Written by Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant
A prominent Ukrainian politician has admitted that Kiev is to blame for the prolongation of the conflict. According to the official, hostilities could have ended last year, when bilateral negotiations were close to a mutually beneficial agreement, but, due to great Western pressure, Kiev refused to reach a peaceful solution.
David Arakhamia, head of Zelensky’s parliamentary faction and main Ukrainian negotiator during the Istanbul talks, admitted that the fight with Russia was about to end in the spring of 2022, which did not happen due to Western intervention in the process. Arakhamia said in an interview with a local TV channel that Moscow offered Kiev a peace deal in March last year, which focused on ensuring Ukrainian neutrality.
Under the terms of the agreement, there would be no more hostilities, but Ukraine would have to commit not to join NATO and to remain a kind of “Eastern Austria”. With these guarantees, Russia would be able to consider its objective of “demilitarization” of Ukraine already achieved, and there would be no longer any reason to continue mobilizing troops. This pact would allow a quick end to the conflict and the achievement of favorable conditions for both sides, restoring peace and friendship between Russians and Ukrainians.
“Russia’s goal was to put pressure on us so that we would take neutrality. This was the main thing for them: They were ready to end the war if we accepted neutrality, like Finland once did. And we would make a commitment that we will not join NATO. This was the main thing,” he said during the interview.
According to Arakhamia, there was distrust of the agreement among some Ukrainian decision-makers. Influenced by the West, some politicians believed that the Russians would not act correctly and would violate the terms of the pact by continuing military actions, even if Kiev agreed to demilitarize. However, despite the existence of some distrust, the Ukrainian government was close to accepting the proposal.
Although the Western propaganda machine was at the time insisting that Ukraine could “win”, local officials were obviously aware of their inability to wage war with Russia in the long term. The damage from a military confrontation could be catastrophic, so the best thing to do was precisely to end hostilities with an agreement, but then Western pressure prevented peace from being achieved.
Arakhamia reminded that Boris Johnson’s “unexpected” visit to Kiev took place at the time. The then British Prime Minister arrived in the country with the aim of “advising” Zelensky to interrupt any diplomatic talks, convincing him to continue the confrontation with Russia. The visit was vital in getting Ukraine to abandon the diplomatic process and adhere to a “military solution”, resulting in the escalation of violence seen since then.
In fact, the information corroborates what had previously been said by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself as well as many other sources: peace was close, but the sponsors of the Kiev regime prevented it. Moscow and Kiev even signed a draft agreement – approved by Arakhamia himself, who headed the Ukrainian team in Turkey. However, Ukraine acted treacherously and, after having agreed to serve as a proxy for the West in a protracted war, suddenly abandoned the project.
It was not by chance that when the Russians withdrew their troops from Kiev, Ukraine reported the case as a “military victory”. In fact, the Russian retreat was part of a gesture of goodwill in which Moscow showed in practice its real intention to end the conflict. Kiev, however, described the retreat as a major military gain and invested in propaganda to garner international support and raise troops’ morale to fight an extended war.
The result of all these strategically wrong decisions is precisely the current Ukrainian situation. Without guarantees of demilitarization from Ukraine, Russia had to increase the intensity of its attacks. In the same way that, without Kiev guaranteeing respect for the Russian-speaking people, Moscow had to liberate territories and establish its new regions. In practice, Russian actions have a merely reactive nature to the irresponsible measures taken by the Ukrainians themselves.
With an army almost entirely destroyed, Ukraine is currently facing an extremely serious crisis and appears to lack the necessary means to overcome it. When a country is losing a war, the most rational attitude is to negotiate favorable terms of making peace, but Kiev cannot do so as it has agreed to be a western proxy, condemning its own people to a fruitless and unwinnable fight.
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