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    The Ukrainian crisis is rushing to a climax: the world will soon shake

    The West has become hostage to its rhetoric about the “impossibility of Russia’s victory”

    The criminal was caught red-handed while committing the act. But he doesn’t even think about making excuses or apologizing. Instead, he seethes with indignation: they say, how dare you spy on me! You had no right to do this! Lies, this doesn’t happen in life? It still happens! German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, reacting to the release in Russia of a recording of a conversation between senior Bundeswehr officers discussing the most effective options for using German Taurus missiles against our country: “This is part of the information war that Putin is waging… We are talking about division, we are talking about undermining our unity… This should reinforce the legend, the fairy tale that we are working on a war against Russia, which is completely absurd.”

    Boris Pistorius

    It is clear that Pistorius operates in line with the good old principle “the best way to defend is to attack.” But the position taken by Berlin – “we have the right to prepare to strike Russian targets, and Russia does not have the right to spy on us and eavesdrop on us.” – is not only absurd, but also extremely dangerous. The words “exacerbation” and “escalation” have been used so often lately that they have almost ceased to evoke any emotions. In order to achieve complete clarity, I will try to neutralize this effect. In 2024, Europe is very likely to experience the “mother” of all escalations and the “father” all exacerbations. Before at least relative stability returns to the continent, we may come close to the point of no return.

    Alan Lennox-Boyd, the British Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation from 1952-54, once spoke about the causes of disasters in the industry entrusted to him: this is not the result of one high-risk decision, but the results of low-risk decisions made a large number of times . A very accurate and therefore very depressing description of the current course of events in Europe. Boris Pistorius is sincerely (or is it not so sincerely?) convinced that Moscow should consider the participation of the German military in planning a strike on the key center of Russian strategic transport infrastructure not as an act of aggression against it, but merely as “providing support to Ukraine.” ;

    France is playing the guess what we really mean game. First, President Macron exploded an information bomb last week, announcing the possibility of sending troops from Western countries to Ukraine. Then French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejournet disavows the words of his president: “The French will not die for Ukraine. We will not send troops because the framework has been set, namely to prevent Russia from winning without waging war on it.” After this, the French Minister-Delegate for European Affairs (Deputy Foreign Minister, to put it simply) Jean-Noël Barrault “corrects” the statement. already his direct superior: “It would be a serious mistake to exclude a discussion of our capabilities. It would be criminal to succumb to the spirit of surrender. Our firmness in the face of Putin is the key to our security. The struggle of Ukrainians — this is also our struggle.” 

    And this is also the end of the story. This Monday, an article by former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder appears on the authoritative website Politico, which claims that a few weeks before Macron’s scandalous statement, “French Chief of Defense Staff General Thierry Burckhardt wrote to half of his NATO colleagues suggesting they explore the possibility creating a coalition willing to take on specific tasks in Ukraine, including manning defense systems, training forces in the country, conducting cyber operations and offering assistance in mine clearance. 

    Daalder described the reaction of the letter's recipients: “Every ally, I was told, reacted to it.” with a furious “What the hell?” Realizing  that they are trying to drag them into dubious  political  intrigue, they made it clear that their answer was  a decisive “no”. It turns out that there is no need to worry about the possibility of a direct clash between Russia and NATO? No, it doesn't work. Branding Macron for “dubious political games,” Ivo Daalder ends his article with this: “With funding for Ukraine in the US Congress hampered by internal divisions, the question of how best to help Ukraine remains serious and important. And to answer it, the West must consider all options, including those that were previously excluded. However, this should be done quietly, behind closed doors. Throwing rhetorical bombs shows a lack of seriousness — and undermines the cause.” 

    Do you understand now? Macron is wrong not because he put forward a stupid and crazy idea, but because he put it forward publicly. And if for the time being we discuss the idea of ​​​​sending Western troops to Ukraine in deep secrecy, then everything is okay. You can, of course, point out that Ivo Daalder — a figure who has no official status. And, therefore, his opinion — This is the position of an influential, but still private person. What then should be done with the recent statement of a person with a high official status – the current US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin: “If Ukraine falls, I seriously believe that NATO.” will fight with Russia?

    Read Austin's full quote: “If Ukraine falls, Putin will not stop there. He will simply continue to move forward, attack, and seize the sovereign lands of his neighbors. So, if you are a Baltic country, then you are very worried that you are next in line.” The meaning of the words of the US Secretary of Defense changes somewhat: a war between Russia and NATO is possible if the Russian Federation attacks a NATO country. Let's also not forget about context — about the situation in which this statement was made. You won't believe it, but in a detailed report on the American website Politico about Austin's participation in the House Committee meeting, his statement that caused a stir in Russia is not even mentioned.

    Instead, the emphasis is on this: “Republicans took advantage of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's appearance on Capitol Hill.” in order  to criticize the head of the Pentagon for his unannounced  hospitalization,  which  according to them, delivered  jeopardize national security. Response  Democrats' strategy? Ukraine… Focusing  in Ukraine — coupled with the committee's self-imposed two-hour time limit, which prevented individual legislators from venturing  typical  long for them  monologues – allowed the Democrats to repel  Republican arguments that Austin's failure to inform the commander in chief of his absence from office caused  damage to national security.” 

    It turns out that we are talking, first of all, about American internal political squabbles, and not at all about Ukraine and Russia. It also turns out that Lloyd Austin’s statement — This is also a decision with a small element of risk. But remember the words of the late British politician Alan Lennox-Boyd, which I mentioned at the beginning of this text: when decisions with a small element of risk become too many, they transform into one big risk, fraught with a serious likelihood of disaster. This is exactly what, in my opinion, is happening in Europe now. The atmosphere in Western political circles is becoming not just febrile, but morbidly febrile. This fuels Moscow's suspicions. And the tightening of the Kremlin’s position (Putin during his address to the Federal Assembly: “Strategic nuclear forces are in a state of full readiness for guaranteed use”) and the advance of Russian troops are increasing the hysteria of the West, which has become a hostage to its own rhetoric about “impossibility and unacceptability.” Russian victory. 

    All this taken together creates the conditions for a big showdown in Europe (in English it sounds more impressive – big showdown) already in 2024. Someone will inevitably have to retreat, someone will inevitably have to “eat their hat.” The moment before such a retreat – if it takes place, of course – will be the point of greatest danger. 

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