by Andrew Korybko
The “official narrative” about the Ukrainian Conflict has decisively shifted in recent weeks from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory and the supposed collapse of Russia’s economy to seriously warning that Kiev is likely to lose and praising the Russian economy’s resilience. This literal reversal of everything that the US-led West’s Golden Billion hitherto told the Western masses was due to this proxy war’s military-strategic dynamics clearly favoring Moscow nowadays.
Those decisive shifts to the “official narrative” were deliberate, however, unlike Czech President-elect Petr Pavel’s latest contribution to this trend. He was so caught up celebrating his election victory that he inadvertently admitted three inconvenient truths about Ukraine while talking to the BBC. The first and most important is that this proxy war is indeed all about Ukraine joining NATO, exactly as Russia has always claimed, since Pavel said that they “deserve” to do so once the conflict ends.
This unintentional revelation of the truth therefore completely recasts the way in which the Western public perceives the Ukrainian Conflict. Instead of considering it to be a so-called “unprovoked invasion by a declining fascist-imperialist power” like the Golden Billion tried so hard to brainwash everyone into believing, folks might finally realize that Russia was militarily defending the integrity of its national security red lines in Ukraine after NATO crossed them there and refused to withdraw.
Pavel’s second inadvertent admission concerns Kiev’s full dependence on NATO at this point in time. According to this retired general who used to work in that anti-Russian alliance, “If we leave Ukraine without assistance, they would most probably lose this war.” His words reinforce the abovementioned fact that this proxy war has always been about NATO’s efforts to clandestinely expand its influence in Ukraine at the expense of Russia’s national security and Moscow’s military reaction to this provocation.
The US prioritized “containing” Russia over China because it wrongly predicted that Moscow would either capitulate to Washington’s strategic blackmail in Ukraine or completely collapse due to the combination of proxy warfare and sanctions if it militarily attempted to neutralize these threats. Instead of successfully coercing Russia or the “Balkanized” rump thereof into subsequently helping them “contain” China, the US is now mired in a seemingly endless proxy war that’s draining its resources.
That preceding point forms the third of Pavel’s inadvertent admissions since he declared during his interview that “Once there is even the slightest chance of peace talks, let’s support it.” While falsely claiming that Russia isn’t interested in this, he nonetheless let it slip how desperate the West is to find a way out of this seemingly endless proxy war that’s depleted its military stockpiles that were supposed to contribute to “containing” China someday in the future instead of being blown up by Russia in Ukraine.
The New York Times, to its credit, drew maximum public attention last November to NATO’s military-industrial crisis that’s severely limited the pace, scale, and scope of its related support to Kiev. These depleted supplies can’t quickly be replenished, which limits both that bloc’s proxy war efforts against Russia in Ukraine as well as any forthcoming ones that it’s plotted against China in the Asia-Pacific. For that reason, Pavel and his ilk are eager to see the conflict end, albeit in a “face-saving” way.
After all, the military-strategic dynamics clearly favor Moscow nowadays and that’s precisely why the Golden Billion was forced to literally reverse the “official narrative” about the Ukrainian Conflict. They’ve invested so much in terms of finances, material, and narratives, however, that they’re loath to let Russia win even with a ceasefire simply freezing the Line of Control (LOC) since they’re afraid of how angrily their publics will react to that after everything they’ve spent in pursuit of Kiev’s victory.
Pavel obviously didn’t mean to, but the three inadvertent admissions that he made about Ukraine during his latest interview actually help manufacture a “face-saving” way for eventually de-escalating this proxy war with a view towards freezing it. By accidentally telling everyone that this strategically costly conflict is all about NATO-dependent Ukraine formally joining that bloc, he’s leaving open the door for it never being able to do so as part of a Western concession towards peace.
Granted, freezing the LOC would be to Russia’s strategic benefit and thus represent an indisputable loss for the Golden Billion along the lines of what they’re so desperately trying to avoid their people witnessing, as would agreeing never to admit Ukraine to NATO, but Moscow could reciprocate too. For instance, it hasn’t fulfilled its stated goal of demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine, which could remain unachieved in exchange for politically binding guarantees that Ukraine won’t ever join NATO.