• The Strategy of Containment

    According to a report, Washington and Berlin urge negotiations between Kiev and Moscow. US experts call for a shift from warfare to a “strategy of containment” of Russia.

    BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) – In Germany and the United States, pressure is mounting on Kiev to stop rejecting ceasefire negotiations with Moscow. As was reported late last week, the governments of both countries are seeking a transition to negotiations, but would like Kiev to take the initiative without being requested to do so publicly. An appeal would make a mockery of the West’s constant assertion that Ukraine is deciding on its own course of action. The plan to initiate talks with Moscow reflects the failure not only of Kiev’s counter-offensive, but also of the Western sanctions against Russia: Already since some time, experts have been recommending a transition to a policy of containment, given the fact that Ukraine’s armed forces are unable to achieve victory on the battlefield and Russia cannot be defeated economically. This should freeze the current military situation without formally ceding Ukrainian territories to Russia and should be accompanied by NATO’s massive rearmament. Experts are calling for a “change of mentality” in Germany and Berlin is insisting on “warfighting capability.” Read more

  • Armaments Hub Ukraine

    Ukraine expands its armaments industry with Western help and aims to become a “leading nation” in that sector. Rheinmetall has already concluded a joint venture for tank production.

    KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Ukraine is pushing ahead with the expansion of its arms industry and is wooing US companies, since concluding a cooperation deal with the German Rheinmetall arms manufacturer. It was announced at the end of last week that at a conference to be held in Washington in about two weeks, Kiev will insist on US arms factories being established in Ukraine. Rheinmetall is already present in Ukraine and is beginning to repair tanks, damaged at the Russian-Ukrainian front, while also planning, in the long run, to produce up to 400 Panther main battle tanks – including for export, given Ukraine’s extremely low wages. The Ukrainian government is seeking joint ventures between Western arms companies and its domestic arms industry, to compensate for the future lack of Western arms deliveries and to establish Ukraine as a central armaments hub. Arms production should become one of the main sectors of the Ukrainian economy in the future. Government members see their country on the road to becoming “the leading nation in the arms industry” by 2040. Read more

  • “An Irreversible Demographic Shock”

    Experts warn of a permanent massive population loss in Ukraine due to war fatalities and flight. In particular, the shortage of young and highly qualified people endangers reconstruction.

    KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Experts predict an “ irreversible demographic shock” and massive problems in recruiting the necessary workforce for post-war reconstruction. The country’s population had already dropped 20 percent from 1990 to 2021, according to a current study by The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW). War fatalities and refugees have further reduced the population. Because mainly younger and well-educated people have fled, and a significant portion of the Ukrainian refugees want to permanently remain within the EU, reconstruction will be impacted by the lack of particularly important segments of the population. According to WIIW, by 2040, the working-age population in Ukraine will shrink by 22.6 percent to 25 percent compared with pre-war levels in 2021 – with serious consequences for the entire country. The longer the war lasts, the more severe will be its impact. Kiev must urgently initiate repatriation programs for refugees. This will, however, encounter rivalry also with Germany, because German companies are looking for low-cost skilled labor from among the Ukrainian refugees. Read more

  • “Prerequisites for Victory”

    Rheinmetall will open an armored vehicle plant in western Ukraine within the next 12 weeks. Green Party MP calls for supplying cruise missiles, CDU politician speculates about Kaliningrad blockade.

    BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) – The German arms company Rheinmetall will soon open an armored vehicle plant in Ukraine, the company’s CEO, Armin Papperger told US broadcaster CNN. Rheinmetall will open the plant in western Ukraine within the next 12 weeks, where it will build and repair the Fuchs armored personnel carrier in cooperation with Ukraine’s state-owned Ukroboronprom. According to German government sources, Chancellor Olaf Scholz will announce a new “very substantial” arms supply for Ukraine at the NATO summit beginning in Vilnius today. According to these sources, the German government will not yet deliver Taurus cruise missiles, which Kiev has already been demanding since some time. With a range of more than 500 kilometers, they could be launched deep into Russia. The US announcement of supplying Ukraine with cluster munitions is being met with comprehension by the German government. Roderich Kiesewetter, a CDU member of the German parliament suggests that, under certain conditions, “Kaliningrad could have its Russian supply lines cut.” Read more

  • The Debate on Security Guarantees

    German think tanks call for Ukraine’s NATO membership and security guarantees provided by a European coalition of the willing. Ukraine may want to seek nuclear weapons.

    BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) – In the run-up to the NATO summit in Vilnius, Germany’s two major foreign policy think tanks are calling for Ukraine’s accession to the Western military alliance. In recently published position papers, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) note that US President Joe Biden has rejected this move, at least for the time being. However, alternative security guarantees for Kiev are neither sufficient, desirable nor realistic. The latter pertains to a “demilitarization of Russia.” The option of Ukraine’s nuclear armament is undesirable. Current plans to comprehensively provide Kiev with conventional weapons, for example with the proposed construction of a tank factory and other armaments factories by the Rheinmetall Group, are insufficient. The DPAG suggests the establishment of a coalition of willing European countries committing themselves to actively participating in Ukraine’s defense. But this can only be considered an interim solution until the moment Ukraine is a formal member of NATO. Read more

  • Cracks in NATO

    The Polish and Baltic governments will push NATO’s pledge of Kiev’s membership at the July Summit in Vilnius and consider sending troops to Ukraine. Berlin will agree to security guarantees.

    BERLIN/WASHINGTON/KIEV (Own report) – In the run-up to the July 11-12 NATO summit in Vilnius, the dispute over Ukraine’s accession to the western military alliance and possible security guarantees for Kiev is heating up. Whereas Poland and the Baltic states continue to insist on Ukraine’s NATO membership – which was supposed to be concretized in Vilnius – US President Joe Biden, according to reports, has informed his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda that Washington will not permit Ukraine to join; that would be a “red line.” France’s President, Emmanual Macron is urging that an alternative of “tangible and credible security guarantees” be decided at the NATO summit. German Chancellor Scholz is essentially in agreement. If there is no concretization on Ukraine’s membership in Vilnius, some of the “hardcore” allies may take things into their own hands, warns former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is serving as advisor to the Ukrainian president on the future European security architecture. Such a renegade undertaking – at the national level – could also include stationing troops from NATO members in Ukraine. Read more

  • “On the Side of Diplomacy” (III)

    West will pressure Kiev to negotiate an end to the war in the fall, predicts the German Green Party’s parliamentary foreign policy spokesperson. Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia are already working toward peace.

    BERLIN/BEIJING/BRASÍLIA/RIYADH (Own report) – German Green Party Parliamentary Foreign Policy Spokesperson Jürgen Trittin, predicts that, in the fall, the West will put heavy pressure on Ukraine to negotiate with Russia to end the war. The US administration recently sent out signals to this effect, Trittin reported. It would be unwise to continue the support for Kiev in the coming presidential elections, due to a change of mood within the US population. While this is an indication that Kiev must change course, several countries outside the transatlantic West are intensifying their mediation for a ceasefire. Brazil continues to promote peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Following his visits to Kiev and Moscow, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud confirmed that Riyadh is also pursuing such activities. According to reports, China’s President Xi Jinping is expected to arrive soon for talks in Russia and to subsequently hold talks with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Unlike the West, Zelensky already welcomes the negotiation initiatives. Read more

  • The Western War Objectives

    German diplomat calls for NATO agreement on the “Western war objectives” in Ukraine. New sources confirm: The West thwarted an early end to the war in the spring 2022.

    BERLIN/WASHINGTON/KIEV (Own report) – The former Chair of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, calls for NATO to reach an agreement on the “Western [!] war objectives” in the Ukraine war. “A political strategic contact group” should be established to set these objectives, the German diplomat declared. It should, for example, be decided, whether to “encourage Ukraine to militarily reconquer Crimea.” By establishing such a “contact group”, the West would de facto openly assume control of Ukraine's combat operations. whose early ending, according to several sources, it had successfully sabotaged in late March/early April of last year. This is shown in reports of British and Ukrainian media, as well as by accounts both by well-known US experts on Russia and by the former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, which have been substantiated by former UN diplomat Michael von der Schulenburg’s research. A cease-fire agreement had been nearly finalized ten and a half months ago, when it was thwarted by obstinate NATO – particular British – objections. Read more

  • Battle tanks for the spring offensive

    Delivery of Leopard 2s to Ukraine remains uncertain. The battle tanks are needed for a spring offensive that could include attacks on Crimea.

    RAMSTEIN/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – In the immediate run-up to the conference of arms suppliers held at the US Ramstein Air Base, the German government has remained silent on the possible delivery of Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. Pressure to supply the battle tanks had again mounted yesterday. The U.S. has declined to provide M1 Abrams tanks, while demanding that Germany hand over Leopard 2s to Ukraine. According to US media reports, large numbers of battle tanks are needed for a Ukrainian spring offensive, currently being planned by Ukrainian and US military officials. The required arms supply should be decided in Ramstein. Washington is only willing to authorize more sustained shelling of Crimea, the report notes. Warnings that this could cross Russia's red lines, escalate the war and even trigger a nuclear attack are being dismissed. In the past, the West has repeatedly crossed Russia's red lines – with dramatic consequences. As the situation now stands, a possible nuclear attack would strike Europe, but not the USA. Read more

  • “All this Talk” of Red Lines

    Demands to deliver battle tanks and fighter jets to Ukraine are raised in Berlin. Western military officials support Kiev’s plans to retake Crimea.

    BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) – Following the German government’s announcement to supply Ukraine with armored infantry fighting vehicles, more extensive demands to deliver battle tanks and jet fighters are being raised in Berlin. The Green parliamentarian Anton Hofreiter, declared that he “would like” to see “ a European initiative for the delivery of the Leopard 2. Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck does not rule out Leopard 2 deliveries to Kiev. Carlo Masala, Professor at the Bundeswehr University in Munich advocates providing Ukraine’s armed forces also with fighter jets, needed for a “counter-offensive.” Masala and others are pleading to ignore Russia’s red lines. The currently discussed counter-offensives include the attempt to militarily retake Crimea. This could be accomplished by August, according to a retired US General. Of course, this would mean that the West would have to supply Ukraine with even more arms, explains a former advisor to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Plans to retake Crimea had already been signed into law in Kiev by presidential decree back in March 2021. If this plan would be carried out, hundreds of thousands of Russians could be expelled by force. Read more