1. By the UN Security Council.
  2. By the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) of the U.N.
  3. Further to an agreement concluded by Member States of a peace treaty on reparations as a result of an armed conflict.


In any case and especially in the present one, it’s being further argued that no action can be taken, without Russia’s consent.


  1. The above testify to the futility and absurdity, militarily and morally, of the continuation of the war, the hostilities raging on evidently without any return and possible success, while the deadlock at the upcoming peace meeting in the city of Bürgenstock, Switzerland (15-16.06.2024), also seems inevitable, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz himself underlining (Bürgenstock: Amherd und Scholz für breite Ukraine-Konferenz,, that “it’s not peace that’s being negotiated”, seemingly due to the non-invitation of Russia and the already apparent unilateral preference of President Zelensky’s proposals. And although, as aptly stated by the retired American lieutenant colonel Daniel L. Davis, now is the right time for Ukraine to negotiate, to avoid further loss of animate and inanimate potential and territories (Kharkiv front collapses/Putin still wants to negotiate, ενότης 24:10), the Ukrainian president is preparing by new counterattack (Guerre en Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky rejette l’idée d’une trêve olympique et se prépare à une offensive plus large,

“It’s not peace that’s being negotiated” also for the reason, that the negotiations are based on a plan conceived when the West had reasons to believe that Russia would be defeated while Ukraine was launching its first counterattack, in the Summer of 2023, the plan being in fact that of a capitulation treaty, of the like Germany signed in the end of WWII. Indeed, point 6 of the plan reads “Retreat of Russian troops and Cessation of Hostilities” (Jacques Baud: La conférence de paix en Suisse – Analyse d’un échec attendu, point 2:39). Given nowadays’ reality on the ground, the plan is most likely inappropriate. It seems, however, that since Secretary of State Blinken’s recent visit in Kyiv, the plan may be simplified as to exclude the above-mentioned condition, although, ironically enough, the U.S. spearheads the continuation of the conflict (Jeffrey D. Sachs: The Biden-Schumer Plan to kill more Ukrainians), as well as it shall abstain from participating at Bürgenstock (Biden set to skip Ukraine Peace Summit for Hollywood fundraiser, S.W.I.). Hopefully, further to Suisse President Viola Amherd’s recent statement, a new conference may take place, whereby Russia shall be invited to participate (Viola Amherd dévoile ses objectifs au sommet pour la paix en Ukraine, In the meantime, the death toll in Ukraine goes on rising, most likely now largely exceeding the 500.000 dead estimated 6 months ago (Douglas Macgregor: 500,000 Ukrainian Soldiers have been killed).

For such a conference to stand even better chances of success, Switzerland should regain its role as a truly neutral country (Guy Mettan: Il est plus que jamais urgent de rester neutre, Tribune de Genève). Furthermore, Ukraine’s president must be legally elected. Since 21.05.2024, President Zelenski –who, by the way, has signed a Ukase forbidding any peace negotiation while President Poutine in power (Zelensky signs decree declaring negotiations with Putin an “impossibility”,–, isn’t. According to a view, President Zelenski ought to be replaced by another, more realist leader, such as General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, presently serving as ambassador of Ukraine to Great Britain (Guy Mettan: Le Bürgenstock peut réussir… Mais sans Zelenski (ni Cassis), Further to another opinion, President Zelenski is presently on an equal footing with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was unconstitutionally evicted by the coup Government at the bloody EuroMaidan demonstrations (21.11-22.02.2014), the latter being pictured as a solution to today’s deadlocks, particularly where the current peace process is concerned (Paix et Guerre no 20, op. cit., point 05:20).


  1. We said “Futility and absurdity”. Indeed, assuming Ukraine ends up victorious and wins back the territories integrated by means of referenda in Russia, i.e. Crimea, on 17-18.03.2014, on the one hand and on the other, Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia, on 23-27.09.2022. The crisis erupted when, on 23.02.2014, the coup Government abolished Law Kivalov-Kolesnichenko No 5029/03.07.2012, permitting Russians to apply their own language where they constituted a majority. The abopilishin of the law gave way to even bloodier demonstrations around Eastern Ukraine. Then, on 12.02.2015, the final Minsk Agreements were signed, endorsed by U.N.’s Security Counsil (N. Security Council 2202/17.02.2015,, assuring Donetsk and Luhansk a status of autonomy within Ukraine, aspiring to a sort of (con)federation). Later on we learned, so much from former German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel opens up on Ukraine, Putin and her legacy, D.W., 06/07/2022) as well as from former French President François Hollande (François Hollande confirms Minsk Agreements were a Western ploy), that Ukraine signed the Agreements with the intent to earn time to better prepare for the conflict. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshneko himself declared (Minsk deal was used to buy time – Ukraine’s Poroshenko, The Press United.pdf), that there was no way for Ukraine to apply the Agreements. In the meantime, on 01.07.2021, Kyiv adopted Law on Indigenous Peoples in Ukraine No 5506, discriminating Russians from the Ukrainians, much alike the Nuremberg laws against the Jews in the 1930s (Jacques Baud, Ukraine entre Guerre & Paix, Paris, Max Milo, 2023, p. 41). Ukrainian M.P. Oleg Seminsky, member of the Servant of the People party, stated back then (A.P. News, 02.07.2021, Jacques Baud, ibid): «According to law, the Russians isn’t an indigenous people. Therefore, they cannot enjoy in full all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as prescribed by International Law and stipulated in the Constitution and other law of Ukraine».

The above treatment of Russians comes all the more unfortunate since the signing, on 31.05.1997, of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, article 12 of which provides that (Volume-3007-I-52240.pdf, «the High Contracting Parties shall protect the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of ethnic minorities in their territory and shall create conditions that encourage such diversity.

Each High Contracting Party shall guarantee the right of persons belonging to ethnic minorities, individually or together with other persons belonging to ethnic minorities, freely to express, preserve and develop their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious diversity and promote and develop their culture without being subjected to any attempts to assimilate them against their will.

The High Contracting Parties shall guarantee the right of persons belonging to ethnic minorities to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms fully and effectively and enjoy them without any discrimination whatsoever and in full equality before the law.

The High Contracting Parties shall promote equal opportunities and conditions for the study of the Ukrainian language in the Russian Federation and of the Russian language in Ukraine, and for the training of teachers to provide instruction in these languages in educational institutions and, to this end, shall provide the same degree of State support.

The High Contracting Parties shall conclude cooperation agreements on these questions».

Further the above legislation, Kyiv intensified the strikes against the Russians in the area of the Donbass (March-December 2021), preparing for an even larger military operation, leading the Kremlin to station troops southwards. Given that since mid-February of 2022 Kyiv further escalated the conflict -so far, 10,000 civilians in the Donbass had been killed, plus 4,000 militaries-, the Donbass Republics and Russia signed, on 21.02.2022, agreements of mutual friendship, assistance and cooperation. On 23.02.2022, the Donbass Republics asked Russia to intervene, based on U.N.’s principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and article 51 of the U.N. Charter. Hence, on 24.02.2022, President Putin launched the so-called Special Military Operation, to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine (Donbass). Hence, the Russian’s initial objective wasn’t to gain territory, but to destroy Ukraine’s military forces.

And the question is: Crimea, the Donbass Republics. Kherson and Zaporizhzhia decided to join Russia, based on article 1, par. 2 of U.N.’s Charter about auto-determination -that including secession and integration-, to avoid what genocide was evidently coming to them. If Ukraine gains back those territories, given the aforesaid racist-genocidal legislation, which would be the future cohabitation perspectives between Ukraine and Russians?

Athens, June 3rd, 2024.

Panayotis Α. Zolotas

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