Washington Spins Tale To New York Times That Putin Is Looking For An Escape Hatch | The Gateway Pundit

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Let me make it clear up front — I believe the New York Times is reporting accurately what its sources told the three reporters in today’s stunning article, Putin Quietly Signals He Is Open to a Cease-Fire in Ukraine. The piece, reported by Anton Troianovski, Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes, claims that the public bravado of Putin is a sham and that he is using back channels to negotiate an end to the war in Ukraine. This is nonsense. I will explain why.

This paragraph from the piece is a big red flag that the “sources” spinning this tale are engaged in an information warfare campaign:

Mr. Putin has been signaling through intermediaries since at least September that he is open to a cease-fire that freezes the fighting along the current lines, far short of his ambitions to dominate Ukraine, two former senior Russian officials close to the Kremlin and American and international officials who have received the message from Mr. Putin’s envoys say.

Let’s start with the first falsehood — that Putin is willing to sacrifice his “ambitions to dominate Ukraine.” From the outset of the Special Military Operation President Putin has been concise and consistent — demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine. Pro-Ukrainian analysts in the West continue to insist, falsely, that Putin wanted to capture Kiev but failed in March 2022 and is, or was, intent on conquering all of Ukraine. This is sheer Western propaganda.

The sources for this drivel are “two former Russian officials close to the Kremlin” and unnamed American and “international officials”. I am willing to bet a Christmas pudding that those officials are Brits. The info provided by the former Russian officials is totally suspect. How do I know? I had a conversation two weeks ago while in Moscow with a very senior Russian official who attends meetings in the Kremlin. He presented a very different message. Specifically, this official expressed alarm over the lack of substantive diplomatic contacts with Washington and emphasized that U.S. policy seems dedicated to sabotaging any reasonable path for negotiations. Let me put it this way — the person who conveyed these concerns would be right in the middle of any diplomatic contacts with the United States.

Alastair Crooke, who was with me in Moscow, provided an excellent summary of what we heard:

U.S.-Russia relations have touched rock-bottom; it is worse even than imagined. In discourse with senior Russian officials, it is evident that the U.S. treats the former as clear enemies. To gain a flavour, it is as if a senior Russian official were to ask: “What is it you want from me?”. The answer might come: “I wish you’d die”.

The inherent tension and lack of genuine exchange is worse than during the Cold War when channels of communication did stay open. This lacuna is compounded by the absence of political nous amongst European political leaders, with whom grounded discussion has not proved possible.

Russian officials recognise the risks to this situation. They are at a loss however on how to correct it. The tenor of discourse too, has slid from outright hostility toward pettiness: The U.S., for example, might block workers from entering the Russian mission at the UN to repair broken windows. Moscow then — reluctantly — finds itself with little alternative but to respond in a similarly petty vein — and so the relationship spirals down.

So what is the purpose of this NY Times article? I believe we can find the explanation in a recent column by Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times. He wrote:

One alternative to a formal agreement between Russia and Ukraine might be a de facto freezing of the conflict. In this scenario, Ukraine would move into a mainly defensive posture and hold off further Russian advances. The fighting would never stop completely — but it would dwindle.

An intermediate situation — somewhere between a frozen conflict and a formal peace treaty — would be an armistice. The two sides would agree only on a cessation of hostilities, without settling any of the underlying political issues. The model here would be the end of the Korean war and the division of the peninsula into North and South Korea. . . .

Even some of Ukraine’s most ardent western supporters are now talking about the need for Kyiv to accept a frozen conflict and declare victory. “We have to flip the narrative and say that Putin has failed,” says one former US official.

Stated simply — the NY Times piece is intended to flip the narrative and provide the West with an excuse to exit from Ukraine. Putin and his government have no incentive to make concessions to Ukraine or the United States or NATO. Russia is winning the war and attriting the Ukrainian military machine and troop strength. Even many key Ukrainian officials are admitting that the odds of them defeating Russia are zero.

Another purpose of this article is to sow mistrust and doubt among Russian officials and the Russian people about Vladimir Putin. With the failure of the Ukrainian counter offensive the Russians are more committed than ever to finishing off the Ukrainian military and its NATO allies. If Putin agreed to negotiate an end to the Special Military Operation before demilitarizing Ukraine, his political standing would crash. Russians are fully awake to the reality that the West is a malevolent force keen on destroying Russia and fully support defeating Ukraine and, by proxy, NATO. The last thing that Vladimir Putin and his government want to do is give the West the gift of halting the military operation before the task of eviscerating the Ukrainian military capability.

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