The Narrative on Ukraine Takes a Beating

The gap between reality and narrative on the Ukraine war is growing wider and wider in the West, as seen on the second anniversary of the conflict. Italian PM Giorgia Meloni wanted to inaugurate the Italian chairmanship of the G7 by holding the group’s meeting in Kiev, with questionable success. While she traveled there with EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron did not even join the video conference, delegating his Foreign Minister to the task. Otherwise, much rhetoric was heard on the anniversary, such as “Ukraine is a part of our home” and “there can only be peace when Russia is defeated”.The final G7 communiqué asserts “unwavering long-term” support for Kiev, the freezing of Russian assets until Ukraine is rebuilt, the non-recognition of election results in Moscow, new sanctions, and a warning to Russia “to cease hostilities immediately”.

On the sidelines of the G7, France, Germany and Italy signed non-binding agreements on security and long-time support for Ukraine. Zelensky thanked the G7 presidency by announcing a hit list of Italian “pro-Putin” personalities, without even the slightest peep of protest from Rome against such blatant interference.

Nonetheless, as we noted last week, the Ukrainian rout in Avdeyevka is opening some eyes beyond the Atlantic. Two previous supporters of NATO’s war are proclaiming that Kiev has no path to victory. In a Feb. 22 op-ed in The Hill, “Ukraine Can No Longer Win”, Col. Joe Buccino (ret.), a defense analyst at the Department of Defense Innovation Board, writes, “As the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion nears, and the latest aid package for Ukraine stalls in Congress, we must be clear-eyed about the future. There is no path for Ukraine to win this war. American support will not change this reality….”

And at a Feb. 20 Council on Foreign Relations virtual media briefing Senior Fellow Charles Kupchan reported his utter surprise at the quick disintegration of Ukrainian forces: “The events on the battlefield have tilted in Russia’s favor in a way that surprises just about everybody, including myself (…) And as a consequence, even if Russia can stay the course, I don’t think Ukraine can.”

Even the Western narrative on the death of Alexander Navalny, which had been hyped to cover up the news from the battlefield, is crumbling, after none other than the head of Ukrainian military intelligence himself, Kyrylo Budanov, announced Feb. 26 that he had intelligence that Navalny died of natural causes. Budanov told reporters at a “Year 2024” Forum: “I may disappoint you, but we know he died from a blood clot. It’s more or less confirmed.”

That certainly puts egg on the British government’s face, by the way. London was so proud to be the first to issue sanctions due to death of Navalny, freezing the assets of six bosses of the prison where he was held. At the G20 meeting in Rio last week, London’s Foreign Minister David Cameron dramatically bellowed to his Russian counterpart Lavrov “You murdered Navalny”.

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