Putin continues coldly. Military setbacks in Ukraine, economic troubles in Russia, phone calls with Western leaders like Chancellor Olaf Schultz – nothing seems to have deterred him from the path of violence and destruction.
With the partial mobilization of the Russian armed forces, which have enlisted up to 300,000 reservists, and the renewed threat of a nuclear strike (“This is not a hoax!”), the Kremlin ruler launched a new level of escalation in his ruthless campaign against Ukraine and the West. The hardliner with a background in the Secret Service confirmed what experts such as political scientist Andreas Heinemann-Groeder had always feared: No peace is possible with Putin.
The expert is convinced: No peace is possible with Putin
The professor at the International Center for Conflict Studies in Bonn has repeatedly warned the West against giving in to Putin and trying to achieve peace by taking a “comfortable path”. In doing so, he clearly opposed “peace activists” in Germany and other countries who believed or still believe that Putin could be stopped by demanding a “negotiated solution” or “major diplomatic attacks”. Now the expert sees himself – unfortunately – confirmed.
The partial mobilization and the announced annexation should put an end to any illusions that Putin should not be provoked because he would otherwise act irrationally. The West should Ukraine To support the restoration of the finally occupied areas with battle tanks and combat aircraft. It’s about victory or defeat, not about ‘a little peace,’ Heinemann-Grüder told the FOCUS website.
Kremlin ruler ‘seeks decisive battle’
Although the West supports Ukraine militarily and imposes economic sanctions on Russia, European leaders continue to try to contact Putin. At the end of May, Chancellor Schulze and French President Macron had an 80-minute phone call with the head of the Kremlin. During the conversation, they urged an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces. A few days ago, Shultz spoke with Putin again and called for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine war. Even if it makes sense, from the West’s point of view, not to let the conversation break, Putin is unmoved by warm words, requests, or demands. He remains firm and resolute, no matter what Western politicians think and say.
Heinemann-Groeder is convinced: “A peace agreement will not be possible with Putin, the regime he represents is structurally incapable of peace.” In his view, the only chance for an end to hostilities in Ukraine is the “complete catastrophe of the Russian war”. Putin has no reason to back down as long as he sees himself as a military victor. “Putin expects to have more power in the war of attrition and that the West first and then Ukraine will surrender.”
“Anyone who wants to make a new agreement with Putin will only lead to more war,” the political expert told the FOCUS website. Faced with the choice of “retreat or escalation?” Putin chose the second option. “He has lost the dominance of escalation, wants to regain the initiative and is looking for a decisive battle because he will not survive a domestic defeat,” said Heinemann Groder. Partial mobilization of Russia is the response to the Ukrainian attack. The fantasy of “Special Operation” has been abandoned.
“No one will buy Russians to be victims anymore”
“War is reaching Russia. Partial mobilization does not make war more popular. Reservists who are separated from family and work do not know what they are fighting and dying for, and are not welcomed as liberators. Nobody will buy,” the conflict researcher told FOCUS. The Russians will be a victim.”
With the four regions to be annexed after the mock referendums, Putin outlined territorial claims for the first time. According to Heinmann Groder, the annexed territories will be considered state territory according to the Russian understanding, which the Kremlin wants to protect by all means, including the threat of nuclear weapons. Ukrainian attacks on these areas will be considered an “attack on Russia”.
“North Korea in Russian”: a warning from a hard-line terrorist regime
The expert believes that “after the annexation, a strict terrorist regime will be established.” Anyone who does not accept a Russian passport will be considered an extremist or terrorist, and be tortured or imprisoned. Russian becomes the official language, and schools have to adopt the Russian curriculum. Opponents will be handed over to the Russian judiciary: North Korea in Russian.”
The expert pointed out that the West failed in its previous course towards Putin. “Negotiations with Russia have been going on since 2014, the de facto annexation of Crimea was accepted and the Baltic Sea pipeline was built. The result: susceptibility to extortion rather than interdependence (mutual dependence, eds.). Referring to the war in Ukraine, he said: “Only As a result of defeat, the system will change, open up, confront its imperialism, militarism and its violent culture. Only as a result of defeat will the return of Russia to the European family of nations be accepted.”
Moscow wants ‘fear of war and divisions in the West’
The conflict researcher is convinced that Putin will continue to test the limits and cross red lines. He will continue to threaten the West and do everything to increase tensions in Germany. “The global food crisis, exorbitant gas and electricity bills, global recession, new mass immigration and the threat of nuclear war should bring civil war to European cities,” the expert told FOCUS’s website. “The Russian elite exploits all the weaknesses and fears of war and divisions in the West.”
Russia will test every limit in the war against the West
Professor Bonn: “The Russian regime does not think in the categories of interdependence, comparing interests, maintaining a peaceful status quo, but follows a zero-sum approach and the Bolshevik motto: every clearly defined boundary presents an opportunity to cross it. He urgently warns: “Anyone who agrees to a deal With Putin at the expense of the rights of self-determination of Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic states, Moldova and Georgia only increases the possibility of an escalation of the war. “
It is true that Heinemann-Grüder considers an end to the war feasible. But only if Putin has no other choice and the international security guarantees for Ukraine are strong.”