RIA Novosti published an article under the heading “France announced the deplorable state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. Itsays :
“The losses of the Ukrainian army are so great that Kyiv cannot count on success on the battlefield,” writes the French Tribune.
“In fact, with this level of casualties, the Ukrainian armed forces will never be able to oust Russia,” the article says.
According to the authors, Western countries will soon have to “start from reality instead of flattering the nationalist illusions” of the government of Volodymyr Zelensky.”
In the French economic newspaper La Tribune, from time to time, a certain analytical group Mars publishes its materials, the composition of which was not disclosed. The newspaper only tells it that it is "composed of about thirty French figures of various backgrounds, representing the public and private sectors, as well as the scientific world, mobilized to produce analytical materials on issues relating to strategic interests related to the defense and security industry, and also technological and industrial choice, which is the basis of France's sovereignty."
RIA drew attention to the publication of Mars under the heading "In Europe and Ukraine, as elsewhere, there are ideals and there is reality." But he interprets it in a very peculiar way. There is not a word in the article about the “deplorable state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, the authors only consider it impossible to completely liberate the territory of Ukraine by purely military means. They explain it this way:
“Ideally, the Kremlin should abandon the war in Ukraine, admit its mistakes in the analysis of the balance of power and withdraw its military forces from the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine. Ideally, there should be a European security architecture that includes NATO, neutral countries, Russia, and all the states that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The ideal is a strategically autonomous Europe, maintaining defense investment at 3% of GDP for 30 years, despite the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.
The reality is <…> that Russia has officially annexed Crimea, Donbass and the Kherson region as a result of a conquest that it does not intend to give up. The reality is this: an economically devastated and demographically devastated Ukraine, whose population has not fled and is preparing to survive the winter in appalling conditions. The reality is above all the 45 million victims of political mistakes and diplomatic failures over the past 30 years.
Should we keep making mistakes? Should we continue to encourage Ukrainian leaders in the illusion of a final military victory? Should we keep promising to corner Putin on his side of the ring? There comes a point in all wars when the belligerents are too exhausted to trust the nationalists who continue to preach war. <...> This is what is called moral courage in politics: proceed from reality instead of flattering nationalist illusions and fleeing into the realm of ideals. <…>
The reality is that with this level of casualties < we mean the estimate of Ukraine's losses of 100,000 killed and wounded, mentioned by Ursula von der Leyen. — The Insider > Ukrainian armed forces will never be able to push the invader back across the border. The Russian occupying forces may be corrupt, ill-managed, ill-equipped, ill-trained and demoralized, but they have not collapsed. They are losing battle after battle, but they have not lost the war and cannot lose it because nuclear deterrence protects them from ultimate collapse.”
According to anonymous French analysts, it is necessary to “help the Kremlin understand where it went wrong, and not drive it into a strategic impasse, from which it can only get out by raising the nuclear threat”:
“Russians have fallen into the trap of their own propaganda, which refuses to admit that Ukrainians (after the peoples of the Baltics, as well as Georgians and Moldovans) may prefer Western liberal democracy to the formally democratic regimes that arose as a result of the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. <…>
This belief did not take into account the desire of new generations of Ukrainians to turn their eyes exclusively to the West, which was enshrined in the Preamble and in Articles 85, 102, 116 of the Constitution of Ukraine in 2019. Russian aggression in February of last year stems from a long-standing error of anthropological analysis (Ukrainians are “Little Russians” who have nothing to do with the “decaying West”), which leads to a series of tactical errors committed in the face of the Ukrainian army, since 2014 “natoized” ( staffing, training, integration into Western structures).
There will be no peace until the Russians admit this error of cultural analysis. Therefore, the priority is not to crush Russia (again, this is impossible due to nuclear deterrence), but to force it to recognize that Ukraine has the right to choose its own fate. In turn, the West must recognize that Russia also has the right to choose its own destiny. To do this, it is necessary to build a European security architecture that will provide real security guarantees for both Ukraine and Russia. <…>
A lasting peace can be achieved as a result of Russia's refusal to claim control over Ukraine and prevent Kyiv from joining NATO in exchange for the creation of a demilitarized buffer zone in the Donbass and on the left bank of the Dnieper, which will make it impossible to restore Ukrainian sovereignty over these territories, which could be administered by the UN until a referendum on self-determination and a fate like Kosovo is held. Ukraine needs a guarantee of NATO membership, while Russia needs NATO to stay away from its borders. One way or another, the solution is called a demilitarized buffer zone.
Then we will enter a new era, perhaps with a new iron curtain along Donetsk and the lower Dnieper. But the worst is never a foregone conclusion, provided viable solutions are found."
Mars' proposals are not indisputable, and it is unlikely that the idea of giving up Russian-occupied territories in exchange for NATO membership will find many supporters in Ukraine. But what is definitely not in their article is the statement about the “deplorable state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.