EXPERTS: Putin wants to keep Ukraine out of NATO, not conquer it
By Belle Carter // Dec 11, 2023

The Western media has been working up the narrative that Russian President Vladimir Putin is just a power-crazed imperialist who wants to invade Ukraine and the surrounding countries to reestablish the Soviet Empire in Europe.

In fact, a CNN article dated June 11, 2022, said: "By summoning the memory of Peter the Great, it also becomes clear that Putin’s aims are driven by some sense of historical destiny. And Putin's project of imperial restoration could – in theory – extend to other territories that once belonged to the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, something that should raise alarms in all the countries that emerged from the collapse of the USSR."

This did not sit well with the daily news and opinion site LewRockwell.com, which proved this to be untrue. According to the site, Russia started the conflict with Ukraine without an invasion objective, but a limited tactical intrusion to bring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's government to the negotiating table and guarantee that Ukraine would not join NATO. It supported this argument by juxtaposing the Russian president's military approach to Ukraine with that of Israel in Gaza.

Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with some 190,000 troops. Meanwhile, as the Israeli government's response to the October 7 attack by Hamas, it amassed 300,000 troops around the Gaza Strip in anticipation of a ground invasion. The Gaza Strip is a narrow stretch of coastal land with a total area of 141 square miles populated by some 2.2 million people. On the other hand, Ukraine is one big country –  the second largest country in Europe after Russia – and runs for 817 miles from west to east and 554 miles from north to south. Its area totals 233,032 square miles and has more than 42 million inhabitants. So, the territory of Ukraine is more than 1600 times larger than that of the Middle East enclave and its population is nearly 20 times more.

The Israelis also gathered 50 percent more troops than Russia to invade a coastal strip whose population is five percent that of Ukraine and whose territory is less than one percent of Ukraine's territory. It mobilized more troops for its invasion of the tiny strip than Putin had gathered for his alleged plan to conquer the second-largest country on the continent as well as the other European nations. Putin's invasion force of fewer than 200,000 soldiers was very small by any measurable standard. If he really wanted to invade Kyiv, he would have to go in with far greater numbers.

"There's no way that an army that had 190,000 troops [at the most] could have conquered all of Ukraine… it's just impossible," one of the world's leading foreign policy experts John Mearsheimer stated in the interview below. He added that it would require at least two million troops to conquer and occupy Ukraine.

Russia's hindering Ukraine from joining NATO was confirmed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who said that just weeks before the invasion, Putin sent the intergovernmental military alliance a draft treaty asking that Ukraine remain neutral. Putin indicated that if this security concern was met, he would not invade. "The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That was what he sent us. And was a pre-condition to not invade Ukraine. Of course, we didn't sign that."

Moreover, a February 26, 2022 BBC report said that Russia declared that the crisis can only be solved if the West agrees to a list of demands, including a guarantee that Ukraine will never join NATO. However, Putin's legitimate security concerns were dismissed by NATO, so he was left with no choice but to force the issue directly with the Zelensky government.

Western allies would rather sponsor the Ukrainian war than compromise with Putin

The negotiations began after Putin "invaded" Ukraine but the United States government instructed Zelensky to withdraw from the negotiations and promised to supply whatever military assistance was necessary to defeat Russia. Nearly two years after the war erupted, it was revealed that Russia again proposed ending the war in spring 2022 on the condition that Ukraine abandon its NATO aspirations and adopt a neutral stance.  (Related: Putin reportedly willing to end war with Ukraine, sit down for PEACE TALKS.)

"They hoped almost to the last that they would put the squeeze on us to sign such an agreement so that we would take neutrality. It was the biggest thing for them," David Arahamiya, leader of the President's Servant of the People party and head of the Ukrainian delegation said in an interview with Ukrainian journalist Natalia Moseychuk. "They were ready to end the war if we took – as Finland once did – neutrality and made commitments that we would not join NATO. This was the key point." But Arakhamia said that it would require a constitutional change, given that Kyiv's Constitution states its intention to become a NATO member. He also said that they did not trust the Russian position and clarified that signing such an agreement without guarantees would have left Ukraine vulnerable to a second incursion.

"They would have come in more prepared, because they came in, in fact, unprepared for such resistance," Arakhamia claimed, adding that while another round of talks was underway in Istanbul, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson unexpectedly came to Kyiv on April 9 and said that Ukraine "shouldn't sign anything with them at all – and let's just fight."

Bookmark UkraineWitness.com for updates on the current situation in the beleaguered nation.

Sources for this article include:

Edition.CNN.com

LewRockwell.com

JeffSachs.org

BBC.com

KyivPost.com



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