Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

July 17, 2022

Yes, the imperative is to stop the bloodshed. But Zelensky is not in the position to challenge anyone, specifically the term “world” is naïve. Russia is part of the world so do many nations which are not part of the war in Ukraine. Why is Zelensky asking the “world” for help but not reaching out to Russia for peace?

The Ukraine war enters the 145th day, if anyone follows Zelensky and his government’s constant announcements, one must conclude that Putin is the one in big trouble and Russia will surrender to Ukraine soon, if not last week. Zelensky constantly pronounced that Ukraine will not concede any territory to Russia for peace. He ridiculed senior international experts including Henry Kissinger. Just the other day, Zelensky proudly told the media that “Ukraine has no plan to march into Moscow,” as if Ukraine is the conquer rather than the victim of the war!

Obviously, one can infer that the war in Ukraine is not going well for Zelensky as Ukraine keeps losing grounds to Russian forces. If the trend follows, it is difficult to imagine what will the Ukraine map looks like by December 2022. So why Zelensky is not calling for peace right now?

It is simple, because US and EU are still able to fund the war! On the other hand, all the sanctions that US and EU applied on Putin have backfired on EU. If Putin cuts off all the energy export to Europe, European economy will collapse immediately. A global recession will follow, that will be the day of reckoning and Ukraine war will be stopped by an internationally coordinated effort. Zelensky is not the one calling any shot or challenging anyone.

Zelensky so far has been very effective in making his case to the global media that the “world” has to pay for this war, but he has not been open to the public about how the war is going for Ukraine. May be even Zelensky is not in full charge of the war! See for example: Zelensky sacks Ukraine’s top prosecutor, security chief in major shakeup!

It is not the first time: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fires two top generals (accusing them as traitors), warns all ‘traitors’ will be punished | Sky News Australia (It was not an April fool joke!)

Further, Zelensky Uses Emergency Powers to Suspend Opposition Parties!

The Ukrainian President took similar action against media outlets

by CULLEN MCCUE  March 20, 2022 in International News

what is the difference between Zelensky and Putin?

Zelensky challenges world to help end Russia’s war by December

The Hill: BY LAURA KELLY – 07/17/22 7:20 AM ET

The imperative is to stop the bloodshed. Ukrainian forces are suffering as many as 200 casualties per day, and Russian artillery has killed dozens of civilians in recent attacks, with hundreds more injured.  

But Zelensky is also under pressure to keep the focus and support of the U.S. and Europe, allies that are being pulled away by domestic crises, including worsening inflation, exorbitant energy prices and fears of a global recession. 

Shifting political dynamics are also playing into Zelensky’s calculus. 

Boris Johnson has promised the strong support of the United Kingdom despite his recent resignation as prime minister. In Italy, pro-Europe Prime Minister Mario Draghi is under attack over a debt crisis in the country.  

And in the U.S., Republicans are set to make gains in the November midterms, potentially strengthening a small but provocative group of GOP lawmakers who criticize America’s support for Ukraine.  

Under these pressures, Zelensky is setting a six-month timeline to get as many heavy weapons to the country as possible and push back Russian forces battling low morale and exhausted manpower. 

“We can achieve a lot of things before the end of the year and we can stop this war,” Zelensky said in an interview with CNN last week. 

“We are going to fight for every inch of our territory. It’s clear that we can’t get it all back,” he said. 

Ukrainian forces have launched an offensive against Russian-occupied Kherson, a strategic city west of the Dnipro River that, if retaken by Kyiv, would shore up defenses around the southern port of Odesa and weaken Russia’s land bridge from the occupied Crimean peninsula.  

In the northeast, Ukrainians continue to defend Kharkiv from Russian shelling, depriving Moscow of taking over the country’s second-largest city.  

“The Ukrainians basically have stopped the Russian advances for now,” said Kurt Volker, who served as U.S. envoy for Ukraine negotiations between 2017 and 2019 and is a distinguished fellow for the Center for European Policy Analysis. 

“They feel that they need more of the assistance more quickly because they need to build momentum and push the Russians back more quickly and not give the Russians time to recover,” he said. 

The U.S. has provided Ukraine with $2.2 billion in military assistance over the past three weeks.  

That includes 12 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, the heavy weapons most prized in taking out Russian artillery depots and command centers. 

But only four HIMARS have made it in country and are operational, and Ukrainians are frustrated at the pace of delivery

“[The Ukrainians are] frustrated we’re putting things out in dribs and drabs,” Volker said but added that bureaucracy and the need to keep U.S. stockpiles full are slowing down distribution.  

Zelensky, in speeches on the global stage and with international media, is pounding a repetitive drumbeat: Send more weapons, send them faster, increase sanctions against Moscow and label Russia a terrorist state. 

“This day once again proved that Russia must be officially recognized as a terrorist state,” Zelensky said in a speech Friday, directing his address to the “Democratic world.”  

Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, said it’s unlikely that either the Ukrainians or the Russians are “going to be willing to negotiate by Christmas” but added that both sides are facing challenges.  

“To my mind, the question is, which side burns out faster? And we honestly don’t know the answer to that question,” she said. “It’s really a war of attrition and a race to resupply at this point.” 

For Ukraine, that includes the heavy losses it is suffering on the battlefield but also the cost of keeping the country running. Haring said Ukraine needs an estimated $5 billion to $6 billion a month to pay government salaries, maintain the banking system, keep hospitals open, and provide for trains and buses to run, among other challenges, including reviving their economy. 

“At a certain point, if it doesn’t have the budgetary support and it can’t keep getting the arms that it needs, Zelensky’s going to be forced to sit down and try to come up with an agreement,” she continued. 

“But I think we’re pretty far away from that point. I think the world’s empathy is still on his side,” she said. 

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