Feature Image: Maybe Ukraine does not want to burn itself down now.
…from the New York Times
[ Editor’s Note: As VT was anticipating yesterday, and Russia had announced weeks ago that some of the early deployed units would begin moving back to their barracks with their training finished, we see that is now beginning.
We also haven’t had any cowboy tough guy statements from the West. But we did have Zelensky in the past few days state that Ukraine has no NATO intentions at this time, claiming he had never injected this into the current diplomatic turmoil.
The West and NATO have ignored the endless shelling of the Donbas perimeter for years now, an issue that Western media has given little coverage on.
I don’t think the Russian parliament’s moving to offer recognition to the two ethnic Donbas states came as an accident. It was a two part move, showing that the Ukraine ‘invasion’ talk had been massively hyped, in that Russia’s focus is on the security of the ethnic Russian people there who Kiev has viewed as target practice entertainment for their free US weapons and ammo.
The US is not innocent in all this, having fomented the initial Kiev coup, a stain on Obama’s tenure, but a situation that was totally above his head.
The Russian statements today are strongly focused on negotiations. The best move for Ukraine and Zelensky is to get moving on confirming the Minsk agreement giving the Donbass people the autonomy they had agreed on.
Germany and France, who turned out to be fake guarantors of Kiev’s compliance, have to get off their duffs and get the job done to stop the endless shelling by their forces so life can return to normal. Kiev will stop it, if ordered to do so… Jim W. Dean ]
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First published February 15, 2022
MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin said Tuesday that Russia had decided “to partially pull back troops,” and the Russian Defense Ministry announced that some forces from military districts bordering Ukraine were being sent back to their garrisons
…“We are also ready to continue on the negotiating track, but all these questions, as has been said before, must be viewed comprehensively,” Mr. Putin said.
…But Russia continued to shift away from its more pessimistic official rhetoric of recent weeks….“We intend to and will strive to reach agreement with our partners on the questions that we posed, in order to solve them by taking a diplomatic path,” Mr. Putin said.
…Moscow added some leverage to any talks when lawmakers in the Kremlin-backed lower house of Parliament asked Mr. Putin on Tuesday to recognize breakaway states in eastern Ukraine as independent.
…Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov said that in the ongoing talks, the West had “responded positively to initiatives that it had for a long time rejected.”
…“I think that, thanks to efforts in all these areas, it will be possible to come up with a very decent, comprehensive package result.”