Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev clearly doesn’t see an end to the war in Ukraine coming any time soon, nor does he see any prospects for a Ukrainian victory. In a speculative post on his Telegram channel this week, the former President of the Russian Federation appeared to scoff at proposals to ship additional western energy into Ukraine. In an even more ominous suggestion, Medvedev wondered why any long-range plans for meeting Ukraine’s energy needs are being discussed when two years from now Ukraine might not even “exist on the world map..” Medvedev is one of Putin’s closest advisors in addition to being a highly placed official in the Russian government. This may have simply been some propaganda to prop up morale at home, but it certainly sounds as if Moscow is prepared for this war to drag on for a very long time and they might not be satisfied with simply keeping the territory they are currently occupying in the eastern reaches of Ukraine. (NY Post)
Dmitry Medvedev, former president and prime minister of the Russian Federation, who currently serves as deputy head of the country’s Security Council, took to his Telegram channel Wednesday to muse about Ukraine’s attempts to secure gas imports from its Western allies.
“I saw a report that Ukraine wants to receive from its overseas masters [liquified natural gas] as part of a land-lease plan with payment for delivery after 2 years,” Medvedev wrote. “Otherwise the country will freeze next winter.
“But here’s a question. Who said that after two years Ukraine will even exist on the world map?
Medvedev went on to blame the United States for the current situation. He claimed that America is focused on an “anti-Russia project” and that all other concerns, including the welfare of the Ukrainians, are “trivial” to us.
It’s not hard to believe that this was just a bit of saber-rattling by the Prime Minister. He’s been doing that on Telegram since the start of the war, recently warning the west about the pending arrival of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” if we don’t find a way to deal with Russia diplomatically.
At the same time, however, it’s entirely possible that Russia is seriously considering the possibility that this war might drag on for years. Do they have a plan in place that would allow them to soldier on for that long while operating under crippling global sanctions? At least thus far they seem to be managing far better than I would have initially imagined.
I still find it difficult to imagine this war grinding on for two more years. Then again, when Russia first invaded, I didn’t picture it lasting for four months, and yet here we are. Russia has to begin running out of critical resources sooner or later, but the west’s ability and willingness to keep flushing billions of dollars per month into Ukraine isn’t limitless either.
Medvedev’s question of whether or not Ukraine will even be “on the map” should give all of the NATO allies a reason to address the elephant in the room. For the time being, the war in Ukraine seems to have settled into a pitched battle for the Donbas region. Nobody wants to say it aloud, but the possibility exists that Russia may secure that region entirely and destroy the Ukrainian forces fighting to defend it. At that point, there is little that anyone else could do to prevent Russia from effectively annexing the territory if we’re going to stick with the policy of not militarily engaging Russia directly.
But what if they’re not satisfied with just claiming the eastern provinces? What if Russia’s two-year plan exists and involves using the Donbas region as a base of operations to begin a long drive to the west, eventually taking or destroying Kyiv? Is that something we will collectively tolerate and simply strike Ukraine from the next publication of global maps? Or will we eventually have to go in and drive Russia out ourselves? We should be preparing to answer that question now rather than waiting to have the issue forced upon us in a year or two.