Ukraine, US General Mark Milley: “Nobody can win the war”

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Joseph Sarcina

The European Parliament calls for arms and fighter planes for Kiev

Ukraine, US General Mark Milley: "Nobody can win the war"

The European Parliament , practically unanimously, the Anglo-Polish axis and of course Volodymyr Zelensky increase the pressure on the allies . They are asking for more weapons , in particular ” fighter jets, helicopters, missile systems and more ammunition “, as stated in the resolution approved yesterday by all the political forces represented in the Strasbourg hemicycle, with few dissociations: 444 votes in favour, 26 those against, 37 abstentions . At the same time, in London, the British premier Rishi Sunak received the Polish president Andrzej Duda. The two leaders have announced that they will support Ukraine “until victory”.

But from the other side of the Atlantic comes, once again, the call for prudence, for pragmatism. The Chief of Staff of the US Armed Forces, Mark Milley , in an interview with the Financial Times , repeated the forecast already advanced on January 20 in Ramstein , Germany, at the conclusion of the summit of the 54 countries that supply arms to Kiev. Here’s the gist: the Russians are unable to overwhelm the Ukrainians; but it is very unlikely that by 2023 Zelensky’s army will be able to reconquer the territory invaded by Putin’s army from 24 February 2022 onwards.

Milley’s new release should be matched by the reflections that Antony Blinken would be doing with his collaborators, according to the website Politico . The secretary of state is concerned about the proclamations coming from Kiev. Zelensky also aims to retake Crimea , the strategic peninsula that Putin first occupied and then annexed to the Russian Federation in 2014 , with a referendumnever recognized by the international community. For Blinken this would be a risky plan, bordering on a gamble because “Crimea is a red line for Putin”. The implication is always the same, now recurring for 12 months: if cornered, the Kremlin’s number one could resort to atomic bombs with a reduced radius, but with a devastating impact.

A few hours later Zelensky was very clear in an interview with the BBC . First: “The Russian offensive has already begun in several directions.” Second: «No negotiations with Putin ; I do not trust him”. Third, and this could be an indirect response to Blinken: “We will not cede any territory in any peace agreement.”

The Ukrainian president remains at the center of the international scene in these days as we approach February 24, the anniversary of the Russian aggression . Yesterday evening he spoke at the opening of the « Berlinale », the film festival in the German capital. According to the schedule, it was Sean Penn’s turn to introduce the link. The American actor and director will present the film «Superpower», also shot in Ukraine.

Next week, however, the Kiev government will present a motion to the UN general assembly. The text will take up the fundamental concepts of the ” peace plan ” elaborated last December by Zelensky himself. In particular, “the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Russian military forces” will be requested. It will be an opportunity to verify on a global scale how isolated the Kremlin is. The last motion of condemnation, put to the vote on 12 October 2022, obtained 143 “yes”, 5 “no” and 35 abstentions.In recent weeks, the Americans had received Zelensky’s initiative with great perplexity. The fear was, and still is, that many of the 193 states represented at the United Nations might slip away, perhaps simply by abstaining to signal an increasingly widespread impatience with the consequences of the war. Attention focused, in particular, on India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam and others.

Even NATO seems to be experiencing some anxiety. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg went to Ankara yesterday to work alongside the Turkish government, so that it ratifies as soon as possible the entry of Sweden and Finland into the Atlantic Alliance. Turkish minister Mevlut Cavusoglu , however, stalled again, saying the two candidacies could follow a different path. Faster than in Helsinki, more bumpy than in Stockholm. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan especially accuses Sweden of giving hospitality to what he calls “terrorist organizations”.