The Russians have been preparing for this for 30 years: How can we end the war in Ukraine?

30 January, 12:26 PM
Armed Forces of Ukraine (

Armed Forces of Ukraine (

As the Russo-Ukrainian War has shown, there are no functioning tools for preventing and countering wars

The main question that we discussed at the World Economic Forum in Davos was how to end the Russo-Ukrainian war and how to prevent further wars in other countries and regions. As the war has shown, not a single tool for preventing and countering wars works. In my speech, I focused on only one of them - the norms of international criminal law on responsibility for the crime of aggression. In plain language, international law establishes responsibility for aggression only for the military-political leadership of the aggressor state. In fact, this was the case even before World War II. By the way, since the Nuremberg Trials, not a single sentence for criminal aggression has been issued by international judicial institutions, even though there are constant wars. For war crimes yes, but not for aggression. And even if this sentence is passed on Putin, for example, there still remains the Russian military-political leadership, along with all those who carried out this criminal order, all those hundreds of thousands who came to Ukraine to kill us, and those who pressed the buttons and launched rockets here. They do not fall under international responsibility, because they have immunity as mere combatants.

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I asked the international community to just think: is it right when there is a crime, when it is a crime to issue an order to go to war, but it is not criminal to carry out a criminal order. This is the answer to their question of how to stop wars in the world. It is probably necessary that not only an aggressor’s military-political leadership, but also those who carry out this criminal order be held accountable.

I communicate a lot with the defense ministers of different countries and I will say frankly: I have never once heard fatigue. On the contrary, if we understood what a war with Russia was back in 2014, then in February 2022, they’re discovering this every time. That is, they, being civilized and cultured people, could not imagine such barbarism and savagery, which means every time it happens is a revelation, because it turns out that it is possible: every missile attack, every tragedy, for example, as in Dnipro, or when mass graves are discovered in the de-occupied territories.

By the way, I also suggested in Davos thinking about whether Western culture and the West values can withstand barbarism like Russia’s. I'm not sure.

Because while civilized society is adhering to democratic procedures, anti-corruption measures and the like, Russia is already acting. And the weakness of Western culture and values, democracy, respect for human rights, where the highest value is the sanctity of the individual, is that all these things lose to the power of barbarism. And here is the question: how can the civilized West move on so that they are not swallowed up by Russian barbarism? I present this as a question to think about, as a cultured, educated person cannot imagine what Russia is doing now. And the weakness of a cultured society is that it cannot prepare for this and could not imagine it.

They think that they can just see the war won and that everything will be fine, and everyone will live as before. And when you ask the question: well, let's say with your help, with your weapons, we liberate our territory, how will we stop the launch of missiles from Russia? I ask them: what can we all do, what tools do we have? The ones that were once developed after World War II to stop wars? They do not work. Negotiation? Try to apply them now. We have been in the Minsk process since 2014. Sanctions do not stop the war. Nuclear weapons, which were supposed to create this balance, to keep the world from war, do not do so, either. There is no tool to moderate wars. And these are challenges they have to solve too. They all understand that this is not a problem for Ukraine, it is a problem for all of Western civilization.

The topic of arms delivery is sensitive, because there are certain peculiarities in our relations with our partners: who is ready for us to talk about our relations, and who asks that we not talk about them. There are, let’s say, countries that help us secretly. For those countries that agree to communication, we coordinate them. Today, our military is adapting to everything in order to fight. Our requests come, first and foremost, from our armed forces. A number of factors are taken into account: the enemy’s capabilities, the dynamics of how events occur, how losses are analyzed, etc. Let’s say, for example, that the enemy has an advantage of several times in terms of the intensity of their artillery fire. His reserves of artillery ammunition allow him to spend up to 70 thousand shells per day. From their side, the number of shells fired in the Donetsk direction has now increased, as it was even more than 900 per day. And when they were storming our positions in mid-January, 70 per day, 24/7. In fact, our needs are clear from this. But this is only one of many criteria and parameters taken into account when forming requests.

In February 2022, the world was not ready for such a scale of war in terms of arms spending and the use of military equipment. That is, the world was ready for a short war, for example, as in Operation Desert Storm. And if it's 10 months of exhausting war? The Russians have been preparing for this for 30 years, no one else in the world has been preparing for 30 years. And we came to the conclusion that at the exact moment we urgently needed weapons, the manufacturers were placing an order under some other contracts. In order for them to give something to us, we must somehow come to an agreement with those to whom they were supposed to deliver it. And weapons are not bread that you can quickly bake and ship out in a bag. Weapons involve complex production processes, huge costs, and very complex logistics for delivery. That is, it is impossible today to sign a contract, transfer money, and bring it to Ukraine tomorrow. For example, in terms of 155-millimeter artillery rounds, the world does not produce as much per month as Ukraine needs to feed its guns. But now the world has already responded to Ukraine's needs for ammunition and weapons and has begun to increase its own production.

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Weapons are also needed not only for offensive actions, but also for waging defensive war to ensure that the enemy cannot advance further into our territory.. We are now seeing in the east how powerful our enemy’s offensives are. And even just to contain it, you need weapons. Weapons are one of the most important elements if we are talking about carrying out both defense and offense. There are several other factors that are important here, including the fact that a society’s offensive potential is not only rooted in its soldiers. In fact, the mood of society itself is very important for the troops, and one thing about our society is that we have always been ready for defense, and not for the offensive. Our army ran exercises that were always aimed at defense. However, our troops very quickly mastered offensive operations. The first offensive operation began in Kyiv Oblast. This was followed by the first Kharkiv operation in April-May, when we managed to push the enemy 10-30 km away from the city. And then we advanced on the Kherson front. Judging by the results, the most successful and effective offensive operation was carried out in Kharkiv Oblast.

The Russians, on the one hand, are depleted - and we can calculate that the number of missiles they have left has decreased. But do not forget that they have production, and that they make their missiles themselves. Now the Russians have increased capacity in Stalinist ways directly by physically threatening the heads of enterprises, and they have plans to return to normal levels of production after some time to ensure the conduct of this war. Therefore, on the one hand, their resources are decreasing, but they are not reaching zero, and can be replenished.

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