How can the war in Ukraine end after Putin’s words? The 3 scenarios – Corriere.it

from Paolo Valentino

How can the conflict in Ukraine end after Putin’s announcement of partial military mobilization and nuclear threats? Thomas Friedman, columnist for the New York Times, draws the possible scenarios, from the Ukrainian victory to the dirty deal with Putin

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
BERLIN – How can the war in Ukraine end? What are the scenarios capable of ending the Russian aggression and producing a stable result. The question becomes current, on the day in which Vladimir Putin unmasks in spite of himself the great fiction of the special operationproclaiming a mobilization, albeit partial, that betrays a desperate situation and implicitly admits that Russia is at war.
The possible answers are many.
And with the usual acumen, Thomas Friedmanprince of the columnists of the New York Timesformulates three, which are absolutely worth analyzing in detail.

Outcome 1: a complete victory for Ukraine, which the recent successes of the Kiev troops on the ground have transformed from an unrealistic scenario into a concrete perspective. For the first time – says Friedman – I hear the question asked: what if the Russian army implodes?

Of course, the mobilization ordered by Putin, which should bring 300,000 new Russian soldiers to the front, could prove to be a game changer. But will they be troops loyal to the Tsar? Will they fight to the last man?

The risk involved in this first scenario, that Putin, facing a growing military advance of Ukraine supported by NATO, could do something crazy.

Today again, the head of the Kremlin alluded to the possible use of nuclear weapons
.

He certainly wouldn’t accept defeat and complete humiliation.

Outcome 2. A dirty deal, a dirty deal with Putinwhich would ensure a ceasefire, putting an end to the destruction, but would risk splitting the West and infuriating the Ukrainians.

It is difficult, explains Friedman, to imagine Zelensky accepting a truce, now that his forces advance and have reversed the order of the conflict, transforming himself from prey into hunters. But beware of Europe in winterFriedman warns, when the Russian gas blockade and the explosion of energy costs continue many businesses will close and Europeans will be forced to choose between heating and eating, warming up or eating.

Both Putin and many European leaders would be tempted by this type of agreement. The Russian leader would announce that he is ready to negotiate and resume gas supplies. At that point, the current unity of the European Union could crumble, with only the Poles, Baltics and a few others determined to continue their support for Kiev. The deal would be dirty because it would allow Putin to get away with it, after violating the international order and committing war crimes. In any case, concessions should certainly be made to Zelensky, for example by offering security guarantees such as the full accession of Ukraine to NATO.

But Friedman also does not rule out a 2b variant, where Putin before agreeing would bomb the territories reconquered by the Ukrainians againwith the aim of forcing the West to accept that at least part of the Donbass remains in Russian hands.

Outcome 3. A less dirty agreementin which NATO and Ukraine propose a ceasefire along the lines of February 24th, when the Russian invasion begins. The destruction would end and the principle of inadmissibility to change borders by force would be saved.

But Putin would have to admit to his people that 70,000 children of Russia died for nothing.

Impossible to imagine, says Friedman, according to which in this third case Putin should probably be kicked out first from a popular revolt or a palace conspiracy.

Unlikely scenario, given his total domination of the security apparatus.

Not to mention, explains Friedman, the dangerous power vacuum that would be created in the country with thousands of nuclear warheads or the fact that Putin’s successor could be worse than him, even more nationalist.

Nevertheless, the signs that discontent in Russia is brewing and growingnot least the stance of singer Alla Pugacheva, the most beloved of Russian pop stars, who called for an end to the war in Ukraine, where Russian soldiers die from an illusion.

This war – Friedman concludes – could end in many ways, some better, some worse, but none easy. And this without counting Outcome 4, what no one can predict.

September 21, 2022 (change September 21, 2022 | 17:58)

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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