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Russia

A large consensus - why does nobody in Russia want peace in Ukraine?

Date: January 21, 2024.
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The Kremlin did not expect Russian society to embrace a war Russia started in Ukraine on Feb 24 2022, with such enthusiasm. This was precisely the reason - and not legal formalities - why the Kremlin refrained from identifying it as war and decided to falsely call it a special military operation.

Almost 2 years after the war started, the Kremlin (not without reason) sees that openly despotic, aggressive and imperial Russia resonates with the majority of Russian people on all levels of its society.

The war in Ukraine enabled Russia to come out of the closet.

This is probably why liberal-minded and democracy-oriented people, an almost invisible minority in today’s Russia, often like to repeat that there were darker times compared with Putin’s current reign. However, there have never been such dastardly times as this one in Russia's history.

The war should last as long as possible

This kind of Russia has reached a consensus that peace with Ukraine does not suit it. The Russian leader, his political, military and business establishment, and the vast majority agree on this.

After nearly 2 years since invading Ukraine, Putin and his entourage want the war to last as long as possible, with greater or lesser intensity, possibly interrupted by occasional truces.

This is the most convenient algorithm for Putin’s Russia.

Putin is convinced that he can stop at any time and proclaim his current conquests of Ukrainian territories as a great victory and then wait until he believes the timing is suitable to attack again.

Putin's principal target is global US dominance, and he wants to fight against it with his allies: China, Iran, and North Korea

Taking over Ukraine is important to Putin, but not just because he wants to restore the former Russian empire. Putin's principal target is global US dominance, and he wants to fight against it with his allies: China, Iran, and North Korea.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Putin is somewhat content with how things have been going in Ukraine and globally.

The UN Security Council no longer has any significance or value. Russia is still trading oil and can still finance not only the war but also sponsor the Russian ruling class.

In achieving that significant goal (dealing with the US-led international order), Putin's next tactical goal is to disqualify and discredit NATO.

He thinks he can do it in many ways, but he wants to use the way that would be the most humiliating for the US.

Putin wants the world to see that America can no longer be regarded as a reliable partner and that America can no longer protect its allies. This strategy is at work in the Middle East, among the wavering European NATO members, and, above all, in Ukraine.

The interests of the establishment and the people

The Russian elite, deeply dependent on Putin and his plans, also does not want peace and an end to the war in Ukraine. The Russian elites have passed the point of no return as well.

They have lost everything in the West, and are forced to remain loyal to Putin no matter what because, with the collapse of Putinism, they will suffer either from retribution from Putin and the people around him, or at least they will lose the mandate to own Russian natural resources.

The majority of Russian ruling and upper class, similar to the majority in Russia, prefer Putin and his regime to persist, because the alternative is too uncertain and frightening to them all.

This is why they will support the war until they view the alternative as a less desirable outcome.

Putin supporter
Russia wishes for as long a war as possible, thinking that there will always be influential people in the West, convinced that there is a peaceful solution for Ukraine, which could be a win-win for all

The average Russian wants Putin to prevail because they fear the uncertainty of some new order in the country where they could not use their survival skills, deeply rooted in the Soviet era and perfected in the era of Putin.

The consensus between the ruler, his establishment, and the majority of subjects that permanent peace in Ukraine is not desirable has its rational basis.

Russia wishes for as long a war as possible, thinking that there will always be policies and influential people in the government, business, and media in the West, convinced that there is a peaceful solution for Ukraine, which could be a win-win for all.

However, they always lose sight of the difference between what is a win for which side. For Putin, it is not only Ukraine because he is convinced that he is currently fighting 2 wars at the same time - the one in Ukraine and the other against US global dominance.

His version of a win-win applies to both goals and anything that falls short of that expectation will be a forceful compromise to Putin's Russia. There is a consensus at home for such goals.

Source TA, Photo: Shutterstock