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European rescuers of Putin’s face want to appease russian dictator at the expense of Ukraine

Photo: Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz
Source: Deutsche Welle

The defense forces of Ukraine have been resisting for four months. During this time, Ukraine's partner countries have provided unprecedented assistance in the form of arms, financial, humanitarian, and political support, including sanctions against the Russian Federation and those responsible for decision-making in the Kremlin. However, there is still no consensus on how this inherently aggressive war should end.

The Ukrainian leadership has already stated that the victory will imply the liberation of the entire territory of Ukraine, including the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Of course, this goal primarily depends on the ability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to liberate the occupied territories. At the same time, this ability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces depends on international support. Against the background of deteriorating economic situation and the gradual disappearance of euphoria in Europe, those who believe that the war should end at the expense of Ukraine, not by countering and forcing the aggressor state, appear in the information space. These figures openly suggest the initiatives and proposals for Ukraine to cede sovereignty and territory to save Putin's face. Former US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger at the World Economic Forum in Davos suggested that a peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia should return to the situation before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, i.e. by February 24, 2022. He believes that the West should allow Russia to keep Crimea, which Russia occupied in 2014. "Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine ... but a new war against Russia itself," said Henry Kissinger, who served in the administrations of two US presidents, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. At present, Henry Kissinger has no decisive influence on US foreign policy, and according to US officials, the United States has a different view on how the Russian-Ukrainian war should end.

The same cannot be said about the representatives of some European countries, whose position, in contrast to the opinion of Henry Kissinger, can have a significant impact on the course of the war. As Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with the Italian TV channel Rai 1, in order to save face for the Russian president, French President Emmanuel Macron offered Ukraine to make concessions on sovereignty. In addition to the French leader, a similar proposal was made by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who called for an urgent ceasefire in Ukraine in order to start serious negotiations to end the war. The initiative, which Draghi presented to the UN, called for four steps: The first step concerns a ceasefire and elimination of the line of military clashes under the supervision of the UN. The second step is related to multilateral negotiations on the future international status of Ukraine, in particular the exceptional nature of Ukraine's accession to the European Union and its neutral status, backed by an international political "guarantee". The third point concerns the definition of a bilateral agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the disputed territories of Donbas and Crimea in order to resolve conflict over internationally recognized borders through international mediation. The fourth point proposes a new multilateral agreement on peace and security in Europe in the context of the OSCE and the European Union's Neighborhood Policy.[2] Even in the fourth month of the war, the leaders of certain European countries, such as Mario Draghi, sometimes hesitate to call a spade a spade. In search of diplomatic solutions, the leaders of the leading countries who suggest the Ukrainian authorities to agree to separate agreements with Russia over “disputed territories”, forget that Ukraine does not have any disputed territories with the Russian Federation. There are only internationally recognized Ukrainian territories occupied by Russian troops.

At the same time, for the sake of justice, it is worth noting that such initiatives of the Italian Prime Minister were discussed at the talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Istanbul. If in March the Ukrainian leadership considered the possibility of such concessions, now such a plan is no longer relevant. Since then, Russia has destroyed new Ukrainian cities, the world has become aware of the massacre in Bucha and other crimes of Russians in Ukraine. Ukraine, in turn, received new equipment and gained a number of victories, which changed the position of the state leadership. When Ukraine is offered to cede territory, international partners forget that people live there. In Donetsk and Zaporizhzya regions, citizens of Ukraine undergo a filtration procedure. In the best traditions of the Nazis, Russian troops select "correct" (who don’t show Ukrainian identity) and "wrong" Ukrainians. It is impossible for the sake of saving the face of the dictator to leave a part of the citizens whose cities are being plundered in the same way that Donetsk and Luhansk were and now Mariupol and other occupied cities are being plundered. Keeping in mind the lives of these citizens will depend on the will of the occupier. A possible victory is not appropriate to compare with the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles, as Emmanuel Macron did when he spoke of the inexpediency of “humiliating” Russia.[3] In World War I, Germany was not an absolute evil, other actors also showed readiness for war and aspired to territorial gains. This cannot be said about the Second World War, where Nazi Germany exterminated people and its defeat was literally a matter of life and death. Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union did not become an object of humiliation. On the contrary, the developed democracies showed their readiness to help and did it in every possible way. However, in 2007, the Russians suddenly learned from Putin's Munich speech about the injustice of the international system towards their state. Under false pretexts, Russia attacked sovereign states, first Georgia, then Ukraine, and now some leaders are considering how to save face for Putin. For some reason, failure to conquer a neighboring state is called “a loss of face”, but the killings of people in Bucha, Mariupol, the destruction of Avdiivka, Volnovakha, Severodonetsk and other cities are not.[4]

It is likely that these initiatives arise from the desire to restore relations with Russia after the war. If Ukraine wins, Europe will lose Russia as its balance in relations with the United States. The influence of the United States of America in Europe will increase. The EU will become more dependent on American energy. In addition, Washington is reaffirming its status as a guarantor of European security by increasing its military presence. According to political scientist Andriy Piontkovsky, in the new conditions France and Germany may lose their positions in the European security system, the conditions of which will be dictated by the winners - the United States, Britain and Ukraine.[5] This is compounded by economic factors that could affect EU countries if the war drags on. Therefore, unity in decision-making is disappearing and each new package of sanctions is causing serious discussions and controversy.

After the euphoria at the beginning of the war, the united front in support of Ukraine has faltered. The partner countries do not have a common vision of ending the Russian-Ukrainian war, and therefore common solutions for the European Union are becoming increasingly difficult. This could cost the EU countries dearly, because the more they put pressure on Russia, the sooner the war will end. Instead, the absolutely hopeless plans for a peaceful settlement appear, which cannot replace military assistance to Ukraine. European fear of Putin encourages the Kremlin dictator to continue his aggression, and his actions serve as a guide to other potential aggressors. After February 24, it became clear that any policy of appeasement is not working. Ensuring a common European security system is possible only through decisive action. It is very important to continue diplomatic, economic and military support for Ukraine.


1. На Заході гостро критикують Кісінджера, який «запропонував Україні поміняти території на мир», 26.05.2022,
2. Італія розробила план миру для України з чотирьох етапів, 19.05.2022,
3. Макрон пропонує нове об'єднання, бо вступ України в ЄС займе «десятиліття», 09.05.2022,
4. Запад боится унизить Россию: почему вместо Версальского мира, западные лидеры должны вспоминать Мюнхенский сговор, 30.05.2022,
5. Франція та Німеччина бояться перемоги України, – Піонтковський, 22.05.2022,