Analysis: Ending the bloodshed in Ukraine seems a long way off 2022-04-27 10:06:36


The rhetoric of American and Russian officials caught fire. The fighting on the ground is getting fiercer. And the battle being fought with the tools of economic warfare shows no signs of slowing down.

The events of the past days have made it clear that the gap between Moscow and its opponents is widening, weakening the prospects for diplomacy. Ukraine and its Western backers seem to be losing what little patience they have with Russia as it continues to press ahead with an invasion that, if successful, threatens to turn the post-World War II world order on its head.

Moscow’s massive military operation in eastern Ukraine is reeling, slowly but successfullyWith the recognition of Kyiv that several cities fall into the hands of the Russians. More and more reports of apparent war crimes continue to emerge. Russia-appointed officials are preparing for a “sham referendum”. In the occupied city of Khersona shameless attempt to legitimize the invasion.

The United States and the European Union have already enacted several rounds of sanctions intended to harm the Russian economy as punishment for the invasion, but new efforts to send much-needed weapons to Ukraine are gaining traction. Representatives from 40 countries gathered at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany this week to help organize and coordinate the arms delivery.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “We have no time to waste.” Monday said. “We must move with the speed of war. I know that all leaders are leaving today more determined than ever to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression and atrocities.”
Austin said several countries had agreed to provide more support to Ukraine. Among them is Germany, which since the end of World War II has been worried about sending weapons to other countries You will now hand over heavy weapons to Kyiv.
A Ukrainian soldier walks through the rubble of a building badly damaged by multiple Russian shelling near the front line in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Monday.
Washington’s goal, according to Austin, is to see “Russia is so weak that it can’t do the things it did in invading Ukraine,” which is important and More aggressive shift in policy by the Biden administration Having stated earlier that it only sought to help Ukraine defend itself.
The Western shift in strategy has occurred over the past few weeks, as evidenced by the growing tolerance of increased risks with the dispatch of more sophisticated weapons, a reflection of the belief that Putin’s goals in Ukraine would not be achieved if he could. To seize part of Ukraine, as they did not do after the 2014 annexation of Crimea, British diplomat said.

Those listening in the Kremlin will likely see Austin’s statement as evidence that Washington and the West are looking to corner Russia and prevent it, as Putin has long promised, from emerging as the global superpower it was during the Cold War.

“It seems that they are not really interested in the negotiations, those who demand that Russia not win and call on others to defeat Russia and break the destruction of Russia, which they are doing by injecting Ukraine with weapons and lots and lots of weapons,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday. The negotiations are unlikely to be fruitful.

President Vladimir Putin also appeared to cast doubt on whether diplomatic talks could move forward. On Tuesday, Putin claimed that negotiators made a “serious breakthrough” during talks with Ukraine in Istanbul last month, but that progress was derailed after accusations by Russian forces. Executing civilians and leaving the bodies in the street In the town of Bucha, northern Ukraine. The Kremlin denied committing such atrocities and claimed that satellite images and drones confirmed them fake.

Moscow’s economic warfare efforts are now moving beyond retaliatory sanctions. Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Wednesday it would halt shipments of natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria, claiming that the two countries refused to pay in rubles. In fact, this means that Russia is now arming energy exports.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the move a “direct attack”, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it “blackmail”. The two leaders said officials were preparing for this scenario.

“It is clear that at the moment natural gas is being used more and more as a political and economic weapon in the current war,” Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said.

Russia shows few signs of abating despite the West’s more aggressive stance. Rather, Lavrov warned that the threat of nuclear war “is real and cannot be underestimated.”

The decision to arm Ukraine may eventually help win the war. But with Russian forces being fired upon with Western weapons, Putin may not be inclined to demand peace.

CNN’s Natasha Bertrand, Kylie Atwood, Kevin Liptak and Alex Marquardt contributed to this report.