Last week was exceptionally successful for Ukraine. I consider dates 15, 16, 17 to be turning points in the Russian-Ukrainian war. But what should we expect next?
The systematic delivery of modern heavy weapons to Ukraine has begun. At the Ramstein-3 meeting, it was announced that the first group of HIMARS MLRS will be sent to the frontlines along with the 60 Ukrainian military personnel that were trained to use them.
And this will continue consistently thanks to a very important initiative of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. After all, it’s not just weapons that are important, but also people who have mastered to use them. Johnson stated that the UK will take care of the training of 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers (apparently new recruits) at British bases over three months.
This comes just in time, as the Ukrainian army needs to be replenished, with not just cooks and academics who volunteered to fight, but with professional soldiers. And the UK will train them for us.
And the most important thing was the failure of the mission of Macron, who was hiding behind the Italian prime minister (of the Italian peace plan). Both tried to persuade Ukraine to make major territorial concessions for the sake of the so-called peace. But after June 16, no one will force Ukraine to do this. Moreover, the following days showed that this unified stance had finally been adopted by the West. This is not now just the stance of Washington and London, but of Berlin, and Paris as well (Macron and Scholz have been forced to join).
A vital condition has been declared. And Ukraine agrees with this approach. Moreover, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky himself had previously stated, there will be no negotiations until the Russian army retreats to their positions as on Feb. 23. This is the condition Russia needs to meet if they want anyone to negotiate with them. Otherwise the West will make every effort to supply and train the Ukrainian army so that it can push Russia to those positions by force.
But this doesn’t mean that Ukraine is abandoning the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, or Crimea. This is a condition that is required in order to begin the negotiations on the return of Donbas and Crimea to Ukraine, and the full restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Now this is the unified position of the West and Ukraine.
There will be no negotiations until the Russian army retreats to the positions as of Feb. 23
And this is a very serious blow to Russian plans, as they had high expectations for this very mission of Macron. Russia hoped that the same thing would happen as with Georgia and with Crimea in 2014 – a French president would show up and provide a peace treaty that gives Russia more territory. Now, it’s completely impossible, as giving away Zaporizhzhya and Kherson Oblasts to the Kremlin means taking further steps towards the destruction of the entire Ukrainian statehood. And now the Kremlin will never receive this from the West.
Many people are guessing now about when the collapse of the Russian Federation will finally begin. We are striving for the complete territorial integrity of Ukraine, and what happens in the Russian Federation is their internal affair.
But it is quite obvious that when this offensive operation begins (in about two months, when the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be fully armed with modern weapons), the first step will be the liberation of Kherson. And I assure you, that the liberation of Kherson alone will cause shock among the Russian public, who are neck-deep in Russian TV propaganda. The same goes for Putin's bunker. It will ignite a lot of very turbulent political processes in Russia.
This condition – the withdrawal of Russian troops to the positions as of Feb. 23 is the goal the West won’t divert from until it is achieved. For Putin, it’s a catastrophe. This condition is incompatible with his political life. I think it’s incompatible with his physical life as well.
So the processes that begin the collapse of the Putin regime and the further transformation of the Russian Federation will occur automatically when Ukraine wins with the new weapons. You don't even need to take extra steps to take care of Russia beyond that.