When things go wrong often and because there has been an incorrect assessment of the situation in progress:
the problem is that the factors that can influence the future of the situation continue to be misjudged.
More specifically, today in trying to establish exit strategies from the Russia-Ukraine crisis
there is an erroneous assessment of Putin’s role in the near future of international relations.
The fact is that it is necessary to begin to see the future economic and military evolution of Europe (and therefore of the world) from a post-Putin perspective.
That is, it is necessary to bring Putin’s role back to what it is in reality, and stop attributing to him (naively) the imaginary role that Putin – shamelessly bluffing – has attributed to himself.
In other words we can say that
the mistake that the West makes today
is to see Putin as he “believes himself to be”.
A paradoxical condition in which things are attributed to Putin that will no longer exist in the near future. This puts the West in a position of not being able to see things as they are, and therefore of not being able to guess how to create effective solutions for the current Russia-Ukraine conflict.
More generally, as illustrated in this article, today it is necessary to change the vision of the current situation, and to understand that
1) as long as Putin is in power in Russia, no real solution can be reached.
2) post-Putin Russia will no longer be a problem for the West: indeed, at least for a certain period,
the relations of power between Russia and the West
will reverse from an economic point of view
(of energy supplies).
(1) with Putin in power, nothing positive can be done (the Putin’s fall)
The condition sine qua non for real peace is that Putin is ousted from power in Russia. And also a radical replacement of the entire ruling class of Russia (from the Government to the Market – in Russia the two areas are closely integrated).
This can happen without the need to intervene directly in Russian internal politics: by continuing to apply sanctions – possibly more effectively than it is doing now – and by preventing Russia from winning the war on the ground with arms supplies to Ukraine.
That is, it is necessary to understand upstream of all that
we cannot come to terms
with a Russia in which Putin matters.
Remember that we are dealing not with a nation with which it is possible to come to terms (because it has a Parliament that must actually answer to the citizens), but with a sort of dictator who personally decides how Russia must act.
To achieve this, it is therefore first necessary to realize that it is not a question of Putin’s military defeat, as he will never admit that the Russian Army has been defeated (in Russia it would be destroyed). And that if Putin remains in power, he will continue the military conflict for years.
In other words
● Putin can be defeated not in Ukraine, but in a broader scenario in which he is developing an increase in his geo-political power (territorial expansion of Russia, and domination of the nations that become increasingly dependent on Russia for energy).
In any case, it is essential to prevent Russia from being able to continue the war in Ukraine.
That is to say:
● only when Putin’s political career is brought to an end will it be possible to achieve a real onePeace.
This can happen with an indirect action by the West, inducing those who support him today to abandon it (the Oligarchs, the Politicians, the various police forces, foreign allies, the Russian people – remember that Putin will still have to support the 2024 Elections) .
How to get to the fall of Putin?
In summary, it is not possible to arrive at a diplomatic solution as long as Putin is in power.
To arrive at an effective solution it is necessary
to act with caution,
(to avoid the possible, even if unlikely, nuclear attack)
but in an effective and timely manner
The first objectives are:
– prevent a capitulation by the Ukrainian state; or in any case prevent Russia from being able to continue the war (which would make it impossible to resume normal life in Ukraine).
– re-establish a pre-conflict situation in which the status of Dombass and Crimea is decided by referendums (this time legitimized by the international community) [ee point U.2]
Subsequently it is necessary to work so that Putin loses the support of internal allies, of the Population and international allies, and of the Russian people; and therefore he is ousted from positions of power.
More specifically, it is necessary to operate in the following areas:
INTERNAL POLICY: make sure Putin ended up in Russia
– pitting the Russian people against him: for example with ever greater protests, and loss of electoral consensus: the elections in 2024 are crucial for Putin (it must also be considered that the Russian people have a long translation of popular uprisings).
– causing him to lose the political and financial support of internal allies
Like the Oligarchs, who with the sanctions are forced to live a life of the poor; but that by dissociating themselves from Putin they could at least recover some of their money stashed abroad (moreover, the Oligarchs who dissociate themselves from Putin can hope to have prominent positions in the post-Putin era).
And military and politicians (and the secret services) who still have important levers of power in their hands, and who risk serious convictions with trials for crimes against humanity.
The result could also be an elimination of Putin similar to the exhaustion of Mussolini (imprisoned by part of the government) or the assassination of Hitler (an attack only partially successful).
<see text “The measures that we can (and must) take: sanctions and embargoes“>
To achieve this, some possible strategies are:
► development of correct information in Russia so that the Russians understand what problems Putin is creating for them (and that a nuclear war means their death).
► insist on embargoes, sanctions and the International Tribunal (ICC),
In this case it is a question of using the carrot and stick strategy, punishing Oligarchs, Generals and various officials, but also showing the advantages they could have in a post-Putin situation.
forcing his most important foreign allies (such as China and Belarus) to abandon Putin’s support (this has already happened, in part, already with China after the first military failures in Ukraine).
(2) the sharp downsizing of post-Putin Russia
(Russia will no longer be a problem for the West, but an advantage).
Today it seems that the West does not realize that if you want to make a correct assessment of the developments of a situation, you cannot see the future as a linear evolution of the present.
For the specific case of the Russia-Ukraine conflict it is necessary to correctly evaluate the two possible scenarios: (1) Russia wins the war and (2) Russia does not win the war.
If Russia wins the war then the West will have to submit to it to a much greater extent than it has up to now.
If Russia doesn’t win the war. that is – if it fails to make Ukraine capitulate – then Russia as it is known in recent centuries disappears: it becomes one of the many developing countries.
In order to properly assess Russia’s future, it is necessary to consider the fact that
Russia will emerge very weak from the war.
And due to the measures that, as always, are taken against a defeated aggressor country, Russia will not only no longer be a problem from a military point of view; but
Russia’s relationship with the West
will be completely different in the economic field.
That is, for many years Russia, having to indemnify Ukraine and the countries that have helped it with huge expenses, will have to submit to strong measures imposed by the West, and therefore will no longer be able to keep the Western states in a condition of blackmail as it did up to now (for example with regard to oil and gas supplies).
Of course, it is necessary to ensure that these measures do not prove to be as burdensome for the Russian people as they were for Germany after WW I. But them are still measures of a certain weight, given the extent of the damage caused by Russia with this conflict.
In the meantime, of course, the Western countries that now depend on Russian supplies will have to make themselves independent from them.
To correctly assess Russia’s weak situation in the next post-war situation (achievable if the West continues to support Ukraine in the manner described above) it is necessary to consider the following points:
1) Russia’s economy is practically destroyed by the war, and according to experts it will take many years before it returns to a normal condition.
Please note that
even before this war
Russia was essentially an “underdeveloped” country,
Country that was based solely on the export of a wealth of its soil. And as far as the evolution of the domestic economy is concerned, Russia has remained for more than a century at the level of a “Third World” state.
With the war in Ukraine, Putin simply highlighted Russia’s already existing serious shortcomings: the inability to develop real progress, and therefore depend on foreign supplies for almost every vital sector, inefficiency of government structures (and the Army), lack of an effective “modern” culture of the population, etc …
2) Russia will have to pay the damages caused by war to other nations, as happened for all the countries that have lost in the war.
It should be borne in mind that Russia will also have to repay the huge expenses of the nations that have had to intervene to help Ukraine.
Of course, Russia will also have to abandon the illegally annexed territories such as Dombass and Crimea (which could eventually be readmitted to Russia in regular referendums).
3) the main political russian actors (including military and oligarchs) will also have to undergo a trial for crimes against humanity such as those suffered by the Nazis (and by Milosevic and Saddam Hussein).
Trials that, at the very least, will force the Russian ruling class (Government and Market – in the Russian regime the two spheres are strongly integrated) to abandon their current positions. This point is crucial, since in this way we will obtain the sine qua non condition for a real end to the Russia-West conflict (as illustrated in the previous chapter).
Towards a new post-war vision (of Russia’s role in international politics)
The question is therefore that in order to arrive at a solution that will allow us to definitively neutralize the risk of an aggression by Russia, we must begin to understand that
the post-war must be evaluated in a completely different way from how it is evaluated today.
We are obviously talking about the case in which Ukraine wins the war.
In other words, it is a question of thinking in a radically new way: to stop seeing the near future as a linear evolution of the current situation, and to begin to reflect on what will be the factors that will radically change – due to this war – in the next post- war.
That is, there will be, as consequences of this war,
a disruption of some of the current conditions that will make Russia’s world position completely different from the current one.
The key fact will be that
the West will find itself dealing with a post-Putin Russia.
(It cannot be otherwise: if the West continues to apply restrictive measures to Russia, and to support Ukraine with arms supplies, sooner or later Putin will lose any form of power at home – and only then can he think of reaching real conditions of Peace <see article “The basic problem: lack of awareness of what a true condition of Peace is“>
What will change for the West in relations with Russia (the conditions of peace)
One of the current problems of international organizations and governments of Western countries is that them, when trying to define plans for the post-war, continue to think about how it is possible to deal with Russia in its current configuration (Putin’s Russia) .
This is true for economic relations and energy supplies (EU, Governments, UN) as well as for military issues (NATO).
It is about
get out of the trap of projections of a future as a linear evolution of the present.
That is, it is necessary to understand how in the post-war period there will be a leap in the evolution of the scenario of relations between Russia and the West. An evolution in which the balance of power between Russia and the West will change – to the point of reversing.
The problem is when we try to find a solution to the problems currently created by Russia (military threats, blackmail for gas supplies, etc…), today we consider Russia in its current dimension. And it is not understood that Russia, in the post-war period, will no longer be that problem it was in the last century (and more particularly in the last few months).
First it comes to
begin to consider the new scenario as a post-Putin scenario,
with a Russia that will be in a similar condition to that of “developing” countries, due to the following facts:
– even before this war Russia was in fact an “undeveloped” country, being that it was based almost solely on the exploitation of its natural resources, and it never worked to improve the progress of its society (the war only ihighlighted that Russia’s wealth depended solely on the monopoly situation it managed to create in the field of oil and gas supplies).
– losing this war, and being held responsible for serious war crimes, Russia will be in a position of marked weakness due to the conditions imposed on it as a losing aggressor country (as happened, for example, to Germany after WW II).
It should be borne in mind that this case is different from that of Nazi Germany, which, having been a fully-fledged “Western” country before the war (highly developed from an economic point of view), was easily integrated (for good and in evil) to the democratic West.
In the current case of Russia it is instead a country that has never been integrated with the Western world. And it hasn’t developed real progress in more than a century.
For these reasons, the path for Russia will be much harder than that of already developed countries that have lost a war.
In other words, today we start in the definition of possible relations with Russia in the post-war period, taking into consideration factors that will cease to exist after Putin’s defeat. In fact due to the fact that Russia will be subject to a “controlled regime” by the West
post-Putin Russia will no longer be a problem
(military, economic) for the West,
but will indeed be a facilitator
of the economic recovery of Europe
and the new adjustment of World equilibrium
This will obviously only happen if the West fully pursues the strategies implemented so far towards Russia.
That is, it must be borne in mind that, as illustrated in more detail below:
– Russia will be subjected to a regime similar to that of Germany in post-WWII, and among other things it will have to pay the costs of rebuilding Ukraine, and heavy compensation also to the countries that helped Ukraine in the war.
– in any case, Western countries will have to begin – as they have already planned to do – to become independent from Russian gas and oil supplies (the principle of necessity sharpens ingenuity will intervene). In this way the roles will be reversed, and as is the case in ordinary market issues where one is not subject to monopoly situations,
Russia as a supplier will become “dependent”
on its “customer” countries.
Note that the latter must be a general strategy of the West: it is necessary that them cease to be dependent on China, otherwise the same problem that occurred in Ukraine will soon occur in Taiwan).
More specifically, the new scenario that will occur with a Ukraine victory will be, in the two main areas:
● diplomatic area: in the new scenario the role of Russia on a world level will be considerably reduced, since Russia will count as a small “normal” country (initially, for the time in which it is subject to a “controlled regime”, Russia will still count less, as was done with Germany after the first and second world wars).
If you miss the opportunity to end the Russia-Ukraine war with the imposition of a controlled regime on Russia, a very dangerous situation will be created
since there will be a precedent that will be exploited by countries like China and Iran (and by Russia itself) to develop aggression strategies
Among other things, Russia will no longer count for anything within the UN and various international economic organizations.
One consequence of this is that China will lose an important ally.
But Russia’s new condition will also affect other areas, in which it is now a very important player: for example, in supporting Iran for the production of nuclear material (which is the real nuclear danger of the West, if we consider that probably North Korea’s nuclear threats will be neutralized by China).
It is no coincidence that from the moment that Russia began to lose the war in Ukraine in Iran China took over, forcing the development times of Iranian nuclear missiles.
● economic area: compared to the current dependence on gas and oil supplies.
post-war Russia will be a country that needs money and therefore with a relationship with other nations that is the reverse of the current one: the West will dictate the law.
Note that a correct strategy for the West would be to propose a “Marshall Plan” also to Russia.
● military area: as at the end of any conflict, Russia as an aggressor country will be punished with restrictive measures regarding armaments,
In fact, there is not much need to do, as the army (men and armaments) has shown that it is not up to a conflict – but it is in any case necessary to put Russia in a position not to militarily attack other countries in the near future.