UKRAINE: Putin rips off the mask.


THE TELEGRAPH Podcast, Ukraine the Latest

  • The two British men captured in Ukraine several weeks ago, have been sentenced to death for fighting in the war and trying to take power.  There has been talk of a prisoner swap.  A pro-Russian politician in Ukraine may be swapped for the two British men. 
  • Both British men have been accused as being mercenaries.  Is this a threat to all foreign fighters?  Is this an attempt to signal outsiders that if they come to Ukraine to help, they will be put to death if captured?
  • Russia is happy to ignore conventions in every area. 
  • One of the captured men has joint Ukrainian citizenship.  But, nevertheless, if they are combatants, they are prisoners of war and by international law receive the protections of the Geneva Conventions.
  • The Wagner Group fights for Russia and they are a mercenary group.  Are they prepared to be tried and given the death sentence?  (Note: The Wagner group is a mercenary group used by the Russian government to fight in areas where they don’t want to take the responsibility.  They have a reputation of being especially vicious and violent.  It was thought in the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine that they were put in Ukraine primarily for their scare potential.)
  • The sentencing of the two British men to death is thought to be a power play to be used for propaganda purposes.  They will most likely be handed over.
  • Ukrainians have tried combatants for war crimes, but not for being combatants or mercenaries.  (Note: Russian propaganda attempt to equate the two actions.)
  • There is likely to be an outbreak of cholera in Mariupol.  Medical services are near collapse.  They are struggling to provide basic services. 
  • It will be extremely difficult to hold territories taken by the Russians with such suffering present in these areas.  (Note: People will not forget that after taking over Mariupol promising to take care of basic services, the Russians allowed a cholera outbreak.)
  • Ammunition is running short for the Ukrainians.  The expected Western munitions are of a different caliber.  The Ukrainians are having to change their systems to adapt to the new munitions.  (See article in the Guardian 6/10/22).
  • Desertion in the Ukrainian forces.  There is a feeling that Western munitions are not coming in quickly enough and this has led to a discouragement.  There is bothh a material effect and an effect on morale of the promised weapons not being delivered. 
  • There is a feeling among Ukrainians that the West is tiring of the situation.
  • The West’s commitment to this war is vital to morale.  There is a feeling that France and Germany are wanting to make concessions and not send the weapons they had promised.
  • Putin’s speech on 9 June, compared himself to Peter the Great.
  • Putin just threw away any pretense that this war was about anything but territorial expansion.
  • Speaking in Moscow, Putin said that Peter the Great was “reclaiming” territory.  He presumably thinks that he is doing the same.
  • The mask is cast aside with a flourish of Peter the Great.
  • It’s not about de-nazification, it’s not about NATO expansion, it’s about one man’s ego and expansionism.
  • It’s “pick a side time.”  There can be no question now that Putin is responding to any of the imagined threats he previously named.
  • This blatant announcement of Putin’s intentions is a strategic mistake.  Macron and others will have to take a side and can no longer claim that Putin has a rationale for the invasion. 
  • Putin only sees a few countries as relevant – United States, Russia, and China.  Others are irrelevant. 
  • Putin was proud of what he was saying. There was no question of it being a mistake or a gaff.  Reporters think they were honest words.  There’s nowhere to hide for people who are seeking to hide from Putin’s intentions. 
  • This important speech is not adequately being covered. 
  • They must beef up NATO forces on the eastern front.
  • “Hugely significant speech.”
  • There is an Article in Telegraph about Putin’s speech. 
  • One of the debates has been whether Putin is a Czarist or wanting to reunite the Soviet Union.  It’s obvious now, that it is the former.

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