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October 5, 2022 4:38 am

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

Putin Claim U.S. Is Dragging Out War Isn’t Crazy, Military Expert Says

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Claims made by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States is intentionally prolonging the Russia-Ukraine conflict may not be as implausible as described, says one U.S. military veteran and journalist.

In a speech this week, Putin called out “Western globalist elites” who he said are “provoking chaos, inciting old and new conflicts,” and attempting “to preserve the hegemony and power that is slipping out of their hands.” He added that the situation in Ukraine shows the U.S. is “trying to prolong the conflict.”

Sean Spoonts, a U.S. Navy veteran and editor-in-chief of Special Operations Forces Report (SOFREP), told Newsweek that President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seem to have separate policy goals in mind.

“It seems like while Ukraine would like to end the war quickly and decisively defeat Russian forces and drive them out of their country, U.S. policy almost seems designed to prolong the conflict hoping to bring about the collapse of Russia itself, both militarily and economically,” Spoonts said.

Biden denied the United States is working to dismantle Russia, writing in a New York Times op-ed in May that “we do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”

The U.S. and Germany have provided Ukrainian forces with HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems), which require missiles that some military experts believe could become limited by year’s end. However, the United States has resisted Ukraine’s calls to send long-range missiles and fighter jets, which Ukraine has cited as being able to potentially help turn the tide of the war.

While the U.S. aid has significantly helped Ukraine, Spoonts said the White House “is so concerned with making this a multinational effort that it’s adding lots of complications to arming Ukraine.” Spoonts also criticized the White House for knowing Russia’s plans to invade and not taking the initiative to preemptively impose sanctions and deter the attack.

As a recent report by The Washington Post indicated, the U.S. was privy to some of Russia’s plans for the invasion of Ukraine before it officially began on February 24. Spoonts alluded to Biden’s remarks on that day, when he said, “Some of the most powerful impacts of our actions will come over time as we squeeze Russia’s access to finance and technology for strategic sectors of its economy and degrade its industrial capacity for years to come.”

“Biden has said publicly that his goal is to degrade Russia as a world power, never again in the position to threaten its neighbors,” said Spoonts. “That goes a lot further than Zelensky’s goal, which is to simply get Russian armies out of his country and regain lost territories in Donbas, Luhansk and Crimea.”

Ukrainian forces have deterred many Russian attacks over the past six months and impacted Russian troops in meaningful ways, resulting in what U.S. officials have cited as at least 75,000 Russian troops either killed or injured since the war’s start.

Meanwhile, Russian land and sea artillery have taken massive losses. As Putin has touted his country’s so-called advanced weaponry, outsiders have stated that the “sophisticated systems and weapons that Ukraine has access to” are currently dwarfing the impact of Russia’s own weapons.

“We’re seeing more and more examples of leaked or overheard conversations among (Russian) soldiers, making it clear that they’re getting tired of not having sophisticated weapons,” former U.S. Ambassador Mark Green told Newsweek.

While the United States and other NATO countries have tried to balance aiding Ukraine without provoking Russia to declare a multinational war, Spoonts said it may be the wrong strategy.

“We seem to be doing enough to keep Ukraine fighting but not providing enough to Ukraine to go over to the offensive and drive Russia out entirely. We think that is a bad idea. There are limits to the fighting spirit of any army, including Ukraine’s,” Spoonts said.


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Zelensky faces unprecedented criticism over failure to warn of war

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KYIV, Ukraine — Until this week, Ukrainians seemed to see President Volodymyr Zelensky as beyond reproach, a national hero who stayed in Kyiv despite the risk to his personal safety to lead his country against invading Russian troops.

Comments he made to The Washington Post justifying his failure to share with Ukrainians details of repeated U.S. warnings that Russia planned to invade have punctured the bubble, triggering a cascade of public criticism unprecedented since the war began.

Ordinary people tweeted their experiences of chaos and dislocation after an invasion for which they were unprepared, and described how they might have made different choices had they known what was coming. Public figures and academics wrote harsh critiques on Facebook of his decision to downplay the risk of an invasion, saying he bears at least some responsibility for the atrocities that followed.

In the interview with The Post, published Tuesday, Zelensky cited his fears that Ukrainians would panic, flee the country and trigger economic collapse as the reason he chose not to share the stark warnings passed on by U.S. officials regarding Russia’s plans.

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“If we had communicated that … then I would have been losing $7 billion a month since last October, and at the moment when the Russians did attack, they would have taken us in three days,” Zelensky said.

He added that subsequent events — with Russian troops failing to reach the capital — suggested he had made the right call.

“That’s what happened when the invasion started — we were as strong as we could be. Some of our people left, but most of them stayed here, they fought for their homes. And as cynical as it may sound, those are the people who stopped everything.”

Many Ukrainians took exception to the implication that Zelensky had prioritized the health of the economy over their well-being, and suggested that many lives might have been saved had the government adequately prepared the population for war.

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Sevgil Musaieva, editor in chief of the Ukrainska Pravda, a Ukrainian news site, posted on Facebook that she was “personally offended” by Zelensky’s explanation, saying it called into question the intelligence of Ukrainians. She wouldn’t have fled, she said, and the $7 billion a month potential cost to the economy has to be weighed against the lives lost, the swift capture by Russia of parts of southern Ukraine and the fear and intimidation of civilians who unexpectedly found themselves under Russian occupation.

“Honestly, my hair stood on end when I read what [Zelensky] said about evacuation. … How can a person who has Mariupol, Bucha and Kherson on his conscience say that an evacuation would have overwhelmed the country?” wrote journalist Bohdan Butkevich on his Facebook page, referring to places where Russia has committed atrocities.

“He didn’t want to put the country on a military footing because he was afraid of losing power,” Butkevich wrote.

The lack of warning for civilians living in the threatened areas, and especially those with children, the elderly and those with impaired mobility, was “not a glitch, not a mistake, not an unfortunate misunderstanding, not a strategic miscalculation — it is a crime,” said Ukrainian author Kateryna Babkina.

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The outpouring also included many defenses of Zelensky. Valerii Pekar, a publicist who teaches at the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, wrote on Facebook that Ukrainians had ample access to media reports about the American warnings.

“Anyone who did not pack his own rucksack after reading the news about American intelligence reports has no right to claim that he was not warned,” he said.

“We all knew, and understood, that war was coming. We just didn’t want to believe it because it’s too terrible to be true,” wrote Olena Gnes, founder of the What is Ukraine project, on her Facebook page. “None of Zelenskyi’s statements would have changed anything significantly.”

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Some of the criticisms came from political opponents who would seize on any opportunity to attack the president, said Musaieva, the newspaper editor, in an interview. But many did not.

The level of outrage is unprecedented in wartime Ukraine, she said, and represents perhaps “the first serious communication crisis” for Zelensky, regarded as a master communicator, and his team.

Even those who said they understood why Zelensky didn’t want to provoke panic said they nonetheless wondered whether there were steps that could have been taken to alleviate the impact of the invasion — from preparing blood banks to digging trenches along the northern border to prevent Russian troops from overrunning many towns and villages before they were halted outside Kyiv.

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Such questions had lingered, unspoken, since the ferocity of the invasion stunned the country on Feb. 24, ordinary Ukrainians said. But the consensus has been that Ukrainians need to unite and refrain from criticisms while the country is at war, said Oksana, 30, who was discussing the controversy Thursday in a Kyiv cafe with her partner. She asked that her full name not be used because the subject is sensitive.

Now that some people are raising questions about Zelensky’s choices, many are debating whether more could have been done, she said.

“My biggest question is about the level of atrocities we saw, and I think about whether they could have been prevented,” said Oksana, who did not vote for Zelensky but now supports him wholeheartedly as the leader Ukraine needs to win the war.

“It will damage us to discuss this now,” she said. “Ukraine is winning because of our belief in the president and our armed forces. So I’m ready to wait for the explanation until after we win the war.”

“Then we start asking questions,” she said. “There are questions that need answers because this is the society we are fighting for — a society of accountability.”

Liz Sly is a correspondent-at-large covering global affairs. She has spent more than 17 years covering the Middle East, including the first and second Iraq wars. Other postings include Washington, Africa, China, Afghanistan and Italy. Twitter


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mikenov on Twitter: bklynguide.com/putin-accuses-…

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mikenov on Twitter: RT @SecBlinken: Today I deposited the U.S. Instruments of Ratification with the Depositary for the North Atlantic Treaty, as the last step…

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Today I deposited the U.S. Instruments of Ratification with the Depositary for the North Atlantic Treaty, as the last step in the U.S. ratification process for Finland and Sweden to join @NATO. pic.twitter.com/jWu4kgvnoU





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mikenov on Twitter: Takeaways from the court hearing on releasing more documents from the Mar-a-Lago search kvia.com/news/2022/08/1…

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Takeaways from the court hearing on releasing more documents from the Mar-a-Lago search kvia.com/news/2022/08/1…


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mikenov on Twitter: RT @POTUS: My Administration announced that we’re taking steps to accelerate our response to the monkeypox outbreak, including making an ad…

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My Administration announced that we’re taking steps to accelerate our response to the monkeypox outbreak, including making an additional 1.8 million doses of vaccines available.

We’re working to make sure folks can access tests, vaccines, and treatments easily and quickly.


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mikenov on Twitter: RT @dw_russian: РФ готовит провокацию на Запорожской АЭС 19 августа, предупредила военная разведка Украины. Этот день неожиданно объявили н…

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РФ готовит провокацию на Запорожской АЭС 19 августа, предупредила военная разведка Украины. Этот день неожиданно объявили на станции выходным, оставив лишь дежурный персонал. Кроме того ЗАЭС покинули представители “Росатома” p.dw.com/p/4FiUy?maca=r… pic.twitter.com/573OD78nhG



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